Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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January 8, 2008
By: Kevin Drum

HILLARY'S WIN....I have several reasons for being pleased with the results of tonight's Democratic primary:

  • I've made three electoral predictions so far: that the eventual candidates would be Mitt Romney and Hillary Clinton and that Iowa would turn out not to be as important as everyone thought. The first two are still pretty iffy, but at least I'm not going to be 0 for 3.

  • I really, really didn't want Iowa to decide this thing. Really.

  • Hillary Clinton's victory felt to me an awful lot like a repudiation of the mainstream pundits who spent the entire weekend first dumping all over her and then playing the "Hillary in tears" tape on practically a continuous loop yesterday. As Matt Yglesias said, "I don't think pissing off Chris Matthews is a good enough reason to pull the lever for Clinton, but I can certainly understand the impulse." Me too.

  • Hillary's victory should amp up Andrew Sullivan into even greater feats of CDS hysterics than we've seen so far. If that's possible. In any case, he seems to thrive on a state of constant agitation and stomach-churning nausea, so I figure Hillary's victory is probably good for him.

  • There's now a pretty good chance that, for the first time in my life, my vote in a Democratic primary will actually be meaningful. And it only took 30 years!

The next few weeks should be fun. Maddening, but fun.

Kevin Drum 11:03 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (100)

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Comments

I essentially agree although I wanted Obama to put it away. Should be a great contest and it's humbling for those of us who thought the polls were right.

Posted by: J.S. on January 8, 2008 at 11:07 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, for fuck's sake, Kevin, this was not an upset. The media was once again, just WRONG, WRONG, WRONG.

New Hampshire voters decided after seeing Hillary cry? Like the posters here decided that day too. Please. Oh, please, girl.

Please. I mean it.

This was no upset. The media was just fucking wrong and proved again they have NO FUCKING VALUE.

Posted by: bamjaya on January 8, 2008 at 11:08 PM | PERMALINK

It's going to get interesting now, but I'm happy for Hillary that she stood up for herself in that debate, and made sure we have a real discussion here about what and who we want to be our presidential nominee.

We have three great candidates, and Bill Richardson is a quality candidate too.

Posted by: Jimm on January 8, 2008 at 11:08 PM | PERMALINK

Terry McAuliffe seems to think The Tearful Moment was key:

http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/01/08/live-from-manchester-its-primary-night/index.html?hp
10:42 p.m. | Reactions From Clinton Camp Terry McAuliffe, Mrs. Clinton’s chairman, on MSNBC attributes her apparent victory to her tearful moment yesterday: “That humanizing moment yesterday,” he says. “That did it.”

Posted by: bob on January 8, 2008 at 11:09 PM | PERMALINK

As a Democratic agnostic, I had no dog in this hunt. But the nonstop attacks on Hillary were getting to me. On the one hand, I really was afraid she was so irrationally hated that it would make her ballot box poison in November. On the other, I resented the near lynch-mob hysterics of Chris Matthews and Andrew Sullivan. Geez, those guys are jerks.

On balance: a bit of trepidation that Hillary might be a weaker general election candidate and a lot of satisfaction that she'll at least get to make her case again.

Posted by: walt on January 8, 2008 at 11:09 PM | PERMALINK

Now it's just a long haul, but the fight is on. I was hoping for a decisive victory, but I will have to keep it tuned like the rest...

Posted by: Boorring on January 8, 2008 at 11:09 PM | PERMALINK

I want to see some more of those debates, so we can explore more what the difference actually are, not continue to mainly talk about the fact that there are differences.

Posted by: Jimm on January 8, 2008 at 11:10 PM | PERMALINK

Can't help but wonder how much of the Republican vote decided to vote for Hillary just to scramble the Democratic results.

Posted by: Robustus on January 8, 2008 at 11:11 PM | PERMALINK

I'm surprised how strong my feelings for Hillary are enmeshed in a general "punch Chris Matthews in the dick" sentiment. Because believe me, I even want to punch Darrell Hammond in the dick when I see his idiotic impersonation (dead on, generally).

Posted by: The Critic on January 8, 2008 at 11:11 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin,

Today my cousin (a traditional liberal Jewish Democrat) received an email accusing Sen. Obama of being a secret Muslim who was educated in radical Muslim schools. She doesn't follow politics closely and takes this kind of stuff seriously. I'm sure that there are many others like her.

I can't be the only person in the US who devoutly hopes that the Clinton attack machine and the politics of personal destruction that they perfected disappears into the dustbin of history.

Posted by: DBL on January 8, 2008 at 11:11 PM | PERMALINK

"... playing the "Hillary in tears" tape on practically a continuous loop yesterday."

I think that's exactly why she won. It was a brilliant 'strategic performance' that brought a significant sympathy vote out.

Posted by: buford on January 8, 2008 at 11:12 PM | PERMALINK

How did John Edwards do tonight? He's still my favorite candidate, though Obama is impressing me and Hillary surprising me.

Posted by: Jimm on January 8, 2008 at 11:14 PM | PERMALINK

This race is far from over. Don't discount John Edwards.

Posted by: Joe Klein's conscience on January 8, 2008 at 11:14 PM | PERMALINK

Damn bamjaya, I don't care if you're right or wrong...but I sure do I like your spunk!

Posted by: elmo on January 8, 2008 at 11:16 PM | PERMALINK

Aravosis on Americablog attributed her win to either a)racism, or b)tears (there never were any tears, as I recall). What an asshole.

Posted by: tt on January 8, 2008 at 11:16 PM | PERMALINK

I really don't think anyone knows one way or the other whether the "tearful moment" had anything to do with this. In the old days of my youth, we called this "talking out of your hole".

Also, it does seem to defy common sense that the "tearful moment" would roused a big pro-Hillary vote today, since it was happened only one day before the vote.

My best guess is that there were other reasons for this victory.

Posted by: Jimm on January 8, 2008 at 11:17 PM | PERMALINK

That Sullivan, he does go on and on. I tuned back into The Daily Dish after seeing mention of his HRC fixation here, and it has been worth watching. I'm not fond of her, but he made me want to send her campain some money. There is something beyond sexism at work there.

Posted by: HydroCabron on January 8, 2008 at 11:19 PM | PERMALINK

Sen. Hillary Clinton came off the mat tonight, and showed that, as long in the tooth as she may be, she obviously still has a few of them left in the head, and a quite a few friends in New Hampshire.

She deserves both our congratulations, and her supporters in the Granite State our gratitude for flipping the the mainstream media a collective bird, and putting it in its place (if only temporarily).

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on January 8, 2008 at 11:19 PM | PERMALINK

Aravosis on Americablog attributed her win to either a)racism, or b)tears (there never were any tears, as I recall). What an asshole.

Yea, I've been noticing an increasing heavy-handedness on the so-called progressive blogosphere, and an increasing group think amongst a certain incestuous vein of the blogosphere.

It's always been there to some extent as far as insulting Nader and Green voters, which here in California is absurd, but I've been noticing it expanding to the Democratic ranks too.

Posted by: Jimm on January 8, 2008 at 11:20 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin,

Glad that you are happy that Hillary won and will now get beaten in the general election by McCain. At least you will get another 8 (or hundred) years of that war you really used to like.

Posted by: capitalistimperialistpig on January 8, 2008 at 11:26 PM | PERMALINK

Hillary's win was surprising. Yet not totally surprising since: 1) the misty eyed episode energized her primary base (the women who make up over 57% of NH voters), 2) Hillary Inc. sent out a mailing that hit mailboxes Monday saying that Obama would weaken Soc. Sec. – reports earlier Tuesday mentioned that while total voter turn out was much higher than before, the only subgroup that was showing a higher % turnout than previous primaries was the senior voters and they didn’t mean students. 3) Clintons are notoriously difficult to (politically) kill off.

So, can Barak take a punch and stay on his feet? Can he win the nomination if Edwards stays in? How will Edwards’ big ego respond to a possible realization that the goals he espouses may less likely be realized with a Clinton nomination?

Better than football.

Posted by: Keith G on January 8, 2008 at 11:26 PM | PERMALINK

In Kansas we've been pretty shut out of the action most years too. I'm hoping the top 3 will all stay in until it's over.

What's the rush?

Posted by: katiebird on January 8, 2008 at 11:26 PM | PERMALINK

I can't decide... I kind of wanted Obama to clinch it, but on the other hand, I like Hillary fine (I'm no Andrew Sullivan), and think she'd make a decent president, and heck, this way my vote actually gets to count.

At any rate, it should be fun!

Posted by: Ben Bartlett on January 8, 2008 at 11:27 PM | PERMALINK

Having just made some provocative remarks, I should clarify that I'm not really talking about Aravosis, whose work I've enjoyed over the years, and I just read his analysis where race and tears were brought up and it's nothing to make a big fuss about (he's imagining the mainstream media reaction to the Hillary, and what reason they will give it, not doing the attribution himself).

Posted by: Jimm on January 8, 2008 at 11:27 PM | PERMALINK

I heard Obama bought plane tix to Denver.....

Posted by: bob on January 8, 2008 at 11:32 PM | PERMALINK

I would have pulled the lever for Hillary to piss Chris Matthews off. The guy is a weasel who dumps on the Clintons while pretending not to. Every day. Really, my entire household, right down to the eight-year-old, sided with Hillary after the bashing she has been getting. Also, did anyone notice on MSNBC that the male pundits like Chuck Scarborough and Gene Robinson interrupted Kate vander Heuvel over and over, never letting her complete a sentence? Its an old boys' club, the media. And Im an old boy!

Posted by: troglodyte on January 8, 2008 at 11:35 PM | PERMALINK

I'm pleased as well and think sanity has returned to the democratic race. The coronation for Obama after Iowa was getting old and it didn't make any sense. I still believe the Hillary is the most qualified and our best choice to be president and that should count for something. I think New Hampshire voters agree and I cannot wait to vote for Hilary in the California primary election, which I think she'll win.

Posted by: Noel on January 8, 2008 at 11:37 PM | PERMALINK

Um, if Obama hadn't won Iowa, this race would be over now. Instead it's wide open. Just saying...

Posted by: Adam on January 8, 2008 at 11:39 PM | PERMALINK

Obama partisans are Obama partisans.
They do not necessarily support other Democrats, the Democratic Party or "Democratic" policies.

In the past thirty minutes I have read that Democrats are: racist, stupid, stuck in the past, afraid of change and hate America. This is par for the course coming from Republicans but it bothered me when I thought it was from fellow Dems.

Once your realize some of the most prolific pro-Obama commenters are from world unto itself it takes the sting out.

Posted by: Dem on January 8, 2008 at 11:40 PM | PERMALINK

can hillary beat mccain?!

Posted by: caleb on January 8, 2008 at 11:46 PM | PERMALINK

One more thing, I think a true democrat would be happy to vote for Obama, Hilary or Edwards for president of the United States. Although I prefer Hilary, if she loses I am more than willing to vote for the eventual winner because I think, for the first time, we have great stable of candidates, unlike the republicans. I wish this message would get out in the media so that the focus is on issues and not personalities. I liked Bill Clinton as President and I think he's a great person. No true Democrat despises the Clintons but this is what the media wanted portray last week, it was sickening.

Posted by: Noel on January 8, 2008 at 11:48 PM | PERMALINK

I haven't seen her "angry" moments, but that "tearfull" thing was so subtle I would have missed it if I wasn't looking for it very hard. She came off as very thoughtful and sincere and charitable to her opponents, and I say that as somone for whom she's definitely my second to last choice. I could not see even a hint of instability or hysteria in it. I can't believe anyone even noticed that clip, much less was able to make a big story out of it.

Obama and his bipartisan rohypenol are my last choice (at least among Dems). James Wolcott likes Obama and has given him money (he says), but he has an pitch perfect takedown of all the outpouring for Obama. Everyone seems to believe he stands for everything good they want him to stand for. It reminds me of the 2000 campaign when an ad came on the radio that mentioned family values. My sister who is not conservative or even politically aware and had been living in Spain remarked that family values was such and important and great thing (you might even say she got misty eyed). As much as I and another sister tried to convince her that "family values" was code for the anti-gay, anti-abortion, anti-sex Christianist agenda, she would not be moved from her opinion that family values could only mean the sentimental things those words conjured in her sappy head. So many people are so in love with their own idealism (or rather their pretensions to idealism) they can't let reality spoil the picture.

Posted by: jussumbody on January 8, 2008 at 11:49 PM | PERMALINK

As a free market conservative I'm loving this. Hillary is toast against McCain if she makes it to the general.

Posted by: Xeynon on January 8, 2008 at 11:52 PM | PERMALINK

I hear ya, troglodyte. There is some sort of secret code we peasants are not prevue to...

Posted by: elmo on January 8, 2008 at 11:54 PM | PERMALINK

Sorry DBL, I don't believe your story. The right-wing has an attack machine and I wouldn't put it past them to have sent your imaginary cousin lies about Obama, but the Democrats have no need of such loathsome tactics.

As I said in another thread - the only scandal under the Clinton administration was the Republican abuse of power in their revolting attempt to undermine the legitimately elected President Clinton.

Posted by: heavy on January 8, 2008 at 11:55 PM | PERMALINK

If Hillary goes on to win the Dem nomination all politicians will know that, from here on out, they can vote any way they damn well please on issues of war and peace and the voters will never ever ever hold them accountable.

I think about the thousands of good Americans who have been killed in Iraq--and the thousands of American families utterly devastated by that damn war--and I am just disgusted by Hillary's pro-war vote and hawkish pro-Iraq War rhetoric from 2002-04.

Posted by: Moonlight on January 8, 2008 at 11:55 PM | PERMALINK

Sullivan has been deeply beastly about Hillary, but he's made a genuinely gracious and appreciative post about her victory tonight.

Also, to DBL: That "Obama is a radical Muslim" email has been circulating for quite some time now, and I've seen zero evidence that it comes from the Clinton campaign or even Clinton supporters; it appears to have been of right-wingnut origin.

Posted by: Swift Loris on January 8, 2008 at 11:56 PM | PERMALINK

What proportion of NH's independents went for Obama vs McCain? Do any of the exit poll numbers show that? I bet that at least one factor in the preelection poll numbers being so wrong is that many independents on the fence before today went for McCain b/c Barack was shown to have such a big lead going in. A good number may have also some stayed home b/c they thought that their man Barack had the state in the bag.

Posted by: Matt on January 9, 2008 at 12:09 AM | PERMALINK


Oh, for fuck's sake, Kevin, this was not an upset. The media was once again, just WRONG, WRONG, WRONG.

Hillary's own internal polling showed that she would lose New Hampshire by double digits. So did Obama's. So are campaigns just wrong, wrong, wrong too? It's intellectually laziness to always blame the media, but the media is just such a convenient scapegoat, isn't it?

Posted by: Andy on January 9, 2008 at 12:09 AM | PERMALINK

Count me as another Californian For A Primary That Matters. I wish Edwards had done better, but there may be a long road ahead.

I wasn't just upset at the Heathering of Hillary, but also the way the media seemed to be trying to force the whole contest into an early conclusion. The idea of democracy appears to mean nothing to the Fourth Estate. They as much as anyone are responsible for the rise of the American Aristocracy.

Posted by: idlemind on January 9, 2008 at 12:11 AM | PERMALINK

Oh, God. I want to respond to almost every comment here. I'll start with:

"The media was once again, just WRONG, WRONG, WRONG."

I thought the media based their predictions today on EXIT POLLS. Maybe I'm wrong since I'm sure someone would mention the fact that this is exit poll anomaly #2, #1 being the 2004 OH exit poll.

I know, don't bother telling me. I'm paranoid.

Posted by: nepeta on January 9, 2008 at 12:15 AM | PERMALINK

"Also, it does seem to defy common sense that the "tearful moment" would roused a big pro-Hillary vote today, since it was happened only one day before the vote."

Jimm - I'm pretty sure I saw a poll that reported 37% of NH voters were undecided as of yesterday.

Posted by: nepeta on January 9, 2008 at 12:18 AM | PERMALINK

How did John Edwards do tonight?

17% I believe.

Posted by: nepeta on January 9, 2008 at 12:21 AM | PERMALINK

This just shows that these little caucuses/primaries don't mean much. That's all. Right now, I'd say it's still anybody's ballgame. Let's see what happens in S. Carolina and on Super Tues. By then we should have a less media hyped analysis of the situation and we should know if it's over or if it's going to be decided at the conventions. What I don't get is what Richardson and Thompson are still hanging around for. Just go home. If someone wants you for Veep they'll call you.

Posted by: hollywood on January 9, 2008 at 12:22 AM | PERMALINK

can hillary beat mccain?!

Old listless McCain or the McCain on unicorn blood?

Posted by: B on January 9, 2008 at 12:24 AM | PERMALINK

"I think that's exactly why she won. It was a brilliant 'strategic performance' that brought a significant sympathy vote out."

Buford, I don't think the 'tearing up' was intentional but I do think the words that came after were maudlin at best and at least partially 'on purpose.' I'm a big cryer (grin) and I know that no matter what starts me crying I tend to immediately go for the sympathy vote of whoever happens to be around and perhaps even try to induce just a little bit of guilt.

Posted by: nepeta on January 9, 2008 at 12:26 AM | PERMALINK

can hillary beat mccain?!

Yes. Just show this picture over and over, and for good measure, throw in a loop of "Thanks a lot you little jerk. You're drafted."

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on January 9, 2008 at 12:32 AM | PERMALINK

This is why the polls showed that Obama was ahead:
Bradley effect

Posted by: Andy on January 9, 2008 at 12:59 AM | PERMALINK

They as much as anyone are responsible for the rise of the American Aristocracy.

They are owned by the American Aristocracy. Their salary and bonus checks are signed by the few rich people who control the media. This is where the Internet helps us take the fourth estate back from the Aristocrats.

Posted by: rational on January 9, 2008 at 1:00 AM | PERMALINK

I was really hoping Obama would seal it tonight, mainly because I hate nailbiters. The suspense is gonna kill me!

It's a HUGE win for Clinton, and the fallout is going to be interesting. I have a hunch this will put her back in the driver's seat nationally, at least as far as the misbegotten polls are considered. It will be interesting what happens if and when Edwards decides to drop out. Moneywise, he's running on fumes at this point.

Posted by: Quinn on January 9, 2008 at 1:00 AM | PERMALINK

Andy, If the Bradley Effect was in full force in NH, how do you explain Iowa?

Posted by: Quinn on January 9, 2008 at 1:03 AM | PERMALINK

This is why the polls showed that Obama was ahead: Bradley effect

Yes, it's all explained by prejudice. The reason it didn't work this way in Iowa was that the corn farmers were too stupid to lie to the pollsters and/or too stupid to realize Obama was black.

Posted by: B on January 9, 2008 at 1:03 AM | PERMALINK

apologies to corn farmers (independent farm equipment contractors?) for the snark.

Posted by: B on January 9, 2008 at 1:05 AM | PERMALINK

Iowa was a caucus, where their vote wasn't anonymous and they were in front of their peers. NH was behind a curtain.

Posted by: Andy on January 9, 2008 at 1:09 AM | PERMALINK

Chris Matthews is right, the Democratic big money establishment always kills off the insurgent idealists. New Hampshire is the start of the big money special interests jumping in to shut down Obama.

You didn't get much "change" under Bill Clinton and won't get much "change" under HRC, either. Funny how Dems forget how much the Clintons sold out to the lobbyists and the corporate interests.

If HRC wins the nomination, that's it, I'm going independent.

Posted by: Elliott on January 9, 2008 at 1:16 AM | PERMALINK

Based on my own reaction as a strong Edwards supporter in the neighboring state of Vermont, I think a fair number of older women in NH just plain got pissed off by the brutally unfair media treatment of Hillary and came out to vote for her, yes, as a stick in the eye to the Matthews types. Although my primary is too late to matter, I'm deeply tempted to do the same thing myself, no matter who's ahead at that point.

I'm a woman almost exactly Hillary's age, and the awful way she's described and analyzed feels really deeply personal to me, and it frankly enrages me.

I have to say, too, that I'm really quite impressed by the ugliness of the way so many of the supporters of the hope and kumbaya candidate express themselves here and on other forums. There's something very malignant about the way he seems to be "inspiring" way too many of his followers. Some of you sound an awful lot like Freeper brethren.


Posted by: gyrfalcon on January 9, 2008 at 1:16 AM | PERMALINK

If the Bradley Effect was in full force in NH, how do you explain Iowa?

The argument from the Bradley Effect would be that it applies to secret-ballot primaries, not deliberative-democracy caucuses, which like polling calls are a public opportunity to display one's more attractive side.

I'm not sure I think that's a bigger deal in New Hampshire than the antimysogyny vote after the last several days of Hillary-bashing.

Posted by: zozobra on January 9, 2008 at 1:16 AM | PERMALINK

I wouldn't necessarily call it prejudice - it's possible they honestly like Clinton more, but to not appear prejudiced, they told the pollster they were leaning towards Obama. It's not entirely unreasonable human response..

Posted by: Andy on January 9, 2008 at 1:19 AM | PERMALINK

If that were the case, I'd expect to see it break down the same way then between both men and women, yet that demographic was split.

Posted by: Quinn on January 9, 2008 at 1:22 AM | PERMALINK

Dudes (and I do mean dudes): IT WAS THE MISOGYNY. Listen and learn. gyrfalcon up above speaks for me.

Posted by: 11cents on January 9, 2008 at 1:31 AM | PERMALINK

Point taken. It's still difficult for me to believe that white people worry that much about the appearance of racism and/or take their votes so lightly in a caucus atmosphere.

Aren't some of these polls conducted by robots?

Posted by: B on January 9, 2008 at 1:38 AM | PERMALINK

I think the reversal in New Hampshire is probably a combination of factors.

First, while I don't think Barack Obama's support in general is shallow, I suspect the big bump he got after winning Iowa was.

Second, a backlash against the way the press was treating Hillary Clinton didn't so much win her extra votes as gain back many of the votes that she had lost after Iowa.

Posted by: tanstaafl on January 9, 2008 at 3:55 AM | PERMALINK

HydroCabron at 11:19
There is something beyond sexism at work there.

Gynephopia?

Posted by: Sharon on January 9, 2008 at 7:20 AM | PERMALINK

Correction: Gynephobia. Crap!

Posted by: Sharon on January 9, 2008 at 7:22 AM | PERMALINK

If the MSM really runs with this "Bradley Effect" meme, and starts insinuating that all white voters are secretly racist and will never support a black man when it comes down to decision time, that might make some white voters in Nevada and SC a little resentful and swing them back into Obama's column purely to spite the media.

Posted by: Moonlight on January 9, 2008 at 7:34 AM | PERMALINK

I would bet that the polls taken overseas about attitudes towards America are starting to tick up with the news of this exciting prospect for change, whether Hillary or Obama-driven.

Posted by: bob h on January 9, 2008 at 7:39 AM | PERMALINK


It was a repudiation of the mainstream pundits, plus a fear of having a rookie in the WH. The past 7 years have convinced me that the WH is no place for a rookie. On a personal note, I am enjoying the thought of Chris Matthews having to eat a little crow.

Posted by: Susan on January 9, 2008 at 7:40 AM | PERMALINK

So...George Bush was a bad president because he started the Iraq War, therefore the solution is to replace him with a Senator who merely voted for the Iraq War and strongly supported for years. Right? Well, I guess that's kind of a step forward.

Posted by: Moonlight on January 9, 2008 at 7:47 AM | PERMALINK

I have to say, too, that I'm really quite impressed by the ugliness of the way so many of the supporters of the hope and kumbaya candidate express themselves here and on other forums.

gyrfalcon, I'm infuriated by the "get out of the way you old farts" tone. Is that how they plan to win this thing? If nothing else, it'll be an essential maturing process when those old farts hit them upside the head with a 2 x 4.

Posted by: Sharon on January 9, 2008 at 7:47 AM | PERMALINK

I too was hoping that Obama would shut down Clinton last night, but that obviously was not in the cards. According to http://www.fittobepres.com, her biggest weakness is her inability to connect with the public, so it would seem that her displaying her more human side in the past week paid off.

Posted by: Waterloo on January 9, 2008 at 8:33 AM | PERMALINK

Why she won - the male coyote media attacked and attacked, and when the 'tearing up' moment came, they saw their opportunity and went in for the kill, after the 'let's beat up Hillary' debate on Saturday didn't work. Women got really ticked and showed up to vote.

If the coyotes keep this up, they'll put her in the White House. Which may well be secretly what they want. They just don't know it.

Posted by: kim on January 9, 2008 at 8:41 AM | PERMALINK

Sharon said:

"I'm infuriated by the "get out of the way you old farts" tone. Is that how they plan to win this thing? If nothing else, it'll be an essential maturing process when those old farts hit them upside the head with a 2 x 4."

Yes, that will certainly build a strong Democratic Party for the future...sheesh. Is holding onto power so important that the destruction of Democratic values makes it worth it?

I'm glad more Democrats will now have a voice in who eventually becomes our nominee, but please think about who you're electing. Hillary is a strong and decent woman, but the people she'll bring along on her coattails is a long laundry list of power brokers devoid of the best interests of the party or the nation. It's just my opinion, but it's why I don't support her candidancy.

Posted by: drosz on January 9, 2008 at 9:00 AM | PERMALINK

What's the rush? -katiebird

Agreed. I'm hoping that Edwards can do a surprise upset in South Carolina and even it up some more. It would be great for a 3-way heat all the way to the end. Everybody's vote in the primary becomes VERY important!

Posted by: Doc at the Radar Station on January 9, 2008 at 9:15 AM | PERMALINK

Hillary is a strong and decent woman, but the people she'll bring along on her coattails is a long laundry list of power brokers devoid of the best interests of the party or the nation. It's just my opinion, but it's why I don't support her candidancy.

Well, lets have that be the debate then. I heard a lot of similar comments about Gore in 2000 and realized at the time that liberals were seriously underestimating his sincerity.

I think a lot of people have fallen into this line of reasoning without a recent critical evaluation (and with the help of a lot of nudging from Matthews and others). I usually stop reading after they start going on about the bankruptcy bill, the clinton machine (I think it's some type of giant steel spider), or some other clinton mischaracterization. Personally I think she's her own woman and you do yourself a disservice if you don't bother listening to her.

Posted by: B on January 9, 2008 at 9:19 AM | PERMALINK

The media is generally loathsome, but I would never cast a vote to spite them.

Posted by: E Henry Thripshaw on January 9, 2008 at 9:19 AM | PERMALINK

I don't see how making HRC President is going to make Chris Matthews and Andrew Sullivan eat crow....it'll give them fuel for the fire for another 8 years of rabid diatribes.

Posted by: Quinn on January 9, 2008 at 9:23 AM | PERMALINK

Is Giuliani's campaign really dead? Two distant finishes. Nobody is talking like he is a serious contender anymore. Lord, I hope so. Does anyone seriously see him pulling out even a single state? His campaign's death would be the one definitive bit of good news out of the early primaries.

Posted by: Joshua on January 9, 2008 at 9:39 AM | PERMALINK

The exit polls were interesting:

Hillary won the female vote by 10 points and women made up 57% of the electorate. That was the key.

Obama won solidly among voters under 40, but Hillary dominated the older set and crushed him among voters 65+ with a 48% to 32% margin.

Hillary really cleaned up among non-college educated voters and voters with

If this is any kind of sample, that looks like that is the Hillary constituency - women voters, particularly older married women, and the working class. Obama cleaned up among young voters, independents, and higher educated/high income folks but that may not be enough..

Posted by: David68 on January 9, 2008 at 9:56 AM | PERMALINK

Sorry

Hillary really cleaned up among non-college educated voters and voters with...

Posted by: David68 on January 9, 2008 at 9:58 AM | PERMALINK

If Hillary goes on to win the Dem nomination all politicians will know that, from here on out, they can vote any way they damn well please on issues of war and peace and the voters will never ever ever hold them accountable.

Republican politicians already know this.

Posted by: Jenna's Bush on January 9, 2008 at 9:59 AM | PERMALINK

"So...George Bush was a bad president because he started the Iraq War, therefore the solution is to replace him with a Senator who merely voted for the Iraq War and strongly supported for years. Right? Well, I guess that's kind of a step forward."

Moonlight, if you want to throw out everyone who voted for the war, then most of the Senate would be gone. Yeah, the vote for the war was a big, big mistake. I have always thought that the Iraq was was an enormous mistake. Senators make lots of mistakes. Presidents, too. I don't believe that she as a president would have gone into Iraq. Of course I have no way to prove that.

FWIW, Obama seems to be a fine, intelligent guy who I think would make an excellent president-someday. I just don't believe that he has the knowledge and experience at this juncture his career. Having said that, if he is the nominee, I will probably vote for him to avoid another Republican president.


But if he is the candidate, I want him to earn the nomination. I don't want it handed to him by the likes of Chris Matthews and the rest of the pack.

Posted by: Susan on January 9, 2008 at 10:03 AM | PERMALINK

B:

I don't mean to make it sound like special interests will control her, I'm looking at it through a different lens. Political favors are important to these guys and the Clintons play the game very well. Take an interview with McAullife I saw a few days ago about Richardson supporters in Iowa: (This is from memory, but I remember it well)

Reporter: What is your opinion of Richardson throwing his support behind Obama if he isn't viable in certian precincts?

McAullife: It's disturbing, how many ambassadorships did Clinton give Richardson? Two?

Reporter: (laughs akwardly) Who's counting?

McAullife: I am.

They have many friends in high and low places and they expect every favor to be reciprocated. That is politics, but I think they take it too far and the strong support they get from power brokers isn't because they feel Hillary is an inspiring leader. Hell, the fact that the former DNC chairman is a co-chair to the Clinton Campaign is a testament to that fact.

I love the Ragin' Cajun, but bringing him back is just one more reason for me to believe we're going to relive the last 15 years...again. I hear the argument that things have changed and I truly believe a Clinton presidency would be exponentially better than a Bush presidency, but the cogs will get gummed up again.

Why? Because the Clintons play the same game as the current Republican establishment. Divide, conquer, consolidate. America can be good under her, but I think we could be great under Obama. And I haven't heard anything to convince me otherwise. On the contrary, I've heard the exact opposite. For the first time in my life, I flipped Bill Clinton the bird when he gave his "fairy tale" speech. Who the Hell are they to tell me not to believe!? It made me wanna fight, literally, I wanted to punch someone in the face. I'm usually pragmatic when it comes to government, but that pissed me off. And I loved that guy, thought he was a great leader, a little divisive, but I thought he did well. I hate feeling that type of anger and the Clintons brought that out in me, God knows how others feel who have hated them for years. So now I see what they have to go through to just defend themselves, let alone get ahead and it ain't pretty. You get where I'm coming from?

Posted by: drosz on January 9, 2008 at 10:03 AM | PERMALINK

So now we have a real horse race. I'm with Kevin that it's really fun to finally have a primary vote that matters.

Is Giuliani's campaign really dead?

Yes, but the corpse is still waving its arms and screeching about 9/11. Apparently ABC News did a count that showed Rudy held more events and ran more ads in New Hampshire than any candidate except Romney. This would seem to directly contradict Rude's own oft-repeated statement that he wasn't investing much in New Hampshire. The guy was in it to win it and got thrashed.

That bully kid on the Simpsons can't be invoked often enough: HAAAAAAA, HAAAAAAA!!!!! I know we're all very interested in our own primaries, but, please, let's take time to smell the roses in the form of mocking Julie-Annie.

Posted by: shortstop on January 9, 2008 at 10:07 AM | PERMALINK

"So...George Bush was a bad president because he started the Iraq War, therefore the solution is to replace him with a Senator who merely voted for the Iraq War and strongly supported for years. Right? Well, I guess that's kind of a step forward."

Amen to that. People talk about HRCs "experience" which should lead to better judgment. Where was that judgment when she voted for the Iraq war?

Obama is also the best candidate for improving America's relations with the middle-east, which is the only real way to reduce the threat of terrorism. Improved relations with the middle-east means more influence in middle-eastern countries.

Posted by: Osiris on January 9, 2008 at 10:13 AM | PERMALINK

Why should Iowa and NH of all places pick the next pres candidates. It is idiotic to think that these two primaries should decide the candidates.

How about a HUGE primary day/week where everyone votes for the candidate in their state they think should be their party's candidate (or some variation of this)- this way we are all heard and not only dimwitted old white men from Iowa in a room standing together.

BTW I grew up in NY state and live in Georgia now - total opposite states.

Posted by: ML on January 9, 2008 at 10:18 AM | PERMALINK

drosz, doing my best to ignore Bill Clinton. I really don't like his instincts and really hope Hillary continues to find more and more strength in herself. Really don't know much about Obama, but one thing that disconcerts me is his gravitation toward the same aisle crossing triangulation that Bill made famous (and McCain and Lieberman made infamous). I also hope Hillary loses enough primaries to get McAullife and others canned.

Posted by: B on January 9, 2008 at 10:32 AM | PERMALINK

Shortstop,

That bully kid on the Simpsons

Nelson Muntz

Posted by: Tripp on January 9, 2008 at 10:34 AM | PERMALINK

Real Horserace???? Come on the Clintons set up the primary schedule so that dominance in name recognition "clinton" and money would win the day.

And nothing has happened to change that - except for 5 days we thought maybe Obama could really "Change" the dynamic. He failed.

So Obama wins Nevada (Not likely) and S.C. so what? Clinton will take Florida and Michigan (and even though the delegates don't count) she will be set up nicely for Super Tuesday - Super Tuesday is what she planned to win all along to put this away early. Tell me she hasn't got New York (280 delegates) and California (441 delegates) and New Jersey (127 delegates) locked-up with establishment money and GOTV. Obama would have to win 15 of the remaining 19 states to pull even with her. That would take a Tsunami - it's not out there - it just crashed on the shores of N.H.

Obama's only hope was to steam roll her, break the spirit of her supporters and dry up her money. He failed. This will NOT be a long fight. It will be over February 5th. But it really ended last night.

Insurgents don't get a second chance to trip up the establishment front-runner.

Posted by: C.B. on January 9, 2008 at 10:45 AM | PERMALINK

Tripp, you always come through. Thanks.

Posted by: shortstop on January 9, 2008 at 10:48 AM | PERMALINK

For a long time I was for Hillary over Obama, basically because of her ability to hit the ground running if she gets elected, and because the Republican smear machine has a much better chance to define Obama for the voters than it does to define Hillary. And whoever the Republican radicals nominate will do it, in spades. (Someone aptly described the Republican candidates as resembling the bar scene from Star Wars).
But lately Obama's appeal to independents and the moderate Republican majority, which has had nowhere to go since their party was taken over by crazies, has made me think he may be the more electable of the two. I have long thought the Dems should be appealing to the many decent, kind, and socially liberal Republicans out there. Clearly Hillary can't do that, and clearly Obama is trying. As to which would be the best President, I can't tell. A good President needs qualities that each candidate has.

Posted by: Keith on January 9, 2008 at 11:02 AM | PERMALINK
I'm surprised how strong my feelings for Hillary are enmeshed in a general "punch Chris Matthews in the dick" sentiment. Because believe me, I even want to punch Darrell Hammond in the dick when I see his idiotic impersonation (dead on, generally).

I tend to drift with you on this. While I am not a Hillary fan (am actually liking Edwards) I was getting real pissed about the same old same old attacks on Clinton (AND the added sexist angle). That said, I would prefer to punch Mathews in the balls rather than the dick. The balls are far more effective for dropping someone vs the just the dick.

Posted by: Praedor Atrebates on January 9, 2008 at 11:20 AM | PERMALINK

Kevin and Matt Yglesias are right on about Chris Matthews. Rachel Maddow body-slammed him last week in Iowa when he went on and on about Obama as the second coming by reminding everyone that Iowa is just the first of many primaries and the game was far from over. She did it again last night when she told viewers Matthews was one of the pundits who voters said put them off with his premature burial of Hillary. Matthews did himself no favors about 45 minutes before Hillary was declared the winner last night, when he shouted at Keith Olberman that as soon as the trend started to change in Obama's favor the Clintons would rush right out and give a speech about how great Hillary did before the final numbers could give Obama a victory.

Matthew is not a journalist--he is a carnival barker.

Posted by: Bob C on January 9, 2008 at 11:24 AM | PERMALINK

Kevin wrote: "Maddening, but fun."

Have fun, but don't get mad.

I'm a Kucinich supporter, and a registered Green Party voter, and in all honesty I don't see enough difference between the likely policies and actions of a President Hillary Clinton or a President Barack Obama to get all worked up over.

If you think you would be happy with what Clinton would do, you probably won't be terrifically unhappy with what Obama would do, and vice versa. And opinions about their comparative ability to get things done if elected are really speculative.

So enjoy the political Super Bowl playoffs, but don't get too upset with each other.

If you want to get upset, contemplate a McCain-Huckabee ticket that successfully reunites the right-wing Christian base, the corporatists and the imperialist neocons, that is sold to the American people by the corporate media as the "kinder-and-gentler, morning-in-America, pragmatic bipartisan values, strong national defense, fiscal conservative (and CHANGE!!!) team", and that as a result gets close enough to steal the third presidential election in a row.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on January 9, 2008 at 11:27 AM | PERMALINK

I loved it when Rachel Maddow took down Matthews to his face. He has never liked her (remember when she said that Alan Keyes won the Repub debate and his reply was; you ought to be water boarded for that comment?). That gal (Maddow) has a lot of guts and intelligent things to say.

I too, Kevin, feel good about last night. Heck, now my present pick (HRC) can even go on and lose the nomination but at least she wont lose thinking everyone in the whole damn world thinks she is an unlikeable, shrill, conniving, etc. etc. etc. (fill in your own misogynistic comments here). My heart is full for her today. If she is going to lose, then lets make it on merits and the issues and not the other Matthews BS we have been subjected to. I can take a loss, I just cant stand the misogynistic pile on unfairness. I think women came home to her in NH with those feelings in mind,at least partially.

Now lets have a real issues debate and make our best choice between HRC and Obama. Thank you NH for exercising your precious place in our primary system wisely.

Posted by: Jammer on January 9, 2008 at 12:10 PM | PERMALINK

Glad to hear Maddow took Matthews down on the air and to his face. I can't bear to watch that crap, so I appreciate the report. I hope he did that bewildered, highly agitato thing he does when he knows he's been bested but needs a few seconds to catch up.

Posted by: shortstop on January 9, 2008 at 12:19 PM | PERMALINK
.... the politics of personal destruction .....DBL 11:11 PM
If you watched or listened to any news, you would know that the politics of personal destruction are practiced by your media: O'Reilly, Hannity, Matthews, Fineman, Scarborough, Carlson, Dowd, talk radio and numerous others. If you're wantin' change, change your boyz.
.... the destruction of Democratic values.... drosz at 9:00 AM
I don't see any candidate advocating that "destruction." If you think that unilateral bipartisanship is realistic, you haven't been paying attention to the current congress
....the Democratic big money establishment always kills off the insurgent idealists..... Elliot at 1:16 AM
That's laughable. The number that counts is that Clinton won regular Democrats 45 to 34%. Those are the people who pay attention to issues. If you don't think Oprah is big big money and Obama doesn't have big money donors, you're not paying attention.

For fellow Matthews "fans":
Pres NBC News steve.capus@nbcuni.com
MSNBC programming: phil.griffin@nbcuni.com
Hardball producer: john.reiss@nbcuni.com
Hardball: hardball@msnbc.com
Matthews: chrismatthews@msnbc.com
Scarborough: Joe@msnbc.com
Eugene Robinson: eugenerobinson@washpost.com

Posted by: Mike on January 9, 2008 at 1:17 PM | PERMALINK

I have commented to Andrew Sullivan more than once that I consider he and a no. of others to be agents of the Right Wing. I know many of you will laugh at my conspiracy theory but I contend that the Right Wing works in many mysterious ways. They hate the Clinton Political Machine and fear it. The've lost to it and haven't forgot. The last thing they want is another go around. I believe they see Obama as a "weak" candidate in that he is African American. The Right Wing, being a very racist organization feel they can do so much more with that in powering their Base. I contend that the Right Wing and their agents have made it an objective to get Obama nominated. The Right Wing Power Guys in the Media are spending an inordinate amount of time dissing Clinton in an attempt to persuade Progressives to avoid her for BS reasons. I say, step back and take a good look. I may be somewhat or very right about this.
Andy and his friends spew the easily recognized vitriol that is undoubtely Right Wing.

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