The Youth Vote

Larry King Live tonight did a few segments on Rock the Vote and the effort to get out the youth vote.

While it appears the young favor Obama so far in this election, it should be remembered that Rock the Vote and young voters were instrumental in electing Bill Clinton President. You can watch him here, crediting them.

This is from my personal collection of old VCR tapes -- I converted it and got it on You Tube last night. It's from a certain 1993 Inaugural Ball. Check out Hillary and Chelsea too.

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    They Look So Young! (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by BDB on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 09:00:32 PM EST
    Of course, so do I in photos from that time.  

    Can't say I miss Tabitha Sorenson.

    Thanks (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by chrisvee on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 09:01:46 PM EST
    Thanks for sharing this.  So young, so young.

    And so full of hope and promise (none / 0) (#12)
    by hairspray on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 09:34:38 PM EST
    But Lee Atwater and the Mellon Scaifes of the world were not going to let Clinton change this country.  They spend millions trying to bring him down.  And today his smart and talented wife and equally exceptional daughter stand up against some of the worst slime immaginable. Now the left wing has bought into this narrative. Really bad.

    Yup. (5.00 / 1) (#32)
    by oldpro on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 11:32:56 PM EST
    Makes me think the song that should be playing in the background is "Achey Breaky Heart."

    I was running a legislative office in the state capitol in '93, so gave up my invitations to the inauguration to friends...but I did get to cast my electoral vote (one of eleven as I recall) for Bill Clinton.  A good memory...so hopeful after Reagan/Bush...


    my youth! my youth! (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by Kathy on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 09:06:19 PM EST
    I was one of those rock the voters.  There was so much more to his message than just getting people to vote--he wanted them to be democrats.  He wanted them to serve their country.  Every speech Bill Clinton made was about people doing something to take the country from the likes of Ronald Reagan, a president who never uttered the word "AIDS" in public, who made jokes about gays, who kicked mentally ill people out of hospitals and put revolving doors on our prisons.

    That was hope.  And Clinton gave us change because we were all willing to WORK for it.

    Memories (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by americanincanada on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 09:08:16 PM EST
    I too was a young person for Clinton in the 90's. I was so proud to vote for him.

    I actually got registered to vote in the gay bar I was hanging out in at the time and watched the returns from the bar I worked at. Those were the days.


    If only the young voters today realized what (5.00 / 3) (#5)
    by Angel on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 09:11:21 PM EST
    the Clintons have done for this country....  It pains me to know that they don't know the history and don't have the appreciation for Bill and Hillary Clinton that I think they deserve.  They seem to think that the "change" meme started with Obama.  Sad.

    I just had a phone conversation ... (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by Robot Porter on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 09:21:04 PM EST
    with a friend of mine who's in Texas about this very subject.  He's a big Obama supporter, but was saying how he cringes when he hears the Clintons maligned by some Obama supporters.

    We went into great detail in our discussion about the Clinton presidency which I won't bore you with here.  And them we argued a bit about the timeline of Obama's anti-war speech.


    Oh, btw, he's not feeling good about Obama's chances in Texas tomorrow.


    Amen (5.00 / 2) (#9)
    by americanincanada on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 09:23:21 PM EST
    I remember that one of the balls they attended that night was a GLBT function. I was moved beyond words by that and the MTV appearance. it was simply the most amazing moment I have ever experienced in my almost 40 years.

    I am hoping for another one tomorrow and another one when Hillary wins the nomination and still one more when she takes the oath of office.


    The whole atmosphere, on the street, in the work-place, and even in the bars, felt so much brighter the day after the '92 Presidential election.

    There was a palpable sense that somebody was finally going to dial back the hegemony of the right wing and all its lunatic 'values'. Remember the '90s slogan "Hate is Not a Family Value", the rise of gay rights organizations, Act-Up, aids activism, "Kissing Doesn't Kill", pro-sex/safe-sex...

    I can't wait to get the damn party started again, in every sense of the term!


    Oh I remember... (none / 0) (#40)
    by americanincanada on Tue Mar 04, 2008 at 10:29:44 AM EST
    I don't think I'll ever forget. I had paid attention to politics before that but my first presidential election to vote in was that ne. I was so proud. I felt a part of something.

    Heh. I still have my 'Hate is not a Family Value' bumper sticker!

    Bill Clinton talked directly to us during that campaign. it was the most amazing thing I had ever seen, and I have not seen it since. He didn't just give lip service, he gave us access. I was even more amazed when he took on gays in the military right away, even though I knew it would kill him. And it almost did.

    It was camelot. or at least as close to it as I have ever seen. My parents sure thought so too. And we didn't need any Kennedy's to tell us it was a passing of the torch...we felt it.

    I want to return to that. I want to make history. I want access again. I want to feel like that again...I'm getting chocked up just thinking about it.


    Hey... (none / 0) (#11)
    by Alec82 on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 09:33:32 PM EST
    ...it isn't that we don't recognize the hope of 1992.  But remember, we inherited the bad parts, too.  And there were bad parts.  Really, really bad parts.  Nothing approaching the nightmare of the Bush administration (which would have been a one hit four year wonder without 9/11), but bad nonetheless.    

     Whenever I am lost in the throes of our cult of personality at Camp Obama I'll just read the comments to this post and sober up.  You think we project our hopes onto Senator Obama? This administration has made twelve years of Reagan-Bush pale in comparison.  If Reagan and Bush senior seemed out of touch to you, imagine how refreshing Senator Obama seems to us.  If things are going to change, we don't just need hope, we need motivation on a scale difficult for me to even imagine.  


    I Understand the Appeal of Obama (5.00 / 2) (#17)
    by BDB on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 09:48:07 PM EST
    But I also know all of Bill Clinton's failings and how many of them were related to his unity schtick and his youth.  So when I see Obama, I see Bill Clinton's first term only coming after what you rightly describe as an even worse time in American history than the one Clinton followed.

    I don't support Hillary Clinton over Barack Obama because I want to go back to the 1990s, I support her because I don't.  I don't think we can afford a young, albeit extremely talented, president and the inevitable mistakes he will make in the early days of his new administration.  


    That's valid... (none / 0) (#19)
    by Alec82 on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 09:55:50 PM EST
    ...but I think he is precisely the kind of risk you have to take at key moments in history.  This is one of those moments.  I don't want America to move back to the 1990s, either.  I want us to step up to the twenty-first century.  

     If you stop for a moment and ask yourself what happens if the Democrats lose this enthusiasm, this momentum among youth right now, what happens in November?  Even if Senator Clinton wins, which I think is unlikely, the people who wanted a sea change in perspective will not be nearly as motivated to participate in volunteer and other efforts that will be required to change this country.  


    What Happens (5.00 / 2) (#26)
    by BDB on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 10:29:56 PM EST
    If older voters and women, those who work regularly for democratic causes, stop or lessen their efforts because they feel the party cares more about independents than they do long-time activists?  We are not going to change the political landscape of this country in one election with one candidate.  We didn't in 1992 and we aren't going to in 2008.  

    And while I appreciate the enthusiasm of youth and think Obama's ability to bring in new youth voters is great, I see little that convinces me this enthusiasm is for Democrats as opposed to Obama.  Which means I'm not convinced that the youth vote will translate into donations, volunteering, etc., on behalf of other democrats not named Obama.  And without other Democrats not named Obama, Obama (or Clinton) aren't going to do us much good.


    With respect ... it wasn't just ... (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by Robot Porter on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 10:02:18 PM EST
    Reagan-Reagan Bush, but with only the brief (none too comforting) interim of Carter you had Nixon and Ford before that.

    I was born during the Johnson administration, but I don't remember it.  But I do remember the Vietnam War which dragged on throughout my childhood in the seventies, killing tens of thousands of Americans, and millions of people in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia.  Then there was Watergate.  Then Carter who wasn't great.  Then twelve years of Reagan and Bush.

    It was an entire life of bad presidents and wars and scandals.  And American becoming worse and worse.  New York city was virtually unlivable.

    And the Democratic Party had had crushing defeats in the previous three elections.

    Clinton wasn't perfect, but he stemmed the tide of all that and turned a lot of it around.  And we must remember was he the first Democrat since FDR to win a second term in office.

    Bush has been very, very bad.  But it's hard to compare to the lifetime of bad (and one mediocre) Presidents that came before Clinton.  


    Very well said Robot Porter (none / 0) (#35)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 11:56:05 PM EST
    Jeralyn, you inaugural junkie -- (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by Cream City on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 09:17:22 PM EST
    thank you . . . just thank you. Ditto all the sentiments above, as that was a time of true hope with the Man from Hope and his White House, including Hillary. Thanks to them, my hopes and those of my children for a house of our own were realized so soon afterward, my student loans paid off, and so much more that never could have happened under either Bush administration. If only the next generation will get to know how good it can be.

    Nice purple dress (none / 0) (#8)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 09:21:48 PM EST
    Just had to comment on the fashions ;-).

    Oh, Hillary got a lot of comments on it (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by Cream City on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 09:30:27 PM EST
    and the hair and more, I remember -- and she so clearly really worked at it for that night, to do the D.C. thing. But the Beltwayites were devastating to her. Some things never change.

    Nice dress (none / 0) (#33)
    by wasabi on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 11:52:52 PM EST
    But what's with the white bowtie purse?

    Bill and Obama (none / 0) (#14)
    by mindfulmission on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 09:40:30 PM EST
    It shouldn't surprise anyone that Bill Clinton won the youth vote, and now Obama is winning it.

    Both ran/are running similar campaigns.  Neither had/have much experience, especially on the national scene and even more specifically, in foreign affairs.  Both had/have run an "outside" campaign.  Both ran/are running on a change platform.

    The funny thing is that Obama's campaign is very, very similar to the campaign that Bill Clinton ran on in 1992.

    Bill was ... (5.00 / 1) (#24)
    by Robot Porter on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 10:13:19 PM EST
    more inclusive (he played well with seniors) and self-deprecating.

    He was also more lucid and policy focused, and sharper in interviews.  He didn't have Obama's gift for high rhetoric, but he was a better politician.

    And there were very long odds for a Democrat winning in 1992.  Bush had just finished a popular war, which at one time placed him with a 90% approval rating.  But Clinton still pulled it off.

    Rated on sheer political skill, he's probably the best we'll ever see.


    Bill. (none / 0) (#27)
    by Arbitrarity on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 10:32:56 PM EST
    Also had Ross Perot snagging a LARGE portion of Bush's votes.  He's quite a politician, but to say that he did it alone is a bit disingenuous, no?

    It is ironic... (none / 0) (#15)
    by Alec82 on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 09:45:53 PM EST
    ...and Senator Obama's campaign has even exploited it outright with ads.  

     I like the Clintons.  But as this board shows, the cult of personality charge is very, very hollow coming from the Clinton camp.  

     How does the song go? Yesterday's gone?


    Keep In Mind (none / 0) (#18)
    by BDB on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 09:54:28 PM EST
    That Obama himself has said that Bill Clinton was not a transformative president and many Obama supporters lament Clinton's failings, primarily his compromises with Republicans.  So forgive me if I find it odd that these same folks are falling all over themselves over Obama, a man who - as you rightly point out - is very reminiscent of Bill Clinton, particularly in his promises to work with Republicans.  

    It's a very odd primary season.


    A response to this was deleted as (none / 0) (#22)
    by Jeralyn on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 10:07:20 PM EST
    off-topic. It's the youth vote and it's role in Bill Clinton's election.

    Jeralyn. did you link your video (none / 0) (#31)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 11:31:59 PM EST
    as a video response to any other current popular videos on YouTube - as you probably know, it's a way to get more mass free play.

    Thanks for reminding us just how exhilarating it was to see a Democrat like Bill Clinton in the White House again in 1993.

    The preceding 12 years of Reagan/Bush rule had been so soul-destroying; with the rise of the religious right, the Moral 'Majority', the ignorance around AIDS, the erosion of reproductive rights, and the raging hatred of gays. Those were the years of the culture wars.

    The inaguration of Bill Clinton lightened the over-arching oppressive tone of the country and dampened the hate-mongering rhetoric of the radical right culture warriors.

    In addition to changing the scene on the domestic front, Bill Clinton took immediate action to eliminate Draconian elements of US foreign policy.

    Remember Ronald Reagan's global gag rule, whereby any women's health clinics and AIDS awareness groups, receiving US foreign aid had been prohibited from discussing, or even mentioning, the subject of abortion in any form.

    Bill Clinton over-turned the global gag rule on his first day in office.

    George W. Bush reinstated it in his first term.

    Along with everything else, will it take another Clinton to undue the ongoing fall-out from that one hideous prohibition?


    Thank you, thank you (none / 0) (#16)
    by NJDem on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 09:46:19 PM EST
    for making me feel old--no really, that was great!  So many memories, it's feels like such a long time a go I felt that proud of our government.

    For the record, HRC won the youth vote in CA and MA, and the creator of Rock the Vote is campaigning for her in TX (all I remember is he/she is Latino/a)

    Anyway, what was with the white shmata she had wrapped around her purse?  (forgive my caddiness)

    Alex 82 has tried twice to hijack this thread (none / 0) (#28)
    by Jeralyn on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 10:37:54 PM EST
    I've deleted two comments so far. If he doesn't stop, he'll be banned.

    This thread is about the youth vote when Clinton ran and now and the video I posted. Period.

    with all do respect (none / 0) (#29)
    by NJDem on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 11:19:53 PM EST
    BC and BO are very different in one respect, BC was/is a policy wonk.  And what made his oratory, still unmatched IMHO, is his ability to combine substance and style--to make complicated things accessible.

    Just watching him on c-span this weekend I found myself totally engrossed in his discussion of nuclear disarmament--and I'm not the only one. [I wish I could find a recent article that talks about this].  

    Usually I'm reading blogs or doing other things while watching TV, but when he speaks about serious, heavy issues in details, he does so in an unmatched story telling manner that makes you both like him and confident that he knows what he's talking about.  It's not all hope, unity,...

    Clkinton '92 vs Clinton '96 (none / 0) (#30)
    by Ben Masel on Mon Mar 03, 2008 at 11:28:39 PM EST
    Youth vote plummeted between Bill's election and his re-election. I attribute a lot of this to his betrayal on drug policy. Also  a major driver of the '00 Nader vote.

    His school uniform and censorship schemes did not help either.

    Heh (none / 0) (#36)
    by spit on Tue Mar 04, 2008 at 12:39:04 AM EST
    I was 13 for the inauguration. I do remember watching it on TV at boarding school, though.

    Think my parents might've voted for Perot. I still have a T-shirt somewhere from his campaign.

    Insurance and the Youth vote... (none / 0) (#37)
    by p lukasiak on Tue Mar 04, 2008 at 05:59:22 AM EST
    does anyone else think that part of the reason that Obama does so well among young people (and wealthy democrats), and Hillary does so well among working class Dems, is because of Obama's promise that 'young people' can stay on their parents health insurance until they are 25?

    As someone from a working class background, every time I hear that line I cringe -- my parents sacrificed a lot for us kids, and for anyone to say 'well, we're going to make health care affordable for everyone, but even though your adult children will be able to afford health insurance, working class parents will wind up paying for them' is just so tone deaf that I wanna scream.

    Re: Insurance and the Youth vote (none / 0) (#38)
    by CST on Tue Mar 04, 2008 at 09:57:09 AM EST
    Sorry, my reply key didn't work, but I wanted to respond to this.

    As a youth (and Obama voter myself) I have never once heard this come up.  I didn't even know it was part of his plan until the last Ohio debate.  However, one thing I have heard consistently about is the Iraq war.  I think people forget that the youth are the ones out there fighting and dying in Iraq.  I, and most people I know, have lost a friend or classmate in what many consider to be a pointless and damaging war.  After September of 11th there was a period when everyone was proud to be an American, when people thought fighting for your country was an honor and worth dying for.  That quickly ended when we invaded Iraq.  I think the youth want to be proud of our country again and Barack makes us feel like we can have that back.  I would be happy to support Hilary in the general election but I have felt over the years that she sold us out to the "center" when she got into the senate.  Yes Barack talks about working with republicans, he doesn't talk about giving in to them, which is what I feel like Hillary did.

    Re: Insurance and the Youth vote (none / 0) (#39)
    by CST on Tue Mar 04, 2008 at 10:01:57 AM EST
    Sorry, my reply key didn't work, but I wanted to respond to this.

    As a youth (and Obama voter myself) I have never once heard this come up.  I didn't even know it was part of his plan until the last Ohio debate.  However, one thing I have heard consistently about is the Iraq war.  I think people forget that the youth are the ones out there fighting and dying in Iraq.  I, and most people I know, have lost a friend or classmate in what many consider to be a pointless and damaging war.  After September of 11th there was a period when everyone was proud to be an American, when people thought fighting for your country was an honor and worth dying for.  That quickly ended when we invaded Iraq.  I think the youth want to be proud of our country again and Barack makes us feel like we can have that back.

    Also, regarding under 25 insurance, yes we have jobs, and many of us will stay on that insurance.  But there are also serious financial problems facing the youth of America and many youth (especially middle class) have obscene amounts of debt, and continue to live at home since they can't afford rent nevermind health insurance.  Our restaurants are filled with college educated wait staff who are just trying to keep from going bankrupt.  Many of their parents (whom they still live with) would love to be able to keep them on their insurance, so long as they help pay for whatever they can.

    CST, how many Presidential Elections (none / 0) (#41)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Tue Mar 04, 2008 at 09:35:46 PM EST
    have you voted in as a youth?

    What's your point? (none / 0) (#42)
    by CST on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 12:43:22 PM EST
    Every single one that I could, which is only 2 as I am 23, but I have also voted in local government elections.  However, I would like to remind people that it was the "naive" youth who marched for civil rights and to end the vietnam war and who, as previously mentionied voted Bill Clinton into office. I am not arguing that I am not young.  I am saying I am not stupid, I do care about issues and believe it or not, I do remember the 90s.  I also remember how everything came crashing down and I don't think that that was completely unrelated to Clinton.

     Also, keep in mind the "youth" vote is 18 - 29.  29 is not exactly a pimply-faced college kid.


    CST, I'll take you at your word. (none / 0) (#43)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 07:09:01 PM EST
    But, what do you have in mind when you say you "remember how everything came crashing down" in the 1990s?

    You were 7 years old when Bill Clinton was first elected; 11 years old at the beginning of his second term and 14 when it ended.

    I'm wondering, sincerely, what kinds of social/economic/political events you would remember at those ages.  


    Wrong on the ages.... (none / 0) (#44)
    by CST on Thu Mar 06, 2008 at 11:37:11 AM EST
    I was 16 when Bush was elected, living abroad on my own as an exchange student, and old for a teenager.  Also, yes I was young for the earlier years, but they were also my formative years, very important to who I am now, and I come from a very politically charged family so I did pay attention.  However, by crashing down, I specifically mean the end of the term when Clinton couldn't get anything done because of Monica, when the tech bubble burst (and the economy has never really recovered), when Gore couldn't pull off a win because people were so sick of all the drama.  More specifically, september 11th 2001.  I am not of the opinion that this was some government conspiracy, but I sincerely believe that US foreign policy had put us in the position where the rest of the world hated us (more so these days to be sure).  And not all that policy came in Bush's first year (or to be fair Clinton's eight).  But Clinton was not so well loved abroad as we all like to think, just in comparison to Bush.  I think Barack can give us a fresh start without all the baggage from failed foreign policies of the past.  Not all of them failed (northern ireland), but lets just say thing aren't exactly fine and dandy in the middle east, which was a big part of Clinton's foreign policy.