I really resented the vote-with-your-ovaries movement among Hilary supporters. A woman president would be nice, but I found the idea that women are a cohesive voting group who should all pick Hilary based on gender kind of demeaning. Not entirely sure why this bothered me so much, since I go out of my way to connect with and to support other women in the mostly-male worlds of China expats and videogamers. Hilary is all right, but I’d like more from a presidential candidate than shared bra-shopping experience.
Everything negative that Hilary and the republicans said about Obama’s lack of experience backfired with me. Probably not just me, probably other people disappointed by entry-level jobs and looking wistfully at the positions available to those with more experience. (Am I the only person who cringes at those success stories about slowly working one’s way from minimum-wage mail clerk all the way up to management? I’m not, am I? Tell me a lifetime of waiting for a promotion makes you feel just a little bit dead inside, too.) I think references to Obama’s lack of experience just make a stronger connection to twentysomethings.
Obama’s really made an “us” feeling with this references to growing up struggling, working while in school, and so forth. It would be great at any time to see an alternative to rich old men, but it’s even sharper focus with McCain’s recent goof about the number of houses he owns. That was an unlucky soundbite for McCain, but there’s just no “us” connection with someone who’s got so much stuff he can’t keep track of it all. I know Obama isn’t exactly struggling to put gas in his car now, but he’s been broke in his life. When I mentioned this to Stick, he said that he doesn’t feel connected to McCain even though they were both in the military because McCain was an officer.* And beyond Obama’s message, his use of texting, blogging and Facebook really shows a level of connection to everyday people** and not faceless corporations, without going the faux-folksy Bush route.
I know that an election race is 99% show, but I’m thrilled to see a candidate who cares to put on the show for twentysomethings. I’m a bit worried about whether the Facebook-friending college-age crowd will actually register to vote and show up at the polls, though.
*Hope it doesn’t ruin my feminist rant to add “And my boyfriend thinks…” in the middle.
** Everyday people = Blog and twitter nerds
Related: My last political rant was Parallel Parking For Kerry.