Saturday, June 07, 2008

The Speech- no. 5

In her long-awaited (by the media, which couldn't get her to do this fast enough) concession speech today, June 7, 2008, Senator Clinton addressed the "historic" issue:

Now, think how much progress we’ve already made. When we first started, people everywhere asked the same questions. Could a woman really serve as commander-in-chief? Well, I think we answered that one.

Could an African-American really be our president? And Senator Obama has answered that one.

Mrs. Clinton is half-right. Although we have not determined whether a woman can, or will, be elected president, we have answered the question as to whether a woman can serve as commander-in-chief.

Probably several things contributed to this perception of strength including, but not limited, to: the criticism of Obama over negotiations with Iran; Clinton's vile comment about the "lifetime of experience" she and McCain bring while Obama brings "a speech;" her willingness to "totally obliterate Iran" if it attacks Israel with nuclear weapons; the 3:00 a.m. spot; even her unwillingness to express regret (pp. 16-17 of MSNBC transcript), until the 2/26/08 debate in Cleveland, Ohio, for her vote in 2002 authorizing military action against iraq. But clearly she did answer the question about a woman as commander-in-chief- though, notably, not as president (she isn't being nominated, after all), which she pointedly did not claim.

But has Senator Obama answered the question whether an African-American can become president? Not unless (sarcasm alert) this is November 5, John McCain has fallen short of 270 delegates, and we finally have put aside eight years of inept Repub rule.

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