Friday, February 29, 2008
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
Monday, February 25, 2008
Ohio is the make-or-break primary state in this race for the democratic party nomination, and delegates. Here's a good story that explains the thinking in Alternet. Here's the start of the piece:
It is widely believed that Ohio's primary on March 4 will play a pivotal role in determining the Democratic candidate for President. If Obama wins the statewide popular vote, the pundits proclaim, his victory likely would propel him to similar success in Pennsylvania (on April 22), and the party's "superdelegates" -- who by all accounts will control the outcome of the party's national convention in Denver -- will fall in line. Conversely, if Clinton prevails in the Ohio primary's popular vote, then she would be expected to do the same in Pennsylvania, and these two victories in states that will be major battlegrounds in the general election campaign will cause the superdelegates to favor her.And in the New York Times today, Geraldine Ferraro, who is a superdelegate, gives a history of how they came about and what the point of them is (spoiler alert: it's coz the Dems are such a disorganized mess).
Friday, February 22, 2008
Ellen Goodman in her column today points out that Obama is running a campaign that is way in touch with his feminine side. It's a campaign brought to you by the feminist movement. Too bad Hillary can't tap in to her feminine side. She has to appear tough as nails, a hawk to Obama's dove, to be taken seriously. So, with gender roles being reversed, why does it feel like women still don't come out on top in this scenario? Because they -- she -- isn't.
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
In explaining the process of picking a nominee for president, there is always the reference to the smoke-filled room of yore. Well, that may not be how it is these days. Actually, the Internet has blown that room wide open. But that makes it no less archaic and enigmatic, and well, downright baffling.
My good friend Jen Nix has set to de-obfuscating us with her supercool blog tracking the superdelegates. And check it out, the New York Times has noticed!
As a side note: I think you have officially made it when you are called Ms. So and So in the New York Times. Can we all agree on that?
These sites, like Jen's LiteraryOutpost.com and Congresspedia, are seeking to create transparency around the superdelegate process. Oy, good luck with that. What's flummoxing pundits and regular people alike is the inability to know the outcome. It's like an election like we haven't seen in a loooong time. Seriously, check out these links for grassroots level info. It'll blow your mind. Or at least, blow your theories.
Clinton the husband was in Ohio this weekend campaigning for his wife and confronted some anti-choice hecklers.
Here's how it went down, according to the CBS Blog From the Road. Says Clinton to crazy pro-lifer:
“I gave you the answer. We disagree with you. You want to criminalize women and their doctors and we disagree,” he said. “If you were really pro-life, you would want to put every doctor and every mother as an accessory to murder in prison. And you won’t say you wanna do that because you know that because you know that you wouldn’t have a lick of political support.
And then Clinton related the issue back to his wife: “You can’t name me anybody presently in politics that did more to introduce policies that reduce the number of real abortions instead of the hot air putting out to tear people up and make votes by dividing America.”
Thursday, February 14, 2008
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
Monday, February 11, 2008
I don't think it's too big a leap to see the pointed swipes at Hillary's gender as anti-woman. Here's an opinion piece in the Boston Herald that contrasts the media love-fest for Obama with the Hillary hating comments. Here's a snippet:
No word on what they think about MSNBC’s Tucker Carlson saying that whenever Hillary comes on television, “I involuntarily cross my legs.” He first said this last summer when his producer talked about a Clinton doll advertised on the Web site HillaryNutcracker.com. It features “serrated stainless steel thighs that, well, crack nuts,” said producer Willie Geist, who introduced the story this way: “I think the metaphor in this next story, Tucker, is pretty clear.” Then came Carlson’s “cross my legs” response.
Implying an MSNBC pattern, Clinton spokesman Howard Wolfson noted that another MSNBC star, Chris Matthews, apologized just last month after saying Hillary Clinton was elected senator because voters felt sorry for her nonstop humiliations by philandering husband Bill. “She didn’t win there on her merits,” Matthews said.
The New York Times this weekend even suggested that Obama's claims of drug use were not much more than that. When was the last time you read an article in the paper debunking a candidate's drug use?
Paul Krugman also weighs in today, asserting that Obama's people are getting too heated and partisan around their candidate, in a way that Nixon did around theirs.
For now, Clinton rules are working in Mr. Obama’s favor. But his supporters should not take comfort in that fact.
For one thing, Mrs. Clinton may yet be the nominee — and if Obama supporters care about anything beyond hero worship, they should want to see her win in November.
For another, if history is any guide, if Mr. Obama wins the nomination, he will quickly find himself being subjected to Clinton rules. Democrats always do.
But most of all, progressives should realize that Nixonland is not the country we want to be. Racism, misogyny and character assassination are all ways of distracting voters from the issues, and people who care about the issues have a shared interest in making the politics of hatred unacceptable.
Wednesday, February 06, 2008
What we learned from Super Tuesday is that we know nothing. Do women hate Hillary? Not bloody likely. Are people worried about Obama's resume? Doesn't really seem like it. Ellen Goodman's column is great in laying out the choice. Instead of the media soaking up the candidates' trite messaging (tested and experienced, time for change) it's time for a more in-depth conversation.
I worry that the lack of decisive victory for the democrats and the long haul ahead means more fracturing for a party that is fractured enough. I hope we can weather it and still come out ahead come November.
Monday, February 04, 2008
Back in college, we had this T-shirt with caricatures of Nancy Reagan and Barbara Bush (who both went to Smith College) with the mantra: there must be a better way to get a Smithie to the White House.
Hillary Clinton proved there is: you run on your husband's presidential coattails. Let me tell you about some other ways men have gotten to the White House: with names like Bush, like Kennedy, like Roosevelt. This is what they mean when they say the old boys' network. Hillary Clinton knows that game. Does it lessen her impact, her historical gain, to come this close to winning the nomination? Actually, I don't think it does. It may not be the cleanest first step for a pioneer, but it is a first step, nonetheless. If you disagree, you don't vote for her.
You vote for Barack Obama. He's new, and fresh. He speaks like a god. He gets the kids excited, and he gets them out to vote (although, according to the Linda Hirshman NYT story in the magazine on Sunday, women are more likely to get involved in an election when a woman is running.)
What a nice problem to have: two amazing candidates. Two candidates who are not middle-aged white men. Forget the oratory: who are we kidding -- a vote for Obama or Clinton is a vote for a big change.
I watched the Hollywood CNN debate and listened to them both. It didn't help. I like them both. I'm excited by them both. And yet.
I'm put off by the idea that Hillary is a shrill, manipulative, overly ambitious woman to Obama's well-suited, smooth demeanor. He's the cool guy in the room. She's the smart woman. He loves to be carried away by words. She loves policy. It sounds like a bad episode of the Odd Couple. Tomorrow, one of them will take us to a much better place. But today, I have to choose between the two.
Remember back in '92 when we wore buttons that said Hillary's husband for president? Remember? I'm voting for her and for uncool, smart women everywhere. I am going to give her this one chance and see where it takes us. I'm voting for Hillary.
One more topic to consider if you're looking at the competing democrats: their plans for universal healthcare coverage.
At a rally I attended Friday night, Hillary Clinton said, "I'm for universal coverage because I wouldn't know who to leave out."
Paul Krugman in his New York Times column today, agrees that Clinton's plan is the most comprehensive:
Specifically, new estimates say that a plan resembling Mrs. Clinton’s would cover almost twice as many of those now uninsured as a plan resembling Mr. Obama’s — at only slightly higher cost.
Let’s talk about how the plans compare.
Both plans require that private insurers offer policies to everyone, regardless of medical history. Both also allow people to buy into government-offered insurance instead.
And both plans seek to make insurance affordable to lower-income Americans. The Clinton plan is, however, more explicit about affordability, promising to limit insurance costs as a percentage of family income. And it also seems to include more funds for subsidies.
But the big difference is mandates: the Clinton plan requires that everyone have insurance; the Obama plan doesn’t.
Why is that men are always the default setting in politics. ABC News is talking about the pull that women feel between the two candidates -- but really, aren't all democrats torn, not just women? The polls would suggest that -- since Clinton and Obama are neck and neck in Super Tuesday states. This kind of baiting is hardly news-worthy. These candidates can't be put down to the lowest common denominator of race or sex. But they can't be considered outside those identities either. You can't step aside of your race or gender. But the (white, male) media is fine doing just that.
Friday, February 01, 2008
She wore low-heeled, sensible shoes (yes, I noticed) and a navy blue suit. She stood with Ted Danson as he gushed about what a smart and beautiful woman she is, and then the mayor of San Francisco, Gavin Newsom, gushed about what a great debate she had last night (she really did).
Then Hillary spoke for almost an hour, because well, it seemed to me, people don't get her passionate, policy does. She has so many ideas, "I got tired just watching her," my friend who came along to the Orpheum Theater fundraiser tonight, said. Exactly. It made me think, who in the world would want this clean-up after Bush job? Thank god she does. She didn't talk about herself, her narrative arc, her history. She got up like, of course we know who she is and why she has to do this. I wish she'd have talked about herself. Who doesn't want to hear her dish? Why is she such a woman about it, talking about how she cares so much for others, when we're there to see if we care about her.
Maybe the most inspiring moment of the whole night was seeing the 10-year-olds in the crowd with their moms, watching a woman who may just be the first female president, standing on stage talking about the future. There she is, talking about the future. There they are, the future.