Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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January 30, 2008
By: Kevin Drum

EDWARDS OUT....Everybody who lives in a more favorable time zone than me already knows this, but here's today's campaign news:

John Edwards will end his presidential bid today, a source close to his campaign confirmed, effectively narrowing the Democratic field to two contenders less than a week before the Super Tuesday round of primaries.

....According to aides, Edwards will not endorse Clinton or Obama today and has no plans to weigh in for either candidate in the immediate future.

I'm genuinely surprised. Dropping out after South Carolina would have made sense. Dropping out after Super Tuesday would have made sense. But why today? More on this later, I'm sure.

Kevin Drum 11:34 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (148)

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Doesn't matter if he's losing anyway when he drops out or not.

Posted by: Paul on January 30, 2008 at 11:38 AM | PERMALINK

Dropping out now only makes sense if he intends to affect Super Tuesday by throwing his support toward one candidate or the other. My feeling is that he's going to see what both candidates can offer him before going one way or the other.

-- ACS

Posted by: acs on January 30, 2008 at 11:39 AM | PERMALINK

Maybe there's been a turn for the worst with his wife? I mean, I definitely hope that's not the case, but it would explain why he's dropping out at such an odd time.

Posted by: mmy on January 30, 2008 at 11:40 AM | PERMALINK

When McCain/Media/Huck somehow happen to "beat" Clinton/Richardson, we will all regret not listening to Petey.

Four More Wars!

Posted by: Gore/Edwards 08 on January 30, 2008 at 11:42 AM | PERMALINK

I'm sure it's just money: he doesn't have enough to compete in Tuesday's states but was putting off the decision as long as possible to keep getting as much attention as long as possible.

Posted by: phil on January 30, 2008 at 11:42 AM | PERMALINK

Well, if we're just going to idly speculate, if he likes Obama, the story this morning with all the talking-heads was Florida and Hillary's ginned up controversy over seating delegates that she won there(which was going to distract from Obama's genuine win in SC). This now changes the headline once again -- and in the "change agent"'s favor. Delegate controvery seems less realistic, it's a two person race, that's the new story.

But I think more plausibly -- he'd like to have lasted until Super Tuesday, but he ran out of cash.

Posted by: Me2d on January 30, 2008 at 11:43 AM | PERMALINK

What kind of funds does he have left? Was it a matter of not wanting to burn anymore advertising? But still seems like he could have kept his hat in the ring for another week.

Posted by: kis on January 30, 2008 at 11:46 AM | PERMALINK

This is great day for Barack Obama. Both John Edwards and Barack Obama represent change. Change from the 90's Clinton Administration. Edwards supporter certainly lean toward Obama, another agent of change. Edwards probably quit because he knew now is the time best to help Obama. Both Obama and Edwards represent the progressive choice for Democrats. I also think we shouldn't be surprised if Edwards endorses Obama right before Super Tuesday (instead of now) in order to help Obama even more.
The next debate will be crucial as Obama will finally display his expert debating skills in a one on one battle with Hillary. If Obama wins the debates (as I expect he will), then it will be a defining moment. Super Tuesday will be a great day for Obama as he wins decisively.

Posted by: Al on January 30, 2008 at 11:46 AM | PERMALINK

Elizabeth Edwards has been missing from the campaign trail for the last 3 weeks (the local news here in North Carolina finally caught on to this in the past week). So, I hope its not anything to do with her, but it could be. I'm guessing its money, but the timing does seem strange.

Posted by: Debra on January 30, 2008 at 11:48 AM | PERMALINK

He didn't drop out Sunday after S.C. because the news cycle would have made it seem like he was drummed out and he would not have a platform he now has to be heard one final time. Same with Monday which was all about Obama and the Kennedys. Tuesday was all about the Republican race - so that leaves today. It will dominate todays the news. Everyone will be tuning to hear what he has to say and parse his words.

The real issue is why drop out before Super Tuesday at all. It has to be that he is going to endorse someone. AGAIN he is not going to say who it is today because that would dominate the news cycle and shift it off his message. This way he gets two news cycles BEFORE Super Tuesday. Look for an endorsement on Friday.

If it's Clinton - the race is effectively over and she must have offered him something REAL big to do it.

Posted by: C.B. on January 30, 2008 at 11:49 AM | PERMALINK

Running out of money is usually the trigger for these decisions.

I'm suspecting his speech may contain an appeal for civility among Democrats rather than an endorsement for Buffy or Biff.

Posted by: lobbygow on January 30, 2008 at 11:49 AM | PERMALINK

Given that he was going to have a hard time hitting that 15% threshold, and assuming he wants to maximize his influence on the race, this is the ideal time to drop out. He waits until after Thursday's debate to make an announcement going into the weekend. The impact will dominate the news for a couple of key days before Super Tuesday. Particularly if Obama is his pick, he could really make a difference.

Posted by: Woodenshoe on January 30, 2008 at 11:50 AM | PERMALINK

Big disappointment. I was so hoping that Edwards would hang in til Tuesday. As others have said, it is the cash.

Posted by: Disputo on January 30, 2008 at 11:50 AM | PERMALINK

Not suprisingly, Al (like right wing talk radio) is spending a lot of time and effort jocking Obama. It's because they know he is an unmitigated general election disaster for Democrats.

Posted by: Pat on January 30, 2008 at 11:51 AM | PERMALINK

Edwards supporter certainly lean toward Obama, another agent of change.

Check those generalizations at the door. I'm a liberal Democrat who intended to vote for Edwards to push the primary to the Left. Now that he's out, I'm not sure who to vote for or if I'll even bother. I'm happy to support either Clinton or Obama in the general election, but right now I can't bring myself to vote for Clinton and I am SO SICK of the Obama camp acting like a bunch of sanctimonious porcelain kittens that I absolutely refuse to vote for him.

Posted by: Caitlin on January 30, 2008 at 11:52 AM | PERMALINK

I am very disappointed that I will not get the chance to vote for Edwards in the Democrats Abroad Global Primary next Tuesday. Though I am so thoroughly ambivalent on both the remaining options that I might do so anyway, assuming the option still exists.

There is some small solace in hoping there is something to the whispering that Edwards might get the position of Attorney General in a Democratic administration. Lord knows DoJ could use his leadership and integrity after years of the Ashcroft-Gonzales misrule

Posted by: AFVIA on January 30, 2008 at 11:53 AM | PERMALINK

The prognosis for Elizabeth that I heard several months back is quite bleak. It wouldn't be surprising if at some time Edwards made the coice to spend as much time with her as possible.

Posted by: bigTom on January 30, 2008 at 11:56 AM | PERMALINK

Maybe he was scheduled to come to Chicago, and just couldn't do it because it's so DAMN COLD HERE TODAY!

Posted by: rusrus on January 30, 2008 at 11:57 AM | PERMALINK

Interesting how both Democratic candidates are considered by factions within the party to be unmitigated disasters in GE, but the Republicans find a way to nominate McCain, their strongest candidate who has their best shot at winning.

Posted by: C.B. on January 30, 2008 at 11:57 AM | PERMALINK

Could be over for Elizabeth, sadly. Tough lady but there are some things you can't fight.

Sympathy goes out to the family.

Posted by: MNPundit on January 30, 2008 at 11:57 AM | PERMALINK

Speaking for myself, I was going to vote for Edwards, but just voted absentee for Obama today. That's Barack Hussein Obama to you, baby.

Posted by: craigie on January 30, 2008 at 11:57 AM | PERMALINK

If it's Clinton - the race is effectively over and she must have offered him something REAL big to do it.

What would HRC have that Obama couldn't also offer?

Speaking of the debate, be prepared to hear a reprise of the Rezko slime from HRC. As those not in Chicago may not know, Rezko had his bail revoked the day after Obama won in SC when the prosecution notified the judge of a $3.5M loan that Rezko had acquired. The timing is rather suspicious since the prosecution knew about this since April of last yr.

Expect HRC to this time call Obama "a lawyer for an *imprisoned* slum lord".

Posted by: Disputo on January 30, 2008 at 11:59 AM | PERMALINK

There is some small solace in hoping there is something to the whispering that Edwards might get the position of Attorney General in a Democratic administration.

Whoever is in the WH one yr from now, I hope that comes to pass.

Posted by: Disputo on January 30, 2008 at 12:00 PM | PERMALINK

If Mr. Edwards goes to New Orleans and helps the poor people displaced by W. Bush return and take back their city, I will change my opinion about him. That is not what I think he will do, but I hope it is what he will do.

Posted by: Brojo on January 30, 2008 at 12:01 PM | PERMALINK

But why today?

I think Edwards realized in the last few days that the snake lady has to be stopped.

If is fairly obvious that Billary's election is about the worse thing that could happen to the Democratic party in both the short and long runs.

I expect we will see him not only endorse Barack Obama, but also actively campaign for him.

Posted by: Ethics matter on January 30, 2008 at 12:03 PM | PERMALINK

If it's Clinton - the race is effectively over and she must have offered him something REAL big to do it.

Yes, and if it's Obama it'll be because they share a vision for change in America, right?

It may be a little unfair to Obama, but as a former Edwards-leaning voter, I'm now firmly for Hillary, and the reason is almost entirely due to Obama's supporters in the press and on the internet. I don't see much difference between the two remaining candidates, and this way I get to piss off Chris Matthews and Andy Sullivan...

Posted by: gustav on January 30, 2008 at 12:04 PM | PERMALINK

Hillary's Potemkin Florida victory rally pushed Edwards over the edge.

Posted by: lina on January 30, 2008 at 12:05 PM | PERMALINK

I understand that Senator Clinton has been desperately phoning Edwards lately and arranging private meetings with him, but I think his pick has to be Obama, if his campaign meant anything at all. Edwards:

People are looking for change and that's clear. Senator Clinton doesn't represent change and Senator Obama and I do, so we start at a good place. Secondly, the kind of change that I believe we need is to strengthen and grow the middle class. And vis-vis Senator Obama, I don't think we've going to have meaningful change in this country unless we have a president that's willing to fight the entrenched special interests.
Posted by: Steve Crickmore on January 30, 2008 at 12:06 PM | PERMALINK

this:

I'm a liberal Democrat who intended to vote for Edwards to push the primary to the Left. Now that he's out, .... I am SO SICK of the Obama camp acting like a bunch of sanctimonious porcelain kittens that I absolutely refuse to vote for him.

and this:

as a former Edwards-leaning voter, I'm now firmly for Hillary, and the reason is almost entirely due to Obama's supporters in the press and on the internet.

Well, it didn't take long for the HRC camp to send out their talking pts, did it?

Posted by: Disputo on January 30, 2008 at 12:07 PM | PERMALINK

I'm sorry to see him leave the "race". He and Kucinich [sp?] seemed to me to bring the talking points a bit farther to the left.

So much for a revolution...sigh.

Posted by: bobbywally on January 30, 2008 at 12:08 PM | PERMALINK

More favorable time zone? The Pacific Time Zone rocks - we don't have to stay up past midnight to watch Monday Night Football and nothing really important happens in DC or NYC until after about 9 AM anyway.

Posted by: RobertSeattle on January 30, 2008 at 12:10 PM | PERMALINK

Despite my ambivalence about his candidacy I'm disappointed Edwards is out of the race. He kept poverty and corporate malfeasance on radar and made a spirited challenge to the presumptive frontrunners.

Elizabeth Edwards is a wonderful person. It's heartbreaking.

Posted by: Lucy on January 30, 2008 at 12:13 PM | PERMALINK

Well, there goes the only candidate with a difference on the Dem side.

Cue Candidate A and Candidate A. On with the horse race!

Posted by: Stranger on January 30, 2008 at 12:13 PM | PERMALINK

Oooh. I want to see Sanctimonious Porcelain Kittens vs. the Snake Lady. I hear that Captain Combover makes an appearance in the last reel.

Posted by: lobbygow on January 30, 2008 at 12:14 PM | PERMALINK

I was going to vote for Edwards on Super Tuesday. I may still do so. Ill be happy to vote for either HRC or BHO in the general, but Edwards was harder for the slimeballs to target. And he has run a creditable campaign, albeit short on novelty.

Posted by: troglodyte on January 30, 2008 at 12:14 PM | PERMALINK

Obama lost me when he put Social Security in play in Iowa, and he did nothing to get me back with the right wing talking points (and the Hillary hatred, so familiar from the 90s!). He could have won me by taking the floor on FISA, and displaying his oratorical and Constitutional skills. He didn't do that.

The Obama Fan Base should stop repeating that all Edwards voters are automatically Obama voters. Repeating something doesn't make it so.

Posted by: lambert strether on January 30, 2008 at 12:15 PM | PERMALINK

Disputo

Those aren't talking points from the "HRC camp." I'm an Edwards supporter who isn't sure what to do now. I can see positives and negatives in both Clinton and Obama, and I can see negatives without getting talking points faxed to me.

When the convention is over, all of us need to be able to emphasize the positives of our nominee, and look past the negatives; because otherwise we'll be suffering through another Republican administration (and a war with Iran...)

Posted by: zmulls on January 30, 2008 at 12:16 PM | PERMALINK

Expect HRC to this time call Obama "a lawyer for an *imprisoned* slum lord".

You mean the guy her and Bill "posed with" for a photo?

lol.

Gee... I wonder how much Rezko had to give to get such an exclusive photo op?

Naw. The slimy snake woman can't slime him with that.

Posted by: Ethics matter on January 30, 2008 at 12:16 PM | PERMALINK

Caitlin wrote: "I am SO SICK of the Obama camp acting like a bunch of sanctimonious porcelain kittens that I absolutely refuse to vote for him."

Disputo commented: "Well, it didn't take long for the HRC camp to send out their talking pts, did it?"

Yeah, but I must say that as talking points go, "sanctimonious porcelain kittens" is a pretty good one.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on January 30, 2008 at 12:17 PM | PERMALINK

well this news completely subsumes any hope of sustained positive press for clinton coming out of Florida, so I wonder if that has anything to do with the announcement?

Posted by: jg on January 30, 2008 at 12:17 PM | PERMALINK

I am sick and tired of Obama camp being so wimpish about being called to the carpet on his crap. He can dish and drop dirt and talk down to HRC & BC but when any kind of talk go to him he get this halo effect going on - get real. Obama is a no the Dems candidate - he will get CRUSHED by the Republicans.

Edwards should back HRC because she is the strongest candidate and the issues are similar in all of their campaigns. Too bad for Edwards and his wife.

Posted by: abc55 on January 30, 2008 at 12:18 PM | PERMALINK

We owe Senator Edwards our thanks. I don't think Big (name your poison - Pharma, Energy, Communications) would have let him get much done, but he seemed willing to take his hacks at it. "Attorney General Edwards" has a darn nice ring to it, I think.

Thank you, Senator, for your energy, your honesty, and your work. Our best to you and your family.

P.S. Can we please find a different thread on which to pimp the other candidates? Give the guy and his supporters a fucking break. I swear, the rocks some of you people crawl out from under...

Posted by: Cazart on January 30, 2008 at 12:20 PM | PERMALINK

Interesting bit from the NYT:

Since the New Hampshire primary, Mrs. Clinton has reached out to Mr. Edwards aggressively, through telephone calls and private meetings. Mr. Obama has spent far less time courting Mr. Edwards, according to people familiar with the talks.

Posted by: Lucy on January 30, 2008 at 12:21 PM | PERMALINK

Just remember, a vote for Obama is a VOTE AGAINST WOMEN ALL OVER THE WORLD!!11ONE.

Sanctimonious porcelain kittens, my butt.

Posted by: Quinn on January 30, 2008 at 12:21 PM | PERMALINK

I was looking forward to running as an Edwards delegate.....

Now, with Hillary as my 2nd Choice, now I'm wondering if I'm going to drag myself to the caucus on Tuesday night to stand up for her.

Posted by: katiebird on January 30, 2008 at 12:23 PM | PERMALINK

Caitlin wrote: "I am SO SICK of the Obama camp acting like a bunch of sanctimonious porcelain kittens"

Obama Camp: "Well, we are just as sick of the Hillary camp acting like a bunch of pusillanimous rubber duckies."

Hillary Camp: "Yeah, well you are a bunch of ostentatious styrofoam gerbils!"

Obama Camp: "Oh yeah, well you are a bunch of serendipitous balsa-wood parakeets!"

Et cetera. We need more political discourse like this.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on January 30, 2008 at 12:23 PM | PERMALINK

I expect we will see him not only endorse Barack Obama, but also actively campaign for him.

Yeah, right. Like he actively campaigned for John Kerry?

Posted by: DR on January 30, 2008 at 12:24 PM | PERMALINK

SecularAnimist for the win!

Posted by: Quinn on January 30, 2008 at 12:26 PM | PERMALINK

Ha! Norman and SecularAnimist are on the top of their game today.

Posted by: Lucy on January 30, 2008 at 12:27 PM | PERMALINK

abc55:

Edwards should back HRC because she is the strongest candidate and the issues are similar in all of their campaigns.

So when he doesn't are you going to admit you are a sorry-assed visionary with the analytical skills of a Hill and Bill shill? Or you going to pout about pouting, and call Edwards a wimp too?

Posted by: mastodon on January 30, 2008 at 12:28 PM | PERMALINK

Maybe he dropped out for the best possible reason: So that he would not act as a spoiler for either Clinton or Obama.

Posted by: Bill on January 30, 2008 at 12:30 PM | PERMALINK

I am sick and tired of Obama camp being so wimpish about being called to the carpet on his crap. He can dish and drop dirt and talk down to HRC & BC but when any kind of talk go to him he get this halo effect going on - get real. Obama is a no the Dems candidate - he will get CRUSHED by the Republicans.

Looks like HRC has the illiterate vote all wrapped up.

Posted by: Disputo on January 30, 2008 at 12:31 PM | PERMALINK

I'll wager a dozen doughnuts that Clinton picks up the majority of Feb. 5th's would-have-been Edwards votes, and the internet Obama enthusiasts are left standing at the altar by the Republican Obama-hawkers.

Posted by: Swan on January 30, 2008 at 12:33 PM | PERMALINK

Actually the moment was exactly right for Edwards to pack it in, from the standpoint of influencing events: not before he gave it his best shot, but before his supporters started drifting away to Obama and Clinton.

Also, though he reportedly won't endorse either of the two Dem finalists, he's leaving when the base's discontent with the Clintons is at a peak. Had he stayed, most of his "beer-track" voters would probably have ended up with Sen. Clinton; leaving now makes it likely that Obama picks up a lot of them.

Posted by: kth on January 30, 2008 at 12:34 PM | PERMALINK

What would HRC have that Obama couldn't also offer?

A cabinet position, perhaps? Maybe Edwards simply thinks Clinton is the likely nominee, and would rather not piss her off. Not endorsing Obama is almost the same as endorsing Hillary. I think it's extremely unlikely that the economically vulnerable, culturally moderate, middle aged white voters who form Edwards's base will break for Obama. But we shall see.

Posted by: Jasper on January 30, 2008 at 12:35 PM | PERMALINK

"If it's Clinton - the race is effectively over and she must have offered him something REAL big to do it.

What would HRC have that Obama couldn't also offer?"

My guess would be that Edwards thinks that Billary is going to take it and the offer is big and "REAL" not a "fairytale".

I think that his "silence = Hillary" as well. So, unless he endorses Obama - I'd say Hillary's got him in her pocket - or is that purse?

Posted by: C.B. on January 30, 2008 at 12:37 PM | PERMALINK

Just because you keep saying Obama is an agent of "change" doesn't make it true.

I was a His Most Holy Above the Fray Edwards man, but now I've got to decide between Spawn of Satan, Foster-murdering Hillary and BS Artist, Wimpy, Faux-black Dude Hussein O(s)bama. Just tryin' to keep up with the candidate fanatics!

Posted by: anyone on January 30, 2008 at 12:37 PM | PERMALINK

I'm sorry to see Edwards go. If this were a two-way race between Edwards and Obama, the Democratic party would be in a win/win situation.

But I'll try to look at the bright side. If it ends up being McCain vs. Hillary, then the Democrats pick up the pro-torture vote.

Posted by: bobb on January 30, 2008 at 12:39 PM | PERMALINK

Sad day. I had high hopes for Edwards but he just couldn't break through and get the attention he deserved.

Well, as an Edwards supporter, it seems so incredibly obvious that Barack's my next candidate that I'm kind of astonished that there's much debate about it. Edwards was the most progressive viable candidate. Barack is the most progressive candidate left standing. I will always support the most progressive candidate that has a reasonable chance of winning. What is there even to debate?

Posted by: Jae on January 30, 2008 at 12:39 PM | PERMALINK

I'm consistently surprised by the number of Republicans I know who seem to genuinely like Obama. But when the chips are down, they'll vote Republican.

Posted by: Lucy on January 30, 2008 at 12:41 PM | PERMALINK

Well, if nothing else it guarantees that the Dems nominate a historic first for the general whether it be Obama or Clinton.

As to the impact this has, I don't think anyone knows yet, and I also think that any camp assuming off the bat that the bulk of his support will go to their candidate is assuming a lot I think. I also think there could easily be the spouse factor causing him to pull out at this time than continue when his resources were being this strained for the results he was getting which in turn may cause him to not endorse either and tell his supporters to vote their own choice between the two instead as easily as his endorsing either one. There are simply too many unknowns at the moment, and I do know I have seen in the past week or two more self described Edwards people state they were being turned off by Obama or impressed by Clinton despite themselves than who would go to him with Edwards out of the equation. That said though this is only in the online community I have seen/read through and that amounts to a bare few thousands of comments overall from which that would be taken, nowhere near enough to say there is any clear leaning at this point in the campaign from the majority of Edwards supporters I'd say.

It is going to be very interesting to see what Edwards has to say, and whether he will indicate a preference for his supporters to go to in Super Tuesday.

Posted by: Scotian on January 30, 2008 at 12:44 PM | PERMALINK

Edwards was the most progressive viable candidate. Barack is the most progressive candidate left standing. I will always support the most progressive candidate that has a reasonable chance of winning. What is there even to debate?

The one thing I have really enjoyed about this race, it is that it has separated the real progressives from the crypto-DLC-loving pseudos-progs. We all now know exactly who they are and where their real loyalties lie.

Posted by: Disputo on January 30, 2008 at 12:46 PM | PERMALINK

Would've preferred that Edwards stay in the race as he's more progressive on economic issues than either of the other two, but I hope he now throws his support to Obama -- a less polarizing figure than Hillary and someone who probably stands a better chance of beating likely GOP candidate John McCain.

And I concur with the comments that "Attorney General Edwards" does have a nice ring to it. Particularly in an Obama administration.

Posted by: Vincent on January 30, 2008 at 12:48 PM | PERMALINK

Marc Ambinder reports this about Edwards:

"Advisers say he worries that Obama isn't ready to be president and that Hillary Clinton represents too much the old way of doing business... and both concerns weigh heavily."

Arm wrestle over that.

Posted by: junebug on January 30, 2008 at 12:49 PM | PERMALINK

As an Obama supporter, I have to admit that most of us have been (in the online world) insufferable weenies.

Well, talk is cheap. Look at Obama's record, look at Hillary's record. Which candidate has done more for progressive causes in the past?


Posted by: lampwick on January 30, 2008 at 12:50 PM | PERMALINK

You mean the guy her and Bill "posed with" for a photo?

The HRC campaign has already blamed that on another black US Senator from IL.

Posted by: Disputo on January 30, 2008 at 12:51 PM | PERMALINK

Some Republicans I know, ones who signed W. Bush loyalty oaths in order to see him speak (and also USC graduates), supported Edwards as the Democratic nominee. They were also going to vote for Giuliani in the pirmary. I bet they vote for Romney.

Posted by: Brojo on January 30, 2008 at 12:52 PM | PERMALINK

Arm wrestle over that.

Have been for months.

Posted by: Disputo on January 30, 2008 at 12:52 PM | PERMALINK

"Advisers say he worries that Obama isn't ready to be president and that Hillary Clinton represents too much the old way of doing business... and both concerns weigh heavily."

If that's his quandry, I don't think he goes with Clinton. It wouldn't take very long looking in the mirror to see that his own experience wasn't a tremendously long list either and yet he was a damn good candidate.

Posted by: Quinn on January 30, 2008 at 12:55 PM | PERMALINK

If that's his quandry, I don't think he goes with Clinton. It wouldn't take very long looking in the mirror to see that his own experience wasn't a tremendously long list either...

You mean... given his penchant for mirrors...

Swan wrote:

I'll wager a dozen doughnuts that Clinton picks up the majority of Feb. 5th's would-have-been Edwards votes, and the internet Obama enthusiasts are left standing at the altar by the Republican Obama-hawkers.

Republican Obama-hawkers?
This is the silly season isn't it?

Posted by: mastondon on January 30, 2008 at 1:02 PM | PERMALINK

John Edwards had better be wise. For years, Hillary Clinton has been preparing to run for the Presidency: it's why she decided to represent a state from which she didn't really come from (whatever it takes to win). What I mean is, her supporters have been preparing, and she has promised them some payback in return for their support (whatever it takes to win). For Edwards to back Hillary Clinton, hoping for a meaningful spot in her administration, especially after throwing her under the bus in the New Hampshire debate, would be naivete at its worse. He's going to have to check in line, like all the rest.

But this time she would help Edwards, right? However, like all three candidates, Hillary Clinton promised not to campaign in Florida due to their changed primary dates. They all agreed. And then what happened? She showed her true colors, and decided to lobby for Florida's inclusion of delegates into the nomination process, going back against her agreement with the other candidates (whatever it takes to win). So, why do Edwards supporters think she would help John if he threw his weight behind her again?


Posted by: Boorring on January 30, 2008 at 1:03 PM | PERMALINK

Disputo: Right. I couldn't possibly be a regular reader and commenter on Washington Monthly with opinions of my own.

Posted by: Caitlin on January 30, 2008 at 1:06 PM | PERMALINK

Crap. I think it might be Elizabeth Edwards' health. God... how awful... hope it's something else.

Posted by: DanM on January 30, 2008 at 1:08 PM | PERMALINK

Disputo: ..As others have said, it is the cash.

Maybe a bit, buuuut as reported on the 25th of this month...

...in case anyone is laboring under the misconception that he's broke, the campaign announced today they raised $3 million in the first 25 days of January and had the largest single fundraising day online, $230,000, yesterday.

I've also heard it reported (radio - no links, sorry) that his wife's health is not the reason for bowing out.

What I do consider to be humorous in a sad way is that Edwards' reported decision to exit the Presidential race is garnering more attention than his policy positions or his campaign...I'll leave it to others to come up with reasons why Edwards hasn't caught fire.

Posted by: grape_crush on January 30, 2008 at 1:09 PM | PERMALINK

The real issue is why drop out before Super Tuesday at all. It has to be that he is going to endorse someone. AGAIN he is not going to say who it is today because that would dominate the news cycle and shift it off his message. This way he gets two news cycles BEFORE Super Tuesday. Look for an endorsement on Friday.

My thought as well--just in time for the Sunday papers/talking heads; not so early that it's old news by Super Tuesday.

Posted by: shortstop on January 30, 2008 at 1:10 PM | PERMALINK

mmy >"Maybe there's been a turn for the worst with his wife? I mean, I definitely hope that's not the case, but it would explain why he's dropping out at such an odd time...."

I think that is the most likely answer. *Sigh*, I hope it isn`t so but most likely is.

Guess we shall find out eventuallly.

"The sailor does not pray for wind, he learns to sail." - Gustaf Lindborg

Posted by: daCascadian on January 30, 2008 at 1:12 PM | PERMALINK

Now that the nominee from the Republican Party is John McCain, the Democratic Party has to decide which candidate offers a worthy challenge against the GOP. I don't see McCain carrying over a large part of the Republican base. Rather, he will appeal to Democrats and Independents, as well as moderate Republicans. So, we will have Hillary Clinton going up against someone who would appeal to both sides of the aisle, and we would see a polarizing careerist going up against a leader who inspires the electorate. Hmmm..

Sounds familiar, doesn't it? If you have both hemispheres working, I'm sure you can see strategically, why Barack Obama needs to be the nominee. If Hillary Clinton and Bill Clinton take on John McCain, they will lose because the country does not like the Clintons. For all of their past appeal, just the events of this political campaign should be enough to remind others what it was about the Clintons that made them so alarming. Personally, I threw Bill Clinton under the bus once that p.o.s. made that Jesse Jackson remark. They would have been appealing against a Romney, a Huckabee, a Tancredo, a Paul, or a Thompson, but not a John McCain.

Again, there is only one candidate that brings out the vote better than John McCain, who appeals to both sides of the aisle, as well as those in neither side.

Unfortunately, Frank Stallone couldn't be in this race, but I'm pretty sure you know I'm talking about Barack. Time to use your head, guys. Hillary is going to lose, big time. Once again, the Democrats might be setting themselves up for defeat in a year that it is their "moral right" to win, given what has happened in this country for the last eight years. And, it just so happens that a Barack Obama would shift the political landscape in the Democrat's favor, but those are additional details.

Posted by: Boorring on January 30, 2008 at 1:16 PM | PERMALINK

Booring:

"the country does not like the Clintons"

It doesn't? As I recall, Bill Clinton's approval rating reached its highest level during the impeachment proceedings. And Hillary managed to win areas of upstate New York that were anti-Clinton when she started campaigning.

Posted by: Lee on January 30, 2008 at 1:24 PM | PERMALINK

Boorring on January 30, 2008 at 1:03 PM:

[Hillary]..showed her true colors, and decided to lobby for Florida's inclusion of delegates into the nomination process, going back against her agreement with the other candidates..

Yup. And it's funny how much Clinton is pushing for the inclusion of the Florida votes while saying nothing after the earlier Michigan primary.

..and at 1:16 PM:

If you have both hemispheres working, I'm sure you can see strategically, why Barack Obama needs to be the nominee.

Yeah, I see the logic: One-third votes Dem and one-third votes Repub, leaving the remaining third as the deciding factor in the general election. So far, which Dem candidate has pulled in the most self-described independents?

And I hate thinking that way; that means that - to get those fence-sitting wankers in the center - policy will have to shift rightward, exactly the direction it doesn't need to go.

I'll miss Edwards' populism, 'cause it was being borrowed heavily by other campaigns. Now we get Lieberman-style centrism, which is useless.

Posted by: grape_crush on January 30, 2008 at 1:37 PM | PERMALINK

Why are the Clintons, uniquely among politicians, expected to be spotless saints? Apparently it's a huge deal when they say anything false or misleading about their opponents, but standard politics when anyone else does so. Anyone who embraced the ethical code expected of the Clintons could never go into politics in the first place!

Posted by: Lee on January 30, 2008 at 1:42 PM | PERMALINK

Disputo: Right. I couldn't possibly be a regular reader and commenter on Washington Monthly with opinions of my own.

The point is that you are *not* thinking on your own.

Assuming you're sincere, picking who you are voting for not because you agree with them on the issues but instead because you don't like some of the people who are supporting their opponent is indicative of the kind of mob-psychology that is more suited to forming junior high school cliques than selecting the leader of the free world.

But of course you are most likely not being sincere, and instead are just taking the opportunity to engage in a little gratuitous Obama-bashing by proxy.

Posted by: Disputo on January 30, 2008 at 1:45 PM | PERMALINK

I guess that Mitt Romney now gets to be the biggest phony trying for a nomination.

Posted by: Brian on January 30, 2008 at 1:46 PM | PERMALINK

Hillary is going to lose, big time.

I disagree that HRC would lose "big time", but I have yet to see any plausible (or even implausible) theory from her camp or supporters (or even enemies) as to how someone with 47-49% negs can win in the general election.

I've been asking this for the last yr, to the sound of crickets.

Posted by: Disputo on January 30, 2008 at 1:54 PM | PERMALINK

Crickets? Igod. Seems like a softball to me. How about, "Because elections are about changing and molding voters' opinions -- both of you and of the specific person you are running against?"

Posted by: Pat on January 30, 2008 at 2:04 PM | PERMALINK

Well, the brave Pat swung and missed. Anyone else care to try?

Posted by: Disputo on January 30, 2008 at 2:08 PM | PERMALINK

Disputo:

The problem with the "high negatives" argument concerning Hillary is that those numbers are only derived from a vacuum situation--from specifically asking people how they feel about a particular candidate--not how they feel about opponents, the state of the nation, or other issues important to them. In the real world, people consider all these other factors when they vote. So just asking: "Do you like so and so?" doesn't mean all that much.

Posted by: Lee on January 30, 2008 at 2:09 PM | PERMALINK

Well, I see that Lee also swings and misses.

Anyone have anything other than, "It doesn't matter"?

Also keep in mind that the tenor of HRC's primary campaign has increased her negs.

Posted by: Disputo on January 30, 2008 at 2:12 PM | PERMALINK

Disputo:

It's hard to prove a negative. I can't give proof that "it doesn't matter." But what proof do you have that it will decisively matter?

Posted by: Lee on January 30, 2008 at 2:13 PM | PERMALINK

What high negatives do is that they energize opponents and suppress adherants. The Republicans will be maximally energized and Democrats will "phone in" their support. Because quite frankly a good deal of them don't like Billary that much either. So,no matter how well she "shapes" the campaign going forward that is what she working with - not a great place to start.

Posted by: C.B. on January 30, 2008 at 2:17 PM | PERMALINK

...but I have yet to see any plausible (or even implausible) theory from her camp or supporters (or even enemies) as to how someone with 47-49% negs can win in the general election...I've been asking this for the last yr, to the sound of crickets.

Disputo: Kevin had a post a few days ago demonstrating that, not only does Hillary win against McCain, but she does so by larger margins than Obama:

http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/archives/individual/2008_01/012960.php

I don't think the gist of Kevin's post was that a Hillary win (or advantage over Obama vis a vis McCain) is a sure thing, only that's it's arguable. And that nobody is really sure who's the stronger candidate, or who's going to be taking the oath next year. I'm pretty sure candidates with "high negs" have won the presidency before.

Certainly betters favor Hillary as the next president over McCain or Obama, if Intrade is any guide.

Posted by: Jasper on January 30, 2008 at 2:24 PM | PERMALINK

Lee on January 30, 2008 at 1:42 PM:

Why are the Clintons, uniquely among politicians, expected to be spotless saints?

A) Honesty is a quality that I expect every politician to possess, not just the Hillary Clintons...and if this type of behavior is allowable in a campaign setting, why should we expect different behavior in an elected administration?

B) I am not willing to overlook that quality because, "that's just the way things are." That's too low of an expectation to set for our public servants.

Pat on January 30, 2008 at 2:04 PM:

How about, "Because elections are about changing and molding voters' opinions -- both of you and of the specific person you are running against?"

Funny. I thought elections were about candidates presenting themselves as the best person to represent voters' interests, not convincing people that you're popular and the other person sucks...But I guess that's the ideal, and doesn't represent modern politics.

Man, the partisanship is just thick in here, isn't it?

Posted by: grape_crush on January 30, 2008 at 2:29 PM | PERMALINK

Edwards was my second choice (after Clinton). I think he ran a great campaign and I congratulate him, Elizabeth, his campaign and his supporters.

As for where his supporters will go, I think they will be split. An Iowa friend who caucused for Edwards (for blue-collar, lunch-bucket reasons) will now go to Hillary for the same reason.

Posted by: Vicki Williams on January 30, 2008 at 2:30 PM | PERMALINK

What does it mean?

It represents a bunch of cunning, behind-the- scenes string-pulling that will totally set everything on its head if no one pays attention to it.

/ sarcasm

Posted by: Swan on January 30, 2008 at 2:35 PM | PERMALINK

Repuglicans everywhere are a-partyin'. Ughh. Mad Dog McCain has a significant chance now against either the universally maligned Clinton or, in the case of Obama as nominee, an electorate that can't/won't admit their suppressed racism. Either way the progressive voice is gone.

Posted by: don'tknow on January 30, 2008 at 2:43 PM | PERMALINK

grape_crush:

"Honesty is a quality that I expect every politician to possess..."

Do you believe in Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy too?

Posted by: Lee on January 30, 2008 at 2:47 PM | PERMALINK

I am worried about the racism thing. Big variable there.

I kind of like an Obama/McCain matchup, however. McCain will seem so old and tired, an ultra-hawk at a time when people are sick of war. Unless there's another attack, McCain will seem like an anachronism.

Although Obama would have to tread lightly around McCain's war hero mojo. And McCain has the rep of being able to reach out across the aisle, so he takes that card away from Obama.

Oh hell, who knows.

Posted by: Lucy on January 30, 2008 at 2:55 PM | PERMALINK
I disagree that HRC would lose "big time", but I have yet to see any plausible (or even implausible) theory from her camp or supporters (or even enemies) as to how someone with 47-49% negs can win in the general election.

George W. Bush, IIRC, had negatives in that range when he won the 2004 general election, he certainly had negatives in that range earlier in 2004. Many comparisons have been made between the 2008 Clinton campaign and the tactics employed by Bush ("Rovian" has been a common adjective), and, ethical considerations left for a different time, there may be sound tactical reasons for the similarity. When you've got fairly solid negatives that are just shy of a majority, you've got limited options about how to win.

Posted by: cmdicely on January 30, 2008 at 2:55 PM | PERMALINK

cmicely - As well as limited options as to how you'll govern.

Posted by: C.B. on January 30, 2008 at 3:18 PM | PERMALINK

When you've got fairly solid negatives that are just shy of a majority, you've got limited options about how to win.

Only one option actually: drive up the other guy's negatives.

Posted by: Econobuzz on January 30, 2008 at 3:34 PM | PERMALINK

Lee >"...Bill Clinton's approval rating reached its highest level during the impeachment proceedings. And Hillary managed to win areas..."

That was 10 years ago & NY state is NOT the U.S.A.; all in the past.

I don`t have a strong position on either of the two remaining candidates but I do understand the Democratic race is worse off for John stepping aside. Now the ReThugs have a solid situation to work on instead of possibly having to wait until the convention.

I have a very bad feeling about this whole affair.

"Fear not the path of truth for the lack of people walking on it." - Robert F. Kennedy

Posted by: daCascadian on January 30, 2008 at 3:41 PM | PERMALINK

A McCain vs. Clinton election will be troubling for progressives, liberals and leftists who will support a Democrat, because Clinton will refrain from using vigorous attacks against McCain. Obama is better positioned, or dispositioned, to spar with McCain than Clinton. Clinton will defer to McCain's hero status and that may be what turns the election. Obama has a better wit than Clinton, and will make zingers at McCain's expense that the media will be unable to suppress because of their entertainment value.

Posted by: Brojo on January 30, 2008 at 3:47 PM | PERMALINK

From Rasmussen 1/2/08:

"This is one reason why a recent article noted it is a good time to be John McCain.

The Arizona Senator is now viewed favorably by 53% of all voters (a total boosted by the fact that 56% of those not affiliated with the major parties have a positive opinion of him. Thirty-seven percent (37%) of voters nationwide have an unfavorable opinion of him. Last summer, following the Senate debate on immigration, McCain’s stock had sunk so low that he was viewed favorably by fewer than half the voters in his home state. But, he has recovered in the latest Arizona polling as well as nationally.

John Edwards is viewed favorably by 49%, unfavorably by 42% and Hillary Clinton is the only other candidate with favorables about 43%. She is viewed favorably by 48% of all voters and unfavorably by 50%. Attitudes about the former First Lady are held more firmly than those for other candidates.

Barack Obama earns favorable reviews from 43%, Fred Thompson from 42%, Mike Huckabee and Rudy Giuliani from 40%. Mitt Romney has the lowest total at 38%. Fifty-one percent (51%) have an unfavorable opinion of the former Massachusetts Governor. That unfavorable rating is matched by Obama and topped only by Giuliani at 55%"

Note well the last 2 sentences Obamabots.

The Dems and the internet bloggers who just didn't get it have just done the msm's bidding, once again. Ignoring the candidate with the widest appeal and the lowest negatives and going for the one the msm tells them to like.

Posted by: Chrissy on January 30, 2008 at 3:49 PM | PERMALINK

Speaking of the debate, be prepared to hear a reprise of the Rezko slime from HRC.

Posted by: Disputo

Regardless of the first question, Obama has to say at the very earliest opportunity that Bill and Hillary -- and their surrogates -- will say or do anything to win. Use the "say anything, change nothing" right off the bat. Play to the MSM narrative.

Every answer -- regardless of the question -- has to have the central theme of "past vs. future" and/or "change vs. status quo."

Posted by: Econobuzz on January 30, 2008 at 3:50 PM | PERMALINK

"Man, the partisanship is just thick in here, isn't it?" Posted by: grape_crush on January 30, 2008 at 2:29 PM

No kidding, although given how both excited angry the Dem base is and given that this is the best year for conditions to win that they have seen in a generation (I'd say the last time they were as well positioned was in the mid 70s with the Nixon fallout and what it did to the GOP brand name) I don't find it all that surprising even if I may find it a bit irritating at times. I would suggest that the partisanship illustrates just how engaged the base is this time around, and when I combine that with the Dem turnout numbers so far in the caucuses/primaries I see that as the strongest reassurance that this year the Dems really do have a decent chance with either candidate to get beyond the narrow 1-3 percent wins of the past couple of Presidential elections. I also think the Electoral College map looks better than it has for this end too, especially if the independents split fairly evenly if not break for the Dems even with a Clinton as the candidate.

I've been thinking about who gains from this drop by Edwards at this time and what indications there is in the timing as to which side he would favour. Me, I'm not sure, but there is one thing I cannot shake, if Edwards really wanted Obama to be the winner why wouldn't he have waited until after the debate to drop out and endorse Obama right after they double teamed Clinton in the debate? So the fact that he pulled out before the debate makes me think that at the minimum he is undecided and is not finding himself with a strong preference either way, because the same argument I used if he was strongly leaning Obama's way would be equally true if he was strongly leaning Clinton's way. I take this to be his is not strongly leaning either way, and that may also be the case for many of his voting supporters, indeed I could see him choosing to simply release them to follow their consciences and not endorse anyone. It will be interesting to watch how this works out.

Posted by: Scotian on January 30, 2008 at 3:56 PM | PERMALINK

if Edwards really wanted Obama to be the winner why wouldn't he have waited until after the debate to drop out and endorse Obama right after they double teamed Clinton in the debate?

You mean the New Hampshire debate? Edwards had come in second in Iowa and was still in it.

Posted by: Lucy on January 30, 2008 at 3:59 PM | PERMALINK

No response from the Obamabots about Dear Leader's 51% negatives. Reality bites 'bots.

Posted by: Chrissy on January 30, 2008 at 4:13 PM | PERMALINK

Sorry, folks, but I don't have time right now to educate you-alls on the difference between GWB's huge "*job* approval" negs and HRC's huge "*personal* approval" negs, nor the difference between between "weak" and "strong" dis/approval.

That'll have to be your homework assignment.

Regardless, I find it interesting that all the HRC supporters are now comparing her favorably to GWB. You folks really have no shame, do you?

Posted by: Disputo on January 30, 2008 at 4:31 PM | PERMALINK

I don't dispute that Disputo has a point about Hillary's negatives. But I do think that elections change impressions. People's minds change. The choices they have change. Things happen both with the candidates, with the voters and with the world. The present field (i.e. Rudy's collapse, the "Huck bubble", McCain coming back from the dead, etc,) prove the point that things change constantly and quickly in politics. It's not enough to just throw out a statistic about someone's negatives and think that somehow is necessarily predictive of the future.

Posted by: Pat on January 30, 2008 at 4:36 PM | PERMALINK

Obamabots have a new kind of math. They don't get how Hillary's 47-49% "negs" can get her elected but Obama's 51% "negs" must somehow be negligible.

Posted by: Chrissy on January 30, 2008 at 4:56 PM | PERMALINK

Lee on January 30, 2008 at 2:47 PM:

Do you believe in Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy too?

Poor Lee's become so jaded by our system of politics that s/he can't imagine anything better than the way things are right now. S/he's cynical because he's been let down, true, but what's really sad is that s/he's been beaten down enough to expect the beat-downs to continue, and even welcomes being lied to because it's a regular part of his life. Sad.

Chrissy on January 30, 2008 at 4:13 PM:

No response from the Obamabots about Dear Leader's 51% negatives...

Not an 'Obamabot' - my first choice exited the race - but you seem to have missed the following line from the Rasmussen survey you quoted:

Attitudes about the former First Lady are held more firmly than those for other candidates.

which, by any reasonable interpretation, would seem to say that there's less likely to be any change in Clinton's negatives than for other candidates.

Reality bites, yes indeedy.

Posted by: grape_crush on January 30, 2008 at 4:57 PM | PERMALINK

grape_crush:

Name me a U.S. politican (other than Jimmy Carter), past or present, who has met your definition of honesty.

Posted by: Lee on January 30, 2008 at 5:00 PM | PERMALINK

Lee on January 30, 2008 at 5:00 PM:

Name me a U.S. politican (other than Jimmy Carter)...

So you admit that it is possible for a politician to be honest?

Admittedly, honesty is a high standard, hard to uphold in the world of politics - or the world in general - but that doesn't mean that we shouldn't strive to meet that standard or call bullshit on those that choose to ignore it.

Posted by: grape_crush on January 30, 2008 at 5:08 PM | PERMALINK

grape_crush:

No, I don't think it's possible for a politician to be completely honest and have a successful career. I just used Jimmy Carter because of his famous "I'll never lie to the American people." I wasn't alive in 1976, but if I was, I'd probably have voted for Ford after that because Carter's comment would have sounded stupid and unrealistic to me.

Anyway, Carter wouldn't really prove your point anyway, since he wasn't a particularly good president (although compared to Bush, he was like Abraham Lincoln).

Posted by: Lee on January 30, 2008 at 5:13 PM | PERMALINK
"No response from the Obamabots about Dear Leader's 51% negatives. Reality bites 'bots." Chrissy

The poll you were referring to was dated on January 1, 2008. Chrissy, is there a chance you were behind Guiliani's "Hail Mary" strategy in Florida last night?

In any case, here is the most recent Rasmussen article, regarding the hypothetical match-ups between the candidates, and I've taken the liberty to bold the important parts:

Election 2008: McCain vs. Clinton and Obama

The latest Rasmussen Reports survey of Election 2008 shows Republican frontrunner Senator John McCain with single-digit leads over Democratic Senators Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. McCain now leads Clinton 48% to 40%. He leads Barack Obama 47% to 41%.

In a Rasmussen Reports poll conducted mid-January, McCain was two points behind Clinton, five behind Obama. A couple days later McCain won the South Carolina primary.
McCain has led Clinton in four of the last five polling match-ups conducted by Rasmussen Reports. He has had the edge over Obama in three of the last four polls. (see history and trends). Following his victory in Florida, Rasmussen Markets data indicates that McCain is the overwhelming favorite for the Republican Presidential nomination.

This weekend, Rasmussen Reports will begin daily tracking of general election match-ups featuring McCain vs. both Clinton and Obama.
Individual polls can sometimes overstate volatility in a race, especially during the ups and downs of a Primary Election season. This is especially true when the results carry a four percentage point margin of sampling error. One way of addressing this is to look at a rolling-average of three consecutive polls. Using this approach, McCain now has a narrow advantage over Obama 45% to 43%. Prior to this latest poll, they had been tied at 44%. Both men have now been within four points (the margin of error) of the 45% mark for seven consecutive individual polls. Using a three-poll rolling average, McCain leads Clinton by five percentage points, 47% to 42%.
In the new survey McCain enjoys an 22-point advantage among male voters with Clinton as his opponent. He lags by only three points among female voters. There isn't much gender discrepancy in the McCain-Obama match-up. Here McCain leads by eight points among men, five points among women.
McCain does better than either Democrat with unaffiliated voters in the new survey, but especially when Clinton is his opponent.

More on the next post...

Posted by: Boorring on January 30, 2008 at 5:15 PM | PERMALINK

My previous excerpt from the article, continued:


Against the former First Lady, he leads 52% to 31% with unaffiliateds.
John McCain is viewed favorably by 52% and unfavorably by just 43%. His favorables have been in the 50%+ range since late November.
Hillary Clinton is currently viewed favorably by 47%, unfavorably by 51%. Barack Obama is viewed favorably by 51%, unfavorably by 45%.
Rasmussen Markets data gives Clinton a 63.0% chance of winning the Democratic nomination and Obama a 37.5% chance. On the Republican side, McCain is now given a 85.8% chance of winning the nomination while Mitt Romney is at 14.0%.Using a trading format where traders "buy and sell" candidates, issues, and news features, the Rasmussen Markets harness competitive passions to provide a reliable leading indicator of upcoming events. We invite you to participate in the Rasmussen Markets. It costs nothing to join and add your voice to the collective wisdom of the market.

Some points:

Reality, meet Chrissy.

Posted by: Boorring on January 30, 2008 at 5:22 PM | PERMALINK

Just watched Edwards' speech from earlier today. Tremendous.

Posted by: shortstop on January 30, 2008 at 5:26 PM | PERMALINK

Maybe his girlfriend just had her baby - I'll check Kausfiles.

Posted by: buky on January 30, 2008 at 5:44 PM | PERMALINK

Look, stop saying Obama fares better. He fares better in like less than half the polls. Big whoop. Of the polls he does better in, for some reason less people participate in his poll than Clinton's. What gives?

Anyhow, if Edwards drops out, who do I vote for on the issues? Clinton votes with Feinstein. Obama hasn't made a brave vote yet.

Gravel?

Posted by: Crissa on January 30, 2008 at 5:45 PM | PERMALINK

I saw Edwards make his announcement from a small stage set up in the middle of a big Habitat for Humanity construction site in the 9th ward...Musician's Village. The family...just the 5 of them...no entourage...zigzagged around knee-deep mud to the stage. It was simple and moving. I was particularly struck by the kindness in the faces of Elizabeth and the children. Very real people. I felt like crying. I hope someone has the sense to make Edwards our next Attorney General.

Posted by: Sharon on January 30, 2008 at 5:50 PM | PERMALINK

If Edwards wants to run for president in 2016 and win, he needs to do more than talk. If he stays in New Orleans and advocates for the poor people that were driven out and successfully helps them reclaim their city, he will finally have done something that matches his rhetoric. Then if he runs for president he will have a base of voters from the large block he advocates for, and people like me will give him credit and support for actually doing something.

Posted by: Brojo on January 30, 2008 at 6:21 PM | PERMALINK

Everyone has to check out the article “White Voters with a Side of Hispanics” on the blogzine Savage Politics. This is an awesome discussion and analysis on the current Democrat and GOP candidates and their eligibility.

www.savagepolitics.com
Here is an excerpt: “Tuesday night’s Florida Primary was a very important episode in the drama in which both the Republican and Democrat Parties are unfolding towards the Presidency of the United States. It also dramatically demonstrated the incredible bias that the Media continues to display towards the Democratic hopeful Barack Obama, in spite of all the evidence pointing to his lack of viability. From MSNBC’s Chris Mathews, who openly stated the day before that any Network that decided to report on the Democratic voting results in Florida was proving a “gross” favoritism for Hillary (ironically enough his Network ended up having to cover it nevertheless), to CNN’s pundits, who continuously utilized the exact same rhetoric that the Obama Campaign was spewing to excuse their defeat (”Beauty Pageant” was their favorite phrase, with all the sexist connotations it implies). All the same, the Florida results in the Democratic side were overwhelmingly favorable to Hillary Clinton, who won a 50% margin, to Obama’s 33%, Edwards’ 14%, and Gravel’s 1%. On the Republican side, it was John McCain who came out victorious with a 36% margin, to Romney’s 31%, Giuliani’s 15%, Huckabee’s 14%, and Paul’s 3%. Let’s discuss each Party’s results and their realistic consequence.
First, we have the very significant victory of John McCain. His candidacy was, from the very start, labeled as a failure due to his unpopularity amongst most “base” Republicans, much of it owed to McCain’s overwhelmingly dubious record on Conservative issues. His notorious tendency to side with multiple (highly despised) Democrats on issues like Immigration, Bush’s Tax Cuts and other measures, have always been enough to marginalize him from even the “moderate wing” within his Party. Still, when the Florida Exit Polls are analyzed, they reflect many unexpected re-alignments in his favor. Evangelical/Born Again Christians voted for John McCain in a 30% margin, in comparison to both Romney’s and Huckabee’s 29%. This may seem like an insignificant difference, but when you also consider that the majority of non-Evangelicals (Catholics, Atheist, etc.) also…” Find the rest of the article at http://savagepolitics.com/?p=64

Posted by: Elsy on January 30, 2008 at 6:43 PM | PERMALINK

Boorring and fellow Obamalytes: You would all be a lot more help to your candidate Sen. Obama, if you put as much time into walking your own respective precincts, holding signs, making phone calls, etc. for him, as you do into insulting the inteligence of those Democrats who choose to support other candidates.

Six days out from "Super Tuesday", it's all coming down to the ground game. And the winners will walk that walk, while bullshit just trash-talks. So if you've really got game when it comes to supporting Sen. Obama, now's the time to prove it with deed, rather than word.

Aloha.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on January 30, 2008 at 6:51 PM | PERMALINK

Donald from Hawaii, where did I "trash-talk"? I think my posts have been pretty much as conversationally constructive than others. I brought back facts to back my guy. I can't say the same for you, who have been noted as saying otherwise to other posters in past topics. But, as you said, "bullshit just trash-talks".

But...you're right. Although I did work on the Jerry McNerney campaign in 2006 (similarly enough, for an underdog fighting against a powerful and favored opponent), I will see what it is that I can do for Obama. I really wish I had more time to devote to his cause, and more than made up for it in political donations so far, but I believe I can fit in a weekend. Good point. Anyways, thanks for helping me finalize the decision, and good luck.

Posted by: Boorring on January 30, 2008 at 7:06 PM | PERMALINK

I'm just bummed. I liked Edwards, He has been the only candidate who has been talking about growing inequality in this country and the impact that is having on the lives of average Americans. This race for the Democratic nomination would have been much less interesting without him.

The timing was a surprise. He was in Minneapolis last night, despite 15-degrees below Fahrenheit cold, and there wasn't a hint that he was going to pull out today. Maybe it WAS the cold. He isn't a Minnesotan. Maybe he just thought, as his ears, fingers and nose froze, "What was I thinking???" and decided to spend more time with his loving family. Cold can do that.

Posted by: PTate in MN on January 30, 2008 at 7:10 PM | PERMALINK

Being an old timer, I've seen a lot of political campaigns come and go. I favored JEdwards since the beginning but could plainly see early on that he just was not getting the traction necessary to go on. With the amount of money necessary and the media favor shown today, it's incredibily difficult to make your mark. Since John has made his decision I'm now inclined to vote for Hillary.
I've heard her now in two town hall presentations and am impressed with her grasp of the issues and her recommendations. I can understand the hoopla over Obama. He reminds us of what we all wanted or do want but , at my age, know that rhetoric just doesn't get it done. Many have made a big to-do over the SC vote but I remind you that SC is in no way a reflection of the total US. His adulation is much more like a celebrity than a qualified candidate. The media loves it and the overly idealistic love it but seldom can such individuals deliver. When he becomes more explicit on the issues and stops riding the "wave" he may become more reasonable as a candidate. Feb 5th, the only date that really counts this year, will tell us a lot more. Whatever the outcome, the REPUBS must go.

Posted by: fillphil on January 30, 2008 at 7:12 PM | PERMALINK

awww, poor johnnie reid, you can't help feeling sorry for him. he had dominant political skills...for a white boy. too bad he couldn't shut out all the real talent like every one before him. johnnie reid is the phil mickelsin of politics. he might have dominated any other era, but that era's over now. now you have to come at barack and barack will debate rings around you all day long. FUCK johnnie reid and fuck all the racist southern white men. your time is over, boys.

Posted by: chaz rhinegold on January 30, 2008 at 7:51 PM | PERMALINK
Regardless, I find it interesting that all the HRC supporters are now comparing her favorably to GWB.

I only saw two people compare Hillary to GWB, explicitly or implicitly, in this thread—one of whom was me.

And if you read my comment, you'll note it wasn't favorable. And I am not now, and never have been, a "Hillary supporter". I am an Edwards supporter that doesn't vote until Super Tuesday and who, despite Edwards dropping out of the race, hasn't seen any reason to change my planned vote—certainly not anything from any of the HRC or Obama supporters posting here (okay, that's not entirely true, each candidates supporters are giving me plenty of reasons to want to punish them by shifting my vote to the other candidate, but that's about equal.)

Posted by: cmdicely on January 30, 2008 at 7:55 PM | PERMALINK

I kind of like an Obama/McCain matchup, however. McCain will seem so old and tired, an ultra-hawk at a time when people are sick of war. -Lucy

Bingo. That is going to be a big deal-wait and see. There are several Republicans I know that think he is too old. If McCain is matched against Hillary that contrast will not be as pronounced. OTOH, McCain is weak on economic issues and Hillary will beat the crap out of him on that-and the economy WILL be fucked by election time. I was still planning on voting for Edwards next Tuesday, but now I'm honestly not sure who I'll vote for. I really wished Bill would just STFU. That's been very irritating.

Posted by: Doc at the Radar Station on January 30, 2008 at 8:05 PM | PERMALINK

I don't understand Edwards supporters who vow now to spite Obama supporters by going to Hillary's camp. What's that got to do with anything? Fits of pique are not helpful, regardless of whose nose is out of joint.

If you look at the issues and make a decision, fine; but basing a primary vote on internecine squabbles? I don't get it.

Posted by: brooklyn on January 30, 2008 at 8:08 PM | PERMALINK

Boorring--polls are not reality, especially in January.

I personally think--but just at this point in time--that Obama has a better shot than Clinton. I also think that they both will look better to voters once in a national campaign and that McCain will look worse. Running that "100-yrs in Iraq" bit over and over will hurt McCain bad--more than Rezko or some Whitewater-redux. I think the big unknown is what Swiftboat equivalent will the Repubs roll out this summer. I'm sure no one would have thought that a blatant lie about Kerry's patriotic war record would cost him an election. Frankly, I'm nervous about what they might invent about Obama or Clinton. For Clinton, though, it may have less impact (what's one more lie?), but for Obama, whose identity is "squeaky clean," a little lie may go a along way.

Posted by: Bush Lover on January 30, 2008 at 8:14 PM | PERMALINK

Lee on January 30, 2008 at 5:13 PM:

No, I don't think it's possible for a politician to be completely honest and have a successful career.

Never said it was, Lee, only that honesty was a quality that we should expect the people who wish to be our leaders to possess.

Then again, Carter did get elected Governor and then President, didn't he?

Anyway, Carter wouldn't really prove your point anyway, since he wasn't a particularly good president.

Sooo...how good a President is has a direct relationship to his/her willingness to be dishonest. That's an, um, interesting perspective, Lee.

Posted by: grape_crush on January 30, 2008 at 9:00 PM | PERMALINK

lee reminds me of swan.

Posted by: as it unfolds on January 30, 2008 at 9:02 PM | PERMALINK

Dear Chaz Rhinegold, your post seems excessive and way over the top. What motivates you to associate Edwards with racism? I grew up in Oklahoma during the 50s and 60s and went through the transformative days of the civil rights movement (as did Edwards). I still remember being called a "N----r lover" by my football team mates when I challenged their racist comments about the black players from Booker T. Washington school. My man was Edwards because of his strong advocacy for progressive policies and support for working people, who come in all shapes, ages, sexes, and colors. I voted for Obama in my present home state, contributed to him, and put up his signs. Please consider taking a small step back from the overt hostility. I leave folks with the following to acknowledge his basically good and honorable campaign for one America:

Tom Joad: I been thinking about us, too, about our people living like pigs and good rich land layin’ fallow. Or maybe one guy with a million acres and a hundred thousand farmers starvin’. And I been wonderin’ if all our folks got together and yelled –_
Ma Joad: Tommy, they’d drag you out and cut you down just like they done to Casey._
Tom: They’d drag me anyways. Sooner or later they’ll get me one way or another. Till then –_
Ma: Tommy, you’re not aimin’ to kill nobody._
Tom: No, Ma, not that. That ain’t it. Just, as long as I’m an outlaw anyways, maybe I can do something, just find out somethin’, just scrounge around and maybe find out what it is that’s wrong and see if they ain’t somethin’ that can be done about it. I ain’t thought it out that clear, Ma. I can’t. I don’t know enough.
_Ma: How am I gonna know about ya, Tommy? They could kill ya and I’d never know. They could hurt ya. How am I gonna know?_
Tom: Maybe it’s like Casey says. A fellow ain’t got a soul of his own, just little piece of a big soul, the one big soul that belongs to everybody, then –
Ma: Then what, Tom?_
Tom: Then it don’t matter. I’ll be all around in the dark. I’ll be everywhere, wherever you can look. Wherever there’s a fight so hungry people can eat, I’ll be there. Wherever there’s a cop beatin’ up a guy, I’ll be there. I’ll be in the way guys yell when they’re mad. I’ll be in the way kids laugh when they’re hungry and they know supper’s ready and where people are eatin’ the stuff they raise and livin’ in the houses they build. I’ll be there, too._
Ma: I don’t understand it, Tom._
Tom: Me, neither, Ma, but – just somethin’ I been thinkin’ about

Posted by: edwardian on January 30, 2008 at 9:05 PM | PERMALINK

My sis and I are Edwards' supporters. Now we are left with Obamma Bamma Bamma and Hils. WTF? The Dems have alll this talent and I have to pick between the Spawn of Satan and the Black Muslim Man. So I am kind of leaning BMM because I worry about downstream with SOS. My sis says BMM will never get elected in the USA so she's leaning SOS. This is pretty much the only time we have disagreed on politics and definitely the only time we've argued about candidates. Then I think again and I figure I'll just stick by JRE because we're so fucked with the other two.

Posted by: warren terrah on January 30, 2008 at 10:23 PM | PERMALINK

You would all be a lot more help to your candidate Sen. Obama, if you put as much time into walking your own respective precincts, holding signs, making phone calls, etc. for him, as you do into insulting the inteligence of those Democrats who choose to support other candidates.

Wow, what a categorical insult and presumptuous to boot.

Posted by: Lucy on January 30, 2008 at 10:37 PM | PERMALINK

Disputo, if you can come down offyour high horse for aminute, perhaps you could provide a source for the poll that says Hillary has 47-48 percent negatives.

Posted by: ChrisO on January 30, 2008 at 10:39 PM | PERMALINK

Why did Edwards drop out now – two days before the next democratic debate? Good question. One would think that a superbly successful trial lawyer as he, who is in his element when arguing and persuading an audience, would have used the upcoming debate as his swan song opportunity to make a final pitch for his special quest. My guess is that he has reached a deal with one of the other candidates that will, in his opinion, best allow him to push his personal quest and agenda (a more even playing field for the poor and middle class) forward. Is it the vice presidential spot? If so, Hillary is in a far more likely position to offer him such a deal that Obama. Obama can’t afford to offer Edwards the vice-presidential spot because Obama’s expressed strategy for winning is to attract the vote of Independents and Republicans. The vote block Obama eyes will be, would be alienated with the super-progressive “Trotskyite” Edwards on the ticket

Posted by: Erika S on January 31, 2008 at 2:06 AM | PERMALINK

“Obama is viewed favorably by 51%, unfavorably by 45%.” (Boorring at 5:22 PM)

Booring, I thought you said (at least, implied) everybody loves Obama and that’s why he should become the Democratic candidate; i.e., Hillary should not be the choice “because the country does not like the Clintons.” Given your position, aren’t you flabbergasted by Obama’s high unfavorable rating? How did it get so high, so quickly? And, by all that is reasonably foreseeable in the world of politics, it’s a safe bet that it will only go up from here.
Not that I think opinion polls, as such, deserve any great place in our assessment process of which candidate is the best choice. In the past few days and weeks we have all had some great lessons in how unreliable opinion polls can be in predicting the outcome of a vote. Personally, I think that the likeability factor is not of great value either in choosing the best candidate. Look where George W. Bush’s famous “likeability” got us! The conventional wisdom as to a major reason why Bush won in 2000 and 2004 is that he was so much more “likeable” that Gore and Kerry. I think, the country’s (and the world’s) experience with likeable George W. Bush has given the “likeability” factor a bad name when it comes to choosing a President. This time, voters are looking for something more substantive than likeability . If anything, that fact has become crystal clear with the poor showing that Edwards has had in each of the primaries so far. Surely, no one can deny that Edwards is a very, very likeable fellow with a sunny smile, a heartbreaking personal situation and history and a beautiful family. He also has an inspiring goal (equalizing the playing field and help the poor and less advantaged segment of America).

Posted by: Erika S on January 31, 2008 at 2:14 AM | PERMALINK

Dear Warren Terrah, Speaking as an Edwards supporter who pointed out that Chaz Rhinegold's anti-Edwards comments expressed irrational rage, I'd suggest that your characterizations of Hillary Clinton as "spawn of satan" and Barack Obama as "Black Muslim Man" also are inappropriate. Obama is a practicing Christian and I believe that Hillary was born to the Rodham family. I do think Edwards would have been a better general election candidate, but for many substantial reasons that don't involve inaccurate and ad hominem attacks. I'm pretty sure that John Edwards himself would agree with this.

Posted by: edwardian on January 31, 2008 at 7:14 AM | PERMALINK

donald from hawaii: You would all be a lot more help to your candidate Sen. Obama, if you put as much time into walking your own respective precincts, holding signs, making phone calls, etc. for him, as you do into insulting the inteligence of those Democrats who choose to support other candidates.

lucy: Wow, what a categorical insult and presumptuous to boot.

not to mention amusing in its misspelling of "intelligence." AND in the irony of his own very extensive time spent here ragefully insulting everyone who disagrees with him and quite a few people who don't. unchecked temper does not improve reading comprehension.

Posted by: as it unfolds on January 31, 2008 at 8:06 AM | PERMALINK

Good-bye Edwards, hello Nader.

Everything Edwards talked about is now officially dead.

So it's either Reagan-Obama or Marc Rich Hillary? No heatlh insurance and always war, wow.

Strange too, how so many conservatives vote for Nader in the past, huh?

Posted by: me-again on January 31, 2008 at 8:19 AM | PERMALINK

grape_crush:

You're completely distorting what I said. I didn't say dishonesty made for a better president. I said that it's not realistic to hold politicians to a standard of absolute honesty, as you seemed to suggest they should be. That would be like expecting Mafia wiseguys to never do anything violent.

Posted by: Lee on January 31, 2008 at 9:16 AM | PERMALINK

Lee on January 31, 2008 at 9:16 AM:

You're completely distorting what I said. I didn't say dishonesty made for a better president.

Nope. You made the connection between Carter's honesty and poor Presidential performance, not me:

Lee on January 30, 2008 at 5:13 PM: I just used Jimmy Carter because of his famous "I'll never lie to the American people."...Anyway, Carter wouldn't really prove your point anyway, since he wasn't a particularly good president...

So, no, I'm not distorting what you said, only pointing out what the logical conclusion of your own statements are, Lee.

*Side Note: In better times - like the 90's that the Clintons enjoyed - Carter may not have been all that bad. You decide.

I said that it's not realistic to hold politicians to a standard of absolute honesty, as you seemed to suggest they should be.

You should not be okay with being lied to, Lee.

That would be like expecting Mafia wiseguys to never do anything violent.

Bad analogy, Lee...Last I checked, 'Mafia Wiseguy" is not a public office. We don't get to choose who fills those (very expensive and very tasteful) shoes.

Posted by: grape_crush on January 31, 2008 at 11:09 AM | PERMALINK

Wow, this thread is still going!

I see all this talk from Booring, grape_crush, and disputo about polls. First of all, the difference in numbers between Clinton and Obama are all within in the margin of error. Second, it really doesn't matter if some Democrats have a negative opinion of her, because they will most likely hold their nose and vote for her anyways. What matters is what how independents think.

We are all reading tea leaves trying to figure out who is more electable. Yet most of you thought John Kerry was more electable. How did that work out?

I don't want to vote for who is most electable, I want to vote for who will be the most progressive candidate. And Obama hasn't convinced me he will be progressive at all. With exception to the Iraq war, I haven't seen him make any comments to suggest he will be progressive. Can you help me out here with some quotes?

Yes, Clinton has disappointed me many times. Particularly since she is my Senator. However I haven't seen anything to suggest that Obama won't be just another Bill Clinton.

Posted by: DR on January 31, 2008 at 11:30 AM | PERMALINK

When W. Clinton went on TV and lied about fucking Jennifer Flowers, I dropped him as a person I would vote for. I will not vote for someone who looks me in the eye and blatantly lies.

Had the fat faced lying fuck said whatever he did with Jennifer Flowers was none of my business and no one else's, I would have probably voted for him. I am glad I did not, though. W. Clinton kept the military huge so W. Bush, or whomever the next presidient was going to be, could use it, continued military aid to Israel and destroyed welfare. I do not want to vote for those types of candidates regardless of their party affiliation.

Posted by: Brojo on January 31, 2008 at 12:43 PM | PERMALINK

DR on January 31, 2008 at 11:30 AM:

I see all this talk from Booring, grape_crush, and disputo about polls.

Not me. I was responding to Chrissy's earlier posting, which included polling info. I could mention this current bit of polling, which matches up McCain against Clinton and Obama, but I don't want to fan any flames...plus, I don't have time to provide much analysis.

What matters is what how independents think.

Exactly the point of my earlier post on January 30, 2008 at 1:37 PM.

I want to vote for who will be the most progressive candidate.

Which is why I'm sad that Edwards suspended his campaign - many progressive cues Obama and Clinton are using were taken from positions Edwards had taken earlier.

Posted by: grape_crush on January 31, 2008 at 1:13 PM | PERMALINK

I guess this thread isn't dead. It's just one more post from oblivion. But with that, I guess I'll make my final case (on this thread).

John Edwards has dropped out, and now only Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are left. Whomever the Democratic nominee is, one thing is now for certain: they will face John McCain.

John McCain is a moderate Republican, with extensive military experience and nation-wide appeal. In addition, John McCain can also bring in independent voters and possibly some moderate Democrats, in addition to some moderate Republicans. There is a possibility of some Republicans sitting out this vote, but I wouldn't count on that. However, they are not enthused about this candidate because he is not a mainstream conservative (meaning: he is electable).

So, the choice is clear: if Democrats are interested in capture the White House, in what should be their year, then they must be able to offer a challenge to McCain that is clear and viable. Unfortunately, Hillary Clinton is not it. She has too much baggage (also reminded by a recent New York Times article on Bill's interesting fundraising trip to Eastern Europe, which more than outshines the Rezko affair). All John McCain would have to do in a debate between himself and Hillary Clinton would be to bring this up, and the nation would, all over again, feel Clinton fatigue.

There is only one candidate that can bring in the votes, inspire the voters to come out, and bring in parties from both sides: Barack Obama. He is not only the Democratic Party's best bet against John McCain, but also offers the Democratic Party the chance to gain the windfalls of a political realignment for a more moderate style of politics that will favor the Democrats. With Obama's popularity rising in the polls against the once "inevitable" Hillary Clinton's falling, it is obvious now that he is our best chance. Hillary Clinton's candidacy effectively ended with John McCain's rise, and now we are that much closer to damaging the Republican Party for a looong time.

Let's continue that blue wave.

Posted by: Boorring on January 31, 2008 at 5:33 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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