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The enemy within or a ticket to ride The enemy within or a ticket to ride
by Thanos Kalamidas
2008-03-10 07:13:57
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Somebody called her monster and she beat him unmercifully in Texas, then he won Wyoming and both went running towards Mississippi. In the meantime, staffers and followers are using names and descriptions, mails and posts to treat the other candidate as though they are the enemy. I was careful using the word 'enemy' because it is not as if the other candidate is the opposition in the same party… they are the enemy.

Ms. Clinton, Mr. Obama, have you understood that you waste everything in a race for the presidency of the Democratic Party, when you could bet on the presidency of the United States for the next fifteen years, perhaps twenty? It is hard to believe when you see it written but it is true. It is the first time an American party, especially the Democratic Party, has the chance to make such a long term plan. This is the chance to make history in social issues, make history in health issues, human rights, education, freedom, democracy. Do I sound overwhelming? But this is the true.

I have lived a few times the fever of the elections and I know how easy it is, even for a big staff, to lose focus and, instead of seeing the big picture, which in this case is the presidency, to see only what is immediately visual and personalised, the opposite figure. However, first of all, Ms. Clinton and Mr. Obama must realise that their responsibilities expand far beyond the borders of the United States and far before the western hemisphere. It involves all of us who live somewhere on this earth and, as I wrote in another article a few weeks ago, this is a great part of being a superpower, the global responsibility.

It is my opinion that Ms. Clinton and Mr. Obama must put aside all their differences and all their personal agendas, ambitions and targets to unite; unite in front of a real enemy who has already taken the nomination and campaigns as a candidate for the presidency; he's campaigning this week in Europe! Oh yes, McCain shows that he has realized his global role and, despite the fact that Europeans will not be very …happy with his election, he has begun his long way to Washington D.C. from Europe.

If Mr. Obama puts aside all the personal agendas and compromises with Ms. Clinton's offer for the vice-presidency then it will be five to ten years with Ms. Clinton as president. This is up to what they can both agree and then another ten years of Obama's presidency and Mr. Obama is young; he can survive comfortably these five to ten years. Just imagine, this has been the long complaint for all the administrations that they didn’t have enough time to finish their work, now a joint force with Clinton-Obama will give them this time. Imagine how many things they can change in the health system and education, something that at least they both agree that urgently needs change.

Then there is the high possibility to continue as they are. Ms. Clinton wins in the states, but Obama wins in the delegates. This is a very sensitive balance when it comes to the party elections because during the August conference negotiations and exchanges change balances from one minute to the other and unions and lobbies have a protagonist role. Even personal choices and promises to a delegate can change this balance and the question is how far the two candidates are willing to compromise, how much are they willing to give up? The interests are very high and this is the part where compromises are the only winners. After getting in there is the small chance to see Ms. Clinton and Mr. Obama cooperating because even the vice president seat will be part of negotiation and exchange.

So returning to the main question, do they want to go so far? Do they want to spend another five and half months looking for the enemy within while McCain is just parading towards Washington D.C. or do they want the ticket to ride to the White House? Nobody said that it is going to be an easy ride, on the contrary, I think it will be a neck-and-neck race but at least they would unite the Democrats, giving all the chances to win because they are going to be the favourites to host the change for another fifteen to twenty years.

   
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Emanuel Paparella2008-03-10 11:18:29
Indeed Thanos, it is a good proposal and some of the elders within the democratic party are hinting at it, but there isn’t that much time left. Once both candidates have thrown enough mud at each other and sullied each other’s reputation with ignominious argumenti ad hominem they will both look flawed and less than ideal: they will have shown to the voters that their big ego is unable to stay on the issues; then McCain with the character of Lancelot the “pure warrior” with the strength of a thousand may start to look more attractive. Hopefully the Democrats will refrain from shooting themselves in the foot this time around, but I wouldn’t bet on it, yet.


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