From Code Pink’s talking points about dogging Hillary re: the war in Iraq: Question: Are you doing this because she’s a woman? Are you holding her to a higher standard because she’s a woman? As women, are you going after her because she’s a woman? Answer: No. No. No. Our campaign has nothing to do with the fact that she is a woman. It is about her enormous power and influence within the Democratic Party. It is about her hawk-like record. We don’t want to end up with another Lyndon Johnson—of whatever gender. Pressuring Hillary to change her stance on the war—and not just herRead More →

People need to realize that Hillary is not the first woman presidential candidate. Many people keep making this mistake. Victoria Woodhull ran for president in 1872. Geraldine Ferraro was the first woman on a Democratic party ticket, yes. That is not the same thing as being the first woman “on a U.S. presidential ticket.” Check out this list of other women who ran for president of the U.S. including Bella Abzug, Shirley Chisholm, Pat Schroeder, and Sonia Johnson. Clearly, only two parties count: Democrats and Republicans.Victoria Woodhull didn’t run on a “major” party ticket. Ah well.Read More →

Everyone is up in arms blogging about the spat between Hillary and Obama, instigated by David Geffen’s criticism of Hillary, which goes like this: “I don’t think that another incredibly polarizing figure, no matter how smart she is, and no matter how ambitious she is — and God knows, is there anybody more ambitious than Hillary Clinton? — can bring the country together.” Geffen is supporting and fundraising for Obama. What angers me about this quote is the same old tired gender-based rhetoric about Hillary as a pushy broad. Obama, who has been a senator for a whopping TWO YEARS, and who has very limitedRead More →

The more I hear about Barack Obama, the more he sounds like a Gen-Xer to me. I admit this is most probably the effect of selective perception, but he is in his mid-forties. Today in The American Prospect, Harold Meyerson writes about Obama’s pitch to the DNC, along with Hillary and Edwards. He quotes Obama as expressing concern for the “debasing of the public sphere.” That concern, of course, hit home for me as a rhetorical studies person. Interestingly, public address scholars seem most worried over fragmentation in the face of culture wars, and they worry about the intolerance of political correctness, yet now weRead More →

Commondreams.org trashes Hillary for skipping town on the day of the big anti-war protest in order to launch her presidential campaign in Iowa. They suggest she would make a terrible president because she is behind the times and too centrist. And, most critically for Hillary Clinton, a desperate yearning on the part of Americans of all political stripes not for a triangulating “centrist” in the Clinton mold, but for someone who can show themselves as both attuned and responsive to the national mood and capable of authenticity and bold leadership. Hillary Clinton could not be a less appropriate candidate for 2008. Let’s recap: The LeftRead More →

Barack Obama might be running on a “move-over Boomers” campaign. He’s pitching himself as the next generation of politicians. While it’s a move that I love, being a Gen Xer myself, it’s a political mistake. Look at what happened to music when the Boomers moved over. Britney Spears! We jumped from the culture of the Boomers to the culture of the digital generation with Gen X getting the spotlight for less than a decade because we were squeezed out by the population humps on both sides of us. The digital generation isn’t old enough to vote yet, and Gen X doesn’t have a large enoughRead More →

From Human Events, the national conservative weekly since 1944, comes an article called Running Against the Right Hillary. In one of the most bizarre perceptions of Hillary that I’ve ever read, this article divides Hillary into two candidates: The senator, who the author believes will be easy to beat, and the media darling first lady, who the author believes will be impossible to beat. If we run against Hillary Clinton as the former first lady, if we run against her as the wife of Bill Clinton, if we run against the cherished darling of the media who spent eight years all but canonizing her asRead More →

Senator Barack Obama has been a media darling since at least August. And the right wing is already starting its smear campaign against him. Much has been made of his middle name, “Hussein.” (See Wonkette.) I saw him on C-SPAN addressing voters in New Hampshire, where the press asked him if his middle name would be a problem in a presidential campaign. His response was pretty savvy, I thought. He said something to the effect of “Anyone who sees my name as a strike against me already has so many other strikes against me that it’s a moot point.” (No, this is not an exactRead More →

From a forwarded email about voting fraud in Austin: Yesterday a friend voted early at a polling location in Austin. She voted straight Democratic. When she did the final check, lo and behold every vote was for the Democratic candidates except that it showed she had voted for Bush/Cheney for president/vice pres. She immediately got a poll official. On her vote, it was corrected. She called the Travis County Democratic headquarters. They took all her information, and told her that she wasn’t the first to report a similar incident and that they are looking into it. So check before you leave the polling booth, andRead More →