Saturday, May 10, 2008

Quitters never win

While the media is chopping its licks over a likely Hillary Clinton defeat after the NC and IN elections results with headlines such as "Hillary the cat runs out of lives" or "She is toast. Stick a fork in her," and columnists like Eugene Robinson (Desperate Clinton is Danger to the Party) and Bob Herbert (Seeds of Destruction) are unleashing a torrent of vitriol at Bill and Hillary to depict them as nothing more than a desperate, race-baiting couple, it is really refreshing to see there are still people out there who truly understand what it means to a lot of voters, specially women, to see Hillary keep on fighting and certainly not quit before the game is finally over. Today in the Washington Post Ellen R. Malcolm writes:

It's not surprising that low-income working women are the cornerstone of Hillary's success. Many of these women live on the edge of disaster. A pink slip, a family member's illness, a parent who can no longer live alone, a carthat won't start or a mortgage rate that goes up -- all are threats that could devastate the family. And yet these women do what women have done for ages. They put on a confident face, feed their children breakfast and get them off to school. They don't quit. They suck it up and fight back against whatever life throws their way. They see in Hillary Clinton a candidate who understands the pressures they face. As they watch her tough it out against all odds, refusing to quit and continuing to compete against whatever the media and her opponents throw her way, they see a woman as tough and resilient as they are. They clearly want her to win. Her victory, I believe, is their victory.
So here we are in the fourth quarter of the nominating process and the game is too close to call. Once again, the opponents and the media are calling for Hillary to quit. The first woman ever to win a presidential primary is supposed to stop competing, to curtsy and exit stage right.
Hillary Clinton certainly has the right to compete till the end. But I believe Hillary also has a responsibility to play the game to its conclusion. For the women of my generation who learned to find and channel their competitiveness, for the working women who never falter in the face of pressure, for the younger women who still believe women can do anything, Hillary is a champion. She's shown us over and over that winners never quit and that quitters never win. We'll cheer her on until the game is over. And we hope that when the final whistle blows, we will have elected the first female president and the best president our country has ever had.
Amen to that.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

I'm still standing better than I ever did...

There she is, Hillary Clinton, looking like a true survivor to borrow words from Sir Elton John.

I must confess. I feel exactly the same way Joe Scarborough does when it comes to Hillary Clinton. I admire her for her strength of character and am absolutely blown away by her tenacity and resilience--not to mention how much I love her laugh. Of course my ultimate choice in this US election has been John McCain from the beginning. But that's what my head says. As far as my heart is concerned, well, I find myself rooting for this "phenomenal woman."

Just like Eleanor Clift, I'm beginning to feel Hillary could pull this off (thank you Pennsylvania!). She must win Indiana, keep her loss in North Carolina within single digits, and then she'll be able to run the table in West Virginia, Kentucky and Puerto Rico. That way, she'll lead in the popular votes (with or without Florida) by June 3rd and will be able to present a very strong case to superdelegates as to why she deserves to be the nominee.

Sounds far-fetched? I don't think so. The odds are long I know, specially considering the fact that except Fox News, the media are totally in the tank for Obama. But If anyone can turn this thing around, it is Hillary Clinton. Again to borrow words from Sir Elton:

And did you think this fool could never win,
Well look at me, I'm coming back again,
I got a taste of love in a simple way,
And if you need to know while I'm still standing you just fade away...

Friday, March 28, 2008

John McCain, the winner of Clinton-Obama battle?

I still think it's almost over for Hillary since the superdelegates won't dare to deny Obama the nomination, however strong Hillary Clinton's argument on electability is.

Of course I, too, happen to believe that in light of the Wright controversy, Barack Obama will not be able to beat John McCain in the states that really matter in the Genral Election, such as Ohio and that Hillary will be tougher for McCain to beat. And with the Democratic Party's fiasco in Florida and Michigan, two other very important swing states, chances look even grimmer for Mr. Obama. But who knows? Eight months is a life time in politics.

But after all, John McCain is the candidate I support (and trust to pick up that phone at 3 a.m. by the way) and I hope that he'll be able to make the best of this long, bitter fight between the two Democratic contenders.

Go Senator McCain!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

It's over for Hillary

As I had predicted (on my Persian blog) Barack Obama won all February contests. For all the media speculation about the so called "formidable" Clinton machine, this has been a broken-down machine that keeps stalling. Hillary Clinton's muddled, undisciplined campaign--which inspite of some (late) shake-up at the top still suffered from lack of organization and for instance, up until Friday couldn't even figure out how much time it had to dedicate to Wisconsin--not only cost her humiliating defeats against Obama, but even undermined her central argument that she is the candidate with enough experience to run an efficient operation in the capacity of the President of the United States.

The Wisconsin cross tabulations show it's probably too late for Clinton to pull this thing off. My prediction is that on March 4 she will lose both Ohio and Texas and that would be a sour end to an inefficient, arrogant campaign that turned an inevitable candidacy into one of the biggest failures in the history of US Presidential primaries.

And the buck stops with no one other than Hillary herself.

Also-From The Guardian:

The day when the first nails went into the Clinton campaign's coffin was exactly two weeks ago - on February 6. We didn't know it at the time, but February 6 was the day when there began a big blank gap on the Clinton campaign calendar. Because her team of battle-tested veterans failed to plan for much of anything after Super Tuesday... So strongly did the Clinton campaign assume that Super Tuesday, with its 1,000-plus pledged delegates up for election in more than 20 states, would be the effective end of the nomination campaign, that it failed to have a Plan B. Organising for the string of caucuses that followed Super Tuesday Opening field offices in the smaller states? Drumming up the extra fundraising needed to pay for it? None of it, or not enough of it, got done. And as a result, when Super Tuesday failed to deliver the knock-out blow that Hillary Clinton expected, her campaign was exposed to a series of rapid jabs in places like Maine, Virginia and now Wisconsin - states the Clinton campaign should have competed in strongly, not lost by double digits...

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Demagogary VS. substance

Hillary Clinton used to call it "rhetoric vs. reality." I call it demagogary vs. substance.

For the reasons that really baffle me at this point, Barack Obama, your avarage politician, is being sold to public by his mesmerized fans and media as "the one." The messiah whose time has come, "we are the ones we have been waiting for," he said in his Feb. 5 speech.

Not only that, here's what he said in a stump speech in the gym of North Charleston High School in South Carolina on January 24:

“At some point in the evening, a light is going to shine down and you will have an epiphany and you’ll say, ‘I have to vote for Barack.’”

or according to CNN:

"My job is to help him do his job. So I am going to try to be so persuasive in the 20 minutes or so that I speak that by the time this is over, a light will shine down from somewhere. It will light upon you. You will experience an epiphany. And you will say to yourself, I have to vote for Barack. I have to do it."

I have never liked Barack Obama and his third-world style, demagogic speeches which are bereft of any substance at all. But this aspect of his campaign is REALLY beginning to trouble me. Does Obama think he is Jesus? what does all this mass messianism really mean?

Obama is an inspirational politician. Granted. But to quote Joe Klein of Time:

"That is not just maddeningly vague but also disingenuous: the campaign is entirely about Obama and his ability to inspire. Rather than focusing on any specific issue or cause — other than an amorphous desire for change — the message is becoming dangerously self-referential. The Obama campaign all too often is about how wonderful the Obama campaign is."

But this is the magic formula for Obama and it's really disturbing-- for people like me who admire Hillary Clinton for her brilliant grasp of the issues that matter the most to the voters--to see it is kind of working for him.

Not that I'm kidding myself, but I truly hope that Hillary will brave the next couple of brutal weeks of February and pull this thing off in Texas, Ohio and eventually in Pennsylvania.

America needs a competent leader who is ready on day one not a preacher. Please keep this in mind before you vote.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

What does "change" really mean?

I have been following the primaries closely and enjoyed US democracy in full action. As for who I support, of course Senator John McCain is my man. On the democratic side though, inspite of all the fuss about Barack Obama, I still can't figure out what he (not to mention the irksome populist John Edwards) really means by the word "change." Instead of bickering over who is the real agent of change with the contender who seems to have the patent for it now, I believe last night in the debate, Hillary Clinton (I'm not gonna hide this. I prefer Ms. Clinton to all other Democrat hopefuls) should have tried to force Obama's hand by making him define the word "change" in the context of current US policies in the world and political conditions in Washington rather than a vacuum.

In regard to what "change" really means to Americans, Michael Kinsley makes some great points today in Ny Times:
The appeal of “change” as a cri de coeur is that it sounds dynamic without committing you to anything in particular. Any slogan shared by Barack Obama and Mitt Romney is going to be pretty meaningless. Not only can voters give it any meaning they wish, it can have different meanings for different voters. Best of all, being the candidate of change in some vague and meaningless way gives you cover to come out for stasis in most of the particulars. Americans say they want change, and think they want it, but there is room for doubt. The candidates of real, serious change, like Dennis Kucinich or Ron Paul, are going to be dropping like petals. And no wonder: they are scary. Change is scary.

Don't get me wrong. I respect Mr. Obama and believe he has run a magnificent campaign so far. But it is exactly for what has become the driving force behind his campaign that I can't warm up to him. To see what my point is, take a look at this brilliant piece by Tish Durkin, titled "What I hate about Obama:"

You know what I hate about Barack Obama? He's so bright and fresh and new. So young, so idealistic, so untainted by the dirty dealings of Washington. He may or may not get bogged down in all that policy crap, but he sure will inspire us... It's not just that he's handsome and smart and articulate and charismatic. It's that he's new. And just by being new, he can, without promising anything, promise to realize that sweet, recurrent American dream: the dream that after all these years of disillusionment, some untold chevalier is going to ride up to the Capitol on his white horse and, with a brandish of his boldness, kick Congress in its cronyism, and finally, you know, 'bring the country together' and 'get things done'... Like all rescue fantasies, this one has tremendous power - and tremendous problems when it has the sore luck to hit the light of day.

Read More.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Why I have been away

I don't know how many of you old readers of this blog still drop by here for updates. But if you still do I have some explaining to do, and of course some big apologies to offer.

As you might know, I launched my Persian blog in June and since then, I've been busy promoting it on the one hand, and improving my Persian structures and writing style on the other, since believe it or not, I now write and speak more comfortably in English than Persian and that's really bad for someone who wants to be fully bilingual in this business.

It's been a while, I know, and a lot has happened in regard to Iran this year, beginning with the first round of sanctions on Iran and ending with the unfortunate NIE report. The NIE was indeed an "own goal" as Zalmay Khalilzad, the us ambassador to the UN, put it bluntly. For now, it seems to have taken a little pressure off mullahs' back and added it to the Bush administration's. This is certainly not good news for a President who's entering the last year of his Presidency.

That's also bad news for all those who are advocating President Bush's policy of increasing pressure on the Islamic regime of Iran, including myself. I have never been for military strike on Iran, but was certainly hoping that the President, knowing he doesn't have much time left, would muster all his energy to continue to weaken the Iranian regime and provide further hope to those Iranians who have been struggling all these years to bring freedom and democracy to Iran. With this new NIE on Iran, I'm wondering if President Bush will be able to do anything more effective on Iran anymore, even if a third round of sanctions--a watered-down version most probably-- is approved in the Security Council anyway.

Contrary to what I believe, pundits like Fareed Zakaria and Thomas Friedman have long argued that the United States could produce a fierce debate within the regime by offering to normalize its relation with it and that Iran's expected refusal would convince Iranians that their government is responsible for Iran's foreign policy failure. The next President of the United States--specially if a Democrat--will most certainly pursue that path and upend president Bush's policy on Iran by extending a hand toward mullahs; the hand that the Iranian regime, given its ideological nature, will without a doubt bite--at least until the current supreme leader and his military clique are at the helm and have the final say on all matters. Will the US President have a plan B then? Or as Henry Kissinger puts it, will the US policy then "generate an analysis of the strategy to be pursued should Iran, in the end, choose ideology over reconciliation?"

Well, it all remains to be seen. For me, what matters is seeing a free, secular and democratic Iran at the end of the day. This dream seems pretty far-fetched at this point, but I do hope it'll happen someday.

As for myself, I certainly hope to be able to come back and write here much more often than before. I've been reading up on politics and history religiously in the past year and hope to add more insight to my commentaries, as I continue to learn more about the world's affairs.

Merry Christmas and have a great new year. Talk to you soon.