So a whole bunch of bipartisn politicans are going to meet in Oklahoma to talk about how the next leader of our country should be a real uniter. So which of the current candidates will they pick? I’m thinking the decision will narrow to McCain and Obama. Let’s hope McCain’s pandering to special interests moves that choice to Obama.
There’s a whole bunch of talk out there about the meeting on January 7th at the University of Oklahoma, hosted by their President, former Senator David Boren. (One of the members of our local Drinking Liberally Chapter this last year is there in Norman, and I’d love to hear from him.) The meeting is being attended by a whole bunch of retired political folks who have real bipartisan credibility. William Cohne, for instance, a former Republican Senator, served under Bill Clinton. Others include Sam Nunn (D), Michael Bloomberg (R), Charles Robb (D), Chuck Hagel (R), Bill Brock (R), Gary Hart (D), Christy Whitman (R), etc. This is a high-powered bunch, though I’m not hyping it here as a bunch that could possibly start a third party, as David Broder seems to be hyping. Still, I recently read Orson Scott Card’s book Empire, which gives us a dystopic view concerning our very partisan nation. Oh, sure, I have arguments with Card, but his warning about how ugly our partisan politics have become rings true.
The point of the conference at OU is to push the current Presidential candidates to commit to a bipartisan approach to running this country, and I think what they’re saying is that they need to see a commitment by the current presidential candidates to appointing bipartisan cabinets. I’ll take David Boren at his word that this is not a Michael Bloomberg for President convention. As reported by the Norman Transcript:
‘Our political system is, at the least, badly bent and many are concluding that it is broken at a time where America must lead boldly at home and abroad,’ according to the invitation letter signed by Boren and Nunn. ‘Partisan polarization is preventing us from uniting to meet the challenges that we must face if we are to prevent further erosion of America’s power of leadership and example.
‘The next president of the United States will be faced with what has been described as a gathering storm both at home and abroad. Serious near term challenges include the lack of a national strategy to deal with our fiscal challenges, our educational challenges, our energy challenges, our environmental challenges, as well as the dangerous turbulence triggered by the current financial crisis,’ the letter states.
Former New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, a potential independent candidate for president, is among the invitees. However, Boren said the meeting was not an attempt to bring attention to a potential Bloomberg candidacy.
‘Bloomberg is just an invitee,’ Boren said Sunday afternoon. ‘It’s not a Bloomberg for president meeting.’
I might just now speak with a bit of pride about my Okie background. My parents met in Oklahoma, and we lived there for a time when I was very young. I remember them campaigning for a Republican when I was young, a former football coach, the legendary Bud Wilkinson. (I’m a big football fan, and an Oklahoma fan as a result.) I also am a collector of the art of Oklahoma artist Charles Banks Wilson (Hey, there’s one of my pieces on this site!) And I continually tell my wife about how the Broadway play Oklahoma was all about liberal values, of folks trying to get along even with class differences in the way. Enough about my Oklahoma roots, though. This post is about how the conference where a bunch of folks in the political center want to sway this year’s election, and about how they’ve got a litmus test ‘ this year’s candidates, in order to get the support of this group of bipartisan politicans, must commit to a plan for a bipartisan administration. So which of the candidates can do so? Which of these candidates among both parties might best suit the standards of this bipartian group? I’ll go through a list of a few candidates and see. First the Republican side:
Mitt Romney: Here’s a guy who has switched positions on almost every cause held dear by liberals. Choice, immigration, the War in Iraq, civil right for gay citizens. The list of flip flopping by Mitt Romney is long. I can find complaining about those flip flops from both the rabid conservative and the liberal sides of the aisle. No, Mitt Romney will not be the choice of the Oklahoma conference, not by a long shot.
Mike Huckabee: Can anyone really believe that Huckabee will appoint Democrats to key positions. Yeah, Romney accuses Huckabee of being liberal, in a ‘tax and spend’ sense, but Huckabee has a history of demonizing the Clinton Administration in order to climb the political ladder, by pardoning a murderer, in this case. No, Mike Huckabee will not be the choice here.
Rudy Giuliani: Rudy might seem to be a good candidate for bipartisn government, but it just ain’t going to happen. Everyone on the Democrat side has seen Rudy for what he is, a shrill spokesperson whose only message is 9/11, 9/11, 9/11. For a real Democrat to join his administration he or she would have to agree to torture, and that just ain’t going to happen.
John McCain: Here’s the only man among the Republican candidates who might be able to attract Democrats to serve in his Administration. After all, McCain allied with Democrats on the immigration issue, and his stances are a whole lot like Chuck Hagel’s. Still, the most important issue on which John McCain has allied with Democrats is turning sour, that of campaign finance reform, as revealed by a Washington Post article today. No, McCain is not to be trusted in the ‘straight talk’ arena, not anymore.
Hillary Clinton: It is possible that Hillary Clinton could appoint Republicans to her cabinet, but it just is not likely that she could garner support from the whacked out folks in this country who think she is the center of a whole bunch of really crazy conspiracy theories. Come on, folks, do you really think Hillary Clinton can garner support from the brainwashed folks who think she had Vince Foster killed. Please understand I do NOT think Hillary had any role in that incident, but there’s enough whack jobs on the right who do. Scratch Hillary from this list for sure.
John Edwards: Mr. Edwards is the endorsed candidate of Allspinzone. That does not make him the candidate of the Oklahoma bipartisan group, that’s for sure. John Edwards is far too liberal for the guys meeting in Norman. John Edwards is a trial lawyer. I’ll stick by my lovely wife on this one, a centrist Republican. She’s not about to go for a plaintiff’s lawyer, and I’ll go with most Republicans not going to a plaintiff’s lawyer, certainly not those meeting in Norman, OK.
Barack Obama: Here’s the guy on the Democratic side who fits the mold of a bipartisn uniter. At the very least, he has talked that game all along. Sure, he’s garnered support of the woman who Rush Limbaugh sees as the epitome of liberal values, Oprah Winfrey, but Obama has shown that he’s bipartisan, though that stance has not been tested in any real sense. We’ll need to see him get some support of Republicans for him to be the choice of the group in Oklahoma.
Hmm. This could be exciting.