Jeff Koopersmith examines a crucial error reflecting somewhat adolescent advice from the Big “O” Camp.
August 25, 2008 – Geneva (apj.us) – I am overflowing with enthusiasm. Anyone who knows me well can confirm that I spent most of life daydreaming that some day my grandchildren might be able to cast a vote for a Black American presidential contender.
That day has come – and early. What could be better for this old man?
The news this week, of course, is the spanking new “Barack O’Biden” ticket, which has, based on the stack of email I've received, caused a rift so wide in the Democratic Party that it may be immitigable.
I think Senator Biden is the best legislator on either side of the US Senate aisle, yet as I wrote last week, Hillary Clinton had offered Barack Obama an unbeatable ticket by agreeing to take the number two spot next to him in November.
It is not just the eighteen million votes she received in the primary; it is far more votes than that. The eighteen million would have turned into 25-30 million votes as women who didn’t bother with the primaries but who would have come out in November to support a “sister” who was finally breaking the “obsidian” ceiling that nature had wrongly created so long ago. Not only would the lazier Democrat women come out for Clinton, but perhaps as many as 5 million Republican women would fool their right wing boyfriends and husbands and pull the Hillary lever.
This grand misstep may have cost Senator Obama the election already.
There is, however, even more to the situation that must be said.
Yesterday, the spectacularly and newly-involved youth of this country began to demonstrate against what they suspect may be just another political ruse sprung on them in the millionaire’s playground of politics. They started demonstrating against the Democratic Party.
Our kids have zeroed in on the “compromises” that Senator Obama and his people have made already, and they don’t like what they see.
The thousands marching yesterday in Denver reminded Barack Obama that their work to put him where he is today was for NO MORE WAR IN IRAQ, NO MORE THREATS TO IRAN, NO MORE KILLING CIVILIANS IN AFGHANISTAN – accidentally or not.
Yet the Obama team choice for VP, my friends, was a dimwitted knee-jerk reaction to Republican blather about Obama not having enough foreign policy experience.
Translation: Not wanting, wisely, to be at war.
Let me ask you this: what would your answer be to these Neocon morons?
Why, the answer is clear: George W. Bush, an near idiot who had never been outside the United States except to attend some Mexican border crack parties or drunken orgies.
I think it was already clear that Barack Obama was light-years brighter than Bush and wouldn’t be stupid enough to follow the dictates of war-machine wallet-liners like Dick Cheney. Obama would have done fine with the mess that the current Administration has created internationally and domestically regarding war – Any sixth grader could outdo Bush and Barack Obama is far above that level.
Perhaps the worst ingredient in the Biden pick was that the McCain people will use Biden’s own dissing of Obama during the primaries often and well – especially where Biden takes Obama to the woodshed like a 12 year old kid over the war.
This is sadly also a double-edged GOP sword. Not only will the Republicans use Biden’s own statements against Obama, but Democrats themselves will begin to believe that Obama is backing off what may have been his KEY promise to them – to end the war in Iraq – soon, not in a few years or decades as “the plan” seems to have changed recently.
Let me grant that Joe Biden certainly has the maturity to balance whomever Obama surrounds himself with in the White House – should he get there, God willing. However, the big issues that will confront an Obama Administration have nothing to do with war or international political shenanigans.
Bush and his confederates have seen to that, just as thir fellow travelers made sure that Reagan spent the nation into near oblivion before he left office and Bush 42 just kept on spending – needing tax increases just to keep the country’s fiscal head above water.
Now Obama will face similar but worsening strains on the nation’s ability to cope with not only the current financial meltdown, but the arrival in retirement of some 65 million older men and women who will need to be cared for with social security and medical assistance.
In the end, it will not be war that will become the main issue during the next four years – because American will not be able to afford to expand what some believe is our Imperial horizon. In the end, it will be domestic problems, violent ones, which could place the Obama Administration in its own Hell.
Obama is on the right track hinting strongly that he will tax the richest of us in some higher but non-paralyzing fashion. However, this promise seems to be only a sideline – especially when one looks at his vice presidential choice. Senator Biden is not known for his expertise in fiscal crises although I am sure he will do a fine job confronting the massive layoffs, inflation or stagflation, and the misery that is about to confront our aging population – especially those who have no pensions, or have had them stolen by corporate thieves whose names we now know so well.
Senator Obama’s heaviest responsibility this week will be to seal the deal with those Democrats who supported Hillary Clinton.
He has failed to do this thus far, and has instead exacerbated the problem. He does not seem to understand that Hillary Clinton cannot simply “deliver” her votes to Obama. He must attract them. In that effort, mistake after mistake has been committed during the Obama vice-presidential selection process.
One or two insiders say that Hillary Clinton knew all long she was not the choice because she was never vetted, and it turns out, never considered.
Nevertheless, the mainstream is playing a different tune – claiming that Senator Clinton feels slighted and that Barack Obama was not “gracious” with this silly ballet of secret emails designed to attract more political donations.
Of course, Mrs. Clinton feels slighted. She was never consulted about who might be the best choice. The leader of the Democratic Party – Bill Clinton was not asked his opinion either. These are unforgivable mistakes and I can promise you that many Democrats would now wish Obama to lose, allowing Hillary Clinton another chance in 2011-12.
Republicans are dancing in the aisles today. Their nascent racist attacks on Obama for being “audacious” or “uppity” are now coming from the left as well as from them.
Axelrod better clean up act, and his desk and get down to business. He also had better bite the bullet and consult more mature party regulars who have far more experience in these matters than he. If he doesn’t Barack Obama could lose this election by double digits.
Do the math.
Jeff Koopersmith is an internationally renowned political consultant, opinion research authority and policy analyst. He has lobbied for causes including the alternative fuel sector and women's health, and is an expert on the international real estate market. He lives in Philadelphia, Washington and Geneva.