Politics, Foreign Policy, Current Events and Occasional Outbursts Lacking Couth

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Hell Has Frozen Over

And there's a sizable flock of pigs oinking their way through the air over my house as I type. Why? I found myself nodding in agreement as I first read and then watched (on Meet the Press) NY Times columnist Maureen Dowd. In light of Barrack Obama's overwhelming win in South Carolina the analysis is focusing ever more on President Bill Clinton's role as head cheerleader for his wife's bid to become the first Madam President of the US. Some Dowdian thought:

If Bill Clinton has to trash his legacy to protect his legacy, so be it. If he has to put a dagger through the heart of hope to give Hillary hope, so be it.

If he has to preside in this state as the former first black president stopping the would-be first black president, so be it.

The Clintons — or “the 2-headed monster,” as the The New York Post dubbed the tag team that clawed out wins in New Hampshire and Nevada — always go where they need to go, no matter the collateral damage. Even if the damage is to themselves and their party.

Bill’s transition from elder statesman, leader of his party and bipartisan ambassador to ward heeler and hatchet man has been seamless — and seamy.

Add to this the ex-Presidents reaction to Obama's victory in which he couldn't help but point out that even Jessie Jackson carried the state in both '84 and '88. The "they ran a good campaign" niceties aside one cannot help but imagine black voters reading a message of "they voted for him because he's black." Which might lead many to take President Clinton's comments as a slight, one that invites those that hear them to imagine a bovine, herd mentality among black voters. Some degree of political blowback seems inevitable.

I have a difficult time believing many American's are comfortable putting their support behind two individuals running in a joint effort for one elected position. Pres. Clinton's increasingly noisy profile in this campaign has elevated his presence from supportive spouse to essential co-candidate, an observation that led to an Obama remark that he wasn't sure "who he was running against." Given that we don't send our Presidents into battle, America has little need for the Spartan like method of two Presidents.

The addition of Caroline Kennedy (daughter of the infamous JFK) officially endorsing Obama and comparing his ability to inspire to that of her late father's doesn't bode well for the Clinton's either. Yet another feather in the political cap of Obama as the Kennedy "image" goes beyond the late President and entails his brothers historic participation in the Civil Rights movement. Very fitting for a man who might well end up America's first black President. It'll be interesting to see if Obama let's this endorsement slide by quietly and sticks to his admirable "I'm a guy running for President who happens to be black" platform.


Jeff Wills said...

Interesting post. The comparison of O'bama with Kennedy is a reach. Kennedy was a hawk for one. Just think of the Cuban missile crisis, the bay of pigs and Vietnam. Kennedy really was a "classical liberal" in a lot of ways. In other words, he'd be a conservative democrat today. Kennedy was also pro business. He pushed through tax cuts right after coming into office. O'Bama is probably the most liberal member of the Senate. If he's the democratic nominee, I think his left-wing record will not set well in a presidential election. Not is a nation that is primarily moderate to conservative. It should be interesting to see

Jay@Soob said...


The comparison may be a reach when one looks beyond the superficial and into the history of both Kennedy's. But how many American's will actually do so? There's a difference between a politicians reality and their veneer.

The Whited Sepulchre said...

I saw Dowd on a Tivo'd "Meet The Press" today.
She essentially said that one Clinton compared Obama to a MLK who couldn't get anything done without a white LBJ (Hillary as LBJ...that's a stretch.) Then Bill acknowledged that Obama did win South Carolina, but so did Jesse Jackson.
So the Clintons were comparing Barack to a black guy who couldn't get anything done on his own, and a black guy who could won but couldn't get elected.
If Obama is still a viable candidate after Super Tuesday, I'm going to switch over to Democrat during the primaries just to support the guy against those two charlatans. I like your use of the word "veneer". They're all veneer, no hardwood.