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April 16, 2007

Chuck Todd on Hillary and Obama

By Neil the Ethical Werewolf

Usually my coverage of the Democratic primary race has an Edwards-related focus, but this piece by Chuck Todd on Hillary, Obama, and what you can tell about their campaigns by their responses to the Imus situation is too good not to link to.  (Or maybe I'm just surprised to see original thought in a MSNBC analysis piece!)  Short version: Hillary wants to be known as "the female candidate"; Obama doesn't want to be known as "the black candidate."

April 16, 2007 in Election 2008 | Permalink

Comments

"Or maybe I'm just surprised to see original thought in a MSNBC analysis piece!"

Chuck Todd is always the sharpest knife in the drawer.

Posted by: Petey | Apr 16, 2007 1:46:37 AM

If you want to see the dullest knife in the drawer, check out this Kuttner piece that spends 90% of its time nicely laying out the rationale for the Edwards' candidacy, and then dismisses it all with the magic wand of a passing reference to Elizabeth's cancer.

Posted by: Petey | Apr 16, 2007 1:51:02 AM

I agree on Todd.

Given that I'm in the persuading-people-to-vote-Edwards business, I'm fairly positive on the Kuttner piece. He's one mistake away from where I want him to be, and it's a mistake I can work with.

Posted by: Neil the Ethical Werewolf | Apr 16, 2007 2:05:58 AM

Short version: Hillary wants to be known as "the female candidate"; Obama doesn't want to be known as "the black candidate."

That's wildly unsurprising.

Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Apr 16, 2007 9:39:55 AM

Absent any cites to anything concrete, the article seems to me to be about 80% mindreading and 20% guesswork.

This is laughable:

Gaining political points in the aftermath of a national controversy is nothing new in presidential politics.

So perhaps it's not surprising that Hillary Clinton's campaign decided to accept a longstanding invitation to speak at Rutgers this Monday, coincidentally, a week after Rutgers University became best known for its women’s basketball program."

As is this:

"What is striking is how Clinton is so attracted to this story"
followed by
"This is not to imply that Clinton is taking the opposite tact. She’s also being subtle about her involvement in this story."

That's some inspired hackery, with what looks like a good dose of sexism thrown in.

Posted by: rilkefan | Apr 16, 2007 8:00:12 PM

I don't know, rilkefan. Everything Todd says -- that Hillary wants to play up the gender angle while Obama wants to play down the race angle -- fits with both their response to the scandal and with what their campaigns need to do to win. I also liked the 'Imus steps on McCain' analysis.

Posted by: Neil the Ethical Werewolf | Apr 16, 2007 10:47:31 PM

Obama wants to play down the race angle.

Not to sound cliche, but Obama clearly knows that he can't win the general election as a "black candidate" but he has a chance as a canditate who's black. That is, a large swath of the public mistrusts political figures who are perceived to be dedicated to racial politics. So Obama walks the tightrope of emphasizing historically positive, unifying aspects of black politics (see his speeach at Selma) while avoiding the more critical, divisive aspects (see his cautious approach to Imus). Hilary, on the other hand, knows she can win the general election by leveraging the hell out of the gender gap.

Posted by: Led | Apr 16, 2007 11:51:05 PM

"fits with both their response to the scandal"

Did you read the excerpts I quoted? HRC is all over this because she's showing up for a pre-arranged visit, and at the same time she's being subtle about it, and at the same time she's doing this for the woman angle while having a direct beef with Imus? That's possibly the dumbest claim I've heard since the last Bush press conference I could listen to. As written it (and your support) are a beautiful example of confirmation bias.

Posted by: rilkefan | Apr 17, 2007 1:36:34 AM

The qualifications you cite don't get in the way of Todd's basic point -- Hillary is doing more than Obama, who isn't doing anything.

And if Hillary just had an anti-Imus gripe going, she could've just blasted him in a media appearance or a press release. That's not what she did. She went out and met with the women.

Posted by: Neil the Ethical Werewolf | Apr 17, 2007 2:23:54 AM

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Posted by: judy | Sep 28, 2007 5:04:38 AM

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