I’ve promised myself to remain uncommitted with regard to the Democratic primaries, if only because I’m a Danish and not a US citizen and I would hate to have the Americans telling us which party to vote for in our elections, but there is something about Hillary Clinton which has left me puzzled.
Now, for many reasons I’d love to see a woman as president of the US (just as I wouldn’t mind seeing a – euh – non-white as president) but Hillary Clinton has enriched this electoral campaign with some weird statements.
Case #1: Obama-as-Muslim
There’s nothing to base that on. As far as I know.
I’m quoting out of context here – HRC is answering a question the obnoxious reporter have should aked Obama and not her – but as this commentator points out, we get three different answers to the same (irrelevant) question. The only possible answer, unless you really want to use this piece of gossip in your campaign, is something like
Don’t ask me. Ask Obama.
Case #2: Hard-working Whites
Sen. Obama’s support among working, hard-working Americans, white Americans, is weakening again, and … whites in both states who had not completed college were supporting me.
Well, yes, we all know that
Negroes blacks non-whites are a bunch of jailbirds and welfare queens. Not good. And I used to tell my students that Americans are much better at rhetorics than Scandinavians.
Case #3: Go Ahead and Shoot, You’re Doing Me a Favour
We all remember Bobby Kennedy was assassinated in June in California.
Sister, in case anybody tries something funny against Obama in June, you will be in real trouble. And forty years ago, this guy named Martin Luther King was shot.
A campaign isn’t just about rhetorics, and candidates should be allowed the occasional slip of the tongue. I also honestly can’t see HRC as a wing-nutty gun-crazy redneck, so something strange is going on here. Maybe the problem is that HRC’s campaign management has tried to present her as something she is not – neither personally nor politically – and as a consequence, she cracks under stress? Would a campaign that had matched Candidate HRC and Citizen HRC better have been more successful?
And in any event, political scientists who have done the numbers would tell campaign strategists that cultural politics play a larger role for the well-educated and voters with high incomes.1 The one place where HRC’s strategy might work is in … believe it or not – Denmark where blue-collar workers have left the Social Democrats in favour of the Liberals and the Danish People’s Party during the last decade.
- Read Andrew Gelman’s blog [↩]