Before I move on to ‘the other guy,’ a final thought on Hillary Clinton: I think I understand why she refuses to admit defeat. She knows that she’s ticked so many people off that to run again in 2012 is already a lost cause: it’s now or never.
Meanwhile, Barack Obama is preparing to accept the Democratic nomination for President. Unless he gets hit by a truck or something (why do we worry about this now: we didn’t in the past!), he will probably be the candidate to run against the presumptive Republican nominee, John McCain. (Why don’t we worry about McCain getting hit by a truck?)
Barack Obama burst onto the scene in 2004, with a speech at the Democratic convention. When he first campaigned for President, I thought he was a good orator, but underneath it, a political lightweight. (Or is it that I resent that he’s the first candidate for President who is younger than I am?)
What fools we all were this year! The states were all falling over each other, trying to have their primaries earlier. We all thought it would be like 2004, when the winner seemed apparent after a couple of states. But it didn’t happen that way this time.
Obama inspired his supporters in a way that no recent politician has, and did especially well in caucuses. But a victory in the big states eluded him (except for his home state of Illinois).
And then there was the matter of his now ex-pastor, the Reverend Wright, who has gone on record to denigrate this country. He suggested that we brought the events of 11 September on ourselves: curiously, my mother would have agreed with that. And when the issue came before the public, Obama delivered a thoughtful speech about how he could no more disown his pastor than his grandmother. I respected him for that: I want a President who recognizes that not everyone believes that our country is always right.
I was dismayed when, in response to further comments from the Reverend Wright, Obama threw him under the bus. But I understand why he did it.
And then there was the episode where Obama remarked that he believed that small-town Americans were ’embittered’ by the economy, which led them to vote Republican. The chorous of disapproval was astonishing: one columnist remarked that Obama was ‘finished’ as a result of that remark.
I find this troubling. I believe that there was a lot of truth to Obama’s observation. It’s happened often enough that a political group has achieved success by telling its citizens that all their problems were due to something that, in reality, was quite irrelevant.
But worse than that, Obama has been recently referred to as an ‘elitist’ for these and other remarks. No, he’s not an elitist. He’s educated, he’s got a brain, and he knows how to use it. But somehow we’re supposed to shun that in favor of the guy who knows how to bowl.
Anyway, I respect Obama, and I hope that he makes it to be the Democratic candidate. But will I vote for him?
Tune in tomorrow….