by Bernie Quigley Daily Kos diary, 4/7/07
“ . . . seest thou not God's purpose from the first?
The earth to be spann'd, connected by network,
The races, neighbors, to marry and be given in marriage . . . .”
- Walt Whitman, Passage to
History is in the details, and this week when the ’08 candidates presented the cash available for the upcoming primary season, history turned the corner. I knew it when I went to Canadian Broadcasting Company looking for a hockey game. An ad came up for CBC news with all those fast action photos they run by you – a Bush close up, war in Iraq, fires in California, bears slipping on ice floes in The Great White North.
This time there was a new face: Barack Obama’s and it popped up a few seconds even before Bush’s. Another famous face was conspicuously absent: Hillary Clinton’s.
Yahoo told the same story: Greeting you on the banner head yesterday morning with the campaign cash story were two faces, Obama’s and Mitt Romney’s. No Hillary.
It was reported that Obama raised 25 million in the first quarter, just a million under
The Daily Kos posted the new figures of available primary cash: Obama has 23.5 million, Clinton 20 million, John Edwards 13 million.
What is possibly more important is that Obama's cash comes from 100,000 donors, Clinton’s from only 50,000 and Edwards from 40,000. I’m betting that
Gauging the blog community as an indicator of generational influence, Hillary has almost no youthful support from the critical fourth post-war generation. But the rising generation likes both Obama and Edwards.
It will be increasingly more difficult for
And the press is hungry for a new zeitgeist and a fresh and photogenic face like Obama’s. Hillary is old and stale news and so is McCain. Obama brings the new season. Mad Ave., where the true poets and prophets of
’08 is perhaps one of the most important election cycles since post-war. Like the Kennedy race and the Reagan race, whichever candidate wins now could well determine the direction of the political scene for the next 20 years.
Both major parties have taken new initiatives and both are feeling their Old Guard falling be the wayside;
With 25 million in hand Romney could well go the distance for the Republicans. He is a great manager and a decent human being. But his incoherent and ill-mastery of symbolism is bound to trip him up.
Recently, he described himself as a “life long hunter” and it was revealed later that he had only hunted as a child, then again last year for a political photo-op in
For people who are unfamiliar with firearms, a semi-automatic weapon sounds like a Uzi or an AK-47 or an M-16. The image of Elmer Fudd throwing dynamite down a hole to obliterate the source of his perennial wabbit twoubles caught the public imagination three days before Easter. The blog “Unconfirmed Sources” offered a satire of Romney going hunting over the weekend with Dick Cheney, and the Republican’s answer to Elmer Fudd and Syd Vicious shooting caged birds together and possibly each other on Easter Sunday.
But as the Democrats push aside their own Old Guard, they have also brought forth a whole new group of individuals in the last two years, some of them veterans of the
This is the starting line-up of a new political generation. The Democrats have also established veteran credentials with new groups like the Fighting Dems and VoteVets. And consistently, in the blogosphere and in the rising generation, these new candidates have come forward while the DLC candidates are being left behind.
Obama was first presented to the public by Oprah. I have opposed the "democratization" of political discourse on such a vast and generic level as the Oprah TV show making the case that political discourse on such a low entertainment level will destroy the Republic. I have changed my position over the last years for this reason: Oprah, more than anyone advances the "participation mystique" of American culture and politics and this is perhaps the most important cultural driving force in
After his visit to
The Obama candidacy represents a shared cultural identity; that is, there is no distinction between white and black “culture.” Perhaps, as the poet Walt Whitman claimed, this is one of the most essential transitions that people make when they come to
Oprah, probably more than anyone today, represents this vast, subtle and pervasive influence and this shared racial destiny. And she is probably one of the five most important people in the world today in terms of cultural influence.
The Obama story is the story of the emancipation of all of the races and cultures in North America and the passing of the Protestant Ethic as the territorial determinant in American politics: It is a story that we have been moving to for 400 years on this continent and it is perhaps the most important story to be told to date about our American condition.