Small Presses and Big Politics

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1. Go on and support Small Press Distribution if you have money to spare. My most recent is available now.

2. One speculative equation regarding “How Clinton Won“:

“Hillary Clinton won last night by putting together the voting coalition that has held Democratic frontrunners in good stead for 75 years. Take a look at these numbers – all of which come from CNN’s cross-tabulated exit polls. What you’ll see is that Hillary Clinton won many elements of the traditional FDR coalition.”

Click on RealClearPolitics for the numbers.

“Obama, on the other hand, had a very different electorate – one that has a bit in common with the insurgent candidacies of Gary Hart and Bill Bradley.”

Click on RealClearPolitics for that equation too.

3. From Judith Warner’s OpEd at The New York Times:

Could she “relate” to Clinton? Was she likely to find a “friend” in a woman with a camera-ready helmet of hair? Could she learn from Hillary? Could they share beauty tips? Would her gesture toward female bonding be well-received and perhaps met with the kind of positive mirroring of which Best Friendships Forever are made? …

It’s all about how you make voters feel.

Feeling – not thinking – becomes all-important when you have a field of candidates who aren’t really all that different from one another politically…

–Judith Warner, “Emotion Without Thought in New Hampshire

4. Reminds me of my current bedside reading, THE POLITICAL BRAIN, by Drew Westen:

“In politics, when reason and emotion collide, emotion invariably wins. Elections are decided in the marketplace of emotions, a marketplace filled with values, images, analogies, moral sentiments, and moving oratory, in which logic plays only a supporting role. Westen shows, through a whistle-stop journey through the evolution of the passionate brain and a bravura tour through fifty years of American presidential and national elections, why campaigns succeed and fail. The evidence is overwhelming that three things determine how people vote, in this order: their feelings toward the parties and their principles, their feelings toward the candidates, and, if they haven’t decided by then, their feelings toward the candidates’ policy positions.

Westen turns conventional political analyses on their head, suggesting that the question for Democratic politics isn’t so much about moving to the right or the left but about moving the electorate.”

–Drew Westen, THE POLITICAL BRAIN

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2 Responses to “Small Presses and Big Politics”

  1. T Says:
    January 12th, 2008 at 12:03 am enice little rundown. still can’t get worked up over this election yet though
  2. Jim K. Says:
    January 13th, 2008 at 1:12 am eA factor doesn’t do much unless a lack
    of it was a special problem. Either happy
    or sad would have cracked it. Too logical
    and you are “inhuman”. Too emotional
    and you are “weak”. There is some magical
    ideal nobody knows until it’s stepped on.
    Pundits overdramatize. It’s their job to
    push buttons. The news that the choices
    weren’t disgusting is no news.

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