Friday, January 4, 2008

Happy Day After the Iowa Caucus!

Sorry i've been a little MIA. I'm actually spending the week on vacation in North Carolina visiting friends :)

However, i couldn't pass up a chance to write about the Iowa caucus:

Obama and Fuckabee: Any thoughts?

Here are mine:

First i'd like to ask the general population, along with political analysts, the media, and government officials to start focusing on Clinton's politics rather than the fact that she is a woman. On a personal note, as of right now i'm not voting for Clinton come February 5th. There are actually tons of reasons to critique Clinton based on her politics and I agree with many of those who do so. However, no one really ever seems to. Instead people focus on the fact that she has a vagina. Clinton is female. And she's a forerunner for president! Get the fuck over it and move on to her politics. Then we can have some real political conversations. Here's a very pertinent example of something you can do to change the dynamics of how Clinton is seen: If/when referring to her with one name, call her Clinton rather than Hillary! Listening to political analysts and reporters last night i couldn't get over the fact that we had three candidates neck in neck: Obama, Edwards, and "Hillary"... seriously? I can't think of a better way to show someone that you don't take them seriously and that they don't have your respect than to call them by their first name while everyone else is addressed by their last name.

Truth be told, I'd prefer Obama, Edwards, and even Kucinich (although he's a space cadet) to Clinton. I don't agree with some of her key policies but find myself more defensive of her than any other candidate because of all the misogyny thrown her way.

Moving on...

On one hand, the thought of Huckabee gaining GOP support terrifies me. On the other, i'd much prefer him to take the republican nomination and lose by a long shot... I predict that he will alienate the moderates and either lose in later primaries or (definitely) in the general election.

I suppose i'd be more nervous if someone like McCain got elected, he'd actually have a chance at beating the dem nominee.

My only real fear for Fuckabee is that he's really smooth. The media loves to talk up his musician side, which makes him more relatable and he definitely has charisma. He has a sense of humor and charm, those are two scary characteristics in someone so extreme and so into what he's selling. What's even more scary is that he seems to genuinely believe all the radical politics he's endorsing... his beliefs paired with his personality are a scary combination (especially since now it's obvious he's gaining support). My fear is that a lot of the American population doesn't do their research and doesn't really get to know the candidates. Instead, they would vote on first impressions and Huckabee gives off a hell of a first impression.

However, the Iowa exit polls showed 60% of the GOP voters were Evangelical Christians. Also, polls showed that immigration was the top issue for those who voted. I don't believe either of these demographics are representative of the population, even within the GOP.

Whoever wins the republican nomination will have an extremely difficult time gaining widespread republican support, especially since candidates' religion seems to be such an important characteristic this term.

The other interesting thing i heard from NPR is that the gender gap, at least on the democratic side, was very wide. Among women, Clinton did as well as Obama but received only 23% of the vote among men. This tells us one of three things: 1. men are still reluctant to elect a female president on the sole reason of her being a woman; 2. women are voting for Clinton solely because she is a women; 3. one group (male or female voters) are more invested in the candidates politics and vote solely based on policy and not sex of candidate.

Some interesting demographics from last night:
  • Six in 10 GOP voters said they were born again or evangelical Christians, and by far the largest share (almost half) supported Huckabee.
  • Romney led among non-evangelical voters, getting about a third of their support.
  • More than a third of Republicans said having the same religious beliefs as their candidate was very important, and of that group just over half favored Huckabee.
  • More than half of voters younger than age 30 were supporting Obama, and he even had a roughly 2-to-1 lead over her among those age 30 to 44. Clinton had a decisive lead among the oldest voters.
  • As in past Iowa caucuses and other presidential nomination contests, the Democratic turnout was predominantly female, while a majority of Republicans were male.
  • Early Democratic caucus-goers were a little younger on average than their Republican counterparts.

Oh are there actual issues to consider? Looking past religion and demographics:

Given three choices, just over a third of Democrats said Iraq was the chief issue facing the country, with about the same number naming the economy. Healthcare was close behind. Obama had the most support among those naming Iraq and the economy, while the three candidates were close among those citing healthcare.

What are ya'll thoughts? Who do you predict will win the primaries, and just as importantly, who do you predict will be appointed as a running mate to the nominee?

In the words of Jon Stewart, i can't wait to see what happens in this "clusterfuck to the whitehouse!"


GottabeMe said...

Haha, you call him Fuckabee too?!?

Anonymous said...

O Great Feminist Gal:

You show great literary ability by the way you use Profanity! Even Henry Miller and J. D. Salinger would be envious of you! Where did you learn how to use it? What kind of School sis you go to? were you taught by Nuns?

Please, O Great One, Vouchsafe to tell your humble servant how you learned how to curse and swear!

Feminist Gal said...

Ok, i'll be honest: this "anonymous" keeps writing comments to me. I don't post most of them, not that i'm trying to censor shit, but simply because his comments are rude. Frankly, this is MY blog which means i can be picky about who gets to offend me and how frequently.
All i can tell you is that he's from Brownsville, Texas and checks my blog more times a day than i do. Sounds like he's a super cool kid. Rock on.

PhD in Yogurtry said...

I wish journalists would focus more on the policies of all the candidates, and yes, especially Clinton's. I'm not too concerned about the Iowa results, with the exception of the huge age split, but will be closely watching New Hampshire. I don't think Huckabee will go much farther than Iowa. I'd like to see Clinton win the nom but at same time fear she is too polarizing, that GOPers who might otherwise stay home will come out just to vote against her. But as for qualifications, experience, brains, ideas .. I believe in her. I like Edwards too (wanted him to win 2004). I haven't been terribly impressed with Obama. But he's got the JFK thing going .. young, fresh, dynamic speaker. So that might carry him.

Sarah said...

I hate the mainstream media horse-race coverage more than I hate Mike Huckabee. Because if they actually DID cover the issues Mike Huckabee wouldn't have a chance.

I like Obama. I don't believe Edwards' sudden conversion to super-populism--where was he last time? And you're right, Kucinich is a space cadet.

I've been drowning myself in all the candidates' policy proposals as shown on campaign sites, and I have to say that Clinton's site is crap. It does not focus on the issues any more than the media does. Because let's face it, she's running on being a Clinton and is suddenly trying to embrace change because it's the new buzzword after Obama took Iowa.

The problem for her is that voters see the first Clinton as part of the problem more than part of the solution.

And I have to stop people about three times a day from calling her a "bitch." I find myself defending her only to then say, "Well, I'm not voting for her in the primary, but you shouldn't hate her for being her."

I think the problem with her, though, is not only that she's a woman, but she's THAT woman. For whatever reason, she terrifies people.