Sunday, May 11, 2008

A humble superman

Bolts of lightning may strike me, but I have to disagree with something that Ed Kemmick, my esteemed former colleague (or is it former esteemed colleague?) wrote in his City Lights column today. He writes that Democratic super delegates "have become so important they no longer speak like mere mortals."

I can't speak for most of them, but super delegate and Wyoming Gov. Dave Freudenthal, who spoke here on Saturday, still sounded pretty mortal. Until this year, he said, he had always considered super delegate status just a way to get really good credentials to the Democratic national convention. In fact, he made the mistake of telling a newspaper reporter this year that he might not even go to the convention.

When his wife read that in the paper, he said, she informed him that he would, in fact, be going to the convention, which is only 90 miles away in Denver. He said he held a press conference that day to announce that he had had "a vision" and would be going.

Freudenthal also noted that after he complained that neither major presidential candidate had visited Wyoming or Montana, both showed up. But he declined to take credit. "I have delusions of grandeur," he said, "but not that grand."

I'll save most of what happened for next week's Outpost, but Freudenthal did also have the best defense I've heard yet of Obama's infamous remark that rural voters "cling" to guns and religion because of other things that have gone wrong in their lives. Freudenthal, who is from Thermopolis, which is about as rural as it gets, said his church held an inaugural service after he was elected and allowed him to pick the songs for the service. One he chose was a song we used to sing in church, "The Old Rugged Cross," whose refrain goes in part: "I will cling to the old rugged cross and exchange it someday for a crown."

He said it took him a few days to figure out that he was supposed to be offended by what Obama said.

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