Friday, January 04, 2008

Campaign '08 Update: The Good and the Bad from Iowa

Bulworth, Written and Directed by Warren Beatty

Campaign '08 Update: The Good and the Bad from Iowa

By Richard Power

There is both good and bad news in the outcome of the Iowa caucuses.

The good news is that Sen. Clinton's rhetoric of denial was repudiated.

It is also good news that John Edwards and Gov. Bill Richardson survived Iowa to fight on in a field narrowed by the dropping out of Sens. Biden and Dodd (two good men who deserved better).

The bad news is that Sen. Obama's rhetoric of denial was rewarded.

There is, of course, hope that the bad news can lead to good news.

It is possible that Sen. Clinton will become a better candidate now that she has to struggle alongside everybody else.

It is also possible that Sen. Obama will have to show more about what he really thinks now that the heat is on him.

What do I mean by "rhetoric of denial"?

The indomitable Mark Crispin Miller elaborates:

So here is Hillary blowing kisses at the Bushes; and, meanwhile, Barack Obama too keeps loftily pooh-poohing "partisan" behavior. In his big summary speech in Iowa the other day, while going on and on and on about the "change" that he keeps saying he represents, he said that "it's change that won't just come from more anger at Washington, or turning up the heat on Republicans." With his gaze, as ever, nobly fixed on some bright galaxy far, far away, he added:
"There's no shortage of anger and bluster and bitter partisanship out there. We don't need more heat. We need more light." Now, I'm as keen on civilized relations as the next man; but if the next man is a fascist, it would be foolish to expect him to reciprocate. And if that fascist and his goons have broken laws, they should be prosecuted, not embraced.
We certainly do "need more light"--and we will not be getting it without the sort of serious investigation(s) that the Clintons and Barack Obama have ruled out. If that means "turning up the heat on Republicans," then we should definitely bring it on.
One reason why there's such intense "anger at Washington" is that the Democrats have passively colluded with the Bush Republicans, and let the latter get away with murder (among other things). Anger is, in any case, a perfectly appropriate response to such betrayal. Anyone who has the gall to scold us for such righteous indignation has no right to call himself a democrat or a republican.
Mark Crispin Miller, Notes from the Underground, 1-3-07

Two recent posts from Micheael Moore provide some insight on Sen. Clinton's political problems:

If you're a candidate for President, and you voted for the war, you lose. And if you voted and voted and voted for the war -- and never once showed any remorse -- you really lose.
In short, if you had something to do with keeping us in this war for four-plus years, you are not allowed to be the next president of the United States.
Over 70% of Iowan Democrats voted for candidates who either never voted for the invasion of Iraq (Obama, Richardson, Kucinich) or who have since admitted their mistake (Edwards, Biden, Dodd). I can't tell you how bad I feel for Senator Clinton tonight. I don't believe she was ever really for this war. But she did -- and continued to do -- what she thought was the politically expedient thing to eventually get elected. And she was wrong. And tonight she must go to sleep wondering what would have happened if she had voted her conscience instead of her calculator.
Michael Moore, 1-3-08

Two months ago, Rolling Stone magazine asked me to do a cover story where I would ask the hard questions that no one was asking in one-on-one interviews with Senators Clinton, Obama and Edwards. "The Top Democrats Face Off with Michael Moore." The deal was that all three candidates had to agree to let me interview them or there was no story. Obama and Edwards agreed. Mrs. Clinton said no, and the cover story was thus killed.
Why would the love of my life, Hillary Clinton, not sit down to talk with me? What was she afraid of?
Michael Moore, 1-2-08

See also Campaign '08 Update: Open Letter to Sen. Barack Obama -- This is Not a "Food Fight." This is a *Civil* War, Campaign '08 Update 8-12-07: Open Letter to Democratic Primary & Caucus Voters -- Turn This Race Upside Down! and Hard Rain Journal 9-17-07: An Open Letter to Al Gore -- The List, & What Will Happen to the USA & the Planet if We Don't Address It In 2008

For an archive of Words of Power posts on Campaign '08, click here.

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