Wednesday, 9 January 2008

"It's the Economy, Stupid!" or the US Sixteen Years Later: Less Racist Than in 1992, But Just as Troubled

So Obama won Iowa but Clinton wins New Hampshire? The big question now is, of course, who will best combat whatever Republican gets the nod.

In his The Conscience of a Liberal, Paul Krugman has some interesting things to say about how changing attitudes and demographics could make a big difference in the chances of electing a left of center president. Americans are less racist, he asserts. He also argues that the increasing numbers of Hispanic and Asian voters, combined with the African-American vote could make a “movement conservative” attempt to play the race or fear card much less effective than it has been for the last 30 years. But, as he said in his New York Times column Monday, it’s going to be a tough fight.

Reading between the lines, it appears to me that Krugman thinks Clinton would be better at that than Obama with his hopeful albeit rather undetailed message.
But the fact that Obama won in the rural areas of New Hampshire suggests that Krugman is right in maintaining the nation is becoming less racist. I sure would like to think so.

It’s also telling that New Hampshire’s urban areas went for Clinton. Here it may well be “it’s the economy, stupid” just as it was when Bill Clinton came back to win the state’s primary in 1992.

Memo to political junkies: get "The War Room"--about James Carville and Bill's brilliant campaign--from the video store this weekend.


Anonymous said...

Iowa and New Hampshire voters are very sophisticated. They believe it is their birth right and obligation to pick the next president of the USA. They usually pay little attention to polls or what the experts have to say. NH and Iowa politics are personal. You have to look the elector in the eye. You have to convince him you are the best candidate. Just look at how well certain politicians have fared in these states when they were all but dead or could never get elected in any other state. (Pat Buchanan for one comes to mind).

New Hampshire saved Bill Clinton's campaign in 1992, when after the Jennifer Flowers scandal and a dismal showing in Iowa, all the experts said he was on life support and after he would finish last in NH, someone should pull the plug. A strong 3rd place in NH and the rest is history for the "comeback kid".
Same with Hillary, anything less than first place and she would have been in serious trouble. Everyone would assume that Obama as the nominnee was inevitable. Today, the experts who were sure she was going to lose, are trying once again to figure out what happened.
When it come to NH and even Iowa, there are no experts.
"The War Room" is a good documentary and for a lighter look at politics and Bill Clinton, try "Primary Colors".

Jimmy Zoubris

Mary Soderstrom said...

Good points, Jimmy