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Pennsylvania: The Killing Field

April 26, 2008

Leon Walker is a TNTalk! contributing writer. You can look for his columns at least every Saturday “write here on TNTalk!” To find out more about Leon, check out our writers page.

The Clinton Campaign did untold collateral damage in Pennsylvania. Given the amount of time that I have had to focus on the Pennsylvania Democratic Primary Election, I have heard shocking statements made, unholy alliances forged and pages turned that have terminal political ramifications for the Clintons and many of their high profile supporters. I find this particularly interesting because both statistically and according to reasonable political analysis, there is no possibility for Senator Clinton to win the Democratic Party nomination.

As the Clinton Campaign continues to drop their political bombs, they remain un-phased by the carnage that remains among the many who are now discovering that they have hitched their wagons to a falling star. In other words, there are those who have essentially ended their professional or political careers in this process and others who have severely damaged their public images.

The national media has become the most visible smelly corpse as the smoke clears over the Pennsylvania battle ground. Not only have they failed to provide any measure of consistent information or accurate predictions, they have also shown themselves to be ideologically and technically inept. The media has yet to grasp the magnitude of the intensity of this Democratic campaign or that traditional political ideology and the associated reporting practices are no longer applicable. Just the fact that in this electronic age, they are attempting to interpret polling data with no ability to poll those with cellular phones speaks volumes of the media’s ineptitude. This of course includes the young voting block which is the most exciting and seeming least considered in this historic contest. This is to say nothing of the bias that has been injected by the media simply by focusing on salacious content rather than reporting far more substantially on important political discourse.

Charles Gibson and George Stephanopoulos have now made ABC News a media pariah and immersed themselves in an image of media professionals lacking in credibility and integrity. As a result many are seeking alternative (internet etc.) news sources and the cable and network news outlets have been irreversibly damaged. But the main ingredient in the poisonous concoction that the media has become is money. Ratings superseded the need or responsibility to report the accurate truth. The accurate truth is and was, that this race for the Democratic nomination was over before the Pennsylvania contest.

Among African-Americans, there are already a few notable dead bodies lying around. Black Businessman Bob Johnson has made horrific public statements about Senator Obama that he will never overcome. Unlike Black media pundit Tavis Smiley he was most probably seeking the influence and reward of the Clintons at some future time. Like Tavis Smiley, he chose demeaning words and employed mean spirit tactics that an African-American public has squarely rejected. Both will soon find that their Clinton alliances and poor judgment will cost them their places of real or imagined leadership among Blacks. Then there is Mayor Michael Nutter of Philadelphia. What in the world was he thinking? I can only imagine that he had no plans to run for reelection and that he has been promised a position in some future “imaginary” Clinton White House.

There are many other Blacks who have rallied around the Clinton machine and who by doing so have tacitly approved of the horrific tactics that the campaign has employed. I assure you that there will be a political and professional price to pay for these short sighted and self serving loyalties. Black voters and consumers will remember the names and faces of their elected officials and icons that supported the Clintons in their vicious and unwarranted attacks.

Even if you view the bomb analysis from the Clinton attack machine purely from a traditional political perspective there is much to be revealed. Former President Clinton has apparently “gone round the bend” and his behavior is beginning to appear reckless. This is conjuring up images of the worst days of the former President’s administration and has severely damaged his image. Both long time political strategists and politicians are becoming increasingly uncomfortable with Bill Clinton. This, coupled with Senator Clinton’s dangerous ambition, has created both worry and concern within the Democratic Party leadership.

She is being viewed as a collaborator with (her husband) the former President in doing whatever is required to achieve this nomination. The problem being the Clinton’s inability or unwillingness to understand or acknowledge that the nomination is clearly long lost. She absolutely cannot win the nomination based on votes cast or more importantly the delegate count. Therefore, all that we are observing now is an attempt to damage her opponent publicly so that he is wounded both in terms of getting the nomination before the convention and also to damage him so that she can lay the groundwork for another run at the nomination in 2012. By employing these tactics Senator Clinton has begun to destroy long time political support among voters, her senatorial colleagues and the party leadership. Regardless of her intentions it is beginning to appear that the Clintons are providing “aid and comfort to the enemy” (the Republicans). That may well extinguish her political career leaving her and the former President among the Pennsylvania dead.

Take note of Senator John McCain. He has completely blown an opportunity to gather momentum and support over the past six weeks. He has shown himself to be doddering, cross and dreadfully short on eloquence and wit. This is to say nothing of the fact that he refuses to stay on point with regard to issues or simply does not understand the issues. The length of the Democratic Campaign has left him wandering around aimlessly while exposing his many flaws that may well have remained cloaked until the party nominees met on equal footing on the campaign trail leading to the final contest in November. He may well be remembered as one of the casualties of the Pennsylvania Killing Field.

Senator Obama was wounded in Pennsylvania but not seriously so. He must certainly have been one of the few who knew that the battle in Pennsylvania was a needless one. But more importantly, I think he understands that American politics and the American public have escaped tradition in the quest for change. That and that alone, is the reason why he will be the next President of the United States. Because Barack Obama understands this, the White House is exactly where he belongs.

L. A. Walker

© Leon A. Walker, April 25, 2008

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