GET POLITICAL with VIC LIVINGSTON: Was Jesse's Cutting Blow Really Billary's Idea?
Here at nowpublic.com, the answer is sharp-edged:
Hillary Rodham Clinton, shot-chugging statesperson to the working class, won the week -- with an artful slash from Jesse "The Knife" Jackson.
The black leader and once presidential hopeful, all mic'ed up and on the Fox News set, supposedly forgot he was being recorded and, referring to Obama, muttered to a compatriot that he'd like to "cut his nuts off" because Barack has been "talking down" to black people.
(Obama's been doing a "tough love" Bill Cosby routine about how black men who conceive children show no manhood if they leave their offspring fatherless.)
But could Jackson's below the belt remark have been part of a calculation that would allow a second coming of Hillary Clinton? Let's examine the context in which it happened:
Earlier in the week, Obama snubbed Hillary on his campaign plane, choosing to nod off rather than engage her in much in-flight conversation. Later, at a fundraiser with Hillary supporters, Obama conveniently forgot that he was supposed to pitch them to contribute to Hillary's debt retirement account. He had to cut off the blare of his closing theme song, Stevie Wonder's "Signed, Sealed, Delivered," to again take the mike so that he could fulfill his pledge to shill for Hill -- the reason he was there in the first place. The Clintons know when they're on the receiving end of a dissing, and Barack knows when he's "dissing" it out.
Also in the week just passed, Obama steadfastly continued to insist that his equivocation on key issues, such as the FISA law revision that allows for warrantless wiretapping and telecom immunity, and his endorsement of a U.S. Supreme Court decision striking down the District of Columbia's handgun control law, demonstrated consistency on the issues -- a questionable claim that disappointed his left-leaning core supporters, but earned only a mild rebuke from many quarters of the still entranced U.S. political press corps.
The chatocracy barely delved into Obama's embrace of an expansion of the death penalty, at a time when many among his base constituency are rightly concerned about the disproportionate number of black men who are wrongly convicted in U.S. capital offense cases.
Unlike Obama's stance on the issues, the death penalty, once applied, remains irreversible.
Hillary Clinton emerged from the recent primary campaign looking like a champion of the working class, while the Barack Star went dim toward the finish, his gilt-edged patina showing signs of wear in his self-directed spotlight.
Now he plans to revive his big stadium act on the last night of the Democratic national convention in Denver, where he expects the delegates to dutifully ratify his razor-thin margin of victory in the primaries. Obama just can't imagine that should he continue to slowly unravel, Hillary could reverse course, disavow her endorsement, and challenge him in a floor fight.
Unlikely, yes -- but stranger things have happened. And the Dems know they must do what it takes to win; if Obama looks wounded come August, Hillary will be right there to pick up the pieces and run for it.
Some critics already are calling Obama's stadium gambit a tactical mistake, since such "Uber"-stagecraft fits the unflattering "cult of personality" narrative: "Prepare for my stadium close-up, minions."
Now it's come out that the Obama campaign can't simply shift funds to Hillary to help her retire her substantial campaign debt without running afoul of campaign finance laws. So there's no longer a bottom-line reason for Hillary and Bill to feign their support.
With Jesse Jackson's cutting low blow, it's now much easier for the Clintons to justify jumping off the Obama bandwagon, a mode of transport upon which they never felt comfortable.
What are the odds that Bill and Hill were hip to that Fox stunt? -- as if Jackson doesn't know about open mics.
You may have been watching the Obama elimination squad at work. The GOP special ops unit can stand down.
Who among the growing legion of now-disenchanted Obama supporters doesn't secretly hope that he does further damage to himself -- allowing Hillary to wrest away the nomination on the second or third ballot?
Stay tuned; the long march for the White House is about to get interesting again.
Oh, almost forgot to mention Obama's fit of pique in front of the NBC Today Show's Matt Lauer earlier in the week, when the self-absorbed candidate regretted that he allowed an interview along with his wife Michelle and their two young girls on the "Access Hollywood" TV show. During the segment, Michelle and the kids teased daddy for throwing his bag on the floor when he comes home from work.
So the impression Obama left was that he doesn't take kindly to gentle ribbing, even from the family -- although to this viewer, he came off in the interview looking charming, relaxed and genuine, quite the young Jack Kennedy.
Thing is, JFK knew how to stop when he was ahead.
Such hubris, Obama has; it almost makes Jackson's stabbing gesture comprehensible, if more than a bit crude. But effectively executed -- right down to the thrust and the grimace.
I'm sure Hillary loved it... maybe even thought of it. Probably wouldn't be the first time, either.
You go, girl! Thelma and Louise got nothing on you!