You've probably heard of the debacle involving the message President Obama sent to Governor David Paterson of New York in which the governor was asked not to run for election on his own merits, because his low approval ratings practically open the door for the state to be lost to the Republicans (Rudy Guiliani is the name often bandied about).
My first thought when I heard this was not What the heck is Obama doing, sticking his nose into state politics? or even I haven't been a New Yorker in 20 years and don't follow their local politics, but I do feel Paterson made a mess out of that Senate appointment, but instead...
What jerk blabbed this to the press?
The President is always the head of his respective political party, and it's part of his job to keep an eye on how the governors are doing in the time leading up to midterm elections. New York is a powerful state with a large voting population, and naturally the First Democrat wants to keep it under Democratic control. However, the particulars of this situation have ignited a firestorm. David Paterson, like Barack Obama, is a black man. Deval Patrick of Massachusetts is the only other black governor (although he was actually elected to serve in this post; Governor Paterson was elected as lieutenant governor and moved into the top spot after Eliot Spitzer's sex scandal forced him out). Many people are going to be outraged that a brother is putting party politics before the support of another brother. Still others will resent Presidential interference in state politics. On the other side of the coin are the people who praise the President for his efforts at trying to keep the important state of New York in the Democratic column, and the fact that he cannot be accused of only looking out for the interests of black Americans. Instead Republican lapdog Michael Steele declared he found it "stunning" that the White House would ask one of just two black governors not to run. The funny thing is that we all know Steele would have been equally stunned had it been leaked that Obama had privately urged Paterson to run for election instead of not to run.
That is a prime example of why this is a sticky situation of the sort that is best kept quiet because of the lose/lose factors involved. Presidents have been known to appear at campaign functions for politicians of their party to help with election or reelection. That's the type of party support that deserves publicity, not the behind-the-scenes suggestions. The fact that this controversial correspondence was released to the public suggests that there's a Democrat in someone's inner circle who is really a Republican.
A classic movie recommendation
Last night when I got home from work I tuned in to see what was playing on Turner Classic Movies, as I usually do. I was delighted to recognize one of my favorites, Alfred Hitchcock's remake of his own film The Man Who Knew Too Much with James Stewart and Doris Day.
I always loved this movie, although I never actually sat down and watched the whole thing from start to finish until just a few years ago. It reminds me of Hitchcock's North By Northwest in that it's sort of a chase movie. But what I truly like about this film is Doris Day's part. Her Jo McKenna wasn't simply another 'Yes, dear' wife role with little to do other than look beautiful, cleaning the house in high heels and pearls and a chiffon apron. Her anguish when her husband tells her their son has been kidnapped is so real that it never fails to bring tears to my eyes (I missed that part last night). But she doesn't proceed to have a nervous breakdown and leave all the work to her husband. Instead, she worked alongside him to locate and retrieve their boy, and she used her own wits when he wasn't around. Considering how women were often portrayed in that era (this film was released in 1956), it's really something special. And although Day was 16 years younger than Stewart, they looked like a real couple to me. (I'd guess Day looked more mature than the 32 she was at the time rather than Stewart looking younger than his 48.)
It's also the film that introduced what became Day's signature song: Que Sera Sera. This little ditty plays a pivotal role in the film's climax.
In case anyone's wondering, Doris Day is still alive at age 85, although she had been a recluse even before the death of her only child a few years back.
The Man Who Knew Too Much, the 1956 remake. It's one of Bettye's favorites. Watch it if you get the chance.
Today I'm over at my friend Shelia Goss's blog, so stop by and "meet" Genevieve of Save The Best For Last, and feel free to leave a comment!
Enjoy the rest of your weekend, plus the beginning of the new week.
Sweet children, infamous date
Forty-three years ago I was nine years old and didn't watch much news, but in recent years I've heard about how panicked expectant mothers begged their doctors to do something to extend their labor because they didn't want to give birth on a certain date. That date was the sixth of June, 1966. It was the 22nd anniversary of the famous Battle of Normandy during World War II, but what these women feared was giving birth on the date of 6/6/1966, a date associated with the antichrist.
This was a story that might not have even made the network news, which was much different in those days, carrying mostly hard news and little human interest stories. Besides, who wanted to talk about the antichrist?
Babies are born at any time. My own mother celebrated her eleventh birthday the day the stock market crashed in 1929 and plunged the country into the Great Depression. I've known people born on December 7th and November 22nd, the anniversaries of the attack on Pearl Harbor and the assassination of President Kennedy. Both of those dates have faded somewhat over the last 68 and 46 years, respectively. The date to avoid these days is September 11th.
My granddaughter was born prematurely on this date, three years ago today, on what was the fifth anniversary of the terrorist attacks in three locations of our country. Between the day of her birth and the fact that her mother's name is Katrina, one might think she's a disaster in the making, but she is one special little girl who happened to be born on the anniversary of a horrible event in our country's history. There are likely thousands of babies who are turning eight years old today, having been born on the actual day that so many people died. One can't help when they are born, and I hope they all celebrate this most special day in their lives without the shadow of the other event they share their day with putting a damper on their joy.
So, may all the victims of that day rest in eternal peace. On the same token, happy birthday, sweet children, especially to my Baby Girl! I can't wait to see her when she gets here this evening. We're going to celebrate her birthday all weekend long!
The Week in Review
RIP, Edward M. Kennedy. You made some very public mistakes, but you did your best to be a worthwhile human being. It was very big of you to let the world in on some of your private thoughts by having them revealed after you were gone. You would have loved your homegoing services. Your eldest son and namesake was particularly touching.
It seems like everything our president done is met with scorn and criticism by the opposing party, and it's really getting on my nerves. Now he can't even talk to schoolchildren without kicking up a fuss? Puh-leeze.
RIP also - somewhat belatedly - to Michael Jackson, finally buried 70 days after his death. The rumor mill is saying that the family is going to sell footage of the funeral service on a DVD. That seems more than a little crude to me, and I certainly hope it's not true. I'd love to hear your thoughts on this.
I wish everyone a wonderful holiday weekend! I still have 25,000+ words to write in my WIP between now and next Thursday, when it's due. Three guesses what I'll be doing this long weekend?