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Saturday, August 30, 2008

Clinton Supporters, Sarah Palin, Shaking Things Up, Abortion And Sexism

Deciding on Sarah Palin as McCain's running mate, was done with goals in mind. Making history, shaking up the ticket, appealing to conservatives, choosing a maverick, and appealing to females. Clinton supporters now discuss abortion and sexism.
According to ABC's Political Radar, John McCain had specific aims in making his choice for who he wished as his running mate to be his vice presidential choice.

Making History.

Official history will not be made until the Republican Convention next week when the vote comes down and makes John McCain the official Republican candidate for President of the United States of America and Sarah Palin, Governor of Alaska the official Vice Presidential candidate to join McCain on the ticket.

History will be made the day of the vote and was made yesterday when McCain announced the first female vice presidential running mate on the Republican presidential ticket.

Shaking up the Ticket.

Until the Democratic Convention started, the polling from multiple organizations showed a neck and neck race between John McCain and Barack Obama, with neither of the candidates able to take a significant lead on the other.

The convention "bounce", which is an uptick in polling due to a significant campaign event, as the convention was, gave Barack Obama an eight point lead after the three day rolling figures came in.

It is expected as is traditional, that next week by the last day of the Republican Convention, the same "bounce" will be seen, which would then again put the race back to the neck and neck status.

This is where shaking up a ticket becomes necessary as part of a bigger plan to take a lead in the polls.

No candidate for any election wants to go into an election neck and neck. The whole goal during the campaigning season is to take a significant lead in the polls and in public perception so that a candidate has relative confidence they will win the election when the day comes.

With that goal in mind, a presidential candidate chooses his running mate with the thought in mind of shoring up support in demographical areas where the support lags or is not what that candidate believes it should be.

For Barack Obama the choice was Joe Biden who has much more foreign policy experience than the presidential candidate himself has which has been a criticism from conservative Democrats, some Independents and what is called swing voters, which are voters that can swing from one side of the political spectrum to the other, depending on their preference in any given campaign season.

For John McCain, that choice was Sarah Palin, the only person to be a Governor on either ticket now, which is a person elected by the people of a state to be the top leader in that state. They have many of the same powers that a president have, but only on a state level. They can pardon criminals prosecuted by the state, they can sign and veto bills passed by the congress of the state. They can appoint people to certain positions, and they speak for the state on matters regarding the state.

Appeal to Conservatives.

The core base for Republicans are conservatives and conservative leaning voters and it was made clear to John McCain, being known as a moderate conservative himself, to strengthen his ticket and unite the conservative base, he needed a traditionally conservative vice presidential running mate.

Did the choice of Palin fire up the conservative base?

Early indications show that the choice of Palin did fire up certain members of the conservative base, as evidenced by Dr. James Dobson, who is an evangelical leader and the head of Focus On The Family.

Dobson once stated, as reported by TIME, that he would never vote for John McCain because of McCain's moderate stances in areas that concerned Dobson, yet within hours of the announcement of Palin as the VP choice, Dobson walked into a conservative outreach meeting in Minneapolis thrown by the McCain campaign and announced he would be voting for John McCain.

Other evidence showing that McCain did shake up his ticket effectively and to his benefit is brought to us via a report from The Politico saying that online alone, John McCain received $4.9 million dollars immediately after he introduce Palin as his VP.

Palin's appeal to the conservative base is echoed by Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council, who had not yet united behind McCain and is now "raving" over the choice of Palin as well as David Keene of the American Conservative Union stating, via The, "I predict any conservatives who have been lukewarm thus far in their support of the McCain candidacy will work their hearts out between now and November for the McCain-Palin ticket."

The examples go on and on in the media of the conservative base hailing McCain's decision and becoming more enthused about McCain's candidacy.

That is shaking things up.

Vote it up! 2 votes
Republican Presidential candidate John McCain with his vice presidential running mate, Sarah Palin.
Courtesy of John McCain campaign (Public Domain)

Choosing a Maverick.

John McCain has long held the nickname and reputation of being a maverick, of working in a bipartisan manner when necessary, reaching across the political aisle to get things accomplished. Many times he has done so even with the risk of angering his conservative base.

He has openly criticized Republicans when he has disagreed with as well as publicly criticizing President Bush when he took a stance different from his own.

His goal with choosing Palin is that she too has a reputation of being a maverick. Fighting against Republicans when she disagreed with them, placing Independents and Democrats in her administration and working towards accomplishing what she sets out to do, giving her the highest popularity rating of a Governor in her own state of Alaska, which is over 80 percent as reported by Daily Dayton News.

Palin is fairly new to the gubernatorial job — she took office Dec. 4, 2006 — but has already seen political success, pushing and getting momentum on the creation of a natural gas pipeline that Alaskans have sought for three decades.

She's also knocked heads with energy companies, threatening to strip some of their leases if she felt they were "warehousing" their land and not drilling, according to Drue Pearce, a former Alaska Senate president now serving as the federal coordinator for Alaska Natural Gas Transportation Project.

Sarah Palin In Kuwait
"SIR: Poseyal Desposyni squire poet (Creative Commons - Attribution)

Appealing to Females.

Polling shows McCain has done better shoring up the male vote than he has with the female vote within his own party, with Independents and with swing voters.

Having Palin on the ticket, a woman who already made her own history as being the youngest and first female to be elected as Governor of Alaska, now making history again as being the first female on a Republican ticket, has energized many conservative woman as is seen on multiple blogs, forums and comment sections across the web.

Clinton supporters, abortion and sexism.

A large majority of female Democrats are 100 percent pro-choice and Palin is 100 percent pro-life and against abortions.

One would assume that if the abortion issue was a deal breaker for female Clinton supporters, they would never in a million years vote for the McCain/Palin ticket.

Some Clinton supporters hold abortion rights high in their list of priorities but they do not see it as a deal breaker if they agree with other aspects of a candidates policy issues.

That is a personal choice that only they can make because their vote is theirs....period.

No one can tell them they are making choices for the right or wrong reasons, because how a person votes and for what reason they make their choice is no ones business but the person who owns their vote.

With that said, I am seeing an anger on Clinton supporting sites, which first stemmed from their perception that the media as well as the DNC and Obama campaign, were overly sexist in their reports and statements about Hillary Clinton during the primaries and now is being pointed out within a day of Palin's being announced as McCain's running mate with Clinton supporting sites showing their perception of the media doing the same thing to Palin already.

Using one of the more popular Clinton supporting sites as an example of what is seen on many of them, Tennessee Guerilla Women, shows the theme of what I am seeing.

Yesterday, they were quoting Palin's tribute to Geraldine Ferraro and Hillary Clinton, where Palin stated, "I can't begin this great effort without honoring the achievement of Geraldine Ferraro in 1984 and of course, Hillary Clinton, who showed determination in her presidential campaign," Palin said. "It was rightly noted in Denver this week that Hillary left 18 million cracks in the highest, hardest glass ceiling in America. But it turns out the women of America aren't finished yet, and we can shatter that glass ceiling once and for all."

The writer of that piece, Egalia writes:

Wow. Just wow. You should have picked Hillary, Barack! Here's to breaking this country's shameful male monopoly on power. It's just too effing bad that the job has fallen to the Republicans because the Democratic Party threw women under the bus!

The comment section of that posts shows incredible tension still felt by female voters over Hillary's loss and what they perceived as unfairness shown to her during the primaries, with some commentators arguing having a woman on the ticket isn't enough of a reason to vote for a McCain/Palin ticket, others arguing about Obama's inexperience and pointing out Palin's executive experience and still others asking about how a Democratic woman can vote for a pro-life ticket.

373 comments on that piece.

Tennessee Guerilla Women is not the only site with this mindset, as pointed out by Washington Post's The Trail.

The common refrain: "Obama will regret not choosing Hillary now!"

No Quarter USA, an online hub for anti-Obama Hillary supporters, had this comment from Danny in Alaska, a disaffected Hillary Democrat who had pledged not to vote for Obama, on a news post. He called Palin an independent and said a "vote for MCCAIN IS NO LONGER A PROTEST VOTE! I want bumper stickers."

Contrary to critics assertions, it is not only John McCain's choice of Palin that is drawing some diehard Clinton supporters that have refused to get behind Barack Obama, but for many of them it is their choice of priorities as arguments ensue in comment sections about how the media is already being perceived as showing sexism against Palin.

Sarah Palin at school
Sarah Palin visiting a school and painting with two children
by triciaward (Creative Commons - Attribution)

Today, the same "I am woman hear me roar" attitude is being seen, but thanks to some media outlets, those same Clinton supporting sites are giving more reasons to why they may just want to stand up and support the McCain/Palin ticket because to them there is an issue that is as much if not more of a priority to them than abortion is.


Media Matters announces in their headline "With morning announcement of Palin pick comes morning sexism on cable news."

Summary: With reports that Sen. John McCain had picked Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin to be his running mate, sexist commentary on cable news followed. On CNN, John Roberts raised the question of whether as vice president, Palin would be able to devote the time necessary to care for her baby with Down syndrome, and on MSNBC, Andrea Mitchell and Chuck Todd suggested that Sen. Joe Biden bears the burden of having to adjust his behavior in a vice-presidential debate because of Palin's sex.

The reaction to the Media Matters piece as well as other examples that are being cited, is once again shown by Tennessee Guerilla Women, which is representative of what is seen on quite a few diehard Clinton supporting sites.

Egalia against writes, "Bonus MSNBC Sexism: Also in the video clip, Andrea Mitchell and Chuck Todd argue that Joe Biden will have to be gentle when he debates Sarah Palin because she's a girl!!! The MSNBC pundits do not explain why the men were so free to gang up on Hillary Rodham Clinton on the primary debate stage."

Not to focus on one specific blogger and comment section of one place, a search on Google shows sexism trumping other issues, in a variety of places.

For example, CBS News has an opinion piece written by a man named Joseph Bui for Youth Vote '08, who explains why women that perceived sexism and those that supported Hillary for more reasons that just her policy stances, but instead because of the chance to move women forward and rewriting the history books, he reminds people that "constituents don't always vote just on the issues."

Unfortunately for the Obama camp and his adoring fans: they aren't the only ones that can define change. The legions of female Hillary Clinton supporters that identified with her candidacy are now given another shot at shattering the glass ceiling. And as a Democrat who does plan on supporting Obama this November, I'm worried they'll take it.

If you honestly believe that your candidate was ran into the ground due to pervasive sexism in the media and among the voters, the very natural answer? Vote for the female alternative.

Other examples include MyDD writer, Nikkid, who says "Now - the Republicans will have the opportunity to be the party to make history with the FIRST WOMAN VICE PRESIDENT in history." She then goes on to ask, "The Democrats will ask themselves WHY did we select the unqualified, inexperienced male candidate.

I mean really - WHICH PARTY IS SEXIST?"

Even more amazing are the forums, websites and blogs from women that will not vote for McCain/palin, but are still getting angry of the sexism issue already being shown against Palin.

Examples there include Shakesville, (language alert if you click and replace letters with ** in her quotes), where writer Melissa McEwan points out that she has already heard that Palin was called a "bimbo" and McEwan asserts she will not vote for McCain/Palin, but, "And I'll go ahead and put it right in the f**king inaugural post in this series: I will defend Sarah Palin against misogynist smears not because I like or support her, but because that's how feminism works."

Reclusive Leftist points out that even those right-center Hillary supporters that won't vote for McCain/Palin will become alienated from the Obama camp and she blames "Obamabots" preemptively for that.

The Palin pick is fricking genius, and since I’m a blogger and this is my blog I should probably take a minute here to blog about it.

Why is it a genius move? Because of two things:

1. It will make it easier for center-right Hillary supporters to vote Republican in the fall, and
2. (this is the genius part) It will complete the alienation of the rest of the Hillary supporters from the Obama camp. How? That’s easy — the Obamabots will do it themselves. Go read the Washington Post blog or anywhere online where the Palin pick is being discussed, and you’ll see the trademark Obama misogyny already out in full force. She’s been on the ticket for two seconds and already the Obamabots are saying she “looks like a porn star,” they’re making rude remarks about her childbearing, they’re ridiculing her intelligence.

The examples do not end there, but since this article is too long as it is, that is enough to see what is representative of what is being seen on Clinton supporting sites as well as just woman bloggers, one day after Palin was announced as McCain's VP choice.

For many women, the issues of sexism, women moving forward, misogynist attitudes and making history are more of a priority than abortion.

It wasn't John McCain's choice of Palin that are driving online donations and woman voters towards him, it is the reaction from the media and Obama supporting sites that is doing it for McCain.

As someone who writes about politics, day in and day out, seven days a week, I can say with full assuredness, this campaign season needed some "shaking up" and it has gotten it, in spades.

GOOD NEWS: Rasmussen shows Palin viewed more favorably than Biden.