Obama 's Inadvertent Political Successes

By Big Tent Democrat

Speaking for Me Only

One of the ironic aspects of the the wild success of the Obama campaign thus far is that it is succeeding in some ways in spite of itself. If you have read me, you will remember one of the aspects of Obama's political style I found most objectionable was his "appeal" to "values voters" by trashing Democrats on "faith." This was one of the reasons I found Chris Bowers' Reagan Dems post so absurd. But the very astute Paul Rosenberg has turned Bowers' lemon of a post into lemonade in this excellent post highlighting Obama's very real map changing successes. Paul writes:

Obama's strength in the West is particularly embarrassing-not to mention debilitating-to McCain.

But it's also embarrassing to Obama, since it belies his earlier rationale in reaching out to religious conservatives, and his claims to be a mapchanger by drawing unprecedented numbers of blacks to the polls, and contesting Southern states Democrats otherwise would lose. It is not the religious conservatives dominating the South who have responded most to his calls, nor does he put more pressure on McCain there than Clinton does. His "unique" contribution is to do what Schaller mapped out as the natural thing for the Democratic Party to do, regardless of their nominee.

Great point from Paul. Read the whole post as it has a very interesting take on what I call the Mark Schmitt Theory of Change. It is somewhat persuasive as well. It makes me more optimistic that not only can Obama be a successful candidate in the fall but that he can be a more successful progressive President than I thought. It seems to be more a circumstance of accident than design but as Lefty Gomez said "it is better to be lucky than good." This probably holds true for Presidents as well as ballplayers.

And now for some red meat for Hillary supporters -- Obama's political style remains a roll of the dice, both electorally and as a question of governance. His inability to win key components of a winning Democratic coalition remain very worrisome. He remains a DLC style political triangulator if not a policy triangulator. The success of Obama remains to be seen and may never be seen tested this year on a general election stage. But I must admit that Paul's piece cheered me, for I remain, as I have been, a tepid Barack Obama supporter.

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    Paul R (5.00 / 2) (#8)
    by Steve M on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 09:51:56 PM EST
    is just super duper smart.

    He is excellent (none / 0) (#12)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 09:52:59 PM EST
    I hope you're right (5.00 / 7) (#13)
    by dianem on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 09:54:55 PM EST
    I started out as an Edwards supporter who really didn't like Clinton, and I'm now a Clinton supporter who really doesn't like Obama, but believes he will be our candidate in the Fall. I think that his current standing is more due to the media dislike of Clinton and their desire to show that they really can support progressives (at least in primaries) than due to anything Obama himself has done. Successfully labeling Clinton as a racist and thus dropping her support among African Americans from the 40's to the 10's also helped, but that trick only works once - next time Obama supporters start crying "race" the public will notice a pattern.

    I agree completely on one point - Obama is a triangulator. He chooses his words to please the most people, not to take a stand. I respect that you recognize this and support him in spite of it. A lot of his supporters actually think that he's a non-establishment candidate who is going to change the world, not a politician who is pandering the same way the politicians have pandered since the beginning of time.

    Most of his supporters think (5.00 / 4) (#14)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 09:55:47 PM EST
    I am the devil - one of Hillary's spawn.

    I'm just relieved... (5.00 / 10) (#33)
    by dianem on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 10:03:26 PM EST
    ...to finally find an Obama supporter who admits that he has faults. I have never had a problem admitting that either Clinton or Edwards were not perfect people or perfect candidates, but a lot of Obama supporters seem to view his candidacy with religious zeal and refuse to acknowledge his weaknesses.

    They can't help it. (5.00 / 1) (#43)
    by Boston Boomer on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 10:06:08 PM EST
    They tend to be very earnest and literal minded.

    Underestimating (none / 0) (#122)
    by AdrianLesher on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 12:50:04 AM EST
    Obama and his supporters is part of what got Hillary in the mess she's in now.

    Obama's supporters are portrayed as part of an educated elite, yet they supposedly have no critical thinking abilities and are easily entranced.

    Obama himself is portrayed as either a complete naif or a venal cynic.

    Mayybe it's time to reevaluate.  


    Nope. Sorry. (5.00 / 6) (#123)
    by echinopsia on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 12:57:03 AM EST
    When I see so many formerly pragmatic people who wanted a fighting Democratic candidate four years ago favoring a non-fighting "postpartisan" candidate now, I have to question their critical thinking abilities.

    Most of them are only really interested in demonizing Clinton, who most of them used to actually admire.

    But they say her actions in this campaign have turned them off and now they hate her. What, because she never said she wasn't a pol? And she runs as a pol? And she is obviously more concerned with Democratic values than winning for herself and Obama is obviously more about himself than about Den values?

    This is not rational.


    I haven't portrayed Obama's supporters (none / 0) (#150)
    by Boston Boomer on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 07:34:03 AM EST
    as "part of an educated elite."  I've observed that many of his supporters do not argue rationally.  I don't think he's "a naif," but I do think he is not experienced enough to be President yet.  I try to avoid all or nothing thinking myself.  

    I think both Obama and Clinton have done some negative campaigning, but nothing that yet approaches what Kerry and Gephardt did to Howard Dean in 2004.


    what mess is that? (none / 0) (#151)
    by Kathy on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 07:40:26 AM EST
    About to pull even and overtake the popular vote and perhaps pick up even more delegates?

    In Obama's worst week of the campaign (none / 0) (#157)
    by JoeA on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 10:20:01 AM EST
    he actually beat Hillary in delegates won  by 1 delegate,  including Super Delegate endorsements.

    He also picked up an 8 delegate swing when the California delegates were certified.

    The only metric by which Hillary is about to pull even on Popular Votes,  is one which includes Michigan.  If you want to include votes where she only managed 55% where she was the only candidate on the ballot then your argument is weak.


    She WAS NOT the only candidate on the ballot (none / 0) (#172)
    by echinopsia on Tue Mar 11, 2008 at 07:38:06 AM EST
    Michigan Democratic primary results

    Why do Obama supporters keep repeating this lie?

    What do you gain by it?


    I don't see Obama as motivated by (5.00 / 7) (#17)
    by MarkL on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 09:57:00 PM EST
    anything except winning elections.

    Making him a standard issue pol (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 09:58:29 PM EST
    Hilary is no  different in that respect.

    That is what pols are. Don't start a Hillary Cult on me please.


    But then I rather have an old style Pol (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by Florida Resident on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 10:01:22 PM EST
    that admits she/he is one than one who claims he/she is different and continues to prove that he/she is just the same old kind of Politician.

    It's all a matter of degree. (5.00 / 7) (#28)
    by MarkL on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 10:02:06 PM EST
    Hillary obviously cares deeply about certain issues, such as UHC. Obama? The ONLY hint of passion I have seen from him is in his defense of the right of individual choice in the health care debate.

    All politicians have enormous egos. The question is whether the ego drive is directed to anything long term, or just winning per se.


    Fair enough (5.00 / 2) (#30)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 10:03:00 PM EST
    I'll grant the health care point to you. But nothing else.

    And that is the ball game for many voters. (5.00 / 1) (#34)
    by MarkL on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 10:03:32 PM EST
    If it is (5.00 / 1) (#38)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 10:05:16 PM EST
    their choice is clear. Hillary. No question about it.

    I've go to add women's right to choose. (5.00 / 2) (#45)
    by oculus on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 10:08:08 PM EST
    Obama mealy-mouths on this, just as he does on gay and lesbian equal rights.  When the chips are down, will he nominate judges who will support Roe v. Wade and will he fight for confirmation for such judges, or are there other issues more important for his expenditure of political capital?  I want to know this now.  

    Yes, I was VERY unnerved to read (5.00 / 5) (#120)
    by Cream City on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 12:49:29 AM EST
    the backstory on Obama's vote on Roberts.  He was all ready to vote for him, just found him impressive and smooth -- and it was Obama's staff who had to pull him back and persude him to vote otherwise.

    And that their argument was that it would be a political miscalculation to vote for Roberts, rather than persuading Obama on the issues, worries me even more.


    Marginally concerned on this (none / 0) (#51)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 10:10:27 PM EST
    But I simply can not imagine him nominating someone questionable on that.

    I can. (none / 0) (#95)
    by sancho on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 11:31:06 PM EST
    It would be a supreme high Broderism moment for him--a total consolidation of Obama's own right to choose as President, to prove he can "reach out" and unite "red and blue." And he'd do it over a living woman's body--consistent with how he has campaigned.

    What about social security? (5.00 / 3) (#47)
    by Boston Boomer on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 10:08:21 PM EST
    Are you OK with that going down the tubes?  I don't think Hillary would let it happen, but I suspect Obama would.  I will not vote for him without a very clear commitment on social security.

    Hmm (none / 0) (#54)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 10:12:18 PM EST
    I think he will face enormous pressures from his Left and not do it.

    I don't have as much confidence (5.00 / 6) (#59)
    by Boston Boomer on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 10:21:12 PM EST
    in that kind of pressure after the Democrats in Congress have caved on Iraq, torture, spying since winning in 2006.  We can't even get them to restore habeas corpus.

    Now you had to come with reality check (5.00 / 1) (#68)
    by Florida Resident on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 10:26:17 PM EST
    and ruin the dreams of a better future : >

    No Hllary Cult (5.00 / 4) (#112)
    by dianem on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 12:24:35 AM EST
    I don't do cults. Authoritarianism doesn't suit me. I think what bothers me is that Obama is supposed to be "different", and he isn't. An awful lot of people act like he is doing a different kind of politics, clean and optimistic. I see him attacking Clinton and pandering to the masses the same way that every other politician does - but claiming to not be doing it. I hate hypocrisy. I've lived for too many years with a President who says one thing and does another, a leader who gives the people platitudes instead of progress.  I hope I don't get in trouble for this, but in all honestly Obama reminds me too much of Ronald Reagan. He had the same capacity to inspire, the same tendency to give moving speeches that said nothing, and the same tendency to leave the details to his underlings. I know that Obama's politics won't be Reagan's politics, but ... I don't like this authoritarian movement coalescing behind Obama.

    Not possible (5.00 / 6) (#113)
    by facta non verba on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 12:25:45 AM EST
    since I think we all admit she has warts. Too many Obama supporters, however, are typified by that kid in Columbus, Ohio that Dan Savage interviewed for a video shown on Real Time with Bill Maher. The kid said "Obama is infallible. He can't f**k up." Others said "your heart tells you all you need to know."

    I ain't shy. If someone is bold enough to wear a button I will approach them. This afternoon, an Obama supporter got more than he bargained for. I pointed to his (gay white male late 40s) button and asked him to name an accomplishment. He couldn't and so I asked again. He then at least confessed. "Maybe he doesn't have any." Score one for honesty. Then why are you voting for him? "Because he stands for change." It's hard to argue with logic like that.


    Off topic He reminds me of Sila. (none / 0) (#44)
    by Florida Resident on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 10:07:38 PM EST
    red herring alert! red herring alert! (none / 0) (#153)
    by cpinva on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 08:35:39 AM EST
    puhleazzzzzzzzzzzeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!!!!! BTD, shame on you!

    Don't start a Hillary Cult on me please.

    if, by "hillary cult" you mean pointing out that she seems to be the sane one of the pair, then i'm a charter member. if, by "hillary cult" you mean pointing out that her campaign has focussed on more than one substantive issue, then i'm a charter member.

    please, spare us all the "oh, but they're essentially the same!" nonsense, they aren't. if they were, we wouldn't be having this discussion at all.

    sen. clinton is hardly perfect (and mccain and obama are? i think not!), but she has consistently made her campaign to be about the democratic party, not about "saint hillary". sure she's a politician, duhhhhhhhhhh! let me be the first to break the news to you: they all are, by definition.

    that's not the real issue, and you know better, or should. the real issue is: who of the two best represents what the democrats are supposed to stand for, sen. clinton or sen. obama? who of the two consistently remains true to the democratic ideal, sen. clinton or sen. obama?

    the envelope please! (drum roll here) and the winner is......................sen. clinton in a landslide!

    sen. obama means well (at least, i'm pretty sure he does.), but got thrust into the spotlight wayyyyyyyyyyyyyy too early. this is the first time in his political career he's actually had a fight on his hands. his mettle isn't testing all that well, when things don't go all his way. sen. clinton just keeps on keeping on.

    as for the "unity" and "bipartisan" schticks; positions of last resort, not the first thing you do. sen. clinton understands this, sen. obama seems not to.

    again, sen. clinton is a politician and not perfect. i'll take that for $100 alex!


    Yes, You Are A Charter Member (none / 0) (#167)
    by squeaky on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 05:29:13 PM EST
    The tipoff being that people belonging to the Obama cult, argue the same points but in reverse. Bottom line: one is horrible and the other is great.

    In reality both candidates have pretty much the same, platform, policies, and voter appeal.

    Yes the dressing is different but that is about all.


    Yup. (5.00 / 4) (#24)
    by ajain on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 10:00:16 PM EST
    I think it is very possible that he spends his first term being very cautious and doing what is poll-tested so that he gets re-elected. At least that is what reading todays NYT article suggests to me.

    But who knows. Maybe he will surprise us all.


    Doubt it. (5.00 / 3) (#27)
    by Florida Resident on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 10:02:00 PM EST
    He Will Pick The Low Hanging Fruit (5.00 / 1) (#148)
    by MO Blue on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 07:19:31 AM EST
    In his first term, he will probably expand S-Chip and maybe lift some restrictions on stem cell research. Both had enough bipartisanship support to pass but not enough votes to override a Bush veto.

    After that, it gets scary because of the unknown unknowns with Obama. With his statements that Social Security is in crisis, I worry about what his plans are for that program. Also, if he nominates SCOTUS judges, how moderate they will be so that he can keep his bipartisanship badge bright and shiny.


    That is (5.00 / 1) (#149)
    by 0 politico on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 07:29:27 AM EST
    presuming he would get more than one term.

    I remember seeing in the past week or two that Mass. voters are no longer enamoured with their governor's performance after his being elected on a campaign of "Hope."  They have found this to have evloved into an administration of non-accomplishment.

    Also, this presupposes that the attacks from the other side are not going to have an effect.  No Quarters notes that Hannity has been trying to get others to notices BO's connections to militants:


    Ugh.  I don't care for this.  But, if it gets any traction, McCain won't have to be the one throwing the rocks.


    I think he is motivated by more than that (5.00 / 4) (#53)
    by dianem on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 10:11:47 PM EST
    The scary thing is that I don't know what. Hillary Clinton has a long history of working for children's and minority rights. John Edwards has a similar history, as well as the motivating factor of the memory of his son. I'm not sure what Obama's motivating factor's are. "Hope" and "Change" are a bit vague. He seems to be running on a "vote for me and you'll be electing the first black president" platform. He's better have some other motivations, because once he wins the election he's going to have to actually do something. I have no idea right now what that will be.

    Agreed. (5.00 / 3) (#70)
    by jpete on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 10:29:13 PM EST
    I hear him talk a lot about process; much less about goals, except for very general, vague  ones  - oh, and the specific one of getting him elected.

    I think it is about him. (5.00 / 4) (#75)
    by inclusiveheart on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 10:35:52 PM EST
    That could be fine if his policies and desires allign with yours, but I get the sense that it is about him - just as it is with 99.9% of all politicians.  But I agree very much with you that it is difficult to determine what it is that drives his interest.  The obsession with process as opposed to end results has always been a big obstacle with him for me.  I am leary of people who constantly focus on process as opposed to specific end results.  We can all be really nice to each other going right over a cliff.  I suppose that would be better than being mean going over the cliff, but I think being mean and getting something constructive done would be better than either.

    You must be (5.00 / 8) (#97)
    by facta non verba on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 11:32:42 PM EST
    my long lost twin. I too am an Edwards support and saw myself as an ABCer, Anybody But Clinton. But the more I learn about the junior Senator from Illinois, the more I am put off and dismayed.

    Your second paragraph could describe any number of Obama performances. The question on Farrahkan in the last debate. He tried to measure his words so tightly that he came off pissing off everyone. In Beaumont, Texas, he spoke eloquently for the cause of gay equality but got no applause for his remarks so he switched to the Praise Jesus, my personal lord and savior routine. The response was, of course, a big cheer. Lost in the shuffle was the message of equality. It is difficult to discern what he stands for. In Iowa, he against drivers licenses for illegals but by California he was for them. On that note, in the Senate he votes for a border fence but in Texas, he is against it. It was guns in Boise 'cause those hunters in southern Illinois want them but he from the South Side of Chicago where guns kill people not deer says not a word to a captive audience. In Reno, he sings the praises of Reagan but he goes to Ohio and there NAFTA is the problem, a Reagan-Bush project that Clinton signed into law. So who is the real Barack Obama? A hypocrite, a charlatan, a fraud, an empty suit.

    His wife's former firm Sidley-Austin LLP is a big contributor to his campaign naturally. Over $800,000 and guess what they are a registered lobbyist but he doesn't take contributions from the lawyers who are registered lobbyists; he takes them from their colleagues who are not. Never mind that in a partnership they all profit from the work of others. And yet he can claim he takes no money from lobbyists. In the narrowest sense, it's true. In the broadest sense, it is mass deception.
    I'll vote for Nader if it comes to that unfortunately. Or even for the Socialist candidate but Obama, thank you no.

    Mrs. Clinton has warts but Obama is the cancerous tumor he rails against. It's hypocrisy. It is the audacity of blind ambition.


    Could not agree more (5.00 / 1) (#100)
    by RalphB on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 11:40:05 PM EST
    I'll vote for Nader if it comes to that unfortunately. Or even for the Socialist candidate but Obama, thank you no.

    Mrs. Clinton has warts but Obama is the cancerous tumor he rails against. It's hypocrisy. It is the audacity of blind ambition.

    I've felt this way for quite some time now.


    I always read (5.00 / 1) (#121)
    by facta non verba on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 12:49:56 AM EST
    your posts with interest. Thanks for all the insight you provide and the links that you have provided as well. I've learned a lot from you.

    I won't vote for Nader or McCain (5.00 / 1) (#117)
    by dianem on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 12:37:28 AM EST
    Not that it will matter in my state (California).  I'll show up to vote for a local House candidate in a very challenging race (It has the potential of turning a red district blue).  I'll fund his race, but not the national.  I don't know what I'd do if I lived in a state that might go red. I don't think I'd be willing to vote for Obama unless the Republican VP was particularly egregious. McCain isn't Bush. He talks right to get elected, but his record is much more moderate. And I worry about things that will happen - the president effects our nation in many ways. He/she needs to understand how to get things done and who to trust to help them. Obama just doesn't have that kind of experience. McCain does. Clinton does. (I'm not quoting Clinton - I said this before she did).

    If you think McCain is moderate (none / 0) (#158)
    by fuzzyone on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 12:28:58 PM EST
    you need to do some research.  He has taken stands on a few issues that are outside the republican mainstream but he is a conservative.  He is anti-choice, he would keep us in Iraq for 100 years, he has now locked into supporting the bush tax cuts.  He is a fiscal conservative who will gut social programs, including privatizing social security, that are at the core of Democratic values.  And you will not like who he puts on the Supreme Court.  Even if you think that Obama can't get anything done for 4-8 years you are still better off with him (at least if you are a Democrat).  I think he has the potential to be much better than that, but every time I read this kind of I'll-take-my-toys-and-go-home argument from either side I am amazed.

    "More moderate than Bush" (none / 0) (#161)
    by dianem on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 03:52:41 PM EST
    I don't think McCain is particularly moderate. I do, however, think that he is not like the extremist's who have been in power for the last 8 years. I'm not relishing a McCain Presidency, but I'm sure that he won't take us into ruin.

    My real problem is that old cliche - experience. I'm not being petty here. I have not seen evidence that Obama has the judgement and experience to be President. I fully expect another terorrist attack on American soil in the next 4 years. They have not had any reason to attack since we have been essentially acting as a recruitment office with our actions in the Middle East. But as Iraq winds down, they will have to rally their troops, and that means attacking us. I can think of a dozen ways they could do it tomorrow, each as spectacular, in it's own way, as 9/11. So...whose butt do I want sitting in the oval office chair when it happens? A candiate who has not even learned the ins and outs of Washington politics, much less how to run a nation? Or a person who has been in more crises than I could imagine, and has survived and prospered? Either Clinton or McCain fit into the latter category. Obama is certainly the first.

    As much as I don't like McCain's politics, I can't in good conscience put politics before the welfare of the nation. I don't trust Obama. I don't like McCain, but I trust him. Given the choice, I won't actively fight for McCain, but I won't impede him, either, and part of me will be relieved if he wins. This saddens me more than you could know, because if McCain wins we will lose so very much.


    Yeah, its not like McCain would do something crazy (none / 0) (#162)
    by fuzzyone on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 04:13:33 PM EST
    like bomb Iran.  That is your guy in a national security crisis? You really want him in the hot seat.  Enjoy the endless war.  Bill had no national security experience of any kind, yet managed to avoid Armageddon.  Obama will have plenty of experienced advisors.  Just what is it you think he might do that would be worse than what McCain will certainly do?

    I just find incomprehensible this experience trumps all.  Who cares what he will actually do as long as he has experience.  Is the Clinton experience cool-aid really that powerful?  Do you not realize that McCain is even more pro-war than Bush?

    If it makes you feel better Hillary now says Obama might actually be experienced enough, at least if she needs him.

    That is exactly why Hillary extolling McCain's experience was so appalling.  


    And Obama will invade Pakistan (none / 0) (#163)
    by dianem on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 04:24:47 PM EST
    Honestly, that scared the heck out of me. I don't want endless war, and I think that McCain doesn't like war any more than most of us do (as opposed to Bush, who has never seen war close-up and therefore loves it). I don't think that McCain is more pro-war than Bush. I think that he's talking tough in an effort to win over Republicans whom he needs to win the nomination and the election. His record is not one of a warmonger. Obama is not so much a warmonger as he is unknowledge about international politics in general.

    Clinton isn't saying that Obama would make a good president when she suggests him for VP. The standard has always been lower for VP.  Think Dan Quayle. Obama has it all over him.

    Look... it's a moot point. I live in California, and I'm not going to make any difference in the general election. I plan on supporting a downticket Democratic candidate who has a decent chance of taking a house seat in a right-leaning district. I certainly won't be an advocate for McCain. I'm way to ambivalent to be a decent one, anyway. If McCain picks an extreme enough VP, I might even donate a few bucks to the DNC to fight him, given that there is a good chance he won't live to see re-election (the presidency ages men, and he is already pretty old). But I can't pretend to believe that I think Obama is qualified to be president if I really don't.


    First of all (none / 0) (#164)
    by fuzzyone on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 04:29:58 PM EST
    Obama did not say that.  Its simply absurd (or ignorant) to claim otherwise.

    McCains tough talk is not new.  He has other problems with the right, but that is not one of them.  He criticized the surge as not big enough.  

    As for what Clinton is saying about Obama, did you read the link?  She has clearly said

    1. Obama is not fit to be C in C
    2. We won't have a running mate who is not fit to be  C in C
    3. We are considering Obama as a running mate

    He said we would go into Pakistan (none / 0) (#166)
    by dianem on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 04:58:19 PM EST
    ...after al-quaeda with or without their permission. I'm not exactly an international expert, but I know that Pakistan is a very strong but very fragile U.S. partner. They have a lot of internal conflicts that may preclude their giving us permission to send troops into portions of their nation (the portions most likely to be harbouring al-quadea).  If we invade without permission, it could destabilize the nation and cause a civil war. I would be considered an act of war by the U.S..

    At the very least, if McCain starts a war it will be with due consideration for the consequences, not as an accidental result of trying to please the American people and look tough.


    Last I checked... (none / 0) (#168)
    by CST on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 05:43:39 PM EST
    That's exactly what we JUST DID.  Also, as far as I know, the Pakistani government has yet to complain.

    Also, he never talked about invading pakistan.  He talked about a strategic attack on known Al-Queda operatives.


    without their government permission and/or help we will just be opening another tinder box in the region and one with known Nuclear Weapons.  What next attack across the borders on the north of Afghanistan into the ex-Soviet Union countries?  Look the Turkish Government is doing that in Northern Iraq and that is already causing some instability in a region that was more or less stabilized for us.  The last thing this Country needs now is more war fronts.  On one hand we talk about bringing home the troops and on the other we want wretch up the fighting?

    and BTW (none / 0) (#171)
    by Florida Resident on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 06:10:22 PM EST
    Our attack and killing of the so called number whatever Al Queda leader in Pakistan that also killed a bunch of other people has already caused enough trouble we don't need another Bush in the White House.

    So... Bush is now your model of propriety? (none / 0) (#170)
    by dianem on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 06:10:16 PM EST
    We are very lucky that Pakistan is in political chaos right now as a result of Bhutto's assassiantion. Regardless, in my world you don't send either troops or weapons into allied nations without permission. I don't really know why that is controversial.

    I think if you want to see what (5.00 / 2) (#19)
    by Kathy on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 09:57:45 PM EST
    his agenda will be, look in Ted Kennedy's desk drawer.

    There is no way Obama will be able to get anything through the senate or the house.  They have no respect for him.  They don't fear him.  They think of him as a kid.  And before anyone makes the Kennedy comparison, Kennedy had Bobby, whom everyone was afraid of.  He carried the big stick while Jack took all the glory, and Bobby was perfectly fine with that.

    I have thought the Bobby - Obama (5.00 / 2) (#41)
    by sara seattle on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 10:06:00 PM EST
    comparison so strange especially as you mention - everyone was afraid of Bobby -- and I cannot imagine anyone afraid of Obama.

    Oh, I think so (none / 0) (#126)
    by Cream City on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 01:00:15 AM EST
    as I always have found that much ambition to be worrisome.  And having read up on his history in the Daley machine, well . . . Chicago politics is pretty scary stuff.

    I'll take it (none / 0) (#22)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 09:58:56 PM EST
    I love Ted Kennedy.

    No Kennedy left behind for you, eh? (none / 0) (#29)
    by MarkL on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 10:03:00 PM EST
    Heh (none / 0) (#35)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 10:03:52 PM EST
    I think Ted has been the best Senator for the last 20 years at least.

    At least he has been consistent (5.00 / 1) (#48)
    by Florida Resident on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 10:09:04 PM EST
    in maintaining the Democratic Core Values in the forefront.

    well that is a subset (5.00 / 1) (#118)
    by facta non verba on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 12:45:02 AM EST
    of who? Who has been in the Senate that long?

    Robert Byrd, Dick Lugar, Carl Levin, Orrin Hatch, Mitch McConnell, Arlen Spector, Pat Leahy, Joe Biden, Ted Stevens, Tom Harkin, Charles Grassley, Daniel Inouye, Harry Reid, John McCain, Barbara Mikulski. Those are the ones that come to mind off the top of my head. Personally, I'd go with Byrd for his stance on the Iraq war and with Biden for his hard work. Don't always agree with him but you can't deny he tries damn hard. Harkin and I line up frequently too. Mikulski seems decent. Did I miss any other dinosaurs?

    Try that with Senators since 1992. My pick is Barbara Boxer. Of the new arrivals, I like Bernie Sanders. And I am hopeful on Jon Tester. And I can't wait for Al Franken.

    My other Senator, Dianne Feinstein, has largely failed me. I do applaud her leadership on assault weapons.


    New arrival senator (5.00 / 2) (#130)
    by zyx on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 01:11:54 AM EST
    one that has really wowed me is Sheldon Whitehouse.

    (Great name...)


    He's (5.00 / 1) (#142)
    by kenoshaMarge on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 06:22:09 AM EST
    awesome. I hope we see more of him in the future. Would love to see him as Attorney General.

    Well, not so much on Thomas confirmation (none / 0) (#50)
    by oculus on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 10:09:38 PM EST

    Or NCLB... (none / 0) (#63)
    by oldpro on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 10:24:19 PM EST
    Yes (none / 0) (#128)
    by squeaky on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 01:03:41 AM EST
    He has way too much experience to ever become president.

    Great (none / 0) (#40)
    by white n az on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 10:05:24 PM EST
    Suggest that you drive everywhere though.

    The fact that Ted will have influence (none / 0) (#52)
    by Boston Boomer on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 10:10:40 PM EST
    is the only thing that gives me hope for an Obama administration.

    You are right (5.00 / 2) (#65)
    by Kathy on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 10:24:27 PM EST
    Kennedy did so much for Obama in MA...

    I meant that Obama would owe him. (none / 0) (#82)
    by Boston Boomer on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 10:40:59 PM EST
    We don't really listen to Kennedy in Kerry much here.  We just expect them to do their jobs in Washington, not tell us whom to vote for.  I never thought Obama would win the MA primary.

    Influence Over Whom? (5.00 / 1) (#119)
    by facta non verba on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 12:47:40 AM EST
    Over Obama perhaps but over the other members of the Senate? The Senate is like herding cats.

    Each Senator sees himself or herself a potential President. I do think Byrd is right when he argues that the Senate is really the most powerful segment of the government but it so failed its oversight and consent functions.


    Ahhh...the 'new politics' of hope (none / 0) (#67)
    by oldpro on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 10:25:58 PM EST
    managed by the same old same old.



    Personally I think (5.00 / 5) (#21)
    by Florida Resident on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 09:58:53 PM EST
    that a lot of what he has said and done during this primary to get the votes of this group today and then changed to get that group tomorrow may come back to haunt him if he is the Nominee.

    it will certainly haunt him (5.00 / 12) (#60)
    by Kathy on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 10:21:50 PM EST
    in FL and MI.  Not to sound like BTD, but I said this a while back: Obama runs the race that is directly in front of him.  If you look at Clinton's speeches, they're always the same, always nailing the same core issues.  Granted, she talks up some depending on her audience, but basically, she's said the same thing all along.  Obama shifts left or right depending on where he's headed.  In IA, he's transcending race.  In SC, he's embracing race.  In Nevada, he's talking to the republicans.  Going into Super Tuesday, he's scattershot, which is why he couldn't knock it out.  TX and OH were perfect examples where he had to straddle one issue that each state viewed completely differently: NAFTA.  And y'all know what happened there.

    To have to go back to FL and MI and find out how to appeal to those voters without having all those burned bridges behind him come up will be catastrophic, which is why he is not going to support a revote.  He doesn't know which Obama to be in order to win.

    He wins the battles but not the war.


    Sad but true (none / 0) (#103)
    by facta non verba on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 11:45:56 PM EST
    I could not agree more. The question is has he won enough battles to have won the war? I still think not but if he has then it will prove a Pyrrhic victory because along the way he will have pissed off too many people. Two weeks ago, before OH & TX, I saw a poll that only 65% of Clinton supporters would support in the general election. That number seems low to me but then I remember that Hispanics who are 3:1 overall for Clinton and 4:1 in California will probably go close to 1:1 in the general. Asian-Americans too will break for McCain in greater numbers if he is the nominee. My neighbors, a gay couple in their 60s, will go for McCain. Myself I am likely going Socialist or Green. I meet someone the other night sharing a table at a pizzeria here in the Castro. Another elderly gay man, he is going for Nader unless Clinton is the nominee. After a while, these are more than just isolated data points, they show a trend. For someone who is the "uniter" he sure sows a lot of disunity.

    Gay people (5.00 / 2) (#114)
    by DaleA on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 12:28:32 AM EST
    are beginning to ask questions about Obama. He does not have much of a record on these issues. Nor are there many openly gay people in his circle. Very troubling.

    Sure, and the Clinton's have an unimpeachable (5.00 / 1) (#138)
    by JoeA on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 05:07:05 AM EST
    record on LGBT rights.  What with DADT and DOMA.

    Apropos of nothing... (5.00 / 2) (#32)
    by p lukasiak on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 10:03:16 PM EST
    I just play with some numbers...and ya know what?  Obama doesn't have a majority of the popular vote.  Right now, its merely a plurality, approx. 47.7% to Clintons 47.4%.  

    In other words, 53% of the voter/caucus goers wanted someone other than Obama. :-)

    Paul Tweety Lukasiak!!! (5.00 / 1) (#36)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 10:04:25 PM EST

    oops... (5.00 / 1) (#37)
    by p lukasiak on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 10:04:59 PM EST
    that should be 52.3% of voters/caucus goers want someone other than Obama.

    And slightly more (none / 0) (#159)
    by fuzzyone on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 12:30:35 PM EST
    52.6% want someone other than Clinton.  So what?

    This race is very close. (5.00 / 1) (#78)
    by inclusiveheart on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 10:38:18 PM EST
    The idea that either one is winning or that either one is entitled here is really far fetched based on the numbers and the fact that we haven't seen the primary season through.

    Whaaa??? (5.00 / 2) (#61)
    by pluege on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 10:22:16 PM EST
    the post doesn't strike me as particularly insightful, clear, resolving of any issues, or providing any new perspective - guess I missed it. The post mostly cabals together citations of Digby, Greenwald, and others.

    For me, this is just one of may ways in which... (5.00 / 3) (#80)
    by Oje on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 10:40:15 PM EST
    All that was solid about the narrative of Obama's campaign has melted into air after Texas and Ohio. Last week, his candidacy effectively lost "Teh Momentum." And, TalkLeft has demonstrated - all weekend long - that a slew of MSM and blogospheric narratives have run their course, to no good end for Obama. To what BTD mentions, I would add:

    Pledged delegates are more important than the will of the people. Obama can no longer claim to be the red-state candidate after Florida, Arizona, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Arkansas, Texas, and Ohio--to which we will most likely add, Indiana, Kentucky, and West Virginia. The whole premise of Obama's coattails in downticket races burst this morning because a few reporters in Texas did their jobs. NASA seems to have no role under his inspirational leadership. And, the rationale behind the Obama campaign's stance on Florida and Michigan appears to be nothing more than crass politics and pledged delegate mining.

    If the campaign has come this far based on luck, no amount of hope and belief will deliver the SUSA projections in November (just more luck). In essence, the Obama campaign does not have a reality-based political strategy, and that will undermine their use of funds and the power of their rhetoric in the general election. How are Democrats really supposed to support the accidental tourist of "creative class" consciousness?

    As with Kerry, they will stay home (5.00 / 2) (#83)
    by Kathy on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 10:41:52 PM EST
    How are Democrats really supposed to support the accidental tourist of "creative class" consciousness?

    Which western states? (5.00 / 3) (#111)
    by Mike Pridmore on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 12:16:49 AM EST
    If we look at the primaries, which I think we should, it is not California, AZ, NM or NV.  Hillary won those.  Are we going to win UT?  Not any time soon.  Nor Wyoming.  ID? Probably not.  So Paul must mean CO and WA, both of which were caucuses?  Not much to base a theory of transformational politics on.

    I don't get why you think Paul is so smart on this.   He uses big words but still fails to say much as far as I am concerned.  Polling this far out is useless, especially if they contradict what happened in recent primary elections.

    Besides, Paul once accused me of being a "Fox News Democrat."  So I seriously question whether he knows what it is to be a real Democrat.  You don't soon forget an insult like that.

    What Paull misses (5.00 / 1) (#135)
    by Stellaaa on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 02:24:50 AM EST
    If you read the article by the local reporter, who basically exposes the Obama myth, Obama did nothing and could do nothing for 7 years when the Republicans were in charge.  The 8th year, the Dems were in charge and the Dem majority leader threw every piece of progressive legislation his way, to the dismay of long time advocates of the legislation.  What did Obama really do? <a href="http://www.houstonpress.com/2008-02-28/news/barack-obama-screamed-at-me/">Barrack and Me</a>

    Further there is a leap of faith that he will be this great progressive.  I don't buy it.  No one get this far with so much money and is not bought, sealed and delivered. <a href="http://www.blackagendareport.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=548&Itemid=1">Obama Bubble</a>

    Except look at where the money came from (none / 0) (#165)
    by CST on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 04:51:33 PM EST
    Most of his donors are small donors.  This would suggest that he does in fact have to be more progressive since he was "bought" by the people.  Also, it's not a leap of faith, it's based on the work he has done to date, especially as a community organizer in Chicago

    Most of Obama's political success (5.00 / 1) (#145)
    by Josey on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 06:43:35 AM EST
    is due to the media giving him a pass.

    BTD, italics overload on the front page! (none / 0) (#1)
    by plf1953 on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 09:45:17 PM EST

    Just keeping ya'll (none / 0) (#4)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 09:47:54 PM EST
    on your toes.

    That's to signal "red meat." (none / 0) (#5)
    by oculus on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 09:47:56 PM EST
    And there is nothing we Hillary supporters (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by Boston Boomer on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 09:52:50 PM EST
    like more than red meat--preferably fresh killed.  We are meanies.

    Could I please have Red Peppers? (5.00 / 2) (#143)
    by kenoshaMarge on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 06:25:58 AM EST
    I'm a vegetarian.

    Heh (none / 0) (#16)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 09:56:25 PM EST
    Did you mention (none / 0) (#56)
    by oldpro on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 10:13:40 PM EST

    Taking it on faith you support (none / 0) (#2)
    by oculus on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 09:47:03 PM EST
    Obama due to your opinion he is more electable than HRC.  Otherwise, I might suspect you may support Obama because he's not HRC.  

    BTD is a gamblin' man (5.00 / 2) (#125)
    by Cream City on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 12:58:23 AM EST
    and a ramblin' man -- geographically, not in his writing. :-)

    Me, I've taken enough risks in my life to gamble on a good-lookin' and sweet-talkin' man again. . . .


    Right now I'm thinking (none / 0) (#127)
    by oculus on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 01:02:25 AM EST
    emphasis is on "man," as all other signs point to supporting and advocating on behalf of HRC.  

    More than that (none / 0) (#6)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 09:49:32 PM EST
    he might be able to accomplish more as President.

    Of course he might be unable to win in November and even if he does he may accomplish less.

    The ceiling is higher and the floor lower with Obama in every way.

    He is very much a roll of the dice. I think the odds are favorable.


    There is absoluately no there there. (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by oculus on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 09:50:52 PM EST
    What do you think he may accomplish and how?

    Everything Hillary wants to (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 09:52:39 PM EST
    except mandated health care.

    There is not a dime's worth of difference between them on policy.


    I disagree (5.00 / 4) (#105)
    by facta non verba on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 11:59:48 PM EST
    I do think there is a world of difference on policy even beyond health care. On energy, he favors nuclear and liquefied coal. Clinton does not. He provides more subsidies to oil & coal and less for alternative energy. On HIV/AIDS, Obama offers $50 billion, Clinton calls for $55.2 or 10% more. But beyond that, can he get anything done? He has not shown to fight the good fight. Why wouldn't the GOP just sit and obstruct? They are good at that.

    And then even more than this, some of his Senate colleagues seem rather annoyed with him. The NYT article today left me with the impression that in the Senate he is not seen as a team player. Will John Lewis remember all the unkind pressure he was subjected to or will he tow the line? Obama doesn't cajole in the LBJ sense, he intimidates. That style of politics seems more Nixonian to me. And then can he execute? It's one thing to have vision but can he bring it to bear. The Kennedy comparison, a model for his campaign and perhaps his Presidency is a case in point. Kennedy got some of the vision part of his program enacted: the space program, VISTA, the Peace Corps. But foreign policy, Kennedy's failures due to his inexperience cost us plenty. Cuba and Vietnam are Kennedy legacies. Obama wants to sit down without preconditions with Chavez, Iran. Is that not a problem? I am all for a sensible policy with Cuba, Venezuela and Iran but there needs to be an understanding that we expect them to live up to certain standards.

    I would love to hear your thoughts on this. I respect your views.


    Their priorities may be (5.00 / 1) (#106)
    by oldpro on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 12:00:13 AM EST
    quite different.

    And there are some important policy issues which have not been discussed in this campaign...and will not be, as policy action items.  I doubt Obama will countenance them but I am positive that Hillary will.

    I refer to all the issues related to women and children (they make up at least 1/2 of those in poverty) not just in this country but worldwide.  Domestic violence, trafficking in women and children as sex slaves, descrimination against women of all colors in all societies, HIV-AIDS in women, basic research/science re women's health issues, women and sexual-assault issues at the military academies...

    None of these things will have to be explained to Hillary.  There's more, of course, but for now...


    Sexual assault on women in the military (none / 0) (#108)
    by oculus on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 12:11:06 AM EST
    reportedly extends far beyond the academies to military installations here and abroad.

    Yes...it's true. (5.00 / 1) (#124)
    by oldpro on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 12:58:21 AM EST
    I guess the thing that really makes me furious about the continuing problems of sexism, rape, sexual assault at the academies is that these are the places designed to teach leadership, values, honor to our servicepeople...

    That's a pretty big difference to many of us. (none / 0) (#15)
    by Teresa on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 09:55:50 PM EST
    I understand that (none / 0) (#18)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 09:57:22 PM EST
    and if it is, your choice is an easy one.

    It is not to me, therefore it is not an easy choice.

    My calculations on who to support are not based on policy differences.


    I have insurance and I am fine but the fact (5.00 / 2) (#31)
    by Teresa on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 10:03:13 PM EST
    that he will give in, in advance of any fight, for something that most Democrats want badly, says a lot to me. What other fights will he compromise on when he doesn't have to?

    If he wins, I really hope you're right and he pleasantly surprises all of us.


    That answers "what." (none / 0) (#23)
    by oculus on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 09:59:01 PM EST
    Now, how about the "how"?  What would he bring to the Presidency that HRC won't in terms of implementing their mutual ideas?  

    I am not sure but (none / 0) (#25)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 10:01:12 PM EST
    Paul's post provides a potential road map.

    The other side of the coin is that Hillary seems to me to be in a very difficult position to get anything done - the Media hates her, the GOP will NOT work with her and many Dems will not either. I think she starts from a weakened position as Obama does not.


    Rosenberg is too controversial to (5.00 / 1) (#39)
    by oculus on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 10:05:17 PM EST
    access from this computer!  So I'll have to catch up with his excellent ideas later.  

    I do think HRC's campaign has opened a few eyes, hopefully including some in Congress, that she is a competent, well-spoken politician of limitless energy, as oppose to, say, a monster.  


    She has opened mine in many ways (5.00 / 3) (#46)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 10:08:20 PM EST
    She is a much better candidate than I ever imagined she would be.

    She is much more appealing than I could ever imagine.

    I always liked her but I thought she was nothing compared to Bill as a pol. I think she is far more liberal than people could possibly understand but it has come through despite the Penn mistake of the past 6 years.

    If one thing has happened in this campaign it is this - Hillary Clinton has proven her mettle.

    For all my support of Obama, he still has not imo.

    that is why the next 8 weeks are GOOD for all of us - let's see what Obama is made of.


    If this is really true. . . (5.00 / 2) (#73)
    by LarryInNYC on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 10:32:34 PM EST
    I think she is far more liberal than people could possibly understand

    then how can it also be true that you don't see a dime's worth of difference between her and Obama on policy?  Obama's natural inclinations are pretty clearly to the center.


    you go, Larry. Feet to the fire. (none / 0) (#77)
    by oculus on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 10:37:19 PM EST
    The time has come.

    marshmallows! (none / 0) (#81)
    by Kathy on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 10:40:24 PM EST
    Have you not heard, Obama is the most liberal (none / 0) (#139)
    by JoeA on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 05:09:58 AM EST
    senator according to National Journal! [snark]

    agree (5.00 / 1) (#104)
    by DandyTIger on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 11:47:44 PM EST
    on the mantle issue of Hillary and its surprise for many and about Obama still to prove his. I agree completely that the rest of this race will be really good for us all and will allow the candidates to really prove themselves. I'm a Hillary supporter, but I have an open mind. I'd love to be able to like and respect Obama as a policy maker (as I do his campaigning ability).

    Actually, on further reflection, this is (5.00 / 1) (#110)
    by oculus on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 12:13:00 AM EST

    Clinton has gotten a lot done (5.00 / 4) (#71)
    by Kathy on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 10:31:50 PM EST
    if you look at it--she even got Newt Gingrich to agree with her.  She has a substantial (compared to Obama) history of getting folks to work together and she has a chunk of the military behind her.

    I don't want to sound like a shill here (though you know I loves me some Clinton) but I think that folks should look closely at what is being said in this thread about how many people have actually "seen" Clinton for who she is rather than what the rhetoric has been lo these many years and realize that she is actually a d*mn good politician who has helped a lot of people.

    People act like everyone needs to love the president.  Lots of people loved Reagan, but lots of people reviled him.  My great grandfather would have killed Kennedy with his bare hands.  Go back to his great grandpappy and you'll find an FDR-hating lunatic (I still have his treatise on "WPA: We Piddle Around").  Lincoln's election led to a full-scale war.

    Some of our best presidents have had supporters who are as fierce as their detractors.

    You don't get stuff done by being everybody's friend.  You accomplish things by showing people that you're willing to work hard and fight for your ideals.  That's exactly what Clinton has done in the senate, and folks on both side of the aisle say that.


    Why are we so convinced but so (5.00 / 1) (#74)
    by oculus on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 10:34:28 PM EST
    unable to convince others?  

    I think perhaps (none / 0) (#79)
    by Kathy on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 10:39:15 PM EST
    the people who agree with us probably have more productive things to do with their time than spend hours on the internet...

    (or we are just smarter than everybody else, which actually makes a heck of a lot more sense)


    I'll drink to that! (none / 0) (#144)
    by kenoshaMarge on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 06:29:48 AM EST
    Check their negatives (5.00 / 2) (#116)
    by echinopsia on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 12:36:37 AM EST
    Everybody* keeps saying hers are so high, but they are on a par with Obama's and have been for some time.

    Rasmussen Reports

    Today's unfavorables: Clinton 48% Obama 46%

    Margin of error is +/- 4%

    They've been virtually tied on negatives for some time now.

    *Except those who keep track of these things.


    That's assuming a lot. (none / 0) (#42)
    by phat on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 10:06:08 PM EST
    Will they work with Obama?

    I don't really buy that.

    But maybe he truly can transcend partisanship.


    Read Rosenberg (5.00 / 1) (#49)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 10:09:06 PM EST
    He has a theory that it's a demon . . . (Sorry Buffy reference.

    I haven't had cable in a long time. (none / 0) (#133)
    by phat on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 01:22:32 AM EST
    I don't watch a lot of American TV (I know, I know, that's some sort of pretention). But I really haven't the slightest idea what this means.

    I have a guess...



    It could be bunnies n/t (none / 0) (#154)
    by Mary Mary on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 08:47:25 AM EST
    Get more respect for community (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by MarkL on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 09:52:48 PM EST
    organizers, for starters.

    Not from Stellaaa. (none / 0) (#55)
    by oculus on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 10:12:46 PM EST
    Here's a few Obama accomplishments that (none / 0) (#141)
    by JoeA on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 05:34:00 AM EST
    will be nice and that will either not happen with Hillary,  or where she is definitely not as solid.

    1.  Get out of Iraq

    2.  Not invade Iran

    3.  Relax the insane US policy towards Cuba

    4.  Stop equivocating and ban Torture,  full stop.  No get out clauses,  or fudging on the issue,  but just stop it.

    5.  Massively expand the playing field and get more and better democrats elected.  e.g. See Bill Foster in Illinois winning Hasterts old seat in a very red district.  Foster ran as a proud Democrat  on a largely very liberal platform and rode on a wave of Obama's popularity in what is territory traditionally hostile to Democrats.  He is not a Blue Dog or a DLC type democrat.

    I'll bet you now - (none / 0) (#155)
    by MMW on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 08:54:15 AM EST
    He gets none of that done. I've got $5 in my pocket right now - It's slated for breakfast but I'll forgo it.

    He is a hell of alot more likely to do all of them (none / 0) (#156)
    by JoeA on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 10:16:11 AM EST
    than Hillary is.

    She doesn't seem to know whether she is for or against torture.

    She voted for the Iraq war resolution.

    She voted for the resolution on Iran.  And anyone who doesn't see that Hillary has "anti-coattails", especially in red and purple areas of the country just isn't looking hard enough.


    Preznit Obama will Accomplish Nothing (5.00 / 2) (#76)
    by pluege on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 10:37:01 PM EST
    If Obama were to become POTUS he will have no constituency. He's run this ridiculous campaign courting republicans, who will have nothing to do with him as POTUS, and he will have not established  more than superficial support among most Democrats. He actually is running the Bill Clinton, not able to accomplish anything as POTUS campaign by choice, as opposed to it being thrust on Clinton.

    Put another way, what mandate would Obama win on: be nice to republicans?


    Great post (5.00 / 1) (#115)
    by facta non verba on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 12:32:00 AM EST
    The question is might it also be thrust upon Obama like it was Clinton. I dislike Clinton the first two years. Then he turned it around. I was forced to eat my words. Fine. He did a fine job until he caught getting a hummer.

    Clinton also had two talents. He could explain complex problems to any audience. And he had unbelievable instincts. Obama doesn't have that first talent. He can inspire but can he convince those not in agreement with him that his is the best course to take? If this campaign is any indication, that answer is no. He's lost the left of the party. How fatal is that is hard to tell.


    Whew, maybe its was just me ..everythings fine now (none / 0) (#3)
    by plf1953 on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 09:47:24 PM EST
    Please delete these posts

    Mostly meaningless analysis (none / 0) (#57)
    by frankly0 on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 10:15:29 PM EST
    Paul Rosenberg's analysis has the inherent flaw that they are based on polls 6 months removed from the general election -- and a good number of months removed from Obama being "defined" by the right wing.

    My guess is that Dukakis' poll numbers across the states could seem to have portended a bold, "revolutionary" change in the reach of the Democratic Party, if those polls had been taken when he was, say, 17 points up on George Bush Sr. in the national Gallup poll.

    Talk to me about his appeal after an actual election, and you can see in real, meaningful numbers what remains of Obama's appeal after absorbing all attacks from the other side, otherwise I will feel my intelligence is being insulted.

    Could be (none / 0) (#58)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 10:18:44 PM EST
    Roll of the dice in all this for sure.

    This is so infuriating. (5.00 / 3) (#64)
    by oculus on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 10:24:21 PM EST
    Hedge on universal health care, Roe v. Wade, gay and lesbian rights to equal treatment, Social security.  What's left:  getting out of Iraq as soon as possible, immigration, Cuba, what else?  Samantha Power already signaled he's not serious on getting out of Iraq.  What else?  

    It's still 'the economy, stupid!' (5.00 / 1) (#69)
    by oldpro on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 10:27:13 PM EST
    What will Obama do? Send his VP (none / 0) (#72)
    by oculus on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 10:32:08 PM EST
    over to Capitol Hill to say:  I agree w/Hillary?  

    I don't want Hillary to be his VP. (5.00 / 2) (#84)
    by Boston Boomer on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 10:44:04 PM EST
    He will make her do all the work while he takes the glory.  It will be the old story of the older woman training the young man who then gets moved ahead, while she stays in same place.

    I'm not sure I understand this. (none / 0) (#140)
    by JoeA on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 05:28:51 AM EST
    Ok,  on Universal Healthcare he is to the right of Hillary,  very marginally.

    Roe vs. Wade he is solid on despite despite the best efforts of the Clinton campaign to muddy the water.  In fact Illinois Pro Choice activists have come out to defend him from dishonest Hillary adverts.

    LGBT - policywise he is very similar to Hillary if not better,  only he has shown a willingness to actually confront homophobia.   i.e. speaking to large black audiences and in Black churches he has brought it up and chastised the black communities tendencies towards homophobia.

    Social Security -  he seems to me to have been solid on this,  only proposing as an option to lift the payroll cap to secure it's financial future.  I happen to think he is wrong on this as all that will happen is that when the next Republican president comes along they will blow the money on tax cuts again and pretend that the Social Security Trust Fund is full of worthless paper.

    On Iraq -  he has said he will get out,  and he was not the candidate who voted to go in.  Powers put just espoused a political reality, ie that his proposed timetable is to a degree contingent on realities on the ground.  However his campaign have reaffirmed that it is a policy commitment that he will get all troops out of Iraq.  On the other hand Hillary helped get the US into Iraq,  and her surrogates have been  suggesting that she will not get out of Iraq at all!  How is her position preferable here?

    I understand that you are a Hillary supporter,  and the rose tinted spectacles are on (and in fairness I'm sure I have my own pro Obama biases which minimise his faults and exaggerate Hillary's).

    However on all the issues you lay out above,  I think Hillary's are maybe marginally preferable on Social Security and on Universal Healthcare.  On Iraq and Iran Obama is massively preferable and given the evenness of the other issues that trumps all for me.

    Additionally,  on torture.  Obama is solidly and unambiguously against it.  Hillary has equivocated depending on which way the wind blows.  The very fact that she seems not to have the basic convictions that the US should not be torturing causes me serious problems.  I'm not sure why it doesn't for you.


    The Focus is Off (none / 0) (#66)
    by pluege on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 10:25:51 PM EST
    Obama is on-track to score a stunning victory over Hillary Clinton - end of story (so far).

    Everything I read from Rosenberg seems (none / 0) (#89)
    by RalphB on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 11:11:54 PM EST
    to be as much navel gazing as anything else.  This current "analysis" is more of the same.  Next week it will be out of date and worthless.

    Isn't Politics a roll of the dice all the time? (none / 0) (#62)
    by Florida Resident on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 10:22:58 PM EST
    Polls are snap-shots and until the day comes to vote we will always be just guessing.  Hopefully enough Americans will see the harm that will come to our Country with another Republican Administration and elect the Democratic Candidate.  But hope is the last thing to die.

    Not tough enough, eh? (none / 0) (#85)
    by JHFarr on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 10:57:12 PM EST
    There seem to be a number of people here who doubtless consider themselves "realists" knocking Obama for not being tough enough.

    Well, I dunno. Don't you think that's a lizard brain argument? I mean, were people scared of Abraham Lincoln?!? C'mon, gang, I'm surprised at you. There are deeper and much more powerful strengths than the Tony Soprano variety.

    And for the record, if he were mad at me, Obama would scare me to death.

    He's probably tough enough (none / 0) (#91)
    by RalphB on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 11:15:18 PM EST
    in that rat sneaky stab you in the back sort of way.  The only thing I would not do if he were mad at me is turn my back.

    That's pretty harsh! (none / 0) (#94)
    by oculus on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 11:27:50 PM EST
    It is and it's just a feeling but ... (none / 0) (#98)
    by RalphB on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 11:35:53 PM EST
    It's ironic how far some of the posters here (none / 0) (#146)
    by JoeA on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 06:47:01 AM EST
    have descended into full on Obama hatred.  And I really don't see what he has done,  other than run a better and more effective campaign than Hillary,  to deserve some of the scorn.  

    There is some smart arguments and reasoning from some Hillary fans,  but posts like this will certainly not do anything to convince any waverers.


    Abraham Lincoln (none / 0) (#99)
    by sancho on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 11:38:13 PM EST
    had the united support of his party, once he was nominated. He was chosen over Seward during the convention. If Hillary casts her support to Obama at the convention, then maybe he'll have it too. I doubt it. Lincoln also had a 3-party race in the general. Just b/c Obama knows where Springfield is does not mean his candidacy looks like Lincoln's.

    Lincoln (5.00 / 1) (#107)
    by facta non verba on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 12:09:09 AM EST
    was in a four way race in 1860.


    Lincoln won 39% of the vote. Douglas got 29% of the vote but won the fewest electoral votes. Breckenridge won 18% of the vote and Bell but 13% and yet he won 3x more electoral votes than Douglas.

    And the GOP back then was really still an offshoot of the Whig Party. Indeed, Lincoln was only the second ever Republican to run.

    I think it will be hard to bring the Democratic Party together. Too many raw feelings on this side and the Obamamaniacs (I don't like that word, but here it seems appropriate) will scream bloody murder if they feel denied the nomination. Clearly many will not vote for the other.


    interesting example for other reasons (5.00 / 1) (#109)
    by DandyTIger on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 12:12:57 AM EST
    The reason Lincoln got the nomination over the front runner Seward was partly because Seward alienated pats of the replublican party by first appealing to one part of the party, then shifting towards another part during the campaign making both groups angry and making the delegates worry.

    So maybe Hillary will be Lincoln in this case. Where's that constitution union party when you need them.


    Uh, yes, people were very scared of Abe (none / 0) (#129)
    by Cream City on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 01:10:14 AM EST
    Lincoln.  Elected by one of the lowest minus-a-majorities in history (and of course, not even on the ballot in many Southern states).  So scared that some states seceded even before his inauguration, as you may recall.

    And he remained scary to many throughout his administration, as it was a scary time -- I have read many newspapers of the time, and he was so widely hated in the North that it's amazing.  He could not possibly keep so many people happy much of the time; even many reformers dissed him because he was not a teetotaler!  And the war was not over in three months, as everyone seemed to expect.  It went on and on, and we can relate to that.

    And, of course, he had to institute the first military draft -- and that caused murderous riots (did you see "Gangs of New York"?).  No one else could have maneuvered somehow so well amid the turbulence of the time.  But he was not appreciated in his time, not until he was finally murdered by one of those deranged by the times.


    So you are urging patience re (none / 0) (#131)
    by oculus on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 01:12:08 AM EST

    Has it occurred ... (none / 0) (#86)
    by chemoelectric on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 10:58:23 PM EST
    ... that Obama may reach out to people because it is the right thing to do, and not expecting rapid success of any kind?

    I know I am being very Unserious to imagine a politician would do something because it is the right thing to do, but I'm going to make myself even more laughable by suggesting that one of the reasons the "valueless voters" are attracted to Barack Obama is because he is doing the right thing without expecting instant success or a flocking of religious wingnuts to the Democratic Party.

    Laugh at me, I'm a jester, and extremely Unserious.

    Hmm (none / 0) (#87)
    by chemoelectric on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 11:01:14 PM EST
    I'm having a rough day, neurological problems; I guess on re-reading that my point is related to the original point.

    Never mind.

    But maybe now one can see why my opinion of Obama has improved considerably in recent weeks.


    It's just that I want to be everything (5.00 / 2) (#93)
    by Florida Resident on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 11:24:42 PM EST
    to everyone thing that gets me.

    Yes, I know (none / 0) (#88)
    by andgarden on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 11:05:37 PM EST
    Obama isn't a traditional politician. He reaches out and tells people what they don't want to hear. He would never ever pander destructively for votes.

    You might want to add a link to (none / 0) (#90)
    by oculus on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 11:14:54 PM EST
    Obama's recent "reach out" to gay and lesbian community (with conditions).  

    meh (none / 0) (#102)
    by andgarden on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 11:40:58 PM EST
    The point is so silly that I don't think it really requires that much refutation.

    I still think ... (none / 0) (#92)
    by Robot Porter on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 11:22:59 PM EST
    the danger for Obama is McCain challenging him in the Northeast.  It's a money burning, message crimping nightmare.

    With the exception of (maybe) New Hampshire, there are no real danger signs for Hillary in the Northeast.

    If McCain plays Rudy McBloomberg up here, he could cause Obama some real damage.

    And watch McCain do just that.  He's going to tack farther to the left in some regions than anyone expects.

    The comments Ed Rendell made on MTP (5.00 / 2) (#101)
    by andgarden on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 11:40:16 PM EST
    have been widely ridiculed today, but I think he's fundamentally right. We can't have a candidate who loses PA, has to fight for NJ, and has no shot at FL. Can't.

    I know (5.00 / 1) (#132)
    by facta non verba on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 01:13:38 AM EST
    that we may have to fight for New Jersey is hard to believe but McCain can win it. Rasmussen thinks so. And I even think California may be a fight. If Hispanics break 50-50, that's a problem. I am deserting Obama for either Nader or the Socialist. SO many others are too. And with Vietnamese-Americans and Korean-Americans going for McCain, doesn't that spell problems? Obama won just a few counties here in California, six or seven. Look at Michigan, just two. Texas, Austin, one down around Big Bend, Dallas and Houston. He lost everything else. Ohio same sort of pattern. It is hard for people not to consider McCain when McCain starts the national security argument. Obama's saving grace might be an imploding economy but the GOP will prop it up as best they can. I honestly am hard pressed to see how he can pull it off. The Bradley Effect is a general election problem not a primary one. So many more issues I can mention.

    Define Northeast (none / 0) (#160)
    by CST on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 01:17:01 PM EST
    If you mean NJ, maybe, I'll give you the benefit of the doubt on that.  No chance for Mass, NY, Conn, VT, RI, or ME.  

    Also, McCain hasn't tacked to the left since he started running.  Has anyone else noticed that he keeps pandering more and more to the right wing of his party?  I don't expect this to change, and that will hurt him in places like NJ or california.


    Ferris Bueller's Day Off. (none / 0) (#96)
    by oculus on Sun Mar 09, 2008 at 11:31:37 PM EST

    The black vote and the business community (none / 0) (#136)
    by Prabhata on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 04:06:44 AM EST
    I don't buy the idea that the black vote would elect Obama in the general election.  For as much as the South would go Democratic if the blacks voted in block for a candidate, I think a Obama would tend to increase the white vote in the South towards McCain.  The 2006 senate seat in TN was won by a Republican.  Ford ran a conservative value campaign and garnered 95 percent of the black and 40 percent of the white vote.  I don't believe that in November Obama can get enough of the white vote to offset the white vote in the South.


    I read a comment from an Obama campaign operative that the attacks from HRC are as bad as what the Republicans will throw at them in November. I think the Obama campaign is in a state of denial.
    The Republican business community adds legitimacy to extreme views that will scare the hibi jibis of many white voters.  The WSJ has been tame in attacking Obama, but here is another business journal that might give us a glimpse what that community will throw at Obama in November.

    The IBD editorial 3/10/2008:
    "Revisiting Obama's Church

    Obama embraced more than Christ when he answered the altar call two decades ago at the Trinity United Church of Christ in Southside Chicago. The 8,000-member church describes itself as "unashamedly black" and holds classes in "African-centered Bible study."

    He also pledged to honor something called the "Black Value System," a cultlike code of nonbiblical ethics written by blacks for blacks. It preaches a radically exclusive theology that contradicts the tenets of Christianity.

    Since we first drew attention to the Afrocentric system more than a year ago ("Obama's Real Faith," Jan. 22, 2007), the church has removed it from the "About Us" page of its Web site, replacing the entire section with a glowing video testimonial from a white official with its parent United Church of Christ.

    But according to the original Web page, Trinity puts the "black community" first.

    Black members are encouraged to pursue education and skills exclusively to advance their community, and allocate their money exclusively to support "black institutions" and black leaders who "embrace the Black Value System."

    In short, it preaches from the gospel of blackness and black power. There's little room for white Christians at Obama's church. It attacks the pursuit of "middleclassness" (code for whiteness), arguing that middleclassness is a conspiracy by white leaders to keep talented African-Americans "captives."


    http://www.investors.com/editorial/editorialcontent.asp?secid=1501&status=article&id=2897845 19414202

    Correcting above (none / 0) (#137)
    by Prabhata on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 04:12:13 AM EST
    The sentence: I don't believe that in November Obama can get enough of the white vote to offset the white vote in the South." should read: I don't believe that in November Obama can get enough of the black vote to offset the white vote for McCain in the South.

    I thought IBD leaned Repub (none / 0) (#147)
    by Josey on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 06:56:37 AM EST

    BTD (none / 0) (#152)
    by Becki Jayne on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 08:19:44 AM EST
    I admire your honesty. Jeralyn and you keep me coming back for more. Thanks for your refreshing candor and thoughtful posts.