Presidential Underdog
November 5, 2008 2:33 PM   Subscribe

Presidential Underdogs: it's not only McCain who lost the elections.
posted by Surfin' Bird (32 comments total)
Apparently I do not have the magnetic portal required to open this.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 2:37 PM on November 5, 2008 [1 favorite]

Just because he lost, does not make McCain the "underdog". He's the direct successor to the current occupant of the White House by party affiliation, policy tilt and institutional continuity. He's the incumbent who lost to someone who ran on change.
posted by DU at 2:43 PM on November 5, 2008

The post did not compare their status as underdogs to McCain. The post just said they also lost, like McCain.
posted by milkrate at 2:47 PM on November 5, 2008

DU, McCain was not being called an underdog here. The Tea Party & Socialist Party guys are. They are definitely underdogs.

More to the point, McCain was the underdog. He was a competitor thought to have little chance of winning, at least as of just before the election. That's what an underdog is. Hey's not the incumbent either, because he did not hold the office that he was seeking.
posted by Lemurrhea at 2:47 PM on November 5, 2008

They didn't mention the original underdog.

Shoe Shine Boy.
posted by Astro Zombie at 2:49 PM on November 5, 2008 [1 favorite]

Thank you for not voting for Cynthia McKinney.
posted by LSK at 2:53 PM on November 5, 2008

I just wanted to express my admiration for the people who independently run for President despite the fact that the existing system make their efforts futile from the very beginning.
posted by Surfin' Bird at 2:53 PM on November 5, 2008

Thank you for not voting for Cynthia McKinney.

I would say you're welcome but she wasn't on the ballot here.
posted by longsleeves at 2:57 PM on November 5, 2008

Apparently I do not have the magnetic portal required to open this.

Same here. I get a single blog page and a bunch of comments referring to a video that isn't visible anywhere.
posted by Thorzdad at 3:16 PM on November 5, 2008

I just wanted to express my admiration for the people who independently run for President despite the fact that the existing system make their efforts futile from the very beginning.

And I would like to tell those people, "Fuck you, idiot. Thank fucking God we managed to elect Obama anyhow, because your raging-against-the-machine ass was utterly worthless in the clutch. ...However, if you were otherwise going to vote for McCain: Well-played."
posted by kittens for breakfast at 3:17 PM on November 5, 2008

Thank you for not voting for Cynthia McKinney.

But if you did, thank you for voting for Rev. Chuck Baldwin (who I described to my brother in law as that "crazy reverend the constitution party is running", shortly before finding said BIL was a big supporter).
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 3:17 PM on November 5, 2008

“They didn't mention the original underdog.
Shoe Shine Boy.”

What!? No way! Shoe Shine Boy is so humble. Underdog is powerful enough to topple giant robots. Shoe Shine Boy obviously doesn’t have that kind of power. I mean, does he take some sort of ‘magic pill’ or something? Pfft. Silly.

Y’know an underdog is someone expected to lose in part because of some inherent disadvantage or some oppressive factor, who still bravely perseveres.
Like Braddock taking down Baer or the U.S. hockey team beating the Soviets.
There’s a sort of pugnacious nobility inherent in the tag.

Whereas someone who’s got a decent chance on an otherwise level playing field who loses is just, y’know, a loser.

And I wouldn’t give it to the Greens or the Libertarians or any other third party either. They go in knowing they’re going to lose. Not even fighting to actually win really. Just a tactical move to position their party.

Nothing wrong with that. Typically I vote 3rd party for that reason -not for president this time of course.

And really - Obama was more of an underdog. Even his own party was mostly against him at the start of the campaign. All the big dogs were running with Clinton.

I wouldn’t call him an underdog though. He was most assuredly not at a disadvantage in any way that mattered to his strategy. He was merely underestimated.
posted by Smedleyman at 3:19 PM on November 5, 2008

Awww. :(
posted by teraflop at 3:21 PM on November 5, 2008 [4 favorites]

(Actually, I just realized my above comment was more properly directed at people who vote for third-party candidates for president than at those third-party candidates themselves. I would like to apologize to those voters; I find I'm still harboring lingering resentment, which is strange, but there you are. To the actual candidates, please take up a fantasy football game or something; you're dangerous, and not for the reason you think. Thanks.)
posted by kittens for breakfast at 3:28 PM on November 5, 2008

Mostly I like this mini-documentary for its ragtime beat.
posted by six-or-six-thirty at 3:28 PM on November 5, 2008

Did anyone else attempt to watch current's election coverage? Were they hoping their target audience would be high?
posted by ninjew at 3:35 PM on November 5, 2008 [1 favorite]

I also didn't get elected to the Office of President.

I was running as the official nominee of The Party Party.

The planks of our platform are simple. "There is no human misery nor any human problem so great that it can't be cured, salved or lessened through the judicious and sincerely heartfelt application of a hot meal, a warm hug, a kind word, a long shower, a passionate kiss and/or a well attended party."

Need a house built, a barn raised, or a new hospital or power plant built? A new school, a new road? Throw a party. Make a game out of it. Provide refreshments and music.

Cranky despot bothering your borders, or oppressing your neighbors? They probably need a real hug. A bunch of them. Mandatory hugs. Don't let them say no - swarm the palace gates en masse, in the thousands! Hug that cranky son of a bitch until he/she breaks down, crying. Keep holding them. Big massive group hug until they fucking get it and don't feel so alone anymore, and don't want to feel bitterly alone like that ever again.

Barbarian invader hordes at the gates? Throw a party. Welcome them with open arms. Kill them with kindness. Show them how to really dance and cut the rug into shreds. Send them home drunk, dizzy, forgetful and pleasantly confused - but make sure to tuck them into bed before you go. Leave a nice thank you note and an invitation to the next party. Chances are great they will return with delicacies from their homeland and new dance moves to try out.

Need a cure for a killer disease? Faster computer chips? Better solar panels? Take care of your scientists and researchers using all of the planks of the platform. They'll forget they're not actually getting paid megabucks as long as you keep them fed, free and well equipped to pursue the love of their life - their work. The best ones care about little else except maybe a little recognition for that work. (See also the "Kind Words" and "Passionate Kiss" planks of The Party Party platform. Apply liberally.)

Educational reform? Turn education into a party and a game. Remove the goalposts, the endgame, the scoring lines - the diploma. Turn education into a life-long game based on the rules of Game Theory. Instead of degrees, rack up points and statistics. Allow Ala Carte education for specialists and technicals, while rewarding educational diversity with "milestones" that replace the concept of a general education diploma, while fostering and rewarding continued learning.

Need to rebuild your manufacturing base? Well, duh, throw a party. A retooling party. Do whatever can be done to safely make work fun again. Fun is the purest, most productive form of competition. When you're having fun, the work is light and the hours are short. Treat your workers well using all of the planks of the platform. Encourage naps and long lunch breaks - liberally reward extra effort as needed. Another major component to The Party Party's plans for success and revitalization of commerce and industry is that the goods being invented, designed and manufactured should be of the highest possible quality and usefulness. It is well known that workers engaged in producing a project that they can feel good about perform much better, with greater zest and satisfaction. The production of exploitative goods or services is depressing and unsatisfactory to everyone involved from the factory floor worker to the end consumer.

Right. We could have named it the "shit I should have learned in Kindergarten" party, but that doesn't quite have the same ring to it. Besides, I didn't learn how to mix a drink or roll a smoke until long after kindergarten, and the act of "partying" as an affirmation and ebullient celebration of humanity is the central plank of the platform.

Now, go forth and be excellent to each other. Party on.
posted by loquacious at 3:37 PM on November 5, 2008 [6 favorites]


posted by gomichild at 3:47 PM on November 5, 2008

Oh if only I had know I would have written in loquacious.
posted by YurikoKinje at 3:55 PM on November 5, 2008

McCain was the underdog. He was a competitor thought to have little chance of winning, at least as of just before the election. That's what an underdog is.

The underdog is not the guy who is losing right at the end of a fight. He's the guy who you think is going to lose at the beginning of a fight.

Hell, Obama was the underdog against Hilary, who was arguably the underdog against McCain (incumbent party, white male, loved by corporate media, etc, etc).
posted by DU at 4:27 PM on November 5, 2008

Ack! I'm sorry Mr. Nader. Would you an accept an appointment to the Environmental Party Agency? We're gutting the old EPA and replacing it with something greener, more nimble and a whole lot funkier. Oh, don't worry about it, we know you probably can't dance. Yet. It just so happens that there's a bunch of nice young people over here who would like to show you how to dance to some ridiculously happy, bouncy house music. (What? Dubstep? Ragga!? Sigh, ok, whatever. No happy hardcore. It annoys the birds. And me.) Then after a DJ or two they'd like you to lead a talk/rap session on where we should start first. Lay it out. All of it. That support group behind the delegate is going to liveblog it right into a wiki. They should have an open source resolution outlining the most pressing issues drafted and posted by this time tomorrow, including a diverse array of solutions. Long tail, volunteer flashmob, bob's your uncle - done.
posted by loquacious at 4:45 PM on November 5, 2008 [1 favorite]

Marijuana: The real underdog.
posted by gman at 5:09 PM on November 5, 2008

If McCain had the Underdog role, does that make Sarah into Miss Polly Purebred?

Seriously, if Obama was not considered an underdog from the start, he was certainly a longshot, immensely talented but with a lot of built-in disadvantages. I would not be surprised if, under the influence of truth serum or writing a post-Presidency memoir, he admits he had undertaken this campaign initially for the purpose of 'building his brand' for a future run or possibly the V.P. consolation prize, but knowing he still had to give 'all he got' to a rather massive effort. And if he hasn't said anything on the subject, I'd really like to know the moments when it struck him that (a) "I might actually win this thing!" and (b) "I'm actually winning this thing!"

In Hollywood jargon, his is an Underdog Story, but most screenwriters would change some things in the plotline for dramatic effect.
posted by wendell at 5:44 PM on November 5, 2008

Brian Moore! I almost voted for him in 2004. Instead I went with my party's nominee ... Leonard Peltier. Even though he was in jail. :|

Brian Moore is a great guy and great candidate. I voted for him in the primary and was kinda pissed he didn't get the Peace & Freedom nomination in 2004.
posted by mrgrimm at 6:44 PM on November 5, 2008

Too bad both these guys are such obvious a-holes with negligible mental ability.
posted by Seekerofsplendor at 6:51 PM on November 5, 2008

I know third parties are generally reviled in the US, but surely a true democracy should be not restricted to just choosing between a centre-right party and a right-of-centre-right party.

Too bad both these guys are such obvious a-holes with negligible mental ability.

No voice for dissent? You're either fur us or agin us? There is only right and wrong, black and white?

I would hope that the promise of change means more than only having a choice between a shit sandwich and collostomy smoothie - of course the 'third way' just turned out to be an empty sound-bite for Tony Blair. I hope to [insert_deity/non-deity_of_choice] that Obama doesn't follow the same road.

I'm cautiously optimistic that just the fact of being elected and the groundswell of political activism that he has inspired is enough to push real change through so that it's not business as usual. That and BHO seems to be a genuinely principled man with vision and intelligence
posted by JustAsItSounds at 7:53 PM on November 5, 2008 [2 favorites]

Sarah Vowell from This American Life: The Garden for Disappointed Politicians (mp3; transcript).
posted by kolophon at 8:27 PM on November 5, 2008

I'm too tired to make the case, at the moment, but maybe if I lazily flounder someone more awake will fix this for me?. . .but I'd like our political discourse re: third party politics to get more nuanced/sophisticated. I fervently believe that third parties are desirable and agree with the analysis of where the two parties currently lie on the political spectrum. I also fervently believe that, in this election, and the last, and possibly the one before that (in which I voted for Nader), voting for Nader was maybe not such a great idea.

Perhaps what's needed is just some better strategy. For one example, New York has fusion voting, which allowed us to vote for Obama, but on the Working Families Party line. This is a pretty awesome compromise. I think it would be well worth the effort to work for fusion voting in more states. . .

But right now I vote for sleep.
posted by flotson at 10:06 PM on November 5, 2008 [1 favorite]

brian moore was on colbert a couple weeks ago and couldnt keep up with the 'intense' level of interrogation. so in the unlikely event that i considered voting third party i'd have to just write in colbert/stewert (or stewert/ colbert).
posted by Glibpaxman at 12:13 AM on November 6, 2008

After reading people grumbling about third-party candidates, I was all set to write a frothing response -- but instead I'll say "thank you" and "what they said" to flotson and JustAsItSounds.

The biggest weapon in Obama's campaign was that he was able to reach people who had been feeling disenfranchised for years, who had been feeling that their vote didn't matter, who had been feeling that the choices they'd been offered didn't remotely match what they wanted. He was able to reach them and say "it does matter," and the campaign was able to reach them and say "he does match what you want," and they believed he did, and turned out in force.

Well -- you know how disenfranchised all those new voters were feeling before this? Lots of people STILL feel that way. They STILL feel that neither McCain OR Obama represented them. They STILL feel that their views are being ignored. And they are not an insignificant number -- in one state, two MILLION people voted for the Green party candidate for congress, but CNN reported the incumbent as "Unopposed". When CNN is ignoring an entire person that has two million people behind them, something's gone wrong somewhere.

Telling those two million people in that state -- and however many others of their bretheren in other states that "your raging-against-the-machine ass was utterly worthless" is going completely against the kind of vision that we elected into office. And on behalf of one of them - one of my best friends, a delegate for the Green Party who still thinks his government is broken -- if anyone still wants to say "fuck you" to those voters, then this Obama supporter would like to say, "well, then fuck you BACK, with a broken chainsaw."
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:32 AM on November 6, 2008

(meekly coming back in) ....Okay, maybe the last sentence of my last post was a LITTLE harsh, and for that harshness, I do repent. But what I found encouraging about Obama's acceptance speech was the message "to those of you whose trust I haven't earned yet, I'm still your president, and I do want to hear what you have to say." It isn't just the Republicans he was talking to, is all, and I think it's important to acknowledge that, and so to have the president saying that on the one hand, but then to have someone turn around on the other hand and say "if you didn't vote for Obama the hell with you," it just....yeah, no.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:52 AM on November 6, 2008

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