"Africa is, indeed, coming into fashion." - Horace Walpole (1774)


time for politics

Well, the Iowa caucuses begin in two weeks, so it's probably time to start paying attention to the presidential race. Not that we don't pay attention in general, but I don't think there's much point in watching the polls until about a month before the election, or, in this case, the bizarre meetings that Iowans use to choose their candidates.

Speaking of the Iowa Caucuses, have you ever wondered how they work? It's a pretty wacky system. The Edwards campaign (of which I am definitely NOT a supporter) has put together this fairly informative film that I'm planning to show to my class (unless I find something less biased) that explains how it all works. I think it's a pretty good explanation (if a bit deceptive in suggesting that precinct captains tend to be pretty young things like "Jane"). Enjoy:


Blogger Michael Westmoreland-White said...

I'm surprised to find you so hostile in tone to the Edwards' camaign. He didn't impress me at all in '04, but he sure has since then. He's the most progressive candidate who has a real shot at the nomination. (Richardson and Kucinich are more progressive, but poll in the single digits like Dodd and Biden. We won't mention Gravel. Edwards is FAR more progressive on the issues than either Obama or Clinton, though in Obama's case, I think he is trying to balance progressive vision with pragmatism. Clinton, like her husband, is a hawk and a corporate shill. )

Tuesday, December 18, 2007 11:47:00 AM

Blogger Michael Westmoreland-White said...

You ARE right that this is over the top in its Edwards bias, however. Only 2 modern presidents began by winning Iowa: Jimmy Carter and George W. Bush. Many 1st place Iowa winners hit a brick wall in NH or NC (and Edwards trails in both rather badly). In fact, Hillary is working hard to get her opponents to pick Edwards rather than Obama in Iowa because, if she has to lose (not a foregone conclusion!), she'd rather Edwards win. She thinks she can stop him right after Iowa, but is afraid Obama could use Iowa to win 4 days later in NH and then go on to win the nomination.

Also, you're right. Caucus precinct captains tend to be older. But "Jane" is an appeal to the youth vote to turn out. Nothing about this is subtle, but it is informative. And Edwards could win by being everyone's 2nd choice--picking up Gravel, Richardson, Dodd, Kucinich, etc. votes. After all, he's practically lived in Iowa since '04.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007 12:00:00 PM


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