The circus….

that was the Pennsylvania Primary has left Philadelphia, and is headed toward Indiana and North Carolina.
That’s good. Better them than us.
I enjoyed Pennsylvania’s moment in the sun as much as the next person, but I’m so over it now. There were too many “gotcha” questions. Too many signs. Too much he said/she said.
But not enough questions asked like “Both of your health care plans appear to be fiscally irresponsible when you consider our current deficit. Do you have a plan B or if not, what program is on the chopping block? HUD? Homeland Security?”
But that said, there’s a lot of stuff that was instructive about that six-week long slog. Such as……
(a) We media types haven’t learned a damned thing from the 2000 Presidential Election. Those that called the race for Hillary Clinton with one percent of the vote in got really lucky. If Philly and the suburbs had really come out for Barack Obama, we’d have seen some “Dewey Defeats Truman” style headlines in the papers this morning. I think that there should be some rule that says that you can’t call the election until at least 20 percent of the vote is in. That’s a slightly more accurate picture.
(b) Anyone that thought that Clinton was going to drop out of the race depending on how Pennsylvania went for her needs to send me what they’re smoking because it’s obviously some good shit.
She wasn’t going anywhere, no matter what the voters said. The reason: It’s no longer about winning the popular vote and getting the nomination in the conventional way. I think that she knows that route is impossible. The idea now is to make Obama appear so unelectable that when she pulls the pin on the superdelegate grenade, she can do so with a clear conscience.
So if you have any friends in Indiana or North Carolina, tell them to expect this kind of stuff instead of actual issue discussions.
(c) It doesn’t matter if you’re a biracial child, have a degree from Harvard, and can hold a crowd with your voice. In America, if you look black, you are black. Now don’t get me wrong. I give all kinds of props to Obama for attempting the whole post-racial campaign thing. But you’re dealing with people who have no understanding of the Black Church, liberation theology, or even the fact that the only things that you can hunt with an AK-47 are people. That’s a battle that you’re going to lose every time.
Like I keep telling folks, the story isn’t that Obama lost. It’s that he, as a black man running for statewide office in Pennsylvania, came within 10 points. (or nine if you’re talking to the Associated Press.)
(d) “Street Money” is an anachronism that seems to only exist in Philadelphia. You can’t get around it. This city resists change like few places do. If you get the nomination Sen. Obama, you might want to remember that. You can say that you won’t pay it, but the college kids may have finals in November. I’m just sayin’…
(e) There needs to be more diversity in political coverage, period. Sure, you get the occasional Black, Latino, Asian, Native American gay or female pundit. But they’re only brought on to talk about their individual community or issue. There should be more diversity in the day-to-day coverage of these campaigns.
I think that most so-called minority journalists are intelligent enough to talk or write about anything placed in front of them. Hell, if someone had brought me on to talk about the primary, I could have told them point blank that Obama had a snowball’s chance in hell in Western Pennsylvania, Central Pennsylvania, and parts of the five-county Philadelphia region because of those municipalities’s attitudes toward people of color.
For example, I worked in a newsroom in Bucks County where the word “nigger” was tossed out in the same way that someone would say “pass the salt” despite the executive editor’s best efforts. And don’t get me started on the fact that a friend of mine got literally run out of Berks County for daring to enforce the nation’s fair housing laws.
In other words, “bitter” was the tip of the freakin’ iceberg.
But now, everyone is gone, and it’s all over.
While the Pennsylvania Primary was a pain in the ass, it did have some good moments. I got to see some journalists that I only see on television. I have more notepads, and free Tastykakes than anyone ought to. I got to hang out with one of my favorite journalists during the debate. And I also got to help one of the students here at Temple get her first professional journalistic clip. (I love being a professor!)
The only thing that would have made it perfect would have been a chance to see Jon Stewart up close. He’s a cutie! I’ve always had this thing for handsome, smart-assed, Jewish men.


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