I thought this would be a one-day newscycle, but Gerry has apparently never embraced the maxim that once you’re in a hole you should stop digging. My erstwhile girl went positively loco yesterday. After a defiant interview with MSNBC’s Dan Abrams, in which she accused the Obama campaign of playing the race card against her, and demanding an apology from them, she dispatched a snarling resignation letter to the Clinton campaign, relinquishing her position on the Campaign Finance Committee, and staged a fuck all y’all walkout that made no bones about the fact that Hillary’s opposition was Obamanable.
In one short hour after I got off work last night, I saw this year’s campaign get as ugly as it has yet. Randi Rhoads entertained a furious Hillary supporter who was so livid and uninformed that she attacked Randi’s comment that Gerry was, in fact, a member of Hillary’s finance team with a snide, “Oh, really. Who told youthat?” Rhoads doesn’t suffer morons at all, but I’ve rarely heard her following up cutting someone off with “you bitch.”
Next up was Pat Buchanan on Dan Abrams’ Verdict with Dan Abrams (same show; new title, but still with Dan Abrams), defending Gerry’s “utterly inoffensive, simple statement of fact” points and telling livid, (and hot Hot HOT) African-American Democratic strategist Keli Goff to “HOLD IT!…Shut up for a second!”
If South Carolina and Bill Clinton’s dismissive remarks comparing Obama’s surging candidacy to Jesse Jackson’s in 1984 and 1988 were only arguably racial, we’ve gone into full-blown race card territory now. Ferraro has been positively unhinged the last two weeks since she first started spouting off on John Gibson’s FOX radio program about Barack only getting this far in the campaign because he was black, and it’s just gotten uglier every day. She’s dismissed his candidacy and the fact that he’s a black man as “lucky” and, when her comments have been repudiated, snapped back, “I really think they’re attacking me because I’m white. How’s that?”
That’s really damned funny, that’s how that is. This was only a matter of time before things got racial, but I figured it would be mainly on the GOP side of the fracas. Of course, the Limbaughts have already been in the act, with Rush chuckling this week as one of his listeners did an innocuous and completely non-racial comparison of Barack to cartoon primate Curious George.
On the Democratic side, I thought the first dip into the gutter would be polka and kielbasa pejoratives at Dennis Kucinich’s expense, or provoking questions about Senator Obama’s judgment by showing his high school picture in his circa-1978 Tony Manero suit. I never expected the Clintons—and Bill, especially, who was called an honorary black person by Maxine Waters—to be the first to drag this down into the big Roger Ailes/Lee Atwater muddy. We’re not quite in Willie Horton territory yet, but it’s only a matter of time before they artificially blacken Obama’s picture in campaign flyers or someone is going to find or Photoshop a picture of him in an O.J. Simpson jersey, or grainy footage onGlenn Beck of “Barack” marlin fishing with Louis Farrakhan.
Color me cynical, for lack of a better phrase, but Hillary’s head-shaking and tepid apologies for her surrogates for these “unfortunate” incidents are as hollow and flaccid as a late November pumpkin. As anyone who has paid attention to how she’s been running her campaign the past several weeks has to wonder, I can see Hillary and her posse behind the scenes on this one pumping the bellows on this one.
Of course it’s reprehensible, but she’s gone there so much she doesn’t even need her GPS to find it anymore. She’s fighting a losing tide against the black vote, and if you can’t beat them, disjoint them. Taking the campaign racial, many blacks and whites are going want to fight her and support Obama even more—but a small core are going to get discouraged at the White Establishment seemingly getting their way again, that they’re going to vote with their asses when their turn comes.
James Carville has said that Pennsylvania is Philadelphia and Pittsburgh with Alabama in the middle. Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell on Meet The Presssaid more succinctly “there are a lot of white voters in Central Pennsylvania who aren’t going to vote for Barack.”
It’s the oddest damned coincidence that this whole Slurraro flap pops up while Hillary is campaigning in…Pennsylvania. You can just see the mid-Pennsylvania voters Rendell profiles shaking their head in quiet disgust at the hysterical Obama campaign playing the race card on a good Democrat and public servant like Geraldine Ferraro. No way in hell they’re going to be swayed now by any of his flowery speeches and overflow crowds.
This isn’t the first time that Ferraro has carried the racial water for the Democratic establishment. “If Jesse Jackson weren’t black, he wouldn’t be in this race.” I get the sense that Jesse likes being black, so I wouldn’t presume to guess that he wouldn’t have run for President if he were white, but the point was that there was Gerry again, on April 15, 1988, with the white DNC-approved candidate in the middle of a tough primary fight with a black contender, stirring up that same pot again.
Gerry’s going to slink back to Queens now, with a new addition to her Wikipedia entry forthcoming, with the dubious distinction of helping bring “race” back into the term “Presidential race”. Or back into “disgrace”, whichever you prefer.