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Au revoir or see you soon, Hillary!
by Thanos Kalamidas
2008-06-08 09:57:43
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The words should be 'united we stand' but it came out like, we failed to elect a woman and that’s the way Hillary decided to say au revoir to eighteen million people who voted and followed her for the last months. Apparently au revoir doesn’t mean goodbye but 'au', until + 'revoir', seeing again and that’s …half the truth said!

Barack Obama’s position is not the easiest at the moment, from one side he has a president who keeps signing laws and agreements which, whether he agrees or not, will have to follow for at least the first term of his presidency of the USA - if he is elected - and he also has to think seriously for the big compromise with Hillary. If that big compromise means the title of the vice-president that’s something we will find out soon, at the moment there are only secret dates between them and no word outside.

Hillary has something Obama needs urgently, the party mechanism, the lobbies and the unions and apparently this triplet is the winning bit missing from the first black president of the United States. He has the people alright but everybody who has been involved with politics, especially elections, knows that is not enough. Lobbies have great power, he knows it well, and that explains Obama’s declarations of support to Israel just hours after his victory. The question now is if he handle Mrs. Clinton, you see the problem is that dealing with Hillary you get Bill storming from somewhere round the corner and Bill is the wild card because he is the one who knows the lobbies and the unions, he is the one who knows how to play with party mechanism, flirt and win without even dirtying his hands.

Barack Obama did the surprise to unite the blue-collar voters with the poor and forgotten but Hillary united all the ones who got scared at the last minute of the idea of a black president, the women and all those who missed Bill Clinton’s presidency, she managed to attract the black middle class and white collar blacks who know the way to the money. Bill took care of lobbies, unions and the party and have no doubt he did good job and he was ready for anything except one thing and that was proven lethal for Hillary. Clinton’s worst enemy was themselves, the Clintons!

When they first appeared over fifteen years ago they looked naïve and innocent and their mistakes looked the same, I suppose it was a case of semantics also that excused their innocence and naïve attitude, sometimes even their mistakes looked cute and Bill's harmonic problem often reminded another president with similar age and similar harmonic problems, President J.F. Kennedy. That period Hillary’s stubbornness was translated into determination and will for win nowadays her often stubborn explosions shown a bitter old bitch. I think that was another point that didn’t work well with her, the Clintons had been the hope, the youth that was coming to change things after Reagan and Bush senior, nowadays the mature woman with the cynic smile who was standing in front the television cameras didn’t inspire hope; stability perhaps, knowledge of the game probably but not exactly hope and eight years with George W. Bush people need hope.

I said in the beginning that the real problems for Obama just started and I have been warning long time that this is not going to be an easy election for the Democratic Party, especially for Obama, and if he fails. Then it will be long before the American politics will see another woman or a black as hopefuls for the seat of the president of the USA. Obama need every single help including Hillary’s or better the whole Clinton clan’s help. He needs them there standing next to him in every single speech, he needs them playing their tricks and games with the lobbies and the unions. When Obama said to the Israeli lobby that he will do everything to defend them even if that means war with Iran the next day a lot of people thought of it as a hypocrisy to his words to help Israelis and Palestinians equally to find peace but when Hillary said that she would start a war with Iran if necessary the whole Israel was in tears of happiness. That’s why Obama needs the Clinton’s clan.

If that means Hillary for the vice-president that’s going to be …challenging for the hopeful president. Hillary is not an easy loser and she’s going to negotiate every single bit before accepting. But then again you never know she might change the position and the status of the US Vice President and make a powerful pair for the real change. So …until seeing again Hillary!

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Emanuel Paparella2008-06-08 14:50:25
The flip side of the coin is this: if we had nominated the first woman we would have failed to nominate the first African-American. Indeed, there are two ways of looking at the same glass: as half-empty or half full. On which way we choose here in the United States will depend whether Democrats win or lose the election in November: are they being hopeful and have the audacity to turn a new chapter in American politics, one not based on the usual cynical Machiavellian real politick paradigm, or is it political machinations as usual? Unfortunately, some Europeans still fail to understand is that what may truly be going on is a genuine revolution not dissimilar from the one conducted 234 years ago. The danger of course is that revolutions tend to be divisive. Here Barack Obama genius at being a unifier and not a divider will have to prove its mettle. He will have to demonstrate to the American people and the world at large that he truly understands and lives by the motto on the American dollar bill: e pluribus unum and in God we trust. That may be a bit too much for some power jaded cynical Europeans or Americans to swallow but they too may eventually come aboard the conspiracy of hope which Barack Obama has put in motion. One can surely hope so!

Emanuel Paparella2008-06-08 15:09:44
P.S. On the VP prospects for Hillary Clinton, Jimmy Carter has it on target: it would not be a dream but a nightmare ticket and it would indeed be the first big political mistake by Barack Obama which would tarnish his politics of hope. I trust he will not fall into it.

Eva2008-06-09 00:15:15
Paparella: "Here Barack Obama genius at being a unifier and not a divider will have to prove its mettle. He will have to demonstrate to the American people and the world at large that he truly understands and lives by the motto on the American dollar bill: e pluribus unum and in God we trust".

Eh, and what about McCain??
I'm sorry if I'm being sarcastic/cynical/call it whatever you want but I don't look at this election in much of an idealistic way. Who the hell in America lives by the motto on the American dollar bill today?
This is politics and as little as I know about American or any politics, goddammit I simply hope Obama makes it.

That's it off my chest.

Emanuel Paparella2008-06-09 15:43:48
Eva, surely getting things off one’s chest can be cathartic and more than justifies the commendable comment box in Ovi magazine, alas too much left unused. It also promotes an indispensable and commendable characteristic of any opinion magazine: free speech and free-wheeling exchange of ideas. That’s all well and good, but as Aristotle pointed out, for the catharsis to really work one needs the poetical within drama or one will end up doing on stage what one does in life as in Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci or Pirandello’s Seven Characters in Search of an Author. Tragically (pun intended), those who live by cynicism die by cynicism. The ideal and even the Romantic is needed as inspiration and goes a long way in explaining Barack Obama’s success story. I concur with many other disillusioned bystanders in your hope that Obama wins the elections in November and that McCain go and sell his cynical “give war a chance” somewhere else. What Obama has started is what the realist Communist Stalinist Ignazio Silone turned Christian branded as “the conspiracy of hope.” I would suggest that such a conspiracy is better served by a blessing than by a curse. That’s it, off my mind, or better, off my chest.

Emanuel Paparella2008-06-09 16:04:55
P.S. I am wondering if it has occurred to you and other readers of Ovi that while the failure to nominate a woman has been duly lamented, there has been no mention whatsoever, so far, of the significance that the first nomination of an African-American represents in American history, and indeed of Western history as a whole. I am at a loss on how to explain it.

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