On the Democratic Nominee
My Old Party
Most of the main reasons for Hillary staying in this race this long are listed there by Bennett. Like it or not, (and many of his supporters don't) Barack Obama is probably the least vetted candidate for President either party has tossed out there since Carter.
This is an astounding moment in American politics. You cannot credibly say the Clintons are a political dynasty the way, say, the Kennedys or Bushs are. But I think one has to say the Clinton rule of the Democratic party has been dynastic. Bill Clinton is the only Democrat to have served two terms as president in two generations, the only Democrat to twice beat Republican nominees for president and his wife is a two term U.S. senator who will likely be in the Senate for years to come. Bill Clinton has been rated one of — if not THE — most popular person in the world, and yet Clinton rule in American politics ends tonight. Whatever it was the Republicans and so many independents did not like about the Clintons, we’ve learned the Democrats have had enough as well.
And thus the Democratic party is about to nominate a far left candidate in the tradition of George McGovern, albeit without McGovern’s military and political record. The Democratic party is about to nominate a far-left candidate in the tradition of Michael Dukakis, albeit without Dukakis’s executive experience as governor. The Democratic party is about to nominate a far left candidate in the tradition of John Kerry, albeit without Kerry’s record of years of service in the Senate. The Democratic party is about to nominate an unvetted candidate in the tradition of Jimmy Carter, albeit without Jimmy Carter’s religious integrity as he spoke about it in 1976. Questions about all these attributes (from foreign policy expertise to executive experience to senatorial experience to judgment about foreign leaders to the instructors he has had in his cultural values) surround Barack Obama. And the Democratic party has chosen him.
For those not from Illinois, who think that Obama took the state by storm when he won his Senate race a few years ago, the truth is he was getting kicked like a lame dog until the Chicago Tribune and a few others rescued him, twice.
In the primaries in 2004 he was all but sure to lose, until the papers and a few other folks started filing tons of court requests to unseal Blair Hull's divorce record. Messy divorce, and Hull is out of the primary.
Jump to the general election, when, again, Obama was getting ready to go down to a guy with a real story of helping in the inner city. A millionaire trader and partner at Goldman Sach's, who quit trading and started teaching high school. Again, the Tribune and others got Jack Ryan's divorce (From uber-hottie Jeri Ryan) unsealed, and it seems Jack had some skeletons. And BOOM! You get Obama as a Senator.
Thomas Sowell, also writing at NRO, urges voters to get past the election year rhetoric of Barack Obama, and look at his actual legislative record. Again, his handlers will tell you things like "he didn't read the questionaire", or "you're misinterpretting what he meant", to get around the fact that he has the most liberal record in the Senate.
Sowell is correct, you have to look at the record as a whole, not the promises made in an election year. I've urged people for years to get rid of the one issue mentality, and to get away from buying politicians from used car salesmen. Yet, you discover while reading what people write in defense of Obama and his record, that many people are driving used cars. In fact, it seems the entire leadership of the Democratic Party is happy as hell with that 81 Cutlass they got for a steal.
Finally, over at "The Page" Mark Halperin writes about What Obama and Clinton underestimate
and points out a number of things that he doesn't feel Obama is ready for. The main one's being how unready Obama is for the media focus he will get, and how ready the GOP is to help sharpen that focus.
While many in Democratic circles have fretted over the long, drawn out primary season, the truth is, it will be nothing compared to what happens in the next five months. While there were a few unladylike outbursts from Hillary, the truth is Obama's record will now get the vetting she refused to give it, but warned was coming.
While Hillary stayed off the Tony Rezko and Bill Ayers connetions (for the most part) the GOP won't. Expect to see ads about Obama's connection to unrepentent domestic terrorists, convicted (soon) political sleeze, and racist ministers of multiple colors and faiths regularly for the next few months.
Hillary didn't bring up Obama's views on partial birth abortion (doesn't see the problem), gun laws (we shouldn't have guns, then we wouldn't need laws), taxes, Iran, etc. The GOP, McCain, and their surrogates will, loudly.
One of the things that general elections do that primaries don't, since you generally don't trash your own party too badly in them, is focus on what you've done. McCain has a long list he can point to, and even use to move across party lines. Yes, some of it has angered Republicans, but the truth is, he can say he's always done what he thought was best. Not always a trait you find in politicians.
Obama, on the other hand, has a thin record at best, and little of it appeals to anyone who considers themselves a centerist, or slightly right leaning person. While "Hope and Change" sound great, so would an answer to the question "What have you done in the Senate?".