The LuLac Edition #458, April 11th, 2008
PHOTO INDEX: OUR 1968 LOGO, POSTER FROM "THE BIG CHILL", FRED FLINTSTONE AND LOGO FROM "AMERICAN IDOL"
Click here for LuLac YOU TUBE video:
In our previous edition, we said that it was Bill Sordoni who taped a testimonial ad for 10th Congressional District candidate Dan Meuser, in reality it was Jack Sordoni featured on the radio ad. We have updated the previous edition and apologize for the error.
THE BIG CHILL
VS. AMERICAN IDOL
If we are going to put the Pennsylvania primary in its starkest perspective, maybe we should start referring to it as a battle of the generations. When Bill Clinton beat George H.W. Bush in the 1992 race for President, the WWII generation held the Presidency for 32 years. Seven men served, some not so well as the others. Now, after only 16 years, a new generation is challenging the “Baby Boomers” who gave us two Presidents, one good and in my estimation the other tragically bad. There is a divide in the Democratic party, the “boomers” were supposed to keep on serving for at least another 8 years. But events, as they do always in Presidential politics got in the way. Hillary Clinton was supposed to be the modern day FDR, saving us from the policies and ramifications of the Bush Presidency. Politicos reasoned that it was “her turn” and she took the role as savior and front runner very well. It was all supposed to go according to plan but as anyone can tell you, in American politics nothing goes according to the script. It is amazing how politicians have tried to write their own passion plays only to be derailed by events. (Looking at our weekly feature “1968” can tell you that). Then along came a little known Senator from Illinois who gave an astounding speech at the 2004 Democratic convention. A candidate building a campaign on one speech? Unheard of! In 1984 Mario Cuomo, the Governor of New York gave a great speech and he was talked about as a Presidential contender too. But the difference between Cuomo and Barak Obama is this: Obama pulled the trigger and went for the gold. The Clinton campaign had a plan against solid, sturdy white male candidates like Joe Biden and Chris Dodd. But they had no plan for an early insurgency effort by the Obama camp. Before they knew, they were in the fight of their lives. And the day after that realization, they were behind.
The Clinton campaign consists of veterans of “The Big Chill”. Baby boomers who saw and lived through the protests of the 60s, women who tried to advance in management areas in the workplace despite the attitude of their male counterparts. Their experiences of the turbulent 60s, excessive 70s, greedy 80s, and passive 90s was supposed to gird them to undo the damage of the Bush Presidency. They were technocrats, policy people able to fix things. But along came “the star”, the new kid auditioning in what looked to be a suit too big for him. He took to the stages and talked about hope, and inspiration. The judges, media and populace, liked him, said he had potential. But then he started to connect with real people, talking about gas prices, food increases and a new way to change things. Hillary Clinton was essentially saying the same thing, in some cases her ideas and policies were slightly better than Obama’s. But no one was listening except her fellow “boomers” and a few others. Drowned out by the charisma of the new Democrats, Clinton began to fight back. But she was fighting against a wave of change, a wave of change that should have been hers all along. Then the comparisons started, her millions to Obama’s half. Her connections to the past. His aspirations for the future. Both Senators had recollections of things that stained credulity. Her own was Bosnia with Chelsea. His was Reverend Wright. The difference was he didn’t let the Wright story fester like she let that Bosnia story go on. Today, there is her husband on the campaign trail bringing it up again just as the story comes out that he takes Library perks as an ex President. I have no argument with that either but in politics folks, perception is reality.
As the days shorten before the Pennsylvania primary, Senator Obama is gaining. He’s gaining fast. The “Baby Boomers” have become the adults in “The Graduate”, safe, well coiffed and admonishing that “these are the ways things are”. Their candidate Senator Clinton is talking about change. So is Senator Obama. But the Clinton message of change is stuck on celluloid, functional, reliable and entertaining. The Obama message is live, with millions cheering like they’ve never seen a great singer or dancer before. The generation that came after the boomers has been criticized for thinking that “history began on the day they were born”. It is the phenomenon of American Idol. Who’s on top now counts, who’s hot today. Two years ago? Don’t care, don’t remember.
This primary has boiled down to “The Big Chill” and “American Idol”. Two very functional analogies for two decent, exciting Presidential candidacies that in this year have the colossal misfortune to face off against each other. How ironic that whoever wins, will run against a candidate whose own movie might be “Back To The Future”. Such is life days before the Pennsylvania primary.
MEET THE FLINTSTONES!!!!
Let’s see, one of my favorite airlines Frontier is having problems. This is sad because it was reformulated in the id 90s by former employees and when you flew with them, you received excellent customer service. American Airlines after stranding a thousand passengers the other day offered their version of an apology, they raised their rates. Bend over traveler! Thank you! We virtually have no passenger rail service in this country, the last passenger train left Scranton in January of 1970. We are raising the price of gas so high that even a Sunday drive to Josie’s or Ritas or God forbid Mannings in Scranton is something you need to debate as a necessary luxury. Our infrastructure as WILK’s Kevin Lynn constantly points out is breaking down around us. Yet, CEO’s make 300 million in buyout bonuses as things crumble. We haven’t run out of rocks yet, perhaps my friends at Phil’s Sunoco in Wilkes Barre can put together Flintstone like mobiles for us to get around in. Only those with strong feet need apply. I fear that if things keep on going the way they are, in two hundred years (and Mrs. LuLac and I won’t care because we’ll be down in St. Mary’s Mausoleum just up a bit from my late buddy Johnny Pstrak) people are going to look at this huge land mass that was our country and ask, “what the heck was that?” And someone will say, “That was the United States of America!”
Forty years ago this week, Martin Luther King, Junior was laid to rest in Atlanta, Georgia. Lester Maddox, governor of the state at the time, refuses to close the state government in honor of the slain Civil Rights leader, or attend the funeral. Maddox felt King was an "enemy of the country." The governor additionally stationed 64 riot-helmeted state troopers at the entrances of the capitol to protect "the property of the state."…………..Unlike this year, the Pennsylvania Presidential primary was relatively quiet with Governor Raymond Shafer running as a favorite son on the GOP side and Senator Eugene McCarthy being the only Democrat on the ballot……A report said that nearly 2 million dollars was spent by 1776 families through the Food Stamp program in 1967, that report released in April of ’68……in Wilkes Barre the new city manager called for a city wide reassessment program….At St. John the Baptist Grade School in Pittston plans got underway for a Spring concert that would feature a play by Class Vice President Paul Komensky…..and 40 years ago this week, the number one song in the country and LuLac land was “Valerie” by the Monkees, courtesy of YOU TUBE: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HjQg1EWBPyg&feature=related.