THE RACE IS HEATING UP
Got back late last night from a week in Washington, D.C. And what a week!
I didn't get back to my hotel room until almost 11 p.m. Tuesday, where immediately after ordering some room service I turned on CNN and watched the election results -- fantastic! I stayed up until Texas was confirmed for Hillary. I'd been bummed because I missed the Texas caucas (had to vote early). My husband (The Sage) attended and reports that it was simply a matter of a vote count. After everyone had signed in and declared their allegiance, they disbanded without even selecting delegates. What's with that? If a caucus is simply another vote, what's the point of having both a primary and a caucus?
Had some interesting experiences during the week. The film crew I'd contracted with had been shooting an interview with Tony Blair the night before. As we discussed that, I discovered that they were to a man progressive Democrats -- all white men who had voted for Obama but were suffering some buyer's remorse. At every opportunity we talked politics. They do most of their work for FOX, shooting interviews with the likes of W and covering stories like MonicaGate. I expressed surprise that they can keep their feelings to themselves at such times, but they said, nah, it's just a job. The really surprising thing they told me is that most of the FOX folks are just like them. "It's only the bigwigs who are really wingnut partisans," they said. "Even the talent?" I asked. Well no, they replied. Some are just doing the job, but others are true believers.
The sound man on the crew (who said he voted for Obama) is the uncle-by-marriage of MSNBC's David Shuster, of Hillary-pimping-out-Chelsea fame. He claimed that his niece, Shuster's wife, also a journalist who is following the Obama campaign, is a Hillary supporter. He quoted her as saying that the closer she gets to Obama, the less she likes him. He told me that prior to the "pimping" fiasco, Shuster was being groomed as the replacement for Tucker Carlson. I had to agree that despite that unfortunate and tasteless remark, I would have been more than pleased to see the usually fair-minded Shuster replace blowhard, reactionary Carlson.
Wednesday night we went to a late dinner at Ten Penh, a popular Beltway restaurant, and as we left I ran into Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME). I remembered my manners and didn't hit her with my purse. After all, there are worse Republicans!
I'd hoped to stop off at some point to a gift shop so I could buy presents for my grandkids, but it never happened, so at Dulles I picked up some things, including Hillary buttons, a bumper sticker and T-shirt. I put on the pin and got some reaction. First was a young soldier who told me he he'd just made up his mind to support her, based on the endorsements of numerous flag officers (also see here) and his own instincts.
Work is pretty close to overwhelming right now, so I haven't had much time to post. I continue to check the blogs on my Blackberry at odd moments, and it appears that Hillary is making real progress despite the, at times, vitriolic opposition of the media and so-called progressive blogs. It still amazes me that until my first choice, John Edwards, dropped out of the race and I did extensive research on HRC and BO to determine where to align, I was unaware of many of Hillary's accomplishments, a record that is still largely unknown by the populace and ignored by the aforementioned MSM and blogs.
It continues to grieve me to see formerly reasonable people exhibit their Clinton Derangement Syndrome symptoms. Keith Olbermann, who has been an outspoken and eloquent critic of the Bush administration and ridden that wave to huge popularity among progressives, has completely lost me with his anti-Clinton screeds.
It also confuses me when pundits characterize the Clinton-Obama race as "nasty" -- are they nuts? Have they no long-term memory at all? To my 50-ish mind, this is still one of the more civilized campaigns in my memory. Other than the disgraceful comment by top Obama advisor Samantha Power that Hillary is "a monster," there has been no character assassination, and to label Hillary's issues-attacks "smears" is unfair in the extreme. What is either side to do, let personality determine the outcome rather than political philosophy or the issues? Of COURSE they're supposed to highlight the differences between them and the weaknesses of their opponent. But the media loves a fight, and if they don't get it, they'll manufacture it.