Democratic primary omnibus

As I’ve been thinking about the democratic front-runners, I’ve been taking note of how different desis have been choosing sides.

Key Clinton advisor Neera Tanden made it clear in the New Yorker Magazine that she thinks Obama is too soft for the dirty work of winning an election:

Advisers to Clinton told me that there is something naïve, even potentially fatal, in Obama’s vision of leading the country out of its current political battles… Obama will be annihilated by what members of the Clinton campaign call “the Republican attack machine.” Neera Tanden, the campaign’s policy director, … cautioned that the general election will be brutal. “You cannot let your guard down with these guys,” she said of right-wing politicians. “They take people’s strengths and make them weaknesses; if you give them an inch, they’ll take a mile. …Both of the Clintons have been through it and won before.” [Link]

From a more parochial perspective, the Clintons have a decades long association with South Asians:

No other candidate has raised more money from the Indian America community than Hillary Clinton. More Americans who trace their roots to India are working for Hillary Clinton. [Link]

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p>As a young’un 16 years ago I worked a South Asian fund raiser at the Waldorf for the Candidate Bill Clinton (just after the Gennifer Flowers scandal). There’s a reason why Hillary herself cracked:

“I can certainly run for the senate seat in Punjab and win easily,”… [Link]

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p>However, as the primary season (and general election) grew nearer, Hillary distanced herself from public appearances with Sikhs, perhaps to avoid more photos like these. Instead, she cancelled several fundraisers and refused to engage with issues that were important:

She stands up for the Sikh community when politically expedient. On the campaign trail, she made several cancellations to appear with Sikhs in public and refused to join Obama in supporting the Sikh Coalition’s appeal to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to protect turbans from searches at airports. [Link]

In general, Obama has shown more commitment to defending civil-liberties, even when unpopular, than Hillary. According to Gitmo detainee lawyers Gita Gutierrez, Elizabeth Arora, and Varda Hussain:

Senator Obama helped lead the fight in the Senate against the Administration’s efforts in the Fall of 2006 to strip the courts of jurisdiction …Senator Obama worked with us to count the votes, and he personally lobbied colleagues who worried about the political ramifications of voting to preserve habeas corpus for the men held at Guantanamo. He has understood that our strength as a nation stems from our commitment to our core values, and that we are strong enough to protect both our security and those values. [Link, via UB]

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p>Civil liberties in the US is a brown issue to me because South Asians are far more likely than white Americans to get locked up and forgotten about by the system.

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p>In terms of race, the Clintons have gone out of their way to point out that Hillary is the white candidate (and is she ever – have you seen her dance?). Obama, on the other hand, comes across as an immigrant. He talks openly about both family in the United States and on the other side of the world, and his own upbringing betwixt and between has helped to shape his outlook on politics:

Senator Obama’s political outlook is shaped by truly having been a citizen of the world. He was born to a black Kenyan father, and a white mother from Kansas. A self-made man, he was raised by his single mother and maternal grandparents in an environment without many material advantages. His paternal African grandmother still lives in a Kenyan hut without running water and electricity…Senator Obama can passionately engage with, actively listen to and respectfully speak with people of all backgrounds and faiths. [Link]

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p>In this way, Obama comes across as the quintessential second-gen politician and his comfort with his identity stands in sharp contrast to repeated efforts by Jindal to whitewash himself. Whereas Piyush ran as Bobby, Barack did not run as Barry, even though he was once known as such. While Jindal, despite having been the former chancellor of LSU, ran away from the killings at LSU; Obama took time out of his schedule to call politicians in Kenya when election violence began, and has openly remained involved since.

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p>I suspect that the age-gap amongst Clinton and Obama supporters is replicated in the division between first and second generation brownz. And who better to exemplify 2nd genniness than Mr. Namesake himself?

And while we’ve posted it before, it’s worth nothing that Obama is the only candidate in either party to inspire this sort of creative bolly style adulation:

118 thoughts on “Democratic primary omnibus

  1. The Election is now over and Obama is gonna win cause he just get the biggest endorsement ever. None other the great Hulk Hogan has said he is supporting Barack Obama. So there is no way he could lose now. I wouldn’t mind seeing a Obama/Hogan ticket.

    So whatcha gonna do when Obamamania and Hulkamania run wild on you.

  2. Obama is a fraud. Many Indians are deeply hurt by his campaigns D-Punjab charge of the Clintons. His apology was very patronizing. I plan to organize and distribute against such an intolerant person from winning the highest office in the world. I will vote for those that support India the most whether they be Democrat or Republican. His anti-India policies are disgusting and scapegoating that he lies to everyone about. Though I am a Democrat I will vote for McCain over Obamas ignorant campaign any day. I hope we never see a day where a person like this wins. Please spread the word and demand a proper public apology by Obama. He acts like he is above it all, when in reality he is just a fraud.

  3. Post #88 by Ennis (and by other Obama supporters) stated the 1988 primary being locked up by the time the South Carolina vote occurred. Here’s a contradictory excerpt from today’s NY Times http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/02/04/when-super-tuesday-wasnt-decisive-1988/

    “The contest remained wide open until March 8, Super Tuesday, which narrowed the field but failed to produce a clear front-runner. Mr. Dukakis won six primaries (including Texas, Florida and Massachusetts, the three largest states that had contests that day) while Mr. Gore and Mr. Jackson split the southern states. Mr. Gephardt was far behind.”

  4. “The contest remained wide open until March 8, Super Tuesday, which narrowed the field but failed to produce a clear front-runner. Mr. Dukakis won six primaries (including Texas, Florida and Massachusetts, the three largest states that had contests that day) while Mr. Gore and Mr. Jackson split the southern states. Mr. Gephardt was far behind.”

    The front runners didn’t bother to campaign in SC in either of the years that Jackson won there.

  5. For those who went to the polls in NY, on the democratic machines, did anyone notice that Hillary was at the very top of the slate while Obama was at the very bottom after people like Biden and Edwards? Was it only my polling place?

  6. When Jackson won in SC, both times the nominee had been chosen…

    Ennis, the NY times linked article does demolish your assertion above. Did the candidates cede South Carolina because the large Black electorate would vote for Jackson, err I mean Obama? So maybe the victories of Obama and Jackson in South Carolina are comparable.

  7. 109 · ptr_vivek said

    That was the layer you’re supposed to peel off. Then you’ll clearly see that Obama’s at the top.

    That’s funny! I should have guessed the democratic party would have given Hill top billing making it easier for people to see her and vote for, but, I didn’t think they would try and bury him at the bottom of the slate. Not really an effective tactic, anyway.

  8. For those making the Jackson = Obama comparison, your arguments are buried in the skin color of both men. Jackson placed a distant third (a la Edwards) in 1984 and ran a much closer race in 1988. In neither election did he win Iowa, nor did he poll as closely in the state-to-state returns (although his national numbers looked better in 1988 than they did in 1984). To continue to make the comparison, which rests on the very large assumption that Obama ONLY won South Carolina because of a black voting bloc), just makes you look narrow-minded and dense, not edgy and provocative.

  9. Camille, I don’t know what’s set your knickers on fire in the last hour or so, but I lurve it. Go on with your bad self, you masterpiece, you.

  10. Camille, I don’t know what’s set your knickers on fire in the last hour or so, but I lurve it. Go on with your bad self, you masterpiece, you.

    Limited commenting time paired with strong reactions to a series of bonehead comments (no harm meant to the folks who made these comments — I generally respect each of you and am frustrated with the boneheadedness, which, in my opinion, does not characterize your other comments or yourselves). :)

  11. For those making the Jackson = Obama comparison… Jackson placed a distant third (a la Edwards) in 1984 and ran a much closer race in 1988. To continue to make the comparison, which rests on the very large assumption that Obama ONLY won South Carolina because of a black voting bloc), just makes you look narrow-minded and dense, not edgy and provocative.

    In blogs facts get in the way of opinions. Jackson != Obama… however, Obama’s win is comparable to Jackson’s win in 1988. Nothing wrong with getting 80% of Blacks as Jackson and Obama both did. Jackson won 11 states in 1988.

    Obama is a better candidate with a wider base. Blacks still strongly identify with him as do younger voters.

  12. however, Obama’s win is comparable to Jackson’s win in 1988. Nothing wrong with getting 80% of Blacks as Jackson and Obama both did. Jackson won 11 states in 1988.

    Yes, but only if you look at his SC win in total isolation. I’m not disagreeing about the similar dynamics in the state, but about the larger context of the (series of primary) election(s) :)

  13. Jayalalitha, an ex CM (I suspect) is a lesbian. She is living with her girlfriend. ?! Are you referring to Sasikala? Wasn’t Jayalalitha associated with MGR and with Shobhan Babu? Must not be a fussy lesbian then.

    Further proof that Jayalalitha is a lesbian. She performed the 60′th birthday re-marriage cermony by exchannging garlands with Sasikala in a temple.

    link