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Author Topic: Presidential General Election News & Discussion Center
Tresopax
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The "Obama lacks experience" argument was the Republicans' best complaint against Obama. I just don't see how they can make it now that they've selected someone with even less experience as VP.

She's also going to have to go on national TV and debate Joe Biden on national issues - including foreign policy.

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Javert
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That occurred to me too, Tres.

I predict Biden destroying her in debate.

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TomDavidson
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quote:
I just don't see how they can make it now that they've selected someone with even less experience as VP.
They just need to emphasize that McCain is not going to die.
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fugu13
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I'm not so sure about Biden destroying her in debates. From looking at her record, she's the sort to be able to take apart flimsy, blustered campaign positions piece by piece. And if Biden gets upset, he's lost.
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fugu13
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Here's an excellent post dismantling the problems with the household income argument put forward by many (including Obama):

http://cafehayek.typepad.com/hayek/2008/08/measuring-inequ.html

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Bokonon
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quote:
Originally posted by Javert:
That occurred to me too, Tres.

I predict Biden destroying her in debate.

There is now danger in this. Thanks to low-level background sexism in this country.

-Bok

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Dan_raven
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Looks like they are really going after the unhappy Hillary voters, putting a whole lot of hope on turning them with, "see, we can put a Woman as VP. To bad the Dems won't."
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SenojRetep
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quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
The only real argument that Senator McCain has had was the experience, "lead on day one" argument. He is 72 years old. His VP had better fill those qualifications. I'm not sure that 19 months as governor really counts Or being the mayor of a smallish town? Runner up in the Miss Alaska pageant? Do they think that disaffected Clinton supporters will accept this substitute?

Where will Palin help him? With Western-style socially ambivalent, fiscally conservative types. Exactly the unclaimed voters who can tip the election for him. Her selection is for McCain exactly what Schweitzer's selection for Obama would have been. And if it's coupled with the sort of fiscally responsible platform I ranted about a couple of hours ago, I think it isn't hard to see McCain riding it to the presidency.

That there are experience costs is undeniable, but if the election is about issues, particularly fiscal and government spending issues, I think it's a win. I'd love to see McCain return to his Maverick roots (rather than just the image) and I think that this VP selection is part of a move in that direction. If he's unable move the dialogue in that direction, though, I think it'll be disastrous. If the focus remains the economy and foreign policy, I see it as bad. But if this is really a change election (or reform, as the McCain camp prefers) then McCain just made a strong statement that his is the real outsider's platform.

It has very little (but not nothing) to do with her gender, IMO.

<edit>And I want to point out that her 19 months of Executive experience is more than the sum total of the Democratic platform. Not that it matters much, but still, there's Senate experience and then there's executive experience.</edit>

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Lyrhawn
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She's a great demographic choice. Other than that, does absolutely nothing and opens McCain up to the same attacks he's using against Obama. I KNEW he wasn't going to pick KBH, her Pro-choice stance ruled her out, and Palin was the only other woman even considered in contention. She's a hardcore conservative, and a women, but being a hardcore conservative is actually going to turn a lot of women off, of course having her be a woman alone is going to probably draw a lot of votes off. It's a demographic tizzy.

But Tom's right, the age attacks are going to come flying now. McCain has been attacking Obama for being inexperienced and for choosing Biden to shore up his supposed weaknesses. So McCain picks an inexperienced woman who is young and vibrant to shore up his own weaknesses? It's an odd choice for a guy who thinks experience is so important. If he dies, he'll leave a president in charge that has less experience even than Obama.

It's clever, but maybe too clever in the end. It's hard to say yet though. I have no idea how people will react to this.

quote:
I'd love to see McCain return to his Maverick roots (rather than just the image) and I think that this VP selection is part of a move in that direction.
If he was still a Maverick, he'd have picked Lieberman. He picked Palin becuase of demographics and because he needed a staunch conservative. It was a political choice.

Edit to add:

I was thinking about a TV ad to use against Palin. The idea that just any woman would be good enough to woo disaffected Hillary voters seems silly to me. I think a great ad would be to put Palin and Clinton on the same screen and say "she's no Hillary." People might say "well then why isn't Hillary on the ticket?" and I think you blunt that by having Hillary herself be the voice on the ad and be in the ad herself saying that Palin is no Hillary, and that she supports Obama. Lots of people, as has been mentioned, won't like seeing a man attack her, so have prominent Democratic women stand up and say it, and I think that makes Clinton the Dems' new attack dog.

"She's no Hillary" should be the new slogan. People didn't like Hillary because she was the first woman, it's because she's the first QUALIFIED woman, and people are all sad because there aren't any more qualified women around. McCain just grabbed the closest telegenic Republican woman and tossed her on the ticket. "She's no Hillary."

[ August 29, 2008, 01:11 PM: Message edited by: Lyrhawn ]

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Lisa
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quote:
Originally posted by Tresopax:
The "Obama lacks experience" argument was the Republicans' best complaint against Obama. I just don't see how they can make it now that they've selected someone with even less experience as VP.

Government experience isn't all the same thing. Obama has zero executive branch experience, while Palin's government experience is 100% executive. Being mayor and governor is a lot more applicable than being a senator.
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kmbboots
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I think that is even better than my (guilty pleasure) new favorite slogan.

"She would be a heartbeat away from being President. Previous experience - being a heartbeat away from being Miss Alaska."

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Dagonee
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Wow. I knew all that stuff about changing the way we did politics was all talk.
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Lyrhawn
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quote:
Originally posted by Lisa:
quote:
Originally posted by Tresopax:
The "Obama lacks experience" argument was the Republicans' best complaint against Obama. I just don't see how they can make it now that they've selected someone with even less experience as VP.

Government experience isn't all the same thing. Obama has zero executive branch experience, while Palin's government experience is 100% executive. Being mayor and governor is a lot more applicable than being a senator.
Somehow I think that argument will fall silent when that experience is 18 months long and from ALASKA. Obama has a body of work in government and community organizing before that. It's not like he doesn't know what executives do. What major decisions has Palin had to make? I'm sure running the Eskimo military has given her some serious military and foreign policy cred.
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kmbboots
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quote:
Originally posted by Dagonee:
Wow. I knew all that stuff about changing the way we did politics was all talk.

I would be disappointed if Senator Obama used that line. I don't think my getting a guilty giggle out of it is quite the same thing.

To be serious, how can we believe any of what the McCain campaign has been touting up till now if this is a person who he believes can be commander in chief?

edit to add: Wasilla Alaska is where she was mayor. Population roughly 8,500.

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Lyrhawn
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There's a February interview with her on C-SPAN right now, if anyone can or wants to watch.
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Gecko
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I think the Obama camp needs to ask voters the question a lot are overlooking.

Can they see Palin as president?

While being a mother of five, former beauty pagent runner-up may make her appear folksy and attractive to the heartland, is she the type of person you want negotiating with Ahmadinejad? Do you see her being able to do something about curbing terrorism around the world?

Make her seem as unpresidential as her resume makes her out to be, and this vp pick will be a huge black eye for McCain.

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twinky
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quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
To be serious, how can we believe any of what the McCain campaign has been touting up till now if this is a person who he believes can be commander in chief?

I don't really see how this changes that equation. The point is that McCain has the experience, not that his VP has it. I'm aware of the argument -- that the VP should have it as well since McCain might not live through his first or second term -- but I don't think it's terribly compelling. By that time, the VP will have accrued even more executive experience by virtue of having been in office.

I think she's a smart choice and contrasts extremely well with the safe, boring pick of Biden.

quote:
Originally posted by fugu13:
There's been no general change in poor and middle-class wages using the same inflation measure across the economy, up or down. However, when using measures of inflation weighted for the different consumption baskets of different levels of income, there has been an increase in wages (as in, people can buy more of what they actually buy on what they're receiving in wages).

Okay. This is an aside, but will that remain true if fuel costs remain high or increase further? I don't expect you to have a crystal ball or anything, but I certainly see that having an impact on what low and middle income earners are able to buy.

quote:
That is, the wage increase has been hidden in many things becoming dramatically cheaper. It is still a weak increase, but there's a very simple explanation for that: the war in Iraq. It siphons off large amounts of consumer surplus. There's no need for any drastic policy changes, just eliminate that gigantic line item and wages should be free to again increase at normal rates.
Fair enough. [Smile]

As another aside, I suspect that in this event the allotments of vacation and sick leave would remain among the lowest in the industrialized world, which IIRC is where they are now. Offhand, I can't think of another country with lower norms for paid time off among workers. That makes me predisposed to support Obama's position, since I already think American workers should get more vacation and sick leave.

(And yes, there's a reason I care about that, but I'm not going to have that particular conversation here. [Smile] )

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SenojRetep
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Before becoming governor, she chaired Alaska's energy committee. And, what do you know, energy is a central issue in this election. (That said, I'm less than thrilled about her support for drilling in ANWR).

Another reason to love Palin is she rose to the governorship by fighting government corruption and spending, and when she got there she appointed a bi-partisan cabinet. She's the one who killed Stevens' Bridge to Nowhere. I really think McCain is about to make a big rhetorical shift and start pushing his clean government, anti-spending cred.

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Gecko
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Also, I just want to point out, the tactless way she made a desperate grab at Hillary voters was a little pathetic. Women didn't want Hillary just because of her anatomy, they waned her because she is one the few females with the experience who sided with them on social issues they care about. Hillary was for pro-choice, equal wages, gay rights. Hillary was a feminists's dream candidate.

Palin, however, got tapped for VP just because of her ovaries. It's a purley political appointment. If I was a feminist, I would be outraged. They have been fighting the objectification of woman for ages, but now Palin is VP because she is an attractive woman with zero substance.

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katharina
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Protestations aside, the female-centric blogs I read are thrilled with the choice, even if they don't plan on voting for her. Regardless of issues, both candidtes can now claim to be making history. I think it was a brilliant political move.

Why are the Republicans so much better at this?

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Lyrhawn
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McCain has anti-spending cred? When's the last time he voted no on the massive budgest the Republicans have been pushing through? He can't talk about spending, he'll get lambasted. Besides, he has tons of new spending provisions on top of tax cuts.

I'll say this about Palin: I've been watching her for the last 15-20 or so, and she's incredibly engaging. I don't know if I like her policies, but I already find myself liking her as a person. She's nice, engaging, seems smart and is great at answering questions and pivoting those she doesn't really want to answer but not making it look like a pivot. Hearing her talk about hunting and fishing I feel like she could be from Michigan. I didn't grow up doing either of those things except in Boy Scouts, but I grew up around people who did, and she feels like she could be from somewhere upstate.

Traditionally VPs are attack dogs, which is a role I think Biden will do well, but I can't see her doing it, and I don't think I'd want to. Nice Sarah Palin is drawing me in. Angry Sarah Palin would probably turn me off. I don't think it's just because it's a woman by the way, because angry Hillary didn't turn me off. I think they have to be careful in how they use her.

Kat -

Well, in this specific instance I don't think they are particularly better. Don't get me wrong, it's fantastic press right now, but it's a totally unknown long term pick for the next few weeks, or she could end up being a knockout, no one knows.

But I think if things had gone the other way around and McCain had been forced to pick his VP first, there is no way he would have picked Palin. She was a response to the Democratic side. Had he gone first, it would have been someone else, and Obama might have picked someone else to balance. This one I think is less about Republicans being better at politics than it is about having the benefit of choosing second and being second: This is a hail mary play.

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Gecko
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I don't think they are better. "Political move" are the key words here. He made a VP pick that would help him win, not a VP pick that would be suitable to run the country should the worst happen.
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Belle
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I don't think she was at all tactless with the reference to Hilary and to Geraldine Ferraro.

I think it was entirely appropriate to commend the women who came before her in running for national office. I think it would have been far more tactless to ignore them.

She said Hilary ran with determination and grace - I think those are two descriptors that work well, because Hilary was certainly determined, and her speech at the convention supporting Obama was certainly gracious.

Palin did a really good job with her speech - she obviously knows how to command a crowd and handle live speeches, which is a skill every politician needs. She's better at it, I think, than most.

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Gecko
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When she said something along the lines of "We women aren't out of it just yet" made it seem like she expected women to vote for her just based on the fact that she is a women. She disregarded that Ferraro and Clinton, two dems, were so strongly supported by females because they champion causes that are important to other females, not simply because they are females themselves.

But having said that, I'm sure Palin will attract the vote of every Hillary supporter who is pro-life and pro-gun.

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TomDavidson
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quote:
I really think McCain is about to make a big rhetorical shift and start pushing his clean government, anti-spending cred.
I do, too. If he's smart, he'll realize that Obama has, by pandering to the center, opened himself to an integrity-based attack.
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katharina
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quote:
She disregarded that Ferraro and Clinton, two dems, were so strongly supported by females because they champion causes that are important to other females, not simply because they are females themselves.
That's not nearly as true as Dems hope it is.
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Farmgirl
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Well, at least Alaska runs in the black on budget (not that I know if any of that is Palin's doing.)

When I was in Alaska, the locals all told me about how they don't have a lot of the taxes we do, because the state is self-supporting.

I tried to just look that up on Alaska's government web site; but apparently everyone else is looking it up too, because the server was unavailable.

I did find this article that says Alaska has a 7.7 BILLION surplus (of money) this year.

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TomDavidson
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I don't think Dems hoped that was the case until just recently. *laugh*
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Gecko
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quote:
Originally posted by katharina:
That's not nearly as true as Dems hope it is.

The alternative is that women vote for women soley based on gender. I'll give them more credit than that; the same way I give black people more credit than voting for Obama simply because he's black.
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TomDavidson
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quote:
I did find this article that says Alaska has a 7.7 BILLION surplus (of money) this year.
It's worth noting that Alaska has an oil pipeline and no population worth speaking of. [Wink]
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fugu13
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Alaska runs in the black on budget because there's oil there, and because it gets ridiculous amounts of federal money per capita. For instance, that $7.7 billion is less than the amount Alaska gets from the Federal gov't in a year (though I don't know if it is bigger than the amount Alaska gets above what it pays in; from what I can gather, it isn't, but only by one or two billion).

Re: wages, if oil costs again increase dramatically, it will affect things short term, but I suspect that the long term effects will be mitigated by societal lifestyle changes. However, another prolonged dramatic increase isn't very likely for a while.

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katharina
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quote:
The alternative is that women vote for women soley based on gender. I'll give them more credit than that; the same way I give black people more credit than voting for Obama simply because he's black.
If you don't live in a black and white world, another alternative is that women vote for all sorts of reasons, and SOME will vote for the ticket because it has a woman on it and they can stomach the rest. How many is the "some" may determine the election.
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Lyrhawn
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The reason Alaksa is drowning in money is because the price of oil is through the roof. The ad writes itself. "Palin didn't balance the state budget; while the rest of us are suffering at the pump, Palin and Alaska are drowning in oil wealth."

The only reason Alaska is doing so well is oil revenue. That and tourism (but mostly that) are Alaska's only real industries.

quote:
That's not nearly as true as Dems hope it is.
I think it WILL be. Women vote with Democrats, by and large, because of healthcare, education, and the economy. They aren't going to give up the soccer mom issues just to vote for a woman, at least, not in droves. I think it's insulting to women to suggest that they would. Healthcare, education and the economy are bread and butter Democratic issues this time around, and you'll start to see Obama really hammering them home in the coming weeks I think, whereas McCain, near as I can tell, has nothing in the hopper for education, a tax cut and a tax increase for healthcare that wouldn't really do anything, and more budget busting tax cuts for the upper class (and some more of us too, to be fair) for the economy. Or at least, that's how Obama will frame it. And a lot of those hardcore feminists that might vote for a woman just to vote for a woman aren't going to vote for a pro-life one.

Give this thing time for the excitement to die down, and when everyone comes back to Earth, I think we'll see it's not the game changer the pundits are saying.

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Gecko
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The women who supported Hillary and switched to McCain based on Palin would be voting against their own interests. Some people you can't reason with or predict.

The people who vote for Palin simply because she is a woman were lost to Obama since before he declared his candidacy. I can only hope America's electoral system isn't held hostage by that demographic.

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Irami Osei-Frimpong
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quote:
Okay, forgive me for being sexist or insensitive or whatever, but I'm concerned about her new Downs baby. I mean, taking care of a new baby is a big job. Taking care of a Downs baby is a huge job. Being VP is a huge job too. Does she have time to do both? I suppose her husband could do a lot of the caring for him, but she should be somewhat involved too. Am I way out in left field here?
Brinestone, I like you, but that's just the worst class of sexism. It wouldn't be an issue if she were a man, it may even garner more sympathy. I'm willing to give the Palin family the benefit of the doubt, that they would have a plan.

____

As to Obama's speech: the first half seemed about the economy, security, and why we should be scared to vote for McCain; the second half seemed about how the economy wasn't the most important issue and how we shouldn't be scared to vote against anyone. In the middle were policy changes. The speech was fine. It had something for everyone, but I don't like how it hung together.

[ August 29, 2008, 04:17 PM: Message edited by: Irami Osei-Frimpong ]

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kmbboots
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I wonder if the women who will vote for her just on gender will be cancelled out by the socially conservative men who will stay home rather than vote for a woman?
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Lyrhawn
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I'm sure that's something the GOP has already polled and found to be a worthwhile risk. I think the men that are afraid of Palin will still pull the lever for McCain and the women who don't like McCain will still pull it for Palin. They'll push whichever part of the ticket they need to draw people in. Might work, might not, but I'm sure they've worked it out.
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katharina
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quote:
The women who supported Hillary and switched to McCain based on Palin would be voting against their own interests. Some people you can't reason with or predict.
This assumes that 1) such women think and vote identically; and 2) all their interests are served by the Dems and none by the GOP.

If, as is more likely, there are diverse opinions on diverse issues and some are served by Dems and some are served by the GOP, then the woman vice-president nudges them over a line they were already close to.

quote:
And a lot of those hardcore feminists that might vote for a woman just to vote for a woman aren't going to vote for a pro-life one.
Equating feminism with support for abortion is a long-term falsehood. They are not equivalent.
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Gecko
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Does anyone else get a female Dan Quayle vibe?

Also, your second point is accurate. Yes, if those women were already in the bag for Clinton, considering how vastly different the social policies are between democrate and republican, it's fair to assume they are voting against their own interests.

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Humean316
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Boy, I guess it's great that McCain made the experience and celebrity arguments against Obama before he picked Gov. Palin or that might have been a bit of a hypocritical pick.

ETA: And the thing about Gov. Palin is that she does reveal an inherent sexism here that Hillary Clinton was not able too, most likely because of who she was, and though that's a harsh thing to say about Mrs. Clinton, it is true. There are different kinds of sexism that are influenced by bias and other factors, and Gov. Palin will be influential in battling sexism because she is not the kind of figure Hillary Clinton was in this election. Of course, in and of itself, the fact that Gov. Palin will be influential in battling sexism where Sen. Clinton won't is sexist as well, but that's a whole other thing.

[ August 29, 2008, 02:49 PM: Message edited by: Humean316 ]

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DarkKnight
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quote:
I don't think they are better. "Political move" are the key words here. He made a VP pick that would help him win, not a VP pick that would be suitable to run the country should the worst happen.
that 'he' applies to Obama as well
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Gecko
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I don't think that applies to Biden. The top job of VP is to be able to assume the role of President should something happen. Sure, Biden helps Obama with foriegn policy cred, but he is also a good pick for the country to be a potential commander in chief. Palin is not.
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katharina
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quote:
Yes, if those women were already in the bag for Clinton, considering how vastly different the social policies are between democrate and republican, it's fair to assume they are voting against their own interests.
Perhaps social policies are not the only issue informing someone's vote. Or maybe they consider having a woman in or near the presidency is also a social issue.

Or maybe, just maybe, Dems addressed some concerns, the GOP addressed others, and the female factor pushes them over the edge. Not everyone is a dyed-in-the-wool member of one party or the other. Human nature being as complex as it is, I suspect that most are not.

It doesn't make a voter shallow to be complex.

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Brinestone
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quote:
Originally posted by Irami Osei-Frimpong:
[QB]
quote:
Okay, forgive me for being sexist or insensitive or whatever, but I'm concerned about her new Downs baby. I mean, taking care of a new baby is a big job. Taking care of a Downs baby is a huge job. Being VP is a huge job too. Does she have time to do both? I suppose her husband could do a lot of the caring for him, but she should be somewhat involved too. Am I way out in left field here?
Brinestone, I like you, but that's just the worst class of sexism. It wouldn't an issue if she were a man, it may even garner more sympathy. I'm willing to give the Paulin family the benefit of the doubt, that they would have a plan.
It absolutely would be an issue for me if it were a man. I consider parenting to be the most important job for both me and my husband. Taking a job that does not allow you to be a good parent, especially to a child who has more needs than a normal child, seems irresponsible to me. Having a "plan" to hire childcare workers to take care of a special-needs baby so you can take a prestigious job does not seem like a worthwhile plan to me. It seems like putting yourself above your child. I wouldn't vote for someone who was willing to do that, male or female.
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DarkKnight
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quote:
I don't think that applies to Biden. The top job of VP is to be able to assume the role of President should something happen. Sure, Biden helps Obama with foriegn policy cred, but he is also a good pick for the country to be a potential commander in chief. Palin is not.
So Biden is the best choice? Really? He has an awful problem with telling his own history and for making racist jokes so I might think twice about him
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Lyrhawn
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You're arguing about two different things. You're talking about what makes it politically hard for him to win the presidency on his own, not whether or not he's actually qualified to do the job.
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Sterling
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I'd advise against underestimating Palin. She took on an incumbent and won, and put herself forward as an icon of incorruptability as the major Republican politician of Alaska, Senator Ted Stevens, began to self-destruct on charges of corruption.

And my Alaskan past can't help but huff and puff a little at the idea that Governor of Alaska is an easy job. Yes, Alaska has money (look up the "Permanent Fund Dividend" some time), but it also has difficulty bringing in good people in fields other than oil (a lot of people don't want to come to a state where you can, on many days, completely miss seeing the sun just by going to work or school) and a terrain and climate that make it incredibly difficult to maintain a transportation infrastructure.

I like to think that most women will look past her gender when it comes time to vote, but the bright bulbs who have turned their support for Hillary into support for McCain remind me that the electorate is full of surprises.

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fugu13
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Brinestone: President is a time-destroying job. It looks to me that logic would make it so that any parent (of a child under some young age) should never try to be President.
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Humean316
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quote:
You're arguing about two different things. You're talking about what makes it politically hard for him to win the presidency on his own, not whether or not he's actually qualified to do the job.
Actually, no those are the same things.
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DarkKnight
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quote:
Taking a job that does not allow you to be a good parent, especially to a child who has more needs than a normal child, seems irresponsible to me. Having a "plan" to hire childcare workers to take care of a special-needs baby so you can take a prestigious job does not seem like a worthwhile plan to me. It seems like putting yourself above your child. I wouldn't vote for someone who was willing to do that, male or female.
So anyone with a special-needs child cannot have a job or else they are an irresponsible parent? Being able to hire the very best caregivers is a bad plan? Seriously?
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