Monday, June 9, 2008

Start of the general election campaign...

....of course, Senator Obama has focused his fire on Senator McCain for the past few weeks. But with Senator Clinton's strong endorsement of Senator Obama and suspension of her campaign, the general election campaign has officially started. I applaud Senator Clinton for her excellent speech Saturday, putting her campaign in perspective but at the same time, looking ahead to the unfinished fight.

Senator Obama has launched his VP search with a 3-member committee comprising eternal Democratic VP-vetter Jim Johnson (one-time CEO of Fannie Mae), Eric Holder (ex-Deputy US AG) and Caroline Kennedy. Hopefully Jim Johnson, he who picked Geraldine Ferraro in 1984 (who was dogged by questions about her husband's taxes), will do a better job now... I wonder if Caroline Kennedy will pull a Cheney and nominate herself?! That would be one good-looking Democratic ticket :-)

My earliest memories of a conversation with an American about politics was speculation about President Clinton - Hillary Clinton. This was back in 2000, in the last months of the Bush v. Gore Presidential campaign. My room-mate, an American woman and a Republican from Virginia (who said "Cheney? people love him!"), said Americans were probably not ready for a woman POTUS. I was rather surprised - after all, the US has been in existence for over 200 years! Thankfully, this year Senator Clinton put that question to rest. In fact, after Senator McCain transformed into a cookie-cutter Republican, I supported Senator Clinton (link) - I think it is high time the USA had a woman President. Even as late as Super Tuesday (Feb 5), I thought she had the most powerful theme - when she mentioned her mother, who was born when women could not vote, and was now seeing her daughter on the verge of becoming the first woman POTUS:
"And I want to thank all my friends and family, particularly my mother, who was born before women could vote and is watching her daughter on this stage tonight."

But as the campaign continued, I decided - a woman, yes, but not this woman, who came to epitomize the status quo. And Senator Obama offered freshness, honesty, and a dramatic change from politics-as-usual. Still - I hope the Democratic VP nominee this year is a woman - and/or a woman becomes POTUS in 2016 (after two Obama terms!)

As for the current campaign, Senator Obama has a lot of work ahead of him - as many Hillarycrats (Senator Clinton's supporters) are mad. Despite Senator Clinton's strong endorsement of Senator Obama, sites like Hillaryis44 (who are still stuck in the '90s based on their photograph of First Lady Clinton rather than Senator Clinton) and groups like Party Unity, My Ass are filled with bile-spewing Hillarycrats who would rather vote McCain or otherwise enable a GOP Presidency in 2009 - all out of spite and against Senator Obama, he who stole the Democratic nomination.

Of course, this makes absolutely no sense. On the issues, Senator McCain is NOT someone Hillarycrats want elected as President - unless they would rather inflict another GOP Presidency on the rest of the USA (and the world) so Senator Clinton can run again in 2012. Further, Senator Obama has plenty of life experience, even if Senators Clinton and McCain have depicted him otherwise. Sure, Obama doesn't have much Washington, DC experience - but that's not necessarily a bad thing after the bitter partisan rancor of the last 15 years (besides, he has enough legislative experience passing contentious bills in Illinois). Finally, one could say that Senator Clinton was the victim of sexism and misogyny, as otherwise she would have won the Democratic nomination in a cakewalk the night of Feb 5. But despite any sexism/misogyny, Senator Clinton could still have won the nomination - simply by better fiscal responsibility within her campaign, and by contesting caucus states, even if the Clintons believed caucuses were undemocratic. Heck, even Mark Penn (in hindsight obviously) believes as much.

I would just like to end with a video - if folks think Either Male Candidate doesn't matter, or that Senator Obama has willingly/silently benefited from sexism and misogyny (despite the fact that he had to fight his own battles against racism and false allegations about his religious beliefs, while Senator Clinton herself seemed in two minds whether to openly speak about sexism), witness what sort of candidate Hillarycrats will be putting in the Oval Office by either not supporting Senator Obama or actively campaigning against him:

[Via Veracifier/TPM.]

Good night, and good luck.

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