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Archive for the ‘democratic primary’ Category

The Next Best Thing to an Endorsement

Thursday, April 3rd, 2008

Hands down, THE coveted Democratic endorsement is that of Al Gore. His fans in the base are huge, committed and active. A nod from Captain Planet could be a scale tipper. This explains why Gore has been so actively wooed by both Clinton and Obama, with numerous meetings between him and the candidates. Gore has insisted he intends to remain neutral.

Then Obama, as he is wont to do, dropped a bomb.

Sen. Barack Obama said Wednesday he would give Al Gore, a Nobel prize winner, a major role in an Obama administration to address the problem of global warming.

At a town-hall meeting, Obama was asked if he would tap the former vice president for his Cabinet to handle global warming.

“I would,” Obama said. “Not only will I, but I will make a commitment that Al Gore will be at the table and play a central part in us figuring out how we solve this problem. He’s somebody I talk to on a regular basis. I’m already consulting with him in terms of these issues, but climate change is real. It is something we have to deal with now, not 10 years from now, not 20 years from now.” — Newsvine

Oh, ho! Since the lack-o-love between the Clintons and the Gores is well documented, this is just hilarious to me. Hillary may not want Gore in any kind of power position in her administration, but Obama does, and for him, there’s a lot of oomph with the Gore folks that Captain Planet will head up the US tactics on global warming. In a way, this is tons better than an endorsement, since it demonstrates COMMITMENT to the cause, and trust me, that carries the weight with that crowd.

What I’m wondering is whether this was Obama’s idea, or was this Gore’s way of bypassing the “Judas” shtick while chivvying his supporters into the booths for Obama.

Either way, it’s great politics.

Hat Tip to Buzzflash

Clinton Calls It Quits, Joins McCain Ticket for ‘08

Tuesday, April 1st, 2008

In a surprise move, campaign officials for democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton are to announce April 1 that the New York Senator is withdrawing from the Democratic presidential primaries and is joining Republican presidential candidate John McCain’s ticket as his running mate. Political insiders and beltway pundits alike were surprised at the timing of the announcement  , but not altogether shocked by this latest development. Clinton has been running second place to Democratic rival Barack Obama for months now, her campaign war chest is running low on funds, contributors to her campaign are tapped out, and many long time political allies have been leaving the campaign in droves. 

CAMPAIGN OFFICIAL CONFIRMS RUMORS

According to an anonymous Clinton campaign official, Mrs. Clinton feels she has a better chance of realizing her lifelong dream to become president of the United States by switching parties now. Once the pre-ordained Democratic nominee, a string of primary losses to Obama have put the Clinton campaign into a downward spiral. 

“She sees the writing on the wall. Clearly, this isn’t her husband’s Democratic Party anymore,” said the campaign official. “If we’ve learned anything over the past few years, it’s that sometimes experienced politicians have to do courageous things in order to continue to help America. Joe Lieberman did it in 2006. Hillary is doing it now.”

SUPPORTERS STAND FIRM, OPPONENTS INDIFFERENT

Some Clinton supporters think the move is brilliant, and will continue to support Hillary no matter what ticket she’s on.  

“I think it’s brilliant, “ said Nancy Bigbee of Westchester, Vermont. “McCain’ s like, what, 75 years old or something? She’ll probably be president in no time this way.”

And that nugget may well hold some gold in it. McCain’s health hasn’t been much of an issue in this campaign, but he is 70 years old, and would be the oldest president ever sworn in to a first term if elected. A bitter Democratic primary season has battered Mrs. Clinton among her former party, making it a long shot for her to get the nomination at this point. This is likely her best shot now at getting back into the White House. Obam a supporters have mixed feelings about the announcement  , being somewhat happy that the bitter in-fighting will finally end, but mostly being indifferent, having stopped listening to Clinton months ago.  

WEEKS IN THE MAKING

Rumors of a possible Clinton party switch have been circling Washington recently following Sen. Clinton’s media appearances with Rush Limbaugh, Fox News, and Richard Mellon Scaife, a vociferously staunch opponent of Mrs. Clinton and her husband, former president Bill Clinton, for years. Even Ann Coulter loves her. Democrats have been not so quietly rumbling about what they saw as her attempts to cozy up to the “vast right wing conspiracy she once railed against. Senator Clinton’s own recent comments also seem to have been quietly laying the groundwork for just such a tactic. Earlier last month she repeated on several talk shows that both she and Senator McCain had the lifetime of dedicated experience needed to run this country, something her former Democratic opponent Barack Obama didn’t have. In fact, up until today’s announcement  , Senator Clinton had been Senator McCain’s best campaigner, with her repeated attempts to derail the Obama campaign.  

“All of the dirty tricks of the last few weeks, from the NAFTA frame-up against Obama in Ohio to the subtly drawn out race issues and Reverend Wright associations to the sublimation of the primary rules in Florida and Michigan- all these things and more have been part of the Clinton campaign’s efforts to divide the Democratic party and bring some votes over to a McCain-Clint on ticket,” said the unnamed Clinton campaign official.

When asked about the timing of the announcement  , coming on the heels of Senator Clinton’s steadfast refusal to leave the Democratic race before the end of the primary season, this same official noted that, “April is clearly the time to strike. We know what we’re doing here. We’re not a bunch of fools.” 

WIN-WIN FOR GOP?

But what does a McCain-Clint on ticket hold for Republicans?   For starters, Hillary Clinton began her political life as a Barry Goldwater disciple, the former Arizona Republican and presidential candidate in 1964. Long embraced by the more conservative Republicans, Hillary’s early associations with Goldwater’ s brand of politics probably runs deep in her own political psyche, proving her to be a Republican at heart. It’s not just coincidence that McCain also hails from Arizona.

But more than just her conservative underpinning s, Clinton brings to the GOP ticket that tough, but feminine touch that’s been missing all these years- like Margaret Thatcher did for Britain’s Conservative party in the 1980’s. Conventional wisdom holds that Republicans, especially women, wouldn’t vote for Clinton come hell or high water, but that truth probably won’t hold at the ballot box. During her husband’s Oval Office infidelities  , Mrs. Clinton stood by her man to the end. While derided at the time for by many women’s groups, then First-Lady Clinton unknowingly started a trend that has been seen all too often these last seven years during GOP prominence. For every Congressman convicted of taking bribes there’s been a wife by their side. For every GOP sex scandal (from cruising for page boys to soliciting in the airport bathroom) there’s been a tightly smiling GOP wife by her man. These women credit Hillary for their strength almost as much as they do their faith. Clearly Clinton can hold her own with this demographic at the polls. And that’s one area McCain clearly needs help with. Hilla ry also shows promise that she is willing to carry on with some of the more popular Bush policies like the War in Iraq, by giving life to the falsehood that she had to dodge sniper fire on a trip to Bosnia while serving as First Lady.  Such inspired untruth telling shows she’s not only ready, but also willing to say anything to get her point across. This is the kind of trait Republicans love in there politicians- the power to change reality to fit the situation at hand.  Both Clinton and McCain bill themselves as Bi-Partisan leaders and they’ve proven this much. Both reached across the aisle to support the Iraq War. Both supported the Illegal Alien Amnesty bill brought forth by Senator McCain and Senator Ted Kennedy (D-MA) before they opposed it. Both supported Bush’s No Child Left Behind program too, and still support it generally despite its high costs to states, narrowed curriculum geared towards testing, and less than stellar results. In these and many other issues, Hillary Clinton and John McCain seem to make the perfect political couplet in generations.  

LAST, BEST SHOT AT WHITE HOUSE

But the bottom line is that Hillary Clinton has had her sights set on the presidency for decades. It is her life long dream and from her point of view, this year was supposed to be “her” year. She’d hoped to take the prize under the Democrats banner, if only to tie the double-shot secured by the Bush clan. But with Barack Obama clearly the popular choice among registered Democratic voters, and among many Independents too, Mrs. Clinton is realist enough to know that her only ride back to Pennsylvania Avenue is in the back seat of John McCain’s limo- and faced with the prospect of losing it all, a short stint as VP looks pretty good to her now.

The announcement  , scheduled for release on April 1, 2008, also noted that both Senators McCain and Clinton would be unreachable for comment for most of the day, as they will be coordinating their campaign strategies for the next phase of the campaign.

 

(Cross posted at Common Sense)


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