Sunday 11 May 2008
Hillary lost the day she courted 'redneck vote'
By playing the race card, the 'morally white trash' Clintons have hit a new low in US politics, says Ruth Dudley Edwards
The Hillary narrative was one with which even people who dislike her as much as I do could sympathise: 'I'm a fighter, not a quitter.' The new narrative is plain nasty: Obama can't win because he's black.
Of course she didn't put it exactly that way, but how else do you interpret her triumphant citation last week to the nationwide downmarket tabloid USA Today of an article "that found how Senator Obama's support among working, hardworking Americans, white Americans, is weakening again, and how whites in both states who had not completed college were supporting me. There's a pattern emerging here".
Her husband, who has been playing the race card more covertly but no less enthusiastically, was to be seen last week in West Virginia -- where the next Democratic primary will be held on Tuesday -- surrounded by an all-white crowd. "I'm telling you, she can win this thing," he shouted, "because of people like you, and places like this."
When Obama was embarrassed by the paranoid anti-white, anti-American drivel emanating from his pastor, the Reverend Jeremiah Wright, Hillary could have risen to the occasion and been gracious. Instead, she took every opportunity to use against Obama the words of a man he had disowned.
She won't have had any difficulty justifying that to herself. She truly believes she has a dynastic right to the presidency, and she'll do whatever it takes to get there short -- I hope -- of hiring a hitman.
Obama has been trying to counteract the segregationist message by surrounding himself with whites and Hispanics at every opportunity, but the Clintons -- along with Wright -- have damaged his attempt to lift the party above racial divisions.
Ted Kennedy is one of the many who are revolted. Asked if the Democrats should field an Obama-Clinton ticket, he said he would prefer Obama to choose a running mate who is 'in tune with his appeal to the nobler aspirations of the American people".
Obama himself, I wager, is petrified by the notion of having Hillary as his vice- president and Bill installed in the White House looking for attention and causing trouble. But he has also reason to fear what they'll do to him if they're left outside the tent.
What is horrifying Democrats is that it's clear that the Clintons put their own interests way above party and that appeals to Hillary to accept gracefully that she's lost and throw her weight behind Obama are pointless.
Even Clintonians didn't expect much in the way of principle from her, but her naked irresponsible populism has shocked many. One minute she's green: next she's making a proposal that gasoline tax be suspended for consumers and paid for by a windfall tax on the profits of oil companies. Obama rightly denounced this as 'political pandering', but it's worse.
At a time when the US is uncomfortably realising it should pursue self-sufficiency in energy, to up the taxes on native oil companies is a sure way of benefiting their foreign competitors.
Even though mathematically Hillary simply cannot win, she will go on and on as long as she's allowed to or until her money runs out (she's lent her campaign $11.4m of the Clinton fortune so far), in the hope that something really bad might happen to snatch the prize from Obama at the last minute.
"An election can be turned in one day," she told the media last week after her disappointing performance in North Carolina and Indiana.
The most popular blog on this topic is called: 'Hillary Clinton: the psycho ex-girlfriend of the Democratic Party', which is about how the party is sleeping peacefully at 2.31am when its phone rings, it sees 'Hillary' on the caller ID, considers 'not dealing with this shit tonight' but knows she'll just keep calling.
Dems: . . . Hello?
Hillary: Hey baby.
Dems: C'mon Hillary. Enough with this.
Hillary: Don't you get it? You NEED me.
Dems: No, I don't. It was fun while it lasted but I'm with Barack now.
Hillary: You can't really mean that. How can you say that after all the good times we had?
Her increasingly hysterical pleas are rejected and finally she says 'I'll see you at the convention.'
Dems: No! Hillary I told you already . . .
Dems: Dammit. Crazy bitch.
Had I a vote I would reluctantly have given it Hillary above Obama because I thought her to be sounder on foreign policy, but enough is enough.
Latterly, the Clintons have been trying to attract the redneck vote, but they're not sufficiently principled to be rednecks. Morally, they're just white trash.
Ruth Dudley Edwards