Sunday, May 04, 2008

Hillary Panders To Voters On Gas Tax Moratorium

Written On M.S. Prinsendam Approaching Salalah, Oman--

I'm endebted to Mark Halperin, political guru for Time magazine, for pointing out this morning that Sen. Hillary Clinton enthusiastically endorsed the filly Eight Belles to win the Kentucky Derby yesterday. Eight Belles finished second to the winner, Big Brown. Tragically, Eight Belles broke both ankles at the finish line and had to be euthanized.

Of course, I wish Hillary good health and long life, preferably in the U.S. Senate, or just raking in the dough with her husband, Bill Clinton.

But, as the Indiana and North Carolina primary campaigns draw to a close, Hillary is pandering to the voters once again -- this time by suggesting that the oil companies pay the 18-cent-a-gallon gas tax over the summer.

Sen. Barack Obama calls this "a shell game," and he is right. For one thing, either the oil companies would simply up their gas prices to pay for the tax, or litigate such a measure to delay it all summer. That assumes, it would ever clear the oil industry-dominated Congress.

Of course, the fact is we need the gas tax to build and maintain federal highways. Already, it is insufficient to do so. The gas tax is part of a sound energy policy. Hillary is just trying a cheap trick on the voters. Let's hope they are not so gullible.

Maureen Dowd and Frank Rich, both New York Times columnists, and Jack Cafferty, a commentator for CNN, have all distinguished themselves this year with their campaign commentaries. I might particularly commend Dowd this morning for her brilliant column on Obama, entitled, "This Bud's For You."

In it, she writes, notably, "Why does Obama, the one with the bumpy background and mixed racial heritage, the one raised by a single mother who was on food stamps, seem so forced when he mingles with the common folk?....

"Voters also don't seem to mind Hillary, with her $109 million bank account, selling herself as the champion of the little people. As first lady, the blue-collar queen was renowned for her high-handed treatment of the little people in the (White House) travel office, on the switchboard and on the residence staff.

"Obama, on the other hand, may seem esoteric, and sometimes looks haughty or put-upon when he should merely offer that ensorcelling smile. But he is very well liked by his Secret Service agents, and shoots hoops with them. And I watched him take the time one night after a long day of campaigning to stand and take individual pictures with a squadron of Dallas motorcycle officers on the tarmac..."

Dowd is smart enough to realize that in Obama we have a terrific human being. Beyond that, I believe he is just what America needs at this time to make a great President of the U.S. I have contributed $600 to his campaign, and am proud to be a supporter. Good luck to him this week, and to the American people.


Approaching Oman on the Arabian peninsula, we are losing our escort today, the Dutch frigate which has been with us along the Somalia coast since Mombasa. I'm not sure whether we will have an escort later in the week when we sail along Somalia again, this time in the Gulf of Aden, heading for the Red Sea.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Amusing how you now laud the words of New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd, a woman you have previously put down as a ditz. But Dowd is quite right that Obama has a rough row to hoe with white working class folks. However,her claim that Obama should just offer his "ensorcelling smile" suggests she's as much of a social climbing fraud as he obviously is.

5/04/2008 9:27 AM  

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