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Clinton, Ferraro and Obama
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I have been watching the 2008 Democratic primaries with a renewed interest in politics. It has been a very long time since such an exciting race in either the Republican or Democratic primaries, and if there is one thing I enjoy, its a good race. What Barack Obama did politically transcends the Democratic regulars. He is in this position because he talks about things that Democrats want to hear - ending the war in Iraq, universal health coverage, portable health insurance, and change (and not the Clinton form of change from Bill to Hillary, or as I prefer Billary to Hillbilly).

When Obama announced his candidacy in February, 2007, Hillbilly was already the clear front-runner, seemingly anointed for Democratic nominee for President. Within a month Hillary realized there were fundamental problems with her campaign structure and she reorganized her staff, bringing in Maggie Williams to chair her committee. By April she had more than $25 million in campaign funds, outdistancing all her competitors, however, first-term Illinois Senator Barack Obama surprised everybody by raising $20 million by April. At that time Hillary led the candidates with 41% support of likely Democratic voters to John Edward's 19% and Barack Obama's 17%.

During the drive for funding, Hillary accepted significant money from Norman Hsu, a longtime associate of Bill and Hillary. When the New York Times reported he may have illegally raised money Hillbilly stood beside their tainted friend. When the Los Angeles Times reported Hsu was a fugitive the next day Hillbilly jettisoned their long-time friend in one fell swoop but kept the funds Hsu raised from contributors (his own donations went to charity). Then when the FBI launched an investigation Hillbilly decided to return all the money raised by Hsu, nearly a million dollars.

With Hillary still leading the polls in October, 2007, Edwards and Obama began taking a more aggressive stance in delineating the difference between themselves and the former First Lady. By the end of October it was apparent the aggressive stances were having an effect when she melted down in a debate. Liberal journalist Margaret Carlson wrote "In the course of two minutes, she gave two different answers while trying to give none at all." When her campaign took debate moderator Tim Russert to task for a "misleading question" columnists charged her campaign with playing the gender card. Obama, the other candidate from a minority group, pointed out that he had never complained that attacks on him were due to his being African-American

Obama began slowly after announcing in February, 2007. At first he worked on polishing his image and his ability to speak off-the-cuff. He did make several mistakes in stating his position early in the campaign, but by the October debate where Hillary melted, Obama was flawless.

Starting early in 2008 the people spoke and what they said surprised just about everybody. Barack Obama was energizing a new set of voters and they weren't African-Americans -- it was the young, the old and just about everybody in between and they came from every race, color and creed. Early battleground states were surprisingly evenly distributed and by the time Super Tuesday rolled around Obama led the polling in more states than Hillary and the Illinois Senator converted these numbers into votes, winning 13 of 22 states.

Then the unexpected happened. Obama won the next 11 primaries (Louisiana, Nebraska, Washington (the state and the city), Maryland, Virginia, Wisconsin, Hawaii, Virgin Islands, Maine, and Democrats abroad) and the math for Hillbilly to win no longer added up. Suddenly, dirty tricks were seemingly played against the Obama campaign.

Geraldine Ferraro will long be remembered as the first woman to run for Vice President for a major political party in the United States. In 1984 she and Walter Mondale ran against and lost to Ronald Reagan and George Bush.

While in Torrance, California during the 2008 campaign season, Ms. Ferraro made the comment to Daily Breeze, "If Obama was a white man, he would not be in this position." It wouldn't normally mean much, coming from an ex-candidate, except that Ferraro was a member of Hillary Clinton's 2008 Presidential Campaign finance committee. When word of her comment finally reached the wires a week later the news of her remarks spread like wildfire. As soon as the Clinton campaign found out about the remark they issued a statement stating they did not have any prior knowledge that Ferraro would make such a statement and that Ferraro did not speak for the two-term Senator from New York.

Women and Hispanics were the only constituency that Hillbilly Clinton could count on and even the women failed her in some states. Georgia, one of the most conservative Democratic states in the nation (remember Democrats Richard B. Russell, Sam Nunn and Wyche Fowler?) voted overwhelmingly for Obama.

In my mind it would have been more correct for Geraldine Ferraro to say the only reason Hillary is in the campaign is because she's a woman. In fact, that's what Ferraro said about herself in the 1984 campaign.

Randy's Corner
Notes from our publisher, Randy Golden

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