The Arrow

There are no answers; only choices.

The Democratic Primary

Posted by thearrow on June 7, 2008

Beyond partisan politics and dissection of minutia about what happened, the most important thing for me is that a woman and a black man were almost equally good in this neck-to-neck race. I know Clinton fans think that women are still kept firmly under a glass lid and that race proved to be an easier obstacle to remove than gender. But I think that the small (even if ultimately significant) difference in votes and delegates between Clinton and Obama really proves that they and the two identities they represent are on an equal footing. She lost because of tactical mistakes; she ran as if she had already been nominated, whereas Obama campaigned everywhere he could and didn’t take the nomination process for granted. This has already been said many times by pundits in D.C., where people eat politics (and policy) with their breakfast or instead of it. Here’s Time magazine’s skinny on it. I’ve been following the various analyses relatively closely but I haven’t heard this idea, though: that, when all is said and done, race and gender have both arrived on the stage of national politics at the same time with the same might. If bright minds out there have said it, I missed it but if this had been mentioned more often, I think it would have reached my ears eventually. I wonder whether people didn’t insist on it because they’re not distanced from the whole process yet and continue to focus on the details of why he won and she lost.

Personally, I’m very happy that he won. I would have voted for him if I could have (sigh). She is very smart, competent, and hard-working, but I think he represents the future more than she does. Needless to say, I’d be tremendously disappointed if McCain wins in November. After spending all my seven years in America under the Bush administration, anything Republican just makes me puke. It’s hard to imagine a more backward mindset than, perhaps, that of the Taliban.

On a lighter note, I don’t know who had the idea to put the word CHANGE on the placards affixed to Obama’s lecterns, but it was absolutely brilliant. You already know who’s speaking, so putting the candidate’s name there, like all the others did, doesn’t get you anything. That is prime image real estate, and that’s where Obama’s campaign put his message. Honestly, I’m surprised no one thought of this before, given how many incredibly media-savvy people there are in this country. Of course, I’d be disappointed if someone did do this before and Obama wasn’t the first, but I’d survive :). I think we’ll see this kind of driving-the-message-home happen a lot more often. I doubt it will be just as powerful the second or the third time, though. And, just as with my observation above, I haven’t heard anyone discuss this groundbreaking idea either. I can’t believe I’m the only one who noticed, though, so if anyone out there knows of an article discussing this, please, please send it my way. I mean, to get a taste of the level of detail into which political examinations go, read this great analysis of the typographical scheme the Obama campaign used. With this kind of attention for everything, can it be possible that no one wrote anything about it? I don’t think I’m THAT smart, but until I see evidence to the contrary I’ll entertain the idea :)).

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2 Responses to “The Democratic Primary”

  1. v said

    to tell you the truth, i was relieved to see Obama winning AND Clinton losing. she’s a dangerous person, in my opinion. she loves the war – the army war, no less! – and remember she declared something about wiping Iran out of the face of the world… she’s definitely above bush – but not much above.
    obama on the other hand seems to promise a wiser future. if he gets to be the president, i think i’ll love america again (now i’m scared of it).
    (haven’t had the time to follow your links – yet)

  2. thearrow said

    Yes, I can’t get over the fact that she voted for the war either. And I really don’t think her experience, no matter how significant it may be, can compensate for her other weaknesses. I’m really glad she didn’t win :).

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