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How do you kill a dream?

My hometown paper The St. Louis Post-Dispatch (why won’t they give me a job) endorsed Barack Obama (and John McCain) in the Sunday edition. I know both Clintons have been criss-crossing Missouri like mad, but so was Obama. He locked it up.

And in the newspaper’s election poll it showed that Obama was competitive against all the Republicans running, sweeping any rival in a head-to-head match up. One caveat though, ANY Dem. running for prez would beat any Republican running in Missouri. Ouch.

The Post’s editorial board said they jumped on the hope bandwagon because they saw Obama as young, fresh and new. For what he lacks in experience, they feel he makes up in innovation. So sez the paper:

Barack Obama is aware of yesterday, but he is about today and tomorrow and next year. In a strong field of Democratic presidential contenders, he offers the best hope of transforming the debate and moving on to what America can be in the 21st century.

He is unlikely in many ways: He is young, only 46. He is the junior United States senator from Illinois, only a little more than three years out of the Illinois state Senate — as unlikely a forest for presidential timber as ever was. His middle name is Hussein. He spent his boyhood in Indonesia and Hawaii. His mother was a Kansan; his father was a Kenyan.

Did we mention he is black?

If America can get past all that, if America can unload its baggage and get on with the trip, there is no telling far and how fast it can go.

So we’ve got Caroline Kennedy’s endorsement? Check. Senator John Kerry? Check. Senator Pat Leahy? Check. About to wrap up Senator Ted Kennedy’s endorsement? You can cash that check because it’s in the bank.

Geez. If The Clintons are the political establishment, why is the phenom getting the backing the Kennedys (who backed the Clintons in the past) and a gaggle of east coast liberal blue bloods? This is a massive defection considering Ex-President Bill Clinton is the defacto head of the Democratic Party. The kudos are getting loud and brutal as party elders are sending a strong signal to the former cause celebre of the party.

All he needs is Al Gore’s endorsement and the writing will be on the wall. It will finally be official — the Clintons have few friends left in Washington.

It must get cold there in Barack Obama’s shadow. To never have sunlight on your face. I expect Hillary, et al to grin and bear it but those grapes have to be bitter. How do you stop this, this one-man-revolution? How do you kill a dream? And why would you want to be the one labeled as the dreamkiller if you managed to pull it off? What friends would you have left after you’ve slaughtered the philosopher king, golden child of the party elite? Golden child of the Kennedys, both Teddy and Caroline? To be compared to the Kennedys, slain brothers Robert and John, by the only surviving member of Camelot.

Writes Caroline in the New York Times:

My reasons are patriotic, political and personal, and the three are intertwined. All my life, people have told me that my father changed their lives, that they got involved in public service or politics because he asked them to. And the generation he inspired has passed that spirit on to its children. I meet young people who were born long after John F. Kennedy was president, yet who ask me how to live out his ideals.

Sometimes it takes a while to recognize that someone has a special ability to get us to believe in ourselves, to tie that belief to our highest ideals and imagine that together we can do great things. In those rare moments, when such a person comes along, we need to put aside our plans and reach for what we know is possible.

We have that kind of opportunity with Senator Obama. It isn’t that the other candidates are not experienced or knowledgeable. But this year, that may not be enough. We need a change in the leadership of this country — just as we did in 1960.

Nixon couldn’t beat that. An unpopular fellow with a grumpy demeanor, he came close to beating John F. Kennedy in 1960, but ultimately failed. He was the Vice President of a successful administration, but he paled in Kennedy’s made for TV light. John tapped into something so powerful, so viral that they called it “Camelot.” It didn’t matter that there were parts of Kennedy’s personal life and nature that were flawed. The Kennedys were the thing Americans aspired to be, the closest to royalty we ever had.

I know when I look at Michelle and Barack and their two lovely girls that’s what I see. I see our future, our Camelot. I want to believe. I want to see that dream come true. I’m a realist, though. I know that dream won’t come easy and that there is still a chance that it won’t come at all. Obama still has a lot of room to grow as a campaigner, but he’s learning as he goes. He’s adaptable. Which is the Clintons main problem, they can’t transcend and they can’t transform.

The Clintons are what they are. A political machine, a force to be reckoned with, but Hillary Clinton is not Bill Clinton. She is not a charmer. She is not a cajoler. She’s a stiff. Bill’s sins were forgiven time and time again because he was the greatest political machine of the modern era. The Michael Jordan of triangulation. But Hillary can’t bounce back from his missteps. Despite the ugliness of their campaign I believe that Bill will survive this. But at this rate his wife will not.

Despite the racial drama that unfolded in South Carolina, I don’t think the Clintons are actually racists. They are desperate. They had already written the narrative and they will fight to the death for it – Hillary becoming the first woman president. Bill Clinton geting back into the White House. Them on their perch up high where they survey all. A
nd they would beam bright and tell their detractors to suck on it. They said it couldn’t be done. But they did it. Comeback Kid, part two.

But what makes this harder than Bill’s runs in 1992 and 1996 he had the backing of the Kennedys, of long-time Democratic senators and governors. He had his party on his side. Is the party elite on his side now?

Ask the Kennedys.

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6 thoughts on “How do you kill a dream?

  1. Just Like Her Daddy and WorseThe Princess Royal of the Kennedy clan, who has herself accomplished nothing in life except being born to wealth and privilege, has draped her father’s moth-eaten cloak on Barack Obama, who, in her father’s White House, would have been a footman or cook. Say what you will about Obama, he got there himself without the benefit of a rich daddy or corrupt political machine. He may be more unprepared to be president and more disastrous for this country than was JFK, but we hope, at least, that he will be impervious to “love notes” from middle-aged political camp followers who are still trying to be influential without ever being relevant.

  2. On Caroline, can you blame her for doing nothing outside of charity work? She’s lost her father, mother and brother. And we have plenty of people in this country with old, dirty money. The Kennedys aren’t any different from other suedo-monarchical families like the Rockefellers or Astors. Their personal lives are messy, but they dedicated their lives to charity and public service. As for this race, I’ll concede that most of the actual experienced candidates got weeded out very early in the primary. And I worry about Obama’s preparedness for the role as the current occupant of the White House was a highly inexperienced political golden child in 2000. Obama could be an enfant terrible or he could adapt quickly. Obama appears to be able to admit to mistakes and work through them. He sounds authentic. But I still think he has a long way to go if he makes it out of the primaries unscathed.I don’t know how JFK was “disastrous.” It’s uneven, at best. He wasn’t in office long enough to do much of anything. He handled the Cuban Missile Crisis well, then botched everything by starting a bombing campaign in Vietnam, leading to a war that LBJ escalated. People’s good feelings toward him are largely based on the tragedy of his death and the unknown about what kind of president he could have been.As for the Liberal blue bloods, I find their backing of Obama curious. I’m not even sure if I trust it. I feel like it’s one-part bandwagon and one-part power play with the Clintons. Many party members think Bill Clinton was mainly out for himself and did nothing for the party. It’s basically the Boston Tea Party with really, really, really rich old people.

  3. Manuel’s comments aside, the Kennedy endorsements are huge. My grandmother had the same picture as everybody else’s grandmother of MLK, JFK, and RFK right next to the one of a certain Jewish carpenter from Nazareth.This is a big deal.And while Kennedy might fairly be accused of not being the greatest friend Cuba’s ever had, the alternative for Negroes in America would have been much worse had Nixon won the 1960 election instead of the so-called disaster of Camelot. We won’t discuss the possibilities had the winner been alternate Democratic contender Harry Byrd (along w/ his pick for VP, Strom Thurmond).And about Caroline Kennedy accomplishing nothing in her life, tell that to the public school students she’s helped by securing private funding for schools hurt by Bushite education policy. It may not mean anything to you that a school gets to keep their band class (with instruments), but it might mean something to somebody, somewhere. And that’s good enough for me.

  4. I may have misunderstood your “check” list, but I thought the NY Times heartily endorsed Hillary Clinton.I enjoy your blog and check it at least a few times a week.

  5. I’m with you, Blue. Like most people I have an admiration of the Kennedy’s. They could just enjoy their wealth and withdraw into high society, but have largely dedicated their lives to charity and public service. And I think it’s more about a sense of duty, even if it’s a tad monarchical.

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