Posted by lvx35 in General Discussion: Presidential (Through Nov 2009)
Fri Jan 11th 2008, 03:23 AM
this is just my two cents submitted for the reading pleasure of bored on what I think it will take each candidate to win.
synopsis for the non-bored: Edwards needs to establish himself as a multi-issue outside the box candidate, Obama needs to establish a sense of commitment and certainty in his base and Hillary needs to convice us she is not one of "them".
I flipped really hard for Hillary before New Hampshire, after seeing her so abused with everybody dancing on her grave. But now that the proverbial lioness has made her first kill, I realize she isn't quite a kitten that needs to be protected, so I'm back to the original issue I have with her. Really my issue isn't a particular thing, but a feeling...Its the sense that she's one of "them". Like the Bushes or something. When you actually sit down and look at their records side by side, it doesn't stand up to reason, but I feel it anyway.
There's no one thing I can point at to explain this, but I can think of 3 Bush-like things about her which seem to give me the feeling:
1) The sense of unexplained votes she has made
This is a Bush folly, opaque policy without explanation. For her, I get it with the votes related to Iran and Iraq, including the policy of the residual force left behind. When I think fondly of her, I imagine that there is some complex geopolitical reality or classified information that guided it, and maybe she CAN'T really explain it all in sound bytes. But can't she advance some kind of narrative or gist? Some symbol or whatever politicians do? I feel like there is a big story behind the involvement in the middle east that involves trade and energy and all kinds of things, and that we are big enough boys to handle some thumbnail version of it, some explanation of it that would explain WHY we really are involved there in the first place, and what's going on.
2) The sense that we are not invited to the party.
This is a HUGE Bush folly, starting a war, and telling us to support it not by sacrificing, but by going shopping. Unlike WWII and the patriotism it generated, the war on terror has been quite the opposite, an elitist endeavor, to be carried out by "heros" rather than common mortals like me, which made me HATE it. The inevitability meme worked to establish the same feeling in Hillary's base, and in Democrats in general...The idea that she doesn't NEED us to win. That in itself is small, but the scary idea is that if she wins it could be carried on. But I WANT to be important and needed in building the machine to take care of my family and children. Even if she CAN hand it to us on her own, it feels humiliating and dis-empowering to not have contributed myself, to have sacrificed. If she needs little people like me to build this future, she needs to make it clearly known.
3) The Shadow behind the throne
The third creepy Bushism is the perception that Bush himself is a puppet, and Cheney is the actual power running things. This is another insult to us and plays into number 2 as well. For Hillary though, the "shadow" is Bill Clinton which makes things more complicated. For one, because I love Bill Clinton...but I sense deeply that its immoral if I am "re-electing" him, or if he is "the power" behind the scenes...Or maybe that just is disturbing because it reminds me of Bush Cheney. Whichever, the fact remains that his experience is a huge asset. I guess just wish I could know that the policy of Bill Clinton had been separated from the person of Bill Clinton, and while Hillary had this "Clinton policy" as a tool at her disposal, it wasn't dictating things or defining her, meaning I could know for sure the past had been left behind and we were dealing with a clean slate.
I think if Hillary can truly show us clearly that she is NOT one of them, and indeed is a fresh person who has never been president before bring new ideas and old experience, she has a real chance of winning this race.
When I saw Edwards the other night, he just blew me away. My immediate thought hearing him talk about fighting corporations was "Holy shit, this guy is saying these things and he's actually for REAL". This is an issue which has been so far off the table for mainstream Dems for so long that it was actually shocking, and very exciting. It was the kind of boldness and fight I only associated with Kucinich, but from somebody who could really WIN. It shattered my notions that him and Obama were somehow "the same". Edwards is in fact really unique, and I think he would do best to stand up against up against Obama/Clinton as though they were one, pointing out how similar they are to differentiate himself. I think its important that he do this, because his pro-poverty voice is really needed in this campaign, and he could really shoot himself in the foot if his critique was too focused on one and allowed the other to emerge as a "clear front runner". He should be happy about the toss up so far.
Edwards especially appeals to me when I'm angry about "the system". When I am feeling good, Obama is more appealing, because of his positivity and focus on what we are going to build, not just what we are going to tear down. Edwards would do well to learn from this, and be willing to put forth his creative side more, focusing on what we can achieve. When I research him its there, its just the message isn't coming through the media as much right now. He should work to make sure it does, make sure he's coming across as a "rainbow candidate" who address all the issues important to us, now that he's got our attention.
Obama vs. Hillary has been presented to us as being the same as making a decision between dating an older person and a younger one: The older person has less flashy appeal and excitement, more baggage and complexity, but also has depth, sophistication, maturity and stability. The younger person is more fickle, unreliable and naive, but exciting, inspiring, fun hip and uncomplicated. Like it or not, that's that's the perception that's been advanced universally, and that's what he's got to work with. But its not all bad, as in many cases people choose to date the younger person - so its not a totally damaging metaphor. In fact, I can roughly calculate the right response to any political attack against Obama by transplanting it into a conversation between a hesitant older man and an amorous younger woman.
Older guy: Your all looks, all flash and no substance!
Young woman: No, I'm pure, uncomplicated and honest, and that terrifies you, why?
Older guy: But you're a gamble, a huge risk!
Young woman: Opportunity requires risk, but without it what is there? Your dull hopeless loveless life, repeating endlessly between the same presidents. Take a chance and LOVE!
So there is a certain power and appeal in the image that the media has ascribed to him, and I think he should keep running with it. However there's one attribute of "young love" (to continue the metaphor) I think Obama needs to be incredible careful with: Infatuation. You know, the kind of love that surges up then pops like a bubble when reality sets in. Obama hasn't had problems energizing his people, but his big challenge lies in keeping them committed for the long haul. The biggest challenge will be if he suffers a string of perceived defeats, and his base gets demoralized. I think the best thing he could do in building his movement is express that its about ideas which are bigger than just this campaign, this moment. If the movement behind him seems solid rather than uncertain (uncertainty is his achilles heel) than I think he could win.
I've got about $1000 I want to put in something like a mutual fund, but one that focuses on investments in sustainable technology. Has anybody heard of any good options? Thanks.
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