Sunday, June 01, 2008

Hope may lieth in the enemy

It pains me to write this particular post, mainly because of the mounting frustration I have with Senator Hillary Clinton. All throughout this campaign season, Sen Clinton and her surrogrates have provoked dirty attacks, selfishly created a gaping hole in the Democratic party and has given a GOP nominee who is the second coming of George W. Bush a legitimate chance of winning the Presidency despite the fact that people hate Bush and what he represents. But one thing this primary/caucus season has taught me is that -- as much as I fight the concept -- Senator Barack Obama cannont win without Hillary. Obama has found himself in the precarious position of wheezing his way to the finish line and; sadly, the only person to give him that last boost is none other than the person who attempted to derail his run from the very start.

For starters, one of the major mistakes often made by us Obama supporters (and, yes I'm including myself in that number) is that we use his record-setting fundraising and recent popularity as the sole litmus test for his electability. On one hand, I give it up to Sen. Obama for how he continues to create a certain energy from new voters that was virtually non-existent before now. Additionally, there is no denying that he is currently riding an enormous wave of popularity amongst his followers. But all of that notwithstanding, Obama's campaign -- particularly his moral high ground approach -- has made him as politically vulnerable as former 1988 Democratic nominee Michael Dukakis and his "Massachusetts Miracle" campaign (it's amazing I can still remember that). I know that sounds pretty harsh, but in the effort to stay committed to reality, we have to at least consider Obama's weaknesses as we approach November.

In order to stand a chance against the Republican machine during the general election, the people's support will be paramount. But in a culture where racial politics reign supreme, I can't say for sure that the nation is completely ready for the unification Sen. Obama has included in his platform. With the number of Clinton supporters on the rise despite her polarizing campaign, I'm convinced that Obama trying to go above the fray will not be without some consequence. In fact, even with the positivity Obama has tried to bring to politics, it has not been potent enough to compel people outside of his circle to learn much about him outside of the ongoing association with Rev. Wright. This has not been any more evident than in the Clinton's recent landslide victories. and indeed the too-close-to-call numbers in the popular vote. In fact, I'd go as far as to say that if the Dems used the same winner-take-all process for assigning delegates as the GOP uses in selecting their nominee, Clinton would have likely had this contest wrapped up. All of this in spite of Hill's attacks; subtle and otherwise. Try as I might, there is no denying the power that she brings to the table.

Also (and again, I hate to concede this point), but Hill brings a certain force to Obama's presidential campaign that others in the field may not. As much as I like John Edwards as the pick for Obama's Veep, or as much as Bill Richardson could captivate more of the much needed Hispanic vote (apparently, much more needed now as Clinton recently creamed Obama in Puerto Rico), or as much political experience as a Joe Biden would bring, Hill has shown how she can bring a mixture of all of their elements. Adding to that, she can also deliver on another highly sought group far more than any of the other prospects could: female voters. In an interesting and ironic twist, feminist types who -- in other circles -- have been socially irrelevant (that's not a diss. I'm just keepin' it real) have been making a lot of signifcant noise for Clinton that won't go away any time soon. As I watched the Rules and Bylaws committee rule on the Michigan and Florida votes, I also caught the act of some of Hill's women followers and how deeply passionate they were about the outcome. In a time where their attempts at activism have been a lost cause in most circles, the one time where their mobilization will actually be effective could be at Obama's expense.

We must also examine some of the major thumpings that the Obama camp has suffered at the hands of the Clinton camp in places like Pennsylvania, Ohio, W. Virginia, and Puerto Rico. Those huge losses could potentially spell serious problems for Obama should he secure the nomination. Too many people are so deeply entranced by Hill's spellbinding campaign (most likely because they share the nation's fear of having a black president) that they have indicated that they'd rather support an arch nemisis Republican candidate than they would somebody who is not Clinton. Obama cannot simply rely on his message of change to appeal to people's 'better selves' . Instead, he needs a candidate with the necessary support and credibility to attract those not entirely convinced by Obama's spirit, message, and intentions. Regrettably, stories about Obama's fictional ties to Islam, his 20 year relationship with Rev. Wright, his "unpatriotic" lapel pin issue, etc. have been pushed so much that he can't defuse them alone. Instead, somebody who "white hard working Americans" trust like Clinton (I know. I can't figure it out either) can debunk those claims far more effectively than anybody else can. I mean, these folks cling to Clinton like she suffered, bled and died on the cross for our sins.

Most Obama supporters have become so disenchanted with Hill's shrewd tactis during this race that they've severed any ties to her. I -- for example -- make no bones about the fact that I'm decidedly done with the Clintons. Likewise, many Clinton supporters are too sore of losers to accept anything but a bid for the presidential nomination (you know: those "bitter" folks to whom Obama was referring). Still, I have to admit that an Obama/Clinton ticket may be the very thing that is needed to secure the White House. As much as I'd like to think, Obama can't do this with all the steam he's lost from diehard Clinton supporters. Likewise, we all know that we can't rely on a third party ever offering any legitimacy to the campaign. So we're stuck with the crazy Democratic party we have or the even crazier Republican party we have. But before we can start talking about striking before the iron is hot, the iron must first be heated up. Unification has to be forged before McCain can be soundly defeated. Ironically, said unification may need to be accomplished with a figure as polarizing as Clinton.

- ACL

14 "Insiders" spoke their mind. Join in...:

Cynthia said...

Andre,

I get your point. But you have to consider that Hillary's story about winning the popular vote is a myth that she continues to use as a way to delegitmize Obama's success. Even if you include Michigan (which you shouldn't, seeing as though Obama wasn't even on the ballot), you'd have to look at the caucus states as well. So if you give Hillary MI and FL, his leads in the caucus still give him the popular vote lead. It's a small lead, but it IS a lead.

Hillary is a flatout liar. I mean, even YOU said that. This is why I was looking at this post and thinking "What the heck! Has Andre lost his mind?". Of course, I mean that in a good way. :)

Andre said...

Cyn,

Hillary's popular vote argument itself is not what concerns me. I know that she's as false about this as her "misstatement" about being gunned down by Bosnian snipers. But where I am troubled is when most of her supporters aren't hip to this truth; nor do they care that she's wrong. All they see is that their candidate is having this nomination (which they believe she is entitled to) taken away from her by a man...a black man at that. It's for that reason (among others) that Hill's supporters WILL NOT support Obama come November. Dismiss that if you want, but I think that's a legitimate concern for Obama. Then again, so too is entertaining the possibility of a lying, manipulative, sociopath serving as your Veep (no, not that lying, manipulative, sociopathic Vice President. I'm talking about Clinton this time). I definitely don't want to be in Obama's shoes right now.

nic said...

Uhm, no.

It's been interesting to observe how a # of Obama supporters speak of the 326513264432 reasons why Clinton shouldn't be President, or how she is very much contradictory to the overall theme of Obama's campaign, but then are willing to offer her the VP slot...which comes w/ the very real chance of actually being President should something awful occur. Here we are, @ the end of a race, finish line in sight, & we're gonna cop out & sell ourselves short?

I get the locking up the vote angle, but picking a VP, the right VP, could very well make that argument moot. Would the feminists keep throwing a fit if another woman not-named-Clinton got the nod? What if Edwards, or Richardson, both liked by woman & hispanics, received the offer? And beyond that, I still have a hard time believing that there will be enough Democrats willing to cross over & vote for McCain to make any statistical difference. Let's be real, NO dem likes Bush, & I don't care how much some of them love Hillary, they're not gonna vote for what nearly amounts to an extension of his Presidency.

I know this is hardly "in the bag". But when Rupert Murdoch predicts an Obama win (while nearly endorsing Obama himself!), & people like my Father, a life-long, rich, white Republican, intend on crossing over for Obama, I wouldn't be so quick to throw this entire campaign under the bus.

-n

The H.C. said...

Hey Dre,
"Senator Barack Obama cannot win without Hillary" Nah, I don't believe that. I give the Democrats 10-15% points right off the bat since the Reps have a very unpopular President, a failing economy, and an unpopular war. McCain is going to be seen as Bush's 3rd term and will have to fight that tag even though he has supported most if not all of G.W.'s policies. That's going to be a tough case that he hasn't even had to address yet. Don't be so concerned about the close numbers when they are just the result of a prolonged battle that was very personal in nature. Barack has been pre-vetted and that will certainly work to his advantage. The only thing that could sink Obama is if Hillary doesn't campaign for him and turns her pissed-off supporters towards McCain. I really doubt that she can afford to do that if she wants a chance at 2012 or 2016 (if BHO wins). I don't think she would even accept the VP slot if offered. I think she would rather remain a powerful Senator and will barter for Presidental Pro Tempore as that would give her a better platform and another first. My only concern is that Hill would certainly rather see McCain win and get a shot 4 years earlier. Other than that, I agree completely with that self-described Liberal Nic's assessment. (Yikes, is H.C. swinging left?)

Andre said...

@ Nic: "Would the feminists keep throwing a fit if another woman not-named-Clinton got the nod?"

Call me crazy (or paranoid), but YES...I do think feminists would get pissy about about some non-Clinton woman getting the nod instead. Somehow in the warped minds of people like Geraldine Ferraro, Clinton is the only woman in history who can ever become president or anything close to it. Besides, as long as they can march to the rhythm of sexism (real or not), they'll have an ax to grind. That grinding will most likely take place in the voting booth as they're checking "McCain" or not showing up to the polls at all.

"I still have a hard time believing that there will be enough Democrats willing to cross over & vote for McCain to make any statistical difference."

I really hope you're right on this one, cuz if I know people, they tend to hold on to grudges. In the name of retribution, they'll do just about anything. "If my candidate can't have it, nobody will..." is what they say.

"Let's be real, NO dem likes Bush, & I don't care how much some of them love Hillary, they're not gonna vote for what nearly amounts to an extension of his Presidency."

That's my point. I think Hill's older, white supporters might do just that. That's what has me nervous.

I was recently over on a pro-Hillary blog; where I saw some of the commenters mention how they'd support an opponent of abortion (an issue germane to the feminist movement) just to stick it to younger Obama supporters. That says it all.

By the way, I would never take Rupert "Fixed Noise" Murdoch at his word on anything.

Andre said...

@ HC: Welcome back Hippie. Glad you're back from playing hookie all week.

Anyway, to address your points:

"I give the Democrats 10-15% points right off the bat since the Reps have a very unpopular President, a failing economy, and an unpopular war."

I'll see your 10-15 points and subtract about 10 when you factor in Hill's female supporters who would just as soon vote Bush the Third than the person who beat their candidate.

"Don't be so concerned about the close numbers when they are just the result of a prolonged battle that was very personal in nature."

The close numbers make me jumpy because Hill's message of victimization and the costs of her 'unfair treatment' will resonate even more. If Hillary was losing this race by a ridiculous amount of popular votes (as she is with the pledged and now super delegates), she would have no room to complain to her supporters. But as long as she has a window to bitch (no pun intended), she will. The closer the popular vote numbers are, the louder she will cry. The louder she cries, the less likely her legion of female followers will ever support Obama; whom they see as the beneficiary of this alleged victimization.

"The only thing that could sink Obama is if Hillary doesn't campaign for him and turns her pissed-off supporters towards McCain."

...and you don't think that HRC will sabotage BHO is she's not at least on the ticket?

"I think she would rather remain a powerful Senator and will barter for Presidental Pro Tempore as that would give her a better platform and another first."

If Obama's Veep winds up being one of the other former nominees (Edwards, Richardson, Biden, or Dodd), there's no way Hillspawn would be their subordinate through the President Pro Tempore position. I doubt that she'd tolerate both Obama stealing her nomination and some other person (another man, perhaps...?) stealing her Veep slot. This campaign has proven to me that she is not enough of a civil servant to accept certain roles and be happy with them. For her, it's Presidency, Vice-Presidency (as a precursor to the White House) or bust (again, no pun intended).

As a side note: I'm snickering at the thought of "The Hippie Liberal."

Hillary 4 prez said...

From the sounds of it, I stick to my guns by saying you truly do have an issue with women - especially women who support Hillary Clinton and the feminist movement in general. But you are all starting to see what happens when you get enough of us women mad. We do the unimaginable. We vote!

The H.C. said...

Hey Dre,
Thanks, it's good to be back. (especially since I was putting a roof on my house all week and am now a pretty shade of sun burnt red.)

But back to your point.

As President Pro Temp, she would only set the agendas for the Senate and wouldn't fall under the VP or President in her daily duties. It would still be a nice feather in her cap-first female PPT. (plus it gets rid of "Sheets" who is now drooling on himself and falling asleep mid sentence.)

As far as stabbing the DNC in the back. I wouldn't put it past her. At least through her surrogates. However, she had better be careful. If the Dems lose because of her, the chances of them backing her in 2012 will be seriously reduced. I think that she will try to walk that line, but that's a difficult act when the Dems know what's going on.

"As a side note: I'm snickering at the thought of "The Hippie Liberal."

Come on, I'm just backing you guys because you happen to be on right track this time around. I must admit though, it's been weird having some of my more Liberal friends suddenly being so nice to me. Alas, it won't last.

Andre said...

@ Hillary: Whatever.

OK, I won't leave it at that although I'm pretty tempted to. I mean, why even bother with you? What's the point?

Anyway, you've got me pegged on one aspect: I think feminism is nonsensical. And here's why.

That point notwithstanding, this has nothing to do with feminism and sexist attacks. I've gone on record plenty of times suggesting how Obama's campaign would be served well if someone like Kathleen Sebelius was his Veep. Just because I can't stand Hillary's guts doesn't mean I'm opposed to women in general. Get it together.

@ HC: "As President Pro Temp, she would only set the agendas for the Senate and wouldn't fall under the VP or President in her daily duties."

While the PPT would be a promotion from where she is now, it would be a complete demotion compared to where she wants to be. By accepting the PPT, she falls to fourth-in-line for the Presidency; behind both the Veep and Speaker Pelosi. Considering all the work she's putting in to fighting Obama's presidential nomination, do you really think she'll settle for being fourth in charge at the end?

By the way, one day I'll get you to stop labeling me in the liberal group. I may be a more left leaning, but you know how the Dems annoy the Hades out of me.

The H.C. said...

hey Dre,
Ooops! Sorry, I didn't mean to put you in that camp. I really don't think you would qualify. My apologizes.

Andre said...

Yeah, well don't let it happen again Mr. Hippie Liberal.

*snickers*

The H.C. said...

*FLASH NEWS REPORT*
Hillary has just been quoted by the AP as saying she "would be open" to being the VP. Since the convention votes on the presidential nominee and the V.P. nominee separately, it is possible, even likely, that Barack could have her shoved down his throat. That leaves Bill Richardson or Kathleen Sebelius as the only two choices that could possibly derail this scenario. Bill has the support of the Hispanic delegation that could offset the feminist rebellion or Kathleen could be seen as an exceptable alternative. Both are hard sells. Obama would do well to consider carefully and not rush to decide. However, my gut tells me it's Obama/Hillary. I may vote 3rd party for the 3rd time. I will not be part of a continuation of the covering up of our governmment's actions through defiance of the Presidential Records Act of 1978 or an end around of the 22nd Ammendment. God Save us and guide Barack to fight for the change he promised us.

Andre said...

The irony that is politics. The only person who I think can help Obama overcome the problems brought on by old, white women and "lunch pale" Democrats is the same person who brought forth those problems in the first place.

Again, I don't envy the position Obama is in right now.

KC said...

Just as I suspected, Hillary has started her VP talk. But don't you have to actually CONCEDE first?

I'm starting to dislike this woman more and more.