Obama v. Clinton
When Sen. Barack Obama was swarmed in New Hampshire last month by over 2,000 people, there could be little doubt that he would eventually join the Democratic primary race. Obama seems appealing at first, and reminds me of the Jimmy Smits candidate on the final season of The West Wing. Tall, slim, telegenic, visible minority. For the average liberal journalist, the subconscious will immediately gravitate to an Obama candidacy, just as those wonderful Hollywood writers pulled our heart strings with Presidental candidiate Smits.
“He just wants to fix things.”
Obama’s web announcement was telling, particularly the quote about “a different kind of politics”. Was that code for No more Iraq wars? No more Whitewaters? No more bizarre Vince Foster suicides? Kim Campbell won the Progressive Conservative leadership on a “doing politics differently” theme. It resonates with the press gang, of course, as they invariably recoil when asked: “how do you feel about old-fashioned politics?”
Some of us never understand how politics can be done without it being, well, ultimately about politics.
A few shorts months ago, Senator Hillary Clinton seemed the favourite for sure. When former Sen. John Edwards stepped in (he’s the YouTube candidiate; which is so cool it is just not cool at all), you could see a race starting to develop. While the good people of New York might have handed Mrs. Clinton the junior senate seat as a sop for her many decades of suffering and humiliation, it wasn’t necessarily clear that the U.S. population was, en masse, ready for her brittleness.
Which brings us to the media’s treatment of her gender: WCBSTV refers to her as “Hillary”, which is something you rarely see when male journalists are referring to powerful men. At the Associated Press, a male writer has reverted to the “Hillary Rodham Clinton” moniker; recall that Sen. Clinton dropped the Rodham name during her husband’s race for the democratic nomination in 1992.
But a female AP writer has decided it is “Senator Hillary Rodham”. Elsewhere its just “Clinton”. Get me the copy desk! And, in this Associated Press journalist’s mind, Senator Clinton is the “expected front runner”.
For CBS, the Obama declaration has almost put a stop to that:
“…his (Obama’s) candidacy is also setting up an old-fashioned political dogfight against the up-to-now perceived frontrunner for the Democratic nomination, Clinton.”
At NPR, “both” are frontrunners. Ah, that we knew. As the captive Canadian audience that we are, we have just two short years to wait/tolerate before someone gets sworn in on the steps of the Capitol Building in Washington.
Why do I feel as though I already know more about Senator Obama then I do about Liberal Leader Stephane Dion?