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House of Clinton « Previous | |Next »
May 11, 2008

Why would a smart woman like Hillary Clinton continue her campaign when the odds are against her? Does Clinton's doggedness in fighting on reflect a hope on her part that she wants to add expected wins in West Virginia, Kentucky and Puerto Rico to her grand total, and then extract political favours from Obama, which could include the vice-presidential slot? Will Clinton be able to force her way onto the ticket?

ClintonH.jpg Peter Brookes

Americans are probably witnessing a changing of the guard, the final days of the House of Clinton, after 16 years of dominance. Yet a large part of the Democratic electorate, ā€“ especially white, blue-collar and the elderly ā€“ remain passionately loyal to the Clintons, and openly hostile to Obama.

Clinton's heritage, as Paul Krugman points out in the New York Times, is a Democrat party that looks to be deeply divided along race and class lines.

Update: 12 May
African-American voters have broken for Obama in margins that make Hillary Clinton look about as popular in the neighborhood as Rudy Giuliani. So much for Hillary Clinton's alleged roots in the black community. Ta-Nehisi Coates in The Nation says that:

so much of what's been said about Barack Obama and African-Americans has been so shockingly wrong. Intellectuals examining Obama are trapped in an ancient dynamic--one that even in its heyday was overstated--in which white and black America are constantly at each other's throats, and agree on nothing. The either/or fallacy is their default setting.....Obama has redefined blackness for white America, has served notice that wherever we are, we are. What he is positing is blackness as a valid ethnic identity with its own particular folkways and yet still existing within the broader American continuum.

The shift is in focus from white racism to black culture, which Coates explores in this article on Bill Cosby in The Atlantic.

Now that it's clear Hillary's presidential campaign is all but over, the right is proceeding apace with their attempt to attack Michelle Obama as radical, unfeminine, unpatriotic. One of the most basic rhetorical tropes in the Republican and Right's tactic book is that all Democrats are radicals who hate America, that all female Democrats are ball-busting bitches and all male Democrats are girly-men (Barack Obama is an effete latte-sipping snob). Then the racism will be poured on. Read Kathy-G's post on this at The G Spot.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 9:42 AM | | Comments (10)
Comments

Comments

Gary,
The latest delegate count from NBC News gives Obama 1850 delegates and Clinton 1703, while 2,025 are needed to clinch the nomination. Obama currently has 274 superdelegates whilst Clinton has 271. Clinton once lead by 100. The undecided superdelegates to the Democratic party convention who will decide the nomination are opting for Obama.

Clinton is favoured to win in West Virginia and Kentucky, whilst Obama is expected to take Oregon (May 20). If so, the bell tolls for Clinton as Obama is ahead in the next two primaries in Montana and South Dakota (June 3). The writing is on the wall. A negative campaign against Obama is only going to alienate her from the rest of the Democrat Party that is seeking unity so as to be able fight the dirt machine of the Republicans.

We are likely to see some long faces in the House of Clinton. Iā€™m sure Billary thought it was destiny that she would end up in the oval office sitting in that large sumptuous chair barking out orders. All those dreams and aspirations are now in serious doubt as the press counts down the number of days before she withdraws from the race. Will she be able to rally and make a run in 2012?

RumpoleQC,
Clinton's electoral strategy--destiny that she would end up in the oval office-- was flawed from the start. They built their strategy around the campaign beign a walk over not trench warfare, had little by way of a campaign organization, and they had the flavour of the old Democrat politics.

They allowed Obama to collect dfelegates from the smaller states (eg.,(Nebraska) which they did not contest. Her wins in the bigger states (eg.,Califorrnia ) were shared because of the proportional selection process.

Gary,
an interesting article on Hillary Clinton in The Nation---Betsy Read's Race to the Bottom. Read says that though Clinton purports to stand for liberal ideals and values:

...what is most troubling--and what has the most serious implications for the feminist movement--is that the Clinton campaign has used her rival's race against him. In the name of demonstrating her superior "electability," she and her surrogates have invoked the racist and sexist playbook of the right--in which swaggering macho cowboys are entrusted to defend the country--seeking to define Obama as too black, too foreign, too different to be President at a moment of high anxiety about national security. This subtly but distinctly racialized political strategy did not create the media feeding frenzy around the Rev. Jeremiah Wright that is now weighing Obama down, but it has positioned Clinton to take advantage of the opportunities the controversy has presented.

Clinton has been playing the wedge politics of race and patriotism.

Peter
Elizabeth Drew has an article in the New York Review of Books entitled Molehill Politics that is built around the common view that "the Clintons will do anything to win." Drew argues that the Clintons are increasingly proving the point. She gives this example:

Clinton's frequent switching of tactics and personas raises the question of who she is and why she's so changeable: employing a Southern accent in a Selma, Alabama, church; dropping her g's while touring in Appalachia; sounding something like a cowboy in Wyoming ("concerns that keep ya up at night"), and then back to a Southern accent in Mississippi. Clinton's variability does not mean that she lacks her own core belief about the need to help improve people's lives. But it suggests that she is not a natural politician and is willing to try almost anything, while her feuding staff gives her conflicting advice. As a result, her campaign has had no overall message, and her themes have shifted almost by the week. The disorder within her own campaign team raises questions about how she would govern.

The Clinton's lost this campaign because of their mistakes. They lost it on Super Tuesday, and have been fighting a rearguard strategy ever since.

HRC needs to give it up already! she is just wasting everyone's money and time...hello you are done for! Obama is going to beat clinton, there is no doubt about that! check out obamas site and his campaign song at www.obamarocks08.com

Shirley
surely Hillary Clinton is entitled to make her own decisions about her own campaign. Allowing her to do that would help to unify the Democratic party.

Nan,
yes but there comes a point when she is going to damage the Democratic party. At the moment its about day-to-day survival, with every 24 hours of continued existence taken as a victory.But what's the point of survival in the political wilderness?

Whats your opinion of this campaign song? http://www.obamarocks08.com

Shirley,
I like it. It works as a campaign song.

I note that Hillary Clinton has won the West Virginia primary as expected --its demographic is white and working class---and she is vowing to fight on. No doubt she will win Kentucky and get rolled by Obama in Oregon.

Oregon is the crunchtime point.