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March 17, 2008


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This is an interesting notion. I wonder if there might be factors that weren't mentioned that change the dynamic you describe.

Yes, Bill Clinton does speak in a way people of all sorts respond to. But Bill Clinton used his talent to lie, and everyone knows he did. The press says Democrats still love Bill, but as an ordinary in the trenches Democrat, I don't buy it. He's still charming as hell, but would anyone in their right mind buy his used car?

And even if he hadn't lied, Hillary Clinton is no Bill Clinton. Few ordinary people ever found Hillary as compelling as Bill. How many working class people are willing to face four or more years observing and defending continuing political infighting? What does the currently abysmal approval rating of Congress say about that?

And even if you disregard the baggage, Hillary more accurately fits the archetype of "amazon" rather than "warrior", doesn't she? Will an amazon appeal to working class white guys the same way a warrior would? And while women of a certain age might admire her, they still know that Hillary didn't get where she is without having directly benefited from the ol' boy power network that has kept so many other equally talented women shut out. And what about all the many women who have been stabbed in the back by a striving (richer, prettier, younger, better-connected) "sister" who freely stabbed them in the back to get ahead? Will older white female Clinton continue to support a privileged rich white political insider just to make a feminist statement? Who knows.

George Bush won his first term, in part, because he was able to persuade working class voters to trust him. Now it's clear that his (and now McCain's) policies hurt working class people the most. The past decade has provided plenty of evidence that working class folks have been screwed by big corporate interests with the help of political elites. Will they figure that ordinary people's concerns will be thrown under that "business bus" again if their new Prez is beholden to big money corporate interests? Clearly Clinton and McCain have those ties. Clearly, Clinton and McCain have demonstrated by their own behavior that trusting them is a calculated risk. Obama? I'd say less of one. Rezko and Wright, when looked at honestly, don't amount to much.

Finally, relating to your warrior priest metaphor specifically: which describes the warrior most likely to protect ordinary folk; one who is scarred from years of relentless skirmishing but who (admirably) still keeps throwing that "kitchen sink"? Or one who has fought fewer bloody battles because he's also used diplomacy to avoid bloodshed and focused on winning hearts and minds instead of making every effort a contest...while steadily keeping his eyes on the prize and accomplishing strategic advantage? In other words, which warrior offers the best protection for ordinary folk...a valiant tactical scrapper or a visionary strategist who knows that winning some battles can means risking losing the war.

Frankly I think Obama has *already* demonstrated that he is both a smart warrior AND an inspiring priest.

The bigger concern, I think, is that the media requires blood and circuses to stay in business. And pundits merely provide the band music and sell the show. So what ordinary people really think remains unknown because no one bothers to do more than ask simple yes/no questions about complex ideas.

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