John Edwards

Ladies Love Cool John

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Jeff Taylor blogged last week about John Edwards' hiring of Amanda Marcotte, a blogger who'd entered the fight against the accused Duke lacrosse players armed only with her feminism and some expletives. As Ezra Klein discovered, the story got silly very quickly; National Journal's (normally pretty great) blog reporter Daniel Glover accused Marcotte of scrubbing more ugly info from the blog, when in fact it had been lost in a software update.

Whatever. This isn't very interesting. What is: Why John Edwards has attracted such mainstream and bloggish support from feminists. NARAL's former honcho Kate Michelman backs Edwards. Edwards' second big blog hire was Shakespeare's Sister, who isn't explicitly a feminist blogger, but could be lazily characterized as such.

Hillary's run is historic. And there was a certain part of me that said, "How could you not be a part of this given all you've worked for?" And I do think it is really exciting and important and Hillary is a very fine candidate. But, again, for me, John's vision was very compelling. And women are not going to vote only because we have a woman running, but rather look at who will do the most for women and families. That's not to say that Hillary or Barack or Bill Richardson won't do good things for women. I just don't think it's an automatic vote [for Hillary] because you're a woman, though many women [may] feel they have to support the first woman candidate.

So Hillary is having trouble winning over feminists; Obama is having trouble winning over blacks. If the primaries come along and Obama/Edwards win women while Clinton wins blacks, I believe every pundit in the universe will have been wrong.

NEXT: Another in the "Can They Really Get Away With That?" File...

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  1. Well, then again, it’s not like Hillary’s only half female…

  2. people voting on their principles, instead of some group/ demographic identity (race, sex, political party, etc.). what is the world coming to?

  3. You want to see pundit get it wrong?

    Find one who predicts that white males won’t vote overwhelmingly for the white male in the general election.

    For some reason, that segment of the voting public seems immune from demographic-based analysis.

  4. Dear Diary: Hillary’s run is historic. And there was a certain part of me that said, “How could you not be a part of this given all you’ve worked for?” And I do think it is really exciting and important.

    OK, I added the diary bit.

  5. “For some reason, that segment of the voting public seems immune from demographic-based analysis.”

    because the standard assumption is that they won’t vote for anyone but other white males?

    i have no idea if this is the actual case or not, but that seems to be the consensus.

  6. I’m kind of a big deal.

  7. Find one who predicts that white males won’t vote overwhelmingly for the white male in the general election.

    Gosh, joe, I think you’re on to something there!

    I bet nearly 100% of white males voted for either Bush (a white male) or Kerry (another white male)!

  8. Does this mean that Hillary is not an ‘authentic’ female?

  9. Hey, if it was a technical glitch that conveniently deleted the post, I apologize. Amanda is a nutjob, but at least not a chicken-shit nutjob.

    As for Edwards, deep down some Democrats are scared that a Hillary Clinton or Barrack Obama nomination will result in an ass whipping. Clinton has huge negatives and no chance to pull a big slice of the middle. By the way, I think a fair number of people dislike Clinton not because she’s a woman, but because she’s Hillary Clinton. The worry about Obama is that he’s a shallow flash in the pan. He’s hot now, but it is a long way to election day. Edwards is a matter of electoral pragmatism. Just watch… the pro “safe” candidate folks will court Obama as a running mate. They want the reward, but not the risk.

  10. RC,

    Work on that “verb tense” thing.

    dhex,

    “because the standard assumption is that they won’t vote for anyone but other white males?”

    I think it’s more the Chris Matthews problem – white Christian heterosexual males are “normal people,” and everyone else is a “group.” Hence, black voters get compared to “overall,” women voters get compared to “the electorate” (although this changing somewhat).

    You often see statements in the conservative press that “Democrats would never win an election if it weren’t for black voters,” written to demonstrate the alienation between Democratic candidates and “ordinary people,” but you never see the reverse.

  11. Cool L. L. Cool J. reference.

  12. Yeah Joe,

    They would never vote for anything other than a white man, I guess that is why Powell won every straw poll for President and could have walked away with either party’s nomination had he wanted to. Who are you kidding. White people are dying to show they are not racist by voting for a black candidate. What do you think the Obama boomlet is? He is a black candidate who is not a race hussler like Sharpton or Jackson. The guy has little or no pull in the black community but has white people lining up for him before they even know what he wants to do.

  13. “that is why Powell won every straw poll for President”

    In a multi-candidate field, a candidate with a cohesive minority can hold a plurality. In actual primary campaigns, as the also rans drop out, their supporters find other candidates. How many Phil Gramm supporters would have picked Powell over Dole? I guess we’ll never know.

    “White people are dying to show they are not racist by voting for a black candidate.” I know. And yet, as is often pointed out, the desire to engage in symbolic anti-racism can exist side-by-side with buried racism. If Obama wins the nomination, we can expect to see an avalanche of “character” ads portraying him as soft on crime, a “corrupt urban” politcian, and suspiciously Muslim-ish, followed by millions of white males (and some females) saying sentences that being with, “I’d looooovvvvve to vote for a black candidate, BUT…”

  14. Am I the only one here who thinks John Ritter whenever he sees John Edwards? Every time I see him on stage or about to walk to a podium I’m expecting him to tumble over a couch or something.

  15. Actually, the more I read this sentence, the more I think joe is really kicking his fellow white male Dems in the crotch:

    Find one who predicts that white males won’t vote overwhelmingly for the white male in the general election.

    Let’s say that the Dem nominee is not a white male. Am I wrong in reading this to mean that joe is positing that white males will vote overwhelmingly for the Republican, presumably white male, candidate? (I realize joe has couched this sentence in tangled and obfuscatory syntax, but I think that’s the sense of it.)

    This would require the substantial minority (if I may use that term) of white males who now vote Dem to switch parties, solely because the Dem nominee is not a white male.

    How is this not a claim that the white male Dem base is racist/bigoted?

  16. So Hillary is having trouble winning over feminists; Obama is having trouble winning over blacks.

    Cats chasing dogs… next thing you know, George Bush will have trouble winning over conservatives.

  17. “How many Phil Gramm supporters would have picked Powell over Dole?” – joe

    Pretty much all of them, I’d guess. I mean, even in the post-election popularity surge that Dole enjoyed, after he finally lightened up and stopped trying to be so “presidential” -not like he doesn’t already resemble a Dead White Guy! – just about everyone likes Powell better. And they liked Powell better then, too. Regardless of whether they’d have supported Gramm in the primaries OR the election.

    It’s funny that Powell – who chose not to run and is by all accounts a Republican (the political affiliation joe holds in the deepest contempt) – is the guy joe uses to try to show that white guys will only vote for a white guy candidate.

    joe has really committed himself, of late, to some pretty extreme nonsense. (Maybe he’s been reading too much Amanda Marcotte lately.)

  18. RC,

    Your gleeful skylarking falls apart base don one simple, obvious observation: White males already vote overwhelmingly for the Republican candidate. Getting this overwhelming majority does not require a change in the voting pattern of us white male Dems. We could continue to vote for the Democrat as always, and a large majority of our demographic brethren would still vote for the Republican.

    I’m not predicting a big switch, just a continuation of the existing pattern. Which is, as you apparently try very hard not to notice, to vote for the white male candidate.

  19. rob,

    Republicans talking about how much they liked Powell weren’t being asked to vote for him after a political campaign in which the intellectua heirs of Lee Atwater got to make ads aimed at making him look bad to Republican primary voters. Cripes, look at what the Republican establishment did to McCain in the South!

    BTW, I didn’t pick Powell. John brought him up.

  20. “the desire to engage in symbolic anti-racism can exist side-by-side with buried racism. If Obama wins the nomination, we can expect to see an avalanche of “character” ads portraying him as soft on crime, a “corrupt urban” politcian, and suspiciously Muslim-ish, followed by millions of white males (and some females) saying sentences that being with, ‘I’d looooovvvvve to vote for a black candidate, BUT…'”

    Well, Joe, maybe it’s just my Monday crabbiness, but saying that “millions” of white people won’t vote for a black candidate because he’s black sounds like a racist statement.

  21. What about the info that Amanda has scrubbed from her blog?

  22. That makes perfect sense, Jose, because only a racist would notice that racism exists.

  23. Your gleeful skylarking falls apart base don one simple, obvious observation: White males already vote overwhelmingly for the Republican candidate.

    Really? Got any data to back that up Joe?

  24. While I disagree with joe’s claim that white males are immune from demographic analysis, the truth of the claim that white males overwhelmingly vote for Republicans hinges on what one considers “overwhelming.” They favored Bush over Kerry 62-37 in 2004. That may not be the same kind of “overwhelming” seen among blacks of either gender, or white evangelicals for example, but I for one still think it merits that adjective.

    http://www.cnn.com/ELECTION/2004/pages/results/states/US/P/00/epolls.0.html

  25. Also, this country has a lot of people in it, and “millions” of white male voters could mean fewer than 5% of them (2 mil / [120 mil * 36%]). Put that way, is it still hard to believe that so many might not vote for a particular candidate because of his race?

  26. For the trifecta,

    I will put this question to joe, though. Since an individual voter who traditionally has supported conservative or Republican candidates wouldn’t vote for Obama because of his ideology, isn’t it necessary that millions of traditional independents, liberals, and Democrats abandon Obama because of his race in order for your statement to be true? Put in that context, doesn’t it seem less likely?

  27. Nascar Dad,

    Just to set the record straight, I’m not talking about “I’ll never vote for a Negro” voters. They are probably a tiny fringe of the electorate, and are probably outweighed considerably by “I’d love to vote for a black candidate” voters.

    What I’m saying is that there are many voters who could honestly say that they’re voting against Obama because of his individual beliefs and aptitudes, whose perceptions of those beliefs and aptitudes could be more easily swayed by advertising that uses his race and name to draw a picture of him – even among many people who are avowedly anti-racist, and eager to prove it by voting for the right black candidate.

    And yes, what I’m talking about would require independents and some Democrats to turn against him, though not liberals. There are plenty of “blue dog” Democrats and DLC chickens afraid that somebody might realize what the D stands for who can be pretty easily stampeded away from anyone deemed insufficiently “All-American.”

  28. Ah, Joe, that is why you are qualified to be a Democract/liberal/progressive/new urbanist planner… and I am not. You have the ability to peer into the souls of millions of strangers and know their white-as-Wonderbread hearts. I, on the other hand, barely know my own soul on a given day.

    Personally, Joe, I think that “Willie Horton”-style attacks on Obama would backfire badly. He’ll get beat up before the Democratic primary, but it won’t have anything to do with race… it will be about his lack of experience.

    I suspect that after the Howard Dean meltdown, some Democratic party lever-pullers are about the same thing happening to Obama.

  29. whose perceptions of those beliefs and aptitudes could be more easily swayed by advertising that uses his race and name to draw a picture of him – even among many people who are avowedly anti-racist, and eager to prove it by voting for the right black candidate.

    Hmmm … perhaps. And according to a crack research staff across Yale, Harvard, and a few not so ivy league schools, there is a similar proportion of black folks (as whites) so easily swayed. That is, black folks, like white folks, will generally make the same implicit negative associations for a black candidate.

    I, on the other hand, have taken the Harvard test and have no implicit bias against black people, or fat people for that matter. And I wouldn’t vote for Obama anyway, even if he was black.

  30. Since an individual voter who traditionally has supported conservative or Republican candidates wouldn’t vote for Obama because of his ideology, isn’t it necessary that millions of traditional independents, liberals, and Democrats abandon Obama because of his race in order for your statement to be true?

    Pretty much the way I read joe’s original comment, yeah.

  31. What I’m saying is that there are many voters who could honestly say that they’re voting against Obama because of his individual beliefs and aptitudes, whose perceptions of those beliefs and aptitudes could be more easily swayed by advertising that uses his race and name to draw a picture of him – even among many people who are avowedly anti-racist, and eager to prove it by voting for the right black candidate.

    And joe delivers another swift kick to the crotch of the Dem voter!

    Quite the high opinion you have of your fellow Dems, there, joe.

  32. Bona fide black guy Doug Wilder got himself elected governor of Virginia back in the 80s. There was no way he could have been elected without a good number of white-guy votes.

    In Virginia. Home state of George “macaca” Allen and Virgil “aaaah! Muslims!” Goode and Jerry “I’m completely batshit insane” Falwell. I don’t mean to insult where I grew up, but somehow I doubt that late-80s Virginia was more racially progressive than the current United States as a whole.

  33. It doesn’t seem to matter that much to me that this Glover guy jumped the gun a little. Amanda Marcotte strikes me as the liberal version of Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter, FoxNews. So this stuff about Ezra Klein defending her cuz someone was hasty, well that just doesn’t seem like he biggest sin here. Perhaps he should have asked her, but I’ve exchanged emails with her before, and can attest that it can be unpleasant and unproductive, kinda like watching FoxNews.

    So Bill Clinton called out extremists (Sista Soljah) and John Edwards befriends them, lets sit back and see which one is more effective.

    In the mean time, Amanda will be traveling to North Carolina, which according to her, is a place where “women and black people are seen as subhuman objects to be used and abused by white men.” Never mind the fact that the boys accused were yankees, just fuck those facts in the ass.

    I hope she can avoid the terrible dilemma of being female in North Carolina.

    I will so enjoy voting for Hillary or Obama over the guy who hired Bill O’ Rei…I mean Amanda Marcotte.

  34. The post to which you linked is not mine. It was authored by one of my co-bloggers, which you can tell by the line just below the headline which reads: “posted by somewaterytart.” I would appreciate if the attribution was corrected.

  35. “Republicans talking about how much they liked Powell weren’t being asked to vote for him after a political campaign in which the intellectua heirs of Lee Atwater got to make ads aimed at making him look bad to Republican primary voters.” – joe

    Exactly how do you think the Democratic candidate will separate him/her self from the pack this year? Man, if I wasn’t so disgusted by the whole process I’d actually think it was going to be a good year for you to come to terms with the fact that Dems & Repubs are the same creatures.

    “Cripes, look at what the Republican establishment did to McCain in the South!” – joe

    Jumping from Powell to McCain isn’t exactly helping you make your point. McCain is one of the whitest guys on the planet. This is how candidates are treated, it’s how the primary games are played and it doesn’t matter if it’s Rep or Dem, black, white or other.

    “BTW, I didn’t pick Powell. John brought him up.” – joe

    But your point is still based on using him as an example. Doesn’t matter that John brough up Powell, you’re the guy who is subsequently basing a very bizarre point (can’t call it logic because it’s WAY too subjective) on what you think other people think about Powell/any other non-white candidate.

    The fact that you think you know the hearts and minds of other people just goes to show how far out there you really are on this.

  36. I see Joe hasn’t posted anything supporting his assertions even after I asked. Further, I’ll note that he has shifted his claim form voting from “males voting for the white male” to “males voting for the Republican candidate” and then pretend they are identical.

  37. Oh and Ezra Klein’s lame excuse is pretty lame. Part of the problem is that some of Amanda’s comments vanished, but those responding to her did not. Gee, that is a mighty selective software glitch and what a coinky-dink that it hit just Amanda’s posts. Too bad Weigel didn’t do a bit mroe digging on this.

    As for the Klein’s claim that Amanda wont answer critics, she has basically said so in a post. She has written that any e-mail that is even vaguely supportive of the defendants in the Lacrosse case will be deleted. So, either Amanda is a liar or Klein is. Take your pick.

    Oh, and Weigel, I’d recommend reading K.C. Johnson’s blog on anything related to the Duke Lacrosse case, you’ll look less un-informed that way.

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