A blog about Politics, Texas, and Academia

Archive for the ‘Election 2008’ Category

My Journey to D.C. Will Begin Soon

In Academia, Barack Obama, Election 2008, Politics, Washington D.C. on December 1, 2008 at 1:25 pm


A whirlwind of events have occurred since I last blogged. My fellow Houstonians and I have somewhat recovered from Ike, our nation has a new president-elect, Halloween and Thanksgiving has come and gone, and we are quickly approaching the Christmas season. Work and family have kept me busy along with my graduate studies. Additionally, my husband just received orders for a deployment to Iraq next year so any free time that I’ve had is now spent with the National Guard Family Readiness and Yellow Ribbon Programs.

However, I did receive some good news In October. I was awarded a scholarship to attend an academic seminar that will take place in Washington, D.C. in January. The Washington Center is offering the Presidential Inauguration Academic Seminar which explores the new administration and the role that the media has in the process of the campaign, election, and presidency. The best part about the program is that it concludes during the Presidential Inauguration; therefore, I will be in the nation’s capitol to witness the historical swearing in of Barack Obama as the U.S.’s first African American president.

Once I found out that I would be making the trip to D.C., I got on the phone and began contacting the offices of my local senators and representatives to get my name on the list for inauguration tickets. I’m glad that I did this early, but we’ll see how that pans out. Even if I don’t get an actual ticket, I’ll be able to see the parade and attend some other parties/balls. I’m even going to dinner at the Chamber of Commerce while I’m there.

As part of my scholarship and the graduate credit that I’ll be earning, I’ll be blogging from the capitol daily and presenting a paper at our annual research symposium on campus in the spring. I’ve agreed to some local PR and a contribution the university magazine. For someone who never enjoyed writing anything longer than an I.O.U., I have found myself in the land of research and journal papers.

For now I’ll be doing the occasional blogging about events related to the big January day such as shopping for a ball gown (oh dear God),  an inauguration ticket confirmation, and maybe an Obama staff appointment or two.

The end of the fall term and January is right around the corner; there’s still so much to do.

I’m off to reserve a U-Haul truck for our current sitting Prez. 😉 (Is it just me or did Bush look like he was ready to hand over the White House keys right then to Obama during the recent tour?)


The 7-Eleven Election ’08

In Election 2008, Fun Stuff, Polling and Surveys on October 20, 2008 at 12:14 pm

Did you know that you can participate in the 7-Eleven Election?

The convenience store chain is conducting a 7-Election presidential coffee cup poll, which gives coffee drinkers their choice of a red 20-ounce cup for John McCain or a blue 20-ounce cup for Barack Obama.

Currently, Barack Obama is leading the 7-Eleven polls 60% to 40% for John McCain.

Scanned votes are reported weekly in USA Today. The latest results can be viewed at 7-Election.com. Drink up and cast your opinion at the same time. 😉

POLL: If the election were held today, who would you cast your ballot for?

In Election 2008, Politics, Polling and Surveys on October 17, 2008 at 12:56 pm

Early Voting in Texas Starts Monday

In Election 2008, Politics, Texas Politics on October 16, 2008 at 4:24 pm

Early voting in Texas begins Monday, October 20th and goes through Friday, October 31st. This election will have an extremely high turnout so take this opportunity to cast your ballot early.

Don’t forget that you’re not just choosing a president, but other leaders in our state and cities. Check out VoteTX.org for a sample ballot where you live.

Check the Texas Secreatry of State website for locations in your county. Be sure sure to bring your Voter’s Registration card and your Texas Driver’s License or Texas ID. Most importantly, BRING YOUR VOTE!!!

Palin’s Experience Lands Her a New Job

In Election 2008, Fun Stuff, Humor, Political Humor, Politics, Sarah Palin on October 13, 2008 at 2:02 pm

Snaps to an old friend of mine for this… 😎

Sarah Palin’s 10-Nation Tour at Epcot

In Election 2008, Humor, Political Humor, Politics, Sarah Palin on September 29, 2008 at 9:41 pm

Leave it to the Onion to combine Sarah Palin, Walt Disney World’s Epcot, and foreign policy:

ORLANDO, FL—Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin sought to silence those who have criticized her lack of foreign affairs experience Tuesday by announcing plans for a weeklong, 10-nation tour of Walt Disney World’s Epcot. According to Palin, the trip—her first past Frontierland—will include speaking engagements at Norway’s famous Viking ride, sausages at Germany’s Kaufhaus, and, time permitting, a fact-finding mission to Future World. “This ambitious trip should finally demonstrate that I am ready to assume the vice presidency, whether by standing in long lines at Morocco’s Tangierine Café or by sitting down face-to-face with Mexico’s Three Caballeros,” Palin announced during a campaign stop outside a Chinese restaurant in Tulsa, OK. “All of our neighbors deserve good diplomacy, from the Universe of Energy down to the French pavilion.” Palin also promised a visit to the American Adventure exhibit before returning home, adding that she hoped to learn more about her own nation and the diverse peoples within.

Women, Work, and Family in Politics

In Democrats, Election 2008, Family, Oregon, Oregon Politics, Politics, Sarah Palin, Women in Politics on September 8, 2008 at 2:36 pm

Think that Sarah Palin’s story of family and politics is a rare one? Meet Rep. Sara Gelser of Oregon. She has her own story which should be heard. And just because she is a woman with young children (including one with a disability) doesn’t mean that she will be supporting Palin in the voting booth this November:

“I won’t vote for Sarah Palin because I disagree with her on the issues, but I do not question her competence because she is a mother,” says Gelser.

Julie Sullivan of The Oregonian examines Gelser’s story and how voters still tend to view political mothers and fathers differently. From “For Women, work and family create a political minefield“:

In the topsy-turvy nature of this presidential campaign, liberals have been scandalized by Palin’s return to work three days after giving birth, and conservatives have been inspired by her typical family. Families of children with Down syndrome have been thrilled at the prospect of a larger, bipartisan conversation about their children’s potential.

But Sara Gelser could have told the other Sarah long ago that voters judge a mother with young children differently from the way they do a father.

One voter once told Gelser he couldn’t support a candidate “who couldn’t keep a commitment. You’ve got four children. Certainly when you had them, you intended to mother them.”

“I was like, ‘Wow,'” Gelser said. “I didn’t understand why it was anyone’s business but mine and my husband’s.”

Celinda Lake, a Democratic pollster and national strategist said that voters worry about who will raise the children if a mother is elected. For men it’s like, “‘Great! He will care about the future.’

“It’s one of the clearest double standards still left in politics,” Lake said.

Much of the emotion around Palin arises from women’s own recent parenting experiences.

“I do think her family needs her more right now than the Republicans do,” said Judy Turner, a Northwest Portland mother of three small children who left a high-powered job for a more flexible arrangement as a consultant. “A special-needs child and a pregnant teen daughter need extensive support, love and attention from both parents. I believe she is making the wrong choice and setting a poor example for the country.”

But Rep. Linda Flores, a Republican mother of five grown children from Clackamas, cheers the complex Palin family portrait.

“This is a real person who has real life experiences,” Flores said. “And she is the best person to gauge whether her family can handle this.”

“Besides,” Flores said, “if she were a man, we wouldn’t even be having this discussion.”

Political scientists say Flores is right. Motherhood is so complicating that most women wait until their children are older to pursue higher office — like Flores and U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. — or they downplay the presence of youngsters altogether. U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., for instance, didn’t disclose her 2006 pregnancy — the first in Congress in a decade — until after she was re-elected.

“The picture of the candidate with the spouse, the kids and the golden retriever is priceless for a male, but sometimes the female candidate won’t even put the picture in the brochure,” said Debbie Walsh, director of Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers University.

Walsh said that as a result, fewer women than men in Congress and in state legislatures have children younger than 18. Women enter office later in life, have shorter political trajectories, and thus, are less likely to become leaders.

“It’s a double bind,” said Melody Rose, an associate professor and chairwoman of the political science division at Portland State University. “If a woman waits, she may postpone her chances to rise to leadership, and if she has young children, she comes under intense scrutiny for her mothering. It’s like the woman who wants to have children and a political career simply cannot win.”

…Women make up about 16 percent of both houses of Congress, 24 percent of state legislators and 16 percent of mayors of cities with populations over 30,000. Palin is one of just eight women governors.

Gelser said she and her husband, Peter, have balanced her legislative career by relying on his caregiving, extended family and constantly talking to their children about what is important to them. She’s sought advice from the grown children of other Oregon legislators and staged memorable family moments, such as a mock family debate on the deserted House floor or a night singalong in the Rotunda.

Sam Gelser, who has a rare developmental disability called FG syndrome, told his mother during opening day of the 2007 session how proud he was of her.

Still, when people contacted Gelser about running for retiring Rep. Darlene Hooley’s seat, Gelser declined, in part because she saw only about 10 women in Congress with children younger than 18.

“I do think if I had seen 20 or 30 women you could see how it would work and how you can still have kids who are happy and healthy,” she said.


Texans Need to Prepare For Hurricane Gustav

In Election 2008, Local Stuff, Military, Politics, Rick Noriega, Texas Politics, Uncategorized, Weather on August 30, 2008 at 9:14 pm

As a supporter of Lt. Col. Rick Noriega for Senate, I received this email a couple of hours ago:

Dear Theresa,

As many of you know, Hurricane Gustav is gaining strength in the Caribbean Sea with maximum sustained winds over 145 mph.
This is a serious time for Texans. We must be prepared for the possibility it will make landfall anywhere along the Gulf Coast, including here in Texas.
As Incident Commander of Houston’s Katrina relief efforts at the George R. Brown Convention Center, I have seen first-hand the devastating consequences of major hurricanes, and we know we must take these threats seriously.
We have created a page on our website of links to important resources. You can find it at:
Please keep the residents of the Gulf Coast in your prayers, and please be safe.
Rick Noriega
Democrat for U.S. Senate
If you go to his website, you’ll find links to important resources in preparation for Hurricane Gustav:

Please check out his website and vote for him this November. 🙂

Craig Ferguson Calls Sarah Palin A Naughty Librarian

In Election 2008, GOP, John McCain, Politics, Sarah Palin on August 29, 2008 at 6:22 pm

This is a video from a little over a year ago. The Governor of Alaska (and now McCain’s Vice Presidential pick) sends Craig Ferguson a personal video offering honorary citizenship to the host.

Even Rush Limbaugh called Palin a “babe” in the past and again today. What a pig. Read his comments from today here.

So as she reaches the glass ceiling, she’ll still get wolf whistles, wagging tongues, and more will be looking at her instead of listening to her…this could be either a good or bad thing, regardless of which party you’re supporting.

Clinton Texas Delegates On Board With Obama – Why Wouldn’t They Be?

In Are you kidding me?, Barack Obama, Democrats, Election 2008, Hillary Clinton, John McCain, Politics, Women's Rights on August 29, 2008 at 10:38 am

Obama’s acceptance speech at last night Democratic National Convention not only brought the house down, but seemed to have eased some diehard Hillary Texas delegates.

Photo from the AP

From the Dallas Morning News:

Former Texas Democratic Party chairman Bob Slagle, a leading Hillary Rodham Clinton backer, said the Obama speech will help sway conservative independents.

“It’ll sell pretty damn well,” he said. “He spoke of individual responsibility, of government helping when it should and getting out of the way when it shouldn’t.”

Obama supporters said he hit all the high points, taking on issues they cared about and moved the ball forward.

“It was awesome,” said Fernando Villarreal of Waco. “He touched the heart of every American.”

Mr. Villarreal said he appreciated Mrs. Clinton and all she achieved. “But now, I’m 100 percent Obama,” he said.

And Barbara Rosenberg of Dallas, who came here with a heavy heart because it would not be her favorite candidate crowned, left Invesco Field at Mile High a little lighter.

“I’m happily on board,” she said. “He covered all the issues important to me – the ones why I supported Hillary. Now we’re going forward on all those issues with Obama.”

Even Lulu Flores, an ardent Clinton delegate from Austin and chairwoman of the National Women’s Political Caucus, said: “I’m getting there.”

“He was really good. And he said what I needed to hear,” she said.

The speech was a good start, but it wasn’t going to be the Hail Mary pass that won her completely over in the convention’s final seconds.

“It’s still a 12-step program. But now I’m past at least the second step,” she said.

The candidate of change was changing her, too, she acknowledged. “I’m ready to work for that change for all of us.”

This is good to hear seeing that I have yet to comprehend how someone who had supported Clinton would even consider changing party sides to vote for McCain. This past Tuesday, Clinton asked the DNC crowd:

“I want you to ask yourselves: Were you in this campaign just for me?…Or were you in it for that young marine and others like him? Were you in it for that mom struggling with cancer while raising her kids? Were you in it for that boy and his mom surviving on the minimum wage?”

Those individuals who are still holding a grudge over Hillary’s defeat must come to the realization that they were only in it for themselves. Watching the convention (and yes, I watched all four nights) I saw several people who were crying and mad that Clinton was either not nominated, or the fact that Clinton herself spoke out during the Roll Call. These very same people were making statements like, “As a woman, she deserves to be president” and “She gave a presidential speech tonight; America has just shut the door on what women can accomplish.” ARE YOU KIDDING ME? Clinton DID open the door for women, inlcuding myself. I thank her for that. Look where we were 8 or even 4 years ago? She (or any other woman for that matter) would have never made it as far as she did in this election.

As Clinton herself stated:

“Although we weren’t able to shatter that highest, hardest glass ceiling this time, thanks to you, it’s got about 18 million cracks in it…And the light is shining through like never before, filling us all with the hope and the sure knowledge that the path will be a little easier next time.”

If Clinton supporters are still willing to cross party lines on Election Day, then they have failed to accept what Clinton’s campaign brought to the table.

I’m all for being passionate for a candidate and taking a stand to support someone. But when one chooses to cross party lines because their candidate failed to get the party nomination, then that individual is being selfish and irrational.

If you were/are a Clinton supporter and considering trading in your vote for a McCain vote, think about who he may appoint to the Supreme Court over the next four years. Have you considered the Supreme Court? The Court affects each and every one of us. Think about civil rights and liberties, women’s (pro-choice) rights, a person’s right to marry regardless of one’s sexuality, and so on.

If you supported Clinton on these very things, then it is your duty and responsibility to vote her party ticket. If you are still so pissed off that she lost and are going to ‘get back at the democrats’ for not nominating a woman for president, then vote for McCain. Cast a vote for someone on the other party ticket that is Pro-Life (which seems to go against the whole ‘woman’ president thing) and who has the ability to pack the Supreme Court with individuals that support the same ideas as he does.

Can you see how this would be like spitting on Clinton’s campaign and not the democratic party? Can you?

Oh, and by the way…for those who have just decided to say, “Well screw it – I just won’t vote!” Oh boy…I can attack this in a whole new post. You’re not off the hook…

AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall