||[Jan. 8th, 2008|10:41 am]
I suspect- being very cold and rational about it- that Hillary is the better bet- the one with the experience and the background and the policies- but it's hard not to find Obama exciting. He 's smart, impassioned, unspun, untainted- and he makes people feel good about themselves. When was the last time American politics threw up a candidate like this? Bill Clinton? No, not really. I reckon you have to go back as far as Bobby Kennedy.|
We've been through a really dreary, depressing time and here, suddenly- appearing out of nowhere like Joan of Arc- is this brilliant young man- and he's drawing crowds like no politician in recent history has been able to draw them- not just of the faithful but of the unaligned and traditionally antagonistic. He may not go all the way- and if he does he'll disappoint us- but every society needs these "bliss was it in that dawn to be alive" moments. They're not about substance but about hope and the revival of national myth. America had become old and brutish- the country of Dick Cheyney and Donald Rumsfeld- and that's how not she likes to think of herself. (It's not how her traditional allies like to think of her either.) Thanks to Obama in the last couple of weeks we've caught a glimpse of a better, rootsier America- energetic, pioneering, idealistic and- above all else- young.
I sincerely hope that nobody out there is lumping Hillary Clinton in with the "old folks network" and going for Obama simply because of his youth and his gift of gab. The media started on Hillary the day after her husband was elected to the presidency, and they have not let up since. The attacks on her candidacy are mostly sexist, gender-specific. After the twelve years of Reagan and Bush the First, Bill Clinton came along as a breath of fresh air (HE was the youngster THEN!), and cleaned up the economic mess left us as a Republican legacy. It took Bush the Second less than six months to wipe out the Clinton surplus and escalate the national debt and the deficit a la Reagan, and less than two years to get us into an unjustified war. And still, my people, the American people, voted Bush the Second a second term (Just like they did with Reagan). I really hope that the revisionists who have rewritten the history of the 1980's will not succeed in doing the same with Bush the Second's presidency.
Meanwhile, back to Hillary, and Obama. How about neither of these? How about Edwards, who at this point does not look as if he has the chance of the proverbial snowball?
For my money, I do not see a Republican sitting in the White House during the next eight years -- George Bush the Second settled that, but good. I am not that worried about this election, because I know there will be a Democrat in the White House in January 2009. Which one is the question?
For me, I will not vote against Hillary Clinton because she is a woman, because she is older, because of "dynasty" fear, or because of a personality issue. I will not vote for Obama because of his boyish appeal, his eloquence (Hitler was eloquent, too), his race, or his "first of his kind" approach. I will not vote against John Edwards because he got an expensive haircut, or because he "selfishly" kept on his campaign after his wife's cancer was pronounced incurable.
I am heartily sick of the media deciding for me what I will think and for whom I should vote. And so, I am looking at the record, at the platforms, and yes, at the person him-or-herself.
And now for my prediction: The Democratic slate will be Obama/Clinton OR Clinton/Obama, and they will win the general election! And that, my friends, is a whole lot better than anything the Republican party can offer.
The guy on the TV news has just said that Clinton is in danger of being "swept away by generational change". I don't have a problem with that. The past twenty odd years in American politics have been characterised by savagely divisive factionalism- and Hillary has been at the heart of that- more sinned against then sinning admittedly- but still part of an ugly scene which people are sick of and would like to see changed. In terms of ability she may well be the best of the candidates, but ability isn't what this election is going to be about.
ability isn't what this election is going to be about.
One of the more astute observations about this election.
So much for being swept away by "generational change". Hillary has taken New Hampshire, and as I type Obama is making his concession speech. Of course there are many more primaries to go, and anything can happen. However, New Hampshire has boosted Hillary's numbers nationwide from probable loser of national election to probable winner. On to Michigan! New Hampshire voters are a majority of Independents, who only declare for a party when they go to the polls for a primary, and who have the right to switch back to Independent for the national election. What is really significant about this primary is that New Hampshire's Independents often lean toward the Republicans, but tonight, Hillary Clinton's 72,000+ votes outnumbered John McCain's 55,000, a significant Democrat victory.
Yup, the pundits got it wrong. Which is really rather reassuring.
And good for the democratic process.
This is all set to be a really exciting race.
Would Clinton accept a role as Vice President to Obama? I have a hard time seeing that.