Going Gray by Anne Kreamer
The Nutrition Nazis

How Presidential Candidates are Chosen For Us

category_bug_politics.gif Healthcare has emerged as the number one domestic issue in the presidential campaign and it has taken a further leap upward in the days following the release, early last week, of Hillary Clinton’s plan.

Senator Clinton is the last of the Democratic candidates to release a healthcare proposal. Media coverage – news and commentary – has been high and wide which led me to wonder how pervasive it is.

A separate Google search for each Democratic candidate’s name with “healthcare plan” appended produced these numbers of stories (on Monday 24 September):

Mike Gravel – 19,200
Dennis Kucinich – 34,500
Christopher Dodd – 51,200
Joe Biden – 54,000
Bill Richardson – 67,700
Barack Obama – 128,000
John Edwards – 132,000
Hillary Clinton - 249,000

Further curious, I Googled each candidate’s name with the word “campaign” attached:

Mike Gravel – 1,800,000
Joe Biden – 1,890,000
Dennis Kucinich – 1,930,000
Christopher Dodd – 1,940,000
Bill Richardson – 2,480,000
Barack Obama – 2,630,000
John Edwards – 5,090,000
Hillary Clinton – 12,800,000

This is a not a scientific survey; Google results are skewed in all sorts of ways. But I don’t doubt the general proportion of stories about each healthcare plan and each candidate.

Hillary Clinton is the media darling of the 2008 campaign and because far less than a majority of Americans bothers to read newspapers at all and many of the rest don’t get beyond front-page headlines and the sports pages, Hillary Clinton is the candidate that emerges in most people’s minds.

Corporations control our elections by contributing huge amounts of money to candidates and the media, which are owned mostly by mega-corporations, are their handmaiden. They decide our election choices by using their power and money to hype candidates that best serve corporate America's profit goals and downplaying those who do not.

This is not news to any thinking person and it is a terrible commentary on what our republic has become. These simple Google numbers are all that is needed to understand why public funding is necessary to reinstate fair elections.

Is there anyone out there willing to bet me that Senator Clinton will not be the Democratic candidate?

[At The Elder Storytelling Place today, Matty explains why the most important Three Little Words are not the ones you think she means in the title.]

Comments

Senator Clinton is the darling of the media because she brings with her someone, who for all his personal flaws, is probably the most popular president in recent times, Bill.

We can't control media, or maybe we can. The only way to do it is to become involved, really involved and your blog will hopefully inspire others to do just that. People control the US government. Yes people, us. If you care, learn, teach, talk, donate, make a difference. There is unbiased reporting/forums on healthcare and candidates by Kaiser Foundation, a non-profit group, website at http://www.health08.org/candidates.cfm

Right on. Public funding is the only answer. All the candidates need the 'refining' process that public exposure provides. How many good candidates have fallen by the wayside over the years by that lack of exposure that only money can provide?

Sigh.

The most important point in your blog, Ronni, is the need for public financing. We now get the best president that money can buy.

Not only does money push a candidate to the front in a way that makes the primaries laughable, but it obligates the winner to pay back the donors to his/her campaign after the election.

Our nation's founders must be spinning in their graves to see what has happened to the Republic.

Ronni,

I agree with Nancy B.. Hillary Clinton has an asset the others are lacking. BILL.....
I think she will be the nominee and for VP she may choose someone like Sen.Evan Bayh or Sen Joe Biden or Gov.Bill Richardson.

If she is elected, she promises to take care of domestic issues and send Bill with Joe or Evan or Bill R. around the World to patch up all the International fences that the Bush Administration has brought down with their sorry policies.

I think they will make a fine team.

I am not willing to bet that Hilary Clinton will not be the candidate, but I certainly still hold a hope that it will become a more competitive and thought provoking race.

I read two newspapers every day, and three on Sunday, plus a few news blogs. I also watch a couple of national news shows and local news every day. Even so, I don't see many articles about health care, which is my number one issue and interest in this campaign. Unless I google it, the subject is lost to me. I appreciate you for keeping us up to date. Most of the people I know aren't even interested in the health care crisis, so they are not researching it at all. It makes me angry that the press controls the
issues we hear about.

I disagree. To me, the #1 issue is our country's fiscal irresponsibility. Our government is continuing to spend more each year than the tax revenues it takes in. The fault lies with both parties, the Executive Branch and the Congress. Non of the prez candidates are discussing this.

At some point soon, the continual and increasing federal deficits will cause inflation and our hard-earned retirement dollars to buy far less. That's the #1 threat I see to our republic.

To understand why I believe our country's fiscal irresponsibility is the #1 problem, please view the America's Fiscal Future video with David Walker from 2006 from the GAO. It's short (~6 minutes) and it describes the problem clearly in easy-to-understand terms.

George

For some time I was comparing the web sites of Obama, Clinton, and Edwards. The contrast between Edwards and the other two was great. In almost every instance, Edwards' site had something worth reading in addition to occasionally suggesting meaningful action for the reader. The Clinton and Obama sites were constant, and constantly boring, pleas for donations. To follow up on the "issues" links on all three sites was an eye opener. It's almost as if Clinton and Obama didn't take them seriously.
On the basis of the sites alone, guess whom I would vote for?

George,

Ron Paul discusses the government spending and how its out of control. He is americas best candidate for so many reasons!!!!

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