The Day After: Who Can Run Best Against McCain And The GOP

By Big Tent Democrat

Speaking for me only.

So where are we now? Here's my take - we have two candidates who have strengths and weaknesses. Unlike a lot of people, I am not that enamored of either candidate but I feel confident that both believe in progressive Democratic values. I have always wished both would be more overtly fighting for Democratic values and against Republican values, but I have made my views known that I have found Barack Obama's approach on that quite wanting.

There are some realities that the Super Delegates should consider when deciding which nominee to throw their support behind. The first is that Hillary Clinton, while a fine Democrat, is and will be subjected to unfair Media coverage. Period. Nothing will change that. Barack Obama has been a Media Darling and is certain to get better Media coverage. This matters. I wish it did not, but it does.

More . . .

The other reality is, under the rules that exist, the very important factor of collecting pledged delegates has been won so far by Barack Obama. No one has railed against this nominating process more than me, particularly its blatantly anti-democratic nature. But it is what it is and it is an important consideration for perceiving who the legitimate nominee should be. Senator Clinton must do better in this unfair and disenfranchising process. She can not accept getting blown out in delegate counts in states like Mississippi and North Carolina.

By the same token, it is not the be all and end all that some want to make it. Its undemocratic and unfair nature have been utterly exposed, most recently in BOTH Texas and Ohio, where the delegate apportionment does not reflect the will of the people or the votes of the people. It simply does not present an accurate reflection of the "will of the people," and certainly not the will of Democratic voters. I have always stressed that the best reflection of the will of the people is the popular vote. So the outrage from some quarters that Clinton, and some of us, are not respecting the pledged delegate count and thus, the will if the people, is utterly specious.

The pledged delegate system is also marred by the egregious and idiotic actions of the DNC in totally stripping Florida and Michigan of its delegates. I am looking at you Howard Dean and Donna Brazile (who at this point needs to be disqualified from commenting on this race. She is hopelessly compromised.) In the case of Florida in particular, the DNC abused and broke its own rules. But now they have a chance to make this right. The DNC and the Florida and Michigan Democratic parties now have a chance to find a solution for the mess they have made. My solution is here.

Is the continuation of this race a bad thing? Not necessarily. Neither Hillary Clinton nor Barack Obama have answered all the questions a nominee must answer before we can feel confident of his or her chances in November. Barack Obama has yet to show he can win a big key contested state that we will need in November. The naysaying ostriches want to pretend this does not matter. Sorry, it does.

The heart of Obama's problem is he has not been able to demonstrate an ability to appeal to white women, working class whites, seniors and Latinos. These are key constituencies in November any Democratic nominee must have to win in November. Having some number of Republicans and Independents cross over to vote for you in a primary or caucus is great, but how much of that will be repeatable in November? How much will it matter that you won a primary or caucus in Utah, North Dakota and Idaho? The questions that first surfaced on Super Tuesday about Obama's ability to win big contested states remains unresolved.

And Hillary Clinton has not shown any ability to compete in the wine class track of voters. And while normally one would never have imagined the Clintons having trouble with African Americans, the stark reality NOW is that this nominating process has weakened Hillary Clinton's appeal with African Americans. This matters. A lot.

But in the end, one of these two flawed (as all of them are) candidates will be our nominee. And lost in all of this hullabaloo is the most important thing the nominee will do - compete with John McCain in November. How best to judge who that candidate will be? I will be looking at that issue the most and I believe Steve Soto is on to something when he writes:

What if [Hillary Clinton] instead starts attacking McCain and making the case that she is better able to run as a true Democrat against McCain’s strengths and weaknesses than Obama can? What if she draws the contrast with Obama not with personal or character attacks, but with direct arguments that she is a better advocate for progressive causes and concerns against McCain on issues such as the economy, health care, protecting Social Security, tax fairness, the Supreme Court, energy independence, and the environment? In other words, what if she runs more as a Democrat than he does?

I think Steve's advice is sound, but not just for Clinton, but for Obama as well. Let's let the candidates demonstrate who the best candidate to run against McCain is BY RUNNING AGAINST JOHN McCAIN AND THE GOP NOW! Don't just tell us you would be better against McCain and the Republican Party. Show us!

Speaking for me, that is what I will be watching for and praising to the heavens.

< Late Night: The Rising | Florida And Michigan: Clinton And Obama Do Not Object To Revote >
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    My wife who had no Idea (5.00 / 3) (#1)
    by Florida Resident on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 07:17:15 AM EST
    whoDonna Brazile was saw her on CNN last night and ask me if she worked for Obama.

    I personally believe (5.00 / 1) (#17)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 07:29:56 AM EST
    that was a function of her conflicted position on FL and MI. she did NOT want them to become important again.

    This turn of events exposes her incompetence.


    they are going to become important (none / 0) (#44)
    by Capt Howdy on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 07:53:38 AM EST
    they will have to reach some agreement.
    they can not ignore the voters of those to important states.  or should they.
    the one thing I have not seem discussed much is the fact that the "Hillary cant get enough delegates to win" thing is going to get a bit strained because now NEITHER of them can get enough elected delegates to win the nomination before the primary. it is all going to be about momentum and electability.

    They are important NOW (none / 0) (#52)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 07:57:11 AM EST
    I think (5.00 / 1) (#62)
    by Capt Howdy on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 08:02:35 AM EST
    they should always have been.  penalizing voters for the dumbass things the state party did was nuts.

    Maybe even decisive... (none / 0) (#54)
    by diplomatic on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 07:57:54 AM EST
    The full story (none / 0) (#116)
    by koshembos on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 08:46:18 AM EST
    Donna Brazile was the inept campaign manager for Gore 2000. She also blamed Bill Clinton for being racist for saying that Obama Iraq saga is a fairytale. I wish she were a Republican!

    As for the big issue: who is better against McCain? Your argument that the media will always be against Hillary is correct but not as significant as you make it up to be. Hillary is doing fine with hateful media, hateful boys at the blogs and an extremely inept campaign team. Can you image how well will she do given a better team. (Mark Penn be replaced by David Axelrod).


    I envy your wife (none / 0) (#78)
    by Capt Howdy on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 08:09:07 AM EST
    Think about it (5.00 / 1) (#83)
    by Florida Resident on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 08:11:39 AM EST
    Her reaction was that the two CNN Democratic commentators looked Mad.  That's why she asked me.

    Obama in the GE (5.00 / 3) (#3)
    by TheRealFrank on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 07:18:14 AM EST
    I think yesterday's results show that Obama is a vulnerable candidate in the general election.

    Firstly, because he has not been able to win a big state, not even with big momentum and favorable press coverage for most of the time.

    Secondly, and more seriously, because just one week of some negative coverage and a more critical approach to the press gave him a sizeable dip in the polls. All the polls were showing him clearly closing the gap in both states, and holding a good lead nationally. Then, after just one week of the NAFTA meeting, more questions asked in the press, and the Clinton campaign running some effective ads for a change, he loses both states, and takes a dip in both national tracking polls.

    Look at Texas: Clinton won late deciders by 23%. If that is the effect after just one week of one negative story and more critical coverage, then he is very vulnerable in the general election.

    In the general election, there'll be no more momentum by winning smaller states. It will be much harder to generate high-profile media moments (except for the convention).

    To me, yesterday showed that Obama is a weak candidate without his media darling status. But, he will still most likely be the nominee.

    BO Outspending HC (5.00 / 2) (#29)
    by plf1953 on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 07:40:09 AM EST
    Obama's weakness also is reflected in his inability to beat Clinton in these key states by outspending her 2, 3 or 4 to 1.

    Except for his booming oratory, Obama is generally a weak candidate, IMO.

    I really doubt that he will become the nominee.


    correction (none / 0) (#5)
    by TheRealFrank on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 07:20:49 AM EST
    ".. more critical approach by the press .."

    This a fair assessment (none / 0) (#13)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 07:28:31 AM EST
    but Obama can change it in the coming months.

    One night, or one week  of stumbling should not be the last word on this.


    I saw something different (none / 0) (#69)
    by tsteels2 on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 08:05:27 AM EST
    I saw two candidates that if you add up their votes just completely destroyed the Republicans primaries (and has been like that throughout the election season).  The way I see it is this (I'm an Obama supporter):

    Senator Obama and Senator Clinton meet and have a "Coming to Jesus" meeting.  They can not let Senator McCain just prepare and prepare while they fight each other.  Someone is going to have to back off and be the VP of the other.  That means Senator Obama.

    It pains me to say that but he's only 46 and has runs left in him.  He has new "things" in his past that need to vetted and that would take away from a presidential run.  He would be an electrifying VP for Senator Clinton.  And the goodwill they both show to each other, along with their words, would reign in their supporters to support the joint ticket.

    And the sheer numbers of Democrats that they can round would scare the crap out of McCain.  And if you add potential independents, your looking at a win.  And I'm a lifelong third party voter to boot!


    The (none / 0) (#99)
    by sas on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 08:30:06 AM EST
    Democrats are in a pickle.

    The only way out is to have a joint ticket.  Reagan and poppa Bush did it.  These two can do it to.

    Problem - while Hillary has left the door open, and has called for a unified Democratic party in November, I have not seen anything like this from Obama.

    He needs to get his act in gear, because he cannot win it alone.


    He does have to support her (none / 0) (#127)
    by sancho on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 09:07:18 AM EST
    for Dems to win. Personally, I just want a dem to win. But at this point Obama conceding graciously to Hillary (after Penn.) is our best and possibly only path to victory.

    If you think Obama will concede to Hillary based (none / 0) (#149)
    by JoeA on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 11:12:19 AM EST
    on yesterday then you are high.  The difficulty is that the Clinton Obama ticket makes much more sense than an Obama Clinton ticket.   If Hillary manages to turn it around and start winning big then maybe it could happen,  i.e. Obama being Hillary's running mate.

    However unless that happens,  and I think it is very unlikely,  then Obama starts playing some hardball and with help of Superdelegates ties the nomination up in the coming weeks.  Some kind of backroom deal would need to be done with Hillary but I just cannot see how an Obama-Clinton ticket would work,  from eithers perspective,  or even from an electoral viewpoint.


    The fact that he can't "close" ... (none / 0) (#40)
    by Robot Porter on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 07:52:37 AM EST
    that he can't win when he needs to are telling facts.

    And as Democrats it's a question we need to ask ourselves:

    Do we want a candidate who can buck the odds and win when she has to?

    Or a candidate, with tons of money and glowing press, who can't?


    Amen Brother! (5.00 / 3) (#4)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 07:19:31 AM EST
    I'm happy this morning.  I'm happy because of this

    Neither Hillary Clinton nor Barack Obama have answered all the questions a nominee must answer before we can feel confident of his or her chances in November.

    and now we have the opportunity before us for that to happen followed by the confrontation of the heavy desire of this nation to be pulled left and the specific areas the people are demanding better defined.  All these people talking about how the Democratic party is going to be destroyed, like it is some sort of cheap flimsy happy meal toy.  It is opportunities like this that makes a party, puts a party on message and on task, and causes a party to represent the will of the people.  It is a distillation of our always in revolution democracy and I'm not afraid to get on with it.  I can't worry about my candidate losing because this is how we all win!

    The closed primary of Pannsylvania (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 07:27:28 AM EST
    will be particularly helpful in this regard.

    Closed Primary? (5.00 / 1) (#139)
    by blogtopus on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 10:15:55 AM EST
    Holy Cow. How heavenly is that, not having a bunch of non-dems voting for a candidate? Music to my ears.

    BTD (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by facta non verba on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 07:27:05 AM EST
    I normally agree with you but don't think that perhaps the luster has come off Obama. He looked flustered by the media the day before the primary. And last night he looked exhausted. I saw a few of the early morning shows, they were not so sanguine about his chances.

    Barack Obama has been a Media Darling and is certain to get better Media coverage.

    Doesn't this appearing to be changing? I get the feeling that the media, apart from MSNBC, is now taking a harder look. Am I wrong?

    Even if that were so (none / 0) (#19)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 07:30:51 AM EST
    Obama will always get better treatment than Clinton from the Media.

    Not The Deciding Factor (5.00 / 3) (#94)
    by BDB on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 08:22:48 AM EST
    To me, the issue isn't whether Obama or Clinton gets better or worse media coverage.  The issue is whether either will get better press coverage than McCain.  Neither will.  Obama might get slightly less worse coverage than Hillary will, but so far he has shown no ability to withstand much scrutiny or any negative press coverage.  

    What he got in the last week was relatively light and it followed on several weeks of some of the best coverage any candidate was ever going to get.   He was able to outspend Clinton two or three to one.  He was able to concentrate on only two states.  And yet he still couldn't close the deal in Ohio and Texas against a candidate the press clearly reviles.  

    Now you're right, we might get to see in the coming weeks if Obama can rebound under press scrutiny, but then again we might not because there might now be any more press scrutiny.  Every time they've started down this road, they've backed off for fear of helping Clinton.  I think the only reasons they went further this time is that they were already focused on Obama/McCain.  But we will see.

    I also think Clinton will have a couple of advantages against McCain in terms of press that she doesn't have with Obama.  Given the historic nature of Obama's candidacy, it was easier for the press to dismiss the historic candidacy of Clinton.  That won't be possible against McCain.  In addition, she will have a lot more defenders and attackers with access to microphones - party spokesmen, VP choice - than she has now.  

    I do worry about the press in the general for Clinton (or Obama).  I'm a democrat.  But I also believe at this point that any campaign that relies on good press is a weak campaign, especially if the candidate is a democrat.


    One More Thing (5.00 / 3) (#105)
    by BDB on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 08:35:07 AM EST
    I believe no real progress will be made in this country until the press corps is discredited and forced to remake itself.   Its penchant for picking presidents is destructive - in itself - whether it happens to pick a democrat this time or not.  Since I believe either candidate can win the general election - and neither candidate is a shoe-in - that the better choice is a candidate whose win would be a repudiation of the press and not one who would need to send Tweety a gift basket on Wednesday morning.

    Now, I admittedly have other reasons for supporting Clinton, but her ability to make the press look stupid is definitely on the list.  Not just because it would be good this time around, but because it has the ability to make it better for all democrats - for all Americans - in the future.


    Exactly, (none / 0) (#131)
    by sancho on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 09:11:14 AM EST
    Our side can't win until we defeat the press corp. Obama's seeming press advantage cannot conmpensate for his GE disadvantages. SE Ohio is not going to vote for Obama b/c Russert hates him less than Hillary. Did y'all see Jerome's map of Ohio? I hope Jeralyn does a post about this b/c it confimrs the argument she has been making the past week about GE demographics.



    Just to add to your point (5.00 / 1) (#156)
    by CognitiveDissonance on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 05:18:45 PM EST
    It should also be remembered that every nasty story the press will tell on Clinton has already been dissected and regurgitated a million times before in the past 16 years. But guess what? Most people are not having it. We've heard it all, it's been hashed to death. And yet Hillary is still standing and winning all the big states.

    With Obama, it has yet to really begin. What he has seen so far is really benign - and also caused by his own ineptitude, I might add. NAFTA-gate and Rezco are both due to his own lack of judgment. What is going to happen to him when the republican slime machine gets into high gear? What is going to happen when the innuendos and whisper campaigns begin? His negatives are going to get extremely high when that happens. If you look at recent polls, his negatives are already almost as high as Hillarys. You can't really believe they won't go a lot higher when he gets really scrutinized. I really don't understand people who think the fact that he'll get "better" press than Hillary will be his ticket to win. It hasn't even helped him run away with the dem nomination, with the press sliming Hillary every day. What happens when his opponent is praised constantly by the media while he gets scrutinized? I see a 49-state slaughter, with him only managing to carry Illinois.


    Hillary Hate was / is palpable (none / 0) (#36)
    by plf1953 on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 07:47:40 AM EST
    Yws, even has she was beating BO handily last night, the pundits couldn't help but play up BO's chances and run Hillary down.

    These people must get compensated on the number of anti-Clinton comments they can make in an evening.

    This is not likely to change.


    In my dreams the media will one day respect her (none / 0) (#56)
    by diplomatic on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 07:59:28 AM EST
    There may come a time, just maybe when they will feel too ashamed to treat her the way they do.  She just keeps getting beat down, getting up, beat down, getting up.  I perhaps give the kool kids too much credit.

    But I just believe in Hope


    Hey, baby. We make hope a REALITY! (none / 0) (#65)
    by Angel on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 08:03:07 AM EST
    The Other Group That Obama Is Failing To Win (5.00 / 2) (#16)
    by MO Blue on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 07:29:15 AM EST
    in the primaries are the 60 and older group. He will IMO have a real problem winning them over in the GE because they tend to value experience. This is what IMO will decide the super delegates in Obama's favor and win the nomination for him.

    And while normally one would never have imagined the Clintons having trouble with African Americans, the stark reality NOW is that this nominating process has weakened Hillary Clinton's appeal with African Americans. This matters. A lot.

    I think there is real fear that if Obama does not win the nomination the AA community will not come out and vote for Hillary.

    BO May Go Home (5.00 / 1) (#46)
    by plf1953 on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 07:54:31 AM EST
    Obama, egged on by Michelle, may just take his ball and all his AA supporters and go home if he isn't crowned with the nomination.

    That would be the ultimate self-destruct act in re: his Democratic party potential in the future, but as you have already heard from the big M herself, he will not run again if he doesn't get the nomination this time.

    And people like Donna Brazille and Jesse Jackson Jr, may also contribute to more AA disaffection.


    I think MO has a chip the size of (5.00 / 1) (#67)
    by Angel on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 08:04:41 AM EST
    Mount Rushmore on her shoulder. She will be a huge problem in the general election if BO is the nominee.  

    I agree with this (none / 0) (#72)
    by Capt Howdy on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 08:07:20 AM EST

    MO BO's worst enemy (none / 0) (#102)
    by plf1953 on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 08:31:39 AM EST
    in some respects.

    To her its "my way or the highway."

    I fully expect that we will eventually learn that MO manipulated the whole Kenwood house transaction that, I think, may be his most significant achilles heal.

    We'll see ...


    Correct me if I'm wrong (none / 0) (#142)
    by blogtopus on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 10:33:48 AM EST
    But wasn't that the sentiment about Hillary, too, during the 92 election? That she was too strong-willed?

    Maybe I'm remembering it a different way. Blah.


    I really don't think he's that petty (none / 0) (#53)
    by A little night musing on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 07:57:23 AM EST
    At least, I hope not. But the fact that I can even entertain that idea shows how much his recent actions have eroded the original respect I had for him as a candidate.

    Have you heard some of their comments? (5.00 / 1) (#61)
    by diplomatic on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 08:01:50 AM EST
    Michelle Obama and her brother are perfectly capable of pettiness.

    Not likely (none / 0) (#55)
    by Democratic Cat on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 07:58:52 AM EST
    He is a very ambitious guy. He's not going to destroy his political future. It's fine for her to say he won't run again--it's a political tactic, to make people believe they only get one shot so they'd better not wait. But if he loses (a big if, granted) then he'll make the decision on a different playing field.

    The thought I'm able to entertain (although I still doubt he'd be this petty) is that he would fail to enthusiastically support Clinton if she gets the nomination and that his core support would not turn out for her because of his example.

    A month ago I would have found this idea inconceivable, but in recent weeks I've gotten a feeling of "give us our candidate or we're out of here" from his camp - just  a feeling, but that's more than enough. I hope they start putting out a clearer message that they understand the importance of getting a Democrat in the White House THIS time around, and starting to undo the damage that the current administration has wrought.


    I agree (none / 0) (#95)
    by plf1953 on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 08:23:48 AM EST
    Neither BO nor MO (especially MO, in IMO) have the patience to wait 8 years for their next shot at the presidency.

    I think they'd sooner have McCain win this one and get thier next shot in 4 years.

    They would remain engaged in this one only to the extent that it maintains his viability for 2012, supporting Clinton only tepidly.

    I really don't see either one of them embracing a Clinton candidacy.

    Ditto, the likes of Brazille and JJ Jr, and others Obama supporters.


    His supporters (none / 0) (#143)
    by blogtopus on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 10:39:16 AM EST
    Obama's big claim to fame is that he can reach across and get those voters who normally wouldn't vote dem.

    I disagree; Hillary has made it fairly clear she can win across party lines, just look at NY (granted its a blue state but upstate can get pretty red).

    I also think that the true dems who want Obama will vote for Hillary, period. The independents and Bar-ublicans can make their decision on whether they want to support McCain; I'm sure we'll get some of them.

    All in all, I don't think the makeup of Obama's supporters lends itself to abandoning Hillary in droves; just the people who probably would chicken out and vote GOP in November anyway.


    x (none / 0) (#157)
    by CognitiveDissonance on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 05:22:16 PM EST
    If Clinton is the nominee, I have no doubt in the world that the elders in the Black Community will rally around her. In their hearts, they all know and believe that Bill Clinton did more for them than any other president since Johnson. And they know that Hillary has an even stronger record in that regard. They won't cut off their nose to spite their own face. They will be sad to see Obama lose. But I can't conceive of them sitting out the election because of it. Jessie Jackson ran and lost twice. And they still came out to vote in the GE.

    Good point (none / 0) (#21)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 07:31:47 AM EST
    I will add it to my post.

    I kind of Doubt the African American vote (none / 0) (#22)
    by Florida Resident on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 07:33:16 AM EST
    will not back whoever is the nominee.  My fear lies in the outlying demographics the older generation, the white males those are groups were a switch may occur if their choice for nominee is not the winner.  My opinion.

    Weakend A-A tunrout (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 07:34:40 AM EST
    hurts Dems badly.

    It is silly to play ostrich on behalf of Clinton just as it is to do so on behalf of Obama.


    Yes that is through (5.00 / 2) (#41)
    by Florida Resident on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 07:53:06 AM EST
    but if we look at it that way a weak turn out of latino and women voters would hurt as much.  My point is I don't think, and I might be wrong, that African Americans will turn their back on the Democratic Party no matter who the nominee is.  Unlike movement voters or one issue voters.  The AA community in general feels that they have always and will always be better served by a Democratic Administration.

    I agree (none / 0) (#45)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 07:54:29 AM EST
    We are in a conundrum. Last night I stated that there is no doubt that both Clinton and Obama will be on the ticket. This is one of the reasons why.

    still can't see it (none / 0) (#84)
    by DandyTIger on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 08:12:04 AM EST
    I agree that having them both on the ticket would seal the deal for the dems in '08. But I just can't see either of them playing second fiddle. I hope I'm wrong.

    I really felt (none / 0) (#73)
    by Kathy on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 08:07:23 AM EST
    that Obama used a lot of coded language to aa's in his speech last night.

    Just my opinion.


    Unlikely but both on the ticket (none / 0) (#80)
    by Coral on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 08:10:23 AM EST
    would solve this problem. I would love to see a Clinton/Obama or Obama/Clinton ticket. It would be unstoppable, if they could work together.

    I disagree (none / 0) (#87)
    by Claw on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 08:15:42 AM EST
    I really worry about a weakened AA/New voter turnout in the GE unless Hillary comes into the convention having seriously closed the pledged delegate gap (within 100 of Obama at worst).  I think if she splits states with Obama next week and wins convincingly in April it'll go a long way toward convincing Obama supporters that she's the better candidate.  If she can't get extremely close to him in pledged delegates and still becomes the nominee, I think many will feel that the nomination has been stolen...not to mention the press will go crazy over it.  

    none of that will matter (none / 0) (#93)
    by Kathy on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 08:22:32 AM EST
    if Obama spins it right.  People will be angry is he is angry.  If he's outwardly pleased to be running for VP, then that is all that matters.

    And MO will have to play the part, too.


    I think (none / 0) (#115)
    by Claw on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 08:45:34 AM EST
    Obama would have to make a statement indicating that he was fully onboard with the idea of being VP even with a win in pledged delegates AND make a convincing appeal to his supporters. Otherwise it'll feel like moving to the back of the bus.  But your point is well taken.  If he's on the ticket people will start focusing on how scary another 4 years of a republican White House would be.

    its also true (none / 0) (#32)
    by Capt Howdy on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 07:42:40 AM EST
    that most of the states that had large AA populations that were important in the primary are southern states that democrats are unlikely to win in any case.
    even if Obama is the nominee.

    I resemble that comment, BTD (5.00 / 5) (#23)
    by goldberry on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 07:34:08 AM EST
    I can swill pinot noir like the best of them and I am a Clinton supporter.  Furthermore, my asian colleagues, who do not swill pinot well at all, love Hillary and I dare you to call them uneducated or not in the creative class.  
    One more thing: your point about the media handling of Clinton is somewhat irrelevant.  She has been winning big key states in spite of relentlessly negative media coverage.  If anything, her candidacy is significantly diminishing the impact that the media is having on this race.  I can see her candidacy as being possibly the only one capable of breaking the stranglehold that the media has on our political process.  
    The glass is half full, BTD.

    Anecdotes (none / 0) (#27)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 07:35:44 AM EST
    do not make for political analysis.

    I could say the same for your andecdotes (5.00 / 1) (#34)
    by goldberry on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 07:44:29 AM EST
    Many bloggers are confusing "pretentious" with creative class.  Just because people know the difference between a French Chard vs a California Chard doesn't mean diddly squat in their ability to think.  Seriously, BTD, I live in NJ surrounded by smart, well-educated Chard swillers and they are mostly Clinton people. Pair that with the fact that she took this state by 10 points and I just have to wonder who these "wine class" people are.  The only Obama people I know are lawyers and English professors.  For some reason, the geeks who drink wine are going with Clinton.  That's not an antecdote, that's backed up with hard votes.
    Maybe you should create a new class of voters.  Call them "Analytical types who know how to interpret data".  They're bloody cold-hearted individuals and they like Clinton, the bastards.

    I am referring to polling data (none / 0) (#42)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 07:53:27 AM EST
    You can doubt it if you wish, but it is not anecdotal.

    hey I'm an English professor and I support Clinton (none / 0) (#119)
    by pukemoana on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 08:51:12 AM EST
    as do all but one of the people I've talked to in my department.  But I'm in Canada so it doesn't count :-)

    differences in support (5.00 / 3) (#28)
    by DandyTIger on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 07:35:48 AM EST
    It seems like Obama's support all along has been very soft and untested. With worship from the press and an enamored young and cross-over following, it was bound to run into a wall eventually. Better now than in the fall. This will be a test of Obama's character and campaign how he handles this shift in momentum.

    Hillary's support seems very strong in my opinion. There seems to be an embarrassment factor that others have talked about that shows up in polls and in caucuses. I think that makes sense with all the years of Clinton bashing in all quarters.

    I agree completely that both of these candidates are flawed. Obama seems less like a democrat when he says republicans have opinions that should be listened to when it comes to core democratic values. For example choice. That scares me. The Clintons are far too conservative for my taste. But at least Hillary has been pretty good on most democratic values and seems aligned to be a fighter for those values.

    So what has to happen? I think if Hillary wins PA, even with less pledged delegates, has a very good case to make to super delegates. If Obama can't win any large state other than his own, and especially doesn't look good when you compare the big purple states together, he looks very vulnerable.

    But has has been mentioned, the press is in Obama's pocket. Still even with what happened yesterday. And that matters. But can that last? And what happens when the tied turns as we know it will? My opinion is that if the press decides it's no longer in love with Obama, then he has nothing. Very thin, soft cross over support, very weak democratic support (now at least), and no republican support (same has Hillary). My opinion is that there is no way in this universe Obama can win in the general. Even against Walnuts McCain. That's just my gut feeling.

    Core Democratic Values (5.00 / 3) (#37)
    by MO Blue on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 07:47:52 AM EST
    Obama has put Social Security back on the table stating it is in crisis. IMO there was no good reason for him to do this. He already had a lock on the youth vote when he started on this track. This position will hurt him even more among more mature voters. If the Republicans discover the best way to play this, it will not only hurt him but also the other Democratic candidates who went to the mat declaring that no crisis existed on Social Security.

    Also, his Harry and Louise fliers jeopardize Universal Health Care big time.


    This is one reason (5.00 / 1) (#91)
    by Coral on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 08:19:55 AM EST
    he is losing older voters.

    Obama gets better coverage (5.00 / 2) (#30)
    by Capt Howdy on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 07:40:31 AM EST
    this is a very dangerous assumption to make IMHO.
    I do not think it will be true at all after he is no longer running against a Clinton.
    the press will turn on him.  they have virtually promised as much.
    (btw who could have predicted the suprising TX win last night?  why, I think it was ME! your welcome!)

    Earlier I felt the primary process was way too long, but I've since changed my mind, for the reasons BTD articulates here. There is definitely a process of learning about the candidates which is not finished yet.

    It would be awesome if the two candidates would both focus their energy on how they would combat the Republican candidate in the fall, but as people have said already, it's hard for me to imagine how Obama would fit this in with the tack he's been taking. He's seemed way too afraid of ticking off Republicans and has not shown any propensity to go after the people who have dragged our country. This is the single thing that has made me leery of him in recent weeks (and I was fairly enthusiastic about his candidacy earlier, even though I ended up voting for Clinton in my own primary). Further, it's an aspect of him I wouldn't have learned except for the long primary process, so see my first paragraph.

    HRC was not my first choice for nominee, but she's won my respect by the way she keeps her resolve in the face of the vileness she's had to face. I'll be watching the candidates with great interest to see how they go from here.

    running against McCain if fine (none / 0) (#51)
    by Capt Howdy on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 07:56:27 AM EST
    but I dont think it is going to happen before Penn.
    she can not let him off the matte and he is now going to join her in the dog fight.
    its going to happen.

    Hillary has the core of the Democratic party. (5.00 / 3) (#59)
    by Angel on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 08:01:13 AM EST
    I've said it before but it is worth repeating. She carries the big states, the ones that we need in the general election.  BO has not been tested, has never run a campaign against the republican machine.  And remember, we have Rezco on trial and the Canadian NAFTA thing.  Neither has been handled well by the BO camp.  I think the media will start to question him more and more.  It won't happen overnight, but I do think it will happen.  And I think McCain will start coming after him as well.  Hillary has already been vetted.  And when  you get right down to it, the Democratic party is split right now.  And, in the rules we have, the super-delegates are supposed to be the parents and settle this issue.  It's in everyone's interest that we get beyond the close count in delegates and popular vote because they are essentially a dead heat.  The SD's will decide this thing and I think they will come to the conclusion that the best ticket is Clinton/Obama.

    She carries the big states (5.00 / 2) (#68)
    by Capt Howdy on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 08:05:21 AM EST
    we can not let them ignore this.
    if a democratic candidate can not win the primary in these states they are unlikely to win the general.
    it is not rocket science.

    I agree with that analysis (none / 0) (#63)
    by diplomatic on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 08:02:57 AM EST
    I think the realization will be dawning soon that we need to have a Clinton/Obama ticket -- in that order.

    I have been thinking (none / 0) (#71)
    by Capt Howdy on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 08:06:32 AM EST
    for a few months that might be the only way EITHER of them could have a sure win.
    it will be interesting to see if they are public servants enough to do it.

    Good column, good advice to run against McCain (5.00 / 1) (#75)
    by robrecht on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 08:08:06 AM EST
    I even like your solution of seating half the delegates and scheduling a rematch in Florida and a contest in Michigan.  But why a primary in Florida and a caucusin Michigan?  Are you trying to give Obama a better chance in Michigan since he wasn't on the ballot there?  And who will pay for these contests?  At first I thought you were kidding about this solution, but if someone can answer how it will be paid for, I like it.

    I see the media analysis differently.  Obama has now effectively lost his media darling status and he surely won't have it against McCain.  On the other hand, Hillary (with a little help from SNL) has really blunted the media bias against the Clintons.  To a certain extent, she looks like she took on the media bias and won.  It's made her stronger and will allow her to set the agenda on how she will be covered.

    Primary in Michigan (none / 0) (#82)
    by plf1953 on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 08:10:35 AM EST
    BTD has modified his proposal to call for a primary in Michigan rather than a caucus.

    I made a mistake (none / 0) (#86)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 08:13:11 AM EST
    It would be 2 primaries.

    Who can run best against the GOP? (5.00 / 1) (#77)
    by kmblue on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 08:08:29 AM EST
    Clinton.  She is the one who's been doing it all along.

    If Obama begins running against  the GOP, he's a little late to thatparty, in my opinion.  Dropping the unity pony theme now will look weird.

    She's been running against the media since (none / 0) (#81)
    by Angel on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 08:10:28 AM EST

    can't run against unity (none / 0) (#89)
    by DandyTIger on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 08:16:37 AM EST
    I agree, Obama's theme has been unity, working in partnership with republicans, listening to what they say on abortion, etc. For him to start acting like a partisan democrat would not work. He is the candidate for unity and change and a new way of doing things. He can't change to be a democratic candidate. He can't act like he would fight for democratic values now.

    BTD, your premise, (5.00 / 2) (#88)
    by cpinva on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 08:16:20 AM EST
    with respect to sen. obama's electability in nov., is based on a foundation of shifting sand. to whit: you make the unsubstantiated assumption that, should sen. obama be the dem. nominee, his treatment by the media will continue to be positive, more so than sen. clinton. recent history shows you to be 100% wrong.

    both gore and kerry, who had enjoyed relatively decent press coverage up to the point of their being the actual nominee (ok, gore started getting it during the impeachment), were then both savaged by the media. obama will fare no better, i guarantee it.

    sen. clinton will continue to be treated in the same manner that she has been for the past 16 years: she'll be vilified by them day/night/weekends/holidays. she has shown a consistent ability to handle it, sen. obama will the proverbial deer caught in the headlites.

    as well, sen. obama will also face, for the first time in concert, both the republican and right-wingnut smear machines. he will not survive.

    while his support among AA's will, i'm sure, continue unabated, they represent a small minority of the voting population, at best. white females by themselves outnumber all AA's.

    the republican "crossover" voters, who gave sen. obama wins, won't in the fall. they'll vote for mccain or no one.

    the crucial weakness of sen. obama is his failure to win a single large state; this will kill him in nov. if he's unable to win those states in the democratic primary, by what perverse logic does anyone think he's capable of doing it in the GE?

    sen. clinton is the best situated of the two to successfully compete head-to-head with sen. mccain. this isn't even a question worthy of discussion.

    Savaged? (none / 0) (#103)
    by Slado on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 08:33:03 AM EST
    Did the MSM run a false story about Kerry in the Military (60 minutes).   Did the MSM run a cocaine story about Gore in the closing moments of the campaign?

    How can you with a straight face claim the MSM was harder on Gore or Kerry vs. Bush?

    Yes the MSM didn't openly root for Gore or Kerry but are you claiming they where harder on them then Bush?


    Also you (none / 0) (#106)
    by Slado on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 08:35:33 AM EST
    are also suggesting that Clinton doesn't bring severe baggage into the GE.   The campaign will turn from a referendum on the Bush years vs. a new face (Obama) to a referendum on which previous administartion you like the least (Bush vs. Clinton).

    It will turn McCain from being on defens from having to defend bush to Clinton having to defend Clinton.

    Maybe that's a debate you want but overall the public will see McCain as a breath of fresh air if he's matched up vs. Clinton vs. more of the same if he's matched up vs. Obama.


    The press (none / 0) (#108)
    by kmblue on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 08:36:06 AM EST
    made fun of the way gore dressed, repeated the falsehoods about the internet, Love Canal, Love Story.

    Bush--gee, he's a likable fella.

    You can't be serious.


    I completely serious (none / 0) (#111)
    by Slado on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 08:40:26 AM EST
    The MSM hates Bush.   Maybe they have a good reason but they simply don't like him and to claim that they where tougher on Dems then Bush is ludicrous.

    Maybe they were also tough on Gore and Kerry but they weren't ever as tough as they where on Bush.

    By the way the MSM spent all of it's time trying to disqualify the Swifties but they simply wouldn't stop.   I guess they could of just ignored the story but the Swifties wouldn't shut up so they had to cover it.


    I don't know you from Adam (none / 0) (#113)
    by Florida Resident on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 08:43:18 AM EST
    but your beginning to sound like a Republican operative to me.

    Or an alien from some other planet ... (none / 0) (#125)
    by plf1953 on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 09:05:53 AM EST
    Swiftboating (none / 0) (#122)
    by miked on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 09:01:35 AM EST
    As I recall the media's coverage of the Swift Boat group was pretty much uniformly negative. The media focused exclusively on the questions raised by the swift boaters about the circumstances surrounding Kerry's medals. On this topic the swift boaters were on very shaky ground.

    The swift boaters main point, however, was not dispute of Kerry's medals - in fact some of their members tried to downplay those accusations - but rather that upon his return from Vietnam, Kerry leveled very serious accusations on national television against US armed forces, that they had committed widespread horrific atrocities (he even compared them to Genghis Khan), based on hearsay rather than him directly witnessing such atrocities. John Kerry himself admitted as much.

    I don't see how Kerry could have not known that that episode would undermine his support from Vietnam vets and their families (of whom there are larger numbers than most people realize). It was foolish of him to make a big issue of his war service during the general election, and foolish not to disown his comments from the 1970's.

    George McGovern was one of the most heavily decorated presidential candidates since the Civil War era, but he didn't make a big issue of it in his campaign. Kerry should have followed his example.


    As a Vietnam veteran I don't (none / 0) (#132)
    by Florida Resident on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 09:13:14 AM EST
    think it was lack of support from us that caused him to have the election stolen a second time.  And when you state " the media's coverage of the Swift Boat group was pretty much uniformly negative. " makes me think your recollection is poor on that subject.  

    Don't know about that (none / 0) (#147)
    by miked on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 10:57:50 AM EST
    Obviously I didn't see every single TV show and read every single newspaper article, so I shouldn't have said "uniformly", but the swift boaters were certainly not viewed favorably by mainstream journalists, especially the NYT.

    Put it this way: as a Vietnam vet, how do you feel about the accusations Kerry made back in the 70's? Did you witness widespread "day to day" atrocities like he described?

    My point is that he should have recognized his testimony years ago to have been a huge potential liability and dealt with it, rather than waiting for the swift boaters to bring it up and then whining about media unfairness.

    He was a weak candidate, hardly any more articulate than W, and it doesn't help our cause to blame it all on "media bias". We need to select stronger candidates than that.

    At least there is one bright spot - no matter how this nomination goes we'll wind up with a much stronger candidate than John Kerry, that's for sure.


    Kerry was not the only one who brought this (none / 0) (#152)
    by Florida Resident on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 12:03:23 PM EST
    problems to light back in the 70's Mi Lay sound a bell?  He never said they were day to day secondly if you call comments such as "We had to destroy the village in order to save it" not atrocious then that would not be common.  One of our biggest problems was that we would win the battles in the field and then some indiscriminate bombing would kill a lot of innocent people and we would loose the hearts and minds of those around us.  BTW most of us were Drafted so there was a lot of discontent with the war even within the troops.  And yes the media gave the swift boaters too much play time on the waves something that made me mad because they would also not question their assertions.  Like the Dr who said he treated Kerry when anyone who was at VietNam knows that the circumstances as this Dr explained them are doubtful to have happened the way he said they did.  I ought to know I was a Medic.  But did the media check it out no it kept getting air time.

    Sorry to harp on this... (none / 0) (#154)
    by miked on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 12:41:04 PM EST

    I'm sure you're 100% right about the effects on the sympathies of the Vietnamese people of indiscriminate bombing. But, accusations of "day to day" (yes, Kerry used those exact words - go on YouTube or something and find footage of his actual testimony to the Senate) rape and torture are a little different from indiscriminate bombing in the days before smart weapons.

    The media questioned some of their assertions - in fact they blew some of them right out of the water - but most of that stuff was impossible for them to check anyhow.

    I just think its dangerous for Democrats to start depending on media bias arguments.


    Give this individual his/her own show (none / 0) (#121)
    by MMW on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 08:56:44 AM EST

    You hit the nail on the head. I agree with you completely.


    the fact that after all these years (5.00 / 3) (#90)
    by Kathy on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 08:18:06 AM EST
    she is still standing--no, thriving--tells me that she can take just about anything head-on.

    the brilliance of John Kerry (5.00 / 3) (#97)
    by MaryGM on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 08:28:51 AM EST
    John Kerry was just on MSNBC and said Clinton's "big blue/purple state" argument isn't sufficient, then said Democrats need states like "Colorado, New Mexico and Georgia." Uh, Clinton won New Mexico. Furthermore, how can he, of all people, denounce the importance of states like Ohio and Florida?!

    How can he possibly think we would win (none / 0) (#107)
    by tigercourse on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 08:35:48 AM EST
    Georgia? Not if our candidate was Jesus Christ and theirs was Pontius Pilate.

    Our party leaders are just such fools.


    Actually (none / 0) (#129)
    by Claw on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 09:09:17 AM EST
    We'd have a shot--not great, but real--in GA if Obama were on the ticket.  Plus, Jesus Christ would be a terrible candidate ;-)

    Kerry buys into the Clinton narrative (none / 0) (#133)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 09:22:14 AM EST
    of discussing winning in November as a fair criteria. He lost already.

    He really is dim. Obama needs to keep him off the TV.


    Ouch, That's Gotta Sting (5.00 / 1) (#114)
    by BDB on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 08:45:12 AM EST
    Jerome Armstrong analyzes Obama's loss in Ohio.   Pretty much terrible news across the board.  

    He took a total of 5 counties, and lost in 82 counties. Even though he's able to rack up a large number of urban black voters he did terrible among white voters, winning just 34 percent.


    In Ohio, Clinton won the votes of Democrats by a 14 percent margin, 56-42. Clinton and Obama tied among Republican & Independent voters. I find it ironic that the most strident of "progressives" find themselves backing the candidate whom does the least well among self-declared Democrats.

    And lets not forget that Obama outspent Clinton by a 3 or 4:1 margin, and had the union help.

    There Was Also A Post On MyDD (none / 0) (#153)
    by MO Blue on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 12:31:29 PM EST
    that mentioned that while Obama was getting union endorsements, many of the rank and file members were going against their union and voting for Clinton much like they did in Nevada.

    x (none / 0) (#2)
    by Mary Mary on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 07:18:05 AM EST
    I said it before and I'll say it again. They could barnstorm the remaining states together, along with Congressional candidates, and campaign against McCain. They will have huge amounts of free air time to make the case for Dems. Now THAT would be history-making, and not just because of gender or race.

    Yes, Soto's advice is good, but it's far less workable for Obama. He depends much more on crossover votes and "post-partisanship" so he would actually undermine his campaign if he comes out with a full-throated Dem war cry. He can't begin running as Howard Dean now; it's too late. I don't see it happening, at all.

    Well then Obama has to make it work for him (none / 0) (#15)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 07:29:08 AM EST
    Limbaugh's "Vote for Hillary" Campaign (none / 0) (#6)
    by AdrianLesher on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 07:20:59 AM EST
    I am curious as to whether polling indicates whether Limbaugh's urge for Republicans to get out the vote for Clinton in order to "bloody up" Obama was successful. If so, this would certainly merit a different analysis of the Ohio and Texas results.


    Limbaugh couldn't even get his listeners (5.00 / 4) (#7)
    by Florida Resident on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 07:22:38 AM EST
    to vote against McCain.

    Are you this concerned (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by Marvin42 on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 07:30:19 AM EST
    About analyzing the republican votes in all other states? Because if you did and removed them from the results you may find that Sen Clinton would be the nominee at this point.

    Well Obama still won the Republican voters (none / 0) (#8)
    by diplomatic on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 07:24:36 AM EST
    so that whole meme is not going to fly very far.

    The margin of Republican support for Obama was much less this time, but it still helped him shave some points off the Clinton victory.


    I just can't take oxybaugh seriously (none / 0) (#9)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 07:24:59 AM EST
    Who does anymore?  The nationwide Republican turnout reflects the momentum the Limbaugh might possibly have any kind of sway over, and a lot of them have probably had it with him because he has been a part of the "stupid machine" that has led them to this place in history.

    Off topic Adrian Lesher (none / 0) (#10)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 07:26:29 AM EST
    And your links are improperly linked.

    And NOW you do not like GOP crossovers?


    Limbaugh Issue Relates To Clinton's Electability (none / 0) (#33)
    by AdrianLesher on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 07:43:59 AM EST
    I don't see how it is off topic. If a substantial portion of the Ohio and Texas pro-Clinton voters are Republican saboteurs (something much different than crossover supporters of a candidate) it affects the analysis of who can run best.

    In your mind it relates (none / 0) (#49)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 07:56:21 AM EST
    Nothing Rush Limbaugh says or does is relevant to this post.

    NOW you do not like GOP crossovers? (none / 0) (#35)
    by Capt Howdy on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 07:46:50 AM EST
    funny how that works isnt it?

    No sense (none / 0) (#38)
    by AdrianLesher on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 07:49:34 AM EST
    This argument makes no sense. Limbaugh was advocating for votes from Republicans because he thinks Obama is the stronger candidate and needs to be "bloodied up."

    As you well know, Obama was getting a lot of sincere GOP crossovers, which would help his viability in the GE.


    Mindreading (5.00 / 1) (#47)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 07:55:47 AM EST
    on the sincerity of votes.

    I will grant you this - a lot of GOP voters were sincerely voting against Hillary, not for Obama.

    Not likely to be Obama voters in November.


    And In Wisconsin (5.00 / 2) (#50)
    by BDB on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 07:56:23 AM EST
    the local conservative radio was advocating GOP crossover for Obama.  Did you complain about that then?  

    And I don't know why it matters now since Obama won the Republican vote, what he lost was the Democratic vote.  I would think that should matter to a Democrat.


    Amen (none / 0) (#57)
    by Florida Resident on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 08:00:33 AM EST
    it's the rules. ; )

    Oh so if their for Obama their sincere (none / 0) (#48)
    by Florida Resident on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 07:56:07 AM EST
    but if their for Clinton their part of some right wing conspiracy.  How interesting.

    I hve been saying for months (5.00 / 1) (#60)
    by Capt Howdy on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 08:01:29 AM EST
    that some of Obamas republican votes were from people who thought he would be the weakest candidate in the fall.
    and I know anecdotally  that it is a fact at least in some cases.

    Any Influence That Limbaugh Made Have (none / 0) (#64)
    by MO Blue on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 08:02:59 AM EST
    was definitely offset by a mass e-mail that Republicans sent out in Texas. Here is a portion of the text:

    Since Texas has on open primary, Republicans and Independents should sign in at their polling place and request a Democratic ballot. They should then vote for Barack Obama. Even James Carville admits that if Hillary loses Texas, "she's done!" Republicans can help make this a reality!!! Just think, no more Clintons in the White House!

    Voting Democratic this one time will have NO effect on your ability to vote in the next Republican primary or obviously on your vote in November. Since John McCain has the Republican nomination locked up, voting for McCain or Huckabee at this point will have no effect on the outcome on the Republican side.

    Link to entire e-mail.


    Sincere? Saboteurs? Clinton haters? (none / 0) (#96)
    by miked on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 08:24:10 AM EST
    Honestly my impression from talking to people is that the number of Republicans crossing over for nefarious reasons - whether to vote for Clinton to sabotage the Democratic party, or to vote for Obama because they'll take ANY opportunity to whack Hillary Clinton - probably roughly cancel each other out.

    Don't forget, the "sincere" Republican crossovers are the only ones that have any chance of voting Democratic in the general, and the impression is very strong that they are favoring Obama. Hillary has been on the national stage for a long time, and any Republicans who might vote for her probably flat-out switched to the Democratic party a long time ago.


    How many of this sincere Republicans you (none / 0) (#100)
    by Florida Resident on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 08:30:17 AM EST

    Just anecdotes... (none / 0) (#144)
    by miked on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 10:42:22 AM EST
    No, I don't claim to be basing any opinions on anything like polling data, and I'm aware that speculation based on my conversations and impressions doesn't carry alot of evidentiary weight.

    On the other hand, I've spoken to a few conservatives (one is a family member) who genuinely like Obama and are considering voting for him in November. I don't know how likely it is they will but I don't have any reason to believe they are lying to me.

    Don't underestimate how infuriated some conservatives are with McCain over immigration and especially campaign finance reform. It is perfectly clear that the most essential purpose of the First Amendment is to prevent government interference in political communication. Even Republicans who believe that the First Amendment still allows the government to censor movies for "indecency" and such believe that.

    I'm sure that most Republicans who can't stomach McCain will sit out the election altogether, but my gut says more of them would vote for Obama than Clinton. I certainly can't prove it though, I'll admit that.


    But Obama does have the endorsement of the (none / 0) (#14)
    by Florida Resident on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 07:28:37 AM EST
    Governor of PR : )

    That won;t be that big a help (none / 0) (#20)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 07:31:26 AM EST
    A lot of negatives in it actually.

    Yeah but who is Pedro backing? (none / 0) (#24)
    by Florida Resident on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 07:34:29 AM EST
    Hillary (none / 0) (#26)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 07:34:56 AM EST
    What about Sila Calderon? (none / 0) (#58)
    by diplomatic on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 08:01:07 AM EST
    Seems like that they would have a lot in common.

    As BTD said once About Acevedo (none / 0) (#66)
    by Florida Resident on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 08:04:03 AM EST
    Sila, politically a walking cadaver.  After what her administration did to the PR economy?

    Pedro isn't backing anyone (none / 0) (#145)
    by blogtopus on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 10:46:26 AM EST
    He's running for President too. VOTE FOR PEDRO. [/bad]

    This is a very fair analysis... (none / 0) (#31)
    by sar75 on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 07:41:41 AM EST
    ...from BTD.  I also think Clinton should run against McCain, as Obama has been doing.  Unfortunately, she has recently come close to saying that McCain would be a better president than Obama (at least on national security and foreign policy). If you'd like to agree with that, that's fine.  But it's no way to be running as a Democrat.

    I also agree that the nominating process is hopelessly flawed.  It is, as BTD says, the one we've got.  However, the Obama camp can still argue in terms of popular vote, where they are still ahead (excluding Michigan).  If Clinton moves ahead in popular vote total, then she will be able to make a compelling argument to superdelegates, and one that I will be able to agree with.  If she is behind Obama in total popular vote and delegates, then I think she has a problem, and that her nomination will be a disaster for the party.

    Let's hope that this campaign continues to excite voters and remains positive enough that unity can be achieved at the convention, possibly through a unity ticket.  Otherwise, it seems to me that we'll lose one of the best opportunities in generations. As an Obama supporter, I still think he's the best candidate.  But at this point, I think a Clinton/Obama ticket is our best bet. Clinton/anyone else, especially if people feel - right or wrong - that Obama was cheated - is very weak.

    It's funny (5.00 / 1) (#39)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 07:52:31 AM EST
    because Obama's reason for ding it was to try and minimize Clinton. Actually he needs to run more against the Republican Party and FOR the Democratic Party.

    Yes, but doesn't running against (5.00 / 1) (#98)
    by Anne on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 08:29:15 AM EST
    the Republican Party mean that he has to step on the toes of the Republicans he's been courting in his post-partisan unity campaign?

    I heard Obama on the radio this morning saying that what he needs to do is to continue to talk about the issues that matter to people, like health care and the economy, etc., and my reaction was "continue to talk?  Don't you have to start talking about these things first?"

    At some point, the rubber has to meet the road, and when it does, I think he starts to lose some of those Republicans and Independents who realize that - hey, this guy's a Democrat!.  

    As a Democrat, I would like to have that epiphany myself.


    I don't know how anyone... (none / 0) (#117)
    by sar75 on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 08:47:28 AM EST
    ...doesn't know that a guy who's arguing for a quick withdrawal from Iraq, government-sponsored health care, talking with foreign adversaries, and - at least implicitly - raising taxes on the rich, isn't a Democrat.

    I think they know, but moderate Republicans and Indys are looking for an alternative to their corrupt, broken, and tired party.  I'm not sure why appealing to them by using a bipartisan language is not a good strategy.


    Shifting to this strategy would negate/obviate his (none / 0) (#70)
    by plf1953 on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 08:06:21 AM EST
    central post-partisan theme, no?

    If he abandoned that and actualy ran as a Democrat, he might loose his non-Dem constituencies, i.e., crossover Republicans and Indies.

    And is clear from the exit polling data, aside from AAs, these are the voters that have given him his electoral edge over Clinton to this point.

    Lose them and he probably can't and shouldn't get the Dem nomination, but more importantly, he loses the GE.


    True enough... (none / 0) (#92)
    by sar75 on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 08:20:45 AM EST
    ...but he was still making an argument about McCain.  I think it's better than making an argument that McCain is better than Obama, which is a line that Clinton crossed last week.

    Don't worry about media bias (none / 0) (#74)
    by miked on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 08:07:59 AM EST
    While I agree that the press was biased in Obama's favor until pretty recently, and that their switch to a more skeptical stance in the last week or so has weakened his support somewhat, I doubt that will be a big factor in the general election.

    I think the last several presidential elections have shown that the press will have a slight bias in favor of the Democratic candidate in the general election no matter who it is. To the extent that McCain had some "media darling" status of his own, it was because of his tendency to poke the Republican establishment (and particularly W) in the eye from time to time. That's not going to work for him anymore, because now he IS the Republican establishment. The media's generally strong dislike for George W Bush doesn't do him any good at all now.

    I believe we'll see approximately the same media behavior in the general for either potential Democratic nominee.

    A slight bias in favor of the Dem Candidate? (5.00 / 1) (#79)
    by kmblue on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 08:09:40 AM EST
    May I remind you about Al Gore?

    And John Kerry. (none / 0) (#85)
    by Angel on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 08:12:06 AM EST
    Stop the fantasy (none / 0) (#101)
    by Slado on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 08:31:06 AM EST
    that the media cost Gore and Kerry the election.

    Does anyone remember the October suprises against Bush?

    They lost.  The MSM is in the tank for democrats during election years and they loathed GW.   This is lameness at it's highest level to somehow blame the MSM for the losses of Gore and Kerry.   They where quite simply terrible candidates.


    Yes, please remind me... (none / 0) (#109)
    by miked on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 08:36:55 AM EST
    Sorry folks, I imagine I won't have alot of fans of this view on this board - but to me it was very clear that the press favored both Gore and Kerry over Bush. I don't think I've ever seen a major political figure that was disliked by the media as much as George Bush. I'm not old enough to remember directly but as far as I can tell from reading up, the last time they had such a negative view of a president or serious presidential candidate was Richard Nixon.

    People on both sides of the political aisle will sometimes see things from the media that are infuriating, but I believe that the Republicans have that experience more frequently than we do. Do you doubt that if the franchise were limited only to journalists that Gore and Kerry both would have won with 80% landslides?


    I Think It Was The Foreign Press Core (none / 0) (#123)
    by MO Blue on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 09:03:18 AM EST
    Definitely wasn't the press here at home.

    Sorry slado and miked (none / 0) (#118)
    by kmblue on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 08:50:45 AM EST
    I was not only there, I was working in the media.
    In my opinion, you are both wrong.
    Gore was savaged by "liberal writers" like Maureen Dowd and others.  
    Kerry was left to twist in the wind by reporters too lazy to do their homework on the Swiftboaters.
    The media (again, my opinion) did not question Bush in the runup to the Iraq invasion and they've sucked at their jobs ever since.  But that's just my opinion.  
    Stay with yours, by all means.

    Fair point about runup to Iraq (none / 0) (#141)
    by miked on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 10:29:29 AM EST
    However, I don't think the media's failure to adequately question claims of Iraq's WMD stockpiles was purposeful bias in favor of war on their part. As far as anyone knew at that point, most of the world's intelligence services believed that Saddam Hussein had WMDs or at least active development programs. It has been reported that Hussein was purposely trying to create the impression that he had WMDs to intimidate Iran. The media's performance on this issue was terrible but doesn't suggest deliberate bias.

    "Conservative writers" savaged Bush sometimes as well. And of course, I don't think anyone is about to link to any Maureen Dowd columns favoring Bush over Gore or Kerry.

    As far as Kerry being left to twist in the wind - the NYT provided more than one article calling into question the swift boat claims about Kerry's medals and the motivations of the swift boat members. It is true that they didn't do any "homework" about Kerry's TV appearances in the 70's - but what were they supposed to say? It's totally indisputable that he made serious accusations of atrocities on the basis of hearsay.  He could have described that as a mistake in his youth that arose from his intense opposition to the war - but didn't.

    Blaming the media is an excuse; let the Republicans overuse it if they want, but let's not put our own heads in the sand.


    Troll alert! (none / 0) (#128)
    by plf1953 on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 09:09:03 AM EST
    Oh, please (none / 0) (#150)
    by miked on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 11:12:39 AM EST
    Troll alert my....if you want to live in a dream world where the media steals all the elections from us, go ahead. I'm sure you'll persuade lots of swing voters with that argument.

    I'm quite worried by a Washington state (none / 0) (#104)
    by tigercourse on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 08:33:28 AM EST
    poll done by Ras. It has McCain beating both Obama and Clinton. I really hope they are wrong and skewed in favor of McCain or we are in real trouble, no matter who the nominee is.

    I think our only shot is a Clinton/Obama ticket.

    Great analysis of last nights results (none / 0) (#110)
    by Slado on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 08:38:13 AM EST
    by Jay Cost.

    Looks like the rest of the states will fall into the previous pattern and Obama will win the pledged delegate battle and the vote will be close depending on what the DNC does with MI and FL.  

    This will get ugly in the 7 weeks (keep in mind IA was 8 weeks ago) leading up to PA.

    See you in Denver jeralyn!

    The Most Important Number from Ohio (none / 0) (#120)
    by sar75 on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 08:53:15 AM EST
    Total votes Democrats: 2 180 292
    Hillary 1,203,924
    Obama 976,368

    Total votes Republicans 1 004 391
    McCain 632,575
    Huckabee 323,074
    Paul 48,742

    Ohio has about 7.5 million voters.  About 5.7 million of those voted in 2004.  Now almost 2.3 million people voted for a Democrat in a primary!!!  No matter who the nominee is, these primary turnout numbers are incredibly favorable to the Democratic ticket in November.

    In the end, the structural advantages of the Democrats in 2008 may be just so huge as to render these very early discussions about electability moot.  The economy is certain to get worse, inflation is skyrocketing, unemployment will increase, gas prices will likely hit $3.50-$4.00 this year, and everyone wants "change". Add to this the excitement (and cash!) in the Democrats' ranks, and Indys gravitation toward them, and we're looking incredibly good in all of the swing states. If we lose, we've beaten ourselves somehow.

    Wish It Were So (none / 0) (#130)
    by BDB on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 09:09:30 AM EST
    But if Democrats getting large primary numbers in comparison to Republicans predicted a democratic win, there would've been a President Dukakis.  While I wasn't a huge Dukakis fan, I'm sorry to report there was no president Dukakis.

    I don't think... (none / 0) (#135)
    by sar75 on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 09:41:10 AM EST
    ...we can compare 2008 to 1988.  The advantages that any Democrat should enjoy this year far outweigh those Dukakis had in 1988.  Remember, Bush was coming off of what then and now is generally considered to be a successful (even if you didn't like it) Reagan presidency.  The economy was doing well enough, the Cold War was ending, and Reagan had a positive approval rating.

    My point is that almost as many people voted in the Ohio Democratic primary as voted for Kerry in 2004.  This is a very encouraging sign, no matter how you look at it.  The fact that Hillary Clinton received more votes in Virginia than all the Republicans combined is similarly encouraging (even though I don't think that's a swing state).  People want change, and both candidates will provide it.

    Remember, we needed what, 100,000 more votes in Ohio in 2004, and a few thousand in Iowa, 55,000 in Colorado, a few thousand in New Mexico.  Given the advantages Democrats have in comparison to 2004, I'm optimistic that just about any one of them, providing they run a solid campaign, will win.  Moreover, the chances of the Democratic candidate not running a solid campaign three times in a row are pretty low (even though there's cause for concern about this in regard to Clinton, whose campaign thus far has been pretty lousy all things considered.  Looks like she may have retooled though and straightened things out...)


    FLORIDA RE-VOTE: How do they handle Republicans? (none / 0) (#124)
    by Robot Porter on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 09:04:51 AM EST
    It they do hold a re-vote, how do they deal with Republican voters?

    Will they be allowed participate?  

    So (none / 0) (#126)
    by tek on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 09:06:01 AM EST
    you're saying we should let the media decide the Democratic candidate?  In the last few days the media has changed toward Hillary.  In the GE, whoever is the Dem will be roasted by the corporate media.  That's the reality.

    Some random thoughts (none / 0) (#134)
    by Stellaaa on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 09:33:36 AM EST
    Hillary, at least in California, was running as a very strong partisan Democrat.  That is why she won.  She never mentioned Obama, it was always the Republicans.  It's in her playbook and her speeches about the invisible people are very compelling, frankly her best.

     She was able to swing white men by showing her national security side.  This is something in a GE Obama has no weight.  

    Finally, I thought today, it's not bad to keep McCain guessing about who he will run against.   The longer this takes the more confused he can be about which strategy to take and how to put it into play.  He would definitely have two different strategies against either one.  So keep him trying to break the code.  Meanwhile, keep the Dem agenda focuses as a Dem agenda for a longer time.  People will listen.  

    Is that really why she won in California? (none / 0) (#137)
    by sar75 on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 09:50:21 AM EST
    I do not mean to diminish her California victory, but could it also be that her name recognition, which had kept her up to 20 points ahead of Obama in the polls for months, along with her institutional support, particularly in Los Angeles (mayors are much more important than governors in putting machines to work for candidates), better organization, and demographic advantages put her over the top?  It just seems to me that California didn't get the full Obama treatment, and there wasn't enough time. I don't think that would have changed the results, but it may have gotten it closer.

    So, while her message may have helped, I also wonder if she - like Obama has in other states - also enjoyed organizational, demographic, and other structural advantages that made California a "Clinton State."  Those are just as important - and no way diminish her victory.  In fact, I think they may be a better argument for her electability than message.


    Clinton name (5.00 / 2) (#138)
    by Stellaaa on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 10:09:52 AM EST
    associated with Dem agenda.  Please, stop with the Obama did not have enough time, he is not a special needs candidate and his campaign is more than capable.  I find this line of defense of Obama rather condescending.  Her message in California was a very strong Dem message.  I heard her in two events and she had great crowds that wanted the solid dem issues.  

    That was not my primary argument... (none / 0) (#146)
    by sar75 on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 10:47:51 AM EST
    ...I said "may have gotten closer."

    My primary argument was that this was a "Clinton state" for a number of structural reasons.  I don't think it was as much about message.

    That said, it's clear that Obama does close the gap when he has time to campaign in states, and that Clinton's name recognition has gone far to help her along.  Why is that condescending to Obama or anyone else, I have no idea.

    If you think that Clinton's message is what won over Latinos and white working women alone in California, that's fine.  I think California is just a "Clinton state," like Ohio is a Clinton state and Virginia is an Obama state. It ain't all message - it's demographics, organization, and a variety of other factors.


    Agreed (none / 0) (#136)
    by Salt on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 09:45:18 AM EST
    absolutely and CNN should stop representing Donna as anything independent thats a clear ruse with a node and a wink, always has been I am with her she should resign, Dems should demand she resign.

    But while your article captures that Hillary has lost black support, unfortunate I agree and something that community needs to deal with maybe a growth opportunity, but white females, blue color workers, elderly and Hispanics are also all the natural swing groups that may dump the party ID as a non brand and Obama appears to have a limited argument in his message at this point you are enamored or you are not. So what do we not know that would attract us now and with the Rezko Il political underbelly clearly in the media for some time to come, I believe this is the case even if  Hillary had a spot on the Dem  ticket.

     I am in the camp that the Dems chance in Nov. is a Senator Clinton as nominee.  And the view of the Party from a non partisans is much harsher than you seem to believe the primary process outrageous betraying the very principal the party rails against, voter disenfranchisement on display unfair at the core against groups no less, but the overwhelming insurmountable problem is that in 2006 Dems signaled they had changed were now a Party ready to embrace all of America a Party platform outlined in Senator Schumer's Positively America that was and is the agenda that could win and Ohio in a general,  but this Dem Primary brought back the social 60s skeletons, the left liberal Ted Kennedy social justice identity politics as a cause, along with the view of a liberal economic elitist platform and that platform that I believe cannot win in the general in fact will be flat out rejected certainly by Ohioans.  Senator Clinton is now the anti Ted Kennedy anti Liberal candidate for the People and Ted Kennedy did no one any favors in this process.

    Obama Praises McCain (none / 0) (#140)
    by BDB on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 10:27:27 AM EST
    In his email to supporters,

    In the coming weeks, we will begin a great debate about the future of this country with a man who has served it bravely and loves it dearly. And we will offer two very different visions of the America we see in the twenty-first century.

    And that is bad how? (none / 0) (#151)
    by JoeA on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 11:20:22 AM EST
    Obama is praising McCain for his service to his country etc and then pivoting to argue that he is wrong on the issues, wrong on iraq, and that he will make a better president.  This seems like smart politics to me and a winning argument. Obama is being Obama,  drawing contrasts without appearing negative.

    OTOH just saying nasty things about McCain looks petty and is likely to turn off voters.    e.g. See the recent negative headlines about the Clinton surrogate somehow trying to diminish McCains suffering or experience as a POW in Vietnam.  


    BTD, is it your opinion (none / 0) (#148)
    by oculus on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 11:11:56 AM EST
    OBama should be the nominee if electability against McCain is the sole test?

    Who can best game the Electoral College? (none / 0) (#155)
    by Sanity Clause on Wed Mar 05, 2008 at 03:29:37 PM EST
    THIS is the only question that matters.  Bill Press and other commentators have repeatedly framed the super-delegate question in terms of a quote attributed to Obama - calling for the designation of super-delegates to the candidate who wins "the most states, the most delegates, the most votes."  Unfortunately, even that definition fails to identify a single individual candidate, since different candidates could obtain strikingly different victories as measured by each of those measures.  And we don't even have a reliable measure of the votes that are really going to count - who's most capable of carrying enough states to win enough electoral votes to actually win the general election? We could easily see Obama arrive in Denver with "the most states" while Clinton could have "the most so-called popular votes" and no one claims a majority of the  delegates needed to nominate.  Is it even fair to equate a January vote in New Hampshire to an April vote in Pennsylvania when the mindset of the electorate seems to be as mercurial as the temperature?  If there's one thing we should have learned by now, it's that people can change their minds - from one day to the next, from one issue to another, from sea to shining sea.  We need to stop the petty bickering and mud-slinging and focus on the big prize.