Hillary 2012? Then Obama Must Lose

The media hive’s abuzz with the “Unity” theme of the Dems this week. Did Hillary reach out enough? Will her hordes go hard for Obama? Did she really, really  seem completely sincere as she urged a pro-O surge in November?

Keeping in mind that it was a political speech, I thought it “seemed” sincere enough. But if you think about it a moment, there’s no way Hillary or her most fervent pant-suiters could want Obama to win. I heard a few people say that O could serve two terms and Hill could come back in 2016, but don’t count on it. A zillion things will happen between now and that distant year, when Hillary will be 68 and many of her Older White Women will have shuffled off this mortal coil.

No, she’s got to be thinking: I’ll do enough to look convincing for O while hoping McCain makes it. No way, no how McCain will try for a second term at 76 or so. I’ll spend the next four years as the Great Hope in Exile, leaving the told-you-so’s to my surrogates, and go for  the marbles in 2012.

The same scenario has got to be apparent to millions of Hillary voters, too. To make it happen, they don’t have to vote for McCain. They can just sit it out and wait for the Restoration.

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Clinton Breaks the Rules: Wise Words from Gary Hart

Maybe the Dems do have some elder statesmen/wise men left after all. Gary Hart, who was the Obamaphenoma of the 1984 primary season (eventually losing to Walter Mondale, who then got landslid by Reagan), has stepped forward to denounce Clinton for saying that only she and McCain have the foreign policy experience to keep America safe in these troubled times.   An excerpt:

By saying that only she and John McCain are qualified to lead the country, particularly in times of crisis, Hillary Clinton has . . .  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.

I’m not fully sold on Obama, but I think Hart nails it here. His  full statement is here if you want to read it.

Obamus Interruptus: Big Mo No Mo’?

Well, Ohio put the brakes on America’s speed date with Obama. Timing, timing…he peaked a week early. I truly believe that had Texas and Ohio been held one week earlier, he’d have won decisively in Texas and come much closer in Ohio, perhaps delivering a knockout blow to Clinton.

I don’t envy the Clinton camp its grim task now. In the next few weeks, they will proceed to take down the Man of Hope doubt by doubt by doubt. In the words of the old song, “Nobody does it better” than they do.

 By the way, I’m not saying Obama may not need some deflating. He does need to put some solid steel supports under those cloudy visions without descending into the kind of 10-Point wonkery that would vitiate his core appeal.

I’m just saying that I would not like to be employed by the Clintons as a Killer of Illusions That Make People Happy. Millions of people, many of them young, would like to think that by supporting Obama things can be better, different, that we can start again and run faster and this time, this time, we’ll reach that green light at the end of Daisy’s dock. They are in fact doing what McCain said we can’t do: They’re taking a “holiday from history.”

Can’t we ever do that? Maybe just a long weekend? 

Dem vs. Dem vs. Dem on Race, Ethnicity & Power

In this fallen world there is no such thing as politics without resentment; in fact, I believe someone once defined politics as organized resentment. It’s always group vs. group vs. group, with everyone fighting for their piece  of the pie and powerful forces operating to make us believe we have an inherent right (guaranteed by whom or what, they never say) to more, more, more.

 Small wonder, then, that under that big Democratic tent they’re starting to punch n’ tussle. Come fall they may remember to point all the guns toward McCain, but for now the different interest groups that nest under the Dem banner are starting to remember old wounds and resentments toward each other.

One example popped up when the racist and anti-Semite  Louis Farrakhan came out for Obama (really? Instead of Huckabee?), which led to Obama’s saying that he not only denounced but rejected the Nation of Islamite, or was it rejected and denounced?  Now we learn  here that many Jewish leaders were already concerned about Obama’s commitment to Israel, thanks in part to outrageous Web rumors.

Further fissures in the Dem landscape have opened up between blacks and Hispanics, who have been squabbling for power and preferment in large American cities like mine, Dallas, for a decade now. Yesterday, Hillary had to do some denouncin’ and rejectin’ of her own when a longtime Dallas Hispanic activist let some anti-black rhetoric seep from her lips.

 And let’s not even try to count the number of middle-aged white women who are looking at Obama and seeing the slick, well-groomed single-X chromosome-bearer who got the promotion they think was theirs. Lots.

As long as the Pie of Power is finite (i.e., forever), politics will always be a contact sport. But–bright side–it sure beats the alternatives.

Is Campaign ’08 Turning. . . Nice?

At least this week, it sure looks that way. Look at what happened between the Obama and Clinton camps in the past few days. First, background.

Obama, in his two books, has made no secret of his youthful drug use, writing openly of cocaine and marijuana bouts. It’s part of his inspiring story of getting off the corner and realizing that the pimps and gangbangers celebrated in too much black “culture” today were not the people he wanted to be.

Now look at what happened. A Clinton adviser warned this week that if Obama got the nomination over Hillary, the Republicans–brace yourself, I know this will sound like the wildest flight of fantasy–might actually bring up Obama’s doping, and might even ask whether he ever sold drugs as well as snorted/smoked them.

You think? Duh. That will be the nicest thing they say about him, especially if it looks as if he’s got a prayer of winning. Look for oppo-research sleaze teams combing the ‘hood for anyone who remembers Obama getting his smoke on. 

Future 60 Minutes interview:  “Yeah, I ‘member this tall, kinda skinny dude who sure did like him some blow, man, you feel me? I mean, this cat, he’d throw out these big ol’ words, sure, but, I mean, he was good people, y’know? So I got stoned with a future president? Man, this a great country or what?”  

This all seems pretty obvious, but look at what happened this week. First, the Clinton adviser who made this thoroughly predictable prediction got reprimanded and left the campaign. Next,  Hillary sought out Obama personally to apologize. Details here if you want more.

As I’ve made clear in several posts, I’m impressed by Obama and find him a most intriguing possible candidate. But if his Democratic opponents hesitate to lay a glove on him, the Republicans will have no such scruples in the fall, especially if the nominee is Mitt Romney. Better to toughen up the Obama jaw now before the real fight starts.

Will Hillary be the President Nobody Liked?

I blogged a few days back about the AP likeability poll on the presidential candidates, which showed Hillary Clinton with the highest “don’t like” numbers in the group, higher even than  Mitt “the Mysterious Mormon” Romney’s.

Does low likeability spell the end of Hillary? Not necessarily, says John Ellis at Real Clear Politics, who draws a parallel between the uncuddly Mrs. Clinton and another human porcupine who managed to gain the Oval Office twice, once in a landslide: Richard Nixon.

Like Nixon, Senator Clinton is widely disliked. Like Nixon, she cannot be made warm, even by a modern-day Roger Ailes. Like Nixon, she is a politician whose resentments are always close to the surface. And like Nixon, she is a politician about whom her peers have real doubts.

But also like Nixon, she is intelligent and diligent and determined and tough and she has been through hell and back. She is experienced in a way that only her husband and President George W. Bush are experienced. She knows what it’s like to get her head kicked in every day, day after day after day, for months and years on end. She endures.

As I noted the other day, “fun gal to have a beer with” is not one of my criteria for a president, so these polls have minimal impact for me. Voting is really not like a job interview, because when you hire someone you’re probably going to spend a lot of time with the new hire; like it or not, you’ll come to know certain things about her character, sense of humor and so on.

With presidents as with many ubiquitous celebrities,  I sometimes think we’d be better served by knowing less about them, not more. And in that regard, Clinton’s wind-chill factor may be an asset. I pity the poor bozo who asks her whether it’s boxers or briefs, or whatever is the female equivalent of that memorably idiotic question.