Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Greatest Woman

Peter Lawler at No Left Turns notes that Mother Teresa is considered the greatest woman of the 20th century and invites us to ponder this question: Who was the greatest female artist, novelist, poet, or philosopher of the 20th century?

Well, my vote for novelist and philosopher goes to the same woman: Ayn Rand - not because I'm particularly fond of either her main ideas or her books, but because no woman that I can think of has been more successful as a writer or more influential as a thinker. Atlas Shrugged, I read somewhere, has sold more copies in the U.S. than any book other than the Bible, and Randian devotees can be found everywhere in government and business.

I don't know that this is a good thing, but there you have it. Anybody have any other nominations?


We're All Georgians

I took my daughter to see John McCain live at the townhall meeting yesterday in York, Pa. It was quite a show with warmup speeches by Senators Arlen Specter and Joe Leiberman and former governor Tom Ridge. When he took the stage Senator McCain chose to give a disquisition on the situation in Georgia. It was ironic that while Senator Obama vacationed in Hawaii and President Bush was taking in the Olympics in Beijing, it fell to Senator McCain to address the Russian aggression against the small democracy of Georgia:

It wasn't hard to imagine Obama being more polished, but it was almost impossible to imagine him giving a speech on any matter of foreign policy whose content was comparable to this one. The speech was directed at the conflict in Georgia, but it certainly made Senator Obama, who wasn't even mentioned, seem diminished and irrelevant.


What Does Hillary Want?

I was listening to the local talk radio show the other day and the host asked his guest the question, "What does Hillary want?" The question was prompted by the New York senator's hot and cold behavior toward the Obama campaign. The guest on the show said that she wanted recognition at the convention, etc., but I think this is all short term stuff. What Hillary wants, of course, is to be president, and as long as we keep that before us her strange behavior makes complete sense.

Assume with me that I am correct about her goal. Assume, too, that the Clintons really are as Machiavellian as even the liberal press is beginning to suggest. If so, then she probably sees that her best chance of reaching her goal is to have Obama lose in November.

If he does, Senator Clinton will have an almost uncontested road to the nomination in 2012, and McCain, if he wins, may well choose to serve only a single term. Thus, she may be running against a non-incumbent 2012. If Obama wins in November it would kill her hopes of ever becoming president since her chances of unseating him in the 2012 primaries would be nil.

Thus, it is in her interest to see to it that Obama loses, but she must give the impression that she's working in support of his campaign in order not to alienate the Democratic base. She must walk a tightrope, publicly supporting Barack and privately undermining him.

In light of this strategy, what we should look for from her in the weeks ahead is lip-service to the Obama election campaign, but lukewarm effort on his behalf. We might also anticipate a few stilettos to Obama's political ribs from Hillary's surrogates, not least her husband, but most of the damage will be inflicted outside of the public's view.