February 21, 2008

Obama v. Clinton in the Senate

The top link on the link aggregator reddit.com right now is deceptively entitled “I Refuse to Buy into the Obama Hype.” It links to an article in a diary on the popular liberal DailyKos website, written by “Grassroots Mom.”

I say “deceptively titled” because the title sounds like it’s an anti-Obama piece. Instead it purports to be one person’s summary of her research into the two candidate’s accomplishments in the Senate after deciding that she wasn’t going to make a decision on hype. I think it’s a little disingenuous; even if the author is being honest about her journey (and I have no reason to doubt she is) the implication is that Obama’s momentum is hype-driven. She offers no evidence that other people haven’t made their decisions by rational means other the searching the Library of Congress site, but I guess I shouldn’t nitpick because it’s a decent read.

The author makes the point that she feels Obama’s record shows the kind of focus and effort she would look for in a leader, although she identifies a lot of work both candidates have done that is worthy of a Democratic nomination.

Her ultimate decision to support Obama comes not from a flat count of legislation, but on the scope of Obama’s ability to get people to work with him, and his legislation being more “to the point.”

Perhaps the “hype” allegation is natural after an Obama supporter came under fire for not being able to tell you about the man’s accomplishments. If you’re in the same position, you might be interested in Grassroots Mom’s article.

Posted by James at February 21, 2008 7:56 AM
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I don't mean to missle a dead satellite here, but I think the entire "Hillary is experienced" argument is bunk.

Posted by: David Grenier at February 21, 2008 12:30 PM

James tweeted this great Molly Ivins column, but I don't know if he posted it:

Posted by: Maggie at February 21, 2008 1:06 PM

If I had needed any more convincing, the Molly Ivins column would have done it for me.

I don't want to missile a dead satellite either, but something has been on my mind a lot lately.

I know people who told me they would vote for either McCain or Clinton in the final election. Presumably, these people would vote for McCain, then, if Obama is the nominee.

However, I'm willing to bet that those same people would vote McCain over Clinton anyhow. Maybe I'm wrong, but it's the feeling I get from the specific people I know.

I'm wondering if there are any people (not right-wing talk shills, though) who are specifically saying they'd vote for Clinton over McCain, but McCain over Obama.

I just haven't heard of anyone like that.

Perhaps there are some racists, but I wonder what that racist dynamic is.

Does the private voting booth encourage an racist vote, because it is in secret? Or does it allow for an unpopular non-racist vote from someone who tolerates racism in public but is willing to support an black president in secret?

Posted by: James at February 21, 2008 2:02 PM

Thank you for linking the "I refuse" article, James. It's nice to finally read something with more content than bile. I wish I had seen it several months ago, but primary day has already come and gone for me.

Posted by: Chuck S. at February 21, 2008 2:21 PM

The way I see this "Clinton or McCain" thing working is that these people see those two candidates as being... how to put this tactfully... "safe." Centrist. Unthreatening. Unlikely to do anything that will disrupt our lives in any way, for better or for worse, or ask us to do anything different. They will keep the terrorists at bay, make sure we don't all go broke, give a few speeches, and other than that we won't hardly know they're there.

I don't think that's an accurate characterization of either candidate, but I believe that's the image they've each tried to cultivate outside the party bases. And of the two of them, I can see where many would find McCain slightly more appealing, because he's been around longer and doesn't seem to rub as many people the wrong way. I also expect that Obama would suffer, votewise, at the hands of such timid voters, because these people will cry every time he says something scary like "change."

I question whether this group of voters will be a problem, though, since so many of them end up not voting anyway. (Perhaps I'm being unfair about this, but I have specific people in mind.) Ultimately, only the people who actually care ever bother to vote, and I think the Democratic candidate (whoever it is) will have the upper hand among people who care about much of anything.

Of course wingnuts care too, but I don't think McCain can win their votes without losing everyone else's.

I'm knocking on wood like crazy, though.

Posted by: Julie at February 21, 2008 3:54 PM

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