The Democratic Dilemna
As the USA watches the competition between Barack Obama, an Illinois senator, and Hillary Clinton, a New York senator, in their campaign to win the Democratic Party, one thing that remains certain is that history is taking place. Either way, America is clearly beginning to be open to dramatic changes and new outlooks with it’s acceptance of the possibility of a black man or a woman leading their country.
Despite appearing seemingly polite and reasonable with each other, the undermining comments that are slyly directed at each other have evidently shown that the race is on. The recent picture of Obama wearing traditional Somali clothing, which unfortunately and ignorantly reinforces the negative stereotype that Americans perceive with terrorism, has been blamed on the Clinton campaign. Obama’s spokesman issued a statement, ““On the very day that Senator Clinton is giving a speech about restoring respect for America in the world, her campaign has engaged in the most shameful, offensive fear-mongering we’ve seen from either party in this election.”
The response on Clinton’s behalf regarding the accusation of circulating the photo was a straight-forward and blunt statement. “Enough. If Barack Obama’s campaign wants to suggest that a photo of him wearing traditional Somali clothing is divisive, they should be ashamed. Hillary Clinton has worn the traditional clothing of countries she has visited and had those photos published widely.”
The Clinton statement raises questions to Barack Obama’s defensive reaction. Why be ashamed and over protective by merely wearing traditional clothing of the country you’re visiting? Yet on the other hand, Clinton has been increasingly making indirect sneaky comments that are clearly meant for Obama and it could be forgiven about the assumption that her campaign was behind all this. “We have seen the tragic result of having a president who had neither the experience or the wisdom to manage our foreign policy and safeguard our nation. America has already taken that chance one time too many,” Clinton recently said in a speech in Washington.
Another comment she has made directly and aggressively was, “Shame on you, Barack Obama. It is time you ran a campaign consistent with your messages in public. That is what I expect from you. Meet me in Ohio and let us have a debate about your tactics and your behavior in this campaign.” His response was to say, “I am puzzled by the sudden change in tone, unless these were just brought to her attention. It makes me think that there is something tactical about her getting so exercised. The notion that somehow we are engaging in nefarious tactics, I think, is pretty hard to swallow”.
By March 4th 2008, the decisive vote in Ohio and Texas will mostly likely give insight into who’s likely to win the campaign. Clinton will need big victories since losing 11 straight contests to Obama. Her fear and insecurities are prominent as her derogatory comments continue to flow including saying that Obama “wavers from seeming to believe that mediation and meetings without preconditions can solve some of the world’s most intractable problems to advocating rash unilateral military action without cooperation among allies in the most sensitive region of the world.”
When Obama suggested meeting with intimidating leaders to the USA, she criticized his suggestion, “We simply cannot legitimize rogue regimes or weaken American prestige by impulsively agreeing to presidential level talks that have no preconditions. It may sound good … but it doesn’t meet the real world test of foreign policy.”
Although both campaigns appear to be using their money wisely, making good strategic calls and try hard to operate at their best to appeal to the public, it seems the initial assumption that the inexperienced Obama would not do as well as Clinton has been underestimated. His only weakness is not being as experienced as Clinton and the only reason why either would lose is the simple fact that neither are better than the other – they are just as good as each other.