Friday, May 09, 2008

Race heated, why are we still talking about the fallout?

Interesting article over in the NY Times although I found it on MSNBC. Is the Clinton era, sadly, coming to an end? I was an Evan Bayh supporter from the get go and reluctantly found myself supporting Hillary Clinton for President, feeling that she was the best candidate left after Bayh, Warner, et al pulled out. Here's a quote from Bob Kerrey:
“It’s going to be hard,” said Bob Kerrey , a former senator from Nebraska, and a supporter of Mrs. Clinton. “Part of what I’ve seen in this campaign is how difficult it is to unite this party: To unite voters in West Virginia with Democratic voters in South Central Los Angeles. That is what he has to do and what is going to be hard.”

“He has to learn to set aside grievances; and there are going to be plenty of them,” Mr. Kerrey said. “Can we disagree without being disagreeable? The answer is, no. We get disagreeable. And this has been a disagreeable primary.”
It will definitely be hard. Take Kentucky, for example. We're a state that votes on values. Chandler was somehow tied to Patton for, well, you know. Gore lost because Clinton couldn't keep his pants down. Fletcher was problematic but somehow won his party's nomination but he was unable to see daylight afterwards.

The problem now is, will the Democratic Party be able to get united by November? I highly doubt that it will. Here's another excerpt that reflects that this party has a lot to work to do in the event that Obama is the nominee:
One example of the political environment Mr. Obama faces could be found in the fact that nearly 50 percent of Clinton supporters in Indiana said they would vote for Senator John McCain , Republican of Arizona, or stay at home if Mr. Obama was the candidate, surveys of voters leaving the polls said on Tuesday.

History suggests that that response reflects the emotion attendant to such an intensely fought campaign, and Democrats said that they were confident the majority of these voters would return to the fold as the differences are drawn between Mr. Obama and Mr. McCain on issues like the Iraq war and the merits of the Bush administration.

“These people are not going to vote for John McCain — I don’t care what they say now,” Mr. Hart said.

Still, even a mild defection of Democrats could prove critical if the country undergoes another presidential election as close as the last two, and Mr. Obama’s advisers said they were well aware of that as they prepared for the months ahead.
Indiana, a state that was considered to be in play if Bayh were on the ticket, is now looking like it will be a solid red state come November.

It's too early to tell for Kentucky but given that most Democrats in the state, I'd say, are conservative, it could flip either way.

But what is to be said of Florida? Will they vote for the Democrat that didn't fight for their delegates or will they go McCain? You lose Florida and you likely lose the White House.

But the Democratic race has been much more heated. Just read this article from a month back.
O'Brien said, "With straight white male progressive friends, I feel something that makes me viscerally angry and afraid -- the viciousness of the rebuttals to the suggestion that [Obama's and Clinton's] policies are roughly equal or that Clinton's have some benefits to them, the outright dismissal of any support of her, the impossibility of having a nuanced conversation ... The whole 'Hillary Clinton is a monster' theme is so virulent."

Alex Seggerman, a 24-year-old art history Ph.D. student at Yale and an Obama voter, said, "I don't think anyone in my peer group, including my parents and my friends, would be comfortable saying, 'I'm not ready for a woman president.' They would be ostracized. Saying, 'She's had plastic surgery' or 'Her attitude is off-putting' are fine. But these are really expressions of some deeper issues with the fact that she's a woman."[...]

Valenti continued, "Because their friends were not being specifically sexist, or saying something that was tangibly misogynistic, they were having a hard time talking about the sexism of it." Valenti confirmed that this "Feminine Mystique"-y problem that has no name was familiar to her. "I spoke to a guy friend who said, 'You're being ridiculous. I'm not not voting for her because she's a woman; I'm not voting for her because she's a bitch!' He could not see the connection between the two things at all." Valenti said he explained away his comment by declaring, "I mean 'a bitch' in the sense that she's not good on this or that issue."
Hat tip to Jewschool.

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