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Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Tonight: Oregon and Kentucky

posted by on May 20 at 9:15 AM

Here we go again. Except this time, maybe the results will be definitive—or sort of definitive.

WASHINGTON — Senator Barack Obama would like to begin shutting down the nominating contest with Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton on Tuesday night as two more states — Kentucky and Oregon — hold their primaries. But he wants to do it subtly.

Oregon, a state that’s likely to be in play in the general election, is expected to go for Obama. Kentucky, a state that’s not likely to be in play in the general election, is expected to go for Clinton. And after the polls close tonight—at 4 p.m. PST for Kentucky and 8 p.m. PST for Oregon—Obama is expected to have passed the milestone of having secured a majority of pledged delegates.

He’ll be in Iowa for a full-circle moment in which he declares… Well, no one’s sure exactly what he’s going to declare, but it’s expected to be something very close to a declaration of victory.

Hillary Clinton, meanwhile, seems to be staying in until the (bitter?) end of the primary season. That end will come early next month after Puerto Rico votes on June 1 and South Dakota and Montana vote on June 3. No one really knows what will happen at that point. Remember when this was supposed to end on Super Tuesday? And with Ohio and Texas? And in Pennsylvania? Now it’s supposed to really, truly end on June 3 but we’ll have to wait and see what Clinton decides. It’s all up to her.

Meanwhile, Clinton is starting to more directly address the sexism she’s experienced on the campaign trail:

In an interview after church services in Bowling Green on Sunday, Clinton for the first time addressed what women have been talking about for months, what she refers to as the “sexist” treatment she has endured at the hands of the pundits, media and others. The lewd T-shirts. The man who shouted “Iron my shirt” at a campaign event. The references to her cleavage and her cackle.

“It’s been deeply offensive to millions of women,” Clinton said. “I believe this campaign has been a groundbreaker in a lot of ways. But it certainly has been challenging given some of the attitudes in the press, and I regret that, because I think it’s been really not worthy of the seriousness of the campaign and the historical nature of the two candidacies we have here.”

But:

Later, when asked if she thinks this campaign has been racist, she says she does not. And she circles back to the sexism. “The manifestation of some of the sexism that has gone on in this campaign is somehow more respectable, or at least more accepted, and … there should be equal rejection of the sexism and the racism when it raises its ugly head,” she said. “It does seem as though the press at least is not as bothered by the incredible vitriol that has been engendered by the comments by people who are nothing but misogynists.”

For its part, the Obama campaign is pushing out this video of its huge, record-breaking rally in Portland on Sunday:

And also is directing people to this Flickr slideshow of the rally, courtesy of The Oregonian.

RSS icon Comments

1
Later, when asked if she thinks this campaign has been racist, she says she does not.

Until she can own up to her own campaign's quiet exploitation of racism, it's pretty hard to take her objections that seriously.

Posted by tsm | May 20, 2008 9:29 AM
2

Dude, I'm really excited by that turnout. When was the last time a presidential candidate was able to draw like that? What does it say about the US body politic that so many are inspired by the political process? Will we see a renewed sense of public service in the general population to go along with this? I have hope.

Posted by NaFun | May 20, 2008 9:36 AM
3

The junior Senator from New York made the news or something? It seems impractical to try to cover every single comment from every out of state Senator, if that's where you're going with these posts. I'd focus on the two Presidential contenders and leave legislative details to Roll Call or whatever.

Posted by elenchos | May 20, 2008 9:43 AM
4

@2 Hope, and Hillary's mad attempts to quash it!

That's sort of the theme of the campaign for me right now.

I'd prefer to be watching the Dems fight the Repugs, but I must say I find these primary fights amusing as well as frustrating. I'll be glued to CNN tonight, swooning over Anderson Cooper and yelling at the television.

Posted by It's Mark Mitchell | May 20, 2008 9:50 AM
5

@3: Har, har.

Is it really so hard for people to admit that the primary campaign has seen a lot of racism and sexism flying around?

Posted by Greg | May 20, 2008 10:06 AM
6
Later, when asked if she thinks this campaign has been racist, she says she does not.
I believe it was 20% of voters polled in KY that said that Obama's race was an important factor in their decision. Given that racial bias is often underreported, I wonder how Hillary can make that statement and seem to mean it?
Posted by Lou | May 20, 2008 10:07 AM
7

@5 Well, having read this post, apparently it's too hard for Hillary to admit that there's been any racism at all in this campaign.

Posted by Hernandez | May 20, 2008 10:12 AM
8

Hard-working, White Americans don't have time to be racist.

Lazy, Tinted People bring their sexist cultural baggage with them.

Posted by NapoleonXIV | May 20, 2008 10:17 AM
9

Congrats to Obama today but big yawn, he already had it all locked up and he still is failing to unite his own party. Wow he got 75K in Portland but fuck, he still isn't getting the HRC slice of the pie -- there's no bandwagon effect. It's a divided party. It's divided in KY and it's divided in ORegon.

So the thing to do is (a) widen the division or (b) unite.

HRC and her supporters clearly indicating willingness to unite. Should Obama and his supporters widen the division, he will get fewer votes this Fall, because more of her supporters will be pissed off/won't care to vote.

There's always some who don't want to support the other candidate but generally one tries to win them over -- not kick them in the ass gleefully -- as some Obama supporters enjoy.

What you hear Obama saying is not "she's a racist" but "she's on the short list for VP." Obama wants her voters. Don't you?

Posted by PC | May 20, 2008 10:19 AM
10

Just this morning I hear Geraldine Ferraro claiming sexism and misogyny on the radio, but Clinton says there's no racism. Please. Who was it saying that Obama can't get "working class whites" to vote for him?

Racism is great as long as it works in your favor, according to Clinton. Presuming people are sexist for not supporting the female candidate is just plain wrong and self serving. These are just two of the most obvious reasons Clinton lost my support.

Posted by montex | May 20, 2008 10:19 AM
11

50,000 went to the same spot for frigging Kerry.

http://blog.oregonlive.com/breakingnews/2008/05/obamamayvisit.html

Just imagine that the red belt democratic party was made up of 70% women and Hillary won all those states, states that would be highly unlikely to go Dem in the fall - what would the Obama people be saying about her electability?

The biggest racist aspect of this campaign is the 90+% of AAs voting for O. The 20% or less of whites voting H because of race is discouraging but not nearly so extreme.

Mainstream press, Tucker C for one, have said things about H that would never be said about O after translation from sexist to racist. The Tuckster said something like he protects his balls when H is in the room or nearby - imagine a major TV character on MSNBC saying that he moved his wallet to his front pocket when O is around.
Race has not been the issue but gender has.

On the July 16 edition of MSNBC's Tucker, discussing presidential candidate Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY), producer Willie Geist described a Clinton doll being advertised at the website HillaryNutcracker.com that features "serrated stainless steel thighs that, well, crack nuts," according to Geist. He introduced the story by saying, "I think the metaphor in this next story, Tucker, is pretty clear. So I will just report the straight facts." He later asked, "What do you think they're saying about Hillary?" Host Tucker Carlson replied, "I have often said, when she comes on television, I involuntarily cross my legs."


Posted by McG | May 20, 2008 10:22 AM
12
HRC and her supporters clearly indicating willingness to unite.

Whatever.

An Ohio-based group of Democratic Hillary Clinton supporters say they’ll work actively against Sen. Barack Obama if he becomes the nominee, arguing that Clinton has been the subject of “intense sexism” by party leaders and the media.
Posted by tsm | May 20, 2008 10:28 AM
13

There's been a lot of racism and sexism in this campaign. The sexism has been more obvious and simultaneously more widely denied.

The difference is that the Obama campaign itself has not been the source of the sexism in the campaign. That's come from some Obama supporters, other Clinton opponents, and the media. You could make the case that Obama has a personal streak of chivalrous sexism, demonstrated by his "sweetie" remark and his habit of helping Hillary out of her chair at the end of debates. But if so that's a pretty innocuous strain when compared to Bill Clinton's womanizing and McCain's use of the c-word to describe his own wife. If this is sexism from a presidential candidate, it's still progress.

On the other hand, the Clinton campaign was the source of much of the racism in the campaign. They've never apologized for their tactics. The candidate sets the tone for the campaign and the potential presidency to follow. Seeing how this campaign has played out, I don't want Clinton to be president.

Posted by Cascadian | May 20, 2008 10:35 AM
14

Gah, I hate it when places repeat the stupid "iron my shirt" episode as if it somehow reflects on the populace or men at large. Honest reporting requires one to note that the men in question were radio station shock jocks engaged in a publicity stunt, which worked spectacularly.

Of course, there is plenty of sexism and racism and other isms in the race. Hillary's problem is that she ignored it until now, when it's clear she has lost. Had she confronted sexism head on and made it a campaign issue, people would respect her for calling out a difficult truth. Now, regardless of the substantive truth to her complaints, she's just a sore loser looking for excuses so she can believe that the presidency she was entitled to was stolen from her by no fault of her own.

Posted by also | May 20, 2008 10:41 AM
15

The video of Barack in Portland gave me chills (the good kind...) Never in my lifetime have I seen a leader bring people together the way he does. Say all you want about experience/age/time in the White House, but Obama is the only candidate that inspires people this way. It is time for a change from the old regimes. Let's move this country forward in a way that restores our standing in the world community.

Spread the word.

Posted by HL | May 20, 2008 10:45 AM
16

It's bad enough keeping track of what the Clintons are up to when they are in the foreground. Can you imagine them lurking back behind the President the way Dick Cheney does? Always making deals and triangulating, conniving with cronies like Marc Penn. What administration needs that distraction? I want to turn a page on all that and see someone truly honorable in the Vice President's office.

Posted by elenchos | May 20, 2008 10:48 AM
17

McG and anyone else who thinks it's "racist" of African-American voters to vote for Obama are mistaken about what racism is. AA voters identify with him and his unusual experiences as a black man in America, and he has reached out to them continually. Most AA voters supporting Obama would likely vote for Clinton as well, but with less enthusiasm as she doesn't share their life experiences and hasn't courted them in the same way. Obama gives an inner-city group his civil rights policy proposals; he has death-penalty reform and voters' rights on his record. He's their candidate in every way. She is closer but less so.

The racism here is the refusal of some Clinton supporters to vote for Obama based on his race. Based on exit polls and empirical evidence, we see more of this than refusal to vote for Clinton based on her gender. Some Obama voters dislike Clinton because of the way she's run her campaign, or her aggressive style, or how she's aligned herself with the "hardworking white Americans" who would never vote for Obama, but this would still be the case if she were male.

And 75000 - 50000 = 25000. The difference is more people than we had out in Seattle for Obama in February.

Lastly, that Oregonian slideshow is amazing.

Posted by V | May 20, 2008 10:56 AM
18

@9: HRC & supporters are indicating a willingness to unite?! What supporters? Ferraro? I don't know if HRC is dividing the country (I'm not as prescient as professional pundits), but this latest sexism rant is dividing her own gender. SHE DOES NOT SPEAK FOR ME JUST BECAUSE SHE IS A WOMAN! And I wish the media would stop assuming she does. I'm getting more and more pissed at these anecdotal aging feminists who are yelling sexism just because HRC did not get the nomination to which she is entitled. Like this presidential race is nothing more than a contest for an entry in a history book, or a social experiment to validate the feminst movement of the 60s and 70s. LISTEN EVERYONE: I am the only woman that speaks for me and I have not hung my hopes and dreams and personal worth on having a woman in the oval office.

Posted by Mary F | May 20, 2008 10:59 AM
19

Hils is all about herself.

Sad, very sad.

Posted by Will in Seattle | May 20, 2008 11:00 AM
20

Hills has no chance as Obama's VP. She brings nothing to the table. Her older female demographic will vote for Obama anyway and the racists won't vote for him regardless of who else is on the ticket.

My prediction for VP? Obama takes a cue from his hero Lincoln and chooses Chuck Hagel.

Posted by DavidC | May 20, 2008 11:03 AM
21

The biggest racist aspect of this campaign is the 90+% of AAs voting for O.

Obama is half black and half white, so how can any of his supporters be racist? You vote for the white half you get the black half and vice versa.

If you think blacks preferring Obama is bad, consider that 100% of Greek-Americans voted for Dukakis. After two centuries of nothing but white male candidates, I don't blame either blacks or women for voting for one of their teammates.

Posted by mike mestizo | May 20, 2008 11:08 AM
22

The biggest racist aspect of this campaign is the 90+% of AAs voting for O.

Obama is half black and half white, so how can any of his supporters be racist? You vote for the white half you get the black half and vice versa.

If you think blacks preferring Obama is bad, consider that 100% of Greek-Americans voted for Dukakis. After two centuries of nothing but white male candidates, I don't blame either blacks or women for voting for one of their teammates.

Posted by mike mestizo | May 20, 2008 11:10 AM
23

The biggest racist aspect of this campaign is the 90+% of AAs voting for O.

Obama is half black and half white, so how can any of his supporters be racist? You vote for the white half you get the black half and vice versa.

If you think blacks preferring Obama is bad, consider that 100% of Greek-Americans voted for Dukakis. After two centuries of nothing but white male candidates, I don't blame either blacks or women for voting for one of their teammates.

Posted by mike mestizo | May 20, 2008 11:11 AM
24

#18: No one in the world is saying people are sexist because Hillary didn't win. No one in the world is trying to speak for you.

The media has been extremely and openly sexist in this campaign. That's all she's saying.

Posted by poppy | May 20, 2008 11:40 AM
25

@24 - um, but the MSM is always sexist AND racist - why is this "news"? It's not new ...

Posted by Will in Seattle | May 20, 2008 11:43 AM
26

@2 and everyone else for that matter. I, too was surprised at the turnout for Sen. Obama in Portland Sunday. At first, I chalked it up to terrific weather and to the evidently many partisans Obama has in Oregon. That is until I read the NYT this morning and discovered that the Portland-based indie band, the Decembrists performed as well a (free?) concert, I reckon on Obama's behalf. Since it's been said that under 30 y/o voters are unreliable, I wonder how many of those supporters will vote today (already have?) for Obama, Clinton or McCain? or did they show up en mass for a free (?) concert?

Posted by lark | May 20, 2008 11:46 AM
27

@24 - Read Howard Kurtz's column in Washingtonpost.com today - "The Sisters Are Steamed"

Posted by Mary F | May 20, 2008 11:58 AM
28

The society we live in is racist and sexist, our past is, our culture is, so fo course our media is, and there were instances of it in the campaigning. This does not excuse it, it simply acknowledges its presence.

What is more striking is how each candidate responded--or reacted--to said sexism and racism. That told us much, and was a silver lining to these everpresent ugly dark clouds.

Posted by Andy Niable | May 20, 2008 12:31 PM
29

Oops, that should be, "our media ARE"

Posted by Andy Niable | May 20, 2008 12:32 PM

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