6/04/2007

'You can lead a horse to water ...'

As I have stated previously here, I endorse Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton for POTUS. My support is not necessarily gender-based.

In my opinion, debate questions so worded as to compel Hillary to answer with “as you know my dear husband” or “in my husband’s administration” are unfortunate.

This woman, from a Midwestern middle-class family with Midwestern family values and a Methodist upbringing – became the first student in the history of her college to deliver its commencement address. She threw away her notes and gave a revolutionary speech which fellow members of her Wellesley class of 1969 cheered.

There are other “firsts” on her resume. She was the first first lady to hold a post-graduate degree and the first to have her own successful professional career.

The notion that Hillary somehow must cling to Bill’s coattails is a myth. Never underestimate her own abilities.

This is where many would use that awful segue, “That having been said.”

The debate winner last night, as I view it, was the debate itself – the format, less structured, allowed Democratic hopefuls more leeway to express themselves.

Unlike previous debate questions on MSNBC and Fox News, CNN’s focused more on major issues and less on divisive hot-button topics.

Host CNN’s analysts have declared Joe Biden’s performance “strongest:” LINK

An old saw has been running through my head these last few days: “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink.”

Bloggers know this all too well. Newsweek’s Managing Editor Jon Meacham recently pointed out that most people on the Internet are not going to read more than one paragraph.

In my blogging experience I’ve found that no amount of research, time, relevancy of subject and accuracy will motivate most visitors to do otherwise.

This attention-span problem is systemic.

The Democratic debate found itself in good company in host CNN’s four “top-viewed videos” of the last 24 hours:

1. Major league tantrum (1:14) Phillip Wellman, the minor league manager of the Mississippi Braves, throws a major league tantrum.
2. Hot dog eating contest (1:01) Joey Chestnut eats 59.5 hot dogs and buns to break the world record by almost six wieners.
3. Candidates spar over Iraq (3:48) John Edwards, Sen. Hillary Clinton and Sen. Barack Obama defend their positions on Iraq.
4. Tree falls on kids' bedroom (1:13) Tropical Storm Barry brought down a tree on kids' bedroom.

America is poised at possibly the most critical crossroads in her brief history, and hot-dog-eating contests take priority?

And, what does MSBNC give its viewers on this morning after? Tucker Carlson and Willie Geist discussing Paris Hilton and the MTV Movie Awards. Finally, 30 minutes into the program, the debate discussion began. Of course, if I want debate analysis, the first person I would turn to is Tucker Carlson, right?

For me, this is a “Jay Leno street interview” nightmare – the dumbing down of America is almost complete.

***

In you watched the debate last night, which candidate, in your opinion, can pull us out of this downward spiral?

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

What is the greatest need? Is it ending the War? Perhaps it is universal health care? Or could it be the debt crisis which threatens our entire way of life in generations to come? Arguably, the environmental danger of global catastrophe grows imminent.
To Frodo, it is the deepening schism between rich-and-poor, liberal-and-conservative, evangelical-and-secularist, native-and-immigrant, and all of the other divisions that plague civility. It is incumbent upon us all to "lower the shields" and to address our challenges, together.
Newt Gingrich could not accomplish that in America today; he is a polarizing personality and symbol of the resentments that exist. Sadly, my friend Sir Cumspect, Mrs. Clinton represents the same to so many others in our country, and that is both unfair and sad. It is however, "the way it is." Absent her ability to win the trust and best wishes of our segmented society, and Frodo hopes that it does develop, Mrs. Clinton is not the person to lead us out of the morass.
No one will remember the words of this the "second debate," (what are there to be 9 or so?) for the purposes of election, what will matter is who gets better as it goes on.

Sir Cumspect said...

I fully agree with you, Mr. Frodo.

It is sad that a qualified person would be denied the highest office in our land solely by persons who hate her, and when asked, "Why do you hate her?," cannot give a coherent answer.

It is a sad commentary on our times that none of the other hopefuls will be any less devisive in our current political atmosphere.

Anonymous said...

Based on intelligence and experience, I think Senator Clinton won the debate hands down. But as Mr. Frodo said, we have a long way to go yet.

I, personally, am opposed to these very early primaries. We do not live in a static society. Anything can happen between now and the general election. But I think many Independents and a good many Republicans are leaning toward Sen. Clinton right now.

I think a huge mistake was made when MoveOn.Org picked Governor Dean to early on. People experience political burn out when we have this constant campaigning. I would like to see campaigns public funded instead of the big $$$$$ donors hogging the road to the White House, Congress, and Senate.

We have the best government in the world. We just need good, honest people in office to implement it for the greatest good for the greatest number of people. Let's get commitments to do away with lobbiests who have already served as political hacks.

That's Jan's story and she is sticking to it!