Commentary Magazine


Topic: Geraldine Ferraro

Bizarro World

Geraldine Ferraro sounds like Ward Connerly:

As for Reagan Democrats, how Clinton was treated is not their issue. They are more concerned with how they have been treated. Since March, when I was accused of being racist for a statement I made about the influence of blacks on Obama’s historic campaign, people have been stopping me to express a common sentiment: If you’re white you can’t open your mouth without being accused of being racist. They see Obama’s playing the race card throughout the campaign and no one calling him for it as frightening. They’re not upset with Obama because he’s black; they’re upset because they don’t expect to be treated fairly because they’re white. It’s not racism that is driving them, it’s racial resentment. And that is enforced because they don’t believe he understands them and their problems. That when he said in South Carolina after his victory “Our Time Has Come” they believe he is telling them that their time has passed.

Terry McAuliffe sounds like Rich Lowry (or Bob Dole) on Scott McClellan:

I never like it when someone works for someone and then comes out and writes a book trashing them. . . . I don’t care if it is politics or life. If he was that upset about everything, he should have quit. Remember, Gerald Ford’s press secretary quit when he disagreed with pardoning, Ford pardoning Nixon. If you don’t agree, then get out. And I just, I find it abhorrent the way these people come out and write books about their boss. It made ‘em money, it made ‘em prestige, it gave them all this power, and then they turn around and slap ‘em. I just, I gotta tell you, I just uh, I don’t care who it is — Democrat, Republican — it’s wrong.

And Bill Clinton sounds like Brent Bozell on the Leftwing media conspiracy.

Next thing you know we will find out that “Obama, a University of Chicago intellectual, is in the unlikely position of seeming to have a closed, uninquisitive mind when it comes to Iraq.” In all seriousness, when the Democratic party lurches so far to the left (with the assistance and urging of much of the mainstream media), the political landscape may be so scrambled that the Clintons, Terry McAuliffe and Geraldine Ferraro–exemplars of the Democratic establishment with a political memory longer than a week–start sounding sane in comparison.

Geraldine Ferraro sounds like Ward Connerly:

As for Reagan Democrats, how Clinton was treated is not their issue. They are more concerned with how they have been treated. Since March, when I was accused of being racist for a statement I made about the influence of blacks on Obama’s historic campaign, people have been stopping me to express a common sentiment: If you’re white you can’t open your mouth without being accused of being racist. They see Obama’s playing the race card throughout the campaign and no one calling him for it as frightening. They’re not upset with Obama because he’s black; they’re upset because they don’t expect to be treated fairly because they’re white. It’s not racism that is driving them, it’s racial resentment. And that is enforced because they don’t believe he understands them and their problems. That when he said in South Carolina after his victory “Our Time Has Come” they believe he is telling them that their time has passed.

Terry McAuliffe sounds like Rich Lowry (or Bob Dole) on Scott McClellan:

I never like it when someone works for someone and then comes out and writes a book trashing them. . . . I don’t care if it is politics or life. If he was that upset about everything, he should have quit. Remember, Gerald Ford’s press secretary quit when he disagreed with pardoning, Ford pardoning Nixon. If you don’t agree, then get out. And I just, I find it abhorrent the way these people come out and write books about their boss. It made ‘em money, it made ‘em prestige, it gave them all this power, and then they turn around and slap ‘em. I just, I gotta tell you, I just uh, I don’t care who it is — Democrat, Republican — it’s wrong.

And Bill Clinton sounds like Brent Bozell on the Leftwing media conspiracy.

Next thing you know we will find out that “Obama, a University of Chicago intellectual, is in the unlikely position of seeming to have a closed, uninquisitive mind when it comes to Iraq.” In all seriousness, when the Democratic party lurches so far to the left (with the assistance and urging of much of the mainstream media), the political landscape may be so scrambled that the Clintons, Terry McAuliffe and Geraldine Ferraro–exemplars of the Democratic establishment with a political memory longer than a week–start sounding sane in comparison.

Read Less

John Kerry: Obama Has That Old Black Magic

ABC News’ Jake Tapper just reported on a startling interview given by Senator John Kerry:

Kerry said that a President Obama would help the US, in relations with Muslim countries, “in some cases go around their dictator leaders to the people and inspire the people in ways that we can’t otherwise.”

“He has the ability to help us bridge the divide of religious extremism,” Kerry said. “To maybe even give power to moderate Islam to be able to stand up against this radical misinterpretation of a legitimate religion.”

Kerry was asked what gives Obama that credibility.

“Because he’s African-American. Because he’s a black man. Who has come from a place of oppression and repression through the years in our own country.”

Where to begin! Have notable Democrats become so intellectually sloppy as to draw some baffling equivalence between blacks and Muslims? The last I checked, Arab Muslims were none too happy with their black countrymen in northern Africa.

Also, where is this “place of oppression and repression” in which Obama has suffered “through the years”? Hawaii? Harvard? The Senate? We should find out immediately and do something about this horrific crisis.

Another thing. Let’s pretend John Kerry is right: Obama, as a result of the concentration of melanin in his skin, is endowed with the power to inspire moderate Islam to crush radicals. How does this play out exactly? A nice Shiite shop owner in Iran sees President Obama give a speech on television and then the next thing he knows he’s slaying a phalanx of mullahs Matrix-style? Let’s hope Obama understands that a power like that requires the close observation of international bodies.

Last, how is what John Kerry said less outrageous than what Geraldine Ferraro said? How is it different at all? They’re both attributing success solely to skin color.

Every day the race-obsessed Left discovers a new low. There is no end in sight for the Democrats’ identity nightmare. But an end to the Democrats’ chance at the White House is taking visible shape on the horizon.

ABC News’ Jake Tapper just reported on a startling interview given by Senator John Kerry:

Kerry said that a President Obama would help the US, in relations with Muslim countries, “in some cases go around their dictator leaders to the people and inspire the people in ways that we can’t otherwise.”

“He has the ability to help us bridge the divide of religious extremism,” Kerry said. “To maybe even give power to moderate Islam to be able to stand up against this radical misinterpretation of a legitimate religion.”

Kerry was asked what gives Obama that credibility.

“Because he’s African-American. Because he’s a black man. Who has come from a place of oppression and repression through the years in our own country.”

Where to begin! Have notable Democrats become so intellectually sloppy as to draw some baffling equivalence between blacks and Muslims? The last I checked, Arab Muslims were none too happy with their black countrymen in northern Africa.

Also, where is this “place of oppression and repression” in which Obama has suffered “through the years”? Hawaii? Harvard? The Senate? We should find out immediately and do something about this horrific crisis.

Another thing. Let’s pretend John Kerry is right: Obama, as a result of the concentration of melanin in his skin, is endowed with the power to inspire moderate Islam to crush radicals. How does this play out exactly? A nice Shiite shop owner in Iran sees President Obama give a speech on television and then the next thing he knows he’s slaying a phalanx of mullahs Matrix-style? Let’s hope Obama understands that a power like that requires the close observation of international bodies.

Last, how is what John Kerry said less outrageous than what Geraldine Ferraro said? How is it different at all? They’re both attributing success solely to skin color.

Every day the race-obsessed Left discovers a new low. There is no end in sight for the Democrats’ identity nightmare. But an end to the Democrats’ chance at the White House is taking visible shape on the horizon.

Read Less

This Is Why Hillary Is Staying In The Race

Hillary Clinton is not stupid. She knows perfectly well that she’s not going to catch up with Barack Obama when it comes to delegates or the overall popular vote in the primaries, and that her lead with superdelegates is not at all secure. She’s staying in the race to see what happens — to lengthen it so that there is a chance Obama will implode for some reason or combination of reasons, leaving her to pick up the pieces.

When Hillary and her people talk about Obama’s lack of experience, they are not just talking about foreign policy and Washington voting. They are, implicitly, talking about his lack of experience with a hostile media. He has never been subjected to the withering examination of a reportorial or even punditorial pack — not in his service in the Illinois state senate, not in his 2004 Senate race, and not even when it came to his well-reviewed books. One never, ever knows how someone will hold up under such circumstances, or how quickly a reputation can be damaged.

Obviously, the repulsive statements of Obama’s pastor, Jeremiah Wright, about how 9/11 represented “the chickens coming home to roost” for “White America” might represent a turning point — and one that would not have happened to benefit Hillary had she seen supposed reason and bowed out when it was clear she couldn’t win on points. Obama is fortunate this week to have had a ju-jitsu victory on the subject of race, parrying a remark about him by Geraldine Ferraro into a “nobody-is-allowed-to-raise-the-subject of-how-I-might-have-benefited-from-my-blackness” moment. That, and the Spitzer scandal, have kept the Wright story from getting full purchase in the media. But it’s out now, and even the extreme queasiness of the press in dealing with material that might be harmful to Obama can’t last forever.

And forever is a long time. The Pennsylvania primary is more than a month away. Maybe more will turn up to cause the superdelegates such concern about November that they will line up behind her foursquare. Politics is a dynamic business.

Hillary Clinton is not stupid. She knows perfectly well that she’s not going to catch up with Barack Obama when it comes to delegates or the overall popular vote in the primaries, and that her lead with superdelegates is not at all secure. She’s staying in the race to see what happens — to lengthen it so that there is a chance Obama will implode for some reason or combination of reasons, leaving her to pick up the pieces.

When Hillary and her people talk about Obama’s lack of experience, they are not just talking about foreign policy and Washington voting. They are, implicitly, talking about his lack of experience with a hostile media. He has never been subjected to the withering examination of a reportorial or even punditorial pack — not in his service in the Illinois state senate, not in his 2004 Senate race, and not even when it came to his well-reviewed books. One never, ever knows how someone will hold up under such circumstances, or how quickly a reputation can be damaged.

Obviously, the repulsive statements of Obama’s pastor, Jeremiah Wright, about how 9/11 represented “the chickens coming home to roost” for “White America” might represent a turning point — and one that would not have happened to benefit Hillary had she seen supposed reason and bowed out when it was clear she couldn’t win on points. Obama is fortunate this week to have had a ju-jitsu victory on the subject of race, parrying a remark about him by Geraldine Ferraro into a “nobody-is-allowed-to-raise-the-subject of-how-I-might-have-benefited-from-my-blackness” moment. That, and the Spitzer scandal, have kept the Wright story from getting full purchase in the media. But it’s out now, and even the extreme queasiness of the press in dealing with material that might be harmful to Obama can’t last forever.

And forever is a long time. The Pennsylvania primary is more than a month away. Maybe more will turn up to cause the superdelegates such concern about November that they will line up behind her foursquare. Politics is a dynamic business.

Read Less

Not So New

Barack Obama’s main theme is that he is a new kind of politician, and that the old ones are corrupt and divisive. Well, today was not a good day for “new” politics.

First, under badgering from John McCain and the RNC, Obama released his list of 2006 and 2007 earmarks. It is long, really long. (I passed $180M before the “Energy & Water” category.) McCain earlier in the day put out a statement including this:

“I am proud to have fought against the practice of earmarking and wasteful pork-barrel spending. It has often been a lonely fight, but one I know is worth winning. I am encouraged by some of my Democratic colleagues’ new-found enthusiasm for suspending this practice for a year. I hope their recent commitments do not wane once they step off the campaign trail. I believe we must end this process, which has diverted billions in taxpayer dollars to needless projects, once and for all. If voters give me the pen, I will veto every single pork-barrel bill Congress sends me. . .I’m encouraged that Senators Clinton and Obama have joined me in supporting the DeMint amendment banning earmarks for one year. I renew my call for them to fully disclose all of their earmark requests while serving in the Senate and join me in increasing needed transparency and accountability in Washington.”

No word yet on when we will get the list of Obama’s 2005 earmarks or when Clinton’s will arrive (they are probably in the same stack as the tax returns and the visitor logs from the White House archives). Score one for the cheapskate McCain (who has zero earmarks in his much longer Senate career) over the “not so new after all” politics of spending taxpayer money on pork barrel projects.

But what of Obama’s other claim, that he will end the old, mean style of politics and usher in a new era of unity, both racial and political? As Abe and John have pointed out, the media have now caught on to his pastor, Reverend Wright. Like Michelle Obama, he sounds like he pretty much hates America.

Obama says his church is not “particularly controversial” (well, not like Geraldine Ferraro, I suppose) and Wright is just “like an old uncle who says things I don’t always agree with.” I think it is worth asking why Obama chose this man to officiate at his wedding and his kids’ baptisms. Does Obama agree what Wright says or does he just snooze through sermons from his favorite “old uncle”? Perhaps it is time to reject and denounce.

At the very least, what we have on both these issues is a significant gap between campaign rhetoric and reality. It’s looking more and more like Obama does not live up to his billing as the savior of American politics. No one is more relieved to see stuff like this on the front pages than Hillary Clinton. (Well, maybe Geraldine Ferraro.)

Barack Obama’s main theme is that he is a new kind of politician, and that the old ones are corrupt and divisive. Well, today was not a good day for “new” politics.

First, under badgering from John McCain and the RNC, Obama released his list of 2006 and 2007 earmarks. It is long, really long. (I passed $180M before the “Energy & Water” category.) McCain earlier in the day put out a statement including this:

“I am proud to have fought against the practice of earmarking and wasteful pork-barrel spending. It has often been a lonely fight, but one I know is worth winning. I am encouraged by some of my Democratic colleagues’ new-found enthusiasm for suspending this practice for a year. I hope their recent commitments do not wane once they step off the campaign trail. I believe we must end this process, which has diverted billions in taxpayer dollars to needless projects, once and for all. If voters give me the pen, I will veto every single pork-barrel bill Congress sends me. . .I’m encouraged that Senators Clinton and Obama have joined me in supporting the DeMint amendment banning earmarks for one year. I renew my call for them to fully disclose all of their earmark requests while serving in the Senate and join me in increasing needed transparency and accountability in Washington.”

No word yet on when we will get the list of Obama’s 2005 earmarks or when Clinton’s will arrive (they are probably in the same stack as the tax returns and the visitor logs from the White House archives). Score one for the cheapskate McCain (who has zero earmarks in his much longer Senate career) over the “not so new after all” politics of spending taxpayer money on pork barrel projects.

But what of Obama’s other claim, that he will end the old, mean style of politics and usher in a new era of unity, both racial and political? As Abe and John have pointed out, the media have now caught on to his pastor, Reverend Wright. Like Michelle Obama, he sounds like he pretty much hates America.

Obama says his church is not “particularly controversial” (well, not like Geraldine Ferraro, I suppose) and Wright is just “like an old uncle who says things I don’t always agree with.” I think it is worth asking why Obama chose this man to officiate at his wedding and his kids’ baptisms. Does Obama agree what Wright says or does he just snooze through sermons from his favorite “old uncle”? Perhaps it is time to reject and denounce.

At the very least, what we have on both these issues is a significant gap between campaign rhetoric and reality. It’s looking more and more like Obama does not live up to his billing as the savior of American politics. No one is more relieved to see stuff like this on the front pages than Hillary Clinton. (Well, maybe Geraldine Ferraro.)

Read Less

Math and Non-Math

There are two ways to look at the Democratic race: math and non-math. On the former, Hillary Clinton’s campaign team is usually loath to talk about delegate math. But her people were happy to point out that the gains Barack Obama made in Mississippi were erased by Hillary’s pick up of some late-tabulating delegates from two February 5 states.

However, the real delegate action for Clinton lies in potential re-votes in Michigan and Florida. Should she win in Pennsylvania and those two states, not only will the delegate count look much tighter, but her argument that Obama lacks appeal in diverse, delegate-rich states will get more traction.

On the non-math front, Geraldine Ferraro has been able to give voice to what lies beneath much of the campaigns’ verbal jousting: the contention that, for all his post-racial themes, Obama is simply the beneficiary of racial politics. As Mickey Kaus observes, “If Obama were white, he wouldn’t embody hopes of a post-racial future. Duh! That’s part of his appeal. It seems obvious. Why does Obama dispute it? Why isn’t Ferraro allowed to acknowledge it?” Kaus questions why Obama doesn’t just say: “I think being black helps me in some ways, and hurts me in others. I’m running on my record, on the issues, on my ability to do the best job as President for all Americans, etc.” Well, I think the answer is fairly clear: his record is virtually nonexistent and his stance on issues is practically indistinguishable from Clinton’s.

So Ferraro now has Democrats openly discussing this touchy subject. And that, more than math, is what gives Clinton hope.

There are two ways to look at the Democratic race: math and non-math. On the former, Hillary Clinton’s campaign team is usually loath to talk about delegate math. But her people were happy to point out that the gains Barack Obama made in Mississippi were erased by Hillary’s pick up of some late-tabulating delegates from two February 5 states.

However, the real delegate action for Clinton lies in potential re-votes in Michigan and Florida. Should she win in Pennsylvania and those two states, not only will the delegate count look much tighter, but her argument that Obama lacks appeal in diverse, delegate-rich states will get more traction.

On the non-math front, Geraldine Ferraro has been able to give voice to what lies beneath much of the campaigns’ verbal jousting: the contention that, for all his post-racial themes, Obama is simply the beneficiary of racial politics. As Mickey Kaus observes, “If Obama were white, he wouldn’t embody hopes of a post-racial future. Duh! That’s part of his appeal. It seems obvious. Why does Obama dispute it? Why isn’t Ferraro allowed to acknowledge it?” Kaus questions why Obama doesn’t just say: “I think being black helps me in some ways, and hurts me in others. I’m running on my record, on the issues, on my ability to do the best job as President for all Americans, etc.” Well, I think the answer is fairly clear: his record is virtually nonexistent and his stance on issues is practically indistinguishable from Clinton’s.

So Ferraro now has Democrats openly discussing this touchy subject. And that, more than math, is what gives Clinton hope.

Read Less

Not An Even Match

When Barack Obama advisor Samantha Power called Hillary Clinton a “monster,” Clinton called for her head and Power was gone. (Her departure may also have been related to her suggestion that Obama was not going to stick to any silly campaign promises about getting out of Iraq.) When Clinton supporter Geraldine Ferraro says that Obama would not be where he is if he were white, the Obama camp goes ballistic and Clinton brushes it off. In fact, her campaign manager goes to far as to suggest Obama is playing racial politics.

Is it any wonder that observers suspect Obama is a wimp, playing by some outmoded set of rules against the in-it-to-win-it Clintons? One sign of whether he believes he can stay on cruise control all the way to the convention will be how he uses his time tonight and tomorrow after an expected win in Mississippi. He’s chosen to do cable news interviews rather than another speech, which is a smart move. More of the same rhetoric (“change,” “turn the page,” “I was right on Iraq” etc.) would, I think, be a missed opportunity. If he uses his free media time to pound home his counterattack talking points–Clinton isn’t actually that experienced and would take the country back to the bad old days of scandal and political venom–we will know he’s “in it to win it.”

When Barack Obama advisor Samantha Power called Hillary Clinton a “monster,” Clinton called for her head and Power was gone. (Her departure may also have been related to her suggestion that Obama was not going to stick to any silly campaign promises about getting out of Iraq.) When Clinton supporter Geraldine Ferraro says that Obama would not be where he is if he were white, the Obama camp goes ballistic and Clinton brushes it off. In fact, her campaign manager goes to far as to suggest Obama is playing racial politics.

Is it any wonder that observers suspect Obama is a wimp, playing by some outmoded set of rules against the in-it-to-win-it Clintons? One sign of whether he believes he can stay on cruise control all the way to the convention will be how he uses his time tonight and tomorrow after an expected win in Mississippi. He’s chosen to do cable news interviews rather than another speech, which is a smart move. More of the same rhetoric (“change,” “turn the page,” “I was right on Iraq” etc.) would, I think, be a missed opportunity. If he uses his free media time to pound home his counterattack talking points–Clinton isn’t actually that experienced and would take the country back to the bad old days of scandal and political venom–we will know he’s “in it to win it.”

Read Less

Lost In The Scandal

In the blur of yesterday’s news about Eliot Spitzer’s self-destruction came two unrelated comments that should have gotten more attention. First, there was the latest Michelle Obama utterance, this time insulting men. As we learned yesterday, some men do put themselves first. But trashing an entire gender hardly seems fair or politic. Her list of the mean and rotten things in life is growing longer: America, men, college loan payments. Western civilization as a whole is surely next.

Then there was Geraldine Ferraro, who said that no one would be talking about Barack Obama if he were white. (She also showed a little self-awareness and admitted she would never have been Walter Mondale’s VP if she were a man.) Clinton’s spokesman responded with a terse “We disagree with her.” Clearly after Bill Clinton’s South Carolina outburst comparing Obama to Jesse Jackson, this is not something the Clinton folks want to touch with a ten-foot pole. (They’re too busy patronizing Obama with an offer of the VP slot, provided he can bone up on foreign policy by the convention.)

John McCain couldn’t have had any idea that his jaunt to Israel and Europe would provide such a contrast between himself and his Democratic opponents. Who knew the gravitas gap would be so large? There are times when it is good to appear entirely above the fray. And this is one of those times.

In the blur of yesterday’s news about Eliot Spitzer’s self-destruction came two unrelated comments that should have gotten more attention. First, there was the latest Michelle Obama utterance, this time insulting men. As we learned yesterday, some men do put themselves first. But trashing an entire gender hardly seems fair or politic. Her list of the mean and rotten things in life is growing longer: America, men, college loan payments. Western civilization as a whole is surely next.

Then there was Geraldine Ferraro, who said that no one would be talking about Barack Obama if he were white. (She also showed a little self-awareness and admitted she would never have been Walter Mondale’s VP if she were a man.) Clinton’s spokesman responded with a terse “We disagree with her.” Clearly after Bill Clinton’s South Carolina outburst comparing Obama to Jesse Jackson, this is not something the Clinton folks want to touch with a ten-foot pole. (They’re too busy patronizing Obama with an offer of the VP slot, provided he can bone up on foreign policy by the convention.)

John McCain couldn’t have had any idea that his jaunt to Israel and Europe would provide such a contrast between himself and his Democratic opponents. Who knew the gravitas gap would be so large? There are times when it is good to appear entirely above the fray. And this is one of those times.

Read Less

How Long Before Gore Endorses Obama?

After Ted Kennedy’s endorsement, the only question is when Al Gore will throw his support behind Barack Obama.

Don’t think for a moment that Gore isn’t considering it. What happened this weekend was the most dramatic change of tenor we have seen since Iowa caucus night. A new front opened up in the Democratic primary race. Hillary Clinton is no longer just battling Obama. She is defending the legitimacy of the Clinton era against all those who know it and are sick of it. A Gore endorsement of the rival to the wife of the man who made him vice president would be an unprecedented blow.

South Carolina was supposed to be insignificant win for Obama – even a part of the Hillary strategy. Dick Morris and others audaciously suggested that the Clintons wanted Obama to have a huge showing among black voters, sending a signal to white voters in other southern states that the contest was shaping up along racial lines. As Obama has emerged as a shrewd campaigner and rhetorical powerhouse, the transparent Clinton maneuvers to insert race into the campaign has simply forced even one-time cheerleaders to admit that Lady Macbeth and her husband must be stopped. Pete Wehner has a terrific piece on National Review Online describing how liberal stalwarts E.J. Dionne and Bill Greider have turned on the Clintons.

Suddenly the blood lust among Democrats to put a stake through the heart of the Clinton regime is palpable. John Kerry was uncharacteristically ahead of curve. So was Robert Reich, who was not only Clinton’s Secretary of Labor but a friend dating back to their Oxford days in the late 1960s. The Ted Kennedy endorsement can only be read as a message to the Democratic establishment that it is safe to come outside and declare your disgust with the Clintons.

So who will be next? John Edwards, some time later this week, will drop out of the race and endorse Obama, if only to create the illusion that he is a king maker. But what about Bill Richardson? Or Jimmy Carter? Geraldine Ferraro? Michael Bloomberg? For Gore, this opportunity to crown the next Democratic leader and simultaneously stab the Clintons in the back is simply too much to resist. Surely he is considering Macduff’s words from Act V: “Make all our trumpets speak; give them all breath,/ Those clamorous harbingers of blood and death.”

After Ted Kennedy’s endorsement, the only question is when Al Gore will throw his support behind Barack Obama.

Don’t think for a moment that Gore isn’t considering it. What happened this weekend was the most dramatic change of tenor we have seen since Iowa caucus night. A new front opened up in the Democratic primary race. Hillary Clinton is no longer just battling Obama. She is defending the legitimacy of the Clinton era against all those who know it and are sick of it. A Gore endorsement of the rival to the wife of the man who made him vice president would be an unprecedented blow.

South Carolina was supposed to be insignificant win for Obama – even a part of the Hillary strategy. Dick Morris and others audaciously suggested that the Clintons wanted Obama to have a huge showing among black voters, sending a signal to white voters in other southern states that the contest was shaping up along racial lines. As Obama has emerged as a shrewd campaigner and rhetorical powerhouse, the transparent Clinton maneuvers to insert race into the campaign has simply forced even one-time cheerleaders to admit that Lady Macbeth and her husband must be stopped. Pete Wehner has a terrific piece on National Review Online describing how liberal stalwarts E.J. Dionne and Bill Greider have turned on the Clintons.

Suddenly the blood lust among Democrats to put a stake through the heart of the Clinton regime is palpable. John Kerry was uncharacteristically ahead of curve. So was Robert Reich, who was not only Clinton’s Secretary of Labor but a friend dating back to their Oxford days in the late 1960s. The Ted Kennedy endorsement can only be read as a message to the Democratic establishment that it is safe to come outside and declare your disgust with the Clintons.

So who will be next? John Edwards, some time later this week, will drop out of the race and endorse Obama, if only to create the illusion that he is a king maker. But what about Bill Richardson? Or Jimmy Carter? Geraldine Ferraro? Michael Bloomberg? For Gore, this opportunity to crown the next Democratic leader and simultaneously stab the Clintons in the back is simply too much to resist. Surely he is considering Macduff’s words from Act V: “Make all our trumpets speak; give them all breath,/ Those clamorous harbingers of blood and death.”

Read Less

First They Came for Hillary Clinton…

It is widely assumed, on both Left and Right, that Hillary Clinton and her campaign made a grave error by responding to the criticism of her performance in last Tuesday’s Democratic debate by complaining of a “pile-on.” Bill Kristol, for one, called it a “foolish overreaction.” I’m not so sure. Whether intentionally or not, Hillary managed to change the terms under which the debate has been discussed in the days since. In its immediate aftermath, the debate was seen as a referendum on her policy slipperiness, and one in which she did not come off well. Now, however, the discussion of the debate has become something quite different.

What we’re talking about now is the extent to which it is fair to criticize her. The New York Times has a front-page piece today entirely devoted to that question, which features a gobsmacking quote from 1984 vice-presidential nominee Geraldine Ferraro:

“John Edwards, specifically, as well as the press, would never attack Barack Obama for two hours they way they attacked her,” said Geraldine A. Ferraro, the 1984 vice presidential candidate who supports Mrs. Clinton. “It’s O.K. in this country to be sexist,” Ms. Ferraro said. “It’s certainly not O.K. to be racist. I think if Barack Obama had been attacked for two hours — well, I don’t think Barack Obama would have been attacked for two hours.”

Lest one think Ferraro’s view is an outlier, note an even more ludicrously ominous version of it on The New Republic’s Open University blog by Linda Hirshman, a retired Brandeis professor of no reputation until she published a manifesto two years ago explaining that educated women should be attacked for staying home with their children because by leaving the workforce they are damaging the feminist cause. Angry with Barack Obama and John Edwards for ganging up on Hillary, she invokes, astoundingly, Pastor Niemoller: “Oh, and for you Obama and Edwards supporters, remember the story about the man who didn’t stand up to the Nazis when they came for his neighbors.”

The Ferraro-Hirshman school of thought — if thought is what you want to call it, is nothing but self-parodying feminism, so much so that it has earned scorn from other bloggers at the New Republic itself. Still, it has served a raw political purpose — pivoting the conversation to a topic more to Mrs. Clinton’s liking than her own failings in the eyes of Democratic primary voters.

It is widely assumed, on both Left and Right, that Hillary Clinton and her campaign made a grave error by responding to the criticism of her performance in last Tuesday’s Democratic debate by complaining of a “pile-on.” Bill Kristol, for one, called it a “foolish overreaction.” I’m not so sure. Whether intentionally or not, Hillary managed to change the terms under which the debate has been discussed in the days since. In its immediate aftermath, the debate was seen as a referendum on her policy slipperiness, and one in which she did not come off well. Now, however, the discussion of the debate has become something quite different.

What we’re talking about now is the extent to which it is fair to criticize her. The New York Times has a front-page piece today entirely devoted to that question, which features a gobsmacking quote from 1984 vice-presidential nominee Geraldine Ferraro:

“John Edwards, specifically, as well as the press, would never attack Barack Obama for two hours they way they attacked her,” said Geraldine A. Ferraro, the 1984 vice presidential candidate who supports Mrs. Clinton. “It’s O.K. in this country to be sexist,” Ms. Ferraro said. “It’s certainly not O.K. to be racist. I think if Barack Obama had been attacked for two hours — well, I don’t think Barack Obama would have been attacked for two hours.”

Lest one think Ferraro’s view is an outlier, note an even more ludicrously ominous version of it on The New Republic’s Open University blog by Linda Hirshman, a retired Brandeis professor of no reputation until she published a manifesto two years ago explaining that educated women should be attacked for staying home with their children because by leaving the workforce they are damaging the feminist cause. Angry with Barack Obama and John Edwards for ganging up on Hillary, she invokes, astoundingly, Pastor Niemoller: “Oh, and for you Obama and Edwards supporters, remember the story about the man who didn’t stand up to the Nazis when they came for his neighbors.”

The Ferraro-Hirshman school of thought — if thought is what you want to call it, is nothing but self-parodying feminism, so much so that it has earned scorn from other bloggers at the New Republic itself. Still, it has served a raw political purpose — pivoting the conversation to a topic more to Mrs. Clinton’s liking than her own failings in the eyes of Democratic primary voters.

Read Less




Welcome to Commentary Magazine.
We hope you enjoy your visit.
As a visitor to our site, you are allowed 8 free articles this month.
This is your first of 8 free articles.

If you are already a digital subscriber, log in here »

Print subscriber? For free access to the website and iPad, register here »

To subscribe, click here to see our subscription offers »

Please note this is an advertisement skip this ad
Clearly, you have a passion for ideas.
Subscribe today for unlimited digital access to the publication that shapes the minds of the people who shape our world.
Get for just
YOU HAVE READ OF 8 FREE ARTICLES THIS MONTH.
FOR JUST
YOU HAVE READ OF 8 FREE ARTICLES THIS MONTH.
FOR JUST
Welcome to Commentary Magazine.
We hope you enjoy your visit.
As a visitor, you are allowed 8 free articles.
This is your first article.
You have read of 8 free articles this month.
YOU HAVE READ 8 OF 8
FREE ARTICLES THIS MONTH.
for full access to
CommentaryMagazine.com
INCLUDES FULL ACCESS TO:
Digital subscriber?
Print subscriber? Get free access »
Call to subscribe: 1-800-829-6270
You can also subscribe
on your computer at
CommentaryMagazine.com.
LOG IN WITH YOUR
COMMENTARY MAGAZINE ID
Don't have a CommentaryMagazine.com log in?
CREATE A COMMENTARY
LOG IN ID
Enter you email address and password below. A confirmation email will be sent to the email address that you provide.