Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Black Like Me

Presidential candidate Barack Obama is being criticized for not being black enough. Despite having an African father and an American mother, some commentators argue that Obama is not African-American because he isn’t descended from slaves. Consequently, the ‘bona fides’ of other presidential candidates is also coming under scrutiny:

Hillary Clinton
Ms. Clinton is under attack for not being female enough. Although she bears some feminine characteristics, some commentators say she is not a true woman. After all, they say, wasn’t this the person who foreswore baking cookies and pouring tea during her husband’s first presidential campaign? Political consultants are advising her to dump the pantsuits, start wearing dresses and keep on smiling.

John Edwards
The 2004 Democratic vice presidential candidate is being criticized for not being southern enough. Despite the southern accent and good ole boy charm, the media is questioning his south of the Mason-Dixon line credentials. After all, he’s only from North Carolina, not South Carolina; he doesn’t have a Confederate flag sticker on his car and his neck is decidedly white. More NASCAR race attendance and gun ownership are definitely in order.

Tom Vilsack
The media is starting to question whether Tom Vilsack is obscure enough. One would have thought that being the governor of Iowa for eight years would guarantee anyone’s political anonymity. But apparently Mr. Vilsack is actually acquiring some minimal awareness in the presidential race. The fact that he’s almost as well known as Dennis Kucinich definitely threatens his hard-earned obscurity.

John McCain
The Arizona senator’s rep as a straight-shooting political moderate is under the media microscope. Famed for his ability to speak truth to power, Mr. McCain is now being scrutinized for some less-than-centrist positions. After all, someone who embraces Jerry Falwell and tries to out-surge George W. Bush may not, some suggest, be a true moderate. Some temporary liberal flip-flopping may be called for.

Mitt Romney
The former governor of Massachusetts is being attacked for not being a real Christian. Some say that a fellow who holds the Book of Mormon in higher esteem than the Bible can’t really be a true follower of Christ. If he were a true Christian, some say, he’d be a narrow-minded, sulphur-spewing fundamentalist like real American Christian politicians. Look for Mr. Romney to continue his rightward drift.

Rudy Giuliani
The New York City mayor is being criticized for not being Italian enough. "Sure, he has an Italian sounding name," say some in the media. "But where’s the real Azzurri?" True enough; Giuliani doesn’t hug, talk rapidly or use his hands when speaking. Rumor has it that the tough-talking former mayor doesn’t even like pasta. Watch for a definite spike in gladhanding and baby kissing.

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