Saturday, March 22, 2008
I'd really like to know one thing: why has Sen. Barack Obama's campaign released to the press an old photo of his pastor, the highly controversial Rev. Jeremiah Wright, with former President Bill Clinton at the White House during an annual prayer breakfast 10 years ago? What's the point here? Obama's camp appears to be acknowledging how damaging its candidate's relationship with Rev, Wright is and is trying to minimize the fallout by showing that the Clintons have sidled up to him too, as if that one-time encounter at a routine event somehow establishes the same kind of irresponsibility as Obama's 20 year intimate relationship with the firebrand preacher. But what's more troubling to me is this: isn't Obama supposed to be above this sort of tactic, which looks and smells like a smear? Isn't this the same type of dirty politics he's been decrying throughout the campaign? I'm sorry, but Obama wants to play it both ways, and that's a bit duplicitous.
There's something else I wanted to comment on. Listening to Air America Radio Friday evening a female caller was gushing about how Obama "has united this country in a very special way." As Bill Clinton would say, this is yet another myth about Obama. The 100% undeniable fact is that the Democratic Party is virtually split right down the middle, in half, between him and Hillary Clinton. Say what you want about Obama. He is extremely bright, charismatic, talented, dedicated, capable and has much integrity and a clear ability to inspire. Personally, I could easily support him should he be the nominee, and I think he'd make for a terrific president, as would Clinton (by the way, my support for Hillary is quite narrow over him; consider me at 51-49). But not only has Obama not united the entire country, he's far from uniting Democrats. I can admire, respect and appreciate the excitement that Obama brings to many (and I share that excitement on many levels), but let's be real. That excitement starts and stops with just 50% of Democrats. And as we know from the latest polls and trends, Republicans are not going to vote for him, and he's losing appreciable ground with independents. I really wish Democrats could just put aside their love for a second and be able to keep things in their proper political perspective.