Saturday, February 23, 2008
Well, Hillary's at it again today! Now her pet peeve against Barack Obama is essentially that he "misrepresents" her health plan in the political pamphlets being distributed in Ohio on behalf of the Obama campaign. Something to do with "mandates", i.e., that poor people would face mandates to purchase health insurance even if they were not able to afford it.
"Senator Obama knows it is not true that my plan forces people to buy insurance even if they can't afford it," Ms. Clinton said. "It is blatantly false and yet he continues to spend millions of dollars perpetuating falsehoods. It is not hopeful. It is destructive, particularly for a Democrat to be discrediting universal health care."
As Obama spokesman Bill Burton responded: "Everything in those mailers is completely accurate, unlike the discredited attacks from Hillary Clinton's negative campaign that have been rejected in South Carolina, Wisconsin, and across America."
I think Hillary is destined to be the 21st Century's version of Scarlett O'Hara of GWTW renown. Her remark from last week's debate in which she summed up the entire Obama campaign with the retort: "Change you can Xerox" - could be a line directly out of the mouth of that bratty southern belle.
"Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn!" [I guess that line is already taken? - GWTW] Or how about - "Much Ado About Nothing." [The Bard Himself]
And in last night's debate [February 26, 2008] she actually tried to attribute one of Obama's remarks on Pakistan as calling for a military assault on that country!
Me thinks the desperation runs deep in Camp Clintonia!
The Clinton's have shown they will not shrink from a full frontal assault on a political rival, even if it means denigrating that rival as a candidate. Hillary charges that Obama is pandering to the voters with his message of "hope". On February 24th Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., gave full vent to her urge to mock the Illinois Senator by taking dead aim at Obama's campaign theme of hope and the pivotal role it plays in his quest for the White House.
Not to be outdone, Hubby Bill chimed in this past January in a comment made in New Hampshire while campaigning for Hillary --- "Give me a break. This whole thing is the biggest fairy tale I've ever seen," Clinton had said in accusing Obama of distorting his stance on the war.
Barack Obama in turn has rightfully countered back by pointing out that some of his earlier remarks on the Iraq war were twisted out of context in a speech that Bill Clinton gave the night before the New Hampshire vote. In an excerpt from the January 11, 2008 TPM Blog Site - "Bill Clinton just appeared on Al Sharpton's radio show, and was asked about his statements in New Hampshire that the media was pushing a "fairy tale" about Obama's candidacy. Bill insisted that he did not mean Obama's candidacy itself was the fairy tale."
Clinton said that what he meant by the use of the term "fantasy" was the idea that Obama has always opposed the war. To Obama's credit he has said during the campaign that his hedge on this issue in the 2004 campaign was meant so as not to be detrimental to the Democratic standard bearers at the time, John Kerry and John Edwards. In any event, Obama was one of the first politicians beginning in 2002 to publically state his opposition to the Iraq War. No statement from him on this issue since that time could be construed so as to detract from his initial public opposition to the war.
Additionally, Obama takes Bill Clinton to task for remarks made by the former president which suggest that Obama thought only Republicans had any good ideas.
"Referring to a specific incident in which Clinton remarked on statements Obama made that Ronald Reagan had shifted the way America thought, Obama said, “President Clinton went in front of a large group, said that I had claimed that only Republicans had had any good ideas since 1980. And then he added, ‘I’m not making this up.’ He was making it up and completely mischaracterizing my statement.”
All of this back-and-forth, tit-for-tat obfuscates the real dynamic at work here. Barack Obama is a once-in-a-life-time politician who has come along at precisely the right moment in time in our nation's history to galvanize a thoroughly bedraggled voting public - rendered such as a result of nearly 8 years of despotic rule at the hands of a mad man, George W. "Call Me Crazy" Bush!
Mrs. Clinton is not the agent of change this nation needs now. We need not only a change in policy and course of direction but a change in the tone and tenor of political discourse. And most importantly, a change in the way we enlist allies toward our side to work for that change - allies from the Independent and Republican ranks. We need not just a "fighter" - but also - a "uniter." In short, we now have a candidate [Barack Obama] who is both a fighter for change as well as a uniter who can bring people outside of the Democratic Party on board to effect that change.
HILLARY, WHERE IS THY SONG!
Posted by Pete Newcome at 5:24 PM
Monday, February 18, 2008
With today's Wisconsin primary Barack Obama appears poised to mount a ferocious climactic charge toward wrapping up the Democratic nomination. Admittedly, the Clinton campaign is still struggling to come to grips with the juxtaposition they find themselves in. In a few short months, they have seen their clear frontrunner status dissolved into what can only be politely characterised as a candidacy-in-decline.
The Clinton campaign have placed their hopes for renewal in the states of Texas and Ohio. Unfortunately, recent polling shows the Texas primary race to be a virtual dead heat. Ohio, although hard hit by the economic slowdown will nonetheless not prove to be the treasure trove of delegate votes Hillary Clinton so desperately needs. Just as in the case of Texas , Ohio's latino and white male voters, along with an increasing number of low-income voters are markedly shifting their allegiance to Barack Obama.
The polls indicate a 52%-40% Obama victory in Wisconsin at best and a 47%-43% win if Hillary shows greater strength. It is this writer's contention that Obama will win in a walk in Wisconsin and make substantial inroads on those sectors of the voting public previously considered to be the bedrock of Senator Clinton's support.
Just as Senator Eugene J. McCarthy of Minnesota unseated a sitting president and completely changed the political landscape in U.S. Politics in 1968 so too will Barack Obama "unseat" the established political orthodoxy and turn the political world in this country on its head.
As the opening line from the University of Wisconsin fight song goes ....."On Wisconsin!" .......
Posted by Pete Newcome at 8:23 PM
Monday, February 11, 2008
I think after this weekend it should be clear that the inevitability aura about Hillary Clinton has been demolished. If anything, it doesn't take a genius to figure out her candidacy is in a near death-spiral. The impregnable armada of the Hillary Campaign has been shot full of holes by the Obama phenomenon over the last week and nothing or no one can forestall the nomination of Barack Obama as the next Democratic presidential candidate.
Was Hillary's coronation ever really that inevitable. Only if you completely discounted an individual like Barack Obama. It's clear the Clinton campaign completely underestimated the significance of his appeal and the resonance his style of delivery and the tenor of his message has had on the American electorate. His continuing climb in the public estimation could have been long foreshadowed as early as January 2007 by the awesome eloquence of his demeanor and bearing on the public stage.
I'm not downplaying the magnificent accomplishments Hillary Clinton has managed over the years but accomplishments and length of tenure and hard won experience do not seem to figure into the equation at this juncture of the Nation's history. Presence - not experience - is paramount. Of the former, Obama has the overwhelming edge. Politics is about presence - more than anything else. Unfortunately, Hillary has polish but sorely lacks "presence" - certainly not the kind commanded by Mr. Obama.
If this comes as unpleasant news to Hillary supporters, I'm sorry. But the truth of the matter is that the time has come for someone like Barack Obama. While it is certainly true that we are long overdue for a woman president, we are even longer overdue for - not just a black president - but for a young, fearless unifying figure deeply rooted in this nation's history. Someone whose heritage is of the dispossessed and is in no way fearful of speaking out on their behalf. Barack Obama is not merely proposing policies and prescriptions but more importantly he is profoundly rearranging the tone and tenor of political discourse and thought in this still evolving country in a way that Hillary can only imagine.
My hats off to Hillary. But to every thing there is a season (Ecclesiaste) - to every season, there is a time. And in this season, it is the time of Barack Obama.
Posted by Pete Newcome at 6:59 PM