Friday, May 02, 2008

Hillary Clinton Fox Interview Part II

photo from Virginia Federalist

Hillary Clinton continued her interview with Fox News, Bill O’Reilly last night. Her take on foreign policy, vis a vis Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran and Iraq, the issue of water boarding and torture in general and the issue of illegal immigration were moderate, not too left, not too right and again, consistent with her voting record in the Senate. Once again, she stood her ground and came across as sincere, knowledgeable and, most importantly, tough on issues. (Granted, some might argue not tough enough). She did make a convincing case for all three issues.

Fox News Video

It now comes down to the following: as voters, and the public in general, have to make a decision that will affect the lives of middle America more than any other segment of the population this November, which candidate from either party would make one most comfortable leading the nation forward. This has nothing to do with party affiliation, rather, experience, policy and a persona that would lend to the credibility of the nation overall. There appear, as of this moment, to be two that stand out - Senator McCain and Senator Clinton. In conversations, both allow for some level of comfort, as both are similar in their previous voting patterns. The lack of experience, and the recent remarks regarding Middle America that Barrack Obama has displayed, render that candidate unacceptable to moderates and conservatives on any level.

Of course, the obligatory race and gender discussions followed the interview. O’Reilly was guilty of noting that he treated a woman differently than a man, during the interview process, which, from this perspective is one of the most appalling remarks that could have been made. That and a discussion on the Senators wardrobe, made this conservative feminist balk. All network news programs, both cable and mainstream, have been guilty of this nonsense. Not one anchor, male or female, has commented on the other two male candidate’s wardrobes. Why take away from a brilliant interview (and it was), with stupid fluff questions? Good question.

Now sitting firmly on the fence, McCain interviews next Thursday evening. It is hoped that he will be honest and forthcoming about his stance on the issues, and not play to the “base”. It is where McCain can make the case for his candidacy.

Although certainly an underdog by press standard, Hillary Clinton’s rise in the polls over the past week, indicate that “it’s not over, till it’s over”. She’s within the margin of error in North Carolina and leading in Indiana. It is my hope that she will be successful in both states and go on to secure the nomination of her party. This will allow the American people a chance to be led by one of two moderates, not an ideologue with zip for experience. Just an aside, she appeared more Regeanlike in this interview segment, than any Republican candidate, with the exception of Mike Huckabee, who remains the only true conservative to have run in the race.

What made Mike special is his ability to reach out to both parties, despite the constant drumbeat from the media that he was basically a one-dimensional candidate, stressing the fact that he was a pastor and failing to mention that his true calling was politics and he had successfully led the state of Arkansas into the 21st century. The right wing turned its efforts to downgrading Mike Huckabee, simply because he could and would work with both parties, and of course, he may not have been “elite” enough by the core group standards. His endorsement of McCain came as no surprise, and as Mike Huckabee is generally known for his character, one can assume that McCain is a man of integrity, regardless of the fact that he is less conservative on issues that are at the heart and soul of the base.

Hillary Clinton, John McCain – it would be a very close race, granted, but again, an opportunity for the country to be led by a more moderate and experienced president.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

The Case for Hillary Clinton’s Candidacy

One Interview and her stock rose significantly

Hillary Clinton appeared on Fox’s Bill O’Reilly “No Spin Zone” in a two-part interview which began last night. In a word, she was brilliant. Almost Maggie Thatcher like. This fact was not lost on the pundits who spent a total of 5 minutes discussing her performance before they turned to the typical Obama rant. A quick check of conservative points of view immediately following the interview resulted in one question: Why do both conservatives and the left hate Hillary Clinton?

The possible answer is that, despite her playing to a hard-core base (nothing more or less than John McCain has done), she appeared to be the strongest moderate candidate out of a field of three. Bill O’Reilly asked policy questions, and she more than held her ground with her answers. Of particular interest were her responses to questions on taxation, her vision of universal health care and the energy question, all important issues to that middle of the economic scale, working class Americans who are paying both at the pump and through payroll deductions. She came across as sincere in her beliefs and additionally, from an historical standpoint, did not move an inch on her perspective of each issue. Although one might not agree, in totality, with her perspective, she made a credible case. From this point of view, she has moved from 2nd choice to first choice at the voting both. Both parties, Republican and Democrat should take notice, along with an overly obsessed, agenda driven media. It is difficult to comprehend how an Obama candidacy could possibly beat a McCain ticket; however, it is not difficult to imagine Clinton winning in November over McCain. A Clinton candidacy gives the RNC and the 501’s little ammunition, besides the same old baggage that, as Clinton made a point, they have already rummaged through. The same cannot be said of an Obama candidacy. Should Clinton succeed, and it is not impossible at this point, in securing her party’s nomination, the focus will be on running mates. In order to overcome his lackluster personality, McCain must choose someone who can appeal to those on the right that have suspicions about McCain’s conservative credentials (myself included), choosing someone like Mitt Romney, would not serve the senator. Should Clinton, as the CNN and MSNBC pundits have been proposing, choose Obama as a running mate, it would spell disaster for her campaign. Although the argument has been made that the VP slot is not all that important, one can counter-argue this election cycle that it would be critical to choose the right running mate for both aforementioned candidates. With McCain, the age factor will be a focus, and the running mate will be vetted, perhaps more intensely than the candidate. With Clinton, the overtly left-leaning Obama would drag her down - the RNC has already run ads attacking DNC candidates for their association with Obama, a Joe Biden would make for a measured ticket that would appeal to those of us sitting firmly in the middle of the road. From this perspective, the only way a McCain vote would sit well, would be if he chose a man of character as his running mate, a Mike Huckabee would bring the more conservative values voters to the polls, while McCain would appeal to those on the left and independents.

On the media's coverage of the interview, the focus was all about Obama. The one clip that was played incessantly was Clinton’s response to questions regarding Rev. Jeremiah Wright. CNN used this clip as an opportunity to show that Clinton had moved past the controversy and was ready to talk about policy, as was Obama. Michelle Obama, on CNN, made her plea to move past the Wright issues and focus on her husbands policy. Fox also shifted gears to focus on Obama and the Wright controversy, from Hannity and Colms through “On the Record, the same clip was played, the same questions asked. To this moderate, enough is enough. Obama is responsible for his own mistakes, and misstatements, not his association with some crack pot, egotistical, left-wing lunatic. The press - they get that. It has therefore, come down to a question of who is most electable and who is most credible. One question that value voters are now pondering is this: “How does Hillary Clinton personally feel about the all important issue of abortion?” Should she answer that question, again from a personal perspective that notes she personally does not agree, it would go towards character, and play well with those of us who are more conservative when it comes to values issues. It should be noted that in discussions, her advocacy and love of children, has been discussed as an admirable attribute in a presidential candidate.

The balance of the interview will be broadcast tonight at 8:00.

Articles on the Web:

From ABC: Hillary's Dream Date

From CNN: Michelle Obama, Let's Move Past Wright

From Fox News: Clinton Say Obama Made the Right Move by Codemming Wright

From Boston Globe: Obama walks fine line in quest for white votes (note: 1 Clinton article to three Obama articles

From New York Times A Strained Wright-Obama Bond Finally Snaps

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Hillary Clinton and Bill O’Reilly

A Tale of Two Moderates

Fox News, O'Reilly Factor Promotion Banner

The Washington Post is reporting on Hillary Clinton’s appearance on “The O’Reilly Factor”, noting that this is the first time the Senator will appear on the “most highest rated cable news show”, despite the fact that the show has also included guests such as Dick Morris, who is not a fan of Hillary Clinton. What is misleading in the article is the fact that “The O’Reilly Factor” has never claimed to be a news show, rather, and op-ed, reporting facts, analyzed by Bill O’Reilly. One can’t be certain what types of questions O’Reilly might ask Mrs. Clinton, but one can bet he will ask about her take on policy. It is of little consequence that this particular cable show also offers airtime to Clinton detractors such as Dick Morris – Clinton’s appearance on this particular program will give her an opportunity to get her message across to those middle of the road, conservative leaning, and independent minded voters.

Bill O’Reilly is often accused of being a right-wing nut-case, teachers warn 8th grade students not to watch Fox News and that Bill O’Reilly (personal note: my daughters, parochial school, math teacher told them that they should never watch Fox News, especially Bill O’Reilly, fortunately, she has been brought up to watch not only Fox, but CNN and MSNBC in order to make a fair assessment of all sources). Those remarks normally come from individuals who have never watched the program; the man may be annoying, especially if one does not agree with his point of view, but, that said, he is consistent in his treatment of show guests – whether they be left, center or right, and he is specifically energetic in his quest to protect our nations children. He always points out that it is his opinion of the facts as he sees them, which, unless one cannot grasp the point, opinion is not hard-news. Of course, hard-news reporters such as Bill Moyer’s of PBS, often dish up their opinion in the form of “news” (see Bill Moyer’s interview with Rev. Jeremiah Wright) which resembles little more than a progressive tea-party. Plan on watching the interview on Fox News Channel, in two parts, tonight and Thursday, at 8:00 p.m, then tune in to the follow-up emails: guarantee: too hard and too soft – will be how the audience sees it.

Hillary Clinton will have an opportunity to win the hearts and minds of those middle of the road, independent thinking individuals. Those women, especially those inclined to vote, which may just be looking at her from a perspective slightly different than the media would have the nation believe. It is not as simple as “she appeals to older women” because they are voting based on feminist values and want to see a woman, any woman, in the Oval office. Bunk to that statement. From a conservative feminist Republican, granted older, point of view, it is the constant stupid remarks from male media personalities that have given likeminded women a reason to delve a bit deeper into Hillary – her background, her voting record – and we like what we see. Hillary Clinton has, for the most part, been moderate in her voting record, and has been part of both parties. She does not strike one as the type of woman who would ride on her husbands coattails (as some might suggest) rather a woman who is strong and independent. While, admittedly, conservative feminists cannot agree with her point of view, specifically as it relates to her Pro-Choice stance, there are a host of issues that make her a perfect candidate, and most of those are centered on national defense. Unlike one other high-profile female holding the highest office in the House, Clinton does not strike one as the type to done a pretty had scarf whilst meeting with terrorist sponsoring nations, she is, as the Govenror of North Carolina stated: “No Pansy”, and those of us old enough to remember that this phrase means a man who is less than capable of acting on a crisis, are agreeing. Perhaps Hillary Clinton is the Maggie Thatcher women in this country have been seeking. The test will come in this interview segment, where Ms. Clinton will have the opportunity to appeal to those moderates and conservatives who are just not comfortable with John McCain.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Barack Obama’s Undoing

(humble opinion)

Over the past several days, Barack Obama’s spiritual advisor, The Reverend Jeremiah Wright, has been pleading his case before an undeniably welcoming press. Political pundits, both left, right and center, are defining Barack Obama’s campaign woes by his association with Wright. The Reverend, defending himself against his own words, stated that White America is not familiar with the Black Church, and, as a consequence, an attack on him is an attack on the Black Church. Is it really that black and white? The press would have one believe this to be true. The reverends comments during his sermons can be seen as over-the-top and laced with biblical expletives, which one might note that this is not typical of most church sermons – black, white or otherwise.

Obama and Wright

It is not, however, his association with Barack Obama that has this campaign derailed, it is the comments made by Obama at a closed San Francisco fundraiser, comments that were not meant to be heard outside of the venue, describing middle America’s angst with the current administration as some sort of mental illness; noting that such people were clutching their bibles and their guns out of frustration. Insulting one’s base of supporters, working-class individuals, is not an issue of race when those voters go elsewhere.

This presidential campaign isn’t strictly about “ism”: racism or ageism (definitely gender bias, but that’s another story) as defined by the press, it will be decided by political ideology, right, left or center. Barack Obama simply cannot identify with the rank and file once he is behind closed doors, and his remarks have done more damage than admitted. White Reverend Wright appears to be basking in the glory of his own self, as well as his self-importance due to his association with the candidate, not vice-versa, the press points to racism. It is indeed time for a realty check. Wright points to oppression as the reason for his anger with U.S. policy, and granted oppression existed and may yet exist in some corners of this country as regards race. However, as regards gender, bias continues to exist, yet there is no media outcry over that little fact.

McCain and Clinton

Why did traditional, union households in the state of Pennsylvania vote for Clinton? It is suggested that they voted for her because she was “White”, (as if to say, well, why else would they vote for a woman?), however, one might understand that Hillary Clinton absolutely can identify with the rank and file (see poll), as she was brought up with the rank and file, granted, in a Republican working class household. Her background lends to her being a moderate candidate. Moderate candidates are those that appeal to the pesky independent voters. John McCain is another example of the moderate candidate, voting with and against his party on key issues (the same can be said of Hillary Clinton). A contest between two moderates would make for a very close race indeed. A race between a moderate McCain and a left leaning, inexperienced, elitist Obama, would be the answer to the RNC’s prayers. It is now a question of which entity holds more sway over the public; the traditional media, or common sense.

Monday, April 28, 2008

John McCain Uses Wife’s Company’s Jet

To the New York Times – “Is this all you’ve got?”


The New York Times has reported that John McCain has been using his wife’s company corporate jet almost exclusively for campaign purposes. Apparently, it is not an illegal act at all, and one can’t be sure if the Times is more upset over the fact that they cannot find anything of substance to hang on McCain or if it was apparent that the man was being frugal in managing to jet about the country for six months at the price of two months flight time. It is evident that the Times is attempting to question McCain’s character as noted; “McCain has a “signature stance” on campaign finance reform” but he found a “loophole”. To wit – so what and is that all you’ve got? Although, to this conservative, McCain is not the most appealing candidate (given his stance on immigration reform and embryonic stem cell research), yet when the surface is scratched, there is little to criticize from an independents point of view. The man has worked well with both sides of the aisle, and has appeared to vote his conscious, and not a straight party line. This is worth noting.

Additionally, Governor Mike Huckabee, true to his word, is supporting Senator McCain’s candidacy through active campaigning and the Huckpac a political action committee designed to promote conservative candidates.

The Baltimore Sun is calling McCain and Huckabee the “not so odd couple”, citing the civility on the campaign trail as well as Mike Huckabee’s support of McCain in his recent trip through Arkansas. The speculation of McCain’s running mate has begun:
“McCain fielded the obligatory running mate question with his "standard answer," saying that he didn't want to mention any names yet.

But McCain readily admitted that "millions of Republican voters voted for Governor Huckabee" in the primaries, and he wants him to play a prominent role in his campaign. McCain noted Huckabee still has a 65 percent approval rating in Arkansas.
When reporters asked Huckabee if he planned to campaign for McCain, it was McCain who jumped in to answer with a ready: "Yes." (Baltimore Sun) click here for the entire article

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