The Democratic Party hosted both of their candidates for the office of president in Butte yesterday to the cheers of thousands of supporters. Barack Obama included an earlier stop in Missoula Saturday morning. On the positive side the spectacle brought Montana national recognition and did create its own historical context because it included both candidates that currently engage in verbal fistfighting desperate to obtain the Democratic nomination. I think it's also kind of neat that as far as the Democratic primary process goes, Montana closes the primary season as it's the last one to close its polls on June 3rd.
From news reports I've obtained both candidates stayed on message. George Bush is bad and government will take control and heal your wounds if I'm elected. Fair enough; those have been the talking points in stump speeches since the Iowa caucuses. Barack continues a masterful charm offensive while enthusiastic crowds roar in approval even if his message contains little in concrete detail and relies heavily on glittering generalities. Hillary takes the stage like the mad little woman she is; she's still upset that no one but she and Bill understand that she's entitled as a Clinton to have the office of president delivered to her much like the monarchy in England. Hillary obviously stares at the nomination much like Sir Edmund Hillary (no she wasn't named after him, she misspoke) stared at Mount Everest while standing at its base. Even in Montana I feel the winds of change blowing. The state could vote in the Democratic category this fall and hasn't done so since swaying for Bill Clinton in 1992. Barack Obama will be the Democratic nominee even though Hillary will pull out all the stops before finally if ever conceding defeat. A vicious political machine like the Clintons maintain won't sink of its own accord. In good old Montana terms, Hillary is a raccoon in a creek being closely pursued by bloodhound Barack Obama. I've seen a coon push a hound's head under the water in an attempt to drown it. I am thankful that all the infighting will benefit John McCain this fall.
Montana voters maintain an independent streak and don't usually adhere to their parties in lock step fashion and thankfully that makes us unique. Most Montanans I know, Democrats included, generally maintain somewhat of a conservative outlook on social issues but may drift left on economic and other issues. We have a Democratic governor and two senators. Our single representative is true blue conservative through and through and his success or failure in reelection this fall will serve as an accurate indicator in gauging if the state in its entirety has moved decidedly left. Senator Jon Tester defeated long time incumbent Republican Conrad Burns in the last election based in no small part on a smear campaign alleging close ties between Burns and convicted lobbyist Conrad Burns. Whether it was time for Burns to go or not, Tester is lucky to be in office after being elected on false pretenses.
I would have loved to travel to Butte to see both Hillary and Barack speak to the thronging masses. However I'd already scheduled some time to shampoo my plants and I simply had to prioritize. When I found out it cost $40.00 to purchase a ticket for entry I decided that money could be better spent on driveway de-icer and some items from the dollar store. I still find myself chapped to know how many of the blue collar common folks fall in line with both Clinton and Obama. That whole representation of the common man is a train load of crap big enough to fertilize the Mojave. Bill and Hillary earned $109,000,000.00 in the last several years and they still won't divulge donor records from his presidential library because trust me, they don't want you to know who's on there. Hillary absolutely bashes corporate America in true Socialist fashion but how in the hell do we think Bill makes his big bucks? What do you think his money is made from? He's an "adviser" and "consultant" to corporate titans in Dubai. I wonder if there's any oil money associated with Dubai in the MIDDLE EAST. I'll let you decide. I hope it makes the supporters of Clinton happy to know that after making all that money off "corporate" interests (yes, Hillary's book publishers are corporate too) they still bilk the taxpayer for hundreds of thousands of dollars on secret service details and perks related to Bill's disservice in office.
Barack Obama's position relative to Hillary's is a little more tenuous when it comes to the general election against McCain. Barack's involvement with a racist religious organization, corrupt real estate mogul Tony Rezko, and a man once convicted for trying to blow up federal buildings may cause him some problems come November. Couple that with his relative inexperience in just about every category of leadership and I think it may develop into a perfect storm for him. His refusal to lay out black and white (there's been plenty of black versus white) details of his policy plans and more importantly how he plans to pay for them further adds to the intrigue. He's been labeled as the most liberal senator in the country. Even with his frenzied support now among his Democratic supporters, independents and Republicans may find themselves just as energized this fall to come out swinging and I mean swinging hard. He has mentioned nothing of substance to convince me he is little more than a populist demagogue that delivers eloquent speeches of questionable substance from within the confines of an empty suit. Even though the liberal mainstream media including the disasters of NBC, MSNBC, and CNN remain in the tank for him, the truth may in fact set him free. It may set him free from the constraints of winning the presidency.
One news report that troubled me came from the Missoula rally. As the reporter so poignantly set the mood, a supporter remained in the stands after Barack left the stage and wept. Yes, I said wept. I've cried before but not over an unproven politician that says nothing that hasn't been said at thousands of high school pep rallies across the country. It reminds of that scene from the hilarious airline spoof movie "Airplane." A woman finds out her flight is in trouble while strapped into her seat and starts panicking and wailing uncontrollably. She is driving everyone absolutely nuts and there is a line of people in the aisle wielding everything from pipes, baseball bats, and brass knuckles all too willing to quiet her unnecessary outbursts. If I'd been in Missoula after the rally, I may have been one of those people.
Have a great day.