First, Frank Rich accuses the Clinton campaign of dumping the black vote...
The campaign’s other most potent form of currency remains its thick deck of race cards. This was all too apparent in the Hallmark show. In its carefully calibrated cross section of geographically and demographically diverse cast members — young, old, one gay man, one vet, two union members — African-Americans were reduced to also-rans.and chasing the Hispanic vote...
But the wholesale substitution of Hispanics for blacks on the Hallmark show is tainted by a creepy racial back story. Last month a Hispanic pollster employed by the Clinton campaign pitted the two groups against each other by telling The New Yorker that Hispanic voters have “not shown a lot of willingness or affinity to support black candidates.” Mrs. Clinton then seconded the motion by telling Tim Russert in a debate that her pollster was “making a historical statement.”It's a lengthy, provocative, but backed-by-facts piece that is still there in the most e-mailed/blogged list of the NYT.
Just after this, the Krug-Man warned readers that the Obama campaign could be taking the US into Nixonland.
I won’t try for fake evenhandedness here: most of the venom I see is coming from supporters of Mr. Obama, who want their hero or nobody. I’m not the first to point out that the Obama campaign seems dangerously close to becoming a cult of personality. We’ve already had that from the Bush administration — remember Operation Flight Suit? We really don’t want to go there again.The Economist recently called the US elections the greatest show on earth, again. I'm still trying to figure out how it works, but can't resist a sense of awe at the entire campaigning, debating juggernaut shebang. Sure, it's also dirty, but then who said becoming the leader of the free world was easy.
Point of post? Just putting this in the background of Indian politics. Remember we're (State and Country) up for elections next year. No primaries, no caucuses, no debates. Just simple dishkaaon elections. Good old coalition politics. No majority, no minority. And sure no priority at least for the nation.
Even though I am in awe of it, I've never understood the US elections and I'm loathe to compare it to the Indian ones. Why? Because I think any India v/s US comparison is slightly arbit. Still, I am having an interesting e-mail conversation with a good friend on similar lines.
That apart, I think one thing seems to be common, politicians are politicians and will remain that way. Partisanship, divisiveness and cult personality are probably wired into the DNA of every politician. If he's not born with it, he'll pick it up soon on the way.
Look at very own local hero Raju T playing the Marathi Manoos card. Even though the educated elite are gasping at his antics, they've also probably realised that this isn't anything new because Raju T is only upholding the Sena tradition. A tradition that has held them in good stead. Heck, even the Congress are staying true to their tradition, i.e. do nothing.
We're in for interesting times. Let's see what turn the US elections take next. Seems Obama is leading Clinton. Are we ready for a black leader of the free world?
Strange things happen. What if Raju T's brand of politics actually work? And if it doesn't than are we all happy with a, er, "secular" bunch of people who'd give Nero a run for his money? Or wait, am I hearing the roar of an old tiger again? Hang in there for a year to find out. Remember, it's a Chinese curse.
PS: Partially unrelated funny thing 1: That line from "A Few Good Men" kept coming back to me while I typed this post. "Unit, Corp, God, Country".
PPS: PUFT2: Picked up Season 1 of "The West Wing" , which seemed even more yesterday than Rudy Giuliani (gaah, it actually is) and have hence instantly given up on it. Aaron Sorkin, who wrote this glossy drama, was also the writer of "A Few Good Men". Told ya - partially unrelated.