Thursday, May 22, and we moved into the sign of Gemini – and we all know Gemini, the twins, Castor and Pollux, two-faced stuff, or something – and it is said that the Gemini folks do like talking, whatever is unusual, teaching, learning, having multiple projects all going at once, traveling, making jokes – and rather dislike feeling tied down, losing, being wrong, being in a bad situation, mental inaction and all the rest. It’s the sign for actors, architects, archaeologists, comedians – and diplomats.
Of course that’s all nonsense. But something was in the air. People were getting all Gemini restless and bored. In Slate, see John Dickerson – “The race for the Democratic nomination – ‘race’ is hardly the right word, is it? – now feels like a quantum physics problem: How long can a body exist in a state approximating motionlessness without actually stopping?”
Yes, we’ve all had enough, and were looking for something new, or at least more to the point. That’s why everyone seemed to be clicking on this video clip from al-Jazeera English – a simple news report on the situation in Kentucky, interviewing all the folks that were saying “nope, won’t vote for no black man.” These were the people who kept Hillary Clinton in the race. As many commented, it’s hard to imagine an American news outlet doing this – it cuts deep, and although everyone knew what was going on, no news outlet here would just go report on it. You don’t want to make these people, and by extension this country, look bad. You have to nod to what people want to believe – we’re a good country and such things just don’t happen that much.
Matthew Yglesias says this:
This is obviously an awkward subject. Hillary Clinton and her supporters haven’t wanted to acknowledge that their ranks have, to some extent, been swelled by racism. At the same time, insofar as Obama looks likely to lose a substantial number of voters purely because of race, that is a real, if unseemly, tactical objection to giving him the nomination.
You just don’t talk about it. You must be careful, even Hillary Clinton wasn’t that careful, talking about “hard-working white Americans” who she said were her core supporters and mattered more than any other group. The problem was the implicit opposite – that made Obama’s supporters those who just weren’t hard-working (see shiftless and lazy) and certainly weren’t white, and who probably weren’t real Americans anyway. Her point about the size and importance of this group was perhaps valid – you don’t throw away big constituencies – but the implicit characterization of those outside the group, as shiftless, lazy colored-folk, was a tad unfortunate. There may have been more graceful ways to make her point.
It doesn’t matter much. She may be forced to accept that she’s lost this thing, at some point – but that seems unlikely. No one knows what her real game is, if not somehow winning. On the other hand she could be Obama’s running-mate, and as Obama and McCain were on the hunt for running-mates, that might be possible, but for this report at “The Field” from Al Giordano:
The Field can now confirm, based on multiple sources, something that both campaigns publicly deny: that Senator Clinton has directly told Senator Obama that she wants to be his vice presidential nominee, and that Senator Obama politely but straightforwardly and irrevocably said “no.” Obama is going to pick his own running mate based on his own criteria and vetting process.
Something might be going on. As UCLA’s Mark Kleiman comments:
Of course I have no idea whether Al Giordano is right in reporting that HRC bluntly asked for the vice-presidency and that BHO just as bluntly said “no.” If it were true, it would explain the otherwise hard-to-fathom nastiness of HRC’s comparison of the situation in Florida, where the Democratic Party is acting according to previously-agreed-on rules, and the situation in Zimbabwe, where the ruling party is carrying out mass murder against the party that won the election.
Well, she did say that – Obama saying they had all agreed that Florida wouldn’t count, and that she herself had agreed to the rules and had even signed the document, was just like mass murder, or something. As, she’s angry and lashing out – he said no, go way.
Of course, at one of the Newsweek blogs, reporter Andrew Romano quotes Obama, in Boca Raton, the next day, saying this:
I can tell you this. My goal is to have the best possible government. And that means me winning. So, I’m very practical in my thinking. I’m a practical guy. One of my heroes is Abraham Lincoln. Awhile back, there was a wonderful book written by Doris Kearns Goodwin called ‘Team of Rivals,’ in which she talked about how Lincoln basically pulled all the people he’d been running against into his Cabinet. Because whatever personal feelings there were, the issue was, “How can we get the country through this time of crisis?” I think that has to be the approach one takes to the vice president and the Cabinet.
Is that him softening up to her, or something else entirely? Perhaps he has a cabinet slot for her. That won’t help. She’ll just be angrier.
But she is being nasty. See Josh Marshall:
I’ve always assumed, as I think most people have, that once the nomination is settled the Florida and Michigan delegates will be seated. And I can see if Sen. Clinton wants to embrace this issue to claim a moral victory even while coming short of her goal of the nomination. As things currently stand, seating them would still leave Sen. Clinton behind in delegates.
But Sen. Clinton is doing much more than this. She is embarking on a gambit that is uncertain in its result and simply breathtaking in its cynicism.
… What she’s doing is not securing her the nomination. Rather, she’s gunning up a lot of her supporters to believe that the nomination was stolen from her — a belief many won’t soon abandon. And that on the basis of rationales and arguments there’s every reason to think she doesn’t even believe in.
He calls this toxic, and one of his readers adds this:
I think Hillary is genuinely convinced that this election has been a travesty. That elections ought to be about who wins the most votes, full stop. Never mind the innumerable problems with applying that argument to the contests this cycle; it’s what she believes. And it’s of a piece with a set of grievances that she and her surrogates have voiced: that the media has treated her too harshly, that her candidacy has been hobbled by sexism, and that her opponent has enjoyed unfair advantages. Each of these complaints springs from a common premise – Hillary could not have lost a fair fight for the nomination. And working from that premise, she sees herself not only as a victim, but also as a champion of those who, like her, have been wronged by the system. This really has become a moral crusade for her, and that’s impelling her forward long after she’s lost any realistic chance of winning.
Perhaps she can be persuaded to back away from the edge. But now that the dictates of her conscience and of political expedience have at last converged, Hillary is finally giving voice to the grievances that she’s long held back. As she’s done so, she’s tapped into a deep and powerful strain of resentment and – dare I say it – bitterness in the electorate. It’s not easy to put that genie back in the bottle, and it’s not at all clear to me that she wants to.
Do we have to have more of this? Those of us who are impatient Gemini folk would like to move on.
Also see Newsweek’s Jonathan Alter, who, after a detailed review of the nonsense that she’s won the popular votes, ends with this:
The shorthand many Clinton supporters are already taking into the summer is that she won the popular vote but had the nomination “taken away” (as Joy Behar said on “The View”) by a man.
What a helpful message for uniting the Democratic Party.
If the Obama people have any sense, they will demand in their negotiations with the Clintonites that Hillary cease and desist in her specious claim to have won the most popular votes.
Given that more than 35 million voters took part in the Democratic primaries and caucuses, the math games on both sides look awfully silly. Everyone should agree to call it a tie.
Yeah, and I should win the lottery. Some things just won’t happen, and now one of her campaign managers, Harold Ickes, is saying, about Michigan, that he wants the “uncommitted” to stay “uncommitted” – denying Obama any delegates from Michigan at all, a hardening of all previous positions. It’s Obama’s own fault that Obama played by the rules and, as did every other candidate but Hillary Clinton, removed his name from the ballot. That just makes him a wimp and a fool and not tough enough of a fighter to be president – and so on.
How about down memory lane? The New York Times from September 2, 2007:
Hours after Senator Barack Obama of Illinois and former Senator John Edwards of North Carolina agreed to sign a loyalty pledge put forward by party officials in Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York followed suit. The decision seemed to dash any hopes of Mrs. Clinton relying on a strong showing in Florida as a springboard to the nomination.
“We believe Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina play a unique and special role in the nominating process,” Patti Solis Doyle, the Clinton campaign manager, said in a statement.
The pledge sought to preserve the status of traditional early-voting states and bring order to an unwieldy series of primaries that threatened to accelerate the selection process. It was devised to keep candidates from campaigning in Florida, where the primary is set for Jan. 29, and Michigan, which is trying to move its contest to Jan. 15.
Clinton fired Patti Solis Doyle after the long streak of twelve or fourteen primary and caucus losses. It seems that Doyle will soon be working for Obama.
Brendan Loy adds another Hillary Clinton observation:
She appears to be ratcheting up her rhetoric to the point where, if the Rules & Bylaws Committee does anything other than seat the Florida and Michigan delegations with full voting rights and in complete accordance with the rogue primary results, she can declare that decision an anti-democratic outrage that must be remedied, irrespective of its significance to the nomination battle, and thus use it as an excuse to keep fighting all the way to the convention, even after Obama secures the nomination by any and all mathematical standards (whether the magic number is 2,025 or 2,210). In this scenario, Hillary would most likely “suspend” her campaign, but refrain from endorsing Obama or “releasing” her delegates, and then lie in wait for the next three months, hoping some political calamity befalls him in the mean time, at which point she can sweep in like a “white knight” and take the nomination away from him.
Enough of this nonsense – after all consider this:
Hillary Clinton is a Scorpio and they are given to personal corruption, vengeance, feuds, anger and revel in chaos although they can be a blast at parties. They also consider sex and drugs as recreational hobbies and have a really wicked sense of humor. Clinton seems mostly Sun (soul) centered although her utterly humorless nature and disdain for the truth means that her Moon (emotions) is probably Aquarian. Her stubbornness is a rising sign (personality) trait and I’m hazarding a guess that she is Taurus rising, which could account for her bull-like physical shape.
Obama is a Leo – like Benjamin Harrison, Herbert Hoover, and oddly enough, Bill Clinton – generous and warmhearted, creative and enthusiastic, broad-minded and expansive, and faithful and loving.
Choose your nonsense. Can we move on now?