article from the Sunday Telegraph
jimnantz at NETWRX.NET
Sun Oct 20 01:12:31 MDT 1996
I just saw this in the Sunday Telegraph. I thought this was a good article
and I thought I would share it with those of you who don't get the Daily
Telegraph. If you haven't subscribed yet you should if you like unbiased
journalism. It's free and the url is www.telegraph.co.uk
Sunday 20 October 1996
Dole draws blood in sunshine state
By Ambrose Evans-Pritchard in Los Angeles
WITH JUST two weeks to go before the presidential election, Bill Clinton's
lead in California is shrinking ominously. If the haemorrhage of white
working-class voters continues for much longer, the president's
over-confident campaign could find itself facing a disastrous upset. It
could lose California's block of 54 electoral college votes - a fifth of the
total needed to win - throwing open the whole race.
Hubris has crept into the campaign. On Thursday, a cocksure Clinton swept
into the Republican bastion of Orange County, an area in the grip of an
anti-immigrant, anti-Mexican backlash. Blind to local sensitivities, his
aides allowed the event to turn into an Hispanic political rally. Clinton
was introduced by the local Democratic candidate for Congress in Spanish,
and then delivered his speech beneath a sign that read "Presidente Clinton
en El Condado de Orange". It is the surest way to galvanise the Republican
grass-roots activists who, until now, have been sitting on their hands.
A cultural war is under way in Southern California, where two civilisations
meet along an unstable border that is pushing further north each year. About
100,000 beleaguered whites migrated annually from California to other states
in the early 1990s, many of them seeking tribal solidarity in places such as
Utah and Colorado.
Dole is no longer trying to serenade the 'soccer moms', the suburban women
said to be the swing vote in 1996
"We're talking about a struggle for the American south-west," said Glenn
Spencer, head of an organisation called Voice of Citizens Together. "These
politicians in Washington just don't get it."
But Bob Dole is finally beginning to get it. "If you are in this country
illegally, you can stay in public housing, collect welfare, get free medical
care, and even invite family members abroad to come and join you," he told
an audience in the smog-ridden, urban sprawl of Riverside. "Why are
thousands of Californians the victims of violent crimes committed by people
who should have been stopped at the border before they so much as stepped
foot in this country?"
Dole is no longer trying to serenade the "soccer moms", the suburban women
said to be the swing vote in 1996. For months, his campaign has been a
mish-mash of touchy-feely themes designed to reassure women that Bob Dole is
not a heartless extremist. Every phrase had to be screened in advance by
focus groups, equipped with electronic buzzers, to test the emotional
reaction. Each speech was calculated for its appeal to the feminised centre,
a political zone that had already been conquered by Bill Clinton. It was a
flight from ideology, and it satisfied nobody.
The questions of race and immigration have become the premier issues of
Now Dole has realised that there are more votes to be gleaned by tending to
the grass roots of the Republican Party, a party controlling most of
America's governing machinery at the local level. In California, it means
reaching out to the "angry white male" who proved so potent in the
Republican landslide of 1994 - and to the angry white female who cannot
afford to live in the soccer belt.
The Republicans' tracking polls showed that Dole was only five points behind
Clinton in California, well within striking distance, at the end of last
week. The sudden improvement was the result of heavy spending on television
advertisements by Republican congressional candidates, holding their fire
until the enemy was close enough to see the whites of their eyes.
The swing is so dramatic that Dole is finally willing to go for broke in
California. His campaign is hitching its wagon to two powerful movements in
California: the anti-immigrant coalition and the anti-quota coalition that
is certain to pass Proposition 209 this year making it illegal to
discriminate on the basis of race or sex in government employment.
Proposition 209, a "colour-blind" law known as the California Civil Rights
Initiative (CCRI), is the spearhead of the white male backlash, but is also
backed by many of California's Japanese, Chinese and Korean people, who have
become the unintended victims of racial quotas intended to favour blacks and
Hispanics. California has become the multi-cultural laboratory for the
United States. Almost a third of the state's 32 million people are Hispanic,
a tenth are Asian, a twelfth are black. The questions of race and
immigration have become the premier issues of state politics.
Far from offending Americans, Dole's unexpected display of spunk seems to
have given him traction at last
"The vote is very volatile in California," said Pat Reddy, head of Golden
State Research in Los Angeles. "Dole has a shot if he gets on the coat-tails
of CCRI." But Reddy points to the state's fiendishly complicated ethnic
politics. Anglos turn out to vote at a rate of three times their Latino
counterparts. Filipinos are Democrat but the Vietnamese are Republican. And
If there is a pattern, it is that fresh immigrants are overwhelmingly
Democrat, which may explain why the Clinton administration has accelerated
the pace of naturalisation from the normal 400,000 a year to 1.3 million in
the past 12 months, all entitled to vote.
For Bob Dole, the battle has finally begun. Last week he tore into Bill
Clinton for selling US foreign policy to a shady group of financiers with
ties to the Indonesian government. He echoed allegations by William Safire,
the columnist, that the White House had turned a blind eye to Indonesian
genocide in East Timor in exchange for campaign money that was almost
certainly illegal. Far from offending Americans, Dole's unexpected display
of spunk seems to have given him traction at last.
California is the one state that can change the dynamic of the entire
election. A competitive challenge here can send a surge through the rest of
the country. The odds against Dole are still long, but not impossible - so
long as he can lay off focus groups wired to electronic buzzers between now
and November 5.
19 October 1996: Doomed Dole not alone on the road to disaster 13 October
1996: Asphalt One runs out of road
Jim Nantz http://www.netwrx.net/jimnantz Poor not quite starving Student at
Glendale Community College.
"After their numbers decreased From 50 to 8. The other dwarves began to
- Gary Larson - The Far Side.
I am Homer of Borg. Resistance is futile You will be assim..... mmmmmmmmmm
"It's good to be here. When you're 97 it's good to be anywhere." - |George
"He who laughs when things go wrong has just found someone he can blame it
on." - Benny Hill
"A candle may light the way in darkness, but NUCLEAR POWER
means we can have cold beer while we watch the Super Bowl."
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