Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Identity Politics (Brazile v. Begala)

For many of the last several UGA campaign discussion group sessions, identity politics has been one of the key buzzwords when the topic has been the Democratic race. Strategists Paul Begala and Donna Brazile (see below) pretty much summed up the potential difficulties the Democrats face once a nominee is chosen and begins campaigning for the general election. Is it really "blacks and eggheads" vs. blue collar workers? As long as this race for the Democratic nomination continues it is. The big question: Will a continued Clinton/Obama battle drive these factions further into their respective corners, making it harder to bring the two back together in the fall?

Recent Posts:
Primary Day, Part XVI (The IN & NC Edition)

The Rules and Bylaws Committee vs. The Credentials Committee

Obama's Caucus Strategy


Robert said...

I was watching that spirited discussion last night. Later it was pointed out that the last time the Democrats won working-class males was by Lyndon Johnson in 1964. I think it is very hard to believe that many Clinton voters are likely to support McCain once they realize that the war won't be over for several years, the Bush tax cuts are to be renewed and that his health-care policy is an extension of the Medicaid drug plan.

Josh Putnam said...

We will have to see. I still find it hard to fathom that there will be that much defection to McCain. There were reports of booing at the Clinton rally when Obama was speaking last night. Sure, that's a rally, but I wonder how deeply that feeling runs. Even if those voters just stay home, that is still a vote for McCain to some degree.

Robert said...

I don't see people staying home when there are hotly contested Congressional races, particularly if the economic picture doesn't become much rosier between now and then. Remember right after McCain got the nomination, Ann Coulter and friends were going out to campaign for Hillary. There will need to be fence-mending, but I still think they can pull it together.

Josh Putnam said...

Yeah, I don't see those folks staying home either. Not in a "change" election. They'll have a choice between small change and big change. And I think June to August (and beyond) will give the Dems plenty of time to mend fences.

I still don't get the sense that this is Carter-Kennedy. It will be interesting, however, to see how deeply those feelings do run among the supporters of the loser. My gut tells me they will be more shallow than they seem now.