Thursday, February 7, 2008

Hillary Panhandles; Obama Rocks

John McCain said yesterday that “politics is a rough business” and he might have been referring to Hillary Clinton’s race against Barak Obama. At least we know that McCain won’t be playing the “Crying Game.” We’re not so sure about that on the Democratic side.

Can tears help a president? We’ll see. The Clinton Campaign Inc. had to get a loan from one of its principals. Hillary referred to the 5 million bucks she loaned to herself as an “investment.” She’s hoping it goes as well as her long ago investment in cattle futures.

Where the Obama campaign raised 32 million during the last month, the Clintons raised only 8 or 9 million, leaving something of a deficit in expenditures. The 5 million is part pitch and part practical because the next run of primary and caucus states is not where the Clintons would want to scrimp. Pennsylvania’s is in her pocket and Rendell will deliver what Chris Matthews last night called the “old-style political machine.” Equally salacious politics goes on in Ohio where Hillary hopes to have the unions go into action for her.

The spending is important but what the Clinton campaign really needs is to turn the tide, the groundswell of public acclaim for Obama. Where once Clinton did not want a 1 on 1 debate with Obama, now it’s essential and her people are calling out Obama while her campaign goes begging for cash.

The Obama ranks are not stupid, and want to keep taking their case to their base. However, they’ll be forced to make some concession, not wanting to appear to shrink from a challenge. The pro-Obama anti-Clinton faction among Democrats doesn’t need to risk its candidate making a gaffe. Forget the details. The Barak Campaign is better off with thoughtful oratory, a youthful image, and a rock star charisma.

Meanwhile, DNC chairman Howard Dean has a Big Problem and I’m not referring to Chronic Scream Syndrome. The ugly specter of Super-Delegates is hanging over the Democratic race with Obama and Clinton in a virtual tie. That road leads to a brokered convention, meaning back-room deals to anoint a president. Followed by a short two-month campaign against the Republicans. So Dean wants a meeting where he gets one of the candidates to back down a bit and take second place. That’s a prospect that will play as well in theatres as the 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago.

Include me out. I’m only the messenger.

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