Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Debating the debate

Apparently it isn't enough for the Democratic Party to upset Florida and Michigan by rejecting their delegates. Now the Democrats are offending Texans. The cause of the uproar: the debate on February 21 at the University of Texas will not be open to the public. Only elected officials can attend. (Polprint presumes that those "elected officials" will mostly not be Texans, a further slight. The ranks of elected Texas Democrats are not especially numerous.)

While we are on the subject of Texas, with its large undermobilised Latino voting contingent, a brief comment on the extraordinary letter sent recently (perhaps yesterday) by two Latino state lawmakers to the Clinton camp. The two lawmakers, both New Yorkers, are offended that Clinton's campaign manager, Patti Solis Doyle, resigned. Her parents were Mexican immigrants. The letter-writers assert:

"It is hard to understand how the Hispanic community that has been there to keep your campaign alive could remain in your corner when the first Hispanic woman to serve as your presidential campaign manager has resigned from her post."

It is hard for Polprint to imagine a sillier letter. The argument seems to be that a Latino should be kept in charge regardless of competence. Perhaps the lawmakers feel that Alberto Gonzales should still be attorney general. In fairness, they do claim that Solis Doyle helped bring the Latino vote in, and no doubt she did. But if Clinton's appeal to Latinos is chiefly attributable to the ethnicity of a prominent staffer, then that is a troubling sign for her campaign.


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Anonymous said...

Perhaps to make your point another way: Today I caught a ride with a black cab driver...a Viet Nam vet with strong ties to the Dems. He said the only Republican he could imagine voting for is McCain. But when I nudged him to declare who actually would claim his vote, he said: "I was ready to vote for Clinton -- she's the most qualified -- but I'm going for Obama. Everybody thinks black people will vote for Obama because he's black. But I don't think that's true. I'll vote for him because I think he can win."

Tony said...

Interesting post, Kate.

Since Hillary's on a losing streak, Solis Doyle was forced to resign. Big deal, life's not fair. Affirmative action might get you in the door but it won't keep you there. In politics like sports, it's all about winning, and when you're losing the boss has place the blame on someone. Ask all the former managers of the Yankees.

Still, I don't know if she's incompetent or not. It depends on what your definition of competence is. Perhaps all that matters is Hillary didn't think she was cutting it. Maybe Obama's simply a better candidate. Hillary's more experienced and qualified in some respects, but there are many parts of the job that Obama may be better at. From what I've observed, Hillary is a bit stronger in a debate but Obama has better people skills and gives a better speech. Plus, he doesn't seem to need to be cajoled into listening to people.

Maybe Solis Doyle can join Obama's team, as it seems the Clintons continue to alienate their former allies.


Jean said...

Doyle is a Latina, not a Latino, as I learned from some very emphatic Latina (and Latino) friends years ago.

And my own favorite politics/ taxi-driver story from about eight months ago ... my cab driver was a naturalized American from Nigeria. I asked him who he supported, and he said "Mr. Green." I was a little slow. "Who's that?" I asked. "Think about it," he said, and then added, "But I could also live with Mr. Obama or Mrs. Clinton."