Monday, May 26, 2008

Oh, Why Bother

It has come to that. It has come to the point where there is really no point in saying anything more about Billary. I was thinking earlier about entitling this post, "Dustbin of History," or alternatively, "Clinton Chameleon." But, upon further reflection, why bother.

Indeed, Billary has worked hard during this campaign to reacquaint us with those attributes of its personality that we found distasteful so many years ago. We had forgotten how Billary preemptively fired the career employees in the White House travel office who had served many administrations both Republican and Democrat. We had forgotten about the Rose law firm billing records which miraculously appeared in the White House after all those years. We had forgotten about the shrewd investment that turned $1000 into $100,000. We had forgotten about the horrible sense of entitlement they exhibited. We had forgotten the "bull in the china shop" tendencies. As they say, "Thanks for the memories." As the NY Times reported this morning, she will have a hard time returning to the Senate where she will resume her position as 36th in tenure out of 49 Democratic Senators. Too bad. So it goes in the dustbin of history.

Months ago I did a post about her cloying southern accent at the church in Selma. As I said then, it dripped of fat back and hogs maw. Now, we hear that she was pure corn pone and molasses in the hollows of Kentucky and West Virginia. Aw shucks, I'm just like you back country folks. Dear Hillary, she is whatever we want her to be. Chameleon indeed. It is just like looking in a mirror...except, with Billary, it has become a rearview mirror.

Why bother to mention the latest reference to the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy. Usually, the subtext is more powerful when it is left unspoken. But, when you are Billary and you are losing you pull out all the stops. Today, the ex President got off the reservation again and said that Obama could not win against McCain.

We must put Billary out of its misery soon. I believe former President Carter is correct when he observes that the superdelegates will flock to Obama after June 3. Must we continue to watch and listen to Billary until then? Do we have to? Why bother?

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Reagan Redux

I am going out on a the proverbial prognosticators limb. I believe, before this election year is over, we will see a group form which calls itself Reaganites for Obama. The organization will include, of course, the late President's son, Ron Reagan, and a host of Reagan administration factotums who see in Obama something of what they saw in Ronald Reagan. Finally, I am convinced, reading Peggy Noonan every Saturday in the Wall Street Journal, that she will get on board the Obama bandwagon. Between the lines, she is clearly, to me, already an Obama supporter.

So, why would Reaganites join forces with Obama? What is it they see in him that pulls them away from the Republican fold?

Obama gave himself a boost with the Reaganites when, in his remarks in Reno early this year, he praised Reagan as a President who had made a difference.

The great gift of Ronald Reagan was that he helped the country and its people feel better about themselves. Post Vietnam and Watergate, post Ford and Carter, post skyrocketing interest rates and Iraqi hostages, Reagan made the country feel good about itself for the first time in a long time. Obama has that same gift. Reaganites recognize it and believe in it and how important it is to the nation. McCain doesn't have the gift.

The Reaganites also see in Obama that great force of personality that made Reagan so effective around the world with his brand of personal diplomacy. Reaganites believe in that and are less inclined to embrace the Pax Americana tough stuff diplomacy of the neo-conservative Bush Administration. McCain seems inclined to follow the Bush path.

Reagan caused the world to regain respect for America. Obama has that same capacity. So, out on the limb I am, suggesting and predicting that there will be Reaganites for Obama before the election in November.

LOL. I just went to Network Solutions and discovered that the url, is already taken. I was going to buy it to add to my collection.

Sunday, May 18, 2008


Seventy-five thousand Oregonians gathered today in Portland to listen to and lend their support to the Presidential candidacy of Barack Obama. It is the largest partisan political gathering in my memory. While the big events of the 1960's were larger and attracted several hundred thousand (The March on Washington, The Mobilization and The Moratorium) they were in support of ideas and broad principals, not a single candidate. I don't recall any crowds for Robert Kennedy of that scale, unless you include all of the people in New York and along the train tracks to Washington standing in silent vigil during his funeral procession.

The Portland event is a powerful statement of the force that propels the Obama candidacy. Now, if those of us on the left coast don't get too wrapped up in our own underwear, maybe there is a chance we can create the change we yearn for.

It is humorous to me to juxtapose the Portland rally with the report by the Washington Post last week of a Hillary Clinton visit to West Virginia. (It is a fabulous piece by Dana Milbank on May 13. I can't make the link to the article work. A search for the article would be worth your while)
Hillary alighted from her campaign plane and as she came down the steps she waved and pointed to friends she recognized in the crowd. Except, there was no one to meet her, no crowd and certainly no friends in the nonexistent crowd. Hillary only had the television cameras recording her arrival. To the television viewer it would appear as if Hillary was greeting a welcoming throng.

I have felt for many years that the finger pointing by politicians at rally's was a joke. It struck me as a ruse to cause the viewer to think that the politician had friends in the crowd. It creates a false sense of intimacy. I could never prove that feeling I had, until this past week when the Washington Post clearly pointed it out.

Sorry Hillary, the big crowd was in Portland, Oregon, and it was listening to Obama.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The Perfect Ticket

Barack Obama took a serious hit in West Virginia. He didn't pay any attention to the state and let Hillary Clinton run away with it. It doesn't change the outcome but it does raise doubt about his electibility in the Ohio Valley states and in Appalachia.

In 1960, John Kennedy worked West Virginia hard and it was a key turning point for his campaign for the Democratic nomination. The circumstances and importance of the West Virginia primary are different today, but, with effort Obama could have narrowed the loss and come closer, I am convinced, to an Indiana style outcome.

Now, to overcome the doubt, he has shifted his emphasis to Kentucky. He is going to put resources and money into the state and not let it get too far out of whack as he did in West Virginia.

John Edwards endorsement this evening is a part of the strategy to build Obama's working class and poor folks cred. It is great that Edwards has come on board now. He said earlier that he was going to await the outcome of the primaries. I guess he feels the outcome is now certain.

Thoughtful analysis aside, I do believe there is a perfect ticket that will give the Republicans fits. It also will secure, permanently, the votes of poor white folk who growed up in a holler. I am proposing that Obama select the senior Senator from West Virginia, Robert Byrd, as his running mate. Think about, an Obama/Byrd ticket. It resonates success. It can't lose in Appalachia. It is a great unifying ticket. It smells of pork. And, the good news is, within a year or so Obama could select a replacement. On the other hand, Byrd as would act an insurance policy against lunatics bent upon taking out Obama. No one wants a President who soils himself.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Clinton Rage

I have been thinking recently about what it is that drives Hillary. What is the primary motivator that drives her behavior. Friends have said it is power. They say it is her desire for power.
I don't think so. I think the desire for power is a manifestation of the primary motivator.
I feel that Hillary's primary motivator is rage.

In my experience, most of human behavior can be ascribed to the baser emotions. Fear is a primary motivator. In Hillary's case, when I watch and listen to her, I hear the underlying rage.

She has spent most of her adult life playing second fiddle to Bill Clinton. That, alone, without his numerous indiscretions, would cause the accumulation of a fair amount of anger. Add to that his numerous and continuing indiscretions, about which she can do nothing whatsoever, and the anger gathers into a powerful rage. Her own ambitions have been attached to his star. Now that she has the chance for independent flight he holds her back once again. He is uncontrollable.

She has paid her dues for many years. The ultimate payoff was to be the Presidency. Now, to be inhibited in her plan by a young upstart and the weight of her past, the rage is incalculable.

Hillary is also a vehicle for the rage of her supporters. She gives voice not only to her own rage, but to the accumulated rage of women of her generation and older, working class whites and those, undereducated, who have been by-passed by the illusive American Dream.

I don't denigrate the rage, only observe it and know that it is real.

The Week That Was

What a week it was. And, what a difference a day makes. Going into last Tuesday's North Carolina and Indiana primaries, there was a plausible claim that the race hung in the balance. The math didn't work for Hillary and the Clintonistas but, there was a plausible claim that if they had a narrow loss in North Carolina and a strong victory in Indiana, they would, on the heels of Pennsylvania, have momentum. They could make a claim to the super delegates that Hillary was the most electable. It was not to be.

It was a great result Tuesday for Obama. It sealed the nomination for him, at least, as everyone has said, "presumptively."

There were several noteworthy events following on after the Tuesday elections. Obama, on the Hill courting super delegates, walked onto the House floor during a vote. He was swarmed by Democrats and Republicans alike. You didn't need a pollster to tell you that he was the winner. He was like a rock star and the adulation was apparent. When I saw that I knew for certain that it was over.

Hillary, though, was not so sure. She continued in her robo-call manner, to careen forward. Her interview with USA Today was the most unbelievable. Okay, Hillary, so you have great strength among the poor white uneducated population many of whom are racist. Wahoo Hillary!!! But, Hillary, where are your manners. You can think that but you can't say it. That is especially the case if you wish to retain for yourself and your hapless ex-President husband, any sense of nobility. Candidly, I think you have both made great strides toward the dustbin of history.

Saturday Night Live put the knife in it when they opened with a great Amy Poehler skit. It was a wonderful put down of Hillary. She has no ethics. SNL made up for their pivotal early support, post writer's strike of Hillary and their parody of the media's fawning over Obama. Kudos to SNL for getting it right last night. Check it out.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Clinton's End Game

The end game for the Clinton campaign is now becoming clear. Regardless of the protestations of her most aggressive supporters, the Clinton campaign will end in early to mid June.

Between now and then the Clinton campaign will reduce the negative attacks against Obama as a part of their significant reduction in television advertising. Hillary will continue to campaign and will continue to give her standard stump speech and continue to talk about going all the way to November and the White House. She must do that to keep up the illusion that the game is not over.

She will continue to raise money. The money will be used to pay for the campaign essentials. Campaign debt to existing vendors owed millions will not be paid and the Clinton debt will not be repaid, at least not now. Ultimately, of course, the repayment of the Clinton debt and campaign vendor debt is a relatively trivial matter and will be handled in due course, either by or through the efforts the Democratic Party, Obama and others. Money is always easier to raise for a gracious loser than for a failing competitor.

Clinton will play it out through the remaining primaries in part because it would look bad if Obama lost in West Virginia or Kentucky to Clinton who will remain on those ballots even if she withdraws from the race. Hence, she will stay to the end.

The key piece to keep in mind is that she will lower the rhetoric, reduce the attacks and focus her campaign on the issues she wants on the agenda. The next month she will focus on that agenda and, with her fingers crossed behind her back, hope against hope that Obama implodes somehow.

He won't and she will then graciously move aside. So, we should just relax and let it play out.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

"Butt Crack" Strategy

An inside source at the Clinton campaign sent me a copy of a top secret campaign strategy memo which details the plans for winning over the blue collar and no collar voters. Staffers in the campaign call it the "Butt Crack Memo."

The memo came together after the huge success the campaign had sending Bill Clinton into small towns in Pennsylvania. It was drafted after the stunning response he had in Intercourse, PA. Bill claimed to have never been in Intercourse before. On the Intercourse stump he said, "I have never been in Intercourse before. I love Intercourse." The staff strategists put together a plan that would send the former President to as many small backwater towns as possible in every upcoming primary state.

These are towns, all previously served by railroads and now by-passed by both rail and interstate, who last saw a President when Theodore Roosevelt made a whistle stop in 1904. They are thrilled to see a former President, even one who is disgraced, increasingly irrelevant and relegated to eating large portions of fried chicken in bingo halls.

The memo got its name from the first stop on the former President's new schedule, Butt Crack, Indiana. Butt Crack is a wide place in the road just south of French Lick.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Please Save Us From Bill Clinton

Bill Clinton is at large on the campaign trail spouting off once again. If you saw the fabulous Saturday Live skit with the Clinton's recently, it has a hilarious send-up of Bill's love for talking.
He does love to talk to people. He loves to hear himself talk.

Most recently he has been working hard to reinforce Hilary's ersatz working class cred. Part of that effort involves an attack on the alleged elitist views of Obama and his supporters. Bill is quoted as follows:

"The great divide in this country is not by race or even income, it's by those who think they are better than everyone else and think they should play by a different set of rules," he said. "In West Virginia and Arkansas, we know that when we see it."

I am incredulous when I read this quote. If anyone knows about playing by a different set of rules it is Bill Clinton. The record is full of examples of Bill Clinton playing the elitist card and claiming a separate set of rules for himself. Hillary is no different. The latest from Bill reinforces once again why it is imperative that we do everything we can to keep him out of the White House.

I blame him for the war in Iraq and the deaths of the young men and woman being needlessly sacrificed in that apocryphal conflict. His indiscretions and his insistence on having a separate set of rules brought us George W. Bush. Thanks Bill. Now go away and let us rebuild America.