Thursday, May 15, 2008

Political miscellany

As the presidential primaries draw to a close, events on the campaign trail accelerate to a rapid-fire staccato of spin and imagery.

Here's a couple observations from the events of the last few days:

Git ya a pair o' overalls, girl!
Hillary Clinton's landslide victory in West Virginia on Tuesday was largely meaningless. Obama is going to be the nominee. Yes, Hillary won the West Virginia primary, and won it big. Her victory was based largely on the support she received from under-educated, rural, white people. Well, good for her. I don't really know what to say about the good people of West Virginia....

Could this be a preview of the fall ticket?
But Hillary's victory lap was cut short abruptly when the Obama campaign, in a move that shows admirable agility and political deftness, arranged to have John Edwards endorse Barack as his candidate of choice at a public event on Wednesday evening. Nice move, Obama campaign! It took all the air out of the room for the Clinton victory and diverted the attention of the vapid media punditry. The hot story was no longer Clinton's big win, but Edwards' out-of-the-blue endorsement.

Jeff Merkley, candidate for US Senate
On another note: I was at the gym the other day, when a political ad came on CNN while I was sweating on the treadmill. It was a negative ad. You know. The kind that presents an unflattering photograph of the subject, and has an ominous narrator's voice recounting supposed hypocrisies and misbehavior?. Well, the ad was directed against Democratic candidate for the US Senate, Jeff Merkley.

My first thought was that Steve Novick, the other leading Democrat in the primary, was really pulling out the stops to beat Merkley. But then came the disclaimer at the end of the ad: "I'm Gordon Smith and I approved this message."

Gordon Smith: Runnin' scared
Well, well, well. Gordie showed his hand by revealing who it is that he does not want to run against this fall. Merkley got you looking over your shoulder, Senator? It sure made me glad that I cast my vote for Merkley. And the idea that Gordie Smith would try to admonish someone else for hypocrisy and inconsistency is rich indeed.

Stay tuned, everybody. These crazy antics are just getting started.

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