Sunday, January 27, 2008

Bill: "Hillary = Dukakis"

Here's a little exchange earlier today between a reporter and former president, Bill Clinton...

Reporter: What does it say about Barack Obama that it takes two of you [Clintons] to beat him?

Bill Clinton: (laughs) ... Jesse Jackson won South Carolina twice in '84 and '88...

1) This doesn't answer the question asked, 2) It's an attempt to downplay a primary loss by dismissing the state as unimportant or non-representative, and 3) It's an obvious ploy to reduce Obama to being "the Black candidate" and nothing more. But the other blogs are already discussing these three points quite thoroughly.

I'd like to look at the other implication here. If Obama equals Jackson, then where does that leave Hillary? In 1984 few Democrats were willing to risk their reputation and future electoral plans by running against the extremely popular Ronald Reagan. In 1988 the lackluster field was openly referred to by the press as "the seven dwarfs."

These primary contests resulted in the nominations of Walter Mondale and Michael Dukakis. So, when Hillary is unable to beat Obama/Jackson, does that mean she's on the same level as Mondale/Dukakis, or that she couldn't have beat them either? And what does that say about her chances in November?

Of course, the former president wasn't intending that comparison. He was simply trying to inject race into a contest where it doesn't belong. Obama is no more "the Black candidate" than Hillary is "the female candidate." Clinton does nothing but damage his own reputation along with the chances of either leading Democrat to win in November.

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