Sunday, March 02, 2008


So I didn't watch Saturday Night Live last night, but when I read that Hillary Clinton and Rudy Giuliani were surprise guests, I thought, "Oh -- Tina Fey's dream ticket."

Then I was reading Frank Rich, who's effectively declared the presidential race over -- McCain is too much like Hillary, old and cranky and tied to the war, and it's inevitable that any attacks on Obama will fall flat, thus Obama will win. Wow! That was easy!

...The good news for the Democrats so far is that whatever Mr. McCain's sporadic overlap with liberals, he is emulating almost identically the suicidal Clinton campaign against Mr. Obama. He has mimicked Mrs. Clinton's message and rhetorical style, her tone-deaf contempt for Mr. Obama's cultural appeal, and her complete misreading of just how politically radioactive the war in Iraq remains despite its migration from the front page....

What repeatedly goes unrecognized by all of Mr. Obama's opponents is that his political Kryptonite is the patriotism he offers in lieu of theirs. His upbeat notion of a yes-we-can national mobilization for the common good, however saccharine, speaks to the pride and idealism of Americans who are bone-weary of a patriotism defined exclusively by flag lapel pins, the fear of terrorism and the prospect of perpetual war....

Is that why McCain trails Obama by single digits in every poll -- except the ones (e.g., the L.A. Times poll) in which he's beating Obama?

I still fear the anti-Obama backlash hinted at by what's been going on on SNL the past two weeks:

...Last week's skit featured CNN moderators fawning over Mr. Obama; Saturday night's had the NBC panelists, Brian Williams and Tim Russert, doing the same, with Mr. Russert laying it on thick as he described Mr. Obama's eloquence.

"I get it Tim, he's eloquent," the faux Hillary said.

...Messrs. Williams and Russert continued to gang up on the SNL Hillary -- and when she complained, they mimed playing the violins.

The actor playing Mr. Russert ... went on to press Mrs. Clinton to pronounce the name of not only Russia's likely next president (as happened in last week's debate) but also Nigeria's foreign affairs minister and Sri Lanka's deputy ambassador to the United Nations.

Mr. Russert would then name the officials and ask Mr. Obama to name them....

Just love for Obama in the skit. No Farrakhan questions, I gather.

(Oh, and for good measure, I see that there was "TV Funhouse" cartoon on last night's show that had featured Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson and showed Jackson getting zapped in by an electrified fence dog collar. Interesting timing.)

Of course, let's not forget that when Hillary was the front-runner, a year ago, there was a preposterous SNL sketch that depicted Chris Matthews fawning over her ("You're great!" he said repeatedly). That's liberal humor -- we hate it when the other guys are in office, but we love mocking anyone on our side who can beat them. We want to think we're too cool to fall for our own politicians.

There's going to be that, and there's going to be lingering resentment of Obama from fervent Clinton supporters, and I don't know what else (the usual longing for Daddy)? There may not be much of this, but I still think it could well be enough, added to the Republicans coming home to McCain, and the moderates who never left, to put him over the top.

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