Smoke, mirrors…and texts
August 29, 2008
Several weeks ago, my husband excitedly told me that he, J*** M*****, would be the first to know who the (then) presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama would choose as his running mate. J*** had signed up to receive a text message of the news on his cell phone. (The novelty of text messages still has not worn off in our house – I don’t send them myself and was alarmed at how out of touch I must be when my 59-year-old mother sent me one the other day.) Obama was going to make his choice known to the world…but first, he was going to text my husband.
We stared at his phone. When it buzzed, would it tell us that Hillary Clinton was the chosen one, even though she hadn’t been vetted; even though Obama hadn’t mentioned her much in the past few weeks; and even though CNN - otherwise known as BNN (Barack News Network) – had indicated that she was NOT on his short list? Would the text reveal that Clinton would be rewarded for her 18 million primary votes and her unfailing public support of Obama since she conceded the race? We held out a glimmer of hope. After all, why would Obama need to vet Clinton? She was nearly in his place. What more could he possibly need to know about her, about her qualifications?
I had voted for Clinton in the New Jersey primary. I thought her the superior candidate based on experience and her ability to explain things clearly. I did not dislike Obama, but had concerns about his many “present” votes in the Illinois State Senate, for instance. I worry about his lack of decisiveness. Recently, when BNN did back-to-back interviews with Obama and presumptive Republican nominee John McCain, the moderator asked both men the same questions and the result was that McCain spit out more answers than did Obama in the allotted time (same for both). Why? McCain uses words like “yes” and “no.” Obama is less direct. He dances around those words.
Needless to say, when the text came at 3 a.m. on Aug. 23, we were very disappointed. It’s not that we don’t respect, or even admire, Senator Joe Biden. But like somebody said on Fox News: Is this Obama’s way of admitting he needs adult supervision in the White House?
Here’s what I think: this is actually Obama’s way of avoiding the revelation that he needs the Clinton voters. I think that he might see that as stooping or pandering. And a man with his ego is never going to admit publically that he needs the help of a lowly woman…other than his wife. Right?
Whoosh! I felt that slap in the face. All of the votes Clinton had received and all of her subsequent cheers and supportive declarations hadn’t ingratiated her in Obama’s good graces. And to add insult to injury, Obama sent his magical text at 3 a.m., the time when Clinton had said she’d be ready to pick up the phone and deal with the country’s needs and Obama would not. So there!
The Obama-Biden ticket was designed to offset attacks from the McCain camp. What do you mean I’m not experienced enough? I’ve got a 36-year United States senator on my team…and he has white hair. What do you mean I don’t have enough foreign policy experience? My vice president is the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee?
McCain has made a similar move in selecting Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as his running mate, but he’s also one-upped the distinguished gentleman from Illinois. Palin offsets McCain’s age and his less-than-conservative ideals by bringing youth, and consequently inexperience, to the ticket. She’s only 44, the youngest of the four candidates, and is in her first term as the head of her state. On the plus side for the “too moderate” McCain are her politics: she’s pro-gun, pro-life and anti-gay. And just like Biden, she has a son enlisted in our armed services. As the mother of five, including one child with Down syndrome, she’s probably capable of keeping McCain in line during the next several months.
But Palin’s real gift is genetic: she’s got the same anatomy as one Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton…and in the wake of Clinton’s snub, Palin’s vagina is more valuable to McCain than any man’s set of balls would be. Let’s face it: you’ve got to be tough in politics, but you’ve also got to be smart and a bit of a show(wo)man. It’s all smoke and mirrors.
The real question now is whether or not angry Clinton supporters, like me and my text-happy hubby, will take the bait. Will we fall hook, line and sinker for McCain’s choice of the former commercial fishing company owner?
I’m at a crossroads.
I was hoping that McCain would pick Mitt Romney, the conservative once caught in liberal’s clothing from Massachusetts. I can’t think of anyone I despise more…except maybe Maureen Dowd (but that’s a blog for another day). He’s pro-choice one day…pro-life the next. He’s credited with creating jobs at Bain, when really, he cut benefits and pay to existing workers in order to do so. And, though this is quite unfair to Romney, I associate him with those brutal weeks I spent during my undergraduate education at Boston University waiting to find out whether Al Gore had beaten George W. Bush in the 2000 Presidential election…even though Romney wasn’t yet the Governor. ARRRGGGHHH!
If McCain had just picked Romney, I could have forgiven Obama…sort of.
I don’t know what to do. As a Clinton supporter, I am really angry at Obama. But am I angry enough to vote against my side of the issues: pro-choice, pro-gay, anti-gun? Do I side with my party or with my sex? Which is worse: being spat upon or being manipulated? I suppose I could just not vote at all…but then I would be giving up the right to complain after the dust settles.
For now, I’ll just sit by the phone and wait for a text message from my soul. Isn’t that how it works?