Tuesday, February 26, 2008

When We Were Presidents

When We Were Presidents:
The Untold Story of the Debate in the Buckeye State

The backdrop is eerily familiar. We are a country at war now just as we are a country at war then. It's becoming increasingly apparent to the populous that it's a war that should never have been waged in the first place; and the people are looking for a hero. The people are yearning for a hero....the people are creating a hero.

A brother (in desperate need of a haircut) with a knack for capturing the moment paints a Picasso of a narrative. He places this epic battle in context and tells this tale like no one else has.

Ali vs. Foreman, the rumble in the jungle....

Obama vs. Clinton, the debate in the Buckeye state

The Contenders

The similarities are mind boggling. Obama is considered the talker; Clinton, the fighter.

Just like Ali, the former's experience is oft-overshadowed by his rhetoric. There's the Lugar-Obama Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Conventional Weapons Threat Reduction Act, the 2007 Government Ethics Bill, the Government Transparency Act, and several hundred bills that have been written and co-sponsored by the Senator. See Congressional Record (www.thomas.gov)

Indeed, his record is impressive and he dances around opponents with his charisma and gift of oratory.

When he announced he was running for President, the critics were skeptical of Obama's chances. Early in the race, his statement on Pakistan gave credence to those who believed he simply wasn't ready. A flurry of criticism ensued.

"He'd let people pummel him...It was as if he wanted to train his body to receive these messages of punishment and absorb them faster than any other fighter could absorb them."

-Norman Mailer on Muhammad Ali's training regimen

Clinton, on the other hand, was heavily favored by all.

"The time may come to say goodbye to Muhammad Ali. Because very honestly, I don't think he can beat George Foreman...Maybe he can pull off a miracle. But against George Foreman...so strong, so fearless? Against George Foreman who does away with his opponents one after another in less than three rounds?"

-Howard Cosell

Hilary has gone up against the Republican machine and her tough exterior is evidence of it. She packs a punch that can decapitate an opponent and she isn't afraid to throw it. Her record and experience in the ring are equally, if not more, impressive than Obama. As first lady, she was quite active in public policy issues, but her experience as Senator of New York solidified her as a lead-contender in this fight for the title.

Like Mobuto Sese-Seko, the renowned dictator of Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo), George Bush, the closest thing the United States has had to a dictator, would not be present at the fight.

Foreman arrived at the Kinshasa national airport with a German shepherd- the same canine that the Belgians used on the Congolese.

Clinton arrived in South Carolina with Bob Johnson- the same canine that brought us BET, a network I pray for on a regular basis.

In both cases, this didn't go over well with the people.

Still, there were other similarities. Kinshasa had James Brown, California had Stevie Wonder (both of whom were helped back on stage when they fell/jumped off).

In reality a victory for either fighter would be monumental. But the implications of an Ali/Obama victory would be historic.

Fight Night

"They said this day would never come."

Round 1 was Iowa. Obama came out swinging and emerged victorious.

But after Round 2 (New Hampshire) Clinton returned to the drivers seat and the situation began to look grim. We were all left wondering the same thing....How long can Obama withstand the rib-shattering shots from Clinton?

The Rope-a-dope tactic confused many of us.

In response to the claim that he wasn't always opposed to the war:

"This, I think, is one of the things that I think has happened throughout the campaign. There's a set of assertions made by Senator Clinton and her husband that are not factually accurate"

In response to the Reagan gut punch:

"That is simply not true....While I was working on those streets watching those folks see their jobs shipped overseas....You were on the board of Walmart"

His responses have been tactful and poised, but it's Round 8 and if this fight goes to decision the judges may not rule in his favor.

Obama will have to deliver a knockout soon- a rapid succession of blows that will bring down the hard-hitting Clinton machine.

The word on the street is that Clinton's sheer political prowess will slowly but surely overwhelm Obama. Tonight, Obama has an opportunity that does not present itself to often- the opportunity to confront Clinton. I have reason to believe, however, that tonight's debate will determine the Democratic nominee. And like the Grammy's something tells me that there will be blood.

A country in turmoil with a people ready for new leadership. It's a story of great significance-an epic battle whose implications time will only reveal.

My parting words: Watch out for the woman with the trembling hands...


Solgenic said...

Mamá na ngáí...

I guess we know who's going to start the "Barack, oBOMAyé!" chant.

Brother Spotless said...

"Clinton arrived in South Carolina with Bob Johnson- the same canine that brought us BET, a network I pray for on a regular basis."