Tuesday, May 06, 2008
Day of Reckoning for Clinton and Obama ?
The Lapel Pin Smear
- "Well, look, I revere the American flag," he said. "And I would not be running for president if I did not revere this country. I would not be standing here if it wasn't for this country. And I've said this -- again, there's no other country in which my story is even possible."
Many people will read a lot of meaning into Obama's refusal to wear the pin. Some will see it as a lack of patriotism, an emotional distance from the country that has served him so well. Others, such as I, will see it as an expression of cool, the statement of a candidate who wants to be president but not at the cost of his intellectual integrity. And still others (me again) will see it as Obama's push-back, his reluctance to do something simply because it is demanded of him.
An allergy to cant can be an admirable quality in a politician, although not necessarily a politically smart one. Obama, for example, is right to label Hillary Clinton's proposal to have the government lift the gas tax this summer as "a classic Washington gimmick." Still, gimmicks like this win votes.
The Price of Gas and Jesus Freaks
- "Lord, come down in a mighty way and strengthen us so that we can bring down these high gas prices," Twyman said to a chorus of "amens".
- "Prayer is the answer to every problem in life... We call on God to intervene in the lives of the selfish, greedy people who are keeping these prices high," Twyman said on the gas station forecourt in a neighborhood of Washington that, like many of its residents, has seen better days.
- "Lord, the prices at this pump have gone up since last week. We know that you are able, that you have all the power in the world," he prayed, before former beauty queen Rashida Jolley led the group in a modified version of the spiritual, "We Shall Overcome".
- "We'll have lower gas prices, we'll have lower gas prices..." they sang.
- "These prices will come down, just like the walls of Jericho came down in the Bible," he said, as another chorus of amens punctuated the sound of cash flowing out of the gas pumps.