Category Archives: Republican

2008: The Unbroken Glass Ceiling

hillary_and_sarah1

by Diego Del Campo

Women in positions of power in the public sphere is still a relatively new, if slowly progressing sight. It’s become now conventional wisdom that 2008 was a year when women broke barriers in politics. Hillary Clinton was a serious contender to win her party’s nomination, and Sarah Palin became the first woman to be nominated as vice presidential candidate by the Republican Party. Yet, despite this progress, and the fact that Nancy Pelosi became the first female Speaker of the House in 2007, the percentage of female representation in Washington D.C continues to grow at a glacial pace—increasing just 1 percent over 2006, to a total of 17 percent. Washington isn’t the only place where equal representation is at a stalemate.

By the end of 2008, 12 women will have worked as CEOs of Fortune 500 companies. In Hollywood in 2007, women made up only 6 percent of directors and together “comprised 15 percent of all directors, executive producers, producers, writers, cinematographers, and editors working on the top 250 domestic grossing films” (Lauzen 1). Taking all this into consideration it is important to analyze the role the media plays in reinforcing prevalent prejudices against women, important to ask why women is find it difficult to break through to top spots in government and elsewhere, and to what extent do our biases, acquired by us by our socialization (like watching or reading the news), contribute to the problem.  In June 2008, after Hillary Clinton lost the nomination, Katie Couric of CBS News made the following statement at the end of one of her shows:

“But like her or not, one of the great lessons of that campaign is the continued and accepted role of sexism in American life, particularly in the media. Many women have made the point that if Senator Obama had to confront the racist equivalent of an ‘Iron my shirt’ poster at campaign rallies or a Hillary nutcracker sold at airports or mainstream pundits saying they instinctively cross their legs at the mention of her name, the outrage would not be a footnote, it would be front page news. It isn’t just Hillary Clinton who needs to learn a lesson from this primary season; it’s all the people who cross the line and all the women and men who let them get away with it.”

Soon after the general election ended, and Barack Obama was elected president, an article published in New York magazine argued that the past election had actually reinforced prevalent gender stereotypes: the proverbial dichotomy of the “bitch” and the “ditz”–a dichotomy arguably codified in the media’s coverage of these two women, is prime example of what Couric described as “acceptable” sexism in the media.

Note and disclosure

There are numerous caveats to my analysis. One, it would be impossible to separate Hillary Clinton’s gender from the fact that she’s one-half of the Clintons, a political family that’s been on the media’s radar for nearly two decades. Similarly, separating Sarah Palin’s gender from the fact that she’s a conservative Republican would be problematic and somewhat of a distortion. Rather, I will try to focus more on the media’s coverage of these two women candidates and how the way they were covered contributes to the problem. Nonetheless, I neither make no insinuation that the media is solely responsible for each woman’s failure to win their respective elections, or that ALL of their media coverage was sexist—but rather a contributing factor. The “media” is a collective term for cable-new channels who generate 24-hour news cycles, to respected newspapers and blogs that bounce narratives off each other. The fact that I only focus on Sarah Palin in the general election isn’t an implication that Barack Obama or John McCain didn’t encounter discrimination because of race or age respectively.
Finally, in the Democratic primaries, I was a supporter of Hillary Clinton.

Part one: Hillary Clinton

“That I am a national figure because I was the first person in 192 years to be at once a congressman, black and a woman proves, I think, that our society is not yet either just or free.” – Shirley Chisholm, first black woman elected to Congress in 1968

From the moment Hillary Clinton announced on her website that she was forming a committee to run for president, her prominent status among the other presidential contenders meant that in the media, she had a target painted on her back. Out of all the candidates that would eventually announce their respective campaigns, among them John Edwards who had been the vice presidential nominee the previous presidential election, Hillary was the one “dubbed” a front-runner based on the national polling the media conducted. The coverage Hillary Clinton received as “front-runner” in the year between making her candidacy official in January 2007 and the Iowa caucus on January 3, 2008 and the one she received once the primaries actually started was different outwardly in tone but nevertheless had the same effect of being dismissive at best, and seriously offensive at worst. In fact, by March 2007, barely two months into the campaign and with the first primary election still some nine months away, the bias in the media had reached a point where the National Organization for Women released an article detailing some of the instances they found offensive. Chris Matthews of MSNBC, who would become a repeat offender to the point of issuing an on-air apology, was a large part of the article:

“Chris Matthews, host of MSNBC’s talk show Hardball, has become notorious for his sexist remarks about Clinton. On Dec. 19, 2006, he charged that she was being coy about her political ambitions, comparing her to ‘a stripteaser saying she’s flattered by the attention,’ and on two separate occasions—Jan. 25 and 26, 2007, he referred to her as an ‘uppity woman.’ In the aftermath of the Congressional election on Nov. 8, 2006, he discussed her delivery of a ‘campaign barn burner speech,’ which, he suggested was ‘harder to give for a woman,’ because it can ‘grate on some men when they listen to it, [like] fingers on a blackboard.’ Not content to level his sexist criticism on Clinton alone, he continued his rant, wondering how newly elected Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi could ‘do the good fight against the president…without screaming? How does she do it without becoming grating?’ “

Other media narratives that stand out was coverage of Hillary’s appearance—namely a column by the Washington Post that reported on her showing cleavage in a speech she made in the Senate floor. Attention was also paid to Hillary’s laugh, or “cackle” as some of her detractors put it. But it was in the immediate run-up to and aftermath of the Iowa caucus (but before the New Hampshire primary), where Hillary finished in third place that some of the language became more nakedly biased to the point where it became a media frenzy when seemingly teared up when answering a New Hampshire voter’s question. Rebecca Traister of Salon opined “For many of these pundits, especially those who pander to a mostly white male audience, a nearly pornographic investment in Clinton’s demise is nothing new.”

By the time Hillary delivered her concession speech on June 7, 2008, some of the media’s coverage had turned from silly and sexist to borderline violent and misogynistic. Some cartoonists took to drawing Hillary as a slain beast or other variations. Worse, various commentators like NPR’s political editor Ken Rudin and even elected officials like Tennessee congressman Rep. Steve Cohen (D) likened her to the psychotic villain of the film Fatal Attraction. Though both men later issued apologies, the comparison was an especially stinging one since Fatal Attraction is considered by many feminists to be an explicitly anti-feminist film. The media’s tone had been so noxious that the Gloria Steinem-founded Women’s Media Center created a video (above) called “Sexism sells—but we’re not buying it” which compiled some of the highlights of sexism in the media coverage of Hillary Clinton. Steinem also appeared on CNN and echoed what she had said about women candidates at the beginning of the primary in a New York Times op-ed saying, “This country can no longer afford to choose our leaders from a talent pool limited by sex, race, money, powerful fathers and paper degrees. It’s time to take equal pride in breaking all the barriers.”

On CNN she pointed out:

“Clearly part of the problem is the misogyny in the culture at large and especially in the media. I mean, you know, no candidate in history has been asked to step down by the media. She was. The average time that it takes for a loser to endorse a winner in this situation is four months. Four months. She did it in four days, and look how she was criticized, you know, for not doing it the very same night. It’s outrageous.”

Steinem was referencing articles like Jonathan Alter’s of Newsweek, who in late February wrote a column arguing that it would be best for Hillary if she stepped out of the race then. (Hillary went on to win nine out of the next 16 contests.) Steinem also seemed to be referencing the uproar in the media when Hillary didn’t endorse Obama on June 3, the night most media organizations reported that Obama had amassed the amount of delegates needed to secure the nomination.

Part two: Sarah Palin

I say this with all due respect to Hillary Clinton…but when I hear a statement like that coming from a woman candidate with any kind of perceived whine about that excess criticism or you know maybe a sharper microscope put on her, I think you know that doesn’t do us any good—women in politics, women in general wanting to progress this country. -Governor Sarah Palin (R-Alaska) in March 2008

Seemingly out of nowhere, Republican presidential nominee Sen. John McCain picked Alaska Governor Sarah Palin to be his vice presidential nominee. Sarah Palin bursting onto the political scene was arguably a chance for the media to report fairly and accurately on virtually unknown candidate turned vice presidential nominee. Instead, like Steinem argued, sexist narratives seemed to spread virally from within the media. Within days of her announcement, liberal talk show host Ed Schutlz commented to his listeners that Palin had set off a “bimbo alert” and blogs like Daily Kos circulated rumors that Palin’s newborn son Trig, born with Down syndrome, was allegedly her daughter Bristol’s son, while blogs like the Huffington Post took to publicizing images of Palin (under the headline “Former Beauty Queen, Future VP?”) in a swim suit that alluded to her background as a participant in beauty pageants to make the suggestion that she wasn’t qualified to be vice president—a variation of Ed Schultz’s “bimbo alert” crack. Even people who were outwardly supportive of Palin, like CNBC’s Donny Deutsch, were so obssesive over her looks, that they came across as sexist, ignorant, and patronizing all at the same time:

Complicating matters, women organizations who had stood up for Hillary Clinton during the primaries, including Gloria Steinem herself, now for the most part disavowed Palin. The National Organization for Women (NOW) put out a statement that read in part, “Gov. Palin may be the second woman vice-presidential candidate on a major party ticket, but she is not the right woman. Sadly, she is a woman who opposes women’s rights, just like John McCain.” WomenCount was seemingly the only organization to defend Palin against the sexist media treatment Palin was receiving. WomenCount, a politcal organization formed by Hillary Clinton supporters in the waning days primaries to at first to advocate for Hillary Clinton’s candidacy and later to promote and support Democratic women candidates across the country, sent an email to supporters that questioned the media’s immediate criticism of Palin’s nomination, among them John Roberts of CNN who said, “Palin would not be able to focus on her job given her family distractions,” and columnist Sally Quinn of the Washington Post who wrote, “Of course, women can be good mothers and have careers at the same time. I’ve done both. Other women in public office have children…but…a mother’s role is different from a father’s,” which implies that unlike fathers, mothers ought to have more of a responsibility as a parent and by accepting the vice presidential nomination, Palin was being an irresponsible mother by placing her career ahead of her child.
WomenCount’s email statement read in part:

“The question came not just from members of the media but also from voters around the country who wrote in to news organizations and on blogs. The obvious retort is whether anyone would ask the same question of the father of a four-month-old with Down Syndrome and a pregnant teenager. We think not.”

Unlike Gloria Steinem, who would by and large sidestep the issue of the biased media coverage against Palin in a Los Angeles Times op-ed, WomenCount addressed the seeming paradox of progressive feminists standing up for Palin:

“Throughout the weekend, we have been asked about WomenCount’s views on Sarah Palin as the Republican nominee. It is important to distinguish between the broader issue of sexism and the ideology of an individual. WomenCount was born of the passion its founders had for Hillary Clinton’s clear view of social issues and progressive values. We cannot pretend that Governor Palin meets any standard of progressive politics or social values.
But regardless of the candidates’ ideology, we will work to stamp out sexism when we see it on the campaign trail. To paraphrase the words of one blogger who said it best over the weekend: We will defend Sarah Palin against misogynist smears not because we like her or support her, but because that’s how feminism works.”

Needless to say, even though Palin slammed the media in her acceptance speech at the GOP convention in Minneapolis-St. Paul, her subsequent stumbles in the media may have had the effect of silencing any or all allies she may have had across the aisle. Ironically, it was Palin’s interview with Katie Couric, who earlier in the year had criticized sexism in the media, that may have been the most damaging to Palin and her public image. Maybe because of the fact that she had spoken out against sexism in the media, Couric was the right person with the right sensibilities to interview Palin: Couric strayed from the superficial questions that plagued Hillary, like questions about her image or “likability,” instead Couric asked sensible questions like, “When it comes to establishing your worldview, I was curious, what newspapers and magazines did you regularly read before you were tapped for this to stay informed and to understand the world?“ or “What other Supreme Court decisions do you disagree with?”—Arguably easy questions that utterly stumped Palin as shown by her cringe-worthy responses and showed her to be, perhaps not the candidate best suited to be the next vice president. Unfortunately, like New York magazine’s Amanda Fortini said, Palin’s apparent lack of intellectual curiosity reinforced a stereotype as women as a “ditz.” Even in our own class, Palin was dismissed with terms such as “VPILF,” which reduced and belittled Palin to her looks.

The “Palin is a ditz” media narrative continued, unfortunately, all the way from shortly before the election, when news broke that the Republican National Committee had spent $150,000 on Palin’s make-up and wardrobe to after the election was over, when anonymous McCain staffers told the media that in her debate prep against Joe Biden, Palin had allegedly claimed to not know that Africa was a continent and not a country, and also that she reportedly didn’t know the signing members of NAFTA. Geraldine Ferraro, who was the first woman to be nominated for vice president in 1984, appeared on Fox News shortly before the election to talk about the similarities (and differences) between how she was treated and how Palin was being treated by the media:

Said and Done

In the end, I don’t think, like I said before, that the media was the only reason Hillary and Sarah lost in their elections. But, as some of the clips show, there is an accepted and pervasive bias against women that slows the progress of women everywhere. Even today, I’m still not sure why Sarah Palin’s preparedness was questioned from day one on the basis that she had barely served two years in her term as governor, in way that Barack Obama’s preparedness arguably wasn’t questioned when he announced his candidacy, since at that time he had also barely served two years in his term as senator. As it turned out, there was a mountain of difference between Obama and Palin’s preparedness, as shown by their respective bodies of knowledge, but still, I would have liked for the media to have made more of an issue of Obama’s experience, if indeed experience was a litmus test of sorts against which Palin did not measure up.


I would also hope that in the future, women candidates are respected more and held to the same standard that every other candidate is—a woman shouldn’t have to sound tougher just because she’s a woman. Additionally, we shouldn’t be too dismissive of women who point out the problems the media sometimes has in reporting about women. As the clip above shows, an observation Katie Couric made both in her CBS newscast and in her acceptance of an award at a journalist’s association, earned her the top spot on Keith Olbermann’s “Worst Persons in the World.” It troubles me that even within the ideological circles we sometimes wrap ourselves in, there’s still an outward prejudice against women—Olbermann’s show is praised by liberal blogs like Daily Kos, where he is a contributor, and Huffington Post. Even with all the progress Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin have made toward the acceptance in the public sphere of a woman running for the top positions in government, that “highest and hardest glass ceiling” remainsl unbroken. As we continue to progress, hopefully we’ll have learned lessons from what each woman’s campaign and not allow sexism to control–in any way–media coverage of other women candidates.

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Filed under American Electorate, Democratic Party, Media, Palin, Republican, Vice-President, Women Voters

The Future for John McCain

by: Lance Thibert

We all know that John McCain lost the 2008 election rather badly, 365 to 173 electoral votes, and 53% to 46% popular vote wise. John McCain, with Sarah Palin, ran one of the most confused, mismanaged and off-message campaigns in recent history. Combined with the unpopularity of President Bush and the general damage to the GOP brand, McCain’s chances were always slim.

 

Like the other presidential candidate from Arizona Barry Goldwater, John McCain will return to the Senate for the rest of his natural life. John McCain has made comebacks from political death before, and he seems on track to rehabilitate himself once again. His role seems veering toward that of a deal-broker once again. Without the need to appease the GOP’s hard right base, McCain can return to being a “mavrick”, (but for real this time). McCain and Obama’s meeting earlier last month showed a defeating looking McCain agreeing to work with a President Obama. John McCain has two choices, he can either keep with his new image as the old man of the Republican party (complete with lost election), or he can actually become Obama’s republican ally in the Senate. Sounds werid doesn’t it?

“Fred Davis, the ad man who served as McCain’s lead media consultant during the presidential bid, said the Arizona Senator would win[d] up as a “dealmaker” and “peacemaker” during the Obama presidency.”

McCain will run for reelection to the Senate in 2010. Janet Napolitano, Governor of Arizona was floated as a candidate to seize John McCain’s seat in the Senate, however it appears she will be tapped for Homeland Secuirty Secretary. After his dismal presidential run, and the Democratic gains in Arizona, John McCain seems vulernable for the first time in a long while. Democrats seem reluctant however, to seriously attempt to remove McCain from the Senate, as he often acts as a deal-broker in the Senate, often to the benifit of Democrats. For conservatives, McCain acts a RINO straw man that they can use against moderates in their own party. McCain will rebound, thats for sure, but he seems intent on going back to his roots. He will not make an attempt for the 2012 nomination (for obvious reasons), and will have to come to terms with the fact he will never fufill his lifelong ambition of being president. As for Republicans, they can look forward to more tough Senate fights in 2010, and the unenviable task of choosing someone to run against an Incumbent Barack Obama.

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Filed under McCain, Republican

2012

By: Josh Raines

Like it or not the Republicans will be trying to nominate a person in 2012 who can beat President Obama. I am sure we can all agree that depending on a variety of circumstances this may or may not be possible. But regardless of who wins the Presidency in four years from now, who will the Republicans nominate?

 

            I believe I can accurately narrow the list of Candidates who will have a shot at taking on President Obama in four years. I will use mainly historical analysis to narrow the list of possible contenders and make an accurate prediction.

 

            If we take a look at the most recent Presidential Republican primary in 2008, we find that John McCain was the Republican’s choice over all the rest. But was John McCain just lucky, was it hard work or was it fate? I would argue that is was all of the above, however we will look at fate.

 

            My hypothesis is that Republicans rarely, if ever nominate a Candidate they are not familiar with or someone who is new on the scene. Democrats on the other hand I would argue throw their support behind just about anybody no matter what.

 

            If we look at John McCain we must ask our selves, was he new to the scene? The Answer is no, he is a long time Republican Senator from the state of Arizona. He has been a leader in the party and the Senate. More importantly however is the fact that he ran against George W. Bush in 2000. This gave him I believe his shot at being nominated this year.

           

            If we go back four years ago there were no primaries due to the fact that George W. Bush was already the President running for re-election.

 

            If we go back to the 2000 Primaries we have the winner as George W. Bush as the Republican nominee. I would argue that Bush had great name recognition from his father which allowed him to circumvent my hypothesis. I guess in a way he can be my exception to the rule however he was still known by the party through his dad.

 

            Let’s now travel back to the 1996 primaries. We have the winner Bob Dole taking the stage, however not for the first time. If we look back in history we will find that not only had Dole like McCain been a Republican leader in the Senate but he also ran on the ticket with President Ford in 1976 which I believe helped him get his shot at taking on President Clinton.

           

            If we travel back further to the 1992 primaries we find the winner of the Republican nomination as none other than George H. W. Bush. Now Bush the First was certainly no newbie to politics, he was Vice-President to Ronald Reagan and had been a congressman, Ambassador and director CIA. While all of these things are good, I believe what gave him his shot was the fact that he ran in 1980 and lost to the Great Communicator.

           

 The 1984 primaries did not exist due to the fact the Gipper was already the President and he was running for re-election.

           

            Going back to the 1980 Republican primaries we find the victor, Ronald Reagan clinching the nomination. While Ronald Reagan may be one of my favorite Presidents I still believe that the only reason he got his shot was due to my hypothesis. While Reagan had great experience running the biggest state in our country this would have been meaningless if he had not ran against Ford in 1976, which gave him the familiarity needed to prevail in 1980.

 

            1976 is a very strange election to analyze because I have never really considered Ford to be an actual President (Constitution stipulates Presidents must be elected by college electors).  Never the less Ford won the nomination not because of his years of service in the house or as Vice-President but mainly because he was the “President” technically running for re-election.

 

            The 1972 primaries were not needed due to the fact that Dick Nixon was being kicked around, and he was the current Republican president running for Re-election.

 

            This brings us to our final example of the 1968 Republican primaries. We find our victor Richard Milhous Nixon. The main reason for his success was due to his prior success in winning the Republican nomination eight years earlier in 1960. Having already won a nomination one can argue that he would have familiarity just under being the President already.

 

             So now for the fun stuff, predicting who the nominee for the Republicans will be in 2012. Based on our historical analysis we can accurately predict that the next Republican nominee will be a person who the party is already familiar with. In my opinion this will leave only two possible people who could clinch the nomination. I believe the first and most obvious is of course Sarah Palin current governor of Alaska and the Vice-Presidential nominee in 2008. The other person who I can see winning the nomination is former Governor Mike Huckabee of Arkansas. Huckabee did fairly well in the 2008 primary despite starting out as a second tier candidate. Huckabee currently has a show on Fox News which I believe will continue to help with his familiarity and name recognition, not only with the Republicans but with the nation as a whole.

           

            Other names that have been mentioned are former Governor Mit Romney and current Governor Bobby Jindal of Louisiana. Governor Romney would be a perfect candidate for my hypothesis and I do believe he could win, however he has already stated he will not run in 2012. Bobby Jindal would be great if he can win, however as my historical analysis has shown he may be to new to the scene in order to win the Republican nomination.

 

            I really look forward to hearing some of everyone’s thoughts and opinions. I think this is a very good hypothesis and perhaps even a theory? You guys be the judge, but I do believe there is some sort of pattern!     

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Change

As Barack Obama was elected on November 4th, one could not escape the excitement in the air. Horns, screams, cheers, and clapping could be heard all around downtown Denver. On T.V. people were crying tears of joy at Obama‘s acceptance speech. Even I, Elizabeth Woods, the conservative from this elections course, felt proud to be an American as we progressed even further on our journey for equality. This election was arguably one of the most exciting we have ever had. People from all across the world celebrated with America as Barack Obama was elected. During the election, the results spoke to the fact that American’s are just ready for change. Even those who will be taxed more as a result of Obama’s reform, are joining the “spread the wealth” mentality of the Democratic party. The consensus is that Republicans need to get out and Democrats need to get in. The GOP is definitely not popular these days, and the Dems are clearly gaining the public’s approval. For this blog I thought it would be interesting to do a little research on how people voted this year as opposed to the 2006 election.

This year people voted Democrat more across all age groups except 65 and older. This especially pertained to people in our age group with 66% of 18-29 year old Democrats voting compared to 32% of 18-29 year old Republicans. In 2006, 18-29 year olds voted 60% Democrat. I wonder if this reflects that our generations values coincide more with Democratic values, because as the age group increases the gap gets narrower, and Republicans vote 53% to 45% in the 65 and older age group. More so, as new voters are concerned, 69% are Democrats and only 30% were Republicans this year.

Of other interest, is how people voted according to their income. As discussed in class, people who earned an income of under $50,000 voted for Obama. However, once the income bracket reaches middle class earnings (50,000-75,000) people voted for McCain. Then surprisingly, those who earned an income of $200,000 or more voted for Obama. This is contrary to how people voted in 2006. People in the income bracket of $50,000- 75,000 voted 48% Republican and 50% Democrat, and those in the income bracket of $200,000 or more voted 53% Republican versus 45% Democrat. Those with a college education are also increasingly voting Democrat. In 2006, people with a higher education voted equally Republican and Democrat, but this year it increased to more people voting Democrat. This election, even those without a high school diploma voted Obama 63% to 35%, also suggesting a new set of values in the younger generation that align more with the Democratic party. I got all of these statistics from http://www.cnn.com/ELECTION/2008/results/polls/#val=USP00p7 for 2008 and http://www.cnn.com/ELECTION/2006/pages/results/states/US/H/00/epolls.0.html for 2006. I tried to put some charts in the blog itself, but it didn’t work out, so sorry if it’s a bit overwhelming to read them. There are many other statistics you might find interesting in these exit polls.

I think it’s clear that this year people voted for “different,” and as we have discussed, our country may be heading in a new direction that puts the Democratic party at an advantage. I think it’s interesting that people voted differently than they have in previous years. Looking at these statistics, you can see that voters who used to vote Republican on certain issues are now voting Democrat. Either people are really sick of the way our country has been ran the past eight years, or there really is a new shift in generational values. As we all know the Republican parties unpopularity is a result of a variety of problems, and the GOP may have to change it’s tactics in gaining back its approval, especially with young voters.  With the millennia’s showing up to vote, and independents voting Democrat, plus the minority vote, it’s no surprise that Obama is the new president-elect. You never know, maybe Obama will be the next Abraham Lincoln…

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Filed under Democratic Party, Obama, Republican, Uncategorized, Voter Demographics

I Told You So

By Stephen Noriega

I posted the blog on September 15th, 2008. It was right after the GOP convention, when everyone loved her. I said this was the worst pick for the John McCain campaign. Now I get to say, “I told you so” with pride, annoying volume and belligerent indignation.

sarahpalin21

Photo by The National Inquirer, distributed 2008

It came to pass quickly, Senator McCain, that your only path to winning an election was doing things that may damage you further than this campaign. Governor Palin took John McCain places that he will regret. In the heat of this contest, with veneers of anger shrouding the obvious, McCain fell into the Palin trap of off-message rants and poisonous speeches designed to illicit fear and xenophobia, not optimism or hope©.

Governor Palin made it quite clear that she wished to be an active, policy-making Vice President. This is simply a continuation of a modern trend. Starting with Richard Nixon and his ambassadorial skills, the Vice President has slowly become more important. Al Gore was often criticized for taking an excessive role in helping Clinton with policy issues. Dick Cheney took the office to a whole new level, holding secret meetings, being in charge of entire policy realms and showing a true disdain for Congress and even the voters.

Did McCain really want a powerful vice president with whom he could barely get along? Sarah Palin did not answer the third grader’s question incorrectly. She meant that she wanted to have power and influence over the Senate. Perhaps Sarah Palin is not ignorant about constitutional issues, at least compared to most other people. Sarah Palin has been an executive of larger and larger offices and she saw this as a path to even more political clout. She will certainly not be another Thomas R. Marshall (considered the laziest Vice President under Woodrow Wilson). She wanted to be another Dick Cheney. Perhaps she knows painfully little about the Constitution. This is even more frightening than a politician’s ambition. With the clothing scandal, she may end up being another Spiro Agnew, constantly messing with McCain’s authority like Agnew did with Nixon until being pulled asunder by a petty transgression. (http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/la-oew-edwards-lichtman5-2008sep05,0,5935217.story)

It is not just Palin’s eye on power that had McCain in a bad way because of her. Palin is a politician, and politicians seek power. That is what they do. But Palin couldn’t even follow the talking points of the campaign. McCain must have developed serious reservations about how she will follow policy talking points once comfortably in Washington, D.C. When the issue of Palin’s clothes emerged as a thorn in the campaign, everyone tried to stifle the nano-scandal and move on. Not Governor Palin. She continued to defend the $150,000.00+ makeover.

Even people in the McCain campaign revolted. Anonymous rats, stinging with bitterness of being in the wrong campaign, started to take shots at the candidate with the anxious ears of the press wide open.

“She is a diva. She takes no advice from anyone… She does not have any relationships of trust with any of us, her family or anyone else. Also she is playing for her own future and sees herself as the next leader of the party. Remember: divas trust only unto themselves as they see themselves as the beginning and end of all wisdom.” (CNN – 10/2008)

Palin has shown sides of this in the media view. Instead acting humble, especially after some disastrous interviews with infamous soft-ball-throwers like Katie Couric, Palin went on the offense. She spewed venom at rallies that incited the lunatic fringe of her party with never a speck of clarification or apology. When McCain saw the potential destructive nature of this, he voiced his disapproval of the personal hatred campaign, something an honorable person does. Palin apparently never got the memo.

With each bumble, misunderstanding of history, petty scandal and word of aggression, Governor Sarah Palin demonstrated how she was the worst pick the McCain campaign could have made. This is not about gender. This is not about politics or political agendas. This is about a person who did not deserve, because of a lack of competence, any consideration of such an importance office.

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Filed under American Electorate, McCain, Palin, Republican, Vice-President

The Republican 2012 Lineup

By Matt Knipple

            Now that the 2008 Presidential Election is over, it is time for us Republicans to look at who is going to unseat President Obama in 2012 (actually, I think this is very unlikely barring a massive meltdown by the new President).  Republicans have been frantically looking as to who will be our new “savior” and put the Republicans back on the map and give the country some sort of checks and balances since everything is run by the Democrats now (tear).  I have no first hand knowledge of who the Republicans will pick, but here are some candidates that I think will come to mind (whether I agree with them or not).

            The first candidate that I know for a fact has been tossed around in the mix is the one and only, Sarah Palin.  In my opinion, this would be one of the worst choices of all time to run for President.  She clearly already showed that she was probably the worst choice as a choice for Vice President.  She actually, to me, makes George W. Bush seem like he’s on a level of Steven Hawking.  To her credit, she does have an energetic personality and hypes up some people like others cannot.  She also has a pretty solid base that could possibly give her a push in the primaries to be picked (not me). 

Here is a video of the discussion of Sarah Palin throwing in her hat for 2012: 

            The second candidate that I also see as a long shot is Jeb Bush.  Yes, we could have another Bush in office!  He, as Palin, seems to have a base in the right that is very loyal to him and very excited about him.  Here is an older article about the possibility of Jeb running in either 2012 or 2016.  To be honest, I do not know much about the man and how he did as Governor of Florida, but I do not see him winning a Presidential election because of his last name alone.  He could be the second coming of Christ and would not stand a shot because of what W has done. 

            A third, more of a sleeper type candidate, would be the current Governor of Florida, Charlie Crist.  Crist is another guy I do not know a ton about but have heard enough about him to make some sort of impression.  He seems more like a moderate-Conservative, like myself, and could be a good, new, fresh candidate for the Republicans to try to use and get some of the Independent and Democratic vote.  He is not the stereotypical Republican, like Hannity or Limbaugh, but more of a “Maverick” in being more moderate. 

Here is a video for Crist for 2012:

            The most promising candidate for 2012 for the Republicans is Mitt Romney.  People have said the fight for the 2008 Republican nomination is akin to the 1976 fight between Gerald Ford and Ronald Reagan.  The aging, older Gerald Ford fended off Ronald Reagan, who became the face of the Republicans during his presidencies, just like the aging, older John McCain fended off Mitt Romney.  Ford went on to lose to Jimmy Carter just like John McCain went on to lose to Barack Obama.  Mitt Romney is rich and can get a lot of money raised just as Obama did and is very intelligent.  He might be guaranteed to be the nominee in 2012 if he so chooses. 

            Here is a final video made by somebody that includes many more people that he thinks can win the presidency for the Republicans in 2012:

            I’m not sure any of these people, like I said earlier, could dethrone Obama unless he completely screws up or for some reason does not run for President in 2012 but I thought I’d just go over some prospective candidates.

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Filed under American Electorate, McCain, Obama, Palin, Party Conventions, Republican

Is this the end for McCain?

By: Melissa Keller

November 17, 2008

mccain3

With the 2008 election leaving its mark in history, it was no surprise that the voters’ reactions would be just as memorable. Whether it was joy or anger that made the tears rush down their faces, this was going to be a historical election no matter what. Although the last few months seemed to have split the nation in half (either being a republican or a democrat) statistics show that overall voters are pleased with the turnout.

gallop-poll

As you can see, there is a slight drop in McCain supporters after the election, but the majority seems to be ok with Obama being elected.

So, where do we go from here? I think it’s obvious that the media will take care of our curiosity about the future course of President Elect Berack Obama, but what about John McCain? America still has this wondering thought of what will happen to that familiar person they’ve seen on the never ending TV ads for so many months. Will McCain remain Arizona’s Senator and embrace his defeat by Obama which will inevitably force him to unite with the one person he has despised over the past 21 months?

Senator McCain has been making efforts to cheer up his supporters as well as convincing his own self that this loss wasn’t a big deal. When he appeared on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno shortly after Election Day, he attempted to make small jokes about the election and his reaction to the loss.

…I don’t believe it was very convincing.

Many analysts have computed the factors that may have led to this ultimate loss, and the economy was one that hit the Republican candidate the hardest. According to Patrick Buchanan from Real Clear Politics, he states that McCain never really recovered from his drop in polls after his frantic actions during the unpopular $700 billion bank bailout. He also goes on to say that McCain failed to hold on to Bush’s share of the white working class votes, which showed to be true once the Election Day numbers came about.

palin

Other reporters feel that it was an inevitable loss for the Republican Party. They say that the Democrats raised more money, had more registered voters, and were able to communicate to the public in a much more effective manner. It is obvious that this was not just a historical election because of the first African American President, but because this was the turning point for the American government and the way elections will be ran from here on out.

Although all of these things were major factors in the Republican’s loss, McCain’s last minute attempts to “woe” voters didn’t help either. His appearance on Saturday Night Live on November 1st made the ever so powerful politician look pathetically desperate during these crucial days of the election.


Even his horrible acting couldn’t save him from his ultimate failure that following Tuesday night.

Reactions from the election were made notice on, what seemed to be, every television channel. David Letterman made some nasty comments of McCain in his show following the election:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/11/06/david-letterman-mocks-mcc_n_141913.html

But on a more humorous note, the very funny South Park took a twist on the election when they displayed McCain, Obama, Palin, and even Michelle working together to get into the white house simply to steal a valuable necklace that was only worth a small portion of what they actually spent to get there in the first place. Also, it made fun of angry McCain supporters when they began building an Ark to escape from their corrupt nation while their opponents celebrated on the streets with booze in each hand. Unfortunately, the episode has yet to make its way to the public internet; so you’ll just have to see it later.

So the question now is, where will John move next? For now he plans to stay with the US Senate where he will have a much louder voice than ever before. The GOP is glad to have him aboard to help balance the new rise in democratic seats. Does this mean he’ll be the next republican to run in 2012? We’ll just have to wait and see.

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Filed under McCain, Media, Republican