Friday, September 15, 2006

Quote Reveals Chabot's View of Women

Posted at Take Back Cincinnati:

“I’d give her a five out of ten. . . . She’s not a dog, but, you know, she’s not gorgeous.”

- Steve Chabot, offering his views on First Lady Hillary Clinton (1995)

Source: Blackwell Synergy: J American Culture, Vol 27, Issue 1, pp. 99-106 ...


At 9:06 PM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hillary Clinton tells Democrats
to prepare for attack by extremists
Column by The Post's Sharon Moloney

In a short visit to Cincinnati to campaign for Mayor Roxanne Qualls, first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton made a sort of pre-emptive strike against ''extremism'' and ''extreme elements of society.''

She was quite passionate about it, and in fact that theme was at the heart of her brief remarks to Democrats gathered at Music Hall Monday.

It was a political speech, as it was intended to be, and no one makes them better than Mrs. Clinton in full campaign mode. Monday she minced no words in telling the Democrats she thinks the Republicans and their allies have them squarely in their ''extremist'' sights, however one interprets that term.

It suggested, at any rate, that Mrs. Clinton, who is probably the best political strategist in the entire administration, thinks the Democrats are about to be deluged with negative political ads and campaigns.

That is not a paranoid thought.

In an effort to head them off at the pass, so to speak, Mrs. Clinton urged her listeners to be aware of what's going on. Their opponents, she predicted, will use so much negative advertising ''that people will be disgusted and stay home. . .and while they stay home the extremist elements will get their side out to vote.''

Interestingly, that is the scenario laid out in detail in a recent Wall Street Journal analysis. In this year of an expected record low voter turnout, the Journal article said both political parties will be looking to motivate their base voters - those most likely to vote - and ignoring the less committed, the independent and swing voters.

To the Republicans that means, probably most importantly, its religious conservative wing, folks who not only vote but get out and work for candidates. These are largely the folks the Democrats consider extremist.

But while that might be a national strategy, it doesn't necessarily follow in the 1st District, where Ms. Qualls is challenging Republican incumbent Steve Chabot in one of the hottest congressional races in the country.

The problem here is first that both candidates need all the votes they can get, and that includes the independents and the swing voters. Neither candidate can afford to ignore all but their political base.

The district is roughly 40 percent each Democrat and Republican. Chabot depends on the swing voters. Ms. Qualls will be trying for the swing voters, but more importantly, wants to make inroads into the Republican base - specifically, suburban, Republican-leaning women who are thought to be more socially liberal than traditional Republicans.

Chabot has in the past taken his base easily, including the women, and has taken most of the independents as well. But he ran against ultra-liberal men. This time his opponent is a woman and one held in esteem, according to all the polls, by suburban women.

Gene Beaupre, Xavier University political scientist, said polls show Mrs. Clinton is also popular with this group, and that made her appearance Monday with Ms. Qualls a plus for the Cincinnati mayor. Ms. Qualls herself made a point of saying ''there is no person I would rather stand on the podium with than Hillary Rodham Clinton.''

All of which might tempt GOP strategists to ''go negative,'' as the saying goes - just what Hillary Rodham Clinton was making a pre-emptive point of here.

So all that, probably, will set the local race apart from the national scene.

Hamilton County, moreover, may not follow national turnout trends as well.

National predictions are that only about 33 percent of all people 18 and over will vote this November. Here in Hamilton County Bruce Taylor, director of the Board of Elections, expects at least half the voters to turn out, and maybe more, depending on what's actually on the ballot.

Voter turnout depends in large part on local issues, and this year Hamilton County voters will have not only the Chabot/Qualls race, and the Bob Taft/Lee Fisher race for governor, but a potential hot issue in the proposal to force construction of a baseball stadium at Broadway Commons.

Then there is a mental health levy, which turns out that particular interest group, and more important, a couple of school issues - Princeton and Sycamore among them - that will turn out suburban voters in large areas of the county.

The rest of the nation might be complacent or turned-off. But Hamilton County voters have plenty of reasons to go to the polls in November.

Veteran Post reporter Sharon Moloney covers local politics.

Publication date: 07-29-98


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