Jan
20
2007

Elections, race, and gender.

Race and sex in an election.

Race vs Sex: Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton
Race vs Sex: Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton

What effect will skin color, or being female, have on the next presidential election? Democratic Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton announced yesterday her intent to become the first female president. This announcement comes just days after Sen. Barack Obama announced his bid to become the first black president. New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, who would be the first Hispanic president, intends to announce his plans today.

What do you think?

Has America come far enough that racial predjudice or sexism will not effect who will win in an election against a white male? Use our comments box to tell us what you think. You might also comment about the effects that attractiveness, obesity, religion, or money might have.

Your Comments, Thoughts, Questions, Ideas

Gene's picture
Gene says:

My personal theory is that the candidate with the stranger middle name will win. I just checked the last 100 years of US Presidential elections, and found that in 25 elections, the stranger middle name has won 13 -- more than half. The more normal middle name won only 5 times, and 7 times it was a toss-up.

For example:

2000 George WALKER Bush over Al ARNOLD Gore
1996 William JEFFERSON Clinton over Robert JOSEPH Dole
1988 George HERBERT WALKER Bush over Michael STANLEY Dukakis
1984 Ronald WILSON Regan over Walter FREDERICK Mondale
1980 Ronald WILSON Regan over James EARL Carter
1972 Richard MILHOUSE Nixon over George STANLEY McGovern

And then the all-time powerhouse, Franklin DELANO Roosevelt, who neatly dispatched Thomas EDMUND Dewey, Wendell LEWIS Winkie, and Herbert CLARK Hoover -- though he got a run for his money from Alfred MOSSMAN Landon.

There are exceptions, of course. Gerald RUDOLPH Ford somehow succumbed to James EARL Carter, and oddest of all, Dwight DAVID Eisenhower -- easily the most "normal" middle name of the last century -- managed to beat Adlai EWING Stevenson not once, but twice!

Then there are the toss-ups. 2004 was so very close because it pitted George WALKER Bush against John FORBES Kerry. Richard MILHOUSE Nixon had to face John FITZGERALD Kennedy and, later, Hubert HORATIO Humphrey in two of our nation's closest elections. But the all-time champ, for my money, was 1920: Warren GAMALIEL Harding vs John MIDDLETON Cox.

But seriously, the issues facing our country are so serious, and party divisions so deep, that I doubt race or sex will be deciding factors for a significant number of voters.

Let's see... Barack HUSSEIN Obama, Hillary DIANE Rodham Clinton, William BLAINE Richardson, John REID Edwards, Joesph ROBINETTE Biden... vs. John SIDNEY McCain, Rudolph WILLIAM Guliani, Condoleeza NO MIDDLE NAME Rice, Newton LEROY Gingrich, Willard MITT Romney...this could get very interesting!

posted on Sun, 01/21/2007 - 2:49am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

I think that if a black male becomes president then it would make a stand for us african americans but then also if a white female becomes president that would make a huge step for the wome of america and in my state I am a black female so both of them are helping me out no matter which way the saying and the votes go

posted on Mon, 01/29/2007 - 8:26am
ARTiFactor's picture
ARTiFactor says:

How about a black woman candidate? Condoleezza Rice: A black, woman president?
Condoleezza Rice: A black, woman president?

posted on Mon, 01/29/2007 - 12:09pm
Gene's picture
Gene says:

There have been a couple of articles lately over whether Sen. Barack Obama is really 'black.' (His mother was of European descent, and his father was an immigrant from Kenya, rather than the descendant of slaves.) This gets right at the question of what is 'race,' anyway? There's a discussion going on over in the Race Forum.

posted on Tue, 02/06/2007 - 10:37pm
Gene's picture
Gene says:

Slate.com, an on-line magazine, has started a feature called “The Obama Messiah Watch.” It pokes fun at people who are so excited about the Obama candidacy that they heap praise on the man for doing simple, ordinary things – like pass high-school physics or take neat notes.

(Slate is a fairly liberal magazine. They are not making fun of Obama himself, but rather some of silly things his supporters say.)

However, other writers, such as Ann Althouse and Jay Nordlinger, have noted that when you praise somebody, you’re implying that what they are doing is unusual or unexpected. Praising Obama in this way implies that it’s unusual for a black man to take good notes, pass high school science, or do other simple things. While the speakers probably didn’t mean it that way, their words can be seen as an insult.

This is what the President has in mind when he rails against “the soft bigotry of low expectations.”

posted on Wed, 02/07/2007 - 5:07pm
Gene's picture
Gene says:

A news report today says that Barack Obama's great-great-great-great grandfather owned slaves.

A couple days ago, there was a report that Mitt Romney's great-grandfather was a polygamist (had more than one wife).

And now we are learning the contents of a thesis dissertation Hillary Clinton wrote on radical socialist Saul Alinsky.

To which, one must respond: so what?

We're not going to be voting for Romney's great-grandfather. We're certainly not going to be voting for Obama's great-great-great-great grandfather. And a term paper written by Clinton as a college student almost 40 years ago has very little bearing on what kind of President she might be today.

Like race and gender, this kind of ancient history is irrelevant to the important decisions we'll be making in 2008.

posted on Sat, 03/03/2007 - 12:28pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

i think that there will be a mixed amount of feelings toward this election. some think that only white americans should run this country and that women will not make a very string impact on this nation because they are too emotional. i personally think that the United States is ready for a president of a different color but we are not ready for a women presidnet. Hilary is unstable i think and would not make a very good leader.

posted on Mon, 04/02/2007 - 1:46pm
ogimaa's picture
ogimaa says:

Race is still very prevelent in todays world. You see ignorance everyday in people. I think since this has been an issue for 500 years it will remain an issue for another 500. People cannot get over the fact that they're not God. Until this happens I think race, religion, weight, sex/sexual preference, culture, and languages will remain a prejudiced issue for years to come

posted on Thu, 04/05/2007 - 3:53pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

hi i think that everyone should get along and it doesn't matter if they are black, white, jewish, or a female. As long as they can run the country I don't care

posted on Wed, 03/24/2010 - 11:41am

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