Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Hillary/Nader Incident


So the people of West Virginia loooove Hillary Clinton. Yesterday Hillary beat Obama by about 40points in the state forever in our minds thanks to the lyrics of John Denver.

I continue to ask myself the following question? Why are the so called 'bible belt states' so enamored with Hillary Clinton? When I went to school in Kentucky and worked in Rural Virginia on a campaign the most taboo name to be associated with in politics if you were a Democrat was Hillary Clinton. After all, she once insulted women everywhere by saying she 'could have stayed home and baked cookies and had tea.'

In recent elections in these states Democratic candidates have been lumped in with 'liberals like Ted Kennedy and Hillary Clinton.' Yet now, the more working class, rural, and uneducated a state is, the more for Hillary it is.

While she rightly claims these as big victories, I still am skeptical of her ability to build a coalition of independents and Republicans in states that she has won like West Virginia and Tennessee, but what we have learned is that in the Rustbelt or the south, that the woman they love to hate is still the preferable option to the black guy.

Rather sad thing to have to say in 2008.


So last night I was at my version of Mecca,,,, home of the Chicago Cubs, Wrigley Field.

As me and my friends were waiting around the Harry Caray statue we were approached by a well meaning guy with a petition.

Him: Will you sign this petition for an independent candidate to be on the ballot?
My Friend: Who's the candidate?
Him: Ralph Nader, will you guys sign?
Me: If there was no Ralph Nader there would be no George Bush, sorry, I can't sign.
My Friend: Sure, I'll sign.
My other friend: I'll sign too.

Now, neither of my friends is overly political, but have to say for a moment I was proud of them for signing the petition and getting involved despite the fact I hope Nader doesn't get on any ballots he needs signatures for.

As I have stated before, I respect Ralph Nader a great deal and think he is a true American hero. He has done more for consumers in this country than probably 90% of Congress over the past 30 years.

His continual runs for President have lessened his credibility to me and more importantly have hurt Democratic chances. While a number of his voters wouldn't vote for anyone else, there are many who would vote for the Democrat.

Nader can claim he didn't cost Al Gore a clear Florida victory, but if he wasn't on the ballot in Florida in 2000 there would have been enough votes to give Gore a clear victory and then the US would never have been stuck with President George W. Bush.

Call me petty, but I won't support or even give a signature for Nader to get on the ballot. This election is too important to have Ralph Nader on battleground state ballots.

Though have to admit, I felt bad for the kid getting signatures. There were many times in my past I had to do this tedious and pointless exercise myself. Why should we force candidates to have their campaigns beg for signatures of people who don't want to give up their personal information?

One last point on my friends who signed the petition. I was proud of them until I realized that they intentionally signed an illegible signature and put down their wrong addresses and contact information.


Sarah said...
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Sarah said...

ohnny C. As always, I'm loving the blog.

The Nader issue I'm at a loss for; but as for the bible belt states new found love for Hillrod I have a theory.

As you know over the past half year I've been going through my Kentucky residency internship. Last night, this involved watching a documentary on the Harlem County Coal Miners strike in 1972.

How are the coal miners an Hillary connected you ask? Let me tell you.

The thing that amazed me about this strike was that the women were the driving force. While the men had to drag their counterparts out of bed in the morning to participate after the first month, the women were organizing, duking it out with the sheriff, the local protagonist and anyone else that decided to come their way in every way possible. They were pulling guns out of their bra's, laying in front of cars and threatening violence like a L.A. gang. Their passion for justice was unstoppable.

So here's my point, as many of us know, don't cross an angry woman, especially a group of them with momentum and numbers.

And women in these 'Bible Belt States' are pissed. The relate to Hillary in this manner. Here's where my future in politics officially dies, because saying things like this is tabboo. These bible belt states are the bread and butter of our military. You go into these small towns and promise men and women a stable future with security and benefits in and going to Iraq begins to look like an appealing option compared to the drudgery of mining etc. Plus, bible belt states are unquestionably more patriotic. There is a link between serving God and serving your country somewhere that I haven't ever understood personally.

So these are the women who are loosing their sons and daughters to the war. They are the ones that bought into President Bush, believed in him, vested their faith in is faith, and have been deeply scarred for it. They are also the people who are dealing with their husbands and sons service connected issues that the VA doesn't have the time, money or resources to deal with because their funding has been drastically cut as well.

It's been my experience, that women will address these issues more openly than men. Men have a phobia about lashing out against the US government which is rooted in their honor and respect for their parents, grandparents and great-grandparents service to this great country. (Again, total opinion)

Plus, (last point I promise) the recession hits these small, hard working towns more than any of us who have the time to sit and blog analytically about it know personally. They are the ones loosing their benefits an hours at the plants And now unable to support their families. It's the same thing now, as it was in Harlem County 30 years ago.

Women feel betrayed and overworked. Can anyone think of a political figure that would be able to establish an ethos with these women?

Sarah said...

In deleting and re-posting my last comment I lost the "J", oops.

17 People said...

Jeez Sarah,

I saw 3 comments and thought my blog was almost as popular as yours!

This is a wonderful post and think you made excellent point after excellent point.

The one point I have been trying to write a blog about you nailed in one concise paragraph. Middle America that put their faith and beliefs in George W Bush twice feel very burned by him. You used the word 'scarred' I prefer the phrase 'F'd over and taken for granted'.

I really believe this is the main reason Obama or Clinton will win in November.

When a sitting President has approval in the 20's and his own party has even faltered from the 85-95 range, it spells big trouble for John McCain and the Republican party.

Storm said...

All of what you say MAY be true if Obama wins WVA, KY,and the other bible belt states but I bet he wont. And in some cases will lose big time (if it were held today). That being the case it shows what you said originally Johnny to be true not some feeling of being screwed or burned. They dont want to vote for a Black guy with a the name that he has. And most of those who send their sons and daughters to war in these towns will appreciate a soldier who spent 5 years as a POW more than a guy who wont wear a flag pin on false patrism claims, or has a wife that says she is finally proud of America. Those things mean something to people in the rural areas, right or wrong. If the bible belt women were really pissed you would see Obama doing far better in the bible belt states (plus when you add in that there are more blacks in the state). In with that the only bible belt state that is close right now is VA.

Copy and paste the above link from the NYTIMES if you dont believe me.

Of course a lot can change before Nov (and I still wont bet agaisnt Obama- but i would bet it wont be because of the vast majority of Bible states).

But I might be wrong.

On a side note- most of the state of KY hates the city of Louisville because it is very little like the rest of the state, politcally, economically, etc. This goes back 200 years. If it were not for my family (maybe Trinity), Id never consider moving back to Louisville.

On the Nadar point Johnny you might be correct. Perhaps no Nade no Bush. But again, Al Gore has no one to blame but himself. HE DIDNT WINT HIS OWN STATE! He wins the state he claims, FL is a non issue. So you can blame Nader all you want but the fault lies at Gores feet. Even Mondale won his home state.

Storm said...
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Storm said...

My above post was just in reference to the 13 Confederate Star states plus WVA on how Obama will do vs. McCain.

Also, Johnny I have always said that the best thing the Dems could have done was run Al Gore or had Edwards get the nod. Even with approval rating being so bad for the sitting president, it will be more difficult for the most liberal senator, black, muslim sounding name than it would be for the above mentioned guys. Or here is an idea, run a freaking Moderate Dem (oh wait then you might have the same problem McCain has). Look what happened in Mississippi. They ran in a special election a very moderate democrat and pulled off a shocking upset. He was from the other party and was seen moderate enough= a win in a race that makes Strom roll over in his grave. Dont forget the Democrats approval rating in congress is almost as bad. If the Republican party would back John McCain they way they did Bush, McCain would probably win. The reason why McCain will probably lose will be because he is not conervative for his own base and they will stay home and not vote. What McCain has to hope for are a lot of the Hillary voters that have said they will vote for McCain over Obama to win (and there are a lot of them out there according to all the polls). Does that translate to actual votes? Dont know.

But it says something when you Johnny have a hard time backing a democrat. Obama looks pretty to some, and speaks well, much of his base probably couldnt tell you what he stands for. At least they couldnt until recently when they had already decided they were going to support him. You can tell this because even the pundits didnt know what he stood for until about March, and if they dont know... With that in mind, it now falls to the Hillary backers and where they decide to vote.

Patrick said...

Wait, Obama didn't do well in West Virginia?

A state where 2 out of ten people asked admitted, while leaving the polling the place, that they wouldn't vote for Obama because he was black?

A state that has elected a leader of the Klu Klux Klan who once said he would never serve in the military because it promoted the mongrolization of the white race to the senate? Not the state senate, mind you, but the Senate of the United States of America.

And not once, mind you, for for over fifty frickin years?

Obama didn't do well in that state?

I am Patrick's complete lack of surprise.

I actually saw this exchange on television on Wednesday-

TV reporter: Did you vote for Obama?
Hilljack: Nope.
TV reporter: May I ask why?
Hilljack: I just cain't staind the idear of a black man telling a white man what to do.
Tv reporter: Thank you, ma'am.

And that was just my favorite one. They talked to a lot of people who had the same attitude.

It's one thing, and legitimate, to not want to vote for Obama because you think his policies suck.

But the main thing going against Obama in West Virginia is that the primary was held in West Virginia.

Storm said...

Sometimes you cant understand WVA. You hear what they are saying but you wonder...why? This is the same state that last year is known for taking a black woman and keeping her locked up like a slave. Just last year! But I think a problem for Obama might be is that same thought process will probably carry over to the former Confederate States, they just might not be as open about it. He could and probably will still win the gen. election and may even take GA or VA. When it is over I think you will see 13 red states. Obama did well in South Carolina va. Hilrod but if McCain won that in 2000 vs. Bush, I'd bet he will again in 2008 vs Obama. I also think a state like Ohio which caused Bush to beat Kerry, will go for Obama. And that will make the difference in the election.