James McPherson's Media & Politics Blog

Observations of a patriotic progressive historian, media critic & former journalist

  • By the author of The Conservative Resurgence and the Press: The Media’s Role in the Rise of the Right and of Journalism at the End of the American Century, 1965-Present. A former journalist with a Ph.D. in journalism, history and political science, McPherson is a past president of the American Journalism Historians Association and a board member for the Northwest Alliance for Responsible Media.

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Archive for June 27th, 2008

Kumbaya Dems

Posted by James McPherson on June 27, 2008

As I predicted last month, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are quickly mending fences, and their camps seem to be coming together. In typically snide fasion, Fox News titled the joint appearance of the former rivals “Kiss and Make Up” on its opening page today (right under the headline “Rodents Weaken, Bust Mississippi River Levee,” and who knows rodents better than Fox?), and at the bottom of its story offered a link to “a video flashback of the tiffs Obama and Clinton have had over the past several months.” But if Fox is testy, the Democrats must be doing something right.

Obama is helping Clinton retire the massive debt that he helped her accumulate. Obviously his choice to help her pay her bills–and to encourage his supporters to help her, as well–is justified for multiple reasons. Not only will the fundraising help build party unity and perhaps improve his standing among embittered Clinton supporters, frankly, Obama owes her a great deal.

He owes her because her relatively lengthy and spirited campaign built the party base and made Obama a better candidate. No surprise here, since I predicted that would be the case, just as I noted that most Clinton supporters would end up voting for Obama–which, despite a wishful story from Fox News and predictions from a few pundits, polls suggest they will. Even Bill is climbing on board and will work for Obama, despite earlier problems between them, as other Clinton faithful do the same.

All in all, the right steps have been taken toward unity. And if they can hold it together, using one another’s strengths, Democrats will have good reason to be singing the second verse of Kumbaya (“Someone’s laughing, Lord, Kumbaya…”) in November, while Republicans may be singing the third (“Someone’s crying, Lord, Kumbaya…”). For now, Dems are practicing the fourth verse: (“Someone’s praying, Lord, Kumbaya…”). Too bad the once-classic song has itself pretty much become parody, like much of American politics.


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