kolmapäev, juuni 04, 2008

obama

Remember a few months ago when I said I would probably support Hillary Clinton or John McCain because of their "experience." Sometime in February, I changed my mind.

The McCain option was just for fun: I think the Republican "revolution" of 1980 has long run its course. I mean, to what elderly statesman would McCain appeal to be his secretary of state? Alexander Haig?

With Clinton and Obama, perhaps it all came down to how they ran their campaigns. Hillary's suffered from infighting, debt, and a husband who just couldn't help but utter an expletive or two. The stereotype about Hillary -- that she would do or say anything to win -- was driven home to me by her fuzzy delegate math and arguments about which states should count and which ones shouldn't. Plus, I could never put my finger on why she wanted to be president, other than that she wanted to be president.

I must admit, the "entitlement thing", that, by somehow being a former first lady and senator in her second term she was "entitled" to the nomination, deeply annoyed me. The Clintons market themselves as electoral powerhouses, but Bill only got 43 percent of the vote in 1992, and owed Ross Perot many heartfelt thank yous for that one. Meantime, the DLC-led Dems, epitomized by the Clinton presidency, went on to lose congressional election after election from 1994 through 2004. Thanks for the memories, guys.

What I sense swayed others to Obama was that they could cut the Clintons out of the equation. There would be no rings to kiss, no misplaced expletives to suffer. Instead, they could all make a deal with the young, charismatic leader who managed to escape "Preachergate" relatively unscathed. Joe Biden could be secretary of state, John Edwards attorney general. Maybe Bill Richardson could be vice president. It's the kind of big-wig deal making that last went on, oddly enough, back in 1980, when the interests of Bush, Kissinger, Haig, et al., all coincided with that sunny optimist and his dish full of jelly beans, Ronald Reagan.

So, in a way, that is what we are voting for in this election. The leftovers of Nixon-Ford-Reagan-Bush-Bush, or a semi-new constellation of leadership. We'll see how the general election plays out, but I understand why so many voters responded well to the theme of change.

* By the way, Obama isn't the first person "of color" on a major party presidential ticket. Herbert Hoover's vice president, Charles Curtis, was half Native American. He also was the last vice president to sport a mustache.

24 kommentaari:

plasma-jack ütles ...

Biden as a secretary of state? THAT would be cool. He seems both honest and smart.

Kristopher ütles ...

I seen that guy who got Obama's back on the pic before -- he's a gas pump populist
.

Flasher T ütles ...

I'll agree at this point that Hillary has become completely unpalatable, but is Obama really a good presidential candidate? He's charismatic, but I have yet to hear him say anything useful at all in terms of policy.

Gavin ütles ...

The answer to that may be that he is a very good presidential candidate, but I'm not sure if he would be a good president. :P

Andres ütles ...

Then the US will get what they deserve. They will be governed by a Muslim who will without any doubt end all the wars in the Middle East and give terrorists high-ranking positions in US structures and destroy the country completely.

Giustino ütles ...

I'll agree at this point that Hillary has become completely unpalatable, but is Obama really a good presidential candidate? He's charismatic, but I have yet to hear him say anything useful at all in terms of policy.

Why would you believe anything any presidential candidate says? American politics are crazy, Flasher. You enter with good intentions and suddenly you are talking about people's ancestry or their pastors or whether their spouse loves America enough. Policy never enters the equation.

Instructor ütles ...

I agree that moving on from the Bush-Clinton-Bush-Clinton is a good thing.
I'm also old enough to remember the last president who had as little experience as Obama, Jimmy Carter. It took the invasion of Afghanistan for him to say, oh, now I understand the nature of the Soviet Union. I hear some of the same rhetoric from Obama.
I agree with flasher t: The more I listen, the more I think he's all hat, no cattle.
I was on the Obama boat early, but I was appalled when he threw his grandmother under the bus in his famous race speech. Then he said he could no more separate from his pastor and church than he could from the black community. Then last week, they're thrown under the bus.
I think McCain will beat Obama over the head, not on these issues, but his connections to Rezko and a whole lot of shady Chicago characters.
It's still 6 months away, but I don't think this election will end up being close.

Instructor ütles ...

And this is rumor at this point, but it's been around for a couple weeks. If it's even half-true, McCain will win in a landslide:

Michelle's Whitey time

Giustino ütles ...

I regretted slightly putting up this post because I feel deeply ambivalent about American politics.

I reject the political issues at hand, especially ones of race or gender. I don't particularly care what Obama's wife said about "whitey" because, perhaps, I don't have a strong "white" identity.

Think about all the other crap I have to deal with on a day to day basis. The candidates' view on pastors or grandmothers isn't that noteworthy for me. And, anyway, as New York registered voter, my vote doesn't count. New York will always go blue, even if the candidate's name is Dukakis.

And there is another part of the issue. There are white people and then there are white people. People can spell "Bush", but everyone misspells "Giuliani". And, besides, Giuliani would have never made it, because he's an Italian-American from New York, and that means he has some sketchy relatives in Brooklyn with underworld connections.

It comes back to the northeastern unelectable thing. We're too different and not "American" enough to represent America. What is needed is a) English or Scots-Irish surname; b) ranch. John McCain has both. He should be a shoe in.

Martasmimi ütles ...

Giustino ütles... says....

Why would you believe anything any presidential candidate says? American politics are crazy,
-----------------------
Yeah, and the rest of the world's leaders are not self absorbed and ambitious to a fault.

The point is that hat or cattle this is a bright man and he makes a possitive statement about our country..

I think it sends a possitive message..

"Yes we can" ... put race aside.

Four more years of McBush will take this country down into the the final meters of the black hole that we have been decending into over the past 8 years...

Bush has lowered the expectations bar to a level that would make my
8 year old dog a better alternative.

FYI
I loved Hillary but she showed me over the past weeks the side that others have spoken of and I was unwilling to hear..

"Ambition gone wild"

Giustino ütles ...

Yeah, and the rest of the world's leaders are not self absorbed and ambitious to a fault.

Well, one could connect Preachergate with the Bronze Soldier issue. I think the Terri Schiavo case was more like the BS. Both had that "round the clock news watch" quality to them. I, fortunately, don't watch television news, so I didn't have to suffer much with relation to Preachergate or Bosnian sniper fire, for that matter.

Sven ütles ...

A familiar name it may be but I would think twice about electing a President with "Cain" in his name. As voting for someone named Herodstein or Nimrod would also give me pause.

Giustino ütles ...

A familiar name it may be but I would think twice about electing a President with "Cain" in his name. As voting for someone named Herodstein or Nimrod would also give me pause.

A fatalistic approach is necessary. If Obama implodes, he implodes. If McCain triumphs, he triumphs. It's not really in our hands. The choice belongs to Appalachians and soccer moms. It is not ours to make.

Kristopher ütles ...

By the way, Obama isn't the first person "of color" on a major party presidential ticket. Herbert Hoover's vice president, Charles Curtis, was half Native American. He also was the last vice president to sport a mustache.

What do you make of the story that Warren Harding was black? 1/16 or 1/32 I believe.

Instructor ütles ...

Giustino says: I regretted slightly putting up this post because I feel deeply ambivalent about American politics.

Well, it is the start of cucumber season. It's a nice change from the alternative, like Liis Lass stories ...

I reject the political issues at hand, especially ones of race or gender. I don't particularly care what Obama's wife said about "whitey" because, perhaps, I don't have a strong "white" identity.

Well, from the rest of your post, you have a strong Italian-American identity. Cool. Actually, I'm considered "white", but I don't think of myself in those terms. I have a strong American identity. Heck, my ancestors landed 9 generations before. I'm a Ben & Jerry's ice cream store (51 flavors) of racial DNA, mostly Swede and German, but also including American Indian, and more black than Harding was rumored to have. I'm a mutt. My nose is cold.

What is so destructive about Michelle's comments about "whitey" (and we still don't know if she indeed said that - it's still a hot rumor at this point, although it does fit into the "god damn America" meme of their pastor of 20 years) is that it speaks of anger and grievance. The racial component isn't as important to me so much.

And there is another part of the issue. There are white people and then there are white people. People can spell "Bush", but everyone misspells "Giuliani". And, besides, Giuliani would have never made it, because he's an Italian-American from New York, and that means he has some sketchy relatives in Brooklyn with underworld connections.

Bah. A major party just nominated a black man with sketchy connections. How 'bout that? :D

Actually, I was thinking about voting for Giuliani in the primaries, but never got the chance, since he ran a horrible campaign strategy, going to Florida and not contesting the early primaries.

Giustino ütles ...

Bah. A major party just nominated a black man with sketchy connections. How 'bout that? :D

I know people hate when this is pointed out, but Obama is half English. He's related to Bush. So, no matter what, the White House will stay in the family.

Giustino ütles ...

Well, from the rest of your post, you have a strong Italian-American identity.

It just means that a certain percentage of my background were semi-illiterate peasants. And it's not that easy to rise from breaking rocks to being president of the United States in a few generations, though it has happened.

Many of the international elite today are the scions of an older elite. Bush's father was president, his grandfather was a senator. Even Obama's father was an economist in Kenya. But, for guys like Giuliani, there are no economists or senators in the family.

I believe, to some extent, it does make a difference, in terms of ambitions and class.

Kristopher ütles ...

Oh no. And related to Cheney. Next it will turn out that Obama is related to both Cheney's mother and father's side of the family.

It's like the crowned heads of Europe. We need a revolution.

Doris ütles ...

There's compromise and then there's compromise. To bring a parallel from Estonian politics: our previous president was acase of "crap, I don't want to vote for any of them, ok, I'll just go for the least harmful one", which turned ot to be a disaster. The current one was a case of "ok, how about we put (most) personal grudges aside and see who we can all more or less agree upon" which is working out very well, I think. Obama seems to me the first kind of choice, he was voted for because no-one wanted Clinton, not because everyone wanted Obama.

Martasmimi ütles ...

Doris ütles...
I think. Obama seems to me the first kind of choice, he was voted for because no-one wanted Clinton, not because everyone wanted Obama.
-----------------------------
It believe that 50% of the primary voters wanted Clinton.
My fear is that Barack Obama might turn out to be an emotional fling, or a summmer romance for some.
His overall "hotness" was beginning to fade over the past few months.
The frightening alternative is
"more of the same McCain"

Giustino ütles ...

Obama seems to me the first kind of choice, he was voted for because no-one wanted Clinton, not because everyone wanted Obama.

Not quite. Obama won several important early primaries -- including Iowa and South Carolina -- when there were a number of other candidates in the running, including John Edwards, Bill Richardson, Joe Biden, et cetera.

McCain is also a "hold your nose and vote" candidate. They couldn't settle on the Mormon or the Italian or the bass-playing Arkansan. So they settled for John McCain, because, hey, he waited his turn.

Martasmimi ütles ...

Primary vote results:

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2008/president/democratic_vote_count.html

Hirnu-Hrnx! ütles ...

I like Obama. Just afraid that blacks will go berserk if becomes a president. They have this "brotherhood" thing and when they get this going in full blast - get ready for Zimbabwe. DC government is already like that. What happened in New Orleans, most corrupt "brothers'" city, we all saw that.

That woudl be beginning of the end.

The oil men and their sleezy ilk were terrible, but at least they were white.

Life is very animalistic. In the end you have no choice, but to stick to your own kind sorta or you'll be eaten.

Nasty business. I have no idea for whom to vote. I'll probably pass. I want no part of this crap.

Giustino ütles ...

You just reminded me of who I think Obama should choose as his VP. Ray Nagin.