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 April, 2008


 Hillary Clinton Wins Pennsylvania Primary

Hillary wins, we survive
By Al Owens

The people of Pennsylvania have spoken - now shut-up! (I’m not aiming that in the direction of the voters, but at those incessant robo-callers)

This past week Hillary Clinton must have called me 50 times. Barack Obama 60. Bill Clinton and Michelle Obama about 10 times each. Ed Rendell and Bob Casey each called me a number of times.

I hung up on all of them.

I wonder who really listens to those canned messages. Does anybody REALLY believe the Clintons or the Obamas would really call them at home and ask them for their vote? That is, unless you’re a superdelegate who hasn’t committed yet.

The only message I’d actually listen to would be one from Socks the Cat Clinton. But he never called. He had better things to do.

Instead, about 20 minutes before the polls closed on Tuesday night, Barack Obama put in a final plea. (I didn’t tell him – or it – I’d voted about 12 hours earlier)

What’s even more maddening is the fact that you can’t gain control of your telephone line until they disconnect their recorded message on the other end.

Is there anything more annoying than one of those robo-calls?

Well, I do know something even more annoying. Those free associating, self-important, cringe producing pundits whom I’ve developed a real antipathy for these past seven weeks.

If I hear the phrase, “Why can’t Obama close the deal,” one more time, I’m going to scream.

If I see another panel assembled to offer a frame-by-frame dissection of an Obama hand gesture, I’m going shoot my television in the on/off button.

Here’s a case in point. The morning after the Pennsylvania primary, Mike Barnicle, a writer for the Boston Herald, was trying to explain how Obama “didn’t close the deal.”

Within the very same sentence regarding the supposed Obama flag-pin flap – he claimed the recent debate question about it was, “bogus,” but only a few words later he claimed that it was a question that “needed to be asked.” Well, which was it?
Barnicle’s problem was that somebody asked him a question and he felt compelled to sound like he knew the answer.

I don’t care what the demographics are in Bucks County either, despite the pundit’s desperate need to fill time.

Who are these people who believe there should be some correlation between the left-handed residents of that county and the population of field mice there?
And, too, the non-stop polling, none of it reflecting the reality of the eventual vote, was of little value either.

That’s because there are polling organizations that seem to spring up overnight. One poll, which seemed to reflect Obama and Clinton were tied during one week, showed Clinton was up by 20 points the next.
I think that was the weekly Ronald McDonald/Crack House poll.

Now it’s on to Indiana and North Carolina. I pity those folks. For the next few weeks, they’ll have their states under a demographic microscope – and it won’t be pretty.

They might be forced to witness hand-to-hand combat between Clinton and Obama in diners and bowling alleys and at truck stops.

They’ll be sitting through so many political ads on TV there won’t be enough time for any programs in those places.

There will be lengthy gum-beating about who is “going negative,” or who is “staying above the fray.” There will be even lengthier analysis about how to “go negative,” while at the same time “staying above the fray.”

North Carolinians had better get ready. Their nose hairs are about to get explored.

Indiana will have reporters crawling all over the place. And its residents will be notified that their state is “a microcosm of America.”

Perhaps they won’t even remember that every state where there’s been a primary or a caucus has been called that.

Pennsylvania was given that title for nearly two months. We got it on loan from the last “microcosms of America” - Ohio, Mississippi and Texas.

Right now, I’m pretty pleased that we can go back to just being Pennsylvania again. You know, “Philadelphia on one end, Pittsburgh on the other, with Alabama in the middle.” I never thought I’d feel relieved being reminded I live in a state that’s been defined that way until now. But, sadly I do feel relief after what we’ve just gone through.

Meanwhile, the Republicans keep talking about some guy named McClain, or McCain or something.