Tag Archives: Gerry Seib

Democratic Party: Obama’s ‘albatross’?

8 Apr

Reading Jerry Seib’s insightful column in today’s Journal http://online.wsj.com/article/SB120761705598196889.html?mod=hps_us_inside_today gave me an eerie feeling of deja-vu. Hillary Clinton implies that she – and only she – can win the ‘big states’ required to put a Democratic candidate in the White House, Jerry writes. Therefore, the logic goes, Barack Obama is ‘unelectable’ in November.

Who knows? But it surely reminds me of a chilly afternoon on the campus of Princeton University in March of 1981, when – as a student and as a ‘stringer’ or campus correspondent for the Philadelphia Inquirer, I attended a seminar given by President Jimmy Carter. He had been beaten by Ronald Reagan only a few months earlier, and was still palpably bitter about the experience.

In that campaign, Carter told us, the Democratic Party had been his ‘albatross,’ and a failed challenge by Sen. Edward Kennedy – who, at one time had been the favorite of many Democratic delegates, had sapped Carter’s campaign of needed momentum.

Fast forward to today: Obama leads in votes and delegates, but Sen. Clinton continues her challenge, continuing a fierce rivalry within the party. Not a prediction, but worth asking: is history repeating itself?