Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Declaring for Obama

No more strategic voting for me, and as I write this, John Edwards has just dropped out of the presidential race, so today I declare for Barack Obama.

I was pretty disturbed by Hillary Clinton's behavior here on Saturday. After losing the South Carolina primary, she hightailed it out of the state:

Clinton Flies as Race Goes to Obama

Updated 7:50 p.m.
By Anne E. Kornblut

COLUMBIA -- As the race was called, Sen. Hillary Clinton sped to the airport, arriving at 7:15 p.m. She waved wordlessly to ground crew workers on the tarmac as she walked solo up the stairs to the plane, carrying a black handbag. In addition to her aides, her daughter, Chelsea, joined her on board.

By 7:37 pm, Clinton was in the air headed toward Nashville.
Bill Clinton then appeared behind a podium, I think in Myrtle Beach, and started babbling, as Hillary was in the air. I was watching MSNBC, who gave him respectful and uninterrupted attention. I believed, at first, he was actually GIVING Hillary's concession speech. So did several other local people... wait, we thought, what's HE doing? This is Hillary's contest, so what the frack is Bill doing, authoritatively taking the stage and talking about what went right or wrong since the Republicans took over? Are they the glimmer twins again? Who is running for president, anyway, Bill or Hillary? writes:
Washington’s liberal establishment — members of Congress, fundraisers and commentators — has coalesced around the view that Bill Clinton is soiling his legacy and wounding Hillary Rodham Clinton’s prospects as he rambles around the country in a peevish, piece-of-my-mind monologue ostensibly devoted to helping her win the Democratic nomination.
And that is exactly what kind of monologue it was. Self-indulgent, self-centered, and score-settling. It had little, if anything, to do with Hillary's campaign; it was all about Bill.

Isn't everything about Bill?

Can she control him? Because it certainly didn't look like it. Are they running as a TEAM? Because while I am riveted by the opportunity to vote for a woman, I am far less riveted by the specter of Don't Cry for Me Argentina, which has always been lurking in the shadows. This is, after all, an ex-president's WIFE. This is a woman whom we called First Lady. She was not an elected politician until relatively recently. Up to now, I could make my peace with that, since I realize all women in male-supremacist societies do whatever we need to do to take the reigns of power. But that means: take the reigns. Do not waffle. Do not cower. Do not allow the hubby to monologue while you are in the air, giving the impression that he is doing the heavy lifting. Do not use him as a pit bull to attack the black candidate; learn to attack him yourself. If you can't, you don't belong in politics.

I am not voting for a team. I am voting for one person, whom I hope is a grown-up and does not need sugar-daddy to rescue her whenever she finds herself in a tight spot. She needs to be able to put on her big-girl panties and deal with whatever comes her way. As president, things will get plenty hairy on a regular basis--does she intend to call in Bill every time the shit hits the fan?

Is he going to be the president, or will she be the president? Is this run-for-the-White-House actually all about a covert way for Bill to get back in, via the back door?

I am accusing the Clintons of being disingenuous. I am accusing Hillary of not being able to keep the dog on the porch. In which case, I would say, she is not ready to run the country.

And further, the attacks on Barack Obama by Bill Clinton, pissed me off:
During his presidency, Clinton was buoyed by the overwhelming support of African-Americans, who were indignant at what was being done to someone they regarded as a friend. Now, their support is going overwhelmingly to someone Clinton is trying to beat, and many blacks are indignant at Clinton himself.

Who can say what Clinton’s effect on the campaign trail really is? However much journalistic critics and Obama supporters cringed at Bill Clinton’s performances, they seemed to help Hillary Clinton in New Hampshire and Nevada.

But those experiences seemed to unleash something more antic and unruly in Clinton’s attacks on Obama and the media, making the Clinton campaign even more about him and less about her. The effect was a bit like a dieter who reads on the Internet that doughnuts are actually good for you.

But the gluttony strategy backfired in the South Carolina primary, and it backfired again in the Kennedy endorsement primary.

In his own career, Clinton’s errors have always been followed by recovery, self-indulgence by self-correction. The next several weeks will determine whether he can follow the same pattern on behalf of his spouse.
Too late for me, sorry. The presidency is not a dress rehearsal. Hillary has proven, to me at least, that she is not ready for prime time.

In this video-clip, Bill goes on for three solid minutes, in an example of what I am talking about. Here is the now-infamous "Shame on you!" footage, as shown originally on CNN and repeatedly shown here throughout the Democratic primary battle in South Carolina:

No thanks.

Go Obama. I put the bumper sticker on my car, and it's official.


Renegade Evolution said...

Ren's Mother ( a DIE HARD REPUBLICAN): "I'd consider voting for Hil if Bill would just shut the hell up."

I am leaning very heavily towards Obama myself. I'm sick of having Bushes and Clintons in the White House...they give my neighborhood a bad rep.

Ravenmn said...

LOL, Ren.

"Can she control him? Because it certainly didn't look like it."

You know, that raises hairs on the back of my neck. I know I'd be pissed if the genders were reversed and somebody said that. Why do either of them have to control each other? Why does one of them have to be sacrificed so the other can be more electible?

Bryce said...

because otherwise he will run everything. many charismatic ppl do that.

Vanessa said...

Ditto the Evita Peron dynasty feeling, besides a just general dislike of the Clintons and their "Black People Love Us!" schtick.

I mean, politically, Obama and Clinton are mostly the same, so I'd be fine with either in the White House as far as that goes, but the Clintons campaign dirtier than Karl Rove, and well, if you're going to turn the Presidential Election into a personality contest, then, at least don't act like assholes.

Daisy said...

Raven, flipping the genders just doesn't work in this instance... Bill Clinton wasn't called "Elvis" in these parts, for nothing. As Bryce said, he is charismatic and just sucks all the energy out of a room. When he is there, the spotlight is ON HIM, and detracts from Hillary. Conversely, she just doesn't have the wattage to do the reverse.

So, my question is, as the less-powerful and less-charismatic of the two, can she keep him from taking over the campaign? Or is he already running it? I admit, I have problems with that. He had his turn, and I think it's greedy and downright sneaky of him to try and take another turn.

And yeah, sneakiness is one of those traits that has long been associated with Billary, not surprisingly.

CrackerLilo said...

Well, I've been for him. If it comes down to style, Obama's is way better, BFL. I don't think he'll embarrass us. That seems to be plenty right now.

Ravenmn said...

Daisy, my friend, I've been thinking about this a lot. You're right, of course. He does overshadow her in the charisma contest. I've been trying to dredge up a political partnership that is equal opportunity. Can't find it anywhere, frankly. We are so fucking backwards sometimes.

But I don't think Obama is blameless. I think he deliberately baited the Clintons with this:

"I think Ronald Reagan changed the trajectory of America in a way that Richard Nixon did not and in a way that Bill Clinton did not. He put us on a fundamentally different path because the country was ready for it."

Them's fighting words and the Clintons went "to the mattresses" on it.

Basically I think they are both playing games. And the contest comes down to who is more obvious about the game-playing.

wv: lljjvjte

What's with all the j's? said...

Thank you for this post, really effective piece of writing.