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Tilting at Windmills

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January 26, 2008
By: Kevin Drum

SOUTH CAROLINA....I just got back from a house party where the guy who founded the Irvine Housing Blog told me that, yes indeed, they get a huge spike in traffic every time Atrios links to them. IHB performs the valuable public service of exposing the soft underbelly of the housing bubble, and you should check it out if you want to have your opinion of yuppie strivers lowered even further than it probably already is.

Anyway, I'm back home now and I see that Barack Obama has smoked Hillary Clinton in South Carolina, winning the primary vote there by 55%-27%. Very impressive indeed. And my guess is that it might also mean that the Clinton campaign is going to pull back a bit from the attack dog politics of the past week. After all, it doesn't seem to have helped them much.

But for all you attack dog fans out there, no worries. The Washington Post informs us today that Mitt Romney and John McCain have "abandoned all pretense of civility" in preparation for Tuesday's primary in Florida. So there shouldn't be any lack of fireworks over the next few days.

Of course, what this goes to show is that what happened between the Obama and Clinton campaigns was nothing out of the ordinary. It's what almost inevitably happens whenever a campaign gets down to two people and they're running neck and neck. It might abate a bit on the Democratic side since it doesn't seem to have been very effective, but that's really the only thing that can stop it. As long as negative campaigning works — and it's worked pretty effectively ever since Og defeated Ug 56-55 for the presidency of the Olduvai Gorge Mammoth Hunting Alliance — we'll keep seeing it.

Kevin Drum 8:58 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (181)

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Comments

First!

Posted by: Doc at the Radar Station on January 26, 2008 at 9:00 PM | PERMALINK

Frist!? Second!

Posted by: urk on January 26, 2008 at 9:02 PM | PERMALINK

Third?

Historic night? Learning the results after not watching it on TV, it feels a little strange.

Posted by: troglodyte on January 26, 2008 at 9:05 PM | PERMALINK

remember -- hillary's strategy for the last 10 days has been about super tuesday, not about SC. they gave up on SC a long time ago. the whole idea was to make an obama win in SC "a black thing" so it would not result in momentum. that's been the plan for some time and all the comments with racial echos were part of this -- the goal was not be be racist, but to engage black people to defend obama as a way of cementing his identity as the "black candidate." and just like clockwork bill cinton today was quoted today saying "remember how well jesse jackson did here ..." i predicted it 3 days ago and Magic! here it comes. from here on in its all about california. in normal circumstances SC wont count for much in CA, but this was really a thumping. we'll see.

Posted by: yorkist on January 26, 2008 at 9:08 PM | PERMALINK

The point KD, is that it's really distasteful for WJC to be saying those things against a fellow Dem.

We never get stuff this tough against the Republicans, and that's why it's rubbing more people than usual the wrong way.

Posted by: MNPundit on January 26, 2008 at 9:19 PM | PERMALINK

Well good, not only does it look like the nicer guy won, but it sounds like we will be seeing red fireworks, instead of blue fireworks. I love to see fireworks, as long as their color is red!

I don't think the college educated white demographic, which had been the main early source of Obama's support will be much affected, by this Obama is the black candidate stuff. I can't speak for the non college educated group.

Posted by: bigTom on January 26, 2008 at 9:25 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin Drum writes: "And my guess is that it might also mean that the Clinton campaign is going to pull back a bit from the attack dog politics of the past week."

I think it is ungracious and mean-spirited for you to call Bill Clinton an attack dog. Are you trolling on your own blog? Politics is a vicious sport. Same with basketball and football.

If people want a more human sport, they should play baseball or soccer where the most that can happen to you is to get hit by a ball. Bill Clinton is the power forward or the offensive guard or tackle.

Posted by: ex-liberal on January 26, 2008 at 9:27 PM | PERMALINK

Oh I had to add in another comment. CBS news anounced they would have a Hillary Guliani matchup tomorrow. I can picture it now, they will call each other losers.

Posted by: bigTom on January 26, 2008 at 9:28 PM | PERMALINK

I think this result was foreseeable since Iowa (and that's why Clinton effectively ceded it to Obama and went on the rhetorical (and racial) attack to try to tarnish the victory as much as possible).

I think this nomination fight, despite where the delegate count comes out after February 5th, will be settled in California.

And we're all going to want to know where you come out on it KD.

Posted by: Me2d on January 26, 2008 at 9:30 PM | PERMALINK

i love the irvine housing blog! I wonder, who are these appraisers who gave the houses listed such large appraisal values? I just refinanced and the appraiser did very little to raise my value. Now, i live in Green Bay, not Orange County, but we must also remember the fault of the appraisers to increase the values at such a fast pace.

Posted by: margaret on January 26, 2008 at 9:30 PM | PERMALINK

I think the biggest thing tonight, outside of Barack's smack-down of HRC, is the huge turnout. Barack got as many votes tonight as total voters turned out last time. Incredible, and it bodes well for us for November.

Posted by: Steve W. on January 26, 2008 at 9:31 PM | PERMALINK

I don't buy it Kevin, Ug's husband never tarred Og as a Jesse Jackson or tried to stoke the most divisive embers in a primary instead of a general election. You trying to blow off the nasty nature of the past week as politics as usual just shows the lengths you will go to overlook the flaws of your candidate. If Hillary gets the nomination even Romney could take this election away from the Dems this time, but some irrational deathwish keeps you on her bandwagon.

Posted by: jojo on January 26, 2008 at 9:32 PM | PERMALINK

It's what almost inevitably happens whenever a campaign gets down to two people and they're running neck and neck.

Kevin, I think you're missing the point here. The difference is that we have never had before a former President, who is the face of party, attack a candidate in a party primary on behalf of another candidate who is his wife. If Bill Clinton wasn't a former President, or the face of party, or didn't act like a attack dog, or wasn't attacking a fellow Democrat, or he wasn't defending his wife Hillary, this probably wouldn't be a big deal. But because of all of the above, people are having second thoughts about his actions and have grave concerns about how wrong his actions are. This is why there might be long lasting consequences of these harsh attacks by the candidates and their surrogates. Pretty simple when you think about it.

Posted by: Al on January 26, 2008 at 9:36 PM | PERMALINK

I hope this at least means that Rude-y is going down.

Posted by: Neil B. on January 26, 2008 at 9:37 PM | PERMALINK

Good point upthread. Bill didn't sound Presidential, and that is blowing the whole value of remembering and re-endowing his Presidency.

Posted by: Neil B. on January 26, 2008 at 9:39 PM | PERMALINK

And "Al" is the one who said it, so perfectly! This is amazing ... WHO REALLY IS AL?!

Posted by: Neil B. on January 26, 2008 at 9:40 PM | PERMALINK

" Bill Clinton is the power forward or the offensive guard or tackle."

And has been using his elbows. Three fouls at least. (Hope this all makes sense. Haven't paid attention to BB since HS).

Posted by: nepeta on January 26, 2008 at 9:41 PM | PERMALINK

OOPS! A football metaphor, not basketball except for the power forward???

Posted by: nepeta on January 26, 2008 at 9:44 PM | PERMALINK
The point KD, is that it's really distasteful for WJC to be saying those things against a fellow Dem.

I’d like to see exactly the horrible things WJC said and compare them to the words of Jesse Jackson Jr., Obama Co-chair, before the TV cameras, the morning after the loss in New Hampshire. Here’s Jesse, in his threatening voice:

“Those tears have to be analyzed, they have to be looked at very very carefully in light of Katrina, in light of other things that Mrs. Clinton did not cry for, particularly as we head to South Carolina where 45 percent of participants are African Americans…”.

Then, I’d like to be reminded of all the instances where Obama disavowed these words, since they obviously inject race directly into the campaign and urge South Carolina African Americans to take offense at Hillary Clinton.

Then, I’d like to be educated as to how Bill Clinton, had he really wanted to, could have overcome the words of Jesse Jackson and miraculously managed to remove race from the South Carolina primary.

Posted by: little ole jim on January 26, 2008 at 9:50 PM | PERMALINK

********************
Washington Monthly

Ask Not!
Why Obama is No JFK.
********************

Guess Caroline Kennedy disagrees since she'll be endorsing Obama in the NYT tomorrow as a man with the talent and vision to be "a president like my father."

Posted by: nepeta on January 26, 2008 at 9:51 PM | PERMALINK

Bill Clinton is a piece of shit.

Posted by: Econobuzz on January 26, 2008 at 9:56 PM | PERMALINK

My opinion of yuppie strivers couldn't be lowered much more, Kevin.

Posted by: SocraticGadfly on January 26, 2008 at 9:58 PM | PERMALINK

Glad to see a resounding win for Obama. I'm pissed off that Bill and Hillary are pulling all the tricks in their political book. I started out with a neutral attitude to Hillary but with each passing day the couple pushes me away with their politics as usual crap.

Why can't we have a revolution? Or at least something close to it within the confines of the existing constitution where the old bums are thrown away en masse (glad to see many R's retiring) and we start off with a slightly younger mix.

Posted by: rational on January 26, 2008 at 10:00 PM | PERMALINK

And to think, Og couldn't play the race card.

Posted by: Jim M on January 26, 2008 at 10:04 PM | PERMALINK

Nicely said Nepeta!

If Kevin can count, he should be looking at the huge turnout. That huge turnout is what can give us a huge Dem majority in Congress. That huge turnout didn't turn out for Billary.

So let's go back to saying how Barack stutters and stammers and all of that now.

Posted by: Manfred on January 26, 2008 at 10:14 PM | PERMALINK

So Hillary couldn't even bring herself to congratulate Obama by name and gave her concession speech in Tennessee? And now she apparently plans to break her pledge and campaign in Florida under the guise of holding some "private" fundraisers that will receive heavy media coverage. The Clintons are a class act, aren't they? Meanwhile, Obama foiled the Clinton strategy of making him the "black" candidate by polling as large a percentage of the white vote as John Edwards while inspiring a record turnout of black voters. We Democrats, who have not had a presidential candidate get even 50 percent of the vote since LBJ in 1964, may yet nominate the transformative figure our party has not had since FDR.

Posted by: Scott on January 26, 2008 at 10:14 PM | PERMALINK

56-55? Did they have Diebold machines in the Ice Age, too?

Posted by: scarshapedstar on January 26, 2008 at 10:21 PM | PERMALINK

I understand that Drudge is estatic at Obama's win. Karl Rove's plan for keeping the White House is Republican hands is working perfectly.

Posted by: emmarose on January 26, 2008 at 10:23 PM | PERMALINK

I thought Og edged out Ug for the kingship of Bashan. Not that that worked out particularly well for him.

Posted by: low-tech cyclist on January 26, 2008 at 10:25 PM | PERMALINK

I just thought I'd share this anecdote as it seems appropriate here. I'm not entirely sure what conclusions to draw from it. Perhaps that undecideds are REALLY undecided?

Just got off the phone with the parents in Tennessee. They have something called early voting (kinda like absentee voting, expect you go to the polls and still vote in the booth so really it's like having two polling days. How this helps I don't know.)

Anyway, seems my father convinced my mother to vote for Edwards in the primary because he was tired of the fighting and attacks between the two of them. She did. And then my dad went and voted for Obama.


Posted by: Inaudible Nonsense on January 26, 2008 at 10:31 PM | PERMALINK

Combining the votes of the Republican and Democratic primaries, Obama beat McCain by 2 to 1.

Obama 295,214
McCain 147,733
Clinton 141,217
Huckabee 132,990
Edwards 93,576
Thompson 69,681
Romney 68,177
Paul 16,155
Giuliani 9,575
Other 3,827

445,677 voted in the Republican primary last week;
532,486 voted in the Democratic primary today.

Ron Paul beat Giuliani.

Source: http://www.scvotes.org/

Posted by: jcargh on January 26, 2008 at 10:32 PM | PERMALINK

Obama owes no small debt for his success to the cigarette industry. If he hadn't been a smoker since he was a teen, there's no way his voice would be as deep and rich as it is today.

Posted by: lampwick on January 26, 2008 at 10:41 PM | PERMALINK

While it was expected that Obama would win SC, no one expected such a HUGE win.

This is not easy spun.

Posted by: Sue on January 26, 2008 at 11:01 PM | PERMALINK

So, does the noticeable lack of commenters here tonight prove that "caution is the better part of valor?"

Posted by: nepeta on January 26, 2008 at 11:09 PM | PERMALINK

clintons personify sleaze and arrogance. I don't get how any one who watches this could support them.

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

From Josh Marshall:

"The Clinton campaign clearly made a decision to close the door on the South Carolina campaign with as little discussion as possible. Hillary flew out of the state early in the evening to Nashville where she gave her standard stump speech with a brief reference to Obama's win in South Carolina. Most of the networks seemed to cut away from her speech well before it was over -- after five minutes or so."

Nothing need be added by me.

Posted by: nepeta on January 26, 2008 at 11:13 PM | PERMALINK

I dont understand attacking another democrat when there are so many GOP things to attack.

Posted by: Ya Know... on January 26, 2008 at 11:21 PM | PERMALINK

nepata,

You forgot the part that Josh Marshall showcased from the AP:

Clinton campaign strategists denied any intentional effort to stir the racial debate. But they said they believe the fallout has had the effect of branding Obama as "the black candidate," a tag that could hurt him outside the South.

Nice.

Posted by: Lucy on January 26, 2008 at 11:27 PM | PERMALINK

Al on January 26, 2008 at 9:36 PM

Usually I get a bout of nausea reading "Al". In this case, he's right.

Posted by: ither on January 26, 2008 at 11:31 PM | PERMALINK

I think it was the Elephant Hunting Alliance. No mammoths in Olduvai Gorge.

Posted by: mac on January 26, 2008 at 11:32 PM | PERMALINK

Then you don't see the primaries as a political contest with people strongly supporting one candidate over another on a rational basis? I don't understand how one can be unbiased in the primaries, as if Dems were interchangeable mannequins. We know the broad range of political ideology encompassed by Democrats. The funny thing, though, is that HERE we try to change others' opinions, which is the last place in the world we will be able to successfully do that. I guess we're here just for delight in a good argument. In a real sense, it's all for naught. We should be spending time trying to convince neighbors, friends, classmates, co-workers, etc., instead of each other here.

Posted by: nepeta on January 26, 2008 at 11:34 PM | PERMALINK

Video of Obama's SC win speech here.

Definitely worth watching.

Posted by: ethan salto on January 26, 2008 at 11:38 PM | PERMALINK

My take is that presidents have to seem larger than life. While Bill Clinton's efforts may have been intended to help Hillary, his very presence on the trail makes Hillary Clinton look like the junior partner. Bill coming to Hillary's defense makes her look like a weak heroine in need of a hero on a big horse.

It's too bad because I don't think Hillary needs his help.

The numbers coming out of South Carolina are stunning. I thought I read that the white voters had totally abandoned Obama, but it looks like he got a pretty good share of them as well as overwhelming black support. I guess we are all going to have to quit paying attention to the polls.

Posted by: corpus juris on January 26, 2008 at 11:39 PM | PERMALINK

"Of course, what this goes to show is that what happened between the Obama and Clinton campaigns was nothing out of the ordinary"

Sorry Kevin but what Bill and Hillary have been doing is quite out the ordinary. They have been clearly making racist appeals in SC and elsewhere. We can shrug it off if we want because they're liberals and we like them or whatever but make no mistake, what the Clinton campaign has been engaged in is stoking racial tension and if you shrug it off you're just as complicit.

Posted by: Dresden on January 26, 2008 at 11:39 PM | PERMALINK

Lucy,

Yes. Thanks for adding the AP quote. I know if I were a SC Dem who had worked for Hillary, voted for Hillary, etc. I would feel slighted by her lack of thanks in a concession speech. Not nice, no matter how hard it would have been for her to give a speech anywhere close to as eloquent as Obama's.

Posted by: nepeta on January 26, 2008 at 11:40 PM | PERMALINK

Is it too late to vote for Pat Paulsen?

Posted by: craigie on January 26, 2008 at 11:42 PM | PERMALINK

craigie must be older than I thought.

Posted by: Lucy on January 26, 2008 at 11:44 PM | PERMALINK

Lampwick, you've been on a roll all week. Great stuff!

Posted by: Dr. Morpheus on January 26, 2008 at 11:45 PM | PERMALINK

As a S.C. native (although I have not lived there in 35 years) I am amazed at the size of Obama's win. My family still lives there and I visit several times per year so I will have to feel them out about their thoughts on the Obama wave. Personally I am conflicted and I really had hoped for a better John Edwards showing.

Posted by: tommy harper on January 26, 2008 at 11:53 PM | PERMALINK

Dresden,

Sad to say, I think you're right.

Posted by: nepeta on January 26, 2008 at 11:54 PM | PERMALINK

I could have told you this is how the Clintons play the game in the primaries. If I weren't dead and a complete numbnuts, that is.

Posted by: Paul Tsongas on January 26, 2008 at 11:55 PM | PERMALINK

Once again, I think Kevin is missing the import of negative campaigning on the Democratic side. Negative campaigning is a permanent feature of politics, as is adversarial partisanship in legislating and governing. But a significant proportion of the electorate is currently disillusioned - and rightly so - with the results of adversarial politics, and they associate negative campaigning directly with adversarial politics. This is the heart of the appeal that Obama on the left, and McCain on the right, have used to put themselves in contention for their party's nominations.

Fairly or unfairly, Bill Clinton is not the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, he's the standard bearer of the Democratic Party. When he bashes Obama for acknowledging Reagan's influence in the same way Bill himself did, or quite directly equates Obama to Jesse Jackson, he indirectly attacks all of us who defended him back in the day regardless of his foibles, but who now are attracted by the same possibility of transformational politics that Bill himself once represented. The real consequences of Billary's small-minded, politics-as-usual behavior in the post-Iowa phase of the campaign have yet to be fully understood by political insiders - many bloggers included. The damage being done to the Democratic party by the actions of its elder statesman may not be as great as the right wing currently, gleefully speculates - but neither is it as insignificant and "normal" as Kevin, Josh, et al seem to think.

Posted by: PortlandDem on January 26, 2008 at 11:59 PM | PERMALINK

tommy harper,

The Clinton robocalls against Edwards were no help. See:

Time

Posted by: nepeta on January 27, 2008 at 12:02 AM | PERMALINK

Bill really wants to make it up to Hillary for all the humiliation he caused her in the 90's.

But they're just dragging each other down.

Posted by: Lucy on January 27, 2008 at 12:08 AM | PERMALINK

ither, that was Fake Al at 9:26. Real Al could rope that many words together without hanging himself with them before the sentence was over.

Posted by: Kenji on January 27, 2008 at 12:09 AM | PERMALINK

Caroline Kennedy's endorsement of Obama is now online at:

NYT

Posted by: nepeta on January 27, 2008 at 12:10 AM | PERMALINK

"Bill really wants to make it up to Hillary for all the humiliation he caused her in the 90's."

Lucy,

Do you really think that's the reason? I don't 'sense' that but you might be right. Instead I think Bill just has campaign fever which would be almost as strong for his favored Dem even if it weren't his wife. After all, he had to sit out the 2000 Gore campaign. That must have hurt - it sure hurt Gore!

Posted by: nepeta on January 27, 2008 at 12:15 AM | PERMALINK

nepata, I read that in The New Yorker or somewhere a while back. Although it might have been more along the lines of: Hillary wants this bad and Bill wants to make it up to her, etc.

And sure, Bill loves politics and living in the White House! Part of his charm.

Posted by: Lucy on January 27, 2008 at 12:20 AM | PERMALINK

One more comment:

"Obama Rides Wave of African-American Support to Win" - Washington Post

So, the spinning begins. The headline is accurate enough, although I think that 25% of Obama's support came from white voters? Or was it 25% of white voters voted for Obama? In any case, this headline continues the racist meme.
Sorry to say I didn't read the article so can't comment on whether the writer redeemed himself in the text of the article itself - but it's the headline that matters.

Posted by: nepeta on January 27, 2008 at 12:45 AM | PERMALINK

WHOO-HOOO!

Posted by: Boorring on January 27, 2008 at 12:51 AM | PERMALINK

Would like to note for the record that Hillary gave a concession statement from TN, Bill gave some sort of speech from MO, and Obama gave a victory speech from SC.

YMMV but I think that's kinda telling....

Posted by: nota bene on January 27, 2008 at 1:13 AM | PERMALINK
.... man with the talent and vision to be "a president like my father."...nepeta at 9:51 PM
She is welcome to her opinion, but that will be unlikely that will prove true since he lacks the resumé, or much of any resumé for that matter.
....clintons personify sleaze and arrogance.... dana at 11:11 PM
Actually, their record in office has been pretty good, and their campaign has been issue driven as opposed to the negativity and distortions of Obama.
....When he bashes Obama for acknowledging Reagan's influence....PortlandDem at 11:59 PM
Still whining about Obama's unfortunate remarks when he was pandering for an endorsement. His comment that Republicans are the party of ideas dating from the time of Newt's Contract With American while not denouncing those 'ideas' is strange. He is the media darling until Clinton is ousted; then, as usual, the media will suddenly begin to notice his inadequacies compared to McCain (or Romney).
and living in the White House! Part of his charm. Lucy at 12:20 AM
It's a good thing that Obama was drafted by the people and is making such a noble sacrifice to undertake the burden. Since you are so eager to assign motives, should one ask: can you imagine the ego, arrogance and sense of entitlement that a half-term senator would have to have to seek the office of President on his own?
....headline continues the racist meme....nepeta at 12:45 AM
Pointing out that Obama got a majority of the African-American vote is not racist However, the constant cries of victimhood and racism are a couple of the 'bamabots more tiresome features. Posted by: Mike on January 27, 2008 at 1:30 AM | PERMALINK

Congratulations are certainly due Sen. Obama. Still, South Carolina is no bellwether, so we'll just have to wait and see whether or not there's any carry-over in the next ten days. And I won't hazard to make any predictions.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on January 27, 2008 at 1:39 AM | PERMALINK

Nepeta,

Was there really a Washington Post headline that said "Obama Rides Wave of African-American Support to Win"?

That would be interesting. After Obama's big victory in Iowa, I don't recall the WP putting up a headline that said, "Obama Rides Wave of White Support to Win."

Posted by: global yokel on January 27, 2008 at 1:49 AM | PERMALINK
"Actually, their record in office has been pretty good, and their campaign has been issue driven as opposed to the negativity and distortions of Obama."

Wrong. You assign a different standard to Obama than you do Hilla-excuse me-the Clintons. I can actually sympathize with the Clinton camps claims that what they initially meant was not racist, and that the "fairy tale" controversy was not meant in a racial way as well. But to paint Hillary Clinton as an innocent victim is the height of naivete.

Still whining about Obama's unfortunate remarks when he was pandering for an endorsement. His comment that Republicans are the party of ideas dating from the time of Newt's Contract With American while not denouncing those 'ideas' is strange.

Argh, this is the problem with being the "Professor", it's when he actually gives a reasoned and astute comment, and others start to play the same political game with it. It's not that hard to understand what he said, but here is the direct quote, with my blockquote tag use too:

I don't want to present myself as some sort of singular figure. I think part of what's different are the times...I think Ronald Reagan changed the trajectory of America in a way that Richard Nixon did not and in a way that Bill Clinton did not. He put us on a fundamentally different path because the country was ready for it. I think they felt like with all the excesses of the 1960s and 1970s and government had grown and grown but there wasn't much sense of accountability in terms of how it was operating. I think people, he just tapped into what people were already feeling, which was we want clarity we want optimism, we want a return to that sense of dynamism and entrepreneurship that had been missing.

That is a perfectly reasoned and smart answer, and I actually respect the man more for making a grown-up comment, and answering like a grown-up. It's how this guy talks, for good or bad (see him in the debates?). You not wanting him to immediately say they were bad ideas is besides the point. It didn't matter whether they were good or bad, he was talking about the phenomenom of their candidacy's. You can call it pandering, but he was giving a smart answer you'd hear in class or a discussion. That's just who he is.

Posted by: Boorring on January 27, 2008 at 1:52 AM | PERMALINK

“While it was expected that Obama would win SC, no one expected such a HUGE win.”
(Posted by: Sue on January 26, 2008 at 11:01)

TRUE AND VERY INTERESTING. The question is why? Actually, there have been 4 unexpected results for 4 tries now. WHY? Note that in all four Democratic Primary contests where our well-qualified Democratic contenders have fervently competed against each other, the results were unexpected. Could it be that each of the Democratic candidates is so well qualified for the job that they cancel each other out?

My Answer. The Parallax View:
One reason why the results are unexpected is that each Primary, Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina took a snapshot, a picture, of very different set of voters. And, when observed through the lens of the pundits and polls and Presidential political campaigns, the view always yields the parallax displacement. So, in taking account of the Primary pictures we have so far, we must adjust for the parallax view. (For those that are not camera buffs: “parallax” is the difference between the view of an object as seen through the picture-taking lens of a camera and the view as seen through a separate viewfinder.)
Actually, the distortion in each Primary is for a different reason. But, by my reasoning, the South Carolina results present the greatest distortion. This is so, because the voters there are LEAST like the country as a whole. I hope no one will view this remark as racist, but the reality is that, nationwide, the voters are NOT 50 percent black as they say they are in the South Carolina Democratic Party (and, for all I know, there may has been a higher turnout of black voters than white voters in the SC Primary to further skew the result). Yes, Obama’s ability to motivate his supporters and the capacity of his organization to get out the vote for him is VERY IMPRESSIVE indeed. However, the downside of his impressive win is that he has now firmly established himself as the “black” candidate. My feeling is that, unfortunately, the label will hurt him from now on in, as there are not enough black voters in the blue states to propel him to victory in November. Nor, are there enough black voters in the remainder of the primary contests to give him the edge in Democratic nomination sprint. One of Obama’s strongest assets and chances for success, nationwide, has always been his pan-racial appeal – and/or his ability to get people to disregard race as a consideration. I suspect that with his, a bit too impressive, win in SC – a win that is so obviously grounded in the unusually heavy black vote – Obama has become firmly imprinted with the “BLACK CANDIDATE stamp and thus has shot himself in the foot.
Strangely, had he won less overwhelmingly, it might have been better for him.

Posted by: Erika S on January 27, 2008 at 1:53 AM | PERMALINK

Hmmm, Let's seem Obama got 80% of the black vote, the black vote was 52% of the total. Nope no racial issues there, just a coincidence...

Seriously, Obama is charismatic, but if wasn't the for the fact that he is Black would he have gotten the news coverage he's gotten, would he have received the overwhelming support of the Black community? Would simple criticisms of him such as the fairy tale comment be interpreted as race based if he were White?

Obama's camp wants it both ways. They're not going to talk about race, unless its to show how people are beating up on poor Obama, because he happens to be Black. However as a White guy I'm getting a little tired of this excuse, I've heard it before from other Black politicians, when someone asks them a difficult question. They play the race card.

Just think what will happen if by some miracle, the Republicans get him to run against.There's a reason why the right wing likes Obama and its not because of his policies, they figure he's a easier target. He hasn't shown he can take a punch and their surrogates aren't so squeamish about race. Nothing overt mind, just a constant little drum beat, to get your base going. Race IS going to be a issue, and you are a fool if you don't believe that. So my advice to Obama and his supporters, is to suck it up, because you haven't seen anything yet.

Posted by: Raptor on January 27, 2008 at 1:59 AM | PERMALINK

Booring,

Obama got it wrong about Reagan, IMHO. Everyone forgets the economic subtext of the time. Nixon and then Gerald Ford, with considerable help from the Fed, created an inflation monster. Jimmy Carter appointed Paul Volcker as Fed Chair, who proceeded to wring all of the excess liquidity out of the economy. This set the stage for growth.

Unfortunately for Carter, righting the economy was a painful experience--high unemployment, etc. The hostage crisis in Iran also doomed Carter. In short, Reagan walked into an economy that was experiencing a rebound and the hostages were freed. Carter wasn't much of campaigner either, compared to Reagan (The Onion summed up the two campaigns like this: Carter, "Better Gas Mileage"; Reagan, "Nuke the bastards!")

Anyone could have looked like an agent for change when Reagan won. It had nothing to do the country yearning for a "fundamentally different path." The "excesses of the 1960s and 1970s" were already behind us, thanks to Volcker.

Everybody feels optimistic when GDP is moving north. Anyone can look like a genius in good economic times. Reagan was lucky to be riding the wave.

Posted by: DevilDog on January 27, 2008 at 2:21 AM | PERMALINK

Oh, c'mon Raptor, be reasonable. Using your logic, if Hillary didn't have the last name of Clinton, do you honestly think people would see her as a viable option?

It seems to me that you seeing Obama playing the race card is not considering that maybe Clinton wanted Obama as the "black" candidate as a part of a strategy overall. But, nevertheless, Hillary also benefitted from gender favorability before, so what is charged on Obama can also be applied to her. And Romeny with the Mormonism...and Huckabee with the evangelical vote. But then, trying to prove the inherent desires of people gets so muddy that you end up being mired in details.

Anyways, I don't think Bill Clinton thoroughly understands the nature of the threat from Barack Obama, and that's why Obama will become the nominee, and then the President. Actually, some Republicans are scared of Obama, because they've been to his rallies and have seen firsthand the potential there. This is even figuring in their experience covering other rallies throughout the years. He is a game-changer. Despite sound like a political ad, his candidacy really is a game-changer, whether or not Obama realizes the full effect himself. Nobody I can remember brings out the votes like he does, and what he taps into. Highlight impressive, and bold it, and increase the font size.

It might just be a generational inability to see it, but they don't understand that his candidacy is a "transformational" one, and the rules start to change. Beyond that, I won't say more, because I want him to win, of course.

Come super tuesday, his candidacy may be over. I got burned by New Hampshire, and I could be burned again. But make no mistake, this man will be President.

Posted by: Boorring on January 27, 2008 at 2:23 AM | PERMALINK
"Highlight impressive, and bold it, and increase the font size."

I meant "Highlight "impressive", bold it, and increase the font size".

Posted by: Boorring on January 27, 2008 at 2:26 AM | PERMALINK

Starting out, I didn't see much in either candidate to stir me. I figured I'd vote for Bloomberg if he decided to run or I'd write in Al Gore. Then the Clintons started campaigning nasty and William Jefferson Clinton abandoned all pretense of being a statesman. I'm still not all that impressed with Obama, but I'm going to vote for him as a protest against the ugliness of the Clinton juggernaut.

Posted by: Helena Montana on January 27, 2008 at 2:26 AM | PERMALINK

So my advice to Obama and his supporters, is to suck it up, because you haven't seen anything yet.

You think you know that better than they do?

My only fear is that voters like you are going to tear the party apart because you're afraid to run a black candidate in a Democratic year, just as the Republicans are collapsing.

Posted by: Boronx on January 27, 2008 at 2:27 AM | PERMALINK

Seriously, Obama is charismatic, but if wasn't the for the fact that he is Black would he have gotten the news coverage he's gotten,

Who is the last black politician to get serious national press?

Your notions don't pass the laug test.

Posted by: Boronx on January 27, 2008 at 2:36 AM | PERMALINK

Kevin,

Are Clinton's comments about Obama and Jesse Jackson nothing out of the ordinary either? You seemed pretty upset about ugly racial undertones coming out of camp Clinton a couple of weeks ago. Isn't this a not-so-subtle continuation complete with both talking points about Obama as "the black candidate" being shoped to the media and Bill going out of his way to compare Obama to Jesse Jackson? How much do you have to see before it pushes you over the edge?

Posted by: ikl on January 27, 2008 at 3:02 AM | PERMALINK

"Obama's camp wants it both ways. They're not going to talk about race, unless its to show how people are beating up on poor Obama, because he happens to be Black. However as a White guy I'm getting a little tired of this excuse, I've heard it before from other Black politicians, when someone asks them a difficult question. They play the race card.

[…]

Race IS going to be a issue, and you are a fool if you don't believe that. So my advice to Obama and his supporters, is to suck it up, because you haven't seen anything yet."

Excuse me Raptor, but you seem to be saying that race is an issue but the only acceptable response to it is to ”suck it up”, otherwise white guys like you will be offended, presumably because you’re totally beyond race, race wouldn’t matter to you, you’re colorblind, right. Well why should everyone else ”suck it up” while you continue to whine about black politicians playing the ”race card”? You do realize you, just played the race card ”as a White guy”, don’t you?

Posted by: antiphone on January 27, 2008 at 3:14 AM | PERMALINK

Folks -- we all know demographic groups here.

Core support is as follows:

Older white women for HC

Young people (

Older white men for Edwards

These things aren't even a surprise any more.

The problem for Hillary is that she has really damaged the democratic coallition. Democrats need African American votes to win swing states (hello, Ohio). She's lost them. She won't get them back in the general election. Particular if she is having to tack to the center at the same time.

Posted by: Adam on January 27, 2008 at 3:23 AM | PERMALINK

that was young people and african americans for Obama.

Posted by: Adam on January 27, 2008 at 3:24 AM | PERMALINK

Adam, You forgot Latinos . . .

Posted by: DevilDog on January 27, 2008 at 3:35 AM | PERMALINK

Since you and most of your readers (except for me) count by any normal standards as "yuppies" or "yuppie strivers," I find your sneering at a term that APPLIES TO YOU just a bit bizarre. If you want to sneer at people in the property market, why not say "exploitative rentier scum" or "foolish and greedy would-be flippers"?

But, "yuppies"? I'VE GOT NEWS FOR YOU: YOU ARE A YUPPIE, PAL!! THAT'S WHAT YOU ARE!! IT IS YOUR SOUL!! EVERYTHING YOU'VE EVER DONE EPITOMIZES "YUPPIE"!!

What, do you think the term doesn't apply to you because your name isn't "Gordon Gecko" or "Gordon Gecko's Underling"? Did your food processor only cost $55 or $70 and not $300?

STOP LYING TO YOURSELF!!! And just get more accurate and precise in your use of language.

Posted by: Anon on January 27, 2008 at 3:45 AM | PERMALINK

Hey, Anon, get a grip . . . or a drink. Your shit is way too serious for Saturday night. Just let Kevin do his YUPPIE thang.

Posted by: DevilDog on January 27, 2008 at 4:07 AM | PERMALINK

Um, I don't think that Anon's problem is not having enough to drink . . .

Posted by: ikl on January 27, 2008 at 4:20 AM | PERMALINK

Is it me or was it just a couple weeks ago that everyone was talking about how black voters polled overwhelmingly for Hillary, according to the pundits because they didn't believe that a black man could win and so weren't going to vote for him? Did I just make that up?

Posted by: john on January 27, 2008 at 4:30 AM | PERMALINK

Great win for Obama, but his 24% of the white Democratic vote is a bit disappointing. He had gotten more than that in the previous primaries, I believe.

And Adam is right -- the negative Clinton campaigning may cause many African Americans not to vote in the general if she is the nominee, which would be a major problem.

Exit polls show that Obama did phenomanally well with the young -- both non-white (77%) and white (52%). But whites over 60 seem to hate him (15%). So Hillary still looks like the likely nominee, but if she is smart she will have to mend bridges to the Obama supporters that she has angered.

Posted by: JS on January 27, 2008 at 4:34 AM | PERMALINK

JS wrote:

"Great win for Obama, but his 24% of the white Democratic vote is a bit disappointing."

Huh? Obama won a smashing victory in Iowa, where 99.8% of the electorate is white. And he finished an extremely close second in cranky old conservative white New Hampshire. Why didn't we see any big news headlines to that effect? So now just because he enjoys a convincing win in a state with heavy African-American turnout, his lustre is somehow fading? I don't buy it.

Posted by: ghost of zorro on January 27, 2008 at 4:48 AM | PERMALINK

…the negative Clinton campaigning may cause many African Americans not to vote in the general if she is the nominee, which would be a major problem.

What the Clintons have tried to do is tar Obama as a racially divisive and polarizing figure, most recently by comparing his win to Jesse Jackson’s. In the short term their target is a segment of the white vote, who of course, aren’t racist themselves but are alarmed by Al Sharpton types who are always “playing the race card”. They’re taking a calculated risk, no doubt backed up by Mark “pig” Penn’s focus group and polling work. It’s a disgusting tactic that’s in the process of backfiring and not only with African Americans.

Posted by: antiphone on January 27, 2008 at 5:08 AM | PERMALINK

Huh? Obama won a smashing victory in Iowa, where 99.8% of the electorate is white. And he finished an extremely close second in cranky old conservative white New Hampshire.

That was my point too -- that he had done better with the whites in earlier primaries (as I said). Evidently it's not so in the South. It would take some complex arithmetic to figure out how the advantage with African Americans works out against the handicap with whites in red states. On the plus side for Obama, as long as Edwards stays in the race the white vote is split -- which should help him.

Posted by: JS on January 27, 2008 at 5:19 AM | PERMALINK

80% of the black vote went to the black candidate, 80% of the white vote went to the white candidates. The US still has a big racial problem. That is really what the SC vote tells us.

Posted by: wab on January 27, 2008 at 5:24 AM | PERMALINK

Do you all remember when Obama left Nevada and never conceded to Hillary? Oh, I forgot, she didn't really win there. It's the delegates, not the voters that count so he didn't think it was necessary. I wish someone would write a primer on how to campaign against a black opponent. Can't say "kid", that's racist. Ditto, "fairy tale". Can't say that it took both MLK and LBJ to get civil rights legislation passed. Evidently, the African Americans "own" MLK and no one else can even speak of him. Who knew. Meanwhile, I have been stunned by how acceptable it still is to demean a woman.

Posted by: vdeputy on January 27, 2008 at 5:27 AM | PERMALINK

Meanwhile, I have been stunned by how acceptable it still is to demean a woman.

I’d absolutely have to agree that gender and race discrimination are still problems in our society. However, if you’re implying that Obama or his surrogates have made attempts to exploit gender bias for political gain, I wonder if you might cite an example or two.

Posted by: antiphone on January 27, 2008 at 5:43 AM | PERMALINK

"The problem for Hillary is that she has really damaged the democratic coallition. Democrats need African American votes to win swing states (hello, Ohio). She's lost them. She won't get them back in the general election."
(Adam on January 27, 2008 at 3:24 AM)

Adam, I agree that any Democratic candidate, be it Hillary or someone else, will need the African American vote to win in November. However, I see absolutely no evidence that she has "lost" the African American vote in a general election against a Republican. In a contest between Obama and Clinton they may prefer Obama, but in a contest between Clinton and ANY Republican, they will, my guess is, come out in force to vote for Clinton --especially if the economy becomes THE issue.
After all, what have Hillary or/or Bill done or said to so seriously damage their historically good relationship with black voters that they will no longer support a Clinton over any Republican? I think you make a misjudgment if you see the black support for Obama in SC as an anti-Hillary vote. It was a pro-Obama vote.

Or, are suggesting that Obama and his supporters will deliberately rile up Clinton-hatred among black voters so as to poison that well? And, if that is your suggestion, what exactly is it that the Obama camp can (could) say or do that will effectively turn the black vote against Hillary in a general election?

Posted by: Erika Senter on January 27, 2008 at 5:51 AM | PERMALINK

what have Hillary or/or Bill done or said to so seriously damage their historically good relationship with black voters that they will no longer support a Clinton...

There's pretty comprehensive list here Erika.

Posted by: antiphone on January 27, 2008 at 6:03 AM | PERMALINK

I haven't lived in the south, so my opinion can be discounted, but I have a very hard time believing that Hillary is racist and/or intentionally used racial code words or phrases. I think it is unfortunate for the party that candidate skin color became such a focus. Obama could (and probably would) have won on the merits.

That said, Clyburn most definitely delivered and Bill seems to be flailing on the defensive. I hope to god he doesn't randomly bring up Sharpton or Michael Jordan tomorrow.

After all the innuendo, media amplification, and candidate stages strategically filled with people of contrasting races it would be refreshing to see an actual substantiative discussion on policy issues that affect african americans.

Posted by: toast on January 27, 2008 at 6:06 AM | PERMALINK

Sorry that link is wrong> It's here

Posted by: antiphone on January 27, 2008 at 6:08 AM | PERMALINK

"So Hillary still looks like the likely nominee, but if she is smart she will have to mend bridges to the Obama supporters that she has angered."
(JS on January 27, 2008 at 4:34 AM)

I agree. If the past four primary contests have a common lesson for us, it is that negative campaigning and smear tactics by supporters and pundits does not work when used in the Democratic primary races. Rather, it produces a sympathy vote for the one pounced upon. Note, in each of the four primary contests to date, the winner was the one who was the object of a lot of negative messages and/or smear campaigning.
I think Hillary (and Bill)got that message too now, and I predict their campaign style will change.

Posted by: Erika S on January 27, 2008 at 6:23 AM | PERMALINK

Great link antiphone. Full of great stuff. Even a few Hillary quotes. I can't believe she said that stuff about executive power and hope versus realism. The clincher was the use of the terms "backwards" and "spadework".

"Backwards" is a loaded term from European colonialism, and as a rationale of pro-slave advocates.

Hillary is pro-slave. I didn't see it before but there's really no doubt about it. Do you think she used the term "spadework" to try to separate Obama from african americans with slave heritage or is she just implying that he'd make a good farm slave after she repeals a couple dozen constitutional amendments.

I'm glad no one in the Obama camp is going all crazy trying to sensitize the public to race.

Posted by: B on January 27, 2008 at 6:38 AM | PERMALINK

I read your "CLINTONATTACKSOBAMA" list, antiphone (at 6:08,AM), to which you pointed me. None of the items on that list seem to me to be of the type that was particularly racially offensive or of the type that would make any reasonable Democrat, black or white, or any other race, take such offense that they would never vote for Clinton in a general electioon against a Republican. In fact, most of the items on that list were racially neutral attacks on Obama as a candidate-- and not attacks that the African American voter could or should or would take personally.

Posted by: Erika S on January 27, 2008 at 6:54 AM | PERMALINK

Obama played the race card to win in SC. His minions attacked every word from Bill and Hillary. They started by twisting words and meaning to accuse Hillary of dissing MLK. Unfortunately the press, especially the idiots at NBC, like Scarborough and Matthews, are just as biased as they were during the Clinton years and twist and distort every story. The one difference between the smearing of the Clintons in the 90's and now is that the right wing has been joined by the gullible haters and naifs of the left.

Posted by: Chrissy on January 27, 2008 at 7:07 AM | PERMALINK

I read your "CLINTONATTACKSOBAMA" list, antiphone

Well, let me be clear it’s not my list I just found it tonight. I think it’s somewhat useful because puts a lot of incidents that have been discussed in one place, including some obscure ones that I hadn’t heard of and some that I’d personally rule out (spadework and backwards for instance). People can come to their own conclusions but it’s gotten rather difficult to believe there’s nothing there. Some Democrats want to see this kind of ruthlessness (sharp elbows etc). I don’t, but I’m not going to look the other way either.

Posted by: antiphone on January 27, 2008 at 7:12 AM | PERMALINK

They started by twisting words and meaning to accuse Hillary of dissing MLK.

What did she really mean?

Posted by: antiphone on January 27, 2008 at 7:19 AM | PERMALINK

She meant both MLK and LBJ together brought about the end of segregation. Pretty clear unless you're trying to distort and inflame.

Posted by: Chrissy on January 27, 2008 at 7:21 AM | PERMALINK

Totally OT...

In a battle of the explosive new generation of tennis stars Serbian Novak Djokavic just beat Frenchman Jo Wilfred Tsonga in a 4 set thriller at the Grand Slam Australian Open.

Against all odds, 3rd seeded Novak ("the Joker") had beaten world #1 Roger Federer, and UNSEEDED, Mohamed Ali-look-alike Tsonga had beaten world #2 Rafael Nadal - both in straight sets - in the semis.

Absolutely incredible, heart-stopping tennis.

(In the women's final - fairly dubbed the Glam Slam - gorgeous Russian Maria Sharapova beat the equally stunning Serbian, Ana Ivanovic, in straight sets. Amazing tennis as well, but the jaw-dropping, super-model beauty of the 2 finalists almost obscured the fact of their superb sporting prowess.)

Posted by: DanJoaquinOz on January 27, 2008 at 7:25 AM | PERMALINK

If she was using that situation to compare herself and Obama who was MLK and who was LBJ and why?

Neither of them are running to be MLK both are running to be President.

Posted by: antiphone on January 27, 2008 at 7:25 AM | PERMALINK

Don't Blame Me. I voted for Ug.

Posted by: Old Man Krowe on January 27, 2008 at 7:26 AM | PERMALINK

Well, I'm in a demographic that supposedly would be for Hillary, and I'm not.

And I do think Bill Clinton being the attack dog is a real turn off. It shows the worst side of him and what he will do to grasp for power. Thus it makes Hillary look bad as well.

I just want to know why John Edwards is not doing better?

I think his message is the best.

Posted by: Clem on January 27, 2008 at 7:29 AM | PERMALINK

antiphone, you are assuming and twisting and claiming she was comparing herself to LBJ. you have no right to do that. She admired MLK her entire lifetime. Hillary and Bill did more for race relations in this country than Obama ever has. They changed the tone in this country and they showed true grit and grace when they were unfairly attacked. Obama is fracturing the party along every fault line he can find and showing his true mettle by his accusations and resentments. The petty accusations are a sign of character and not a good one.

Posted by: Chrissy on January 27, 2008 at 7:35 AM | PERMALINK

antiphone, you are assuming and twisting and claiming she was comparing herself to LBJ. you have no right to do that.

I was asking for your interpretation, and yes, she was comparing herself to LBJ in order to make a contrast between “hope” and “getting it done”.

Responding to questions by Fox reporter Major Garrett about her false hope comments. The idea was that presidential leadership and legislation were required and that hope alone wasn't enough.

HRC:"I would point to the fact that Dr. King's dream began to be realized when president Lyndon Johnson passed the Civil Rights Act of 1964. When he was able to get through congress something that President Kennedy was hopeful to do the president before had not even tried, but it took a president to get it done. That dream became a reality -- the power of that dream became real in people's lives because we had a president who said we're going to do it and actually got it accomplished."

Posted by: antiphone on January 27, 2008 at 7:46 AM | PERMALINK

Clem: the reason you don't hear Edwards message is the press doesn't cover it. They are limited to the following lie: Obama fresh face hope change and Clinton is mean and scheming and so is her husband. This is the entire text and subtext from the msm.

Posted by: Chrissy on January 27, 2008 at 7:46 AM | PERMALINK

antiphone, give it a rest. You want to see something negative so you are going to see something negative no matter that the reality is that stating MLK and LBJ worked TOGETHER to achieve an end to segregation is not some underhanded dissing of MLK. An end to segregation was not achievable without LBJ. Stop trying to deny reality.

This unfortunate tendency to see everything as 'us against them' and see enemies and negativity is a very ugly side of Obama's support.

Posted by: Chrissy on January 27, 2008 at 7:54 AM | PERMALINK

An end to segregation was not achievable without LBJ. Stop trying to deny reality.

Right, change the subject. No one said that. You don’t seem able to respond to HRC’s analogy with anything that makes sense. How did what she said address the question she was asked? You have accused Obama minions of twisting her words. What is the proper reading of her answer?

Posted by: antiphone on January 27, 2008 at 8:05 AM | PERMALINK

Hey DevilDog

That was a well reasoned response to the Reagan thing, and I can see where you're coming from. Had the Clintons' used such a thoughtful response it might have gone over better. But the way they decided to respond was dishonest and typical of what I've been seeing from them as of late.

Grats to Obama...impressive win.

Posted by: drosz on January 27, 2008 at 8:12 AM | PERMALINK

Obamas mother was white....

Posted by: Ya Know... on January 27, 2008 at 8:14 AM | PERMALINK

Antiphone,

How are you reading it?

I certainly don't see it as blatantly racist (as Clyburn and MSNBC pundits did -- i.e. "it takes a white person").

I saw her making the not so delicate points that 1) This is a race for president, 2) Presidents can't get things done with hope and dreams alone, and 3) She has the experience to be effective in a presidential role. You can disagree on all sorts of points but I think Clyburn's interpretation is pretty hard to stomach.

Yes she's saying she thinks she can emulate LBJ in getting domestic legislation passed. And yeah, I guess she's saying that Obama's inspiring speeches are not enough without strong political experience (or political allies in the case of MLK). Here I guess there is a serious disagreement on what constitutes experience -- but is it really a racial attack or a racial issue at all? Does a claim of inexperience constitute a racial attack? Does a historical analogy directly or tangentially involving a black person always constitute a racial attack? Does quoting the racial breakdown of exit polls in south carolina constitute a racial attack? Is it a racial attack when the supporter of a white candidate alludes to admitted past illicit drug use by a black candidate?

If you want to read up on LBJ you might want to track down Bill Moyers' recent stuff.

Posted by: B on January 27, 2008 at 8:32 AM | PERMALINK

I just realized this is still a live thread. You early risers might want to take a look at this morning's Campaign Video. Lee Stranahan posted a stinging parody overnight.

Posted by: corpus juris on January 27, 2008 at 8:58 AM | PERMALINK

I certainly don't see it as blatantly racist (as Clyburn and MSNBC pundits did -- i.e. "it takes a white person").

No B, but of course most racism and sexism isn’t blatant. You have to bear in mind that she introduced a civil rights example to contrast herself with Obama. Why do that?... She’s trying to put herself in the more favorable position but is she suggesting Martin Luther King was good at what he did but would have made a bad president?

She was patronizing and condescending in a racial context of her own choosing. I have a hard time imagining a even Republican candidate making that kind of blunder, she was signifying a sense of entitlement, a sense of being a good white person who will take care of blacks,who should know their place. She was demonstrating that she doesn’t know any better. She can mouth the rhetoric but on an emotional level she feels superior.

Posted by: antiphone on January 27, 2008 at 9:03 AM | PERMALINK

MLK wasn't president. Like most analogies and examples used in campaigns you're better off not stretching them beyond all possible intentions. In fact your generally lucky if they make any sense in the original context.

I don't know why people want to make a big issue about skin color in the democratic race. I choose not to believe that Hillary is a racist. In the context of her life and her work it makes absolutely no sense. She's been working on the behalf of minority children since law school. However, I guess I believe that Bill is a silly egotistical baffoon.

If you want to talk about racial issues bring up some racial issues. Innuendo and hypersensitivity aren't going to improve anything.

Posted by: B on January 27, 2008 at 9:20 AM | PERMALINK

So much for Intrade. Guess you will have to try harder to pump Hillary up.

Posted by: hollywood on January 27, 2008 at 9:36 AM | PERMALINK

If you want to talk about racial issues bring up some racial issues. Innuendo and hypersensitivity aren't going to improve anything.


You asked me how I read that specific example. Chrissy brought it up as an example of Obama of "playing the race card". To me it’s part of a pattern on the part of the Clinton campaign. To you it’s, see no evil. Fine.

Posted by: antiphone on January 27, 2008 at 9:37 AM | PERMALINK

I started neutral in this race, but have really warmed to Obama as I've seen him conduct his campaign. I've been turned off by President Clinton public remarks in recent days, which have clearly backfired in at least one state and in one voter in particular (me). "Jesse Jackson won in SC, too." What was that supposed to accomplish?

I'm truly stunned at the idiocy and denial of the Clinton backers on these threads. I hope that Hillary Clinton's advisors are smarter than her defenders on this thread, though I'm not so sure that's the case. She has a real problem here and a strong candidate (Hillary) that had my respect for years is losing it quickly. The obvious mistakes of the Clinton South Carolina campaign can not continue if she wishes to become the Dem nominee.

Posted by: danimal on January 27, 2008 at 9:37 AM | PERMALINK

danimal:

"Jesse Jackson won in SC, too." What was that supposed to accomplish?"

As with the MLK/LBJ statement of Hillary's, there's nothing about that sentence that isn't true. What are politicians (and their supporters) supposed to do, say nice things about their opponents?


Posted by: Lee on January 27, 2008 at 9:49 AM | PERMALINK

Simply incredible headline on CNN this morning... [1-27-08]

Time: Obama's rout rejiggers the race.

Posted by: Buford on January 27, 2008 at 9:49 AM | PERMALINK
The one difference between the smearing of the Clintons in the 90's and now is that the right wing has been joined by the gullible haters and naifs of the left.

I don’t take it for granted that all the people making comments here anonymously are honestly representing who they are.

Throughout my adult life I have been disgusted with the way politicians in my region of the country (the South) have used race both blatantly and subtly to advance themselves. To those of us who have openly fought this sort of thing, this is a remarkable spectacle, but really nothing new.

When I say “those of us”, I am including Andrew Young, John Lewis, and Bill Clinton. I suppose those who disagree (really disagree) with my perception of South Carolina may now view guys like Young and Lewis as Uncle Toms. I don’t know where they are coming from.

I do know which campaign made race an issue in South Carolina. My only question is how intentional it all was on the part of the candidate himself. I have hardly given up on Obama. But his campaign has opened up a can of worms that is really ugly.

Posted by: little ole jim on January 27, 2008 at 9:53 AM | PERMALINK

They changed the tone in this country...

Ha! I'll say.

Posted by: Lucy on January 27, 2008 at 9:57 AM | PERMALINK

It's just not helpful for a respected former president to play the part of attack dog. Politics ain't for the pure, but this is a terrible use of the Clinton campaign's number one asset.

It takes a lot of denial to miss the racial subtext of the Jesse Jackson comment. Continuing down this path will lead to more losses. I'm tired of defending Clinton half-truths as I did during the 90's. And now I see there is a viable alternative in Obama. A month ago, I saw all three Dems in positive terms. Now I'm angry with the Clinton campaign.

The South Carolina spanking was a voter response to the negative Clinton campaign, in much the same way that the Clinton New Hampshire win was a statement of support for Hillary and against the misogynistic media. I hope they learn from their mistakes, for the party's sake.

My bottom line: Bill should be the Big Dog, not the bulldog.

Posted by: danimal on January 27, 2008 at 10:08 AM | PERMALINK

Antiphone, thanks for the response. I'm not sure that I see no evil. I do however believe in giving your friends and allies the benefit of the doubt. Feeling around for patterns and speaking in generalities are dangerous things. It's good to talk about specifics.

I've been accused of racism myself and I know assumptions, generalizations, and lack of communication all cause problems.

Mostly I'm disappointed in the animosity out there.

Posted by: B on January 27, 2008 at 10:12 AM | PERMALINK

danimal:

Didn't many of the people critical of Bill for the Jesse Jackson comment support Jackson in the 80s?

Posted by: Lee on January 27, 2008 at 10:12 AM | PERMALINK

Irvine Housing Blog - Speaking of unbridled greed. Buying a house in 2004 for $615,000. It's a place to keep you dry when it rains and warm when it is cold outside. That's all it is. As an investment to make you rich - BAD IDEA.

I'm having difficulty generating sympathy for greedy people.

Posted by: Chief on January 27, 2008 at 10:16 AM | PERMALINK

BTW, kudos to Kevin for the correct placement of mammoths in the Pleistocene of central Africa. Most people think Homo habilis only had elephants to hunt.

I think I saw that negative campaign ad on the wall of a cave somewhere -- "Ug sucks megafaunal balls"

Posted by: tgra on January 27, 2008 at 10:22 AM | PERMALINK

Clinton supporters have been busy trying to spin Obama's victory as no big deal since after all black voters don't matter much in the Great White Republic. Bill's wisdom about Jesse Jackson's performance in South Carolina accompanied a frenzy of number-crunching and sneers for Obama's pickup of just under 25% of the white vote in the birthplace of the Confederacy. Yet the foot soldiers fail to note that:

Although Jackson's white support was significantly higher in South Carolina than in 1984 - it is estimated this year [1988] at between 5 and 10 percent of the voters - he has not made much headway with populist, blue-collar whites ...

Source: Slate

Posted by: Lucy on January 27, 2008 at 11:01 AM | PERMALINK

Oh, I should have just said:

Josh Marshall has posted a bunch of historical background on the '88 South Carolina caucus. Worth a read.

Posted by: Lucy on January 27, 2008 at 11:12 AM | PERMALINK

Beyond the point that little ole jim raised further up, namely Jesse Jackson Jr.'s raising of the race issue (and he is the national co-chair for the Obama campaign), there is the infamous memo from the SC Obama campaign plainly designed to foment racial resentments.

Both of these are examples of the Obama campaign itself -- not some free-lancing supporter -- promoting racial division. It is amazing to me that that clear connection, and the importance of it, has not been hammered home in the media. Whatever you may think of the supposed racially divisive remarks on the Clinton side, they are, in every case where the charge of racial division might possibly have merit, NOT directly connected to the campaign itself.

Imagine if it were reversed, that it was the Clinton campaign, and not Obama's, that had been caught out like this. Does anybody on earth think that they would not have been filleted and left for dead over it?

How is it that the Obama campaign can get away with this? Simple: the media loves Obama and hates the Clintons. They are so deeply embedded in their own bias that they can't begin to see it.

And it's important to consider too: even if the Clinton campaign had a mind to inject racism into the campaign, why would they do so at the moment they supposedly did? Why would it be made into such a big issue just in the last couple of weeks, after the NH win? What immediately important purpose would be served by that?

Well, what was the most critical event that was coming up on the schedule? Obviously, the SC primary. Who profited by encouraging racial division, given the makeup of SC? Obviously, Obama.

And the Obama campaign surely was desperate to win SC, to regain some real momentum.

Well, it worked. But, if anything, it was only too successful. The massive win by Obama was based purely on his overwhelming win of the black vote. That is a fact that cannot escape anyone's attention who pays any attention. My guess is that in the minds of most Americans he has chosen to define himself as someone whose primary allegiance is to a particular racial group. That's the huge downside of playing identity politics like this. Yes, you create a great bond with your particular group. But members of all other groups must wonder how fairly and vigorously you might ever represent their interests.

In Iowa and NH, of course, Obama didn't have that perception. But he cast his lost with identity politics after his loss in NH. I very much doubt that he can convince the American people that suddenly he's not the identity politics candidate he chose to be in SC.

Posted by: frankly0 on January 27, 2008 at 11:24 AM | PERMALINK

Lee--I personally appreciate Jesse Jackson's bids for president. I'm sure many of the people criticizing President Clinton were supportive of Jackson's campaigns as well.

That's kind of beside the point. President Clinton did not mention John Edwards' win in 2004. Wonder why?

It's obvious to the non-Clinton political world that the Clinton campaign has tried to paint Obama as the "black candidate." All the spin in the world won't change that. And it's a bad strategy that got repudiated Saturday. Learn from that or lose.

"New politics" aren't so new, but the Obama campaign is generating unprecedented enthusiasm and impressive numbers of voters. The real Hillary Clinton is likable and makes an attractive candidate. The Hillary Clinton 2008 presidential campaign is not so likable these days.

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

franklyO, just stop it already. You are embarrassing yourself with these nonsense anti-Obama posts from blog to blog.

Posted by: GOD on January 27, 2008 at 11:33 AM | PERMALINK

GOD,

You got a refutation, offer it up.

You don't, STFU.

Posted by: frankly0 on January 27, 2008 at 11:35 AM | PERMALINK

You answered your own question frankly0.

…if the Clinton campaign had a mind to inject racism into the campaign, why would they do so at the moment they supposedly did? Why would it be made into such a big issue just in the last couple of weeks, after the NH win? What immediately important purpose would be served by that?

You take the candidate who’s--not black enough--and you make him—too black.

The massive win by Obama was based purely on his overwhelming win of the black vote. That is a fact that cannot escape anyone's attention who pays any attention. My guess is that in the minds of most Americans he has chosen to define himself as someone whose primary allegiance is to a particular racial group. That's the huge downside of playing identity politics like this.

Posted by: antiphone on January 27, 2008 at 11:37 AM | PERMALINK

And it's important to consider too: even if the Clinton campaign had a mind to inject racism into the campaign, why would they do so at the moment they supposedly did?

Why, to marginalize Obama as the black candidate, of course.

But, if anything, it was only too successful.

This meme appears to have been high on the list of this morning's talking points. Racial division does not benefit Obama, since as you Hillary people keep saying over and over and over again, it does not play well nationally.

Obama articulated his post-identity politics paradigm in the Audacity of Hope long before the South Carolina primary. Further, he repudiated the efforts of "overzealous" supporters to inject racial tension into the race. (Your cynicism is taken for granted on that score, so no need to respond.) Jackson Jr.'s cheap shot was denounced by many Obama supporters, including yours truly.

So nice try killing the buzz of a nation stoked on the idea that we don't have to suck anymore.

Posted by: Lucy on January 27, 2008 at 11:40 AM | PERMALINK

Yorkist, in comment 4, has it completely correct. This was the Clinton strategy all along and, so far, is working to perfection. It isn't without risks, but if Clinton gets the nomination, which I think she will sew up on Feb 5, they plan to heal the breach by picking Obama as the VP.

I don't know for sure who first identified the Clinton strategy, but Dick Morris is the first that described it that I saw. The Clintons are brilliant political strategists- my hat is off to them.

Posted by: Yancey Ward on January 27, 2008 at 11:43 AM | PERMALINK

Wow, someone is might angry. It just upsets you so much that some people like the uppity negro doesn't it? I can see you foaming in the mouth as you type rant away. Keep it up, you are showing your true colors.
P.S. Nothing to refute, cos your writings are full of horse manure.

Posted by: GOD on January 27, 2008 at 11:44 AM | PERMALINK

Lucy you really shouldn't be so condescending and snarky. The Clintons did change the tone. The era of Reagan and Bush 1 was filled with hate and suspicion and backlash against affirmative action and talk about welfare queens, corporate control and environmental loss. Like Obama's condescending "you're likable enough Hillary" the tone from Obamaland sucks.

Posted by: Chrissy on January 27, 2008 at 11:44 AM | PERMALINK

antiphone,

You obviously don't get the point. I was asking, whose purposes did it serve to introduce race exactly when the issue became prominent? What was on the line at that particular moment? Well, the SC primary. And only Obama could know in advance, and perfectly predict, that inflaming racial resentments would work in his favor there.

Whatever may be true of the Clintons, they are not omniscient, and could not have predicted that a big win in SC for Obama would actually benefit them. I simply can't imagine that the Clinton campaign said to itself, Gee, let's try to make it possible for Obama to win as big as he can in SC, and to win every black vote that might be possible. It's just absurd to imagine that they would make such a move. The actual consequences of a big win for Obama in SC are in fact not predictable with certainty (though, as I've argued, I think that it will not be good for him); certainly it would have been far, far better for the Clintons had Hillary actually won.

Obama had, though, very powerful reasons after NH to have a momentum changing event in SC. He needed to win that state, without question, otherwise his campaign would effectively have ended.

Posted by: frankly0 on January 27, 2008 at 11:50 AM | PERMALINK

Geez, GOD, pretty lame "refutation" for an omniscient being.

Posted by: frankly0 on January 27, 2008 at 11:52 AM | PERMALINK

Reading the comments from the usual anti-Obama crowd here, one notices, once again, the sheer inability to apply logic to the question of how to win BIG.

This massive turnout in South Carolina wasn't inspired by Billary or John Edwards, and will not come out for either of them if they are the nominee. That is patently obvious.

Clearly the anti-Obama crowd is too busy right now clamoring for Obama to be as black as possible to make some simple calculations on how to maximize a Dem victory. Like Kevin, they simply can't seem to ADD.

Keep cheering the Queen. Let's see how far it gets us.

Posted by: Manfred on January 27, 2008 at 11:54 AM | PERMALINK

finally, in Obama, we have a candidate that can take S.C. in the generals in November. Oh wait, no we don't. The problem is, that there are a few states that really have no importance to the Dems, as they go Repub, no matter what, at least for the next couple of Presidential elections. Too bad really, as those states are the ones hit hardest by the conservative F*ck up machine.

Posted by: Radix on January 27, 2008 at 12:00 PM | PERMALINK

I want to weigh in with my reaction to Hillary's LBJ/MLK statement. I think I must have seen her say this 'live' on TV because I wasn't aware of any reaction to it yet. I couldn't believe my ears because it seemed so 'politically' dumb, and so unlike anything a Clinton would say. I thought it belittled MLK's incredible ability to motivate and unite both blacks and whites in a movement for racial equality. (I was a teenager at the time and remember the time well). Clinton was correct to say that without a president willing to push for legislative reform perhaps 'the dream' would have remained just that. But conversely, without the 'dreamer' and his movement it's quite possible a president would never have gone after reform at all. In the MLK/LBJ case, I put the 'dreamer' and his followers ahead of the nuts and bolts of reform. What many of us see in Obama is the dreamer and the president in one person, the best possible combination to effect change. Hillary was trying to criticize Obama for his 'dream' talk and in the process made things worse by belittling the inestimable importance of MLK. JUST PLAIN DUMB.
Although I didn't jump to accuse Clinton of playing the race card on that first hearing, I'm having second thoughts. She could have left MLK/LBJ out of her argument entirely and I wish she had.

Posted by: nepeta on January 27, 2008 at 12:00 PM | PERMALINK

Obama articulated his post-identity politics paradigm in the Audacity of Hope long before the South Carolina primary. Further, he repudiated the efforts of "overzealous" supporters to inject racial tension into the race.

Yes, Obama, after his campaign has already succeeded in making racial issues the central topic of conversation, suddenly decides that he, noble, saintly man that he is, will tell them all to "Stop! Please Stop in the name of all that's right!"

And your acting as if Obama's assertion in a book that he represents someone who is "post-identity politics" simply proves that it is so is just amusing in its gullibility. I guess no man in history has ever said one thing and done another, by your lights. One wonders if this rather unbelievable naivete is at base why you support the guy.

Posted by: frankly0 on January 27, 2008 at 12:06 PM | PERMALINK

Not only did Obama play the race card as his campaign's memo says, he played the anti-gay card (McClurkin) and he played the age/generational card (the civil rights leaders who supported Hillary were old and out-of-touch).

He is without doubt the most divisive figure ever in the Democratic party. His unity happy-talk is about as truthful as W's uniter not a divider bull.

Posted by: Chrissy on January 27, 2008 at 12:07 PM | PERMALINK

Look, frankly0 is a pro, and he and his colleagues are successfully diverting attention from Caroline Kennedy's op-ed "A President Like My Father" and Obama's humdinger of a victory speech.

I would love to discuss but must be on my way.

Posted by: Lucy on January 27, 2008 at 12:09 PM | PERMALINK

One wonders if this rather unbelievable naivete is at base why you support the guy.

Well, I guess people can make up their own minds about that. Bye now.

Posted by: Lucy on January 27, 2008 at 12:11 PM | PERMALINK

He is without doubt the most divisive figure ever in the Democratic party. His unity happy-talk is about as truthful as W's uniter not a divider bull.

So you don’t like happy talk or civil debate, how about this. Go fuck yourself asshole.

Posted by: antiphone on January 27, 2008 at 12:14 PM | PERMALINK

She could have left MLK/LBJ out of her argument entirely and I wish she had.

Look, this entirely forgets the context of the issue.

At one point, Hillary had accused Obama of raising "false hopes". Obama countered that, by her logic, she might call the hopes of MLK and Kennedy as false, too. Hillary then was obliged to have a response to that. Her response was that you need more than hope, you need someone who can implement them in the governmental process -- and she pointed out that the hopes of both MLK and Kennedy didn't achieve realization simply in virtue of what those men did; it took LBJ, who knew how to bring those hopes through the legislative process to achieve concrete legislation that affected people's lives.

The point is, it was Obama who first introduced MLK (and JFK) into the conversation. Hillary was simply countering as the logic of her argument required. The idea that she brought this up out of thin air is, well, a fairy tale.

Posted by: frankly0 on January 27, 2008 at 12:15 PM | PERMALINK

Thanks, drosz. BTW, I hope Obama takes it, since Edwards likely won't.

I still have some reservations about Obama's resurrection of Social Security reform and his health insurance policies, but I'm afraid an HRC administration would be characterized by the features Robert Reich described in her husband's (but I'd vote for ANY Democrat in the general).

Posted by: DevilDog on January 27, 2008 at 12:15 PM | PERMALINK

Lmao, I would have thought only garnering 16% of the black vote while running against 'uncommitted' would have taught the Hillary people something about making this a racial election. Namely, that if the nomination is won in that way, the General is likely to become unwinnable.

but keep talking about how this win doesn't count, because there are too many black people in Sc. Somehow, I doubt you think NH didn't even though 60% of the electorate was 50+ year old white women...

Just stop it, it's racist and not even arguably so. This same logic could be applied to Hillary and women. Notably, wining women 67%-33% and losing men 85%-15% isn't going to get you a win in the general election any more than winning the black vote 79-13 and losing the white vote 67-24 will. Yet you all endlessly discuss the racial divide and pretend that the gender divide isn't every bit as dangerous. It's hard not to see racial motivation in that.

Posted by: Soullite on January 27, 2008 at 12:16 PM | PERMALINK

Lucy, stop responding to frankly0. There are a few posters here who have legitimate issues with the Obama candidacy and they provide insightful commentary, he isn't one of them.

Posted by: GOD on January 27, 2008 at 12:17 PM | PERMALINK

Look, frankly0 is a pro

Then where's my check??

Posted by: frankly0 on January 27, 2008 at 12:17 PM | PERMALINK

frankly O,

Well, I have to say I agree with you if Obama did in fact use MLK/LBJ as an argument in this context before Hillary made her comment in NH. Can you point me to a place to read Obama's statement and confirms timeline?

Posted by: nepeta on January 27, 2008 at 12:27 PM | PERMALINK

Jesse Jackson won SC we he ran correct? Obama's win wasn't much of a surprise. In fact, had Edwards been out of the race I think the results would have been much closer. The big question is how will Obama do on Super Tuesday. My money is on Hillary and I think she really do well in CA.

Posted by: noel on January 27, 2008 at 12:34 PM | PERMALINK

I think this is a good commentary from PoliGazette:

I agree with John Hinderaker: ‘The crowd at Obama’s victory party tonight chanted, “Race doesn’t matter!” That’s a bit disingenuous, since Obama won over 80% of the African-American vote in South Carolina, and only around a quarter of the white vote. So race was obviously a decisive factor.’

What’s even more hilarious is that CNN’s headline was: “Exit polls: Obama won across demographic lines.” That’s quite simply a lie.

Meanwhile, Bill Clinton compared Obama to Jesse Jackson saying: “Jesse Jackson won South Carolina in ‘84 and ‘88. Jackson ran a good campaign. And Obama ran a good campaign here.”

This is obviously an attempt to portray Obama as “the black candidate,” something that many people won’t exactly like, but I don’t see how Clinton is being dishonest. Firstly, they both did run a good campaign and deserved to win. Simple. Secondly, at this moment, Obama is the black candidate, because without the overwhelming support of blacks he wouldn’t have won. In fact, if the black vote was evenly divided among the top three candidates, Clinton would’ve been the winner.

If Obama wants to win the nomination, however, he has to become more than “the black candidate.” He has the potential. He could be more, much more. But he has to try to turn that around starting now.

And: let Obama and his people stop saying that the Clintons play the race card. They do the same constantly. If they didn’t, they wouldn’t have won 80% of the black vote, because the Clintons were actually very popular among blacks.

No, this is a race in which race is used time and again. It’s interesting to see whether this debate will tear apart the Democratic Party or whether they will overcome it (my guess is yes: in the end, these people are very political correct. PC always wins).

Posted by: ncj on January 27, 2008 at 12:45 PM | PERMALINK

*

Posted by: mhr on January 27, 2008 at 1:02 PM | PERMALINK

Nepeta,

All you have to do is look at the full Fox News transcript. Hillary was provided with an Obama quote concerning MLK (and false hopes) to which she responded.

Posted by: B on January 27, 2008 at 1:03 PM | PERMALINK

frankly0 - Fox News transcript? The MLK/LBJ comment I'm talking about was made by Hillary in NH in a stump speech, previous to the Fox debate.
The debate discussion was in reference to Hillary's faux pas in NH.

Posted by: nepeta on January 27, 2008 at 1:12 PM | PERMALINK

no need to get in a tizzy over franklyo's comments. having vise like grips on certain opinions and a neurotic repetitiveness is just how his tendency toward serial obsessions plays out.

a year or so ago, he was vehemently arguing that the u.s. wasn't ready for a female president and to run hillary would be a selfish disaster. so this is just today's obsession. soon it will be something else.

and nepata, you should do your homework instead of always asking everyone else to find you basic information you should already have. it appears the only thing on which you have based your big obama crush is his own website. crazy.

Posted by: as it unfolds on January 27, 2008 at 1:17 PM | PERMALINK

Ted Kennedy to endorse Obama! Barack Hussein Obama no less. So now we have the daughter and the brother.

Meanwhile the banner here from Kevin's outfit still says "Obama is no JFK". Heh. Sounds sillier by the minute.

Some though are trying to figure out whether Obama is Jesse Jackson or Ronald Reagan. I'm seeing some lovely supposed liberals here, trying hard to cloak someone in the worst outfit they can find, and it ain't pretty.

Posted by: Manfred on January 27, 2008 at 1:24 PM | PERMALINK

The MLK/LBJ comment I'm talking about was made by Hillary in NH in a stump speech, previous to the Fox debate.

uhhh . . . you'll have to clarify.

1) "it takes a president" was from an interview hillary did with Major Garrett of Fox News following the New Hampshire debate and preceding the New Hampshire primary.

2) Hillary clarified her remarks in speeches in New Hampshire before the primary.

3) There was no democratic debate with Fox.

Posted by: B on January 27, 2008 at 1:36 PM | PERMALINK

" it appears the only thing on which you have based your big obama crush is his own website. crazy." - as it unfolds

Are you really addressing this comment to me? Not only have I not mentioned Obama's website once on this thread (I don't think) but only visited it for the first time last week. I have occasionally mentioned it in these threads as a source for Obama's policy positions when accusations are made that his positions are unknown or unclear. If you want to know, the thing that most influenced me to become an Obama supporter was his Reno Gazette interview which I listened to twice all the way through. My support for him has increased since then by listening to the most recent debate and reading or hearing his speeches.

Posted by: nepeta on January 27, 2008 at 1:39 PM | PERMALINK

~..."judged not by the color of their skin but by the content of their character"...MLK

The American people have a choice.

The race (no pun intended) for President must be more than racism and sexism (or any "ism" for that matter).

HRC has been the "default" front runner for years.

Now a fault has begun to appear and the crack is getting wider.

The GOP probably would love to see Obama vs "their guy" in November.

Then, I'm afraid, the content of one's character will pale in the face of the despicable racism that infests my country even to this day.

Posted by: Tom Nicholson on January 27, 2008 at 1:39 PM | PERMALINK

Not sure I dislike Obama as much as frankly0, but look, the man is trying to address specific facts, facts which I recognize to be true. The full meaning of them is being debated by some, while others simply deny the facts.

I can only repeat exactly what I said immediately in the wake of the statements by Jesse Jackson Jr. the morning after the New Hampshire primary. That was:

A clarion call has been issued by the Obama campaign asking African Americans (by using the telling words “African Americans”) to take offense at Hillary Clinton. It will be hard to reverse this call. The result will likely be that in the neighborhood of 80 percent of the African American vote in South Carolina will go to Obama. Approximately 80 percent of the white vote will go to someone else. I’ve seen this movie before.

I was close enough. I don’t think there was anything anybody could do at that point. I’ve never seen it work out any differently in Mississippi (my home state) either. South Carolina and Mississippi will go the Republicans in the general election.

What a waste all of this was.


Posted by: little ole jim on January 27, 2008 at 1:48 PM | PERMALINK

B, Well, I guess the first I heard of the issue was in Hillary's clarification in a speech in NH before the primary. It appeared to me that the uproar began after that speech. This is the first I've heard of a Fox news interview. I'll check it out. In any case, you don't seem to be proposing, as frankly0 has, that Obama got the ball rolling initially on this meme and that Hillary was only in 'response mode.' I'll go look for the Fox interview right now. As for the Fox debate, my bad.

Posted by: nepeta on January 27, 2008 at 1:52 PM | PERMALINK

From CAROLINE KENNEDY...
"Most of us would prefer to base our voting decision on policy differences. However, the candidates’ goals are similar. They have all laid out detailed plans on everything from strengthening our middle class to investing in early childhood education. So qualities of leadership, CHARACTER (emphasis mine-TCN) and judgment play a larger role than usual.
...My reasons are patriotic, political and personal, and the three are intertwined. All my life, people have told me that my father changed their lives, that they got involved in public service or politics because he asked them to. And the generation he inspired has passed that spirit on to its children. I meet young people who were born long after John F. Kennedy was president, yet who ask me how to live out his ideals.
...Sometimes it takes a while to recognize that someone has a special ability to get us to believe in ourselves, to tie that belief to our highest ideals and imagine that together we can do great things. In those rare moments, when such a person comes along, we need to put aside our plans and reach for what we know is possible..."

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/27/opinion/27kennedy.html?ref=opinion

While I admire HRC, she just doesn't resonate with me the way Caroline Kennedy has so eloquently
portrayed Obama.

Posted by: Tom Nicholson on January 27, 2008 at 1:52 PM | PERMALINK

Soullite: Notably, wining women 67%-33% and losing men 85%-15% isn't going to get you a win in the general election

Which election do these numbers come from?

Posted by: JS on January 27, 2008 at 2:39 PM | PERMALINK

"Sometimes it takes a while to recognize that someone has a special ability to get us to believe in ourselves, to tie that belief to our highest ideals and imagine that together we can do great things. In those rare moments, when such a person comes along ........."

What a load! Same thing could have been written about Barney. Just change it to when such a purple dinosaur comes along, we can all just get along and sing our song and have a ding-dong and be inspired to be the best we can truly be with hope and vision and change.

Posted by: Chrissy on January 27, 2008 at 2:41 PM | PERMALINK

Taking Hillary's MLK/LBJ comment at face value, and accepting that it was about experience and not about race: What makes her so much more experienced than Obama? Her seven years in the Senate compared to Obama's three? (Obama was also a state senator since 1996). Or her tenure as first lady? If tenure in the Senate is what counts, Biden or Dodd would have been lots better than Hillary. If it has to do with being married to a president, what about Laura?

What exactly was she saying?

Posted by: JS on January 27, 2008 at 2:49 PM | PERMALINK

nepeta: Hillary’s statement about King, Kennedy, and Johnson did not come out of the blue. It evolved from a back and forth discussion of “hope” and “false hope.” See links and excerpts below.

January 7 Article about hope and false hope; Kennedy and King.
http://www.politico.com/blogs/bensmith/0108/Clinton_and_Obama_Johnson_and_King.html

Excerpt: “Obama challenged Clinton's claim in a weekend debate that he was raising "false hopes" about what he could deliver for the country. Obama told his audience that hope made President Kennedy aim to put a man on the moon and Martin Luther King Jr. to imagine the end of segregation.”

Same day Hillary on Fox ; video and additional comments by Clinton and Obama.
http://embeds.blogs.foxnews.com/2008/01/07/clinton-talks-tears-with-fox-news/

Excerpt: “Barack Obama’s dismissal of her claim that he represents “false hope;” Obama says that argument is like Martin Luther King standing at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington and saying “sorry guys, false hope. The dream will die.”

My summary:

Obama often speaks of hope. .

Hillary uses the term false hope (probably a mistake). .
Obama says her false hope statement is tantamount to dismissing Kennedy (moon mission) and King (civil rights movement). .
Later, Hillary responds with her statement about King, Kennedy, and Johnson. .
Obama calls her the wording of her statements “unfortunate”, an age old code-word phrasing for “she made a racial comment”. .
Hillary objects and clarifies. .
The rest is history.
Posted by: little ole jim on January 27, 2008 at 3:50 PM | PERMALINK

little ole jim,

Thanks. I'm still a bit confused, though, because in the NH stump speech I saw on TV she didn't mention JFK at all, just the 'it takes a president' line in reference to MLK. Well, as others have commented, I think we all have a fairly clear idea of who said what and we can take it from there.

Posted by: nepeta on January 27, 2008 at 4:58 PM | PERMALINK
Taking Hillary's MLK/LBJ comment at face value, and accepting that it was about experience and not about race: What makes her so much more experienced than Obama? ....JS at 2:49 PM
That MLK/LBJ comment was obviously not about experience but that, as any dolt can tell, governmental action was necessary to turn Dr. King's dreams and aspirations into laws that eventually began to end the discrimination he fought against. If you think the white South would ever yield on its own or from feelings of guilt, you're sadly mistaken. It took government action, nationalizing the National Guard, The Voting Rights Act, the Civil Rights Act, and time -- a lot of time -- to finally begin to change attitudes.

As to their relative experience, why don't you compare Obama's resumé to Clinton's? Research is your friend. It keeps you from sounding stupid.

Posted by: Mike on January 27, 2008 at 5:19 PM | PERMALINK

That MLK/LBJ comment was obviously not about experience but that, as any dolt can tell, governmental action was necessary to turn Dr. King's dreams and aspirations into laws

Right. And since Obama said that while running for political office, precisely in order to be able to turn hope into "governmental action", what, again, was she trying to say?

As for the "resume" comaparison -- what did you mean? That Hillary's Wikipedia article is longer than Obama's (including sections on Whitewater, Monica, etc.)? Is that how smart people measure government experience? The most important vote of her career has been the one for AUMF -- and it was wrong.

Idiots are those who resort to name calling when they run out of arguments.

Posted by: JS on January 27, 2008 at 5:56 PM | PERMALINK

All right... the desperate attempts to find racism in Bill Clinton's speeches are getting pretty tiresome.

Why not hold up someone who won multiple times in South Carolina but didn't get the nomination to emphasize that winning there isn't essential? There isn't anyone else like that in modern history besides Jesse Jackson. So he happens to be black, so what.

And by the way it's disgusting to me that after all these years of Clinton getting flack for not being a faithful husband, he now gets savaged and jeered for being *too* loyal to his wife.

Posted by: DanM on January 27, 2008 at 6:04 PM | PERMALINK

Although negative tactics(the only tactics conceivable at the time)undoubtedly played a role in Og's victory, recent excavations, much to the consternation of historians belonging to the Good Old Days school of thought, indicate that the votes were counted by Og's brother's taxidermist's son, Diebolderon.

Posted by: Michael7843853 G-O/F in 08! on January 27, 2008 at 6:13 PM | PERMALINK

And by the way it's disgusting to me that after all these years of Clinton getting flack for not being a faithful husband, he now gets savaged and jeered for being *too* loyal to his wife.

LOL. Because sexual fidelity and his remarks on her campaign trail are equivalent in some alternate universe of gold star collecting?

Posted by: shortstop on January 27, 2008 at 6:38 PM | PERMALINK


Shortstop:


"LOL. Because sexual fidelity and his remarks on her campaign trail are equivalent in some alternate universe of gold star collecting?"

What's that supposed to mean? Who are you to say what's more important? To Hillary, political loyalty seems much more important that sexual loyalty. Remember that for centuries, the upper classes usually married for political and economic convenience--neither sexual fidelity nor even love was expected. So there's nothing that marriage is inherently "about"--it means whatever it means to its participants.


Anyway, Bill Clinton's affairs were simply an excuse to condemn him, a rationalization of conservative hatred. There was certainly no comparable condemnation of Rudy Giuliani or Newt Gingrich, to name only two, for their affairs by Republicans or the religious right.

Posted by: Lee on January 27, 2008 at 6:52 PM | PERMALINK

You keep doing this, Lee. Slow down and concentrate on you reading comprehension.

Posted by: shortstop on January 27, 2008 at 7:35 PM | PERMALINK

nepeta:

I totally disagree with you about the MLK/LBJ controversy. I don't think there was anything wrong with Hillary's comments. There was nothing she said that wasn't true.

Neither Hillary nor anyone else is denying that without the civil rights movement, in which King played a leading role, there would have been no civil rights legislation. But by the same token, without Lyndon Johnson's skill in pushing civil rights through Congress, Dr. King's movement would have failed (at least it wouldn't have succeeded at the time it did). The fact that the civil rights movement succeeded doesn't mean that its success was inevitable. There have been other popular movements in history that have failed.


This controversy has especially annoyed me because I look at it from a different perspective. Even though Dr. King's life was tragically cut short, I believe he has gotten the credit he deserves for his role in civil rights. The same cannot be said regarding Lyndon Johnson. Although most historians give him credit for his civil rights achievements, most of the general public does not. When people associate civil rights with any president at all, that president is usually JFK, even though it was Johnson, not Kennedy, who pushed the legislation through (although Kennedy did introduce the bill that eventually became the Civil Rights Act of 1964, that bill was stalled when he was assassinated).

And because of Vietnam, to this day almost all leading Democrats are scared to publicly say anything good about Johnson. Whenever past Democratic presidents are favorably invoked, it's always FDR, Truman, and JFK, never LBJ. Then when someone (Hillary) does have the guts to say something good about him, she's condemned for not giving Martin Luther King enough credit. Gimme a break!

And frankly, I don't care if anyone was offended by Hillary's comments. That's their problem, not hers. We shouldn't have to constantly rewrite history to suit the mood of the moment. In Roman Polanski's outstanding movie "The Pianist," he depicts the role the Jewish police played in deporting Jews to death camps in Poland. What if some Jews had said they found this "offensive"? That would be their problem, not Polanski's, since there was nothing in Polanski's portrayal that wasn't true. This is how I feel about what Hillary said concerning King and Johnson.

Posted by: Lee on January 28, 2008 at 11:02 AM | PERMALINK

I'm sure this has been said many times on this thread, but:

I'm shocked... SHOCKED... to learn that HRC's campaign strategy of painting Obama as a "shuckin' 'n' jiving n-word, just like MLK" didn't go over so well with the Black voetsr in SC.

Posted by: Disputo on January 29, 2008 at 12:14 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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