Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Elitist, Everlasting or Explosive?

Finally, Pennsylvanians get to have their say in the Democratic primary race.

There are polls and predictions galore as to who will prevail, Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama. And we know, as Dick Polman so brilliantly (and hilariously) points out, whatever the result, that Hillary Clinton will find a way to say it's all good. Always pleased with where they are. Yes, Hillary is definitely the Everlasting Bunny of the race, so I'm don't expect her to drop out even when she doesn't come anywhere near original projections. On the other hand, there is this, from a former Clinton fan, that should be required reading for Hillary the day after:

I have proudly self-identified as a feminist since age 12, and I have never wavered in my support for both Clintons. But, despite her intelligence and her eloquence, Hillary isn’t the candidate I wanted her to be, and if she can’t convince me, how can she possibly win a general election.

I don’t actually fault Hillary, because as all successful feminists of her generation who struggled to break the glass ceiling—and isn’t this the ultimate glass ceiling—she has absolutely mastered the rules of a man’s world. Unfortunately, the game is changing, and the old rules are no longer good enough. I wanted the first woman president to be better than the men who preceded her and not simply to be better at their politics. I wanted Hillary to rise above the fray, to inspire and to unite, and to humanize, and to finally be the one to change both how we campaigned and how we governed. While I owe Hillary a great debt for paving the way for the next generation of women politicians, I believe that our first woman president will not come from her generation. The price she and her peers had to pay for playing by the rules, as they existed, was too high. The first generation feminists didn’t realize that woman shouldn’t simply strive to succeed at the old rules, but they needed to change the rules themselves.

See Update from Pennsylvania: If I’m not voting for Hillary then who is? (Via Attytood).

On the other hand, I recall the words of Jon Stewart, speaking of Obama's gaffe about the "bitter" people of this fine state in which I've lived my whole life. As the video above shows, Stewart ends his comic routine by defining the term "elite" as superior and suggesting that that is the qualification for the presidency that should be in the forefront as we elect our next leader. Think so? As he observes, intelligence should not be a bad word.

This sentiment is echoed in The Observer's Comment is Free, by Michael Crowley, There's real danger to Obama in a cry of 'snob':
In every case, the GOP message to America was the same: the Democratic candidate is too fancy to understand your world. He looks down on you. He is a product of a coastal elite establishment that derides real Americans. Republicans have always known how they would attack Hillary Clinton's character: They've had more than 15 years of trashing her as mean-tempered, ultra-feminist prevaricator. But Obama's comments, which can at least be construed to deride the legitimate faith, traditions and concerns of small-towners, have opened the GOP door to tarring him with the label of elitist snob. This is how it's going to go. In the derisive commentary of the past two weeks, we can see how Obama is heading for the Kerry-Gore-Dukakis treatment. He will be cast as a 'professor' from the university enclave of Chicago's Hyde Park. And just as Kerry was heckled by conservatives for supposedly looking French, the campaign to define Obama as 'foreign', thanks to his Kenyan father and his boyhood years in Indonesia, is already underway.
And the final on the other hand is that, whomever ultimately prevails on the Democratic side will have to face John McCain in the fall. Mr. Explosive (and did I mention old?) himself.

The Washington Post had the latest piece on McCain's anger management problem, in McCain: A Question of Temperament. As it noted:
Since the beginning of McCain's public life, the many witnesses to his temper have had strikingly different reactions to it. Some depict McCain, now the presumptive Republican nominee for president, as an erratic hothead incapable of staying cool in the face of what he views as either disloyalty to him or irrational opposition to his ideas. Others praise a firebrand who is resolute against the forces of greed and gutlessness.
So the choices are Elitist, Everlasting or Explosive. Today, at least, the choice is clear for me.

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