Monday, February 18, 2008

Ah, Talent!

News flash. I may be in love with a curly headed twenty six year old Venezuelan conductor named Gustavo Dudamel, who was featured on this week’s “60 Minutes”. Until nine years ago he played the violin and then he decided he wanted to conduct—which he had been doing in his living room from the time he was ten years old. His father played the sax in a salsa band, and he had thought about doing that but his arms were too short. Oh be still my heart. What a nice distraction from the blah blah blah of the political campaigns.

Having now revealed my weakness for young talented adorable young men – Jordan is always embarrassed when I meet one and say, “you are an adorable young man”, I will confess that I’m pretty crazy about Frank Rich, or at least the way he writes. What does one thing have to do with the other— only that I am a sucker for talent. It hardly matters what the field. However, I must admit I am likely to be more attracted to someone in the arts rather than the sciences, (with no personal slight meant for my former husband the good doctor). I mean, I could list my crushes, Mike Peters, Dave Barry, Larry Irving, Tom Oliphant, Jack Germond—not necessarily young but truly talented and adorable. And if they happen to be politically astute – again the area of politics, (cartoons, satire, editorial, just thinking), the attraction only grows. I’ll try to contain myself for the duration of this blob, but in order to do this I will need to find a distraction – so how about those Presidential campaigns?

One of the issues that Frank Rich addressed in his column today was white guys and John McCain. He talked about how McCain in Virginia, like Hillary in Iowa, was surrounded by old white guys. (To her credit, Hillary had some old white women. I’m old so I can say this. Kind of like an ethnic person telling ethnic jokes about their own ethnic group, or maybe not ). When we watched the returns last Tuesday, we commented on just this. But we thought it looked like the people standing next to him were not only old, they were likely to take their last breath before the end of the event. Whew, I don’t mean to be unkind—but you know how we feel about the truth here at We’re just sayin... It is essential to the well being of all who depend on us for their facts.

Anyway, speaking of the truth, all the candidates are surrounded by white guys – not necessarily old, but certainly white. At least those are the people who are calling the shots. Don’t get me wrong, some of my best friends are white guys, but it does get a bit tiresome to those of us who may be equally talented, but not of the male persuasion. So now you’re thinking, Maggie Williams isn’t a white guy. And you would be correct, sir. She is not. But she is one person and in case you hadn’t noticed, she is not the person we see on the Sunday shows, nor is she the person quoted about super delegates for her campaign—those people would be—you guessed it, white guys. I hope I’m not about to go off on another feminist tear, but it does get old (no slight intended, some of my best friends are also aged).

Let’s get back to what smart people say about the campaigns. Well, let’s hold on that for a minute and talk about Senator Schumer with Tim Russert this morning. Talk about ridiculous. He is committed to Hillary and needs to advocate for her. I get that, but what I don’t get is how Senator Schumer has become Ann Coulter—not in his politics but certainly in his rhetorical technique. It’s the bigger the lie the easier to deny. (What a clever rhyme. What a talent I am ). Anyway, Russert quoted from what the Clinton campaign agreed to about Super Delegates and penalizing the Michigan and Florida parties, last September, then what they said last week and there was clearly a 180 degree difference. And Schumer just talked right through it. He kept saying something like, “we will all be reasonable about any decisions, but we cannot deny all those delegates their rightful place at the convention”. Excuse me, but the Democratic committees in Michigan and Florida knew that if they moved their primaries the delegates wouldn’t count. They made the decision to go ahead and move the date despite the consequences.

We’re not sayin that whatever the solution , it is not uncomplicated. Double negatives are always confusing. So try this. The solution is not simple. We know this. We’re just sayin, that for Schumer to dismiss the consequences as not to be considered because they shouldn’t be considered, seems to us like circuitous if not disingenuous, rhetoric. Very Ann Coulter but without the venom (and a very different hair line). And not very smart from an elected official—who also happens to be a white guy (nothing personal, I’m married to one).

So, are Senator Clinton’s white guys worse than Senator Obama’s white guys? I don’t pretend to know anymore. But Senator Clinton’s white guys (who are not the genius strategists who have been taking the campaign down the road to defeat) appear to be apologists for the decisions made, rather than advocates for the candidate. Perhaps the reasons for this have to do with the fact that Senator Obama’s victories were unexpected rather than her defeats, which were surprises.

Where do I go from here? More importantly, where does the Democratic Party go from here. First of all, our candidates need to seat other than white males around the table where the decisions are made. Decisions need to be made by a group of people who look and think like America because the person we elect must understand not only how to govern America, but America’s position in the world. I just don’t get why it’s so hard to reach out to find competent qualified women and minorities to play significant roles in the campaign decision making process. We’re around and available and we probably have computers and cell phones— and you won’t need a 26 year old curly locked musical genius to find us. We’re just sayin..Iris.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I won't tell David about your new love.

Just between you and me - another white guy. OK

W for white guy.

Really I can't help it. I was born that way. Sorry.