December 16, 2007

"Hey Clinton, Stop Telling Young Voters to Stay Home."

The Facebook Group. (Via Politico.)
We created this facebook group to send a message to Senator Biden, Senator Dodd, Senator Clinton and Gov. Richardson.

We targeted the candidates above since they gave conflicting comments about student voters in the press and at rallies.

We wanted each of them to encourage students that are enrolled in a college in Iowa to caucus, even if that means they are not "from" Iowa.

When we say "from" Iowa we mean students who chose to move to Iowa to attend school. Richardson, Biden, Clinton and Dodd seemed to be saying those students should not caucus.
Why pick on Hillary Clinton with the name of the group? They say that's the name they started with, and there's no way to change it. But really, if you're going to put a candidate's name in the title of your Facebook group, are you going to put Biden, Dodd, or Richardson? Of course not. Frontrunners deserve special scrutiny.

Here's the page with the relevant candidate quotes. For Hillary:
"Hillary wants every student who lives in Iowa and wants to caucus in Iowa and is eligible to caucus in Iowa to do so. We hope that they will and we hope that they will caucus for Hillary. The Iowa caucus is special because it is based on Iowa values. We hope and trust that every campaign is making sure that potential caucus goers have all the information they need, and in no way explicitly or implicitly encourages anyone to break the law by participating in two places. Not only is it okay to engage students in Iowa, but it is critical to ensure that they are active participants in the process, and we are doing everything we can to get them out to caucus." –Howard Wolfson, Communications Director
The Iowa caucus is special because it is based on Iowa values. What does that mean? It sounds nativistic. Why do we start with Iowa, anyway?

Let's read Politico:
The argument centers on whether to encourage Iowa college students from out of state to caucus in Iowa — as the campaign of Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) is doing — or to frown at it, as the Clinton and Dodd campaigns have hinted at.

Drawing an implicit contrast with the Obama campaign, Clinton spokesman Mo Elleithee said, "We are not systematically trying to manipulate the Iowa caucuses with out-of-state people; we don't have literature recruiting out-of-state college students.”
So, the Clinton campaign is accusing Obama of using underhanded tactics?
And Dodd’s Iowa state Director Julie Andreeff Jensen accused Obama of “scheming to evade either the spirit or the letter of the rules that guide the process.”
Scheming... manipulating...
Dodd declared that students who did not grow up in Iowa should not caucus, saying, "If you're from Hartford, Conn., and you're going to school at the University of Iowa, and you're paying out-of-state tuition, you're [unfairly] casting yourself as an Iowan."
Interesting that the rougher statements are coming from Dodd. Trying to help Hillary?

And what is he saying? Young people who go somewhere to live for years ought to go back home where their parents raised them if they want to participate in politics? The fact that a state school makes them pay more tuition imposes additional burdens?
David Yepsen, the influential Des Moines Register columnist, criticized the Obama campaign Dec. 1 for distributing a pamphlet informing student supporters that even if they are out of state on Jan. 3 they can return to Iowa and caucus at their school precinct.

Yepsen wrote, “These are the Iowa caucuses. Asking people who are 'not from Iowa' to participate in them changes the nature of the event.”

Yepsen himself admits that it’s legal for any student at a four-year college in Iowa to vote. The Iowa secretary of state posts information on how students can caucus from their campus address.
They scheduled the caucuses during the holiday break to drive you kids out of town. How dare you be so interested in politics that you'd come back early! Stay away, you bastards! Shouldn't you be hungover from New Year's partying or snowed in somewhere in New England or hiding from the winter somewhere in the South? You seem like just the nasty little idealists who'd be motivated by that damnably inspiring character Barack Obama.
[O]n Monday former President Bill Clinton [said:] “If this is your primary political identity then you should vote, but if it isn’t and you’re going to turn right back around and vote in a primary the next day then you shouldn’t because it means that your primary identity is not in Iowa.”
He's stuck 2 things together: participating twice (which actually is wrong) and having a "primary political identity." Toward the end of that (manipulative, scheming) sentence he suggests that participating in 2 states' processes is the definition of a "primary political identity." But he's creating a bad feeling that if you came to Iowa to be a student you're doing something wrong by participating without having the requisite "identity." And he's assuming that if you participate twice, the one that's wrong is Iowa. Why isn't it the other one?

A core American value is the right of citizens to move from state to state. If you want to talk about "identity," American identity includes an entitlement to relocate in another state. Now what is Iowa identity? What are Iowa values? What does it mean to ask young people to question whether they have Iowa identity and Iowa values?
The Hillary campaign has since issued a statement encouraging students to vote provided they don’t fraudulently participate in both their home state primary and the caucuses.
Okay, so they got caught, it hurt, and they backed off.

ADDED: And speaking of inadequate hyperlinking at the NYT... Glenn Reynolds notes that a NYT book review has a hyperlink on "N.R.A.," in a discussion of Roosevelt's National Recovery Administration, that sends us to a list of articles about the National Rifle Association.

It's not as if the Web were invented yesterday. Get up to speed! I'd be mortified if I'd made a mistake on my little one-person operation here. The NYT should be proving to us constantly that mainstream media has a professional quality that puts independent bloggers to shame. Instead, we bloggers have to write posts shaming mainstream media.

17 comments:

EnigmatiCore said...

What do people make of Bill Clinton's statement that he does not think Obama is experienced enough to be President?

How much will it help his wife?

If Obama ends up winning the Democratic nomination, how much will it hurt him in the general?

Do you think that Bill Clinton will say anything at all to help his wife? If so, does that mean he puts his and his wife's self-interest above the interests of his party? And above the interests of the country?

Robert Holmgren said...

Tellingly, neither candidate wishes to put the call out to more older Iowan's--those who truely embody Iowa values--to return from Florida, Texas or Arizona in order to bolster the chances of one of these candidates. Wonder why that should be?

Hairy said...

Hairybuddha thinks all candidates, especially Mrs. Clinton (the 43% presidential spouse) should work to persuade as many voters as possible instead of trying to work percentages.

Republicans may have created split party politics, but the Clintons have mastered the game.

Lawgiver said...

Young people who go somewhere to live for years ought to go back home where their parents raised them if they want to participate in politics?

I felt the same way when Hillary ran for office in New York. She should have gone back to Arkansas to run for senator.

rhhardin said...

They want people who will help them to vote, and not people who will not.

They're mixing that with another complaint, that students who vote in town elections, if they're more numerous than the locals, wind up setting the budget agenda for the town they don't live in or pay taxes in.

Townspeople notice the effect, but get overruled by the courts I think.

Townspeople being noticeably more conservative than students, where the effect comes up.

So anyway if that complaint helps your demographic, you're for the complaint; if not, you're against it, in this primary. It's brought up not as a first principle but as something they're reminded of.

Paddy O. said...

Do you think that Bill Clinton will say anything at all to help his wife?

I think Bill Clinton will say anything at all to help himself.

If helping Hillary helps him, he'll do it.

Sheepman said...

I think it's a bit rich for Bill to raise to raise the issue of ""primary political identity". New York wasn't Hilary's real "primary political identity" when she ran for senator there.

Bruce Hayden said...

I would think that this would be a bad demographic for most candidates other than Obama. What is there in Hillary's case to excite them?

Note also that this is the demographic that the Democrats in Congress have been trying to buy with the expansion of the SCHIP program. On the one hand, old enough to vote, on the other hand, too young to have to pay for insurance.

But it is important, because a lot of people carry their young voting affiliations through life.

misterarthur said...

If I remember correctly, registering to vote also puts on the jury selection rolls. So, non-Iowan values are ok for trials, but not voting? Seems a peculiar distinction to me.
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Mortimer Brezny said...

Okay, so they got caught, it hurt, and they backed off.

I guess the conventional wisdom is right. The Clintons are black and Obama isn't. Because he sure as hell is beating them like slaves.

Boscoe21 said...

Funny. I'm a native Iowan living in New York and got a post card from the "Iowans for Hillary" campaign at my New York address. The card seemed to be encouraging me to caucus in Iowa for Hillary, though I'm a resident of New York.

Lauren said...

Wow, as an out-of-state college student, that's really annoying. We're already in enough of a confusing in-between state with taxes and voting and trying to figure out what address to put on grocery store card applications without some politician making it more difficult.

Ann Althouse said...

Boscoe21, That's very interesting. Do you have a scan or a photo of the letter that you can upload (or email to me at my annalthouse gmail address)?

PatCA said...

Wow, the Clintons scolding people who scheme and manipulate!

Henry said...

Could the Iowa caucuses just go away? Can you imagine the Grammy's being tilted by who the folks listen to in Des Moine?

Synova said...

When I was in college I didn't vote on local issues, I only voted for people I would have been able to vote for at home.

It just seemed wrong to decide an issue relating to trash collection so I just left that blank. College students in that town made up a significant part of the population and could easily determine city policy... if they bothered to vote.

I don't think that most of them bothered.

Voting for a Presidential candidate in the caucuses seems quite different. A student would be eligible to vote for that same person in their home state.

cokaygne said...

What we should do in this country, but don't. is tie residency requirements for voting to the office. Citizens should be able to vote in federal elections, that would include the Iowa caucuses, anywhere in the US - but only once. Any American who cares to spend their New Year's weekend wading through cow flops in subzero cold to spend an evening with a bunch of elederly farmers who care about nothing but their political pork should be able to go to Iowa and do so.

Then there should be a modest residency requirement for voting for state and local offices. In an election for state officials, the resident of a state should be able to vote anywhere in the state so that LA residents should be able to vote for the state senator in SF.

Why shouldn't students who spend 9 months of the year in a town be able to vote in that town's elections? The town I live in has a college about a mile from the commercial center. The students have to walk to and from stores, etc. on an unlighted state highway with crumbling sidewalks. If the students in that college voted in town elections, they'd get street lighting and sidewalks.