Television pundits have passed through the giddy stage contemplating a brokered convention for the Democrats and have now entered the second round of Hillary-Inevitability. The first round ended when Obama began to cash in on the palpable hunger for change which the sane feel as a natural reaction to the Bush regime. This hunger pushed Obama ahead of Clinton as a more plausible bearer of the change banner.
I came late to the Obama party. I held out hope for a hat tossed in the ring, or at least a wink or a nod form Al Gore. When it became apparent that he would, in fact, sit this one out, I decided to go with Obama, and said so here.
I was resigned to the fact that Clinton was the likely winner even though I was troubled by the primogeniture-ish feel of a continuation of the Bush-Clinton-Bush-Clinton power sharing arrangement in place now since 1981, and promised to continue to 2017 if Clinton were victorious; that's 36 years for those scoring at home. Obama showed some surprising strength and this seemed to spook the Clinton camp and throw it off stride. The result was not a recognition of the need for real change but rather a reveal of low down tactics that could prove to be a scorched earth policy.
Victory in the Fall is still even-money. But it is quite possible that Clinton's tactics will drive down Democratic participation making it less likely that a tidal wave of Democratic House and Senate seats will result from a Presidential win. The result would be more gridlock and more capitulation to a radical minority.
Mrs. Clinton needs to remember that even though she greatly admires John McCain and thinks he's more qualified to be President than Barack Obama, in the event that she is nominated but dosen't win, a lot of things she supposedly values are on the line. The game of chicken she is playing with Obama now threatens not only a continuation of rule through minority maneuvering but more importantly, it threatens to place Supreme Court appointments in the hands of a so-called moderate with something to pay back or prove to conservatives. The effect of those appointments, likely between two and four, could make the mangling of the Constitution under Bush look absolutely Bush league.
My advice to Obama:
the best way to get this thing nailed down NOW is to call Al Gore and plead with him to join Obama as his running mate. That is a recipe for a landslide of epic proportion. Gore can go on about his business trying to save the planet from Global Warming and still remain a heartbeat away from the presidency. After all, look what Cheney was able to do for the military industrial complex from his second row seat.
My advice to Gore:
put your pride in a lockbox and call Barack. Your country needs you, both.
What follows is not original. It points out the fact that Clinton is playing with fire and someone responsible needs her put down the kerosine.
Breaking the Final Rule By Gary Hart The Huffington Post
Friday 07 March 2008
It will come as a surprise to many people that there are rules in politics. Most of those rules are unwritten and are based on common understandings, acceptable practices, and the best interest of the political party a candidate seeks to lead. One of those rules is this: Do not provide ammunition to the opposition party that can be used to destroy your party's nominee. This is a hyper-truth where the presidential contest is concerned.
By saying that only she and John McCain are qualified to lead the country, particularly in times of crisis, Hillary Clinton has broken that rule, severely damaged the Democratic candidate who may well be the party's nominee, and, perhaps most ominously, revealed the unlimited lengths to which she will go to achieve power. She has essentially said that the Democratic party deserves to lose unless it nominates her.
As a veteran of red telephone ads and "where's the beef" cleverness, I am keenly aware that sharp elbows get thrown by those trailing in the fourth quarter (and sometimes even earlier). "Politics ain't beanbag," is the old slogan. But that does not mean that it must also be rule-or-ruin, me-first-and-only-me, my way or the highway. That is not politics. That is raw, unrestrained ambition for power that cannot accept the will of the voters.
Senator Obama is right to say the issue is judgment not years in Washington. If Mrs. Clinton loses the nomination, her failure will be traced to the date she voted to empower George W. Bush to invade Iraq. That is not the kind of judgment, or wisdom, required by the leader answering the phone in the night. For her now to claim that Senator Obama is not qualified to answer the crisis phone is the height of irony if not chutzpah, and calls into question whether her primary loyalty is to the Democratic party and the nation or to her own ambition.