May 2008

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Where were you when you heard the news? I was sitting at my computer and saw the headline on the front page of yahoo. I was shocked.

I refer, of course, to the Clooney breakup. George Clooney, 47, has broken up with his 29 year-old model and former Vegas cocktail server girlfriend of one year, Sarah Larson. Why God, WHY!? What has George Clooney ever done to you, Oh Mighty One? Do you take pleasure in toying with our mere mortal souls? First, the cyclone in Myanmar. Then the Chengdu earthquake. And now, calamity of calamities… Clooney and his girlfriend are on the outs!

Will Clooney ever find another woman willing to date him? I have had my top team of statisticians working day and night crunching numbers at the FifthLung compound since this news broke and they tell me 13% of the female population has vowed to never date George Clooney. Of that 13%, only 85% are lying. The odds sound impossible for him. But George, let me assure you of one thing in the midst of your despair — the sun will come up tomorrow, my friend!

Can he find the courage to go on? I hope so. You are in my prayers, Mr. George Clooney.

I don’t think HRC meant to say she ought to stay in the race in case our leading contender is assassinated — at least not directly — but she should not be mentioning the word “assassination” within one hundred miles of a rationale for staying in the race. It was a stupid comment and she said it several times before she was called on it. Couldn’t she have just said that in 1968 the race was still undecided in June?

What has been lost in the uproar is that even taking her comments in the best light, they are deceitful. Bill Clinton did have the nomination wrapped up before June, and back in 1968 the campaign season was much shorter. People did call for Ted Kennedy to get out of the race in 1980 and the fact that he did not created a divided convention, a divided party and a loss to Ronald Reagan.

We all need to put the gaffe behind us. This assassination flap is hurting everybody. It hurts Hillary because it suggests she will indeed say and do anything to get elected. It foments anger among Obama supporters, who now dislike HRC even more. The Clinton camp’s reaction, especially Bill Clinton’s repeated claims that the world is trying to keep his wife down, foments anger among Clinton supporters, who now dislike Obama even more. The Clintons, with their false accusations of sexism and their unreasonable and deceitful insistence on seating Michigan and Florida delegates to the absolute benefit of Hillary Clinton, seem intent on tearing up the party. In the process, Bill and Hillary are losing all credibility, which is also bad for the party. Do they care? It doesn’t seem like they do.

They blame the press. They blame Obama. They blame sexism. They blame everybody but themselves for the fact that they have lost this nomination fight. How 90s of them.

In her Louisville victory speech tonight, Hillary Clinton continued to claim that she is winning the popular vote. She is counting Michigan and Florida. Back before the Michigan primary happened, she said it didn’t count. Nobody on the Clinton campaign will address this conflict. When asked, they change the subject. The only member of the Clinton entourage with any integrity left at this point is Lisa Caputo.

Clinton and her supporters are screaming, “Sexism!” Everyone, allegedly, is telling her to get out because this country is sexist. Well, very few people are telling her to get out. Not even me. It might not be a bad thing for her to wait until the last primary. What concerns me is her endgame. She claims she’s fighting on for the little people. I think she’s fighting on for her ego and for political power. And what is she going to want with that political capital she is accumulating?

I am trying to come to terms with a possible Clinton VP in the general election even though I think it would be a mistake. What worries me more is Clinton as VP after the election. Will it be a constant struggle for power in the White House between Obama, her and Bill? Will that be all we hear about for four or eight years?

Anyway, people (Obama superdelegates, for instance) are going out of their way to not tell her she needs to get out. The pundits aren’t telling her to get out, this race is great for ratings. The pundits are saying it’s over, that only Obama can win because he has the pledged delegates. The superdelegates cannot overturn the pledged delegates. That would destroy the party. There is not sexism at work here, there is winning and losing. And CLINTON HAS LOST!

But Clinton supporters claim sexism is more pervasive than racism in this country and the course of this nomination race, they claim, proves this. It couldn’t be the Iraq war vote, the lying, the shameless spin, the shameless playing of the gender card, Mark Penn not knowing how pledged delegates were allocated — no, it must be sexism.

Let’s assume Clinton supporters are right. That sexism is keeping her down. That sexism is more pervasive in this country than racism. In that case, wouldn’t Obama be the stronger general election candidate? But I don’t believe sexism is more pervasive than racism in this country. Both are bad, both hurt the country, but neither determined this race. Obama simply ran a better campaign and, incidentally, that suggests he would run a better Presidency.

For now, we can thank Clinton for continuing the storyline that Obama cannot win white working class voters. (Yes, Obama is partly to blame; e.g., his bitter comment, his limited effort in West Virginia and Kentucky.) But all Democrats must ask whether Hillary is helping the Democratic Party. Or is she ultimately hurting — by weakening our candidate — the very people she claims to champion?

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