Monday, February 4, 2008

Obama's Mamas

Barack Obama has had some stellar endorsements within the past few weeks, and surprisingly, at least to me, several have come from Hillary Clinton’s strongest demographic: middle-aged and older white females.

Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg endorsed the Illinois senator a couple of weeks ago in an editorial in the New York Times. She said that she came to that decision after listening to her three teenage children, Rose, Tatianya, and Jack, who felt that Obama offered America the kind of optimistic challenges that their grandfather had put forth in 1960. Kennedy Schlossberg immediately went out on the campaign trail with the candidate adding the luster of her presence to the vitality of his.

Clare McCaskill, Missouri’s newest U.S. Senator and a rising star in her own right, has endorsed Obama and is featured in some of his national television commercials. McCaskill said that she, too, was influenced by the excitement that his campaign instilled in young people, particularly her own daughter.

Governor Janet Napolitano of Arizona climbed on the Obama bandwagon several weeks ago. She helped him campaign in Nevada and Arizona, and has done television commercials for the candidate. Napolitano, a dynamo in her own right, has energized the Obama campaign in the Southwest.

Governor Kathleen Sebelius of Kansas endorsed Obama, a Kansas native. Sebelius is a strong Democratic political figure in the very red state of Kansas. She is also the daughter of a former governor of Ohio, the popular John J. Gilligan.

Three of Bobby Kennedy’s children endorsed Billary, but Mama knows best. Ethel Kennedy, ignoring her wayward offspring, threw her Camelot clout to Barack Obama.

The Governor of California may have cast his lot with John McCain, but California’s First Lady, Maria Shriver Schwarzenegger, a Kennedy cousin, walked onto the stage at an Obama rally this weekend and announced her endorsement of him. Oh, to be a fly on the wall in the California Governor’s Mansion!

And then there are two other endorsements that, while they do not come from the ranks of middle-aged white females, do bear a significant influence on that particular demographic. Oprah, an enthusiastic Obama supporter, is clearly one of the most influential women in the world, and her opinion matters – especially to women.

The second endorsement of note comes from Garrison Keillor, the creator and host of the radio program, A Prairie Home Companion. Keillor’s radio persona is beloved by millions, especially older Americans – of both sexes. His character hails from Lake Woebegone, Minnesota, where “the women are strong, the men are good looking, and the children are above average.” And Keillor’s women are indeed strong, but their hearts (or at least his) belong to Obama.

It must be mentioned that not every notable middle-aged white woman has jumped The Good Ship Billary to endorse Obama. One case in point is the anorexic, hate-mongering hag – Ann Coulter. Coulter has threatened that if John McCain is the Republican nominee, she will campaign for the “more conservative” Hillary Clinton. That should knock Billary down ten or twenty points in the polls!

Go, go! Go, Johnny go!

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