Wednesday, January 30, 2008
Gee, Ted, Thanks - I think...
The top story this morning is that you can stick a fork in Rudy "Did I mention 9-11?" Guiliani because he's done. Rudy will back McCain now, the latter having won handily in Florida. All that is the latest news, but it's a development from earlier in the week that still has me thinking. The question is this: is an endorsement from Ted Kennedy a good thing, or a bad thing?
The editorial page piece by Caroline Kennedy caught my eye on Sunday. She says Obama could be a "President like my father." Lots of people like to try to project a JFK quality, and some will invoke his name, but not too many get the real deal, the blessing of the family. Big positive for Obama, you'd think, to have the daughter of a legend say outright that BO is the real change agent, is inspiring, and whatnot. You can just feel Hillary frowning.
On the heels of this comes the endorsement by Ted Kennedy. I'm not sure if it matters what rabid right wingers think, since they won't be voting for Democrats in November anyway, but I am curious whether Ted's support is actually a negative among the so-called Reagan Democrats and moderate Republicans who might be so fed up with Bush et al that they might actually cross the party line. Teddy's name says "big government," "socialized medicine," "Washington power elite" and all these buzzwords that fall so easily from the lips of the conservative punditry. And strangely enough, every time I see him I feel a little sad that he could never rise to live up to the legacy of his brothers, that that same ability to inspire that he sees in Obama was a quality that largely eluded him outside of Massachusetts.
All this Kennedy-Obama convergence led Charlie Gibson to ask Ted a question the other day that translated said "Do you think somebody will shoot Obama like your brothers?" (The actual question had to do with persons who are seen as agents of change becoming a target, or something like that.) Kennedy didn't respond directly to the question, and Gibson took some mild heat for bringing it up, but you have to admit you've wondered the same thing, haven't you? It's interesting the things we're willing to talk about, and those we want to keep to ourselves. There was an interesting new show on PBS' American Experience the other night (did I mention I only watch PBS, when I'm not watching Idol, Survivor, Wife Swap, Judge Judy or Dog: Bounty Hunter?) that was called Oswald's Ghost. I've read and seen a lot of assassination stuff over the years, so none of it was new to me, but it was a reminder that we're still living today with the aftermath of those shootings in the '60s. Coming on 50 years, and this year's presidential contest brings it all up again.
All told, I'm not sure the Obama charisma can overcome the Clinton machine in the long run. At this point I like the way McCain is surging, since he's my fave among the GOP, and I'm hoping Super Tuesday turns out to be a split for HC and OB so we can keep things interesting for awhile longer.