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Thursday, July 7, 2022

Barack Obama: bruised, but survived

By Ardain IsmaCSMS Magazine Staff WriterTwo weeks ago, the Obama campaign seemed to have gone on a recession. Days of allegations surrounding the Illinois senator’s pastor’s remarks reinforced by a sustained defamation campaign against his race, his patriotism and his message of hope appeared to have given Clinton the edge she was desperately looking for. Back by the media frenzy hungry for controversy no matter how ugly it might be and regardless of whom it might hurt, Clinton was made to believe she was on the verge of reclaiming her throne.   For some time, the unspoken strategy for Clinton has been to bring the race up to the plateau of racial politic, forcing to electorate to focus on race rather than on the issues—a plateau she believes, for good reasons, that Barack Obama has no chance at winning. The blitz for a while appears to have inflicted the heaviest bruise on Obama, looking pale at times and dazed like a beaten roaster after a terrible cock fight—bloodied and disfigured. That has led many of his supporters to become irritated and in some cases disillusioned with him for appearing too weak in the face of barrages of criticisms. He did not yield to pressure. Instead, he shrugged off the idea of using race in the race of the White House and continued to focus on the core issues of the campaign.  Clinton’s strategists like James Carville and Maggie Williams did not foresee the backfiring that could have emerged as a result of their blatant and arrogant political slurs.  Demonizing Obama is proving to be one of their biggest political blunders, as governor Bill Richardson, who is now backing Obama, seemed to have indicated on CBS Face The Nation. “Countless times, I had been pressured by the Clinton people in a manner of which I did not like……And when senator Barack Obama called me, I felt it was an obligation to publicly endorse him,” Bill said to Bob Shaffer on Face The Nation. Shaffer then questioned him on James Carville’s inflammatory remarks on his regards, calling him a traitor for endorsing Obama after he has led the Clinton team to believe he was going to publicly endorse Hillary. Bill Richardson was blunt. “I have great respect Hillary Clinton, but just because I served in her husband’s cabinet doesn’t mean I owe her a loyalty for the rest of my life. This campaign is becoming too ugly. It’s time for all democrats to close ranks and rally behind one candidate.”Of course, that one candidate is no other than Barack Obama. This is an echo that is fast getting steam, growing both in strength and in intensity. One can clearly feel a growing consensus among the major pillars of the Democratic Party that Obama is their best chance at beating McCain in November. From Nancy Pelosi, the House majority leader, to Bill Bradley to John Cary to Ted Kennedy and many others, the consensus is clear: Obama is their man. And they have the numbers to back them up. Obama has a lead of more than 120 delegates, a lead that is almost insurmountable with very few states left to compete. There is a fear among senior democrats that the longer this drags on, the more difficult it might be to beat McCain, now surging in the polls, in November.Raising the stake against Clinton is the latest fury of calls from the Party influential leaders for her to quit the race. The latest to date are Vermont senator Patrick Leahy and flamboyant senator from Pennsylvania, Bob Casey. Casey’s endorsement was particularly devastating for Clinton, who hopes to crush Obama on April 22nd when Pennsylvania holds its primary.  Many believe that Bob Casey’s decision to endorse Barack Obama has two political aims: targeting Pennsylvania Democrats who backed him in a crushing victory over former senator Rick Santorum two years ago and the Democratic Party’s tons of still-un-pledged super-delegates throughout the country. There are growing speculations that those super-delegates may be called into action at the Party’s convention this summer if neither candidate arrives at the convention floor with the number needed to seal the nomination. “This campaign is a chance for America to chart a new course, to go down a different path, a path, first of all, of change; a path of a new kind of politics and finally a path of hope and healing … I believe in my heart that there’s one person who uniquely qualified to lead us in that new direction and that’s Barack Obama,” Casey told a group supporters last Wednesday at Soldiers & Sailors with Obama by his side.When Barack Obama walks down Wall StreetWith so many calls for Hillary Clinton to get out and huge endorsements pouring simultaneously and the Reverend Jeremiah Wrights controversy is now behind him, Obama has proven once again that he can take a punch and still survive. “He has weathered the storm of criticisms and emerged a stronger candidate….Clinton’s chance of winning is less than 5%,” declared Peter Beinart on NBC’s Meet the Press. Peter Beinart is editor at large for the New Republic and columnist for Time Magazine.After two weeks of resting in the Virgin Islands and watching Hillary being pushed under the defensive after it was discovered she lied about braving sniper fire in northern Bosnia in 1995 to deliver supplies to refugees there, Barack Obama is back.  On Thursday, he appears at Cooper Union in Manhattan before a hooray of selected Wall Street gurus. Flanked by his friend and multi-billionaire financial media mogul, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, the Illinois senator seemed reach the zenith of his political career. At hands were former Fed Chairman under Jimmy Carter, Paul Volcker and former Securities and Exchange Commission chairman, William Donaldson.  Calling for the Federal Reserve Board to be given regulatory powers to monitor investment banks, Obama centered his remarks on demanding that a financial regulatory reform is put in place. Well aware of the audience he was speaking to, the Illinois senator was carefully choosing his words while explaining his problem with the free market system. “I do not believe that government should stand in the way of innovation, or turn back the clock to an older era of regulation.”But this explains the dilemma for presidential candidates who have to walk a thin blue line when it comes to talking about the financial meltdown the country finds itself today. Dubious message like this can only reassure Wall Street moneymakers, not millions of Americans who have to suffer—victims of corporate greed. Obama’s speech also put more emphasis on “oversight of credit-rating agencies” and advocated “stronger capital requirements for complex financial instruments like mortgage-backed securities.”Obama went back to the very foundation of American capitalism to prove his points. But the pivotal faction of his speech centered on the understanding that the current crisis is the direct result of greed, which “distorted” the “free market that has been the engine of America’s progress.” He ended his speech by sending an illusory call for the establishment of a “common interest between Wall Street and Main Street that is the key to our success.” Needless to say that his speech was received with great enthusiasm, and to celebrate his new marriage with Wall Street, a fundraising luncheon was given in his honor organized by at the multinational investment bank, Manhattan offices of Credit Suisse, where just to get a glimpse of the Illinois senator, prices were ranging between $1,000 to $2,300 a seat.Also see Hillary Clinton wants to clinch the nomination at all costIs Barack Obama unstoppable after his stunning victory in Iowa last week?   The Obama campaign plunges deeper into the defensive after the Nevada lost last SaturdayDr. Ardain Isma teaches Cross-Cultural Studies at Nova Southeastern University. He is the publisher of CSMS Magazine. He is also a novelist. He may be reached at publisher@csmsmagazine.org

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