Bell Curve The Law Talking Guy Raised by Republicans U.S. West
Well, he's kind of had it in for me ever since I accidentally ran over his dog. Actually, replace "accidentally" with "repeatedly," and replace "dog" with "son."

Friday, March 14, 2008

Ready from Day One???

This past week Clinton and her surrogates have been in rare form.

First there was the "Obama has an unfair advantage because he's black" comment from Geraldine Ferraro (who works for Clinton's campaign). Ferraro has since resigned amid a flurry of non-apologies. Her statement is absurd for any number of reasons but a prominent one is that she is trying to create a ranking of victimhood: White Women suffer more than African-American Men so vote for Hillary. That's a fairly generous interpretation. It is also possible she is one of these people who think that racial minorities get a free ride at the expense of hard working white folks.

Then there was the revelation by Hillary herself in an NPR interview that she was "instrumental" in bringing peace to Northern Ireland. Geez! What did she do? Have dinner with someone? She was First Lady, not Secretary of State! Her claim has drawn criticism from former state department official who is now working for the Obama campaign.

Both of these things speak to her relative qualification for the Presidency. Her presumed advantage is that she is "ready from day one" to be President. She would bring the experience of her years in the White House (apparently she was Co-President! Who knew?) and she has contacts with experience people who would be her advisers.

But give me a break please! Geraldine Ferraro is a has been of the first order (and apparently a racist as well). If she was the type of person Clinton was grooming for appointments I question the whole "ready from day one" thing.

And what experience does Hillary really have? She has been a Senator - and a pretty good one. So I wouldn't say she isn't qualified to run. But she gets a lot of mileage with letting people assume that she should get partial credit for everything that happened in the Bill Clinton administration. But that's just absurd. I have a friend who helped his wife study a lot in law school. But that doesn't make him a lawyer.

I'm reminded of something LTG said to me on the phone after the 3am phone call ad came out. He said to imagine an ad with the phone in the White House ringing at 3am. Hillary answers the phone (in a pants suit) and then turns off camera and says, "Bill, it's for you." Now that's a more accurate representation of her years in the White House than this nonsense about her being "instrumental" in the Northern Ireland peace process.


The Law Talking Guy said...

To be fair, I never described her as being in a pants suit (the implication of which might be some anti-feminist critique).

Raised By Republicans said...

OK, maybe I got the pants suit image from the original ad. :-)

Dr. Strangelove said...

Calling Ferraro a racist for her remark is totally out of line. It is downright insulting. This is just like how Obama's camp accused Hillary of being racist when she said it took a president (LBJ) to enact the civil rights act. Obama had better be careful. He can only play the race card so many times before there will be a serious backlash.

Raised By Republicans said...

I disagree Dr. S. Ferraro said that Obama was only in the position he was in because of the advantages he had reallized as a black man. Imagine a similar comment in your work place. Imagine someone saying, "You only have your job because you are black. If you were judged strickly on your merrit, you wouldn't be here." Such a remark would be widely percieved as racist and indicating at least a tendency towards racism in the person who said it.

Ferraro screwed up big time and revealed a nasty side to her personality. That she resigned so quickly may indicate that her views are relatively rare in the Clinton camp. That she hasn't repudiated them and that Clinton's distancing herself from them has been evasive, suggests they reflect at least a kernel of sentiment about Obama in the Clinton campaign.

Dr. Strangelove said...

That's not what Ferraro said. Here is the link to the original article.

"I think what America feels about a woman becoming president takes a very secondary place to Obama's campaign--to a kind of campaign that it would be hard for anyone to run against. For one thing, you have the press, which has been uniquely hard on her. It's been a very sexist media. Some just don't like her. The others have gotten caught up in the Obama campaign. If Obama was a white man, he would not be in this position. And if he was a woman (of any color) he would not be in this position. He happens to be very lucky to be who he is. And the country is caught up in the concept."

In other words, Obama's race has been more of an asset to him in this campaign than Hillary's gender has been to hers. Not only does he win a much larger share of the black vote than Hillary wins of the female vote, but liberals in general seem more excited by the concept of a black president than a woman president. None of these things are the whole story, of course--Obama is a phenomenal candidate, too--but to call these rather obvious observations "racist" is just insulting to everyone.

Raised By Republicans said...

"If Obama was a white man, he would not be in this position. And if he was a woman (of any color) he would not be in this position. He happens to be very lucky to be who he is. And the country is caught up in the concept."

The idea that the reason Obama is more popular than Hillary is due to his race and/or her gender is the problem. By reducing his entire character, his popular appeal and his experiences to his racial catagory/identity is fundamentally racist. That's what racism is: the idea that who a person is is defined by the group to which they belong rather than the content of their individual character.

What's more, Ferraro has said stuff like this before.
Daily Kos did a little back ground research:

In 1988 Ferraro said this about Jesse Jackson "if Jesse Jackson were not black, he wouldn't be in the race."

Dr. Strangelove said...

It is neither fair nor well-advised to characterize Geraldine Ferraro, a woman who has worked hard for civil rights throughout her life, as a racist. It is not racist to say that identity politics is working in favor of both Hillary and Obama in different ways. We've all said as much on this blog, haven't we? Nor is it racist to say identity politics has benefited Obama more than it has benefited Hillary. I think the demographics of the exit polls may even bear that out.

The Law Talking Guy said...

It's insulting to say that white people are "caught up in the concept" of voting for a black man. To reduce Obama to white liberal guilt is just sad. And to make a play for woman's victimhood is even sadder.

They - we- are caught up with Barack Obama as a person, and are voting for him DESPITE our hestitation about nominating a black man.

The Law Talking Guy said...

It's also a generational thing. Ferraro can't see past race and gender. She can't imagine that people under 40 are not caught up in the race and gender battles of the 1970s. I was really insulted by Ferraro's condescending comments, that amounted to "let's all get serious and not vote for the inexperienced black man, okay?" That condescension flows from the Clinton campaign every day.

Dr. Strangelove said...

I would like to know how USWest interprets all this.