Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Random Campaign Thoughts...

A lot has been going through my mind concerning the campaign, but I haven’t had any significant time to properly comprehend these thoughts. So please allow me to relieve some mental pressure, all the while stealing profootball.com’s patented “one-liners” format (well, they can’t patent a blog format…can they?). Actually, these will be more than one-liners:

I am beginning to question the method behind the Clintonite madness. Many of these women vow not to vote for Obama because of the sexism that occurred during the Democratic Primary. I do understand this sentiment, as Obama committed some acts (i.e. patting Michele on her derriere in public) and used some terminology (calling a woman “sweetie”) that was at least subtly sexist. Had Clinton mentioned subtle race put-downs (which she did), black folks would have gone into attack mode themselves (which they did).

However, when these same women went on Fox News and stated their intentions to vote for McCain, my brain got to running in circles, thinking about whether they would have ever voted for Obama. The “Clinton” name has represented the Democratic Party for fifteen years, and it follows that those supporters would be staunch Democrats. And now they switch party allegiances? Was the sexism really strong enough to fundamentally change voter perception, and thus create such a shocking migration? Or, is something else working here to halt Obama’s march to the White House?

To this “Clintonite” point, there is a historical reference that may add value to the conversation. Toward the end of America’s slave era, women teamed up with slaves and abolitionists in a coordinated effort to allow voting rights for all adults. Long story short, slaves got the right to vote while white women did not. In fact, women did not receive such rights for another fifty or so years (Women’s Suffrage, 19th Amendment: circa 1920). This pissed white women off (understandably, if not rightly, so. Women had other rights, but to be socially leap-frogged must have felt like a cruel punch to the gut…).

I am not defending today’s Clintonite’s actions (since I am almost positive most of them have not made the connection I just made), but I am pointing out what may be a natural rivalry (as far as natural rivalries exist between the complex combinations of race and a gender that are present here), possibly masterminded by white men (when in doubt, we can still blame white men. But don’t be surprised if that comfort ends sooner rather than later…).

It’s that time of the campaign year when mounting speculation concerning a candidate’s vice presidential choice creates mass hysteria (for reasons unbeknownst to me until I realized how far Dick Cheney has gone to expand VP powers). In most campaigns, a VP is chosen for his/her ability to generally complete the principle’s image (if the principle lacks foreign policy experience, get a war vet. Principle is not Christian enough, you say? Grab an evangelical. And so on…).

Given that Obama’s policy weakness resides in foreign affairs (and his social weakness resides in his skin color/gender combination), he needs someone with a strong reputation in that area. I think former Senator Sam Nunn fits well here, given his stewardship on the US Senate’s Armed Service Committee (additionally, he provides Obama the added bonus of being popular in a southern state, a place where Obama needs success if he is to win the presidency.).

McCain seems to have more weaknesses. He’s not evangelical enough for the evangelicals. His willingness to buck the GOP status quo (which quietly made him popular in some Democratic circles before this election season began) has the old guard of the party a bit wary of him. He’s an old candidate campaigning during an election that has produced a massive rise in youth participation. For all of these reasons, I have no idea how McCain completes his image. Thoughts?


Solgenic said...

McCain seems to have more weaknesses. [...], I have no idea how McCain completes his image. Thoughts?

Why, with a white woman who's great-grandmother* was a suffragist, of course!

Bonus points if this great-grandmother was also an abolitionist.


Solgenic said...


There's yet time to shake a suffragist and abolitionist out of Sarah Palin's family tree!

Plan B: As a member of 'Feminists for Life,' couldn't you consider her an ideological great-great-granddaughter of Susan B Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton? That is, if you go with FFL's attempts to reclaim those women's legacies.