Pennsylvania Primary: what are the good reasons and what are the bad reasons to vote for either Dem candidate?

Just a nod to the fact that a majority of my readers are US voters, some of them are in Pennsylvania, and the polls have not yet closed. It’s still the 22nd over there.

  • It’s a no-brainer that with all the animosity between the two campaigns, there are people who have become intransigent and who are voting for their candidate for BAD reasons, primarily the foo-isms.
  • It’s also a no-brainer that either candidate would make a better President than John McCain: they both have strong positives to offer and there are GOOD reasons to vote for either Obama or Clinton. Not everybody who will vote for the Other Candidate is doing so for foo-ist reasons.

If I were a US citizen? First, I would definitely be voting for the Democratic candidate in November no matter who ends up winning the nomination at the Party convention (and the margin is much closer than when other primary races, both Democratic and Republican, have gone toe-to-toe until the convention).

As a left-libertarian progressive, neither candidate’s policies thrill me as any sort of dream candidate – they are both centrists with very similar policy positions who have been promoted vociferously by different arms of the Party (the DNC and Chicago machines). However, in the primaries, I would vote for Hillary Clinton over Barack Obama for two particular reasons which tip the scales for me:

1. The GOP smear machine: Clinton has spent the last 15 years being smeared by it, she has stood strong against the dirt, and there is no new dirt that Rove’s apprentices can throw at her. Kerry folded when he was Swiftboated, Clinton has shown that she never will. Obama is untested by comparison.

2. Reproductive Choice: Clinton is rock-solid. Read that linked transcript – Obama wants to find “common ground” with anti-abortion zealots.

(ETA: I overlooked the H/T to Kate Harding)

Update: Pennsylvania has now been called for Clinton.

Categories: Politics

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15 replies

  1. GMTA, Tigtog!:)
    Kate Harding’s last blog post..Me, Elsewhere

  2. Sorry Kate – I raced this off as fast as my fingers could type when I woke up this morning, and forgot to link you!

  3. N.B. The last time there was a discussion here at Hoyden where Clinton’s capacity to stand against the GOP smear machine was raised, it was suggested that claiming that a Black man couldn’t withstand the smears as well as a White woman could was in itself racist.
    I just want to clarify that I don’t think it’s anything to do with either gender or race that gives Clinton more capacity to withstand the smears, it’s purely her record of longevity of standing against the smears already.
    Of course all candidates will make campaign missteps that will be negatively spun as hard as they possibly can be, but the overarching GOP narrative against Clinton is already known and has been in play for over 15 years – they are not going to come up with any new narrative that they can use against her, because the public knows about Clinton and largely made up their minds about whether those narratives persuade them or not years ago. Obama’s relative “clean-skin” status can be used against him by the GOP much more effectively – they can totally make shit up just like the Swiftboaters did against Kerry and make it believable, because the voters don’t know that much about Obama.

  4. She just seems much more Washington-politics-as-usual than Obama. Every time you see her speak, it’s giving some non-genuine cringe-worthy story about her relationship with god or her going hunting with her grandfather or similar. And her campaign has played much, much dirtier than Obama’s.
    The reproductive choice thing does concern me, but Obama does not come across as a shameless lying politician the way Clinton does. He seems as close to genuine as the fundamentally-broken US political system can produce.
    Jeremy’s last blog post..Dear right-wingers: would you like a free kick? Deveny’s got one for you.

  5. He seems as close to genuine as the fundamentally-broken US political system can produce.

    I see him as equally cynical myself, just a mildly better rhetorician at harnessing the desire-for-change language. Matter of perception.
    I also see what’s needed to defeat McCain as, unfortunately, more in the Washington-politics-as-usual line than the talk-about-change line.

  6. For my money, I think that Obama has a better grasp on the future than Clinton. She seems to me to be just too much in the traditional US monied class mould. I’m very familiar with these women from academic conferences: there is often a sense of unreality about them. I feel that she might be rather a rigid thinker, which wouldn’t be an advantage in office. But it’s a really hard one to call.
    Incidentally, would it be possible to change your code so that the letters in your comment field show up darker? I have real trouble with pale grey on white. 🙂
    M-H’s last blog post..Adelaide idyll

  7. She seems to me to be just too much in the traditional US monied class mould.

    Her family background is pretty ordinary middle-class (her father had a small business), and when she graduated from Yale she spent seven years working for civil rights and public service rather than going straight for the lucrative corporate practice (at which she later did very well, granted).
    Bill and Hill are self-made money, not inherited money. I’m sure that having money now (and for the last few decades)gives them plenty of privilege now, but Obama’s made plenty of his own money as a lawyer too. Not much difference there.

    Incidentally, would it be possible to change your code so that the letters in your comment field show up darker? I have real trouble with pale grey on white. 🙂

    I’m always happy to make the blog as legible as possible, but for me the font in the comments is the same colour as the posts, a dark grey. Do you have a problem with the posts font-colour as well?

  8. Summary of exit poll data from Pam’s House Blend (based on this AP article):

    * About 3% of people who showed up to cast a ballot were first-time voters.
    * Democratic voters were overwhelmingly white and there were more women than men.
    * Nearly 50% were from families that earned less than $50,000 last year. A quarter had household income of more than $100,000 and about as many reported having a postgraduate degree.
    * Three in 10 were union members or had one in their household.
    * Four in 10 had a gun owner in the household.
    * One in five voters said they chose their candidate within the final week of the Pennsylvania campaign. About one in 10 said they made up their mind Tuesday. This benefits Clinton.
    * About one in five voters said the race was a top factor in their decision
    * An equal amount cited the candidate’s gender as a top motivator in their vote.
    * Half of voters said the economy was the most important issue
    * Four in 10 said the country is in a serious recession, and one in 10 didn’t think we are in a recession (!).

  9. Hi tigtog
    I think I agree with you. It’s a hard one. But it might be moot soon.
    Have posted this to Voices without Votes. Any problems please let me know.
    Kevin Rennie’s last blog post..Grey Gurus for 2020 Portal

  10. That’s my analysis too: she has already proved that she’s got what it takes. And Obama’s position on abortion rights is not at all reassuring. Either he’s tailoring his message to a particular crowd, saying what he things people want to hear, or he really doesn’t want to defend reproductive freedom. Neither of those are good things.
    Deborah’s last blog post..Of course! It?s teh girleez? fault!

  11. Pennsylvania has now been called for Clinton.

    Clinton supporters at an election-night celebration here cheered and swapped high fives as all the major US networks called Pennsylvania for the New York senator seeking to be America’s first woman president.
    The margin of her win over her Illinois rival remained to be seen, but with 32 percent of precincts reporting, Clinton was said to be leading with 54 percent to 46 for Obama.

    This win will unequivocally keep her in the race. I’m glad about that. I just wish that there could be more emphasis in the MSM coverage of what both Clinton and Obama offer in contrast to McCain, instead of their small points of contrast with each other.

  12. Sorry Kate – I raced this off as fast as my fingers could type when I woke up this morning, and forgot to link you!
    Oh, no prob! I totally thought we had the same thoughts at the same time, and I thought it was cool!
    Kate Harding’s last blog post..Me, Elsewhere

  13. Seeing your post inspired me to quickly throw up this one, riffing off the same theme. The more the merrier, right?

  14. Both Obama and HC need more than just liberals to win a general election – they are going to have to “reach out” to a lot of unsavory people unfortunately

  15. And also to a lot of ordinary not-that-political people, to persuade them that their little move away from the political centre is the move that the voter should endorse.

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