My recent Silicon Graffiti video described the rapid ascension of Barack Obama as this year’s JFK stand-in; but who knew that he’d be standing alone so quickly, as the Wall Street Journal’s Dan Henninger notes:
Brand-name Democrats, such as various members of the Kennedy aristocracy, went over, calculating it might be easier to push the party forward with Obama’s lightness of being than the Clintons’ boxcars of baggage.
The periodic ideals of young America we know about.
Even as they watched Barack win, pundits and reporters were agog that a one-term, black-American senator from Illinois could have such an effect. This pickup-team coalition of idealists and pols, led by a virtual Luke Skywalker, was on the brink of pushing the Clinton empire over the cliff. It made the Clintons crazy.
This week we learned the limit of a dream in American politics. At Barack Obama’s darkest hour, not one prominent ally came forward to support him. Everyone abandoned Everyman.
No prominent black clergyman came forth to make even the simple point that Jeremiah Wright’s notion of the “black church” is but one point on a spectrum of faith. Rev. Wright, now written off as a virtual nut case, got more support from black clergymen than did Obama.
Barack Obama was bleeding by Monday and needed cover. Where, when he could have used them, were Obama’s oh-so-famous endorsers: Jesse Jackson, Ted Kennedy, Oprah, John Kerry, Chris Dodd, Patrick Leahy, Tom Daschle, Amy Klobuchar, Claire McCaskill, Jay Rockefeller, John Lewis, Toni Morrison, Roger Wilkins, Eric Holder, Robert Reich, Ted Sorenson, Alice Walker, David Wilhelm, Cornel West, Clifford Alexander, Donald McHenry, Patricia Wald, Newton Minow?
Where were all the big-city mayors who went over to the Obama camp: Chicago’s Richard Daley, Cleveland’s Frank Jackson, Atlanta’s Shirley Franklin, Washington’s Adrian Fenty, Newark’s Cory Booker, Baltimore’s Sheila Dixon?
It isn’t hard for big names to get on talk TV to make a point. Any major op-ed page would have stopped the presses to print a statement of support from Ted Kennedy or such for the senator. None appeared. Call it profiles in gopher-holing.
Blogs and Web sites are overflowing with how this meltdown is largely of Barack Obama’s own making. What difference does that make? He is not running for class president; he’s running for the presidency of the United States. Even at the crudest level of political calculation and cowardice, there’s a point in a presidential race when a candidate’s supporters are all in. We passed that point weeks ago. It’s him or her.
Analysts and historians will spend years sorting through the lessons of this most bizarre of all presidential campaigns. The Obama desertion points in a few directions.
Not the least of which to the brutal internecine struggle that new media analyst and Hillary supporter Jeff Jarvis describes.
Related: Protein Wisdom describes “How the establishment media has smeared black churchgoers“. Foreshadowing this week’s events was Bill Moyers’ interview with Wright, a topic that Brent Bozell explores in his latest op-ed.