Animadversions.

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WSJ: “Obama vs. McCain - Let’s Get It On”

May 9th, 2008 · 2 Comments · Politics

Quite a few interesting points in this piece:

Hillary Clinton, who now resembles the robot’s crawling hand in the final scenes of “The Terminator,” can plausibly argue to the superdelegates that much of this is electoral bunk. In Indiana, her share of the white vote to his, men and women combined, was 60-40, a huge lead. In North Carolina, 61-37.

They won’t buy it. Ever. The “first woman” running for president would have to be pulling 90% of her own piece of history, women, to compete with his achievement. Obama has locked up 90% of a constituency that Democrats not only must have to win in November, but that they’ve elevated to mythic status the past 40 years.

The Democratic superdelegates are products of their party – nice liberals, nice people. To stiff Obama’s black voters at this late hour, most of the superdelegates would have to be as hard and clinical about politics as the Clintons. They aren’t.

Obama moves them and validates their commitment to the Democratic idea. Shelby Steele described the force even Hillary can’t match in these pages last March: Race lifts the Obama candidacy “to the level of allegory. . . . Because he is black, there is a sense that profound questions stand to be resolved in the unfolding of his political destiny.”

The superdelegates are faced with choosing between the Clinton machine’s brutal demographic math and thinking well of themselves. No contest.

Barack Obama is going to run an aura campaign. As it has been from the start, it’s going to be a speech candidacy, a rhetorical candidacy, a JFK candidacy, the promise of another Camelot.

Listen here to Barack describing what it’s all about Monday in Indianapolis: “I believe that this election is bigger than me or John McCain or Hillary Clinton. It’s bigger than the Democrats versus Republicans. It’s about who we are as Americans.” That’s as big as it gets.

Will more than 50% of voters want a piece of this dream in November? Will the Rev. Wright specter be gone by then and the “bitter” remark forgiven? Sure. Why not?

Whenever Americans get glum near an election, it’s a good bet that pitching their ideals at them will appeal, and thank heavens for that. FDR was an ideals candidate and so was Ronald shining-city-on-a-hill Reagan.

John McCain needs to find an Achilles heel in this opponent. It’s there – not the Wright mess but Obama’s dustup with Hillary Sunday on Iran, when he tagged her for “saber rattling” and “tough talk.”

Iran’s Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, collector of centrifuges, makes Jeremiah Wright look like Little Bo Peep. Yet this Tuesday Barack Obama said he assumes the American people will see it is “not weakness, but wisdom to talk not just to our friends, but our enemies, like Roosevelt did, Kennedy did, and Truman did.” In the here and now, a more apt name comes to mind: Jimmy Carter.

A grand Enemies Tour awaits President Obama – Iran’s Ahmadinejad, Syria’s Assad, Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez, North Korea’s Kim Jong Il, an al Qaeda “diplomat” from Osama bin Laden, Sudan’s Hassan al-Bashir, Zimbabwe’s Mugabe, Burma’s junta.

If John McCain can’t talk the American people out of re-Carterizing themselves, what has he been preparing for all these years.

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2 responses so far ↓

  • 1 ralf // May 10, 2008 at 5:55 am

    I think the author of the column might have been a little confused on one minor point on English usage.
    “It’s on”=Let’s fight.
    “Let’s get it on.”=Let’s have sexual intercourse.
    Of course, the WSJ editorial page is not where one goes for the latest with-it, hepcat lingo, but it’s still kinda funny. I mean, Marvin Gaye is not exactly obscure…

    It reminds me of Rumsfeld not knowing what his mojo was, or if it was working.

  • 2 funtax // May 10, 2008 at 1:15 pm

    While it’s true that Marvin Gaye had his own version of the phrase, the author is more likely referring to famous boxing referee Mills Lane’s use of the phrase “Let’s get it on!” at the start of fights throughout the 1990s - most famously prior to the “Bite Fight” where Mike Tyson chomped off part of Evander Holyfield’s ear.

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