Wednesday, March 05, 2008

The Clinton Rules for the Obamas

-- by Dave

The Boston Globe's Joan Vennochi -- who has a history of clutching her pearls over the thought of Democrats standing up to Republicans, and offering sanctimonious advice that's simultaneously bad -- weighed in this week on Michelle Obama:
If Michelle Obama isn't careful, she could get the Hillary Clinton treatment, circa 1992.

... Bill Clinton may have a tough time trying to define his role as "first laddie," but Michelle Obama also walks a delicate line. Smart, tough political wives like Nancy Reagan, Barbara Bush, and Laura Bush are acceptable; in public, they are adjuncts to the husband elected by the voters, even as they wield power behind the scenes. As first lady, Hillary Clinton openly crossed the line into politics and policy, often to harsh reviews.

Michelle Obama can expect more scrutiny from the right, from the sentiments expressed in her senior thesis -- "I will always be a black first and a student second" -- to her push for more African American faculty and students at Harvard Law School. So far, she isn't intimidated.

I hate to burst Vennochi's bubble, but both Obamas are going to get the Clinton treatment. It happened to Al Gore and John Kerry as well. And we've already seen it in action this week. It's really just getting underway now, but expect it to be operating at full tilt by midsummer.

What we're confronted with is a Beltway media mindset that is systemically hostile to Democrats while simultaneously coddling (and propping up) conservatives. It's just a fact of life, and an ugly one. And until self-hating "liberals" come to grips with that reality, they're doomed to irrelevance.

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