Monday, February 16, 2009

Rivals Redux: Clinton and McCain

The Lincolnesque concept is meeting with iffy success on the 200th anniversary of his birth. Hillary Clinton goes to Asia reaching out for the Obama Administration, while John McCain is on talk shows lashing out against his former rival.

On her first trip as Secretary of State, Clinton is visiting Japan, China, South Korea and Indonesia to discuss trade, prevention of nuclear weapons proliferation and reversing global warming, but the economic meltdown is at the top of her list. Her first stop is Japan, where the economy is sinking even faster than our own.

But the other candidate for Obama's team of rivals is traveling no further than Washington TV studios to blast the stimulus bill the President will sign tomorrow, calling it "generational theft" that is "laying a huge deficit on future generations of Americans.”

Instead of reverting to the pre-2008 McCain who earned bipartisan respect, the GOP standard bearer is aligning himself with party lightweights like House Whip Eric Cantor, who elegantly describes the stimulus as "a stinker."

The contrast between the McCain of yore, who originally opposed Bush tax cuts for the rich, was underscored on Meet the Press yesterday by journalist Ron Brownstein pointing out the Arizonan's support this year of a huge tax cut for the upper brackets: "For John McCain to talk about--who voted for that alternative of a $2.5 trillion tax cut over the next decade--to talk about generational theft, I mean, pot, meet kettle."

The irony here is that McCain, who has experienced his last hurrah as a presidential candidate, is in a position to revert to the centrist admired by independents and Democrats but still seems yoked to the Sarah Palin wing of the party that brought him down in November.

The most obvious generational theft here is how John McCain will be remembered in history.

No comments: