Now that the runners in the final heat of the presidential race are nearly decided – John McCain and Barack Obama – opinion-makers in the media are beginning to focus their fire.
First, McCain had to fend off the New York Times allegations that he was “close” to a woman ten years ago who was not the same person as his wife. But the smell of sexual scandal was only a hook – the real story was about possible conflicts of interest, which is fairer game.
Contrast that with the new offensive against Obama, coming both from Hillary Clinton and the country’s conservative media, including that same New York Times.
(Yes, it’s long past time to drop the word “liberal” which often precedes “New York Times.” In addition to David Brooks, formerly of the conservative Weekly Standard, the paper’s editorial page now also features William Kristol, currently of the Weekly Standard.)
“The task of turning a popular Democrat into a latte-drinking, better-than-thou elitist is in full swing.”
In his latest column, Kristol lays into Obama for a string of offenses that essentially boil down to this: expressing inadequate pride in the direction the President has taken the country, and offering to help lead a nation which has not yet shed all hope.
Kristol pooh-poohs the participatory appeals of Obama’s candidacy, accusing him of duplicity, without further explanation.
“. . . Could the American people, by November, decide that for all his impressive qualities, Obama tends too much toward the preening self-regard of Bill Clinton, the patronizing elitism of Al Gore and the haughty liberalism of John Kerry?” The task of turning a popular Democrat into a latte-drinking, better-than-thou elitist is in full swing. Read the rest of this entry »
For those about to be distracted by an email from a long lost lover, here’s the quick answer: yes.
It’s a sign of good times in the Democratic party that most primary voters – whether they lean Clinton or Obama – will be happy whomever wins the nomination. In fact, many say they don’t know whom they’ll vote for until they get in that booth and pull the curtain behind them.
What are they doing in there? How do they decide at the last minute? Are you allowed to take a Magic 8-Ball in the booth with you?
Besides the obvious – Clinton is a woman and Obama is African-American – it’s hard to find many differences between the two candidates, on the surface or in the news. New York Times columnist Paul Krugman has written so many pieces about how Hillary’s health care plan is better than Obama’s, you’d think Obama is a sleeper agent for pro-Republican HMOs. In truth, both of them have solid plans for universal health care, and by the time either of them become President next January, the details of their plans could change dramatically.
” Some Democrats spoke out against it, including little-known Barack Obama . . .”
Is that the only difference? Ok, Obama might bring the troops home slightly faster, and Hillary may allow Bill Clinton to sleep in the Lincoln bedroom more often than Obama would, but beyond such trivial things, does it matter who wins this faceoff?
Read the rest of this entry »
Why, reporters are baffled, is Mike Huckabee, former governor and preacher, staying in the Presidential race when his chances of winning the nomination are practically nil?
He’s so far behind John McCain right now that to lose, McCain would have to sit out the remaining races and plead with his supporters not to vote for him. No, there’s something else going on with Huckabee, and his own words provide a clue.
How many of us actually enjoyed math in school? Not many, unfortunately, and Huckabee pulled at the heartstrings of the common man in response to reporters who badgered him with mathematical evidence that his candidacy is all but dead: “I didn’t major in math, I majored in miracles …”
At this point Huckabee seems to be downplaying his relevant experience as a governor and merely pulling Jesus to his side like it’s Huckabee-Christ ’08. And his supporters seem blissfully unaware of anything about him besides his religious idenitity. In interviews, when asked why they voted for “Huckabee-who-hasn’t-got-a-shot,” they invariably point to the fact that Huckabee is a Christian, as though merely being one of the country’s 228 million Christians means he’ll make a good President.
“Huckabee seems to be . . . pulling Jesus to his side like it’s Huckabee-Christ ’08.”
Most Americans agree that a candidate’s religion shouldn’t disqualify them from high office, but a growing number of people seem to think that a strong Christian identity is enough reason to be President of the United States.
But for all Huckabee’s talk about miracles, I believe he is thinking mathematically. John McCain is 71 years old, and would be the oldest President inaugurated. To some it’s a taboo subject, but let’s face it, Read the rest of this entry »
After Mitt Romney‘s poor performance on Super Tuesday, it’s not surprising he decided to quit. He has already spent about $35 million of his own money (that’s $110,000 for each delegate he won). He has rightly calculated that his other millions are better blown on a future race in, say, 2012.
One lesson to take from his candidacy is that money can’t always buy an election. John McCain spent far less and convinced many more people. But money still matters. Romney wouldn’t have come nearly as far as he did without it – it bought him the kind of edge that’s just not in the price zone of an average American. But ultimately, it was his recent “conversion” to conservatism that lost it for him – he was as slick as a commercial for a luxury car and as sincere as the salesman of a used one.
Last night he tried to upgrade his conservative creds in front of the Conservative Political Action Committee, and while it might have endeared him to some hard-right (or even just solid-right) Republicans, it demonstrated how far Romney is from Presidential material.
If he would have fought on, he said, “Frankly I’d be making it easier for Senator Clinton or Obama to win. . . In this time of war, I simply cannot let my campaign be part of aiding a surrender to terror.”
“Romney was as slick as a commercial for a luxury car and as sincere as the salesman of a used one.”
Romney’s phony self-sacrifice aside, not only does his statement show a simplistic understanding of the current war, but his “surrender to terror” wording shows that he would have been as divisive, Read the rest of this entry »