Little Found on Moseley Braun
There isn't a lot of media coverage for Carol Moseley Braun, whose campaign may be seeing its final sparks about to flicker out with the apparent loss of ABC News coverage of her campaign (see "We're From The Media ..." post below). Ergo, about all I can locate is opinions, which as far as I am concerned are more to the point that another listing of a candidate's biography. Probably more realistic as well.
************ A Case of the Mondays ***********
The 2004 Presidential election is less than a year away and the campaign is in full swing. As voting citizens, it is our duty to familiarize ourselves with the candidates. The Democrats are going to have a tough time ahead of themselves in defeating Bush. He is the only credible GOP candidate, and has amassed a war chest of Biblical proportions. Cracking Bush's support from devout Christians, Southerners and military veterans will not be easy.
If one thing is certain about this campaign, it's the fact that both parties are going to grapple like prizefighters over the small number of swing voters. Get ready for the nastiest, ugliest campaign in recent history, folks. The theme of the day seems to be "never trust a son-of-a-bush," with the Democrats fighting tooth and nail to oust Bush from the Oval Office.
Sharpton is a well-known public figure, but he is far too radical to really appeal to the large number of moderates in this country.
Moseley Braun is so full of her gender that she may even alienate her target demographic: female voters. I recently read a column in the Harvard Crimson by liberal columnist Lia Larson who found Moseley Braun to be far too focused on her gender to be taken seriously. I think it's safe to say that neither of these candidates are going to make it to the Oval Office.
[Here's an example of an alienated female voter - ed]
*********** Please Woo Me! **************
The next Presidential election is a little over a year away, so it seems like itís time to start paying attention to the list of candidates, perhaps getting behind one of them. But not a single one is wooing me. Is it wrong for me to want my candidateís words to move me, to make me feel like there is hope or to even, as far fetched as this may be, make me proud of my government?
A former co-worker of mine once told me that I wasnít a good liberal because I voted for Gore when I really didnít fully agree with the idea of Al Gore as president. Additionally, I still hadnít gotten over Tipperís attempt to stifle free speech a few years back with the formation of the PMRC. Flawed as my reasoning may have been and may still be, I wanted to back a candidate with a chance.
Carol Moseley-Braun. Oh how I would love to put my heart and soul into backing a woman for President. Right or wrong, I would love to be able to embrace Moseley-Braun based solely on her gender. Is it too dreamy to think that filling the position of ďthe most powerful man in the worldĒ with a woman would improve our governmentís shortcomings? Perhaps, as I suppose gender does not make one immune to the challenges of staying pure to oneís values when living the political life. Bottom line, Iím not in total agreement with Moseley-Braunís voting record and I simply canít in good conscience support her.
I decided to go to selectsmart.com, take their quiz and see just who I should be supporting for President. Number 27 on this list of 33 is good old George Dubya. Thatís it! This program has a bug in it. Perhaps itís the victim of an Internet virus.
Dubya has had quite some time now to woo me and he has certainly failed. Early in the last campaign, when I was under the illusion that heíd never get far, I found his antics almost charming in that ďbless his heartĒ kind of way. Today Iím so vehemently opposed to the majority of the actions of his administration that Iím not sure if I should run screaming to some uncharted Pacific island or stay and fight for change.
Iím a little older and questionably wiser now and Iíve decided that in addition to my candidate having a chance of actually being elected, I want them to woo me. So far, none of those in the spotlight have done so. They still have time though, and I have hope that one of them will succeed. Iíll keep on tracking their progress. My weekend mornings will be spent sipping coffee on the couch with my husband as we watch the political observers comment on who said what during the week, interjecting comments of our own. Iíll keep on waiting all the way up to Election Day for someone to woo me.
[There's always hope in the next generation - ed]
************ Project sparks youth interest in primary ************
Pembroke Academy Pembroke, NH
As the main course project for the first semester, the students have been split into groups and assigned candidates at random. Each has written a six- to eight-page essay in support of the candidate and produced campaign brochures, graded on everything from sales pitch to composition. They'll deliver 10-minute presentations at a public political forum in the auditorium. The only research requirement is proof of attendance at one campaign event. Beyond that, the approach is open-ended.
While a few students acknowledged they were skating by with the minimum, this is an honors course. They've made calls and ridden campaign buses; they've trekked across the state for house parties and stump speeches; they've posed for some pictures, taken others, even shot their own promotional videos.
In one case, "we're actually in the commercial," said Stacey Seidner, assigned to the Wesley Clark campaign. Her group appeared in the background of Clark footage shot at Keene State. That day in Keene, the girls wanted a picture with Clark for the PowerPoint slide show they'll present on Thursday. The general acknowledged their request but was besieged by a post-event mob of well-wishers, hand-shakers and question-askers. And then he was whisked off, the girls left holding the camera. "But while he was being taken away, he said, 'Hold on. I have to get my picture taken with these girls,' " Seidner said. They got their shot.
A copy of that photo now sits on the desk of Craig Gleason, the history teacher who collaborates on this two-period course with English teacher Holly Dunlea. They came up with the "Meet the Candidates" assignment to illustrate New Hampshire's unique position in presidential politics. They wanted the students to appreciate the personal brand of campaigning practiced here and recognize that it's a privilege and an anomaly.
"When Beau (Memory, an Edwards campaign staffer) came to speak to the class, he told them, 'Everywhere else, people pay to see the candidates' " and here they come to you, Gleason said. "It's been really cool, because there's a spark that's been generated" by the assignment, he said. "And I think the significance of the New Hampshire primary has really grown on them as a result."
Along the way, the students have discovered a few truisms. "The candidates are never on time," said Kayla Ingham, who beat John Kerry by 15 minutes while going from a Kerry speech in Concord to a Kerry speech in Plymouth, even though she stopped at Wendy's along the way.
"The campaign people are always trying to get everyone to do stuff for them," Ben Parker said. He went with his group to the Gephardt headquarters just looking for literature. The next thing they knew, they had somehow agreed to start a Gephardt fan club at Pembroke Academy.
The students have learned the importance of the full message vs. the TV sound bite. "If you want to make your vote count, you really need to go and hear about who these people are and what they stand for," said Jessica Jones. When she and her teammates first drew Carol Moseley Braun, they panicked: "How are you going to support a candidate that no one's heard of?"
Watching classmates drop by Concord offices, they despaired at Moseley Braun's lack of a local presence. But then they saw her speak in Durham. All three agreed she was intelligent, thoughtful and charismatic, and they came away with a hug and a photo, as well as a new enthusiasm - if not a uniform agreement about the candidate's ideas. "She thinks the world can be perfect, and that everyone is equal, no matter how much money they make. . . . I don't know if that's how it is," Jessica Lorenzen said. "I don't know if that's how it should be."
But even if they don't agree on the issues, the students feel better informed. "Now if I hear . . . adults talking about politics, I don't have to tune out and say, 'I'm a teenager and I don't have an opinion,' " Lorenzen said.
Seeing volunteers in action has provided a behind-the-scenes glimpse. "Before I had no clue. I just thought, well, there's a guy running for office and he gets elected," said Duncan Green, who saw what it's like to go door to door in Concord with a Kerry worker. It's more effective than calling, he said.
Classmate Chelsea Ford agreed: "That's my house, guys. My family is the family that hangs up on campaign people. . . . But now when they call, I actually listen."
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