I keep saying I don’t watch television. Then I follow up with the revelation that I just did. Busted. Yes, I’m now up to about six hours a year. Way too much, as it turns out. Last night, after we hunted down the remote, we tuned in to the Obama/Clinton “debate." Judas priest! Such a deal.
Two candidates from the same party, vying to restore the severely damaged “leader of the free world” reputation of the presidency, sat side by side, facing the Ohio audience. The tension was palpable. Obama and Clinton have been exchanging increasingly testy snipes over the past few days.
Tim Russert and Brian Williams fed Obama and Clinton (no, wait, Clinton and Obama) vapid questions, with forays into irrelevant weirdness. Each time Clinton muscled her way into the spotlight (and there were many instances of that), talking over Obama and the Nincompoops (hey! great name for a rock band!), Williams seemed largely unwilling or unable to rein her in. Alpha female was desperately determined to be heard. I think Williams was afraid of her. Russert, maybe not so much.
Clinton calls herself strong. Last night, she was aggressive. She was pushy and extremely rude. More here.
Throughout the debate, I found myself wondering (and worrying) how Clinton might conduct herself in sensitive negotiations with national and global leaders. Would she snark Vladimir Putin, too? Would she jam her thumbs into his soul-connected eyes?
After last night, I’m more convinced than ever that Hillary Clinton is the wrong person for the presidency in 2008. Maybe ever. Lord knows she’s smart. Her self-described 35 years of experience encompasses roughly 75 percent of Obama’s life. Big deal. I’ve got clothes older than he is. Should they run for president, too?
The point being that, to me, Clinton’s experience looks more like longevity than quality. Clearly she has the ability to hunker down, dig in her heels and protect turf. But much of that has been to advance her personal goals. Think how long ago she began positioning herself for this run. Think of the vast amount of money she raised for a Senate race that she was absolutely assured of winning. Money that ultimately was funneled into her presidential campaign chest, as I understand it.
If I’d been running myself ragged for as many months/years as Clinton has, only to see the Obama uprising completely cloud my sky, I’d probably be pissy, too. But there comes a point when checkmate looms. And though I’m not privy to the game board, it seems to me she’s there. It is, as Paul Loeb wrote a few days ago, time for her to fold ‘em.
Georgia Democratic Rep. John Lewis, a superdelegate who just shifted his support from Clinton to Obama, said his decision was based on his area's overwhelming support of Obama. He said, "Something's happening in America, something some of us did not see coming. Barack Obama has tapped into something that is extraordinary."
The phenomenon that is Barack Obama runs far more than a mile wide and a quarter-inch deep. It is about Obama's abilities and talents, about his ability to articulate what the rest of us wish we could, and perhaps most of all, it is about America's hunger for integrity.
Obama, too, is smart. He, too, has a lifetime of experience. The thing is, much of Obama’s experience is closer to and more in touch with current time. Stated another way, it seems to me that he has his finger on the pulse of this country. Which is a totally different thing from finger in the air to see which way the wind is blowing. It is clear that Barack Obama listens and inwardly digests what he hears.
Note to Hillary Clinton: It’s time to give Obama a chance to do what needs to be done. The future of this country is riding on that. And by the way, LeftyMN has suggested that you’d make a superb Senate majority leader. Can we just get rid of Harry Reid? Yes we can!