Friday, March 7, 2008

The longer this goes on, the stronger we become

I've started avoiding certain blogs that I used to visit. Their appeal used to be that I could hear so many dissenting voices, and being an open-minded person I always felt I learned a lot from listening to those who hold views different from my own. But there's a certain element, and it is on both sides of the democratic race, that has just gotten downright childish. What do you say about a level of discourse that basically amounts to nothing more than namecalling ("Shillary" and "Barack HUSSEIN Obama" for example)?

Well, as annoying as they are, I think those folks are an extremely vocal minority. The rest of the democratic voters are watching this primary unfold with fascination, and it is making us as a stronger nation for our self-examination. As Ellen Goodman writes today in the Boston Globe:
For openers, it's the "embeds" - the traveling press who look as weary as the candidates - and the party honchos who want it over. Two-thirds of the polled Democrats think it should go on.

A good part of the energy and excitement of this campaign comes - still - from having a woman and an African-American on the ballot. So far, Clinton and Obama have brought more voters to the polls than any primary campaign in recent memory.

A full 59 percent of the Ohio voters were women this year, up seven points from 2004. In Texas they were 57 percent, up four points. Obama engages younger voters. In Ohio alone there was a 10 percent increase in the under-30 vote compared with 2000. If it's good for Ohio, why not Pennsylvania? Indiana?

We've put to rest the question of whether a woman is tough enough to be commander in chief. Clinton has been the tough guy in the race. Win, lose or draw, she has rewritten the common wisdom.

It's also put to rest the question of whether white Americans would vote for an African-American. In the whitest of states, such as Iowa and Vermont, Obama left the bias about bias in tatters.

So to any Democrat in high gloom over an extended fight, take a deep breath. Then watch a rerun of the designated opponent, John McCain, giving his joyless victory speech on Tuesday night. There are many things worse than an extended race between history or herstory. You could, for example, get a Rose Garden endorsement from George W. Bush.
If you can stay awake to watch "the maverick," have at it. I lost interest in this snooze fest fairly quickly in ...


Artois said...

Mr. Charisma he is not. What a contrast from the fervent speeches always given by Obama and Clinton. Hopefully his acceptance speeches for future state wins will be shorter and less painful.

Sue J said...

"My friends! My friends!"

He must be stopped for his constant use of this phrase, if for no other reason!

Mauigirl said...

LOL, yes, he certainly does overuse that phrase!

KELSO'S NUTS said...

When it all began I was an ardent Kucinich supporter and very much a Clinton and Obama skeptic. I became incredibly impressed with Clinton as this has gone on and still support her, though only throuh advocacy because my vote counts for so little -- by my math 8% of what a Wyoming or Idaho resident's is worth and I'm protesting that.

That said, something about Obama has really begun to impress me, even though I have my problems with him to say the least.

He has done a remarkable job of holding together the WEIRDEST coaliiton of American voters I've ever seen: big, big pieces of every bloc from the Republican Right to Independents to Libertarians to African-Americans to students to business people to the Democratic Left and the Progressive Left.

I also think that David Axelrod was a magnificent choice as campaign strategist. Though people claim that Obama ripped off a lot of Deval Patrick's stuff with plenty of veracity, Axelrod has shown that he's the best at running African-American Democratic campaigns in a pretty racist country. Patrick's cammpaign for governor of Massachusetts was completely different than Obama's is for President.

Axelrod too account of both men's strengths and weaknesses and seems to have emphasized and de-emphasized the right things. I know that there's more air than substance to Obama, but it's hard to beat Clinton substance. Deval Patrick on the other hand is a detail man all the way.

Clinton's choice of Mark Penn in retrospect as Boss was pretty bad. Penn's an excellent pollster but he's either a bad strategist, has too many corporate interests which need service or is just too busy to run the show.

I think that Axelrod and Jim Dean (who nearly pulled off the all-time upset with Ned Lamont) may well be BETTER strategists than the great Rove. Carville's a bit past his sell-by date.

Sue J said...

Good points, K.N. I, too, was a Kucinich supporter who then turned ti Clinton.

I think you're right about the relative strengths of the campaign managers. This has really turned into the mother of all primaries, and I won't deny that Obama has a better campaign staff.