Monday, January 14, 2008
Race and Gender: enough already!






Tom Foreman
360 Correspondent



Too much fuss is being made over race and gender in this presidential campaign. As I have traveled the country talking to voters, I have heard not the slightest hesitation from the vast majority over the idea of a female or African American in the oval office.



Maybe that's because people hide their predjudices well. Maybe it's because the most closed minds among us don't talk to reporters like me. Or maybe, just maybe, it's because America as a whole is fair, understanding, and ready to say it is time for the White House to no longer be quite so white, nor quite so much purely a man's castle.

What I have heard from so many voters is a broad sense that they truly believe no one should be blocked from our nation's highest office because of race or gender, but at the same time, they've made this clear, too: We should not elect someone just because that candidate breaks racial or gender tradition either, because wouldn't a decision based on such measures be the very definition of the sexism and racism many hope this election will refute?

What do you think? We'd like to hear.

Posted By CNN: 10:09 AM ET
  9 Comments
Tom,
As a whole I don't think this nation cares what race or gender the candidates are. Really I think we want to know what they stand for and what they plan to do to better this country.

I hope that the race and gender cards aren't going to be dragged into this election. If so I am going to be VERY disappointed! I hope we as a country are better than that! I hope that this doesn't get so out of hand that it takes our attentions away from what really matters and that is the issues! ALOT of which Obama has never even told his views on!

Cynthia, Covington, Ga.
Posted By Blogger Cindy : 10:36 AM ET
Race and gender are factors in this presidential election. In November, when we "pull a lever" will the majority of Americans vote for a woman or an African American man? I want to believe we are a nation that could do that. However, more important to me is which canditate will beat the republican canditate, and which candidate will help this country heal. I love Mr. Obama's message but I question his experience. I believe in Mrs. Clinton's experience, but I question her willingness to think outside the box. We, as a nation, face difficult years ahead we need someone who can lead us through unification and courage - I just don't know which canditate brings that package to the table.
Posted By Blogger lv2rt : 10:44 AM ET
Mr. Foreman,
You are correct. A decision based on gender or race would be the very definition of sexism and racism. But it is too often that those aspects come in to play. A good example is where a rally go-er yelled at Ms. Clinton to "iron my shirt."
That proves there are voters out there that will not vote for Ms. Clinton because she is a woman. The same goes for Mr. Obama. There are voters out there that will not vote for him because he is African-American.
For me, I look at a candidate's issues and experience. Then do a little research. I think that is the best way to make a decision.
If votes are determined by race, sex, religion, etc then it is a sad day for our democracy.

Jeremy
Harrisburg, PA
Posted By Blogger drpermis : 10:49 AM ET
Hi Tom,
I think most Americans just want a President that is the best person for the job. All the drama, analysis, and pundits is usually only a small piece of the process for most of us to absorb.
That's a job that the media seems to fill and we can either listen intently to it, or hit the mute button. "Race and Gender: enough already!" Well said.

Lorie Ann
Buellton, Calif.
Posted By Blogger Lorie Ann : 10:51 AM ET
I agree, voting for a candidate simply because of the race or gender of that candidate is not a sound way to pick the next president. The stakes are too high for that. I am a voter who usually- but not always votes within the democratic party. At this point, I support neither Mrs. Clinton nor Mr. Obama. It has nothing to do with Mrs. Clinton's gender- I don't care for her stand on Iraq and I don't hear her talking about the issues important to my state of Michigan. Mr. Obama simply impresses me as one who needs a little more seasoning. He's got plenty of time.
Posted By Anonymous Katherine, Escanaba MI : 11:10 AM ET
Tom,
I think the media has not given the American public enough credit. Long before this current Presidential campaign began, men and women, blacks and whites, all came together at various times in our recent history. We all came together after 9/11. We all came together to recognize the horrendous treatment of the victims of Katrina. There is still a majority of Americans who believe we should be out of Iraq.

But what we have seen recently is how easily the media can bias the opinions of people. I am more greatly disturbed by the "cherry-picking" of phrases some in the media have used in order to create a story of race or gender. If the media would only report the COMPLETE facts, I firmly trust in the American public to make up their own minds.
Posted By Blogger Jan from Wood Dale, IL : 11:15 AM ET
Just so long as the next president has a functioning brain and can get us out of the disasters of the current administration and Congress, I really don't care if this person is purple with green spots and wears a pink tutu to work every day. Look at Louisiana. We had a woman as governor who helped perpetuate the disasters known as Rita and Katrina because of her ineptitude and placement of her incompetent buddies in places of authority. Today Bobby Jindal, a man of Indian heritage in his mid-thirties was sworn in to clean up the state and make things right for us. Before Katrina, Blanco beat Jindal because it was said that a woman was a better candidate than a non-white. Boy were those bigots wrong. And now, hopefully, that man can bring our state to a higher level than we've ever known. Race and gender are non-issues. The ability to create positive change is the thing we all should be worried about instead.
Posted By Anonymous Tammy, Berwick, LA : 6:13 PM ET
Somehow I screwed up my travel plans and I will not be home for Super Bowl or Super Tuesday. That means I have to vote this Saturday. It is almost a relief to be done with it. I will vote Democratic, that I know. I will be voting for the candidate that I feel is best ready to face the challenges of this unstable world. I don't really care if they are black, white, purple or red, or even a woman. Most people I've talked to don't seem to care about gender or race either. I do hope that this race/gender talk disappears quickly. I change the channel now every time it starts again. One thing I do know is that I will be in front of a TV Super Tuesday watching CNN to see how everything shapes up. It should be another wild night!
Posted By Anonymous Kathy Chicago,Il : 9:01 PM ET
Tom,
I agree that the Democratic race has become far too focused on gender and race, to the point that John Edwards - a very viable presidential candidate - is essentially being ignored as the press continues to discuss the "gender vs. race" story. While we need to allow equal opportunity to everyone regardless of gender, race, and other distinctions, we shouldn't take this too far. Both Clinton and Obama are very good candidates, however let's not ignore Edwards because he doesn't wear a skirt or have a darker skin color. Hopefully the American people will pick the best candidate for president, even if that candidate is a white male such as Edwards. Thank you for the opportunity to comment!!
Posted By Anonymous Herbie, Mills River, NC : 1:20 AM ET
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