Monday, January 26, 2009

Hillibrand and Burris, Hillary and Obama

A year ago, Americans were excited by the breakthrough of electing a woman or an African-American for president. Now, after the euphoria of Obama's inauguration, we have the sad spectacle of selecting a woman and an African-American senator for all the wrong reasons.

Turning back the demographic clock, here is the peerless Rod Blagojevich in the media spotlight, after choosing Roland Burris for racial reasons alone, bragging that he had considered Oprah for the spot.

And here we have Kirsten Hillibrand, with all of two years in Washington, chosen by Governor David Paterson for being a woman and living in upstate New York, lunching at the Waldorf with Hillary Clinton and burbling, “It’s thrilling. You will see me everywhere in the state. You will see me wherever you want to see me.”

In November 2010, voters in Illinois and New York will pick the person to represent them in the US Senate (and govern their states as well). Until then, they will have to live with the choices of a future felon and an accidental chief executive who got his job because a predecessor failed to keep his fly zipped.

Is this a great country or what?

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