Coward Old Universe…

by Jeremy G.

Posts Tagged ‘Hillary Clinton’

Clintons: A Sinking Boat?

Posted by Jeremy Ghez on January 27, 2008

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It doesn’t look good, Hillary… Granted, the war is not over. Florida and Super Tuesday may save the day. But after her loss today in the South Carolina primary, it seems clear that the former First Lady is loosing her momentum, and extra efforts will be needed to turn this campaign around.

Anderson Cooper contributors made a great point tonight, on CNN: Like it or not, the Democrat Primary is not about race or gender, contrary to what Bill and Hillary have claimed repeatedly.  While it is true that one African American has won a primary in the past in South Carolina – Jesse Jackson – another lost – Al Sharpton.  There is no clear rule, but almost surely there were maneuvers to lower expectations on the part of the Clinton campaign – the oldest political tactic in the book.

The bottom line is that American people are much smarter than the Clintons think.  

First, gender and race play a very marginal role when it comes down to choosing between Obama and Clinton.  If anything, Clinton could have relied on the strong reputation of her husband in the African-American community, but she blew it.  And now she’s making this about race.

Second, thinking that people primarily rely on ethnicity to determine their choice is plain stupid.  Americans are dealing with real issues, related to the state of the economy and to poverty.  They want answers.

So maybe Hillary should ask Bill to shut up.  He’s not helping.  And she doesn’t look like she’s making history.  Bhutto, Thatcher, Meir and Gandhi look more unreachable than ever.

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Posted in 2008 Elections, Women | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

2008: Two Americas at War

Posted by Jeremy Ghez on July 9, 2007

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Should Clinton and Giuliani face off in the coming 2008 presidential elections, American politics would take an interesting turn of events.  It would be the confrontation between two visions, two histories and two futures for America: Clinton‘s is the story of prosperous America of the 1990’s, those Roaring 90’s.  Giuliani‘s would be the story of heroism in the wake of terror and fear.  The former mayor of New York summed up the choice – his own way, of course – in an interview to the Wall Street Journal a few days ago:

“I think that the president we elect in 2008 will determine how long it takes to prevail against the terrorists,” Mr. Giuliani says. “If you select somebody that is going to go back on defense, it’s going to take a much longer time and there are going to be more casualties. If you select a president that’s going to remain on offense, and even improve on it, it isn’t going to be easy, but it’s going to mean less casualties, faster.” It’s not an easy or comforting message, but Mr. Giuliani is not in the comforting business. Whether it’s a message the country wants to hear is something the voters will let us know.

What do Americans want?  One can be sure that the first vision is more attractive, but the second more realistic.  Current polls indicate that the Republicans are trailing in most configurations, including the one that would oppose Clinton to Giuliani

If both Clinton and Giuliani get the nomination, America’s 2008 choice will be all the more so revealing that Giuliani is actually a very moderate Republican on most other issues, most notably on abortion and gay rights.  Polls will or won’t confirm this, but it seems that such election would be a solid test of America’s willingness to go forward with its war on terror. 

Most commentators are saying today that a withdrawal from Iraq is now more than plausible, as even Republicans are not willing to risk their own elections – especially for an issue that is not a defining aspect of party lines or loyal voter support.  It will be interesting to hear what alternatives are offered, and how these will be received by the American public, which will not be able to ignore, though, the history between these two names.

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The War on Giuliani has already started

Posted by Jeremy Ghez on June 25, 2007

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It took quite some time for Democrats to figure out who their worse nightmare was.  Although they are ahead according to the pollsGiuliani is the candidate they dread, and they should.  But regrettably, we’re not in for a fair fight…

Matt Taibbi’s op-ed” in Rolling Stone is a good instance of how “below the belt” this fight is going to be.  Taibbi tries to trash Giuliani for the former mayor’s snappy answer to Congressman Ron Paul during the last Republican Debate – the latter made a dubious argument in favor of isolationism, linking the 9-11 attacks to America’s involvement in the Middle East:

Though a controversial statement for a Republican politician to make, it was hardly refutable from a factual standpoint — after all, Osama bin Laden himself cited America’s treatment of Iraq in his 1996 declaration of war.

Hardly refutable?  Does this mean that because Ben Laden does not appreciate American involvement in the Middle East, the U.S. should consider disengaging from the region?  The propensity to advocate isolationism when every honest observer knows that American isolationist periods corresponds to the darkest hours of World history is, in fact, dubious to say the least.

Fred Kaplan‘s attack is more surprising, given the fact that the Slate journalist is usually more inspired.  Kaplan asserts that the only reason Giuliani left the Iraq Study Group was not politics, but a financial one.  According to Kaplan, the former mayor missed two meetings before being given by James Baker, the head of the ISG, an ultimatum:

On April 12, 2006, he was giving a keynote address at an economics conference in South Korea for a fee of $200,000. On May 18, he was giving a speech on leadership in Atlanta for $100,000.

So it’s only about the money?  How about accepting the fact that beyond the “bi-partisan” marketing statement the Group used to its advantage, both chairmen, Baker and Hamilton, shared a very similar view of international relations, leading to a report as biased as the ideological arguments that led to war in the first place…  But anyone pleading for a fairer debate, emphasizing that the reasons for intervening in Iraq in the first place should be taken into considerations beyond the very poor planning on the part of the Bush Administration, does not seem to be given fair attention, it seems, these days.

So… Where does that leave us?  Why this war, now, when the Democrats are leading?  Here’s a two-fold answer: 1) Polls don’t matter this early in the race; 2) Every reason explaining why one – from mainstream America – might hate Republicans (abortion and religion being on top of the list) are not applicable to Giuliani.  Here’s an interesting point of view about the abortion issue:  Why Pro-Choice Is a Bad Choice for Democrats.  I very much disagree with the statement in favor of a pro-choice candidate, but this op-ed just tells me that should Giuliani win the Republican nomination, the Democrats are in big trouble.  

Giuliani might just win by a landslide in 2008 if Democrats continue to deny reality about the significance of U.S. involvement in the world.  A need for redefinition of this involvement is obvious.  But without a clear alternative, the Democrats won’t be able to fool anyone.

Posted in 2008 Elections | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

Golda, Margaret and perhaps Hillary…

Posted by Jeremy Ghez on May 10, 2007

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I just wanted to pay a special tribute to women politicians, those of the days and some of current times.  Those women who conquered power, or might conquer power one day, displaying novelty and audacity in the political strategy they offered to their respective countries, in times of deep crisis – even though the different instances cannot be compared.

Their argument to obtain power did not solely reside in the fact they were females.  They had or have to fight to obtain political responsabilities, equal to equal, with men.  They were or are harshly criticized by other parties, and not just because politics is a mysoginist environment, but also because credibility and political projects are two closely related notions.

Without one, don’t cry because you don’t have the other.

Posted in Women, World Politics | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »