The Obama Expectations Game

By Big Tent Democrat

Via Mark Halperin, here is the Obama expectations spin:

The Bar for Clinton in Pennsylvania. With all eyes on today’s contest, one thing is clear: Pennsylvania is considered a state tailor-made for Hillary Clinton, and by rights she should win big. She has family roots in the state, she has the support of the Democratic establishment—including Governor Rendell’s extensive network—and former President Clinton is fondly remembered.

What you would expect. More interesting is the ongoing contest spin:

The Race Beyond Tonight

Tonight’s outcome is unlikely to change the dynamic of this lengthy primary. Fully three quarters of the remaining delegates will be selected in states other than Pennsylvania. While there are 158 delegates at stake in today’s primary, there are 157 up for grabs in the Indiana and North Carolina primaries two weeks from today. We expect that by tomorrow morning, the overall structure of the race will remain unchanged—except for the fact that there will be 158 delegates off the table.

Our strategy has always been to gain as many delegates as possible—an important point to remember going forward. If this race had focused on the popular vote, we would have campaigned non-stop in California, for example, and run up our numbers even higher in Senator Obama’s home state of Illinois. But we focused on delegates because, simply, delegates decide the Democratic nominee.

But even if we were to judge the primary on the popular vote, we anticipate having a comfortable lead when voting in the last nine contests wraps up in June. Senator Obama will continue to gain strength with Democratic superdelegates. He will maintain his position as the best candidate to take on John McCain. And he will be ready to unite the American people and begin a new chapter in our history.

(Emphasis supplied.) I think that talking point is a mistake. Not focused on the popular vote? Not focused on the voters? The will of the people unimportant? I would use this against the Obama campaign if I were in charge of the Clinton campaign.

< Midday: Wolfson Interview With Brian Williams | PA Predictions Open Thread >
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  • Display: Sort:
    Hmmm do we expect to lose the popular vote total? (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by Marvin42 on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 12:51:03 PM EST
    By the time this is done?

    Yes if (none / 0) (#2)
    by smott on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 12:53:39 PM EST
    FL and MI aren't counted.

    Sorry should have been clear (5.00 / 2) (#6)
    by Marvin42 on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 12:55:50 PM EST
    I meant the Obama campaign. And I think FL will be counted no matter what (in popular vote measures).

    Yeah, but clearly (none / 0) (#108)
    by Kathy on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 02:19:22 PM EST
    if they lose the popular vote total, it won't be their fault because they were playing by the rules and concentrating on delegates.

    They didn't run up the numbers in CA--you mean, the state you lost?  Please, this is right up there with "I know you are, but what am I?"


    Michigan (none / 0) (#142)
    by cal1942 on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 04:17:46 PM EST
    Why would you count Florida and not Michigan?

    You're being inconsistent here.  If Obama people are all about da roolz then why are you admitting Florida and not Michigan?

    Oh, I get it. Obama not on the ballot eh.  Is that the lame argument de jour.

    Obama took himself off the ballot (as well as my candidate Edwards)to taint a sure Clinton victory. Tough break; taking himself off the ballot and all. In a just world his cynical decision to drop his name should come back to haunt him.

    By downgrading the popular vote it appears to me that Obama's spokesperson is worried that he's going to lose the popular vote.

    Even if Obama goes into the convention with a slight delegate lead, without the popular vote edge he has no exclusive claim to the nomination.

    It would be most interesting if the Democrats only vote were determined.  Even now I'd wager she's ahead or very close.


    Frankly, of course they don't care (5.00 / 2) (#3)
    by andgarden on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 12:53:46 PM EST
    about the will of the people or the popular vote.

    But you know what, if they go with this, all discussions about super delegates having to vote for the delegate leader are off the table. They have ratified Hillary's argument for how the SDs should make their choice.

    That argument is irrelevant anyway (none / 0) (#89)
    by flyerhawk on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 01:56:10 PM EST
    The only delegates who will use the arguments of the candidates are the ones that were going to vote for those candidates anyway.

    The remaining undecided SDs will use whatever criteria they feel best helps them or least hurts them.  


    Sure sounds as if they are signaling (5.00 / 2) (#4)
    by athyrio on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 12:54:24 PM EST
    their anticipated loss of the popular vote...

    They're hedging (5.00 / 3) (#5)
    by andgarden on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 12:55:45 PM EST
    and by hedging, they lose the right to that claim.

    Wait, they didn't intend to win in California? (5.00 / 5) (#7)
    by Salo on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 12:56:34 PM EST
    what excuses for November are they cooking?

    Axelrod: "Well Ohio, Penn, Missouri, Florida, we never intended to win there.  Nevada, New Mexico and Colorado was all low level volunteer speculation. we still have the House and Senate--and lots of newly registered democrats to sponge donations off."

    It's a good point (5.00 / 2) (#8)
    by andgarden on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 12:57:43 PM EST
    how else would they have won California than by running up the vote?

    It's a bizarre election system (5.00 / 1) (#23)
    by Salo on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 01:10:23 PM EST
    that the Dems have created. Byzantines get a bum wrap. they had a very efficient military and political system.

    There shouldn't be that sort of reward for coming in second.


    so THAT's where the racist Dems live... (5.00 / 2) (#21)
    by Josey on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 01:09:17 PM EST
    in states Obama lost. And their long held "racist gun toting Bible thumpin beliefs" will disappear by Nov and they'll all vote for Obama?

    >>>Axelrod: "Well Ohio, Penn, Missouri, Florida, we never intended to win there..."


    You can't get a more liberal (5.00 / 2) (#24)
    by Salo on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 01:11:33 PM EST
    multicultural place than Cal.  Mass is ethnically homogenous, maybe NYC completes but not very closely.

    Head hurts (5.00 / 7) (#47)
    by litigatormom on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 01:31:38 PM EST
    from trying to figure out how Obama's strategy for winning delegates was inconsistent with maximizing popular vote totals. (Except in Texas, of course....)

    It is a fair criticism of the Clinton campaign that it had had no game plan for a race that continued past Super Tuesday.  Clinton could have won many of the primaries Obama won between Super Tuesday and Texas/Ohio if she'd had an organization in place. In which case she'd be ahead in both delegates and popular vote. I'll be gnashing my teeth over that misjudgment for a long time.

    But it is also a fair criticism of the Obama campaign that he seems not to be able to answer an important question: why, if Obama's nomination is so inevitable, is he having so much trouble sealing the deal?  Obama this morning replied, "Does anyone seriously think I won't win California or New York?," when asked about his track record in big state primaries. That's not an answer.  Notice he didn't ask that question about Florida.  Or Michigan. Or Texas. Or Ohio.  Yeah, ANY Democrat is likely to win New York and California. But ANY Democrat needs a lot more than that to win, and Obama has affirmatively HURT his ability to carry those states in the fall.

    Hence, my need to go downstairs and purchase another bottle of Alleve.


    forget CA and NY Obama... (5.00 / 3) (#54)
    by Salo on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 01:33:57 PM EST
    ...what about Penn, Ohio and Missouri and Michigan?  And while we are at it, New Jersey and New Hampshire?

    At the margins (5.00 / 2) (#59)
    by Steve M on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 01:37:04 PM EST
    there are certainly ways the delegate race makes a difference.  I don't think it's a very big difference at the end of the day.

    For example, most states allocate some of their delegates by congressional district.  The dumb part of this is that individual districts either assume heightened significance or no significance at all solely by virtue of whether they have an odd or an even number of delegates.

    If a district has 4 delegates, for example, they are going to be split 2-2 unless one candidate manages to pull in 62.5% of the vote.  On the other hand, if a district has 3 delegates, they're going to be split 2-1 even if one candidate gets 50.01% of the vote.  So if these districts might "swing" to either candidate, the delegate-focused campaign is going to ignore the one with 4 delegates, and hire extra staff and spend extra ad money in the district with 3 delegates, just because 3 is an odd number and thus a delegate is actually up for grabs in that district.

    Does it make a huge difference in terms of the popular vote result?  I really doubt it does.  But this is just one of the oddities of the delegate system.


    Methinks (5.00 / 1) (#115)
    by cawaltz on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 02:29:15 PM EST
    His arrogance may very well be his undoing. While NY an CA are traditional democratic strongholds we are not going to be doing ourselves any favors by saying that it is unimportant to ppea tothese voters because they are traditionally Democratic. Someone please remind Dr. Dean and Senator Obama hat it is called a 50 state strategy for a reason. It does us no good to make inroads in the SW only to lose ground in our strongholds. I can guarantee that the GOP will be moe than happy to pick up any ball the Dems feel cocky enough to drop.

    i'm sure there will be a fp post at dk (5.00 / 4) (#51)
    by Turkana on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 01:33:09 PM EST
    about obama saying california is irrelevant...

    Alternatively (5.00 / 4) (#56)
    by litigatormom on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 01:36:27 PM EST
    explaining that Ted and Caroline deliberately withheld their stunning endorsements of Obama until too close to the California primary as part of an evil conspiracy perpetrated by the DLC.

    Heh (5.00 / 2) (#67)
    by Lahdee on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 01:42:47 PM EST
    Is that a flying pig I see off yonder????

    he he (5.00 / 1) (#80)
    by standingup on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 01:50:56 PM EST
    With an asterisk that voters are not to be confused with the moneyed elite in cities that should not be called by name.  

    LOL (5.00 / 2) (#119)
    by cawaltz on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 02:31:49 PM EST
    The irony police should have been notified a LONG time ago. Kos derides Clinton for calling caucus states unimportant and then buys off on calling Michigan and Forida irrelevant. Pot meet kettle. Go figure.

    what else are they going to say... (5.00 / 10) (#9)
    by white n az on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 12:59:11 PM EST
    It's simply a run out the clock strategy...deny FL and MI exist and say, hey, we lead...

    The clear implication is that Obama can't get beyond 45% in any battle ground state.

    This points out why Obama can't beat McCain in a general election and it is whether you accept/deny this concept that will drive the 'super' delegates.

    If it turns out, as it appears, that PA comes in just like OH, it's actually worse for Obama because he had 6 weeks, better than a 3:1 cash advantage, media advantage and still couldn't close.

    Expectations game...Kos & HuffPo are talking 20% - glad to see that don't let partisanship affect their conclusions.

    Yeah, upping their numbers (5.00 / 2) (#22)
    by BarnBabe on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 01:09:53 PM EST
    so they can point out if it is only 17%. Ha. Not falling for that one.

    Why shouldn't Sen. Obama win? (none / 0) (#133)
    by TalkRight on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 03:33:32 PM EST
    Hillary's response to the Obama's expectation game:
    But after the Obama campaign's "go-for-broke" Pennsylvania strategy, after their avalanche of negative ads, negative mailers and negative attacks against Sen. Clinton, after their record-breaking spending in the state, a fundamental question must be asked:

    Sen. Obama's supporters - and many pundits - have argued that the delegate "math" makes him the prohibitive frontrunner. They have argued that Sen. Clinton's chances are slim to none. So if he's already the frontrunner, if he's had six weeks of unlimited resources to get his message out, shouldn't he be the one expected to win tonight? If not, why not?

    Kos's tit-for-tat response to Clinton's response just doesn't make sense imo..

    We could say the same thing about Clinton's chances in North Carolina next week. If she's so viable and so much more popular that the supers should overturn the will of the voters, then she can surely win North Carolina next week, right? If not, why not?

    It's because of AA just in case Kos needs a reminder.


    exactly (5.00 / 8) (#39)
    by kempis on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 01:23:58 PM EST
    If it turns out, as it appears, that PA comes in just like OH, it's actually worse for Obama because he had 6 weeks, better than a 3:1 cash advantage, media advantage and still couldn't close.

    I just told some friends that the reality is that given all of his advantages--including the vote-depressing cries of "Hillary can't win! Hillary should quit!"--anything less than a win for Obama in  PA really, honestly IS a loss.

    If Obama couldn't win in PA with six weeks, loads of money, a state-of-the-art ground operation, and media-darling status, then it's safe to say that he has serious electability issues.

    Or rather, it's safe to say that if you aren't in the tank for Obama.


    Can't Close (5.00 / 4) (#46)
    by AnninCA on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 01:30:36 PM EST
    Is a very serious problem for him.  He dumped so much money into PA.  The polls showed it so close.  

    IF she pulls double digits, he's going to be answering a whole lotta questions about electability.  :)


    His whole GE arguement is gone (5.00 / 4) (#55)
    by ineedalife on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 01:36:05 PM EST
    Obama is whining that PA is Hillary country. Well he claims he is going to flip some red states this fall. Get a clue. The deck is even more stacked against him there. He is not going to get 6 weeks of undivided attention, a 4:1 spending advantage, and media adoration in any red state. And John McCain is not going to fight with one hand tied behind his back like Hillary is doing. He doesn't have to worry about "party unity".

    Unfair Campaign Fight (5.00 / 1) (#65)
    by AnninCA on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 01:42:36 PM EST
    Man, no kidding.  Everyone in the country is starting to sit up and take notice at just how tough she is.

    She has had to try to win the nomination by suckering him into negative campaigning so then she can step out of the "good girl" box and fight back and, by the way, don't be TOO effective or that upsets the boys.

    I never followed any primary this closely in my life, so I had no idea how nutty this could be.  

    Campaign but do it poorly so everyone is happy?

    Crazy, crazy.


    The democratic party in (none / 0) (#64)
    by Salo on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 01:42:36 PM EST
    places like Montana and Idaho must consist entirely of radicals and militants and cross over GOP refugees.

    Clinton probably thought they'd be similar in voting pattern to California or Nevada and thus failed to build a following there.  That's more or less her own fault for not doing her homework.


    After the conventuon (none / 0) (#75)
    by cmugirl on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 01:48:31 PM EST
    the Dem nominee will get a bounce - BUT the Republican convention is the next week, so it will be short-lived. AND, as the Dem convention is the last week of August, when people are in the last through of summer vacation, or more likely, trying to get kids ready for school (if they aren't there already) are lots of people going to be watching?

    The Republican convention, while it starts on Labor Day (which is bad), will be aired the first week of September, by which time, many people will be back on a "normal" schedule after vacation and when all the kiddies are back in school. McCain should get a bounce from here as well.

    Then, it's only 8 weeks until election day.  If Obama is the nominee and continues to have more Obama-dramas, he isn't going to have days or weeks to clarify WORM. McCain may talk without thinking sometimes, but that's why people think he's a straight shooter.  He will be able to come back with snappy rebuttals to Obama, and those will make great soundbites.

    Obama the nominee will never be able to recover.


    lol!~ "Obama-dramas" n/t (none / 0) (#83)
    by nycstray on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 01:51:39 PM EST
    white in az (none / 0) (#144)
    by cal1942 on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 04:31:25 PM EST
    just reminded me of election night in Michigan when a local TV reporter said (paraphrase): 'they say that if Clinton doesn't get 60% of the vote it would be a loss'

    Just who is "they" and how did "they" come up with 60%?

    It sounded so much like a number pulled out of someone's ass.


    well if it's a loss for Clinton... (none / 0) (#146)
    by white n az on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 06:30:56 PM EST
    why are they refusing to seat the delegates that she 'lost' ?

    Oh boy. (5.00 / 7) (#10)
    by madamab on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 12:59:24 PM EST
    They tried their darndest in CA, IIRC. This is more revisionist history by the Obama campaign.

    He's definitely running out the clock (5.00 / 6) (#14)
    by smott on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 01:02:38 PM EST
    Don't talk to the press, don't debate, hope not to get creamed in PA.

    Probably a good strategy for the primary, but cannon fodder for the general.

    BTW just got back from voting here in Pittsburgh. My polling place happens to be a retirement home in a white middle class neighborhood. Not one Obama sign anywhere, all Hillary.

    However they told me turnout was slow, they expected more thus far esp as the weather is georgeous today.


    It is about work (5.00 / 5) (#36)
    by BarnBabe on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 01:22:43 PM EST
    My mind might be on the election and on TL, but my salary says I need to be at my desk. Until 4:30.Ha. But, my neighbor called and was like a kid who made potty the first time. She calls up and doesn't even say Hello. She is, "WE VOTED". She and her husband were Republicans who went and changed to Dems for Hillary. They also ran into another friend who was home from work and did not plan on voting at all but decided that her girl needed more votes. BTW, this has been a long 6 weeks but you know, it sure slowed down everything including mob rule so people could catch up with what is happening. After today we hand it over to the remaining states. It sure has been a fun ride here. And Rendell for VP is a good idea. He's pretty sharp.

    That's Great! (5.00 / 1) (#49)
    by AnninCA on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 01:32:31 PM EST
    I agree with you that the 6 weeks allowed the voters to really catch up.  No more "Yes We Can!"  The contrasts between what she's offering and his image are sharper now than they have been.  People know what's what.

    As Hillary said ," Yes, we will " (none / 0) (#86)
    by jawbone on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 01:53:08 PM EST
    bests "Yes, we can."

    Yes We Can has been replaced by Oh No He Didn't! (none / 0) (#96)
    by Ellie on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 02:02:09 PM EST
    And just in a matter of weeks!

    "We would have campaigned all-out in - (5.00 / 13) (#11)
    by liminal on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 01:00:51 PM EST
    - California."  I thought that they DID campaign all-out in California.  

    They thought they were going to win.  Has the Obama campaign forgotten the massive, happy rallies with Oprah and Caroline Kennedy and Michelle Obama where Maria Shriver came out and endorsed him and they were totally going to win California by the thousands because Hispanics in SoCal supposedly have framed portraits of Ted Kennedy on their walls the way the Irish in Boston have framed portraits of JFK next to the pope with a piece of palm tucked behind them?  

    Or did I create those rallies out of whole-cloth fever dreams?

    They Didn't Have Obama Spend Every Day Here (5.00 / 3) (#18)
    by BDB on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 01:08:24 PM EST
    Because if they had, he would've lost MA, NJ, NY, etc., by even larger margins.  And still there was no guarantee he would've won California.

    So I guess they're not expecting a big win tonight, huh?  

    BTW, any decent sized win tonight for Clinton is likely to put her into the popular vote lead if FL & MI are counted.


    I'm starting to get the feeling that (5.00 / 0) (#33)
    by americanincanada on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 01:17:43 PM EST
    they aren't even expecting it to be close.

    Didn't Obama already leave (none / 0) (#40)
    by stillife on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 01:24:34 PM EST
    PA?  Those internal polls must be pretty bad.

    expectations game (5.00 / 1) (#63)
    by diplomatic on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 01:40:40 PM EST
    Well if he wins he can definitely get a lot of mileage of being surprised having left PA.

    Ugh, but that sure does send a bad message to his campaign staff, supporters, and voters in Pennsylvania that after weeks of pretending to care about them and their state he just leaves without even saying thank you.

    Regardless of what the intended strategy of leaving early was, it gives an impression that he just doesn't care anymore about PA and that happens to coincide with his press release that popular vote is irrelevant to him.


    Not only did he not say thank you, (5.00 / 2) (#106)
    by FlaDemFem on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 02:11:14 PM EST
    his campaign comes out with a statement saying that the votes he begged for don't really matter. If I were an PA undecided, that right there would put me squarely in Hillary's camp. She is still in PA, and she obviously thinks their votes are worth something.

    SOP (none / 0) (#68)
    by AnninCA on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 01:43:57 PM EST
    Don't they both do that?  Whomever is expected to win stays.  The other one leaves.

    I don't think so with such a big state (none / 0) (#72)
    by diplomatic on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 01:46:05 PM EST
    Obama stayed in Texas, for example....

    I think they thought (5.00 / 1) (#87)
    by Marvin42 on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 01:55:29 PM EST
    He would win TX, and that event looked almost like a coronation set up. Too much production for a loss.

    And tonight can't be a coronation? (5.00 / 2) (#97)
    by diplomatic on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 02:02:19 PM EST
    If Obama has any chance at all of winning PA tonight, he should have stayed so he could give his "I'm the presumptive nominee" speech.

    It just seems that a lot more focus and importance was riding on Pennsylvania and unlike March 4th, there is only one state that is voting today.

    One more point:  And he should be looking ahead to the general election and trying to mantain a good relationship with the voters of Pennsylvania.  He would need to win this crucial swing state and after the "cling" comments and other controversies, he would have been wise to make an extra effort and show some humility and grace for this vote.

    I'm just not seeing him "rise above" what a regular politician would do in these situations and that's a big part of what his campaign is based on.


    Thank Zolgby (none / 0) (#105)
    by AnninCA on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 02:10:58 PM EST
    for that fiasco.  Obama had his super-delegates all lined up, ready to trounce.  LOL*

    Have you been to Obama's website lately? (none / 0) (#141)
    by reynwrap582 on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 04:15:52 PM EST
    The big glowy blue map says that Obama thinks he won there.

    He is going to be speaking tonight (5.00 / 1) (#73)
    by litigatormom on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 01:46:55 PM EST
    in Indiana.  So yeah, I don't think he's not expecting an actual/moral victory in PA, otherwise he'd be in PA to savor it.

    On the other hand, his campaign did throw out a "we're going to do better than you think" this morning.  All the mornining schmundits gobbled this up and spit it out in the hopes that it would affect last minute decisions. As Obama intended.  


    Timing (none / 0) (#116)
    by AnninCA on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 02:29:40 PM EST
    is all.  If they cut away from her speech to his, that will be the last straw!  I'll.....I'll.....I'll

    Well, I'll sign some petition or another.  :)  


    Expected expectations (none / 0) (#92)
    by AlSmith on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 01:58:49 PM EST

    I think The Corner had it right:
    I thought Barack Obama and his campaign have done an excellent job of raising expectations for Hillary Clinton in Pennsylvania; you're hearing a lot of "she has to win by double digits or she's in real trouble" buzz.

    I know all the counter arguments- she got the votes from the 'wrong type' of people etc- but still its amazing that you can define someone beating you in ever state as a victory.

    So far all Obama seems to be able to do is take $200M+ from the black community and ship it to media  companies. The press then says what a great guy he is and the poor people thank him for taking  their cash. Yeeesh.


    nah, those expectations write themselves (none / 0) (#99)
    by diplomatic on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 02:04:51 PM EST
    This isn't an instance of raising false expectations for Clinton.  Reality is that she does need to win by double digits.  

    expectations (none / 0) (#130)
    by echinopsia on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 03:23:39 PM EST
    Backwards and in high heels

    I've been watching politics since 1972. And this is the first campaign I've ever seen where winning wasn't enough. I'm using, of course, the quaintly old-fashioned definition of winning, which means "getting more votes than your opponent."

    The new-fashioned definition of winning, as applied exclusively to Hillary Clinton, means something like "getting n more votes than Obama, where n represents an unattainably high number extracted from the asses of the media/Blogger Boyz in order to make sure that Barry is never seen to be losing."

    This morning the LA Times did its bit with an article helpfully entitled, "What to look for in the Pennsylvania primary." (A pony?) Bottom line: unless Hillary wins by at least 10%, she will have lost!

    How did they come up with 10%? It's simply the biggest number they think they can get away with. In the past n for Pennsylvania has been much higher -- I've seen 20, 30% bandied about -- but that figure's been reduced by the fact that everybody knows Barry's spending something like a quadrillion dollars a day in campaign ads. The ass-extractors have got to at least give a nod in that direction in order to maintain credibility with the other ass-extractors. So now we're down to 10%.



    I dont get it (none / 0) (#136)
    by AlSmith on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 03:50:16 PM EST

    So if HRC wins all the remaining contests by 7-9% its self evident that she shouldn't be the nominee?

    Thats a hell of a way to run a railroad.


    She needs it in Pennsylvania because (none / 0) (#145)
    by diplomatic on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 04:45:00 PM EST
    of the popular vote margin.  This was/is her best chance to cut into those numbers.  The rest of the way single digit wins will probably be just fine.  And I do believe she should be the nominee.  I'm a big supporter.  In fact, if this was winner take all, she'd already be the nominee.

    Revisionist history (5.00 / 6) (#25)
    by stillife on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 01:11:55 PM EST
    I thought they were going to win CA too, with all the hype and celebrity endorsements.  But since they didn't win, it means they didn't really try.  

    New Obama Rule:  He could win any state if he really tried.  Sometimes, he just chooses to kick back and conserve his energy.

    This excuse makes no sense, especially coming from the Obama campaign with its huge resources.

    Sheesh!  It reminds me of a kid making excuses after losing a game.


    Same Argument Used in 2000 by Bush (5.00 / 2) (#12)
    by Dan the Man on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 01:01:11 PM EST
    and Republicans after he lost the popular vote.  It applies even less here though.

    I remember in California that they (5.00 / 4) (#13)
    by athyrio on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 01:02:01 PM EST
    brought out Oprah and Teddy Kennedy, etc...They tried very hard there IMO....Amazing....

    Yep, that worked well (5.00 / 1) (#42)
    by BarnBabe on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 01:25:20 PM EST
    Obama lost Mass and Oprah's ratings are down.

    Oprah (5.00 / 1) (#53)
    by AnninCA on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 01:33:36 PM EST
    has taken a BIG hit in ratings since endorsing Obama.

    Ellen is doing great.  :)


    Do people think Oprah's ratings (none / 0) (#79)
    by litigatormom on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 01:49:33 PM EST
    were affected by the Obama endorsement, or is it possible that after lo! these many years, people are just getting sick of Oprah?

    Honestly (none / 0) (#102)
    by cmugirl on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 02:07:10 PM EST
    I think a lot has to do with the endorsement.  Who is home watching Oprah at 4:00?  "Low-information voters" ( you know, because they work shift work or don't work professional jobs, so they probably don't have college degrees, right?) who happen to be a large majority of women.  Sounds like Hillary's base!

    (Remember a year or so ago, can't remember where it was - the Grammys or something - where Oprah BEGGED Hillary to run for President? Or I am just dreaming that?)


    She also begged Obama to run (none / 0) (#111)
    by litigatormom on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 02:22:38 PM EST
    I happened to be home the day she interviewed him during his "Audacity of Hope" book tour.  Michelle was on the show too.  Oprah was gushing at him and told him he ought to run for president, Obama allowed as how she wasn't the only one saying that, and then she begged him to declare on her show if he decided to run.

    Thanks, Oprah.

    P.S. I read an article recently about a secondhand shop across the street from Oprah's studio in Chicago in which the inventory is made up entirely of Oprah's cast-offs.  Suits and dresses in a variety of sizes, very expensive despite being "pre-owned."  I've been to "vintage" shops before, but there is something odd about rummaging around through inventory that comes from a single person, albeit a single person of great wealth and presumed good taste....


    What is the name of his spokesperson? (5.00 / 2) (#16)
    by ineedalife on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 01:05:53 PM EST
    Baghdad Bob?

    Correction (5.00 / 1) (#17)
    by Marvin42 on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 01:07:31 PM EST
    I should just make this a hotkey: nominee is determined by whoever gets 2024 delegates, not who has the MOST delegates. Please be factually accurate.

    2214 (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 01:14:41 PM EST
    I may be wrong (none / 0) (#35)
    by Marvin42 on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 01:22:05 PM EST
    But am I assuming this is with MI/FL? Because I think without it is 2024. But I am also used to being wrong a lot!

    With (none / 0) (#37)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 01:23:26 PM EST
    Technically (none / 0) (#38)
    by cmugirl on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 01:23:37 PM EST
    2024.5, so 2025

    Don't the delegates ... (none / 0) (#95)
    by Robot Porter on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 02:01:10 PM EST
    representing "Dems Abroad" count as 0.5 of a delegate?  So you couldn't you literally get 2024.5?

    You could be right (none / 0) (#107)
    by cmugirl on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 02:12:02 PM EST
    But there are 4049 total delegates (minus Michigan and Florida), and a candidate needs 50% + 1, so 4049/2 = 2024.5

    Wow. Really hedging their bets (5.00 / 3) (#20)
    by rooge04 on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 01:08:36 PM EST
    They pretty much are saying votes don't matter. Good strategy. Wonder how that will work out in November.

    this is going to be decided by superdels. (none / 0) (#34)
    by Salo on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 01:20:15 PM EST
    They can do what they like; for what ever reason the like.

    They hold a larger balance of votes than the pledged delegates.


    Not quite. (none / 0) (#43)
    by sweetthings on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 01:25:59 PM EST
    Supers are only 20% of the delegates. The vast bulk of delegates are allotted to the voters.

    The only reason the Supers have such a large say this time around is that Democrats at large appear to split down the middle.


    That's large by any measure. (none / 0) (#60)
    by Salo on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 01:37:31 PM EST
    The delegate difference between Clinton and Obama will probably shrink to around 2%.

    You're kidding!!? (none / 0) (#48)
    by rooge04 on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 01:31:56 PM EST
    My point is that it's not smart for him to claim this now. Not only will he dis-enfranchise the voters in MI and FL already, he'll get angry voters like myself who WILL NOT vote for him if he does not get the popular vote.  NOT a smart move.

    Wonder how Al Gore feels about (5.00 / 1) (#81)
    by litigatormom on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 01:51:12 PM EST
    the irrelevancy of popular vote totals?

    Al Gore (none / 0) (#131)
    by cmugirl on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 03:24:51 PM EST
    "Mr Gore refuses publicly to endorse either Obama or Clinton despite admitting both have sought his support.

    As a "superdelegate" he could have an important casting vote in deciding who wins the Democratic nomination in August, and Obama has vowed to include him in his administration.

    But the former statesman told The Sun he will not take up a formal role in government.

    "I don't intend to be a part of any administration," he revealed. "I've been Vice President, I ran for President twice, so I don't have any interest in being a cabinet member."



    The contest at this point (5.00 / 2) (#27)
    by Salo on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 01:14:24 PM EST
    is at the disgression of Superdelegates.

    They can legally adopt any criteria they wish to er...adopt.

    100 delegates based on this system isn't much of a difference--especially when the party charter holds a superdel balance larger than that.

    A digression of superdelegates? (none / 0) (#129)
    by cymro on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 03:23:16 PM EST
    It sounds as if you've invented a new collective noun worthy of this list.

    I think you meant "discretion", but I like digressions right now -- they help to pass the time until we know the results.


    Maybe the Obama campaign is taking a (5.00 / 2) (#29)
    by Anne on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 01:15:10 PM EST
    page from Zogby - you know, just be all over the place, so no matter what, they can say they got it right.

    As for the California remarks,  I think they may come to regret making them.  More WORM food.

    Sounds like (5.00 / 6) (#30)
    by stillife on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 01:16:11 PM EST
    they're conceding PA and setting their sights on NC and IN.  They would never be saying this:


    onight's outcome is unlikely to change the dynamic of this lengthy primary.

    If they thought they were going to win today.  They'd be writing "Surrender, Dorothy!" in the sky above PA.

    I'll take this as good news over any poll.

    To Paraphrase: (5.00 / 7) (#31)
    by blogtopus on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 01:16:29 PM EST
    "I meant to do that."

    Well (5.00 / 1) (#44)
    by Steve M on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 01:27:29 PM EST
    I am not sure Hillary can win the spin game unless she makes an effort to keep MI and FL on the front burner.  The media tends to pretend they don't exist - not just in terms of delegates, but in terms of the popular vote too, which is just silly - and I don't see her campaign doing much to push back against that meme.

    I also think the idea that the race would have been significantly different if it had been about the popular vote is pretty silly.  I'm sure there was some targeting of resources based upon the delegate race, but these things only make a difference at the margins.  It's laughable to claim that gosh, there were thousands and thousands more votes for us if only we had tried to get them.  Are we supposed to believe there were no more delegates for Obama to win in Illinois than the ones he got?

    I've wondered about that (none / 0) (#58)
    by smott on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 01:36:56 PM EST
    ...HRC's leaving FL/MI off the talking points. Wonder if there is something in the works.

    Or maybe it's kind of moot until we see what happens tonight.


    I think the point is (none / 0) (#84)
    by flyerhawk on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 01:52:25 PM EST
    that in a popular vote race, you can't eschew bit population states.  As a matter of fact the big states take on far greater importance.  Small states become meaningless.

    In a popular vote race even state victories are meaningless.

    I don't know if Obama would have tried harder in California or not.  I do think he would have tried a heck of a lot harder in New York and New Jersey.  

    Are we supposed to believe there were no more delegates for Obama to win in Illinois than the ones he got?

    He was referring to popular vote, not delegates.  


    Shrug (5.00 / 1) (#117)
    by Steve M on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 02:30:46 PM EST
    Big states have tons of delegates.  Even if you know you're going to lose California, you get more delegates if you keep it close.

    With as much money as Obama has raised, it's incredible for him to claim that he gave less than 100% in any race.

    You completely miss my point about IL.  Obama is arguing "we could have easily gotten more votes, but we only cared about delegates."  But if he had gotten additional popular votes, he would have gotten more delegates too; it's not like he won every delegate in the state of Illinois.


    Yes, absolutely right. (none / 0) (#138)
    by Emma on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 04:02:57 PM EST
    His argument only makes sense if the Dem primaries/caucuses are winner take all.  They're not.  They're proportional.  More effort = more delegates.

    My reality is... (5.00 / 2) (#45)
    by smott on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 01:29:34 PM EST
    He's got an incredibly thin record and is virtually un-tested, and it's a terrifying risk the Dems are taking if the Supes give him the nom.

    Whatever (5.00 / 7) (#50)
    by Steve M on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 01:32:33 PM EST
    Dude, there is a post right under this one about a very serious foreign policy issue.  There are three posts on that issue in the last 24 hours.

    But you completely ignore those posts, and instead hang out exclusively in the horse race posts, lamenting the fact that no one discusses the issues.

    Your routine is an exceedingly familiar one.  Half of your comments are pro-Obama spin, and the other half deplore the fact that Clinton supporters engage in spinning.  Here's a suggestion.  If you think issues are more important than spin, how about engaging the discussion in some of the issue-based posts on this site?

    Well (5.00 / 1) (#113)
    by Steve M on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 02:24:59 PM EST
    The best evidence of whether you genuinely want to discuss issues, it seems to me, is whether you ever discuss issues.

    I hope to see you in some of the more substantive threads.  If you dislike the horse-race stuff, why not just ignore those posts, instead of concern-trolling about how terrible spinning is?


    Well, you are sure giving it the ol' college try (5.00 / 3) (#52)
    by BarnBabe on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 01:33:35 PM EST
    I suppose I'd just truly LOVE to have some honest-to-god political discourse.
    We tried that, we were voted off the island. We like this island better.

    Debate (5.00 / 1) (#57)
    by AnninCA on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 01:36:55 PM EST
    There's a good discussion on her strategy on Iran going on.

    Most of us are just too nervous today to debate with any seriousness on issues.

    Today is the big one that we've been waiting for 6 weeks.

    Is it 8 yet?

    Ugh. Goldy at horsesass.org (5.00 / 1) (#61)
    by oldpro on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 01:37:55 PM EST
    says that my congressman, Norm Dicks,

    "Speaking before a crowd of about a hundred Democrats at a fundraiser yesterday, U.S. Rep. Norm Dicks (WA-06) reportedly said that if Hillary Clinton wins "big" in today's Pennsylvania primary, he believes the nominating contest will go all the way to the convention, but... if she does not win big -- and given the current polling he has no expectation that she will -- there would be no way the math could work for her, and he'd flip his endorsement to Barack Obama in order to help end the contest sooner rather than later."

    Not good, if true.  Norm and Murtha could start a Super tsunami...

    Similar statements from pols before Ohio (none / 0) (#70)
    by diplomatic on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 01:45:02 PM EST
    There was a Clinton superdelegate in Ohio who made a similar statement prior to that contest (right on the eve of the vote) saying she needed a big win of at least 8% to remain in the race according to him.

    Well, she went ahead and cleared that threshold.  THe media and the politicians keep moving the goal posts but Hillary keeps doing her best to score for her team.


    I agree (none / 0) (#126)
    by diplomatic on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 03:15:41 PM EST
    There is no doubt they both do it, but on balance I do believe Clinton has been the more gracious of the two in this campaign.  Considering Obama's status as the front-runner for quite some time, I would have expected something a bit different from him.

    Waffles was funny. (5.00 / 2) (#62)
    by Salo on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 01:39:09 PM EST
    Come on lighten up a little.

    i laughed at that animated Tuzla video.

    Upcoming spin: (5.00 / 2) (#66)
    by diplomatic on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 01:42:42 PM EST
    "We didn't really try hard to win Pennsylvania"

    Yep and I (none / 0) (#103)
    by barba on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 02:07:52 PM EST
    went to Rawstory and the Obama people  are pushing the fact of voting problems in PA.  Heard while flipping back and forth that turnout in some largely AA districts was very poor so far in PA.

    Low? (none / 0) (#123)
    by AnninCA on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 02:49:30 PM EST
    Fascinating.  I wonder if people just registered because it was easy and never intended to vote.  

    These reports have been wrong many times (none / 0) (#127)
    by diplomatic on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 03:17:00 PM EST
    I can't remember a time when these early turnout rumors ever turned out to be prophetic.  Well except maybe when Hispanics came out in droves for Clinton in Texas.

    OK (none / 0) (#132)
    by AnninCA on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 03:27:44 PM EST
    They have to say something, huh, to fill up the airways until the results come in.

    The Obama camp is now so worried (5.00 / 1) (#77)
    by Raven15 on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 01:49:21 PM EST
    ...that their spinners are trying to distance themselves from the importance of the popular vote tally, which they have said many times is "the will of the people." I think this is a very important shift in attitude and rhetoric, and I doubt superdelegates will buy the idea that their strategy and results would have been significantly different.

    Undercuts Obama's FL/MI argument, too (5.00 / 2) (#101)
    by xspowr on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 02:06:13 PM EST
    If this race had focused on the popular vote, we would have campaigned non-stop in California, for example, and run up our numbers even higher in Senator Obama's home state of Illinois.

    This simply repackages one of the memes propagated by Obama and his supporters trying to discredit the popular vote and validity of electoral results in FL/MI, namely that Obama did not have an opportunity to campaign in those states, and, of course, had voters gotten to know him they would have come to him in droves. In PA, however, after 6 weeks of in-person campaigning, around-the-clock advertising, fawning media attention, widespread name recognition, and every other conceivable advantage allegedly denied Obama in FL/MI, voters got to know Obama better than any Democratic candidate in modern political history and didn't seem overly impressed. Doubtful now that results in FL/MI would have moved much even with a full-court press from Obama (the same could have been said after OH/TX, but seems particularly glaring given the enormous resources and focus devoted by the Obama campaign to PA).

    Yes indeed (none / 0) (#121)
    by ruffian on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 02:37:34 PM EST
    Whatever result he gets in PA can be seen as the brst he is ever going to do in that demographic, using record amount of resources and against a supposedly 'unlikable' candidate.

    The NBA analogy is incorrect (none / 0) (#26)
    by Manuel on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 01:14:09 PM EST
    In the NBA, all regular season games have the same weight.  Not so in US electoral politics.  This contest is essentially a tie.  We are going into the playoffs and anyone can win it.

    Obama on TDS: fighting HRC is Spring Training (5.00 / 1) (#93)
    by Ellie on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 01:58:55 PM EST
    ... for him. Seriously. That's what he offered up as a compliment of his rival in a hard fought run to be the Dem nominee for President.

    She's just a good workout before he gets down to business.

    To flog the sports metaphor beyond that, what I hear is a scrub talking smack before he's even made the starting lineup.


    Flip flop (none / 0) (#135)
    by Davidson on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 03:48:57 PM EST
    Before he always maintained that the reason why he'd be totally prepared for the GOP in November was because Clinton threw everything she had at him (e.g., the mythical "kitchen sink" which amazingly left out Rev. Wright).

    No profanity please (none / 0) (#69)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 01:43:58 PM EST

    Obama Wants to Be the Matt Kenseth of... (none / 0) (#74)
    by Exeter on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 01:47:52 PM EST
    ...Democratic politics. (OK, obscure NASCAR reference, but Kenseth won the Winston Cup in 2003 with only winning one race, but racking up lots of points. The following year, NASCAR changed the rules to try and prevent something like Kenseth's win from happening again.)
    The problem for Obama, though, is that unlike Kenseth, he doesn't have enough points to win through the racking up points in races that don't matter route-- and according to the leaked delegate projection memo, he has known this since near the beginning of the primary season, so it pretty ridiculous argument for them to be making this argument at this stage in the game.

    You do realize (none / 0) (#85)
    by flyerhawk on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 01:53:06 PM EST
    that Obama has won over twice as many states as Hillary, right?

    State (5.00 / 1) (#124)
    by AnninCA on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 02:51:15 PM EST
    count makes me nuts.  He counts the Virgin Islands and Americans Abroad as states.  LOL*

    All 400 Dems in AK?

    He counts Nevada as his state because he got 1 more delegate and then turns around and counts MO as his even though she got 1 more delegate.

    I call it Obamamath.



    Actually Nevada ended up for Clinton (none / 0) (#128)
    by diplomatic on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 03:18:46 PM EST
    Both in delegates and popular vote when it was all said and done.  And DESPITE that, Obama still listed it as a win for him on his website map.

    If I'm wrong, someone correct me on that please.


    You're right (none / 0) (#134)
    by Regency on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 03:44:54 PM EST
    She's beating him in the delegate count in NV by about 200 now.

    Huh? (none / 0) (#140)
    by Emma on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 04:09:31 PM EST
    How did that happen?

    You do realize (none / 0) (#100)
    by barba on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 02:05:32 PM EST
    when you do the math, that neither one of them will win without the superdelegates going AGAINST the will of the people in their states.  This was a huge deal at DK when I still bothered with it.

    Now if you look at his SD list, you will notice that his SD supporters are NOT voting the way the people of their states did.  So what do BO supporters have to say about that now?


    I have no idea (none / 0) (#104)
    by flyerhawk on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 02:08:39 PM EST
    what this is supposed to mean?  Where did I say that the SDs need to represent the will of the people of their state?  

    Ok (none / 0) (#120)
    by cmugirl on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 02:35:50 PM EST
    He won more states - so what? He won more states that aren't going to matter a hill of beans come November.

    Obama supporter made point he'd won AL (none / 0) (#110)
    by jawbone on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 02:22:30 PM EST
    --and some Western state that hasn't voted Dem in a couple decades (maybe since LBJ's landslide).

    Ooooookay. Like that's gonna win a presidency.

    We need the big states and as many others a possible to win. AL is not going to go Democratic in the general election. Or MS. But, yeah, he won more states in the primary.


    Uh (5.00 / 1) (#125)
    by Steve M on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 03:05:52 PM EST
    The hypothesis is that the candidate who wins the primary in a given state will fare better in the general election than the candidate who loses that primary.

    Since the only way we could test that hypothesis empirically would be to run the general election twice, one with each candidate, it's not very surprising that there has never been any empirical evidence to support this hypothesis.

    What you seem to overlook in your overwrought comment is that there is no empirical evidence to disprove the hypothesis, either!

    The argument is untestable and is simply based on common sense.  If you disagree, that's fine, but don't act like there's some kind of mountain of evidence proving you right.


    OK instead of that meme use this (none / 0) (#143)
    by smott on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 04:25:29 PM EST
    HRC up 50+
    BO down 50+


    How's that meme work for ya?


    Huh? (none / 0) (#139)
    by Emma on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 04:07:30 PM EST
    What's the leaked delegate projection memo?

    My reaction was similar. (none / 0) (#78)
    by Same As It Ever Was on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 01:49:30 PM EST
    This was a blunder both for the reasons you suggest and because he is allowing the Clinton campaign to control his message.  It suggests they are concerned that the popular vote metric is driving the decision making of undecided super delegates.  I see know other reason for making the argument on popular vote.

    The Obama Spreadsheet (none / 0) (#82)
    by ruffian on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 01:51:32 PM EST
    That leaked Obama spreadsheet that came out a few months ago had Clinton up by 5%, so that's what their expectations were back then. I will make my assessment tonight accordingly.

    From Jerome Armstrong at myDD, since I lost my link to the spreadsheet:

    The Obama spreadsheet projection was that Clinton would win 52-47.

    Gravel? (none / 0) (#88)
    by Salo on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 01:55:46 PM EST
    he should get about 55 at least.



    "Nobody can win without superdelegates" (none / 0) (#94)
    by diplomatic on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 01:59:24 PM EST
    Look out he has a chance!

    I wonder if they envisioned... (none / 0) (#91)
    by diplomatic on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 01:58:10 PM EST
    when they were making that spreadsheet, I wonder if the Obama people thought they'd be outspending Clinton almost 3-1 in order to end up with that margin.

    Accordingly (none / 0) (#98)
    by standingup on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 02:03:22 PM EST
    anything under 47 would mean Obama did not meet his own expectations.  

    that's what I'm thinking! (5.00 / 1) (#118)
    by ruffian on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 02:30:49 PM EST
    So would anything over a 5% Clinton win.

    I think my husband pegged it fairly well (none / 0) (#90)
    by annabelly on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 01:57:31 PM EST
    in early March when he said this primary season is a game of streaks, and whoever gets the last streak will probably be the nominee. If she takes the next few like I think she could, that'll be her.

    Anyway, I did my part today. I voted early in Indiana. It felt awesome to cast my vote for her, and for so many women.

    the no-spin zone you're looking for... (none / 0) (#112)
    by white n az on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 02:23:46 PM EST

    spin has become the way politics is played these days...hard to get around it I'm sorry to say.

    I think to get past spin, one has to start with no-spin comments and in this case, the start was about spin...the thread is about, 'The Obama Expectations'

    Try as we might, we are incapable of making a silk purse from a sow's ear (not that we don't try).

    He's saying that strategy counts more ... (none / 0) (#137)
    by dianem on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 03:52:53 PM EST
    ...than voters. Axelrod has the best campaign strategy, so the will of the voter's doesn't matter. It may be a persuasive argument. After all, we let Bush have Florida even though everybody knew that more people had gone to the polls to vote for Gore. The United States does not have a very strong history of supporting "one man,one vote". Our entire system is designed to be gamed. Halperin is just saying that this is the way it is, and it's the way it should be.