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Posted by on May 10, 2008 in Media, Politics | 8 comments

Watch The Democratic Party Clinton Obama Divide Live On TV!

This was quite a week — and not just because of the North Carolina and Indiana primaries. It was a week when there were two TV moments when you could seemingly watch and hear the Democratic party starting to split.

First, brace yourself for Clinton supporter and strategist Paul Begala clashing with uncommitted superdelegate and former Al Gore campaign manager Donna Brazile. In her devastating recent Wall Street Journal column on Hillary Clinton titled Damsel of Distress, Peggy Noonan wrote of this piece of video:

The Democratic Party can’t celebrate the triumph of Barack Obama because the Democratic Party is busy having a breakdown. You could call it a breakdown over the issues of race and gender, but its real source is simply Hillary Clinton. Whose entire campaign at this point is about exploiting race and gender.

Here’s the first place an outsider could see the tensions that have taken hold: on CNN Tuesday night, in the famous Brazile-Begala smackdown. Paul Begala wore the smile of the 1990s, the one in which there is no connection between the shape of the mouth and what the mouth says. All is mask. Donna Brazile was having none of it.

Watch it for yourself, and see if you agree:

Next, there was Clinton backer (and occasional Huffington Post contributor) Lanny Davis, who felt he was treated shabbily by a CNN panel that he felt was stacked with people who favored Obama (you’ll see Brazile again). Details about his side of the behind-the-scenes story are HERE.

But you could again hear the riiiiiiiiiip. Watch this TPM montage and judge for yourself:

My take on it? I think Noonan’s piece, which contains some original reporting, sounds right on the dime.

She explains a lot of what is going on, and what is NOT going on and why. What seems clear from this is that the same attitude George Bush has shown in trying to impose his will on the legislative and executive branches, is what the Clinton campaign is now showing in its attitude towards the Democratic party and its long range goals — not just of winning an election but of burnishing its Big Tent, keeping that Big Tent stable, and opening it up, so more more people can pour in.

Davis? He tried making his case and clearly felt outnumbered.

And Begala? He talked about inclusion at the end, but his words meshed with the controversy later in the week centering on Clinton’s comments about her getting more white votes.

Begala was old-school divide and rule politics delivered with a pasted-on smile.

Just like Noonan said.

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