Iowa Democrats are asked to choose between experience or judgment — Hillary Rodham Clinton or Barack Hussein Obama. Yet, by voting for either they’ll get neither.
With poor John Edwards in the presidential-nomination caucuses it only adds more goose eggs to that wobbly equation.
It’s evident, even at this early stage of the silly media circus in Iowa, that the Clinton and Obama camps are both archly aware of one another’s vacuous qualifications.
Hence, they have inserted what they must believe will prove to be positive distractions, in the exalted eminences of William Jefferson Clinton out of Hope, Ark., and Oprah Gail Winfrey out of Kosciusko, Miss.
In the case of Sen. Clinton’s naughty husband, the Clinton campaign hopes to emphasize her experience over Sen. Obama’s. There, she’s got him. Obama has never experienced what it must be like to live under the same roof with what she’s had to.
Midway into his first term, Obama lags in senatorial experience, as she enters her second. Never mind. Neither has had much time — let alone qualifications — to leave a lasting landmark on national policy while in the Senate campaigning for president.
Hanging around the White House while Bill did whatever he was doing all those years is the best Sen. Clinton can offer in the experience department, sort of a “been there, didn’t do it” credential. Come to think of it, though, not doing what her husband notoriously did should count to her credit.
Thus, when Bill steps on a campaign platform in Iowa, the big idea is the Cornhuskers will take one look at him, forgive immediately his tasteless behavior in the Oval Office and think, “Gee, maybe some of that didn’t rub off on Hillary. Wonder what she’d do behind that big desk.”
The even-bigger idea is that when confronted with that conundrum, Iowa caucus-goers will flat forget the word “judgment” in connection with Hillary. After all, what kind of judgment was she exercising through all those messes?
Then there’s Obama, who’d just as soon you forgot his middle name as well as his opponent’s. Pathetically short on experience, it’s all judgment with him — or nothing.
The problem is that listening to him trying to make grown-up statements while herky-jerking on the stage without a tie like the men wear, an irresistible question creeps in: Is this the kind of judgment anyone really wants in the commander-in-chief and leader of the free world?
What to do, what to do? Somebody in the Obama campaign smites his forehead, and the following dialogue ensues:
“Why didn’t we think of it sooner? Let’s see if we can get Oprah to front for our guy!”
“Everybody loves Oprah, sure, but for her judgment?”
“Who cares? She’s famous. She’s a celeb. She can endorse the Reykjavik, Iceland, phone book and it becomes a best seller. She has tons of money. She has endless influence. So she must have at least some judgment. She has everything else. Who can question that logic?”
Ergo, Oprah it is, and, sure enough, she shows up with the other "O" in Ottumwa or some such locality and folks for counties around gather to gape.
“I got to see Oprah her very self in person. Funny, but Oprah doesn’t look quite like Oprah on the TV, but that’s all right. I got to see Oprah. I think maybe Oprah looked right at me. Seems like I just know Oprah. Sure wish it’s Oprah I could vote for.”
If Democrats are serious about electing a president next year, maybe they should nominate Oprah. Send that other "O" back to . . . where is it he came from all of a sudden? Indo-nesia or Indi-ana? Somewhere like that. Who cares anymore?
What have Democrats in Iowa done — and done to Iowa, too? They’ve equated experience with Clinton, not Hill, but Bill. And they’ve equated judgment with celebrity, not other "O," but real "O."
The good news for Iowa Democrats is: They’ve shed their dilemma over having to choose between experience or judgment.
All of a sudden it’s all so simple: Choose neither.
They’ve narrowed their choice down to just one attribute: celebrity.
Which stand-in for celebrity do you want? Take your pick: Celebrity Bubba or Celebrity Oprah.
Buck up, John Edwards. This doesn’t have to be the end of your road. Actually, it opens the old Iowa barn door for you to slip right in. You don’t have to compete anymore with experience or judgment, or with both.
Just get your hair done real pretty, put on that great, big see-how-sincere-I-am smile and make it a threesome where the tall corn grows.
Ethanol isn’t the only synthetic that’s popular in Iowa this year.
John L. Perry, a prize-winning newspaper editor and writer who served on White House staffs of two presidents, is a regular columnist for Newsmax.com.
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