What say you?
Today marks the first day of the deceptive quadrennial infomercial that formally introduces and markets a presidential candidate to disillusioned Americans as a must-have product and miracle elixir for all of our public policy ills. The man good Democrats are hoping and praying becomes the 44th President of the United States is by all accounts an enigma and a man difficult to define despite the clarity of the prose in his bestselling and revealing autobiographical narrative.
Wrestling with the meaning of Obama’s story and reconciling it with his path to power is what I’ve spent the better part of two-years doing unsuccessfully. It will be fascinating to watch it come together as Michelle Obama and Ted Kennedy mount the podium in the Pepsi Center tonight.
Democrats are excited to hear from the extended Obama clan and the speechifying will culminate in an address by Michelle Obama. Her task tonight is twofold. First, she must reassure White America that her husband is a common man just like them and that he is uncommonly prepared to lead the free world. Second, she must debunk all of the right-wing messaging that seeks to paint the couple as angry, dangerous, subversive and un-American.
If sistah Michelle does her job tonight, she will humanize Obama enough for people to confront the racism behind some Hillarycrats irrational resistance. Presentation is key. I look forward to seeing a stylish, svelte, and coiffured sistah present her husband and children to the world with aplomb. Her peroration extolling the virtues of family, Mom and apple pie is sure to be a convention classic.
Unfortunately, what Democrats are really selling is the same old wine of assimilationist neo-liberalism in the new bottle of Barack Obama. I’ve been attempting to read the fine print of the new black politics and it’s a morally bankrupt creed that seeks cross-over appeal and social acceptance in exchange for a place at the ruling class table of capitalist patriarchy.
On the eve of the 45th anniversary of Dr. King’s I have a Dream speech, this is not a progressive triumph—its an elaborate charade. Dr. King wrote:
“The majority of Negro political leaders do not ascend to prominence on the shoulders of mass support. Although genuinely popular leaders are now emerging, most are selected by white leadership, elevated to position, supplied with resources, and inevitably subjected to white control. The mass of Negroes nurtures a healthy suspicion toward these manufactured leaders.”
With $9,262,732 million raised from the securities and investment industry and over $21,746,468 raised from the most powerful lawyers and law firms in the country alone, we ain’t gonna get much change we can believe in without organizing some kind of progressive social movement that forces change out of a recalcitrant Washington power structure.
Lastly, God willing, we will be treated to the valedictory address from an ailing icon, Ted Kennedy. Senator Kennedy, the Lion of the Senate, has been fighting the good fight for the entirety of his 46 years on Capitol Hill. His battle is over but ours is just beginning. In the words of my favorite scripture in Jeremiah “The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved.” Jeremiah Wright is spot on. Obama may become our president, but we will still need to fight for progressive change.
Senator Edward M. Kennedy addresses the convention:
Michelle Obama Bio Video:
Mrs. Michelle Obama addresses the convention
I’ve grown weary of hearing from the irrational dead enders in Hillary Clinton’s cult of personality. I’m tired of their racist demands that either Obama fold his candidacy and yield to her superior experience or accede to their arrogant demands that she join his ticket. I am deeply offended by their unwillingness to accept Hillary’s defeat and their oft repeated intention to cast a vote for John McCain instead. Moreover, it chaps my hide for the faux feminists in Hillary’s suicide cult that claim to be insulted by Obama’s consideration of another woman.
Moreover, nobody can tell me that a woman Governor who wins four statewide elections in a red state and still manages to govern progressively and with compassion and common-sense shouldn’t be considered to become the first female Vice President of this country.
Kathleen Sebelius is the total package and she happens to be a woman. I share the goal of the White House Project and the feminist community. I supported Carol Moseley Braun when the bulk of the faux feminists pretended that she was neither qualified nor viable. She was both and would have been able to prove that with their support. I didn’t support Hillary Clinton for reasons I’ve already stated in full and won’t rehash them here. But I am sincere in the belief that Obama’s running mate must be a woman. The time has come for a woman to be next in line to become President of the United States and Barack Obama would do well to text-message the name of Kathleen Sebelius to an anxiously awaiting public today.
After two decades in public life, she has just as much to offer as Hillary Clinton, if not more. During her time as Governor of Kansas she has twice reached across the aisle to chose a Republican as a running mate and has governed from the center and been productive while dealing with a Republican legislature. She protected a woman’s right to chose by vetoing draconian legislation, protected the environment by blocking smog producing coal plants, balanced Kansas budgets without raising taxes, protected funding for K-12 education, and as Insurance Commissioner for 8 years, protected consumers by preventing the state’s Blue Cross non-profit from being bought up by a managed care conglomerate that would have jacked up premiums.
It’s hard for me to understand why women who helped Hillary break the glass ceiling in American politics wouldn’t at least want another woman to be considered if their favorite daughter didn’t make the cut. Otherwise, what was the damn point of their efforts? Hiliary’s feaux feminists were the same people who excused Bill Clinton’s serial philandering and humiliation of their feminist icon and now they have the temerity to attempt to crucify Barack Obama, a man who has never publicly humiliated his wife by straying, on the cross of sexism. Please tell me that you see the racist double-standard in that.
I’m with Robert Schlesinger on this one. It is insulting to all the women in public life to suggest that all they bring to a ticket is gender and particularly insulting to the woman who made the final four, Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius. Moreover, to answer Schlesinger’s rhetorical question of whether the women’s movement should be subsumed to one woman’s movement? I think the answer is clear. It cannot be and should not be.
Hat Tip: Beth Fouhy and Nedra Pickler, Associated Press
Barack Obama said Thursday he’s chosen his running mate, but coyly kept all the details to himself as he campaigned with one leading contender and planned a major rally to present the Democratic ticket Saturday in Illinois.
Obama refused to say whether he’d notified his pick or when exactly he would send cell phones buzzing with the answer delivered via text message.
He didn’t reveal his choice to Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine, considered to be on Obama’s short list, even after they met Thursday, according to two people close to the governor. They spoke on a condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly.
Obama seemed to relish the frustrations of scores of reporters following him this week in anticipation of the announcement.
“Wouldn’t you like to know?” he said with a grin when an Associated Press reporter asked when the text would be sent.
“I’ve made the selection, that’s all you’re gonna get,” Obama said as he visited a store selling roasted Virginia peanuts as nonchalantly as any other day campaigning in a battleground state.
Obama planned to appear with his pick Saturday at the Old State Capitol in Springfield, Ill., where he launched his presidential campaign in February 2007. Obama then planned to travel to the battlegrounds of Wisconsin, Iowa, Missouri and Montana before arriving in Denver to accept his party’s nomination Thursday.
One person who had been vetted for the position told The Associated Press there had been no contact from Obama or his campaign about the decision. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the Obama campaign asked candidates not to speak about the decision.
The Illinois senator was widely thought to be considering Kaine, Gov. Kathleen Sebelius of Kansas and Sens. Joe Biden of Delaware and Evan Bayh of Indiana. None of them gave anything away — at least not in words.
Obama spent part of the day with Kaine, who reportedly told a colleague Wednesday that he believed he was on the short list. West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin said Kaine told him although he hadn’t heard anything from the Obama campaign on where he stands at the time, “he really thinks he has a chance at the short straw.”
Kaine and Obama met privately with the governor’s staff for 15 minutes at a Richmond hotel. Afterward, Kaine said he would let the Obama campaign speak about whether the candidate asked him to be his No. 2. But two people close to Kaine said the governor was still in the dark.
Kaine plans to fly Friday night directly from Virginia to Denver, site of next week’s Democratic National Convention, three people with knowledge of the governor’s travel plans said. The plans could be changed if Kaine is told he needs to fly to Springfield instead.
Biden had a family gathering at his home Thursday afternoon, with his wife Jill, niece Missy Owens and son Beau, Delaware’s attorney general, coming and going past reporters staked outside.
Biden is a favorite for the vice presidential nomination among Democrats who think Obama could use his experience and tough campaign style. Biden has served 35 years in Congress, while Obama has served three.
Sebelius, campaigning for Obama in Iowa, said being mentioned as a potential running mate is something of “an out-of-body experience.”
“Whoever it is, I am an enthusiastic supporter,” she said but added she would leave the announcement to the campaign.
Bayh worked in his Capitol Hill office and later spent time at his home in Washington. He left wearing shorts and a baseball cap but told reporters outside he had no news to share. “Not tonight, sorry,” he said.
Sen. Jack Reed of Rhode Island, a national security expert who has been mentioned as a possible candidate, was at his home in Jamestown on Thursday. He told an AP reporter that he was not Obama’s choice and that he had not been asked for any background information.
New polls out this week show Obama is neck-and-neck with GOP rival John McCain and still has yet to win over some supporters of Democratic primary rival Hillary Rodham Clinton. The polls sparked fresh discussion of whether Obama would make a surprise selection of Clinton as his running mate.
Clinton had other plans for the weekend. She was scheduled to visit the New York State Fair Friday and speak in Fresno, Calif., Sunday at the United Farm Workers of America’s 18th Constitutional Convention.