August 27, 2008
The Pathetic Retreat of Defeat (Bob Franken)
@ 10:37 am
It's probably a good thing that some bent-out-of-shape Hillary Clinton supporters are departing Denver early. By boycotting Barack Obama's speech, they're taking the pressure off the airlines to get everybody out of town at once on Friday, in much the same way that disgusted fans can beat the traffic by leaving a football or baseball game early.
For them it doesn't matter that their little snit might play right into the hands of the opposing team. I wonder how many of them are taking their sour grapes and flying straight to the Twin Cities. That way, they can be right there as they play into the Republicans' hands.
They certainly do have some arguable complaints: about the coverage, for instance, Barack Obama got from so-called journalists who seemed to cut him a lot more slack than Clinton, actually both Clintons.
And let's be honest: The sexism in the media was disgusting. I am among those who share the belief that we still need to give some payback and somehow punish the worst offenders.
Nevertheless, one can also argue Obama simply ran a better campaign, skillfully outmaneuvering the Clintonistas every step of the way. No amount of sulking can change that.
This is not about whether Obama or McCain should be the next president. The issue here is whether some of these petulant Hillary Clinton supporters were being hypocritical when they were chanting about the need for change. Was/is their commitment as superficial as it appears? Do they really believe in anything but themselves?
Some might conclude that they're acting like spoiled children. If they don't have their way, make everyone pay. It's easy to say, "Good Riddance. Who needs them?” Except that John McCain and Barack Obama do.
They could sway the election either way. How ironic would it be, that in spite of the pleadings of their temporary runner-up, they handed victory to the other side? A sore loser is a loser. And for everyone who trusted they were sincere, it's a bitter lesson about how shallow some people's principles can be.
"I can't remember which house I'm in.”
"I know," she said quietly. "I've had that problem all my life."
All that did was distress him more.
"It's not just that. I have to pick a vice president, and there's nobody I like."
That puzzled Cindy.
"I thought you and Joe Lieberman had bonded.”
"I thought we had, too,” the senator grumbled, "but he started correcting me every time I made a mistake. I hate that.
“Then there's this guy Pawlenty. He's nice and all that, but he kind of blends in the woodwork. As for Mitt Romney — forget it. No way, no how, no Romney. He needs to get a job as a local anchorman somewhere."
Cindy sat quietly for a minute before she talked: "I have an astounding idea.” She was barely speaking above a whisper. In the last several years that has always irritated him.
"What's that? I can't hear you. You'll have to talk louder!"
"I HAVE AN ASTOUNDING IDEA,” she shouted. “WHY DON'T YOU CHOOSE A WOMAN?"
For the first time, he started to smile. His mind was racing.
"Condoleezza? Carly? Nah, can't have anybody who's going to show me up. Hillary? Nah. Not after what she said about me last week."
Then it was his turn to shout.
"SARAH PALIN! SHE’S A WOMAN!"
Cindy had actually heard of her.
"But she is totally unqualified. It would be Dan Quayle all over again!"
He was quick with a retort.
"I know Dan Quayle. Dan Quayle is a friend of mine. Sarah Palin is no Dan Quayle.”
Cindy didn't say a word. She knew it was useless to argue that this would make the charge Barack Obama was too inexperienced laughable.
It was time for her to put that silent faraway smile on her face. Never mind that this appeal to the disgruntled Hillary supporters was blatantly cynical. He had made up his mind.
"I'm going to call her right now, Cindy."
"Why don't you wait, John? It's just 2 a.m. in Alaska.”
That's the way it happened. How else could he have chosen Sarah Palin?
Visit Mr. Franken's website at www.bobfranken.tv.