The Wrong Stuff
By MAUREEN DOWD
Published: July 2, 2008
With the campaign season past the primary boost phase, we might expect some new metaphors for the new/old left/right campaign we have, but instead we get Movies With Maureen® reruns. First up is The Manchurian Candidate:
In the warped imagination of some on the left and right, this is a race between two Manchurian candidates, the Vietnam Manchurian candidate and the Muslim Manchurian candidate.
We last saw a reference to this Frank Sinatra/Angela Lansbury classic back in February:
Hillary and her top aides could not say categorically that her campaign had not been the source on the Drudge Report, as Matt Drudge claimed, for a picture of Obama in African native garb that the mean-spirited hope will conjure up a Muslim Manchurian candidate vibe.
The twist for this column is that both McCain and Obama are refighting the Vietnam War, only this time it's all interservice friendly fire. Obama has lined up a regiment of veterans to fight by proxy the war hero image of McCain.
Wes Clark joined the growing ranks of troublesome Obama associates when he meowed that just “riding in a fighter plane and getting shot down” is not a qualification to be president. He made McCain sound like a drone aircraft.And the mere mention of aviation, gets Maureen misty for the good ole days of Pappy
This is not even about Obama. It’s the old business of grunts resenting flyboys. Bob Dole made a crack long ago about patrician Poppy Bush flying over the infantry.But we also get a bonus Movies feature, but again, it's a rerun.
But as Obama offers himself as an avatar of modernity, the horizon fills with Swift boats against the current, and he is, Gatsby-like, “borne back ceaselessly into the past.”The Great Gatsby is probably just behind Gone With The Wind as Maureen's favorite overworked metaphor. Hillary Clinton was Daisy Buchanan and now Barack Obama is in the Robert Redford role. Let's see if that metaphor plays out as well.
I'm just disappointed that with the Tom Wolfe movie allusion in the title of the column that Maureen didn't dredge up Obama's old reverend and go for a Wright Stuff pun as well. But it's a long campaign. We still have time.