June 4, 2008

Obama wins nomination, Clinton still deciding what to do


That's what it is. Barack Obama has won conclusively in every single catagory, from popular vote to pledged delegates to super delegates to total delegates to you name it.

It's OVER. Barack Obama is the 2008 Democratic candidate for president.

Yet to ensure that she stomped all over Obama's historic triumph, Hillary leaks that she'd be "open" to the vice-presidency.

Perhaps the sheer ugliness can be summed up by Hillary not only refusing to concede, but refusing to congratulate Obama on clinching the nomination, then later announcing that she would meet with party leaders "within the next few days to decide how to proceed."

Proceed with what?! Conceeding?

It's through the looking glass time. Hillary choose to make it all about Hillary, holding up everything, stomping on what should have been a night of great unity, celebration, inspiration, and committment to the job at hand.

But noooooooooooooooo.

In her speech, Hillary, after a few brief nods, saying she congratulated Obama for having "run" a good campaign (not won), proceeded to sound like a cult leader exhorting her near crazy devotees, reciting her litany of accomplishments like some not-too-likable student bragging about her grades, demanded that her 8 million voters be "respected", (read demanding that SHE be respected... the voters are just convenient) and tantilizingly seeming to be ready to answer the question on every psychiatrist's lips, what the hell does she want, only to use the question as a intro to another list of all the wonderful things she's devoted to achieving.

As her abused followers chanted "DENVER! DENVER! DENVER!", rather than calming them down, Hillary stood and beamed at the thought of throwing the Democratic convention into chaos.

"I will not make any decisions tonight", drew the largest ovation of the night. Maybe they should have broken into a chant of "Don't decide! Don't decide!"

And continueing to use and abuse her slavish fans, she cynically invited them all to "write to me" at Hillary Clinton.com to tell her what she should do next.

Yeah..she's going to base her decision on that.

Nope, it's just a sleazy gimmick to get the gullible to the web site where she can hit them up one last time for yet more money in an attempt to reduce her enormous campaign debt and offering the fake flattery that she really wants their opinion.

This all ensured that fully 90% of all discussion on the evening was devoted to these machiavelian machinations by Clinton, rather than a moment that will go down in American history, namely, an African-American winning a presidential nomination campaign.

Clinton's speech was good, if you could ignore her obvious decision to throw her weight around as much as possible by the implied threat of being even more destructive and harmful to the Obama campaign than she already has been.

Pundits popped up with various leaked scenarios, from the fact that Obama has supposedly called Clinton and ... left a message... congratulating her on South Dakota and asking her to return his call, to supposed inside intelligence that said the camps were in negotiations on a scenario whereby Obama would offer Clinton the V.P. slot under the condition that she swear that she wouldn't accually accept it.

After this marathon campaign, I can't be the only one whose nerves are frayed to a frazzle witnessing the maddening power games that the Clinton camp insists on playing.

At base, it's simply that Clinton believes (and it is true to a greater or lesser degree, that she is the grand empress of every non-college educated elderly female voter in the land. These are her legions which she is trying every which way to leverage, damn the consequences for the party or it's prospects in November.

She's sitting on an enormous ...er... amount of clout, and she's clearly all about trying to swing it around as much as she possibly can, again, no matter what the possible negative consequences may be.

Now, if there is a God, she'll come to her senses, Obama will dutifully get down on his knees, kiss her boots and then buy her a new pair for getting those dirty, tell her she's 50 times the politician he is or ever could hope to be, that he'll be forever grateful if she'd only allow him to become president, and then MAYBE, she'll finally acknowledge reality, appear with Obama, use her considerable skills to rally her legions behind Obama, and get on with winning the presidency.

But then again, when she can't even bring herself to admit defeat when she's been defeated even by her ever shifting standards, she's capable of anything.

Yeah, I've had enough.

Obama's speech was superb, as usual, with the only flaw that he got the crowd to a peak of excitement a few beats before the actual climax of his speech, but that's a minor detail.

I especially liked when Michelle gave Barack a hug and then a little fist bump before leaving him to make his speech.

And then there was John McCain.

As the kids say, OH - MAH - GOD.

One word: painful.

Here's this stiff, wooden guy in front of a listless small crowd, reciting a speech that he's clearly laboring to make sound natural. The crowd didn't have any idea where they were supposed to applaud, so McCain would stop for applause, and hearing none, continue, THEN, there'd be a smattering of applause after he'd already moved on.

And worst of all, some speechwriter had thought it clever to try to give old John a catch phrase he could repeat during the speech... you know, to make it memorable and get the crowd going. Why John might even do his famous creepy chuckle too.

So every so often, McCain would do the creepy chuckle through what looked like clenched teeth, and say, "THAT'S not change you can believe in."

Then the crickets could be heard.

Again: painful.

You can watch the attrocity here, if you dare. See how long you can take it.

Then even worse, cut to 18,000 people in a frenzy of enthusiasm and support at the very venue where the Republicans will annoint old John later this year.

After seeing the two speeches back to back (and thank goodness MSNBC at least broke into the McCain speech to announce that Obama had crossed the finish line and secured the nomination. It was.... painful to watch.) one truly wondered why McCain didn't just conceed right then and there.

Quite possibly the worst, and most embarassing speech I've ever seen. And I found myself thinking, as utterly unbelievable as it sounds, that McCain just may be a worse speaker than Bush. (I know, I know... but did you see it?)

The commenters here didn't seem to care for it too much either.

A few reviews of the McCain style:

"McCain has a sing-songey cadence, like he's reading a children's book to a 5 year old for the 400th time. It puts me to sleep. He speaks like a bedtime story."
"I think some image consultant convinced McCain to try to maintain his calm as much as possible and to control his tendency to whip himself into a froth of furious gibberish. As a consequence, he's begun to sound like a bizarre version of Mister Rogers with a poor command of facts."
"I almost felt sorry for old man McCain when I was watching that putrid speech, but then I remembered I was the one being subjected to that drivel. And what about that seemingly on cue Jack o' lantern smile he was sporting? Weird stuff, I tell ya!"
"George W. Bush has a goofy smile and idiotic panting chuckle that's only made more comic by the way his shoulders bounce up and down as he snickers. McCain stares directly at you through the camera as he grins too broadly and you hear the chuckle coming from the back of his throat, but his face and body remain frozen, giving no indication that the chuckle is coming from him. It's just plain creepy."

But of course, Obama has some truly disturbing numbers when it comes to certain key demographics, and his rather dismal performance the last few months isn't exactly confidence inspiring. McCain may indeed make it a tough race for Obama.

But with the shrewdness displayed by David Plouffe and Obama's team, his great good fortune to be running to succeed a miserable failure as president, and the Republican's choice of opponent, I have no doubt that Obama has one more historic achievement in store.

What did you think about the night's twists and turns?

Were you fine with Clinton refusing to admit defeat in defeat? Her defiant tone in her non-concession concession speech?

How's it going to turn out? Is Clinton angling for VP? Will she force Obama to give it to her? Will she blow everything to bits if she doesn't get exactly what she demands?

If not, what will she demand? Will she ever truly campaign in earnest for Obama? Will she make him promise to resign after two years and let her take over?

How much longer will she hold the entire presidential race hostage?

Or will she suddenly become all sweetness and light and be the best ally Obama could ever hope for?


At 6/04/2008 4:33 PM, Blogger nicodemus said...

Me think you being too hard on Hillary again. By the way, why didn't Obama win South Dakota? All the party big wigs there endorsed Obama (like Daschle, Steffi Herseth, etc) and he was predicted to win SD, so what happened? Hillary handed his ass to him..again. just like all those other recent primaries. One thing I have found amazing is how Obama can lose and still "win".

Me think you being too hard on McCain's speech too. It wasn't that bad. What can I say, it's like debates; people just see what they want to see.


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