Monday, January 07, 2008

The Real Campaign

The behavior from Obama, Edwards, and the main stream media today clinches what the campaign has been about from day one: An all-out war on Hillary Clinton as a politican and as a human being.

I said months ago that there was one person running for president - Hillary. Everyone else is running to beat her, and I mean that in the sense of assault her as well as defeat her.

The unadulterated spew to be found in various comment threads today on the left must mark some all time high of CDS. People who know nothing of this woman save what they read in the echo-chamber of the blogs and the MSM are declaring that her powerful and heartfelt statement has to be fake because, you know, HRC is nothing but [fill in favroite stereotype aimed at strong women here], or else that she is playing victim or that she's crying for herself over her defeat, yadda yadda Ginger.


That was the words of someone who, unlike the other candidates and most certainly unlike the press and the bloggers wanking away on the sidelines, has dedicated her entire adult life to the slow boring of holes in hard wood - defending and advancing the public good. Whether you agree with her particular choices (and at this point I will not criticize a single one), this is someone who has done enormous good for the average citizen. She has done this in the face of public assaults on her that are monumentally out of proportion to anything she has done (or has failed to do). To note this is not to "play victim" but to acknowledge truth. Neither Obama nor Edwards has the substance to bear up under such a barrage. What is most amazing is that, even after attack from every quarter, she is still competitive, still draws huge crowds, still inspires millions.

Unlike Obama's slick sale of himself to the loudest crowd or Edwards' reinvention of himself every few years to see if someonebody will like him, HRC has consistently listened to the public and has done the hard work to get things like SCHIP passed. She refuses to kiss thte netroots' collective ass on the AUMF vote, and has never wavered in her support of the weakest in the society. Even those who deride her have to acknowledge her amazing command of the issues, though they usually do so sneering that she is "boring" and "cold" and "wonky". Hello? I don't give a rat's ass if my President is "likeable" - I want her to know what she is doing.

As a political theorist and a web analyst, I can say that what we are seeing with Obama is a viral marketing campaign. It is selling a product: "Golden Boy Barry, now New and Improved with 25% more Hope and 35% more Cheer than last week's version!" This is not, as Matt Compton enthused over on Democratic Strategist, an organization or a movement. It is based on nothing more than his media image. Sadly, glamour sells and buzz is self-reinforcing. Until it isn't, at which point Barry deflates like Edwards' hair on a damp day, and the boys will go limping away stage-left to go make millions as lobbyists. HRC, on the other hand, will continue to do as she has always done, whether in the Senate or running the Clinton foundation. The full fury of movement conservatism will not drive her away from advancing progressive politics.

Clinton has my vote, even if I have to write her in on the ballot next November.

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