Friday, February 22, 2008

Our Next President: Roman Orator Or Starship Captain?

I didn't see the Clinton-Obama debate last night, but thought this comment was funny:
Obama looks like a Roman senator. Hillary looks like a guest star in Star Trek: The Next Generation.
Here's a clip of the debate to see what they mean:

On a more serious note, Megan McArdle writes:
The emerging consensus: this was a good debate for Hillary Clinton . . . but not good enough. I think she probably picked up a lot of votes with that closing speech, but getting more votes in Ohio and Texas will not be enough; she needs to get nearly all of them.

Obviously, I'm not a Hillary supporter. But now I have that feeling of sympathy that often wells up when an opponent is defeated; once we can afford to be generous once they are no longer much of a threat. And one can hang one's hat on the fact that she was possibly undone simply by bad timing. Not having been much of a primary hound the last time around, I've been repeatedly struck by how path dependent this all seems to be. If the primaries had been run in a different order, mightn't she have emerged as the front runner . . . and wouldn't that be a pretty bitter thought for any of us to live with?

1 comment:

thinking said...

I for one feel no sympathy for Hillary; she and her husband are two of the most deceptive, duplicitous, unethical politicians of our generation. They constructed one of the most vicious and ruthless political machines.

I don't feel sorry for the snake until it's head has been cut off once and for all. Until then, I know if I feel the slightest sympathy that snake can still come back and bite me.

As for the timing and order of the primaries: let's remember that the Clintons largely controlled the party machinery and created the primary calendary. They frontloaded it so much anticipating they could achieve an early knockout. If the schedule did not work out for her, then it is her own fault.

As to the reason for her losing: it's not so much the timing or order of the primaries. It is that she is a very weak candidate who is only where she is on the strength of her last name. She is also the most polarizing and divisive political figure of our generation.

Now add to that the fact that she is running against the most natural political talent of our generation. She is running against a person who is smarter and has out-strategized her at every turn. He also happens to be the best political orator this country has seen in decades. Oh, yeah, he also has a background as a community organizer and has constructed a grassroots organization never seen before.

Finally, add in the fact that the nation really does yearn for a change and a fresh start, and one that takes us beyond the radical polarization that has marked our politics during the Clinton and Bush 2 years. Obama has tapped into that brilliantly, while Hillary symbolizes the divisive past.

It was a perfect storm for her: she is the wrong person at the wrong time, going up against a person seemingly made for the times.

We all owe a debt of gratitude to Obama if he does manage to defeat Hillary for the nomination. She would be that bad for the country.