Yesterday Hillary Clinton took a big step, possibly a definitive step towards securing the Democratic Party's Presidential nomination. In the time I have been watching Democratic Party politics (since 1980) if a candidate won New Hampshire they won the nomination with the exception of William Jefferson Clinton whose 1992 loss to Paul Tsongas can be excepted because Lowell, the home of the late great Senator Tsongas is just across the border in Massachusetts. (The record for Iowa is not so good: Al Gore in 2000 was the first candidate to be nominated after winning Iowa in 20 years) The gender gap I had predicted last week showed up in New Hampshire and will continue in all primary states. I hate to say this because I am most certainly not a backer of any Clinton who may appear on the ballot but this race for the nomination despite media protestations and the good fight Senator Obama and his legion of followers seem destined to continue is in all likelihood over.
How can one make that assumption after one narrow primary victory? In 1992 Bill Clinton was the last candidate in that Democratic field to win a primary or caucus (in Georgia) but he found a way to manipulate the media into ordaining him as the nominee soon after. Hillary Clinton and her clever handlers who put meaningless rhetorical lines on paper in her stump speeches are as Howard Kurtz described in his book Spin Cycle, "the best media manipulators in the country." Senator Clinton's appeal to this point in the campaign had largely been based on inevitability because after all she is a Clinton. Later this week or early next I'll detail how the Democratic Party ceased to be a truly national party under the watch of President William Jefferson Clinton and why it took twelve years to even partially reverse the losses of the Clinton years in the Congress, State Legislatures and Governorships for the party.
The Clinton family is aiming to be a dynasty that puts the welfare of the "royal family" above that of the party they belong to and represent and ultimately the country itself in many cases. The American psyche has a soft spot for royalty. Not knowing the struggles of our forefathers who threw off an oppressive Monarchy in the pursuit of liberty, today's TV driven American society became quickly obsessed with Princess Diana and various TV show and movie celebrities. William Jefferson Clinton understanding this dynamic better than anyone used the media to its advantage and the psychopathy of Democratic Party loyalists, desperate for any sort hero to worship in the 1990s after almost 30 years of Republican control of the executive branch to cast himself and his family in a "leading light" sense to the public.
Hillary Clinton's sense of entitlement is galling for any objective observer of the process especially one who has been watching these primaries from near or afar for over twenty years like myself. Senator Clinton claimed last week that Senator Obama was giving false hope to Americans with his lofty and inspirational rhetoric, the sort of speech, I have never once seen Senator Clinton deliver. Were I a Clinton, I would not get into the debate on false hope. William Jefferson Clinton's 1992 Campaign lifted the hopes of liberals, progressives and moderates throughout the nation, the middle class, those looking for a break, etc. What William Jefferson Clinton's administration actually delivered were Republican majorities for the first time in forty years in both houses of Congress a record number of state Republican governors (32 after the 1996 election), and a number of moderate to conservative laws based on ensuring the political survival of the Clinton dynasty. Clinton's recklessness which led to impeachment also was directly responsible for Al Gore's failure to secure the White House in 2000: Clinton's behavior, not Al Gore's failure to campaign with him made the vote total close enough to where Florida's electoral process could be hijacked and manipulated. Interestingly enough, Gore's failure to become President allowed Hillary Clinton the opportunity to run in 2008 for the White House.
On the campaign trail Senator John Edwards and Senator Barack Obama have spoken in plain terms about their vision for American society. Hillary Clinton has spoken in Clintoneque platitudes and subtly insulted her opponents along the way. Let's get something straight when Senator Clinton refers to experience. I believe a candidate whose life and professional experience enriches their knowledge and ability to understand real problems is a qualification for the President. John Edwards as a plaintiffs attorney represented the most disadvantaged in society: those injured or manipulated by greedy large corporations. Edwards often times wouldn't see a dime for his hard work while he would spend thousands on his client in preparation for taking on the mammoth corporations who dot the American landscape. Hillary Clinton on the other hand served as a corporate attorney for the Rose Law Firm, a politically connected firm, which represents nothing but big business in typically corporate work.
As the last paragraph indicates, I intend to vote for John Edwards in the Florida Primary on January 29th. If Senator Edwards is no longer in the running I will support Barack Obama. Knowing the struggles of our party over the past several years, the rich heritage of the nation we live in and its founding principles and my desire to for our nation to move beyond the corporate/lobbyist driven political world that I recently gave up precludes me from supporting Hillary Clinton. But having been through the political wars makes me a realist. Their is very little chance she will not win the nomination. New Hampshire has spoken and as go New Hampshire's Democrats so usually go the nation's Democrats.
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- I am the host of the Major League Soccer Talk and EPL Talk Podcasts and am frequent guest on other (world) football shows. I am also the publisher of various other websites including this one. I work in public/government relations in addition to my soccer work and have a keen interest in history, politics, aviation, travel,and the world around us.