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Thursday, March 13, 2008

Political Incorrectness or Change Versus Establishment?

George Wenschhof

After forty states (not counting Florida and Michigan), this 2008 Democratic campaign for the party's nomination for President has been both a surprise and disappointment. The major surprise has been the closeness of the race this late into the primary schedule with either a woman or an african-american in line for the nomination. The disappointment has been in the campaign tactics the Clinton campaign has chosen as well as the spoken words of supporters of Senator Clinton.

At a time when Democrats should be excited over the impending nomination of either a woman or african-american for the first time ever, for President of the United States, it appears race and gender has received more attention than the many pressing issues facing Americans.

Many democrats were taken aback when they heard the statements by former President Bill Clinton describing how "this was a fairy tale" in regard to the campaign by Senator Barack Obama for President. This statement came about prior to New Hampshire, a state Clinton needed to win after her loss to Obama in Iowa. If you remember, it was also the time her New Hampshire campaign manager was forced to resign after his statements pertaining to Senator Obama's drug use in his younger days.

If that was not enough to make your head spin, the Clinton campaign faced again with defeat, ran the infamous red phone television spot preceding the Ohio primary driving home their theme that Senator Obama is not prepared to be commander in chief.

Not wanting to be left out of the craziness, Geraldine Ferraro a former New York congresswoman and the first woman to be a vice-president candidate (1984) decides to enter the fray with yet another stupid comment.

Reported as saying something to the effect that this (the closeness of the race) would not be happening if he wasn't Black or a woman of color, she now has democratic voters saying what is going on? She wasn't done yet, Ferraro was later quoted as saying "they wouldn't be attacking me if I wasn't White".

The only comment attributed to Senator Clinton was she did not agree with Ferraro's comments and something to the effect that these types of statements have been attributed to both campaigns. Later, after Ferraro continued to make a fool of herself on several television talk shows, she submitted her resignation from Clinton's campaign finance committee.

All of these attacks by the Clinton campaign or her surrogates have the unseemly attributes of what democrats have seen from attacks from Republican strategist Carl Rove.

Many democratic voters are struggling with trying to understand this attack on race when civil rights and equality have long been issues at the forefront of the party.

Perhaps it is not race or gender that is the major battle that is taking place. Maybe it is all about establishment versus change. This would help explain, but hardly excuse, the draconian actions being used by the Clinton campaign in this election.

It almost appears Senator Clinton feels she is entitled to be the democratic candidate for President. She also appears clueless as to how a young upstart could be beating her in this election.

The answer is change in the way government is conducted in Washington D.C. is what is wanted by the voters. Senator Obama and his campaign is tapping into this grassroots energy. He is doing this by going directly to the voters all over the country and not just to party bosses. This battle for the democratic nomination has developed into a classic top down driven Clinton campaign against a insurgent bottom up driven Obama campaign.

Democratic voters understand it is time for a change from the Republican George W. Bush administration. The Clinton campaign strategy and techniques are showing them is also time for a change from the system used by the democratic party to determine their nominee for President.

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