Two days out of the next Democrat primaries in Indiana and North Carolina, Senators Obama and Clinton are fighting over gas.
Clinton is sticking to her policy proposal of a gas tax holiday, regardless of the fact that policy wonks of all persuasions think it’s a crummy idea.
The Senator is putting both feet firmly in the working class camp, which served her so well in Pennsylvania, and she won’t let no high falutin’ economists tell her what to do. Reports NY Times’ the Caucus:
When asked to name a credible economist who backed her idea to use a windfall profit tax against oil companies to fund the suspension of a tax on gasoline, Clinton responded:
“I’m not going to put my lot in with economists”… Clinton added that the tax holiday would work “if we actually did it right.”
Clinton is deftly turning this into a class issue again, and for Obama to question the validity of her plan to go after Big Oil is a sign he’s out of touch with, to borrow from KRudd, “working families”.
And throwing any sign of subtlety out the window, the Sentor hitched a ride on the weekend with sheet metal worker Jason Wilfing. Clinton rode shotgun, with a Secret Service motorcade consisting of six sedans, two squad cars and a green SUV bearing photographers and TV cameras trailing her, to visit a favourite haunt of our own Brendan Nelson back home — the petrol pump.
Meanwhile, with Obama still wounded from the Wright affair, he did the next best thing to hanging by the bowser, he got his kids out on the campaign trail to urge voters to“vote for daddy”.
Obama’s getting riled: Michelle Obama lifted the lid on the irritation felt by the leading Democrat candidate for the White House at the way anti-American outbursts by his pastor, Jeremiah Wright, have dogged his campaign. He is said to be itching to turn all his fire on John McCain, the Republican candidate, who is benefiting most from Mr Obama’s protracted tussle with Hillary Clinton. Mrs Obama told a rally in Durham, North Carolina, on Friday that only her husband’s desire to change US politics had helped him to control his feelings: “Barack is always thinking three steps ahead – what do we need to do to make change.” — The Telegraph
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McCain’s pastor: Bored by those endless replays of the Rev. Jeremiah Wright? If so, go directly to YouTube, search for “John Hagee Roman Church Hitler,” and be recharged by a fresh jolt of clerical jive. What you’ll find is a white televangelist, the Rev. John Hagee, lecturing in front of an enormous diorama. Wielding a pointer, he pokes at the image of a woman with Pamela Anderson-sized breasts, her hand raising a golden chalice. The woman is “the Great Whore,” Mr. Hagee explains, and she is drinking “the blood of the Jewish people.” — Frank Rich, The NY Times
Guilt by association: Whatever name it is called, Hillary Clinton, perhaps better than any contemporary political figure of our time, knows the insidious nature of this kind of guilt by association, for she (like Bill Clinton) has been a victim of it herself over a political lifetime. Precisely because she knows the destructive power of such assertions and how unfair they can be, she has sought for a quarter-century to hide and minimize her own activities, associations, student fascination, and personal history with the radical Left. Those associations — logical, explicable, and (her acolytes have always maintained) even character-building in the context of the times — are far more extensive than any radical past that has come to be known about Barack Obama. — Carl Bernstein, The Huffington Post
Forget black or female — how bout just plain old?: The sensitive question of age — one of the trickiest and most unpredictable in the political playbook — has been touched upon only glancingly since McCain became the de facto GOP nominee. But it is certain to hover over a candidate who will be 72 by Election Day. For all the ink spilled on whether the country is ready for a woman or African-American, polls indicate that more Americans worry about having a president over 70. — Jonathan Martin, Politico
Racism isn’t going away: the racial divide that has opened up within the Democratic Party is almost certainly less problematic than the hurdles Mr. Obama could face attracting support outside the party in November should he win the nomination. It is, after all, the Republican Party that captured the allegiance of the whites most uneasy about the civil rights movement and its legacy. “It will be a challenge to win a general election with an African-American candidate,” said Larry Bartels, a professor of politics at Princeton. “The challenge has less to with internal tensions within the Democratic Party than with the resentments and racial misgivings of the general electorate.” — John Harwood, The New York Times