Msnowe's Blog

We have a long way to go, my friend.

Posted in Uncategorized by m.snowe on January 28, 2008

Ever notice McCain’s odd way with phraseology, and his insistence on amplifying the use of the appendage “my friend” at the end of every forceful sentence he utters, positive or no? It’s almost like a nervous tick, except no one seems to have pointed it out to the Senator, and encouraged him to stop, not even his own campaign crew. Because, number one, it can sound kind of smug, and he uses it universally, applying it to true “friends” and foes. For instance, when debating unflattering quotes and comments on Meet the Press, McCain calls Russert, a tepid acquaintance at best, “my friend” in a way that in actuality implies the reverse. Fine. Call people you don’t like or are currently annoyed with your friends — it’s better than most alternatives in a time when everything you say and do ends up on YouTube. But, if you’ve watched some of McCain’s stump speeches, he uses the same intonation and address to his supporters. One gets the feeling that if forced to chat with Al Qaeda, McCain might soon be calling them his friends as well. Who knew he was so amicable.

In other news,
We do have a long way to go, my friends. That is, when it comes to the Democratic nomination. Walking home, a teeny young woman on her blue tooth blurted out sporadically, causing those around her to jump: “Obama got South Carolina!… as if you would care…” to the general workers trudging home across streets in the financial section of NJ, suggesting that the majority of white men in business suits would be against such a proclamation. Well, sadly in South Carolina, she would have been right – the majority of Obama’s votes were African American, or they were in the 18-29 age group, regardless of race. 45% of the white male vote went to Edwards, 28% Clinton, and 27% Obama. This isn’t very surprising, but we shouldn’t be too concerned – white men only made up 18% of the vote in SC. And this is the wonderful news: turnout was unprecedented – the Democratic primary had a mobilized group of voters that had not been seen in a long time, if ever — and it’s good because the more people who come out and vote, the more accurate a snapshot of the national temperature we’re able to receive, and that’s what democracy is all about. However, Obama, if he wants to win the nomination and the general election, needs to find ways for the white men in suits to care, because they do, nationally make up a large enough swatch of the voting population. Well it looks like Obama might be on his way to that, with:
Camelot calling.

Caroline Kennedy just endorsed Obama in an OpEd piece for the New York Times this weekend, comparing Obama to JFK, Jr. – something she hasn’t ever done before for a presidential candidate. It’s expected that Ted Kennedy will also endorse Obama, to Clinton’s dismay. And this might help Obama greatly, who is struggling with not only white men but the older electorate pool, many of whom still live in the fantasy world of JFK Jr. Era politics. (Though some of these people are backwards and also just as likely to still have a pre-civil rights mindset, which would counteract any good that the Kennedy endorsement might do). We can understand the need of endorsements, but honestly, voters should not seriously base their estimations of a candidate’s abilities on the daughter of a ex-president, just because the president was idealized and had a decent record. If Chelsea Clinton was to get up and endorse someone (if her mother wasn’t running), would we listen? And, an older white house offspring’s opinion would be better – because Caroline was what, six years old when her father died? How, how would her estimation of Obama/JFK be any different than a really good historian? Yes, she knew things only family members know, but in terms of experiencing his political life, she is only as informed as any second hand observer would be, and she even implies this in the OpEd, saying “I have never had a president who inspired me the way people tell me that my father inspired them.” Her endorsement is significant with some people — she’s a well-respected attorney and socialite. But like Oprah before her, and what is sure to be a long list of people after her, this really shouldn’t affect the polls, but sadly it probably will. Just because Neil Diamond was obsessed with her as a child, doesn’t mean we all should be. But of course, the endorsement of the Kennedy’s isn’t necessarily a good thing in a general election (e.g. John Kerry), but it couldn’t hurt Obama now, who is looking to roll over as many primaries as he can with the momentum from South Carolina, and the Kennedy’s yay-say is highly influential in New England, and important to an Obama campaign that would love to take votes away from Hillary, who is depending on the older New England vote. The longer we go, the harder it is to tell whether these two campaigns and the constant ebb and flow of primary victories will lead to Democratic triumph, or demise.

Oh, in other, other news, the State of the Union Address is tonight – clogging up our television screens when we could be watching really lovely, low-budget reality shows. The networks should be jumping for joy with the fact that they are actually able to air something scripted by real writers (non-writer’s guild affiliated, of course), but the general feeling is none too enthusiastic. Not many even know it’s going to be airing tonight –they’re in for a rude interruption. It should be interesting, to say the least — a few friendly parting shots from bozo the clown as he exits, preaching bi-partisanism while simultaneously calling the congress a “DemocRAT” majority and shifting his shoulders while giggling in that unsettling and slightly retarded fashion. Let’s give him unlimited standing ovations – it’s his last one, thank goodness, my friend.