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January 5, 2008
By: Kevin Drum

MISCELLANEOUS OBAMA BLOGGING....This is more a conversation starter than anything else, but I thought there were two especially interesting aspects of Barack Obama's victory in Iowa on Thursday. Here they are:

  • Obama won (or tied) among all income groups and among union households. This is really pretty startling considering Hillary Clinton's supposed strength among blue collar voters (not to mention all those union endorsements she snagged) and John Edwards' fiery working class populism. Ron Brownstein's famous column last year dubbing Clinton the "beer track" candidate and Obama the "wine track" candidate got a lot of attention, but in Iowa, at least, that wasn't true. Turns out that beer-chugging union members like Obama pretty well after all.

  • The turnout of young voters for Obama has already gotten a lot of attention, and deservedly so. After the 2006 election I wrote a post that was dismissive of the supposed uptick in youth voting, but a couple of critical emails prompted me to revisit the subject and I ended up changing my mind. It really did seem like there was a significant increase in youth participation, and it was all good news for Democrats.

    But beyond the steady shift of youth voting between the parties, the magnitude of the youth vote for Obama within a Democratic caucus was genuinely stunning. Among teens and twenty-somethings he beat Hillary 57% to 11%. Holy cow! And among 30-44 year-olds his spread was only barely less impressive.

    What accounts for this? Attitudes toward the Iraq war aren't substantially different among age groups, so I don't think that's it. And policy-wise, as everyone has noted time and time again, there's not really that much daylight between Clinton and Obama. Is it merely the fact that Obama is a young man himself? That seems too simplistic. Or is it the fact that young people, more than the rest of us, are tired and cynical about politics and really do buy into Obama's claim that he's a post-partisan candidate who can end all the nastiness and empty Beltway wrangling?

I'm not sure myself, but it seemed like a good weekend conversation starter. What is it that accounts for Obama's strength among both blue-collar workers and young people? And can he keep it up in New Hampshire and beyond?

UPDATE: After I changed my mind about the youth vote, I ended up writing an op-ed on the subject for the Omaha World-Herald. I don't actually know if it ever got printed, and in any case they don't put their op-eds online. But I've stuck it below the jump if you're curious to see what I had to say. It was written last summer.

Democrats and the Youth Vote

Voters, like other consumers, develop brand loyalties early in life. The World War II generation, which came of age during the New Deal and cast its first votes for FDR and Harry Truman, sustained a Democratic majority for decades. Likewise, the Eisenhower generation that entered the workforce during the fifties remains Republican to this day; the counterculture generation of the sixties and seventies remains a Democratic stronghold; and "Gen X," the famously angst-ridden generation that started voting in the eighties, continues to vote Republican as it enters middle age.

And today's youth? Surprise! It turns out it's a Democratic powerhouse. In the early nineties young voters began shifting rapidly toward the Democratic Party and haven't looked back since, even after a Republican won the White House in 2000. Today, twenty-somethings lean Democratic by 52%-37%, an astonishing advantage of 15 percentage points. It's a bigger gap than any other generation currently alive, and it's already showing up in the voting booth. Last year, not only was turnout was up, but young voters cast their ballots for Democratic congressional candidates by 60% to 38%.

All of this might be no more than a temporary blip if it were caused merely by a combination of George W. Bush's historically dismal disapproval ratings and dissatisfaction over a grinding, unpopular war in Iraq — both of which will eventually come to an end one way or another. But that's not what the evidence suggests. After all, the Gen Y movement toward the Democratic Party began in the early 90s, long before either Bush or the Iraq war had taken center stage. What's more, in a recent New York Times/MTV poll of 17-29 year olds, young people were actually more optimistic about the war in Iraq than the rest of the population. It's true that they don't like President Bush much, but the war really isn't the driving factor.

So what is? The most likely, and ironic, answer is a different war: the culture war that was originally stoked by the Christian Right and then taken up as electoral salvation by Republicans starting in the early nineties. Bush's chief strategist, Karl Rove, famously believed the Christian Right to be the key to victory in 2000 and 2004, and recent Republican leaders from Newt Gingrich to Tom DeLay have embraced it with open arms.

But young people aren't buying. Quite the contrary. For the most part, they're turned off by the sex and gender fundamentalism that animates so much of the modern Republican Party's social agenda. Polls show that most young voters are OK with abortion remaining legal. They have openly gay friends and are far more comfortable with gay marriage than their elders. They think that legalizing marijuana for personal consumption is common sense, not a sign of moral decay and the breakdown of western civilization.

So when Pat Buchanan declares that there's "a religious war going on in our country for the soul of America" — as he did in prime time at the 1992 Republican convention — or when Jerry Falwell goes on national television and blames "the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians" for bringing on 9/11, young voters cringe. And when the Republican Party embraces their agenda, they go off to vote for Democrats.

Over the past 20 years Democrats have found themselves consistently on the wrong side of conservative campaigns based on social wedge issues like these. But although these campaigns have produced short-term gains for the GOP, they seem to have done so only at the expense of long-term ruin. A generation that's more secular, more sexually at ease, and more tolerant is increasingly casting its lot with the Democratic Party and is increasingly showing up at the polls to prove it. And unlike changes in the voting patterns of independents or soccer moms or other favorites of the political sociologists, this change is likely to be permanent. If Gen Y acts like previous generations, keeping its political loyalties essentially for life, it means that the past 20 years have produced a time bomb: an enormous reservoir of new Democratic voters who are just beginning to flex their electoral muscles. 2008 will be their coming out party.

Kevin Drum 1:47 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (275)

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Comments

I know why the youth are excited about Obama...NO ONE has ever said those hopeful "we are all Americans" things to them before! They missed the last big bi-partisan American civil religion wave...they weren't born yet. They messages they have gotten have been divisive, negative, that being American means being AGAINST other Americans!

Barak is simply preaching American civics and representative democracy and good government...the same stuff that made (before Bush) the rest of the world look to us as a model--

I'm THRILLED to know that my kids have the opportunity to hear a REAL American stump speech! It works, we ARE in this together and Obama is simply stating the obvious.

Posted by: sbnative on January 5, 2008 at 1:57 PM | PERMALINK

I'm 28, and I have one possibility for why Obama may be picking up such a supermajority of the young vote: Bush-Clinton-Bush-Clinton. For my entire political life it's only been those two families in the White House, and at least I have vague memories of Reagan. I can only imagine its worse for those who are younger. Whether itsfear of dynasty or just because they think Hillary will result in "more of the same" I really think this is an underreported factor.

Posted by: Patrick on January 5, 2008 at 2:00 PM | PERMALINK

I'm 27 and I'm sick of being ruled by Bush-Clinton. Obama gives me hope for the future. Obama was right about the war from the start. He isn't just the "black candidate," he's the best candidate. No one my age really cares that much about race, anyway, that's for the older generations to worry about. Obama can appeal to moderate Republicans. He's running a positive campaign. He's witty and he's a great speaker, inspiring even when he gets rolling. I like his story and his family. He's a good man. A decent man. He's not been chewed up and spit out by Washington, Yet.

Hillary Clinton is too cautious and she's an opportunist. She acts like the country owes her the presidency. I'm sick of Bill Clinton. I want Bush-Clinton to just go away. The idea of America being ruled by Bush Clinton from 1988 until potentially 2012 is highly disturbing from a democratic point of view. Is this Pakistan or America?

Posted by: ? on January 5, 2008 at 2:01 PM | PERMALINK

Idealism and lack of realism put Kennedy into the White House, and it can put Obama there too. These are youthful traits. Let's face it, Obama is Mr Feel Good, not Mr Reality. Reality sets in and political wrangling end up being the truth that any one who wins the Presidency will encounter. I just hope that whoever wins has the moxy to stand up to special interests.

Posted by: Carol on January 5, 2008 at 2:04 PM | PERMALINK

“Or is it the fact that young people, more than the rest of us, are tired and cynical about politics and really do buy into Obama's claim that he's a post-partisan candidate who can end all the nastiness and empty Beltway wrangling?”

It is not the youth that is cynical. They are idealisitic and see there can be a better way. It is the establishment that is so cynical or resigned to the status quo that they are resigned to the status quo.

Compared to Little George, Clinton’s Presidency was stellar. But compared to a non-deviant, Clinton was uninspired and mediocre at best. At worse, he set the tone for dishonesty and cynicism that in some respects enabled this current crowd to say and do whatever they want.... “because they can”. As Slick Willie said regarding why he had his intern give him oral sex, “because he could” .

The impeachment was bull, but the Clintons raced to the bottom… “I did not have sex with that women”… “depends to the definition of what the word “is” is, the right wing conspiracy… lying to a grand jury, having sex with a young intern under his employ… a stained dress as evidence, DNA tests.

Whitewater showed that she destroy documents and used her and his influence for corrupt purposes. Remember the small investment that magically turned into a fortune?

And did I mention MARC RICH and cash for Pardons?

I can’t understand why so many are still so enamored with the Clinton establishmnet. Don’t we deserve a chance at something better?

Posted by: larry on January 5, 2008 at 2:05 PM | PERMALINK

Everybody's probably seen this, but:

The latest Rasmussen poll has Obama over Clinton in New Hampshire by a LARGE margin.

Posted by: Shlomo on January 5, 2008 at 2:11 PM | PERMALINK

What is it that accounts for Obama's strength among both blue-collar workers and young people? And can he keep it up in New Hampshire and beyond?

Good question Kevin. I think it's because Obama believes in the audacity of hope. His fresh face brings with it the hope we can live in a post-partisan world in the which the angry left does not engage in divisive screechy attacks against those they disagree with. Instead Obama's the face of unity. Liberals are desperately trying to spin his victory as a victory of liberalism but it is really a victory for centrism. People who are attacking Obama are just using transparent desperation tactics which the American people can easily see through. The self-destruction of the left and Hillary is hysterical.

Posted by: Al on January 5, 2008 at 2:11 PM | PERMALINK

It's a shame you didn't get a permanent gig at the OWH. It would have balanced out Kristol at the NYT.

Posted by: wren on January 5, 2008 at 2:12 PM | PERMALINK

People forget, that most of Iowa's college age youth, were probably home on vacation in this early primary and thus could be present for a caucus without distraction.

Posted by: Me2d on January 5, 2008 at 2:14 PM | PERMALINK

I think it's a generational thing. Don't take this personally, but it's time for the boomers to get out of the way.

Posted by: bs23 on January 5, 2008 at 2:17 PM | PERMALINK

the magnitude of the youth vote for Obama within a Democratic caucus was genuine stunning.

Kevin, people are responding far more *emotionally* to the candidates during this election cycle. In many ways it is a rebellion of younger voters against the entrenched boomer establishment that is obsessed with one or all of the following things: Taxes, 401(k)s, Sin. They are tired of the angry stern daddy bullshit coming from the Republicans, and they are tired of the cold screechiness of Hillary. I would say that even Edwards' angry revolutionary thing went over like a lead balloon to them. They are nauseated by angry, stern, cold, screechy, judgemental, workaholic PARENT TYPES.

Posted by: Doc at the Radar Station on January 5, 2008 at 2:17 PM | PERMALINK

What is it that accounts for Obama's strength among both blue-collar workers and young people?

Ehh, the whippersnappers beat me to it.

I think younger voters are perhaps just rejecting anyone who they see as being part of the system that's brought us to where we are now. As for the blue-collar workers, they may well be looking at what their support for the first Clinton garnered them: NAFTA and WTO.

Posted by: Jennifer on January 5, 2008 at 2:18 PM | PERMALINK

>"Let's face it, Obama is Mr Feel Good, not Mr Reality. Reality sets in..."

Once every so often a leader comes along who can actually arouse the people enough to affect significant change from the bottom up.

The last president of that caliber was Kennedy. Before him we have to go back 30 years to FDR, then another 30 years or so to when Teddy Roosevelt accidentally became president, then 40 years back to Lincoln.

So is Obama an 'generational' leader capable of catalizing change?

Dunno. But I sure don't see anyone else in the current pack who can do it.

Posted by: Buford on January 5, 2008 at 2:18 PM | PERMALINK

Carol above echoes what Gail Collins (www.nytimes.com/2008/01/05/opinion/05collins.html) and others are still saying: that Hillary is the grown-up in the race and that Obama supporters are nave if they believe his claptrap about bringing us all together. (To be fair, Collins is well aware of the cynicism and fatigue underlying the Clinton strategy)

I knew Obama in college and I believe that the key to his (I hope) ultimate success is that he treats his audience as if THEY are adults also, while Hillary lectures to us as if we must trust her that her crappy compromises are the best we're ever going to get. I'm a far-left liberal and the timidity of Obama's progressivism makes me nervous, but I'm with Andrew Sullivan and others who see him as the best candidate to send the baby boomers home after 16 miserable years of misgovernance.

Posted by: Happy Dog on January 5, 2008 at 2:25 PM | PERMALINK

I don't think it's necessary to be sure that Obama can change the "polarization and partisanship" to realize that he's the only one with any chance to do so. Older voters might be resigned to DC being a cesspool of inaction and acrimony, but younger voters are at least willing to give someone different a shot.

Say whatever you like about Clinton--and I like her--you can be sure that we'd be having the same fights on January 21, 2009 that we've been having for the past 20 years. Obama offers a chance to turn the page on all that, with another, smaller chance to electorally bury the modern GOP for a generation.

Posted by: Jayhawk on January 5, 2008 at 2:25 PM | PERMALINK

Like Whiskey Fire said, he's hot because he's a friggin' ROCK STAR! We are so going to get creamed in the general election if Obama is the candidate.

Posted by: LuigiaDaMan on January 5, 2008 at 2:25 PM | PERMALINK

"I think it's a generational thing. Don't take this personally, but it's time for the boomers to get out of the way. "

hard not to take that personal. do you say that to parents when they pay the tuition bills?

Was it a Brave New World where at a certain age people had to be vaporized for the good of society. Now there is a Social Security proposal that hasn't been floated yet. Forget the lock box, call it the pine box.

Posted by: larry on January 5, 2008 at 2:34 PM | PERMALINK

Does anyone really think that Barack Hussein Obama is going to carry a single southern state? If so, name the state. I like Obama but if he's the democratic nominee I don't think he'll win the Presidency because of the south. Maybe I'm wrong....any thoughts?

Posted by: Noel on January 5, 2008 at 2:37 PM | PERMALINK

The nation is stable, the economy is strong, and racism has faded to the point that we're ready to elect the first black American President.

Right?

The Democratic party has such strength and is so popular that it can feel completely confident with a black presidential candidate.

I wish it were so.

Posted by: Joey Giraud on January 5, 2008 at 2:37 PM | PERMALINK

On the GOP side, Ron Paul did best among young voters... interesting.

Happy Dog, I'm a far-left liberal more likely to vote Green than either Obama or Clinton. You sure you're really that far left?

Posted by: SocraticGadfly on January 5, 2008 at 2:38 PM | PERMALINK

Noel, I think if we had an Obama/Edwards ticket some southern states would carry, but I've got a feeling that this election may pit The South against Everybody Else.

Posted by: Doc at the Radar Station on January 5, 2008 at 2:48 PM | PERMALINK

Does anyone really think that Barack Hussein Obama is going to carry a single southern state? If so, name the state. I like Obama but if he's the democratic nominee I don't think he'll win the Presidency because of the south. Maybe I'm wrong....any thoughts?

Do you really think that Anyone (D) is going to carry a single southern state? John Edwards certainly isn't despite having been elected to the senate for one term from a state with a large number or transplanted, educated northerners. He had little chance of re-election in 2004.

Posted by: J Bean on January 5, 2008 at 2:50 PM | PERMALINK

We are so going to get creamed in the general election if Obama is the candidate.

I disagree. I could easily envision an Obama blowout victory in November, especially if its vs. anyone but McCain. But even so, I'd rather take my chances with hope and optimism than with the cynical, partisan divisiveness of the Clintons. Obama isn't perfect, but he embodies the spirit of why people decide to become Democrats. Democrats should thank Bill and Hill for their service, but it's time to show them the door.

Posted by: RyanMcC on January 5, 2008 at 2:50 PM | PERMALINK

"Among teens and twenty-somethings he beat Hillary 57% to 11%. Holy cow!"

Oh great. Now even the Dem blogs are pretending Edwards doesn't exist. C'mon Kevin. He best EDWARDS 57% to 14% and Hillary came in third with 11%.

Posted by: chaboard on January 5, 2008 at 2:51 PM | PERMALINK

As a parent of kids who are Obama enthusiasts, along with their friends, I think a big factor is that Obama takes youth seriously. He talks to them like they are intelligent, important people. There is no condescension. That enables them to hear what he is saying, and it makes sense and inspires them. And he asks them to be a part of it, tells them they have a role to play. He engages them.

None of the other candidates in either party is capable of doing this in the same way.

Posted by: Ann on January 5, 2008 at 2:51 PM | PERMALINK

Noel: Obama would win Virginia (which does consider itself Southern, but that's not my point), Ohio, and Iowa, and so will not need ANY Southern state to win. But he will have a shot at Florida.

Posted by: along on January 5, 2008 at 2:55 PM | PERMALINK

SG: You sure you're really that far left?

As you know, it's quite possible to be far left and make a measured decision to vote for a candidate who isn't.

Noel: Does anyone really think that Barack Hussein Obama is going to carry a single southern state?

Obama likely won't take a single deep southern state except Florida (which isn't a deep south state in anything but geography). And neither will Clinton or Edwards.

Any of them might take Virginia, possibly Kentucky and Texas if you're counting that as southern. Clinton would get Arkansas (she polls far better there than Huckabee), but I doubt she's unique among the big three in that respect.

Are you going to keep posting this question on thread after thread?

Posted by: shortstop on January 5, 2008 at 2:55 PM | PERMALINK

and that's not even to mention the fact that he would have a great shot at winning Nevada, New Mexico, and Colorado. 2008 Democratic Convention: Denver.

Posted by: along on January 5, 2008 at 3:00 PM | PERMALINK

I like Obama but if he's the democratic nominee I don't think he'll win the Presidency because of the south. Maybe I'm wrong....any thoughts?

Posted by: Noel

To me, the thing about Obama that is most impressive is that he can make voters feel better about themselves when they cast a vote for him. The decision to vote for him doesn't seem to depend on where he stands or the voter stands on the issues. It seems to depend on how the voter wants himself or herself -- and their country -- to be perceived.

While there are surely lots of folks in the south that are immune to such feelings, I think there may be millions -- especially amoung younger voters -- who will feel the urge to vote for him because it will be an expression of their faith in themselves and their country. I think Obama will be able to turn out younger voters in record numbers. And I think that will be the case across the south as well.

Put another way, a vote against Obama will seem to lots of folks -- even republicans -- like a vote against America. And I don't think that most folks, when given the opportunity, will want to vote against America.

Posted by: Econobuzz on January 5, 2008 at 3:01 PM | PERMALINK

I think it's a generational thing. Don't take this personally, but it's time for the boomers to get out of the way. -bs23

A letter writer in today’s newspaper, basically, had the same dismissive message. Since I belong to a group older than the boomers, the group that actually turns out for elections, how do young voters plan to elect Obama without the support of these two large age groups?

Posted by: emmarose on January 5, 2008 at 3:01 PM | PERMALINK

"Do you really think that Anyone (D) is going to carry a single southern state? John Edwards certainly isn't despite having been elected to the senate for one term from a state with a large number or transplanted, educated northerners. He had little chance of re-election in 2004."

That is simply not true. Even Fox News exit polls found that Edwards would've been re-elected easily.

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,137521,00.html

"In the senate race, the Republicans gained the seat formerly held by John Edwards. If Edwards had run for reelection against Republican Richard Burr, it appears Edwards would have held on to his seat by a 53 percent — 47 percent margin. Seven percent of those voters that would have voted for Edwards voted for Burr."

Posted by: chaboard on January 5, 2008 at 3:01 PM | PERMALINK

I am 36, aka Generation X, and I suddenly don't have an opinion, because Kevin just called me Middle-Aged. My brain just shut down except for a nascent desire to drink a lot of scotch. Does it mix well with Red Bull?

Posted by: BombIranForChrist on January 5, 2008 at 3:04 PM | PERMALINK

I'm in Hilary's camp but if Obama's the nominee I'll vote for him. My concern is that if Obama is the nominee all this happy talk about a black president seems really far fetched because racism still exists. Although people may say they like Obama, when they get in that voting booth I don't seem them marking Obama over McCain or Romney and the last thing I want to see is another 4 years with a Republican President.

From a gut standpoint, the Obama nomination gives me the same feelings I had when when Nader refused to drop from the 2000 race and we ended up with the Florida recount and Bush....

Posted by: Noel on January 5, 2008 at 3:06 PM | PERMALINK

I'm one of those under 44 people who caucused for Obama on Thursday night. What I've found is that a lot of older people just don't think that an African American can win in the general election. I don't know that the older folks are more racist than the younger ones (although I have heard astonishingly high use of the word 'Colored' this past month during political discussions and it wasn't in regard to Blue/Red); but I think that the older folks, think that the general electorate is racist.

Younger people have grown up with images of minorities in powerful positions. We've already experienced a Black president on 24. All the images of violent civil rights protests we saw while growing up were archival footage. Frankly, younger people are just more likely to believe that it is not only possible, but inevitable. Once older folks who like Obama see that they won't be throwing away their votes, they will jump ship on the other candidates.

Posted by: Dave from Iowa on January 5, 2008 at 3:08 PM | PERMALINK

Thanks Noel for posting just ahead of me to continue to demonstrate the thinking I was only trying to describe. You probably aren't even part of the older demographic group I'm taking about.

It reminds me of the times I've tried to get some project off the ground in a community or church. Lot's of people say they support it, but they don't want to put in any money or effort because they think others won't support it. Once you can demonstrate that others also support it, then there is a huge bandwagon effect.

That is just now starting with Obama.

Posted by: Dave from Iowa on January 5, 2008 at 3:15 PM | PERMALINK

I will say this about Obama's victory speech, which was great, I loved the fact that people in the audience chanted USA!!!! I thought that was so cool because you usually only hear that on the Republican side and we Democrats love the USA just as much as they do!!!!

Posted by: Noel on January 5, 2008 at 3:17 PM | PERMALINK

"
Obama won (or tied) among all income groups and among union households. This is really pretty startling considering Hillary Clinton's supposed strength among blue collar voters (not to mention all those union endorsements she snagged) and John Edwards' fiery working class populism.
"

Obama's a fine second choice (my choice is Edwards).
But honestly, the way the American poor vote is as strong evidence as you need of the truth of Gregory Clark's _A Farewell to Alms_.

Posted by: Maynard Handley on January 5, 2008 at 3:18 PM | PERMALINK

Put another way, a vote against Obama will seem to lots of folks -- even republicans -- like a vote against America. And I don't think that most folks, when given the opportunity, will want to vote against America.

I think you have captured something very important here. I think this is part of his great appeal. We all want to believe, and he really is someone to whom we can attach those beliefs with reasonable confidence. He is a candidate of hope - hope for US

And as David Brooks has commented Obama's past is rock solid, with a sure sense of himself and an inner core that is, yes, conservative in temperament. Compare that with the Clintons poll riding. Ugh.

Hillary is such a depressing candidate. Even though her positions and Obama's aren't that different, she is totally uninspiring. I will of course vote for her if she is the nominee but with distaste and in a depressed frame of mind. Can I please be happy about whom I have to vote for?

I just hope that Obama has excellent security and also that they replace his aging campaign 'plane with something of better quality. I'm praying.

Posted by: MCA on January 5, 2008 at 3:22 PM | PERMALINK

Friends and family in Australia tell me that when John Howard handed the reins over to Kevin Rudd it was as if a burden had been lifted. My aunt, who is something of a traditionalist, said it was as if someone had opened all the windows and doors to let the fresh air in after a long illness. It seemed to be the consensus across the political spectrum. Whatever reasons are given for Obama's popularity there is something in his freshness, his status as not-one-of-the-old-characters in the same old play reading the same old script. The conservative politics of the last decade or so have created a sense of stagnation and misdirection.

Posted by: bellumregio on January 5, 2008 at 3:24 PM | PERMALINK

Why did Obama win the youth vote by such a large margin?

Simple. Obama chased the youth vote (and every other demographic), while Clinton decided not to. For example, after the question-planting incident in Newton, Iowa (which involved a Grinnell College student and the student newspaper), Sen. Clinton chose not to visit Grinnell. In fact, she did not speak once in the county. Bill Clinton did and drew a huge crowd, but without the candidate ... Well it hurt her. She wasn't even viable in ward 1 of Grinnell (where the college is located). She similarly skimped on appearances in Johnson County (U. of Iowa), and got killed there two.

If she had won a few more delegates in such counties, she would have come in second. If she had really pursued the youth vote, she would have won it all.

The fact is, the Clinton campaign ran an incompetent campaign in Iowa. They only started to understand the caucus process late in the game. For example, they didn't seem to realize that rural votes count for more than urban votes. As a result, they wasted the early part of the campaign building the campaign only in the bigger cities. In the less populated counties, she had no real campaign infrastructure to speak of. Edwards and Obama had all the real expert organizers in their camp.

The Clinton campaign in Iowa was fat and lazy. They took it for granted early and then when things started turning they got desperate and the candidate started screwing up.

Although I am an Obama supporter, I have to imagine that the Clinton people have it a little more together in other states where the process is a little less idiosyncratic.

Posted by: jps on January 5, 2008 at 3:27 PM | PERMALINK

OK, I'm getting really tired of explaining this over and over, but here I go again.

Obama did NOT WIN the Iowa Democratic Caucus. He won some delegates, but barely more than Edwards or Clinton. Obama did not even win a plurality of delegates, it is almost a dead heat, 1/3 each.

So can you PLEASE stop repeating this fundamental misunderstanding of how the Iowa Democratic Caucus works? Sheesh, it's like listening to the spinmeisters at Fox news in here. Kevin, you are smarter than that.

Posted by: charlie don't surf on January 5, 2008 at 3:28 PM | PERMALINK

Young people are far more likely to have serve in the military if the worldwide cf bush has inaugurated goes into chain reaction mode. HC seems to want to finesse it. Obama calls bs on it. If I were subject to the draft, I too, would find Obama a more attractive candidate than Clinton.

Posted by: Pudentilla on January 5, 2008 at 3:29 PM | PERMALINK

I just turned 40 on 12/22 so I am well aware of the civil rights movement (via History classes and films like Eyes on the Prize) and today's world. I think being a Gen X'er puts me in an ideal position of knowing the past and being a part of the future. I like Obama but I really want a Democrat in the WH and I'm not sure if America is ready for Barack. Also, if Barack is our nominee you will see some really negative ads.

My mother in law sent me an e-mail she received that claimed that Barack was a muslim. I had to educate her on this but e-mails like the one she received will get worse if he's nominated. I really hope Barack is ready for a tough fight because it will get ugly..

Posted by: Noel on January 5, 2008 at 3:29 PM | PERMALINK

It's possible that a high turnout of black voters and moderate whites could swing several Border states to the Blue column. I'm think VA, NC,TN,MO, WV, any two of which added to Kerry's '04 totals would produce a win. If FL or OH were added that would produce a landslide!

Posted by: Andy S on January 5, 2008 at 3:33 PM | PERMALINK

jps is right, Clinton didn't run the best campaign here in Iowa. She didn't pay much attention to the rural areas until the Hillacopter tour in December.

But it's not either/or. She can't pull the incompetence dodge because she's running on her competence. She didn't go after the youth vote because her support was never going to be from there. Plus, too many campaigns have fallen flat expecting those young ones to come out and vote when "The Office" is on tv. It was a measured decision based on political experience--exactly the kind of experience she is running on.

And it was wrong.

Posted by: Dave in Iowa on January 5, 2008 at 3:36 PM | PERMALINK

Econobuzz,

Thank you for what you wrote. I was about to write a really angry post, but I decided against it. Even though I am an Obama supporter, I just HATE the rabid anti-Hillary screeds that we see so often from both the right (mostly) and the left (much less so, but it is still apparent). And I generally like all the Democratic nominees and will happily vote for them in November.

Your post brought up something that I have noticed while scanning Obama posters. None of them ever talks about his policies (with the exception that he would not have voted for the Iraq war). All they ever talk about is how he is the candidate for "change," how he is a "great speaker," and how he "doesn't condescend." But nobody ever talks about his policies and what he actually stands for. I mean, talking about hope and non-partisanship is great, but I am not sure how successful it will be as a governing policy(It might have worked for President Kennedy, but it was not effective for President Carter).

Personally, I am voting for Obama because I agree with him in general, and he has the best chance of winning the presidency. I'm 31 and I have spent most of my life governed by really corrupt Republicans (and yes, for all the people who think corruption started with Bill Clinton, the Reagan years were full of executive misdeeds and corruption - of course, he said he didn't remember [and this is NOT a dig at Alzheimers, which a relative of mine suffered from]). And I am just SICK of them, they might be nice people as individuals (well, most of them), but Republican governments are BAD for the country (sorry for the rant). Maybe Democrats of my generation (under 40) think that Obama has a better shot at winning than Hillary.

Posted by: adlsad on January 5, 2008 at 3:36 PM | PERMALINK

Look, is it in any way surprising that, in the Iowa caucuses anyway, if Obama won by 38% to 29%, then he would at least eke out a win in virtually every demographic -- again, in Iowa caucuses?

Do the math on it. If he wins 38% to 29%, then he got 30% more of the vote (38/29=~1.3). It would be very hard to achieve that margin without winning virtually all demographics.

The real question OBVIOUSLY is how well that underlying margin translates in other states under different rules.

What I think we can fairly say is that Obama will do much, much better with younger voters than older voters, where ever he goes.

Posted by: frankly0 on January 5, 2008 at 3:44 PM | PERMALINK

In general, if you don't understand the phenomenon of "all boats rising" in a surge of enthusiasm for a candidate, why should we take your opining seriously?

That's basically what happened with Obama in Iowa. Maybe all boats will rise in other states; maybe they won't. But that's what an intelligent person pays attention to.

Posted by: frankly0 on January 5, 2008 at 3:48 PM | PERMALINK

RE: "Does anyone really think that Barack Hussein Obama is going to carry a single southern state?"

The South is irrelevant, it's the past. Racism is irrelevant for the kids today, it's the past. The G.O.P.'s Southern Strategy is doomed, as it should be.

Any Democratic candidate will blow away any of the Republicans in the general election.

Look at the Iowa turn-out percentages - and Iowa is a swing state. If the Republicans get creamed in the Midwest (which they will), they can kiss the White House good-bye for a very long time.

(And by the way, the G.O.P. knows this damn well. That's why they're all retiring, and why all the money is going to the DNC.)

Posted by: A.T. on January 5, 2008 at 3:48 PM | PERMALINK

frankly0, from my ignorant perspective, Iowa caucus is close to the worst case scenario for Obama.

Posted by: Boronx on January 5, 2008 at 3:54 PM | PERMALINK

***

Posted by: mhr on January 5, 2008 at 3:56 PM | PERMALINK

I hate to be an old, cynical crumudgeon. I was not always thus; I was once a young, cynical crumudgeon (although I did vote for Jerry Brown back in the day). So here goes:

I am of Obama's generation, and I am not inspired by Obama's hope and change rhetoric, but repelled by it. It's vague and unconvincing. Obama is vague and unconvicing. His record as a state legislator and as a Senator is unconvincing. I think he's selling the same kind of snake oil that my generation sold to itself about, for instance, the dot-com bubble. I feel like I know this man and I have *never* liked him.

I welcome the youth vote and the massive trunout in Iowa. That's good for democracy, and good for Democrats, and we've got to elect a Democratic administration even if that means Obama ... or even it that means a cabbage. But my explanation for his appeal is simple: he's a celebrity. Across demographics, we value image more than substance, sizzle more than steak. Well he's got image and sizzle alright. No doubt about that.

Posted by: FreakyBeaky on January 5, 2008 at 3:58 PM | PERMALINK

It's worthwhile to remember that others have been propelled by a surge in Iowa to rise to the top of the pack, and ultimately win both the Democratic nomination and the Presidency itself.

The last one was Jimmy Carter.

And when he was deposited by this surge in the Oval Office, he very promptly turned to perceived shit as President.

Posted by: frankly0 on January 5, 2008 at 4:07 PM | PERMALINK

I just got an email from a friend in NH, whose 9th grade son is volunteering for Obama. He was chosen to be a greeter today at the Nashua event, got to meet Obama and talk to him. He's not even old enough to vote, yet Obama takes time to meet him?

Maybe they vote for him because he listens to them?


Posted by: KathyF on January 5, 2008 at 4:09 PM | PERMALINK

It seems obvious that Obama should attract youth more--he's younger himself and preaches a more idealistic strain of politics. Clinton is almost old enough to be a college kid's grandmother.

Having said that, I wouldn't read too much into one set of results. We're talking a sample of about 40,000 Iowa youth here--let's not try to draw conclusions about grand generational shifts based on that. And 37-30-29 is not exactly a landslide.

Posted by: Steve on January 5, 2008 at 4:20 PM | PERMALINK

frankly0, from my ignorant perspective, Iowa caucus is close to the worst case scenario for Obama.

The Iowa caucus is such a peculiar, idiosyncratic venue that I just don't see how one can extrapolate much one way or the other based on it. I have no idea whether on balance it should be better for Obama or worse than other settings.

Posted by: frankly0 on January 5, 2008 at 4:22 PM | PERMALINK

Obama's a politician and politicians will say anything to get elected. I don't think he can get elected, but if he's the Dem candidate I'll vote for him. (I like Edwards' rhetoric better.) Even tho others discount it, race will be a big issue if Obama wins the nomination. And ig Hillary wins, women will tilt against her. Meaning it comes up roses for the Repubs if either hillary or Obama win the nomination.

The dems are hopeless even if they win, viz, Reid and Pelosi. Will continue war party pols, no new taxes, untax the rich, suck up to the evangels, blah blah blah.

Prove me wrong.

Posted by: degustibus on January 5, 2008 at 4:24 PM | PERMALINK

I don't think he can be elected without support from all Democrats. I think he'll have that, if he gets the nomination. But in re the boomers: for us younger folks---I'm 28---it feels like we've been arguing about the 60s for the entirety of our political life (from "I didn't inhale" to the Swift Boat campaign.) Hell, the whole of our lives. The culture wars are all about trying to roll back the changes that started then, like tolerance of homosexualtiy and sexual and personal freedom and secularism and on and on and on. And we're tired of it. Because the thing is, you've already won with us. We pretty much accept those changes. It's the only world we've ever known. And so we'd really really like to move on. And electing Obama could do that in a way that Clinton and Edwards and McCain could not.

Perhaps that sounds harsh; I was going for frank.

Posted by: Diablevert on January 5, 2008 at 4:25 PM | PERMALINK

If Obama wins the Presidency, will all of the Obama supporters mind terribly much if other Democrats choose to skip the inauguration so that we can attend the wake for universal health care?

Posted by: frankly0 on January 5, 2008 at 4:28 PM | PERMALINK

Barak is simply preaching American civics and representative democracy and good government...

And he says it very well, with meaning and feeling. It is reminiscent of Lincoln: As our case is new, so we must think anew and act anew.

Obama did extremely well at Harvard law school where he edited the Harvard law Review. He was a good teacher, a good lawyer, an effective community organizer, an effective state legislator -- and at the federal level he has more bills named after him than Sen. Clinton, a bipartisan bill. He might be a little inexperienced for prime time and he doesn't have administrative experience (a lack shared by Edwards and Clinton), but he has a lot going for him. On Iraq, he has promised to bring the American troops home as rapidly as the Chiefs of Staff can bring them home responsibly. He isn't beholden to union leadership. He wants to expand health care availability while preserving freedom of choice as much as possible.

He might be single-handidly responsible for the large increase in turnout in the Democratic caucuses compared to 2004.

Can he keep it up? Well, he has a lot of family support, doesn't he?

Posted by: MatthewRmarler on January 5, 2008 at 4:28 PM | PERMALINK

Hillary is the grown-up in the race

Maybe. But she seems to have the anger and resentment of Nixon, with the additional burden of Bill Clinton. It isn't sufficient to grow "up", one must also grow strong, composed, and proficient. Hillary needed Bill's help when her campaign ran into some disarray -- that's a bad sign.

Posted by: MatthewRmarler on January 5, 2008 at 4:33 PM | PERMALINK

I wouldn't expect Hillary Clinton or her supporters to give up the ship after one defeat, although Obama supporters on the blogs seem to think that both she and Edwards should concede immediately. One suggested that we should bow down and kiss his ring (now he's the Pope?!!!) and another, in all seriousness, suggested that he is a Bodhisattva. Should be a fascinating election if Barack Obama, a living Bodhisattva, goes up against Mike Huckabee, Christ's representative on earth. The heavens will open. Seriously though, Barack Obama makes exceptionally good speeches. However, there is a bit of excessive praise, almost a mania, to the Barack phenomenon at this point. One supporter (in a New York Times' blog) said that Obama's Iowa speech was one of the most memorable speeches of a lifetime, comparable to the Gettysburg Address. If that's the case, I challenge listeners to recite from memory any memorable line, aside from the repeated emphasis on 'hope' 'change', etc. Obama is blessed with an incredibly rich voice and a beautiful cadence and has the ability to move people using broad themes. This is one of any politician's best assets. I'm still supporting John Edwards, however. He is the only candidate who continues to speak with conviction and strength about the plight of Americans living in poverty, and is the candidate whose policies are actually much more progressive than those put forward by Obama. I would like to see us enter this race with a candidate whose healthcare plan actually covers all Americans and doesn't leave 15 million without coverage. Edwards is optimistic, but his optimism is grounded in realism. On a personal level this involves the way he and Elizabeth coped with the death of his 16 year old son, and with her cancer. On a political level, it is evident from his realization that it is going to take far more than nice thoughts about 'hope' and 'unity' to take on the corporate interests that are going to array against the progressive economic policies, healthcare legislation, and energy policy we want to see passed. It IS going to be a political battle, and it is going to take conviction and courage to win it. It is also going to take a bigger democratic majority in Congress. I still believe that with his rural, working class southern roots, Edwards is the candidate who can compete most strongly across the entire United States. We need a candidate who can reach out to "Reagan democrats." Some are saying that this is 'old politics.' If working and fighting for economic justice, better pay, truly comprehensive healthcare, speaking for the voiceless is 'old politics' then I'll stay old-fashioned. At least I know where this man stands, and I will stand with him. With his strong populist progressive message, and his background, John Edwards is representing true opportunity for change (to use a word that needs flesh on its bones). I was helping manage one of his Iowa caucuses, and we had several self-identified independents, and a Republican small business owner, attend the caucus for the first time and align themselves with John Edwards' message. Don't get me wrong. I like Barack Obama. He is my senator and I worked for his election in Illinois. I can understand the passion he evokes in some of his followers. But I worked for Edwards four years ago, and there are still moments from that campaign, and from this one, that I also had feelings we were looking at another RFK for the democratic party. So Obama supporters need to understand that others (including even some Hillary backers) actually have passion and commitment to their candidate. Most important, I still feel in my gut that Edwards is the one who would have the strongest 'coattails' in the general election, and is the man whose experience and life story will make him a great President of the United States. My own feeling is that Hillary Clinton, because her principal message was her inevitability, will now be falling in the polls. I hope that supporters from the campaigns of other candidates (Biden, Dodd, Richardson, Kuchinich, perhaps even a few of Ms. Clinton's supporters themselves), will consider Mr. Edwards at this point.

Posted by: Progressivedem on January 5, 2008 at 4:38 PM | PERMALINK

A few thoughts.

1)Clinton talks a lot about how she can beat the GOP noise machine, but the truth is she has never beat it yet. She tolerates it very well, but she hasn't come close to matching it. Which means whether we like it or not, Clinton as President means a super-obstructionist GOP as opposed to merely a strongly obstructionist GOP. More of the same.

2)Clinton epitomizes old school conventional wisdom inside the beltway BS. Dave in Iowa hit this on the head. Clinton is conventional wisdom, which often means crappy choices and a tendency to dismiss outside opinions as foolishness from people who just don't understand. How nice it is to have someone who might actually care what people outside his inner circle have to say, especially after 8 years of bubble boy and a narcoleptic DC/NYC analysts getting everything wrong.

3)People who tend to knock Obama's accomplishments never seem to feel responsible for pointing out their own candidate's amazing accomplishments. As for a good sample of why I think he does a good job working with others to accomplish good government, let me just note that this blog already pointed out his accomplishments at the state level and hilzoy at Obsidian Wings wrote a pretty interesting post two years ago about his accomplishments on the national scene in his first two years. Let me just note, as someone from OK who is constantly ashamed of Coburn, it is my strong opinion that anyone who can get that PoS to jump in on a halfway decent idea deserves some benefit of the doubt with respect to his across-the-aisle work.

Posted by: socratic_me on January 5, 2008 at 4:39 PM | PERMALINK

Diablevert,

And do you care about the millions of Americans who will be without health care under Obama's "universal" health care plan?

I didn't think so.

How yesterday of me to ask, of course. Kool, modern, young people would never ask that sort of grungy question.

Posted by: frankly0 on January 5, 2008 at 4:39 PM | PERMALINK

Edwards rhetoric is overly confrontational and sounds disingenuous. Besides, I'm always skeptical of rich people who sound angry. Lighten up, you're loaded!

Posted by: Wuk H. Kim on January 5, 2008 at 4:44 PM | PERMALINK

There are 144 electoral votes in the south. There are 70 in western and swing states. Do the math. It's less to do with race than it is with Obama's effete snobby sophisticate aura. I don't see it. As far as age and race, being black or biracial is the really really cool thing and a lot of airhead will vote for someone's race because they believe it makes them cool. Stupid.

Frankly0 - I'm with 'ya. Kiss universal health care goodbye and let's all continue to work and slave at crappy jobs just so we won't lose our assets due to a health crisis. Obama and his happy talk are useless.

Posted by: Chrissy on January 5, 2008 at 4:48 PM | PERMALINK

Well, the question was about why Obama took both the union vote and the youth vote. One answer that comes to me which would answer for both groups and other voters, too, is the issue of pride vs shame.
Obama evokes and builds a clean feeling of national pride in being American, while the Clintons being back on stage cannot help but dredge up a memory of the nation being shamed by Bill's Oval Office behavior.

Posted by: Donna on January 5, 2008 at 4:50 PM | PERMALINK

What is it that accounts for Obama's strength among both blue-collar workers

there are a lot of blue collar workers who don't like unions, and Obama is running independently of the unions. I expect this will also help him in the general election in places like Tennessee where most of the workers who do not like unions would otherwise vote Republican.

Posted by: MatthewRmarler on January 5, 2008 at 4:51 PM | PERMALINK

Donna, the Clintons did a lot for this country. They both worked hard and transformed us from debt to surplus and there was something about them that made the country a better place back then. They like people. They really like people. (well maybe Bill likes women a little too much) They were attacked and didn't hate back. They don't desevere the vitriol and poison coming out of the Obamabots and the press haters like Matthews. And btw, Obama has been pretty negative both on Hillary and Edwards using rnc talking points and attacking Hillary for things he himself really ought to shut up about. Like his voting record. But the msm refuses to call Obama's negativity for what it is. The msm that unfairly decided '00 and '04 and gave us the Iraq war is doing it again.

Posted by: Chrissy on January 5, 2008 at 4:56 PM | PERMALINK

Obama is a rock star.

If you don't understand Britney, Arnold Schwarzenegger, or the Back Street Boys, you'll never understand the rise of Obama. As a rock star, Obama is peaking at the perfect time. If he lays low for the spring he'll still be trendy in November. In fact trends in politics tend to take approximately 4 years or so to run their course. I think this has something to do with the fact that most people only spend a couple hours a month thinking about it. This will give Obama the flexibility of being a colossal fuck up as president and still get re-elected and perhaps someday get consideration as the best president of all time. The country only recently realized that Bush is a recovering alcoholic moron who one shouldn't even think about drinking beer with. It also appears they recently figured out that Guiliani is a corrupt philandering asshole politician and not some super-hero.

The bottom line is that you should vote with your gut. None of this confusing universal healthcare subprime social security mumbo jumbo. They're going to force people to purchase insurance and that sounds bad to my gut. Reaching across the aisle, going vertical, and making the pie higher with floating boats sounds great to my gut. Reagan sounds great to my gut. Obama sounds great to my gut. Kevin thinks too much.

Posted by: B on January 5, 2008 at 4:58 PM | PERMALINK

Obama gets criticized for his lack of "experience." Does experience matter?

One President was elected after only serving one term in the House of Representatives. Before that, he served in his home state's legislature. No foreign policy experience. And, being a freshman Congressman, had hardly any experience at all.

That President was Abraham Lincoln.

Lincoln was one of our finest Presidents because he had vision, integrity, character, and excellent leadership qualities. Lincoln was a fine orator as well. Barack Obama exhibits many of these qualities. We need experienced mediocrity, we need uplifting leadership that will bring change.

Posted by: Elliott on January 5, 2008 at 4:58 PM | PERMALINK

Elliot. That sounds great to my gut.

I think you can take it farther. How do Lincoln's and Obama's positions on agricultural subsidies compare.

Posted by: B on January 5, 2008 at 5:03 PM | PERMALINK

err... make that "We don't need experienced mediocrity, we need uplifting leadership that will bring change."

Posted by: Elliott on January 5, 2008 at 5:05 PM | PERMALINK

Elliott, Obama is no Lincoln. Lincoln was a hard worker. No part time legsilator, part time lecturer. He had wit and humor and his rhetoric was more than empty rhetoric and happy talk about hope. He told the hard truths. He wasn't about soft solutions and he knew when happy talk and soft solutions would no longer work and chose the difficult path. The more of these silly comparisons, the more of an ineptitude Obama appears.

Posted by: Chrissy on January 5, 2008 at 5:06 PM | PERMALINK

B - Obama supports a cap on ag subsidies to corporate farms to help give the small family farmer a chance to compete and not lose the farm. Lincoln, of course, came from a small farm in Illinois (Obama's home state!) and was pro-farmer, creating the Department of Agriculture.

Posted by: Elliott on January 5, 2008 at 5:09 PM | PERMALINK

And do you care about the millions of Americans who will be without health care under Obama's "universal" health care plan?

That criticism only makes sense if you believe that a universal mandate approach has any chance of all at getting passed. I've asked this a few times and haven't seen a reply yet, but why does anyone think this idea can be sold to voters? It's going to come across as saying "our solution if you can't afford health care is to make you pay for it." Everyone who perceives themselves as being unable to afford health insurance is going to find this distasteful, and that includes a lot of people who are not yet old enough to need major healthcare, and whose priorities lean more toward having a bigger house, better car, bigger TV sets, etc.

I understand the wonkish appeal of the idea. But it seems like a PR disaster. And yes, part of the perception is that Hillary gave us one disastrous attempt to expand health coverage, so when she's pushing something that seems this far out of touch, I have no confidence that she'd actually get anywhere with it.

Posted by: bob on January 5, 2008 at 5:10 PM | PERMALINK

"there are a lot of blue collar workers who don't like unions"

Really? And your evidence for this is, what, exactly?

Posted by: PaulB on January 5, 2008 at 5:10 PM | PERMALINK

"Obama is running independently of the unions"

Which is why he did so poorly among union workers. Oh, wait, no he didn't.

Matthew, we know you just make shit up. Do you have to do it every time you post here? Would it really hurt you to actually think about what you post and check that you aren't projecting your own prejudices?

Posted by: PaulB on January 5, 2008 at 5:11 PM | PERMALINK

"the Clintons did a lot for this country"

Hillary Clinton did? And what would those accomplishments be, exactly?

Posted by: PaulB on January 5, 2008 at 5:13 PM | PERMALINK

"why does anyone think this idea can be sold to voters"

It depends on what idea is sold, who pays for it, how it is paid for, and how it is sold. Yes, I think universal mandates can be sold to voters. Now, whether universal mandates for the Obama plan can be sold to the voters, that's a different question.

Posted by: PaulB on January 5, 2008 at 5:14 PM | PERMALINK

"and there was something about them that made the country a better place back then"

With all due respect, Chrissy, this is exactly the kind of rhetoric you're attacking the Obama folks for. No, there wasn't "something about [the Clintons] that made the country a better place back then."

Posted by: PaulB on January 5, 2008 at 5:15 PM | PERMALINK

Chrissy - I didn't say Obama is another Lincoln. I was illustrating through Lincoln's example that experience is not a prerequisite to be a great President.

On the other hand, you have Hillary, who claims reams of experience. Does shaking Yeltsin's hand at a state dinner count as "experience?" Or, as Chris Rock put it, just cuz you're the spouse doesn't mean you're good at your spouse's job. If you're on a plane do you want the wife of the pilot to take over?

Posted by: Elliott on January 5, 2008 at 5:16 PM | PERMALINK

"Obama evokes and builds a clean feeling of national pride in being American"

So did Reagan. That's hardly an endorsement.

"while the Clintons being back on stage cannot help but dredge up a memory of the nation being shamed by Bill's Oval Office behavior."

Funny, I don't remember being "shamed" in any way, shape, or form, by Bill's affair. It affected me not at all, other than the disgust at the investigation and subsequent impeachment.

Posted by: PaulB on January 5, 2008 at 5:17 PM | PERMALINK

Chrissy,

Do you have some particular problem with some particular solutions Obama has put forward. I linked to a post with many examples of tough interesting solutions Obama has come up with. Kevin discussed an example of working out a good solid solution involving recording of investigational interviews. You seem to be very sure that Obama is terrible at everything he touches, but you don't give any real examples of what you are so unhappy with. This makes it pretty hard to have any productive give and take.

Posted by: socratic_me on January 5, 2008 at 5:19 PM | PERMALINK

Hillary did a lot in changing the perception of First Lady from pottted plant to one who reached out and traveled and promoted the rights of women and children especially. She worked hard on healthcare. (hardwork being a foreign concept to Obama) Her extreme grace under unceasing pressure and criticism from rabid haters on the right and in the press (like Matthews) was remarkable. Now she faces it from rabid unthinking mobs on the left. Ungrateful sob's.

Posted by: Chrissy on January 5, 2008 at 5:20 PM | PERMALINK

"There are 70 in western and swing states."

Completely wrong. There are a lot more swing state votes than that. Obama could easily win without taking a single Southern state, not to mention that polls show him competitive in Florida, Kentucky, Virginia, among others, depending on who his opponent is.

"It's less to do with race than it is with Obama's effete snobby sophisticate aura"

Funny, then, that polls don't show anyone bothered by his "effete snobby [sic] sophisticate [sic] aura." Sheesh... give it a rest, won't you?

Posted by: PaulB on January 5, 2008 at 5:20 PM | PERMALINK

And do you care about the millions of Americans who will be without health care under Obama's "universal" health care plan?

If Obama (or Clinton or Edwards) is elected president, presumably with greater dem majorities in the Senate and House, the details of their respective current "plans" shouldn't make any difference.

Congress could deliver universal health care. And we should make them do it.

Posted by: Econobuzz on January 5, 2008 at 5:23 PM | PERMALINK

"Hillary did a lot in changing the perception of First Lady from pottted plant to one who reached out and traveled and promoted the rights of women and children especially"

Oh, nonsense. Eleanor Roosevelt beat her to that, as did several other First Ladies, including Betty Ford and Rosalyn Carter. I have nothing at all against Hillary Clinton and will cheerfully vote for her in the general election, but you don't do yourself any favors by exaggerating her accomplishments.

"She worked hard on healthcare."

She also botched it, badly.

"Now she faces it from rabid unthinking mobs on the left."

LOL.... So pointing out that you are exaggerating is now "rabid unthinking" behavior? Give me a break.

"Ungrateful sob's."

LOL.... And what, precisely, am I supposed to be "grateful" for?

Posted by: PaulB on January 5, 2008 at 5:23 PM | PERMALINK

socratic, I wouldn't say Obama is terrible at everything. He is very good at happy talk.

Posted by: Chrissy on January 5, 2008 at 5:24 PM | PERMALINK

"If Obama (or Clinton or Edwards) is elected president, presumably with greater dem majorities in the Senate and House, the details of their respective current 'plans' shouldn't make any difference."

Absolutely right. Whichever one is elected, the details will almost certainly change pretty dramatically in the final bill, assuming there is one. What matters is the will to do it, and sufficient votes to make it happen.

Posted by: PaulB on January 5, 2008 at 5:25 PM | PERMALINK

I can't argue that Eleanor Roosevelt got there first. Got to give credit where it's due. But Hillary added a certain toughness.

Posted by: Chrissy on January 5, 2008 at 5:28 PM | PERMALINK

"If Obama wins the Presidency, will all of the Obama supporters mind terribly much if other Democrats choose to skip the inauguration so that we can attend the wake for universal health care?"

ROFL.... Wow... talk about a drama queen. This was rather silly, frankly0. You might want to take a break for a bit since you're clearly coming unhinged about Obama.

Posted by: PaulB on January 5, 2008 at 5:29 PM | PERMALINK

"But Hillary added a certain toughness."

Not from where I'm sitting. And that isn't what you said in your original post. Just stop the hyperbole and make the case for Clinton, something you're telling the Obama fans to do.

Posted by: PaulB on January 5, 2008 at 5:31 PM | PERMALINK

"why does anyone think this idea can be sold to voters"

It depends on what idea is sold, who pays for it, how it is paid for, and how it is sold. Yes, I think universal mandates can be sold to voters. Now, whether universal mandates for the Obama plan can be sold to the voters, that's a different question.


You lost me. The criticism is that Obama's plan does not have universal mandates. Hillary's plan can only claim to be universal because of universal mandates.

I think the idea of universal health care could possibly be sold to voters, but it's a tough sell. When the basis on which it's being sold says to voters (the ones not yet old enough to have major personal health care needs) "if you don't have health insurance we'll force you to give up other things in order to buy health insurance, whether you need it or not" that's not a good sales pitch.

I don't think any of the plans make much sense. They look the way they do because it's politically not viable to talk about raising taxes to pay for universal coverage, so we get these mandates and partial mandates, and private insurance with yet another layer of bureaucracy on top to try to whip them all into shape. But if you're going to try to sell a system like that, it's going to be another major flop, just like last time, if the sales pitch is "if you're young and would rather have a bigger house or a newer car or nicer toys than health insurance, that's just tough because we're going to force you to pay for it."

And the bottom line is that I'd rather have incremental improvements that actually mean something, than big promises based on an ill-conceived plan that large segments of the voting public are going to rebel against.

Posted by: bob on January 5, 2008 at 5:31 PM | PERMALINK

Chrissy: I wouldn't say Obama is terrible at everything. He is very good at happy talk.

If Iowa is any measure then Obama is also very good at motivating independents to come out of the woodwork and suddenly support Democratic causes. Hillary and Edwards haven't shown that ability so far. Obama may be the only leader capable of uniting a majority behind health care reform.

Posted by: Elliott on January 5, 2008 at 5:32 PM | PERMALINK

"The last one was Jimmy Carter."

Classic logical fallacy. That Carter and Obama both won Iowa is woefully insufficient information on which to base any meaningful comparisons. If you have reasons to believe that Obama resembles Carter in any meaningful way, by all means cite them. Otherwise, you probably ought to just stay out of this debate because you're not even trying to make sense anymore.

We get it, frankly0; you have a visceral dislike of Obama.

Posted by: PaulB on January 5, 2008 at 5:34 PM | PERMALINK

Obama is no Lincoln

Lincoln wasn't Lincoln at this stage either. The question is: Can he become Lincoln?

Is there anyone else on the scene that we would even think to ask that question about?

Posted by: Econobuzz on January 5, 2008 at 5:36 PM | PERMALINK

Wow, Chrissy, that helped a lot. Thank you ever so much for adding the sort of content that leads toa fruitful exchange of ideas. Now that I have that ever so concise summary, I realize the error of my ways and will dutifully shun Obama.

Sometimes I have to wonder if posters really want to affect other people and possibly change their minds or if they just comment to see their ranting in print.

Posted by: socratic_me on January 5, 2008 at 5:36 PM | PERMALINK

"You lost me."

All I'm saying is that damn near anything can be sold to the voters, depending on a variet of factors.

"The criticism is that Obama's plan does not have universal mandates."

As noted above, Obama's plan can, and almost certainly will, change if and when Congress gets hold of it.

"I think the idea of universal health care could possibly be sold to voters, but it's a tough sell."

The polls say otherwise. And in these uncertain economic times, it's an even easier sell.

"When the basis on which it's being sold says to voters (the ones not yet old enough to have major personal health care needs) 'if you don't have health insurance we'll force you to give up other things in order to buy health insurance, whether you need it or not' that's not a good sales pitch."

No shit, which is why nobody will make that pitch.

Posted by: PaulB on January 5, 2008 at 5:37 PM | PERMALINK

I think Obama beat Clinton so decisively because Senator Clinton is fundamentally unlikeable and uncredible.

She addresses her audiences as if they were remedial kindergarten classes and is unable to emotionally connect with them.

As far as her record is concerned, she fails to understand that although the war is kept hidden for now, we all still know it's going on and we don't like it. Still less do we like her support of the Bush administration's bluster and bellicosity toward Iran.

She does not exude strength or sincerity and she does not come across as a leader.

Posted by: Helena Montana on January 5, 2008 at 5:38 PM | PERMALINK

Elliott, George W Bush got a bunch of independent votes and the sob managed to get into the WH (with some help from the SC). You can be good at fooling people with happy talk and empty rhetoric and if you have the press fools like Matthews and Russert blowing you kisses you can do quite well. That's what is wrong with the system.

Posted by: Chrissy on January 5, 2008 at 5:39 PM | PERMALINK

Obama isn't President yet, but as a candidate, in terms of the excitement he generates among young people, I think the closest comparison is Bobby Kennedy.

Posted by: Andy on January 5, 2008 at 5:39 PM | PERMALINK

"Wow, Chrissy, that helped a lot. Thank you ever so much for adding the sort of content that leads toa fruitful exchange of ideas"

What's funny is that quite a few people loudly rant about others engaging in precisely the same behavior they themselves indulge in.

Oh, well, it's kind of nice to see people passionate about candidates again, instead of indifferent or lukewarm. Personally, I think all of the Democratic candidates are fine and I'd cheerfully vote for any of them.

Posted by: PaulB on January 5, 2008 at 5:39 PM | PERMALINK

Chrissy,

I'm glad you think Obama is good at happy talk.
Hillary is very good at depressing me and apparently almost every other "independent" voter.

So I choose the person who makes me feel happy.


Posted by: Manfred on January 5, 2008 at 5:40 PM | PERMALINK

"That 250,000 or so left wing activist voters in Iowa can cause this much commotion is an indication of how few constructive activities political junkies have in their lives."

ROFL.... People in glass houses shouldn't throw stones, mhr. Isn't it sad that your side can't muster the same kind of passion about your Republican candidates? See you in November, dear.

Posted by: PaulB on January 5, 2008 at 5:42 PM | PERMALINK

Obama is a rock star.

I have great respect for HRC. And I like John Edwards a lot. But Obama is an entirely different commodity. Sort of like a cross between Bill Clinton and Michael Jordan -- with a little Thurgood Marshall thrown in.

I have a daughter in her 20s. All of a sudden, she is now interested in politics. She asked me who I thought would win New Hampshire. Up until now, a question about New Hampshire would have centered on ski resorts.

Do I have trouble with his republican framing of issues? Yup. Do I have trouble with his lack of experience? Yup. Do I think reaching across the aisle is naive bullshit? Yup.

But I'm a whore. Can I support a guy who can deliver the youth vote to dems for the next decade or two?

The biggest yup you ever heard!

Posted by: Econobuzz on January 5, 2008 at 5:53 PM | PERMALINK

Obama relieved most of my anxiety about him by adding just four words to his usual 'uniting' message a day or two ago. His usual rhetoric of 'uniting the American people,' or being 'president of all the American people,' has made me nervous because I didn't have a clue as to what he meant by that. Some sort of middle-of-the-road leadership? A presidency that accepts painful compromise resulting in less than good policy? BUT, the other day I heard him say, to paraphrase, "I will unite the country behind progressive change." Finally! Perhaps I was stupid for not realizing before that 'progressive' change was what his unification efforts were all about, but I sure feel quite a bit better about his candidacy now. I'm still torn between Obama and Edwards but leaning more and more towards Obama. Whether he can indeed produce progressive change while being backed by corporate campaign cash is my final lingering doubt.

Posted by: nepeta on January 5, 2008 at 6:18 PM | PERMALINK

Hillary is too old. Most presidents were in their 40s or 50s when they took office. Reagan and GHWBush were the oldest and fourth oldest presidents EVER. McCain is double too old as are Rudy and Fred. Romney is 60 and tries to fake his age like everything else.

Obama is one of the younger candidates. Huck wins because he is younger. Change candidates are always younger. Youth know an old geezer when they see one.

Posted by: bakho on January 5, 2008 at 6:20 PM | PERMALINK

But I'm a whore. Can I support a guy who can deliver the youth vote to dems for the next decade or two?

The biggest yup you ever heard!

A-Fucking-Men.

I'm lukewarm to him for all the reasons you stated. But I like what I am seeing among my kids and their friends. I especially like that they are 10:1 liberal, and after you scratch the surface, they are downright derisive of the Republican positions on Every. Single. Issue.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on January 5, 2008 at 6:27 PM | PERMALINK

Obama lacks experience I think, but surely he can not be as bad as what we got now, and speaking of lack of experience look at Ole Georges record for the last eight years.

Posted by: Al on January 5, 2008 at 6:29 PM | PERMALINK

Hmmm. Well, this is a billion comments later, but you did call me out by name, so....

As it happens, I live in Massachusetts, the only state with a universal health care mandate. Well known fact: Everyone has to get health care in Massachusetts. Little known fact: Penalty for failing to obey the mandate: $500 bucks.

Personally speaking, at the moment I have heath care through school, as I'm in the process of getting a graduate degree. But I've had jobs where I have not had it. And I am at this very moment trying to figure out where i can get reasonable dental care, since I'm not covered for that under my current plan. I've also lived in a country, and taken advantage of, a fully government funded health care system. So I've seen the advantages and disadvantages of such up close.

And the idea of not having a mandate does not bother me. I think a lot of people who don't have health care want it very much and would leap at government sponsored universal plan. But I think there would be some fraction of people --- probably healthy young people, or poor people, who would resent being forced to buy insurance, which is what we're talking about. And I think that some of them won't, without highly punitive fines, way worse than the $500 that's law here in Mass. --- after, all even the cheapest plans, arrived at after much wrangling, are $200 a month with a $5,000 deductible. (With seven weeks left, up to 200,000 uninsured people hadn't signed up here. See http://boston.bizjournals.com/boston/stories/2007/11/12/story3.html?page=2)


So I think the practical effect of a plan without a mandate could be just as good as a plan with one, unless the mandate carried a huge penalty --- and these are people who can't afford insurance in the first place, it's going to look pretty awful to be fining them say, $3,000 for not buying it.

Ultimately, I think single payer is the way to go. But I don't think we're going to be able to flip a switch and get there tomorrow; I think we'll have to take several steps on the road to get there. As a first step, I don't think Clinton's or Edward's plans puts us all that much further than Obama's does, and I think a few of the crucial passengers might be happier on his.

Posted by: Diablevert on January 5, 2008 at 6:30 PM | PERMALINK

I think Obama beat Clinton so decisively because Senator Clinton is fundamentally unlikeable and uncredible.
She addresses her audiences as if they were remedial kindergarten classes and is unable to emotionally connect with them. - Helena Montana

Yes. I went to a website (think it was NPR) a few weeks back and took one of those multiple choice quizzes that gives you the candidates (D's and R's) that are closest to your policy preferences. Well mine came up:

1) Hillary
2) Richardson
3) Edwards
4) Obama

I'm *still* planning on voting for Edwards, but I can't vote for Hillary. Every time I see her and most importantly, *listen* to her speak I just get the fingernails on the blackboard reaction. I can't quite put my finger on what it is, but I think you've come the closest. I don't have problems with Richardson's speech-making, but, yes, I still think he's too much of a long-shot. Edwards and Obama have the on-your-feet speaking skills that are needed despite their (minor) policy differences. Delivery is very important. If Edwards or Obama can deliver 80% of their policies versus Hillary delivering 50%, then I want Edwards or Obama in there.

Posted by: Doc at the Radar Station on January 5, 2008 at 6:31 PM | PERMALINK

Econobuzz: Do I have trouble with his republican framing of issues? Yup.

I think if you listen to Obama carefully he isn't repeating GOP talking points per se. He is throwing darts at the Clintons, essentially saying the Clintonian Third Way wasn't Democratic enough; and, I think, by the same token, throwing darts at the current Congress, which hasn't exactly been the most progressive bunch out there. In other words, the GOP talking points try to sway voters that the Democrats values are wrong, while Obama's critiques are he (and we) can be better Democrats.

Do I have trouble with his lack of experience? Yup.

You just repeated a GOP talking point.

Posted by: Elliott on January 5, 2008 at 6:33 PM | PERMALINK

Does anyone really think that Barack Hussein Obama is going to carry a single southern state? If so, name the state. I like Obama but if he's the democratic nominee I don't think he'll win the Presidency because of the south.

I keep hearing this as if Obama, or any other Democrat has to win the South. Goldwater won the South, how much good did that do him?

Obama will win the traditional Democratic states and force the Republicans to fight in the West and Midwest. Iowa shows Obama can succeed in the Midwest. And given recent trends he might be able to put Virginia into play.

Posted by: tomeck on January 5, 2008 at 6:35 PM | PERMALINK

Obama will continue to win because his inspiring (and pragmatic) vision is backed by his integrity. Voters across all demographics respond to it and young people even more so, because he actively sought their vote and they are less cynical. Also, in a field with all candidates holding solid progressive positions on the issues, leadership ability is key. Uniting enough voters to build a working majority that can break partisan gridlock and limit the power of special interests is a great concept that is not that hard to understand.

Posted by: noexpert on January 5, 2008 at 6:38 PM | PERMALINK

"If Obama wins the Presidency, will all of the Obama supporters mind terribly much if other Democrats choose to skip the inauguration so that we can attend the wake for universal health care?"

ROFL.... Wow... talk about a drama queen. This was rather silly, frankly0. You might want to take a break for a bit since you're clearly coming unhinged about Obama.

Yeah, more of your usual deep thinking there, PaulB.

Why do you think it is that Krugman came down so hard on Obama on the precise point of what Obama said about national health care? I guess that makes him a drama queen in your book too, huh? I suppose he should retire from political punditry until he manages to get cool with Obama?

The fact is, as Krugman pointed out, what Obama said about mandates is simply going to undermine the ability of any Democrat to achieve universal health care. If you could do any kind of logic, you'd be able to see that too. And the very worse case is what will happen if Obama himself becomes President. Other Democrats might be able to survive Obama's remarks if they became President, and still fight for universal health care. Obama, however, absolutely will not be able to. How can he possibly implement mandates when he himself has gone on record as demonizing them, using Republican talking points?

I have never heard an Obama supporter come up with an answer to that question. Never. And whether you are an Obama supporter or not, it seems to me you should have an answer to that very question if you're going to act as though my claim that we're not going to have universal health insurance under Obama is my just being a "drama queen".

Why don't you try to keep your shallowness to yourself sometime? Or do you ever have real arguments? Or is all you can really do is make sneering little remarks that pretend to be arguments, but are really nothing but ad hominems of one fashion or another?

Posted by: frankly0 on January 5, 2008 at 6:41 PM | PERMALINK

Obama, however, absolutely will not be able to. How can he possibly implement mandates when he himself has gone on record as demonizing them, using Republican talking points?

Posted by: frankly0

Um, there is this thing called the legislative branch of government. I mean, all he has to do is sign his name.

Posted by: Econobuzz on January 5, 2008 at 6:46 PM | PERMALINK

Thurgood Marshall? What a stretch. Thurgood Marshall was a towering figure of a man. Brilliant. Fought through the courts to make this country better. Tough battles. Obama is a man who has never fought or won a battle in a court for anything or anyone. Married to corporate counsel. Never fought or won a tough battle. Stop elevating a mediocrity because it makes you feel good. Excellence stands on its own and doesn't need to be compared to some great figure.

Posted by: Chrissy on January 5, 2008 at 6:48 PM | PERMALINK

Here's an idea: We all work diligently for our candidate of preference, and in the end unite behind whichever Democrat gets the nomination? I mean, really. We have what is perhaps the deepest bench in history. Any one of ours is preferable to any one of theirs, so hows about we don't start practicing swidden politics on one another, and save that for the Republicans when they come after which ever one of our excellent candidates gets the nod?

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on January 5, 2008 at 6:51 PM | PERMALINK
....Whitewater showed that she destroy documents and used her and his influence for corrupt purposes. Remember the small investment that magically turned into a fortune? And did I mention MARC RICH and cash for Pardons? ....larry at 2:05 PM |
No, there was no destruction of documents. There was nothing to all your White water investigations and smears. The investing 'fortune' was $100,000. There was no cash for pardons. You should pay attention and not just regurgitate RNC talking points.
.... 16 miserable years of misgovernance.Happy Dog at 2:25 PM
Eight years of Clinton peace and prosperity are suddenly misgovernance? What planet do you inhabit?
.... Obama offers a chance to turn the page on all that.. Jayhawk on January 5, 2008 at 2:25 PM
Is he running for the Republican nomination? Because if he isn't they are not going to change one iota.
.... cynical, partisan divisiveness of the Clintons.... RyanMcC at 2:50 PM
You are confused. It's the Republicans that are cynical and hyper partisan. They have blocked 62 bills from being passed this year alone.
....250,000 or so left wing activist voters in Iowa ....meathead republican at 3:56 PM
Most were independents and many first time. Neither category is left wing nor activists. You think anyone to the left your Benito is a commie, right?
.... she seems to have the anger and resentment of Nixon....MatthewRmarler at 4:33 PM
Only in your perfervid imagination and in the spin of the American media elite. Here's the latest hokey attack from the right and a quick follow up for it.

We all need to support the eventual nominee, but facts and policies are necessary, not RNC talking points and old spin. You can't "end partisan bickering" from the side that isn't causing the bickering. That sounds like the Broder elite: always telling Democrats to be bipartisan and never saying anything to hyperpartisan Republicans.

Posted by: Mike on January 5, 2008 at 6:51 PM | PERMALINK

(Hey - Paul Donnelly - if you are lurking, your email isn't working. Messages keep bouncing back.)

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on January 5, 2008 at 6:53 PM | PERMALINK

Thurgood Marshall was a towering figure of a man.

Absolutely. That's why I wrote "with a little Thurgood Marshall thrown in."

Obama will not have even a little? Not even at the age when Marshall became "a towering figure?"

Posted by: Econobuzz on January 5, 2008 at 6:55 PM | PERMALINK

Franklyo

Presidents do all kinds of things that you wouldn't have guessed based on their campaigns. Nixon imposed wage and price controls for cryin' out loud.

Reforming health care is going to be a long, drawn out process with input from many different people. Whatever we get, it probably won't look like anything ANY candidate (or Krugman) is talking about.

That said, I trust Obama to lead during the process and get us to a better place than where we're at now. Perfect, probably not. Better, definitely.

Posted by: tomeck on January 5, 2008 at 6:57 PM | PERMALINK

frankly0: what Obama said about mandates is simply going to undermine the ability of any Democrat to achieve universal health care.

Does "universal" health care require mandates? No, not if you believe the health care problem is that some people want it and can't get it, which leaves open the question of the people who don't have it and don't want it. If the former group can get health care through Obama's plan, is that not universal enough?

Obama doesn't support mandates because polls consistently show that the lower-paid working class do not mandates because they are worried they will be forced to pay for something they can't afford. To be blunt, Obama understands change needs to come incrementally -- why engender opposition from the very people who need the help?

Posted by: Elliott on January 5, 2008 at 6:59 PM | PERMALINK

You just repeated a GOP talking point.

Posted by: Elliott

No, republican framing and lack of experience are HRC and Edwards talking points.

Posted by: Econobuzz on January 5, 2008 at 6:59 PM | PERMALINK

"I think the idea of universal health care could possibly be sold to voters, but it's a tough sell."

The polls say otherwise. And in these uncertain economic times, it's an even easier sell.

It's not a tough sell in an abstract sense. It's a tough sell as soon as you start talking about how to pay for it. And in these uncertain economic times, it's an even tougher sell when people start looking at the impact it would have on their pocketbooks.

"When the basis on which it's being sold says to voters (the ones not yet old enough to have major personal health care needs) 'if you don't have health insurance we'll force you to give up other things in order to buy health insurance, whether you need it or not' that's not a good sales pitch."

No shit, which is why nobody will make that pitch.

What do you think a mandate is about then? A mandate says that if you don't have health insurance, you'll be forced to buy it and pay for it. And it's not cheap. For most people, especially in these tough economic times, that means finding something else to sacrifice. For the younger, healthier segment, that means finding something else to sacrifice in order to pay for something they know they probably don't need, and for this to be acceptable requires that they take a very rational long-term view. Which few do.

Ultimately I think the plan a candidate puts on the table now doesn't matter much. What will matter is what a plan looks like when it gets through Congress, and so what really matters is having a candidate who will not just win but win with the best possible gains in Congress.

But something as ill-conceived as a "universal mandate" is going to be a detriment to a campaign. If you want universal coverage, propose a progressive tax of some kind to pay for it, not something that's going to hit middle class people with a new bill they can't easily afford, especially in these tough economic times.

Posted by: bob on January 5, 2008 at 7:03 PM | PERMALINK

Debate Alert! Do you think anyone is watching?

What bgrs said. I just get annoyed at all the irrational haters and lovers about this time of election cycle. We all get it. The other candidate is a selfish soulless demon and your candidate poops candy, just like Abraham Lincoln.

Posted by: B on January 5, 2008 at 7:03 PM | PERMALINK

Here's an idea: We all work diligently for our candidate of preference, and in the end unite behind whichever Democrat gets the nomination?

A-Fucking-Men.

Posted by: Econobuzz on January 5, 2008 at 7:06 PM | PERMALINK

Obama doesn't support mandates because polls consistently show that the lower-paid working class do not mandates because they are worried they will be forced to pay for something they can't afford. To be blunt, Obama understands change needs to come incrementally -- why engender opposition from the very people who need the help?

Yes, exactly. Better that than something that turns off voters and may (deja vu!) end up doing more harm than good.

Posted by: bob on January 5, 2008 at 7:06 PM | PERMALINK

"What do you think a mandate is about then?"

Sigh.... I know what a mandate is. I also know what framing is. Nobody on earth is going to make that pitch you cited precisely because it's a damn stupid way to frame the issue. Can you really not think of an intelligent way to frame it? Do you really think that's the way that Medicare was framed, to give you one example?

As for the rest of your discussion, it depends entirely on the plan and the plans are subject to change.

Posted by: PaulB on January 5, 2008 at 7:13 PM | PERMALINK

frankly0: If Obama wins the Presidency, will all of the Obama supporters mind terribly much if other Democrats choose to skip the inauguration so that we can attend the wake for universal health care?

Not at all. Obama and other candidates' supporters would appreciate the break from your obsessive screeching for one evening.

I'd join everybody else in urging you to give it a rest, but I'm beginning to see you're simply not able to.

Marler: Maybe. But she seems to have the anger and resentment of Nixon, with the additional burden of Bill Clinton. It isn't sufficient to grow "up", one must also grow strong, composed, and proficient. Hillary needed Bill's help when her campaign ran into some disarray -- that's a bad sign.

Well, is he a burden or a savior to her? Make up your disingenuous mind.

Posted by: shortstop on January 5, 2008 at 7:13 PM | PERMALINK

I'll take it a step further. If you don't vote in the primary, don't bitch about your choices come November. In fact, if you don't work for your candidate of preference in the primary, don't piss and moan that they didn't get the nomination.

There is a hell of a lot more to participating in Democracy than getting your whine on.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on January 5, 2008 at 7:16 PM | PERMALINK

"Yeah, more of your usual deep thinking there, PaulB."

LOL... Dear heart, if you want deep thinking from me, you have to first supply something that warrants it. A frivolous, wholly unrealistic, "woe is me," drama queen post ain't the way to do it.

"I guess that makes him a drama queen in your book too, huh?"

Well, if he said something as silly as you, then sure. Since he didn't, the point is moot.

"I suppose he should retire from political punditry until he manages to get cool with Obama?"

If he starts sounding as silly as you, yup.

"The fact is, as Krugman pointed out, what Obama said about mandates is simply going to undermine the ability of any Democrat to achieve universal health care."

Oh, garbage. It depends on the plan, the framing, the economic impact, and a whole slew of other factors that have far more impact than does any discussion of Obama's position on mandates. You give his words far greater weight than is warranted.

"If you could do any kind of logic, you'd be able to see that too."

Dear heart, since you have yet to supply any logic, reason, or facts to any discussion of Obama, forgive me if I don't take this criticism any more seriously than I do your other Obama posts.

"Why don't you try to keep your shallowness to yourself sometime?"

ROFL.... Oh, the irony.... Dear heart, do you really think you've said anything substantive in this entire thread? You've done nothing but whine for weeks about Obama. We get it; you don't like him.

Posted by: PaulB on January 5, 2008 at 7:19 PM | PERMALINK

Nobody on earth is going to make that pitch you cited precisely because it's a damn stupid way to frame the issue.

You'd be absolutely correct if the only people framing the issue were those in favor of it.

The same could be said about a progressive tax and single-payer system. You can frame that proposal very nicely, in a way that would (and should) appeal to many voters. But it's not out there at all because the proponents aren't the only ones who get to frame the message.

Do you really think that's the way that Medicare was framed, to give you one example?

Huh? You lost me again. Medicare was never at any point sold on a "mandate" basis that I'm aware of.

Posted by: bob on January 5, 2008 at 7:20 PM | PERMALINK

"I'd join everybody else in urging you to give it a rest, but I'm beginning to see you're simply not able to."

Bingo. I wonder if frankly0 realizes just how badly warped his judgment is on Obama? And what the hell the source of his visceral dislike really is, since he's never been able to articulate any real problems with Obama?

Posted by: PaulB on January 5, 2008 at 7:21 PM | PERMALINK

It's imperative to take a cold hard look at each candidate and not invest them with silly qualities they do not have or have not earned. That is what Republicans and the dopey media do and that is why George W. Bush ended up running this country into the ground.

Posted by: Chrissy on January 5, 2008 at 7:28 PM | PERMALINK

"Sigh.... I know what a mandate is. I also know what framing is. Nobody on earth is going to make that pitch you cited precisely because it's a damn stupid way to frame the issue. Can you really not think of an intelligent way to frame it? Do you really think that's the way that Medicare was framed, to give you one example?"

Respectfully, sir, if you think this is merely a matter of framing the issue, it seems to me you think the uninsured are non too bright. I mean, what part of "the law requires that everyone who doesn't have insurance buy insurance?" and "It will cost between $200 and $300 a month plus a $5 G deductible," do you think they won't understand? Since that's what a mandate law will require --- and, pace Massachusetts, cost --- they'll have to be made to understand it at some point, and when they do they're probably not going to like it much.

Posted by: Diablevert on January 5, 2008 at 7:29 PM | PERMALINK

"You'd be absolutely correct if the only people framing the issue were those in favor of it."

I assumed that we were talking about those in favor of it. It's a foregone conclusion that those against will frame any plan as negatively and as viciously as they can, regardless of the details.

"The same could be said about a progressive tax and single-payer system. You can frame that proposal very nicely, in a way that would (and should) appeal to many voters."

Just as you can frame it wholly negatively in a way that would turn off many voters.

"But it's not out there at all because the proponents aren't the only ones who get to frame the message."

Agreed, which is why the positive framing matters so much, which is why what you wrote above is a non-starter.

"Medicare was never at any point sold on a 'mandate' basis that I'm aware of."

Precisely. And yes, I know that there are differences between Medicare and the various plans currently under discussion, but we can still take away lessons from the Medicare debate, a debate in which "socialized medicine" on a pretty dramatic scale was successfully sold to the voters and passed by Congress.

Look, all I'm saying is that the gloom-and-doom is horribly premature. The voters, based on every poll I've seen for the past several years, really want health care. And they're going to want it even more in an uncertain economy. We can haggle about the details and the framing once we get a Democratic president and an even more Democratic Congress.

Posted by: PaulB on January 5, 2008 at 7:30 PM | PERMALINK

Chrissy: It's imperative to take a cold hard look at each candidate and not invest them with silly qualities they do not have or have not earned.

Yep. That includes Clinton, Obama--and Edwards.

It's equally important that we be grownups enough to give them all due credit for qualities they do have--and be honest about the appeal those qualities have to various groups of voters.

Posted by: shortstop on January 5, 2008 at 7:32 PM | PERMALINK

Respectfully, Diablevert, you have no idea how much a universal health care plan will cost each individual nor what funding sources will be available to help with those costs. The details matter; the framing matters.

Posted by: PaulB on January 5, 2008 at 7:32 PM | PERMALINK

I want to echo Blue Girl, Red State's sentiments about how we should all support the Dem candidate in the primary and then get together to support the winner. All the candidates have flaws, but at least they're better than ANY of the Republicans!

Also, at the age of almost 57, I'm much closer to Hillary, but I see a ray of optimism in Obama. I love it that he's inspiring young people. And, he's beginning to inspire this "oldie"! But, of course, like all of us (I hope) I'll support whichever Dem is nominated in Denver!

Posted by: phoebes on January 5, 2008 at 7:38 PM | PERMALINK

If you're on a plane do you want the wife of the pilot to take over? Posted by: Elliott on January 5, 2008 at 5:16 PM | PERMALINK

And why do you assume that the wife of the pilot is not also an aviator?

Posted by: The Pilot's Wife on January 5, 2008 at 7:40 PM | PERMALINK

Oops, I meant that we should all support the candidates of OUR OWN choices, before coming together to support the party nominee.

Posted by: phoebes on January 5, 2008 at 7:43 PM | PERMALINK

Hell, I was against the war from the start; maybe I should run for president. No, really-that means that I have GOOD JUDGMENT!!! Just like Barack!!!

This is silly. What has the man accomplished? Really? Do you seriously think that he can go up against a Republican in a debate? He is not a good debater; he is a good speaker. Big difference. The Republicans will swift-boat him so fast that your heads will spin.

Posted by: Susan on January 5, 2008 at 7:46 PM | PERMALINK

"And why do you assume that the wife of the pilot is not also an aviator?"

In this case, the wife is not, in fact, an aviator; she's the wife of a former aviator.

I tend to be underwhelmed by the whole "experience" thing, anyway, because there is only one thing that can really prepare you to be the President of the United States and that is ... to be the President of the United States.

Moreover, if there is any correlation between "experience" and performance in office in past presidents, I've not seen it or seen anyone cite it. We've had great ones with no real "experience" and lousy ones with much "experience."

Posted by: PaulB on January 5, 2008 at 7:46 PM | PERMALINK

Where's the discussion on Edward and his policies? Why are people writing off Edwards at this point?
In the meantime, Falafel Man goes batshit crazy.

Posted by: Mike on January 5, 2008 at 7:48 PM | PERMALINK

"The Republicans will swift-boat him so fast that your heads will spin."

They're going to do that no matter who the candidate is. This is going to be just as vicious as preceding elections have been.

One factor to consider: will the press play along? They did against Al Gore and John Kerry.

Posted by: PaulB on January 5, 2008 at 7:49 PM | PERMALINK

"Where's the discussion on Edward and his policies?"

Damned if I know. I wish the media would pull its head out and start covering the poor guy.

Posted by: PaulB on January 5, 2008 at 7:50 PM | PERMALINK

One factor to consider: will the press play along? They did against Al Gore and John Kerry.

I submit the press will have a tough time doing it to Obama if he carries the primaries the same way he did in Iowa. That shows broad support and attempts to swift boat Obama will be challenged quickly and forcefully.

Besides, the Dems and the nation has already seen Rove's playbook and it is going to be hard for GOP to continue to push their hatred because the tactics and strategy is fairly well understood.

Swift boating may work better against Hillary because they already softened the public with attacks for the last 16 years. With Obama, they don't have the time to lay their groundwork.

Posted by: rational on January 5, 2008 at 8:10 PM | PERMALINK

Here's why Obama garners more youth vote than Hillary. For twentysomethings (such as myself), our entire lives have been dominated by Bushes and Clintons. I think this is something older voters simply don't understand. My earliest political memories involved George Bush Sr., and I only began to understand politics during the Clinton era. We therefore take his message of "change" quite literally. Older voters may be less affected by his idealism and passion because they've seen it before.

Posted by: shawn on January 5, 2008 at 8:16 PM | PERMALINK

"Where's the discussion on Edward and his policies?"

The media is a corporate beast. Edwards is the supposed beast-slayer. It would be nice if at least you occasionally heard his name mentioned or read it in the press though. It's rather surreal the way things are going now.

Posted by: nepeta on January 5, 2008 at 8:19 PM | PERMALINK

Thanks for the input, Shawn. It's certainly understandable how you feel. Even for old fogies like me, twenty years of Bush-Clinton feels like a very long time.

Posted by: nepeta on January 5, 2008 at 8:24 PM | PERMALINK

Another reason Obama may be popular with the younger crowd is perhaps their reliance on the Internet for their news and facts. While there is lot of junk on the Net, it is fairly easy to cross check/challenge lies on the Net. Folks who get all their news and opinion on the radio and TV can't readily check the facts and over time the lies grow on them.

Obama has a decent record. vote on the Iraq war was the defining issue of the recent past. He got that right and had a clear rationale for why he voted against it.

Posted by: rational on January 5, 2008 at 8:30 PM | PERMALINK

OMG! Are you mind-melding with Jonah Goldberg with regard to your statement "Is it merely the fact that Obama is a young man himself?"

Didn't he say something like this yesterday - that people wanted to vote for someone like themselves? I realize it was a long time ago (yesterday), but have we stopped mocking his comment already?

Posted by: fs on January 5, 2008 at 8:38 PM | PERMALINK

Jeez, Kevin. You're such a big media titan that you can't even keep track of whether or not your pieces appear in print? Wow!

Posted by: Jasper on January 5, 2008 at 8:44 PM | PERMALINK

Another reason Obama may be popular with the younger crowd is perhaps their reliance on the Internet

I would like to know... Is Talk Radio in a serious decline? Anybody got any demographic numbers or data? Time to stick a fork in Rush Limbaugh and Co.?

Posted by: Doc at the Radar Station on January 5, 2008 at 8:52 PM | PERMALINK

Or is it the fact that young people, more than the rest of us, are tired and cynical about politics and really do buy into Obama's claim that he's a post-partisan candidate who can end all the nastiness and empty Beltway wrangling?

Yes.

Posted by: Bill on January 5, 2008 at 8:52 PM | PERMALINK

I'd have been surprised if Clinton did well with young people. She's made some comments that strike me as hostile to the young, like the "work is a four-letter word" quote, and the out-of-state students caucusing issue

Posted by: gsyme on January 5, 2008 at 8:54 PM | PERMALINK

I would like to know... Is Talk Radio in a serious decline? Anybody got any demographic numbers or data? Time to stick a fork in Rush Limbaugh and Co.?

Would be nice to have access to such numbers. Most people listened to radio while driving and in their offices using the AM/FM radio. They had limited choice and talk shows dominated the field. Now we have satellite radio providing more choice so commuters don't have to be stuck with talk shows. At work, folks have the Internet and Internet Radio broadcasts, giving them more choice, thus reducing audience for talk show drivel.

Posted by: rational on January 5, 2008 at 9:13 PM | PERMALINK

Late to the thread but I'd like to add a couple of points. The only politician I've ever given money to in my life was $100 to John McCain. From a crass calculating perspective the best outcome for me would be one term of McCain to give Obama more seasoning and lock up the judiciary from the activists. But politics does not live by rationality alone, I want for some portion of my life to live in an optimistic country that feels like it's moving forward. That's why I'm willing to temporarily sacrifice some values for what Obama offers, and I think that's what the young people are feeling too.
I'd also like to say I live in Jackson County, NC 30 miles from Tennessee - I watched Harold Ford run against Bob Corker, I believe if Ford hadn't had several relatives in the pokey for corruption he could have won that race, and I honestly believe Obama would have a legitimate shot at winning NC against anyone but a healthy mistake free McCain on the Republican side. And I'm pretty sure I speak for many moderate Repubs, maybe 2% or 3% of the electorate, that we would vote for Obama but never consider Hillary or John Edwards.

Posted by: mr insensitive on January 5, 2008 at 9:22 PM | PERMALINK

A loose thought:

It is standard knee-jerk liberalism to decry the "magic negro" who appears in so many movies. You know, the mysterious zen golfer, the angel who greets the newly dead, even God himself—usually men (yes men) of color.

But look, the most inspirational voices of the twentieth century most often do belong to people of color. Gandhi, King, Mandela, Dalai Llama.

Maybe the brown people, whose ancestors slept on dirt floors, not softly stuffed mattresses like mine, have a connection to a basic understanding of life we caucasians don't have.

Looks to me like Obama is one of those magic negroes. I celebrate his membership in that august group and I also wonder if the portrayals often seen in the movies might be helping people see his special magic.

Posted by: James of DC on January 5, 2008 at 10:30 PM | PERMALINK

Obama has a dynamism, a virtuosity of language and thought, and a magnetism not seen for about two generations. He is someone who dominates a room and makes you feel at ease and better for the interaction. He will win if we are very lucky. If we are really, really, lucky, he will ensure Bush is prosecuted for his many crimes. My first step towards balancing the budget in 2009: seizing Bush and Cheney's ill-gotten assets.

Posted by: Sparko on January 5, 2008 at 10:41 PM | PERMALINK

PaulB, you overlook the obvious slam of the original post..one that anyone in politics should be very careful to avoid:

Or, as Chris Rock put it, just cuz you're the spouse doesn't mean you're good at your spouse's job. If you're on a plane do you want the wife of the pilot to take over?

The first problem with this analogy is to assume the pilot is male. (This pilot is female, also a pilot's wife). The second bad assumption is to assume that wives are not just as professional as their husbands.

A carelessly worded analogy reduces the intellectual credibility of the one presenting the analogy as well as allowing the reader to dismiss the argument as lacking merit based on flawed assumption. If you are insensitive to this particular analogy used, you run the risk of alienating many, many capable, intelligent female voters. Not a smart battle plan if you want to win elections.

Now, as this applies to HRC in particular, the "experience" refers to the reality that she was living the day to day White House angst and policy building, as well as the strategies of how to best present proposed legislation to both houses of congress. She was President Clinton's closest "advisor" for eight years. If I look at everyone running for president today, no one else has that advantage. And it is an advantage. It is not the end all, be all -- but it is an advantage.

The assignment for the voter here, is to determine for him/herself how valuable one wants to consider this "experience". Did we like the policies and proposed legislation and legislation passed, of the Clinton years? If yes, the that is a plus for HRC and the voter, if no, then the voter must look elsewhere for satisfaction and that is a plus for the candidate who can provide answers for that voter.

The whole point of these primaries is to really examine the candidates and force them all to tell us what they plan, and even more than that, to listen to our concerns and reassure us that not only do their concerns coincide with our own, but there are plans to remedy them.

Whatever the voters of each state decide. So be it. Don't forget: There is still the convention in the high heat of the summer. Yay.

Posted by: The Pilot's Wife on January 5, 2008 at 10:42 PM | PERMALINK

"PaulB, you overlook the obvious slam of the original post"

I didn't, actually; I just didn't think it was a slam, given the genders of the people involved. This was aimed at Bill and Hillary, and the gender choice is appropriate in this context.

"The second bad assumption is to assume that wives are not just as professional as their husbands."

Um, nowhere in that analogy does anyone say that the wife (or spouse, if you will) is not professional; just that you would not necessarily assume that the spouse is in the same profession and has the same degree of competence. Are you going to argue that we should?

"A carelessly worded analogy reduces the intellectual credibility of the one presenting the analogy as well as allowing the reader to dismiss the argument as lacking merit based on flawed assumption."

True, but this analogy doesn't warrant this depth of analysis nor the criticism you're aiming at it. It was a throwaway argument clearly aimed at a very specific situation. Accordingly, it doesn't merit the degree of rigor that a broader analogy would warrant.

"Now, as this applies to HRC in particular, the 'experience' refers to the reality that she was living the day to day White House angst and policy building"

Sorry, but you have no way of knowing just how much she was involved in any kind of policy building. And sharing in the angst alone does not even come close to being relevant.

"as well as the strategies of how to best present proposed legislation to both houses of congress."

Again, you have no way of knowing this.

"She was President Clinton's closest 'advisor' for eight years."

Was she? Do you know what kind of advice she gave? How accurate and to the point her advice was? How often they spoke? What they talked about? Note that you had to put "advisor" in quotes. If she truly was his closest advisor, you would not need to do so.

"If I look at everyone running for president today, no one else has that advantage."

Absent any real evidence, I do not see any real advantage here for Clinton. And as I noted above, I find the "experience" argument completely unconvincing given that that I'm not aware of any correlation between "experience" and performance as president. We've had great ones with no real "experience" and lousy ones with much "experience."

"And it is an advantage. It is not the end all, be all -- but it is an advantage."

You have yet to demonstrate that. What I choose to go on is information that is publicly available and verifiable -- her record in the Senate. That record demonstrates neither exceptional positives nor exceptional negatives. I think a valid argument could be made that she, in fact, failed to demonstrate the true leadership that her position as the former wife of a President would have allowed her to demonstrate.

"The assignment for the voter here, is to determine for him/herself how valuable one wants to consider this 'experience'. Did we like the policies and proposed legislation and legislation passed, of the Clinton years?"

Sorry, but I don't give Hillary credit for Bill's accomplishments, nor for his failures. Obviously, your mileage may vary. Bill's record stands as his own accomplishment, just as Hillary's Senate record stands as hers.

I happen to like Hillary and think she would be a fine President. She's not my first choice, but I would have no hesitation at all supporting her nomination. I just don't buy the "experience" argument.

Posted by: PaulB on January 5, 2008 at 11:07 PM | PERMALINK

"the best outcome for me would be one term of McCain to give Obama more seasoning and lock up the judiciary from the activists"

What on earth makes you think that McCain wouldn't choose judges for the "activists," using the same criteria that Bush has used? He's done nothing but pander to that group of people for a couple of years now.

Posted by: PaulB on January 5, 2008 at 11:09 PM | PERMALINK

James of DC writes: "Maybe the brown people, whose ancestors slept on dirt floors, not softly stuffed mattresses like mine, have a connection to a basic understanding of life we caucasians don't have".

Possibly the most condescending unintentionally racist stupid comment ever.

Guess what James? lots of brown peoples' ancestors slept on feather beds.

Posted by: Chrissy on January 5, 2008 at 11:15 PM | PERMALINK

Is it merely the fact that Obama is a young man himself? That seems too simplistic.

I think that's a big big part of it. Occam's razor still applies.

Posted by: craigie on January 5, 2008 at 11:21 PM | PERMALINK

So did anyone watch the NH debate? I'm waiting for comments, questions, snide remarks...

Posted by: nepeta on January 5, 2008 at 11:28 PM | PERMALINK

"lots of brown peoples' ancestors slept on feather beds."

And lots of non-brown peoples' ancestors slept on the floor. It was a rather ... unfortunate ... comment that James made.

Posted by: PaulB on January 5, 2008 at 11:29 PM | PERMALINK

"So did anyone watch the NH debate? I'm waiting for comments, questions, snide remarks..."

DailyKos is probably the best place to get that. Their front-page diary said that the debate basically confirmed the status quo. Their poll, with 4069 votes, shows Obama and Edwards as roughly tied as the perceived winner.

Posted by: PaulB on January 5, 2008 at 11:36 PM | PERMALINK

Senator Clinton: We don't need to be raising the false hopes of our country about what can be delivered

I assume she won't take away our hope for recess.

I love 4 Square

Posted by: hlah on January 5, 2008 at 11:40 PM | PERMALINK

Whoa, hlah, I didn't hear that one.

Posted by: nepeta on January 5, 2008 at 11:44 PM | PERMALINK

I didn't like the first question or how any of the candidates responded to it, except maybe Richardson. The first question was "The greatest threat America is facing today......pregnant pause.....is the threat of a terrorist exploding a nuclear bomb in a major American city.' I guess that would be the greatest threat if you weren't the teenager who died because her insurance company wouldn't pay for a liver transplant. So the meme remains the same. America's biggest threat is terrorists, for which we must spend treasure and lives and remain in a constant state of fear. Except for that first question, I thought everyone did an excellent job in the debate.

Posted by: nepeta on January 5, 2008 at 11:56 PM | PERMALINK

Hey jps

Grinnell College '00

How about you?

Posted by: Adam on January 6, 2008 at 12:15 AM | PERMALINK

"Presidents do all kinds of things that you wouldn't have guessed based on their campaigns. Nixon imposed wage and price controls for cryin' out loud."

Posted by: tomeck on January 5, 2008

Actually, if you had researched Nixon's past you would have realized it wasn't so strange at all. In his past, during WWII he worked in the federal government agency which regulated prices.

Past is sometimes prelude to the future. That's why people should have noticed Bush had never been very successful at anything he'd ever done.

That's why people should notice how Obama's legislative work has been so irregular and out of the office. He'd probably avoid tough decisions and let other people do the leading.

Obama is not a leader.

Posted by: MarkH on January 6, 2008 at 12:34 AM | PERMALINK

Someone asked about the debates. Since Kevin didn't post about them, I'll blogwhore a little. I blogged 'em. click here

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on January 6, 2008 at 12:34 AM | PERMALINK

"Obama doesn't support mandates because polls consistently show that the lower-paid working class do not mandates because they are worried they will be forced to pay for something they can't afford. To be blunt, Obama understands change needs to come incrementally -- why engender opposition from the very people who need the help?"

Posted by: Elliott on January 5, 2008

Sounds like he wants to go along to get along instead of Progressively pushing for the big bold changes we need soon.

What's Obama gonna do when the Republicans don't go along? Is he going to seek incremental changes to avoid 'engendering opposition'?

Obama isn't a leader. He's a machine politician who talks a good game.

Posted by: MarkH on January 6, 2008 at 12:37 AM | PERMALINK

"
frankly0: "If Obama wins the Presidency, will all of the Obama supporters mind terribly much if other Democrats choose to skip the inauguration so that we can attend the wake for universal health care?"

Not at all. Obama and other candidates' supporters would appreciate the break from your obsessive screeching for one evening.

Posted by: shortstop on January 5, 2008

Is this an example of how Obama (and his supporters) seek to 'bring people together'?

I've seen Dems who hate Bush and Repubs who hate all Dems, but for the Obama people to show hatred toward other Dems is bizarre and scary. Arrogance I can accept. Hatred and anger just doesn't make sense unless Obama supporters aren't actually Dems.

"Don't taze me bro'!"

Posted by: MarkH on January 6, 2008 at 12:42 AM | PERMALINK

Chrissy declined to come up with anything coherent, so I will try again with a new friend.

MarkH, what in particular do you not like about Obama's legislative record? I posted a link much earlier to some of his accomplishments. I was pretty impressed. What evidence do you have that he is spotty in his leadership?

Secondly, what is it about Clinton's and/or Edwards' resume that is so much better? Have they actually led more fights than Obama has? Have they won a lot of them?

Increasingly, I get the impression that people have bought into Clinton's experience narrative without checking to see whether she has actually done anything other than be Bill's wife. I certainly haven't been blown away by her record so far, but maybe I am just missing something. Ditto for Edwards.

Posted by: socratic_me on January 6, 2008 at 12:48 AM | PERMALINK

"Obama has a decent record. vote on the Iraq war was the defining issue of the recent past. He got that right and had a clear rationale for why he voted against it."
Posted by: rational on January 5, 2008

When did he vote on the AUMF? Cite?

Oh, I'm sorry. He didn't vote on that at all, did he? Sloppy thinking there dude! Heh.

Posted by: MarkH on January 6, 2008 at 12:49 AM | PERMALINK

Where did shortstop say that she was an Obama supporter? I have not read a single comment where she has advocated for any candidate, other than to say that she would vote for any one of them that earns the nomination.

For the record, I'm supporting Richardson in the primary. Not in the true-believer sense, but because I want him in the next administration in some capacity. As I said up-thread, I'm going to support whoever we Democrats nominate.

I am not going to participate in attacking any of the Democratic candidates. Their more obnoxious supporters I might take a swipe or two at....

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on January 6, 2008 at 12:50 AM | PERMALINK

Never mind, MarkH, don't bother. Just take your time reassembling your head after adding this:

I've seen Dems who hate Bush and Repubs who hate all Dems, but for the Obama people to show hatred toward other Dems is bizarre and scary. Arrogance I can accept. Hatred and anger just doesn't make sense unless Obama supporters aren't actually Dems.

right after having finished successive comments with these beauties:

That's why people should notice how Obama's legislative work has been so irregular and out of the office. He'd probably avoid tough decisions and let other people do the leading.

Obama is not a leader.

Obama isn't a leader. He's a machine politician who talks a good game.

Posted by: socratic_me on January 6, 2008 at 12:53 AM | PERMALINK

As usual, I find myself agreeing with RGBS. I currently support Obama, which I guess makes me part of the 20-something Cabal. I have my reasons, and I stated them above. However, the honest truth is that our field really is pretty good across the board. This makes me interested in finding out why people rally behind this or that candidate, but it also means I get really irritated with people who write like bots and/or paid staffers without actually addressing any substance. I apologize at those I snap at a little quickly because of my growing impatience and frustration, while reserving the claim that some people have deserved it.

Posted by: socratic_me on January 6, 2008 at 12:58 AM | PERMALINK

"What evidence do you have that he is spotty in his leadership?

Secondly, what is it about Clinton's and/or Edwards' resume that is so much better? Have they actually led more fights than Obama has? Have they won a lot of them?"

Posted by: socratic_me on January 6, 2008

Weren't the quintessential Obama 'votes' when he and Clinton stood at the back of the Senate and waited until everyone else voted before they stepped forward?

Or maybe it was when he disappeared and didn't vote on the Kyl-Lieberman amendment which designated part of the Iranian military as a terrorist organization (thus ensuring we would have to respond to their action as though it came directly from the Iranian government).

Obama didn't lead in either direction. He stood by and let others do the job.

Edwards didn't participate in government until he became a senator. He did fight corporate stupidhood for years as a trial lawyer. He helped many people (not just those he immediately assisted) that way. He won over and over and over. That's a record which indicates what his future success can be.

Has Obama ever won any cases at trial?

Posted by: MarkH on January 6, 2008 at 12:59 AM | PERMALINK

Could somebody tell me the difference between Obama's health care plan and Mitt Romney's?

Seriously, both sound like they are putting forth some sort of version of the Massachusetts plan, but near as I can tell neither favor mandates.

Posted by: corpus juris on January 6, 2008 at 1:01 AM | PERMALINK

Not all lawyers try cases.

Obama was a Constitutional scholar. (I don't know if he has ever tried a case. I welcome enlightenment here.)

Nevertheless, I can see the attraction to one with his specific qualifications since our Constitution has been so severely undermined by the current organized crime family trying to pass itself off as a presidential administration.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on January 6, 2008 at 1:06 AM | PERMALINK

MarkH

Obama the president of the Harvard Law Review. After graduating he became a community organizer for a while. He then took a job teaching Constitutional Law. Then he became a politician. He lost his first election. He learned how to run and won every race after that. I would be very surprised if he ever saw the inside of a courtroom except when he was taking a trial practice course at Harvard.

In short, he was one of those guys who ordinarily becomes an appellate court judge or maybe a Supreme Court Justice. He became a Senator/Rock Star instead.

Posted by: corpus juris on January 6, 2008 at 1:09 AM | PERMALINK

Can someone please give credit to Howard Dean? He laid the groundwork and while it was a bit overzealous in '04, everything appears to have come to fruition in '08. So please remember that Dean plays a huge lynchpin role in this dem resurgence.

Obama/Hillary/Edwards '08!!

Posted by: 04 blog obsessive on January 6, 2008 at 1:11 AM | PERMALINK

Howard Dean deserves a lot of credit.

So does George W. Bush. He has proven to be one heckofa uniter. ;)

Posted by: corpus juris on January 6, 2008 at 1:21 AM | PERMALINK

What corpus said.

Twice.

Posted by: socratic_me on January 6, 2008 at 1:23 AM | PERMALINK

So please remember that Dean plays a huge lynchpin role in this dem resurgence.

Yes, he certainly does deserve a hell of a lot of credit.

His 50 State Strategy was instrumental in the Democrats taking the majorities in the House and Senate in 2006, and will extend those majorities come November. (For the record, I'll take do-nothing over rubberstamp Bush's agenda.) When we launched our state progressive news blog, one of the first posts I wrote there paid homage by making the case for a 114 county strategy.

When Carville (what the hell has he done for the Democrats lately???) said he should be dumped as head of the national party in favor of Harold Ford (Harold Ford???) I was one of the lefty bloggers that went ballistic.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on January 6, 2008 at 1:24 AM | PERMALINK

MarkH: Is this an example of how Obama (and his supporters) seek to 'bring people together'?

BGRS: Where did shortstop say that she was an Obama supporter? I have not read a single comment where she has advocated for any candidate, other than to say that she would vote for any one of them that earns the nomination.

Correct. In fact, I have said more than once here that Obama is not my first choice. MarkH doesn't read any more effectively than he shills.

Posted by: shortstop on January 6, 2008 at 1:43 AM | PERMALINK

Hell, I was against the war from the start; maybe I should run for president. No, really-that means that I have GOOD JUDGMENT!!! Just like Barack!!!

Better judgement than Hillary anyway. Not being able to see through Bush's lies should be a pretty clear indication that someone is not fit to be president.

Posted by: bob on January 6, 2008 at 2:05 AM | PERMALINK

I assumed that we were talking about those in favor of it. It's a foregone conclusion that those against will frame any plan as negatively and as viciously as they can, regardless of the details.I assumed that we were talking about those in favor of it. It's a foregone conclusion that those against will frame any plan as negatively and as viciously as they can, regardless of the details.

Yes. But what you're calling "framing" in the case of universal mandate is really just simple fact, and that hands the victory to the opponents for free.

It's a simple fact that the universal mandate idea means that people who currently live from paycheck to paycheck would be forced --- not offered the opportunity to choose, but forced, with their wages and credit rating at risk if they try to refuse --- to somehow come up with the money each month to pay for health insurance. In practice that means that many of them would find their mortgages even harder to pay, not to mention taking money away from cars and other things that people prefer to put their money into.

What you're calling "framing" is simply that Hillary's plan offers opponents the opportunity to point out these simple, irrefutable facts. It's not Harry and Louise in this case, because that was an example of fearmongering that had no factual basis. Here Hillary's plan just bares the jugular and asks opponents to sink their teeth into it by pointing out the hard cold facts about what it would mean for the middle class and lower middle class to have to come up with the money to pay for a universal mandate or else find themselves on the receiving end of an unforgiving government bureaucracy demanding payments out of money they don't have.

Posted by: bob on January 6, 2008 at 2:19 AM | PERMALINK

I'm wondering if anyone has done some speculating about how Obama might fare in the South and Mid-Atlantic states if there is an overwhelming turnout among African-American voters? Seems to me that the conventional wisdom about Obama being unable to do well in Dixie could be overturned pretty quickly if there is super-heavy minority turnout.

Come to think of it, maybe that's why the GOP has been working overtime to write exclusionary voting laws in Georgia and elsewhere....

Posted by: x-man on January 6, 2008 at 2:35 AM | PERMALINK

Good grief people! Have you already forgotten the political climate in the early fall of 2002? The anniversary of 9/11 was played for maximum effect and then the AUMF was cynically held days later - and just before the midterm elections.

The timing of that vote - wanted by a Republican president with a majority congress - was intentional, and a stoke of evil manipulation. I, for one, saw through it then, and bitched about it to anyone who would listen.

If it had failed then, it would have been used against the Democrats in congress, and the Republicans would have ended up with unstoppable numbers. It also had a couple of strings attached that aWol just sent Powell to lie about.

And it's a two-fer. The Dems were truly damned if they did, or damned if they didn't.

I'm not happy about that vote either, but I am realistic about it. When you let it be THE issue - you are playing into that fucker Rove's hands.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on January 6, 2008 at 2:38 AM | PERMALINK

First, I will vote for whomever ends up being the Democratic Party's presidential nominee in November.

Second, I want the next Democratic Party president to honor their oath to uphold our Constitution and the rule of law, which in my view, does not mean letting the most corrupt administration in American history just walk away, without really any political or legal repercussions, from their two disastrous terms in office.

Thus, my question to all Democratic Party presidential candidates: will you pull a Joe Lie-berman, who as a Senate committee chairman, has not held one oversight hearing investigating the rampant corruption in the Bush/Cheney administration, thus dishonoring his oath, or will you, as our next president, conduct a thorough housecleaning of the White House and work with Democrats in Congress looking into Republican corruption, but especially that practiced by those in the Bush/Cheney administration?

From what I can tell, the subject of post-Bush/Cheney administration investigations being held by the incoming Democratic Party president in conjunction with more comprehensive (and less blocked) investigations by Senate and House committees, is taboo.

Just like Nancy Pelosi saying that impeachment hearings were off the table (even as the outright criminality of the Bush/Cheney mal-administration becomes more evident each passing day), is the position of all Democratic Party presidential candidates that they, if elected president, will not open up any Justice Department investigations into past Bush/Cheney criminality, nor will he/she cooperate with any ongoing Senate and House investigations, but will let the criminals in the Bush/Cheney administration get away scot-free? And I don't care if Bush sets a presidential record in pardoning members of his administration (both past and present), everything Bush and Cheney have authorized in pursuit of their totalitarian "permanent Republican majority" must be scrutinized and exposed for our nation to put this sorry, despicable chapter behind us.

Finally, if you add this into the equation of who the Republicans (and their media puppets) prefer to be the Democratic Party's presidential nominee come November, then this might help explain which Democratic candidates they're touting versus those Democratic candidates they're ignoring or dissing, in an attempt to sway Democratic Party and independent voters.

Because I'm certain that the Republicans don't want anymore digging done into their criminal activities than they can help.

Based on the rhetoric I've been hearing on the campaign trail and in the debates, which Democratic Party presidential candidate(s) do you think would roll-over for the Republicans like the corrupt Joe Lie-berman or, if elected president, stand up, be counted, and hold the Bush/Cheney administration finally accountable for all of their past criminal misdeeds and treasonous acts?

Posted by: The Oracle on January 6, 2008 at 2:51 AM | PERMALINK

I think it's a generational thing. Don't take this personally, but it's time for the boomers to get out of the way.

bs23, here's an idea: put us on ice floes and push us out to sea.

Posted by: Sharon on January 6, 2008 at 3:23 AM | PERMALINK

Does anyone really think that Barack Hussein Obama is going to carry a single southern state? If so, name the state. I like Obama but if he's the democratic nominee I don't think he'll win the Presidency because of the south. Maybe I'm wrong....any thoughts?

Noel, I'll name the state: Louisiana. We just elected an Indian governor.

Posted by: Sharon on January 6, 2008 at 3:30 AM | PERMALINK

Funny, I don't remember being "shamed" in any way, shape, or form, by Bill's affair. It affected me not at all, other than the disgust at the investigation and subsequent impeachment.

Exactly, PaulB. My shame was the behavior of the MSM and Congress. That stupid, meaningless affair was grounds for divorce, not grounds for impeachment. If the press had had any decency it would have buried the story just the way it buried countless similar stories before and has buried countless since.

The public got the distinction; the press (and of course Congress which never gets anything) didn't.

Posted by: Sharon on January 6, 2008 at 4:25 AM | PERMALINK

Hillary did a lot in changing the perception of First Lady from pottted plant to one who reached out and traveled and promoted the rights of women and children especially. She worked hard on healthcare. (hardwork being a foreign concept to Obama) Her extreme grace under unceasing pressure and criticism from rabid haters on the right and in the press (like Matthews) was remarkable. Now she faces it from rabid unthinking mobs on the left. Ungrateful sob's.

What Chrissy said.

Posted by: Sharon on January 6, 2008 at 4:28 AM | PERMALINK

I should have said, "What Chrissy said except for the hardwork being a foreign concept to Obama part." That makes absolutely no sense, Chrissy. But, I too, was struck by HRC's "extreme grace under unceasing pressure". I don't know many who would have fared so well. Eleanor Roosevelt comes to mind. But I think most would have cracked the way Mary Todd Lincoln did. Geez! It was horrible! That said, I'm not implying in any way this gives HRC some entitlement to the White House, Filmex.

Posted by: Sharon on January 6, 2008 at 4:40 AM | PERMALINK

When did he vote on the AUMF? Cite?

mea culpa. Haven't paid attention to politics for almost a year and rusty on some of the details. Obama wasn't in the US Senate, but had consistently opposed the war on Iraq (http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/story?id=2966537&page=1). As RGBS stated and as I clearly recall, Dems were put in an extremely tight spot by Bush/Rove. I don't hold it against Dems who succumbed to that pressure. At the same time, as an opponent of that war from before it started, I recall how hard it was to hold that view. Yet, some people, even those in public life, managed to oppose the war and stick to their convictions. It is times such as that when courage and clear headed thinking distinguish the rare gem from the heap of opportunistic rubble.

Posted by: rational on January 6, 2008 at 5:23 AM | PERMALINK

Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) Good grief people! Have you already forgotten the political climate in the early fall of 2002? The anniversary of 9/11 was played for maximum effect and then the AUMF was cynically held days later - and just before the midterm elections.

The timing of that vote - wanted by a Republican president with a majority congress - was intentional, and a stoke of evil manipulation. I, for one, saw through it then, and bitched about it to anyone who would listen.
..
and don't forget, the bush admin. held details that north korea said they actually HAD nukes..

until AFTER the vote...

aumf vote - 10/11/2002

U.S.: North Korea admits nuke program - cnn 10/17/02

wonder how the vote would have gone if the dates had been switched?

Posted by: mr. irony on January 6, 2008 at 5:26 AM | PERMALINK

Based on the rhetoric I've been hearing on the campaign trail and in the debates, which Democratic Party presidential candidate(s) do you think would roll-over for the Republicans like the corrupt Joe Lie-berman or, if elected president, stand up, be counted, and hold the Bush/Cheney administration finally accountable for all of their past criminal misdeeds and treasonous acts?

John Edwards

I seem to have this dialog to myself. Wake up, everybody.

Posted by: Sharon on January 6, 2008 at 5:41 AM | PERMALINK

I watched both of last night’s New Hampshire debates. (This was the first time, this election season, that I had a chance to asses, in depth, all the candidates for myself without the distraction and interference of media hype and canned sound bites.) I listened intently to what each candidate had to say, and with an open a mind as possible, I tried to assess from the presentation each made the “presidential” qualities each possessed and therefrom determine which would be the best choice for America at this time in history.
Upon having seen the candidates’ presentation and performance in last night’s New Hampshire debates, I have become convinced that Hillary Clinton is the one, in my view, best able to do the job, bring the change most of us yearn for, and tackle the challenges and issues that the next president will face will face. She is a proven commodity, she is smart, insightful, hard working and savvy, but also compassionate, and she presents a picture of being steady at the helm. She pointed out that being able to effectuate “change” is measured by action and not just pretty words (a needed comment/dig at the current Obamamania). She made profound observations about the war on terror, made sobering acknowledgments concerning the folly and continuing failure of our ill-conceived Iraq adventure. She was the first candidate to mention the state of the economy, even before the moderator, etc. . . I urge the New Hampshire Democrats to take a second look at Hillary because if they don’t, the Democratic Party may be swept up by the seductive siren’s call that Obama trumpets.
I much fear that the pretty sound of Barack Obama’s call will be easily silenced when it comes up against the Republican reality check masine. Then, there will be essentially no change of the status quo. The Democrats, the country and the world will have been robbed of their dream once again.

Posted by: Erika S on January 6, 2008 at 6:28 AM | PERMALINK

bob said:

"Hell, I was against the war from the start; maybe I should run for president. No, really-that means that I have GOOD JUDGMENT!!! Just like Barack!!!

Better judgement than Hillary anyway. Not being able to see through Bush's lies should be a pretty clear indication that someone is not fit to be president."

Well, bob, if you feel that way, then most of Congress should lose their jobs. Seriously, everyone makes mistakes. Sometimes big mistakes. The important thing is to learn from them.

I feel like Obama has already been annointed as the Democratic nominee. He certainly has been getting favorable press compared to Hillary. I keep waiting for actual pieces on his record, but the only one that I have actually seen is the one in this month's WM. The press is doing exactly what it did when Bush first ran-love letters all of the way. No substance, just sentimental twaddle.

Posted by: Susan on January 6, 2008 at 6:48 AM | PERMALINK

Obama appeals to the possible, the motivating idealism of youth.

He's a good leader for that.

Action happens by acts, not by ideas, though ideas motivate.

If Obama's campaign motivates kids to get educated to actually solve problems, that will be a repeat of John Kennedy's best and brightest efforts.

Involvement.

Posted by: Richard Witty on January 6, 2008 at 7:49 AM | PERMALINK

Boo

Posted by: Erika S on January 6, 2008 at 8:22 AM | PERMALINK

Pardon me. Sorry about the previous "Boo" post. I had no intention of being impolite or disrespectful to the great group that posts here. I enjoy reading everyone comment. --
What happened is that I was just testing the system and inadvertently hit post.

Posted by: Erika S on January 6, 2008 at 8:32 AM | PERMALINK

Erika S

We've all developed pretty thick skins around here, and been insulted with impolite disrespectful putdowns harsher than "boo" - welcome to the thread, we need someone with your sense of civility.

Posted by: mr insensitive on January 6, 2008 at 8:41 AM | PERMALINK


erika...

you owe us a royalty for using our catch phrase...

Posted by: R. N. C. on January 6, 2008 at 8:51 AM | PERMALINK

Got the same impression as Erika regarding debates. Hillary much more substantial. Also clearly Edwards has struck up some sort of back room deal with Obama. Like they think a black guy/white southerner running together thing like a sitcom or B-movie is a really brilliant move. What a mistake. Lost a lot of respect for Edwards. Tag-teaming with the second rate Obama to take down Hillary is contemptible.

Posted by: Chrissy on January 6, 2008 at 8:51 AM | PERMALINK

The time for change has come, and by change I mean big change. The American people are tired of the status quo, which is exactly what Hillary is (nice shot Mr. Edwards). I am tired of Hillary campaigning on her husbands record. Last night she made mention of how her husband balanced the budget and got rid of the national deficit, while I dont agree with the huge deficit the current administration has run up (unnecessarily I might add) a certain degree of debt is crucial to keep the government from investing a surplus in the private sector, allowing them to wield more power than was intended by the framers. So she (in my opinion) should take that sound byte out of her bag of tricks (yet another example of the status quo trying to pull the wool over the American peoples eyes with slick political maneuvering, or perhaps she just doesnt understand). Perhaps Bill Clinton does deserve credit for ridding us of the national debt..or perhaps he just got lucky. I think however his shenanigans with Monica and the subsequent impeachment was a distraction, when combined with his weak foreign policy (i.e. sending Tomahawk cruise missiles after Bin Laden and pulling out of Somalia), could be what emboldened the 9/11 terrorists in the first place. Whether this is the case or not, Hillary sure is quick to play the Bill card when it works, and leave it in the deck when it doesnt (more maneuvering). Bill Clinton was a pretty good president but I dont think is much of a stretch to question his ethics and there Hillary has been, right by his side through thick and thin, monogamy and adultery. If you are in the den of snakes you either learn to slither, or you get bit, Hillary has learned to slither. That aside, the three front running Democratic candidates all look pretty good to me and do not differ that much on the issues. In my opinion none of them would make a bad president a definite step up from the Bush administration..but Id prefer not to learn to slither. I personally think an Obama/Edwards ticket would look pretty good this yearor am I the only one that caught that?

Posted by: Jim on January 6, 2008 at 8:56 AM | PERMALINK

I watched the debates last night. I even tried to rank them. The Democrats came one, two, three and four. The first Republican was five. I can enthusiastically get behind any candidate the Democrats might nominate. I just hope the campaign stays close until February. I want my vote to count.

Oh, my view of the Democrats in last night's debate. Edwards won, Obama second, Hillary a strong third and Bill Richardson a surprisingly close fourth. Everybody seems to be adopting Edwards' line who seems to be turning into the "John The Baptist" of this campaign.

Posted by: corpus juris on January 6, 2008 at 8:56 AM | PERMALINK

Jim, if Edwards doesn't win the nomination, Obama should name him Attorney General. That would scare the shit out of a lot of insiders and would restore a fighting spirit to the Justice Department.

Posted by: proctoring.congress@gmail.com on January 6, 2008 at 9:00 AM | PERMALINK

I can't get over how out-of-touch the commenters here are with the majority of your own party - look at the brief YouTube clip Andrew Sullivan posted today:

http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/

I guess Obama isn't enough of a hater to satisfy many of you, and you've confused ranting with effectiveness.

Posted by: mr insensitive on January 6, 2008 at 9:01 AM | PERMALINK

BGRS, Oh brother. Scholars usually produce some body of work - books other than the "All About Me" narcissistic book from Obama. Obama was a part time lecturer. We need to be realistic about candidates not make them into silly idols like Republicans and the fawning msm talking heads.

Posted by: Chrissy on January 6, 2008 at 9:07 AM | PERMALINK

Those who are jumping on the Obama bandwagon just because of the NH win are doing the Party a disservice. I could be won over to him, but right now have legitimate concerns about how platitudes about "bringing the Parties together" are going to work with the velociraptor politics of the Republicans. I know Hillary can take the Republican blowtorch.

Posted by: bob h on January 6, 2008 at 9:25 AM | PERMALINK

Re: Blue Girl

"If it had failed then, it would have been used against the Democrats in congress, and the Republicans would have ended up with unstoppable numbers. It also had a couple of strings attached that aWol just sent Powell to lie about."

What a tendentious load of crap! Paul Wellstone was on the verge of losing his seat until he became the hero of the hour opposing the AUMF - he would have won going away if he hadn't been in that plane crash - even though his state was pro-war and his seat went to a Repub instead of Mondale after all. Likewise all the Dems that voted their consciences - Graham, Boxer, et al, - looked much better than the blow-dried brigade that did not. And you know I say this as one who still [reluctantly] believes the war was the least bad option. And do you want to elaborate on your smear on Colin Powell? What are these mysterious strings he lied about?

Posted by: mr insensitive on January 6, 2008 at 9:30 AM | PERMALINK

Chrissy, I haven't (quite literally) got a horse in this race but it's pretty darn clear to all you don't like Obama. Fine. But your obsessive repetition of this point is if anything going to work against your aims.

And I usually love your commentary...

This Canadian looks forward to the direction any of the remaining Democratic contenders would move the U.S. in. And add that as a foreigner one of my biggest interests is to see any in this current government responsible for crimes in the name of the U.S. government be fully prosecuted for any crimes committed. I can't help but feel that if the earlier Iran-contra investigations had been allowed to go fully forward, much of the overreach under Bush would not have been possible. But who is the Democratic president that would be most certain to see through investigations of what has happened under Bush?

Posted by: snicker-snack on January 6, 2008 at 9:33 AM | PERMALINK

Also clearly Edwards has struck up some sort of back room deal with Obama. Like they think a black guy/white southerner running together thing like a sitcom or B-movie is a really brilliant move. What a mistake. - Chrissy

That might be possible, but it didn't seem that way to me given how Obama was reacting to it. My theory is that Edwards is primarily competing with Obama for what's left of Hillary's voters. However, I do think he might have been purposefully *testing* the concept of how people might respond to the idea of both of them on the ticket.

Posted by: Doc at the Radar Station on January 6, 2008 at 10:35 AM | PERMALINK

snicker-snack: it isn't a matter of like or don't like. In fact liking or not liking candidates is what is wrong. A people and a press who like a candidate and overlook their flaws or elevate them to some sort of demigod status are deadly in a democracy. We have a big problem in this country. We choose and elevate politicians without any serious examination of them as people or their policies. Instead we choose them like we do celebrities and ignore serious problems with candidates and make them into people they are not. The msm elevates the people they like and trashes the people they don't. We end up with people like George W. Bush and Dick Cheney who are seriously flawed human beings and really good men and women who don't have a "gimmick" to sell themselves are left out. I see in Obama very serious flaws that should be examined and vetted.

I think Edwards has shown a remarkable understanding of what's wrong with the country and crafted brilliant solutions. Also has a stellar work history and shown a lot of courage in facing formidable challenges in court and personal challenges that would have left most of us curled up in a fetal position. Probably he is the one and only candidate who would not back down to the entrenched interests and hold the criminals of the admin accountable. But he has run a bad campaign. I also think Hillary would do great things for the country but not hold the Republicans accountable.

Posted by: Chrissy on January 6, 2008 at 10:41 AM | PERMALINK

I am a Democrat. I hate Bush’s presidency. I hated the war in Iraq before we were involved and continue to. I think we are in deep sheet politically and economically due to the money wasted on this war. I believe we need a President who can get us out of it. I am not going to vote Democrat if Obama gets the nomination. Depending on the Republican nominee, I might vote Republican - because he could be less evil then Obama.

Change is a beautiful word that sounded very seductive when used by Obama, especially today considering the sheet that we are in. Without change, mankind would stand still. However it is only a seductive word at the moment. What we need right now is somebody who can and knows how to navigate us out of where we are and Obama is not this person. There were political leaders before that wanted change, but what they achieved was destruction - like in Russia &Iraq. Not all changes are good and it is extremely important when, where and how changes are implemented!
What is Obama’s position today in Kenya?

Posted by: an on January 6, 2008 at 10:44 AM | PERMALINK

"Yes. But what you're calling 'framing' in the case of universal mandate is really just simple fact, and that hands the victory to the opponents for free."

No. I'm sorry, but you're simply incorrect.

"It's a simple fact that the universal mandate idea means that people who currently live from paycheck to paycheck would be forced --- not offered the opportunity to choose, but forced, with their wages and credit rating at risk if they try to refuse --- to somehow come up with the money each month to pay for health insurance."

And once again, no. The details matter and none of the Democratic plans under discussion would force someone to choose between, e.g., paying their mortgage and getting health insurance. In fact, that's precisely the point of the various plans -- that people shouldn't have to make those kinds of choices.

"What you're calling 'framing' is simply that Hillary's plan offers opponents the opportunity to point out these simple, irrefutable facts.

I'm afraid you don't understand the meaning of the word "facts".

Posted by: PaulB on January 6, 2008 at 10:48 AM | PERMALINK

"There were political leaders before that wanted change, but what they achieved was destruction - like in Russia &Iraq."

This has to be one of the silliest remarks of the thread. Sheesh....

Posted by: PaulB on January 6, 2008 at 10:53 AM | PERMALINK

Obama needs to defend himself better against Hillary's attacks. When she criticizes Obama on experience and healthcare, Obama should come back with something like

"Yes, Hillary, you are experienced. Experienced at failure. Why should the American people trust you to deliver health care when your prior attempt failed so miserably? That failure in 1993 set us back 15 years."

Posted by: Elliott on January 6, 2008 at 11:12 AM | PERMALINK

I agree with Elliott on the substance of his proposed comeback for Obama. I have always looked at him as having a lot of class. I just don't think that would be his style.

Posted by: Jim on January 6, 2008 at 11:17 AM | PERMALINK

I think Edwards has shown a remarkable understanding of what's wrong with the country and crafted brilliant solutions. ... But he has run a bad campaign.

Posted by: Chrissy

Out of curiousity, how does a candidate show a "remarkable understanding of what's wrong with the country" and "craft brilliant solutions" but nevetheless "run a bad campaign?"

What mistakes has he made?

Posted by: Econobuzz on January 6, 2008 at 11:23 AM | PERMALINK

i am trying to get hip to the Obama train, he is appealing and does have real talent (check out the recent descriptions of his work against forced confessions in his own state.) Bloggers must dig in though and see what the substance really says, take on the experience issue, etc., because picking a President is very important business.

Posted by: Neil B. on January 6, 2008 at 11:28 AM | PERMALINK

I seem to recall a certain Governor of Arkansas who ran on a campaign of change but had little practical experience above the state level, and he turned out to be a pretty good President.

Posted by: Quinn on January 6, 2008 at 11:33 AM | PERMALINK

"Respectfully, Diablevert, you have no idea how much a universal health care plan will cost each individual nor what funding sources will be available to help with those costs. The details matter; the framing matters."

I don't think that's quite true. A mandate law has been passed in Massachusetts, where I live. After much haggling, the lowest priced plan insurance companies would agree to provide came in around $200 a month with a $5,000 deductible. That's for people making above 3 times federal poverty level who otherwise do not have health insurance --- the group perhaps most likely to include young people and the self employed. As of seven weeks ago, about 100,000 hadn't signed up despite the mandate, about 20% of the total uninsured pool in the state.

Now, people making below 3 times federal poverty do have subsidies available to them to help purchase a plan. I'm sure some such subsidies would be available in a federal program. And perhaps costs could be made somewhat lower under such a program; you'd have bigger economies of scale and lower cost of living than int he bay state. But it's hard for me to see how that works out to say, a $50 a month basic coverage plan. $150 maybe. Perhaps I am incorrect or ignorant, and if you have more info on insurance costs that you think is relevant do let me know. But say it's $150 a month; that's still a big chunk of change for the income range of people under consideration --- federal poverty is $10,210. Someone making 3 times federal poverty is probably taking home about 2 grand a month after taxes; after rent and food $150 is a big chunk of what's left. For a young healthy person who's not going to get near that $5,000 grand deductible, it might seem like too much. They might reasonably choose to pay the fine rather than buy the insurance.

If you think I'm somehow completely wrong with these numbers, not even in the ballpark, tell me why. Maybe I'm wrong and I don't know it. But to say we can have no concept of what such a plan would cost when a mandate plan is currently being implemented in one state, and the deals with the insurance companies have already been struck, seems wrong to me. The Massachusetts experience gives us an example to work with.

Posted by: Diablevert on January 6, 2008 at 11:37 AM | PERMALINK

Noel, I'll name the state: Louisiana. We just elected an Indian governor.

...who is a Republican who, incidentally, wouldn't have had a chance in Louisiana if he hadn't converted from Hinduism to Catholicism.

No Dem is going to carry Louisiana. It's just the way it is, but no Dem needs the deep south to win, either.

Posted by: shortstop on January 6, 2008 at 11:46 AM | PERMALINK

Beer and Wine Tracks

Last summer while traveling through the rural low country of South Carolina, I stopped at a gas station/convenience store. This is the heart of beer county. Yet the first thing I saw, as I come into the door was a rack of Yellow Tail wine. The beer was in the back.

Maybe "wine country" now describes the whole US>

Posted by: Joe Davidson on January 6, 2008 at 11:48 AM | PERMALINK

If Huckabee wins then I would vote for Obama, otherwise my vote goes to Romney.

Posted by: Matt on January 6, 2008 at 11:56 AM | PERMALINK

That failure in 1993 set us back 15 years.

I keep hearing this, but I have never seen a cite other than speculation by the pundit class.

I had a decade of working in health care at the time that the first attempt failed. And as we know, initial success is so common. Especially against entrenched interests. She should head for the wilderness in sackcloth and ashes and forage for nuts and berries the rest of her days. I think she should self-flagellate, too. [/snark]

Before she took on the issue, no one was talking about it. At all. I was working lifeflight at the time, in Wichita. It was routine to fly to western Kansas and pick up a woman in labor, because no doctors for 200 miles around were delivering babies.

You have no idea just how fucked up our health care system is.

I'm not a fan of Hillary on health care - none of them are saying anything that I think will have a real impact. It all strikes me as just so much rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. But I believe that the charge that she set the cause back 15 years is ludicrous. Convince me otherwise. How did she do this? Be specific and show your work.

In the end, it's going to be legislation that makes the difference, and legislation comes from Congress anyway. Unless a president took the radical step of federalizing the insurance industry, and/or all hospital employees - how do you think that would fly?

[An aside to Minion - there was exactly one Wellstone. I wish we had more Democrats like him who could take positions he did. But you know that.]

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on January 6, 2008 at 11:58 AM | PERMALINK

Wait, shortstop. The governor of Louisiana prior to Jindal was a Democrat and a woman.

Posted by: Janis Gore on January 6, 2008 at 12:00 PM | PERMALINK

Econobuzz: Edwards failed to distinguish himself as THE candidate of change and the only candidate who has really fought for change and fairness against powerful interests.

Posted by: Chrissy on January 6, 2008 at 12:06 PM | PERMALINK

Janis, sure, but we're talking about electoral votes for the presidency, not arguing whether a Dem can be governor. Sharon used the election of Jindal (an Indian-American who arguably could not have been elected as a Hindu and/or a Democrat) as evidence that a Democratic presidential candidate could take Louisiana this year.

Maybe so; Clinton and Carter both did. But in the current political climate I don't see it happening in 2008. Hope I'm wrong.

Posted by: shortstop on January 6, 2008 at 12:12 PM | PERMALINK

Thanks, Janis.

Shortstop, the point you missed...of course I know Jindal is a Republican...is that cliches and stereotypes about the south and southerners are infuriatingly inaccurate. Don't forget the south has a huge population of blacks. But...more important...the south also has a huge population of whites of good will. We aren't the Shiites, unless you're the Sunnis.

Posted by: Sharon on January 6, 2008 at 12:22 PM | PERMALINK

With Obama as nominee I see something like the 1952 Election, except with the Republicans taking the southern states and the Dems winning by a landslide everywhere else. That's my optimistic prediction. BTW, I chose the 1952 election to get the colors and balance right. Not to disparage Eisenhower...

Posted by: Doc at the Radar Station on January 6, 2008 at 12:23 PM | PERMALINK

Sharon, I come from Southern people and most of my family still lives in the South. I'm not engaging in stereotyping here, nor am I discounting all the whites of good will. I'm simply reading established vote patterns of the past few years.

Now, political trends could be changing more rapidly in Louisiana than I'm aware of. If they are, please share that data with us, because it would be great news for us in 2008. All I am saying is that Bobby Jindal's ascension to governor isn't particularly illustrative of a Democratic presidential candidate's ability to snag Louisiana's electoral votes this year.

Posted by: shortstop on January 6, 2008 at 12:30 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, just to clarify... I think this electoral map wouldn't look much different whether this was H, E, or O. Also, making the assumption that Huckabee gets the R nom. Also, not to disparage Adlai Stevenson either...

Posted by: Doc at the Radar Station on January 6, 2008 at 12:31 PM | PERMALINK

The Bradley Effect is the tendency of white voters to LIE about their support so they won't be seen as racist. Barack just showed that he can actually transcend that phenomenon by winning an election by the same amount as the most accurate polling indicated he would. LA Mayor Tom Bradley lost his shot at the California Governor's mansion in 1982 when the pro-gun forces turned out in huge numbers. Maybe Barack can be the lever to turn out a huge forward looking youth vote to dump roadblock Republicans across the country.

Posted by: Common Sense on January 6, 2008 at 12:31 PM | PERMALINK

Further...there is no place in the nation with a stronger yearning for racial reconciliation than the south. We've suffered the most from racism. All of us of all races. Assholes like David Duke make the news because IT IS NEWS. What's not news is that southern whites and blacks have been peacefully coexisting for a long time now. Whiter than thou states like Iowa haven't been through the crucible as have Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. For 60 years every pious asshole in America has been pointing the finger at these poverty stricken, politically underserved, maligned people. STOP IT!

Posted by: Sharon on January 6, 2008 at 12:34 PM | PERMALINK

Further still...I'm with Dean. Democrats need a FIFTY state strategy and writing off the south is just plain stupid, insulting and wrong.

Posted by: Sharon on January 6, 2008 at 12:38 PM | PERMALINK

"But I believe that the charge that she set the cause back 15 years is ludicrous."

BGRS,

If my memory is correct, Obama said last night that the failure to pass health care legislation in '93 has 'led to' 15 years of not getting anything accomplished. He wasn't blaming Hillary directly for that failure or for the passage of time, but implying that the failure to pass legislation then has put the issue on the shelf for fifteen years now. I suppose his message might be that with these BIG issues, with many entrenched interests involved, it's important to get it right the first time around or you'll have to wait a very long time for a second try.

Posted by: nepeta on January 6, 2008 at 12:38 PM | PERMALINK

*

Posted by: mhr on January 6, 2008 at 12:44 PM | PERMALINK

I think it's more accurate to say years of corporate domination of Congress and all other levers of political power have had more to do with setting back universal health care.

Corporate greed is out of control. We're in real danger of losing the entire middle class if we don't put the brakes on it. That's why I want to see Edwards in a position to fight it. Someone suggested Edwards for Attorney General. Brilliant idea!

Posted by: Sharon on January 6, 2008 at 12:47 PM | PERMALINK

Thinking out loud again, but what a team Obama and Edwards would make. Obama restoring our international stature and inspiring young people to public service. Edwards leveling the playing field by taking on the 21st century robber barons. Now that would be something!

Posted by: Sharon on January 6, 2008 at 12:52 PM | PERMALINK

Sharon at 12:34, please calm down; you're arguing rather wildly against points I haven't made and have no intention of making. My comments are no more a general indictment of southerners than pointing out that Idaho or Utah will go Republican is engaging in stereotype against some western states. Nor is correctly pointing out that we can win without deep south electoral votes equivalent to "writing off" the entire region. There is a large difference between eschewing all campaigning/GOTV efforts and assuming against evidence that those efforts will ultimately be successful in terms of 2008 electoral votes.

If you have some statistical evidence that Louisiana may go for Clinton, Obama or Edwards over whomever the Republican nominee is, please present it. There is a curious dearth of polling for these matchups in Louisiana, and while we have numbers for Alabama and Mississippi that show the Republican winning in a walk, I'm not going to extrapolate those results to Louisiana, which has a very different and in many ways more complex political personality than its neighboring states. I would be very glad to see any data you have on this subject.

Posted by: shortstop on January 6, 2008 at 1:00 PM | PERMALINK

Econobuzz on January 6, 2008 at 11:23 AM. I don't know what Chrissy would say but in my view Edward's problems are 1) he is a white man from the south when we have just had back to back white men from the south in the White House and most Americans are sick of them, and 2) more importantly, the powers in the consolidated elite media really believe he would try to change things in Washington. That is the last thing they want. As a result they have gone out of their way not to cover his campaign.

Blue Girl, I was actually involved in the Hillary Care push. I got a thank you letter from Bill and everything. That was without doubt the worst example of poor leadership in modern political history. The people I encountered were either children silly with untested power or were extraordinarily unprofessional. Of course the failure happened early in Bill's Presidency so I would have been willing to forgive him if he had just tried another run at the problem when the administration had shed itself of the fools that always accompany every new administration. Bill chose to do NAFTA instead. We all know how that worked out.

Posted by: corpus juris on January 6, 2008 at 1:01 PM | PERMALINK

Hillary's failure in 1993 set us back 15 years.

Blue Girl, Red State I keep hearing this, but I have never seen a cite other than speculation by the pundit class.

Here's a citation for you. New England Journal of Medicine Volume 357:1677-1679 October 25, 2007 Number 17:

"Since 1994, inaction and incrementalism have governed U.S. health policy, with the predictable result that both health care spending and the number of uninsured Americans have reached record levels. ...Perhaps the Clinton administration's greatest mistake was excessive ambition. The plan attempted simultaneously to secure universal coverage, regulate the private insurance market, change health care financing through an employer mandate, control costs to levels enforced by a national health board, and transform the delivery system through managed care. Any one of these goals alone would have been difficult to achieve, and although there is a substantive rationale for taking all of them on at once, it was a politically treacherous task. Indeed, each dimension of the Clinton plan galvanized opposition."

Politically, when there's a spectacular failure, it takes on a life of its own. It becomes a "third rail" for years, as it gets branded as something that can't be fixed. That's why Hillary's failure set us back 15 years -- the failure became its own legend and albatross.

Posted by: Elliott on January 6, 2008 at 1:04 PM | PERMALINK
$100 to John McCain.... mr insensitive at 9:22 PM
That would be to the McCain that is pandering to the religious right, wants to remain in Iraq for 100 years, and thinks that bombing Iran is a viable option? Do you seriously contend that the racist "call me" ad had nothing to do with Ford's defeat? He was more Republican than not. You need a reality check.
The time for change has come, and by change I mean big change...Jim on January 6, 2008 at 8:56 AM
Change will occur when the ability of Republicans to obstruct is removed. Your analysis of Clinton foreign policy is erroneous.
I can't get over how out-of-touch the commenters here are with the majority of your own party ....mr insensitive at 9:01 AM
Andrew Sullivan said I was a Fifth Columnist for opposing the invasion of Iraq. He does not now, nor will he ever represent me. As for representing the majority, that has yet to be determined. Bush represent the majority of Republicans, but Republicans do not represent the majority of Americans.
....the south also has a huge population of whites of good will..... Sharon at 12:22 PM
Do they vote? If so, they are not perceivable. With the depopulation of New Orleans, it's doubtful that a Democrat can now carry the state.
....believes the war was the least bad option... mr insensitive at 9:30 AM
War was an option only to those desiring war.
that failure in 1993 set us back 15 years." Elliott at 11:12 AM
Here's a precis of the Clinton health care effort. It's useful to review so one knows what to expect: No Republican support; intense corporate lobbying against; well funded distorting smear&fear campaigns to scare voters. There was no one with the wherewithal to counter industry propaganda back then. One hopes that the internet will make advocacy easier the next time around. Posted by: Mike on January 6, 2008 at 1:05 PM | PERMALINK

The reason young voters are flocking to Obama instead of Hilary is that they tired of figthing the culutre war, the Vietnam War, they're tired of women's lib, gay lib, all the causes and fights of the 60s and 70s, which is what Hilary Clinton, in their minds, represents, fair or unfair. Obama, whatever you may think of him, is at least not hung up on the fights of the past and determined that modern politics does not become dominated by the struggles of the past.

It's generational politics, pure and simple. You've had your day in the sun. You've your turn. Now it's someone else's turn.

Posted by: Sean Scallon on January 6, 2008 at 1:06 PM | PERMALINK

Shortstop, you must have a strong death wish to tell a cranky old southern woman to "calm down". LOL. Anyway, I don't have data. I was just trying to answer the challenge to name one southern state that could go for Obama. And my gut tells me that Louisiana could be that state given the extraordinary transformation I've witnessed over these more than 60 years.

It's a small state, a poor state, far from a swing state, and NEVER a player on the national scene...other than for a brief moment as the nation's favorite horror show. Nevertheless, were the party really to take the 50-state strategy to heart, I, for one, believe Obama could take Louisiana. I could be wrong. It wouldn't be the first time.

Posted by: Sharon on January 6, 2008 at 1:32 PM | PERMALINK

Elliot, I understand how the game is played - but 1993 wasn't the utter failure that it has been portrayed - got one thing, SCHIP is built on the template put forth under the "Kids First" component of the 1993 proposal.

All I'm saying is that those old enough to remember the 80's know it was horribly fucked up before, and no matter what, the first attempt was bound to be doomed because of the entrenched moneyed interests involved.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on January 6, 2008 at 1:38 PM | PERMALINK

Exactly, Blue Girl, as I said earlier, "I think it's more accurate to say years of corporate domination of Congress and all other levers of political power have had more to do with setting back universal health care."

Posted by: Sharon on January 6, 2008 at 1:46 PM | PERMALINK

Mike

I referred you to a YouTube clip on Sullivan's blog - a clip of a Democrat focus group, not Sullivan's opinions. That was why I referenced your own party.

I still think McCain is an honest man, and I think he would be the best Republican available for President, despite my vehement opposition to his illegal alien amnesty or campaign finance regulation or other flaws.

I've said before the "call me" ad was dishonorable - I said I was ashamed of my party for running it at the time - but I think Ford could have overcame that if he didn't have his family's baggage as well - the comment was directed at those that think the south is too polarized ever to accept a black man and I think they are. Obama would have a much better chance in the south than Hillary or even Edwards, if there is a Democratic tide as strong as 2006. He would not win against McCain, or Thompson, but he would be competitive with Huckleberry or Plastic Pete Romney or Rudy.

Posted by: mr insensitive on January 6, 2008 at 2:38 PM | PERMALINK

Chrissy: Edwards failed to distinguish himself as THE candidate of change and the only candidate who has really fought for change and fairness against powerful interests.

Corpus Juris: ... in my view Edward's problems are 1) he is a white man from the south when we have just had back to back white men from the south in the White House and most Americans are sick of them, and 2) more importantly, the powers in the consolidated elite media really believe he would try to change things in Washington. That is the last thing they want. As a result they have gone out of their way not to cover his campaign.

I agree with both of these observations. My question had to do with what Edwards could have done differently to run a better campaign. My impression is that he has run a pretty damn good campaign -- against long odds and against two strong opponents.

Posted by: Econobuzz on January 6, 2008 at 2:50 PM | PERMALINK


Obama won (or tied) among all income groups and among union households. This is really pretty startling considering Hillary Clinton's supposed strength among blue collar voters (not to mention all those union endorsements she snagged)

I am not startled much, after Hillary objected to raising the income cap for taking out FICA for SocSec. Then Obama rightly smacked her down on it, and people could see what was what.

Posted by: Neil B. on January 6, 2008 at 2:53 PM | PERMALINK


I knew Obama in college and I believe that the key to his (I hope) ultimate success is that he treats his audience as if THEY are adults also, ...

Posted by: Happy Dog on January 5, 2008 at 2:25 PM

Wow, we all could really use such insights from people like you - maybe set up your own blog on Kos or etc., and you would also be needed to counter the BS from the Right if Obama gets the nomination.

Posted by: Neil B. on January 6, 2008 at 2:56 PM | PERMALINK
....I still think McCain is an honest man....Ford could have overcame that if he didn't have his family's baggage as well ....mr insensitive at 2:38 PM
There are focus groups and there are focus groups. Sullivan is a foaming-at-mouth Clinton hater and it is guaranteed that his choice would be one that confirms his bias.

McCain can hardly be considered honest when, for electability reasons, he is now pandering to those he disparaged a mere 8 years ago. When he hugged Bush after Bush spent 35 million in South Carolina sliming him was not a manly act, but a desperate attempt to regain the Party's favor. McCain's voting record is to the far right on practically every other issue. The fact that he came to endorse Bush's tax cuts which at one time the had the guts to criticize is another pander. He flat out lied about his Iraq visit. No, McCain is not an honorable man, but a man who will say or do what it takes.

Had Ford been a Republican, he would have been elected despite his family.

.... tired of figthing the culutre war... they're tired of women's lib, gay lib, all the causes and fights of the 60s and 70s....Sean Scallon at 1:06 PM

Forward to the past with Ron Paul! I haven't really noticed the young generation fighting for any cause except free music for i-pods, but I'm only responding in kind.
It's f-i-g-h-t-i-n-g and c-u-l-t-u-r-e

Posted by: Mike on January 6, 2008 at 3:04 PM | PERMALINK

Also, it's a Frank Lutz focus group. Lutz is a highly partisan Republican pollster of long standing and has developed techniques for framing issues that now guide Republican talking points. He writes the songs that the Republican Party sings. Every time you hear a revision of a program that destroys it being sold as 'x-policy reform,' that is Lutz-speak in action.
At the risk of hurting your feelings (a risk I'm willing to take): either you are a neophyte or a fool for trying to peddle Lutz crap is legitimate.

Here's another take by Joe Klein of all people.

...What's the old line about second marriages: The Triumph of Hope over Experience? Well, that what we're witnessing in this election. The sad thing, at least to me, is that Hillary Clinton has run the most substantive campaign of any of the Democrats and, if she goes down, it will be because of factors beyond her control....

Posted by: Mike on January 6, 2008 at 3:23 PM | PERMALINK

Mike

If you lived down here you would know the white bimbo ad was not the only one run against Ford - a more effective one was called "Fancy Ford" and mocked his habit of getting pedicures [shades of John Edwards]. Some talk show hosts called him Twinkle Toes in their commentary, and still he almost won in a state where black men getting pedicures with white Playboy Playmates doesn't really mesh with the culture. I've said before when Obama runs it will be the dirtiest campaign in American history, a black man seducing his 18 year old white mother will be a chronic whispering issue... but I think Obama has the chops to turn that issue into a net plus, and I think our country is ready to turn the page.

As for McCain, it sounds like you're asking him to count the votes he doesn't want to prove his virtue -- I'll buy that when a Dem denounces some of the anti-American lunatics of Kos, MoveOn, Democrat Underground, etc.

Posted by: mr insensitive on January 6, 2008 at 3:25 PM | PERMALINK

P.S.

Luntz is universally regarded in his industry as the best focus group operator in the country, and expunging your [the operator's] personal bias when devising questions is the hardest and most essential part of the job. I think you charge me as a fool or a neophyte uanfairly sir.

Posted by: mr insensitive on January 6, 2008 at 3:29 PM | PERMALINK

I'll buy that when a Dem denounces some of the anti-American lunatics of Kos, MoveOn, Democrat Underground,

Well, I have to say that this is a new one. The Republican destruction of our language continues.

Ah. And those anti-American lunatics at Kos, convincing people to donate to cmapaigns and volunteer for candidates and holding poliuticians accountable for their stances. Funny what counts as "anti-American" these days from those with right-wing sympathies. If this is the sort of attitude towards democracy we see from McCain supporters, we're in for a fun campaign.

Posted by: Tyro on January 6, 2008 at 5:26 PM | PERMALINK

Democrat Underground

Bwa! Too fucking funny.

Posted by: shortstop on January 6, 2008 at 5:45 PM | PERMALINK

One thought: Obama talks about bringing people into the process, about people participating with him. He was a community organizer, after all. Clinton (and Edwards) tends talk to talk about their ability to fight in adversarial way. They're lawyers by training, after all.

While Clinton is probably speaking the truth about what happens in Congress, it ends up sounding like you should vote for her so you don't have to think about it anymore. It's not so you can be part of something, it's so you have people to do it for you.

As a young person (22 and newly minted college graduated), I've been part of a generation that was turned on to civic life (our volunteer numbers, for one) and turned off by politics because we thought we had no influence there. Nobody was capturing the desire to do things for our community.

Whether or not Obama would or could effectively include people in the process as a President (I'm not sure such a thing is ever anything more than a slogan), he's at least trying to convince young people they can matter. That a desire to do good for community is something we can share, even with people with disagree with. Clinton ignores the fact that we've been feeling left out and that there is, for a lot of young people, a sense of civic-mindedness that no one in our political lifetimes has spoken to.

Posted by: emily22 on January 6, 2008 at 6:46 PM | PERMALINK

Face it, the Washington DC establishment and media moguls are afraid of John Edwards winning the White House, beginning investigations into the corruption of the outgoing Bush/Cheney administration and working with Democratic Senators and Representatives in Congress to get to the bottom of so many Bush/Cheney scandals.

The Washington DC establishment doesn't want anymore scrutiny directed their way, especially scrutiny of those they rub elbows with all the time on the DC cocktail weenie circuit.

The media moguls, primarily conservative, don't want someone mucking up what Martin has been doing at the FCC, where he's been letting the media moguls consolidate their control over our nation's airwaves in some perverted, anti-American monopolist scheme.

So, which Democratic Party presidential candidate will hold the Bush/Cheney criminal gang accountable? Which Democrat, if elected president, will make 2009 the year that all the Republican Party corruption is uncovered, with criminal prosecutions and imprisonment "on the table"?

In other words, 2009 will be a year of real change, with a Democratic president refuting and reversing the criminal acts of the outgoing Bush/Cheney crime family, by reaffirming the primacy of the U.S. Constitution and the rule of law, while shoring up the fractures in the wall separating church and state, or (based on who wins the Democratic Party's nomination for president) we'll end up with 2007 all over again (and 2008), with the widespread hope of many patriotic Americans being dashed by Speaker Nancy Pelosi taking impeachment off the table, presumably in concurrence with Sen. Harry Reid in the Senate.

Over the years, the Bush/Cheney crime family has made a point of stating that "all options are on the table," but incoming House and Senate Democratic leaders in early 2007 said they were taking impeachment off the table, throwing away one of the Constitutional arrows in the congressional quiver.

Yes, congressional investigations and hearings have been conducted, with the Bush/Cheney crime family obstructing at every chance. And Reid and Pelosi have tried to compromise with the most corrupt administration in American history, and for their efforts they've repeatedly gotten stabbed in the back, even making them somewhat leery of believing anything the Bush/Cheney crime family says.

But starting in 2009, we need a Democratic Party president who will stop beating around the Bush, instead ripping the Bush out of the ground, exposing all the poisonous roots at its base. Will Obama do this? Will Clinton? Will Edwards?

Based on what I've seen so far, John Edwards is the only one with the experience and the fortitude to do this, and to do it right, especially following all the abuses of power of the Bush/Cheney criminal gang.

Posted by: The Oracle on January 6, 2008 at 10:46 PM | PERMALINK

The turnout of young voters for Obama has already gotten a lot of attention, and deservedly so.
He won with carpetbaggers from Illinois, his home state that elects the lowest end of mankind, such as Carole Braun and Dick Durbin.

http://www.desmoinesregister.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20071211/OPINION01/712110372/-1/NEWS04

"Obama's campaign is telling Iowa college students they can caucus for him even if they aren't from Iowa. His campaign offers that advice in a brochure being distributed on college campuses in the state. A spokesman said 50,000 of the fliers are being distributed. It says: "If you are not from Iowa, you can come back for the Iowa caucus and caucus in your college neighborhood."

Given that many students in Iowa's colleges and universities are from Obama's neighboring home state of Illinois, the effort could net him lots of additional votes on caucus night. It's all quite legal, and other campaigns are signing up nonresident Iowa college students, too. But Obama's effort is unprecedented."

Posted by: Luther on January 7, 2008 at 2:56 AM | PERMALINK

I do not want any independents or Republicans influencing who Democrats choose to be their candidate for president. I registered as a Democrat to vote for Dean in the 2004 primary, and if independents and Republicans want to participate in the Democratic Party's selection for the presidential candidate in 2008 they should register as Democrats. I do not want to be inclusive of Reaganites and W. Bush Americans when making partisan public policy. They can choose to be in opposition to Democratic public policy, but I prefer they stay out of any Democratic Party organizational procedures that help to create policy or choose candidates. Independents and Republicans are the opposition to good public policy, and that is where they should remain in the political process.

Since I already consider the Democratic Party to be too conservative, it alarms me that independents and Republicans are allowed to influence who the Democrats choose to be their presidential nominee. It is bad enough I have to live with these people. It is even worse they are allowed to participate in such an important party function that competes with my views about the direction the party should go. As a Democrat I may have to compete with Gore incompetents, Kerry milquetoasts and Clinton corporatists regarding the party's platform, but I did not join the Democratic Party to compete with Reaganites and reformed W. Bush Americans over policy and who should represent the party in the presidential election.

Posted by: Brojo on January 7, 2008 at 12:08 PM | PERMALINK

I have to say that I am rather exhausted by all of this. We demonized Gore, and look what he has done since, he had the best qualifications, but he wasn't sexy enough for us.

We don't vote based on experience anymore, we vote based on who is the best celebrity. Senator Obama, is a great speaker, he lacks experience. This is not the time to place another charming inexperienced man in office. If you want real change, vote for a woman.

Senator Clinton, is demonized just as Gore was. This is a job where experience matters and where knowing the system matters.

Stop giving Senator Obama a pass, he lacks experience and he doesn't know what he doesn't know. That is not a great quality where is his humility? He has none. We are supporting another ego driven man, let's try a woman if we really want change.

Beware of the smiling, charming face. Real change agents aren't sexy.

Posted by: LS on January 7, 2008 at 12:26 PM | PERMALINK

She's made some comments that strike me as hostile to the young, like the "work is a four-letter word" quote, and the out-of-state students caucusing issue

JEEZUS -- she said that??

You'd think a candidate vying for the Democratic nom in the year 2007 would try to avoid getting their right-wing talking points from GEORGE WALLACE for Christ's sake.

Posted by: moron on January 7, 2008 at 1:48 PM | PERMALINK

Sounds like he wants to go along to get along instead of Progressively pushing for the big bold changes we need soon.

Mandates are NOT "big bold change". They
leave insurance companies in charge, dump a gi-normous subsidy into their pockets, and demand ZERO from them in return.

What's more, a mandate plan amounts to a huge, punishing regressive tax on the disabled and chronically ill.

Mandates are NOT PROGRESSIVE.

Nothing but single-payer is.

Obama may not think the country is ready for single payer yet, but he has at least done us the service of preventing regressive, mandate-driven RomneyCare from becoming a sacred cow of "progressives".

Posted by: moron on January 7, 2008 at 2:04 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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