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Obama, Clinton, PalinMaking History in Election 2008$
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Liette Gidlow

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780252036606

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252036606.001.0001

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The Difference that “Difference” Makes

The Difference that “Difference” Makes

(p.149) Conclusion The Difference that “Difference” Makes
Obama, Clinton, Palin

Elisabeth Israels Perry

University of Illinois Press

This concluding chapter explores whether the categories of difference that set Americans apart from one another will ever, or should ever, cease to figure in assessments of a person's qualifications for office. It reflects upon what the chapters of this book can teach us about the stereotypes that surfaced during the 2008 campaign, the influence of past political struggles of white women and women and men of color on the election results, and the possible effect of that experience on future presidential races and on the larger political culture within which we live. Arguing that the elimination of categories of difference is neither reasonable nor necessarily desirable, this chapter suggests that the acknowledgment of and respect for difference might be a better goal.

Keywords:   difference, 2008 presidential campaign, white women, people of color, political culture, difference, presidential qualifications, presidential races

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