Future Politics

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Elizabeth Mendez Berry, journalist and author of "Obama Generation," at, and Leslie Feldman, professor of political science at Hofstra University, talk about the contributions of young Democrats and Republicans to yesterday's elections and what the results mean for the national parties.


Leslie Feldman and Elizabeth Mendez Berry

Comments [28]

hjs from 11211

you're right i worked for a private upper east side NYC girl's school that got state dollars

Nov. 04 2009 02:12 PM
Patrick from Middlesex County, NJ

Christie won because he promised big, fat tax cuts. Nevermind that big, fat tax cuts are impossible in a state on the brink of collapse (coupled with an overwhelming sweep of the state assembly by Democrats, who will block his every move). And, remember, property taxes are set by mayors, not the governor. So even if Christie wanted to lower property taxes, he couldn't. Bottom line: Christie's fall will be quick, sharp, and amusing.

Nov. 04 2009 01:58 PM
kai from NJ-NYC

Donald Chen: Like many Americans, you don't know what the term socialist means. Maybe you could go with social democracy or even social welfare, but the term socialist doesn't fit.

I encourage you to attend a state subsidized school to learn more. [NOTE: The majority of schools receive public funding; even the private ones.]

Nov. 04 2009 12:54 PM
ee from manhattan from manhatttan

are Hofstra students as ignorant as Linda Feldman portrays them?
if they are and vote based on the charisma of a candidate, or in a way they feel is "cool,"
does she teach them the history of demogogues?

Nov. 04 2009 11:53 AM
Pamela Arnold from Manhattan

A caller has suggested that promoting gay marriage goes against the will of the people-therefore the people have a right to vote it down. Not so-it is a constitutional issue and should not be subject to referendum. If civil rights had been pursued by referendum, we would probably still have slavery, much less Jim Crow. You cannot discriminate against American citizens bases on biological anomaly. I don't care if 99% of the American people would like to-they can't. It's unconstitutional.

Nov. 04 2009 11:12 AM
Jacob from Brooklyn

Who the hell is this Leslie Feldman?

I suppose that it easy to make generalizations about "young people" without considering the multiplicity of differences in ideology, class, ethnicity, etc. There are a lot of younger libertarian conservatives that us young progressives argue with all the time.

Such simplistic generalizations are hardly insightful or illuminating.

Nov. 04 2009 11:06 AM
Jennifer from Brooklyn, USA

I find Professor Feldmen to be a bit condescending toward young people. My 22 year old brother, a recent college graduate, and many of his friends, are very well informed about the issues -- better than many of my generation and older. I think DailyKos had it right: the democratic base didn't turn out to vote in droves as in the 2008 election because they aren't seeing change they can believe in from the democrats they elected. Feldmen has it half right. Folks are upset that banks got our tax money. However, not because it means nationalization, but because there has been no meaningful reform. Geitner and Summers are not change we can believe in!

Nov. 04 2009 11:04 AM
CJ from NY

I prefer substance to charisma. I think it's insulting to say that charisma is all "young people" care about.

Nov. 04 2009 11:01 AM
Madeleine from Manhattan

I know, 10 months, seriously, give the guy a chance. Bush would've gotten the same treatment 8 months into his first term but then 9/11 happened and you couldn't look cross-eyed at him without the brainwashed populace branding you a traitor or a terrorist. And now those same people say that Obama is the socially-approved "cool" candidate, no substance or merit to him, just a phenomenon. Ah, historical revisionism....

Nov. 04 2009 11:01 AM
hjs from 11211

what age did u choose?

Nov. 04 2009 10:59 AM
Jenn from Upper East Side

I'm pretty insulted that the guest on the show insinuated that the young voters don't care about the Health Care debate. I am perfectly healthy and definitely care very much about the issue. I support a single payer plan, and I'm frustrated that Obama never considered it. However, I'd never vote for my local politician based on my opinion of Obama, which is still strong. And I did not vote for Obama because it's "cool."

Nov. 04 2009 10:59 AM
CJ from NY

I don't care about charisma. I'm young. I would have voted for Clinton.

Nov. 04 2009 10:59 AM
Foobar from Brooklyn

To your caller's question, it is the intended ROLE of the Judiciary to stand in front of the Will of the People. The Framers insulate the judiciary from things like elections, term limits, etc. so that they can prevent the most insidious tyranny of all, and that is the tyranny of the People over each other. We have a Bill of Rights so that things like the People's Will on social issues cannot be used to deny certain inalienable rights to every person. Its one of the most important facets of the American System, read the Federalist Papers.

Nov. 04 2009 10:58 AM
john from office

The analysis here is childish.

How many times will the guest say empowered, a phrase that should be banned.

The American people are moderate. Gay marriage will never be passed, it is unnatural, but we keep getting hit over the head with it and are called homophobic for saying the truth.

Choice is not the same as race.

Nov. 04 2009 10:57 AM
CJ from NY

A lot of people have the sense again that it doesn't matter who you vote for: Democrat or Republican. Same old. Same old.

Nov. 04 2009 10:57 AM
Susan from Kingston

Leslie Feldman,extremist policies of the Obama Administration? What you talking about?

Nov. 04 2009 10:55 AM
hjs from 11211

can an off year election be a predictor or the future trends? in NJ 2.1 million voted yesterday in 2008 3.8 million turned out

giving money to banks started under bush!

Nov. 04 2009 10:55 AM
kc from long island

January thru November: 10 months. There is so much stone walling, hate-speech and know-nothing reactions, that it is amazing that Mr. Obama can get anything done. He deserved the Nobel Peace Prize for keeping the US from imploding.

Nov. 04 2009 10:42 AM
Voter from Brooklyn

The Whitehouse backed the “Democratic candidate for Mayor”, That’s the best they could do rather than openly endorse an empty suite by name. It has nothing to do with crossing Bloomberg, it has to do with reluctantly but dutifully endorsing the worse candidate. Harlem and the Working Families Party seems to think Obama should have endorsed the black man because he is a black man… NYC gutter politics as usual if you ask me. But when you mention the Democrats that got Obama into Office, remember, Democrats outnumber Republicans in NYC 6:1. At least a couple of them voted Bloomberg. That’s the straight number.

Nov. 04 2009 10:31 AM
Voter from Brooklyn

In the VA race, I hate to admit it, but the Republican ran the better campaign. When Mark Warner won, his Republican competitor ran an abysmally incompetent campaign. It was the equivalent of the W. Thompson/F. Ferrer “vote for me because of my party, but I have no real position” campaigns. Mark Warner (D) won because he ran a brilliant campaign against a complete fool, Tim Kaine (D) won because he ran a good campaign, and McDonnell ® won because he ran a brilliant campaign (hiding his dyed in the wool evangelical background and ties to Pat Robertson.) Just means I won’t be moving back anytime soon.

New Jersey gets the government it deserves. Dysfunction and corruption all the way. Let’s see if anything improves under vague Mr. Christie.

In either case, this proves nothing on national sentiment on President Obama.

Nov. 04 2009 10:25 AM
Marcos from the Bronx

Please investigate: Why did the whitehouse fail to take abundant opportunities to back the Democratic nominee for NYC mayor? Was it really because they were afraid to "cross Bloomberg"? What would that imply about the richest man in NYC's (according to "Marketplace") dictatorial power, or presidential lack of backbone? Or did Obama in fact back Bloomberg!? A lot of loyal democratic activists who helped get the president elected feel betrayed (including young people), and we would like a straight answer!

Nov. 04 2009 10:02 AM
Gary from Upper Left Side


I know you guys and gals at WNYC are left-wing socialists who can’t understand why rich people do well first coming out of a recession before the rest of the country does, who can’t understand that the majority of New Yorkers, Mainers, Californians and Americans overall don’t want homosexuals to marry, and who just can’t understand why people in New York, New Jersey and Virginia actually voted for those evil Sarah Palin-loving Republicans. They voted Republican because Obama and the Democrats are failing the country. (Bush and the previous Republican Congress did too, I might add).) Obama has absolutely no business being president. NO BUSINESS WHATSOEVER. He doesn’t have a clue as to what he’s doing and can no longer fake it with pretty speeches. He should go back to the Illinois State Senate and get some actual legislative experience rather than constantly campaigning for the next highest position. In fact, Hillary deserves to be president.

All that being said, I’m not apt to donating to WNYC during the next fundraiser. Let Laura Walker know.

Gary Wilson

Nov. 04 2009 09:29 AM
Gary from Upper Left Side



Please read this on air...

As a WNYC donor, I was appalled by your election “coverage” last night. The anti-Republican bias you, Andrea Bernstein and Bob Hennelly displayed was unprofessional and unbecoming of WNYC’s supposed mission to inform the public in a non-partisan manner. Rather than reflecting on why the Democrats have now lost FIVE straight mayoral elections in New York City, you were constantly musing whether Bloomberg would now be “chastened” by “such a narrow victory.” (Even Bob had to ruefully remind you “well, the Mayor did win again.”) Brian, a win is win is win--whether by 4.6% or 46%. And by the way, Brian, Anthony Weiner would have been blown out by the “double digits” you keep saying Bloomberg was supposed to have won by. New Yorkers don’t want a weiner for mayor. Just ask Oscar Mayer.

As for Andrea, she referred to Bloomberg’s headquarters as “like the Death Star” that seemed “about to crash onto the shoals,” which made absolutely no sense--particularly since Bloomberg WON the election. Andrea referred to Bloomberg supporters in HQ is “in a bubble” with “absolutely no clue have narrowly they came to losing”. (But Andrea, Bloomberg won. That’s what matters. That’s why they’re happy. You should be happy too; he’s one of yours.)

And poor Bob. Well, it sounded like Bob just got back from his best friend’s funeral. Bob--usually snarky in his commentary--pondered why-oh-why didn’t your messiah Obama spend more time in New York campaigning for Thompson beyond “just a five-minute coffee break.” (Sorry, Bob, even your messiah thought Bloomberg was the better choice.)

Nov. 04 2009 09:29 AM
hjs from 11211

hey NJ, ready for some gridlock!!!

Nov. 04 2009 08:23 AM
Karen from Manhattan

The Republicans are going to try to make hay out of their victories in VA and NJ, but privately will recognize that they are actually in big trouble. Neither the Virginia nor New Jersey governor's race had anything to do with Barack Obama; on the contrary, these were local races in which the Democratic candidate was the issue, and that candidate was unpopular. Indeed, in both cases, voters expressly stated that the President and his policies had not determined their votes.

The real story yesterday was in upstate New York, where a conservative Democrat beat a right-wing Republican who had been supported by the far right wing of the Republican Party and had driven a more moderate Republican from the race. What this tells to me is that the electorate has moved firmly to the middle, rejecting the far-right politics of the Limbaughs, Palins and Cheney. This bodes well, not ill, for Congressional elections next year.

The Republicans won one easy race -- Virginia -- and one more difficult race -- New Jersey -- but in both cases where the issue was the Democratic candidate, not Democratic ideas and policies. Where policies, and tactics, were at issue, they lost a district that they had held for decades.

The youth vote: my twenty year-old, who eagerly voted last year for Obama, refused to vote yesterday, stating that he did not know any of the local candidates (we live in upper Westchester county) and that the issues were not important to him. We were annoyed, but respected his choice. He will definitely be voting in the Congressional elections next year. Don't underestimate the kids; they care, but not about everything, and they'll vote, but not every time.

Nov. 04 2009 07:51 AM

Governors races are never a "referendum" on the president. I don't know why people think this. The local governor controls taxes and law enforcement so you send liberal congressmen to DC to get federal spending in your state while your governor keeps taxes low locally. Even Massachussetts and California, two of the most liberal states, frequently have Republican governors. It has nothing to do with the federal policies.

But it was obvious Corzine was running a poor campaign. He had these billboards around with Obama in front with his arm raised with Corzine in the background with his arms folded looking wise and supportive. Reminds me of old soviet propoganda posters of Lenin in front waving his arm at a crowd with Stalin in the back nodding and smiling. It was just a little creepy. And then he mad fun of Christie for being fat? You don't have to be Karl Rove to realize in a country as obese as America you aren't going to win a lot of votes by dissing fat people. Ultimately I think people just didn't want some Goldman Sachs Wall St. money man running the state after what's been going on lately. ALthough, since Obama and Goldman Sachs are such close allies you'd think it would be good for the state to keep Corzine in there but not everyone saw it that way.

Nov. 04 2009 06:16 AM
George from Bay Ridge

How does social media influence modern campaigning, particularly for state and local races? Is there an impact at all?

You should probably mention student run organizations from the Roosevelt Institute, a think tank, to the role of the College Democrats and Republicans on campuses and campaigns.

Nov. 04 2009 03:12 AM
Donald Chen from NJ

The election in NJ proves that Socialistic policies of Obama are being rejected and the welfare state is being overturn. Down with this obscene healthcare overhaul. NPR should report the Corzine loss with the same gusto they gave the ObamaNation. Long live the voice of the people.

Nov. 04 2009 12:45 AM

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