Would Obama still be ahead if he were a SHE?

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by Unspeaked, Feb 25, 2008.

  1. Unspeaked macrumors 68020

    Unspeaked

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    #1
    I was reading an article over the weekend written by some member of a feminist organization commenting on the race for the Democratic nomination.

    She made an excellent point - one I'd thought of briefly before - about how little respect is given to women in politics, even today, and how if gender were equal and Obama were a black (or white) woman, he'd be trailing Hilary by a huge margin.

    I have to admit, I tend to agree with this observation. This does not necessarily mean I think she's a better candidate, I just think that if the two of them were running their current campaigns with their current resumes and they were both women, Clinton would be getting much more support than she is.

    In fact, I mentioned a while back in a different thread about a whole block of female voters who have been polled and have said that they believe in Clinton's message and think she'd make the best candidate, but simply cannot vote for her since they believe the position of President of the United States of America should belong to a man.

    And it's no secret that black men were given the right to vote over 50 years before women of any color were.

    (Of course, this also opens up the debate of who'd be ahead if Hilary were a black or white man, but that's a whole other can of worms...)
     
  2. miloblithe macrumors 68020

    miloblithe

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    #2
    I think if Obama were a black woman, absolutely she'd be trailing Hillary by a wide margin. Edwards would probably have lasted longer.
     
  3. redfirebird08 macrumors 6502

    redfirebird08

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    Excuses, excuses. If Hillary wasn't the wife of a former President, how would she be doing? You can play the "what if" game all day long.
     
  4. Spizzo macrumors 6502

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    For many Americans, it's the feeling they get from the Candidate that makes them vote. Personally, I think Hillary rubs a lot of people the wrong way. If the only thing to change was Obama's gender, I think it would still be a pretty close race.
     
  5. NAG macrumors 68030

    NAG

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    I tend to think the reason Hillary has problems is because she has an image problem, not because of her gender (although that may be some people's problem with her).
     
  6. miloblithe macrumors 68020

    miloblithe

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    #6
    For those of you who think it's just an image problem, can you name some women politicians in the US who do not have a similar image problem?

    I'm not saying Clinton is perfect. Far from it. But I do think that when it comes to women in leadership positions, there is some fundamental sexism in the US.
     
  7. redfirebird08 macrumors 6502

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    And you don't think Hillary feeds that when she is seen crying on the campaign trail or scolding Obama in her speeches? She questions HIS toughness, and then has the nerve to cry and complain? That's what we call hypocrisy. This is not appealing to the average voter.
     
  8. Legolamb macrumors 6502a

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    One of my earliest memories of politics was watching Barbar Jordan deliver the Dem Convention address. She was rumored to have been groomed by Pres. Johnson and Carter, possibly as Carter's running mate. For such a thing to be considered in the 70's (she was black, lesbian) was unbelievable. I'm surprised there isn't any mention about her any more.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barbara_Jordan
     
  9. miloblithe macrumors 68020

    miloblithe

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    #9
    I'm sure you're well aware that hatred of Hillary Clinton goes back a lot farther than the current campaign. While the stakes have been raised, I don't think that perceptions of her have changed that much since 1993.
     
  10. stevento macrumors 6502

    stevento

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    #10
    i think as this campaign has gone on people have become more and more comfortable with a black and female candidates.
     
  11. miloblithe macrumors 68020

    miloblithe

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    #11
    I hope you're right, but I think that some of the swing from Clinton to Obama is based in a discomfort with a woman candidate. For a lot of people, they are making this conscious decision in part because he's "more positive" or has a better chance of winning, but I do wonder what's beneath that conscious layer.
     
  12. wightstraker macrumors regular

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    #12
    I think the question of race and sex that seems to be surrounding this campaign is reductionist. Ascribing everything to "identity politics" cheapens the debate. Yes, there are sexist people in the United States. There are also plenty of people who just don't like Hillary's politics. This "what if" speculation seems to carry an implicit accusation that if you don't support Hillary, you're a closet sexist (we can see through your "conscious layer!!"). This sort of politics probably bothers a lot more people than Hillary's gender.
     
  13. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

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    #13
    If the guys holding the placards that said 'iron my shirt' at one of Hillary Clinton's campaign stops had also presented placards at one of Barack Obama's meetings saying 'shine my shoes'...

    Which would garner more condemnation?
     
  14. dsnort macrumors 68000

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    I think the question tends to overlook the fact that Obama is a more compelling candidate than Clinton.

    I mean, I'm usually conservative, but I like listening to Obama!
     
  15. abijnk macrumors 68040

    abijnk

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    #15
    Great point.


    I guess I am a little different that a lot of people viewing this race. To me Hillary has been in the public spotlight for so long that I don't think of her as a woman unless someone points it out. I think of Hillary as a ruthless politician, nothing more nothing less. But then again, I am pretty good at having really naive views on stuff like this. :D
     
  16. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

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    #16
    I can't claim credit for it. It was something I read elsewhere a few weeks ago but it stuck with me... can't imagine why. ;)
     
  17. wightstraker macrumors regular

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    Good point, but I'd have to ask what you're trying to prove. Am I sexist because I don't want to vote for Hillary? Are Hillary voters racist because they don't want to vote for Obama?

    I think we can all agree that these sorts of formulations, while telling, oversimplify the debate. Let's leave the deconstruction to self-indulgent professors.
     
  18. miloblithe macrumors 68020

    miloblithe

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    #18
    I don't mean to imply that, let alone state it. I, for one, didn't vote for Hillary. I'm not making any claims about you whatsoever.

    Lots of things end up being reductionist. Reality is pretty complicated stuff. I'm hardly ascribing everything to identity politics, but I do think it's a part of the picture.
     
  19. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

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    #19

    How would I know that? That's not for me to say about you.

    However, I would argue that double standards in the way men and women are treated in the public eye are generally reflected in the general tenor of political analysis, here and elsewhere.

    For example, she's constantly condemned for being ruthless and ambitious, when this is seen as a desirable trait for men. People here call her a harpy; it's just same old, same old.
     
  20. Unspeaked thread starter macrumors 68020

    Unspeaked

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    #20
    I could be wrong, but I think the point the woman in the article I mentioned was trying to make is that the people who say these exact things about Obama would find the same statements a lot less compelling and like listening to them a lot less if they were coming from a female.
     
  21. emw macrumors G4

    emw

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    #21
    The fact that nobody has gone to an Obama rally with such a sign answers your question. There's no doubt it's "more okay", if you will, to be sexist than to be racist.
     
  22. NAG macrumors 68030

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    Still, if they were both the same sex I doubt the outcome would be much different. People don't like Hillary for a variety of reasons. These reasons are not all based on gender. And I'm not going to fall into the trap of listing off a laundry list of female politicians because you'll always find a bigot of one sort or another condemning them. Asking for a universally loved politician is like asking for the sky to not be blue. It doesn't happen that often.
     
  23. miloblithe macrumors 68020

    miloblithe

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    #23
    I don't mean to trap anyone. I think Blue Velvet is articulating the point I'm trying to make better than I am.
     
  24. NAG macrumors 68030

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    This is a bit like asking whether a landfill or an open sewer smells better. Both racism and sexism are bad. Hypotheticals are extremely bad at distinguishing such things.
     
  25. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #25
    So where would Barak Obama be if he wasn't Barak Obama?

    I'll get back to you on that, just as soon as I calculate exactly how many angels can dance on the head of a pin.
     

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