Saturday, January 05, 2008

Gray Lady Slams Hillary, Loves Barack, Ignores Edwards

The establishment media is going after the establishment candidate. There has been a tsunami of anti-Hillary and pro-Barack opinion pieces in the New York Times.

From Gail Collins in a column entitled: "What Would Hillary Rodham Do?":

Somewhere, Senator Edward Brooke must be chortling. You will remember that in 1969 Brooke, a moderate Republican, had the bad luck to be commencement speaker at Wellesley College on the day Hillary Rodham made a name for herself as a voice of her generation. She politely gave the first black American to be elected to the Senate since Reconstruction the back of her hand. “For too long our leaders have used politics as the art of the possible,” she said. (“This is bad?” Brooke must have been thinking.)

It was not actually anything in particular that Brooke and his ilk had done that earned Hillary’s lightly disguised contempt. It was just that they were tired and old and always looking for some way to cut a grubby deal instead of setting their sights on the impossible dream. She and her generation, she said, were “searching for a more immediate, ecstatic and penetrating mode of living.”

Nearly 40 years later, here she is, forged into an architect of the possible by every conceivable kind of political and personal disaster. Campaigning in New Hampshire, she’s warning voters that the guy who is promising to turn the whole process into something that people could actually feel good about is peddling “false hopes.”

Meanwhile Barack Obama gives his folks the ecstatic experience. “They said this day would never come. They said our sights were set too high. They said this country was too divided, disillusioned to ever come together around a common purpose,” he told them Thursday night, creating a patriotic lump in every throat in the room.

How could you be 21 and not be for Barack Obama?

How could you be 53 and not wonder how this relative stranger will hold up when the disasters arrive, when things get truly nasty and the crowd starts seeing him as mortal?

But if she were around right now, Hillary Rodham the commencement speaker would probably be an Obama girl.
Bob Herbert on "The Obama Phenomenon":
The Clintons, especially, have seemed baffled by the winds of change. They mounted a peculiar argument against Senator Obama, acknowledging that voters wanted change but insisting that you can’t achieve change by doing things differently. Senator Hillary Clinton has had a devil of a time trying to cope with the demand for change while shouldering the legacy of an administration that defined the 1990s.

Barack Obama has none of that baggage.

But for all the talk of change, it’s just one of the factors driving the Obama phenomenon. The simple truth is that hardly anyone — in politics, in the news media or anywhere else — realized what an extraordinary candidate Senator Obama would turn out to be.

He’s smart, hard-working, charismatic, good-looking and a whiz at fund-raising.

He has an incandescent smile, but it’s not frozen in place. He seems authentic. When he laughs, you have the feeling it’s because something is funny.

People are lining up to believe in him. He has the easy demeanor (in a long, lanky frame) of someone who’s comfortable with himself. Even when he fires up a crowd, he doesn’t get too hot. He has the cadences that remind you of King but the cool that reminds you of Kennedy — John, not Robert.

If the Clintons are going to stop Mr. Obama, they need to do it now. If he wins the New Hampshire primary Tuesday, the news media will go nuts and he will head toward the Jan. 19 caucuses in Nevada and the Jan. 26 primary in South Carolina (where half the voters are African-American) with incredible momentum.

I expect that African-Americans, under those circumstance, would view his campaign with almost religious fervor. All those questions about whether he’s black enough would be history. Mr. Obama would be perceived by many as within striking distance of the presidency, and there will be very few blacks in favor of stopping that train.
Even the supposedly pro-Hillary column by Kerry Howley entitled "It Takes a Family (to Break a Glass Ceiling)" was hardly a gift to her favored candidate:
SOME women, even progressive ones, are surely celebrating Hillary Clinton’s third-place finish in the Iowa caucuses. Those of us who think 43 male presidents in a row is quite enough, thank you, still sometimes question whether a woman whose greatest political move was her marriage deserves to be the first woman in the White House. . . .

No mother wants to tell her daughter that she can aspire to the presidency only if she snags the most gifted politician of her generation. But Hillary Clinton’s rise to power, unsettling as it is, follows a time-tested pattern for the breaking of gender barriers.

The great feminist promise of a Hillary Clinton presidency amounts to this: If we elect a political wife now, perhaps we won’t have to later.