Saturday, June 14, 2008

Obama Campaign, the Obama supporters, the mainstream media, and the DNC are taking Hillary Clinton’s voters for granted

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I found this article from Taylor Marsh’s blog. The writer believes that the Obama campaign, the DNC, and the mainstream media are foolishly taking for granted that Hillary Clinton’s supporters will flock to Barack Obama. She believes that Obama and the DNC should apologize to Hillary Clinton and her supporters for the sexism that they were silent about. I don’t believe that Barack Obama has to apologize for all the sexism in the campaign just as Hillary Clinton shouldn’t have to apologize for all the racism in the campaign because sexism and racism has always been part of this nation’s history. However, I believe that Howard Dean and the DNC should apologize or at least make a statement about the sexism that was directed at Hillary Clinton that they were silent about as a way to fully reconcile with her voters. Howard Dean was vocal about what he perceived as racism against Barack Obama and rightly so. But he was totally silent when it came to sexism against Hillary Clinton. I don’t think Howard Dean will do that as he mistakenly believes that her supporters will all of a sudden have a change of heart and flock back home. It’s interesting to me how the mainstream media and many Obama supporters who have said some horrific things about Hillary Clinton are all of a sudden saying nice things about her after she did what they wanted her to do, which was to concede and endorse Barack Obama. These were the same people who were trying to push Hillary Clinton out of the race since February and questioning her motives to stay in a race that was extremely close. But once she left, they turned on a dime and praised her trying to pretend that all the nasty things they said about Clinton before that would somehow be magically forgotten. I think it’s foolish for the Obama campaign, Obama supporters, the mainstream media, and the DNC to arrogantly assume that Hillary Clinton’s supporters will back Barack Obama. It’s unprecedented to have had a woman and African American run as the frontrunners for a major party nomination. I don’t think hard feelings will subside anytime soon. (It also doesn’t help that some Obama supporters are cynically telling Hillary Clinton supporters that they are racist if they don’t vote for Obama). I can’t predict what will happen in the next few months. But I just think it’s mistaken to think that this year will be like other primaries in the past where the wounds were healed easily. If there’s anything that we’ve learned this election cycle, it is that what we thought should happen hasn’t always happened. Basically, throw out precedent because this election cycle is totally different than anything we’ve had before.

It’s been a historic primary season as an African American and a woman were vying for the Democratic nomination. Both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton have broke new ground in a country with a long history of white supremacy and patriarchy/misogyny. It’s a great moment in our nation to see an African American with a realistic chance at becoming the next President of the United States.

With that said, I will do what I did in 2004. I will be a good Democrat, hold my nose, swallow my pride and vote for Barack Obama. But I know plenty of Hillary Clinton supporters who will not and the DNC better wake up to that fact.

Obama and the Democrats Owe Hillary Clinton and Her Supporters a Formal Apology for the Campaign’s Sexism

U.S. News & World Reports; by Bonnie Erbe; June 9, 2008

Sen. Hillary Clinton may have come out full bore for the Barack Obama campaign on Saturday, but many of her supporters are having none of it.

Check out this CNN video on YouTube, which sums up the palpable anger many of her supporters feel. Another must-see Web stop is Ed Hale’s site, That is shorthand for Hillary Clinton Supporters for John McCain. Hale claims to have garnered 35,000 supporters within a week of launching the site.

The Democratic National Committee either doesn’t get it or refuses to admit it. Nothing short of a lengthy, detailed mea culpa by the DNC and by Obama himself, directed to Clinton supporters for the sexist name-calling and personal, nasty characterizations Clinton was alone forced to endure, will do. Even that may not persuade these voters to consider supporting the party this fall. The DNC, Democratic Party leaders in Congress, and Obama should have been at her side, calling her treatment by the media (and even by some Obama supporters) unacceptable.

According to most polls, something in the range of 20 to 25 percent of her 18 million supporters say they’ll vote for Senator McCain in November. That’s 4.5 million votes—too many to take for granted. Yet taking them for granted is just what the party and Obama are doing. When CNN’s Candy Crowley asked Obama how he would appeal to disaffected Clinton voters, he missed the mark entirely, giving a standard set of policy proposals.

I appeared on one of the cable news networks over the weekend, paired with a political reporter from a major newspaper. We were asked whether her supporters would kiss and make up with the Obama camp and end up throwing their support to the Illinois senator in the general election. He said, dismissively, “yes.” I responded that with all due respect I thought he was quite wrong. But his laissez-faire attitude typifies that of the bulk of the MSM, the Democratic Party, and the Obama campaign.

We won’t know how her supporters will vote until after the general election and its exit polls. Those who sit it out won’t even be counted in exit polls. My feeling is just as the MSM underestimated the reaction to anti-Clinton remarks would generate, and the DNC overestimated voters’ party loyalty, that no one has a clear read on what comes of all this. The party may have created a miniboom in Republican registration—disaffected Democrats who will never vote for a Democratic candidate again.

There’s also the question no one is addressing: With Clinton’s absence in the race, middle-of-the-road voters have nowhere to go. McCain isn’t conservative enough as far as religious conservatives are concerned. But he’s seen as solidly conservative by everyone else and calls himself a conservative. Obama has the albatross of the National Journal’s rating as the No. 1 most liberal member of the U.S. Senate. Senator Clinton had come in 14th on that list, which puts her much closer to the middle of the road. Mainstream voters have three choices. They can hold their noses and vote for an extreme liberal or a fairly extreme conservative. They can sit it out, or they can write someone in.

As one voter told me, “This is a ‘vote against’ election.” There’s no one for moderates to vote for.

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