Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Why Don’t They Like Her?

I was watching the Democratic debate last night and I couldn’t help but notice the veiled rancor that seems to exist between Barack Obama and John Edwards for Hillary Clinton. This is more than the normal rivalry that takes place when people with tremendous egos compete against each other or the underdogs attacking the presumed frontrunner. The animosity between them has surfaced from time to time throughout the primaries, but I think due to wanting Party unity there has been major efforts to keep it hidden. I like many others had assumed that the recent banter was just due to the competiveness, but last night was a real eye-opener. There is a real dislike that last night was palpable through the television.

My question or concern is that can the Democratic Party survive the general election with the three top tier candidates harboring such acrimony? Will the loser be able to overcome these feelings and commit to fully working for the election of the victor? I can’t recall an election on the Democratic side that carried such ill-will between the candidates.

Mr. Obama was as heated and intense as he has been at any debate over the last year. At times, he appeared angry and close to expressing it at Mrs. Clinton — and also at her husband, Bill Clinton, whom Mr. Obama criticized frequently during the debate for what he said were distortions of his views and record by the former president.[1]

Unfortunately for Mr. Obama and Mr. Edwards their acrimony towards Ms. Clinton is being read by a lot of voters, especially women as anti-women sentiments. I think it came into play in the New Hampshire primary when Mr. Obama derided Ms. Clinton at the debate with the remark, “They like you well enough”. For some reason the hostility seems to go beyond the normal give and take of the campaign trail and borders on a deep personal dislike. To my knowledge there have never been any slights by either candidate towards the other of a personal nature. Is there some hidden history between the candidates or does this reflect some insight into the character of the candidates? Are we getting glimpses of a darker side to the candidates or is this just the fatigue of a nomination process that is too long and exhaustive?

My personal belief is that there is something to this antagonism that we are not aware of. I believe that there were private statements either made or attributed to the Clinton’s against Mr. Obama or his candidacy that he got wind of. We must remember that Ms. Clinton has always come across like this nomination was her birthright and destiny ordained from on high. I have researched this riff and I can’t find anything or anybody that can shed any light on it. I would be interested to hear if anyone has any theories on this topic. I have a feeling that as we get closer to the final days of these primaries and the candidacies become more desperate the fur is really going to fly. It will be interesting to see if the national Party leaders can prevent this from becoming a free for all and ensuring a Republican victory in the process.

Another thing I have noticed is that lately when Bill Clinton talks about Barack Obama’s candidacy he seems angry about it, almost as if to say how does he have the nerve to run. In the lead up to the New Hampshire and Nevada elections, it was more than just highlighting the differences between the two candidates, he was actually incensed. Where is this anger coming from? I can’t recall ever seeing Bill Clinton this animated, even when he was being attacked by the “far right wing conspiracy”. I wish I knew what it was about Mr. Obama’s candidacy that sparks these emotions in the Clintons.

While I understand that this is not the first time candidates from the same Party have not “liked” each other, we are at a historical place in our nation’s history and I would hate to believe that personal animosity between the candidates could lead to a missed opportunity. I have also noticed the degree of antagonism between the supporters of the three candidates whether they are public figures or in the blogosphere, there is a genuine dislike. Can such a deep divide be repaired for the sake of the Party in time for the general election? Let’s face it, of course the loser will publically support the winner, but will it be some half-hearted perfunctory support?

I remember following McCain’s defeat in South Carolina, he never truly supported Bush after that and I think to this day he still has an extreme dislike for Bush. Will this be our year for a similar situation? Can either Hillary or Barack succeed without the full support of the other?


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Children Defense Fund's
Mirian Wright Edelman
Disappointed In Clintons !
Interview Reveals Hillary Truth

Hillary Clinton loves to visit black churches and tell folks about how her involvement in Mirian Edelman's Children's Defense Fund shows how much she cares for the poor and struggling blacks. She claims to have seen Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and was supposedly transformed into this civil rights, caring, wonderful woman. Fact is, at the same time Hillary claims in our churches to have been so pro Civil Rights, she was actually what she called a 'Goldwater Girl', meaning a staunch supporter of Senator Barry Goldwater who was not only a segragtionist but was adamently AGAINST the passing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Now, Hillary, or make that Billary, have been tauting their wonderful Childrens Defense Fund history. Well, fact is, Ms. Marian Wright Edelman is extremely disappointed in the Clintons and has been for many years. But the Clintons don't mention that part in their smoooooth speeches. Below is an article and excerpt from an interview by Marian Wright Edelman that everyone should read..It discusses facts from a book entitled Her Way about Hillary Clinton


Marian Wright Edelman -- founder of the Children's Defense Fund and something of a saint -- hired Hillary back in 1970 to lead the organization, is a big deal to me. The fact they became close friends is an endorsement. Discovering how badly the Clintons alienated Edelman with the welfare reform bill is a major strike against them.

According to Her Way, "a key opponent of the legislation was Marian Wright Edelman, the founder of the Children's Defense Fund, and the woman who Hillary credited with inspiring her in 1970 to commence a lifelong advocacy for children. Twenty five years later, however, Hillary was no longer an idealistic advocate..."

Edelman was devastated by the Clintons' support for this bill and took great pains to let her position be known. A New York Times story at the time reported that Edelman "sent a blistering memorandum to the Cabinet, warning that one of the welfare options being considered will 'violate every standard of decency and fairness.'"

Her Way: "Publicly, Hillary denied compromising her principles or values when she endorsed her husband's support of the welfare legislation, which came as he was facing reelection. She believed, she claimed, that the third bill passed by Congress went far enough in its guarantees of medical benefits, child care and food stamps to warrant her and Bill's support. (Others, both liberals and conservatives, noted that the third bill was almost the same as the previous two Bill had vetoed.)"

This sort of self-deceptive justification sounds too familiar. When Hillary describes her vote for this blood-draining, money burning, illegal occupation known as the Iraq War, she likes to say the bill she voted for was for diplomacy. She's the only one who believes that.

Back to Her Way: "Years later, the welfare reform bill was viewed by many as a success; others considered it an abandonment of the truly needy for the sake of scoring political points. In her book Living History, Hilary found the space to acknowledge more than four hundred friends, colleagues and supporters. Marian Wright Edelman was not one of them"

Wow. That's cold . It's one thing to have a disagreement. It's another to completely and utterly dis a friend, supporter and mentor of over 20 years.

This past July, Marian Wright Edelman was interviewed by Amy Goodman on Democracy Now. The subject was, in part, Hillary Clinton and welfare reform. Here is the exchange:

AMY GOODMAN: Marian Wright Edelman, we just heard Hillary Rodham Clinton. She used to be the head of the board of the Children's Defense Fund, of the organization that you founded. But you were extremely critical of the Clintons. I mean, when President Clinton signed off on the, well, so-called welfare reform bill, you said, "His signature on this pernicious bill makes a mockery of his pledge not to hurt children." So what are your hopes right now for these Democrats? And what are your thoughts about Hillary Rodham Clinton?

MARIAN WRIGHT EDELMAN: Well, you know, Hillary Clinton is an old friend, but they are not friends in politics. We have to build a constituency, and you don't -- and we profoundly disagreed with the forms of the welfare reform bill, and we said so. We were for welfare reform, I am for welfare reform, but we need good jobs, we need adequate work incentives, we need minimum wage to be decent wage and livable wage, we need healthcare, we need transportation, we need to invest preventively in all of our children to prevent them ever having to be on welfare.

For the sake of looking tough on "welfare queens," Bill and Hillary (and they were indeed a team) sacrificed the well-being of millions, forced single mothers into underpaid, underinsured work and added further strain to many families. Edelman continues:

And yet, you know, many years after that, when many people are pronouncing welfare reform a great success, you know, we've got growing child poverty, we have more children in poverty and in extreme poverty over the last six years than we had earlier in the year. When an economy is down, and the real test of welfare reform is what happens to the poor when the economy is not booming. Well, the poor are suffering, the gap between rich and poor widening. We have what I consider one of -- a growing national catastrophe of what we call the cradle-to-prison pipeline.

A black boy today has a one-in-three chance of going to prison in his lifetime, a black girl a one-in-seventeen chance. A Latino boy who's born in 2001 has a one-in-six chance of going to prison. We are seeing more and more children go into our child welfare systems, go dropping out of school, going into juvenile justice detention facilities. Many children are sitting up -- 15,000, according to a recent congressional GAO study -- are sitting up in juvenile institutions solely because their parents could not get mental health and healthcare in their community. This is an abomination.

You know what else is an abomination? The way the Clintons so quickly sacrificed so many friends, black women especially, in their quest to appease the Right, move to the center, win elections or all three. Yall remember Lani Guinier? Oh yes, let's revisit that painful episode..

Guinier was nominated by Bill to head the DOJ's Civil Rights division. The two knew each other from back in the day at Yale Law School, but when a fanatical group of conservatives and a shamefully lazy press manipulated Guinier's positions on race to the point that she was being called "quota queen," the Clintons were nowhere to be found. They withdrew Guinier's nomination with the quickness rather than defend a friend and intellectual powerhouse who they'd know for 20 years.

The Center for Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting put out an article on the manipulative press and cowardly Clinton:.

***** End of Article************

So the next time Hillary comes to your church and tells you all about how much she is loved by Marian Edelman, during the question and answer segment, just raise your hand politely and ask Hillary (or Bill), " When Are You Gonna Stop Lying!"


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