aTypical Joe: a gay New Yorker living in the rural South
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
Edwards testing the endorsement waters?
I was with the conventional wisdom in thinking that the natural choice for Edwards would be Obama; I even thought that a good choice for Obama would be Edwards. So I’m really not quite sure how to read this:
In deciding between his one-time rivals, Edwards appears deeply divided. Several former advisers likened his thought process to a heart-versus-head split - with his heart favoring Sen. Barack Obama’s strong message of change, and his head attracted to Clinton’s tested nature and commitment to tough fights.
Though he sometimes aligned himself with Obama - and against Clinton - as a candidate, several Edwards campaign insiders say the former senator began to sour on Obama toward the end of his own campaign, and ultimately left the race questioning whether Obama had the toughness needed to prevail in a presidential race.
Uh, well that is Hillary’s line. But more cynically:
[F]ormer campaign aides who have stayed in contact with Edwards say he is eager to play a major role in the race, and is mindful that his backing would only carry weight if it comes relatively quickly - before the March 4 primaries in Texas and Ohio, which could effectively settle the nomination fight.
He also appears to realize that endorsing Clinton would likely carry the most weight, since it would be more unexpected and would provide a jolt of energy to a campaign that is suffering a rough patch, particularly in the wake of Tuesday’s election results, which saw Obama sweep Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia.
Of course, he could pull a Gore and remain neutral. That would still leave one big question, what will Elizabeth do?
Hillary Clinton’s got grit
I’m still as big a Hillary supporter as ever—though with posts like this one from yesterday you’d be forgiven for thinking I’d given up.
It bugs me to see people site that poll comparing Hillary and Obama vs. McCain. As if such a poll tells us anything at all. Remember Giuliani’s numbers??? And look what happened to him!!! Speaking of which, imagine Giuliani or Romney in her situation right now? Seriously, imagine it. They got no grit!
This woman’s not only got grit, she wears it with great style. And right now is precisely the test. Let’s watch how this plays out. I certainly think she’s got a shot. If she wins it she’s earned it fair and square. No matter what the loser’s supporters will inevitably say. She’s been called things before. Obama’s taking the high road but not all of his supporters are. I know from experience.
So how Could she do it? How could she go on to win this? Democratic consultant Tad Devine on The Newshour tonight suggests:
She’s got to define herself, and I think she needs a big contest on big ideas. There are big ideas and big issues on the table, the economy, who’s best to get us out of Iraq, health care and other domestic concerns. If she can have a contest of ideas with Senator Obama, that’s a better contest for her… for example, going to a place like the University of Texas or Ohio State and having a big speech, a long speech, where you discuss in some detail your differences on the economy, how you’re best to get us out of Iraq, not just some aspects of your health care plan, but details of it.
And I think that speech then becomes the debate. And I think the debate becomes a slogan and a sound bite.
And, ultimately, if you can capture that and explain those differences—and they’re not personal differences. There’s nothing mean or nasty here. They are substantive differences in policy. And if she can lay those out clearly, I think she’s got a chance to push him back.
The silence of the yams
I was glad to hear Michael Pollan do a commentary on Marketplace last night:
[T]he more processed the food, the less nutritious it typically is. Yet it’s the processed food makers who have the marketing budgets to do the research to support the health claims and then shout them from the rooftops. That’s not the same as actually being healthy. A scientist can find a crucial nutrient in any edible he or she is paid to study. And there isn’t a plant under the sun that doesn’t contain an antioxidant or two.
But here’s the thing. As everybody knows—or used to know before the proliferation of health claims confused us all—the hands-down healthiest foods in the supermarket are the unprocessed vegetables and fruits and whole grains. These foods sit silently in the produce section or the bulk-food bins. They don’t utter a word about their antioxidants or heart-healthiness, while just a few aisles over the sugary cereals scream about their heart-healthy “whole grain goodness.”
So next time you’re in the produce aisle, don’t take the silence of the yams as a sign they have nothing important to say about your health. They do. They just don’t have the money needed to say it.
With the strike over, we can embed Comedy Central videos again! This one was repeated recently and is dedicated to Marla Spivak…
Writers vote to end strike
Of 3,775 writers who cast ballots, 92.5 percent voted in favor of ending the strike. Officials of the Writers Guild of America West and the Writers Guild of America East disclosed results of the tally here an hour after voting closed at 6 p.m.
“The strike is over. Our membership has voted, and writers can go back to work,” Patric M. Verrone, president of the West Coast guild, said in a statement.