News today that Hillary's campaign manager Patti Solis Doyle has "stepped down", on the heels of losing in all 4 weekend primaries. Peggy Noonan asks the question whether Hillary knows how to lose graciously, and is the first person I've heard declare Obama the Democratic nominee.
Clearly, Obama is a movement and practically impossible to stop or derail. What I love about his candidacy is how he really dispels the notion that "experience" is what matters most. Experience is what McCain and Hillary are about, and both just come across as people who look backward. We learned a devastating lesson about this with George W. Bush, who appointed a whole slew of "experienced" people--the evil Dick Cheney, the maladroit Donald Rumsfeld, to name a few. And when he had an experienced person who actually knew what was going on--I think of Richard Clarke, then ex-White House counter-terrorism adviser--he ignored him. Who knows if the next President can even undo this in two terms?
The first Presidential election in which I could vote was McGovern and Nixon in 1972. McGovern was an "outsider" and anti-war at the time we were mired in Vietnam. It was the first time I realized that war wasn't always a necessary evil. Obama is the first candidate I've seen since that time who doesn't exude politics as usual, whose very thought and speech patterns flow in another direction from the brand of thinking we get from the others. Hillary's constant macho talk about fighting, most often, the "Republican attack machine"; McCain's droning accusations that the Democrats will "surrender to terrorists". (Nixon characterized McGovern as the "acid, amnesty, and abortion" candidate.) Obama has broken that pattern and given us the opportunity and hope of re-shaping the paradigm of our country. Our country. It's really nice that those words have started to have meaning again. I feel like we're going to get it back!
Bush has robbed us of the sense that this is our country. Good riddance to Bush--the fear mongering; the anti-intellectual, "God-guided" decision-making; the ignorant, U.S.-centric, ideological weltanschauung. As far as I'm concerned, Bush just traded substance abuse for God abuse.
With Obama, the hope is that sanity will once more come back to this country. Our country.
(Photo used with kind permission of Philip Cloutier.)