On Richardson, Endorsements, and The Speech

There was an article in Slate on "Why Richardson's Endorsement Matters" - and it didn't say anything interesting - but it made me think - yea, the endorsement matters to Richardson himself.

None of these high-profile endorsements are made for altruistic reasons. The endorsers are not really looking to help the candidate, they are of course out to help themselves. The question for them is: what do I personally have to gain by endorsing such and such a candidate.

The fact taht Richardson waited so long is telling in and of itself. If he was so passionately committed to Obama why didn't he come out before Fed. 5th?

I beleive he weighed the political costs of endorsing strongly. He must have realized that he stood to gain nothing by endorsing Hillary. He already got out of the Clintons everything he will ever get out of them. Bill elevated him to the national level, made his name in politics. In another Clinton administration, he isn't going to be a high-profile player: he wouldn't be on the ticket, he isn't being re-appointed to the cabinet, he isn't getting another ambassadorship. He remains at the state level.

By endorsing Obama he only stands to gain. Obama has a HUGE hispanic problem - they don't vote for him at all - so that puts Richardon in the running to be on the ticket. And Richardson is still am ambitious politican - he was running for president - so I beleive this is really an attempt to get himself on the ticket if Obama is the nominee.

So as far as I'm concerned the Richardson endorsement was totally political motived by his own personal political ambitions. He put politics above friendship - and in that way it was an "act of betrayal" toward the Clintons who supported him and "mentored" him onto the national level.

The same goes for the Kennedy endrosement - old Ted was quite clearly trying to gain some glow from the younger man. It was transparent and pretty disgusting.

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Now, for the speech. I find the media response interesting. Is there any commentator other than the reliably cranky Charles Krautheimer who is going to say a single bad word about the speech? No! So in terms of the media narrative it was a win for Obama. The media are scared shitless to say aything even remotely critical of the speech! Thank god we have Krautheimer, who called it a "brilliant fraud," which is exactly what it was.

And kudos to Bill Clinton as well for calling a spade a spade in his comments saying that the speech and the whol eissue of race is a red-herring - and a major distraction from the real issues at hand.

Do the American people really want to be preached at for four or eight years everytime this Obama is caught in an instance of double-talk, which from recent history is just about once or twice a week? I don't think so.

Do the American people want to spend the next four to eight years hearing themselves called racists at every turn, every time they critize Obama on any topic? I don't think so.

With a war to end in Iraq, a war to win in the tirbal areas of Pakistan and Afganistan, with an economy and a currency to rescue do the American people want to put race and "healing" the racial divide, which is more real to Obama than it is to the rest of the country who are struggling day to day to make ends meet, above all of these other problems?

I doubt it.

There's more...

Preacher-in-Chief

Note: Deleted from Dailykos and proud of it!

Very underwhelming. Why should we be awed and amazed that "he wrote it himself?" Should we be surprised that an educated man can write? Shouldn't this be something we expect from our educators and public leaders?

The fact that he had to make the speech in the first place is not a good sign. He is still on the defensive. Nice attempt to try to turn this Wright affair around, to turn a negative into a positive, but the fact that he made it shows us how deeply caught up he is with Wright and the divisive racial history of this country. Moreover, the speech makes vaild the point that his candidacy is to some degree based on the issue of race; race is now the centerpiece of his campaign.

Further, as novel as it may be to see a presidental candidate morph form politician to preacher and educator in one, it sends a mixed message to the electorate. The tone of the speech, in the midst of a heated presidential campaign, seemed off key.

The speech is a sign of the so-called "new politics." Instead of simply disavowing, distancing, renouncing, he preached, he instructed. But is this what the electorate, predominantely white, wants to hear?

Does America want a preacher-in-chief? Does America want an educator-in-chief?

Is Obama Wright-lite? Is it a similar message now garbed in soft words?

To what extent is the speech meant to play on feelings of national guilt in white America?

He wants to be all things to all people. He wants to be a vessel. A vessel through which "divisiveness" and "polarities" can be "healed."

But is America really interested in engaging in some form of national psychotherary truth-commission national reconciliation hand holding for the next four or eight years? Or do we really just want to go about our daily lives with some sense of economic security free from the assult of both liberal and conservative preaching on a daily basis? I would put my money on the second question.

Obama fatigue. Speech fatigue. Preach fatigue.

Stop the speechifying. Show us some committee hearings. Show us some principled Senate votes. Show us some real solutions to real problems in the daily lives of ordinary Americans who are not thinking about racial divisions or "polarities."

The speech means absolutely nothing to ordinary working Americans. Its more of the same from him: self-congratulatory, vain, condescending, feel-good, history-lite.

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Obama Will Drop Out Before June

My prediciton is that before June Obama will be pressured to drop out of the race and to concede to Hillary. My second prediction is that he will not even be on the ticket. By the time of the election in November, Obama will be distant history, a footnote in the annuls of American history.

Obama will not survive this Wright blast - and what took the media so long to focus on this is a mystery since it was there from the very beginning. There was an article in the NYTimes a month or two ago that detailed how Obama played the racial divide from the very beginning of the campaign, purposefully avoiding black events while he was campaigning in Iowa in order not to alienate the white voters there and then whipping up racial resentments when it suited his purposes in South Carolina.

I always said that when the Obama backlash came it would be even more forceful than the so-called momentum he had in January and February - and this is just the beginning of it. The tide has already turned and the tsunami is still coming.

The bottom line is that America is still a majority white country and the majority of Americans do not and will not like being called racists, which is what the Obama people are now doing at every turn. Just today the new pastor of his church decried the depiciton of Wright by the media as racist and compared it to the assisination of MLK Jr. Ferraro was on the money in her response to the attacks on her and that is why her comments reverberated so strongly throughout the country: anytime anyone says something even slightly critical of Obama or his campaign, even when Obama or his campaign is in the wrong and out of line, they are immediately labeled a racist, and the majority of Americans - and especially the Republicans - simply won't stand for that.

Some argue that the Wright debacle has had no impact and that the media has already moved on. But the truth is, these kinds of things work slowly on the consciousness. They linger even after the public discussion has faded; they seep in and they influence opinion sliently over time. And since race is an issue few people discuss openly because of the PC police and self-censorship, it will be especially true in this case. The test will com in PA and the states after. If his support among whites dries up then we know that this made a big difference. And that is what will swing the superdelgates in the end. Slowly this will make him unelectable against McCain even if the math is on his side a tthe moment. And, remember, despite what Pelosi and others say now, in the end this is not about the math. The supers were put there precisely for this purpose: to stop the nomination going to an unelectable insurgent who misled the American people early on in the campaign. The supers are there to correct just this sort of thing, and they will.

As this Wright controversary sinks into the American consciousness, the backlash will grow stronger. Presently, the meme coming out of camp Obama is that Hillary is the one trying to "steal" the nomination from him since he has the most pledged delegates etc. But my prediction is that as this Wright debacle sinks in, coupled with Michelle Obama's anti-American diatribes, it will look more and more like it is Obama who is trying to "steal" the nomination, since he so grossly misrepresented himself to the American people. This is a pattern with Obama: for every single thing he has said you can find one his advisors or surrogates or family members who has said the exact opposite to some other source. This Wright debacle is just another instance of that: Obama presents himself as "post-racial" and yet there is his pastor making comments that make Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson seem positvely mild in comparison.

Every day it appears more and more that Obama got as far as he did in this race by lying to the American people about his policy positions (re: his plan to withdraw from Iraq, NAFTA) and by misrepresenting himself as "post-racial" and such.

The best thing he could do at this point is to drop out and to strongly urge his "supporters" to back the true Democrat in this race: Hillary.

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Clinton supporters, what does this mean?

"If Obama was a white man, he would not be in this position. And if he was a woman (of any color) he would not be in this position. He happens to be very lucky to be who he is. And the country is caught up in the concept."

As a white male Obama supporter who has been quite willing to support Hillary in the event of her victorious attainment of the nomination, I find the above statements to be horrifyingly divisive, offensive, and frankly indefensible.  And I am utterly perplexed how any good Democrat could feel otherwise.  I am willing to consider an opposing perspective--but first let me clarify why I feel the way I do.

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Can we be honest about identity politics?

I will not get into the latest skirmage over identity politics with the presidential candidates because frankly I don't care about it.

Instead, what the latest skirmage forced me to ask myself is whether progressives/Democrats/Liberals, etc can be honest about how identity politics affects our decision making process?

This diary is mostly just a series of questions. I firmly expect to be attacked for asking because questions, but I have to ask.

1) Can we be honest about how identity politics affects decision making or must we sweep the discussion under the rug of racism or gender bias or whatever else people like to claim ?

2) Do you honestly think that there is not a positive for identity politics related to rage and gender that's a net positive for candidates in a Democratic primary season?

3) Do you think the stats that show how people are voting should be ignored ?

4) What do you think will happen in the general election with these issues?

These are just off top of my head. I am sure there are others I can think to bring to the mix.

There's more...

Diaries

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