By Brent Budowsky - 03/10/08 05:30 PM EDT
With oil climbing toward $110 a barrel and America cascading to a deepening recession, Democrats should demand an end to attack campaigning by presidential candidates, and offer the nation a unity program of historic economic reconstruction to win a historic landslide victory.
When the Clintons question Obama’s qualifications to be president and then say he would make a great vice president, they prove they bear false witness in their attacks on his qualifications.
When Sen. Clinton cites her “experience” and McCain’s with the insult that all Obama has is a speech; when she goes on “60 Minutes” and cannot say with clarity that Obama is not a Muslim — these are tactics that elect Republican presidents and bring anti-female and anti-labor Supreme Courts.
If superdelegates act like potted plants and allow this campaign to fall farther into the abyss, and then try to steal the nomination from the winner of elected contests in favor of the loser, after a campaign of personal destruction by the loser against the winner, they set the stage for convention walk-outs and voter boycotts.
No wonder Rush Limbaugh tells listeners to vote for Clinton to prolong the carnage.
Superdelegates should adopt Budowsky’s 12th Commandment, which will hopefully soon be named for someone else, and is modeled after the 11th Commandment of Ronald Reagan that achieved his two-term presidency. Stop the political suicide tactics or else.
Barack Obama should prove his toughness not by compromising the vision he shares with American voters, but by escalating the campaign that propels him to certain victory in elected delegates.
First, Obama should champion a national unity government that directly addresses the tens of millions of Americans who cry out that the national recession is for them a family Depression, while he addresses the commander-in-chief practices of a unity government to restore American world leadership.
Second, Obama should discuss the kind of people he would ask to serve in a unity government. Why not discuss Sens. Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.) and Richard Lugar (R-Ind.) as secretaries of State and Defense? And retired Gens. James Jones, Anthony Zinni and Wes Clark as models for national security adviser and director of national intelligence?
Why not name Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Joseph Biden (D-Del.) and former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle (D-S.D.) as model vice presidents because of their stature and bipartisan credibility? Why not mention Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius (D), a possible future president herself, as the model White House chief of staff with management brilliance and vast bipartisan credibility?
Third, Obama should make issue No. 1 a massive, New Frontier-magnitude program to rebuild the American heartland with job-creating infrastructure, new energy, new technology and green-collar jobs.
He has a substantial proposal and should shout it from the rooftops every hour. He should promise to bring together the best minds with names such as Gore, Schwarzenegger, Bloomberg and Rendell to make it happen.
Obama should mobilize his army of donors to raise $250 million before the convention to rise up against anyone who would steal the nomination, and demand the government of unity, integrity and change that is the road to prosperity and security for America, and a landslide victory for Democrats.
Budowsky was an aide to former Sen. Lloyd Bentsen and Bill Alexander, then-chief deputy whip of the House. He can be read on The Hill Pundits Blog and reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.