Power and Politics - I am Not the Yellow Peril

The life and times of an Asian American activist who tells all the truth (and dishes news and analysis) but with a leftwards slant.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Wow, game on!

So the New Hampshire results are back in, and it turns out that Hillary's tearing up in a public setting did get her the female vote, overwhelmingly. And it means that this is really game on, as we move to Nevada, where a large number of voters are union members and the Culinary Workers Union's endorsement has the impact of a 16 wheeler.

Nevada is a conservative culture, more so than New Hampshire, and in the gambling towns, it's a 24-7 culture, a mix of greed, necessity, survival and personal destruction. It has a large Latino and Asian American population, two ethnic votes that are definitely the swing votes. It's mostly desert and basically, politically combustible. If I had to predict who Nevadans would go for, I would say Clinton. But if the culinary workers go for Obama, then all bets are off.

Also, I cannot strongly emphasize enough how important the APIA vote in Nevada is - if the race there is decided by a few percentage points, we will have surely made the difference. Also don't forget that the APIA leaders in Nevada are mostly in Clinton's camp, but that many of the Asian Americans who are in Nevada work in the casinos, and moved from California. I would even venture that Nevada, not South Carolina, is Clinton's next firewall. That being said, I know that Clinton's campaign considered New Hampshire her firewall, and they managed to stay afloat in it. (Read my analysis of how they won.)

---> BREAKING: Nevada SEIU endorses Obama. This is a pretty clear indicator of where the Culinary workers' union will go, and where the national unions will go.
This means that progressive labor is going hard for Obama as the anti-Hillary, driven by a distrust of her time as a Wal-Mart board member, and her chief advisor (other than Bill), Mark Penn.

South Carolina is a values state, where religion is held dearly, and where the large African American population (expected to form half the voting population) might be expected to vote for Obama, but for the historic Clinton love. Right after Iowa, Obama was polling at 50 to Clinton's 30, but that may even out a bit more. However, having someone who was frequently referred to as "the first black president" dissing the potential REAL first black president, isn't going to play well. And Donna Brazile, who is as insider as they come, fires back at Bill for calling Obama a "fairy-tale." Brazile compares his words to that of Bill Bennett (!!!!)
I could understand his frustration at this moment. But, look, he shouldn't take out all his pain on Barack Obama. It's time that they regroup. Figure out what Hillary needs to do to get her campaign back on track. It sounds like sour grapes coming from the former commander in chief. Someone that many Democrats hold in high esteem. For him to go after Obama, using a fairy tale, calling him as he did last week. It's an insult. And I will tell you, as an African-American, I find his tone and his words to be very depressing.
Pretty harsh, but justifiably. Bill Clinton was the attack dog, and he looks dog-tired, and he's kinda talking down to what looks like a college student. It's kinda catty, but not uglier than what the GOP is going to throw. I agree with Brazile's judgement though - it's pretty depressing to watch the former president taint his glory in this fashion.

I think that Edwards has fought valiently, and pushed issues that other people would never have brought up otherwise, injecting a healthy dose of economic populism into the mix, and standing up for those who cannot stand up for themselves. I also wonder if it might not be time for him (and definitely Richardson) to reconsider remaining in the race. I am sure that they will both hang on until Feb 5th, just to see where the chips fall, but this is up to the campaigns themselves.

For my analysis of what happened in New Hampshire, click here.

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