View from the Hill: Obama vs. Clinton
I don't normally put hidden messages in my stories (i.e., using the first letter of each paragraph to send cries for help), but I did insert one in an Ideas piece on Saturday.
Some people have spotted it - Deputy Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff clearly favours Barack Obama in the Democratic race; Bob Rae, the former Ontario premier, seems to lean toward Clinton. Or at the very least, Rae's not as impressed with Obama as some Liberals are.
Actually, this Obama-Clinton divide is turning into a bit of a political Rorshach test for me when I'm talking to Liberals. I'm finding that the political romantics are Obama supporters. Ajax-Pickering MP Mark Holland, who actually went to an Obama rally in Nevada earlier this year, waxes lyrical about Obama. (Here's a link to something Holland posted on Facebook about his experience.
London North Centre MP Glen Pearson is also an Obama fan.
Those who are more politically hardened, the more battle-scarred Liberals, lean to Clinton. They like her practical realism. They like her emphasis on policy. They like that she's been through the wars of her husband's years in office and emerged to run her own campaign.
The "romantic" Liberals - some call them naive - are fans of risk-taking in politics and believe you can survive mistakes. The realist Liberals - perhaps with wisdom borne of experience - are more risk averse. Anyway, it's probably too simple a distinction, but so far, it seems to hold.
Still on this same theme, Liberal leader Stephane Dion was at a Star editorial board meeting on Friday and he was very careful not to declare any favourite in the Democratic race.
He did say, however, he was impressed by how globalization had turned this race into an international affair; how many people are following this race as though it was their own.
To take that just a little further, isn't it interesting how the latest campaign "gaffes" or missteps for Obama have been international in scope? There's the spot of bother he had with Canada, and then there was campaign adviser Samantha Power, talking to The Scotsman, who referred off the record to Clinton as a "monster."
I'm sure there's a master's journalism or politics thesis in there somewhere, about how off-the-record comments beyond the U.S. borders have been Obama's major headache.
By the way, Samantha Power is well acquainted with Ignatieff, from their days at Harvard together. Here's a link where readers can click to hear several presentations/seminars they have done together.