Billary vs. Obannedy

Okay, so maybe Obannedy isn’t quite as catchy as Billary, but the shape of the narrative behind the whimsy of the name can hardly be overlooked.  In a tight primary race that many suspect will continue beyond Super Tuesday and possibly even lead to a brokered convention, the developments over who has decided to stand behind the Obama campaign will have tremendous repurcussions that will pit titanic icons of the Democratic party that span generations against each other.

And again, the Clinton’s are partly to blame.

By now, the story to this point is as clear as crystal.  Hillary has never fully regained her stride following a terrible debate performance in September.  As opposed to deploying quick and concise damage control like she should have, the Clinton camp decided to go nasty, and between then and now, the campaign has only gotten meaner.

That’s fine.  It’s the rough and tumble of politics, and Obama is more than up for it.  If you didn’t think he wasn’t, take a look at the scoreboard.

But one thing that has greatly upset many in the party is that the mud slinging wasn’t relegated to low level surrogates and unleashed supporters from whom the Clinton campaign could distance itself.  The worst stuff did not even come from the candidate at least showing she was willing to stand up and take stock for her actions.  Instead it came from the man who would become the chief surrogate and axe man of the Clinton campaign; former president Bill Clinton.

The problem with this, which would be expressed by party elders such as Mr. Clyburn in South Carolina, or Rahm Emmanuel, or Ted Kennedy, is that this was conduct unbecoming a former president, and essentially the head of the party in absence of a sitting Democratic president.  It was petty and reflected poorly upon the party as a whole, and sent a terrible image that a man who has already held the office was masticating the hopes of a young member of his own party who hoped to repeat his success.

To date, the Clinton campaign has done the math and believes that despite grumblings from Obama supporters who once held Clinton in high regard, and of the party elders who simply felt that Clinton was stepping out of line, they are on the right track.  But as of tomorrow, they may find that percentage politics is not the only place where Bill Clinton’s behavior will affect the race.

Yesterday, the daughter of another popular and beloved Democratic president, Caroline Kennedy, chose to endorse Obama, saying that she believed he would inspire her the way her father inspired so many others.  It would not be the first time that Obama was compared favorably to the deceased Kennedy brothers, but perhaps this was the most valid comparison to date.

Tomorrow, it gets better when Senator Ted Kennedy will endorse Barack Obama for President of the United States.

Logistically alone this spells trouble for the Clinton campaign which has counted on a large portion of establishment support from the beginning.  We saw some of the liberal part of that establishment begin to abandon the Clinton ship a few weeks ago when Senator John Kerry opted to endorse the Obama camp, but with both Kerry and Edwards backing Obama things get worse.

And it’s hard not to think that Kennedy’s disapproval of Bill Clinton’s role in the campaign had at least a little something to do with it.

But there’s something the Clintons should be very much wary of.  Yes, Bill Clinton was a very popular Democratic president, and of course on memory alone something of an asset for the Clinton campaign.  But if Ted gets up there and starts talking about how Barack Obama reminds him of his late brothers, oh boy does the Democratic hero worship get real lopsided real quick.

For, let’s face it, as beloved as Clinton was, there’s no way he holds a candle to Bobby Kennedy whose own presidential campaign seemed to foreshadow Obama’s before it was cut tragically short.  And of course, one can hardly compare Clinton’s administration to the age of Camelot presided over by Jack Kennedy.

As of tomorrow, this won’t be just about the Clintons vs. Obama, but about what some of Obama’s supporters have felt from the beginning; the Clintons vs. Obama and the legacy of the Kennedy brothers.  And really, what Democrat wants to find themselves on the wrong side of that legacy?

One Response to “Billary vs. Obannedy”

  1. Just Like Her Daddy and Worse

    The Princess Royal of the Kennedy clan, who has herself accomplished nothing in life except being born to wealth and privilege, has draped her father’s moth-eaten cloak on Barack Obama, who, in her father’s White House, would have been a footman or cook. Say what you will about Obama, he got there himself without the benefit of a rich daddy or corrupt political machine. He may be more unprepared to be president and more disastrous for this country than was JFK, but we hope, at least, that he will be impervious to “love notes” from middle-aged political camp followers who are still trying to be influential without ever being relevant.


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