Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Campaign's Word War

"Monster" "Claws out" "Kitchen Sink" "The Sky Will Fall" "Muslim" "Bitch"

"Aging"-Rush Limbaugh "Too Young and inexperienced"-Voices for Hillary

Add More Words You have Heard in the Mass Media That Describe Clinton

or Obama.

Then we can have a large word maze re the Democratic candidates and compare notes.

sharon raphael

Word Throwing Contest and More in the Clinton-Obama Race

I have become increasingly uncomfortable with the word throwing contest and mudslinging that has emanated from the Clinton-Obama Presidential Race. The most recent incident involved Hillary Clinton appearing to distance herself from Geraldine Ferraro*, our former first woman Vice-Presidential candidate, for saying "If Obama was a white man, he would not be in this position." Ferraro, a Clinton supporter, resigned from her postion if it could be called a position on Clinton's volunteer fundraising arm of the campaign. Later Ferraro said if she had not been a woman she would not have been in the Vice-Presidential Candidate position either. Somehow her words caused a firestorm of criticism and her words I believe taken out of context were seen as racist.

A few days earlier one of Obama's high level experts Samantha Power, resigned for calling Hillary a "monster" referring to her counterattacks on Obama. Power later apologized saying she had the utmost respect for Hillary. Power's name had been floated as a possiblel future Secretary of State under Obama. There is also a lot in the media about how white working class Democratic identified men are supporting Clinton and over 90 per cent of African Americans are supporting Obama setting up a kind of mini warfare between the two group. It reminds me of what happened after the outcome of the O.J. Trial.

It is a tricky situation given that we have a white woman and a Black man competing for the same job. Both of them are not supposed to appear as though either race or gender matter that much but the fact is they do matter to the public and the public is very sensitive and many quite ignorant about both issues. The media men in my opinion as I have said before are terribley sexist toward Hillary making every crack one can imagine. Even Obama a while back mentioned something about Hillary bringing out her "claws" whenever she is criticized. Bill Clinton got in trouble for comparing Obama's run for office to Jesse Jackson's campaign in South Carolina the implication being that Obama's campaign for higher office would eventually fizzle out like Jackson's did. There is always the spectre the media and other raise of Bill Clinton lurking somewhere in the White House doing "nasty things" with women.There is also the rumor about Obama being a secret Muslim which I find to be promoted by those with the worst sort of intentions. Hillary should not have hesitated or qualified any of her answers on this score. Her saying something like she had no evidence this was true was plainly wrong. It was a lawyer's answer and had the hint of develish intentions.I wish I could cover for her but I can't on this one.

Mudslinging is normally thought of as just the way campaigns normally go. No one expected the Dems to still be battling it out at this late date. Even the Clintons had not planned on the race lasting this long; whit the reason they had to raise a lot more money and fast. I somehow think Hillary is more in a bind on what she can say or not say than Obama. Sexism is more tolerated in America than racism is. I find Huffington Post's knee jerk reactions to every utterance Hillary says very lopsided. I don't think she should be racist or use the religion card either. Obama also has a weird way of also reacting to every single nuance and utterance on the Clinton side. He repeats everything he has heard like a parrot and then puts his own spin on it which at first was refreshing but is now getting very boring. It makes Obama seem smaller and less of stature than he is. I wonder if anyone else find this irritating. I know it is supposed to irritate those of us on Hillary's side but I think it goes beyond that. Instead of moving ahead on what he wants to do, he get bogged down in the trivia. What do you think about all this?

I will be very happy when the mudslinging is over though I know I have to endure it. I wonder if any Dem or Dems who are higher up will try to tone these wild sentiments down a bit?

Sharon Raphael, Long Beach

*Ferraro claims she sent Hillary an e-mail resigning from the budget/fundraising committee she was serving on for her and saying she initiated the move not Hillary.