Posts Tagged politics


Watching the events of Tuesday night was like watching the Oscars. The speeches, the timing, the decor and backdrops, outfits and ties, everything staged and scripted to the last detail. Even the pundits and media analysts played their roles impeccably. They never once failed to point out the obvious, speculate on why their earlier speculations were wrong, and repeat all those talking points we’ve come to know and love.

The night kicked off well before the polls were closed in South Dakota and Montana. CNN, with the help of some neat graphics, reminded us how Obama was only 4 votes away from clinching the nomination. But just before it was official, McCain decided to steal the spotlight with a perfectly timed speech in Kentucky. It was a direct attack on Obama and his lack of experience. The small crowd gathered was initially enthused by his opening remarks. But as he continued the cheers (and occasionally boos at Obama) became less and less audible. There were three or four people (probably campaign staffers) who would initiate them on queue and try to get the crowd going. Anyway, the second half of the speech was basically him bullet point through Obama’s weaknesses and end each list with “and that’s not change you can believe in.” It was the saddest thing I’ve heard. I think my graduation ceremony speaker had a more inspiring speech and I don’t even remember his name.

Next up, Hillary. Her speech came in moments after it was official she had won South Dakota. It was predicted she would use the speech to concede and endorse Obama. To me it sounded like a victory speech. At first my thought was she was just rejoicing her latest victory in SD, no harm done. She would use it to energize her supporters and once they were victory-hypnotized she would ask them to unite behind the Obama. It was the thing to do to unite the party, and it was definitely the thing to do if one loses.

But after hearing her whole speech, my thought was either there is something she knows about Obama that the rest of us don’t yet know, or she still doesn’t know what the rest of us already know — if you have more delegates you win the election. I am leaning towards the latter scenario because if she did know something she would have used it a long time ago. But to be fair she did give her supporters the chance to tell her what she needs to know and invited them to visit her website and express their opinion as to what her next move ought to be.

Well Hillary did more than poll the audience, she also phoned some friends and finally today arrived at her final answer: she will concede on Saturday and endorse Obama.

Finally, Obama’s speech. Energetic, eloquent, inspiring, are just some words that can be used to describe it. But there is more to it too. For the first time he was actually direct and aggressive. He hit back at McCain and did not hold back as much as he did against Clinton. The crowd loved it and at that point, given the historic significance of it, it was hard not to be moved. God I hope they don’t assassinate him.

Note: Clearly I have an Obama bias, so get over it.


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The Bar: Now lower than ever.

Any New York state resident will tell you that this is not their proudest year. Last March, the entire nation was glued to their TV as news of scandal at the highest level of state government began to unfold. The Spitzer “Client 9” tale had all the ingredients of a raunchy motion picture, from adultery and prostitution, to alleged illegal use of state funds. It was so big that people remember where they were and what they were doing when they first heard about it. Lucky for me I was at Atlanta airport on my way to Arizona – as far away from ground-zero-without-leaving-the-country as possible. Away for a week and back just in time to see Paterson carry the torch and begin the healing process.

Governor Paterson had everything we wanted in a successor. He was in good terms with senators from both parties and didn’t have the enemies-in-high-places problem Spitzer had even before the scandal. He was black and legally blind, both a first for the state’s highest office and soon we were talking about this historic moment rather then the series of historic moments that led up to this one. We were re-assured that “blind” justice was here to replace corruption.

And then poof, it was all gone. Well, it was supposed to be at least. Just hours after delivering a moving Obama-esque speech (which he had to memorize) and asserting his role as governor, news of adultery and scandal again began to surface. He admitted to reporters that both he and his wife had extramarital affairs and that in fact he had several of these including a romantic affair with a Spitzer staffer who was still at her job. The news spread like wild fire and quickly members of the state assembly were asked about how they are going to deal with these revelations. Are they going to impeach for ethical reasons? How about a vote of no confidence (if there is such a thing in our system of government)? How about the masses, will they stand for this?

Well to be brief, the answers were “No, No, and yes.” The response was quite simply “Well, at least he didn’t pay for it” or “nothing illegal here.” So there you have it, the great state of New York is once again leading the way in teaching young kids everywhere that it’s o.k. to cheat on your spouse so long as you don’t pay for it.


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