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It is 5:30am...I'm awake because I can't fall asleep because I jacked up my shoulder last night while sleeping. I took two aspirin and hope that they will kick in soon. is a very emotional commentary about the Clinton/Ferraro hubbub by Keith Olbermann

Date: 2008-03-13 03:06 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Sounds to me like the Clinton campaign is feeling a distinct case of sour grapes.

Date: 2008-03-13 04:54 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Ferraro got that wrong on so many dimensions.

Primarily, it strikes me that the reason Obama is doing so well is largely that he's approached politics like a professional. I mean by that that he's gone into the various states and built organizations with strong local ties, he's worked to get the vote out, he's learned the rules the different states operated under and optimized his campaign for each state (note, for example, that he looks to come out of Texas with more delegates than Clinton), and he's done a better job than Clinton of staying focused on his core message rather than thrashing around with random attacks. I don't remember the context now, but I remember looking at the news after one of the early primaries before Super Tuesday and saying to [ profile] chorale, "Clinton just blinked"—in the sense that this was a contest where perfect focus was needed to win, and Clinton had lost hers in one of her comments. I wasn't sure it would make a difference, because after all it was early and Obama could have lost his just as easily, but it seemed like an omen.

Secondarily—being black is an advantage? Oh, it was an advantage in that it gave Obama a group of partisans, and it looks as if he's been skillful enough to make use of that advantage. But it isn't as if Clinton didn't have a natural group of partisans in women over forty. And being black wasn't enough of an advantage for any of a long list of earlier black candidates to get in sight of the nomination—because they appealed to black voters and not to anyone else. In contrast, Obama managed to appeal to white voters, starting with his first victory in Iowa, an overwhelmingly white state, because he wasn't running on a specifically black platform. In fact, he's made a point of saying that "identity politics" has harmed the ability of the Democratic Party to mobilize support for other issues.

Third—lucky? Well, okay, and Clinton could be said to be lucky in that she's married to a former president who's a very powerful political figure in his party. Does anyone think that some random woman lawyer with no more political track record than Hillary Clinton have could have walked into New York, gotten the Senate nomination, and won the election? If she'd been Hillary Rodham Jones, all those New Yorkers would have been saying, "Hillary who?" So raising the issue of unearned good fortune in politics was probably not the best move for Ferraro. The big difference is that Clinton assumed that her unearned prestige was all she needed to be heir presumptive to the White House, whereas Obama assumed that he had to run a serious campaign.

The irony of that last point, too, is that Clinton is trying to appeal to feminism—but what kind of feminist agenda is it to say that women should gain career success, not based on their own talent or effort, but by being married to powerful men, and staying married to those men despite their abusive behavior? That's not the feminism I cheered for in the 1960s. And if a lot of prominent feminists are pro-Clinton now, I think they've sold out the ideals I admired the movement for.

Date: 2008-03-13 07:41 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I agree 100% with everything you've said here.

I'm actually quite shocked at how badly Clinton's campaign is unravelling and unfocused. It really doesn't seem like her people expected to have to campaign for real. There isn't a coherent emotional affect or message for her campaign. She is somehow trying to be both insider and underdog. She cares about the voice of the people (regarding Florida and Michigan) but she regularly dismisses states she didn't win in as not being important. She is trying to decry identity politics while still benefitting from them. It does say a lot about her large base of support that she is still doing decently despite here inconsistent campaign. But...I think she is beginning to do a lot of damage to the party and to her own reputation by diving into negative politics to this level.

Date: 2008-03-13 10:23 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
It's sad, but as I said in a recent entry: Munchkin. A campaign run on the principle of "whatever gives the most hit dice."


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