Surging insurgent

Letters to the Boston editor, January 18, 2008
By BOSTON PHOENIX LETTERS  |  January 16, 2008

Over time, I think Steven Stark has been the most astute observer of the political scene. Recently, however, he has shown himself to be too wedded to “conventional wisdom” when describing the Democratic race. Yes, recent experience would indicate that the “outsider/insurgent” candidate would fade over time. But this time, Barrack Obama is funded as well, or better than, the “establishment” candidate, Hillary Clinton. He also has as good or better advisers and organization than does Clinton.

How many times has an “insurgent” had the street smarts, toughness, and money-power of the Chicago Democratic organization behind him? That’s fully the equal of Clinton’s New York/Washington folks. Plus, in a raw political sense, the “insurgent” is a better candidate this time around. I’m not suggesting Clinton’s recent “tears” were contrived, but however they happened, that’s a one-time fluke that can’t or won’t happen again.

Obama, I believe, is going to morph into the “establishment” candidate himself. There are credible reports that a number of US senators are about to endorse him, and John Kerry already has. And, unlike what Stark says, when Edwards drops out, the majority of his support will likely go to Obama. Edwards has said it himself: he and Obama are the candidates of “change”; Clinton is the candidate of the “status quo.”

This is still a horse race, but Stark is selling Obama’s chances short. He says Hillary is 1-2, and Obama is 2-1. I’d take that bet. Keep up the good work.

Vic Sholis
Glenview, Illinois

Primary pig pile?
Regarding “New Hampshire’s Last Hurrah”: first in the nation doesn’t need to be confined to just one state. Yes, the candidates need a focal point for their campaigns, but running for president obviously involves winning over all the states. While I think New Hampshire should be a first in the national primary, why not invite other states to participate? Like Super Tuesday, let’s have three to four states that have demonstrated a serious commitment to voting become the bellwethers. We can even use demographic data to support a more balanced representation of the US population.

New Hampshire takes its role to heart. But if other states would too — and not just for the sake of it, like Florida, but to support the greater good of the nation — then I say have at it!

Susan Ryan
Merrimack, New Hampshire

So many skells, so little space
Did you forget the awful fate of Chris Benoit on your year-end round-up of ill-behaved athletes? This to my mind was the overlooked story of the year. While we were all talking about Michael Vick, the WWE made sure we didn’t forget its place among barbaric sporting events.

Ed Weinberg
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Or, space better served?
Can you find a better use of your space than “Sports Blotter”? It’s gotten tedious. We get it. Sports figures commit crimes. So what? So do doctors, lawyers, journalists, editorial-letter writers, and many other groups. It’s time for another feature. “Sports Blotter” has gone on well past its freshness date.

Ray Charbonneau

The country needs Crimmins
This was my first time reading Barry Crimmins. Very impressive; he’s a one-man Daily Show. If we could only get Crimmins on the panel that hosts the candidate debates, the country would never be the same. And I mean that in a good way
Ervin Shienbaum
New Milford, Pennsylvania

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