two ben smith pieces on obama/clinton With Update

#1) (And thank God!!!) no Obama-Clinton ticket (or vice versa) in the works. According to Nancy Pelosi.

“I think that the Clinton administration (sic) has fairly ruled that out by proclaiming that Senator McCain would be a better Commander in Chief than Obama. I think that either way is impossible,” she said.

Pelosi’s other statement that outside forces have to fix these things, suggests (I bet) a general exhaustion with this in-fighting. She generally is known (at least through surrogates) to back Obama but remains neutral to date officially. My guess is she wanted Clinton to step aside but is not altogether happy with the Obama responses. To wit

#2)Obamaland is coming back hard on Clinton.

Obama’s chief strategist, David Axelrod, grouped former Rep. Geraldine Ferraro’s suggestion that Obama owes some part of his success to the fact that he’s black with other gaffes by Clinton backers Robert Johnson and Bill Shaheen, and with Clinton’s “own inexplicable unwillingness” to flatly deny that Obama is a Muslim in a “60 Minutes” interview.

“All this is part of an insidious pattern that needs to be addressed,” he said.

The Ferraro comment in question is as follows:

“I think what America feels about a woman becoming president takes a very secondary place to Obama’s campaign – to a kind of campaign that it would be hard for anyone to run against,” she said. “For one thing, you have the press, which has been uniquely hard on her. It’s been a very sexist media. Some just don’t like her. The others have gotten caught up in the Obama campaign.

“If Obama was a white man, he would not be in this position,” she continued. “And if he was a woman (of any color) he would not be in this position. He happens to be very lucky to be who he is. And the country is caught up in the concept.” Ferraro does not buy the notion of Obama as the great reconciler.

As one sharp commentator noted (paraphrasing) she was half-right. If Obama was a white man he would already be the nominee. First wave feminism scores another one for human liberation everywhere.

And again the uniquely hard on Sen. Clinton meme. It is not a matter of whether they are hard on her as to whether they are fair or not in their “hardness”. More after jump

The Clinton Camp has made numerous ham-handed mistakes and is therefore rightly (to a degree) chewed up in the media. e.g. Sen. Clinton has run a campaign (which was her choice and one I’ve always thought was so completely dumb) that proclaimed her the inevitable candidate and then she lost the first race. So that obviously got her started on a very bad footing.

Obama certainly has something of the teflon image about him–but not for God’s sake because he is the Affirmative Action Candidate. Bill Clinton and Ronald Reagan both were able to let stuff slide off them. George HW Bush was Vice President during Iran Contra but he never got sullied with that past. Newsflash: those were white white dudes.

This idea that the country is “caught up in a concept” I find so loathsome. Of course the guy has had some luck–e.g. political opponents in Illinois who were felled by sexual/divorce issues. But some of this I’m going out on a limb here, is because the guy is actually quite intelligent and has run a masterful campaign–message and style sure but also organizationally. He has decided to run a 50 state strategy and not concede voters to either Clinton and the Democratic Machine or the Republicans.

But I can tell you this: people in that kind of position makes their own luck or at least are ready to pounce and build on luck when it comes their way. Luck or no luck he would not be in the position he is were he not shrewd enough to capitalize on the breaks his way.

It would be helpful for the Clinton campaign–though they never will I imagine–to acknowledge that part of it could be (just part not all) that they misread important segments of the electorate. Maybe instead of “luck” some of it is attributable to the fact that the Clinton team has run this top-heavy bureaucratic campaign, labeling voters across the country (many Democrats) “latte-drinkers from boutique states.” Like you know all those latte drinking Democrats in Wyoming. [From a f’in New Yorker no less!!!].

And maybe moreover because he is actually connecting with some segments of voters. Perish the thought I know.I don’t know about a wink-wink racial pattern (though not as naive to believe it would be impossible either) but whatever the judgment on that particular point, it does not look good when an establishment white woman tells a black man “he’s lucky to be where he is”. As in, like he’s hasn’t been working his back side off for years to get to where he is. [Oh wait but that means he’s too ambitious right Clinton camp? He’s wanted this since he was in kindergarten or maybe even preschool…so which is it?].

Not to mention Obama has more years in elected office than the candidate Ferraro backs. It’s the criticisms of him on the points where she is weak that I find so pathetic. Like Romney, live Rove. How ignorant does she take me for?

What is a clear pattern is the continued Clinton argument that she somehow deserves the nomination because of name recognition or I’m not sure what. Because Bill used to be the president, so now Hillary should. And Obama jumped to the head of the line and is “lucky” to be where he is (i.e. because the media won’t go after him because they are scared of being called racists).

Maybe she just wasn’t that strong of a candidate. Maybe they just got beat.

Of all people to spot and eviscerate this pattern, the stand-up political philosopher (er comedian) Sinbad:

“What got me about Hillary was her attitude of entitlement, like he messed up her plan, like he had no reason to be there,” Sinbad said. “I got angry. I actually got angry! I said, ‘I will be for Obama like never before.'”

Exactly. On a related note, Necessary Roughness kicked arse.

Update I:

It’s the Obama camp that started the race card—so says Clinton spokeswoman Maggie Williams.   I repeat my question:  How stupid do they think the rest of us are? To quote Jonathan Chait–when they put three fingers up and say there are two, what do you  do with that?

Sen. Clinton has so far only “disagreed” with the comments not denounced or rejected them (as it were).

Published in: on March 11, 2008 at 1:04 pm  Leave a Comment  
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