Monday, January 28, 2008

Fear and Loathing Southern Style

Is Bill Backfiring or Brilliant?
Obama running against two Clintons

When the results from South Carolina began coming in Saturday night, Barack Obama was celebrating and Hillary Clinton was en route to Memphis, while her husband was campaigning in Missouri. Clinton knew before the polls opened that she was going to loose the state with a majority African American electorate. What she couldn't of anticipated was the total a**whooping she would endure and dismal performance she had amongst white voters in the three person race.

The days leading up to South Carolina were filled with headlines not featuring the candidates, but in fact the spouse of Hillary Clinton. President Clinton couldn't open his mouth without making a racially motivated comment geared toward Senator Obama. At first the media appeared to take some of his remarks out of context, instigating racial fires. There was of course the "fairytale" comment and Hillary didn't help her cause by seemingly trying to downplay Martin Luther King's contribution to civil rights, giving more credit to President Lyndon Johnson.

Bill was acting more like a V.P. candidate doing the campaign dirty work and going after Obama non-stop. He seemed to have a need to remind everyone that Obama was a black candidate, not a candidate who happened to be black. To his credit, Obama has downplayed the race issue from the beginning, it was refreshing to see that from an African American politician. However the Clinton camp with Bill as the mouthpiece changed all that.

Today African Americans such as Nobel Prize winning author Toni Morrison, who referred to Clinton in 1998 as the nation's "first black president", is endorsing Obama later today. Senator Ted Kennedy is angry with the Clinton's for injecting race into the campaign and will also be endorsing the Illinois senator despite please from the Clinton camp.

During the Sunday morning talk shows, Bill took center stage, not his candidate wife. Everyone was talking about Bill and the African American vote. Suddenly the man admired by more Blacks than any African American alive today was being scorned for making race an issue. However the best comment of the day was regarding feminism.

NY Times columnist and hardcore leftist, Maureen Dowd, who I have never agreed with, made a great observation. She stated that the first woman to have a real shot at the White House is relying on a man to get her there. Those words speak volumes.

As angry as the African American community may be at Bill and Hillary, has it been a bad political move to make race an issue? The Clinton camp knew she wasn't going to win South Carolina, so Bills racial overtones only widened the inevitable in that primary. However when you look at national polls and the Super Tuesday primary states, Clinton still has a commanding lead. There is a very legitimate argument that can be made that the Clinton camp felt that reminding America that Obama is black is to her advantage in the long run. So much for those open-minded Democrats.

However certain wounds do not heal so quickly. Paulies Point readers are the first to hear a new side to the 2008 Presidential campaign.

Hillary will be the Democratic nominee. In the process she will anger many African Americans, many who will not feel comfortable swallowing their pride and voting for her in November even if Obama puts on a happy grin and campaigns for her. So where do they go?

Could they support a Republican such as John McCain? Some will. I can easily see a McCain getting the largest percentage of black votes by any Republican in history. However lurking in the shadows is the Green Party, who may nominate for President former African American congresswoman Cynthia McKinney.

McKinney is adored by the Progressive movement. Many of the far left radio programs have her on as a regular guest and will be happy to promote her especially if Clinton is the nominee for the Democrats. By no means is she a legitimate contender. She is in fact a racist, anti-Semitic poor excuse for a human being who is loved by the far left. When you hate Jews and capitalism, you tend to get red carpet treatment from the Progressive movement.

What McKinney does bring to the table is another option for voters. Even if she garnered 10% of the black vote and took 10% of the Progressive white vote, the damage it could do to the Clinton camp would be enormous. Especially against a McCain candidacy that will already be competitive in Illinois, Michigan and Missouri as well as tough to beat in Ohio and Florida.

Most people will think I'm crazy for even mentioning McKinney. However in a year that is very unconventional, an eccentric candidate such as the Georgia bigot, could have enough of an impact to be the difference. Let's get through Super Tuesday first and then revisit the issue.

Fun in Florida
Media killed Rudy, but may also revive him

How can a plan work so perfectly, but end up being disasterous? If your the Giuliani for President campaign, the answer is the 24 hour media.

When RUDY 2008 made the decision to forgo the early primaries and concentrate on Florida, they counted on different candidates winning each primary or caucus. With McCain, Romney and Huckabee having victories under their belt, the strategy appears to have worked perfectly. The problem for Giuliani is that by not participating in the first few contests, his name was no longer being prominently mentioned and the media outlets began painting him as a loser.

We all know that perception is reality and many voters who supported Rudy a few months back have chosen another candidate, viewing a vote for Giuliani as a wasted vote. The candidate who was 20 points ahead of the field in Florida back in December, is now running third to Romney and McCain, but not necessarily out of it.

The press has been so hard on Giuliani in recent weeks that what was once a certain win for Giuliani is now being painted as the probable end of his campaign. The loser perception created by the media in an odd way may grant his candidacy new life.

Let me remind my readers of certain facts. Giuliani has the largest and most organized campaign in Florida. Their get out the vote effort will be second to none. Another factor is that early voting started when his name was not taboo. A third reality is that polling numbers throughout this campaign season have been unreliable.

Do I expect a shocking victory by Rudy tomorrow? No. Hwever, I believe he may have a strong showing and if that is the case, the press will talk about how wrong the polls were and how well he did. That alone may revive him for Super Tuesday, where he is still doing well in many of those states.

Paulie

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