This brings us to the man who, on the basis of current delegate counts, will be the Democratic nominee, Barack Obama. His track record in matters of economic policy is slight, beyond some big favors extended in his senatorial term to Wall Street, which have earned him grateful campaign funding from this quarter. It would be the matter of an hour for any capable and economically informed speech writer to draft a speech for Obama, which could politely savage Clinton's claims that she has the maturity and experience to handle the nation's economic affairs in what is sure to be a darkish time, at the start of 2009.
In recent days, partially released records of Clinton's White House log have disclosed that contrary to recent assertions she was an ardent lobbyist for the trade treaties that have shut down American factories by the thousand. Equally, he could deride her blue-ribbon panel of Rubin, Greenspan and Volcker.
But here we come to the disturbing fact that Obama hasn't the kidney for political roughhousing and cannot bring himself, as a Democrat, to rock the boat by pointing out that the Clinton era was a feeding trough for the rich but sparse in rewards for everyone else.
Obama is careful, far more than he is courageous. Even a casual reading of the Philadelphia speech on race now touted as his finest hour confirms this. The junior senator from Illinois is a master at drowning the floundering swimmer, while earning credit for extending a hand in human solidarity. With his pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Obama began by tossing him over the side:
"The remarks that have caused this recent firestorm weren't simply controversial. They weren't simply a religious leader's effort to speak out against perceived injustice. Instead, they expressed a profoundly distorted view of this country -- a view that sees white racism as endemic, and that elevates what is wrong with America above all that we know is right with America; a view that sees the conflicts in the Middle East as rooted primarily in the actions of stalwart allies like Israel, instead of emanating from the perverse and hateful ideologies of radical Islam."
A "perceived injustice" isn't really an injustice at all. Israel is stalwart, and the perceived horror of its siege of Gaza is not even to be mentioned, as against the perversities of Islam. Then comes anathema, as pronounced by any conversationalist, divisiveness: "Reverend Wright's comments were not only wrong but divisive, divisive at a time when we need unity -- racially charged at a time when we need to come together to solve a set of monumental problems."
This is courage? I don't think Obama is a real fighter. He's too pretty, and he doesn't want to get his looks messed up. Clinton probably is the tougher of the two, though there's no evidence that when the red phone rings at 3AM, she'll know what to say.
© Creators Syndicate
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Albion Monitor March
28, 2008 (http://www.albionmonitor.com)
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