Power and Politics - I am Not the Yellow Peril

The life and times of an Asian American activist who tells all the truth (and dishes news and analysis) but with a leftwards slant.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Richardson's classy exit, Hillary's realization

Well, I was really touched by Gov. Bill Richardson's closing email, and I definitely have not been one of his biggest supporters.
Senator Biden's passion and intellect are remarkable.

Senator Dodd is the epitome of selfless dedication to public service and the Democratic Party.

Senator Edwards is a singular voice for the most downtrodden and forgotten among us.

Senator Obama is a bright light of hope and optimism at a time of great national unease, yet he is also grounded in thoughtful wisdom beyond his years.

Senator Clinton's poise in the face of adversity is matched only by her lifetime of achievement and deep understanding of the challenges we face.

Representative Kucinich is a man of great decency and dedication who will faithfully soldier on no matter how great the odds.

And all of us in the Democratic Party owe Senator Mike Gravel our appreciation for his leadership during the national turmoil of Vietnam.
I think that's one of the nicest things about this primary - there really has not been the level of mudslinging that I remember from the last one, and if that is because Obama has asked to elevate the level of debate, well, thank goodness. I mean, it's not terrible for our party to talk about the issues for once. And people are tired of dirty politics and the same old same old. We want to believe and be inspired because these past 7 years have been an ugly long nightmare. We want to wake up and be comforted by the thought that a whole bunch of nations aren't angry at us and want to nuke us. We want to wake up and know that we still have a job, and a home, and that our kids aren't going to face a worse off world.

Also, I'm reading this interview with Hillary in TIME magazine and wondering why she couldn't have seen the writing on the wall a long time ago? Is she really that controlled by Mark Penn? I know that one of the problems of having too many consultants is that you get boxed in, fenced in and you start to lose a sense of identity.

But this article title makes her sound like a cyborg who is reconnecting. Not good. but the meat of the article is rich and fascinating. In her own words:
And I think what that moment really illustrated is — guess what? Those of us who get up on the stage and make the speeches and shake the hands and do the interviews, are also human beings. And the empathy goes both ways. I really felt touched when that woman said "Well how are you?" because it said to me that she was seeing me as a human being as I had been seeing her and all the people there. And it's that kind of connection that I think is a very strong basis for us to go forward together.
Detach from being detached woman! Many of us, particularly on the left, regard Hillary with a complex love/hate mix. We would love to hate her (no, bad joke.) We hate her for what she represents - the DC establishment. But some of us would really love to just get to know her better, and to believe that she isn't superhuman. One of the most painful lessons of Dubya 2004 is that voters like empathy and compassion and emotion. They will even pick it over someone smart, talented, and yet whose face sometimes looks like its carved out of wood. Who walks like a marionette, but thinks like Kasparov. Would pick the real puppet over the Democrat.

So Obama was a breath of fresh air, and Dean before him. Dean is one of the most "real" politicians I can think of. Says what he thinks, stays grounded, takes the metro, not a limo unlike Terry McAuliffe, his predecessor.

I am going to have to call BS on this part though: "Well I really am facing the reality that despite the fact that it's been very costly to run this national campaign for a year, we didn't have enough people and we didn't have enough, you know, the breadth and depth to be able to cover all this ground that we have to cover." If you didn't spend mega bucks on the craptard Mark Penn, you would have more money to invest in the field. And if you actually ran a grassroots field operation, you wouldn't have to pay for shovels to bribe people to come out and vote for you. You would have built in cheap (free) labor in the form of legions of volunteers.

So overall, I am excited about Hillary 2.0. Or maybe this is really Hillary 1.0 or 0.5. Not enough to vote for her as a primary candidate, but because this is the face of true leadership. Real leaders are real. Don't be the plastic Romney on our side. Don't cover it up.

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