Obama, Clintons, Lewis and Ellison in Selma

Photo: NYT

Yesterday was the 42nd anniversary of the March on Selma. Although all attention was focused on Clinton and Obama, John Lewis (D – Ga.) and Keith Ellison (D – Mn.) were their also. I’m sure that most of the Black Caucus was there.

I would like to point out the obvious. This isn’t a horse race. This isn’t about “star” power. It is about ideas. It is about what these candidates will do under pressure. It is about … reforming the Democratic Party. Business as usual for 30 years got us one president throughout 3 decades. One. Business as usual got us a thin majority in House and a thinner majority in the Senate. This presidential race is about much, much more.

From NYT:

It was an extraordinary sight: the Clintons and Mr. Obama, two of them competitors for the Democratic presidential nomination, walking — with two black congressman, and sometimes others, in between them — down Martin Luther King Jr. Street to commemorate the footsteps of black demonstrators who were met with violence as they tried to march to Montgomery to demand civil rights in 1965.

The visit to Selma, a historically rich, economically struggling city, became a proxy battle for black support between Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Obama, whose candidacy represents a threat to Mrs. Clinton’s traditional base. That competitive dynamic intensified on Sunday with the debut of Mr. Clinton on the campaign trail, six weeks into his wife’s bid, and among a bloc of voters who are at once devoted to the former president and torn between his wife and Mr. Obama.

0 Responses

  1. My comment on both the photo and the event is that the most powerful person in attendance is not a presidential candidate, but a former president, Bill Clinton. In fact, I would argue he is perhaps the best person in either party to unite and inspire an authentic Southern, progressive, tired-of-working-to-pay-CEOs, family-centered, environmentalism-as-social-justice electorate of any race. Hilary would do well to let him be her Eleanor Roosevelt.

  2. We are seeing something very interesting, Anne. President Clinton has a lot of personal charm but his charm doesn’t seem to rub off. The Democrats didn’t pick up a significant number of seats in either House while he was in office. As a matter of fact, they lost the majority in the House. Dem’s got smacked around as far as local elections go.

    I think that Hillary will have to stand on her own 2 feet. If she has the “right” ideas and can present them and they are accepted by the American public she will win. If not she will lose no matter how much she trots Bill out there.

    Thanks for your comments.

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Errington C. Thompson, MD

Dr. Thompson is a surgeon, scholar, full-time sports fan and part-time political activist. He is active in a number of community projects and initiatives. Through medicine, he strives to improve the physical health of all he treats.


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