Marion Brothers

Marion Brothers

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

From the National to the Local Battlefront

Ted Kennedy neutralizes Bill Clinton by Endorsing Barack Obama

When Senator Edward Kennedy endorsed Barack Obama for the presidency, the earth moved and the playing field shifted. To answer the critics, Ted Kennedy declared, “I know for a fact that Obama is ready to be President from Day One.” Later he declared, “I was there on the Senate floor when Obama opposed the war. And, that was a lonely position.”

So much for the criticism against Barack Obama.

As for Obama giving President Ronald Regan a compliment and drawing fire from both his opponents, a writer asks the sensible question, “If we cannot say anything good about the opposition party, how can we expect to work with them on important national issues?”

When Kennedy weighed in, he neutralized the effect former President Bill Clinton has had meddling in the election. Even Hillary Clinton herself had to moderate some of her husband’s comments.

But now people are beginning to ask if she has the ability to rein him in, or is Bill Clinton usurping his wife’s candidacy. Is this his way of seeking an unofficial vicarious third term?

“Sometimes I don’t know which of you I’m running against,” Obama sadly said in one of the publicized debates. But with Senator Kennedy stepping in, the picture is different. The untruths are being exposed- no more two against one. No more having to answer Bill Clinton’s allegation, on one hand, while Hillary Clinton claims impunity for what her husband says. Now Obama can better address who says what, without being blindsided.


On yesterday, I gave the Democrats two thumbs up: One for Wendy Davis, candidate for Texas State Senate District 10, and the other for Rick Noriega, candidate for Texas U.S. Senate.

But all is not agreeable with me in the local Democratic camp. If there is one thing that irks me, it is to find an unqualified placeholder on the ballot.

What in the world was Tracey Smith doing, running against Republican Incumbent Kay Granger, U.S. Congress, District 12?

So, when I caught him by himself, I asked him. Unfortunately, he was ill prepared to answer. I had to remind him of three things. First, that former mayor Kay Granger was highly respected and well loved in the community. Second, the Trinity River Uptown Project stays. And, third: “Didn’t we just beat Tracey Smith in the recent Water District Board election”?

“I was pushed into that election,” he replied. Oops! That was exactly the wrong answer.

How in the world can someone be “pushed” into running for an office in an overcrowded field of 12 candidates? Was he a pawn with no conviction of his own?

I remembered fighting to keep Mr. Smith off the water district board because he opposed the Trinity River Uptown Project. Kay Granger, on the other hand, championed the project and fought endlessly in Congress to keep federal funds rolling in to finance it. Mr. Smith, on the other hand, was one of those who pooh-poohed the plan. Smith lost, and lost badly- landing somewhere near (if not in) last place with only a few hundred votes.

Now he was seeking to unseat an incumbent hero. Outrageous!

Smith’s argument: Let private investors pay the cost of the Trinity Project, not the taxpayer.

“Show me one,” I demanded.

Mr. Smith Goes To Washington declared there was no sense in us talking, “if we are going to disagree”. And, disagree we must, because I have worked on the Downtown Fort Worth Revitalization Plan since 1993, and no one is going to undo all that work and planning. Conversation ended.

As a post script, I tried to visit Mr. Smith’s website at only to find the site like the candidate- merely a placeholder.


I only wanted a word with candidate Ken Leach who is running against incumbent Michael Burgess, U.S. Congress, District 26. But Leach got out of Dodge before I could reach him. Of all the 10 candidates running for office who spoke, I cannot remember if Mr. Leach took the podium.

Burgess, I know. But Leach is a question mark.

Probably no other politician has had to endure my wrath more than Michael Burgess. And, though the NAACP and all the Democrats give him an F for his voting record, he has been the only contrarian who would give me rationale behind his voting. We enjoy our heated exchanges more than forcing him to change his vote for my sake. I love it when I beat him, more than I would by beating up on a guy named Ken Leach.

When we wanted an increase in minimum wage, Burgess voted against it and rationalized his vote from the perspective of a small business man. But when it came to further funding the war in Iraq, he found that he had to vote for the wage increase.

And, when we were upset with the media executive for the misogynic images of black women in the media, Burgess chose to read my letter in the faces of the executives.

Now, Mr. Leach, whom I do not know, wish to have me vote for him. He is untried and untested and unqualified.


We would be in denial not to recognize the tremendous popularity of Republicans Kay Granger, U.S. Congress 12th, and Michael Burgess, U.S. Congress 26th. These representatives cannot be replaced by unqualified placeholders on the Democratic ticket.

For the good of the Democratic Party, it would be better to ask Tracey Smith and Ken Leach to withdraw from the race. It would save money and simplify our choices. And unopposed Granger and Burgess would allow African-American Republicans to switch over and vote for Obama, rather than being forced to vote for John McCain out of loyalty. This will avoid ticket-splitting, which I would certainly have to do if these two Democrats remain on the ballot.

No comments:

Post a Comment