February 24th, 2008
My Dear America:
One thing about this years Presidential Campaign that I love is that it is never boring. Well almost never.
Certainly this week is one of those more interesting weeks. There was, of course, the Texas Debate between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama last Thursday night. There was probably more civility in that debate than most we have seen. Both Hillary and Barack made their points, mostly the same points that they have made in previous debates. The difference in this debate from most of the others was the rather strange but welcome interruption of the political hostilities by Hillary Clinton as she made the point at the end of the debate that she has been blessed in her life and so has Barack and that regardless of what shakes out in this Presidential Primary season they both will be "fine." Hillary ended up talking about how proud she was to be on that stage with Obama. It was hard to read from what happened what Message Hillary was really trying to convey. Was she giving up? Was she ending her Presidential Campaign and turning over the reins to Barack Obama?
Not a chance. Just days later the fur was flying between Hillary and Barack again. Hillary was unhappy about what she felt was Barack's misinterpretation of her involvement in the Clinton Administration. Once again we see that between these two it aint over til its over.
Barack's wife, Michelle Obama, also got herself in some political hot water last week by making a comment about the fact that after a long period of time she was finally proud of her country. Naturally the Republican pundits pounced on this like it was red meat that they could chew on and spit out for a long time. Clearly Michelle was not saying anything other than she was proud of her husband and his campaign but to hear the Republicans tell it Michelle was an Anti American Liberal Shameful Hussey.
Probably this story would have dragged Michelle Obama through the mud much longer but then along came a story in the New York Times that knocked everything else off page one all over the country. The story was mainly about the fact that Republican Front Runner, John McCain, who has presented himself over these many years as a political reformer, may have, indeed, been influenced himself by lobbyists during the time that he had advocated reducing lobbyist influence. If that, in itself, had been the heart of the story it probably would have died a quick death within a few days. Unfortunately for McCain, or perhaps fortunately, the story had a couple of sentences which pointed to a concern on the part of former McCain staffers that it had been suspected by McCain people 8 years ago during his ill fated campaign for the Presidency that McCain was having an affair with Telecommunications Lobbyist, Vickie Issacson. Talk about lobbyist influence.
Suddenly and without warning this boring 8 year old story of lust, legislators and lobbyists had turned McCains Right Wing Radio Talk Show Tormentors into McCain supporters. McCain's campaign strategists had been trying to figure out how to make this happen since it became obvious to all concerned that McCain was going to be the Republican standard bearer in 2008. Now here it was Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Bill O'Reilly all together defending McCain instead of running him down. It was extraordinary and all it took was a marriage threatening embarassing story run by The New York Times. Suddenly it was this left leaning national newspaper, which supposedly had been sitting on the story for a long time and had also endorsed McCain as their choice to win the Republican Primary that was being demonized again by the right. It was truly manna from heaven for the McCain Campaign.
It is so strange right now to be observing Rush Limbaugh rushing to John McCain's defense. Limbaugh is now castigating The New York Times for "trying to destroy" John McCain's Presidential bid. According to Limbaugh it is unforgivable that The New York Times is trying to destroy John McCain. Yet only a week ago it was more than OK for Rush to be working daily to destroy John McCain.
Incredible. Absolutely Incredible. But I am sure that there are many more incredible surprises to come in this interesting and unpredictable campaign.