Streams

The Year Gone By, the Year Ahead

Monday, December 31, 2007

Charles Dunn, dean of Regent University Robertson School of Government, and Donna Brazile, senior Democratic strategist and former campaign manager for Al Gore -- wrap up the year in politics and look ahead to 2008.

Guests:

Donna Brazile and Charles Dunn

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Comments [16]

anom from Manhattan

Candidates' positions on energy from coal was mentioned, even if coal can be made to burn more cleanly, no one seems to be trying to make obtaining it. Coal mines pollute & are dangerous for the miners (remember Crandall Canyon), & mountaintop-removal mining is far worse (see http://www.grist.org/news/maindish/2006/02/16/caskey/index.html).

For the candidates' positions on environmental issues, Grist magazine has a handy table at http://www.grist.org/candidate_chart_08.html?source=most_popular, w/links to interviews & rundowns on their records.

Dec. 31 2007 12:57 PM
J.C. from Minneapolis

We have only ourselves as voters to blame for the relative "importance" of Iowa and New Hampshire. What the media and pundits call "momentum" is really just the bandwagon effect, where voters in other states feel compelled to vote for the leader even if they might like another candidate because of some need to vote for a "winner." That's why it seems that the race is "over" after the first few states.

If we as voters stop letting ourselves be swayed so much by Iowa and New Hampshire, then we can discuss the real issue in these primaries: who has how many delegates? After all, it's the delegate count that counts, and Iowa and N.H. have just a smidgen of them. The race isn't over until one candidate has enough delegates to win the nomination on the first ballot at the convention. We should all keep that in mind as we watch Iowa and N.H. vote, so we don't get caught up in this idea that our vote somehow doesn't "count." Candidates should not be dropping out so quickly! They all should at least stay in through Feb. 5th, and even then the leaders should still stay in if no one yet has number of delegates needed to win the nomination.

That was a little rambling, but you get my point.

Dec. 31 2007 11:59 AM
BC from Flushing

"Hillary or Obama"???
Why is Clinton the first and only presidential candidate, or first senator for that matter, whom Mr. Lehrer automatically refers to by first name alone? This is an annoying habit that I wish journalists and pundits would make an effort to overcome.

Dec. 31 2007 10:53 AM
Jeffrey Slott from East Elmhurst

This is what my financial support is going for? Another reducing of who is going to lead the most powerful nation in the world into a horse race? Listen, just go the commercial route, start taking ads for Proctor & Gamble and be the tinhorn station that you are obviously aspiring to be.

Dec. 31 2007 10:53 AM
chris feldmann from brooklyn

@Gaines,

Interesting. I'm not the originator of this idea, but it strikes me as persuasive: The coalition today is roughly tripartite. There's the religious right (the "theocons"), the anti-tax oligarchs, and the belligerent neocons. The only candidate who bridges all three, Romney, is patently phony. Bush satisfied all three without breaking a sweat.

As for the southern strategy, I think you could see even Karl Rove tacitly acknowledging its unraveling with the elevation of homophobia as a plank in the platform in a desperate search for a new minority scapegoat. This is an interpretation, though, and not an argument, i realize.

Dec. 31 2007 10:51 AM
PS from NY

Completely useless segment. Random opinions that may or may not turn out to be true.

Dec. 31 2007 10:38 AM
chris feldmann from brooklyn

@Madeline:

So true. It's especially frustrating this year; we will have no say in what will arguably the most important primary in a generation.

Dec. 31 2007 10:35 AM
Gaines Hubbell from Knoxville, TN

Chris,

The southern strategy still exists. The South is very Republican and institutionalized and/or unintentional racism is still rampant here. It is still a part of southern politics and not on its way out.

You're right, though, that the coalition is breaking apart, but deals more with failure to live up to expectations that its ideology set for it than with racism. Southern republicans back fiscally and socially conservative candidates. The problem with the coalition is that there are few fiscally conservative candidates. The candidates who are fiscally conservative are not socially conservative. The Republican party no longer attempts to live up to its ideology, and its the ideology that Republican voters vote for.

Dec. 31 2007 10:30 AM
Madeline from Brooklyn

Please, Ms Brazil: Don't tell New York -- a city of eight million -- that it is a great day for democracy because one hundred fifty thousand people might show up to the Iowa caucus!

Dec. 31 2007 10:26 AM
Gaines Hubbell from Knoxville, TN

Isn't the Republican field really split in terms of delegations? Giuliani is strong in larger delegate, moderate states. Thompson, Huckabee and Romney will be contending for the southern states' delegates. Iowa could show which Republican will take the Western states (except California).

Lets not forget that whoever wins Iowa will get free media coverage, while the other candidates in their party will have to spend on advertising to keep up with the momentum.

Obama's got the youth vote. The youth vote doesn't exist as a vote. Its a fictional entity, and it won't elect a president.

Dec. 31 2007 10:23 AM
Rebecca from New Providence New Jersey

I think the Democrats are making a big mistake to overlook Joe Biden in this race. We never seem to elect the one who is clearly the most competent, experienced, and capable of assuming the office effectively. I think Biden is more electable than any of the font runners vs. the republicans. We fall in love with the most romantic candidates (a woman, a charismatic African American, etc.) but we need the WHOLE country to love our candidate in order to win the election!!!

Dec. 31 2007 10:22 AM
Sean Pisano from Brooklyn

I hope I get a chance to put my 2 cents into who becomes the next president. but voting just seems like a mute point by the time New York gets to vote we do not really count.

Dec. 31 2007 10:19 AM
chris feldmann from brooklyn

Charles Dunn is flopping all over the place. Brokered conventions? AL GORE? The South? The southern strategy, always based on implicit racism, is nearing the end of its political life as racism recedes as a force in American politics. Also, enthusiasm is beginning to build in the Republican contest? Keep wishing, bub. The party's coalition is breaking apart.

Dec. 31 2007 10:17 AM
erin from manhattan

Would you talk a little about the second-place rule?

Dec. 31 2007 10:15 AM
Robert from NYC

The same old boring heads talking. Is NPR now a division of CNN!!? Will we hearOh pleeze with Donna Brasile, who cares. It's still too early for anyone to care about this election. I don't pay any attention the these elections until the August before. This has been a crappy year for media and their--your obsession with this very dull group of people running to be president.

Dec. 31 2007 10:15 AM
Matt Walker from Manhattan

Which candidate would be most likely to withdraw the troops from Iraq starting on January 21, 2009?

Dec. 31 2007 10:12 AM

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