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eileen from OH Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-02-04 10:49 PM
Original message
A Question for Southerners from a Yank re: Clark
One of the big pluses usually accorded to Clark re: electibility is that he's a Southerner. My question is: do Southerners really think of him as one of their own? I mean, I know his roots and all, but he's lived all over the world in his career with the military and he doesn't seem to have the accent and image and identification of say, Clinton and Edwards and even Graham? It's not a criicism since I don't think being non-Southern is a death knell for a candidate, yet I wonder if I'm the only one that doesn't associate him with the South. Nor do I think you have to have an accent, etc. to be considered "southern" - just want to know what the Southern thinking is. (This came from a discussion with mr. eileen who doesn't follow stuff like I do and was surprised to learn of Clark's southern background.)

If I'm totally off-base you can let me know (oh, like you wouldn't, hahahahahaha)

eileen from OH



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TexasPatriot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-02-04 10:52 PM
Response to Original message
1. yes
and being military reinforces it The south will embrace Clark.
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tedoll78 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-02-04 10:57 PM
Response to Original message
2. Not really..
From what I've seen, most don't really pay attention to where a person comes from.
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LoneStarLiberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-02-04 10:58 PM
Response to Original message
3. Yes, Texas Patriot Is Dead-On
I'd simply add another point to his simple and precise description: There are also people who live in the South who do not consider themselves Southerners. For those people, be they recent migrants from the North, Mid-West, or West Coast, or those who have been here for a number of years and never bought into Southern life, I suspect that their support is not as tied to a regional candidate.

Clark's Southern heritage, base of operations, and military record will all play well here in the South.

I believe the last polling numbers I saw from Texas had Clark and Dean running pretty much even with the remainder of the candidates polling in the single digits and a significant percentage of Democrats still undecided (almost 2:1 ratio for undecideds to either support for Dean or Clark).
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Rowdyboy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-02-04 10:58 PM
Response to Original message
4. Absolutely
n/t
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xultar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-02-04 11:30 PM
Response to Original message
5. Southerners who have stayed in the South do consider where a
person is from. A person who is a southerner who has moved around in the north doesn't.

A joke from the south...
Anyone who isn't from the south is a Foreigner.

The south is a whole different kinda thing. People are still concerned about who your 'people' are. Where your family is from, even what college you went to. Many people here dress up in their College Alum colours for Friday Casual. Just 5 years ago the Sunbeam bread plant somewhere in TN was still doing orange loaves of bread for the Vols.
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TexasPatriot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-02-04 11:32 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. you got somethin aginst orange
(says the longhorn alum)
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xultar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-03-04 09:26 AM
Response to Reply #6
22. Nah, I happen to like orange, not just orange bread... ;-) n/t
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PsN2Wind Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-02-04 11:34 PM
Response to Original message
7. Well
If they will buy Dubya being a Texan, why not?
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mermaid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-03-04 02:34 AM
Response to Reply #7
15. Actually, By Birth, Dubya Is A Texan
He was born in Midland.
If ya know much about West Texas, you would know that Midland is solid Republican country. The other big town nearby, Odessa, is the Democratic city in West Texas.

Now, Poppy, on the other hand...is NOT a Texan. H Ross Perot was quite correct to call Poppy "The potato-chip man from Maine who claims to be a Texan."
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drfemoe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-03-04 03:48 AM
Response to Reply #15
18. Actually Dub was born in Connecticut
His daddy and friends bought Texas from the devil, and cultivated a Texan persona.

I don't think Clark will play well in my southern state. It is overwhelmingly Repuglian, and conservatives don't like changes in the first place. Clark doesn't offer enough of a contrast to B*** to make them change their votes to Dem or to appeal to the growing number of liberals in our state.
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RUMMYisFROSTED Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-03-04 10:06 AM
Response to Reply #15
27. New Haven, Connecticut.
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Fleshdancer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-02-04 11:45 PM
Response to Original message
8. I must be crazy
Either I'm nuts or things are different in Austin because I never thought "well gee, candidate X is from the South, therefore I like her/him more". Everyone says that Southerners vote for Southerners though so I'm definately out of touch some how.
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corporatewhore Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-02-04 11:53 PM
Response to Reply #8
10. Well some people consider tex like floridia only part of it old south
in floridias case n.floridia and for texas east texas.I wouldnt for ex consider the rio grande valley where i grew up to be part of the old south like georgia and virginia.We are also lucky enough to live in austin a liberal oasis in texas
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Jack_Dawson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-02-04 11:54 PM
Response to Reply #8
12. Things are different in Austin
You're in a college town. That's not real life...no offense.

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LoneStarDem Donating Member (93 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-03-04 02:34 AM
Response to Reply #8
14. The thing
I think the thing is that while Southerners probably don't by and large select their candidate purely on regionalism, it is a factor in their decisions and probably more of a factor than it is for people in any other part of the country. Anything that can swing the vote, even if it's just a few percentage points (and particularly in that mushy middle, votes for the guy's smile-type group) is important. Plus, it's also an issue of saleability: it may not be a stand-alone positive, but it provides cover and benefit of the doubt that others might not get who are from other parts of the nation.
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spooky3 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-03-04 11:37 AM
Response to Reply #14
33. Another factor...
Southerners I have met often feel they are stereotyped and misjudged (negatively) by non-Southerners and they have some evidence to support that. It would not be surprising if they trusted a fellow Southerner more, everything else being equal.
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mermaid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-03-04 02:38 AM
Response to Reply #8
16. Also From Austin
Hey, whereabouts in Austin are you from? South Austin here. the only time I have thought about where a candidate is from is in our upcoming Congressional races...because I want a Democrat FROM TRAVIS COUNTY (like Lloyd Doggett) representing me. I don't want some guy from McAllen representing me.

I'm in the new 25th Distrcit that stretches all the way to Mexico. We will definitely be represented by a Democrat...but I also want that Democrat to be from AUSTIN.

It would be shameful if Austin had no voice in Washington anymore. I honestly do not believe someone from McAllen can adequately represent me...or the concerns of Travis County, in Washington.
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TexasPatriot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-03-04 09:42 AM
Response to Reply #16
23. well being in Bastrop
and having Ron Paul as your congressional representative wasnt such a great thing either... so i'm in Hinojosa's district 15 now - at least he's a dem.

There is a lot of anger in texas over this... if we run a presidential candidate who has strength in the south, Texas could surprise a lot of people downballot.
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corporatewhore Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-03-04 12:34 PM
Response to Reply #23
34. well at least ron paul voted against iwr
he had a really good speech about it to.He is quite unpredictable
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NoPasaran Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-03-04 01:33 PM
Response to Reply #23
37. Southwest Austin Checking In
District 21: Lamar Smith. Yuck.

Even before the Congressional Perrymandering I went from Gonzalo Barrientos in the Texas Senate to Jeff Wentworth and Anne Kitchen to Todd Baxter in the House.

Oddly enough though my little house has not morphed into one of those hideous McMansions to keep pace with creeping republicanization. Just as well, I sure wouldn't want to pay for the air conditioning.
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GBD4 Donating Member (597 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-03-04 10:21 AM
Response to Reply #16
30. link please
I would really appreciate a link to a map of these new Texas districts. They sound terrible. What else would one expect from Republicans tho? :shrug:
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NoPasaran Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-03-04 01:44 PM
Response to Reply #30
38. Here you go
http://gis1.tlc.state.tx.us /

The new districts are PLANC01151

And here's a link to a series about the new districts in Central Texas

http://www.statesman.com/specialreports/content/special...
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Syrinx Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-02-04 11:47 PM
Response to Original message
9. I think Clark would be the strongest candidate down here
Not necessarily because he's from Arkansas. He's a military leader, and that plays well here, for whatever reason.

Personally, I'm torn between Clark and Dean, with my heart going with Kucinich.
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Tom Rinaldo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-02-04 11:53 PM
Response to Original message
11. Nice thoughtful question.
I'm a Yank too so I can't help you there. It's most useful when those who do respond explain why you think whatever is the case is in fact the case. I thank those who have already done so in your replies. Clearly some Republican candidates not from the South weren't kept at arms length for being "foreign".
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angee_is_mad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-03-04 12:55 AM
Response to Original message
13. totally off base
being a southern myself and having lived in the south all my life, people have told me that I do not have a southern accent. I think some northerners view southerners in caricatures.

Since I am from the south I can hear Clark's southern accent. It isn't as strong as Clinton and Edwards but it is there all the same. Listen very carefully would he is talking very passionately about something-it definitely comes out stronger then.

The south is MILITARY and is littered with bases. Southerners would and do accept him as one of their own. As a matter of fact it makes me darn proud every time I see him, because even though I am a woman of color I identify with him. I have people like him in my family who were raised in a nontraditional household and entered the military to serve their country and to make a better life for themselves than the one they were raised in.

There are many stories like Clarks' down here. There might not be generals, but there a colonels, captains, master Sergent, sergeants etc.
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Punkingal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-03-04 03:30 AM
Response to Original message
17. While I don't live there anymore...
my relatives in Tennessee tell me he is very popular there. People think he understands southerners, and like his military background.
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VolcanoJen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-03-04 03:55 AM
Response to Original message
19. This is a very valid question.
Many southern friends of mine have said "Clark may be from the south, but he's not of the south" or something to that effect. I don't see Clark as a southerner. I only see that his Arkansas rearing couldn't hurt in the south, is all...
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patricia92243 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-03-04 07:00 AM
Response to Original message
20. I've always considered Texas and Arkansas to be western states - not south
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kerry-is-my-prez Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-03-04 10:59 AM
Response to Reply #20
31. I've always put Texas in it's own category. I never really thought of them
as "Southerners." I always thought they thought that too...
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wyldwolf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-03-04 07:04 AM
Response to Original message
21. Very much so
Even if I didn't know it from his history the moment he spoke would remind me of home.
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HFishbine Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-03-04 09:54 AM
Response to Original message
24. Southerner, born and raised
Who says, it doesn't make a difference. It's laughable sometimes to see how pundits try to wrap the south up as one cohesive entity. It's not. My state, North Carolina is a good example. It hasn't gone for a democratic president since Jimmy Carter (Clinton's "southerness" wasn't enough), yet we have a democrat controlled state house, a dem governor and a dem sentator who's running for president.

Dean is on the right track about his plans for the south and issues will carry more water than pedigree.
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SCB Donating Member (16 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-03-04 10:01 AM
Response to Original message
25. Clark's Southern Background gives him some advantages:
The "local boy does good" effect. He came from a modest background in Arkansas to become a high ranking military officer and a major player on the international stage. Since he moved out of the region as part of a military career and then moved Back to Arkansas after retirement he can still be seen as "of the South".

A cultural affinity for African Americans that Northern and Western white liberals lack. Recall how Carter in '76 and Clinton in '92 were much stronger in the AA community nationwide than their often more liberal non-southern rivals for the Democratic nomination. This cultural affinity has allowed white southern Democrats to play more to swing voters and still retain enthusiasm among the key component of the party base.

He is not for the Northeast which is still viewed down here as a region that looks down on the South
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newyawker99 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-03-04 01:07 PM
Response to Reply #25
35. Hi SCB!!
Welcome to DU!! :toast:
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arewethereyet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-03-04 10:03 AM
Response to Original message
26. Southerner here; General Clark is no longer southern
in manner, thought or accent.

He will not do any better than Dr Dean in the GE. The vacilation they both do will render them unable to impress folks here.
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RUMMYisFROSTED Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-03-04 10:14 AM
Response to Original message
28. Reagan was born in Illinois.
Edited on Sat Jan-03-04 10:18 AM by RUMMYisFROSTED
Didn't seem to hurt him.

Chimp was born in Connecticut.

Poppy was born in Massachusetts.

Nixon in California.


I call bullshit.



But hey, Ike was born in Texas!




On edit: Why must Dem's be from the South, yet Pukes can be carpetbaggers?
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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-03-04 10:19 AM
Response to Original message
29. The Southerners I know don't care where someone is from.
They want to know what they are saying. Issues matter, not where someone was born or raised.
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Bucky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-03-04 11:08 AM
Response to Original message
32. A linguist can discern southern accent in Clark. Some southerners can too
It's a less cartoonish accent than what you hear from "yokels" on TV, of course. And it's less prominent than the drawling grits mouthed fullness of a Carolina accent. But it's there in his voice and in his mannerisms.
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SayitAintSo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-03-04 01:20 PM
Response to Original message
36. Clark has a Southern, home team advantage - no doubt
Edited on Sat Jan-03-04 01:24 PM by SayitAintSo
The unique history of the South create an advantage for a 'home boy' unlike any other region. It has to do with family, roots, cultural issues, history - the good bad and the ugly, etc... In the South, relationships matter a lot, values, your 'people'. Clark's roots combined with his military background, something that is highly valued in the South give him an extraordinary edge, I believe.

The South per capita has more folks in the military than any other region. That's a fact. Even if you are not from a military family, the military theme is part of the southern culture. It's an emotional issue for Southerners. This may be due to a combination of the vestiges of the Civil War and the sub-textual notion that the South is seen to be used as cannon fodder for the military.

Clark's lack of an accent ? No issue - that's not all that uncommon here any more. I've lived in Columbia SC for 35 years, before that Atlanta GA. I have no accent - been told I sound like I'm from the mid west. Also, the fact that Clark has traveled and lived outside of the South - again a non issue. That's the military. It's understood.

While Clark's southern roots don't guarantee him anything, That coupled with his military background, his accomplishments, also being considered a "non politician" / outsider can easily be parlayed into an uncommon advantage here in the South, if he plays it right. However, Southerners aren't stupid and won't' take kindly to being pandered to by any candidate.

My 2 cents...
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YellowDawgDemocrat Donating Member (181 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-03-04 02:04 PM
Response to Reply #36
39. It certainly doesn't hurt, but it doesn't help that much either
I too live in Travis County (Austin). However, I was raised in Lubbock and carry two very different perspectives.

Clark won't benefit in the South by virtue of his Arkansas roots. However, Dean will be hurt more by virtue of his Yankee roots. The average Southerner who considers geography important would view both as outsiders.

Perhaps the most important quality that would appeal to Southerners is in being plain spoken and direct. Dean trumps Clark in this respect and will be competitive across the south.
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SayitAintSo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-03-04 02:32 PM
Response to Reply #39
40. I think they are both direct, but in distinctly different ways...
And that speaks to their roots. Southerners value and appreciate civil discourse. Dean at times comes off rude and rough around the edges where Clark does not. Dean had also had to backtrack and recant on some of his statements that have been off base and disingenuous. He is also seen as being attacking and offensive with some of his opponents. I think that hurts him a little, but more so in the South. His flag gaffe is just one example. His positives however out weigh these issues - just how much in the South with Clark as competition is the question.

No doubt Dean will be competitive in the South - It will be really interesting to watch - that's for sure. I believe Dean's success will closely track/map to the anti Bush anger index.
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