Every now and then, I find myself in the odd and unique position of admitting that I can be…GULP…wrong about something. This political season has been litered with such instances. So in the interest of fairness to the people against whom I’ve been launching attacks, this post is dedicated to you.
Exhibit A: Oprah Winfrey
For a while, I was pretty critical of media giant Oprah Winfrey for not using her platform as effectively as she could. I argued that she did not want to compromise her standing with her middle-aged, white female audience enough to address some critical and controversial issues. But when she openly endorsed Sen. Obama for President, she shut me up. True, I was particularly happy to see that we share similar tastes in candidates. But above all, I thought it was a bold and courageous move to openly profess support for a particular person/idealogy at the risk alienating her audience (I’d be naive not to think that at least half of her soccer mom audience was Republican.). Even if she endorsed John McCain or any other Republican, she also stood to turn off many of her Democratic-supporting viewers.
When I was reading my email this morning, a friend sent me a news story that took Oprah’s moxy to the next level. As it turns out, Oprah has decided not to have GOP VP candidate Sarah Palin on her show. In support her move, Oprah released the following statement:
At the beginning of this presidential campaign when I decided that I was going to take my first public stance in support of a candidate, I made the decision not to use my show as a platform for any of the candidates.
As expected, Palin supporters were quick to pounce on Oprah. Included in the assault were the good folks from the Florida Federation of Republican Women who ultimately decided to boycott the media queen. In response to Oprah’s decision, FFRW President Linda Ivell went on record saying: “We are deeply disappointed in Ms. Winfrey’s decision to sit out the greatest political moment in the history of women since suffrage.”
*As a side note, there are a few things I noticed here: (1) When calling Palin’s nomination “the greatest political moment…”, they conveniently left out Geraldine Ferraro’s 1984 nomination. (2) They also forgot to note that Oprah has been pretty true to her word about not providing political platforms to anyone. Obama was on her show twice. But his appearances were in 2005 and 2006; before he began his run for President. (3) Finally, they seemingly missed the part of Oprah’s statement where she clearly indicated that she would have Palin on the show after the election. But I digress…*
Back to my main point, I have to give Oprah her kudos. She took a stand on principle at the risk of turning many middle-aged white women (her largest demographic) against her. Based on some of the blogs and comment boards I’ve read, I’d say that many people have been on the offense against Ms. Winfrey. Nevertheless, she did her thing. To coin a phrase, this was definitely Field Negro behavior.
Exhibit B: Senator Hillary Clinton
I’ve apologized to Hillary before, and I’ll do it again. After a pretty nasty primary where I saw some disturbing actions and sentiments come to light, Hillary Clinton has since impressed me monumentally. First, there was her inspiring DNC speech where she essentially turned in her official concession while urging her supporters not to make this election about her. Politically motivated or not, this was a big and selfless move on her part.
Just when I thought that Hillary couldn’t do anything to top her DNC performance, she impressed me once again. Last week, Clinton cancelled a scheduled appearance at an anti-Iran protest after she received notification that Palin was also going to be there. On the surface, this may sound like a petty issue. The Clinton camp ‘said’ that they were trying to avoid being “pitted against” Palin, but I think there’s more to this. Hillary is one smart cookie. I mean, she’s a Clinton for Heaven’s sake. She knew (as I suspect most Dumbocrats didn’t) that if she and Palin were seen in public forum together seemingly on one accord, the Republicans would have ran with that all the way to the White House. It’s no secret that the GOP is playing on the stupidity emotions of many Hillary supporters. So to put Clinton and Palin together under one roof would surely send a message that the two are interwoven; even when their policies are completely the opposite of one another. Hillary hasn’t said as much, but I think that’s exactly what she was thinking when she turned down the invitation.
On top of that, Hillary has modified one of her anti-McCain zingers in an attempt to further accentuate her philosophy:
As I’ve said before, she’s pulled some fouls during the primaries. But she has since played team ball, even when Obama made what I think was a bad mistake in not adding her to the ticket. That deserves a tip of my hat.
OK. There you have it. It’s done. After swallowing my pride and abandoning principles over which I was once so resolute, I’ve done it. I’ve apologized. But it wasn’t easy. This being sorry nonsense is for the birds.