Tuesday, April 22, 2008
Ok, so I'm going out on a limb here. I am a Hillary Clinton supporter, but as I've stated in the past, not by much. I support Clinton because I belong to that little-known political party: Realisticrats. Realisticrats never fall in love with a candidate. We fall in love with winning. We start at the end--the actual election--and work our way backwards from there in choosing the candidate who has the best chance at victory. I don't rally around anyone unless they look, smell and act like a winner. I belong to no "team." A reporter once jabbed basketball legend Michael Jordon about his his ego and style of play with "Hey Michael, there's no "I" in team"....His Airness responded with the brilliant, "that's right, but there is in 'win'." It's all about winning. And while I actually prefer to see Sen. Barack Obama become our 44th president, and think he would be much better for the country at this critical military, economic and social crossroads, I firmly believe Clinton is the more electable candidate against the GOP's presumptive nominee Sen. John McCain and the Ruthless Republican Attack Machine (RRAM).
Obama, in order to achieve the historic presidential greatness that might one day be his destiny, needs to first get past the supreme ugliness that he faces with the RRAM. And I am as confident as a caterpillar at a toe-countin' contest that McCain & Company will eat him alive in the general election. He has unfortunately armed the RRAM with way too much ammunition involving his Rev. Wright, Tony Rezko, William Ayers, flag pin, BitterGate and Michelle's "pride" controversies. Throw in the inescapable fact that he's a 46-year-young black man with a Muslim name, a drug past and just three years experience in the Senate and the picture deeply worsens. Now before I continue, don't shoot the messenger. I personally don't care about any of this nonsense, but you can bet your ass the RRAM is salivating as we speak. If you believe otherwise, you are beyond naive. I've taken a lot of heat over the past several months over this position. But I am not in the politically-correct business. Remember, I'm a Realisticrat. My only goal is to win.
That brings us to Clinton, who is way too untrustworthy, untruthful and disingenuous to way too many people, including this writer. But the simple truth is, people expect such duplicity from politicians, and especially from the Clintons. There's nothing new on this front. With the Clintons, it's the same old same old. The skeletons are already out of the closet, and have been under the RRAM microscope since '92. Unlike with Obama, her news is old news. But more important, Hillary has the Ruthless Clinton Attack Machine (RCAM) behind her, consisting of Howard Wolfson, James Carville and many other battle-tested warriors who know how to fight the RRAM and win. I'll put my money on them any day of the week.
Now again, don't shoot the messenger. I didn't make up the rules of engagement. That landscape was cultivated chiefly by Newt Gingrich and Karl Rove, disciples of 1980's "Happy Hatchet Man" and original "Darth Vader" Lee Atwater, the incendiary Republican operative and brains behind the '88 Willie Horton ad campaign that sank Michael Dukakis' bid for the presidency. Starting in the 80's, and shifting into full gear against Bill Clinton in the 90's and then into massive overdrive against Al Gore and John Kerry in 2000 and 2004 respectively, the RRAM masterfully perfected the art of dirty politics, and that's the playing field Democrats must navigate through now. While it may be possible many years from now to return to the good old "gentlemanly" days of politics that I keep hearing about but have never personally experienced, right now, a Democrat must fight like a Republican if he or she expects to win. Hillary meets that standard. Obama has proven that he does not.
Now onto Pennsylvania, where, as a Realisticrat, I believe Clinton must achieve a clear, decisive victory in Tuesday's primary or she should quit the race and let the general contest begin. PA is the big prize. The hugely working-class state is representative of middle-America and the traditional Democratic base. Without a resounding victory over Obama, you can stick a fork in her, and rightly so. There'll no be no logical, rational basis for her to continue other than an insatiable hunger for power and attention. At that time, as a Realisticrat, I will call for her withdrawl more loudly than anyone. But if she can pull of a double-digit win (or something very close), it'll make it very hard to convince me or any sane Dem that the race is over. What she'll have is a string of critical big-Blue state wins (OH, TX, PA), impressive momentum, and a bruised and battered opponent who, as the NY Times columnist David Brooks said last week, has fallen to Earth. Indeed, a very compelling narrative for her to offer up to super-delegates, who could very well swing to her corner quick as lightning.
Ronald Reagan rode to victory on the wings of one simple question: "Are you better off now than you were four years ago." With a big win in PA, Clinton's question to the Super D's will surely be, "Are you better off with me or Obama against McCain and the Ruthless Republican Attack Machine." This Realisticrat already knows the answer....