After Obama’s decision to curtail his role in the endless pseudo-debate schedule, how can the Democratic front runners give voters what they really need to decide who is best suited to clean up the Bush mess and lead the country forward?
Despite what polls show now, the choice between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama will be close and crucial, and the two of them have an opportunity to get beyond canned campaigning and set an example to offset the politics of personal destruction that decided the last two presidential elections.
They would be serving their country, their party and, ultimately, their own interests by using a fraction of the millions they have amassed to buy TV time for a real debate of their differences--no moderators, videos or other gimmicks--about the war in Iraq, health care, immigration policy and the tension between homeland security and individual rights, among other subjects.
Conventional wisdom might argue against Clinton’s doing it because she is ahead in the polls, but conventional wisdom has never encompassed a Presidential contest between a woman and a man of color.
Clinton and Obama are members of the same party who have more in common than the manufactured sound bites and campaign gotchas indicate, and they may very well end up on a ticket together.
Why not provide an example of grownup politics for a country exhausted by the idiocy of show-business campaigning? Why not show what politics can be rather than what it has become? Why not give their supporters--and all voters--a sample of the kind of change they want?
They don’t have to be Lincoln and Douglas but, amid all the
madness to come in the next fifteen months, Clinton and Obama could show us some sanity that would eventually serve them and all Americans well. At the very least, it would provide a contrast to the Republican mud fight that is sure to come.