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Monday, April 14, 2008

PENNSYLVANIA DEBATE

In the debate last night far too much time was spent attacking Obama on trivial issues such as wearing flag lapel pins, one bitter misstatement, and remote associations. The two moderators and Clinton put him on the defensive for much of the night.

He did OK and Clinton was her usual competent self. About the only news was the conviction of candidates that each would set the strategy and mission for Iraq and not be necessarily bound by opinions of the generals. Also, each conceded that the other was electable in the November election.

Mostly ho-hum. Where are Mike Gravel and Dennis Kucinich when we need them?




THE COMPASSION FORUM

The questions were good and both Clinton and Obama performed well. A couple of missing questions:

Do you consider it acceptable for an atheist to become U.S. President?

In dealing with end-of-life decisions, would you support use of medical marijuana?


CAMPAIGN TALK

Obama is an "elitist". So says the down-to-earth middle class lady, from the White House, Chappaqua, and Nantucket.

It is so disheartening to think that, with all the problems and opportunities in the U.S. and the world, this election could possibly be decided by an inept description of a cultural situation or perhaps one or two words, "bitter", or "cling".



Clinton Blasts Media Double Standard In NPR Interview

With hints of the gender card, Senator Clinton complains that the media is biased against her. As evidence, she cites opinions that she should consider dropping out. Why not similar questions about Obama?

Well, duh, Senator Obama has an almost insurmountable lead in delegates, states won, and popular vote.

But maybe there is media bias, stemming not from gender but from her campaign. Many may have started, as I did, liking Hillary and believing that she would be a good president. Although I have always favored Obama, I still think that she would be a fine president. But her and her campaign's behavior has changed my opinion of her as the campaign dragged on. A few reasons:

Early on, there were reports of threats to prospective donors that they should think twice before donating to others. Conversely, there were recent threats by Clinton's major donors to Nancy Pelosi that, if she wants donations for Democrats, she had better rethink her view that superdelegates should follow the primary results.

Then, there was the offensive "victory" rally in Florida after she received a majority of the meaningless votes. Thereafter, Hillary continues to claim that the votes in Michigan and Florida should count despite the clear rule that they would not. She blames Obama for blocking any re-voting in these states although there were many factors and certainly no right to a re-vote.

Her claim that the nominee (her) would be decided by February 5th would render later primaries as meaningless as Florida and Michigan. So it ill behooves her to criticize Obama for disenfranchising voters.

Nor should Senator Clinton have stated that she and the Republican presumptive nominee, John McCain, are qualified to be commander-in- chief, clearly implying that Obama is not. How will that help Democrats in the general election if Obama is head of the ticket?

With Obama having the most pledged delegates, Clinton points out that "Even elected and caucus delegates are not required to stay with whomever they are pledged to."

Of other reasons for the decline in Hillary's personal popularity, the most significant is her claim, along with those of Bill and others, that she should be the nominee because she has won the big states, or, similarly, the nomination should be decided by counting the electoral votes of the states won by each candidate. This sounds reasonable but is specious since the primaries are among Democrats, not against the Republican nominee, and Hillary often had the advantage of Democratic establishments in these states. Those who voted for her are not going to turn Republican in November.

So maybe there is media bias, but much of it may be subconscious, and well-earned.

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