I began this piece five days ago, but blog news years must be like dog years so it feels like five times seven days ago. Hillary has taught me that I should finish what I started, so here’s some of why I stand by her. It’s a heart thing. Sadly, I’m sometimes propelled by the outrageous behavior of her Democratic rival, which typifies the kind of politics as usual that he derides. Here’s my take. It’s not analysis, not based in numbers, but admittedly based in passion.
In his opening remarks in Watertown, SD on Friday afternoon, May 16, 2008, Barack Obama praised Tom Daschle as “an early investor.” (Hmm: All of those early investors. I wonder if it’s too late for them to get out?) Why do I say that?
Let’s begin with the week of the three-way, er Bush/McCain vs. Obama dog fight. Obama’s campaign speech is covered on CNN, MSNBC, and FOX News in the middle of the day, to counter the President’s remarks comparing [Obama/Dems] to Nazi appeasers in WWII. There’s a nose scratch as he mentions Bush’ name.
Obama derides Bush that instead of celebrating and offering some new ideas about how to move the Middle East forward, he has targeted his remarks towards our domestic election while he’s in a foreign country, Israel, on occasion of their 60th anniversary. (true)
“Booo, Booo,” says Watertown, SD.
Obama takes the gloves off, and pontificates, as he delivers the one-two:
“So much for civility.”
He goes on [paraphrasing]: If George Bush wants to have a debate about defending the US of A . . . that is a debate I’ll have any time, any where.
Wait. Stop. Oh no heditnt. He’ll go head to head with the leader of the free world (an intellectual midget, also not running), or his presumed opponent, but he’s afraid to go head to head with a girl? (Sorry, but I’m making a point here.) Obama declined to debate Hillary on a flat bed truck. He declined an invitation for a 1/2 hour slot in a Portland Town Hall, so Hillary was offered and snagged the whole hour. Besides that . . . so much for a new style of politics.
In his speech on that day, Obama names every modern American Democratic President–Truman, Roosevelt, Kennedy, Carter–except Bill Clinton as an example of US diplomacy successes. I felt really embarrassed that he treated Bill that way, and I think it’s endemic in his campaign. If I were Bill, I’d be furious about now. Why didn’t he list Bill Clinton for his administration’s Middle East, Ireland, and Bosnia diplomatic efforts? (Wouldn’t that have been the generous thing to do, just as Hillary stood with you in pushing back at Bush?) Every President but Clinton? It was just plain rude. Yes, Clinton made mistakes, so have they all. The black community still loved him, despite or perhaps because of his transgressions, for years they loved him. And now, he’s like dirt in same community? Who caused that, who spread that through the electorate? Obama did. Bill Clinton took our country to unprecedented heights on many levels. But to hear Obama, it was as if he’d been wiped off the map. Goose gander.
Obama goes for direct hits on McCain/Bush: Israel, Iran, McCain’s 100 year Iraq war, tough vs. weak stances, talk, and negotiations.
The reason Bush attacked Obama (and why Obama thought as much) was due to his stance in the debates in opposition to Hillary Clinton. Obama said he would sit down with our enemies, including terrorist and rogue nations unconditionally. Hillary disagreed. She said there absolutely would have to be pre-conditions and that the President would not be part of those lower level meetings until certain standards were met, that it would be foolish to do otherwise. I didn’t hear that mentioned at all in the news on Thursday when the story broke via Bush’s Knesset speech. Then Hillary HAD to support him, but her stance was, and still is, that she would talk to those terrorist-controlled nations with pre-conditions. I support that.
Hillary and Bill weren’t even mentioned in this tussle. Nor did Obama have the good political manners to thank Ms. Clinton for taking the gracious stance on his and the party’s behalf in her statement when the story broke.
“The change that we’re sinking, seeking” — I swear he said that.
Then it turned into a town hall, where a local asked a family farm question, fuel, input costs. He was in bad shape financially, hope-wise. In response, Obama tried to do a Hillary move, which is to listen and be compassionate. The news was beginning to cut away for comments, but I could hear the gist:
Obama listened and repeated exactly what the young farmer had said, “Your prices have gone up, just like those at the pump.”
Wow, that’s a revelation, and an amazing summation.
A fourth generation rancher talked about how all the kids leave the ranches and farms, because they can’t make it, there’s nothing for them there.
Obama’s response, summarizing again, “Capital considerations are prohibitive.”
Dude was all business, pure corporate businessman. I didn’t see an ounce of compassion, and the speakers just sat there looking kind of uncomfortable. Take two aspirin, call me in the morning. I didn’t feel any heart swells, no glorious answers from above, especially no violins, none at all. Farmers, ranchers whose families had lived there for hundreds of years, really pouring out their troubles to him. It was like: Losing the farm. Check. Gas costs are breaking us. Check. It’s so bad that our kids don’t want to carry on in their family business, and we’re afraid of losing it all. Check.
The depth and breadth of Hillary’s heart makes me feel better. I think they would have felt better had she been the one to answer. Then in her typical fashion, she’d offer them some real solutions instead of parroting back their problems. That’s old school for you.
Early investors, I want you to know, you can get out; it’s not too late. You can change your vote.
The interesting thing about being invisible is that you can be stealthy, and use it to your advantage. We used to say that if parents aren’t in agreement, kids will find the holes and run roughshod through them. Things are getting reversed, and Bill and Hillary have proved not to be the establishment but the kids. Idealistic at heart, but wizened enough to have actual plans to back it up.
It’s been well noted that Hillary’s gigantic 41 point West Virginia win was stomped on by Edwards’ endorsement, followed by the aforementioned 3-way. The cherry was when Campbell Brown and many other anchors? at CNN and MSNBC were calling last week, right after Sen. Clinton’s trouncing of Obama, “the first week of the national election between Obama and McCain.” Oh, and then she trounced him again last night, May 20, in Kentucky taking 65.5 to his 30 percent of the vote.
Women and men rallied to her side. None of us could believe ourselves, but independently people were coming to their own conclusions and talking about it. The DNC, who stood by when MI and FL could have resolved ages ago, was warned: You are about to have a voter revolt on your hands.