Sunday, March 30, 2008

The Pennsylvania Race

Sorry I haven't been checking in recently, but it's almost like there's so much going on right now I can't even figure out what I should be commenting on. For this post, I'll step away from my continuous Hillary Clinton-bashing to talk about what the contest in Pennsylvania really means. We sit here a bit more than three weeks from the primary that will decide if the Democratic nomination fight lasts a bit longer or if Clinton will finally throw in the towel. It already feels like it's been forever since the Mississippi primary on March 11, and we still have a lot of time left to go before voters make their choice in the Keystone State.

And time is the prime ally of Barack Obama right now. Most recent polls show Clinton roughly 10 points ahead of Obama in PA with nearly the same amount undecided. While it's clear Obama should carry much of the eastern region around Philadelphia, other urban areas, and places like State College, Clinton definitely has an advantage in the western, rural, blue-collar areas. This area is where Obama is concentrating his week-long bus tour. By the looks of this picture, he's really getting into it.

Obama also elected to bring in Iowa campaign organizer to spearhead his PA effort. Obama is definitely hoping to regain some of that magic that put him on the road to this improbable nomination. By getting really getting down into those predominately-white, working class places and trying to intimately understand their issues, he can make better headway with this group who's support he seems to be lacking. This was the strategy that translated into victory back in December and January for Obama, and I don't see any reason why it won't work again. Getting the endorsement of Senator Bob Casey, a man who embodies much of the working class in the state, was a tremendous get for Obama and could possibly translate into more votes for him by itself.

I'm just hoping that Obama doesn't give up trying to win here. I don't think it's a foregone conclusion Clinton will take the contest and Obama's populist appeal should play well statewide. There's no reason why he can't win. The problem is that unless Obama wins the primary outright, there's no way Clinton drops out. I'm really hopeful Obama can put the kabbash on this whole thing so the Dems can start preparing for John McCain this fall.

That's all I've got.

Monday, March 10, 2008

The Spitzer Debacle, Veep Talk and More Clinton BS

Let me begin the second-ever Blue Musings post by commenting on the breaking news of today on the potential resignation of Democratic New York Governor Eliot Spitzer. In case you haven't heard, Governor Spitzer was caught through federal wiretapping to have arranged a meeting with a "high-priced" prostitute in D.C. last month. I'm not going to attempt to make jokes at the expense of Spitzer; I'll leave that to Jon Stewart and Jay Leno. What's sad here is that Spitzer had been highly touted throughout his career as being tough on crime, in particular white-collar criminals on Wall Street and organized crime throughout New York. Now we find out that Spitzer is connected to a prostitution ring. Just when we thought there was a chance hypocrisy and underhandedness was taking a backseat in American politics, we have one of the more incongruous scandals to rock American politics in some time. This just shows no matter what politics will be a dirty, hypocritical game regardless of what is trying to be sold to you to the contrary.

With that, this blog entry is off to an optimistic start. Can't you tell that you're just going to LOVE Blue Musings for the next eight months?

Let's turn to more disingenuous material, this time emanating from the Clinton campaign. Over the past couple of days the level of smugness and entitlement over the presidency has hit an all-time high. Both the former First Lady and the potential First Dude have suggested publicly that Barack Obama would be a great V.P., allowing voters to cast ballots for the "dream ticket." This comes following a week of Obama-bashing from the Clinton camp, during which they continued to claim that Obama wasn't ready to be president and their November rival John McCain was much better suited for the job.

Allow me to recap this: one week Obama isn't worthy to carry Hillary's jockstrap in terms of the "commander in chief threshold" (whatever the fuck that is), yet the next week the Clintons seem more than ready to anoint Obama as being the proverbial "one heartbeat away" in a hypothetical Clinton presidency. All this while Clinton is trailing Obama in states won, delegates earned, and popular votes cast. What word would you use to describe this behavior? Desperate? Arrogant? Psychotic? Idiotic? All, or some combination, of the above? Then, to top it all off, Clinton mouthpiece Howard Wolfson told reporters today that Obama isn't ready to be Veep because he hasn't met some other arbitrary experience threshold made up by the Clinton camp. However, Wolfson did say that Obama could reach that threshold by the Denver Convention.

As Smykowski asked in "Office Space," WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE?

The Clinton campaign has not only taken to contradicting themselves in this regard, but also displaying an astounding amount of hubris. Anybody with half a brain can see what they're attempting to accomplish here: They want to sway Obama voters and people on the fence towards them by suggesting that Obama would be part of a Clinton presidency. It's nothing more that a crock of shit. It doesn't even matter if Clinton offered Obama the #2 spot, there's no shot he'd accept it in the first place. Does anyone really think Obama would want to wallow in the most useless job in American government while playing second fiddle not to Hillary but Bill? Of course, if Hillary becomes the nominee (which she won't anyway), nobody should realistically expect Hillary to extend the Veep invitation to Obama anyway. And you can bet the farm and all the cows that Obama won't want anything to do with Hillary as his Veep when he's facing off with McCain this fall. That bridge was burned a considerable time ago. Watch Obama's deftly strong response to all this crap here.

So what's the point of all this? It's the Clinton strategy to deceive, misrepresent, and lie in desperation to get to the White House. I'm extremely hopeful the people yet to vote will be smart enough to see through this petty, misleading bullshit and let these raving lunatics go home before they can disrupt the glorious coronation of Barack Obama in Denver this August.

With that, I'm out. I'll be back whenever I damn well please.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Welcome to Blue Musings

I want to welcome everyone to my latest blog, Blue Musings. I have created this blog as an outlet for my feelings, or musings, on the political action in this pivotal year of 2008. I know it probably seems like I'm late to the party but this was really an idea that just came to me. As you all know I keep another blog hosted here on Blogspot that is solely focused on baseball. I'm going to keep updating that as well (at some point I'll be getting to my AL West preview, probably during spring break). I really wanted to start something where I could get my feelings out about what's going on during this election year. I've always felt like I could write just as effectively about politics as sports, but like I mentioned many times on my old blog, the climate of American politics really just made me angry and I never felt the need to anger myself further by writing about it. Now, with George W. Bush set to exit office in 10 months, I'm ready to open myself up again on this topic. I hope very much you will find this blog informative, entertaining, and a good place to keep up on what is going on.

I chose to name this blog Blue Musings because, as many of you know, I am a registered Democrat. I've reached a point in my belief system that I don't really ever see myself voting for a Republican under any circumstances in any race. I blame this primarily on watching Bush and his lackey cohorts ruin America since 2000. People wonder why the campaign for the 2008 presidency started so early; I think it's pretty simple. All people, even Republicans, wanted nothing more than to move on from the hellish reign of Brainless the Second. It has been so funny to me during this election year to watch George Bush become such a non-factor to the American populace. It's almost as if Americans view the three people who could be the next president like they already are president. I never thought I'd ever see something like that, but that speaks to how unpopular the President is.

I guess the appearance of "Yes We Can" in my info is a dead giveaway about whom I am supporting this time around. I don't feel like I should have to defend Barack Obama or the reasons why I voted for him in the New Hampshire primary or why I'll vote for him in the general election (I'll get to my own personal Obama Inevitability argument later on). The most important factor that attracted me to Obama in the weeks leading up to the primary here was his inspirational nature of his candidacy. Republicans and supporters of Hillary Clinton like to call Obama soft on the issues (a complete misnomer if there ever was one), but it seems to be those people are missing out on the biggest aspect of Obama's appeal. There's something to be said for political figure that inspires the masses to be better citizens, to engage in the process, and to improve and CHANGE the timbre of this country. Obama is the only candidate that has that going for him, and it's a fairly short list of people historically who have had that (Jackson, Lincoln, TR, FDR, both the Kennedys and Reagan come to mind).

As for the former First Lady, I can't think of much positive to say about her and the abysmal campaign she has run to this point. A lot of people have been been remarking about her endurance and her toughness for staying in the race. She's lost so many contests, they say, and been lambasted by the media from Day 1, but here she is, still in it. Yeah, right. Because, you know, having tons of money and the last name Clinton doesn't have anything to do with why she's still in. Her wins on March 4 are misleading: she will wind up losing Texas in reality when the caucus results show Obama won more delegates, and she won Ohio by 10 points when she was leading there by about 20 or 25 about a month ago. It broke up an incredible string of 12 straight contest victories for Obama during which he amassed a tremendous pledged delegate advantage and wooed the support of 53 superdelegates. But the wins for Clinton will end up only providing a net gain of four or five delegates, which may have already been wiped out by Obama's decisive Wyoming caucus victory today.

What has been so disturbing is the way Hillary, and her surrogates, have been handling themselves in recent weeks as part of the so-called "kitchen sink" strategy. She has taken every opportunity to disparage the victories and the overall candidacy of her rival. Despite Obama's admirable and superior organization in caucus states, the Clinton camp never fails to describe his victories in these states as unimportant and caucuses themselves as undemocratic (although I don't see her rushing to give back those undemocratically-won delegates from Nevada anytime soon). More recently she has taken to calling out Obama on his perceived lack of experience and has clearly aligned herself with John McCain in that department, so much so that she has suggested McCain would be a much better commander in chief than Obama. She's also said that his entire campaign has been based on one anti-war speech he gave in 2002. This blatantly disrespects Obama's work as a community organizer, a civil rights lawyer and professor, a state legislator and a U.S. Senator. And, worst of all, her "3 AM phone call" ad stooped to something I never thought I'd ever see a Democrat do: fear-mongering.

Henry Clay, who was House Speaker three separate times from 1811 to 1825 and also ran for the presidency on five occasions, once famously declared he would "rather be right than be president." In 2008, Hillary Clinton has proved that she'd very much rather be president than be right. There are no boundaries to her presidential ambitions, and she doesn't care if she destroys her party to realize those ambitions. Even when independent analysis shows she must win a virtually-impossible 63% of remaining delegates to overtake Obama's pledged delegate lead while superdelegates continue to flock to the Land of Lincolner's side, there's no signs that Clinton will get out of the race anytime soon. If Obama can overtake her in Pennsylvania in 45 days (where the Clinton camp has said they are "unbeatable"), would THAT be enough to end this? Or would she bitch and complain that the Florida and Michigan delegates should be seated against the rules of the Democratic National Committee? It will be a happy day when McCain and Obama can finally go head-to-head, but instead we have to go through possibly three more months of this meaningless bullshit. And Hillary Clinton simply doesn't care. It was unfortunate that an Obama foreign policy adviser resigned this week after she called Clinton a "monster" during an interview. It's not unfortunate because she said it. It's unfortunate because she resigned after telling the truth.

Obama is in a tough position. He can either turn negative against Clinton and drag up things like the Ghost of Vince Foster, or he can stay on the message that has got him this far. I hope like hell he sticks with hope and change. He is going to be the Democratic nominee, and, in my opinion, a lock to be the 44th U.S. President.

Check back often. In the words of Hillary, I'm just getting warmed up.