Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

Though the first presidential debate between McCain and Obama is still a few hours away, the Washington Post reports that as of this morning the McCain campaign was already declaring victory via this ad which appeared on the Wall Street Journal’s website(screenshot):

While I may frequently disagree with his politics, I have always regarded John McCain as an honorable man. As the McCain campaign has reminded us incessantly over the past year, John McCain refused an early release from the Hanoi Hilton, unwilling to leave his fellow POWs behind. You’ve no doubt also been assured that McCain is a man who will challenge his own party when partisan politics do not mesh with his sense of moral obligation to his constituency. These points have been hammered into our collective consciousness as exemplars of McCain’s fine public service record, and, especially, his honor.

This is part of the reason that McCain’s campaign has left such a sour taste in my mouth. In reversing or dramatically redefining his own, long-held positions on key issues such as abortion and the environment, and in his selection of a laughably underqualified Vice Presidential Nominee, McCain has called his honor into question. Perhaps, I’ve tried to tell myself, this is simply the high cost of running for President in a two-party system. But as the McCain camp pulls more ridiculous stunts (“suspending” his campaign and running this ad are prime examples), his image veers further from “maverick reformer” and more toward GOP lapdog. Where’s the honor in that?


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All Bark …

The attack dog has been loosed.  Anyone befuddled by John McCain’s selection of Sarah Palin as his running mate got a crystal clear view of his motivations last night.  Among the many questions swirling around the “VPILF” on both sides of the aisle, were doubts about her ability to speak effectively in front of the massive RNC crowd.  Despite a rough start, she quickly settled into her comfort zone and dispelled such concerns with her commanding presence and winning smile.  Sadly, that same winning smile belied the overarching tone of her speech — sarcastic, vitriolic, and outright mean.


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The Pennsylvania Primary is finally over. After a month of mud-slinging, faux pas, and pandering, the votes are in and one thing is clear: neither Clinton or Obama can bowl. Also, Hillary won. Big whoop.

During her victory speech last night, Clinton claimed that “the tide has turned” in the campaign. CNN analyst Paul Begala, called her 10-point win “an extraordinary victory”. Funny then, that even after last night Hillary is still trailing by nearly 150 delegates (CNN’s latest count puts her at 1586 to Obama’s 1719). Next on the cards are North Carolina and a hotly contested race in Indiana. Clinton and Obama will likely split the Hoosier state’s 84 delegates down the middle, but in North Carolina — where 134 delegates are on the line — Obama is poised to bury the former first lady and further increase his lead.

Hillary has vowed to continue fighting for the nomination, and she maintains a slim chance of winning the popular vote. On the back of her pervasive optimism, the Hillary campaign is fast becoming “The Little Engine That Could”. Unfortunately for her there’s little remaining coal to fire that engine. Her campaign has been hemorrhaging money for months, and despite supposed donations totalling $2.5 million yesterday Clinton’s campaign is on shaky financial footing to say the least. Short of loaning her campaign more of her personal millions, Clinton’s options are limited.

The longer Hillary fights, the longer her odds seem to get. Slate.com’s Hillary Deathwatch today estimates her chances at a paltry 10.7% — roughly where they’ve hovered each day since the feature began on March 28th. Whether she is the better candidate is inconsequential at this point. Unless, as one pundit and former Clinton adviser puts it, “the wheels come off” of Obama’s campaign in the next few weeks, he remains the presumptive Democratic nominee. The internal wranglings of the Democrats have already done enough harm to the party’s image in the face of the united front that the Republicans present behind McCain. By continuing to run, it seems that all Hillary can do is serve to undermine Obama and, by extension, her party.

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Several weeks ago, Tara Roberts, Senior Editor of CosmoGIRL! magazine, contributed an article to theRoot.com professing her support for Hillary Clinton and bemoaning the derision with which fellow African Americans have met her choice of candidate. Roberts argues that her race is not the predominate feature of her identity and vents her frustration at the overwhelmingly negative response of her peers towards her decision to back Clinton. Unfortunately for Ms. Roberts, this response is not wholly unjustified.

While I have little quarrel with Mrs. Clinton’s politics, I do have an issue with the post-feminist backlash against Obama that is promoted by many of her supporters. By allying herself with the likes of Gloria Steinem or Geraldine Ferraro, women who support her campaign on the basis of a ‘gender gap’ while simultaneously ignoring the socio-economic gulf that exists between whites and blacks in this country, Hillary has damaged her own credibility. Ferraro’s remarks in particular, and Hillary’s refusal to decry or even to acknowledge them, are a glaring indication of the increasingly misguided aims of the feminist movement in this country. While both are obviously still pressing issues, the ‘gender gap’ in America exists on fewer fronts and appears to be narrowing at a greater rate than does the ‘race gap’.

As a black woman Ms. Roberts is stuck between a rock and a hard place, bound to be criticized by a section of her peers regardless of her choice of candidate. Perhaps the acquaintances who question her decision simply wonder why she would choose to throw her support behind the candidate whose campaign has sought to actively devalue a portion of her identity. I guess there’s much to be said for CosmoGIRL! Power.

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