you asked why...

if you are a regular at mydd, you will have noticed a marked change in the last few days - that change reflects an increase in atmosphere similar to dkos with many HRC supporters gone.   this quiet here is combined with some sincere diaries calling for unity or attempting to understand and assuage anger amongst HRC supporters who say they would not vote for BO.  i will attempt to try and explain the way some people are feeling.

first lets take a look at some startling numbers from the exit polls from last tuesday's contests in indiana and north carolina that reflect this problem in a more tangible way.

According to the exit polls, half of Clinton's supporters in Indiana would not vote for Obama in a general election match up with John McCain. A third of Clinton voters said they would pick McCain over Obama, while 17 percent said they would not vote at all. Just 48 percent of Clinton supporters said they would back Obama in November.

Obama gets even less support from Clinton backers in North Carolina. There, only 45 percent of Clinton supporters said they would vote for Obama over McCain. Thirty-eight percent said they would vote for McCain while 12 percent said they would not vote.

Obama voters appear to be more willing to support Clinton in November. In Indiana, 59 percent of Obama backers said they'd vote for Clinton, and 70 percent of Obama backers in North Carolina said they'd support the New York Democrat. 8/05/06/exit-polls-half-of-clintons-supp orters-wont-back-obama/

my take on why people are saying this:

  1. they are turned off by BO's negative campaignin
  2. they want HRC and no one else
  3. they dont like BO or his policies
  4. they are offended at wright/bitter etc.
  5. they found BO hypocritical
  6. they are offended at charges of racism toward a former president and first lady which clearly isn't so
  7. they think BO is a phony
  8. they think BO is too inexperienced

and here is what i believe to be the most responsible for these numbers:


lets look a little deeper at these...

there is often the almost complete disregard for the 14 million voters who have backed HRC's candidacy, as well as the idea that she is their representative in this race. instead, the media and BO supporters treat HRC's entire campaign as some sort of vanity exercise in which voters do not exist.  this includes the accusations of"low-information voters," racism, xenophobia, or suggestions that people who voted for HRC are somehow irrational and voting only on the basis of gender and are stupid or shallow.  

"iron my shirts" ring a bell?  or how about the hatred and condescending treatment you see all over the internet.  even here at mydd which tended to be one of the few last places online that HRC supporters could come freely and not feel inundated by swarms of BO supporters vitriol.  this hateful nonsense can be seen in disgusting diaries and comments.  yesterday - a BO supporter posted a youtube clip which equated HRC to hitler.  even now - its very close to being over, and this nonsense is still going on and probably will go on even when i submit this diary.

which leads me to the media.  they basically decided they did not want HRC in the race and similarly they wanted BO to be the nominee.  the media pile on HRC together with BO's glowing treatment (save for wright redux).  There is not enough room in this diary, but if you want more info on the disgusting treatment by the media, please feel free to see some of my other diaries on this here:

a huge departure from the patriarchal past? um no.

media triumphantism! BO wins NC!

so now the press tells candidates when to quit?

rolling around on their backs like ladybugs.

screw the voters hillary, the media wants you out

olbermann: misogyny 101.

Email to Tom Shales asks: Why the double-standard?

Democrats - the media is failing you

oh, the hypocrisy.

Double standards and negativity are a 2-way street.

With Clinton It Would Be "Hillary Hates Hicks" -- With Obama It's "Compassion"

The Failure of the Fourth Estate.

The Media: BO Campaign Surrogate?

put succinctly by orange fur:  "One thing I don't understand is why some Obama supporters feel a need to defend obviously derogatory comments. When David Shuster accused Clinton of pimping out Chelsea, why did so many of them rush in to defend him? It has nothing to do with Obama. Not every enemy of your opponent is a friend."

many ask themselves what progressive would stand silent, supporting with the cold reserve of ambition the disgracefully sexist, smears and virtriol on a well-respected woman of the same party or political foe?

will it be a kumbaya in november if BO is the nominee?  im not so sure.

There's more...

so now the press tells candidates when to quit?

i posted the diary below last week - but i thought it was fitting since even after a victory in indiana, they are at it again.

this diary is not about debating which candidate will or should win.  simply its about the shameful failure of the fourth estate. i suspect as mydd readers, we can all agree that the media has played a large role in shaping presidential primaries.  we saw it in 2000, 2004 (all to the detriment of the democratic party) and now again in 2008.  in a stunning article about the media during this election primary, eric boehlert at mediamatters discusses "how journalists have behaved during this campaign." and he names names!  as a former media student, i have said for a while now- and is now confirmed in this piece, that books will be written about the media's role in this democratic race.

history continues to unfold on many levels as the protracted democratic party primary race marches on, featuring the first woman and the first african-american with a real shot at winning the white house.  here's another first: the press's unique push to get a competitive white house hopeful to drop out of the race. it's unprecedented.

looking back through modern u.s. campaigns, there's simply no media model for so many members of the press to try to drive a competitive candidate from the field while the primary season is still unfolding.

until this election cycle, journalists simply did not consider it to be their job to tell a contender when he or she should stop campaigning. that was always dictated by how much money the campaign still had in the bank, how many votes the candidate was still getting, and what very senior members of the candidate's own party were advising.


i realize the political debate surrounding the extended democratic campaign remains a hot one, with people holding passionate opinions about the delegate math involved and what the consequences for the democratic party could be. i'm not weighing in on that debate. i'm focusing on how journalists have behaved during this campaign.


and the fact is, the media's get-out-now push is unparalleled. strong second-place candidates such as ronald reagan (1976), ted kennedy, gary hart, jesse jackson, and jerry brown, all of whom campaigned through the entire primary season, and most of whom took their fights all the way to their party's nominating conventions, were never tagged by the press and told to go home.

"clinton is being held to a different standard than virtually any other candidate in history," wrote steven stark in the boston phoenix. "when clinton is simply doing what everyone else has always done, she's constantly attacked as an obsessed and crazed egomaniac, bent on self-aggrandizement at the expense of her party." that represented just a fraction of the often offensive get-out-now proclamations that have become a staple of this campaign.

no longer content to be observers of the campaign, journalists now see themselves as active players in the unfolding drama, and they show no hesitation trying to dictate the basics of the contest, like who should run and who should quit. it's as if journalists are auditioning for the role of the old party bosses.

it's a new brand of political commentary that leaves some veteran journalists perplexed. "the idea that it's your job to tell candidates when to get out, and really trying to control the whole process -- putting it in the hands of the journalists or the reporters or the columnists -- i find that to be new and different," haynes johnson told me last week. a pulitzer prize-winning journalist, johnson has covered more than a dozen presidential campaigns and is currently working on a book about the unfolding 2008 contest.

johnson says he was astonished to read some early calls in march from the media for clinton to get out of the race. he was stunned by "the pomposity and the arrogance of it."


indeed, a very strange leap has been made this year by lots of media commentators who argue against clinton's candidacy. rather than simply detailing her deficiencies and accentuating the strengths of her opponent, which political observers have done for generations, time and again we saw pundits take the unprecedented step of announcing not only that voters should not support clinton, but that she should also quit. she should stop competing.


with clinton, though, the press seems to have almost complete disregard for the 14 million voters who have backed her candidacy, as well as the idea that she is their representative in this race. instead, they treat her entire campaign as some sort of vanity exercise in which voters do not exist.

i highly recommend that anyone who cares about the democratic party (no matter who you support) go and read the full article and sincerely hope that these 'journalists' get taken to task for their behavior.  for those that do not support HRC, maybe this article will shed some light on why so many of her supporters are so dismayed by what we are seeing unfold around us (omitting of course the state of the contest).  but ultimately what we have all witnessed is pretty revealing and makes one wonder why there has been a different standard applied here with this candidate than with anyone else in history... 0001?f=h_column

There's more...

a huge departure from the patriarchal past? um no.

last night was an extremely sad night for some HRC supporters, not necessarily because they are ceding defeat (although some are) not because BO supporters were calling for party unity as a signal this contest is over (many here were extremely classy, some were certainly not - especially in the media) and not because last night's primary results were a surprise.  

no - many were sad because last night was a confirmation that for all HRC's mistakes and missteps, there's no question that sexism has played a part in her ailing campaign.  with her having to endure scrutiny and criticism that no other candidate in this election or history ever has had to put up with.  whether we like it or not, the media does play a large part of the campaign narrative and it has not been kind to either candidate - but the coverage of HRC has been brutal at best, misogynistic at worst.

the media coverage of the clinton campaign will be, for years to come, a textbook case of how the coverage of female candidates differs from that of males. women have to walk a very thin line when they run for high office. on the one hand, they have to appear tough, nothing at all like a sniveling female, and when they do talk tough, they are called "shrill."

as barbara pendleton told the peoria chapter of the national organization for women on march 8, the deeply rooted sexism in the us as seen in the campaign coverage of sen. hillary rodham clinton "hurts us all,"

gender bias: discussion of how clinton looks, laughs, wears, talks, behaves, "even how she claps." "a man demonstrates roughness and strength. a woman who behaves similarly is called icy and rigid.  "his behavior shows compassion and warmth, her behavior shows emotions and weakness. he knows how to work the system, she is manipulative" and "calculating."

discussion of ambition, motivation and drive: "frequently sen. clinton has been charged with being willing to do or say anything to win. when she campaigns hard she is often described as strategizing, calculating or fake. but when men campaign hard it is refusing to cede an inch."

discounting of qualifications and accomplishments: "since her first run for the senate she has been presumed to be where she is today because of her husband. they discredited her achievements and implied that she never could have made it on her own. there were no such implications that george w. bush got a leg up because he was the son of a president and a member of a powerful, rich family."

attacks on supporters: "there is the claim that women who voted for her are somehow irrational, and voting only on the basis of gender. they implied they were stupid or shallow."

for those that doubt me, here is a sampling of some of the `hits:'  

rhymes with "rich"

nagging voice

the double standard

i just want to be happy. why can't you just love me?

crying fits

why does HRC dress so bad?

i hate her. i hate her. all that she stands for

you know how when your dog dies, your wife wants to get a puppy right away?

the reason she's a U.S. senator, a candidate for president, or a front-runner is that her husband messed around."

what has been so troubling is that many democrats actually are denying that this is taking place.  BO may well be the nominee, but please, ask yourself what progressive would stand silent, supporting with the cold reserve of ambition the disgracefully sexist, blatantly anti-feminist attack on a well-respected woman of the same party or political foe?

There's more...

media triumphantism! BO wins NC!

i am watching cnn and msnbc and the election results and cant stop laughing.  the media cant help themselves and the proclamations of vindication - BO is victorious!

"The media didn't see this coming. Back in February, when the new prince was gliding thrillingly up and up toward nomination, a part of the thrill for the media was their happy astonishment that they were no longer cosmopolitan outliers but finally (unlike in 1984 with Gary Hart) in sync with America: Regular folks, white people in Iowa and Virginia and Wisconsin, were actually voting for Obama!

That was then. With the ten-point loss in Pennsylvania, the latest Reverend Wright eruption, and the shrinkage of Obama's leads in the polls, the media are feeling lousy, and not just because their guy is taking a beating. If Obama is deemed to be an effete, out-of-touch yuppie, then the effete-yuppie media Establishment that's embraced him must be equally oblivious and/or indifferent to the sentiments of the common folk." /index1.html

the smugness is honestly disgusting, lanny davis (a HRC supporter) is actaully being laughed at by andreson cooper and the panel of BO supporters or neutrals like Donna Brazile.  (i want to note that BO is not).

what a joke.

There's more...

oh snap. did BO just swipe at his base?

oh snap. did bo just swipe at his base?  the media.

as i have said continually - the fourth estate has been a joke this election cycle.  that being said there has been a media shift or rather equal scrutiny/criticism of both democratic candidates since april.

"proof comes from tyndall report's analysis of the most mainstream of the mainstream media, the broadcast networks' weekday nightly newscasts. in april, the tone of the coverage of barack obama and hillary rodham clinton was roughly equally negative -- but obama suffered twice as much of it"


barack obama received all the benefits of the reality gameshow style of coverage in january and february, when hillary rodham clinton was the frontrunner and he was the obvious challenger to test her fitness for victory. in april he suffered the downside in spades--setting us all up for tuesday's contests in north carolina and indiana. dall/ ml

however i suspect that BO just made a potentially dangerous gaffe in recent comments about political commentators.  this is especially so considering that prior to the last month, he benefited from the unbalanced media coverage for much of this democratic primary.

asked to comment on james carville's recent comment about BO and HRC stating that, "if she gave him one of her cojones, they'd both have two." BO responded on monday's 'nightline' "well, you know, james carville is well-known for spouting off his mouth without always knowing what he's talking about. and i intend to stay focused on fighting for the american people because what they don't need is 20 more years of performance art on television. and that's what james carville and a lot of those folks are expert at ... a lot of talk and not getting things done for the american people."

while carville was certainly inartful in his comments, i certainly don't think that this swipe at the media is necessarily the savviest move on BO's part.  which begs the question, do you think BO was referring to olbermann?

There's more...


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