Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton

Posted on January 7, 2008


Barack Obama is an extraordinarily gifted politician who has tapped into an electrifying current of energy for CHANGE. The momentum from Iowa is giving him a bounce — a big bounce — in New Hampshire.

But it is hyperbole to call momentum a “tsunami.” Obama is a phenom, but let’s not elevate him to a “Movement.”

A few months ago, people were complaining that Hillary Clinton was “inevitable.” No one is inevitable, least of all the winner of the Iowa caucuses. Only one Iowa winner has gone on to become president, far as I know.

Time out for a reality check. Barack Obama and John Edwards offer inexperience and change. Hillary Clinton and Bill Richardson offer experience and maturity.

  • John Edwards is 87 percent ambition and 13 percent populist rhetoric. He deserves credit for calling attention to the fading of the American Dream. We owe him for highlighting the divide between privilege and poverty. But sorry, he’s not going to be president, not now, probably not ever.
  • Barack Obama is 93 percent charisma, and that starts with C and that stands for CHANGE. The other 7 percent is naivete. Where Edwards would unleash anger in a society that is divided along lines of class, race, education and access to health care, to name a few, Obama would paper over the divides. Obama appears destined to be president, and maybe it will happen this year. Or maybe he will be secretary of state or ambassador to the United Nations.
  • Bill Richardson is 85 percent resume (and it’s a great resume) and 15 percent humor. He advocates removing all U.S. troops from Iraq in a year. Maybe one of the winning candidates will heed his advice. He would provide good ticket balance in terms of personality and geography. Richardson for vice president.
  • Hillary Clinton is 75 percent brains, 22 percent experience, and 3 percent fairy godmother. Everything she said at Saturday’s debate, and everything I heard from her on Sunday and Monday, sounded just right to me. Maybe she’s not flashy enough to be president.

Let the voters of New Hampshire have their say. I think the Democratic nomination will not be decided before super-duper Tuesday, Feb. 5. Too bad Maryland votes on Feb. 12. Or maybe Maryland will get to be the tiebreaker. You can’t predict these things. At least I can’t.

Those are my opinions, and I’m sticking with them until I change my mind. — Bernie Hayden