Comments on: Wanted: a non-U.S. American for President History and sexual politics, 1492 to the present Tue, 30 Sep 2014 03:56:21 +0000 hourly 1 By: William K. Wolfrum Chronicles » Blog Archive » What a long, strange 2008 it was Sat, 03 Jan 2009 23:27:49 +0000 [...] Christian Agnostic, Northstar Chronicle, The Blue State, Smashed Frog, Night Bird’s Fountain, Historiann, Bookworm, The Sideshow, Litbrit, Endi Thinks, Left Word, Sam Seder, Booman Tribune, Memeorandum, [...]

By: David Thu, 13 Mar 2008 04:00:36 +0000 Olbermann goes off on Clinton’s campaign.

By: ej Thu, 13 Mar 2008 01:09:43 +0000 To respond to the above, I don’t think that David is suggesting that the Clintons are racist, just very willing to do whatever it takes to win. In some respects, I admire Hillary’s drive. Why should a woman be any less willing than a man to put everything on the line. However, this recent debacle has really been shocking. To not state clearly that she knew Obama is not a Muslim may have been hedging, but to not distance herself from Ferraro was divisive. In today’s world where everything is documented, they should have known that everyone would know that Ferraro’s defense would easily be penetrated. She made those comments on a number of occasions, and she lied to Anne Curry on the nightly news that it only came to light because the Obama campaign trolling the Internet to find something to use against Hillary. They would have had to bury their heads in the sand to let her continue talking without a response. And yes, her “resignation from the campaign that the Clintons claim she is not a part of” letter was brief, but also incendiary in blaming others for what was an inaccurate remark.

Are the Clintons racist-I think not. Do they stand to benefit from raising the issue, especially after Ohio and Mississippi, where they clearly won the white vote, yes. Should Hillary have done what she demanded of Obama in regards to the Farakhan debate-denounce and reject-yes! Did she, unfortunately, no.

I apologize for the rant, but I thank Historiann for providing the venue!

By: David Thu, 13 Mar 2008 01:01:19 +0000 I don’t think the Clintons are racists either, I just think they know what will work.

Look, the Ferraro thing works well for them. She goes on the airwaves and says these things, they generate a lot of press. Hillary distances herself from the comments, but the message sinks in. The message is not, I believe, fundamentally racist, though it appeals to racist attitudes. It says, “Look, this guy doesn’t deserve to be where he is. If he were just another white guy, would he be here?” This plays well to whites who feel threatened by Affirmative Action, who think that women get passed over too often. This is a core emotion that Clinton has tapped into throughout the campaign, and it works well for her. That’s been proven, I think.

Clinton already knows that she has lost the AA vote for the primaries. They are hoping that if they somehow win the nomination, they can convince Obama to help them campaign, and bring that back. They are banking on the idea that blacks won’t vote for a Republican. Or, and this is absolutely key, if Obama wins the nomination, this racial rhetoric will help to dampen the support he receives among rural whites, bringing the presidency to McCain, who we’ve now already been told several times is more qualified than Obama to be Commander in Chief. McCain wins, inherits an unpopular war and a bad economy, and Hillary can run again in 2012 (she’ll be 64 then).

This is not tinfoil hat stuff. This is basic politics. Sure, the pundits are outraged right now about the Ferraro stuff, but the story will die in a few days, it will become something else, and the campaign will go on. If you look at the pattern, the campaign keeps putting this stuff out there, but there is always plausible deniability on the part of the Clinton campaign, and after the thing has run its cycle they denounce it and move on. They do this to dominate the news cycles. This is how they know how to win. It’s not stupid, it’s not far-fetched, it is pure manipulation of the media, which will chase anything, and the blocs of voters that are key to their success, with whom these kinds of messages resonate.

Ask yourself this basic question: would Hillary and Bill Clinton rather see Barack Obama as president or John McCain? To me, the answer is obvious: McCain. Nothing will look worse for the legacy of the Clintons than an Obama win in November. That’s why they will take this all the way to the convention, tarnish Obama’s image any way they can, and meanwhile bolster McCain’s credentials vis-a-vis Obama.

If I’m wrong, tell me why.

Meanwhile, I’ve put up a post on this topic that takes a rather different slant.

By: BEW Thu, 13 Mar 2008 00:30:44 +0000 David,

Accusing Hillary of appealing to race doesn’t make make alot of sense politically. According to conventional wisdom, Hillary and Bill, if nothing else, are the consummate politicians; everything they say and do is plan to the nth degree.

Why would they alienate the African American voters who they will need to win the general election. Are they going to Ferraro remaerks to win white voters in Mississippi? C’mon on. If Hillary was only able to attract 40 or 50% AA voters in the primaries, the race would surely be different. Why would she deliberately offend them? She’s not stupid. Even if they can forego AA votes in the primaries, how can we democrats win in the general election if the AAs sit out this election? Furthermore, all of these so call signals have been out in the open; the MLK LBJ remark, fairy tale, Jesse Jackson, somali dress picture, Ferraro remarks etc. To construe most of remarks as dog whistles is a misnomer; they are dog sirens. They are not subtle at all. The Clintons have almost 24/7 coverage; how can they send out secret signals? The Republicans do this sort of thing back channel so to speak; emails, pushpolls, rumors, etc, everything is done with deniability as witness the MCCains ambush in the S Carolina priamry in 2000. What everybody is complaining is about has been out in the open; there have no reports of these type of backchannel efforts that I know about.

I don’t think the Clintons are racists. Some of their remarks may have been dumb but alot of it has been blown out of proportion by the media AND the blogs (not Historiann’s, of course, :)) Besides the misogny shown, the accusations of racims against the Clintons is one of the more disgusting things I have seen. That a Republican can make those type of accusation against a Democrat is not a surprise; for a Democrat to make those charges against a fellow Democrat is revolting.

By: David Wed, 12 Mar 2008 23:21:13 +0000 No, she’s not the devil. She’s just a very nasty competitor. But you’re right, I’m sure all the Clinton campaign’s comments since South Carolina about black states being states that don’t matter is just coincidence. There’s no way they are trying to use racial fears to their advantage. I mean, it’s not like they are winning overwhelmingly among voters who cite race and/or gender as their number one factor in casting their vote.

By: Historiann Wed, 12 Mar 2008 20:01:25 +0000 David, you’re being totally unfair. I know that it’s quite difficult for Obama supporters not to assume that everything that happens isn’t part of some evil, racist plot hatched in Hillary Clinton’s mind, but it’s not. Why the assumption of ill will? I don’t assume that everything dumb that comes out of the mouth of an Obama supporter is part of a nefarious, misogynist plot. Call me an optimist, but I’m of the conviction that most Democrats are anti-racists.

I understand that you don’t support her for the Democratic nomination, but what has she ever done to provoke this kind of a frenzy, other than campagin against your guy? And if you think she is nasty, then you’d better unplug for the general election, because the Republicans will unleash holy heck on Obama. THAT’s the constituency that will run with the racist and xenophobic attacks, and they’ll do it proudly. Please, go look up some of the ads that Kerry, Edwards, and co. ran against Howard Dean in 2003-04, and then report back here that Hillary Clinton is the ultimate devil of American politics.

By: David Jones Wed, 12 Mar 2008 19:45:25 +0000 I don’t understand why you don’t relish the nastiness–it’s clearly one of Clinton’s strongest suits as a campaigner.

I agree that the first comment was something that got blown up by the media. What interests me is not the first comment, but the second one, which came some time later, after, presumably, the Clinton campaign could have reached out to her and told her to stop it, and this time she went on a national television show and, if anything, upped the ante, repeating her claims even more loudly.

Why do you think this will hurt the Clinton campaign? I don’t think it will. Reminding voters of Obama’s race, and playing victim to an unfair gender dynamic, plays exactly to Clinton’s core voters: rural white Democrats and women. Since South Carolina the campaign has tried to cast Obama as “the black candidate,” through Bill’s remarks, downplaying the significance of Obama victories in black states, and a variety of other insinuations and comments by surrogates like Ferraro. This seems to fall right in with this strategy.

By: Historiann Wed, 12 Mar 2008 18:47:07 +0000 Thanks, BEW–it’s perhaps an instructive lesson about the power of the internets to take an offhand remark (albeit a stupid and wrong one) in a small-town newspaper in California and blow it up into a major campaign issue.

By: BEW Wed, 12 Mar 2008 18:35:51 +0000 Here’s Kevin’s Drum interpretation of Ferraro’s remarks as a dog whistle

I thought it was a interesting interpretation since he is a Obama supporter, albeit a rational one.