Jump to content
OtakuBoards

Obama Vs. Clinton. Greaves Vs. The world. And then there's John Mcain.


Recommended Posts

[quote name='Raiha'][COLOR="DarkOrchid"][FONT="Times New Roman"]And then Carter proved to be the most loathed ex president. He was also World's Most Ineffective President ever. Hostage Crisis anyone? [/FONT][/COLOR][/QUOTE]

[font=trebuchet ms] Lol I know, I think it's sort of hilarious.[/font]
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 105
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

[quote name='James']It was not so much a case of the media actively attacking his opponent, it was more that he received continuous favourable coverage.[/QUOTE]
[font=Arial]True, but at the same time it was Clinton who received the majority of favorable coverage early in the election cycle. She was essentially crowned the ?entitled? and supposed victor months in advance, which is why the outcome is so jarring for many Americans.

[QUOTE]I'm not entirely sure why everyone thinks that Obama inherently represents change. Is it simply because he's black? Or because he is considered to be a political outsider?[/QUOTE]
It?s not that he?s black ? it?s that he?s both black [i]and[/i] mixed. Socially, he?s considered black but technically he?s 50% black and 50% white. It?s a physical unity of races that accompanies a man talking of unity amongst Americans. It?s the American dream of a kid from a normal home rising through the ranks of society due to his own hard work. It?s his lack of Washington involvement/experience. It?s his disavowal of lobbyists in his campaign and reliance on small donors. He?s offering a movement away from the current policies and outlook of the US government. And people are responding to this.

[QUOTE]Neither of these things - nor any number of speeches that contain the word "change" - are representative of true political change. In many respects, Obama has advocated maintenance of the status quo.[/QUOTE]
Sure, but Obama has advocated the status quo insofar as it is obligatory to do so to have even a remote chance at the Presidency. You have to be Christian, you have to be pro-Israel, you have to verbally manhandle Iran, etc. This is simply what the people want, and you have to honor that. If you aren?t willing to compromise a few of your values, you won?t be able to get into office and affect greater and more substantial change.

If you look at some of his other policies, I would say it?s tough for you to argue he?s largely advocating the status quo. For instance, look up his policies on talks with foreign hostile powers or his response to Pakistan. Both of these stances received criticism, but they?re definitely departures from the status quo in Washington.

[QUOTE]Obama does represent change in some genuine respects, however, my point is that "change" is regularly thrown around without consideration to its meaning or context.

By contrast, we're always told that the Clintons simply can't represent change. Why? Because, I assume, there has already been a Clinton in office (and Hillary has had prominent political roles in the past).[/QUOTE]
It?s called branding, and Clinton simply lost the battle. ?Change? is thrown around because it encapsulates the American zeitgeist at this instant. People, in one respect or another, are discontent with the Bush Administration. But Obama?s wildly successful and shrewd campaign slogan should not make you doubt his ability to be an agent of substantial and meaningful change? I?m not even sure how you could say that, as the two are not mutually exclusive.

And let?s be fair, Clinton [i]does[/i] have a voting record (and stances on issues) closer to the status quo. Again, look at her position on talking to foreign hostile countries and compare it to Obama?s.

[QUOTE]This alone should never be the basis upon which we decide that a candidate does not stand for genuine political change. It is highly naive for many out there to suggest that these qualities and true political change are mutually exclusive.[/QUOTE]
You?re absolutely right, but an unfortunate percentage of politics is not rational. A lot of it has to do with association and perception, and Obama won that fight. Whether or not he?s a more effective leader has to do with the candidate?s presentation of themselves to the public? that?s all the public has to base their judgment upon.

[QUOTE]How can you criticise someone's fundamental policy approach for months and yet find them suitable to be your Vice President?[/QUOTE]
Generally speaking, that?s how it works in America. Runner up usually gets the VP nomination as a sort of reconciliatory gesture.[/font]
Link to post
Share on other sites
[quote name='Retribution'][font=Arial]Generally speaking, that?s how it works in America. Runner up usually gets the VP nomination as a sort of reconciliatory gesture.[/font][/QUOTE]

[COLOR="DarkOrchid"][FONT="Times New Roman"]But as we all know, the VP seat is about as useful and meaningful to someone as a bucket of warm spit. Just look back at Al Gore. James Quayle. Walter Mondale. Nelson Rockefeller. Who the hell were they?

Oh well.[/FONT][/COLOR]
Link to post
Share on other sites
[quote name='DeathKnight'][color=crimson]Yeah, Truman and Johnson didn't get much out of their V.P. slots.[/color][/QUOTE]

[COLOR="DarkOrchid"][FONT="Times New Roman"]Exceptions to the rule? That as expected I think Truman and Johnson were both maniacs running wild waving their arms in the air and changing policies based on.... Oh who knows? Besides, that warm spit comment came from Truman originally. And then on West Wing too...

But anyway, I'd like to broach the subject of the rumored tape of Michelle Obama.

Ranting against America and 'Whitey.' Supposedly it exists in the hands of the Clintons, is devastating in the sense that the rant goes on for oh...half an hour? And the setting was a Rainbow PUSH Coalition panel for women at Trinity Church, in which the crowd goads her on and gets excited which in turn spurs a supposed scream fest in which Michelle Obama blames every problem in Africa on America.

Fascinating I know, even if it doesn't exist. The thing is, this rumor is coming from everywhere, not just the radical right wing. Wouldn't it be frightening if she used it as blackmail to get a position of power? I wouldn't put that past her, much less baby eating and virgin sacrifices.[/FONT][/COLOR]
Link to post
Share on other sites
[quote name='Raiha'][COLOR="DarkOrchid"][FONT="Times New Roman"]But as we all know, the VP seat is about as useful and meaningful to someone as a bucket of warm spit. Just look back at Al Gore. James Quayle. Walter Mondale. Nelson Rockefeller. Who the hell were they?
[/FONT][/COLOR][/QUOTE]

[font=trebuchet ms] Yeah, who the hell was John Nance Garner?

But the VP gets as much power as the President wants him to (i.e. Bush), so there's no telling. Not that Obama would ever give Clinton power as VP, lol. [/font]
Link to post
Share on other sites
[quote name='Lunox'][font=trebuchet ms] Yeah, who the hell was John Nance Garner?

But the VP gets as much power as the President wants him to (i.e. Bush), so there's no telling. Not that Obama would ever give Clinton power as VP, lol. [/font][/QUOTE]

[COLOR="DarkOrchid"][LEFT][FONT="Times New Roman"]Are you kidding me? She'd wrest whatever power she could get when he wasn't looking. The minute he left the cage door open she'd go wrangle as much capital as she could.

That and I also heard that Michelle and Hillary get along about as well as rival celebrities do. Kinda like when Jennifer Aniston and Angelina Jolie got into it. Or something like that. Either way I can't imagine living in a house in which those two harpies resided. Oh goodness it would be just so .....fun.[/FONT][/LEFT][/COLOR]
Link to post
Share on other sites
[quote name='Raiha'][COLOR="DarkOrchid"][LEFT][FONT="Times New Roman"]

That and I also heard that Michelle and Hillary get along about as well as rival celebrities do. Kinda like when Jennifer Aniston and Angelina Jolie got into it. Or something like that. Either way I can't imagine living in a house in which those two harpies resided. Oh goodness it would be just so .....fun.[/FONT][/LEFT][/COLOR][/QUOTE]


[color=#9933ff]I'd pay to see that done... hmm maybe MTV could bring back Celebraty Death Match for just such an occasion

Anyways...

Not really a fan of Michelle Obama myself since all she really seems to do is whine about how unfairly she's been treated as an American and has said that the only time she's felt proud to be an American is when her husband was running for president and winning. She actually told the View she'd only appear on their show as a guest co-host since Cindi (or something like that) McCain has been a guest Co-host numorous times. What a brat.

But hey she's not running on the ballot and I won't be voting for her come November and it's really unfair to judge a candidate based on his or her spouse's actions because they won't be running the country- just being the first mate...spouse?

As for running mate- the word out now is that Obama is considering Clinton as one possibility. It's also reported that Clinton isn't pushing his discision (oh yeah and right now I can't spell, but that's not a topic)which is very smart of her.[/color]
Link to post
Share on other sites
[quote name='DeathKnight'][color=crimson]Hillary Clinton lost. She should not go on until Denver. She should have exited earlier in this race, her loss is [b]inevitable[/b] for the past few weeks. No one screwed her over. The media did not rally against her. Florida and Michigan were LEGALLY PUNISHED through the rules of the DNC a long, long time before it was some kind of antidemocratic "issue" like Clinton supporters paint it to be. Clinton herself, before breaking an unwritten agreement between herself, Edwards, and Obama not to campaign there, supported the punishment. Voters have chosen who they want to be the Democratic candidate for president.

Clinton should NOT be vice president. She has done nothing to "earn" the slot by fighting fruitlessly and giving the Republicans ammunition against him. Obama has campaigned for change and the Clintons have little to do with change. If Clinton supporters are so naive and simpleminded that they will vote for John McCain in November, then they deserve the repercussions of their shortsightedness as McCain does four more years of Bush-esque policy.

The Democrats will heal much better if Hillary Clinton takes some basic actions of support towards Obama instead of suggesting continually that the outcome can shift dramatically given several more months of her dragging it out.[/color][/QUOTE]

Wow... Hostile. :animeswea

Anyway, I wasn't even talking about the Florida and Michigan primaries. I whole-heartedly agree with the decision. (Plus, it would be entirely unfair to give Hillary's delegates a whole vote in a state where Obama wasn't even on the ticket) I was speaking about the media having a field day by saying she claimed Obama was going to be assassinated. I was saying that those words never left her mouth and that by all the hype that was made out if it, ignorant remarks have been made against her.

But all I have to say is chillax. Not that it matters anyway; she dropped out.
Link to post
Share on other sites
[quote]Haha, yeah. Pre-primary season, though, Hillary Clinton was the presumed winner before the contentious atmosphere between her campaign and Obama's solidified.

The spotlight always shifts.[/quote]

[font=franklin gothic medium]It's true that there's an ebb and a flow, but I think that the media influence on campaigns is not an unimportant issue.

Unfortunately the whole primary process itself does, to a large extent, attract this kind of influence. It would probably be a good idea to restructure it somehow (which is admittedly difficult, considering the nature of American presidential elections in general).[/font]

[quote]For the campaign? A good slogan. For me, as a supporter?

I don't know what other supporters think of his aim to bring "change", but I supported Obama starting from last November due to his anti-lobbyist standpoint. I have viewed lobbyists in Washington, both liberal and conservative, very negatively. I hope, though he is a politician with aims for power, that he will, to some level, make efforts to curtail lobbying in Washington.

Additionally, a somewhat bipartisan president would be very refreshing for a few years.[/quote]

[font=franklin gothic medium]I think "a good slogan" just about sums it up.

This in and of itself is not a poblem - I think Obama sincerely considers himself a vehicle for change.

I think the problem is wider than that, though. "Change" for the sake of change is a concept devoid of substance and, let's face it, substance is what matters when someone is running a federal government.

There are areas where I do think Obama would represent genuine political change, however, I think the media (again) has significantly muddied the water.

For instance, the anti-lobbyist stance. Almost every candidate in history - even political candidates in other countries - regularly label themselves as "anti-lobbyist". How many times have we heard the phrase "I'm not going to pander to the special interests in Washington"?

I think if you counted the amount of times you heard "special interests" being used by any political candidate, you'd probably be somewhere in the millions by now.

This kind of rhetoric is unfortunate and more than a little disingenuous.

One reason is because lobbying is not necessarily a cancerous element in government. Many kinds of groups lobby government all the time, including groups who have genuinely positive agendas (like consumer interest groups, civil liberty groups and many others).

Lobbying is often just a way of attracting attention and informing government when it comes time to draft legislation.

Yes, of course, there are negative lobbyists (like those who try to engage in bribery or other forms of illicit conduct). But, at the same time, it's unreasonable for candidates to tar them all with the same brush.

Oftentimes, lobby groups represent large sections of the community who may not otherwise be able to influence the legislative process outside voting in and of itself.

I think the issue is far more complex than this, but my overall point is that [i]many[/i] people buy into rhetoric without understanding what political decision making really means.

In any case, I think you're right on one point: if Obama has a more bi-partisan approach, he will no doubt do well. I would agree with you that America needs a president who can build alliances through a consultative management style, for sure.[/font]

[quote]It?s not that he?s black ? it?s that he?s both black and mixed. Socially, he?s considered black but technically he?s 50% black and 50% white. It?s a physical unity of races that accompanies a man talking of unity amongst Americans. It?s the American dream of a kid from a normal home rising through the ranks of society due to his own hard work.
[/quote]

[font=franklin gothic medium]If this is the case, then I actually find it kind of disappointing.

Why? Well, what does it really indicate?

It indicates that many people are more likely to vote for a person because he represents a broad cross-section of people on a purely ethnical basis. What about his ideas?

His ethnicity is relevant in terms of breaking down a racial barrier and saying that anyone can become president.

But beyond that, should it be a basis for election? To many I'm sure it is. But it is his ideas and his actual physical plans that would matter most as president.

I think that there is a great deal of narrative surrounding Obama and that has clearly worked. But it's a [i]narrative[/i]. Would anyone really suggest that any of the presidential candidates are not ridiculously hard workers? Would anyone suggest that any of those candidates do not love their country and want to do what's best for it? Of course not.

A narrive is nice and it's great for the media. But a nation who has a major crush on a presidential candidate is not necessarily thinking clearly about the nuts-and-bolts of federal policy.

From what I do know, I'm sure that Obama does have a degree of substance that he can bring to the table. It's just a shame that this has never been his selling point - and he has largely ensured that through his approach to the media.[/font]

[quote]It?s his lack of Washington involvement/experience. It?s his disavowal of lobbyists in his campaign and reliance on small donors. He?s offering a movement away from the current policies and outlook of the US government. And people are responding to this.[/quote]

[font=franklin gothic medium]I think this aspect is probably a better summation of why someone should vote for Obama; or at least, why he should be considered as a presidential contender.[/font]

[quote]Sure, but Obama has advocated the status quo insofar as it is obligatory to do so to have even a remote chance at the Presidency. You have to be Christian, you have to be pro-Israel, you have to verbally manhandle Iran, etc. This is simply what the people want, and you have to honor that. If you aren?t willing to compromise a few of your values, you won?t be able to get into office and affect greater and more substantial change.
[/quote]

[font=franklin gothic medium]I'm glad to hear you say that, because I think it isn't said nearly enough.

The only thing I'd say, though, is that the "change" label is often applied to areas where it doesn't belong. Iraq is one example.

So, you know, I think this goes back to the idea that "change for change's sake" is a hollow message that has little to do with formulating sound policy. It is a shame that so many people have responded only to this message and little else.

It's at least good to see a healthy dose of realism among some. :catgirl:[/font]

[quote]If you look at some of his other policies, I would say it?s tough for you to argue he?s largely advocating the status quo. For instance, look up his policies on talks with foreign hostile powers or his response to Pakistan. Both of these stances received criticism, but they?re definitely departures from the status quo in Washington.[/quote]

[font=franklin gothic medium]I'm not familiar with his response to Pakistan; so far I've only heard detail about his response in Iraq.

And I think that latter issue has received the most attention - in some ways probably unfairly, too.

What you are referring to is a great example of what I've been talking about though. That you recognise this as an Obama supporter is important, I think.

I am not so much arguing that Obama is good or bad, I'm more arguing that a lot of the messages surrounding his nomination are totally hollow and media-pedalled.[/font]

[quote]It?s called branding, and Clinton simply lost the battle. ?Change? is thrown around because it encapsulates the American zeitgeist at this instant. People, in one respect or another, are discontent with the Bush Administration. But Obama?s wildly successful and shrewd campaign slogan should not make you doubt his ability to be an agent of substantial and meaningful change? I?m not even sure how you could say that, as the two are not mutually exclusive.

And let?s be fair, Clinton does have a voting record (and stances on issues) closer to the status quo. Again, look at her position on talking to foreign hostile countries and compare it to Obama?s.
[/quote]

[font=franklin gothic medium]The slogan should not make me doubt Obama's ability - you're quite right there.

But by the same token, a simple campaign slogan should not and does not immediately qualify Obama as an agent of real political change. The latter does not come from slogans, it comes from careful, thoughtful articulation and a combination of experience and practice.

As for Clinton... I just think she's been handled the raw end of the deal in many respects. I wouldn't say I'm particularly a Clinton supporter (anymore than an Obama supporter), but there can be no doubt that a lot of people have worked against her simply because of who she is, as opposed to what she thinks.[/font]

[quote]You?re absolutely right, but an unfortunate percentage of politics is not rational. A lot of it has to do with association and perception, and Obama won that fight. Whether or not he?s a more effective leader has to do with the candidate?s presentation of themselves to the public? that?s all the public has to base their judgment upon.
[/quote]

[font=franklin gothic medium]I disagree with this to some extent.

Whether or not a candidate is a more effective leader has less to do with slogans, rhetoric and the 24 hour media cycle and more to do with their policy platform and their understanding of a wide variety of issues.

Many Americans, I think, have foregone the latter and clung desperately to the former.

It's one thing to want real change and to make an informed choice. It's another to be so desperate for change that we cling to the first candidate who calls the word loudly enough over and over again.

Unfortunately these kinds of competitions become more about personality than substance and [i]that[/i], in my view, is largely the fault of the media. I think this sentence really sums up my general thoughts on the issue.[/font]

[quote]Generally speaking, that?s how it works in America. Runner up usually gets the VP nomination as a sort of reconciliatory gesture.[/quote]

[font=franklin gothic medium]And if the utter disingenous nature of this does not alarm people, then I think something is wrong.

It's also utterly hypocritical. If Obama does choose Clinton, then it would certainly be tougher to talk about him as a genuine vehicle for change; not because he chose Clinton as such, but because he is willing to appoint a VP who he has spent months attacking for her lack of suitability.

That is a bald faced hypocrisy and it smacks of the very thing that Obama is lauded for avoiding - i.e. pandering to the Washington status quo.

These issues don't seem to come into the discussion very often, which is a shame at times.[/font]
Link to post
Share on other sites
[quote name='James'][font=franklin gothic medium]For instance, the anti-lobbyist stance. Almost every candidate in history - even political candidates in other countries - regularly label themselves as "anti-lobbyist". How many times have we heard the phrase "I'm not going to pander to the special interests in Washington"?

I think if you counted the amount of times you heard "special interests" being used by any political candidate, you'd probably be somewhere in the millions by now.

This kind of rhetoric is unfortunate and more than a little disingenuous.

One reason is because lobbying is not necessarily a cancerous element in government. Many kinds of groups lobby government all the time, including groups who have genuinely positive agendas (like consumer interest groups, civil liberty groups and many others).

Lobbying is often just a way of attracting attention and informing government when it comes time to draft legislation.

Yes, of course, there are negative lobbyists (like those who try to engage in bribery or other forms of illicit conduct). But, at the same time, it's unreasonable for candidates to tar them all with the same brush.

Oftentimes, lobby groups represent large sections of the community who may not otherwise be able to influence the legislative process outside voting in and of itself.[/font][/QUOTE]
[font=Arial]Right, lobbyists in and of themselves are not inherently cancerous to the political process. But in practice this is simply incorrect -- there are lobbies that have a disproportional amount of access to the bureaucratic structure, legislators, and (most importantly! :D) money. This gives them much more sway in the decision-making process than they should have, and can easily lead to flagrant misconduct.

So, while lobbyists can be good, they generally aren't. Therefore, an anti-lobbyist platform is expedient (in that citizens hate them and they're corrupting in government).

[QUOTE][font=franklin gothic medium]A narrive is nice and it's great for the media. But a nation who has a major crush on a presidential candidate is not necessarily thinking clearly about the nuts-and-bolts of federal policy.

From what I do know, I'm sure that Obama does have a degree of substance that he can bring to the table. It's just a shame that this has never been his selling point - and he has largely ensured that through his approach to the media.[/font][/QUOTE]
Well, the fact that he is multiracial leads people to believe that he will look out for minority interests (which, I would say, is a fair assumption). But aside from that, you're right; one's race should not be a selling point in a campaign.

I feel like most citizens have never truly and seriously thought about the "nuts-and-bolts" of [i]any[/i] campaign. People base their judgment on impression, tone, and salient issues (abortion, gay marriage, etc). I mean, Bush was voted for because he seemed personable and decently competent (lulz). Clinton was elected because people thought "he cared" about them. Both of these judgments are entirely superficial, but I'd argue that's the nature of the beast most of the time.

And if you're willing to (more or less) agree with that point, it shouldn't be a surprise that people like Obama because of his image. I honestly don't see any reason why he should try to make "experience and competence" his platform when it's not getting votes. If "change" is more salient, why not harness that power? The reason the media is in love with Obama is because of his image, and kudos to him for the brilliantly successful media blitz.

[QUOTE][font=franklin gothic medium]It's at least good to see a healthy dose of realism among some. :catgirl:[/font][/QUOTE]
Haha definitely. But I would call it "ability to see" rather than "realism." Anyone who's read the "OBAMAS A MUSLIM" e-mails knows that America is disgustingly xenophobic. Why should it matter if Obama is a Muslim? Americans think that it does, whatever the reason, and it's one of those pills you have to swallow as a politician.

It's sort of ironic people accuse politicians of being disingenuous -- they're generally like that so people will accept them. :p

[QUOTE][font=franklin gothic medium]I am not so much arguing that Obama is good or bad, I'm more arguing that a lot of the messages surrounding his nomination are totally hollow and media-pedalled.[/font][/QUOTE]
Yeah, I guess. But at the same time, the other candidates quickly tried to hijack Obama's theme of "Change" by reappropriating it to their own campaigns. So to call it all media-fluff isn't quite right... obviously it's a widely popular theme, and they tried to harness it.

Hollow? Maybe when McCain says he's going to deliver "change" to Washington (in reality, his policies aren't much departure from them). But Obama's proposed policies are radically different from Bush's (and hence qualify as "change").

[QUOTE][font=franklin gothic medium]But by the same token, a simple campaign slogan should not and does not immediately qualify Obama as an agent of real political change. The latter does not come from slogans, it comes from careful, thoughtful articulation and a combination of experience and practice.

As for Clinton... I just think she's been handled the raw end of the deal in many respects. I wouldn't say I'm particularly a Clinton supporter (anymore than an Obama supporter), but there can be no doubt that a lot of people have worked against her simply because of who she is, as opposed to what she thinks.[/font][/QUOTE]
I agree with you on both counts. But I can't have much sympathy for Clinton (in terms of the media shunning her) -- she was handed the political legacy of Bill, the name-recognition, and the fundraising network, and still was outperformed.

[QUOTE][font=franklin gothic medium]Many Americans, I think, have foregone the latter and clung desperately to the former.

It's one thing to want real change and to make an informed choice. It's another to be so desperate for change that we cling to the first candidate who calls the word loudly enough over and over again.

Unfortunately these kinds of competitions become more about personality than substance and [i]that[/i], in my view, is largely the fault of the media. I think this sentence really sums up my general thoughts on the issue.[/font][/QUOTE]
Absolutely right, I'd say.

[QUOTE][font=franklin gothic medium]And if the utter disingenous nature of this does not alarm people, then I think something is wrong.[/font][/QUOTE]
Welcome to America! :bow:[/font]
Link to post
Share on other sites
[quote]Right, lobbyists in and of themselves are not inherently cancerous to the political process. But in practice this is simply incorrect -- there are lobbies that have a disproportional amount of access to the bureaucratic structure, legislators, and (most importantly! ) money. This gives them much more sway in the decision-making process than they should have, and can easily lead to flagrant misconduct.

So, while lobbyists can be good, they generally aren't. Therefore, an anti-lobbyist platform is expedient (in that citizens hate them and they're corrupting in government).[/quote]

[font=franklin gothic medium]Well yeah, as I mentioned, corruption is a bad thing no matter how you slice it. And where a public figure is taking money from a group and where this is basically "paying" for a vote... that's clearly a problem.

But that in and of itself doesn't mean that lobbyists are bad, it just means that lobbyists - like any similar group - can do the wrong thing.

I suppose my main point is that "lobbyists" is another generic term that is frequently misused when it comes to political debate.

Every political candidate is ostensibly "anti-lobbyist". I don't think any have made fundamental changes to the way lobbying works, though. And there are clear (and valid) reasons why.[/font]

[quote]Well, the fact that he is multiracial leads people to believe that he will look out for minority interests (which, I would say, is a fair assumption). But aside from that, you're right; one's race should not be a selling point in a campaign.[/quote]

[font=franklin gothic medium]That's a reasonable assumption, for sure.

Of course, when someone is in an office where everyone wants everything all the time, that person will have to prioritize. And in many cases, they will make choices that their predecessors made - not for ethnic or cultural reasons, but for practical reasons of cost and sheer logistics.

So when you're in campaign mode it's easy to be everybody's friend. It's a whole lot tougher when you have to make real decisions.[/font]

[quote]I feel like most citizens have never truly and seriously thought about the "nuts-and-bolts" of any campaign. People base their judgment on impression, tone, and salient issues (abortion, gay marriage, etc). I mean, Bush was voted for because he seemed personable and decently competent (lulz). Clinton was elected because people thought "he cared" about them. Both of these judgments are entirely superficial, but I'd argue that's the nature of the beast most of the time.[/quote]

[font=franklin gothic medium]Oh yeah, that is definitely true. But that totally underlines and reinforces my original point: that constantly spouting "change" and having the right image has little to do with one's actual political ideology (or practice).

If people elect a president on a superficial basis (as Americans may with Obama and as Australians have with Rudd), we can not be surprised if our new leader critically under-delivers on substantive matters.

So I suppose the bottom line is "buyer beware". :catgirl:[/font]
[quote]
And if you're willing to (more or less) agree with that point, it shouldn't be a surprise that people like Obama because of his image. I honestly don't see any reason why he should try to make "experience and competence" his platform when it's not getting votes. If "change" is more salient, why not harness that power? The reason the media is in love with Obama is because of his image, and kudos to him for the brilliantly successful media blitz.[/quote]

[font=franklin gothic medium]That's all fine and good, but that goes back to my earlier question: are people convinced that all this talk of change will result in legitimately different policies and implementation?

Or is it about saying whatever you can to be elected?

I certainly believe that most politicians will stretch words in any way, shape or form in order to attain high office. That's just a fact of life.

But playing media games and building a largely artificial image (artificial in terms of it being manufactured very specifically) should not be confused with actual decision-making and real policy approach.

Image is fine and I understand why it's necessary, especially for America. There's a big cultural component there that nobody can deny.

On the other hand, I tend to believe that people elect the Governments that they deserve much of the time. By that I mean, if everyone is swept up by vacuous image and fail to pay due regard to the policy platform itself, they must acknowledge the risk involved.[/font]

[quote]Haha definitely. But I would call it "ability to see" rather than "realism." Anyone who's read the "OBAMAS A MUSLIM" e-mails knows that America is disgustingly xenophobic. Why should it matter if Obama is a Muslim? Americans think that it does, whatever the reason, and it's one of those pills you have to swallow as a politician.

It's sort of ironic people accuse politicians of being disingenuous -- they're generally like that so people will accept them. [/quote]

[font=franklin gothic medium]Yeah I think you point out a really good piece of irony there, without doubt.

I suppose the big issue I have in the current environment is that it's so easy for a large group of people to fall in love with someone that they haven't bothered to know anything about.

This does happen at times and it's just the way things are. Unfortunately, people only learn through trial and error - in Australia, we are starting to discover that our Prime Minister is not quite what he promised. And we will learn that lesson the hard way.

If he is voted into office again, we will have only ourselves to blame. The same is true for Obama; it is always in people's interest to make voting choices based on the policies they agree with, rather than jumping on whatever train happens to be popular at the time.[/font]

[quote]Yeah, I guess. But at the same time, the other candidates quickly tried to hijack Obama's theme of "Change" by reappropriating it to their own campaigns. So to call it all media-fluff isn't quite right... obviously it's a widely popular theme, and they tried to harness it.

Hollow? Maybe when McCain says he's going to deliver "change" to Washington (in reality, his policies aren't much departure from them). But Obama's proposed policies are radically different from Bush's (and hence qualify as "change").[/quote]

[font=franklin gothic medium]It may be a widely-popular theme, but that makes it no less hollow and fluffy, lol.

I wouldn't say that Obama's policies are radically different to Bush's as a general rule. In some very obvious ways they are, of course, yet a number of areas that have been portrayed as examples of change are anything but.

And in the same way, the assumption that McCain is simply a carbon copy of Bush (not your words, but the words of many others) is patently false.

Most people view political leaders in vague, broad strokes. And oftentimes, that either sells them short or massively over-sells them.

This is how I would describe the approach to Clinton/McCain and Obama respectively.[/font]

[quote]I agree with you on both counts. But I can't have much sympathy for Clinton (in terms of the media shunning her) -- she was handed the political legacy of Bill, the name-recognition, and the fundraising network, and still was outperformed.[/quote]

[font=franklin gothic medium]Well you could argue that Bill's legacy and the name-recognition worked against her - and unfairly so.

But that's ultimately something for the statisticians to debate I guess, haha. I can only really go on what people have said to me or what I've read on the news, which may not represent what most people think.

She was outperformed, indeed. But I don't believe she was outperformed on substance - I believe she was outperformed by media spin. To those who support Obama for legitimate reasons (i.e. they understand his policies and agree with them), then I'd be saying congratulations.

But to those who simply support him because it's cool and he's charming...well, these are the people who, I think, are largely responsible for some of history's biggest political disasters.[/font]

[quote]Absolutely right, I'd say.
[/quote]

[font=franklin gothic medium]Heheh, cool. I do actually think we agree on most things.

Does this mean you can have a good discussion/debate with someone you agree with? :catgirl: Haha.
[/font]

[quote]Welcome to America! [/quote]

[font=franklin gothic medium]Haha, I suppose that's why I'm so glad I live in Australia - our political system avoids most of America's major pitfalls while ultimately maintaining a better system of checks and balances.

But having said that, I'm definitely a big fan of America and I am often one of its biggest defenders (even to Americans themselves!)

And I put time into discussions like this because I'm genuinely interested in American politics and in what Americans think of their system and leaders. It's always most interesting. :catgirl:[/font]
Link to post
Share on other sites
[quote name='James'][font=franklin gothic medium]That's all fine and good, but that goes back to my earlier question: are people convinced that all this talk of change will result in legitimately different policies and implementation?

Or is it about saying whatever you can to be elected?

I certainly believe that most politicians will stretch words in any way, shape or form in order to attain high office. That's just a fact of life.

But playing media games and building a largely artificial image (artificial in terms of it being manufactured very specifically) should not be confused with actual decision-making and real policy approach.[/font][/QUOTE]
[font=Arial]I wouldn't say that politicians (namely Obama) say anything they must to get into office... there have been instances where candidates handed the public the bitter pill. It's always expedient to tell people comfortable lies, but there have been instances all around of candidates telling the cold truth.

Also, campaigning I would say has a lot to do with framing your personal strengths as the best for the job. Perhaps that narcissism is what makes people feel like the process is disingenuous, but at the heart of things, [i]that's what people want.[/i] It's a catch-22 that cannot be escaped, so we're all caught here.

[QUOTE][font=franklin gothic medium]I wouldn't say that Obama's policies are radically different to Bush's as a general rule. In some very obvious ways they are, of course, yet a number of areas that have been portrayed as examples of change are anything but.

And in the same way, the assumption that McCain is simply a carbon copy of Bush (not your words, but the words of many others) is patently false.[/font][/QUOTE]
Obama was the most liberally voting Senator of 2007 (according to the National Journal). So I would assert out of the Senate, he (at least in terms of past views) is most likely to fundamentally alter the status quo.

On Australia's Government: Perhaps you all have a more fine-tuned government, but that's because you learned from our Great Experiment. ;)[/font]
Link to post
Share on other sites
And here I was going to say it's because other countries look at us, laugh and avoid those pitfalls we seem to be so good at falling in. =P

Oh and James, two of the biggest things that worked against Hilary Clinton (in my opinion) was first: her arrogance upfront that she would win. And two: her sense of entitlement. That air of thinking that having more experience along with having been first lady at one time somehow meant she deserved the position instead of [I]earning[/I] it like other candidates do.

I'm not saying she wouldn't do a good job or that she really felt or acted that way. What I am saying is that I know many people (myself included) who found that side of her very, very abrasive and a huge turn off. Even if that was not her intent, it still came across that way.
Link to post
Share on other sites
[quote]I wouldn't say that politicians (namely Obama) say anything they must to get into office... there have been instances where candidates handed the public the bitter pill. It's always expedient to tell people comfortable lies, but there have been instances all around of candidates telling the cold truth.[/quote]

[font=franklin gothic medium]I haven't seen any cold truth from Obama, really. Only stuff like this:[/font]

[quote=Barack Obama]"I face this challenge with profound humility and knowledge of my own limitations. But I also face it with limitless faith in the capacity of the American people. I am absolutely certain that generations from now, we will be able to look back and tell our children that this was the moment when we began to provide care for the sick and good jobs to the jobless; this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal."

"This was the moment, this was the time, when we came together to remake this great nation."[/quote]

[font=franklin gothic medium]So, Obama will be the first president to provide health care?

He's going to shrink the oceans during his presidency?

If the nation is so great, why remake it?

I know that I'm being a little sarcastic here, but seriously, this is an entire paragraph that is utterly meaningless.

I know it sells, but it's largely without merit. Anyone - you, me, McCain, Clinton, Bush - can make statements like those above. They're feel good stuff.

The big problem, I think, is that so much of this is what has driven the campaign - as opposed to anything significantly substantive.

Also, here's a quote from a recent piece of political analysis that I found interesting:[/font]

[quote]Ambinder is right. Obama's rhetoric is in a different "emotional register" from McCain's.

It's in a different emotional register from every US president; not just the Coolidges but the Kennedys, too.

Nothing in Obama's resume suggests he's the man to remake America and heal the planet. Only last week, another of his pals bit the dust, convicted by a Chicago jury of 16 counts of this and that.

"This isn't the Tony Rezko I knew," Obama said, in what's becoming a standard formulation. Likewise, this wasn't the Jeremiah Wright he knew. And these are guys he's known for 20 years.

Yet at the same time as he's being stunned by the corruption and anti-Americanism of those closest to him, Obama's convinced that just by jetting into Tehran and Pyongyang he can get to know America's enemies and persuade them to hew to the straight and narrow. No doubt if it all goes belly-up and Iran winds up nuking Tel Aviv, president Obama will put on his more-in-sorrow-than-in-anger face and announce solemnly that "this isn't the Mahmoud Ahmadinejad I knew".

Every time I hear an Obama speech, I start to giggle. But millions of voters don't. And, if Matthews and the tingly-legged media get their way and drag Obama across the finish line this November, the laugh will be on those of us who think that serious times demand grown-up rhetoric. [/quote]

[font=franklin gothic medium]I do tend to think that this quote is right on the money. And so many people seem to be falling into the tingly-legged category that Matthews finds himself in (he being a journalist who described his reaction to a rally as giving him "tingly legs").

Regardless of a candidate's actual flaws or strengths, I find it worrying that the media has such apparent power - and that a candidate (of any persuasion) can so easily be thrust into the limelight without passing some of the most critical acid tests.[/font]

[quote]Also, campaigning I would say has a lot to do with framing your personal strengths as the best for the job. Perhaps that narcissism is what makes people feel like the process is disingenuous, but at the heart of things, that's what people want. It's a catch-22 that cannot be escaped, so we're all caught here.[/quote]

[font=franklin gothic medium]Well, that's a different problem. I'm not referring to narcissism or framing one's own personal strengths.

For Obama or Clinton, it's [i]all[/i] about discussing their own personal strengths. And this is necessary and important - in fact, it is and should be the focus of any campaign.

The problem is when you fail to define your policies clearly and, instead, opt for the so-called "Obamessiah" route (whereby it's all about bumper stickers, uplifting tag lines and ever-increasing groups of bleary-eyed worshipers).

That strategy has more to do with covering any weaknesses that you may have and relying on the pack mentality of voters and media hyperbole, which is itself somewhat cynical.[/font]

[quote]Obama was the most liberally voting Senator of 2007 (according to the National Journal). So I would assert out of the Senate, he (at least in terms of past views) is most likely to fundamentally alter the status quo.[/quote]

[font=franklin gothic medium]I interpret that as saying the following: "As long as we get the opposite to the status quo, we're happy."

How is that positive, though?

It strikes me as being similar to closing your eyes and jumping into the deep end of a pool, without really knowing what you'll encounter at the bottom.

Surely altering the status quo is a means to an end; it is not an end in and of itself.

And that, I think, is half the problem here. Everyone is so caught up in the means without worrying (or even considering) the end result.

Even people who identify themselves as liberals are not necessarily highly liberal on every single issue. Being liberal on [i]every[/i] issue is as blindly one-sided as being highly conservative on every issue - it's simply an opposite extreme. But it's an extreme nonetheless.

Surely people are more interested in ideas and policies rather than simply "it's different, so it must be good".[/font][quote]

On Australia's Government: Perhaps you all have a more fine-tuned government, but that's because you learned from our Great Experiment. [/quote]

[font=franklin gothic medium]We did learn. Why didn't you? ;)

(Also, something to note: our system is based on the Westminster system, which is significantly older than the US system. In all honesty though, I do find the US system interesting and it's certainly a lot better than many other systems around the world...although perhaps a debate about political systems is better suited to a different thread).[/font]

[quote]Oh and James, two of the biggest things that worked against Hilary Clinton (in my opinion) was first: her arrogance upfront that she would win. And two: her sense of entitlement. That air of thinking that having more experience along with having been first lady at one time somehow meant she deserved the position instead of earning it like other candidates do. [/quote]

[font=franklin gothic medium]Okay, well, to address those points...

First, on arrogance.

I have seen arrogance from every single candidate during this primary campaign, Obama included (and Hillary certainly not excluded). To some extent I think that's the nature of the beast - running for president does, after all, require a large ego. :catgirl:

But secondly, I don't think Hillary ever assumed she would win. How could she? Despite her initially good numbers (and Obama's numbers actually dropping as time went by), the media played out a scathing narrative that would make victory difficult, at the very least.

I'm not blaming the media for her loss; I do think she has to take responsibility for it. And that's the way it should be for all candidates.

On the other hand, the media certainly didn't [i]help[/i] her. And the ridiculous hysteria surrounding Obama - based on nothing other than almost a kind of zealotry - definitely distracted attention from the issues of the day in many cases.

And on the second point, I don't quite understand what you're saying. Hillary Clinton pointed out that she was experienced and that she'd been an active first lady and that these two traits were positives for a future president.

What is wrong with that?

As I said earlier, I expect candidates to sell themselves to the public. I do expect them to frame their achievements and perceived benefits. Hillary clearly thought these were hers. And they were at least quite substantive - it's one thing to talk in vague terms about lowering oceans and remaking a country for instance, but it's another thing entirely to actually discuss concrete matters of experience and so on.

I don't think any of this meant that Hillary expected to win, nor do I think she felt she had a "right" to the job. I think that is an interpretation that the media have also pushed heavily.

Consider that Hillary worked incredibly hard (like all candidates) and that she put something like $12 million of her own money into her campaign.

I don't think any of this is evidence of a candidate who simply expects to become president. Rather, I think Clinton listed concrete reasons as to why she felt she was more suitable for the job.

When she does this, she's called arrogant. When Obama does the very same thing, he's called visionary.

As I have stressed before - and despite how I sound here - I am not necessarily in favor of either candidate (that is to say, I don't dislike Obama or find him to be a "bad" candidate).

It's just that I'm fascinated with the Obama hype machine, as so many non-Americans are. It's bizarre to watch and it's interesting to dissect, especially given some of the more glaring self-contradictions it involves.[/font]

[quote]I'm not saying she wouldn't do a good job or that she really felt or acted that way. What I am saying is that I know many people (myself included) who found that side of her very, very abrasive and a huge turn off. Even if that was not her intent, it still came across that way.[/quote]

[font=franklin gothic medium]That's cool.

It's just a shame that her demeanor is granted more importance than her ability to govern. That sucks.[/font]
Link to post
Share on other sites
[quote name='James;814710][font=franklin gothic medium]When she does this, she's called arrogant. When Obama does the very same thing, he's called visionary.[/font][/QUOTE]I don't consider him visionary, far from it. I merely consider him the lesser of two evils as it's often referred to. [QUOTE=James'][font=franklin gothic medium]As I have stressed before - and despite how I sound here - I am not necessarily in favor of either candidate (that is to say, I don't dislike Obama or find him to be a "bad" candidate).

It's just that I'm fascinated with the Obama hype machine, as so many non-Americans are. It's bizarre to watch and it's interesting to dissect, especially given some of the more glaring self-contradictions it involves.[/font][/QUOTE]I'm disappointed in all of the candidates to be honest, so no hype here. Obama has a lot of fluff in what he says just as Clinton has a lot of sticking to things that haven't worked in hers, something I'll address in a moment.[quote name='James'][font=franklin gothic medium]It's just a shame that her demeanor is granted more importance than her ability to govern. That sucks.[/font][/QUOTE]Who's to say her ability to govern is actually any good though? My deciding factor is that she has policies she wishes to see put into play that I don't agree with, universal health care being the first. Even if her demeanor was perfect, those things she's that she has voted for or against that are not what I want to see are the true deciding factor, her past actions speak for themselves.

[URL="http://www.ontheissues.org/hillary_clinton.htm"][U]Hilliary Clinton on the Issues[/U][/URL]

I can't speak for others, but that more than anything is why her demeanor just makes it worse, I already dislike her for the stances she takes in government. So I see no reason to vote for someone who will work to enact things I don't want to see here.
Link to post
Share on other sites
[quote]I don't consider him visionary, far from it. I merely consider him the lesser of two evils as it's often referred to. [/quote]

[font=franklin gothic medium]That's interesting. I think many people [i]do[/i] consider him a visionary, even though you don't.

Still, lesser of two evils is very telling.[/font]

[quote]I'm disappointed in all of the candidates to be honest, so no hype here. Obama has a lot of fluff in what he says just as Clinton has a lot of sticking to things that haven't worked in hers, something I'll address in a moment.[/quote]

[font=franklin gothic medium]I just tend to think that fluff is worse than having concrete things to say.

The worst part about it, though, is the way the media has pedalled it. Those people who are informed about their political leaders are at an advantage and I think it's always good to be informed - it's just a shame that so many people are getting swept along with largely manufactured hyperbole.[/font]

[quote]Who's to say her ability to govern is actually any good though? My deciding factor is that she has policies she wishes to see put into play that I don't agree with, universal health care being the first. Even if her demeanor was perfect, those things she's that she has voted for or against that are not what I want to see are the true deciding factor, her past actions speak for themselves.
[/quote]

[font=franklin gothic medium]Who's to say her ability to govern is actually any good? Well, the voters. And she herself will make a case, as she has tried to do.

However, my point was that people can't judge her ability to govern based simply on her demeanor or on media hype. I think most people would agree with that.[/font]

[quote]I can't speak for others, but that more than anything is why her demeanor just makes it worse, I already dislike her for the stances she takes in government. So I see no reason to vote for someone who will work to enact things I don't want to see here.[/quote]

[font=franklin gothic medium]I will have to read through her policy positions and compare them to Obama's if I want to make an actual choice on candidates, but that in and of itself is not really what I'm debating (although as I look through this list, I realise I'm aware of most of it - perhaps we can have a policy discusssion another time).

I'm just pointing out that the Obamessiah machine is incredibly powerful and that in many cases across the nation, it's based on hype and not legitimate analysis of policy.

If you disagree with - and understand the implications of - Clinton's policies, then you are not someone who I would include in my comments.

I mean, with any candidate, it's likely that you would agree with some things and disagree with others. The question, I suppose, is who you disagree with "less" rather than who you adore. And that's often the case with political candidates.

So with the merits or pitfalls of each candidate put to the side for one moment, I will repeat my general theme which is that I think Hillary Clinton has been generally misrepresented and misunderstood - whereas Obama is facing a classic "election by the media" situation.

As I said earlier, this point of view has nothing to do with which candidate is ultimately better. You can like or dislike either one. The point is just that the representation has generally not been equitable.[/font]
Link to post
Share on other sites
[quote name='Morpheus']Anyone that thinks that Barack Obama is just a bunch of fluff with no real political positions needs to actually read about him sometime instead of watching a speech and assuming that that is all he has to say.[/QUOTE]

[font=franklin gothic medium]Well, luckily I have not expressed that view here.

In the same vein as your comment though, I will say that anyone who thinks this is all about passing off Obama as nothing but fluff needs to actually pay attention to the distinctions being drawn.

This is about media and its emphasis on politicians (or ignoring of politicians). The whole idea is to get [i]away[/i] from pointless generalizations.

This is why Obama does himself a massive disservice by frequently emphasizing hollow messages in his speeches. I'm 100% certain that he has distinct policy objectives and ideas (as I've seen him discuss them), so that is not at issue.

The issue is how the politicians present themselves, how the media represents/misrepresents them and how large groups of people are swayed not by legitimate policy debate but by starry-eyed, quasi-religious rhetoric.[/font]
Link to post
Share on other sites
[quote name='James'][font=franklin gothic medium]The issue is how the politicians present themselves, how the media represents/misrepresents them and how large groups of people are swayed not by legitimate policy debate but by starry-eyed, quasi-religious rhetoric.[/font][/QUOTE]I don't doubt that people are swayed by [I]starry-eyed quasi-religious rhetoric[/I] as you put it James. And I can understand the concern or feel that people shouldn't allow themselves to be swayed by such things. I can at least assure you that many of us do at least try to understand the issues and make our choices based on that instead of [I]"fluff"[/I] as it were.

I find this year's election rather ironic in that for the first time in decades I'm more likely to vote Democratic instead of for the Republican candidate. I certainly didn't get that view from listening to the media. I know I'm not the only one to outright ignore most of that in favor of trying to learn what their stances on policy really are.

The media here on some level, by anyone truly wanting to know what's going on, is simply ignored. It can't be helped that people are willing to take speeches at face value instead of taking the time to learn more.
Link to post
Share on other sites
[quote]I find this year's election rather ironic in that for the first time in decades I'm more likely to vote Democratic instead of for the Republican candidate. I certainly didn't get that view from listening to the media. I know I'm not the only one to outright ignore most of that in favor of trying to learn what their stances on policy really are.[/quote]

[font=franklin gothic medium]I think that's very reassuring.

I also wonder if any of this phenomenon is generational. For example, it seems that a lot of younger people are getting diving right into the hype, as though it's a new airing of American Idol.

Whereas those with a little more experience (especially experience of multiple elections) seem to be a bit more reserved with the whole thing.

I'd be interested to know if anyone else sees that as a factor.[/font]

[quote]The media here on some level, by anyone truly wanting to know what's going on, is simply ignored. It can't be helped that people are willing to take speeches at face value instead of taking the time to learn more.[/quote]

[font=franklin gothic medium]Yeah, that's true - there are always going to be people to take a candidate at face value.

I think the reason this seems amplified right now is because [i]so many[/i] people seem to be attracted to one candidate on that basis... and aggressively against another candidate for the same reason.

I mean, this definitely seems very different to the last couple of federal elections, at least in terms of media coverage.

Unfortunately I don't think Obama helps himself by gleefully feeding into this cycle, rather than frequently centering his messages on substantive matters.

Having said that, Hillary is definitely guilty of perpetuating the bias against her. So as I said earlier, both candidates are definitely responsible for how they convey their own messages.[/font]
Link to post
Share on other sites
[quote name='James'][font=franklin gothic medium]The big problem, I think, is that so much of this is what has driven the campaign - as opposed to anything significantly substantive.[/font][/QUOTE]
[font=Arial]The problem with this point of view is that it summarily dismisses and devalues the power of rhetoric, framing, and campaign tone. It seems you're more a fan of "substantive" campaigning, which is all well and good, but discussing issues without giving it a greater context or higher purpose is utterly lost. People do not exist in a vacuum, a national sentiment is not formed or sustained in a vacuum, and so the discussion of "the issues" comes off as dry and uninspiring.

So you can preach about "solutions" to "the issues" until you're blue in the face, but it's hilariously ineffective. Rather, a competent campaign sets the issues in a larger and grander scheme or theme that captures the public's wishes.

Likewise, a campaign riding the zeitgeist is not necessarily devoid of substance. Just because Obama can speak well and impressively does not mean he's peddling snake oil. I mean, he's got just as many views on the issues, but no one cares to look them up. They're all on his site, [url=http://www.barackobama.com/issues/][b]here[/b][/url]. So just because he's not rattling off dull and bland statistics or outlining comprehensive plans on TV does not mean he's devoid of substance, it just means he's focusing his efforts and energies on connecting with the American heart rather than mind.

[QUOTE][font=franklin gothic medium]Regardless of a candidate's actual flaws or strengths, I find it worrying that the media has such apparent power - and that a candidate (of any persuasion) can so easily be thrust into the limelight without passing some of the most critical acid tests.[/font][/QUOTE]
The media had such power in the Democratic primary because Obama excels in live, face-to-face situations. He delivers amazing speeches (and surprise! they're on TV). He's photogenic.

And it's my opinion that Obama had a pretty rough media attention at times. Reverend Wright? He's a Muslim? He doesn't wear a pin on his lapel? He did coke? I mean come on, I'd say he faced far more personal, outrageous, and [potentially] damaging things via the media than Clinton.

[QUOTE][font=franklin gothic medium]The problem is when you fail to define your policies clearly and, instead, opt for the so-called "Obamessiah" route (whereby it's all about bumper stickers, uplifting tag lines and ever-increasing groups of bleary-eyed worshipers).

That strategy has more to do with covering any weaknesses that you may have and relying on the pack mentality of voters and media hyperbole, which is itself somewhat cynical.[/font][/QUOTE]
I'm going to drop pretenses and ask you this: why bother with discussing the nuts and bolts of his future administration when it's far easier and more expedient to play different cards and persuade people through rhetoric? Politics isn't a noble thing, and maybe you think it is. Sure, it'd be nice if people were persuaded by "just the facts," and Clinton definitely relied on that assumption. But there was no resonance with her approach. I just don't understand why you'd advocate a campaign strategy that does not optimally connect with citizens if there's a better one to adopt.

[QUOTE][font=franklin gothic medium]I interpret that as saying the following: "As long as we get the opposite to the status quo, we're happy."

How is that positive, though?

It strikes me as being similar to closing your eyes and jumping into the deep end of a pool, without really knowing what you'll encounter at the bottom.

Surely altering the status quo is a means to an end; it is not an end in and of itself.

And that, I think, is half the problem here. Everyone is so caught up in the means without worrying (or even considering) the end result.

Even people who identify themselves as liberals are not necessarily highly liberal on every single issue. Being liberal on [i]every[/i] issue is as blindly one-sided as being highly conservative on every issue - it's simply an opposite extreme. But it's an extreme nonetheless.

Surely people are more interested in ideas and policies rather than simply "it's different, so it must be good".[/font][/QUOTE]
The fundamental problem with this line of reasoning is the assumption that [i]everything diametrically opposed to Bush is not good[/i]. I say this almost totally seriously -- I support none of Bush's major policy initiatives. I totally disapprove of almost everything Bush has done during his administration. Perhaps I'm far too liberal, but Bush was a terrible president, and a total departure from those policies would IMHO be a great improvement.

Additionally, I've researched the majority of Obama's positions. I would not say he's blindly for change. I would say, however, that he would take the country in a largely positive direction.

[QUOTE][font=franklin gothic medium]But secondly, I don't think Hillary ever assumed she would win. How could she? Despite her initially good numbers (and Obama's numbers actually dropping as time went by), the media played out a scathing narrative that would make victory difficult, at the very least.[/font][/QUOTE]
I mean, I personally viewed her as thinking she was entitled and inevitable. Her entire campaign pre-Iowa was pitched on that premise, that she was "electable," that she could fundraise and manage a competent campaign, that she had experience, etc. She began with a lead in super-delegates, she began with a vast network of political allegiances and donors, and a [i]very[/i] positive public perception of her husband's presidency. All the signs pointed to epic win. And when Obama gave a strong showing in Iowa, she realized her opponent was rising above the airs of inevitability.

Rather than attributing Clinton's loss to a media circus, attribute it to immense grassroots efforts, inspiring people to get involved in politics, and mobilizing people nationwide to do what was thought previously unthinkable. He fundraised in the face of Clinton's ridiculously expansive contacts. She was simply outperformed at almost every point in the competition... and I don't think you can attribute her fall from greatness as a media phenom.[/font]
Link to post
Share on other sites
[quote]The problem with this point of view is that it summarily dismisses and devalues the power of rhetoric, framing, and campaign tone. It seems you're more a fan of "substantive" campaigning, which is all well and good, but discussing issues without giving it a greater context or higher purpose is utterly lost. People do not exist in a vacuum, a national sentiment is not formed or sustained in a vacuum, and so the discussion of "the issues" comes off as dry and uninspiring.[/quote]

[font=franklin gothic medium]I'm not dismissing the power of rhetoric, I'm just saying that rhetoric should not utterly dominate a political message. That's all.

I do think that candidates should speak from the heart, not just the head. But what if you're all heart, at least in your speeches? Surely that's not desirable.

And of course, the media only latches onto the hearty stuff without giving people enough of the important information. That has surely got to be a problem, regardless of your political persuasion.

"Issues" may come off as dry and uninspiring, but as I said earlier, we aren't talking about American Idol; we are talking about the leader of the next federal government. Sometimes things are serious and probably should be taken as such.[/font]

[quote]So you can preach about "solutions" to "the issues" until you're blue in the face, but it's hilariously ineffective. Rather, a competent campaign sets the issues in a larger and grander scheme or theme that captures the public's wishes.[/quote]

[font=franklin gothic medium]The latter sentence makes a lot more sense than the former, I think.

A competent campaign sets the issues in a larger and grander scheme, which captures the public's wishes. Yes, that's about right. And within that is room for putting forward a substantive agenda.

It doesn't have to be either/or. Nor should it be.

A media that frequently ignores issues for dazzle is a media that insults the intelligence of its audience. I don't think that is an easily-defensible position.[/font]

[quote]Likewise, a campaign riding the zeitgeist is not necessarily devoid of substance. Just because Obama can speak well and impressively does not mean he's peddling snake oil. I mean, he's got just as many views on the issues, but no one cares to look them up. They're all on his site, here. So just because he's not rattling off dull and bland statistics or outlining comprehensive plans on TV does not mean he's devoid of substance, it just means he's focusing his efforts and energies on connecting with the American heart rather than mind.[/quote]

[font=franklin gothic medium]I don't remember saying that Obama had to rattle off dull and bland statistics in order to be a man of substance. I could be wrong there, but I certainly don't think I've mentioned anything along those lines.

I agree that a lot of people don't care to look them up. And that's a problem with individual voters, especially those who feverishly support him without knowing a thing about his platform.

[i]However[/i], there is a problem both with the media and his campaign. The media has over-emphasized his campaign without being sufficiently balanced.

Secondly, if we expect Hillary Clinton to be responsible for everything she says and does, we must expect the same of Obama - and we so regularly don't.

As I have said before - and will repeat now - I am quite certain that Obama has ideas and substantive policies. That in and of itself is not in debate.

The point I'm making is two-fold. One point is about media coverage and the other point is that Obama too often shoots himself in the foot by imbalancing his speeches and public comments, thereby perpetuating the ridiculous media spectacle that we've seen thusfar.

So I'm identifying an issue with the campaign approach and the media, as opposed to the man and his policies. I hope that distinction is clearer.[/font]

[quote]The media had such power in the Democratic primary because Obama excels in live, face-to-face situations. He delivers amazing speeches (and surprise! they're on TV). He's photogenic.[/quote]

[font=franklin gothic medium]Yes, I would agree that he's good in face-to-face situations. And he's definitely photogenic.

But his speeches? They're okay. They're standard fare. He could do better, especially with his intelligence and ability to articulate complex ideas in a manner that makes them easily understood and received by the community.

I have seen Obama when he's been at his best, as far as combining policy discussion with showmanship. He does well at it; he's just be better off making sure that policy messages are the ones that make it into the soundbytes more often.[/font]
[quote]
And it's my opinion that Obama had a pretty rough media attention at times. Reverend Wright? He's a Muslim? He doesn't wear a pin on his lapel? He did coke? I mean come on, I'd say he faced far more personal, outrageous, and [potentially] damaging things via the media than Clinton.[/quote]

[font=franklin gothic medium]Oh I agree, he's faced some ridiculous criticisms. It is a shame that so much of the criticism has been related to him as a person, rather than him as a politician.

Having said that, I still believe that Hillary Clinton has faced less fair coverage on balance.[/font]

[quote]I'm going to drop pretenses and ask you this: why bother with discussing the nuts and bolts of his future administration when it's far easier and more expedient to play different cards and persuade people through rhetoric? Politics isn't a noble thing, and maybe you think it is. Sure, it'd be nice if people were persuaded by "just the facts," and Clinton definitely relied on that assumption. But there was no resonance with her approach. I just don't understand why you'd advocate a campaign strategy that does not optimally connect with citizens if there's a better one to adopt.[/quote]

[font=franklin gothic medium]Politics isn't a noble thing? I don't know about that.

But that aside, what difference does it make? Okay, so we say politics isn't noble. Why does that mean we can just excuse everything, especially media responsibility?

I understand what you're saying here, in the sense that politicians need to do what works best. And I agree with that.

But what I'm saying is that you can have both approaches simultaneously. Does it worry nobody that a presidential candidate - of all people - can essentially be elected as a result of media spin?

That simple statement says so much about the power of media and the willingness of the public to do what they're told, rather than to think critically.

I mean I agree with you that "just the facts" is probably never going to work (unfortunately so). But in the absence of that, why go in the entirely opposite direction?

I think that the truly effective leaders (of both our countries) have been able to adequately balance both approaches. In other words, they've been able to express policy ideas - and their importance and impact - while still appealing to people's hopes and dreams.

The two are not mutually exclusive and certainly don't have to be.[/font]

[quote]The fundamental problem with this line of reasoning is the assumption that everything diametrically opposed to Bush is not good. I say this almost totally seriously -- I support none of Bush's major policy initiatives. I totally disapprove of almost everything Bush has done during his administration. Perhaps I'm far too liberal, but Bush was a terrible president, and a total departure from those policies would IMHO be a great improvement.[/quote]

[font=franklin gothic medium]Right. But the problem is not with my line of reasoning - the problem is with the vague implication that was made to begin with.

What you're saying here makes a lot more sense. The original suggestion was simply that being the opposite of the status quo was plenty. And that implies that opposite is good enough, no matter what the policy and no matter what the costs of that policy.

If you know his policies and you agree with them, that's totally cool. That's a different thing.[/font]
[quote]
Additionally, I've researched the majority of Obama's positions. I would not say he's blindly for change. I would say, however, that he would take the country in a largely positive direction.[/quote]

[font=franklin gothic medium]Yep, that's fair. My point just now wasn't about Obama, it was about what you'd said.

And that's totally reasonable; knowing his policies and agreeing with them means you're making an informed choice. And that's good - it's what more people should do.[/font]

[quote]I mean, I personally viewed her as thinking she was entitled and inevitable. Her entire campaign pre-Iowa was pitched on that premise, that she was "electable," that she could fundraise and manage a competent campaign, that she had experience, etc. She began with a lead in super-delegates, she began with a vast network of political allegiances and donors, and a very positive public perception of her husband's presidency. All the signs pointed to epic win. And when Obama gave a strong showing in Iowa, she realized her opponent was rising above the airs of inevitability.[/quote]

[font=franklin gothic medium]Everything you've said about Clinton does not imply that she ever thought a win was inevitable.

To me, it just implies - as you said - that she thought she was "electable". So does Obama. So does every candidate. What's wrong with that?

Criticising her for considering herself "electable" and for expressing such a view is profoundly unfair.

And I don't think the signs pointed to an epic win - not if you paid attention to the commentary. The commentary was frequently pointing out that Hillary had an uphill struggle and that she was hanging on for too long (even early on). It was often unreasonable.

This idea of Obama rising above the airs of inevitability is a perfect example of the utter spin that has been perpetuated throughout the media. It's part of the Obama story - the narrative.

It's that kind of approach that I dislike (and that most objective commentators also seem to find painful, haha).[/font]

[quote]Rather than attributing Clinton's loss to a media circus, attribute it to immense grassroots efforts, inspiring people to get involved in politics, and mobilizing people nationwide to do what was thought previously unthinkable. He fundraised in the face of Clinton's ridiculously expansive contacts. She was simply outperformed at almost every point in the competition... and I don't think you can attribute her fall from greatness as a media phenom.[/quote]

[font=franklin gothic medium]Mobilizing people nationwide to do what was through previously unthinkable?

Geeze, you should be working on the campaign yourself! Haha. :catgirl:

But seriously, yes, he did outperform Clinton. There's no doubt there whatsoever.

There's also no doubt, generally, that he has been riding a media-fuelled wave which has played a large role in this performance. I think that's generally accepted by most onlookers/independent commentators, whether or not they are a supporter of Obama.[/font]
Link to post
Share on other sites
[font=Arial]Well, I feel like we've had a pretty healthy discussion on this... so I'll make a few closing responses. I'm pretty sure you don't feel like reading even MORE replies from me haha.

[QUOTE][font=franklin gothic medium]Everything you've said about Clinton does not imply that she ever thought a win was inevitable.

To me, it just implies - as you said - that she thought she was "electable". So does Obama. So does every candidate. What's wrong with that?

Criticising her for considering herself "electable" and for expressing such a view is profoundly unfair.

And I don't think the signs pointed to an epic win - not if you paid attention to the commentary. The commentary was frequently pointing out that Hillary had an uphill struggle and that she was hanging on for too long (even early on). It was often unreasonable.

This idea of Obama rising above the airs of inevitability is a perfect example of the utter spin that has been perpetuated throughout the media. It's part of the Obama story - the narrative.

It's that kind of approach that I dislike (and that most objective commentators also seem to find painful, haha).[/font][/QUOTE]
Of course it is impossible to prove, in any capacity, that she believed X or Y. I made assumptions based off the tone of her campaign. I assumed that because Bill was acting like an angry parent at a little-league game when she began to lose that there was a certain sense of entitlement there. When she cried in the wake of Iowa because the campaign trail was becoming hot, I assumed she was panicking. That she never believed some random nobody could actually win the first primary state.

[QUOTE][font=franklin gothic medium]Mobilizing people nationwide to do what was through previously unthinkable?

Geeze, you should be working on the campaign yourself! Haha. :catgirl:

But seriously, yes, he did outperform Clinton. There's no doubt there whatsoever.

There's also no doubt, generally, that he has been riding a media-fuelled wave which has played a large role in this performance. I think that's generally accepted by most onlookers/independent commentators, whether or not they are a supporter of Obama.[/font][/QUOTE]
C'mon, James. He's a black man running for President in a country that was heavily segregated and openly racist not even 50 years ago. He's got a crazy name to most Americans (not to mention his middle name). He didn't even have an entire term in the Senate under his belt before launching to the national spotlight for the Presidency. All of this is against the odds -- he's the stereotypical "American dream" story.

He brought record number of voters (specifically amongst the youth) to the polls for the first time. He got an immense number of independents and Republicans voting for him. He's shattered the fund-raising records. If you step back and look at it, it's almost unsettling how much support he has. Call it bleary-eyed or what have you, but he's gotten massive numbers involved into the political process.

Yes, he did ride the media wave. I guess I don't really see it as a potential negative or a point that could cause doubt in his ability. I just see his command over the news as good strategy.

Cheers! :bow:[/font]
Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...