Monday, January 28, 2008

They Need to be Stopped

It pains me to realize that we have over 10 months of this to look forward to:

So President Bush has delivered his last State of the Union. And what everyone in the House press gallery is talking about isn't the speech. Rather, it's the snub.

Sen. Barack Obama refused to make himself available to greet Sen. Hillary Clinton before the speech.

When members of the Senate entered the chamber, Obama came in before Clinton. He went out of his way to greet as many House members as possible and walked halfway across the chamber to greet members of the Supreme Court, the president's cabinet, the military joint chiefs.

That made what happened next even more striking. Obama returned to stand by his seat next to Sen. Edward Kennedy who endorsed Obama today in a widely watched event that reverberated across the political world.

As Clinton approached, Kennedy made sure to make eye contact and indicated he wanted to shake her hand. Clinton leaned towards Kennedy over a row of seats and Kennedy leaned in towards her. They shook hands.

Obama stood icily staring at Clinton during this, then turned his back and stepped a few feet away. Kennedy may've wanted to make peace with Clinton but Obama clearly wanted no part of that.

The sense in the press gallery was that Obama didn't cover himself in glory. Someone even used the word "childish." (Not this writer.) Judging by how much conversation there was about this brush off in the press gallery, Americans will be hearing a lot more about this tomorrow and in coming days.

I am not sure if this happened or not and I don't give a flying f#%k if it did. Do you want to know why? Because I am an adult and realize that in real life these things happen. I realize that in politics not everything can be gumdrop ponies and ice cream castles. Unfortunately, the press corps would rather act like a bunch of chattering school girls and gossip then actually give us something of substance.

1 comment:

Jason T said...

I agree.

This also reminds me of something that may be somewhat troublesome, though.

When Tim Russert asked each candidate about what his greatest weakness was, Obama actually answered semi-honestly rather than follow through with the usual meaningless media pageant of answering with a non-answer, like, "I care too much about people." Later Obama joked about this, realizing what the question was actually a set-up for.

Talking about this with someone the other day, that person suggested that this is why Obama should not, or could not, win: He does well in a speech, but hasn't fully committed to playing politics as a media-monitored game. Publicly snubbing (or appearing to publicly snub) Hillary Clinton is a failure to play that game.

Bush, of course, managed to have wide appeal among "average folks" who distrust political game-players, and he did this by coming across as a moron. Perhaps it can act in Obama's favor that he doesn't follow through on the political game all the way.