This bickering between the Hilary and Obama camps over her comments implying that despite all of Martin Luther King’s hard work, without Lyndon Johnson there would have been no Civil Rights laws passed, only diminishes both camps.
And my friends who support John Edwards and would like to see this be an opportunity for him to pull ahead, are out of luck. He blew it in the New Hampshire debate before the vote there, when Hilary passed the metaphoric peace pipe to him and he refused it, instead trying to paint him and Obama as the invevitable agents of change and her as the evil status quo as if Clinton = Bush.
False. And bad move. Yes, she represents the “liberal” side, to some extent, of the supposed ‘60s battles, but in fact she also represents the bipartisanship everyone’s calling for as she’s proven in the Senate, even though you might not like what she’s achieved through that bi-partisanship, and she represents the future and obvious change not only by the fact that she’s a woman but by the fact that she has continued to name and stand up to "the vast rightwing conspiracy.”
But even if Edwards hadn’t piled on her when she was down after Iowa, the fact that he didn’t either refrain from commenting on the Obama/Clinton-King/Johnson prattle, or point out that obviously Hilary wasn’t a racist and her meaning was obviously that there needs to be a partnership between agents of change in the real world and their partners in government who can make that change last in terms of laws, etc. and that obviously Obama wasn’t calling Hilary a racist (though his camp was implying it).
If Edwards had done either of those things, he would have finally come across statesmanlike, and would have finally seemed presidential and not just feisty and self-promoting and hectoring, no matter how much better his positions and promises might be.
Obama had captured that statesmanlike above-the-fray position, but he lost it with his seemingly offhanded and even bored response to Hilary’s response in the New Hampshire debate to a question about why she isn’t as likable as him—when she said that hurt her feelings, he commented, without looking at her, almost out of the side of his mouth as if he had better things to do than be a gentleman and show some humility and honor by dismissing such high school popularity contest bullshit, and instead said “You’re likable enough Hilary”—at least the way I remember seeing and hearing it that night.
A definite diminishment in my eyes of the high road he had seemed to be taking that was the embodiment of the changes he said he wanted to bring about. Now he’s beginning to seem like just another pol, playing the game he says he wants to change by refusing to play.
I hope he can get back to that place of not stooping to the attempts by Hilary’s minions to drag him down into the mud, and I hope she can get back to the vulnerability and likeability she displayed in that debate when she answered that question, or when she teared up in the Q&A a few days later, whether the tears were ones of frustration and exhaustion and despair at the thought of losing, or genuine concern, from an insider who knows what it takes to actually make change (she’s right on that) and like many of us is genuinely dismayed at what has happened to our country and is genuinely worried that unless the right moves are made to actually reverse the destruction caused by Bush junior and his gang, the country we love may cease to exist as we remember it.
Either way, that made her steely resolve and hard earned thick skin easier to accept, and she needs to do more of it. While her two male opponents among the frontrunners need to back off picking on her and make their argument for why they can best repair the damage the Bushies have done and save our country, and bring it to new heights of democracy and freedom, of equality and transparency, of fairness and respect for privacy, of a belief that following the principles enshrined in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights is not only every elected politicians duty, but privilege.
Not to get carried away.
As for the Republicans, Romney might benefit from Huckabee and McCain splitting some less traditional Republican votes in Michigan (though he hasn’t got a chance in any general election). We’ll get back to them after Michigan.