Hillary, Obama--Commodity, Experience Providers

RJ in Lafayette

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Very good commentary in today's New York Times by David Brooks on the Clinton-Obama campaign. Other than gender, a major fault line in the voting is class, or education and income. Those with a high school education favor Hillary. Those with college favor Obama. The downscale-upscale dichotomy we have been reading about.

Brooks goes a step further and talks about Hillary being a commodity provider--she's Wal-Mart, Ford, Holiday Inn. Her voters are looking for a product or tangible benefits: tax rebates, better health care, more scholarships. In other words, what can government do for me.

Obama is an experience provider--he's Whole Foods, BMW, W Hotel, His voters are looking for an uplifting experience. In other words, not so much what government can do for me (though looking at the tax rates paid by hedge fund managers, some very upscale voters are interested in tangible benefits from government), but how will I feel about about my government and being a citizen.

Interesting piece. Check it out on the paper's website www.nytimes.com, op-ed section.

Brooks articulates the downscale-upscale dichotomy well and gives Obama his campaign theme in states like Ohio and Pennsylvania: Hillary's approach of continued trench warfare between the parties is a throwback to the past, which will not produce the benefits you want. And the subtle message that the gaps between the classes really began to widen in the 1990's under Bill's watch (though this is heresy for a Democrat and globalization was the reason, Bill was mainly a bystander).
 
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gavinj

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Thanks for posting the link. I enjoyed reading it and I thought it was kind of clever, although I disagree with it. The perception that Clinton is all substance and Obama is all style isn't totally accurate imo. So, to start drawing conclusions based on that perception doesn't really work for me.
 
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Thanks for posting the link. I enjoyed reading it and I thought it was kind of clever, although I disagree with it. The perception that Clinton is all substance and Obama is all style isn't totally accurate imo. So, to start drawing conclusions based on that perception doesn't really work for me.
Well in a way it's true. Most of Obama's supporters are just like his detractors and haven't spent the time to understand his positions. Most Obama supporters I've talked to have no idea what he stands for, the just support him for style. Most detractors I've talked to haven't taken the time to understand his positions and just say he's all style.

Basically that's the medias angle and most people on both sides are taking it and running with it.
 

gavinj

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QUOTE=Saint by the Bay;920087]Well in a way it's true. Most of Obama's supporters are just like his detractors and haven't spent the time to understand his positions. Most Obama supporters I've talked to have no idea what he stands for, the just support him for style. Most detractors I've talked to haven't taken the time to understand his positions and just say he's all style.

Basically that's the medias angle and most people on both sides are taking it and running with it.[/QUOTE]

Yeah, I certainly acknowledge that there's *some* truth to it. But to take that premise and to start running with the 'higher educated people vote for Obama simply because it makes them feel good' argument is a stretch imo.

I respect the author of the NYT article and I know who he is from watching him on television. He's a smart guy, but this piece makes me think that he doesn't really have his finger on the pulse of the current state of the Democratic party. Obama's core, most active, most 'cult-of-Obama' were deciding between him and Kucinich back when this thing started. The question was, who would last the longest in order to get our message out before Clinton won? The message being that progressive politics in America is not dead as a doornail. Obama won Iowa on ideology. He may have won some recent states on identity and style, but this whole thing is off the ground in the first place because of the 'Democratic wing of the Democratic Party' as Paul Wellstone would say. We are like the Fremin in 'DUNE'. A great secret lies beneath the sands, our numbers are vast... And we aren't campaigning for the Clintons anymore, ever.
 

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