Obama as the Next McGovern?

The TimesOnline says the right wing is set to attack Barack Obama s the ultimate "liberal socialist" in the mold of George McGovern.

LEADING Republicans believe they can trounce Barack Obama in the presidential election by tarring him as a shady Chicago socialist. They are increasingly confident that his campaign could collapse by the time their attack machine has finished with him.

Sample attack:

Obama has the voting record of a “hard-left” socialist, according to [Grover]Norquist, from his time in the Illinois state legislature to the US Senate. He was recently judged by the nonpartisan National Journal to have the most liberal voting record in 2007 of any senator.

“It will be easy to portray him as even harder-left than Hillary,” said Norquist. “Hillary could lose the election, but Obama could collapse. People already know Hillary and she is not popular, but the disadvantage for Obama is that Republicans can teach people who don’t know him who he is.”


I was struck earlier by Obama's statement that the solution to the Florida primary election is to hold caucuses. Of course he would say that, since he does best in caucuses.

So say some, did George McGovern. Especially, like Obama, in red states that are unlikely to go blue in November. That's how the superdelegates came about -- so the Dems could avoid a repeat of that failed strategy.

The new blog Progressive Involvement lays this out.

McGovern, along with Congressman Don Fraser, wrote the rules which governed the 1972 campaign. Four years earlier, in 1968, the Democratic Party had blown itself up in a dispute between the established powerbrokers and the anti-war left. The "McGovern Rules" were mostly about taking power away from "the establishment." In the future, nominees would be chosen in local caucuses and state primaries.

In caucuses, cohesive goal-directed groups can have influence beyond their numbers.  This makes them ideal for insurgency-type campaigns. In 1972, we McGovernites took 9 out of 10 delegates in Ellis County, Kansas--a significant achievement especially when George McGovern was not exactly representative of local sentiment among traditional Democrats.

The McGovern campaign did this in thousands of county assemblies all across the nation, particularly in what are now called "red states." Note George McGovern's "red state" victories in this map of 1972 caucuses and primaries and compare it to the states Barack Obama has won through caucuses this year. This is not surprising, of course, considering that the Obama campaign has adopted the McGovern insurgency caucus strategy, added in internet organizing and fundraising, and, what's more, rallied the same McGovern constituency.

The inference is that by winning the small red states with caucuses, but not the big blue states like California and New York, Obama is likely to repeat McGovern's blowout in the general election.

Here's a map showing states won so far by Obama and Hillary.

Any thoughts on the validity of this scenario?

Update: Comments at 200, this thread is closing.

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    So basically... (5.00 / 3) (#1)
    by mindfulmission on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 06:31:20 PM EST
    ... according the map and the numbers...

    Obama has won more delegates in "red" states.

    AND he has won more delegates in "blue" states.

    And he has a winning record in both red and blue states.  

    The maps and numbers don't really support the McGovern analogy.  

    Hillary can beat the GOP (5.00 / 1) (#154)
    by john5750 on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 09:32:53 PM EST
    Obama is good at selling the Kool-Aid, but the swiftboaters & co. will tear him apart. Edwards was right, "he's kind of a pussy".

    The GOP will bring up Rezko, the slumlord and major donor to Obama; and Exelon, which was on ABC News last night, the Exelon to Obama money  and the bill that was subsequently watered down.

    Hillary can fight the GOP and win.


    Oh... (none / 0) (#3)
    by mindfulmission on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 06:32:11 PM EST
    ... AND he has a winning record in primaries, even though there have been numerous comments on this site that have claimed that Obama doesn't primaries.  

    Yes, but ... (5.00 / 1) (#23)
    by badger on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 07:02:31 PM EST
    A lot of Obama's wins are in caucuses, and caucuses more than primaries heavily weight the 30% or so of the electorate that self-identifies as 'Democrats' (or the smaller percent that self-identifies as 'liberal'). Obama has not won any large state primary except IL.

    Which is exactly what happened in 1972. If you had been in my Poli Sci class that year, nearly everyone thought McGovern would win because of the strong opposition to the war. Except the prof, who pointed out that "Not all voters live on this campus".

    Not all voters caucus or spend much time on liberal blogs.

    I don't have any evidence to support that point about Obama one way or the other. Ironically, the superdelegates that everyone bashes should be in a position to make an assessment of how broad Obama's strength is and push the nomination appropriately. That's one of the reasons the system is set up that way.


    Again... (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by mindfulmission on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 07:07:28 PM EST
    ... I know that Obama has a large advantage in the caucus states.

    But he also also won more primary states, more closed primary states, more red states, more blue states, more red state delegates, and more blue state delegates.

    Further... as someone else pointed out, McGovern won MA, CA, TX, and NY.  

    So I really don't see the Obama comparisons.  


    The question is about (5.00 / 1) (#46)
    by badger on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 07:20:06 PM EST
    how deep Obama's support is among potential Democratic voters, and caucuses measure that very poorly. The weaker is support is the easier it'll be for the GOP to define him however they want.

    I assume you mean McG won those states in the primaries, because he only won MA and DC in the GE, and lost the popular vote 60-38. And if McG did win those primaries, it should underscore the fact that Obama's wins in red states (primaries or caucuses) aren't very meaningful either.

    There isn't anyone who's going to tell you that Obama will or won't be exactly like McG in '72, but it's something worth considering, and something a lot of Obama supporters refuse to think about. There isn't an easy answer though, and there isn't much good evidence either way.

    I think the WI primary result might be helpful in looking at the question.


    So, um... (none / 0) (#57)
    by sphealey on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 07:26:24 PM EST
    So, um.... why didn't Senator Clinton's campaign organize to win in the caucus states?  Why didn't she organize to win big in Missouri - including St. Louis and Kansas City?

    Could it possibly be because she underestimated her opposition?  If so, is that a good trait in a Presidential candidate?



    Something tells me that organizing (5.00 / 2) (#69)
    by RalphB on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 07:41:28 PM EST
    in St Louis wouldn't have done much good considering the racial makeup of the participants.  Frankly, I'm kind of surprised she did so well in the rest of the state, outside the urban areas.

    Even so, there's no doubt the Clinton campaign made some strategic errors and I think the biggest one was thinking this race would be over early.  That's really bitten them hard.


    I don't know (5.00 / 1) (#72)
    by badger on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 07:44:05 PM EST
    But the answer to that isn't especially relevant to this discussion. Clinton winning the caucuses wouldn't prove her viability as a candidate anymore than Obama winning them did.

    On the issue of electability, caucuses are pretty meaningless - they certainly aren't any kind of evidence that, for example, Obama will carry NE in the general election (or even IA).

    Primaries won't prove that either, but at least the represent a broader base and in open primary states include independents too.

    The problem that occurs is when Democratic activists or factions within the party are out of sync with the electorate generally - that's what happened in 1972 (or 1964 for Goldwater and the GOP). Whether that's happening this year is anybody's guess, but I think it's worth considering.

    The evidence for it isn't especially strong. It's mostly Obama's inability to carry large state primaries. I think there are some other factors, but they could just as well be anti-Obama bias at this point.

    What evidence do you have that that isn't the case?


    Obama parlayed his (none / 0) (#66)
    by ding7777 on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 07:38:12 PM EST
    knowledge from being a grassroots Community acivist into caucus building.  

    I don't think it was (5.00 / 2) (#78)
    by Jeralyn on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 07:51:01 PM EST
    Obama, I think it was Axelrod.

    From the LA Times (none / 0) (#174)
    by ding7777 on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 10:10:11 PM EST
    The precinct-level operations were to employ theories of community organizing Obama practiced in Chicago before getting into electoral politics.



    MONEY (none / 0) (#140)
    by delandjim on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 09:07:03 PM EST
    She was running out of money and the campaign made foolish decisions on whether to contest caucus states.

    one reason (none / 0) (#182)
    by sas on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 10:27:44 PM EST

    Just wait when the Evangelicals go after him (none / 0) (#13)
    by felizarte on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 06:53:05 PM EST
    for "leading a cult" a word that has been bandied about before by people like Krugman describing some of his supporters as "cult-like".  or websites supporting him such as obamaMessiah.com

    With endorsers like Ted Kennedy and John Kerry, how does he shake off the "superLiberal" tag.  I can almost imagine McCain winning.  Well maybe the democrats need to learn more lessons.


    the only problem is... (5.00 / 1) (#39)
    by jor on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 07:16:26 PM EST
    ... evangelicals will not go after him. Obama is much more comfortable with religion than McCain.

    Evangelicals WILL (5.00 / 1) (#45)
    by PlayInPeoria on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 07:19:57 PM EST
    go after him... Roe vs Wade. You bet they will. That's why those states are "red".

    They will too (none / 0) (#62)
    by felizarte on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 07:33:48 PM EST
    with the rationale that Obama IS the religion.  Remember me when this happens.

    Evangelicals are not Obama's problem (5.00 / 1) (#149)
    by Prabhata on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 09:26:08 PM EST
    His problem is people on the right of the Republican party, like Norquist, Rove, and Rush and Coulter.  We think of the last two as irrelevant, but they keep a slime going until it sticks.

    Closed primaries? (none / 0) (#18)
    by magisterludi on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 06:55:41 PM EST
    According to... (none / 0) (#20)
    by mindfulmission on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 06:59:10 PM EST
    .. RCP, Obama has a 9-4 record in closed primaries.

    Here's what Obama has won per CNN (5.00 / 1) (#55)
    by ding7777 on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 07:25:38 PM EST
    Open Primaries - VA, MO, IL, GA, AL, SC

    Closed Primaries - D.C., MD, LA, DE

    Semi-Open Primary - UT

    Open Caucus - WA, MN, ID, ND

    Closed Caucus - NB, AK, KS, CO, ME, IA


    I'd call Kansas semi-closed or something (5.00 / 1) (#67)
    by katiebird on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 07:39:34 PM EST
    Voters did have to register as Democrats at the Kansas Caucus -- but they had to do it on-site if they weren't already on the books.  And we registered nearly half the people at our caucus that night.  It sure FELT open at the time...

    Nebraska=NE (5.00 / 1) (#114)
    by phat on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 08:26:16 PM EST
    And I would call it a semi-open caucus.

    People were able to register Democrat at the caucus.



    Observation (5.00 / 1) (#135)
    by delandjim on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 09:01:35 PM EST
    If you look at each candidates strengths there seems to be an explanation of this.
    Figure that Ill. and N.Y., would probably go to the home state senator Ark kind of fits that category too.
    Then look the States with large black populations. D.C., MD, LA, DE, GA, AL, S.C., VA  they seems to be most of Obama's primaries.
    Then look at states with significant Hispanic population: CA, AZ, N.M., FL. Those are Clinton.
    The rest pretty much fit the caucuses go to Obama and Primaries go to Clinton mold OR were very close elections.
    Most of the small caucus states were uncontested for Obama because Clinton didn't have enough money to advertise there. Also her staff  didn't see the danger of letting that many go uncontested.
    That pretty much takes care of the states that have voted so far.

    Closed primaries (5.00 / 1) (#153)
    by Prabhata on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 09:31:14 PM EST
    Obama does not carry the Democratic base, except the black vote.

    Closed Primaries - D.C., MD, LA, DE

    Excepting DE, the black vote carried him to the wins above.  DC, MD, LA have big AA voters, and he carries those voters with 80 to 90 percent.  That's not something unexpected.  The independents and Republicans are giving him the margins to win the white vote.


    RCP... (none / 0) (#60)
    by mindfulmission on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 07:29:29 PM EST
    Ah... you are right.  It called all of the "closed" states closed primaries.

    So the closed primary record is 4 wins for Obama, 4 wins for Clinton, one of which is New York.


    Obama's wins do not translate in the general well: (none / 0) (#137)
    by kenosharick on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 09:04:24 PM EST
    His only wins that will vote Dem in Nov.for sure are: Ill.,D.C.,MD, De., and Wash.= 48
    possible:Mn.,Me.,Ia.,Co.= 30
    Hillary sure states: Ca.,N.Y.,Conn.,Mass.,N.J.,Mich= 137
    possible: N.M.,AZ., N.H.,Nev.,Fla.= 51
    that is Clinton;188  Obama; 78

    She looks stronger this fall to me.


    Oh come on! (none / 0) (#195)
    by Siguy on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 11:42:53 PM EST
    You're saying Obama will lose California, New York, New Jersey, and Massachusetts!?

    You can argue which candidate is more electable, but let's not be ridiculous here and claim he's gonna lose the biggest democratic states because he didn't win their primaries (just like it'd be silly to claim he'll win red Republican states because he won their caucuses)


    Curious (none / 0) (#131)
    by Bob In Pacifica on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 08:57:23 PM EST
    how one day people here claim that Clinton is the true liberal, and then the next they say the Republicans will call Obama a McGovern liberal. What is it?

    Please, Jeralyn, do you give credence to this crap?

    Having been around for the Nixon-McGovern election (it was the first Presidential election I could vote in, and I was the only person on my base I knew who admitted to voting for him) everything about that was different from this. Nixon was much more popular, people still thought or hoped the Vietnam war could be won, and Nixon was cheating (Jonah's mom, Watergate, etc.).

    Obama has run a fairly centrist campaign, for which he's been criticized by the Left. I cannot imagine blue states voting for McCain because Obama was called a McGovern leftist.

    This is really silly.


    Obama has the classic (none / 0) (#129)
    by sancho on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 08:49:27 PM EST
    design of the Triple AAA approved Limo Liberal Loser in the GE. His "I was a Harvard graduate and a community organizer" line plays right into that stereotype (not that being a Harvard grad and a commuity organizer is a bad thing, of course). His recent ranking (by I forget which organization) as the most liberal senator in the senate will be used against him. And who among democrats likes Obama the most? The young or the older, well-off, well heeled Prius driving liberals. That was Mcgovern's demographic. I actually think Obama is a kind of neo-con (and not adamant about Roe v. Wade either) in disguise but he'll be given the McGovern limo liberal treatment in the fall and it will stick, and McCain will be president.

    As for Obama getting Republican votes, that idea is laughable. Many of those are actually canny anti-Hillary votes (beat her now b.c the repubs fear her more in the GE--current doubters will understand later) or meaningless votes in states that will go red in the fall.

    After Edwards, Hillary is the dems' only chance. Typically, the party seems to be doing everything it can to get rid of her.

    How many democratic winners have we had since LBJ not named Clinton?

    Hint: except for Watergate-aided Jimmy Carter, zero.

    Dems almost always pick the loser and congratulate themselves while they do it.

    Obama is likely another instance of this depressing consistency.  


    This is what is also depressing me... (5.00 / 1) (#199)
    by CognitiveDissonance on Sun Feb 17, 2008 at 12:18:44 AM EST
    How many democratic winners have we had since LBJ not named Clinton?

    Hint: except for Watergate-aided Jimmy Carter, zero.

    Something else to chew on: how many democratic presidents have been elected since LBJ who weren't from the South? Another big zero! I hate to say it, but I doubt he will carry a single southern state. Hillary has a chance with Florida, Arkansas, and Tennessee.


    Obama Supporters (none / 0) (#203)
    by Onetimeonly on Sun Feb 17, 2008 at 12:36:34 AM EST
    Would make the same argument about Hillary. We both want the same thing we just think differently about who is best to make it happen.
    Obama wins independents easily if the national polls are correct, he will also bring the largest AA vote in history. So long as we dont act like children and declare if my candidate doesnt win the primary we wont vote, we win the election, Hillary or Obama.

    A lot of logical breakdowns there (5.00 / 3) (#7)
    by flyerhawk on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 06:33:53 PM EST
    First of all I don't think that the Democrats should EVER choose their nominee based on what the GOP will do.  They will attack whomever the candidate is.

    I also don't understand the logic that says that since Hillary is already known and already has high unfavorables she is at an advantage of Obama.  Huh?  

    And I have absolutely no clue what Progressive Involvement is suggesting. According to the link provided by PI McGovern won the following states...

    New York

    He didn't win MO, Maryland, LA, or Alabama.  It seems that the only similarity is that they both won the sparsely populated but very large states, thus giving an impression of similarity between the 2.

    Yes he won a lot of the Big Sky Red States.  But he also won the big core blue states as well.  

    Do you really agree that Obama's positions are notably more liberal than Clinton's?  I sure don't. On almost every position they are so close that it is hard to tell which one is which.

    This isn't 1972.  The nation isn't looking to reel itself in from 15 years of liberalism.  They are looking to reel itself in from 8 years of irresponsible Conservatism.  It's time to stop shying away from the word Liberal.  

    Note:I was unable to open the times link you provided, Jeralyn.

    link opens fine for me (5.00 / 1) (#50)
    by Jeralyn on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 07:22:12 PM EST
    No, I don't see much difference between Hillary and Obama on issues -- they are very similar. Neither is a liberal in my opinion. Both are centrists with some progressive views.

    They are our choices this year. I'm dealing with it.


    Jeralyn.. (none / 0) (#56)
    by mindfulmission on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 07:25:44 PM EST
    ... just curious... do you think that there were any progressives running?

    I tend to agree with you, if we are truly talking about liberal or progressive values.

    But I also don't believe that there are more than a handful of true liberals in the Democratic Party.

    Obama and Clinton, from my perspective, are definitely some of the more progressive Senators.  

    And I also agree with you that there is very little different between the candidates on issues.  


    There were no (none / 0) (#83)
    by Jeralyn on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 07:55:01 PM EST
    progressives on crime issues running, that's for sure. Except Kucinich and he never stood a chance.

    Agreed... (none / 0) (#85)
    by mindfulmission on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 07:58:45 PM EST
    ... that is why I have a Kucinich sticker though!  :)

    Gravel. (none / 0) (#121)
    by Ben Masel on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 08:32:49 PM EST
    Fair enough (none / 0) (#61)
    by flyerhawk on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 07:31:18 PM EST
    I tend to agree with you.  It is almost impossible to get an actual Liberal elected President.  They want too much change in the status quo and most voters don't care for that.

    My point was simply that the GOP will try and paint both of them as crazed liberals when they aren't.


    Bad argument... (none / 0) (#25)
    by frankly0 on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 07:05:09 PM EST
    They will attack whomever the candidate is.

    That has to be one of the worst arguments in all of politics.

    Look, just because Republicans will attack any Democratic nominee does not mean that all such attacks will be equally effective against all Democratic nominees. It's easier to "redefine" an unknown than a known quantity. And some people just have more in their background that their attackers can go after effectively. I'm sure that, beyond the other things that people usually mention, such as the Rezko connection, Obama will be attacked for his powerful allegiance to the pastor of his church, who has heaped praise on the rabid racist and anti-Semite Farakahn; likewise his admitted cocaine use is inevitably going to come up.

    These are things over which Obama's supporters cry out in anger when Hillary's campaign even hints at them. And basically Hillary's campaign has to treat the issues as untouchable, because any mention of them will simply be made to backfire.

    But there's no reason to believe that they will backfire on McCain if distantly removed elements of the right wing attack machine make huge political hay out of them. In fact, the issues are pretty much fair game. Why does Obama continue to go to the church with such a pastor? Would he do so even as President, with the powerful symbolism of his office essentially sanctioning the views of his pastor? How comfortable do Americans feel about a President, who is certainly regarded as a kind of a role model, admitting openly to cocaine use -- a drug that only about 13% of Americans ever use?

    Of course, the cocaine use issue will probably be decried, as it has already been, as "racist" in nature.

    But how well will even charges of racism hold up? Here's how I imagine the Republicans will handle such a charge: "Yes, of course the Obama campaign levels charges of racism against us. That's how they always try to smear their opponents. Look at what they did to Bill Clinton. For years, he is praised as the First Black President. Suddenly, when he becomes a political opponent to Obama, he's smeared by Obama campaign surrogates as a racist himself. They'll level that charge against anybody who criticizes them in any way. Well, I'll tell you, we aren't going to allow those kind of smear tactics to work with us!"

    I just don't see this ending well for Obama or his campaign. Even if he manages to win the Presidency, he will have been permanently crippled by the attacks.


    Exactly, frankly0. Republians run on racism (none / 0) (#134)
    by sancho on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 09:01:05 PM EST
    and win--every presidential election (except for three) since LBJ made it legally ok for black people to vote in 1965.  Running a racist campaign, with a symphony of dog whistles, is what they do. Everything Hillary is accused of doing (but isn't) the repubs will do with impunity. Some good old American straight talk, it will be called, and that McCain is one "heck" of an American telling it like it is, we will be told.  

    Why hand the GOP a silver platter (none / 0) (#165)
    by john5750 on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 09:53:58 PM EST
    Sure, they will attack Hillary or Obama.  But, they ran out of bullets for Hillary.  Obama is fresh meat and he will be slaughtered by the GOP.

    I Agree That The Country Is Looking To Reel (none / 0) (#169)
    by MO Blue on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 09:59:14 PM EST
    itself in from 8 years of irresponsible Conservatism. But Obama is not campaigning on that at all. We is basically campaigning on D.C. is bad and the Dems share the blame.

    The author of this article is a Bush supporter (5.00 / 4) (#15)
    by AdrianLesher on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 06:53:38 PM EST
    The author of this wrote a piece on why she was a "Democrat for Bush" against Kerry.

    Other examples of her wingnuttery are here,  here, and here.

    That last article, by the way, is entitled "Do-or-die Hillary turns bully as Obama starts to pull away."

    Are Clinton supporters so desperate that they're going to start quoting Michelle Malkin against Obama? Talk about embracing right-wing talking points.

    Film at 11! (5.00 / 1) (#30)
    by scarshapedstar on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 07:08:40 PM EST
    My God! Republicans plan to tar the Democratic nominee as a far-left socialist liberal? What's next? Accusations that he'll raise taxes and surrender to the terrorists!??!!

    Yes, exactly McCain's accusations already (none / 0) (#161)
    by Cream City on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 09:50:46 PM EST
    and to the roars of the crowd.  Watch one of his speeches lately, and you'll see that it already has begun -- Obama will raise taxes, will be soft on terrorists, etc. . . .

    Obama may lose (5.00 / 1) (#70)
    by cannondaddy on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 07:42:02 PM EST
    But Hillary will lose.  She is already losing head to heads in key states.  Hillary will not be able to overcome the high negatives.  She has reached a plateau of support that will not grow.  

    Wrong. That's only my opinion but it;s as good (5.00 / 1) (#74)
    by RalphB on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 07:45:16 PM EST
    as your own.  FWIW.

    I'm just thinking .... (5.00 / 1) (#79)
    by katiebird on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 07:52:52 PM EST
    I totally get that Obama and his organizers are playing hardball -- that they've got a goal and a plan for getting there.

    What I don't get is how hard-talking by Obama supporters will help his cause.  Is the campaign asking you guys to do this?  Or is it just something you-all fell into?

    What you've said here isn't the worst I've read by far. But it isn't exactly kind, is it? And, I'm wondering (if you don't mind): Do you think that comment is very likely to draw me toward Obama's campaign?

    Honestly, I'm not looking for a fight here.  I'm just wondering what your goal was when you clicked on the POST button?


    I think Obama is a stronger GE candidate (none / 0) (#87)
    by cannondaddy on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 08:02:39 PM EST
    I don't want to see McCain appoint three Supreme Court Justices.

    And you can only communicate that (none / 0) (#108)
    by katiebird on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 08:18:56 PM EST
    And you can only communicate that with hard-talking?

    katie (none / 0) (#91)
    by flyerhawk on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 08:05:03 PM EST
    Do you really find that comment more obnoxious that the various anti-obama comments here?  People swearing that they will never vote for him.  People accusing him of being all sorts of bad things.

    Goes both ways and neither side should let the supporters influence their decision on who to vote for, at least not negatively.


    I'm still voting for him if he wins the nomination (none / 0) (#101)
    by blogtopus on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 08:14:22 PM EST
    Unless something comes along that convinces me McCain would be a better candidate.

    But let's be honest here; that is going to be a HUGE task. I don't care if Obama's supporters may or may not resemble a cult, at least he'll be in the Bluish/Purple territory of my views, not Bright Red.

    I think people claiming they can't vote for Obama will come around if Hillary isn't the nominee, once they see how vicious McCain's campaign is going to attack him.

    That said, I still support Hillary first.


    I don't like it when it comes from either side (none / 0) (#102)
    by katiebird on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 08:14:25 PM EST
    I don't like it when it comes from either side -- I HATE hard-talking.

    But, there are whole sites off limits now to Hillary supporters -- sites that used to be a second home to some of us.  Is that true for Obama supporters?

    I can't go to DailyKos, BoomanTribune, HuffingtonPost, TPM -- to name just a few (and Ezra Klein who is fair as a Death Threat aimed at Hillary in the comments of one of his posts).  

    What are the sites off limits to you as an Obama supporter?  Taylor Marsh?  What else?

    The posts at TalkLeft are great.  But the really great thing is that we're all welcome here Hillary & Obama supporters alike.  It's a lot of work for them. And I think the hard-talkers on both sides make it harder.

    But, my question stands -- what do you gain from it?


    Good question (none / 0) (#99)
    by AF on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 08:12:57 PM EST
    As an Obama supporter, I come here because it keeps me honest.  You all don't let us get away with  silliness like "Hillary can't win."  And I can't answer for others, but I can assure you that the Obama campaign never asked me to come here.

    No that wasn't the question (none / 0) (#106)
    by katiebird on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 08:17:57 PM EST
    The question is why the pattern of hard-talking?  Does it come from the campaign? Do you think it's going to draw a woman like me to your candidate?

    This is sincerely meant as a question, not an attack.


    I don't mean that you've hard-talked (none / 0) (#112)
    by katiebird on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 08:23:17 PM EST
    Honestly -- It's directed at you as an Obama supporter.  Why is it so prevalent among his supporters?

    I don't mean that you yourself have hard-talked


    I can't speak for other Obama supporters (none / 0) (#118)
    by AF on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 08:30:03 PM EST
    But I try to avoid hard-talk.  I agree with you that it's counterproductive.  I believe that if other Obama supporters asked themselves what their goal was before they clicked POST -- as you put it so well -- they would realize this.

    (smile) Thank you (none / 0) (#120)
    by katiebird on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 08:31:32 PM EST
    Thank you.

    I don't know what made me ask this today (none / 0) (#148)
    by katiebird on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 09:25:20 PM EST
    I appreciate the depth of answer.

    I don't know what made me ask this today and I doubt that I'll pursue it further.


    I don't think it is one sided (none / 0) (#123)
    by cannondaddy on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 08:36:20 PM EST
    See Grandmother comments below.  I'm sorry if my comments seem hard but I don't see the need to beat around the bush and sugarcoat things.  The purpose of posting is the same as Jerylyn's for starting the thread.  Just expressing an opinion in an ongoing debate.

    No need to sugar-coat your opinion (5.00 / 1) (#130)
    by AF on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 08:56:30 PM EST
    But if you're trying to convince other people rather than just "expressing" yourself, a little bit of respect can be very effective.  Obama does it, so can you!

    Thank you for your response (none / 0) (#124)
    by katiebird on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 08:40:09 PM EST
    If you think by not hard-talking you're sugarcoating your opinion -- that's great.  But I think hard-talking is bad politics.

    Just my opinion.  And I don't reply to hard-talking -- it's my personal comment policy.  


    Disagree (5.00 / 1) (#172)
    by MO Blue on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 10:06:51 PM EST
    I think Clinton has a much better chance in the GE against McCain than Obama has.

    Polls are 100% meaningless (none / 0) (#76)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 07:49:09 PM EST
    until the Republican attack machine gets its hands on the candidate.

    Her numbers aren't meaningless (none / 0) (#86)
    by cannondaddy on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 08:00:25 PM EST
    Her numbers are not going to go up.  You're letiing your adoration of your candidate blind you to reality if you think otherwise.

    You're letting (5.00 / 0) (#90)
    by BrandingIron on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 08:04:20 PM EST
    history go unnoticed about polling during candidate selection/primaries vs. public opinion/polling right before the GE.  

    Funny (none / 0) (#159)
    by Marvin42 on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 09:48:59 PM EST
    I would say the same of your statement.

    What we know for a fact:

    1. Sen Clinton has been hammered for years by the Republican machinery and here she is,
    2. Sen Obama has been completely untouched so far and here he is.

    Most GE polls (which are meaningless really): they are about even when compared to McCain.

    Guess which one I would bet on?


    That is doubtful (none / 0) (#96)
    by Molly Bloom on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 08:11:14 PM EST
    as long as Democrats unite behind the nominee, they cannot lose. The candidate partisans who say "I will vote for McCain over HRC/Obama" will be the cause of defeat, should it come to that.

    There are enough Democrats to win an election. (none / 0) (#100)
    by cannondaddy on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 08:13:38 PM EST
    United or not you need independants.

    A united party needs less independents (none / 0) (#104)
    by Molly Bloom on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 08:16:42 PM EST
    Also you assume McCain has no negatives. I assure you this isn't so.

    I don't assume he has no negatives (none / 0) (#116)
    by cannondaddy on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 08:27:46 PM EST
    and even said so.

    On a thread here last week, Jeralyn (5.00 / 1) (#167)
    by RalphB on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 09:58:01 PM EST
    asked about a 47% number which Obama said wou;dn't vote for Hillary.  Turns out it came from a CNN poll from 2006.  Since then those numbers have all changed but I don't know what they are today because they are meaningless.

    Links? I haven't seen some of this (5.00 / 1) (#181)
    by Cream City on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 10:23:13 PM EST
    on his site -- and frankly, now it sounds a lot scarier than I thought and farther from my political beliefs than I knew.  So I would appreciate links to verify these really are his stands.

    If You Are Factually Stating Obama's Positions, (5.00 / 1) (#185)
    by MO Blue on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 10:38:39 PM EST
    you have convinced me. You have convinced me to stay at home in November if Obama is the nominee.

    Can you provide me with link that substantiate your claims.

    Biggest Strengths, Biggest Weaknesses (4.00 / 2) (#5)
    by BDB on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 06:33:45 PM EST
    I think Obama's biggest strength, that's he's a new, freash face could also be his biggest weakness because it gives the GOP a better opportunity to define him,  It doesn't mean they will succeed, of course, but I do think too many folks just assume that the general electorate will see teh awesomeness that is Obama and that - more than the GOP - scares me because if you're not ready for the smear and see your weakness, you might wait too long to mount  a strong defense.  A lot of people might have a good impression of Obama right now, but I think it's wider than it is deep - not because Obama is shallow, but because he hasn't been in the public eye that long and so people don't know him that well.  How many folks in the general public have heard of Rezko or Exelon?  And I'm not saying those things as an indication that Obama is some terrible guy, just that because so few people have heard of them will give the GOP more of an opportunity to define what those things mean.  

    My other concern is that while I think Obama does have some good policies, he's run a campaign focused on him - it's been about his ability to bring people together.  This concerns me because his opponent will be McCain, who also is a very personality-driven candidate, he too seeks to appeal to voters because of who he is, and, while I think he's a war-mongering loon, I also think he has one of the most powerful personal stories in politics.  

    Obama beats McCain on the issues, easily, but will this be a campaign decided on the issues?  Obama hasn't run a particularly issue-focused campaign, which doesn't mean he can't in November, but I do worry more about Obama against McCain than I would've against, say, Romney.

    So, while I absolutely think Obama can beat McCain, I can also see him getting beaten by McCain, particularly in critical swing states.

    Good post, BDB (none / 0) (#10)
    by flyerhawk on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 06:39:28 PM EST
    You make some good points.

    There is no question that Obama offers a lot more question marks.  But whether that makes him more or less likely to win in November is hard to gauge.

    I firmly believe that the Democrats will win in November PROVIDED they don't shoot themselves in the foot.  While it is possible that Obama has some dark dirty secret waiting to come out, I suspect that Hillary would have found it by now.  

    I will vote for either candidate in November.  I personally believe that Obama is a safer choice because he won't fire up the Conservative base like Hillary will.  But that could change if something comes out or some 527 simply invents a smear he can't easily discard.


    I think it's a mistake to think that. (none / 0) (#201)
    by CognitiveDissonance on Sun Feb 17, 2008 at 12:27:34 AM EST
    I keep shaking my head at this idea that Obama isn't going to fire up the conservative base. Let's get real. ANY democrat is going to fire up the conservative base. They don't give up power easily. They'll use every dirty trick in the book to keep it. Personally, I think they're drooling over Obama. He has an awful lot of vulnerabilities that haven't been brought out in this primary. And the wingnuts will use every single one against him. Go on a few of their sites and you'll find that they have 30 page documents filled with lists of things they can hit him with. They won't pull those out now because they would much rather run against him.

    I am just amazed that there are so many who don't understand how these thugs operate, who think that the primary is going to be the hard part. It won't be. I can easily see Obama losing almost every state in a general. One big problem is that he is not winning the democratic base. In fact, even worse, he is alienating a lot of the base. And when you do that, you can't count on them coming out and holding their nose to vote for you. They may just stay home. Or worse, vote for McCain on the theory that the devil you know is better than the devil you don't know. Thanks to his campaign, no one really knows him.


    And the GOP... (none / 0) (#19)
    by SandyK on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 06:58:44 PM EST
    isn't going to censor itself on race and half of a dozen other things that is being censored by the Dems to keep things "together".

    If folks think Rathergate and the Swiftboat affairs were ugly, they want those SCOTUS justices just as bad.

    If Obama has to control his own party to keep the dirt out, he's not ready for the big league smears that will come.

    We know Hillary can withstand it (probably even thrive in it), and she also brings what Obama can't bring to the table -- experience and a built in government ready to go in action on January 20th.

    Change is nice, but Obama isn't changing the GOP -- they'll change him.

    Hope Hillary becomes the nominee, bank on it.


    You deleted the wrong comment (none / 0) (#139)
    by AF on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 09:05:39 PM EST
    I am a courteous commenter and I mean no undue disrespect to SandyK.  But when someone complains about the Democratic party "censoring itself on race," repeatedly calls Obama "OBABA," and starts talking about welfare and housing projects -- issues that haven't been part of this campaign at ALL -- I think it is perfectly appropriate to request an explanation.  

    CHANGE (none / 0) (#157)
    by john5750 on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 09:45:54 PM EST
    We all want change from Bush.  Anything would be a good change from Bush.  That doesn't mean we should go for a novice because he is different.  

    We should go for change with experience.  Change that has been proven. Smart change.  That change is Hillary.  She is as far from Bush as you can get, and she can win.


    For what it's worth (3.66 / 3) (#89)
    by Grandmother on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 08:04:11 PM EST
    I cast my first vote for George McGovern in 1972.  I remember the thrill, the excitement of his campaign. Of course I knew little about what was really going on but he was the anti-war candidate and that was good enough for me.

    Fast forward 36 years later. I'm not a new mom but a grandmother of five. I've watched this ENDLESS campaign from the beginning. I started out admiring Obama and ended up supporting and voting for Hillary.  I've always voted for the Democratic ticket regardless of the hapless candidates on the ticket.

    Last week I changed my voter registration to Independent. No longer will the Democratic Party be able to count on my dollars, time or vote.  Howard Dean has messed up the whole primary season and quite frankly the Democrats, who are notorious for shooting themselves in the foot, deserve to get their collective butts kicked in November.

    I will either write in HRC or vote for McCain in the G.E. if Obama is the Dem nominee. There is a lot that people do not know about him.  Since I practice law in Illinois, I have some idea of what goes on in Springfield and Chicago.  No one gets anywhere in Illinois politics without being dirty.  It doesn't matter if you are a Dem or a Republican.  They all go to jail regardless of party affiliation.  

    Obama has played dirty in the past (ever wonder why Jack Ryan's divorce papers were unsealed?)and he will continue to do it.

    My take is that Rove and Co. will slice and dice him and throw him in the Chicago river. But what do I know?  I don't like his snarky, arrogant "I'm better than you" attitude.  And the Rezko connections, donations, deals can and will be fuel for the fire.  But then I say burn, baby burn.

    Say goodbye to Roe then (5.00 / 1) (#92)
    by Molly Bloom on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 08:08:11 PM EST
    I gather you also approve of torture. I can't see how any self identified Democrat McGovern voter could vote for McCain.

    Agreed (5.00 / 1) (#105)
    by flyerhawk on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 08:17:01 PM EST
    I don't get it at all.

    100 years in Iraq
    I was again torture until I became a serious candidate. Now I'm for it
    Bomb Bomb Bomb Iran!
    Justice Stevens! Justice Ginsburg!

    This is what Liberals are voting for because of petulance?


    What abotu Roe? (5.00 / 1) (#151)
    by goldberry on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 09:28:27 PM EST
    If it is REALLY important to you, maybe you ought ot let your candidate know that it isn't nice to prematurely age the portion of the Democaratic electorate voting for his opponent. It's not polite to characterize them as old, uneducated women whose time has oome and gone. After all, it's hardly Grandmother's problem if YOU have an issue with Roe.  She might be thinking that you would learn something if you had to fight that battle all over again.  
    As for torture, it must be torture for John McCain to have to kiss up to the rank and file Republicans to get their votes in the fall.  I don't like him and I won't be voting for him but I also might not cast my vote for Obama in the fall if he's the nominee.  I might write in Hillary's name.  
    If that's something that bothers you, I suggest you do something to win us over.  After all, Grandmother has paid her Roe dues.  Now, it's YOUR turn.

    Spare me the sanctimonious comments (none / 0) (#163)
    by Molly Bloom on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 09:53:20 PM EST
    Don't tell me about paying dues in the past. The battle is still being fought today. I don't need to learn anything new about fighting that battle. Nor does my daughter.

    The reasons to champion it today are the same as it was yesterday. I am not prepared to quit. Not today, not tomorrow, not ever.

    To be so frivolous says more about you and your character than it does about mine.


    Sanctimony or not... (none / 0) (#180)
    by goldberry on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 10:19:30 PM EST
    ...you need US more than WE need YOU.  It would behoove your candidate to remember that before he consigns us to the wallflower corner of the adult community before many of us even hit fifty.  

    Cream City, I am a contemporary of Obama.  I only remember the struggle for the right, not ever having to live without that right.  But it looks like it is something like that proverbial tree of liberty that needs to be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots.  It's safe with Hillary and she is very electable compared to Obama who is a relative unknown to the Republican electorate.  But in any case, I don't like to be put on the shelf by Obama and the media.  If he wants to win, he will need our help and there is no time like the present to atone for his boorish behavior.  Otherwise, well, I guess he might have to make due with the constituency that he's got.  I might come around and vote for him but I'm not sure that my aunts who were denied a college education simply because they were the girl in the family are going to come around after they've been characterized as dumber tnan a box of rocks and twice as old.  
    Just sayin'


    I totally get what you're saying (5.00 / 1) (#184)
    by katiebird on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 10:31:41 PM EST
    And I'm playing with the idea of not voting for BO myself.  It's a pretty radical idea.  But I live in Kansas, so it's not like my state has EVER gone my way.  Even when a Democrat has won -- Kansas didn't vote for him.  

    So, BO's dismissive remarks about my generation (7 whole years older than him!), my gender & my politics (liberal) have made me wonder about why I should bother voting for him. It wouldn't matter to him.  Not that I'd ever vote for a Republican or a 3rd Party.  Just that I might vote for Hillary no matter who has the nomination.


    I guess I'm still depressed about that "periodically when she's feeling down" thing...

    He's likable enough.  I guess.


    Thank you -- and good to see you (none / 0) (#171)
    by Cream City on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 10:00:14 PM EST
    Goldberry!  Yes, we have a few good decades left in us Towandas ("we're older, and we have more insurance" -- Fried Green Tomatoes:-).  I teach the Obama voter target age group, and believe me, they have no frame of reference whatsoever for what it was like pre-Roe v. Wade, pre-access for single women to the Pill (both not until the 1970s, for anyone here too young to recall that the Pill came on the market in '60 but only for married women).

    I will vote for BO if he is the nominee, because Roe v. Wade still matters to our daughters -- and sons.  But I won't be happy about it.  I might have to drag myself to the polls about 7:59 p.m.

    And if he is the nominee, and if he somehow makes it to the White House (I doubt it, with some of what is coming at him not even out there yet, but I've heard it from Illinoisans) -- I predict it will be Carter again.  BO will have four years, max, and then we will have another three terms or more of the GOP.


    Your last paragraph (none / 0) (#179)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 10:19:28 PM EST
    is why I WON'T vote for Obama (nor McCain).  I predict Obama will be a Carter as well and I think it will be better if we have a STRONG Dem in the White House and I can wait for such a Dem.

    It will destroy Dems to have a weak Dem in this truly tough time in history, and the destruction will go beyond 2008.

    And Obama, with his sexist dog whistles, etc, doesn't seem all that interested in women's rights (e.g. to choose) so I really don't think that electing him will be the magic bullet that will ensure proper SC judge selection that, in turn, will keep Roe v. Wade from being overtured.  I've said before that the Republicans don't want to turn Roe into the Democrats' issue.  Overturning Roe will DEFINITELY get out the vote on the Democratic woman's side.  The SC is supposed to be above the fray, but 2000 proved that they are just partisan politicians who do what's right for the party.  Overturning Roe really isn't good for Republicans in the long run.  So I doubt the SC would ever do it.


    But Jeralyn and BTD (none / 0) (#93)
    by BrandingIron on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 08:09:01 PM EST

    Don't think Rezko would or should be an issue.  My take on it is that it was his own hometown Chicago Sun-Times that did the initial investigation (I read the original article), and I've read blogs/comments in the Chicago area about Rezko being a BIG deal.  So...is it?  I'm glad that a practicing lawyer from Obama's home state  is here to clarify some things.

    who's from Illininois here? (none / 0) (#107)
    by Jeralyn on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 08:18:36 PM EST
    Not me or Big Tent.  I think another blogger at No Quarter misstated that Big Tent is from Chicago.

    never mind (none / 0) (#122)
    by Jeralyn on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 08:34:33 PM EST
    I see it was the commenter, Grandmother.  I hope she continues to comment here. She sounds like she knows what she's talking about.

    Well, see... (none / 0) (#125)
    by BrandingIron on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 08:44:16 PM EST
    ...I'm a huge, huge Clintonista, but I've also read all of the positive and negative stuff about Obama (I didn't want to dislike him, I really didn't) particularly the Rezko deal, and then I finally found this forum which is comfortably Clintonistan, but then I kept seeing comments about Rezko being unimportant.  I've seen comments here and there (they're murmurs from the natives there in IL/particularly in the Chicago area) about Rezko being more serious than the MSM's (aside from the Chi Sun-Times which broke the story) dismissive attitude about it.

    So I hope that the new poster from IL can expand on it...expand my awareness of the issue.  :)


    Rezko will muddy the waters (none / 0) (#173)
    by Cream City on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 10:06:51 PM EST
    although Obama kept this side of the law, from what I hear (I'm near Chicago, monitor its media, know lawyers and others there).  But we certainly have seen before that the truth is not the point; perception is.  And personally, I am not comforted by the thought that my pols managed to stay legal and somehow stay out of jail.  I prefer they aim higher, to get into heaven, and act ethically.  And from all that I've read, the Obamas (she being very involved too, through a committee that was supposed to be serving the public, not private homebuyers) may not have acted ethically.

    But more than Rezko, I hear and fear that the problem will be the Ayers-Dohrn connection with the Obamas.  Again, looks like nothing illegal there -- but it sounds like the way it's going, with the "Chicago socialist" meme.  (Actually, anarchist would be more apt.)  The spin on that will be simple and could be disastrous.


    It COULD be a problem (none / 0) (#128)
    by dmfox on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 08:48:58 PM EST
    I'm from Chicago, although I'm in law school in Boston right now.  It appears that Obama did nothing wrong, but Rezko's donors did raise upwards of $168,000 for Obama.  Obama has given $158,000 of that amount to charity as of January 30.  Regarding Obama's work as a lawyer for Rezko, my understanding is that he was an associate at the time and only billed about 10 hours to the matter.  His name supposedly has surfaced in the Fitzgerald case against Rezko, although no wrongdoing has been alleged.

    My fear on the Rezko matter is not that Obama did anything wrong.  On that, he's probably just guilty of associating with an unsavory character.  The real danger is that the right-wing noise machine will go on a fishing expedition with this, much like they did with Whitewater in the 1990s.  I fully expect Tony Rezko to be splashed on the WSJ editorial page and on Rush Limbaugh.  While most of the news is old news, his indictment is current, and any updates in the investigation or the case will be front page news in Chicago, and make it impossible for the issue to completely go away.  Whether the voters care about is another story.  However, it is unlikely the Right will keep Rezko under the radar.

    Here's the Sun-Times story from a month ago if anyone's curious:



    Quid Pro Quo (none / 0) (#170)
    by john5750 on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 09:59:43 PM EST
    Rezko didn't support Obama all those years for nothing.

    What evidence is there (none / 0) (#143)
    by AdrianLesher on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 09:12:59 PM EST
    that Obama had anything to do with the unveiling of the Ryan divorce scandal?

    If you're so knowledgeable on Illinois dirt (none / 0) (#150)
    by Ben Masel on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 09:27:14 PM EST
    why would you have "started out admiring Obama?"
    I sense an internal contradiction in your narrative.

    I agree that (3.00 / 2) (#49)
    by Polkan on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 07:21:55 PM EST
    there are some striking similarities between McGovern and Obama, particularly in the composition of their base and the positioning of their campaigns (insurgency vs establishment). There are even more smilarities between them:

    McGovern was shown to be indecisive right after the nomination following the Eagleton incident (and guess why McCain fed the media the story of their Senate incident, reported a few days ago).

    I agree also that the GOP will have a layered approach in defining Obama, using absolutely everything from his record to character assasination.

    But even though I support Clinton with heart, mind and wallet, I'm not yet sure the similarities will result in the same outcome.

    Consider: McGovern ran against the incumbent (not the case with Obama). Obama has, for all intents and purposes, been proclaimed the avatar of JFK by The Family, with the resulting halo. Obama is lucky McCain is very weak on domestic agenda, but this I'm sure will be fixed with a strong VP candidate.

    I wonder if a comparison of rhetoric and message can complete the picture. Did McGovern campaign as "uniter, not divider" too?

    I truly believe Obama is an insurgent, perhaps not conciously. It seems his gamble is that his tree-hugging rhetoric will help him unite the base if he wins the nomination and withstand the GOP character attacks. But he's too inexperienced and he's already making revealing mistakes, such as his evident and growing sexism (the Snub, claws, likeable enough, feeling down, etc)

    Conservatives don't want to smear Obama (3.00 / 2) (#126)
    by jonswift on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 08:46:20 PM EST
    As I originally wrote here: "Everyone is tired of the kind of politics the Clintons represent. Conservatives are really hoping that the Democrats nominate Obama because he gives us a chance to heal the wounds that the mean-spirited Clintons have inflicted on the body politic. Conservatives would relish the chance to debate about ideas again. I can assure you that I and my fellow conservative bloggers and pundits will not go digging around for mud to throw at him. We won't spread rumors that he's a Muslim or bring up past drug use or go looking through his books Dreams from My Father and The Audacity of Hope for contradictions we can exploit. That was the old kind of politics, which is entirely the fault of the Clintons. We want to transcend that. I agree with Bob Kerrey that it is great that Obama went to a madrassa and I think Hussein is a very nice middle name. I think it's about time we had a President who admits to using cocaine in the past so that he can tell our youth from experience how bad it is. Conservatives can all get behind a man who talks so movingly about faith even if his church does have some wacky ideas about white people being devils and it once honored Louis Farrakhan. And I think we'll all forget that he is black and best buddies with Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson. Of course, we won't vote for Obama in the general election but that will only be because he is a tax-and-spend liberal who wants to surrender in Iraq, is against executing murderers and wants to impose gay marriage on everyone. In other words, we will just point out that we have a few policy differences with him. Conservatives will be so grateful to actually be able to finally debate the issues in a civil manner that we won't even mention all the other troubling stuff about Obama. You can trust us."

    hahahahahahahahahaha (4.50 / 2) (#160)
    by RalphB on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 09:50:29 PM EST
    The Repubs (none / 0) (#138)
    by PlayInPeoria on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 09:04:34 PM EST
    will fight for the White House. They want it just as much as the Dems.

    With Obama supporters and the Evangelicals both having a religious fever... sparks will fly.


    R's want the WH bcz they need to keep secrets (none / 0) (#162)
    by jawbone on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 09:50:53 PM EST
    under Republican control.

    If a Dem gets in, all sorts of covered up information will become available.

    For the R's, keeping the WH is existential for their party.

    For the D's and the country, it's existential for remaining a democratic republic under the Constitution.


    ROTFLMAO n/t (none / 0) (#146)
    by MO Blue on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 09:20:59 PM EST
    Dream On (none / 0) (#176)
    by john5750 on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 10:12:26 PM EST
    Ya, just like Bush the Uniter. (none / 0) (#178)
    by john5750 on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 10:16:53 PM EST
    I don't know what conservatives you are talking about, but I know they're not from this planet.

    Obsms's wins are less impressive than McGovern's (3.00 / 2) (#145)
    by goldberry on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 09:16:03 PM EST
    Hillary won all of the big, traditionally Democratic states.  If Obama wasn't running this year, she would have picked up SC, LA and other states where Obama targeted the African-American vote.  Obligatory Disclaimer: That's just an observation not an accusation or stereotype.  sigh  
    One other thing you didn't mention as contributing to Obama's wins is the unbelievably pornographic media treatment he is getting.  His %^&* does not stick.  Only Jesus could match this kind of coverage.  It gives a person pause and makes one wonder "What is wrong with me that I just don't get turned on by this guy?"  That kind of question is more easily answered in a primary voting booth than an 'out in the open with your Obama infected neighbors caucus'.  Group dynamics and favorable press has a lot to do with Obama's success,'cos  it sure ain't his lousy debate performances.

    Some Obama supporters may be paid shills (1.00 / 1) (#210)
    by lily15 on Sun Feb 17, 2008 at 06:40:42 AM EST
    If people here are reviewing the McGovern disaster, they should also review the Nixon dirty tricks manual...and how it has been implemented through the years...I have no doubt that some of the hard language is from people paid to foment...Democrats have a pattern of not getting down and dirty...Kerry lost the election because he didn't fight hard enough..And as proof positive...although Kerry promised to fight to get all the votes counted...he ended up vainly proclaiming his nobility in choosing not to fight Ohio.  Therefore, perhaps Democrats are more subject to intimidation...psychologically...And poof...appear the thugs..in the form of Obama supporters...Yes, there are a lot of brain washed Obama supporters...and there are a lot of elite liberals who honestly believe.  But this crazy strain sounds too much like right wingers...Therefore, I think there are many infiltrators...and they have a narrative...and further, they know psychologically how to approach the undecideds or the weaker minded...

    It makes no sense that this unknown junior Senator would provoke this type of debate (though race would account for some of this...definitely not most of it, on blogs or preserves of liberal debate)...there are other forces at large...While there is this type of invective at far left sites...and the far left is definitely in the tank for Obama...the psyche ops is still staggering.  Too much hate is the clue..with a similar narrative slant...because the truth is that  Hillary hate isn't as widespread as some would have you believe. Hillary won practically all the rural areas in Missouri...bastions of more conservative DEmocrats...As for polls... Al Gore was down in the polls before the general...they were wrong...Polls can be manipulated.

    it seems very valid to me (none / 0) (#2)
    by Kathy on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 06:31:21 PM EST
    and I have heard many, many more republicans tricks against Obama that are waiting to come into play that I will not repeat here.  I would just like to remind folks that what the repubs are good at is taking a positive about someone and turning it into a negative--which is how Max Cleland got eviscerated.  It works both ways, too, which is why war-dodger George Bush was billed as a great American hero.

    I also wonder (none / 0) (#16)
    by felizarte on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 06:54:47 PM EST
    if MSNBC would drop him like a hot potato as soon as he becomes the nominee?

    MSNBC will say (none / 0) (#136)
    by sancho on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 09:04:17 PM EST
    Obama is powerful candidate--he just needs a little more seasoning before becoming president and that McCain has paid his dues, in Vietnam and in the senate.

    I've heard Matthews say this once or twice already.


    Stellaaa, dear? (none / 0) (#9)
    by Kathy on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 06:37:21 PM EST
    Are you out there?  Hillaryis44.org (a totally and unabashedly pro-Clinton site) has an interesting snippet about the upcoming Rezko trial, which I think is germane to our topic here, because that is one of the skeletons I'm sure the repubs will soon be rattling:

    "I now think that the trial of Tony Rezko, which is due to begin on March 3rd, will have a bigger impact on this campaign than any of us foresaw."

    Paging Jacob Marley...

    Neither Big Tent Nor I (none / 0) (#35)
    by Jeralyn on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 07:12:57 PM EST
    think Rezko will, or should be an issue.

    "should" (none / 0) (#133)
    by Kathy on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 09:00:41 PM EST
    does not sound like the kind of word lawyers use.  There are lots of "shoulds" out there--we should not be torturing people, we should not be suspending the rights of Americans, we should not be executing people willy nilly, etc.  Slippery slope, and republicans seldom need concrete facts from which to launch their attacks.  Actually, it helps a lot if there aren't any.

    In the comments in BTD's (none / 0) (#196)
    by oculus on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 11:57:21 PM EST
    Rezko STILL not an issue post, he seemed to agree Rezko may be an issue, but still says Refko shouldn't be an issue.

    You are hard core (none / 0) (#36)
    by Stellaaa on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 07:13:21 PM EST
    I know...we are talking millions in public funds, this is not a little thing, and public funds for low income people. I just don't get the lack of outrage. All I have to say to you Kathy, is google Course in Miracles, Oprah..and for fun add Obama.

    oh, you devil! (none / 0) (#132)
    by Kathy on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 08:58:35 PM EST
    It'll work too... (none / 0) (#11)
    by SandyK on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 06:45:15 PM EST
    the GOP can sink Obama solely on his social visions of the future, and bring in the calculators to back them up.

    He talks a good talk, but that talk backfires. This isn't a chicken in every pot, or a car in every garage, this is spending billions of dollars to "aid" the poor in other countries.

    Hello, Obama, how about the US poor? Forgot about them from that 1.6 million home???

    Carville is right. Folks like Obama can't understand this nation's needs, when he thinks more about helping Kenyans than Americans.

    Dems, you don't want that baggage before McCain and the GOP.

    us poverty (none / 0) (#14)
    by mindfulmission on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 06:53:06 PM EST
    Seriously... have you ever even read any of Obama's economic plans?

    Have you ever read through any of this?

    To claim that Obama is forgetting the US poor is a blatant lie.  

    And you please clarify how Obama and Clinton are different in their responses to global poverty?


    Seriously... (none / 0) (#29)
    by SandyK on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 07:08:36 PM EST
    have you ever lived in poverty?

    Please tell me about it. Then tell me how another long list of handouts is going to fix the situation?

    It's a hand up, not a hand out that's needed.

    From SAFE and CLEAN economical housing (not housing projects, that's not home ownership -- and without home ownership, participation in government drops cold); to living wage employment -- especially jobs that can't be exported.

    Welfare does squat in what folks need, they need a way out of the welfare state to a state of independence -- not more bought votes.


    So... (none / 0) (#33)
    by mindfulmission on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 07:10:59 PM EST
    ... again, please point out how you think that Hillary is different than OBama on these issues.

    You love to attack Obama for many of the same things that Hillary believes in and does too.  

    Do you realize that?

    And living wage employment?  Seriously?  You are the same one who was telling me that some people didn't deserve living wages, and those were specifically the jobs that can't be exported.


    I make no qualms about it (2.33 / 3) (#44)
    by SandyK on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 07:19:52 PM EST
    I don't like OBABA. So much so if he's a nominee, I'm writing in for Buchanan. Not voting for a green junior senator, or McInsane.

    So you can bet your bottom dollar, I'm supporting Hillary, even if I have to steamroll over some OBABA cultists to get her there.

    I'm not here for "unity", I'm here for her to win. BIG DIFFERENCE.


    So... (none / 0) (#51)
    by mindfulmission on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 07:22:58 PM EST
    ... you can't respond to any of the actual points I made other than making fun of Obama's name?

    his name is Obama (none / 0) (#52)
    by Jeralyn on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 07:23:19 PM EST
    Please don't demean him by mis-stating his name. Future comments doing so will be deleted.

    Does this include (none / 0) (#77)
    by SandyK on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 07:50:42 PM EST
    any other candidate?

    Or only him?

    Please tell right now, because I don't have time to waste on such housekeeping. Because one-sided partisanship is a waste of my time -- especially when it's so sensitive about how a voter can address a candidate. Been there, done that, and if it's repeated, many another site to post. No big deal to me.


    Umm... (none / 0) (#82)
    by mindfulmission on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 07:54:41 PM EST
    ... Jeralyn is a Clinton supporter.

    Comment on whatever site you choose (none / 0) (#84)
    by Jeralyn on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 07:58:12 PM EST
    but if it's this one, you have to follow the comment rules and that means no personal insults or attacks on either candidate or other commenters.  I am intent on maintaining a certain level of civility and professionalism in the discourse here.

    Commenting is not a right, it's a privilege. You are a guest here.


    Note...Service jobs can be exported... (none / 0) (#58)
    by SandyK on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 07:27:17 PM EST
    just ask anyone who's ever was a network engineer.

    Their income before the tech bubble burst (and before the exportation began around 2003): about 100k a year.

    Today? If they can get a job for half that, it's a miracle.

    Same goes for software development.

    You go get your certs, then tell me how you like spending all that time and cash to have them, to only find your job taken by a Visa holder -- or your office moved abroad.

    Yeah, folks want a living wage and job security, not flipping burgers @ $15/hr (the boredom alone will make folks sick).


    Service industry? (none / 0) (#63)
    by mindfulmission on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 07:34:09 PM EST
    I never said all service industry jobs can't be exported.  Please point out where I did.

    I said the jobs that you attacked yesterday couldn't be outsourced.  The jobs that you say take zero skills, so in turn don't deserve living wages.  


    BTW... (none / 0) (#47)
    by mindfulmission on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 07:21:27 PM EST
    ... what handouts are you talking about in Obama's poverty plans?

    Again, I have to ask you, do you even know what Obama's plans are?


    Don't ask, if you're not prepared (none / 0) (#64)
    by SandyK on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 07:35:15 PM EST
    to eat the results.

    If I put my blue pen across any of OBABA's plans, you will be livid, because once I'm finished with them, all you can revert back to is the usual partisan hogwash.

    I'm an independent for a reason, MM. Don't take bull from either side (also including the literal pipe dreams from Libertarians), especially with their policies.

    No griping if I do it. Come to think...mmmmm...might be a pretty good project. hehehe


    Again... (none / 0) (#68)
    by mindfulmission on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 07:40:41 PM EST
    ... mocking someone's name.

    And "attack" Obama's plan all you want.  I don't care.  

    I just want to see how you agree with Clinton's spending and disagree with Obama's spending.  

    Of course... I don't think you have ever read either of their US or global poverty plans.


    Oh look! (none / 0) (#17)
    by mindfulmission on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 06:55:33 PM EST
    Hillary Clinton also wants to fight global poverty!

    Please stop making things up and distorting the truth.


    no false info here please (none / 0) (#38)
    by Jeralyn on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 07:15:24 PM EST
    read her speech in Beijing in 1995. She's got a long record on this issue.

    I loved the McGovern Campaign (none / 0) (#12)
    by katiebird on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 06:50:02 PM EST
    I loved the McGovern Campaign.  I turned 18 2 weeks after our caucus, so I was actually 17 when I first voted.

    A lot of things went wrong in 1972 and not all of them were McGovern's -- or his supporters -- fault.  While I've been worried that things will turn out the same way they did that year one thing is very different.  We're not running against an incumbent this year.

    I guess the best each of us can do is support the person who seems to speak for us:  Hillary or Obama.  And hope that in the end it works out.

    you mean she supported the party of ideas? (none / 0) (#21)
    by Kathy on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 06:59:45 PM EST
    I think Jeralyn made it clear at the top with her first sentence:

    the right wing is set to attack Barack Obama s the ultimate "liberal socialist" in the mold of George McGovern.

    I think instead of dismissing it out of hand, we should take from it what seems sensible (and what some other TL's have already said) and understand that this republican game-plan has worked before.

    Come on... (none / 0) (#22)
    by mindfulmission on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 07:02:15 PM EST
    ... Obama and Hillary are both going to be attacked as being far-left socialist liberals.

    It really won't matter which one is running.  That line of attack will be used no matter what.


    of course they will (none / 0) (#40)
    by Jeralyn on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 07:16:57 PM EST
    the issue is who can best withstand them.

    It is not rarely discussed (none / 0) (#26)
    by AF on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 07:06:17 PM EST
    Hillary has been making this point repeatedly throughout the campaign. But yes, it is a fair point.  

    This is why it is so important to minimize divisiveness during the primary season.  Whatever you think of that fact, Obama might be the Democratic nominee.  He will need a united Democratic party behind him as he goes up against the inevitable Republican attack machine.  Good hard campaigning -- eg, Hillary's contrast ads in WI -- is healthy.  Personal attacks -- eg Robert Johnson's drug references -- are not.  They make it more likely that the Republicans will win in November.  

    Needless to say, this goes for personal attacks on Hillary as well.  She may be vetted, but that doesn't mean she won't be attacked!

    Too late (none / 0) (#43)
    by auntmo on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 07:19:19 PM EST
    Obama's  staff  shouldn't  have played  the  race  card   right  after  Hillary's win  in   New  Hampshire.    

    But  he  IS  the  George  McGOvern  of  this race;  I've  been mentioning  that  election  year  for  a  week:  the  Rovian  Republicans  did  a lot  of  dirty  tricks  to   push out  Muskie, because  they  wanted  to run  against   McGovern instead----easier  to  beat.  

    Muskie  dropped  out;  McGovern  became our  nominee.  

    LANDSLIDE  Nixon.


    Too late?! (none / 0) (#53)
    by AF on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 07:24:55 PM EST
    As a Democrat first and an Obama supporter second, I am very sorry that you feel that way.

    The nonminee will shift slightly right (none / 0) (#81)
    by ding7777 on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 07:53:47 PM EST
    on National Security/Global affairs in the GE and that will upset Obama's supporters far more than Hillary's supporters.

    I think "change" will work in the GE (none / 0) (#127)
    by AF on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 08:46:29 PM EST
    It will mean change everything that the Bush administration has been doing the last eight years: end the war, end the pro-rich economic policies, end Karl Rove politics.  It could be a very effective way of making McCain run on Bush's record.

    It also provides a rejoinder to the inevitable negative attacks: that's just the old politics that we're trying to change.  

    I'm not saying it's a sure thing, but I'm optimistic.  For the same reason, I will be optimistic if Hillary gets the nomination.  McCain has chained himself to Bush and he's going down with the ship.


    McCain already started defining "change" (none / 0) (#155)
    by Cream City on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 09:39:54 PM EST
    I heard it on some cable network yesterday, a McCain speech -- saying exactly this, that when Obama says change, he means change the Bush tax benefits back to taking your (Republican) money and giving it to the . . . hmmm, he didn't say poor or welfare moms or whatever, but it was close.

    If people are going to vote (none / 0) (#164)
    by AF on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 09:53:57 PM EST
    for Bush's tax cuts and against health care, McCain is going to beat Hillary or Obama.  I don't see it.  No matter who our nominee is, I'm looking forward to that debate.

    Smears (none / 0) (#27)
    by manish on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 07:06:19 PM EST
    Hey Jeralyn..it's been a while...

    I think that the GOP smears the Dem with all that they've got no matter what.

    I do think that McCain will the hardest to beat because of his maverick reputation and genuinely being to the left of all of the other Republican candidates.

    Having said that, I think that Obama has a better shot than Hillary.  A large amount of the GOP base thinks McCain is too liberal and may sit out the election (as many have threatened already).  However, there is a huge anti-Hillary streak in that population (undeserved, but thats besides the point) which might make them come out.  Obama, on the other hand, as a certain non-offensive quality about himself.

    Beyond that, I see Obama getting lots of new voters to the polls (as he's been able to do in the primary).  He and Hillary will take a lot of moderates based on Iraq and any other pandering that McCain has to do with the base of the Republican party.

    Obama will not have a certain harmless (5.00 / 1) (#54)
    by RalphB on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 07:25:11 PM EST
    quality to him when the Republican slime machine gets through with him.  From the past 16 years, I think Hillary has a floor which she won't fall below.  With Obama, we have no clue where that floor lies.

    Further, a quantity of Obama's new voters have been dubious "Democrat for a Day" voters, who will vote GOP in November.  Clinton has also brought lots of new voters, single women, to the polls but they are not "Democrats for a Day".  Those people are "Democrats for Hillary" and that's a big difference.

    I could go on but why bother.  :-)


    Boy that's a scary image (none / 0) (#94)
    by blogtopus on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 08:09:36 PM EST
    Hillary has a bottom floor; for all we know Obama might be a pit.

    As for calling Obama names, it really doesn't make your point any better, just labels you as someone who shouldn't be replied to. Don't bother.


    Hi Manish (none / 0) (#41)
    by Jeralyn on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 07:17:43 PM EST
    Nice to see you here and thanks for your thoughts. I wish everyone would be as civil as you are.

    Scary cult (none / 0) (#59)
    by horseloverfat on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 07:27:24 PM EST
    The GOP will paint Obama as the leader of a scary cult.  Easy to do, he is giving them a lot to work with.

    Don't forget (none / 0) (#71)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 07:43:10 PM EST
    false idol worship (worshipping Obama).  False idol worship is the bain of the evangelical establishment.

    Seriously... (none / 0) (#73)
    by mindfulmission on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 07:44:35 PM EST
    ... if you all think that the Evangelicals (poor term btw... approximately 40% of Evangelicals vote Democrat) will somehow attack Obama more than Clinton, I am not quite sure what to tell you.  

    Scary chat wi/ friend in HA--will vote for Obama, (none / 0) (#152)
    by jawbone on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 09:30:53 PM EST
    but if Obama doesn't get nomination, will consider McCain just as good at getting us out of Iraq!

    This is from a highy intelligent, well-read, politically active person. I was stunned.

    Thinks McCain would get us out of Iraq "effectively."  Conversation veered off and I forgot to follow up on that "effectively" bit.

    But made me very, very nervous.


    More On Quoting Sarah Baxter's Wingnut Positions (none / 0) (#32)
    by AdrianLesher on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 07:10:00 PM EST
    In a similarly dispassionate analysis are you going to look at Sarah Baxter's contemporaneous  claims that

    "Privately, her {Clinton's] mood has darkened after losing eight primaries and caucuses in a row. The realisation that without a series of huge victories in the remaining contests it is impossible for Clinton to win enough "pledged" delegates to clinch the nomination has sent her staff into shock."


    "Her chief strategist, Mark Penn, got into a slanging match with the media consultant Mandy Grunwald at Clinton's campaign headquarters. "Your ad doesn't work," he fumed.

    'Oh it's always the ad, never the message,' Grunwald shot back. Insiders say the atmosphere is dark, even though the fight is not over yet. Loyalty to Clinton remains strong, but there have been too many chiefs and not enough."


    "In Ohio, Clinton has the backing of Ted Strickland, the governor and a superdelegate who is often mentioned as a possible vice-presidential running mate. He said in an interview: "I tell you, when I go to the convention I'm going to vote for Hillary Clinton come hell or high water."

    The apocalyptic imagery may be appropriate. Many Democrats predict a bloody civil war should Obama be defeated by the white men in suits who have run the party for decades."

    if he's defeated (none / 0) (#42)
    by Jeralyn on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 07:19:06 PM EST
    it will be by a woman, not white men in suits. Nice try though. You've made your points, please move on.

    Of COURSE THEY'LL LIE! They're gonna (none / 0) (#37)
    by seabos84 on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 07:14:13 PM EST
    lie about EVERY Dem candidate. They lied about stopping child labor and they lied against our crappy unemployment system and they lied about our 40 hour work week 100 years ago

    and they would lie about hillary and they would lie about john edwards, just like they've lied about Iraq, bankruptcy, their fake tort reform, clear skys, the death tax, rich pig tax cuts

    the problem is NOT their lying and their stealing cuz THEY ARE LYING THIEVES, and that is what lying thieves do - they steal and they lie.

    the problem is the chickens and incompetents and sell outs who claim to be on 'our' side and who are going to burn through 400 or 800 million dollars by 4 November AND who aren't gonna hire people to bury these lying stealing scum.

    the problem is us chumps who are gonna be scared and keep supporting chickens and incompetents and sell outs.


    From googling 'nixon congress red scare'

    Tricky Dick and the Pink Lady : Richard Nixon vs. Helen Gahagan Douglas - Sexual Politics and the Red Scare, 1950
         by Mitchell, Greg

    "Mitchell makes a strong case that the 1950 California senatorial campaign was one of the dirtiest in history. Nixon's opponent, Helen Gahagan Douglas, was doomed as a liberal and a woman in a political time unfriendly to both. Nixon was aided by friendly newspaper editors, the deft use of television, skill in splitting the electorate by class and gender, and venal ploys such as anti-Semitic allusions to Douglas's husband, actor Melvyn Douglas."

    And Rove "let slip" (none / 0) (#48)
    by sphealey on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 07:21:40 PM EST
    Look, in early 2004 Rove "let slip" that he was backing Howard Dean because Dean would be the easiest to beat.  The traditional media picked up this meme and pounded it home - I must have seen that Rove quote 836,927 times between January and March.  It is my personal opinion that that meme was a very large part of the resulting belief that Kerry was "more electable".  Swift Boat, Winters Soldier, Flip-Flop:  SURPRISE!

    Regardless of whether you prefer Clinton or Obama, let's pick our own nominee and ignore the commentary and spin from the Radical Right.  OK?


    there is a reason that (none / 0) (#65)
    by athyrio on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 07:36:05 PM EST
    GOP are crossing over and voting for Obama, and it isn't that they admire him. They think he will be the easiest to defeat. Which should concern any Democrat. and lest we not forget, there is alot and I mean alot of anger out there amoungst female voters.

    McGovern is the obvious analogy (none / 0) (#80)
    by Molly Bloom on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 07:53:15 PM EST
    I have thought so for some time. However obvious the comparisons, look at the differences.

    1. Obama is a much better speaker and campaigner than George McGovern.
    2. In 1968 the Democratic coalition had fractured over civil rights. The solid south would no longer be solidly Democratic. While this true today, the landscape has changed significantly. The GOP cannot win without the solid south. Today it is possible for Democrats to win Virginia or Florida.
    3. In 1972 California was a likely GOP state (Nixon was a Californian). California is more likely to go Democratic today.
    4. Democrat disunity. In 1972, new nomination rules angered many prominent Democrats and those politicians refused to support McGovern's campaign (some even supporting Nixon instead), leaving the McGovern campaign at a significant disadvantage in funding compared to Nixon. Funding is not an Obama problem, though a potentially messy primary could be. I think we are more united today than in 1972.
    5. McGovern's VP was a complete disaster from day one. I don't think this will be the case for either Democrat.
    6. Nixon was a relatively popular incumbent. Bush is an anchor on McCain.

    In short we are more united, either candidate today is better than McGovern (and I like George),and neither is likely to make the same campaigning mistakes.

    Grover Norquist is blowing smoke (I make no claims as to what he might be smoking).

    Grover Norquist is going to be an albatross (5.00 / 1) (#97)
    by MikeDitto on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 08:11:40 PM EST
    around the neck of any Republican. He's squarely behind at least two fractures in the Republican party's coalition. He's cost the Republicans the support of a big chunk of the business community over his extremist anti-tax agenda, and his toadie Doug Bruce here in Colorado is the laughing stock of the state. He's also lost a big chunk of the religious set who--despite hating on women and gays--actually support helping the poor and saving the environment.

    Norquist is just trying to rescue his own reputation here. I don't trust anything that comes out of his mouth. To paraphrase him, he's managed to shrink his relevance to the size where it's drowning in a bathtub.


    We are not more united today (5.00 / 2) (#98)
    by Grandmother on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 08:12:26 PM EST
    than in 1972 or 1980 or anytime. Obama and his supporters have turned off a lot of Democrats, primarily those of us who are in our "elderly" years.  Obama's disdain for those of us who were young when McGovern ran is disgusting and there are a lot of us.  Two or three months ago most Hillary supporters would say (including me) that they would vote for Obama.  

    In my circle of "elderly" women lawyers, the anger is palpable. And we can still get to the voting booth despite our advanced age.  And we vote. And while Obama can fire up his supporters, he can also fire up the opposition.  


    We were more disunited in 1972 and 1968 (5.00 / 2) (#111)
    by Molly Bloom on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 08:22:40 PM EST
    You are so angry you will vote for McCain? "Mr. I will appoint more Scalia's?" "Mr. Iraq today, Iraq tomorrw, Iraq forevah?" "Mr if approving of torture is what it takes to get the nomination, I approve of torture?"

    Why exactly do you consider yourself a Democrat? `

    I love and respect HRC. I will haiply vote for Obama without a second thought if he is the nominee. Many of his supporters are jerks (as are more than a few HRC supporters). They aren't running. In any event, either HRC or Clinton is a better choice than McCain.


    this is controversial for a Democrat to say (5.00 / 1) (#144)
    by Polkan on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 09:14:16 PM EST
    but I, too, have reservations about voting for Obama if he wins the nomination.

    I fit right into his demographic of "latte" white male democrats, but I'm growing weary and angry at him as this goes on.

    I distrust people who proclaim they will "fix" Washington. I'm suspicous of silver-tongue smooth operators. I'm angry at a candidate who allows sexism, intentionally or not, into his campaign.

    And to top it all I don't trust him to stand up and fight. His healthcare plan is already a bad compromise with the principles and I fear it will only get worse.

    So, I think I'd rather sit out an election. Sorry.


    Do you have less reservations about McCain? (5.00 / 1) (#156)
    by Molly Bloom on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 09:42:07 PM EST
    I tell myself I will vote for Obama (none / 0) (#168)
    by ding7777 on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 09:58:07 PM EST
    I know I'm going to be susceptible to the right-wing noise machine and I just can't see Obama's supporters being able to counter-balance it since I really don't like what most of Obama's blog supporters have to say.

    That's the nature of a contested primary (5.00 / 1) (#119)
    by dmfox on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 08:30:10 PM EST
    With two strong candidates running at parity, it's going to get heated and intense.  The closer these things are, the more supporters buckle down with their candidate.  You see that on the various blogs, whether it's for Hillary here, or Obama at kos.  People have their owns reasons to fight for and be proud of their candidates.

    However, I don't doubt that if Obama loses, I'll be a fierce advocate for Hillary in the general.  I'm sure most Clinton supporters would do the same for Obama.  The stakes are too high this November to let primary preferences get in the way of preventing a McCain administration.  No one here wants to see John Paul Stevens' seat filled with another "young Scalia."


    umm... (none / 0) (#103)
    by mindfulmission on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 08:14:45 PM EST
    Two or three months ago most Hillary supporters would say (including me) that they would vote for Obama.  
    3 or 4 months ago Hillary was DOMINATING in the national and state polls.

    She isn't anymore.

    There are definitely no stats that I have seen that would back you up on this..  


    Refering to opinion polls (none / 0) (#95)
    by cannondaddy on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 08:09:44 PM EST
    Secondary information that comes in with pollind data.  Hillary has high numbers of people who dislike and or strongly dislike. So does Obama and McCain. Higher percentages of those people often say they are not likely to disuade from their opinion of Hillary.

    My Thoughts (none / 0) (#109)
    by Jerrymcl89 on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 08:21:09 PM EST
    I don't really think the efforts to paint Obama as a McGovern/Mondale/Dukakis type will succeed. Times have changed, and he really does not represent what they did. He's also a much more charismatic candidate.

    I do agree, though, that he's more susceptible to this angle of attack than Hillary. People are pretty sure they know who Hil is, and the chains can only be moved so far.

    True (none / 0) (#113)
    by dmfox on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 08:24:01 PM EST
    A third of the electorate wasn't even born when McGovern ran for president.

    I don't think calling a candidate a liberal or a socialist is nearly as frightening as it was in 1972 or 1998.

    Grover Norquist will label any democrat a socialist.  This is, after all, the man who said he wanted to shrink government down to a size where he could drown it in a bathtub.


    It wasn't him being liberal that scared people (none / 0) (#115)
    by katiebird on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 08:27:11 PM EST
    It was the Acid.....

    Umm, no (none / 0) (#110)
    by dmfox on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 08:21:10 PM EST
    So you're saying because Obama did not win New York, California, or Massachusetts that those states are going to go RED in November?  I don't understand that logic.  Obama is a much stronger candidate than Kerry was, and has shown he can run a much better campaign than Gore did.  I don't get how because he lost to Hillary in some blue states, while trouncing all the Republicans, means that he will lose those states in November.  It defies common sense.  Just like I don't see Hillary losing Illinois in November, even though she lost to Obama by 30%.  I just don't see the great big Republican landslide coming in 2008.  This is apples and oranges.

    Also, Illinois is not the only big state Obama has won.  He won Virginia, which has one more electoral vote than Massachusetts.

    Just sayin'

    Obama and the VRWC (none / 0) (#147)
    by chemoelectric on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 09:24:43 PM EST
    Obama is one of the very, very few Democrats--in fact the only one I can think of--who responds to slaps with anything other than "Oh, oh, shame on you! Shame on you! Shame on you!"

    Assuming we can keep him away from campaign consultants, he's one of the most likely guys to handle smear jobs well.

    Anyway, these right wing nuts have jumped the shark and don't know it. Our problem isn't them, but the propensity of Democrats to act weak against the onslaught.

    Personally, if I were Obama, I would return the favors, but it would not be swiftboating, because right wingers can be hit hard without veering from the truth. (With Karl Rove you would have to act quickly, before he can have the fact you want to attack "immunized" by having himself revealed it via a "questionable" source. He used the same techniques again and again and yet too many people never learned.)

    The problem with this (none / 0) (#175)
    by s5 on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 10:11:54 PM EST
    "Socialism" and being a "peacenik" aren't scary to voters. This is a misread of where the American public is at right now. Rewind 10 or 20 years and it would be a different story.

    Hillary and the VRWC (none / 0) (#177)
    by Tano on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 10:14:58 PM EST
    I find it very odd that many Clinton supporters seem to think that there is some toughness quality to Hillary that will make her less vulnerable to the right-wing attacks.

    But her "toughness" is not really the issue. This is not some literal steel-cage death match. Maybe metaphorically it is. But these type of attacks are not countered, these battles are not waged in some one on one confrontation with McCain.

    They are waged out there in the country, over the airwaves, in peoples mailboxes and inboxes, fighting for the hearts and minds of the swing voters.

    It makes no difference how "tough" your candidate is, nor whether he or she will still be fighting after the election (perhaps it will only be in the Senate).

    The issue of concern is simply this - to what extent will these attacks gain traction in the minds of those swing voters. And that is a function of their propensity to believe these things.

    John Kerry, for instance, given his general persona, did not come across as a war-hero-type to the average person. That is why he had to try to drive home the point as much as he did - with that odd military-themed convention. And that in itself was problematical, since most people sense that true war heroes are not the type to go around bragging about it. So when the attacks came that tried to undermine his service, it struck enough chords in enough peoples mind to probably swing enough votes to maybe cost him the election.

    Obama as young, inexperienced black man - I certainly recongize that those facts might predispose some people to believe all manner of things. On the other hand, there are aspects of his life, and of his message that are deeply connective to the personal stories and to the aspirations of lots of people. There are many who wont want to beleive the slime.

    Hillary does have problems in this regard. Nearly half the country already has a negative view of her. Any slime thrown at her, even if it has been thoroughly refuted by the Starr report, will be beleived, because it somehow resonates with what those people already believe. Will the attacks gain further resonance with the extra few percent needed to push those negatives up to 50, such that she will lose the election? Fair chance - and her "toughness" has nothing whatsoever to do with it.

    Her toughness might mean that after a defeat she would go on and continue the good fight in the Senate for years to come, with her head high. But I dont see how it would protect her from the swiftboating to come.

    To overcome the slime, you need to have a more compelling message, reaching those same swing voters - one that can cause them to beleive that you are the better candidate, to want to beleive that you will be a good president, and to cause them to not want to believe the negative stuff that will be drowning them. I sense that Obama has a better chance at making those connections.

    Please stop with that old (none / 0) (#189)
    by RalphB on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 11:12:25 PM EST
    nearly half the country hates Hillary bile.  That 47% number that Obama talks about is from a CNN poll from 2006 and has been several places since then.  In some polls, she and Obama were practically equal in negatives.  However, that doesn't matter because those numbers are absolutely meaningless.

    why are they meaningless? (none / 0) (#191)
    by Tano on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 11:18:06 PM EST
    I dont think it is outrageous to think that ones chances at election have something to do with the favorable vs. unfavorable view that people have.

    As for the poll, here is a rather complete set of polls, over time, on this question.



    They are meaningless (none / 0) (#194)
    by RalphB on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 11:32:10 PM EST
    for the same reason that general election polls taken now are meaningless.  Polling generally bites the big one, as I thought most people learned from NH this cycle.

    McGovern won the California Primary in 1972 (none / 0) (#186)
    by MKS on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 11:01:39 PM EST
    That is how he ultimately beat HHH for the nomination.....

    Of course, the Republicans will say Obama is like McGovern--it is the only thing they can say.....He is more conservative than Hillary in terms of his health care plan and foreclosure program.  Her mandates and insistence on freezing foreclosures represent a far greater intrusion into the private sector....

    Swiftboating of Obama (none / 0) (#187)
    by MKS on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 11:03:24 PM EST
    The "some say" line is in use.....

    How about some discussion of which Obama proposal is more liberal than Hillary's.

    And you BELIEVE Norquist? (none / 0) (#188)
    by KeithPickering on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 11:06:40 PM EST
    I can't believe anybody is falling for Grover Norquist's scenario. The GOP is eager to run against Clinton, and scared to death to run against Obama. Since Obama is currently winning, Norquist's clear strategy is to figure out a way to boost Hillary by suggesting that Obama would collapse if nominated.

    Hogwash. And an obvious ploy to boot.

    Biggest fib (5.00 / 1) (#192)
    by Stellaaa on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 11:22:58 PM EST
    Sir 6 pinochios on that one. I think that is the fib of the century.

    No one is afraid to run against Obama! (none / 0) (#190)
    by RalphB on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 11:14:18 PM EST
    The Bradley Effect (none / 0) (#193)
    by Stellaaa on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 11:25:23 PM EST
    The media was trying to falsely apply the Bradley effect to the primaries: Wrong. Bradley had won the Democratic primary easily. It was when the ones who lie, at the GE that he lost. So, please, if you apply the Bradley Effect, apply it correctly.

    this is no funny (none / 0) (#202)
    by hue on Sun Feb 17, 2008 at 12:35:56 AM EST
    click on jonswift's link, Why The Kennedys Are Endorsing Obama:

    Like Kennedy, Obama is young, handsome and inspiring and he represents the passing of the torch to a new generation. But it is not just that Obama reminds them of Kennedy, it is also that the Clintons remind them of Lyndon Johnson. And if there is anything that the Kennedys don't like, it's a bunch of hillbillies in the White House, which is being kept in trust until a competent Kennedy can be groomed to take it back for its rightful owners. Until that time Obama will do.

    Obamamania2008, you're parody deficient

    actually, it's satire not parody, my bad (none / 0) (#208)
    by hue on Sun Feb 17, 2008 at 02:03:52 AM EST
    i shouldn't have replied to your comment, it's just you were so earnest with #158.

    anyway, i'm glad to stumble upon jonswift's blog


    Either One (none / 0) (#204)
    by MSimon on Sun Feb 17, 2008 at 12:54:37 AM EST
    David Axelrod has been a political consultant forever in Chicago. He is pretty good at Democrat infighting. He is less experienced against Republicans.


    As a member of the VRWC I must say that none of the D candidates impress me. I'd be worried if we had to run against Joe Lieberman. Since activists turned him into an honorary Republican that will no longer be a problem. To think he was once the Dem Veep Candidate.

    It is the same on the Republican side. Party activists want big gains with a pure candidate. The electorate will only tolerate small adjustments. How we ended up with McCain is a mystery.

    Re: Swiftboating (none / 0) (#205)
    by MSimon on Sun Feb 17, 2008 at 01:04:31 AM EST
    The best defense is to actually have spent Christmas  in Cambodia.

    I'm Not Sure If This Has Been Discussed? (none / 0) (#206)
    by KevinMc on Sun Feb 17, 2008 at 01:39:39 AM EST
    I'm not sure if this has been discussed? If so, I haven't ran across it yet.  George Bush captured roughly 40% of the Latino vote.  Would Obama be able to secure the Latino vote in the GE against McCain? I have no doubt Clinton would keep the Latino vote and probably pick up votes that Obama has received from them in the primary.  My thought is McCain would have a reasonable chance to receive more support from the Latino community than Bush did.  It's an issue I have thought about but I haven't seen much about it on the news or on the net.  I'm not eluding to the so-called "black brown divide".  Within the Latino community you have small business, military ties, "faith based" values, etc.  I'm just curious about what impact McCain would have in getting support from the Latino community.  Much of Bush's success in being elected has been attributed to the Latino vote and with Clinton their support would be a given.  I'm not real sure how their vote would swing with Obama vs. McCain.

    Comments closed (none / 0) (#209)
    by Jeralyn on Sun Feb 17, 2008 at 02:08:09 AM EST
    we're over 200, Other threads are open. Thanks for your thoughts.

    jon swift--great comment (none / 0) (#211)
    by lily15 on Sun Feb 17, 2008 at 06:48:07 AM EST
    impressive....post it elsewhere...as many places as possible. You hit it on the nose...