Saturday, January 20, 2007


Clinton & Obama v. the Democratic Party

Not exactly a Stop-the-Presses bombshell but…Sen. Clinton Launches 2008 Campaign:

“New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D) today announced she will establish a presidential exploratory committee, launching a 2008 campaign that could make her the first female president in history…”

And earlier this week the buzz was all about another Senator:

“Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois, whose best-selling books and political travels generated huge pressure to run for the White House, joined a crowded Democratic field yesterday, vowing to advance "a different kind of politics" in a campaign that could make him the nation's first African American president.” Obama Jumps Into Presidential Fray

As an outsider looking in, I’m going to suggest that, hype to the contrary, it probably ain’t going to happen for either one of them: The Democratic Party just isn’t ready for such a self-consciously historic happening. I base that conclusion on my observations of Democrats here in Maryland – surely one the bluest of blue states.

Here in Maryland, three of the past four gubernatorial elections have seen a woman top the slate of one of the two parties but we have yet to elect a woman governor. Can’t blame that on the Republicans – Ellen Sauerbrey was a worthy candidate twice sliced down by the feckless Democrats. And the other female nominee, Kathleen KENNEDY Townsend remains the only Democrat to lose a statewide election here in like a million years (or since whoever lost to Charles Mathias in 1980). For the uninitiated; it takes a LOT of Democratic defections for a Democrat to lose here.

Most recently, we saw Democratic Party leaders (a) pull out all stops to keep Kweisi Mfume from being their nominee and then (b) run a vicious campaign to keep Michael Steele from being our next Senator. Rhetorical Question: What is it about those two guys that inspired such Democratic Party enmity?

This past election even saw the Democrats here shoot down an opportunity for Maryland to have its first woman comptroller (Anne McCarthy) – instead it predictably turned to yet another older white guy with far less credentials but who had that all-important - (D) – after his name.

Yep – we’re going to hear a lot of talk in the months and years ahead about broken ceilings and historic firsts but if Maryland Democrats are at all representative of their party at large, well, then my bet would be on one of their many bloviating white guys. You think John Kerry is still interested?

I am not in love with either Obama or Clinton. Well, in a way I am under my oft mentioned blood-on-the-ice predilection.

Your thesis has meritorious evidence on its side. But consider how Kathleen Kennedy Townsend ran a breathtakingly stupid campaign, and how Ehrlich ran a rather smart one. Townsend was doing things like charging money for lawn signs - not politely asking for donations, charging - at a time when Ehrlich's people were moving them across the state like champs, and avoided such stupidities.

If Susan Estrich, Bob Shrum or Donna Brazile get near Clinton's campaign, I reserve the right to alter my bet in favor of your thesis. The Republicans at least have the intelligence to behead the campaign organizers who fail radically, loudly and stupidly.
my real thesis is that for liberal Dems it's all about liberal Dems...if playing to so-called minorities' interests can help, great but, especially here in Maryland, stand in their way and you're gonna get run over.
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