Wednesday, May 14, 2008
Oregonians to Reject Clinton as They Rejected RFK 40 Years Ago?
Forty years ago Oregon Democrats picked Minnesota Senator Eugene McCarthy over New York Senator Robert F. Kennedy in the 1968 Oregon primary. Kennedy was popular among blue collar workers; McCarthy's support came from college students and the more educated classes.
Part of Kennedy's appeal, like Sen. Clinton's, was that he was a gutsy fighter with a famous political name. He never acted Ivy League educated or like a millionaire. He had the common touch.
Hillary Clinton has benefited from the common touch popularity of former President Bill Clinton, but she has underscored that in her comeback bid for the presidential nomination. Fighting on despite continual negative media coverage and negative commentary by political pundits, she is living the working class life of persevering even when continually pushed down.
Hillary's incredible 41% spread in winning West Virginia (67% to Obama's 26%) is striking evidence of her growth as a candidate and the bond she has formed with the working class backbone of the Democratic party.
Oregonian Democrats gave Bobby Kennedy his first political loss, and he didn't have to deal with a continual negative press. Oregon Democrats may be set to again side against a popular New York senator with a magic political name and a special bond with working class Democrats.