Friday, June 06, 2008

An Open Letter to Senator Obama

Dear Senator Obama

Let me start by saying congratulations for your win on Tuesday, even if I do think you spent too much of your victory speech licking Senator Clinton's ass. I'm undecided at the moment about who I'm going to vote for in November, but as Senator McCain is on my shit-list right now for voting against increasing the G.I. Bill (and him a smegging veteran!) I thought I'd give you the benefit of my wisdom:

First of all: for the love of God, please do not make Hillary Clinton your running mate.

I know, I know, she has eighteen million women in her pocket, or so she claims, (and why anyone would want to elect someone who insists that they will only vote for who she tells them to I don't know, but that's besides the point.) It's good that you're being respectful of her, that's one of the reasons so many people support you. But the truth is, you won. You won despite Senator Clinton's nastiness, despite her manufactured celebrity, despite her insults, and despite her spinning all of her flaws into victimization. You've shown you are a respectful person, but there's a difference between being respectful and kowtowing to someone. If Hillary won, do you honestly think she would be having secret midnight meetings with you on how to "heal the party?" I sure as hell don't. It's making you look like you need her, and that obvious weakness is something that your opponent will exploit come November. By all means, be courteous, but stop acting like you owe Senator Clinton anything. You don't, and you have treated her far better than she deserves.

My intense dislike of Hillary aside, the real problem with the idea of her as your running mate is that your high electabliltiy is based on one thing: change. Not just the change of governing party, though I'm sure many Democrats want to believe that. I'm talking about change of the way things have been done in Washington for the past few decades. Among other things, the Clinton era was mainly about revenge for the Regan/Bush Sr. years. Whereas the political compass of the country was slightly right of center in 1992, the Clintons instantly rammed it as far as they could to the left. So much animosity was created that it was impossible for anyone to get anything done for years. When G.W. Bush won the Republicans back the white house in 2000, once again, it was time for revenge. Once in power, the Republicans pushed the pendulum as far as they could to the right, putting bipartisan war back in vogue. Giving Hillary Clinton the #2 spot (or even a high cabinet position, for that matter) will signal that the same old games and fighting and overall bullshit will continue, and America will still be a nation divided. Hillary would do everything in her power to usurp you and center the attention and power of your office on herself. Face it, Barack, - Hillary Clinton would be your Dick Chaney. Do you really want that? Stick with change, Senator, and politely say "thanks, but no thanks" to Hillary Trust me.

OK, let's say that you're smart enough not to fall for the lie that you won't be elected without Hillary at your side. Let's go on to point number two: One of the main reasons you won the primary is because you did not sink to Senator Clinton's level. No matter what low blow she threw at you - the insult that you could be her veep, constantly playing the sexism card, (Hillary has no flaws, ergo, anyone who disagrees with her hates all women,) and even going so far as to imply you should be assassinated (which she only said to make you angry, so she could spin your ire against you as she did with Lazio back in 2000 - kudos for not falling for it,) - you kept your head above it all. You didn't resort to returning her cheap shots, you didn't waste your campaign and energy defending yourself against her spin. You played it like a gentleman. I know you did these things because she's a fellow Democrat and you did not want to alienate her supporters. However, what if you took the high road, and kept the same levels of respect and restraint in your upcoming battle with Senator McCain? Imagine if you will, that after running a successful positive campaign for the nomination, if you were the first presidential candidate since 1984 to rise above mud slinging and run a positive campaign for the White House! What if you stopped trying to link McCain to President Bush, (McCain is much more moderate, - be honest,) stopped attacking him, and actually concentrated on what you've done, what plan to do and how you plan to do it? Yes, there will always be partisans on both sides of the aisle. But if you take the White House in November, then a low level of animosity would help you enact the change you've promised, wouldn't it?

That's my advice, anyway. You can follow it, or like my wife and kids, you can cheerfully ignore it. It's up to you. Good luck. If you need any more, let me know.



Aravis said...

Though I don't share your detestation of Hilary, I'm glad that Obama won, and am hopeful that he won't choose her as his running mate. I have also been impressed by his refusal to stoop to his opponent's level so far, and hope that he keeps running a clean campaign. I'm so tired of negative ads- all politicians in every office does it to a disgusting degree- that I turn the volume off every time a negative ad comes on. I don't want to hear it anymore.

"Stop telling me what's wrong with your opponent, and start telling me about you."

That's what I yell at the t.v.

Knitting Painter Woman said...

Ditto. Except I really don't like McCain. Just read in today's NYT that he's actually in FAVOR of the warrantless wire taps. Look, a judge can agree in about an hour... and I no longer want the loophole through which a power hungry Pres or VP can drive a tank or two or three.

Anonymous said...

I hope you faxed you letter Tony :)

Caroline said...

What worries me about Hilary most is her ability to "mis-speak" - hardly what one wants in such a high position!

Senator Obama has an account on flickr - go put this letter on one of his pictures.
though watch out for all the other not really him ones...

String said...

Wow, good point on the change! I agree with you 100 percent. Out with the old and in with the new!

steve said...

Tony-wisdom strikes again! Well written, and yes, I thoroughly agree with you.