Thursday, June 12, 2008
The Political Hoedown
I get the phone calls, I read the e-mails and see the candlelight vigils. I know you want more Political Hoedown. Give me time, I just need…a little more time.
But until then, something to hold you over.
After Barack Obama became the presumptive nominee, the eyes of the punditry world turned to Hillary's next actions. Would she press on, drag her heels or concede quickly? None of those, of course!
Her speech last Saturday was considered one of her best ever, yet it was the underlying spine of defiance that marks it of interest to me. She underscores her achievements as a woman making history, while shuffling his race into a glorified footnote. Her applause lines for Barack were squeezed into a speech celebrating her and the campaign and showed a subtle disrespect for the man. Bill got a raucous applause as the only Democrat to be elected twice to the Presidency since Truman, and women everywhere had their hearts warmed (or inflamed) by the solid rhetoric talking about breaking glass ceilings (to paraphrase, "we may not have broken that ultimate glass ceiling…but there are 18 million cracks in it now." "WOOO! WHOO WHOOP!! YEAAARRGH!!" [that last one was Howard Dean's twin sister]).
Anything can happen between now and the convention, as she awkwardly reminded us several weeks back. It could be he starts polling far behind or just even with McCain, while in similar polls, Hillary is ahead. If she can use that sort of data, along with her sizable pledged delegate total to win over a number of supers, she could make it through the first round of voting in Denver. Once that first round is done, the delegates are virtually up for grabs and you know her iron claws will scrape up whatever they can.
This isn't over, the concession speech that concedes nothing says; just in a holding pattern. Considering all choices, though, I think the "Master of the Senate" option plays the best for her future in politics, if not her pride.
Will there be a dream ticket for the Democrats?
It's tough to say what VP Barack will choose, only that we might be surprised at either his daring or by his cowardice in the face of an estrogen tidal wave. Hillary is a top choice, but one that calcifies the opposition. More rumors have been springing up about the Virginia triad, Jim Webb (senator), Mark Warner (former governor) and Tim Kaine (current governor), but each has their sticking points. Leaks from the vetting committee reveal former military officials are being considered (but that could just mean Jim Webb, who served in Vietnam). Kathleen Sebelius, two-term governor of Kansas is a chief consideration, but wouldn't that just tick off the Hillary crowd, to give it to a different woman (and - surprise! - one with actual executive experience).
I have no comment at this time, since the semi-official list is still well over a dozen names and possibly two.
It's national bike-to-work week, which includes walking, rollerblading, mass transit…basically not driving your car/SUV if you can avoid it. If you live three blocks from the train station, walk instead of driving two miles to a parking lot one block away from a different station…not that I did that today because I was running late. Don't judge me!
Hillary has disappeared these last few days, while McCain is moving more into the limelight. His call for town hall debates, a brilliant move, backs Obama into a corner. However, there are no new policy arguments, just the same old. Oil is being dredged up (not literally, since that would lower prices and nullify the issue; thank you, environmentalists), but just because it nearly hit $140/barrel earlier in the week (it's backed down some).
Were you watching McCain give his speech Tuesday last? No? Probably for the best. "That's not…[wait for the teleprompter to scroll]…change we can believe in! [creepy smile cue…now!]" Over and over we were treated to that. And you know it made him look as bad as Bob Dole falling off that stage twelve years ago.
No comment on his VP choices right now, except...
Piyush "Bobby" Jindal, Governor of Louisiana, son of Indian immigrants, Republican darling: he will not be your next Vice-Presidential candidate (R). Why? He's young, only six months into his term as governor and not to be exhausted on McCain's bid. (Because you know he'd be tainted, nationally, in a loss, and that would hurt his chances to perhaps become the first Indian president, or at least candidate, the US has had.)
His resume is golden right now; imagine it by 2012, should he win reelection. Let his experience build and exposure grow naturally.
There's your update. Not so brief after all.
Hit the rock, don't smoke it.