We created this facebook group to send a message to Senator Biden, Senator Dodd, Senator Clinton and Gov. Richardson.Why pick on Hillary Clinton with the name of the group? They say that's the name they started with, and there's no way to change it. But really, if you're going to put a candidate's name in the title of your Facebook group, are you going to put Biden, Dodd, or Richardson? Of course not. Frontrunners deserve special scrutiny.
We targeted the candidates above since they gave conflicting comments about student voters in the press and at rallies.
We wanted each of them to encourage students that are enrolled in a college in Iowa to caucus, even if that means they are not "from" Iowa.
When we say "from" Iowa we mean students who chose to move to Iowa to attend school. Richardson, Biden, Clinton and Dodd seemed to be saying those students should not caucus.
Here's the page with the relevant candidate quotes. For Hillary:
"Hillary wants every student who lives in Iowa and wants to caucus in Iowa and is eligible to caucus in Iowa to do so. We hope that they will and we hope that they will caucus for Hillary. The Iowa caucus is special because it is based on Iowa values. We hope and trust that every campaign is making sure that potential caucus goers have all the information they need, and in no way explicitly or implicitly encourages anyone to break the law by participating in two places. Not only is it okay to engage students in Iowa, but it is critical to ensure that they are active participants in the process, and we are doing everything we can to get them out to caucus." –Howard Wolfson, Communications DirectorThe Iowa caucus is special because it is based on Iowa values. What does that mean? It sounds nativistic. Why do we start with Iowa, anyway?
Let's read Politico:
The argument centers on whether to encourage Iowa college students from out of state to caucus in Iowa — as the campaign of Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) is doing — or to frown at it, as the Clinton and Dodd campaigns have hinted at.So, the Clinton campaign is accusing Obama of using underhanded tactics?
Drawing an implicit contrast with the Obama campaign, Clinton spokesman Mo Elleithee said, "We are not systematically trying to manipulate the Iowa caucuses with out-of-state people; we don't have literature recruiting out-of-state college students.”
And Dodd’s Iowa state Director Julie Andreeff Jensen accused Obama of “scheming to evade either the spirit or the letter of the rules that guide the process.”Scheming... manipulating...
Dodd declared that students who did not grow up in Iowa should not caucus, saying, "If you're from Hartford, Conn., and you're going to school at the University of Iowa, and you're paying out-of-state tuition, you're [unfairly] casting yourself as an Iowan."Interesting that the rougher statements are coming from Dodd. Trying to help Hillary?
And what is he saying? Young people who go somewhere to live for years ought to go back home where their parents raised them if they want to participate in politics? The fact that a state school makes them pay more tuition imposes additional burdens?
David Yepsen, the influential Des Moines Register columnist, criticized the Obama campaign Dec. 1 for distributing a pamphlet informing student supporters that even if they are out of state on Jan. 3 they can return to Iowa and caucus at their school precinct.They scheduled the caucuses during the holiday break to drive you kids out of town. How dare you be so interested in politics that you'd come back early! Stay away, you bastards! Shouldn't you be hungover from New Year's partying or snowed in somewhere in New England or hiding from the winter somewhere in the South? You seem like just the nasty little idealists who'd be motivated by that damnably inspiring character Barack Obama.
Yepsen wrote, “These are the Iowa caucuses. Asking people who are 'not from Iowa' to participate in them changes the nature of the event.”
Yepsen himself admits that it’s legal for any student at a four-year college in Iowa to vote. The Iowa secretary of state posts information on how students can caucus from their campus address.
[O]n Monday former President Bill Clinton [said:] “If this is your primary political identity then you should vote, but if it isn’t and you’re going to turn right back around and vote in a primary the next day then you shouldn’t because it means that your primary identity is not in Iowa.”He's stuck 2 things together: participating twice (which actually is wrong) and having a "primary political identity." Toward the end of that (manipulative, scheming) sentence he suggests that participating in 2 states' processes is the definition of a "primary political identity." But he's creating a bad feeling that if you came to Iowa to be a student you're doing something wrong by participating without having the requisite "identity." And he's assuming that if you participate twice, the one that's wrong is Iowa. Why isn't it the other one?
A core American value is the right of citizens to move from state to state. If you want to talk about "identity," American identity includes an entitlement to relocate in another state. Now what is Iowa identity? What are Iowa values? What does it mean to ask young people to question whether they have Iowa identity and Iowa values?
The Hillary campaign has since issued a statement encouraging students to vote provided they don’t fraudulently participate in both their home state primary and the caucuses.Okay, so they got caught, it hurt, and they backed off.
ADDED: And speaking of inadequate hyperlinking at the NYT... Glenn Reynolds notes that a NYT book review has a hyperlink on "N.R.A.," in a discussion of Roosevelt's National Recovery Administration, that sends us to a list of articles about the National Rifle Association.
It's not as if the Web were invented yesterday. Get up to speed! I'd be mortified if I'd made a mistake on my little one-person operation here. The NYT should be proving to us constantly that mainstream media has a professional quality that puts independent bloggers to shame. Instead, we bloggers have to write posts shaming mainstream media.