Posts Tagged ‘presidential election’

The Restoration Begins

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

obama by kungfusoi.Uploaded to flickr by kingfusoi

From CNN’s political ticker

During the long campaign, the timing of Obama’s entrances at rallies was meticulously coordinated – the preliminary orators (usually local government officials and candidates) spoke, the music and its pacing built up with the intention of quickening the pulses of the crowds, and then, at exactly the right moment, Obama, the candidate, would make his entrance.

But by late last night Obama was no longer a candidate, and there was no need to pump up the sense of anticipation, and the evening’s events – the concession call from John McCain, the congratulatory call from President Bush – were being dealt with as they rapidly occurred on a timetable Obama’s staff could not control. So there was some dead time in the park before Obama appeared on the stage.

And the crowd, for just those brief few moments, became all but mute. They weren’t certain what was going to happen next.

What happened next, in the crisp and clear night, was the Obama family suddenly coming into sight. Then, the cheers reached the sky. But in the quiet that preceded…

In that quiet there was the recognition:

Here comes the part of this drama that is unknown and unknowable.

Here – in the days and weeks and years ahead – comes life; here comes events that know no schedule, that can’t be planned, that will appear on no carefully constructed itinerary.

The silence from the crowd was like an intake of breath.

The silence said:

Here we are– we, the people in Grant Park; we, the people of the United States; we, the people of the world. Here we are, and none of us – not even and especially the man on the stage, the man just elected to be the 44th president – can be sure of what lies ahead.

If some in the audience – those of us in the park, and those watching around the world – sensed perhaps the slightest sliver of a subdued tone in Obama’s voice, a perceptible difference in his timbre, if not his words, from how he had sounded on the campaign trail, the shift was understandable.

It may have been his own version – intentional or involuntary – of that sudden silence that fell over the crowd. He can’t be silent, in any sense of that word – he is going to be the president. But during that same span late last night when the audience, in its brief hush, seemed to be acknowledging that everything – everything – had just changed, so, too, Obama appeared to be sending the signal, to the rest of us and maybe to himself, that he was well aware of the change, and was already beginning to deal with it.

He is no longer a candidate seeking something. Last night’s Chicago weather – so warm and inviting for November – was deceptive; it will not be warm here very much longer. Obama, of all people, knows that; he has lived in Chicago long enough to realize that balmy days with winter coming are the most predictable of teases.

The silence of the crowd ended and the roar greeted him, and as he, a man just hired for a new job, looked out at the people and at his city’s glorious skyline, you asked yourself if the thought may have been crossing his mind:

There will, in my life, be other good nights. But none of them will ever be as good as this one.

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Obama has picked his running mate – and it’s not Clinton

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

… but it is a woman – an eighty-two year old woman.

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The final nail in the Clinton coffin: ‘If she became president…’

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Today, April Fools’ Day, Hillary Clinton – running for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination – likened herself to ‘Rocky‘.

Rocky Balboa is a struggling boxer trying to make the big time. Working in a meat factory in Philadelphia for a pittance, he also earns extra cash as a debt collector. When heavyweight champion Apollo Creed visits Philadelphia, his managers want to set up an exhibition match between Creed and a struggling boxer, touting the fight as a chance for a “nobody” to become a “somebody”. The match is supposed to be easily won by Creed, but someone forgot to tell Rocky, who sees this as his only shot at the big time.

Unfortunately for her, the comparison may be a bad one. Hillary’s the ‘somebody’ whom everyone assumed would be the nominee; Obama is the ‘nobody from nowhere’.

For those who forget or not in the know, Rocky was played by Sylvester Stalone.

(The picture, by the way, is from a film other than Rocky. But you get the idea.)

Somehow I think this is going to backfire on her, no matter how apposite. Will anyone be able to watch that film again in all seriousness? I’m really not sure who will come out the better for it, Hillary or Sylvester. I predict this to be the end of the beginning of the end for brand Clinton… for the time being.

US media pundits are latching onto how Clinton’s whopper about Bosnia is seeping into popular culture, rearing its head on the talk shows in the guise of various jokes. Sometimes, though, it takes a professional comedian (i.e. Mark Steel writing for the Independent) to convey the truth.

If she became president it would be brilliant, as she stood on the White House lawn before the world’s press and said, “I would like to thank the King of Morocco for his thoughtful remarks, and would add that I used to play professional darts. I went to a party once that went on for three weeks without stopping, and there was so many people dancing that the floor collapsed and we all landed downstairs which turned out to be an off-licence so it went on for another month.”

Presumably she thought the sniper fire story would impress the audience of soldiers. So her campaign team should book her in to speak to other professions to see what she comes out with. If she addresses lumberjacks she’ll start, “Hey, that’s a tough job you folks do. And I should know because I once spent two days dangling from a cedar tree. Then my chainsaw slipped and sawed me down the middle, but luckily my right half put my left half in a nearby freezer that kept it fresh until the doctor arrived to sew me back together. But hey, let’s turn to the economy.”

Maybe it’s part of a pact. Her husband only seems reasonable now because the idiot that followed him is so much worse. So to even things up, as president she’ll talk such twaddle that in a couple of years people start pining for Bush.

Because someone who routinely lies like she does, then dismisses it as a consequence of the number of words she says has severe psychological problems. Perhaps her disorder is a result of the sort of politician she is. Like Blair, neither she nor Bill stand for anything – priding themselves in being tied to no “ideology”. So a normal politician might set out with a set of principles, then lie as they compromise and betray them. But a Blair or Clinton is a politician with no purpose but their own standing, like celebrities who are nothing but celebrities. So they say whatever they feel will make them look best to the audience they’re with, regardless of whether it’s true, until they probably don’t know themselves what’s real and what’s not.

And the daft thing with Hillary is her real life is ridiculous enough. So when she ends up in a home, muttering “I’ve got the biggest peanut in the world. I sang backing vocals on ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’. I went right along the Great Wall of China in a wheelbarrow,” the nurses will say “Poor old thing. This morning she was jibbering that her husband was president and had affairs in the back room and denied it but got caught cos he sploshed on an intern’s dress. She’s getting worse isn’t she, it’s such a shame.”

I’m sorry, for Clinton supporters, to say that the sniper fire story has got legs and I don’t think it’s going to go away. It encapsulates perfectly the reasons why Hillary has, in the jargon, such poor ‘negatives’.

Who’s a leader and who’s just a politician?

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Citizen activism in the USA –