What’s Going On in da ‘Hood?
Barack Obama: Democratic Presidential candidate Barack Obama continues to build on the momentum of his victory in the Iowa caucus with a substantial lead over Hillary Clinton in the polls leading up to the New Hampshire primary. Polls over the weekend show that Obama has built as much as a ten point lead over Clinton while John Edwards and Dennis Kucinich continue to trail the two front runners.
Obama apparently captured the hearts and imagination of the voters with his message about the need for a change. It’s still very early in the primary season but the real news is that the Democrats now have a genuine race for the nomination. Polls prior to the Iowa caucus indicated that Clinton’s campaign might have been an unstoppable juggernaut to the White House. Registered Democrats now have a reason to tune in, get involved and get to the polls.
Hillaryland in Flames: The last week has not been kind to the Clinton presidential bid and, despite the calm spin being pitched by Bill and Hillary, there is a new sense of urgency from campaign manager Patti Solis Doyle and her staff. Urgent emails seeking more donations for the massive Clinton war chest, and another desperate email sought volunteers to participate in a phone blitz of New Hampshire voters. The smug attitude previously presented by Clinton’s campaign, much like the guerilla marketing tactics of an industry leader, has now made a dramatic shift to the “We Try Harder” image of a “Number Two” company like Avis Car Rental.
Clinton is now focusing on Obama’s weak points, including his record and lack of experience. It is foolhardy to think that the Clinton campaign is circling the bowl at this early stage of the game. Obama has momentum and the Oprah Winfrey factor working in his favor, but the Clinton campaign is backed by big money from shadowy figures like George Soros. The unseen forces that profited from Bill’s presidency have much to gain by another Clinton in the oval office. The battle for the nomination is far from over.
There are three issues that remain to be seen as primary season continues. First, one has to wonder whether Obama can continue to garner the funds to stand toe-to-toe with Clinton. Secondly, there are more than four weeks until “Super Tuesday” and over two dozen primaries. The Clinton campaign, stacked with experts in “come from behind” in political races, will get down and dirty. Obama will be attacked in every way possible and it won’t be pretty.
Finally, four weeks on the campaign trail isd a political eternity. The Democrats will determine if Obama’s electoral support comes from a belief in his message of change and moderation or if it is an anti-Hillary reaction. It will truly be entertaining. It will be interesting to see how frustration and desperation show up in Hillary’s words.
Billary: The latest email from Hillaryland comes from the master salesman himself, Bill Clinton. Granted, it is intended for Hillary supporters, not interlopers like me, but it was still “hill-arious” to see an email from Billy with the subject “Two things we have in common.” Other than the basic anatomical and biological similiarities, there is not a single thing that I have in common with my neighbor to the south (especially our taste in women and wives).
To quote Bill:
”First, we both know Hillary will be a great, great president. There’s no limit to what she can achieve, because she has the best combination of heart and mind of anyone I’ve ever met.”
”Second, we can both make a difference for Hillary right now in this extremely close race.”
Once again, it’s essential for Democrats and Republicans alike to remain vigilant and wary despite Obama’s early success. The Clinton campaign is more like a claim of ascendency to the throne rather than earning the confidence of the electorate. As more Americans begin to see through the shroud of illusion in Hillary’s leadership abilities, the marketing ploys will become more shameless.
As Bill wrote, “I’ve known Hillary long enough to know she’s running for president for exactly the right reasons. She’s running for the same reason she didn’t pursue lucrative job offers from big law firms when she left law school — and instead worked to help children. She’s running for the same reason she has worked hard for the last 35 years, to bring real change to people’s lives.”
If you don’t find words like this insulting to your intelligence, you need a reality check. Nobody runs for president of the United States because they are some political “kissing cousin” of Mother Theresa. Running for president is about power and ambition. Period. And now that Obama has established himself as the Democrats choice for change, Clinton’s campaign will be spinning Hillary’s image in that direction. Stay informed and keep your eyes and ears open.
The Republican Candidates: It is odd to see that the Republican race has all the interest and excitement of watching grass grow, taking a back seat to the Democrats. Iowa winner Mike Huckabee is not even close in New Hampshire while John McCain and Mitt Romney are trying to recover from the surprising Iowa results.
With McCain as the frontrunner in New Hampshire and the rest of the Republicans pretenders fading into the sunset, the next month will be an important time. The Republican primary race lacks the intensity and adversity of the Democratic races, yet it has the potential to be truly about leadership and vision (and not like the desperate spin of the Clinton campaign). Ultimately, an Obama versus Romney/Huckabee/McCain may be the best slate of fair choice for the American electorate in six decades.
Don Imus: The fans and opponents of Don Imus continue to have a strong interest in the radio host’s return to the airwaves. The first month of Imus at his new home with WABC-AM and Citadel Broadcasting has been both exciting and refreshing. With long-time sidekicks Charles McCord and Rob Bartlett, newcomers Karith Foster and Tony Powell, and the embattled Bernard McGuirk in the background, Imus truly has taken the show up a few notches.
There isn’t another morning show that offers a better balance of news, information, entertainment and breadth of Imus in the Morning. The political analysis and commentary of Imus and his guests are well above and beyond any other daily program. While the humor and wit have been obviously toned down to avoid some slippery slopes, long-time Imus fans would be hard-pressed to remember a time since the 1970’s when Imus was ever more relevant.
Imus has expressed his preference for Obama and McCain which, as many would agree, might produce the fairest and most exciting Presidential race. The next 30 days leading up to “Super Tuesday” is a critical time in politics and Americans really need to pay close attention to the news from the campaign front. Whether Americans choose Imus or another source for their political education, it is the obligation of the electorate to make wise and well-informed choices.
Michael Bloomberg: While Imus has labeled Hillary as the anti-Christ, God help us if Michael Bloomberg ever buys the presidency of our country. New York City government is a predatory system of agencies and management committed to providing as little as possible in return for high taxes and increasing fees. With real estate and the cost of living sky-rocketing in New York City, Bloomberg has systematically fought the unions and employees to favor big business and his image. Again, stayed tuned and pay attention.
Roger Clemens: The newest “Who Cares?” media event for the next several weeks will be the attempted spin by Roger Clemens to salvage his reservation in Cooperstown and the Hall of Fame. Following his pathetic interview with Mike Wallace on 60 Minutes, Clemens has become the pitching version of Barry Bonds. After being named in the Mitchell report, Clemens’ propensity for “loose play with the truth” has become all too clear. Now that his bank account is set for ten extravagant lifetimes, the superstar will be on a quest to enrich his ego and preserve his fame at the expense of the truth. Ho-hum. According to the Mitchell report, he’s just another steroid user.
Obama, Hillary, Billary, Republicans, Imus, Bloomberg, and Clemens January 7, 2008
What’s Going On in da ‘Hood?