Notable article in the New York Times today that points out that the Obama campaign plans to compete in all 50 states ... this consequent upon the feedback relationship between their ability to raise money in all states, and the fact that they will thereby have lots of money. The article notes that even in states such as Georgia that they are not going to win, such activity will help Democrats in other elections. I should add that it will help build the party's base structure and create further opportunities as history and its horrors unfold.
Of course, this strategy has been obvious for a decade and more. But the yesterday's-wisdom regurgitators who have dominated the Democratic Party, not to mention the nattering classes, constantly blabbed about the Southern strategy that has been dead since Humphrey or suburban soccer moms or the hastily re-invented white working class male of this cycle. Hillary believed it, and look where she is. The Obama campaign understood the new world from day one, and they are determined to carry that forward. Bravo!
I heard a sinking-stomach rumor that Sam Nunn is under consideration for veep. If Obama does that, he will lose and he will deserve to lose. That is the sort of thinking that got us the Lieberman creature as one of the holes in the dinghy that sunk Al Gore before he found the light of environmental activism. Obama needs a veep who would have the same dynamism in office as he will have, someone in his age range, someone who can campaign to Democrats in Georgia to inspire them for the future not the sordid past that Nunn represents. I need hardly add that Nunn is a blazing homophobe of the first water, and we homos do not forget such bigotry easily ... leastwise I hope so. (RO and JG will no doubt point out to me that I am forgetting Obama's snub of Newsom and San Francisco for what amounts to anti-gay self-preservation ... I do not forget, but I think of it as low bore tactics and leave it at that in the face of the greater exigencies. BTW, the Firefox spell checker does not recognize homophobe as a word!)
This election is about confronting the future as it is, not as it appears to be in the mendacious constructions of the 'publicans or the idiotic self-servicing of the pundits. That future has staggering challenges and will involve loss and retreat. Hardly anyone wants to admit it, but the flooding in the central U.S. right now is a harbinger ... it is irrelevant whether this flooding or that flooding can specifically be laid at the doorstep of global earning. The extreme weather of the future is going to make large parts of the planet uninhabitable, and those parts, including the poetic white-picket fence small towns so vivid in the imagination of CNN, are going to be drowned or burned out. We need a politics that confronts that, and Obama is laying that groundwork.
No point in piddling around ... that's what Obama is saying ... they are going after the whole country. No point in us piddling either ... he is the only choice, and the only shot at mitigating the disasters that the 'publicans have foisted upon the nation and the world.
A note on poor Tim Russert: Look, I feel sorry for the guy, and his rise from the dumpsters of Buffalo is certainly Horatio Alger stuff. It was moving all the endless praise and chattering, and his son, eerily resembling him, has a shot at being a force in journalism. You have to root for the kid. But let's be real: Russert was the poster boy for the crap TV journalism that litters the political landscape. He didn't ask tough questions ... he framed the day's conventional wisdom into a question and then asked it with a scowl. That passes for toughness. Like all the in-crowd in Washington, he was dependent upon the favors and good graces of politicians. So he started as a Democratic aide de camp ... so what. The phony balance angle meant that he swallowed the talking points du jour whole, and the result is scowling and posturing, and an electorate who decides things based on somebody's pastor or somebody else's emotion or somebody else's absolutely invented-from-whole-cloth self-image as a maverick. Phony journalism. Au revoir, poor Mr. Russert ... now we wait in trepidation as they bring on the next scowling poseur.
Keith Olbermann, who appears to be angling for the new poseur role, ended his segment on Russert with a pointed reference to the rainbow outside the cathedral and the coincidence that the service had been closed with a ukulele version of Over the Rainbow. I wrote about that here. My point was that the ukulele version to which I refer, and which is likely the one to which Olbermann referred, had reduced Judy Garland's version (which I see as an appeal to reason against the pointless cruelties of life) to a kind of pure sentimentality. What a perfect metaphor for the phony political journalism that Russert represented. We are looking for reason and thoughtfulness, not an appeal to unexamined sentiments. The significance of the rainbow coincidence was lost on Olbermann.
Photos by Arod: the top one, dawn in San Francisco, the bottom is San Francisco street art as close to a rainbow as I could find in iPhoto on a short search.