Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Personal Asides: Obama is Surely Goofing Up His Campaign by Taunting McCain on Issues that Stir Up McCain’s base…The Hillary “Gaffe.”



Unless I am far wrong, Barack Obama is blundering terribly in this presidential campaign by stirring up his opponent’s base. Remember McCain has been having trouble with his conservative base all along: the base being apathetic about McCain’s views on immigration and what it sees as his wishy-washyness.

Earlier Obama took umbrage at Bush for Bush’s comments on appeasement of Iran although Obama’s name wasn’t mentioned—prompting McCain to take advantage of the national security issue where McCain is strong and Obama is weak. Thus the headlines read “Obama Denies He’s an Appeaser.”

Next Obama went on television to unintentionally re-ignite the image of his wife, a well-educated lady who evidently cannot forgive the help she got going to two Ivy League universities without a scholarship but with white philanthropic support. He said “leave my wife alone!” which draws attention to Michelle…rather than counseling her privately to tone down her stuff and draw herself out of the line of fire. Michelle Obama is an essential part of the campaign for the black vote. This may have revved up the black vote but for heaven’s sake Obama has those. If Obama had married a white woman, let’s face it, he’d still be in single digits. Michelle is an asset to the black vote but the name of the game is to use her singular black militant status without allowing her to dominate the political conversation—which Obama has just done, returning her front and center. By bringing up Michelle he draws major attention to the disadvantage she brings to him to get the white votes…including the immortal statement that while now in her 40s she, for the first time, can be proud of America. A stupid blunder. Headlines called attention once more to Obama’s wife: “Leave My Wife Out of This!: Obama.”

Then, on Friday, strolling the stage waving his hand mike, Obama went after two key figures who are very-very lukewarm about McCain but who are keys to the base McCain needs to excite: Rush Limbaugh and Lou Dobbs of CNN, on the illegal immigration issue. Blaming Limbaugh and Dobbs is like McCain blaming two very different black preachers from Jeremiah Wright. There’s no point in it. More and more it seems that Obama may be the George McGovern of 2008, throwing scattershot against prime media figures rather than his opponent, allowing Limbaugh and Dobbs to enter the fray on an issue ripe for exploitation, an issue McCain is weak on: illegal immigration. Headline: “Obama Rips Limbaugh, Dobbs”—two very-very cool non-allies of McCain.

After which, this: there’s nothing like going to Miami and appearing before a Cuban gathering in which Obama says he will meet with Raul Castro. The fact that there are some younger Cubans who are less concerned with Cuba than their fathers and mothers is a fact but overwhelmingly the Cuban-American vote is hotly anti-Castro.

Finally, this ridiculous anti-lobbyist business. Every lawmaker deals with lobbyists and to attack them generically is kindergarten stuff. Predictably, a “Newsweek” investigative reporter shot back yesterday with the fact that David Axelrod, Obama’s guru, has a shell firm named ASK in which his surname is prominent, that turned out commercials and grassroots strategies for Commonwealth Edison, the giant Illinois energy company, fighting legislation to force rate reductions which was before the Illinois legislature. Axelrod’s answer: oh, I never contributed money as lobbyists do and I never worked the Washington, D. C. mill as a lobbyist…meaning there’s a new definition of lobbyist, excluding the multi-millionaires like Axelrod who design commercials and grassroots strategies. As a lobbyist who recognizes Axelrod is a very good strategist in shaping public opinion for his clients, I say: give me a break, David.


Hillary Clinton’s supposed gaffe by daring to bring up the fact that Robert F. Kennedy was assassinated in June, 1968 which changed the nature of the Democratic pre-convention campaign, has been chalked up by the national media as a great gaffe…they implying that she meant Obama could be assassinated which would change everything. She shouldn’t not have gone there but the very-very sensitive pro-Obama media…especially in Chicago…murmured not a word until some reporter who had not even attended the Sioux Falls “Argus-Leader” editorial board session decided that it was a terrible inducement to some nut to kill Obama.

The interesting thing is that no one has thought to condemn the flagrantly pro-Obama Father Andrew Greeley…he who has announced in his shamelessly Democratic partisan newspaper column that “I work for God [sic]”…twice mentioned that someone could knock off Obama—all without a word of protest and without editing from Michael Cooke’s scandalously politically prurient, notoriously left-wing careless “Sun-Times.” The likely reason: Greeley suggested that the assassin would be a far-right-wing kook which fit the Cooke marketing plan very well.

I am one who believes it was an innocent Hillary mention of an historical event (which had been passed over by the politically correct media twice earlier when she had recited the event in other gatherings). It was not a gaffe but only seen as such in retrospect when the ultra-sensitive pro-Obama media jumped on it. Nor was it a dishonorable attempt to incite assassination. One need not be a harm-seeker against Obama to bring up the incontrovertible fact that in 1968 Robert Kennedy’s death changed everything…proof that once again, “events, my dear boy, events” always dominate in politics—meaning it is only prudent for Hillary to stay in the game. As my good friend Frank Penn brought up at breakfast Sunday, the myth nurtured by the media and our insatiably attention-seeking partisan priest friend with a “Sun-Times” column, that right-wing Republican assassins kill presidents and high level liberal candidates has been largely disproved by the facts.

Robert Kennedy was killed by Sirhan Sirhan, a Palestinian whose diary shows he was enraged by RFK’s support of Israel in the 6-day war in 1967.

Lincoln was assassinated by a Democrat opposed to everything Lincoln stood for. Garfield by one Charles Guiteau, a one-time stalwart Republican outraged after having been turned down for a job in the Garfield administration, concluding that Garfield’s death “was a political necessity.” William McKinley by an anarchist, Leon Czolgolsz. The assassination attempt on Franklin D. Roosevelt in Miami Beach that killed Chicago Mayor Anton Cermak was by an Italian immigrant, Giuseppe Zangora, a lefty anarchist (and no it wasn’t the old canard that holds it as a Mafia attempt to kill Cermak: that job could have been taken care of in Chicago without such notoriety).

Finally, the murder of John Kennedy was carried out by a certifiable pro-Communist, Lee Harvey Oswald. The assassination attempts on Gerald Ford came from Lynette (Squeaky) Fromme, a disciple of mass-murderer Charles Manson and Sara Jane Moore, a left-wing political activist. Not a far-right kook in a carload.

Somebody ought to understand that in his heart, Andy Greeley is a fiction writer even when he dabbles in political analysis—and a pretty bad fiction writer at that--who wouldn’t sell his recycled trash if he didn’t purvey “Desperate Housewives” tales tied up in ribbon as religion and pose on the book jacket with his clericals on (and in one case in formal vestment regalia ready to dispense sacraments).

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