the vice-presidential insult

09Mar08

It is the end of the 3rd quarter in this primary. The nomination of her party for president is still very much within Hillary Clinton’s reach.

Recommending, at this point in a campaign, that your opponent would look good at the bottom of the ticket with yourself on top, no matter WHO is ahead at the time, but especially in an election this close, has nothing to do with skin color or race or racial politics. It is standard political gamesmanship and yet once again it has put the Clintons at the center of charges of, at the very least, being racially insensitive, and at worst, of being guilty of out and out racism.

I’m sorry that any African American has experienced hurt or anger over the Clintons’ suggestion of Barack Obama for the bottom of the ticket. The reaction to the Clinton’s suggesting Obama for Vice President of the United States has been characterized by some as the Clintons pushing Obama to “the back of the bus.”

I see it as quite a job recommendation for a guy who only four years ago was an Illinois state senator. But that back of the bus characterization is a very clear example of the 8-ball the Clintons have been behind since the beginning of this campaign when it comes to running against a) a black man and b) a black man whose campaign and supporters are looking to play the race card against them at every possible opportunity.

In publicly floating the idea of a unified Clinton/Obama ticket, Hillary Clinton is talking about unifying what has become a split Democratic constituency. She’s also, I believe, speaking to the Democratic leadership who are nervously looking for exactly this kind of compromise before one or both of their candidates takes on permanent damage.

Hillary has consistently smiled affably and shown a gracious and favorable attitude towards the IDEA of these two running on the same ticket… and that was BEFORE Obama became the frontrunner, back when it looked like she the most likely candidate. Then and now, Obama’s response had been an unsmiling gloomy and somewhat arrogant dismissal of the idea.

Hey. This is politics.

The Obama campaign has some real problems and finally the national news media is articulating those problems. In all these red states he’s won so convincingly, in open primaries and caucuses, the Democratic party has NO idea how many Republicans crossed over simply to knock off their version of the anti-Christ, Hillary Clinton. He’s not winning ANY of the big blue Democratic states where the Democratic party has a stronghold.

The Obamas have treated the Clintons like they are NOT our (the Democrats’) Reagans. But they ARE our Reagans. The Democrats have no one else in modern history to point to and the truth is that our Reagans our better that the real Reagans. The arrogance and disrespect towards these party icons from a man, and his wife, who a little over three years ago was an Illinois state senator and a complete unknown nationally until he made one speech at the Democratic convention in 2004.

When asked if she would support Mrs. Clinton if she were to become the nominee of the Democratic party, Michelle Obama answered coldly, “I’ll have to think about that.”

There’s no question Barack Obama has tremendous base of support in the Democratic party. But what I would like to know is where is Mr. Obama’s famous talent for reaching across a political chasm and building a bridge?

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