Saturday, April 12, 2008

Race for the White House- 4/12/08

Much of this week in Presidential politics was overshadowed to many by all those hours of American Idol coverage, in which the three candidates did officially make their pitches on the Wednesday results show. Republican John McCain was probably the funniest and made note of the fact that the votes of Florida and Michigan voters, including Democrats presumably, would actually be counted in the competition.

Despite the fact that some national polls out this week show that Democrat Barack Obama might have won back some of the support that was perhaps lost during the Jeremiah Wright flap, he was hit with another serious political landmine late on Friday and his primary opponent, Hillary Clinton, who has been struggling to overcome a serious gaffe herself was quick to pounce.

With the Keystone State primary approaching closer and closer, both Democrats continue to look to ways to hurt their opponent, since their differences on issues are pretty slight. Clinton continues to lead in most Pennsylvania polls, and by a large margin in at least one, while others show a closer and tightening race. She has continued to face questions about her honesty as it related to her "sniper fire" tall tale a few weeks back and on Thursday, her husband, the former President did his best to get the story back into the headlines by a clumsy defense of what his wife said, in which he happened to get several facts wrong.

It appeared likely that Bill Clinton's remarks would be the "subject du jour" on the weekend talk shows, along with in depth discussion about whatever was appearing in Dick Cheney's sunglasses, but then on Friday, a story appeared online, along with an audio clip of Obama, speaking at a tony San Francisco fundraiser and telling wealthy donors that voters in small town Pennsylvania were "bitter" over economic circumstances and among other things, "clinged" to guns and religion.

As a Republican, I could go on a rant for pages and pages as to how offensive those remarks and how elitist and snobbish it makes Obama appear. I will resist the temptation to do that however here and instead just focus on the fact that both the Clinton and McCain camps were quick to pounce over these statements and Obama, while refusing to apologize to this point, was reduced to admitting he had chosen his words poorly. Clearly, the Obama campaign is worried that this could be one of those stories, during a never-ending primary campaign that could have snowball out of control, or could potentially have very serious general election consequences.

While it may not be surprising to see conservatives pile on Obama for what was said, and maybe even the McCain campaign, for that matter, it is particularly noteworthy how a perhaps politically desperate Hillary Clinton joined the fray. Mindful of small-town culturally conservative white voters in Pennsylvania and perhaps also that such an Obama gaffe could be another thing to give superdelegates pause about his electability in a general election, the junior Senator from New York today attacked Obama from the right, using rhetoric that may very well have come from a Republican. She seemed to express solidarity with gun owners whom she alluded to having been offended by Obama and also criticized him for appearing intolerant of religiousity.

Needless to say, this was a very interesting development and how this progresses over the course of the next week should be very interesting. It will be a challenge for Obama, an opportunity for Clinton, and another thing for McCain to feel fortunate about.


At 2:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is Conservative Democrat:

Corey, McCain will be the 44th President in November, you watch:

McCain (R)-49%
Obama (D)-48%

McCain (R)-57%
Hillary (D)-39%

In other words, the Dems better get Evan Bayh's phone number in 2012.


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