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History 101: Amnesia of the Obama-Clinton Documentaries

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Pat Dean (CableMuse.com) Cable Muse Network

by Pat Dean

Author and Cable Muse Network (CMN) correspondent Pat Dean gives a glimpse of history being rewritten and questions why.

It’s 2100 and a documentary is screening for high school students on 21st century politics. The early part of 2010 plays, yet there is no mention of the Obama Administration’s hustle on the health care bill passage or the outrage of opponents from the Tea Party that followed. Forgotten history?  Historians drink some of that substance Rip Van Winkle had? Those are the questions that would perhaps pierce into the mind of the viewers. These feelings have unquestionably penetrated into my brain when watching documentaries on the 2008 presidential election.

My exasperation with the majority of these documentaries is simply because they assert that had the then President-elect Barack Obama selected Hillary Clinton, who was the senator of New York at the time as his vice president option on his ticket that his would have been the first time that an African American and a woman were on a ticket jointly in an election in the United States. As exhilarating and innovative as an Obama-Clinton ticket would have been, this would have not been the initial ticket in a presidential election to feature an African American and a woman because that exploit had occurred in 1872.

The forgotten ticket by these documentaries and cable news networks amalgamated American suffragist Victoria Woodhull and American abolitionist Frederick Douglass. Woodhull captured nomination at the Equal Rights Party convention held in New York City in May, which set the flamboyant nominee to take on Ulysses S. Grant for the role as Commander in Chief of the United States. The unique aspect of the nomination was the manner in which Woodhull argued how the 14th and 15th amendments made women eligible to vote. During the next Equal Rights Convention Douglass was fortuitously nominated as the Vice President nominee. There is much speculation on how Douglass became supplementary to the ticket; however as irony would have it Douglass did not even know that he was chosen.

Despite the 1872 presidential ticket of Woodhull-Douglass not having a realistic probability of pulling off a triumph, can we still reference their contributions to history and circumvent the half truths told in these 2008 presidential election documentaries that overemphasize what an Obama-Clinton ticket would have set a precedent for? It was Abraham Lincoln may have said it best, “History is not history unless it is the truth.”

Pat Dean is a regular contributor to CableMuse.com (CMN). Mr. Dean earned his Bachelor’s of Arts Degree in Journalism from California State University, Long Beach and has published three books including Obama: The man, The Myth, the 44th President.

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