Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Florida

Okay so you've got the Washington Post and the New York Times. The New York Times endorsed Hillary Clinton for President very recently.

Hillary Clinton "won" the Florida primary and is hoping to spin it as a true victory to disrupt Barack Obama's positive news cycle. Of course, it isn't a true victory because the Democratic Primary in Florida was a sham in which ALL of the candidates pledged not to campaign there because the state party had violated national party rules. So there was no campaign there, only names on a ballot. Hillary Clinton is now going against her previous pledge, having gone so far as to suggest that she now will pull a total 180 to fight to have the ballots from Florida and Michigan reinstated. Senator Clinton is banking that the media will allow her to lead the Florida primary news cycle without really providing equal air to the shady context in which this contest took place.

So here are two internet leads from two major newspapers, which do you think is New York Times?

"McCain Defeats Romney in Florida Vote... Clinton Wins in Democratic Race...Senator John McCain won the biggest delegate prize so far in a closely contested primary. Rudolph W. Giuliani was lagging far behind in a state he considered critical."

OR

"Sen. John McCain Wins Florida Republican Primary... GOP candidate wins a crucial victory over Mitt Romney as Rudy Giuliani runs a distant third in a state vital to his candidacy; Hillary Clinton wins largely ceremonial race."

Placement, font, emphasis, word choice...
So many people just see the headline or the crawl...

3 comments:

jeffrey said...

I actually think Hillary has a point with regard to the Florida delegates. She's obviously only making it for her own selfish reasons but her argument is:

1)The candidates agreed not to campaign in Florida. She did not technically campaign there.

2)The dispute is between the Florida Democratic party and the National Party. Now that the Florida primary is over, candidates are free to take sides in that dispute.

3)Florida voters do have a right to have their votes count for something and it would be unwise strategically to deny them this right at the Democratic convention.

4)The results there aren't meaningless. Just because there was no campaign in Florida doesn't mean the voters there have existed in a political news vacuum for these past months. One has to assume that the participants in this primary weren't making a wholly uninformed choice.

Again. I think everything Hillary does is selfish and disingenuous and I doubt she would be making this argument if the results were not what they were. But I still think she has a point.

This argument isn't going away any time soon.

Mark said...

Jeffrey and E,

You guys both miss one very important point about the Florida "primary."

It would be absurd to include the delegates from Florida, becuase citizens from that state were acting under the assumption that Florida delegates would not be counted. This includes those Floridians who did not vote because they knew their votes would not count. To presume that the results would be exactly the same if the voters had thought their votes would count is unsupportable and highly unlikely. Therefore, to include the delegates would be distortionary. The only way to truly make a Florida primary count would be to do it again, this time under the pretense that votes cast would be meaningful.

jeffrey said...

Which may end up happening.. believe it or not.