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Firstly, however much Obama might wish to transcend race, to many he is still the black candidate.

I doubt that Obama's blackness hurts him. Much the contrary. Among the Afro-Americans it is a huge asset, where he will not only get a big share of the vote, but as well a record turn out.
The really racist people probably anyhow don't vote ever Democrats and others can say afterall they voted for a black president when accused of racism, which can be used (as well for oneself) as ignoring other discrimination issues.
It would have been a problem, if Obama would have made the elimination of discrimination of minorities as one of the key elements of his campaign, he hasn't.

Secondly ...

And the sexism single issue voters will go for McCain? If Condi or another woman would be on the other side, yes, but McCain? Obama has gone to the center, but Democrats are still the anti-discrimination gov action party.

Thirdly ...

Yes, absolutely. The reason Obama isn't challenging the model too strongly is, because it is as well the Democrats model. I don't know, what Obama thinks personally, I don't know, how the US eloctorate reacts on proposals to become more 'socialistic', but I'm sure, the Dem party elite wouldn't follow him. The people who give the big checks to the parties as well not.
However, again the Dems are the more 'socialistic' choice and Obama can't play something he isn't. He is bipartisan uniter, not a revolutionist.

Fourthly ...

Ah, I thought that is with the name. A black candidate, OK, but he should be named Jones, Smith, Wahington, or Jackson,...
Do I have to know where YURP is?

Fifthly ...
Maybe the surge is working. What was the plan what it should do?
The Dems are idiots. After more than a million killed and several million on the flight in a some 20 million people country, at some point the violence will go down, because of lack of victims. Already when these numbers became public, the Dems should shouted SCANDAL, and made perfectly clear, that it doesn't matter any more, what happens next in Iraq with regard of the question, if the war was a good idea at first. Again I think the same problem as with the economy, the Democratic elite itself is warmongering and only unhappy with the mismanagement of the war. It was clear before the war, that no really dangerous WMD (e.g. nuclear) would have been found, only some rather harmless stuff could have been there - but there wasn't and it hasn't let to a major reaction.

I have another European elitist explaination, why Obama isn't leading by a bigger margin:
America has too many too dumb people.

The solution for the Obama campaign:
Picking a vice president who really a lot of voters would like to see more often. So what about Paris Hilton?


Der Amerikaner ist die Orchidee unter den Menschen
Volker Pispers

by Martin (weiser.mensch(at)googlemail.com) on Thu Aug 7th, 2008 at 05:58:10 PM EST
Picking a vice president who really a lot of voters would like to see more often. So what about Paris Hilton?

Because of that quaint document called the Constitution? Article 2, Section 1 says that the president (and so, for practical purposes, the Vice-President as well), must be at least 35 years old. According to Wikipedia, Paris was born in 1981.

by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Thu Aug 7th, 2008 at 06:05:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
whatever her age, no one with a name like Paris could possibly be elected.  The Freedom Fries people wouldn't stand for it.  Remember Kerry was defeated because he could Speak French.  Those cheese eating surrender monkeys are all into windmills and stuff that no self-respecting GOP Oil man would tolerate.  Amurkans have a constitutional right to guzzle gas and no hybrid loving sophisticate celeb is gonna interfere with that.  Its like guns and Christianity.  You can't have one without the other.

"It's a mystery to me - the game commences, For the usual fee - plus expenses, Confidential information - it's in my diary..."
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Aug 7th, 2008 at 06:40:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
... don't even fry the cheese, or melt it onto nachos to eat it ... them Yurpns'll eat cheese raw, at least I hear tell.

I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.
by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Fri Aug 8th, 2008 at 01:45:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Martin:
America has too many too dumb people.

On that logic, did Ireland reject Lisbon because it has too many dumb people?  Politics is about affiliation, not intelligence.  Not enough people are identifying with Obama because his identity is being cast too narrowly.

"It's a mystery to me - the game commences, For the usual fee - plus expenses, Confidential information - it's in my diary..."
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Aug 7th, 2008 at 06:31:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I thought it was obvious, that this was meant only half serious and not for debate, but however.

Politics is about affiliation only up to a certain degree. There are issues, too.
The Lisbon treaty is by far not important enough, not easily understandable enough and simply not good enough, to count.

I don't blame anybody for voting for Bush in 2000. I don't know for whom I would have voted in 2000. But there comes a point, when you see, the outcome and have to redecide.

If Ireland gets thrown out of the EU, lives 4 years out of the EU and then, when again asked for reentering the EU, and decides to stay out, then I would have an issue with Ireland - a small one.

Der Amerikaner ist die Orchidee unter den Menschen
Volker Pispers

by Martin (weiser.mensch(at)googlemail.com) on Thu Aug 7th, 2008 at 07:07:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Martin:
I thought it was obvious, that this was meant only half serious and not for debate, but however.

I think it is a very serious issue for debate.  Most Irish people who voted against Lisbon did so for reasons that had nothing to do with Lisbon.  Does that make them stupid?

Many evangelical conservatives in the US vote on issues like abortion, gays, creationism in schools etc.  GOP candidates have been v. skilled at harvesting this vote whilst doing nothing v. practical to implement such ultra-conservative politics.  They do so by identifying with such beliefs/aspirations, not by delivering anything v. concrete.

Some of them believe Obama is a Muslim, an uppity nigger, a communist stooge.  Does that make them stupid?  Of course it does.  Shock, horror:  50% of Amurkans have below average intelligence.  Any political program which doesn't take account o their sensibilities or lack of is almost bound to fail.

The GOP has almost sown up the stupid vote.  The Dems have been too snobbish to try.  They need to get more down and dirty....

"It's a mystery to me - the game commences, For the usual fee - plus expenses, Confidential information - it's in my diary..."

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Aug 7th, 2008 at 07:27:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Op-Ed Columnist - Know-Nothing Politics - Op-Ed - NYTimes.com

Republicans, once hailed as the "party of ideas," have become the party of stupid.

Now, I don't mean that G.O.P. politicians are, on average, any dumber than their Democratic counterparts. And I certainly don't mean to question the often frightening smarts of Republican political operatives.

What I mean, instead, is that know-nothingism -- the insistence that there are simple, brute-force, instant-gratification answers to every problem, and that there's something effeminate and weak about anyone who suggests otherwise -- has become the core of Republican policy and political strategy. The party's de facto slogan has become: "Real men don't think things through."

In the case of oil, this takes the form of pretending that more drilling would produce fast relief at the gas pump. In fact, earlier this week Republicans in Congress actually claimed credit for the recent fall in oil prices: "The market is responding to the fact that we are here talking," said Representative John Shadegg.

What about the experts at the Department of Energy who say that it would take years before offshore drilling would yield any oil at all, and that even then the effect on prices at the pump would be "insignificant"? Presumably they're just a bunch of wimps, probably Democrats. And the Democrats, as Representative Michele Bachmann assures us, "want Americans to move to the urban core, live in tenements, take light rail to their government jobs."

Is this political pitch too dumb to succeed? Don't count on it.

Remember how the Iraq war was sold. The stuff about aluminum tubes and mushroom clouds was just window dressing. The main political argument was, "They attacked us, and we're going to strike back" -- and anyone who tried to point out that Saddam and Osama weren't the same person was an effete snob who hated America, and probably looked French.

Let's also not forget that for years President Bush was the center of a cult of personality that lionized him as a real-world Forrest Gump, a simple man who prevails through his gut instincts and moral superiority. "Mr. Bush is the triumph of the seemingly average American man," declared Peggy Noonan, writing in The Wall Street Journal in 2004. "He's not an intellectual. Intellectuals start all the trouble in the world."



"It's a mystery to me - the game commences, For the usual fee - plus expenses, Confidential information - it's in my diary..."
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Aug 8th, 2008 at 08:05:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The truth is that vice presidents are pretty meaningless.  If you can play it up for some good press leading to the announcement, it's fine, but veeps don't usually decide elections.

I'm more interested in the veep as a potential successor, which is why I don't want dumber-than-catshit wackazoid-neocon Evan Bayh.  He has good lucks, but he also has all the charisma of a rock.  He's a total douche bag, too.  I can live with him, if that's what it takes to win, of course.  In the end, we've gotta win.  But I don't believe he locks up Indiana as others do.  (Indiana is just as ass-backwards are any southern state.)  So I'd consider him, obviously, but I'd avoid him at all costs.

(Adding: The talk of Bayh appeasing Clintonistas is moronic, inside-baseball drivel.)

Sebelius would be fantastic if she were from a relevant state.

Edwards would be great, but he wants to be attorney general, not veep, and I'm not confident he could get us North Carolina anyway.  He also really sucks in debates.  Cheney mopped the floor with him four years ago.

Kaine is good, although his approval ratings dipped quite a bit after some bullshit in the legislature this past year.

Those are the "young picks".

Richardson is the experience guy, with massive appeal out West (putting New Mexico, Colorado, perhaps Nevada, and perhaps even Tejas in contention).

Joe Biden is funny as hell.  He knows how to talk plainly to people, and he's incredibly experienced.

Russ Feingold is my darkhorse.  He's more progressive than Obama, which appeases the base (helpful after Obama's center-fying).  He's experienced.  And, to my surprise, he's young.  Ideal successor.

Those are the experience picks.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Thu Aug 7th, 2008 at 06:47:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You'd have a better handle on the stats, but my impression is that not many veeps get to succeed their President - unless the President is extraordinarily popular like Reagan/Eisenhower, or dead - like Kennedy.

tHE PROBLEM WITH THE JOB DESCRIPTION IS THAT YOU GET NONE OF THE CREDIT AND ALL THE CRAP THAT ATTACHES itself to the main man.

Thus Obama's veep is very unlikely to succeed him unless Obama cops a bullet - which must be a real worry.

A good veep candidate - by my guess - could give you a max of (say) 2% extra in votes - not much, but critical in a tight election - especially if that 2% might otherwise go for the opposition candidate.  Which veep candidate hurts McCain the most?

Which GOP veep candidate hurts Obama most - Colin Powell, Condi Rice, Joe Lieberman?

"It's a mystery to me - the game commences, For the usual fee - plus expenses, Confidential information - it's in my diary..."

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Aug 7th, 2008 at 07:12:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, that's true, although I think Gore likely would've done a bit better -- enough to win despite the fraud -- if he hadn't run away from Bill Clinton.  Gore allowed the crap to be attached to him by not playing offense.

The potential veeps who likely hurt McCain the most, depending on his pick, are Richardson and Edwards.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.

by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Thu Aug 7th, 2008 at 08:23:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
As you know, I'm banking on Gavin Newsom...

What about Jack Reed? Would be a non-successor (now 59) experience pick, more boring than Biden or Richardson, but definitely less risky. Also, Daschle (61) keeps being mentioned. He's got the 'loser' problem, but might be still be a solid pick.

by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Fri Aug 8th, 2008 at 07:29:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I doubt that Obama's blackness hurts him. Much the contrary. Among the Afro-Americans it is a huge asset, where he will not only get a big share of the vote, but as well a record turn out.

Blacks vote overwhelmingly Dem regardless of who the candidate is. Turnout will go up, but blacks are disproportionately located in states which don't matter - i.e. barring landslides for one side or the other are not swing states. In this election it might help marginally in Ohio, Virginia, and Florida. On the other hand it can hurt him among white voters in those states as well. It's not at all clear to me which of those two factors will matter more.

I have another European elitist explaination, why Obama isn't leading by a bigger margin:
America has too many too dumb people.

Two words: Silvio. Berlusconi.

by MarekNYC on Fri Aug 8th, 2008 at 02:14:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
We're not all Italians you know....

"It's a mystery to me - the game commences, For the usual fee - plus expenses, Confidential information - it's in my diary..."
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Aug 8th, 2008 at 02:24:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Sarkozy. "No" to Lisbon. Haider. etc... Need we go on?

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Sat Aug 9th, 2008 at 10:44:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yea but our major governing parties don't often directly target the "stupid" vote.  It damages their brand, long term.
Frank Schnittger:
you see - targeting stupidy is the GOP strategy (none / 1) Op-Ed Columnist - Know-Nothing Politics - Op-Ed - NYTimes.com

Republicans, once hailed as the "party of ideas," have become the party of stupid.

Now, I don't mean that G.O.P. politicians are, on average, any dumber than their Democratic counterparts. And I certainly don't mean to question the often frightening smarts of Republican political operatives.

What I mean, instead, is that know-nothingism -- the insistence that there are simple, brute-force, instant-gratification answers to every problem, and that there's something effeminate and weak about anyone who suggests otherwise -- has become the core of Republican policy and political strategy. The party's de facto slogan has become: "Real men don't think things through."

In the case of oil, this takes the form of pretending that more drilling would produce fast relief at the gas pump. In fact, earlier this week Republicans in Congress actually claimed credit for the recent fall in oil prices: "The market is responding to the fact that we are here talking," said Representative John Shadegg.

What about the experts at the Department of Energy who say that it would take years before offshore drilling would yield any oil at all, and that even then the effect on prices at the pump would be "insignificant"? Presumably they're just a bunch of wimps, probably Democrats. And the Democrats, as Representative Michele Bachmann assures us, "want Americans to move to the urban core, live in tenements, take light rail to their government jobs."

Is this political pitch too dumb to succeed? Don't count on it.

Remember how the Iraq war was sold. The stuff about aluminum tubes and mushroom clouds was just window dressing. The main political argument was, "They attacked us, and we're going to strike back" -- and anyone who tried to point out that Saddam and Osama weren't the same person was an effete snob who hated America, and probably looked French.

Let's also not forget that for years President Bush was the center of a cult of personality that lionized him as a real-world Forrest Gump, a simple man who prevails through his gut instincts and moral superiority. "Mr. Bush is the triumph of the seemingly average American man," declared Peggy Noonan, writing in The Wall Street Journal in 2004. "He's not an intellectual. Intellectuals start all the trouble in the world."



"It's a mystery to me - the game commences, For the usual fee - plus expenses, Confidential information - it's in my diary..."
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sat Aug 9th, 2008 at 10:59:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You forgot Poland ;) On second thought, please don't think of the twins, it's embarrassing.
by MarekNYC on Sun Aug 10th, 2008 at 01:51:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
... advantage, as in the 2004 election the black vote was deliberately suppressed by under-allocation of voting machines to heavily black districts.


I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.
by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Sat Aug 9th, 2008 at 10:57:25 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Do you know what, if anything is being done to stop this happening again? It wasn't a surprise in 2004; I remember reading warnings that this was going to happen well before the elections.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Sat Aug 9th, 2008 at 12:13:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
See my comment right below yours.  A key difference between 2008 and 2004 is that the Ohio governor is Ted Strickland, a Dem.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sat Aug 9th, 2008 at 12:27:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
... in Ohio (as in most states) the Secretary of State is in charge of elections, and its a statewide elected position.

So the main thing "done" to prevent it happening again was the election of the Democrat as the Secretary of State. Ms. Brunner won't intentionally mis-allocated voting machines in order to disenfranchise black voters ... or, in the other big block disenfranchisement, college voters. And she has already sacked some of the worst of the County Board of Electors.

I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.

by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Sat Aug 9th, 2008 at 12:33:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Good point.  Shedding a bit more light on that, it's also important to remember that we control the governors' mansions in many of these states.  Ohio, Virginia and North Carolina come to mind immediately.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sat Aug 9th, 2008 at 12:26:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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