October 24, 2006
Boy Oh Boy Obama!By Noel Sheppard
Did you hear that loud crashing sound on Sunday? That was either media members across the country jumping off the Hillary for President bandwagon, or the Clintonistas slapping their knees over the gullibility of the press and the people they cater to.
Without question, the charming junior senator from Illinois, Barack Obama, was the toast of the Sunday morning programs this weekend. From Meet the Press to The Chris Matthews Show, discussions centered on the presidential aspirations of a man that precious few had heard of prior to his well—publicized speech at the 2004 Democratic National Convention.
Virtually overnight, Obama became a media darling climbing the charts with a bullet. During this week—long coronation, the junior senator appeared on morning shows where he was gushed over like the Beatles upon their arrival in the states. Ditto on Oprah and Larry King. Time magazine even did a twelve—page cover—story entitled 'Why Barack Obama Could Be The Next President.'
The coming out party continued on Monday, as NBC's Brian Williams referred to Obama on the Nightly News as an 'overnight sensation,' and Tim Russert claimed 'he's getting rock star treatment all across the country.'
So, what happened to Hillary's de facto coronation? According to CBS's Gloria Borger who was interviewed on the Early Show Monday, this has been summarily postponed as Democrats no longer believe the junior senator from New York can win.
Does that mean they believe Obama can? Have recent events lead top Democrats to think the timing of a Hillary presidential run might be off, and a new candidate needs to be tested for public approval?
Or, is there something more nefarious at hand like the possibility the junior senator from New York has been the front—runner too long, and some attention needs to be taken off her at this time to make her success more likely two years from now?
After all, just a few months ago, the media were agog over former Vice President Al Gore who was given the kind of face—time normally reserved for Republicans that have written a negative tell—all book about President Bush. With all that free publicity, Gore's poll numbers as the 2008 presidential nominee actually declined. Much like 2000, it appears the more folks see of Gore, the less they like him.
Of course, one should not ignore Obama's grand societal introduction so closely coinciding with Mark Warner's October 12 announcement not to seek the 2008 presidential nomination. Given Warner's support by the left—wing blogosphere irrespective of his political views, it certainly didn't take long for another Great Left Hope to be tossed into the ring.
Further confounding the issue is the idea being bandied about that America is more ready for a black man as president than a white woman. Such was discussed on The Chris Matthews Show Sunday as Clarence Page of the Chicago Tribune suggested that Americans on both sides of the aisle are looking for a new black leader with a more optimistic, less victimized message than espoused by folks like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton.
On the other hand, maybe recent events are indeed suggesting that America isn't ready for a female president. After all, we are a nation at war, and will be regardless of what happens in Iraq in the next 24 months.
With that in mind, are Americans ready to make a woman the commander—in—chief? Given the awful ratings that ABC's series by the same name garnered prior to its cancellation, the answer might be 'no'. This point is not raised sarcastically, as many political observers felt this program was a trial balloon floated to measure the public's interest in a female president. If this indeed was the case, it sank quicker than a tech stock in March 2000.
So, too, has the woman as an evening news anchor trial, as Katie Couric, after a strong first week, has seen her ratings plummet. One certainly shouldn't discount the possibility that top Democrats are eyeing this result as an American ethos gauge.
Truth be told, the failures of Couric and Commander in Chief might be an indication of a reverse—sexism by American females. Rather than falling prey to the cynical view of the left that women will automatically support one of their sisters regardless of merit, it is quite likely that those lacking a y—chromosome are more critical of those with a similar condition.
As comedian Chris Rock declared repeatedly on an HBO special a few years ago, 'Women hate women!' Broadcasting & Cable magazine published an article at its website Monday about how female correspondents have received 40 percent fewer assignments on the CBS Evening News since Couric took over for Bob Schieffer six weeks ago. So much for sisterhood.
Yet, it still seems possible that this is all a smokescreen, and that something despicably Clintonian is afoot. The Wall Street Journal's John Harwood said on Meet the Press Sunday that one of Bill Clinton's aides told him that Obama is going to run for president in 2008, and Hillary isn't.
This sets up a wonderful scenario where a clearly left—leaning, attractive black candidate attempts to take the front—runner position as Hillary waits in the wings, deflecting media scrutiny away from her. At the same time, Bill and Hill keep their profiles high by aggressively campaigning for this relatively unknown minority candidate who likely fares poorly in early public opinion polls compared to folks like Gore, Kerry, and Edwards whom the Clintons know don't have a prayer.
As the primaries draw near, and the Democrats seem doomed to repeat past mistakes by nominating past failures, a groundswell emerges for Hillary to come off the bench, and save the party from another four to eight years in purgatory. Of course, Obama becomes Hillary's vice presidential nominee.
Sound contrived? Well, the Clintons lending support to a presidential candidate that wasn't even mentioned in recent polls signals a grander plan that likely benefits them more than him. And, the joke's on the drive—by media who are either willing accomplices, or are being played like a fiddle by the couple they hold in such high esteem.
Noel Sheppard is a frequent contributor to American Thinker. He is also contributing editor for the Media Research Center's NewBusters.org, and a contributing writer to its Business & Media Institute. Noel welcomes feedback.