03/15/08 — Best show around: Democrats wage sordid battle, but it’s hard not to watch

View Archive

Best show around: Democrats wage sordid battle, but it’s hard not to watch

Forget Eliot Spitzer’s extra-curricular activities — and anyone else who might have had enough money to hire a $4,000 call girl.

And give poor Britney Spears a break for a week without yet another rumor about pregnancy, boyfriends or crazy affected accents.

There is a new round of “can you believe they said (or did) that” in town.

The battle for the Democratic nomination has all the makings of a catfight or a street brawl. And before it is over, there might not be anyone left standing in either campaign, including the candidates themselves.

First it was Hillary Clinton’s husband, Bill, and his comments about Barack Obama’s fitness to be in the White House — including a diatribe that some said bordered on racism.

Then, one of Obama’s supporters called Hillary Clinton a “monster who would stop at nothing to win.”

Out the door she went.

It’s likely Hillary wishes she could have fired Bill, too, but that just wasn’t in the cards. When your campaign is sliding down a slippery slope, you need any traction you can get.

And this past week, after a couple more rounds of sparring and righteous indignation as well as a few disclaimers from candidates that not everyone on their campaigns speaks for them, there is yet another round of punches.

First, Geraldine Ferraro said that Barack Obama is where he is because he is black — and refused to take it back.

Obama cried foul, prompting Mrs. Clinton to let everyone know that she did not agree with one of her chief fundraisers.

Now, Mrs. Ferraro is out, and still holding fast to her guns — and making it worse by saying that she doesn’t think the Obama campaign can play the race card anymore.

And now, Obama has an “uh, oh” of his own — his pastor, who says, in addition to some pretty ridiculous and scary rhetoric about Sept. 11 and the government, that Hillary Clinton cannot possibly know what it is like to struggle.

You add in the last part ... because she is white.

Oh, my, here we go again.

To say this round robin is amusing is an understatement.

It is better than television.

Even “American Idol’s” angry critic Simon Cowell must be flabbergasted by this drive-by bashing.

And we voters have a ringside seat.

There will be more name-calling, angry words and insinuations over the next few months until a Democratic nominee is in place.

And some will be worth paying attention to and others will be more fodder for the late night talk shows. Not every statement made is without merit, and not every “friend of the candidate” can be discounted as not representing some aspect of what a candidate truly believes.

There is likely to be much more fun ahead.

The good news is it is nice to see so much interest in any political campaign. The idea of a democracy is to have an exchange of ideas — even if that exchange needs a referee.

The bad news is, it is only March.

Published in Editorials on March 15, 2008 11:47 PM