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Tilting at Windmills

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February 3, 2008
By: Kevin Drum

OBAMA IN CALIFORNIA?....Ezra Klein comments on results from a new Zogby poll showing Barack Obama ahead of Hillary Clinton in California:

They track with what I'm hearing on the ground out there, even though, fundamentally, it remains hard for me to believe Obama can actually take the Golden State.

I'm not hearing anything in particular from my particular patch of ground, but I don't have any trouble believing Obama could win here. In fact, he seems like just the kind of candidate California Democrats would normally get pretty excited about. Hillary obviously has fairly deep pockets of support here, but I certainly won't be shocked if Obama pulls out a victory.

Kevin Drum 1:07 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (93)

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Comments

There's a simple reason why Obama will win:

blondes don't get elected to be president very often.

Posted by: lampwick on February 3, 2008 at 1:16 PM | PERMALINK

I have my fingers crossed, but he'll need one hell of a turnout Tuesday to make up for all those votes cast in advance back when Clinton still polled with a large lead. I still think he'll do well enough to stay in the game. I just hope that these poll numbers are used to slap him down after a close loss, as happened in NH.

Posted by: MaryL on February 3, 2008 at 1:23 PM | PERMALINK

*sigh* I meant, AREN'T used to slap him down ...

Posted by: MaryL on February 3, 2008 at 1:25 PM | PERMALINK

Although this is a development that I would personally welcome, I find it hard to believe that Obama will overcome Clinton's long-standing advantage in CA. Can he peel off enough older and Hispanic voters from Clinton to put him over the top? My under-40 friends and family in CA are uniformly behind Obama. However, my 40+ crowd is still behind Clinton without a single defection despite any "trend" showing an Obama lead in CA and their growing acceptance of him as a viable candidate. This leads me to believe that should Obama pull this out, he will have to draw significant defections from traditionally strong pro-Clinton demographics rather than just pick up the independent and undecided voters. I just wonder where those defections will come from?

I sure hope that he can do it.

Posted by: zoomy on February 3, 2008 at 1:29 PM | PERMALINK

If Obama eliminates Hillary to get the nomination will the Republicans play nice with him or will they make mincemeat out of him?

I can't believe nice talk alone will change the Republicans.

I think that any Democrat would want change and will be change, not just Obama.

Posted by: Renee on February 3, 2008 at 1:40 PM | PERMALINK

I supposed in terms of 'momentum', etc., it makes a difference whether it is Hillary or Obama who ends up 'winning' by 52% to 48%.

But in terms of convention delegates, they're going to be split roughly 50-50. So try not to get too worked up about who 'wins' on Tuesday.

Posted by: Robert Earle on February 3, 2008 at 1:42 PM | PERMALINK

Zogby also puts Romney at +3% in California.

Somehow, I don't think that'll happen. I don't trust Zogby's numbers for the state.

Posted by: Elio M. Garcia, Jr. on February 3, 2008 at 1:43 PM | PERMALINK

Delegates do matter, of course, but whoever 'wins' California will have very huge bragging rights going forward.

For Obama, it will demonstrate his viability, for Clinton her inevitability.

In other words, California is the new New Hampshire!

Posted by: James E. Powell on February 3, 2008 at 1:47 PM | PERMALINK

If Barack wins, he's not going to have any chance to win the November election.

Liberals are going to end up kicking themselves for years for running a black man several years too early.

How did it happen? We entertained Barack's candidacy in the primaries because we all wanted to be cool with a black candidate's running. The media kept beating up on Hillary and saying that not enough people liked her. Then, even though that wasn't true, some of us started believing it just because we kept hearing it. Others of us who are really contrarian and really like to stick it to the status quo supported him just because Hillary already got a chance to be close to the reins of the presidency, and supporting this younger black man as against her made those of us feel as if something new was being done.

But what was ignored was that there is a ceiling on what Barack can do-- there are far too many people who are never going to switch to being Democrat who will get out to vote in case a Republican president finally fixes everything, and there are still too many Independents and Dems, albeit few, who just don't want to vote for a black man.

If Barack is nominated it will be a failure.


Posted by: Swan on February 3, 2008 at 1:52 PM | PERMALINK

The media kept beating up on Hillary and saying that not enough people liked her. Then, even though that wasn't true, some of us started believing it just because we kept hearing it. Others of us who are really contrarian and really like to stick it to the status quo supported him just because Hillary already got a chance to be close to the reins of the presidency, and supporting this younger black man as against her made those of us feel as if something new was being done.

After these two groups gained a critical mass, other people just bandwaggoned on, because Barack is loquacious, it looked like he could attract a realistic amount of support, and because the bandwaggoners weren't assessing realistically what Barack could do.

Barack's the new Nader, the next big mistake.

Posted by: Swan on February 3, 2008 at 1:55 PM | PERMALINK

Zogby doesn't have the best reputation among pollsters, but his new numbers showing a slight Obama lead in California are hugely meaningful, if accurate.

Funny that, I have a coin I flip which is also hugely meaningful, if accurate.

FWIW, I figure Obama wins. I think it's really too volatile to accurately poll (too many people weren't really paying attention before today) and Californians love to break for emotion and image.

My guess is he gets crushed in November though. McCain is an equalizer for the media love fest and Rezko and generally anemic debate performances leave him pretty open to McCain's perceived strengths. Let's hope for some well publicized "senior moments".

Posted by: B on February 3, 2008 at 1:58 PM | PERMALINK

"If Obama eliminates Hillary to get the nomination will the Republicans play nice with him or will they make mincemeat out of him?"

You already know the answer to this. Just because they want to do this and will try to do this does not mean that they will succeed.

Posted by: PaulB on February 3, 2008 at 2:02 PM | PERMALINK

Let's hope for some well publicized "senior moments".

At 71, I don't think that's so likely to happen. What the public really needs to see is how he's doing at, say, 75, or, if he gets a second term, at 79. And of course they won't get to see that until it's way too late.

BTW, I seem to remember that McCain once upon a time asserted that he wasn't going to run for a second term. Does anyone know whether that's really true? (If so, has there ever been a candidate for President who asserted such a thing?)

Posted by: frankly0 on February 3, 2008 at 2:05 PM | PERMALINK

Zogby is a pundit with a polling service, wouldn't trust him as far as I could throw him. He has more excuses than a 2nd grader without his homework.

I think the California race is tight, but I bet Hillary pulls it out, but just barely.

Posted by: Tom Stewart on February 3, 2008 at 2:05 PM | PERMALINK

"If Barack wins, he's not going to have any chance to win the November election."

Oh, garbage. The available data don't even remotely support this prediction.

"Liberals are going to end up kicking themselves for years for running a black man several years too early."

LOL.... Dear heart, this isn't the first time that "liberals" have run a black man for the presidency.

"How did it happen?"

Um ... because Obama inspired people, acquired a hell of a lot of money, and set up a good campaign organization? Pretty much the same thing that every other candidate in the race has done.

"We entertained Barack's candidacy in the primaries because we all wanted to be cool with a black candidate's running."

Oh, please. I'm not even going to dignify this bullshit with a response.

"But what was ignored was that there is a ceiling on what Barack can do"

And your evidence for this is, what, exactly? Don't bother to reply -- we already know that you're just making shit up. This was a pathetic post that said far more about you than it did about Obama or about "liberals".

Posted by: PaulB on February 3, 2008 at 2:06 PM | PERMALINK

Good God Swan!

Posted by: B on February 3, 2008 at 2:06 PM | PERMALINK

For the record I think the whole race thing is a net positive if anything.

Posted by: B on February 3, 2008 at 2:14 PM | PERMALINK

In 2000 we had well established, competent candidate named Al Gore. The Republicans had a candidate with a DWI, awol military record, failed businesses, a meaningless governor ship in Tx. incompetent written all over him. And despite all that the powers that be made him president.

In 2004 we had the same guy with 4 years of failure and still he was made president the second time.

Now we have 2008 and we are chasing pipe dreams. The voters will not look and judge for themselves.

The media brought out the race and gender card. And it is only the beginning.

Posted by: Renee on February 3, 2008 at 2:29 PM | PERMALINK

There's lots of energy here in the Bay Area. The Obama campaign has held big rallies, with Kerry and Kennedy, and had rallies for people to sign up for GOTV. Lo0ts of energy. Lots of Obama signs and bumper stickers. Nothing for Hillary. I think she's staying further south.

Posted by: Mimikatz on February 3, 2008 at 2:31 PM | PERMALINK

Y'all still believein polls, eh? good on ya, mate, but I did recently get polled her ein the State of Wasshington. I NEVER give correct information. Reading the tea leaves hasalways been a popular pastime for pundits. the only poll that matters is the once we vote in.

Posted by: chris on February 3, 2008 at 2:36 PM | PERMALINK

"In fact, [Barack] seems like just the kind of candidate California Democrats would normally get pretty excited about"

I'd agree partially: the kind of Democrat voters who would vote in the general election would probably go for Obama over Clinton. Like when CA elected Arnold Schwarzenegger - fame, hype, image, bandwagon effect, etc. carried the day. Many Dem general election voters pulled the lever for Arnold.

But in a primary, we're looking at different types of Dem voters. Sure the young and idealistic college kids will turn out somewhat, but so will the older, organized labor, machinery people. Clinton should win the CA primary.

And I agree with Swan that there is a good chance that Obama will lose in the general election, and it is partially a race thing. Though I don't agree with Swan's explanations for Dem support of Obama - I think it's just that he is not a Clinton, and represents a break from the past. And he is inspirational.

Posted by: luci on February 3, 2008 at 2:42 PM | PERMALINK

PaulB, please cut put the "dear heart" stuff.

Oh, garbage. The available data don't even remotely support this prediction.

What data, please? How old? I'm sure we all know, by the way, that polls from even Jan. '08 are not going to tell us who is going to win in Nov. '08, unless we are running Jesus v. Satan, which is not usually the case in US presidential candidates. Usually the parties find candidates that don't have such an appeal gap.

LOL.... Dear heart, this isn't the first time that "liberals" have run a black man for the presidency.

Okay, it would be the first time the leading liberal party has nominated a black candidate to run against the leading conservative party's nominee. I am not going to apologize for not writing my sentence to your unfair standards of precision.

Oh, please. I'm not even going to dignify this bullshit with a response.

What, you don't think people have feelings like that? And my evidence in living in the US for almost 30 years as a middle class person in middles class communities and caring about and paying attention to what people think about things like this. That's all I need to have a valid opinion and projection, and that's what most of us would have to base our opinions / projections on.

B at 2:06 PM, this is just stuff you have to realistically look at. Barack Obama himself has said that he has trouble getting cabbies to pick him up. John Edwards went to the Iowa voters and told them he would be more electable because he was a white male. This is common-sense stuff, and only the most naive of the boarding-school-class of liberals would let politesse trump pragmatism to the point that they wouldn't consider this stuff at all.

Here's a video that I think probably sums up PaulB's view of the world nicely. No matter what happens, we're all living in la-la CareBear World.


Posted by: Swan on February 3, 2008 at 2:48 PM | PERMALINK

That was a quite a pathetic Swan song. Coward.

Posted by: manfred on February 3, 2008 at 2:54 PM | PERMALINK

Also I wrote at 1:55: "After these two groups gained a critical mass, other people just bandwaggoned on, because Barack is loquacious,"

So I actually accounted for the reason PaulB and luci claim Barack is popular, although they both maybe seemed to suggest I didn't (didn't read my comments before typing, maybe?).

Posted by: Swan on February 3, 2008 at 2:54 PM | PERMALINK

Those of you dissing Obama's chances in the primaries and general election are missing a huge point, people are getting excited about him.

Yesterday in Minneapolis he pulled a crowd of 20,000 (mostly white) Democrats to the Target Center. Mitt was speaking to a few hundred in the suburbs at the same time. Hillary is speaking today in the gym at a small college.

The record turnout for the Democratic caucuses was 75,000 in 1968 when Humphrey ran. So 20,000 for a speech is pretty impressive.

The man is eloquent. People don't care about the minor policy differences between him and Hillary. He speaks to their feelings and that's what the vote on.

The man has an organization and understands turnout.

Obama is going to win.

Posted by: tomeck on February 3, 2008 at 3:02 PM | PERMALINK

I did some door knocking for Obama yesterday in California. The Obama campaign has a well-organized army of get out the vote volunteers. I encountered more strong Obama supporters than Hillary supporters. This was in a lower economic class area to middle class, supposedly HRC's strong demographic. I know I got some fence-sitters over to Obama's side. From what I saw, if HRC wins, it won't be by much.

Posted by: James on February 3, 2008 at 3:11 PM | PERMALINK

Swan

I think one of the things you're missing is that most of the people who won't vote for a black man wouldn't vote for a Democrat in any case. The few votes Obama will lose there will be more than made up for by the new young voters and independents he's appealing to.

As to his chances vs. McCain, McCain looks good now because he's running against Romney and Ron Paul. McCain will be another Goldwater against Obama.

Posted by: tomeck on February 3, 2008 at 3:12 PM | PERMALINK

MaryL said:

"I just hope that these poll numbers are used to slap him down after a close loss".

Then in the next post "*sigh* I meant, AREN'T used to slap him down ..."

Quite the slip there, Mary. You know that happened to me once at home - I wanted to say to my wife "Would you please pass the butter, dear." Instead I said "You fucking bitch, you ruined my life".

Posted by: DivorcedSuddenly on February 3, 2008 at 3:16 PM | PERMALINK

We entertained Barack's candidacy in the primaries because we all wanted to be cool with a black candidate's running

Puh-leeze, nobody over 40 gives a rat's ass about being cool. Otherwise, Swan, many of your arguments have merit.

Posted by: Sharon on February 3, 2008 at 3:34 PM | PERMALINK

"PaulB, please cut put the "dear heart" stuff."

Stop being a moron and actually post something worth taking seriously, backed up by actual data, and I'll respond in kind. Until then, you're an idiot who deserves nothing but mockery and contempt.

"What data, please?"

All of the available polls and interviews, taken before and after the various contests.

"How old? I'm sure we all know, by the way, that polls from even Jan. '08 are not going to tell us who is going to win in Nov. '08, unless we are running Jesus v. Satan" [Emphasis added.]

No shit, Sherlock. So why did you pretend otherwise in your initial post?

"Okay, it would be the first time the leading liberal party has nominated a black candidate to run against the leading conservative party's nominee."

So? You still don't have a point. If, say, Obama were to run against McCain and were to lose in an election dominated by national security issues, the lessons I'd likely take away are that a) McCain did a better job of convincing voters that his experience matters and b) Obama was not able to successfully make his case that McCain's judgment on Iraq and on the "GWOT" was flawed. What lessons would you take away, Swan?

In any case, your point was fundamentally flawed in that "liberals" didn't "decide" to run Obama. Obama decided to run and, so far, has done a pretty damn good job against a formidable opponent. If you want to criticize someone for running "several years too early," I suggest you talk to Obama. And after you've talked to Obama, I suggest you try to defend the assertion that being "several years too early" makes one whit of a difference.

"I am not going to apologize for not writing my sentence to your unfair standards of precision."

LOL.... Translation: I screwed up but I'm going to pretend otherwise to save face.

"What, you don't think people have feelings like that?"

Yup, that's precisely what I think. And since you posted precisely zero evidence to back this shit up and since the exit polls and exit interviews directly contradict you, I'm going to continue thinking that.

"And my evidence in living in the US for almost 30 years as a middle class person in middles class communities and caring about and paying attention to what people think about things like this."

Q.E.D. Zero evidence. As I noted, you're simply making shit up.

"That's all I need to have a valid opinion and projection"

ROFL.... Translation: All I need are my own prejudices; to hell with the data!

"B at 2:06 PM, this is just stuff you have to realistically look at."

I don't think you know the meaning of the word "realistically".

"This is common-sense stuff,"

No, actually, it's not. It's bullshit. And like I said, it say far more about you than it does about Obama or about "liberals".

"and only the most naive of the boarding-school-class of liberals would let politesse trump pragmatism to the point that they wouldn't consider this stuff at all."

ROFL.... Dear heart, where did anyone on this thread say that they "wouldn't consider this stuff at all?"

"Here's a video that I think probably sums up PaulB's view of the world nicely. No matter what happens, we're all living in la-la CareBear World."

ROFLMAO.... Thanks for conceding defeat, dear. Do try harder next time, won't you? I like more of a challenge.

Posted by: PaulB on February 3, 2008 at 3:34 PM | PERMALINK

"As to his chances vs. McCain"

Nobody knows, really, which is why Swan's post was so silly. All of the preliminary polls, which I freely admit are anything but definitive, show them running neck and neck, well within the margin of error.

In any case, nobody knows what will happen between now and the election: what themes will dominate, what the economy will do, whether Iraq will deteriorate, whether McCain will have to accept matching funds, and the like. Each of these is going to have far more impact on the contest than any of the crap that Swan has been spewing.

Posted by: PaulB on February 3, 2008 at 3:37 PM | PERMALINK

For the record I think the whole race thing is a net positive if anything.

I agree. It is for me, but it's most definitely not because I give a damn about being cool. How idiotic. A black President could do a lot of healing.

Posted by: Sharon on February 3, 2008 at 3:38 PM | PERMALINK

"So I actually accounted for the reason PaulB and luci claim Barack is popular,"

LOL... Reading comprehension and logic seems to be a problem for you, don't they?

I simply pointed out that you had presented zero evidence to support your silly assertions. Repeating one of those silly assertions does not actually constitute evidence, dear, and does not make it true.

Q.E.D.

Posted by: PaulB on February 3, 2008 at 3:42 PM | PERMALINK

"I think one of the things you're missing is that most of the people who won't vote for a black man wouldn't vote for a Democrat in any case."

You really need to get out more. The naiveite of certain liberals never ceases to amaze me. Well you kool aid drinkers better be right, because if Obama gets the nomination and we end up with 4 years of Mccain, I'm going to be really pissed. I'm beginning to think there are many democrats who simply don't care about winning, and that acccounts for much of the annimosity towards those lone democrats who can actually beat Republicans- the Clintons.

Posted by: mUTAMAN on February 3, 2008 at 3:48 PM | PERMALINK

Obama has to take CA to stay alive. He loses it it's over.

He's going to lose it.

Posted by: patience on February 3, 2008 at 3:52 PM | PERMALINK

"You really need to get out more. The naiveite of certain liberals never ceases to amaze me."

Oh, good grief. 2008 is still a damn good year to be a Democrat, regardless of which candidate we choose. I can make just as good an argument that Clinton is the more likely to lose (e.g., by energizing the Republican base, which right now is pretty dispirited), just as I can make a good case for each of our candidates that they are the more likely to win.

Can we stop with the "many democrats ... simply don't care about winning" nonsense? That's just silly. The simple truth is that both of our candidates are head and shoulders above anything the Republican Party has to offer this year. And both of them have an excellent chance at winning the election.

Posted by: PaulB on February 3, 2008 at 3:54 PM | PERMALINK

Stop being a moron and actually post something worth taking seriously, backed up by actual data, and I'll respond in kind. Until then, you're an idiot who deserves nothing but mockery and contempt.

WTF? It's this kind of thing that turns everybody off and shuts down what should be a meaningful conversation. Control yourself or go to your room.

Posted by: Sharon on February 3, 2008 at 3:55 PM | PERMALINK

Quoting Scotian from another thread:

I will add one point regarding the who can beat McCain argument, it is based on polls too, and I well remember hearing the same arguments for why Kerry had to be the nominee, he had the best chance according to similar polls in the primary season to beat GWB. How did that work out again? Electability is a factor to consider, but to place it as the primary consideration for a candidate to support has shown itself time and again to be a losing strategy for Dems.

Amen.

Posted by: PaulB on February 3, 2008 at 3:56 PM | PERMALINK

mUTAMAN - "those lone democrats who can actually beat Republicans-the Clintons."

Um, no. That was Bill Clinton that beat the Republicans. Bill's not running, Hillary is. Hillary has much higher negatives among swing voters and centrist Republicans than Bill does. Obama is the most electable because he has proven to draw independents, the same voters McCain draws. Hillary would lose indies 90-10. Hillary is the loser in the general, not Obama.

Posted by: James on February 3, 2008 at 3:56 PM | PERMALINK

"It's this kind of thing that turns everybody off and shuts down what should be a meaningful conversation. Control yourself or go to your room."

No. Swan's initial post deserved precisely the response it got. If you really do want to have a meaningful conversation, I'd suggest you point that finger elsewhere.

Posted by: PaulB on February 3, 2008 at 3:59 PM | PERMALINK

A meaningful conversation for me is one where I can discuss things with people with disagree with me without trying to annihilate me. Idiot and moron are uncalled for. You're so fond of demanding supporting data, where's your data to support your assertion that Swan is an idiot and a moron? I've been reading both your comments for days and I conclude that neither of you are idiots or morons, you're adversaries. That's all.

Posted by: Sharon on February 3, 2008 at 4:08 PM | PERMALINK

...with people who disagree...

Fat Fingers

Posted by: Sharon on February 3, 2008 at 4:09 PM | PERMALINK

Further...you have turned this whole thread so toxic I don't see how it can recover. It's hard not to hold your churlish behavior against your candidate. Is that how you plan to win people over?

Posted by: Sharon on February 3, 2008 at 4:15 PM | PERMALINK

"A meaningful conversation for me is one where I can discuss things with people with disagree with me without trying to annihilate me."

When have I ever tried to "annihilate" you? Given Swan's initial post on this thread, it is quite clear that a meaningful conversation with that individual, at least on this topic, is impossible, not to mention a complete waste of time. The post was foolish and reprehensible. I see no reason to pretend otherwise.

"Idiot and moron are uncalled for."

Not when they are, in fact, called for by the crap in the post in question. I have a low tolerance for fools and I have no compunction in calling a spade a spade. Are you really prepared to defend Swan's initial post on the merits?

"You're so fond of demanding supporting data"

There's a reason for that.

"where's your data to support your assertion that Swan is an idiot and a moron?"

Swan's first post on this thread. The rest is left as an exercise for the reader. You are, of course, free to disagree, but I stand by what I wrote.

"I've been reading both your comments for days and I conclude that neither of you are idiots or morons, you're adversaries. That's all."

I beg to differ. I'm only an "adversary" to foolishness.

Posted by: PaulB on February 3, 2008 at 4:15 PM | PERMALINK

tomeck wrote:

I think one of the things you're missing is that most of the people who won't vote for a black man wouldn't vote for a Democrat in any case.

Those people are irrelevent to my point. The ones I am talking about are these: there is a pretty significant number of older middle-class Dems who come from the old working class who, for most purposes, are reliable liberals, but will never vote for a black man. Some of them may not be able to pull a lever for Hillary, either, but the more persistent prejudice is going to be against blacks. Also, there are many Independents who are swing-voters who are kind of the same thing. They are not people who are basically Republicans who are trying to be cool and rebellious politically, so they refuse to label themselves Republicans. Instead, they are people who don't have their identity tied to one party or ideological label or the other, and who are compassionate enough to swing liberal or Democrat in particular elections or on particular issues, but do not have enough faith in a black man to vote for him for president (or they even have personal racist animosity against blacks).

And remember his name is Barack Obama. People are going to feel that's like pulling a lever for the Indian cab driver or the Pakistani gas-station attendant. Granted, people get along with Far Easterners a lot better than they did in the early '80s, but last I checked, a lot of people still hate foreigners, and especially dark-skinned ones from the third world. It's dumb, but by virtue of his name, Barack is going to become that stereotype for a lot of voters.

I am not going to apologize for not writing my sentence to your unfair standards of precision.

In the context of my comment, it was logical that
I was writing about who the liberals in the country were nominating to be the single candidate in the general, not whether a black man ever ran for president before. This isn't a Jeopardy match. Too many childish pedants on the comment threads of blogs, as usual.

I'm not going to read PaulB's newest rants or take the time to respond to them.

Posted by: Swan on February 3, 2008 at 4:16 PM | PERMALINK

Damping down expectations for your girl, eh Kevin?

Posted by: Zephyrus on February 3, 2008 at 4:18 PM | PERMALINK

"Further...you have turned this whole thread so toxic I don't see how it can recover."

LOL... Sharon, Swan's post already took care of that. Or are you going to pretend that that first post was not, in fact, "toxic"? As for "recover[ing]", there's a really simple solution: stop responding to me or to Swan.

"It's hard not to hold your churlish behavior against your candidate."

Sharon, I don't have a candidate. I was leaning towards Edwards until he withdrew. At this time, I have not yet decided who to support. I like both of my choices and will be, and have been, just as hard on those who write similar foolishness about Hillary.

"Is that how you plan to win people over?"

I wasn't trying to "win people over." I was deriding a fool.

Posted by: PaulB on February 3, 2008 at 4:18 PM | PERMALINK

I'd suggest you point that finger elsewhere

And, no, I point the finger right at you, PaulB. Because of you, this thread has run right off a cliff. I suggest you attend the Donald Duck School of Temperism.

Posted by: Sharon on February 3, 2008 at 4:21 PM | PERMALINK

"Those people are irrelevent to my point."

Oh, you had a point? Fancy that....

"The ones I am talking about are these: there is a pretty significant number of older middle-class Dems who come from the old working class who, for most purposes, are reliable liberals, but will never vote for a black man."

Dear heart, simply repeating your bullshit does not make it any more true than it was the first time you wrote it. You have zero evidence to support any of this silliness, and all you're doing is digging that hole deeper and deeper.

I deleted that long rambling justification because a) it made absolutely no sense, and b) it was, of course, unsupported by anything resembling logic, reason, or data.

"It's dumb, but by virtue of his name, Barack is going to become that stereotype for a lot of voters."

LOL... As I said, this crap says far more about you than it does about anyone else.

"I'm not going to read PaulB's newest rants or take the time to respond to them."

Fine with me, dear heart. I'll still point out that you're being a moron and that you cannot support any of this crap. Your failure to respond will be noted.

Posted by: PaulB on February 3, 2008 at 4:22 PM | PERMALINK

"And, no, I point the finger right at you, PaulB. Because of you, this thread has run right off a cliff"

Sharon, Swan had already taken us there. You can continue to ignore that, if you like, but you know it's true.

Posted by: PaulB on February 3, 2008 at 4:24 PM | PERMALINK

but the more persistent prejudice is going to be against blacks

Swan, there's some real valid debate about whether prejudice is more persistent against blacks or against women.

Posted by: Sharon on February 3, 2008 at 4:26 PM | PERMALINK

Swan

a pretty significant number of older middle-class Dems who come from the old working class who, for most purposes, are reliable liberals, but will never vote for a black man.

Well, I'm not seeing that. I work with union truck drivers (mostly older) and I hear more anti-Hillary sentiment than anything. Some of those guys you're talking about went Republican years ago. In the meantime, I know guys who voted for Bush (having bought into the Swift Boat thing) who are now for Obama.

No matter what you or I think, we'll see how these guy go on Tuesday.

Posted by: Tomeck on February 3, 2008 at 4:27 PM | PERMALINK

ROFLMAO.... Thanks for conceding defeat, dear. Do try harder next time, won't you? I like more of a challenge.

It's a nice song, but as the saying goes, "Shit ain't like that."

I think PaulB has exposed himself as a 12 year-old getting help writing comments from Mommy.

Posted by: Swan on February 3, 2008 at 4:27 PM | PERMALINK

"In the context of my comment, it was logical that I was writing about who the liberals in the country were nominating to be the single candidate in the general"

It's still a stupid point, for the reasons I noted above. Using your "logic," Obama shouldn't have run this year because Jesse Jackson ran "several years too early."

It was dumb when you wrote it and it's even dumber when you repeat it.

Posted by: PaulB on February 3, 2008 at 4:27 PM | PERMALINK

"It's a nice song, but as the saying goes, 'Shit ain't like that.'"

ROFLMAO.... Dear heart, I thought you weren't going to "take the time to respond."

"I think PaulB has exposed himself as a 12 year-old getting help writing comments from Mommy."

ROFL.... Oh, the irony.... I do so love it when a fool tries to play games.

Posted by: PaulB on February 3, 2008 at 4:30 PM | PERMALINK

Tomeck wrote:

Well, I'm not seeing that.

I'm seeing that, and I live in the neighborhood and shop in the supermarket with the guys who are contractors, who actually fix the roof and the elctricity and drive the trucks.

White guys don't hate white women as much as they hate foreigners and blacks. Every white guy who has been raised by his mom has had an example of a white woman as an authority figure, solving and dealing with problems. It's simple, and it's weird to me that someone would think otherwise.

Posted by: Swan on February 3, 2008 at 4:31 PM | PERMALINK

"I'm seeing that, and I live in the neighborhood and shop in the supermarket with the guys who are contractors, who actually fix the roof and the elctricity and drive the trucks."

So do I, dear, and so do most of the rest of us. Funny how none of us are "seeing" what you're "seeing".

I'm not going to bother repeating the rest of your post because all you're doing is making it clear that you have, well, let's be charitable and call them "issues".

Posted by: PaulB on February 3, 2008 at 4:40 PM | PERMALINK

PaulB...Swan makes points that have been made all over and everywhere before. They are real. They are out there. That said, parallel points can be made against Clinton's viability in the GE.

As I pointed out somewhere before in PA, the best contracts are hammered out between the most persistent adversaries. We need to hone our skills at getting what we want into the contract. Part of those skills include doing a tone check before you engage an adversary on any point. Calling an adversary a fool undermines the process. Next you'll be rigging IEDs to destroy Swan if you keep up the pace.

And I say this all realizing that you and I are in exactly the same position. I supported Edwards until he withdrew. Now I'm weighing the issues between Obama and Clinton. At this point in time, I'm leaning toward Clinton, but I am open to being convinced otherwise. Yes, I'm a cockeyed flip-flopping liberal.

Posted by: Sharon on February 3, 2008 at 4:42 PM | PERMALINK

I think PaulB has exposed himself as a 12 year-old getting help writing comments from Mommy

Now, Swan, you've gone and descended into hair pulling yourself. No mommy would coach a child to talk the way PaulB does. That's casting aspersions on mommies, and I take that personally.

So, watch it! You two are making me cross.

Posted by: Sharon on February 3, 2008 at 4:48 PM | PERMALINK

"PaulB...Swan makes points that have been made all over and everywhere before."

No. Swan's post was far removed from a discussion of "the Bradley effect," a discussion that I freely concede is legitimate. Moreover, Swan's actual points have been directly contradicted by all of the available data.

"We" shouldn't have run a black man "several years too early"??? Do you really not see how offensive that is? How insulting it is to Obama?

"We all wanted to be cool with a black candidate's running???"

And, again, do you not see how offensive that is to thoughtful Obama supporters? That they support him because they want to be "cool" or "contrarian"? It's dismissive and it's insulting. Swan's post was flamebait, pure and simple, rancid to the core.

"They are real. They are out there."

And again, no. Read that first post again and pay attention to how rancid it truly was. There may well be a discussion worth having on this topic, but it won't be with that individual.

"That said, parallel points can be made against Clinton's viability in the GE."

Yup, both candidates have their strengths and both have their weaknesses. And, certainly, both candidates will suffer from unthinking bigotry, and not just from hard-core Republicans.

"As I pointed out somewhere before in PA, the best contracts are hammered out between the most persistent adversaries. We need to hone our skills at getting what we want into the contract."

That depends on the subject of the discussion and with whom you're having it.

"Part of those skills include doing a tone check before you engage an adversary on any point. Calling an adversary a fool undermines the process. Next you'll be rigging IEDs to destroy Swan if you keep up the pace."

LOL.... I don't take any of this seriously, Sharon. And I take Swan even less seriously than I do most. I doubt either of us is losing any sleep over the opinion of the other. In this case, Swan's post was so over-the-top stupid and offensive that I have absolutely no qualms about my response. It was well-justified.

"Yes, I'm a cockeyed flip-flopping liberal."

Nothing wrong with that. I happen to think that both candidates have their flaws but that both are so far above anything the Republican Party has to offer that I will cheerfully vote for either of them in November.

Posted by: PaulB on February 3, 2008 at 4:56 PM | PERMALINK

And, Sharon, it's precisely because I can make a very good case about the "electability" (or lack thereof) of either candidate, that I find these discussions tedious, even when they don't come with posts as offensive as Swan's. Since both are "electable" and both are "unelectable," why don't we, instead, focus on their policies? On their (perceived) strengths and weaknesses as President? Since there's a reasonably good chance that one of them will, in fact, be the next President, how do you think they will govern?

Posted by: PaulB on February 3, 2008 at 5:00 PM | PERMALINK

Swan: White guys don't hate white women as much as they hate foreigners and blacks.

What, because they have wives, mothers, sisters and girlfriends? Women are still viewed and used by many men as chattel...even here in the US, this beacon to the world. Ever watched a crime show on TV? 99% of the victims are women. Men don't live in chronic fear of assault the way women do. It's a woman's experience. Take my word for it, misogyny is alive and well in all classes, in all races, in all regions.

Either candidate will have an uphill battle against prejudice. It's not at all clear to me who has the advantage in the general election.

Posted by: Sharon on February 3, 2008 at 5:06 PM | PERMALINK

Since both are "electable" and both are "unelectable," why don't we, instead, focus on their policies?

I'm with you there, PaulB. And thanks for not calling me a fool. LOL.

Posted by: Sharon on February 3, 2008 at 5:09 PM | PERMALINK

"Take my word for it, misogyny is alive and well in all classes, in all races, in all regions."

Yup. All you have to do is say, "Hillary Clinton, Commander in Chief," then step back and watch the misogyny fly.

One thing I've been mulling over that I think is worth discussing. It seems to me that the Republican Party has done a pretty good job of shifting the national discourse over the past few decades. Opinions that 30 years ago were on the frings are now almost conventional wisdom. Which candidate has the better chance of shifting that debate to the left? Of taking a stand to the left and then bringing the American public to them through the power of the bully pulpit?

Posted by: PaulB on February 3, 2008 at 5:17 PM | PERMALINK

PaulB: Which candidate has the better chance of shifting that debate to the left? Of taking a stand to the left and then bringing the American public to them through the power of the bully pulpit?

An excellent question. I'd like to see Keven start a conversation on that. I haven't the slightest idea and would love to see some analysis.

Posted by: Sharon on February 3, 2008 at 5:33 PM | PERMALINK

Napeta, if you're still around. Yes, the Zinn book had a profound influence on me. Another one is Cracks in the Constitution. Can't remember the author's name. I think it's out of print because I had to get it from the library. I stumbled onto it in something Gore Vidal wrote several years ago.

Posted by: Sharon on February 3, 2008 at 5:36 PM | PERMALINK

PaulB: Yup. All you have to do is say, "Hillary Clinton, Commander in Chief," then step back and watch the misogyny fly.

I'm a software engineer for the Marines and I had developed a wonderful working relationship developing an application with a brilliant Lt. Colonel. When I asked what he would do if Hillary Clinton were the next Commander in Chief, he rolled his eyes and said, "Retire." Sigh. And so it goes.

Posted by: Sharon on February 3, 2008 at 5:41 PM | PERMALINK

Yup. All you have to do is say, "Hillary Clinton, Commander in Chief," then step back and watch the misogyny fly.

Why assume that it's misogyny, rather than just the fear that her support for Bush's war, the surge, etc., reflects her actual beliefs about how to use the military to effect foreign policy?

For example:
http://matthewyglesias.theatlantic.com/archives/2008/02/nobody.php

Or maybe not. I lot of people I know are convinced that Hillary did, in fact, all along believe that Bush was committing a huge strategic blunder but that she pretended not to believe that because she thought it was important to her presidential ambitions. I don't think I really buy that. Among other things, I don't think Clinton would have thought that backing a huge strategic blunder would help her presidential ambitions. Insofar as she thought the war was politically savvy, that would almost certainly have been related to a view that the war wasn't a huge substantive error. But either way, if Mark Penn thinks his candidate was only pretending to approve of Bush's conduct he ought to say so plainly. Clearly, she wasn't a major critic of his conduct at the time.

If she agreed with Bush, she'd be a scary commander in chief, and the same would be true of anyone who said the same sorts of things, male or female. It's the same reason that "John McCain, Commander in Chief" is scary.

Posted by: bobb on February 3, 2008 at 6:07 PM | PERMALINK

PaulB, isn't there some bunch of Crips or Bloods you should be trying to single-handedly kick the asses of with your nunchucks?

Posted by: Swan on February 3, 2008 at 6:47 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin and a few others here have talked about either Obama or Clinton 'taking California.' Isn't CA a proportional primary state like the others we've seen so far?

Posted by: nepeta on February 3, 2008 at 8:11 PM | PERMALINK

"PaulB, isn't there some bunch of Crips or Bloods you should be trying to single-handedly kick the asses of with your nunchucks?"

ROFLMAO... What was that you were saying about childishness, dear? And about not replying to me?

Dear heart, you got caught saying something incredibly dumb and you got called on it. Deal with it and move on.

Posted by: PaulB on February 3, 2008 at 8:11 PM | PERMALINK

bobb: If she agreed with Bush, she'd be a scary commander in chief, and the same would be true of anyone who said the same sorts of things, male or female. It's the same reason that "John McCain, Commander in Chief" is scary.

Bob, Bob, Bob. Lots of people...including me...would be scary Commanders in Chief. That's not what we're talking about. We're talking about misogyny. Try to stick to the subject. Please. You're sapping my strength.

Posted by: Sharon on February 3, 2008 at 9:07 PM | PERMALINK

Swan: PaulB, isn't there some bunch of Crips or Bloods you should be trying to single-handedly kick the asses of with your nunchucks?

Swan, why are you stirring the pot again? Stop it! You're making me cross.

Ignore him, Paul, please. He's only pouting.

Posted by: Sharon on February 3, 2008 at 9:10 PM | PERMALINK

PaulB: Dear heart, you got caught saying something incredibly dumb and you got called on it. Deal with it and move on.

Both of you, go to your rooms.

Posted by: Sharon on February 3, 2008 at 9:13 PM | PERMALINK

At our 12-person book club last night, all liberals aged between 45 and 75, it was 8 Obama, 2 Hillary, and two flipping a coin.

Posted by: anandine on February 3, 2008 at 11:19 PM | PERMALINK

"Um, no. That was Bill Clinton that beat the Republicans. Bill's not running, Hillary is."

Wrong. Who was it again who got elected senator from New York? Hillary was at least 10 points down when she entered the senatorial race and plenty of right wingers poured a lot of money into the race against her. But she worked hard and campaigned like hell in upstate New York. I know its a popular myth that she got elected on her name alone but thats not the case, she earned it.

Posted by: Mutaman on February 3, 2008 at 11:45 PM | PERMALINK

Mutaman,

Uh, one important thing to add. Rudy Giuliani dropped out of the race and Hillary's opponent became a complete unknown named Rick Lazio. I'm amazed I still remember his name.

Posted by: nepeta on February 4, 2008 at 12:53 AM | PERMALINK

James: "I did some door knocking for Obama yesterday in California. The Obama campaign has a well-organized army of get out the vote volunteers. I encountered more strong Obama supporters than Hillary supporters. This was in a lower economic class area to middle class, supposedly HRC's strong demographic. I know I got some fence-sitters over to Obama's side. From what I saw, if HRC wins, it won't be by much..."

I've been canvassing for two days (in a different state) and I'll be back out there tomorrow--I'd say we are getting a much better feel for what's happening out there those who are not doing this! I'm not placing much credence in received wisdom or polls at this point.

Posted by: Varecia on February 4, 2008 at 1:38 AM | PERMALINK

If you take one data point (me) as an example,
then the Obama campaign is not spending any resources targeting registered Dems who always vote.
It could be his campaign wrote off my zip code or congressional district, but I bet it is because his camp is spending all of its time and money on new voters and indies.

Posted by: 405/10 on February 4, 2008 at 4:46 AM | PERMALINK

Liberals are going to end up kicking themselves for years for running a black man several years too early.

I can't think of any time in American history when black people gained anything of note by patiently and silently waiting until 100% of white people were comfortable with it. Furthermore, how are we supposed to know when the "right time" is until, you know, someone actually tries running for president?

Posted by: Killjoy on February 4, 2008 at 6:10 AM | PERMALINK

Liberals are going to end up kicking themselves for years for running a black man several years too early.

Nuts. And Killjoy is right. Whatever date you give as the "right" date for a black man to run, some savant will be around then saying the same thing and posing as the Politically Incorrect Voice Of Truth. This will go on and on, forever. Because this election is too important to dare attempt nominating a black guy, and the next one will be too, and the next one will be....

There may be substantive reasons to vote against Obama. His race isn't one of them.

Posted by: sweaty guy on February 4, 2008 at 7:50 AM | PERMALINK

Sweaty Guy: There may be substantive reasons to vote against Obama. His race isn't one of them.

Amen!

Posted by: Sharon on February 4, 2008 at 8:22 AM | PERMALINK

Yeah, I think the race thing is overblown too, but I'm voting for Hillary. Obama doesn't seem to hold up well under pressure in a debate. That worries me. He doesn't attack well, and he doesn't defend well. I don't think we can afford these weaknesses in a president.

Plus, I don't appreciate all the gestures to the right, the appreciation of Ronald Reagan, and the fact he has the weakest plan for universal health care. In the Democratic primary, he's running as an independent, it seems. He talks about change, but what change is he advocating: let's all be nice. That's something that we Democrats don't have control over. We don't have control over Rush, or Fox News or the rest of that brigade, so I want a president that has some fighting spirit.

Posted by: Doctor Jay on February 4, 2008 at 10:02 AM | PERMALINK

"Sweaty Guy: There may be substantive reasons to vote against Obama. His race isn't one of them.

Amen!" Posted by: Sharon on February 4, 2008 at 8:22 AM

Agreed! My issues/concerns with him are not based on his race but primarily on lack of experience on the national stage and my belief that he has not been vetted anywhere near as much as I think ANY Dem candidate needs to be given the RWNM and the Dem hostile MSM. and that there are dangerous skeletons there IMHO that have been getting a pass by the media because of their focus on Clinton and trying to destroy that candidacy, something I have made clear from the outset. I find the attitude of certain commentators to make race the primary concern more than a little disturbing, as I noted in another thread yesterday.

Posted by: Scotian on February 4, 2008 at 10:20 AM | PERMALINK

Based on anecdotal but extensive evidence, it seems to me as if Obama's GOTV operation (at least in coastal California) is significantly better than Hillary's. Many more signs out, many more volunteers going door to door, more calls getting place.

FWIW.

Posted by: Nils Gilman on February 4, 2008 at 12:20 PM | PERMALINK

"Rudy Giuliani dropped out of the race and Hillary's opponent became a complete unknown named Rick Lazio"

Wasn't Hillary beating Giuliani pretty handily in the polls at the time he dropped out? Of course, New York is a blue state, so that's hardly definitive.

Posted by: PaulB on February 4, 2008 at 12:26 PM | PERMALINK

While its true that Hillary faced a more determined opposition in her senate race than Obama did, doesn't it say something about the other side's perception of his strength as a candidate that no Republican of any stature dared contest the Illinois senate seat against him? Obviously, this time around, they will fight like hell, but it seems to me that the Republicans are once again at a loss about how to go after Obama given that, almost to a man, they tried to show their general election strength in the primaries by targeting Hillary as the presumptive Democratic nominee.

I'm firmly in Obama's camp, so I accept this argument works for me more than those that are not yet inclined to see him as a strong candidate, but it's something to consider, isn't it?

If he's run this well against Hillary in a Democratic primary that's had its share of attacks all around, I have to feel that he's adequately equipped to take on any Republican this fall. The same goes for Hillary, for that matter, so for me, it's just about who I would rather see in the White House, and not about the "electability" question, which I think is way overstated as an issue this year for these two particular Democrats.

Posted by: Dismayed Liberal on February 4, 2008 at 12:56 PM | PERMALINK

And remember his name is Barack Obama. People are going to feel that's like pulling a lever for the Indian cab driver or the Pakistani gas-station attendant. Granted, people get along with Far Easterners a lot better than they did in the early '80s, but last I checked, a lot of people still hate foreigners, and especially dark-skinned ones from the third world. It's dumb, but by virtue of his name, Barack is going to become that stereotype for a lot of voters.

I suppose this is why George W. Bush made a better presidential candidate than Jeb Bush.

Listen, I was an Edwards man all the way, but now that he's out I'm in the Obama camp. I have some reservations about him, but he's less corporate than Hillary. Also, while I'd love to someday see a woman as president, I'd prefer it be one who completely did it on her own -- not aided by having a husband who's a former president. To me, that's just Lurleen Wallace with a Yale Law degree.

Posted by: Vincent on February 4, 2008 at 2:02 PM | PERMALINK

Paul B,

My admittedly sometimes faulty memory tells me that Clinton was not having such an easy time with Giuliani before he dropped out. Guess we'll have to google it.

Posted by: nepeta on February 4, 2008 at 4:41 PM | PERMALINK

Paul B, It seems Giuliani had lost his zest for the campaign before he dropped out, partially due to his cancer diagnosis but perhaps more importantly due to his new love affair. He was 10 points down in the polls when he dropped out. See:

Giuliani, Clinton and the Senate Race That Wasn't

Posted by: nepeta on February 4, 2008 at 4:58 PM | PERMALINK

this race is stupid its being run like american idol. becareful what you wish for because once you get obama you have him. the man hasnt been vetted and cant cry to the nation when the repub come at him. this guys all puff, no substance he got killed in the california debate. change thats easy to say when your new on the scene getting change done is the key. obama never completes anything and when challenged he cries. no my kind of ruler of the free world. this is serious business not a popularity contest......

Posted by: beast from the east on February 4, 2008 at 5:08 PM | PERMALINK

Thanks for checking that, nepeta.

Posted by: PaulB on February 4, 2008 at 9:27 PM | PERMALINK

I know facts aren't that big a deal around here but Rudy was 10 points up on Hillary when she entered the NY campaign. She outworked him and outcampaigned him particularly in the upstate Republican areas. At the point where she had gone 10 points up, Rudy suddenly came up with his prostate cancer and dropped out. He was replaced by Rick Lazio, who was not a nobody, he was a rising young congressman with a lot of money behind him. But Hillary outdebated him and out campaigned him winning a hard fought victory.
As far as new York being a blue state, at the time NY had both a republican Governor and a Republican senator who were both on their third term.

I like the way she campaigns, I like her hard work as senator, and her enemies are my enemies. The media is totally full of shit and I suspect the right wing will hand Obama's ass to him. Thats why I'm voting for Hillary.

Posted by: Mutaman on February 4, 2008 at 10:48 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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