July 26, 2004

Tea leaves

I don't want to turn this into a political blog by any means, but it is interesting to listen to the coverage of the U.S. elections from here (Interesting, and a lot more pleasant.)

I listened to a report from the field from RTE's reporter covering the U.S. election this morning. Poor bastard had to get up at 4 in the morning to file live. He was in San Antonio today, touching base with the Pres on the trail before heading to the convention tomorrow. One of the focuses of his story was a get out the vote drive directed a single moms; apparently they voted in much few numbers proportionally than their married contemporaries in 2000. The reporter ran a clip of an interview he did with a group of Republican single moms, asking them their impression of Kerry. Their response --- this is a paraphrase, of course, but a fairly close one --- was something like: "Y'know? I mean, what's he ever done? What's his plan? He never been a war president. He's never had to deal with a major terrorist attack. But he doesn't tell you what he wants to do instead it's just negative, negative, negative."

Then they played a clip from the ads the Kerry campaign has been running in Texas. To be fair, it didn't mention anything about his policies, but it wasn't particularly negative, either, just a "Here's a Our Candidate: John Kerry, husband/father/hunter/soldier, all around swell guy, verging on good ol' boy." The clip from the Bush campaign was, however, very negative --- "John Kerry is skipping votes and not doing his job! On the other hand, you don't want him doing his job, since he's objectively pro-baby killing."*

RTE's angle on it was a bit ham-handed: See, Kerry can't get his message out, he's still widely unknown, yadda yadda. But these were self-described Republicans; it's not surprising that people would more readily accept and internalize the arguments of the side to which they are sympathetic. But what struck me about it was the implied concession in what the moms were saying; in asking "What's his plan?" they were asking "How do we know he would do better?" and the unstated assumption underlying such a question is George Bush isn't doing very well. And remember that these were single mothers, a group by necessity young, female, and single; nationwide, young unmarried women tend especially Democratic. That they were Republicans suggests either heartfelt conviction or staunch, ingrained-from-birth conservatism ran very deep in them. This makes them extremely unlikely converts to the Democratic cause, and yet, even as ardent supporters their posture was defensive ---- "Your guy can't prove he'd do better," not "Our guy is clearly superior." This bodes ill for Bush. Unless Kerry proves himself a candidate so deeply unlikable that he can't convince moderates to vote for him rather than a candidate they already think is doing a crap job. Which is what they must think, if even the Republican single mothers of San Antonio think itů


* No, really. The ad highlighted his votes against requiring parental consent for teenagers to get an abortion, for allowing school nurses to distribute the morning after pill, and against the Laci Peterson law. (I wonder what that entails, anyway. Anyone know?)

Posted by Diablevert at July 26, 2004 09:13 AM | TrackBack
Comments

The Laci Peterson law made it two counts of murder if you killed a pregnant women....or something to that effect.

Banner is looking good, but still a smidge funky for those of us using IE.

Posted by: Delta at July 26, 2004 12:36 PM

Dude, how so? It looks okay when I open up ie. I think I have ie 6. Are you on a mac? Where my mac peeps?

Honestly, I feel like a mother hen about the damn banner. I think I'm going to change the picture later --- the head's too small --- now that I've figured out the code to make it show up. (By figure out, I mean, "cut and paste from a real website" of course.)

Posted by: cms at July 26, 2004 02:30 PM

Aye, I've got IE6. The green ends at the R in vert, and the rest of the banner is blue.

Posted by: Delta at July 27, 2004 12:13 PM

Is that better?

Posted by: cms at July 28, 2004 11:19 AM

All better!

Posted by: Delta at July 28, 2004 03:11 PM

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