It's becoming increasingly crystal clear that the continued fight between Obama and Clinton gives points to the republican side every day. It's also clear that a whole lot of brains are churning on what to do about this chaos. What's mostly chaotic is that Hillary and Barack are in agreement on the major issues, and yet they hurl slings at each other as if they were each other's worst enemy. And as intelligent as both of them are, unlike their opponents in the republican party, they both know the enemy is not "us," as Pogo would say, but them.
An interesting point of view in the Palm Beach Post today says that we were misled about which democratic battle is going to sink the ship:
Many feared that a bitter and bloody primary battle between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama would doom Democrats' chances in November.
Now, some say the damage could come from a prolonged power struggle between the state and national parties.
Then in order to continue the squabble, Howard Wolfson, a Clinton spokesman, equated Obama with Ken Starr, the independent prosecutor responsible for Bill Clinton's impeachment:
"After a campaign in which many of the questions that voters had in the closing days centered on concerns that they had over his state of preparedness to be commander in chief and steward of the economy, he has chosen instead of addressing those issues to attack Sen. Clinton," Wolfson told reporters. "I, for one, do not believe that imitating Ken Starr is the way to win a Democratic primary election for president."
And I started thinking about what office Obama and Clinton are running for, and how the qualities required for that office include more than being able to raise a lot of money (George W is king of that) or turning a great phrase, or harking back to your age and experience (Nixon ran on that against Kennedy). So I summoned my interest, and quite frankly, annoyance, at the state of this campaign and wrote the following trenchant letter to the editor of the Los Angeles Times. I'll let you know if they print it, but instead of repeating it's essence here, I'll just copy and paste it:
The invectives flying from each democratic candidate to the other makes it increasingly clear that the campaign has completely deteriorated from one of issues, to a clash of personalities. While this makes for great TV news bites, the back and forth name calling between Obama and Clinton leaves 350 million fellow Americans out of the program.
The simple truth is Barack and Hillary want to be leader of the free world, the biggest job, and responsibility going. Leadership is exactly what our country needs in this time of the perfect storm crisis of the failing economy, lack of adequate health care coverage, and Iraq occupation. By refocusing on the needs of the party, and beyond that, of the nation, Obama or Clinton could concede the battle and graciously accept the second spot for the good of everyone--especially since the ensuing carping gives measurable ground to McCain every day it continues.
I choose Obama for VP because after 8 years of seasoning as number two, he gets to run for President of the United States again at the ripe young age of 52. And in his concession would lie the seeds of great leadership to come.