There can be no question that Obama is the most exciting political orator for Democrats since JFK. Notice in Caroline Kennedy’s endorsement how she skipped over Lyndon Johnson, Jimmy Carter and even Bill Clinton (not to mention, which she also didn’t, Ronald Reagan) as inspirational leaders. What a slap in the face that was to the Clintons. Caroline Kennedy, though a liberal, has class, but the Clintons know little about such things, as they troll for power and personal advancement, obliterating all who get in their way. They define the politics of personal destruction.
Will this split have the same result as the Kennedy-Carter clash in 1980, which involved another former Southern governor and ended with a Republican victory? It’s too soon to tell, but Super Tuesday on Feb. 5 will make things clearer.
In an email to me, author and liberal Democrat Neal Gabler says, “Frankly I don’t think it is so much the bona fides (Kennedy) provides that could help Obama as the network and infrastructure. Kennedy has the best staff and the best connections of any politician in America and if Obama is able to tap those he will get a real boost.”
Former Clinton aide Dick Morris has accused the Clintons of using race in the South Carolina primary in an attempt to energize white voters. Clinton cynically used blacks during his runs for president and two terms in office. They are just now awakening to the fact that Clinton was not “America’s first black president,” as writer Toni Morrison once dubbed him, but rather a flimflammer and exploiter of things blacks care about.
On his blog, Morris writes, “The boldness of Obama in accepting the Clintons’ injection of race as an issue and his insistence on an enlightened answer challenges us all. Even as one’s head warns that the strategy will fail, one’s heart hopes that it will succeed. Either way, Obama has made the Super Tuesday vote more about who we are than who the candidates running for president are.”
While it’s a long way to November and Obama’s lack of experience has yet to be fully tested and his background fully vetted, it might almost be worth his election if he could force the Clintons to finally leave the stage. Almost.
Cal Thomas is co-author (with Bob Beckel) of the book, "Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That is Destroying America".
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