Who do you think will win the election?

Monday, March 31, 2008

Politically Misunderstood: Obama as a Mixed Race Person

Hey World,
My latest Politically Misunderstood piece is on Barack Obama as a Mixed-Race candidate. Check out a New York Times article that has come out today. It is about how Barack Obama's speech on race has brought more attention to the lives of mixed-race people in America.

It is like the Times has read my mind. I brought up this topic last week in one of my graduate school courses. In the class, I mentioned how the mainstream media doesn't mention the fact that Obama is of mixed-race. All the media does is stress his Blackness but not enough of his Whiteness, or rather, the fact that Obama has qualities of both races. It is as if he has to choose a side.

I think that all people, regardless of race, can take something from Obama's life story, but I think that those of mixed race should especially look to Obama as an inspiration because he can empathize with their struggles in this country. To me, Obama is more American than the other candidates on the ballot because he has members of his family who are both Black and White, and because of this mixture, Obama is the archetype of the American "Melting Pot."

At the same time though, some may argue that Obama relates more to the Black race, which is why he is seen by many as a Black candidate rather than a mixed-race candidate. Obama may also be seen only as a Black candidate due to the revelation of his affiliation with Reverend Jeremiah Wright as well as his comments on his White grandmother. I understand how Obama identifies more with being Black because: a) Phenotypically, he can be seen as more Black than White, and b) America's One Drop Rule that hearkens back to slavery times that, namely, if a person has one drop of Black blood, then they are Black. Nonetheless, even though Obama may feel a sense of acceptance from the Black race that he has not felt from Whites, it does not mean that he does not like his White grandmother or other White people. It is this complexity that makes Barack Obama so appealing to mixed-race people, an entity who have never felt like they belong in just one group. These are folks who are judged their whole lives for being "different," "strange," or "alien." Most people of mixed race can tell you a plethora of stories about being mistaken for being one race over another or being criticized for claiming one race over another. They have stories about "trying to be White" and "not being Black enough" to be considered Black. Or these people have stories about "not being White enough" to be accepted by White people. Of course, I am generalizing, and of course, being of mixed-race in America is more than Black mixed with White. But the Black-White mixture is arguably the mixture that always and will always causes the most controversy because of the complex history America has with Black/White relations.

Anywho, the New York Times has really hit the nail on the head with this. Any thoughts? And check out Obama's speech to get more of a context:

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Hey There Obama!

Hello World,
I happened to check out this Youtube video from a kid who is obviously an Obama supporter. It's a take on the hit song "Hey There Delilah" by the Plain White T's called "Hey There Obama." It's cute, funny, and refreshing to see a kid so young interested in politics. Enjoy!

Friday, March 28, 2008

Politically Misunderstood: Meghan McCain

Hi World,
I am starting a new feature on this blog called Politically Misunderstood. This feature will profile those in the political world who are often misunderstood by the general public. My first topic will be on Megan McCain, one of John McCain's kids.

I was inspired to write this blog piece after reading a Washington Post article on Meghan McCain a few days ago. To make a long story short, the article noted the irony of Meghan, the fact that even though she is the daughter of a presidential candidate, she has no interest in politics whatsoever. She is interested in fashion, movies, and just about everything else except the political world.

Even though Meghan says that she doesn't care for politics, I disagree. She does care about politics because her father is directly involved in it, and because of this involvement, Meghan is able to merge political culture with a style and youthfulness that American politics is seriously lacking. For example, Meghan gives her blog readers a list of things that they don't know about her mother, Cindy McCain. This is smart to me because I feel like Meghan knows that much of the general public doesn't know as much about her mother as they know about the spouses of the other political candidates. Granted, the information she gives is frivolous and not issues-focused, but it humanizes Cindy to me a bit because, up until this point, she just seemed like someone who smiles and nods. Another blog post provides pictures of John McCain's fundraising event at New York's Plaza Hotel. In it, Megan writes a funny caption under a picture of the crowd at the event: "The place was packed full of people... there ARE Republicans in New York! :-)" An ironic comment due to the fact that New York City is very Democratic.

Of course, this is not what spurred me to write about Meghan. What piqued my interest is how she is seen as a silly girl who talks about silly things, but in reality, her media savvyness not only makes her clever, but more relateable. Meghan's relatability is beyond party partisanship, because her take on things appeals to me, and I am a Democrat. Meghan is appealing because she caters to people, especially young people, who are political virgins who probably usually wouldn't be into politics. On her blog McCainBlogette, a visitor to the site writes that she finds Meghan's blog to be "fun and informative without making you feel like you're being pestered to believe one thing or another." Oh and by the way, the person is not only an Obama supporter, but she is also from Great Britain.

Another site visitor from Alabama writes to McCainBlogette: "I have always wondered how I could mesh my love for politics and national events with my love for fashion and fun and still be taken seriously." I totally can relate to this comment because it is the reason why I have chosen to call the blog Politically Chic. I gave it that name because I wanted to give a perspective on politics that was young, hip, and fashionable. A perspective that is the antithesis of the stodgy, old, and White bread image one thinks of in regards to politics, and Meghan McCain is successfully and cleverly doing this.

I wonder if Meghan will still keep this blog going should her father win the presidency, and even if she does, will she be able to be as candid about her thoughts as she is now. If her father becomes president, what Meghan chooses to write or not to write will be given more media attention. It will be harder for her to give her opinions such as, for example, calling Barack Obama, a presidential opponent of her father's, "sexy." It seems like Meghan is already being hassled by the media a bit too much. She wrote a recent blog post admonishing the media for the scrutiny she is getting for not being rail-thin.

Perhaps this blog will enable Meghan to be a different sort of presidential daughter than the ones we have seen in the past, at least if her father becomes our next president. Usually, presidential families are seen and not heard. They are expect to behave themselves at all times and be knowledgeable and interested in politics. Maybe Meghan will be the one to change the rules. I know one thing for sure. Meghan is really not helping her dad to shake the doubt some people may have as to how conservative he is. These doubters may say that if he was really all that conservative, he wouldn't be letting his family members conduct themselves in such a way as Meghan is conducting herself, but it is a free country.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Does Where You Come From Amount to Where You're Going?

Hey World,
I trust the media-savvy readers of my blog to already know that political candidates, especially presidential candidates, are attention-seekers. I mean, they have to be to get anywhere in politics, but in the case of John McCain, this is truly ridiculous. The UK's The Guardian reports that the publishers for McCain's new book are claiming that he is a descendant of the Scottish king Robert the Bruce.

Here we go. This obviously is a ploy from McCain's supporters as a reason for people to vote for the Republican Senator in November. The reasoning is: McCain should be our next president. Why? Well, it's because he is a descendant of Scottish royalty, duh! The Guardian says that it has asked genealogists and medieval historians if this is true, and they say that it's basically "baloney."

Oh and get this. According to a 1999 family memoir, McCain is not only a descendent of Robert the Bruce but also the Emperor Charlemagne. I mean, how random! The people interviewed in the article say that there needs to be a record of documentation that McCain is related to these people, but it is usually "impossible" to find proof of ancestry of those who had lived during the Middle Ages. Some say that Scottish people of Irish descent often claim to be descendents of Robert the Bruce. Basically, the claims McCain's supporters are making are hogwash.

But, as we media-savvy people know, there is a deeper meaning to the story. The point is that it doesn't matter whether or not McCain is really related to these people. What counts is the idea that McCain could be related to kings and emperors. The idea of it justifies, at least in the opinion of his supporters, why McCain should be president. If Robert the Bruce fought the English for the Scots to gain independence, then it only makes sense for McCain, a military hero, to be related to someone like this, or at least that is what his supporters want people to think.

Even if McCain had been related to these people, then who cares? It doesn't make him destined to be president of the United States. I have to admit, though, it is a funny story, but as one historian in the article says: "It's a piece of wonderful fiction."

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Is It Ok to Exaggerate Just a Little Bit?

Hey World,
I am looking at a New York Times article that talks about how Hillary Clinton had exaggerated her experience visiting Bosnia 12 years ago as First Lady. Before, Clinton had said that she ran from sniper fire at a Bosnia airport, but now she says it is the first time in 12 years she had told the story wrong. I mean, no disrespect Mrs. Clinton, but do you expect us to believe that you just realized that you were exaggerating? To be fair, maybe Clinton had lost her memory or something about the Bosnia event, but even if she didn't remember the details, she shouldn't have made it to be more than it was. Clinton did not have to say that she was running from sniper bullets. I mean, she is supposed to be the media-savvy, experienced politician that is aware how quickly something can be dug up about her, especially something untrue. It must have felt like a sniper bullet for Hillary after she had made that statement for the mainstream media to dig up video footage of her and her daughter, Chelsea Clinton, walking calmly from the airplane and even having the time to kiss a child. Yes, Hillary, talking about running for your life!

Again, in all fairness, Hillary may have simply forgot the exact details of that day. Some Doubting Thomases, though, find this difficult to believe, and I don't blame them. I mean, after 12 years you had realized that you have been saying the wrong things. At that, Hillary is now saying that she is exaggerating that it has been 12 years. It seems like she is even trying to make people feel bad for trying to find some sort of truth in what she is saying. Hillary says: “I was joking — I mean, you know, gosh, lighten up guys,” she told reporters. “Obviously I say millions of words every week. There is a lot more room for error when you are talking as much as I am talking.” Oh, talk about fighting words. I'm sure the mainstream media can find plenty of other instances of you making mistakes. Stop biting the hand that feeds you.

I think that Hillary is at a point where she is feeling frustrated because she can't say whatever she wants without someone checking the validity of it. She can't just exaggerate something without being attacked for it. I feel kind of bad for her and other politicians in that respect. They can't be like normal people and exaggerate and say statements off the record. It is at this point one must remember that politicians are human beings who want to have the opportunity to make mistakes like regular folks, but they have to remember that they aren't regular folks. They're political figures. This is the lot in life that they have chosen, and they need to stick to it, through thick and thin.

Any thoughts?

Monday, March 24, 2008

That's What Friends Are For

Hey World,
It seems like Joe Lieberman and John McCain are hanging out a lot together recently. Obviously, it is a strange and rare sight to see, a Democrat and a Republican hanging out together side by side without clawing each other's eyes out. In a way, it makes me like McCain. By the word "like," I don't mean that I am going to vote for him. I mean that McCain is able to be friends with people from other political parties, something that isn't usually done in politics. But in closer analysis of the Lieberman-McCain friendship, it really isn't surprising at all. Joe Lieberman is a firm supporter of the Iraq War just as much as McCain is, so birds of a feather do indeed flock together. I just think that if Lieberman is such a supporter of the war and all, he should be a Republican. Why does he continue to stick with the Democratic Party? According to a Politico.com article, Lieberman may end up having a position in McCain's administration should McCain become president. Perhaps Lieberman is waiting for that to happen so he can have more of an excuse to switch parties. The Politico article discusses another reason why Lieberman and McCain are best friends forever-they both share the same fear of Islamic fundamentalists.

Again, this brings up a point that many people have been having about McCain for awhile, and that is the question of how conservative he is. Can McCain truly be that conservative if he has a Democrat as a close friend and a supporter? Granted, Lieberman is not the typical Democrat, but still. Any thoughts?

It Looks like Obama is Not the Only One Who Has Enjoyed Wright's Company.

Hey World,
I am thinking about the revelation last week that BIll Clinton and Reverend Jeremiah Wright have met each other before. So far, it does not seem as if it is negatively affecting Hillary Clinton's campaign. On one hand, it isn't surprising that no one is making a big deal about it because it is only a picture of Bill Clinton and Wright shaking hands. It doesn't meant that there is anything to reveal. I recall a comment someone had made on a website that basically said so what if Clinton and Wright had a photo op together. It doesn't compare to Obama knowing Wright for 20 years, and it also doesn't compare to Wright marrying Obama and his wife, Michelle, as well as baptizing both of their daughters. In my opinion, I would agree. The Clinton picture doesn't compare to Obama's history with Wright. On the other hand, why was Bill taking a picture with Wright? According to a Huffington Post article, the picture was taken on September 11, 1998 at a White House Meeting of religious leaders. The Post article stresses that Wright is not just any man of faith, but "...a prominent pastor on the American scene " and that Trinity Church "...is a major Chicago institution." In this way, the Huffington Post is providing a background on Wright for those who didn't know much about him. I know that I am being a devil's advocate, but some may think that the Post is being biased by doing this. Why does the Huffington Post need to provide a background on Wright? Is it to keep right-wing conservatives from attacking the Clintons and even Obama about the whole Wright thing? Just putting it out there.

It is also important to note when the picture was taken, it was during the whole Monica Lewinsky scandal. According to the Post article, Bill Clinton had told Wright and the other men of faith that he had "repented." Another note about the photo op is that it was taken on September 11, 1998, and three years later was the infamous 9/11, namely 9/11/2001. I'm surprised that no one has mentioned the coincidence. Maybe its because the situations are different, but you would think that the mainstream media would make some sort of connection. Oh well!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Should Politicians Feel Pressured to Air Out Their Dirty Laundry?

Hey World,
First of all, happy Easter to everyone. Secondly, I just wanted to point out that since it has been about a week since the new governor of New York, David Paterson, has taken office. It is interesting how Paterson felt the need to immediately mention that both he and his wife have had extramarital affairs in the past. So far, everyone seems to not be making a big deal about it. I think that part of the reason people aren't making a big hoopla is because everyone is desensitized from the whole Spitzer fiasco. Another reason is that the general public may have the point of view which says: "Who cares? Paterson is not the first politician who has cheated on his wife. All that matters is that he is a good governor." I think that it was a very smart move for Paterson to admit what he and his wife have done because, for one thing, it shows that he is not a perfect politician but a human being who makes mistakes just like everyone else. Another thing is that the fact that his wife admitted to having an affair too reminded people that women cheat too. The most important aspect of all of this is that by Paterson admitting to his infidelities, the story is not as interesting. If it was revealed later in his administration, then it would have looked worse because Paterson had kept it a secret, but by his admitting it before he starts in his position makes the story of his infidelity less interesting. The gossip is less juicy when the person being gossiped about admits to doing wrong before anyone else gets to uncover his wrongdoing. There is no story there.

The point that I am trying to bring up with the Paterson thing is to bring up the question of whether or not it is ok for politicians to admit their wrongdoings to the public so openly, especially at the beginning of a term in office. Is it commendable for politicians to do this to keep the focus more on their political lives over their personal trials? Or is this an unrealistic action for politicians to do? That is, in admitting a wrongdoing, would it create the opposite result of increased interest in the political figure's personal life? Just some questions to ponder.

Anyway, I wish our new governor well. Hopefully, this infidelity thing is the worst he has done and that there is nothing else to reveal, but I am remaining optimistic.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Is the Time Bomb Ticking for Obama, or Has It Already Exploded?

Hey World,
I don't know what to think about the whole Obama and his pastor mess. Some say that this story is a move from right-wing conservatives trying to bring Obama down, and if this is true, they seem to be doing a good job doing it. The statements Reverend Jeremiah Wright has made in his sermons are inflammatory, but it is important to note that it is not only Wright's statements that are noticeable, but the fact that Obama has been attending Wright's church for 20 years. Obama has stated that he does not always agree with what Wright says, but it is kind of hard to say that if you have been going to someone's church for 20 years. The implication is that you agree with what the man (or woman) of faith thinks, or even if you don't agree, you tolerate what the man of faith says.

This story may be what ruins Obama's campaign for good. Wright's sermons include anti-American rhetoric. The fact that Obama considers Wright to be a mentor says a lot about the company he keeps. Also, and possibly more importantly, there is a concern that deep down inside the psyche of Barack Obama are some of those anti-American sentiments too. It would be ironic, and maybe even hypocritical, to have a U.S. president who dislikes America.

On the other side of the coin, I don't think that Obama thought that this would be a big deal. He may have thought that if the public had even found out about Wright's beliefs, the public would separate what Wright thinks with what Obama thinks. In an ideal world, Mr. Obama, it would be important for people to not judge others based on the company they keep, but unfortunately, this is an imperfect world where a lot of people believe in the "birds of a feather flock together" mentality.

I honestly hope that despite this setback, Obama can still have some semblance of a successful campaign, at least until the Democratic National Convention. Only time will tell.

Monday, March 10, 2008

When The Mask Falls, It Really Makes a Thud!

Hey World,
As a political blogger and a native New Yorker, I feel like I have to respond to the Eliot Spitzer situation. This is eerily reminiscent of the former New Jersey Governor Jim McGreevey's scandal a few years back, but not as juicy. I mean, what's more appealing to a gossip's ears, a married, high-profile politician involved in a prostitution ring, or a married, high-profile politician who has a secret gay lover? You all decide.
But more importantly, what are some of the implications of the Spitzer scandal. According to Politico.com, Spitzer could have become the first Jewish president of the United States had it not been for this scandal, or at least that is according to Spitzer supporters. If you ask most people, the chance of Spitzer becoming president is unlikely, regardless of the scandal. Why? Well, you see, to be considered president of the U.S., it would help to be liked by people, something that Eliot Spitzer is not very good at-namely, being liked. Hillary Clinton is not going to support him, even though she is a Senator representing New York, because Spitzer is in favor of giving driver's licenses to illegal immigrants, something which I personally think is a stupid idea that takes focus away from the larger issue of making illegals naturalized citizens. Obviously, Clinton also would not be dying to support Spitzer because she is a presidential candidate with an image to maintain. Besides Hillary, Spitzer has plenty other enemies with his abrasive political style.
The big question that is on everyone's mind is whether Spitzer will resign or not. It seems that he probably will be forced to resign not only due to the shame of the scandal, but possibly because of the hypocrisy of it as well. The hypocrisy, namely, of a public figure like Spitzer who often criticizes other people getting his just desserts.

Later Dayz.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

The 2008 Campaign is Full of Bull!

Here is a funny clip from The Onion News Network about bullshit in the 2008 political race. Very funny, especially the crack about Hillary Clinton!

Later Dayz!

This should make you laugh ( Really, It Should)!

Hey World,
Here is The Fake News, a news satire series starring Saturday Night Live alum Norm Macdonald. I died laughing with his story on John McCain and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg!

Obama Races Against Hillary in Wyoming

Hey World,
A quick update. Barack Obama leads in the Wyoming Democratic primary against Hillary Clinton. According to CNN, the percentage is 58 percent Obama, and 41 percent Clinton. Voice of America News says that Obama is leading by 61 percent to Clinton's 38 percent. The presidential candidates are deadlocked for the Democratic presidential nominations. Right now, Clinton and Obama are competing for 12 delegates in Wyoming, and 33 delegates in the Mississippi primary on Tuesday. It goes to show you that is the reason why some people LOOVE politics: because it is unpredictable. Earlier this week, Clinton was on top of the world with wins in Ohio, Rhode Island, and Texas, but now things are starting to suck for her again. This race is so unpredictable. John McCain must be sighing a sigh of relief that he doesn't have to go through the crap that the Democratic candidates have to go through. It's easy street for him, at least until the time leading up to the general elections.

Monday, March 3, 2008

It's Crunch Time for McCain

Hey World,
It looks like John McCain is hoping to gobble up the delegates in Ohio and Texas in order to nab that GOP nomination. It seems like it should be a cincher for McCain to get the nomination, but people tend to forget that Mike Huckabee is still in the race. According to a cnn.com article , Huckabee could still block McCain from getting the nomination. A political analyst says that Huckabee could win the delegates from the four states that are having primaries tomorrow, namely, Vermont, Texas, Ohio, and Rhode Island.
Speaking of Huckabee, the Dallas Morning News is supporting him, but at the same time, it doesn't think he can win the election. I guess that is a combination of a compliment and an insult. I guess that we have to see what happens in the next few days. In my opinion, McCain is probably going to get the GOP, even though Huckabee may be more committed to conservative values than McCain. And whatever happened to Ron Paul? Can someone tell me? No, really, this is not a joke. What happened to him?

Later Dayz