Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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February 6, 2008
By: Kevin Drum

ON THE COUCH AGAIN....I have no idea what the right narrative is for yesterday's Democratic primary. I can only say what's inside my own head, rational or irrational as it might be. And although Obama obviously made up a huge amount of ground over the past two weeks, what it felt like to me was disappointment. He seemed to be coming on so strong that it seemed inevitable he'd win one or two of the big Hillary states — or at least make them into close races — but he didn't. In the end, Hillary won California, New York, New Jersey, and Massachusetts by double digit margins. It really seemed to take a lot of wind out of the Obama surge.

The other thing inside my head that I didn't expect was that as the results came in, I found myself sort of rooting for Hillary. Why? Buyer's remorse? Rooting for the underdog? Guilt for having "betrayed" her by voting for Obama? A feeling that although I preferred Obama, I really didn't want to see Hillary humiliated? I think the last one is it, though I really don't know. The human mind is a devious little lump of protoplasm, isn't it?

UPDATE: Armando also thinks that last night ended Obama's momentum and pushed the race in Hillary's direction. I'm not sure I agree with everything he says, but I suspect he's in the right ballpark.

UPDATE 2: Harold Meyerson summarizes the basic state of play going forward here. Nickel version: the next few weeks (Louisiana, Nebraska, Maine, Washington, Maryland, Virginia, D.C., Hawaii, Wisconsin) look generally promising for Obama, but the big states that come after that (Ohio, Texas, Pennsylvania, Indiana, North Carolina, Kentucky) look a lot friendlier to Hillary. "Or, as my friend Ron Brownstein might put it, February is a wine track month, but March, April and May look good for beer track candidates."

On the other hand, Obama has more money than Clinton. For now, anyway. That might make a difference.

Kevin Drum 11:02 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (213)

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Comments

It's the Marge Simpson paradox:

"They're both so nice, I want them both to win."

Posted by: zoltar on February 6, 2008 at 11:06 AM | PERMALINK

You should have just stuck with Inkblot.
Then you wouldn't feel the remorse you feel right now.

Posted by: optical weenie on February 6, 2008 at 11:07 AM | PERMALINK

Well, she was saved from humiliation, huzzah. Hardly a good night for her, though--if Georgia or Alabama or Minnesota or Colorado or Idaho were major media markets we'd be hearing what a crushing defeat she suffered.

Posted by: calling all toasters on February 6, 2008 at 11:07 AM | PERMALINK

KD: I can only say what's inside my own head, rational or irrational as it might be.

Which is what pundits do. What's refreshing is Mr. Drum's recognition of what he's doing.

I found myself thinking the same way. I broke for Obama at the last minute but, somehow, didn't want it to be overwhelmingly decisive. I didn't think of it as buyer's remorse, though, just as an indication of my uncertainty.

Posted by: thersites on February 6, 2008 at 11:11 AM | PERMALINK

Obama came out better than expectations. Most folks were expecting Clinton to win more delegates and Obama was hoping that she wouldn't get so many that he would get buried. Instead, Obama managed to break even, or slightly better. They both are getting good at this campaigning thing, thanks to this intense competition. Shouldbe good for general election.

Posted by: rational on February 6, 2008 at 11:12 AM | PERMALINK

Jeez, why all the compassion for Hillary? She'd squash you all like a bug if she thought it'd advance her march to the White House.

Posted by: Traven on February 6, 2008 at 11:13 AM | PERMALINK

Hillary's a big girl. Don't be patriarchal. This is not fifth-grade class president.

Posted by: Gore/Edwards 08 on February 6, 2008 at 11:13 AM | PERMALINK

For a nebulous, rorschach candidate like Obama, momentum has been just about everything in propelling his candidacy. With momentum, his speeches seem inspiring and uplifting beyond any real merit because that's the way the delusion of crowds works -- nothing is more subjective than "crowd energy", and the perception of a surge in popular feeling is absolutely key to sustaining that.

If you take away that momentum from Obama, one wonders what he really has left to win further fights. His basic demographics are not really good. And somehow, talking up all his money is not exactly going to do the trick, I don't think. He's effectively had all the money he might ever need, and has not been able to turn it into a decisive win in popular votes.

I think that we are going to see the gradual deflation of the Obama bubble. Couldn't happen at a better time.

Posted by: frankly0 on February 6, 2008 at 11:14 AM | PERMALINK

87% of black in Georgia voted for Obama (blacks make up 52% of electorate); 82% of blacks in Alabama (blacks make up 51% of electorate). In Illinois, 94% of blacks voted for him.

Instead, Yahoo news has a headline on how women voters are boosting Hillary. Give me a break.

Posted by: Bob on February 6, 2008 at 11:15 AM | PERMALINK

I had the exact opposite reaction: I was surprised at how bitter I felt about Clinton's victories. I don't want the pro-war candidate to win.

I'm getting excited about the possibility of finally getting to vote for someone who wasn't part of that sickening group of people that were either too stupid to know the war was a bad idea or worse, too craven to not vote for it anyway.

BTW, Inkblot is too young to be president, so a vote for Inkblot is a wasted vote.

Posted by: Boronx on February 6, 2008 at 11:17 AM | PERMALINK

frankly0, leave the spin to the pros, ok? clearly obama is doing just fine, as is clinton.

If (as you say) clinton can't handily beat an opponent with nothing but vapid momentum, then she's a pretty crappy candidate eh?

Posted by: doug on February 6, 2008 at 11:19 AM | PERMALINK

Kevin, last night was a little crazy, but after a a decent nights sleep I have a few thoughts.......
Obama and Hillary did well. Obama was able to pick up the caucus states and Hillary carried all of the big states. There are problems in yesterdays returns for both camps.
Obama won states that will not be the democrats column on November 4, 2008. He lost several states that had huge rally crowds, and by most accounts he is still about 100 votes behind Hillary . Obama has gotta be happy that his MO is still very strong and he has got most the talking heads on his side. Make no mistake he is a step behind her and he can definitely win this.
Hillary had to have been biting her nails last night, but in the end, she took the big ones, and her latino, blue collar democrat and women voters stuck by her. She will have to keep her lead to keep her super-delegates. Bill is going to have to mind his business and both of them are going to have to campaign hard for Texas and Wisconsin, with a few smaller states to keep her hand in. She will have to fight for the FL and MI delegates (about 185 for her vs 80 for him) to win the nomination.
Your buyers remorse could be the start of something for her, don't say it too loud, it might be catching.............

Posted by: james b on February 6, 2008 at 11:19 AM | PERMALINK

What I've learned from reading Kevin and comments here is that for all of the stuff about "Obamamania", pro-Hillary sentiment is about as irrational as it gets and arguments for her candidacy are based mostly on emotion and/or delusion. If Hillary gets the nomination, the Democratic party will continue to be the tepid, corporate-enabling, GOP-emulating piece of crap it's been since at least the Reagan years. Bowing to Bush's war should have made Hillary unelectable. Except too many Democrats are as full of shit as she is...

Posted by: brucds on February 6, 2008 at 11:19 AM | PERMALINK

My wife had the same reaction - voted Obama, rooted for Clinton.

Posted by: MobiusKlein on February 6, 2008 at 11:19 AM | PERMALINK

Don't buy the spin, Kevin! It's a nominating campaign and it's all about the delegates! Think how Obama did after being so far down in the polls just a few weeks ago. You had unrealistic expectations and perhaps thought that your switch to Obama was somehow prescient of so many other like-minded voters.

It is a close race. Obama is (very slightly) winning and has money, the calendar, and momentum on his side. I agree w/ the other voters that your sympathy for Hillary is off-putting. Please don't become the characticure of a white male liberal with gender guilt!

Posted by: MikeO on February 6, 2008 at 11:19 AM | PERMALINK

My own reaction was quite similar. I decided on Monday that I would vote for Obama, but I found myself nearly rooting for Hillary last night. Certainly odd.

Posted by: John in Arkansas on February 6, 2008 at 11:19 AM | PERMALINK

Bob, women are a much bigger demographic than AA's. And they vote in huge numbers for the democrats. That's why Yahoo is trumpeting this statistic. Also, although Illinois is a democratic state, it's unlikely that Georgia or Alabama will be, in the general.

Kevin, poor thing, take a couple of aspirin, take a walk, and relax. This thing isn't over by a long shot.

Posted by: merciless on February 6, 2008 at 11:19 AM | PERMALINK

I hate to say this, but I'm getting bored with Obama's speeches, even though they are uplifting and inspiring and are meant to spur the masses into action. Which brings me to the same conclusion as Kevin: my poor brain is also a devious little lump of protoplasm. That,and I'm also old and lazy.

Posted by: Tee on February 6, 2008 at 11:23 AM | PERMALINK

It's not odd to root for Hillary. Most Democrats have spent the better part of 16 years defending her. It's a testimony to the power of Obama's candidacy that in the past month so many have overcome that habit in the voting booth.

Posted by: calling all toasters on February 6, 2008 at 11:23 AM | PERMALINK

My rooting instincts are confused too, but at this point I'm starting to just wish it wouldn't go all the way to the convention. I can just see the MSM narrative shifting to that beloved old standby "Democrats are split." And don't think the chatterers won't be indulging every chance to give homage to Saint McCain.

Posted by: jimBOB on February 6, 2008 at 11:23 AM | PERMALINK

It's kind of a waste of a good candidate if Hillary Clinton is never elected. That's the flukey thing about Obama's candidacy- it's really as if he's stepping out of turn. If we had to form a line, Hillary and Bill in the White House again, and before they're each at greater risk of developing age-related health/mental problems, seems like a great idea.

Obama is also more likely to get elected as years pass, and the country gets less racist, too.

Posted by: Swan on February 6, 2008 at 11:24 AM | PERMALINK

*

Posted by: mhr on February 6, 2008 at 11:24 AM | PERMALINK

If (as you say) clinton can't handily beat an opponent with nothing but vapid momentum, then she's a pretty crappy candidate eh?

Obama isn't just an opponent with vapid momentum. He combines vapid momentum with uncritical praise from all manner of media sources and unrelenting criticism from those same sources of Hillary.

Put it all together, and you get someone who can do well in a Democratic nomination process -- until it's clear that he can't get past a ceiling in support. Then, having peaked, he's most likely going to find his way down.

Posted by: frankly0 on February 6, 2008 at 11:25 AM | PERMALINK

Obviously you can spin it any way you want. Yes it looked like Obama had closed the gap in places like CA and MA, but then you look at the vote composition and it makes sense. Hillary destroyed Obama in CA among Latinos by a 70-30 margin and they make up almost a third of the voters.

In MA, Obama actually beat Hillary in the city of Boston and in the "wine" towns like Brookline, Newton, and Cambridge, but the rest of the state is very blue collar and Hillary dominated in towns like Worcester, Lowell, Springfield, and New Bedford. Obama just didn't have the appeal or the organization to get votes in those areas - the endorsements of people like Ted, Kerry, and Deval Patrick helped him around Boston but that's it.

My take is that given that Hillary had 20+ point margins in many of these states just a few weeks ago and Obama basically fought her to a draw is a great thing. But I agree, the PR effect of being able to "pick off" a key Clinton state like CA would have been a big boost for Obama.

Posted by: David68 on February 6, 2008 at 11:28 AM | PERMALINK

Inkblot is too young to be president,

Cat years?

Posted by: thersites on February 6, 2008 at 11:28 AM | PERMALINK

Frankly, oh gawd am I bored by this redundant, masturbatory spew...

Posted by: brucds on February 6, 2008 at 11:30 AM | PERMALINK

I'm a HRC voter from Santa Monica who will happily vote for the Democratic nominee come November. Whoever we nominate.

That said, in the run-up to Super Tuesday, I'm starting to get really pissed with BO's increasingly pious and sanctimonious supporters who say they'll vote 3rd party (even Rep) if he doesn't get the nomination. (That includes you, Mrs. Obama.)

Didn't the 2000 election and Bush's 8 years of pain and suffering teach us that when it's all said and done, America is better off with a Democrat in the White House?

Posted by: Auto on February 6, 2008 at 11:30 AM | PERMALINK

Democrats don't care who wins. What is amazing is the amount of Dems that voted compared to Repubs.

What does that show?

Posted by: Percy on February 6, 2008 at 11:30 AM | PERMALINK

frankly0 - Funny i knew i'd have to face the "it's a big media conspiracy" argument.

If you actually think you're objective here, you're not. Both candidates are very very strong - just accept that. The media does love obama, because he knows how to work the media, because he's a really good candidate. You might not understand the man's presidency, but that doesn't mean he's empty. Go spend some time reading policy papers, please.

Posted by: doug on February 6, 2008 at 11:30 AM | PERMALINK

They are both historic characters. Both have their flaws. Hillary voted for the war. Obama has painted himself into a corner on health care. They should run on the same ticket with the Presidential Candidate pledging to drop out after the first term.

If they lose, under president McCain the nation will finally come face to face with the full spectrum of GOP incompetence and mismanagement. As someone mentioned before we have'nt hit the bottom yet. The next president whoever it may be is going to have a rough, rough time dealing with Mr. Bush's incompetence.

Posted by: ppk on February 6, 2008 at 11:31 AM | PERMALINK

I think a lot of Dems haven't thought this decision through well enough, because the mainstream media, including all the talking heads, have been pushing Obama so hard. Hillary's support is really almost grassroots, because of the way the media goes after her.

That may be why some people are feeling buyers' remorse about Obama. Hillary is a good candidate, and although people haven't been having all the conversations about her and Obama they should have been having all along, the reasons for voting for her come peeking through in the end, when you have to make a decision about who to vote for.

Posted by: Swan on February 6, 2008 at 11:31 AM | PERMALINK

David68, Obama won Boston because he got the black vote.

Posted by: Bob on February 6, 2008 at 11:33 AM | PERMALINK

I'm a 27-year-old woman living in Brooklyn and I've been a lone Hillary supporter for months, going as far as volunteering for her. In the past month I've received several emails from some of my more disaffected/disinterested friends and have been floored by my generation's enthusiasm about him, to the point that I walked in not knowing who I'd vote for and walked out having voted (delegates and all) for Obama. I feel good about it - I think my generation's enthusiasm about Obama has merit that is worth paying attention to. Who else is going to step up and fill the government jobs to put all of these exciting new proposals into place?

Posted by: Nisaco on February 6, 2008 at 11:35 AM | PERMALINK


Disappointed?

Two weeks ago the Clinton campaign thought this would be the day Obama dropped out. His own campaign's goal was to get within one hundred delegates. He gained as much as fifteen to twenty points in six or seven states in a matter of days.

Think about having this man go out and campaign for us against McCain.


Dear Hillary supporters, please consider this: our goal is a Democratic President. Obama and Clinton aren't all that different in policies, intentions and so on. They are both acceptable Democrats, better than acceptable, in fact.

But one has an awesome ground game, media support, the gift of being able to attract new voters and independents, doesn't inspire the rightwing turnout and has coat tails to help red state and purple state races.

The other candidate doesn't have any of these advantages. What's more the "advantages" she has are illusory. Yes, she is a strong woman, but no she cannot go out and fight the rightwing machine for us. She can't because the media hates her and helps the smear machine. There is no surge of woman voters flocking to her except within the Democratic party and those women will vote Democratic no matter what. Her years in politics might (might) make her a better President but they don't make her a better candidate: she has too much negative name recognition (48% disapproval).

We are at the point now when we need to stop talking about who would be the best President and start talking about who might actually get to BE President.

Clinton brings no advantages and too many liabilities to the campaign. Obama is highly electable. How does it serve us to insist on supporting the weakest candidate when the strongest one is a more than adequate alternative?

After all the primaries are not a process of choosing a President. We are choosing a CANDIDATE. Nor are the primaries the process whereby you swear undying allegaence to the choice that rings your bell and I swear undying allegience to the choice that rings mine. The primaries are a process whereby we narrow down the choices to those who satisfy the base (both do this) and then get over our own partisanship toward our favortie to pick the one that can get the votes of people outside the base so that we can win the election.

The goal is not for me to get my choice in the primaries or for you to get yours. The goal is to get a good Democrat into the Presidency.

Posted by: wonkie on February 6, 2008 at 11:36 AM | PERMALINK

> UPDATE: Armando also thinks that last night
> ended Obama's momentum and pushed the race in
> Hillary's direction.

Armando has completely destroyed Jeryln's blog with his shilling for Clinton, so I don't think his analysis can be trusted. In fact I don't think his analysis can even be trusted in the partisan-but-reality-based sense anymore: he says anything, twists any fact, and threatens to ban anyone who disagrees to increase the spin for Clinton.

Cranky

Posted by: Cranky Observer on February 6, 2008 at 11:36 AM | PERMALINK

Thanks, Kevin. I felt the same way. Before an election, one always gets wrapped up in one's own hopes.

But folks, Obama's campaign is claiming to have won more delegates last night. I'm not hearing that claim out of the Clinton campaign this morning, and I think they'd be claiming it if they thought they could.

So Obama had more pledged delegates going into this. He won more last night. He's going to win a bunch more this coming weekend, and the week after that looks good too. Once you get past Zogby and the exit polls, I would say that the mathematical narrative is not a bad narrative . . .

That said, I think Josh is right that this thing is going to come down to superdelegates. Who do they want to run with? Time to decide.

Posted by: Ted on February 6, 2008 at 11:37 AM | PERMALINK

"(That includes you, Mrs. Obama.)"

More proof of what disingenuous hacks the Hillaryoids are. This is a total lie. (Not that it seems to matter to them.) Michelle Obama hesitated when she was asked whether she would WORK for Clinton if nominated. She unequivocally stated that she would support her. I know I won't work for Clinton, although I'll vote for Ms. Didn't Read the NIE and Voted for Bush's War if I have to. But all of my energy will go to helping down-ticket Dems because god knows they'll need it with the Clintons at the top of the ballot.

Posted by: brucds on February 6, 2008 at 11:38 AM | PERMALINK

No matter how hard Obama, his campaign, and his supporters try to manage expectations, we just can't do it. Call it hubris and arrogance or call it irrational exuberance, I think a lot of Obama supporters feel like Obama ought to be trouncing Clinton and feel let down when he doesn't, even though in objective terms he's still well positioned to win the nomination (though certainly not guaranteed). The march from here is tactical. Everything going forward looks favorable for Obama except for Texas, Ohio (well maybe Ohio's not so bad), and Pennsylvania (of course those are BIG states...)

He'll need to do what he couldn't do on super Tuesday to put this away--ie, get a win in 2 out of 3 of those states. I think if he can do that, he'll be on his way. Hillary Clinton does not want to be in the position of Kentucky and Indiana being her firewall (come to think, Indiana borders Illinois and shares some media markets, and what seems to be the case so far is that Obama does well in the states ringing Illinois)

Posted by: JMS on February 6, 2008 at 11:38 AM | PERMALINK

I thought Obama would do better in CA.

Posted by: Brojo on February 6, 2008 at 11:38 AM | PERMALINK

This talk of "winning" states in Tuesday's Democratic primary is somewhat stupid. The delegates are alloted (roughly) proportionately, and Obama got very slightly more.

Posted by: HeavyJ on February 6, 2008 at 11:39 AM | PERMALINK

I'm an Obama supporter and I was very pleased with the outcome. Sure, it would have been nice to make it a tougher fight in California or New Jersey, but Clinton held a significant lead in the majority of the polls of both those states before Tuesday, despite what some of the polls (Zogby??) said.

But if you would have told me that Obama would win 14 of the 25 states in play, AND win more delegates, I'd have said that would be a tremendous victory.

Now if Obama would have won California, New Jersey, or Massachusetts, it would have been a major victory for Obama and a tough loss for Clinton.

Clinton did win the popular vote, but only by a mere 60,000 votes out of 14.5 million cast, that's roughly .4% (49.8 to 49.2), incredibly close....

But I don't see how anyone can spin Tuesday as a Clinton victory. I'd say it's a very close split decision victory for Obama (if we're using a boxing metaphor), or at worst a draw.

Posted by: Dan on February 6, 2008 at 11:40 AM | PERMALINK

Now all the major news outlets are reporting Obama won more delegates last night... Bottom line:

OBAMA WON SUPER TUESDAY

How is that a "disappointment"? He made up insurmountable leads in the big states to make them at least close and he did it without sacrificing one single vote in the smaller states he won.

OBAMA WON SUPER TUESDAY

He won the most states and the most delegates. Are you disappointed because he didn't sweep? Who thought that was even possible? Hillary was up 30 points in some of these places just last month.

Posted by: heatherk on February 6, 2008 at 11:40 AM | PERMALINK

I have heard this from several people, so I don't think you are alone. I think it comes from defending the Clintons for so long, esp. from the Media, that we loth to see the Chris Matthews say,"I told you so!"

Posted by: Chris on February 6, 2008 at 11:40 AM | PERMALINK

I really wish I could see a state-by-state breakdown of early v. same-day voter results. 4 states Clinton won (Arizona, California, Tennessee and especially Oklahoma) had Edwards votes of 4% and up, a clear indication that a lot of people voted there before he dropped out. One has to wonder how much the Obama surge showed up in primary day voting in those states, where the Edwards voters would have gone, and if any early Clinton voters had buyer's remorse somewhere along the line.

Posted by: Randy on February 6, 2008 at 11:41 AM | PERMALINK

Sorry, I found the article you posted to be oddly illogical and riddled with assertions which have little evidenciary support. Just look at the states to come. Next up is Louisiana. It's not a stretch so say Obama is gonna win that one. On the same day comes Washington, Nebraska, and the Virgin Islands. Wash and Neb are caucus states - Obama's done pretty good with that format.

After that comes Maine which is anyone's guess, but I'm betting Hillary.

Then comes DC, Maryland, and Virginia which I think all go Obama. Followed by Hawaii and Wisconsin. Two more wild cards.

In all likelihood, at the end of February, we'll be exactly where we are right now - a virtual tie. 447 delegates to go in Feb and it's not unreasonable, given the states involved, to suggest that Obama wins a majority. That doesn't sound like a fading candidacy to me.

But you know, punditry always suffers when odd little annoyances like Facts get in the way.

Posted by: Nobcentral on February 6, 2008 at 11:41 AM | PERMALINK

The only real "bad" outcome here is that the popular vote/delegates goes one way and the superdelegates go another. That will create a lot of bad blood among democrats and give the republicans and media a big hammer to whack democrats with.

Even though it's not exactly a "balanced" ticket, i left super tuesday feeling much more enthusiastic about clinton/obama 08.

Posted by: doug on February 6, 2008 at 11:41 AM | PERMALINK

So Obama had more pledged delegates going into this. He won more last night. He's going to win a bunch more this coming weekend, and the week after that looks good too. Once you get past Zogby and the exit polls, I would say that the mathematical narrative is not a bad narrative

This possible fact might be more impressive if Obama had actually won the popular vote. According to what Kevin posted earlier, Clinton won that vote, 49-48%.

So which is more important, the popular vote, or the pledged delegates, determined by mostly arcane and arbitrary rules? I'm going with the popular vote.

Posted by: frankly0 on February 6, 2008 at 11:43 AM | PERMALINK

I think Kevin had a taste of the feeling that motivates a large portion of Hillary supporters (excluding the 65+ year old whites and latinos, that's a whole different kettle of fish). I think Hillary voters are supporting her out of sympathy and pity. Not a great way to pick a president, but it is proving to be a very powerful force.

Whenever it looks like Obama is surging, going into New Hampshire and Feb 5th, many democrats start feeling sorry for Hillary and don't want to see her lose.

Obama had better be extremely careful not to make the slightest show of one-upping Hillary.

Posted by: jjmckim on February 6, 2008 at 11:44 AM | PERMALINK

Two more quick points:

1. Talk of "winning" states is important because for the most part the electorate is politically uneducated. PERCEPTION MATTERS. So yeah, maybe in the delegate count it doesn't matter much, but winners win in politics.

2. The talk about Obama not being able to win Latinos is silly. They said the same thing about women. Guess what? He closed the gender gap substantially. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/23006750/

Not doing great with Latinos yesterday doesn't mean he won't do great with Latinos tomorrow. Just means he's got his work cut out for him.

Posted by: Nobcentral on February 6, 2008 at 11:44 AM | PERMALINK

Actually, a great deal was made clear by yesterday's vote:

The Democratic ticket will include both Obama and Clinton.

Clinton proved that she is not the paper tiger Obamanians thought she might be; she is not a spent force, and her persona and her vision of governance are not going away.

Obama showed that he is not secondary to Clinton in any way; he can match her in any statistical measure. And as we already knew, Clinton without Obama is about as exciting to Dems as McCain is to the Republicans.

A ticket without both Clinton and Obama on it is doomed.

The only question now is who will be at the top.

Posted by: lampwick on February 6, 2008 at 11:46 AM | PERMALINK

I'm starting to get really pissed with BO's increasingly pious and sanctimonious supporters who say they'll vote 3rd party (even Rep) if he doesn't get the nomination.

First I've heard of this. Any articles you can point me to?

Purely unscientific, but reading the blogs, I see a lot more Obama voters who say they'll support Clinton than the other way around.

In any case, I'm confident the base will rally around the eventual nominee whoever it is -- assuming the more paranoid members of each side can keep their eyes on the prize and stop the quadrennial tradition of the circular firing squad.

Posted by: Jackson on February 6, 2008 at 11:46 AM | PERMALINK

Kevin would have to confirm, but I believe Inkblot is old enough in cat years.

Posted by: scruncher on February 6, 2008 at 11:46 AM | PERMALINK

brucds,

If Hillary gets the nomination, the Democratic party will continue to be the tepid, corporate-enabling, GOP-emulating piece of crap it's been since at least the Reagan years

You imply that Barack would be different. The same real powers supporting Hillary are also supporting Barack. A change of politicians will make no difference.

Posted by: Tripp on February 6, 2008 at 11:46 AM | PERMALINK

Did you say that OBAMA WON SUPER TUESDAY ?

Really ? HE WON SUPER TUESDAY ?

How could he possibly have managed to pull up 20-odd points in a few weeks to WIN SUPER TUESDAY when we have a political genius like "Frankly O" here endlessly repeating the mantra that he's an empty suit ? (I've started creeping to my computer in the dead of night and reading those "Frankly O" comments when I've got insomnia. Works really well.)

Posted by: brucds on February 6, 2008 at 11:46 AM | PERMALINK

There is one thing about the Obama/Hillary campaigns that I do like. When they try to go negative on each other it seems to backfire by creating cross-sympathies!

Posted by: Doc at the Radar Station on February 6, 2008 at 11:46 AM | PERMALINK

Objectively, as an Obamafan, I think we're doing well in the quest for the nomination.

My disappointment is partly demographic. I wanted us to break out of the Bradley-Jackson boxes; I wanted us to reach Hispanics and the non-black working class. We're not really doing that yet, and losing CA marks the fact.

But we are doing better among women than we were. And white-black polarization is clearly not the storyline anymore.

Posted by: Ted on February 6, 2008 at 11:47 AM | PERMALINK

It is a close race. Obama is (very slightly) winning and has money, the calendar, and momentum on his side. I agree w/ the other voters that your sympathy for Hillary is off-putting.

It is a close race, but it is Clinton who is winning. Only by excluding superdelegates can you claim that Obama is winning. You may not like the undemocratic nature of the superdelegate process, but their votes count just as much as delegates selected in the Obama-friendly (but short on democracy) caucuses. I'd say the momentum is most definitely on Clinton's side, after taking the glittering prize of California. The calendar is hardly more friendly to Obama, either, as the number of delegates awarded by caucus will begin to diminish, and the number of delegates awarded by primaries -- where he doesn't fare so well -- increases. Also, while February looks good for Obama, March and April don't.

A long hard slog doesn't favor insurgencies, because, by their very nature, such campaigns aren't kind to that ephemeral substance known as momentum.

Kevin, as usual, is exactly right.

Posted by: Jasper on February 6, 2008 at 11:47 AM | PERMALINK

If Chris Matthews and John Zogby had never been born, Obama would now be the prohibitive favorite for the Democratic nomination.

Posted by: lampwick on February 6, 2008 at 11:48 AM | PERMALINK

So Obama won more delegates and more states last night, but you agree with a Hillary supporter on a pro-Hillary site that Obama has lost the "Big Mo" because what? Losses in the big traditional Democratic states?

I also hit Talkleft for the Hillary spin, and hit Sully for the the Obama hype just like many of your readers. It's not confusion you're feeling, just the fact that this thing isn't decided yet. It's still a race.

The only thing you should be able to pull outa that muddled noggin of yours is that you are far more susceptible to media narratives and spin than you care to admit.

Me? I'm looking forward to the fact that my state (Washington) has a caucus this Saturday that will actually matter one way or the other. I like both candidates, and will have a blast at my caucus site.

Posted by: Sloegin on February 6, 2008 at 11:49 AM | PERMALINK

In the horserace sense, Hillary is several lengths ahead, and the finish line isn't that far away. Possibly Obama's velocity is a bit higher, but cathing up still seems unlikely.

I find myself thinking, that the only decent resolution to this split, is to have them both on the same ticket. Otherwise we are going to have on the on hand a large chunk of women who feel cheated, or if it breaks the other way, a large group of black, and younger voters who feel cheated.

Posted by: bigTom on February 6, 2008 at 11:51 AM | PERMALINK

Can someone reboot Swan? He's in a continuous "not the right time for a black man" loop.

[He has been moderated in the past and is on the verge of being moderated again.]

Posted by: Killjoy on February 6, 2008 at 11:51 AM | PERMALINK

"A change of politicians will make no difference."

That's Obama's message...he has no more illusions than you do and isn't selling any. That's why his message is directed to his supporters to get involved in efforts to change the system and don't assume that just electing him will work some magic, because it won't. The difference between electing Obama who in his soul still sees the world as a community organizer and Hillary who was a corporate lawyer and now functions as a standard Dem political hack who'll "work the sysem for us."

Posted by: brucds on February 6, 2008 at 11:51 AM | PERMALINK

"So which is more important, the popular vote, or the pledged delegates, determined by mostly arcane and arbitrary rules? I'm going with the popular vote."

Have you learned nothing from 2000??

Now, seriously, the popular vote is important, and arguably SHOULD be the real measure of whether a candidate wins or loses, but even there it was Hillary 49.7%, Obama 49.3%....hardly a definitive victory for Clinton.

Now if you look at Tuesday and determine the winner by the way victory truly is measured (i.e. DELEGATES), Obama wins by a similar small margin.

Posted by: Dan on February 6, 2008 at 11:52 AM | PERMALINK

Wow, only a pessimist would spin Super Tuesday as a disappointment for Obama. He came from 13 points down in Connecticut the day of the South Carolina primary to win the state. He made substantial gains with grassroots support in blue states that the awesome Clinton machine has worked for years.

You had to be a little breathless to buy Zogby's numbers; all the soundings from California pointed to a Hillary win: the default-candidate vote, the absentee vote, the women's vote, the Latino vote, the I'm-going-to-vote-for-Hillary-because-Jack-Nicholson-told-me-to vote, Obama's ground game in California, etc., etc. Obama was going to lose California; what's amazing is that he did as well as he did. It's all been up, up, up for Obama, and he still has the wind at his back.

Super Tuesday also reiterated the distaste for Hillary Clinton in red states telegraphed by the early endorsements for Obama by red state politicians. Who here wants to argue that New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, or California will go to McCain in the general?

Cheer up!

Posted by: Lucy on February 6, 2008 at 11:53 AM | PERMALINK

Jasper - You're right that March doesn't look as favorable but remember very recent history. South Carolina didn't look favorable on Jan 1 and Obama won going away. A lot can change in a month, especially when you win.

That's why I say Obama still has the momentum. He won states he was losing as recently as 3-5 days ago. And while Clinton got the shiny prize of Cali, she was supposed to win there, as well as NY, NJ, Mass, etc. Winning states you're supposed to win doesn't add to your momentum - it just ensures you don't lose whatever momentum you have ongoing.

Obama won big yesterday because he essentially made the loss of those big states irrelevant.

Posted by: Nobcentral on February 6, 2008 at 11:53 AM | PERMALINK

A ticket without both Clinton and Obama on it is doomed. The only question now is who will be at the top. -lampwick

I think you nailed it perfectly. That greatly reduces the possibility of either camp staying home for the general election. I think this is the DLC's plan. There had to have been an important sitdown that happened after the South Carolina primary with the negative campaigning where Edwards agreed to drop out and Obama/Hillary agreed to be civil.

Posted by: Doc at the Radar Station on February 6, 2008 at 11:53 AM | PERMALINK

Nisaco: " I think my generation's enthusiasm about Obama has merit that is worth paying attention to."

I agree. In the college town I live in, the energy from your generation's enthusiasm for Obama has been electric. I think last night was a big win for Obama. Yes, HRC won big states, but wow, MN? In my wine-sipping precinct, the vote was 330 votes for Obama, 105 votes for Clinton (75%-25%). And I was happy to cast a vote for Obama for the under 30's who are going to inherit this earth.

Obama's momentum was stopped last night??? Oh, give me a break. He came from behind and ended up with more delegates. He did better than anyone could expect.

Over the next month we will see some interesting dynamics from the candidates: Obama is going to have to reach out to the blue-collar Dems. He's going to have to address the charge that he is just hot-air & inspirational speaking. Clinton is going to need to go beyond the traditional Dem strongholds: Her strength is there because because they are loyal and because they are slower to adopt new ideas. But the new idea is Obama, and Clinton is going to see her current base erode gradually slip away as the blue-collar Dems realize its okay to go with Obama.

Posted by: PTate in MN on February 6, 2008 at 11:54 AM | PERMALINK

brucds,
You keep yammering and yammering and yammering about how Clinton did not read the NIE.

So I presume you must have? And that you based your decision to not vote the President the authority to go to war on the overwhelming evidence in that document that Saddam did not have weapons of mass destruction.

Your comments are rude and serve only to turn fence-sitters further away from Obama.

Posted by: optical weenie on February 6, 2008 at 11:55 AM | PERMALINK

I see Meyerson's point, but the variable we can't account for is what the impact would be in Ohio and even in Texas if Obama does run off several wins in a row beforehand--does "momentum" begin to work for him, even though it hasn't been much of a factor in the race to this point?

Posted by: Hyde on February 6, 2008 at 11:57 AM | PERMALINK

There is no Obama-Clinton ticket possibility. They have anti-thetical marketing. Hillary stands for years in Washington. Obama is the outsider campaigning against the establishment. I don't see him sacrificing that ideal if he loses this thing and I don't see Hillary's ego permitting her to be VP.

Posted by: Nobcentral on February 6, 2008 at 11:59 AM | PERMALINK

Same here. I voted for Obama, but rooted for Hillary. Two good candidates, but I decided that he had the edge because she will never get a break from the media. She still would win, I believe, because the general population doesn't listen to the political pundits like we do. However, the moderate Republicans will not be able to support her in Congress while they might get away with exhibiting some rational behavior if Obama is president. I think that if everything else were equal, she'd make a better executive, but everything else isn't equal.

I do believe that she will have to offer the VP slot to her opponent, if she gets the nomination. I don't think that he will need to or that he would be able to do so. OTOH, we know that Hillary has got a proven track record of forgiveness....

I really wanted to see Hillary stay out of the race, because I hated the prospect of hearing her getting kicked around again.

Posted by: J Bean on February 6, 2008 at 11:59 AM | PERMALINK

Yes- let's do have another sympathy vote for Hillary. It's hard to say good-bye to old friends. That's why we have term limits. Exactly why Hillary's run is a bad idea. People can't separate what they feel and think about her apart from their past roll as President and First Lady. The very set up is corrupting to the democratic process. Yikes Kevin.

Oh, and by the way - the media is beginning to ask whether Hillary is self funding? Wolfson won't say. Sure. If yes, with what money? How much has Bill made inthe last 8 years? Doing what?

http://www.politico.com/blogs/bensmith/0208/A_question_from_Halperin.html#comments

Posted by: C.B. on February 6, 2008 at 12:00 PM | PERMALINK

So I presume you must have? And that you based your decision to not vote the President the authority to go to war on the overwhelming evidence in that document that Saddam did not have weapons of mass destruction.

Your comments are rude and serve only to turn fence-sitters further away from Obama.

Posted by: optical weenie on February 6, 2008 at 11:55 AM | PERMALINK

Sorry, but this comment is flatly unintelligent. HRC voted for the Iraq resolution to appear strong - she triangulated and it backfired. This IS a relevant consideration for voters - no matter how much HRC kool-aid you've drank.

My view is HRC is great for domestic policy but would be an unmitigated foreign policy disaster. I could be wrong - but based on what we've seen, she's hawkish and more pro-war than I'm comfortable with. And yeah, not reading the NIE, voting for Iraq, voting for the Iran resolution, etc - all factor into my decision.

Posted by: Nobcentral on February 6, 2008 at 12:03 PM | PERMALINK

I think it comes from defending the Clintons for so long, esp. from the Media, that we loth to see the Chris Matthews say,"I told you so!"

This suggests one problem with a long primary struggle. For me, the Reagan/Pro-Choice distortions severely damaged my Clinton Defense Mechanism. I would support Hillary in the general but with the way the Clintons burn through political capital, our C.D.M.s will need to be at full strength just to get a few progressive changes.

Posted by: ao on February 6, 2008 at 12:04 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin should be forced to write that post again. What incoherent babble. Although to be fair, it was that kind of night.
Whatever candidate you're for (unless it's Romney,) last night left you feeling like

...yay?

Posted by: Cazart on February 6, 2008 at 12:04 PM | PERMALINK

Super Tuesday was enough of a wash that it almost gives the campaign a new start, meaning that this is the first election in a long time where the later primaries could be more decisive than the earlier primaries.

Will the DNS let Florida and Michigan vote again?

Posted by: PE on February 6, 2008 at 12:06 PM | PERMALINK

J Bean --

Why do you think "moderate Republicans" would have more difficulty working with Hillary Clinton than with Obama? Her record in the senate indicates otherwise.

Posted by: mary on February 6, 2008 at 12:07 PM | PERMALINK

I just can't get behind the "new" conventional wisdom that the longer this goes on, the better for Obama. I understand the point, but I don't see Obama cutting into Clinton's led enough to make the difference. At some point, Obama runs out of possible states to win. If he had won Massachusetts, New Jersey, or California...states that supposedly he had caught up to Clinton, it'd be a different story. But right now, I agree with Kevin. It feels like he caught close, damn close, but just missed and now there's not enough room to make it up and ALSO get some distance between himself and Clinton. I know in the end iIt will still be close, but close doesn't count, and I'm thinking the nomination goes to Clinton....the "good 'ol boy", the Dem whose "turn it is".

Posted by: Quinn on February 6, 2008 at 12:07 PM | PERMALINK

DNC, I meant.

Posted by: PE on February 6, 2008 at 12:07 PM | PERMALINK

My girlfriend says Hillary will win on the Latino vote.

Look at California, race IS coming into play.

Posted by: dontcallmefrancis on February 6, 2008 at 12:08 PM | PERMALINK

The kind of charge Hillary got from results yesterday will be good for her internet fundraising, mark my words ('yeah, we can do it, we're underdogs' - that's a message that brings money).

Conversely, Obama's results will not drown him in money ('hey, I thought we already had this wrapped up' - a shadow of frustration, does not open the wallet as wide).

So don't make too much of the Jan. cash disparity.

Posted by: lampwick on February 6, 2008 at 12:09 PM | PERMALINK

Quinn - You may very well be right, but not for the reasons you identify. Obama can win the following states in February:

Louisiana
Virginia
DC
Maryland
Nebraska
Washington
Maine

These states are toss ups or unknowns:

Hawaii
Wisconsin

I don't see any clear wins on the rest of the Feb calender for Clinton. If Obama sweeps the rest of Feb, this thing is over.

My point being (aside from glue sniffing predictions) is that there are plenty of states left that he can win. He may not win them. He may not get over the hump. But he has an excellent shot and a lot will be determined by how he gets his message out and how strong his ground game is.

Posted by: Nobcentral on February 6, 2008 at 12:11 PM | PERMALINK

That's why I say Obama still has the momentum. He won states he was losing as recently as 3-5 days ago. And while Clinton got the shiny prize of Cali, she was supposed to win there, as well as NY, NJ, Mass, etc.

A number of polls had Obama winning California. He lost. Decisively. A number of polls had things very close, too, in Massachusetts, New York, and New Jersey. Again, Obama suffered double digit losses in these Democratic heartlands. I think if he had won the states he did last night, and lost narrowly in those large Northeastern states and California, he'd be sailing to the nomination.

Obama won big yesterday because he essentially made the loss of those big states irrelevant.

Obama didn't win big yesterday. He stayed alive because of his ability to fill smaller state caucuses with his high energy political insurgents. He didn't do so well in those mass consumer marketing phenomena known as primaries. I still don't know if he's yet managed to take his first "win" among white voters in a primary outside of his home state. Not a great sign if your goal is beating Republicans in November. Oh, and his Big Liberal Establishment endorsements turned out to be incredibly lame, just as I thought. Contemporary voters don't let their betters tell them who to vote for.

Posted by: Jasper on February 6, 2008 at 12:11 PM | PERMALINK

I actually think Obama has momentum now. He did better in some states than others. Next week he has three friendly states coming up that he can win which should lead to some positive movement on his part - LA, WA and NE. I've been hearing that a big difference in the voting was the early absentee votes that were sent for Clinton before Obama started to catch fire. This is a long and fun race. It's exciting to see a good race of great candidates rather than the duds that we had in 2004 which came down to a contest of mediocrity.

Posted by: mark on February 6, 2008 at 12:12 PM | PERMALINK

"brucds,
You keep yammering and yammering and yammering about how Clinton did not read the NIE.

So I presume you must have?"

I knew from reading extensively the news that was available at the time that the Iraq war was unnecessary, totally hyped and a potential disaster being ginned up by Bush and the neo-cons. Hillary Clinton - and the rest of them in Congress who fell in line - did their country the ultimate disservice. If you think that's "rude" of me, what the hell do you call this damned war that Clinton enabled ?

And as for "rudeness" the outright lies - like the bit about Michelle Obama supposedly refusing to support the '08 Dem nominee I read abouve - and the hysterical venom sputtering out of NOW are about as "rude" as it gets. The Clinton camp increasingly disgusts me, and I went into this thing with no hard feelings. They've reminded me just what a bad deal Clinton ("The Era of Big Government Is Over!") was for the Democrats as a party. At least Hillary hasn't presided over any executions of mentally disabled people in her zeal for the presidency, unlike Big Dog.

Posted by: brucds on February 6, 2008 at 12:12 PM | PERMALINK

PTate in MN: the new idea is Obama

Agreed, but what is the new idea? I think frankly0's characterization of Obama as the Rorschach candidate is right on target.

It's not that I'm a big Hillary fan. I, to my suprise, slightly favor her, but only because she's the lesser evil remaining. Obama, methinks, is a crap shoot. Maybe that's the way to go. Who knows, maybe we'll get lucky.

Obama: gives pretty speeches.

Hillary: doesn't track to the right quite as much as Obama.

Both are thoroughly bought and paid for faux Democrats. How can anyone have great enthusiasm for either of these candidates?

Posted by: alex on February 6, 2008 at 12:13 PM | PERMALINK

lampwick, no way. Obama supporters pony up after every primary or caucus regardless of outcome.

Obama loses California? Watch the donations pour in.

Posted by: Lucy on February 6, 2008 at 12:14 PM | PERMALINK

The kind of charge Hillary got from results yesterday will be good for her internet fundraising, mark my words ('yeah, we can do it, we're underdogs' - that's a message that brings money).

Conversely, Obama's results will not drown him in money ('hey, I thought we already had this wrapped up' - a shadow of frustration, does not open the wallet as wide).

So don't make too much of the Jan. cash disparity.

Posted by: lampwick on February 6, 2008 at 12:09 PM | PERMALINK

Whatever you're smoking, I gotta get some.

Posted by: Nobcentral on February 6, 2008 at 12:14 PM | PERMALINK

Obama won Boston because he got the black vote.

Obama won in places like Idaho and N. Dakota because the Democrats there are conservatives who hate of Hillary.

Clinton won in rural MA and NH because the Democrats of New England have a difficult time voting for an African American. She will win Maine.

The Missouri voting was interesting. Almost a split but a slight margin of victory for Obama. The prejudice against the Clintons seems to be greater than the prejudice against race. Louisiana, Maryland, Virginia, Kentucky and N. Carolina will probably break for Obama because the Democrats are conservatives and Hillary haters. PA and OH could be like Missouri. Texas might be the deal maker. Will Texan bigots or will Texan Hillary haters prevail? Or will the yellow rose vote give Hillary the win?

Posted by: Brojo on February 6, 2008 at 12:15 PM | PERMALINK

I think to some extent left-liberals and hipsters have come to think of Obama as "their" candidate. So identity politics came into play there- people felt like Obama was who they were "supposed" to be voting for, but when they really think about it, they may not like the choice as much.

Also, the media really worked for a long time on telling people that "everyone" hates Hillary. It goes down to the level of detail of female talking heads suddenly turning their pleasant voices shrill when they talk about Hillary- it's noticeable. At any point, anybody could have looked at some polls online and noticed it's not true at all- Hillary has always been as popular as any other candidate for President. But I think people heard the lines so often they started to believe them, and not think it was just the media and a few angry white males who want to turn out country into a strange place none of us have ever been to before who hate Hillary. So part of why they voted for Barack is they felt comfortable that no one was going to like Hillary in the end anyway. Now they confront the Super Tuesday numbers and they realize that's not true. And it encourages them to turn to Hillary even more, because it shows them that all the talk about Hillary being unpopular really has been some kind of hanky panky going on.

[You have made the same point ad nauseum. If you have nothing new to add, would you please cease and desist? --Mod]

Posted by: Swan on February 6, 2008 at 12:15 PM | PERMALINK

Enough with this "closing the gap" and "catching up"... Obama caught up last night. The gap is even. They are practically neck and neck in the delegate count.

Think of it as the Primary Season beginning right now with both of them at 0 and having to get to about 400 delegates... Then look at the states on the way... I think last night was HUGE for Obama. Hillary's only chance was to be about 100 delegates ahead today and she isn't...

Posted by: heatherk on February 6, 2008 at 12:15 PM | PERMALINK

Armando's post is silly--it reads like something Mark Penn could have written, spin with very little substance. The numbers behind his claims absolutely don't add up:

There are 596 delegates at stake between now and March 4th. That's more than Texas, Ohio, and Pennsylvania COMBINED.

By all accounts (including those of the Clinton camp) Obama should dominate the next two weeks. I'm guessing he goes into March 4th with a lead of 100 or more pledged delegates (if that seems like an overestimate, go look at the races state-by-state). Even the most optimistic Clinton prediction doesn't have her winning by THAT much on March 4th.

Posted by: Adam on February 6, 2008 at 12:15 PM | PERMALINK

Obama won more states and more delegates and the popular vote was within half a percentage point. And the states in play were very friendly to her geographically and demographically. AND Obama was behind by double digits as recently as mid-January.

Sorry, but the efforts of Clinton supporters to spin this as anything other than a devastating loss are pathetic.

Posted by: Joe on February 6, 2008 at 12:17 PM | PERMALINK

Someone pointed out that "Obama won states that will not be the democrats column on November 4, 2008."

This, I think, is very important.

What we have to focus on is making sure that we do not end up with President McCain in the White House.

In a race against McCain, Obama will lose much of the support he had last night from more conservative and libertarian Democrats--mainly white men. They will see McCain as a war hero, as someone who has been "tested"-- a patriot, and also someone independent enough to stand up to his own party. These voters can be persuaded that we can still win the war in Iraq--that pulling out would be a humiliating defeat for the U.S.

In addition to winning white men, McCain will take many older voters (say voters over 45 or 50). To them, McCain will seem more substantial--a man vs. Obama an untested boy. Finally, some blue-collar and lower-middle-class workers will vote for McCain the war hero.

Women would vote for Obama--voting against McCain's hawkiness. And he would have the African-American vote. I don't think Latinos would come out for him in large numbers.

In a race between McCain and Obama, I think McCain would take much of Obama's vote in the flyover states--and McCain could win.

In a race between HRC and McCain, Hillary takes the women, the traditional liberal Democrats, low-income voters, Hispanics and African Americans who, I think would come out for her in large numbers. She would also take many older voters.
I think Hillary would win.


Posted by: maggie mahar on February 6, 2008 at 12:17 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, and ten days ago--heck, TWO days ago, I'd have been absolutely incredulous at a prediction of an Obama delegate win, however small. He scored a big upset yesterday.

I'm pretty surprised that the Clinton camp is doing so well in the spin/expectations game this morning. Obama outperformed his polling averages in most places, while she underperformed hers. But somehow the fact that he underperformed compared to a tiny set of outlier polls that were clearly overly favorable to him means that his results were "disappointing?" Silly.

Posted by: Adam on February 6, 2008 at 12:19 PM | PERMALINK

jjmckim, you're missing the dynamic: it's not out of sympathy and pity that people are supporting Hillary, it's out of spite. Voting for Hillary is an act of kicking every Hillary-hating pundit and loud-mouthed right-wing uncle in the teeth, akin to how people might vote for Bush to "get back at those coastal liberal elites!"

Posted by: Tyro on February 6, 2008 at 12:20 PM | PERMALINK

Jasper said:
A number of polls had Obama winning California. He lost. Decisively. A number of polls had things very close, too, in Massachusetts, New York, and New Jersey. Again, Obama suffered double digit losses in these Democratic heartlands. I think if he had won the states he did last night, and lost narrowly in those large Northeastern states and California, he'd be sailing to the nomination.

Yeah - Zogby had Obama ahead in a number of polls in California. The trend line though said Zogby was wrong (again). One poll had Obama ahead in Mass while EVERY OTHER said he would lose by a wide margin. EVERY poll had him losing by a lot in NY. And ONLY Zogby had him tied in NJ. NONE of those wins by Hillary were upsets. She should have won those states and she did.

But you're right - would have been better to lose by narrow margins in those states. Just as it would have been better for Hillary to lose by narrow margins in Georgia, Alabama, Illinois, etc.

Posted by: Nobcentral on February 6, 2008 at 12:20 PM | PERMALINK

Lets put it this way: 2 weeks ago, Obama was behind by 20 points in 9 of the 14 states he won last night. Lets not pretend that TX, OH, and PN are all going to stay with Clinton. We've seen a lot of states that initially looked solidly Clinton that have switched to Obama, and if he even splits the delegates in those states he'll win in the back of his delegate majority before hand.

Clinton really did need to take the lead last night, and President Obama is looking a lot more likely today than he did yesterday.

Posted by: Soullite on February 6, 2008 at 12:21 PM | PERMALINK

Louisiana, Maryland, Virginia, Kentucky and N. Carolina will probably break for Obama because the Democrats are conservatives and Hillary haters.

Maryland's Democrats are conservative? News to us.

OTOH, I do know many progressives who are rabidly anti-Hillary.

Posted by: Sojourner on February 6, 2008 at 12:28 PM | PERMALINK

Jasper -

Let's also not forget that SuperDelegates are a fickle bunch and tend to vote the way the people go (Bill Clinton's excluded). If Obama does sweep February, it will be very difficult for HRC to count on her SuperD count.

Also, now that McCain is the clear favorite for the other side, that's going to impact the races going forward. I can see it making a difference in states where the public believes Obama would more handily defeat McCain (Wash State, for ex).

Posted by: Nobcentral on February 6, 2008 at 12:30 PM | PERMALINK

Wisconsin is a wine track state? Ha.This state from north to south is as solidly blue collar as any state in this country. You just go right ahead and try to figure out where Wisconsinites will vote, and good luck to you. Remember that this state voted out Joseph McCarthy and replaced him with William Proxmire. Feingold is from Wisconsin, we have a long history of defying the "conventional" wisdom, whatever the heck that is.

Posted by: REN on February 6, 2008 at 12:32 PM | PERMALINK

"are you forgetting about superdelegates?"

Do you honestly think that the superdelegates will vote in a way that upsets the decision reached by the pledged delegates?

Please. Even a moron knows that if Barack wins in pledged delegates but Hilary is selected through the will of the superdelegates, the press will paint the result as so nefarious that McCain will win the general election in a landslide.

And by the way, I find it very hard to believe that the Clintons' spin is "well, Barack may win among the delegates selected by primary/caucus, but Hialry is going to win because of the powers-that-be in the Democratic party will override those results." That is beyond pathetic. It smacks of a banana republic to me.

I like Hilary, but if there is anything that would make me consider voting for McCain or a third party, it is the idea that she is counting on the party establishment to override the votes of Democratic primary/caucus voters.

Posted by: Joe on February 6, 2008 at 12:34 PM | PERMALINK

Obama effectively tied with Clinton on Super Tuesday. He had to make up a big deficit in a great many states in a short time period. He didn't everywhere (NY, NJ, MA, CA, for instance), but did in enough other places to basically tie in popular vote and delegates.

The key question seems to me whether he can do even better from here on out when he and his operation have more time to devote to individual states. IA and SC indicate they can, NH and NV suggest otherwise. Of course those votes all came with Edwards still in the race, so we'll see.

Even the best case scenario for Obama that I can foresee has them going to the convention, with the superdelegates making the decision. If he can win most of the states here on out, win some big ones (TX, OH, PN) and some others decisively, he's got a good shot. Otherwise, Clinton probably wins with the superdelegates and possibly with her play for FL and MI.

Posted by: mrsaturdaypants on February 6, 2008 at 12:34 PM | PERMALINK

maggie mahar: What we have to focus on is making sure that we do not end up with President McCain in the White House.

Good point. Whichever (faux) Democrat is nominated, they should take a tip from Eisenhower's 1952 campaign. The Dem candidate was Stevenson, but Ike ran a campaign against the outgoing Truman, who was horribly unpopular at the time.

Emphasize how bad Bush was, and how much McCain sucked up to him and his policies.

Posted by: alex on February 6, 2008 at 12:34 PM | PERMALINK

Just when I thought I'd heard every bit of nonsense possible coming from Camp Clinton, Mark Penn - yes, Mark Penn! - calls Obama "the establishment candidate." Fortunately Mark, et.al change their scripts and didn't call him the "cokehead establishment candidate who's another Jesse Jackson."

Posted by: brucds on February 6, 2008 at 12:37 PM | PERMALINK

"The other thing inside my head that I didn't expect was that as the results came in, I found myself sort of rooting for Hillary. Why? Buyer's remorse? Rooting for the underdog? Guilt for having "betrayed" her by voting for Obama? A feeling that although I preferred Obama, I really didn't want to see Hillary humiliated? I think the last one is it, though I really don't know. The human mind is a devious little lump of protoplasm, isn't it?"

Humiliation???? You have GOT to be joking! The woman has already lived a remarkably charmed life--no, make that lived enough for SEVERAL charmed lifetimes--and you feel guilt and betrayal over voting for someone who has inspired the next generation--who will need all the resources they can muster in dealing with increasingly complex issues--to become engaged, empowered and involved?
Get your priorities straight!
In my opinion, it's all the women supporters of Clinton who should feel guilty for placing their own need for a woman president in '08 over their children's enthusiasm for the whole political process and the future.

Posted by: Varecia on February 6, 2008 at 12:42 PM | PERMALINK

This is idiotic. At some point momentum gives way to mathematics. Obviously it depends on whether superdelegates will buck the pledged delegate majority, but you have to remember that they're not committed yet and can change their support at any time. Obama won more pledged delegates yesterday. The way this is going, Clinton supporters will be saying right up to the floor count, "Well, sure he might be elected as the nominee by a majority of the delegates, but she won the big states and he doesn't have the momentum!"

Posted by: SP on February 6, 2008 at 12:43 PM | PERMALINK

Just getting caught up on Super Tuesday coverage. A friend just sent me this link to a Mike Allen Politico story, about BHO winning more delegates.

Obama astutely, nevertheless, claims this morning that Hillary is the front-runner for reasons most of us can now recite in our sleep: well-honed Clinton machine, name recognition, etc. Agree that subtext of pity/obligation also feeds into a weird electoral dynamic

Posted by: paxr55 on February 6, 2008 at 12:44 PM | PERMALINK

Tyro,

I think you are right. There is definitely a feeling of not wanting to see Matthews or Limbaugh gloat. Of wanting to see the mouth-breathers go crazy.

The paradox is that a Hillary win would be beneficial to the Republicans and the Limbaugh Right. Out of sympathy, pity, and spite the Democrats might reward the mouth-breathers.

I've never bought too much into the "new politics" argument, but it is starting to make more sense. Picking a President out of spite for your political opponents and a sense of vengeance is old.

Posted by: jjmckim on February 6, 2008 at 12:44 PM | PERMALINK

Adam: "I'm pretty surprised that the Clinton camp is doing so well in the spin/expectations game this morning. "

The name is this thread is "on the couch again" as KD and others discover that while they voted for Obama, they don't have a killer instinct towards Clinton. The media are no different. They want a two person race to sell ad time.

Posted by: PTate in MN on February 6, 2008 at 12:46 PM | PERMALINK

I flirted with voting Obama for a long time but concluded that Clinton, despite her crazy husband, is just the more solid candidate. She really earned my vote.

Obama is the hail-mary pass president, Clinton is the (proven) running game president.

And Obama needs to write a new speech one of these days (sorry guys, but he's getting repetitive.)

Posted by: AF on February 6, 2008 at 12:48 PM | PERMALINK

Clinton is the PASSING game president, not the running game president.

Posted by: AF on February 6, 2008 at 12:50 PM | PERMALINK

wonkie:

The goal is not for me to get my choice in the primaries or for you to get yours. The goal is to get a good Democrat into the Presidency.

Wrong, and let me tell you why. Many Democrats chose Kerry over Dean, or Edwards, for that matter, because he was considered more "electable." In the end, the anti-war base (or, as Dean put it, the Democratic wing of the Dem. party), couldn't get excited enough to turn out and vote for Kerry. If you convince Hillary supporters to choose Barack because he's more electable, in the general, their hearts won't be in it, and the base won't turn out in sufficient numbers. I think either Hillary or Barack would win, but who knows. The tact to use is, convince HRC supporters why Obama is better - otherwise, it becomes a sterile, calculated choice, as opposed to one made from the heart.. I would say something like, Obama has and will have advisers from the same pool as Hillary's.. basically, he wants to solve the same problem as Hillary, but he brings a fresh set of eyes to the problem. You know how sometimes you just can't figure something out, and a fresh set of eyes spots the solution right away? That's the reason why a Hillary supporter should go for Obama. Not because he's more electable.

Posted by: Andy on February 6, 2008 at 12:51 PM | PERMALINK

One point I think is important, and nobody but my political junkie wife has picked up on, is in the speeches everyone made last night Obama was only one who expressed concern for the storm victims in Tennessee and Arkansas. To me that what a President does.


Posted by: Zygmund Zee on February 6, 2008 at 12:52 PM | PERMALINK

Just about the stupidest thing Obama has done is to attempt to use healthcare as a wedge issue between him and Hillary.

Hillary already has problems simply because she failed the last time. And Obama is actually attacking her from the right, using Harry & Louise type tactics.

All of which makes those of us who remain Democrats primarily because of healthcare very nervous.

Posted by: Duncan Kinder on February 6, 2008 at 12:52 PM | PERMALINK

I voted for Hillary, expecting Obama to win, but wanting to pressure Obama to get off the Kumbaya and start making specific statements about policy. At this point, I think Clinton has a better grasp of SSI & Healthcare.

Posted by: jerry on February 6, 2008 at 12:53 PM | PERMALINK

Hillary expressed concern for the strom victims in her speech last night.

Posted by: Brojo on February 6, 2008 at 12:56 PM | PERMALINK

I think the Strom victims mostly voted for Obama in SC.

Posted by: Hyde on February 6, 2008 at 1:00 PM | PERMALINK

I’m idealistic too, but….

Obama’s success in the deep red states won’t help in the general election.

Clinton took all the big blue states (except IL) and some of the key swing states (FL, MI, AZ, AR, NV). It looks like she’s well on her way to winning the popular vote of the blue state dem base.

Even if Obama gains a technical lead in the delegate count, would it be wise to spurn our blue state base?

I think we all agree that either Obama or Clinton could take McCain one-on-one, but a McCain/Huckabee ticket could be very dangerous. The religious right would be closer to the presidency than ever; one heart-clutching moment, or the presumptive front-runner in a term or two.

Is it time to call for a Clinton/Obama ticket?

Obama in 2016!

Posted by: Biscuit on February 6, 2008 at 1:05 PM | PERMALINK
I think the Strom victims mostly voted for Obama in SC.

Hyde, FTW.

Posted by: kenga on February 6, 2008 at 1:07 PM | PERMALINK

"A feeling that although I preferred Obama, I really didn't want to see Hillary humiliated? I think the last one is it, though I really don't know. The human mind is a devious little lump of protoplasm, isn't it?"

Come on Kevin, admit it, you have the hots for her!
It's OK. I also think she's kinda cute. (Though I thought the same about Monica, so I guess Bill and I have some things in common.)

Posted by: Maynard Handley on February 6, 2008 at 1:11 PM | PERMALINK

I think the Strom victims mostly voted for Obama in SC.

Yes, I'm sure that's it - all those Tennesseans and Arkansans and Kentuckyans and Mississippians that voted in South Carolina's Democratic primary brought the wrath of God...

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on February 6, 2008 at 1:14 PM | PERMALINK

Clinton is the PASSING game president, not the running game president.

Posted by: AF on February 6, 2008 at 12:50 PM | PERMALINK

I have no idea what this means. I thought Defense won championships.

Posted by: Nobcentral on February 6, 2008 at 1:16 PM | PERMALINK

Kansas and Arkansas have 32 and 35 delegates, respectively.

Kansas is a caucus and Arkansas is a primary.

Turnout for Kansas was 30,000 (there were only 50 caucus sites and the whole process took hours), turnout for Arkansas was 250,000.

The whole concept of caucuses is bollocks.

Obama won all the caucus states, but lost most of the primaries.

Posted by: Jonathan on February 6, 2008 at 1:25 PM | PERMALINK

maggie mahar: In a race between McCain and Obama, I think McCain would take much of Obama's vote in the flyover states--and McCain could win.

In a race between HRC and McCain, Hillary takes the women, the traditional liberal Democrats, low-income voters, Hispanics and African Americans who, I think would come out for her in large numbers. She would also take many older voters.

This post by maggie mahar is one of the few arguing for Hillary over Obama against McCain that's given me pause. Both Obama and McCain would appeal to the center, and McCain could have the advantage for all the reasons maggie explained.

Upon closer inspection, though, I would say Obama takes a great many "traditional liberal Democrats" as well (where else would they go?). Not sure if Hillary can count on an outpouring of support from African Americans in the general after a bruising primary battle against Obama.

Americans want out of Iraq. "Peace with honor" may not fly this time around, and if voters remain strongly opposed to the war Obama is the better candidate.

Also, imagine a Hillary/McCain in the general election image contest. McCain is a much better and more amiable speaker than Hillary and has far more authority. She could squash him on the economy (a biggie, to be sure) and maybe education, but that's about it. McCain will torpedo health care with scare tactics. Hillary has no credibility on the war. She'll have no traction against him on immigration or the national debt. Of course the media will side with McCain. Then there's Hillary-hatred across the land.

So, I'm not convinced that Hillary would be a stronger candidate than Obama against McCain.

Andy: In the end, the anti-war base (or, as Dean put it, the Democratic wing of the Dem. party), couldn't get excited enough to turn out and vote for Kerry.

Really? Do you have evidence to back this one up?

Posted by: Lucy on February 6, 2008 at 1:27 PM | PERMALINK

I just wanted to point out, that if it gets that far (and how cool would that be, as NC hasn't had a meaningful vote in the national primary in ages, if ever), Obama led Clinton in North Carolina in the latest SUSA poll. Of course, that included 21% support for Edwards, and it's hard to predict how that would shake out. But I don't think North Carolina could be said to lean to Hillary right now. And North Carolina, like Georgia is a "big state" that a lot of people don't realize is big. (It's also trending blue.) Both Georgia and NC (#9 and #10 in population), in fact, are now larger than New Jersey or Massachusetts.

Posted by: Neil on February 6, 2008 at 1:29 PM | PERMALINK

"in the speeches everyone made last night Obama was only one who expressed concern for the storm victims"

Since I get terribly annoyed at all of the deliberate mischaracterizations that flow from Camp Clinton here, I'll point out that's not accurate. Hillary expressed concern for the storm victims as well.

Posted by: brucds on February 6, 2008 at 1:30 PM | PERMALINK

Obama may be slightly behind in delegates, but he's winning the popular vote. According to CNN's most recent numbers (1:15 EDT)*:

Obama: 7,859,361
Clinton: 7,757,382

If nothing else, this could be an indicator of how remaining superdelegates might break, since they might be reluctant to overturn the popular will of the party. (Or, they might not. Who knows?) In any case, a 100,000 lead in the popular vote at this stage is a strong sign for Obama.

*Note: I imputed numbers for Iowa and Nevada based on attendance and vote share, since those two report only precincts and not individual vote tallies.

Posted by: Jeffrey on February 6, 2008 at 1:31 PM | PERMALINK

I have no idea what this means. I thought Defense won championships.
Posted by: Nobcentral

In football??!! Ever heard that the best defense is a good offense? Take a look at the 49ers and the west coast offense under Walsh, with Montana, Rice, and Clark--that's what passing can do. And I assume that's the analogy that was being made upthread to the Obama campaign.

Hey BGRS!! New computer up and running?

Posted by: cyntax on February 6, 2008 at 1:31 PM | PERMALINK

"Clinton is the running game...no...PASSING game president."

Apparently she's the sports analogies president !
Which is why I voted for a guy who doesn't lend himself to bad metaphors and whose main relationship to sports is that he actually is good at one.

Posted by: brucds on February 6, 2008 at 1:37 PM | PERMALINK

The basic lesson from the last few weeks is that there is no such thing as momentum. And that's a good thing. It's another way of saying "the voters make up their own minds."

Iowa didn't determine New Hampshire which didn't determine South Carolina which didn't determine Florida and on and on. I mean, look: Obama took 74% of the vote in Kansas and 31% of the vote in Oklahoma. I'm an ignorant Californian, but those two states look awfully similar to me in many ways (I'm prepared to be totally corrected here). If two neighboring states differ so wildly, why would we think that anything that happened yesterday by itself has any meaning for Virginia, Ohio, Texas, and so on?

The truth is that both campaigns are closely matched in the results so far and they're going to go to each state and sell themselves as best they can. The voters of those states will make up their minds. In the end, one candidate may win more delegates than the other.

Why don't we just let the process unfold without making up all these imaginary vectors?

Posted by: santamonicamr on February 6, 2008 at 1:40 PM | PERMALINK

Even if Obama gains a technical lead in the delegate count, would it be wise to spurn our blue state base?

A technical lead in the delegate count? Perhaps the Giants should turn over their Super Bowl trophy, too - after all, despite a technical lead in points scored, New England really had the better season.

Is Frankly0 now posting as Biscuit?

Posted by: sstuck in 200 on February 6, 2008 at 1:43 PM | PERMALINK

BGRS is back! YEAH!

Posted by: optical weenie on February 6, 2008 at 1:43 PM | PERMALINK

Santamonicamr - Inkblot would like to remind you that imaginary vectors are called Poynting Vectors. Remember this is a high brow blog.

Posted by: optical weenie on February 6, 2008 at 1:46 PM | PERMALINK

Thank you! The new computer arrived yesterday. The timing of the delivery is all that made it possible for me to keep my vow to refrain from wading in until Super Tuesday was behind us - of course I promptly commented only minutes after midnight....

It's good to be back, and thanks to everyone! You guys rock!

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on February 6, 2008 at 1:47 PM | PERMALINK

Am I the only one who finds Obama's "change" theme annoying?
His actual positions on the issues indicate to me that he would not effect change on our country much different than Hillary. (Edwards' positions reflect true change.) Is O's "change" theme more a hidden emphasis on the symbolism of electing the first AA President, i.e. the "change" is due to what O is as an AA, not what he would do as President? Hillary may talk more hawkish but imho her effect on foreign policy would not differ much from Obama's. I don't like that H has not apologized for her AUMF vote but she is no more likely than O to start a war. Be real. Either candidate is going to experience a drawn-out, painful withdrawal from Iraq with Republicans painting them as weak on nat'l security and doing their best to blame Democrats for economic woes caused by the Bush administration. Either candidate's administration will promote a Democratic agenda & a more mature and rational vision of how to tackle problems vs a Republican administration. Choosing between the two is just a personal choice. H is more beholden to corporate interests, for now, but O will discover very quickly that he can't get anything done without playing the game. Edwards wanted to change the parameters of the game but he's gone.

Posted by: don'tknow on February 6, 2008 at 1:47 PM | PERMALINK

Neil, that's a good point about Georgia and North Carolina. Virginia is nearly as big. Although because those states don't vote Democratic, they are not as heavily represented at the convention as places like Massachusetts.

I'd be surprised if Obama didn't win North Carolina. Where his work is cut out will be Ohio and Pennsylvania.

Posted by: Hyde on February 6, 2008 at 2:00 PM | PERMALINK

Just a non-aligned note:

As a former hs government teacher - I sure love this! Makes me almost wish I was back in the classroom - almost.

And for the most part, I really enjoy the give and take here. Frankly(), we have been on the same side on many discussions and I have often looked foreward to your input. I wish you could convince me to support HRC by building up Hillary instead of attacking Barak.

Until then, I will really enjoy voting for Barak in a Texas primary when the contest is still in question.

Democracy can be maddening, yet it sure can be a lot of fun when done right.

A partisan thought

Posted by: Keith G on February 6, 2008 at 2:04 PM | PERMALINK
…. I think Hillary voters are supporting her out of sympathy and pity. ….jjmckim at 11:44 AM….it's out of spite. …Tyro at 12:20 PM
You can think whatever you wish, but you'd be wrong. Health care and Social Security are serious issues.
….I see a lot more Obama voters who say they'll support Clinton than the other way around….Jackson at 11:46 AM
Then you haven't been paying attention. Obama himself has commented that his people may not support Clinton. "I am confident I will get her votes if I'm the nominee," Obama stressed. "It's not clear she would get the votes I got if she were the nominee." spource
If Chris Matthews and John Zogby had never been born, Obama would now be the prohibitive favorite for the Democratic nomination. lampwick at 11:48 AM
Isn't that the opposite? Both tout Obama, but Matthews is definitely a McCain guy, he just loves those manly-men, their smell, their manly package.
Super Tuesday also reiterated the distaste for Hillary Clinton in red …Lucy at 11:53 AM
What it did mostly was show how ineffectual big name endorsements were. You were so excited by Kerry, the Kennedys and Shriver yet they all came up naught. Do you seriously think that any Democrat will win a Southern state or Utah? The results show that Obama, whatever he may be, is not the darling of the working man.
….Look at California, race IS coming into play. dontcallmefrancis at 12:08 PM
Are you saying it didn't in Southern states? From another commenter: 87% of black in Georgia voted for Obama (blacks make up 52% of electorate); 82% of blacks in Alabama (blacks make up 51% of electorate). In Illinois, 94% of blacks voted for him.
….it's good to be back… Blue Girl, Red State at 1:47 P
Welcome home Posted by: Mike on February 6, 2008 at 2:07 PM | PERMALINK

Do you seriously think that any Democrat will win a Southern state or Utah? The results show that Obama, whatever he may be, is not the darling of the working man.
Posted by: Mike

Well, from your post it's not clear that you've drawn this conclusion from looking at any exit polling data. I haven't either, but just to illustrate the importance of that data, let's consider that since Obama is winning in a lot of redstates that this could mean he'd get a lot of crossover/independent voters. So it'd be interesting to see how the people who voted for Clinton and Obama self identify themselves in various states. If Obama captured a larger slice of voters that consider themselves to be more moderate and or independent in the redstates, then this bodes well for his electability in those states in the GE, contrary to your conclusion.

Posted by: cyntax on February 6, 2008 at 2:29 PM | PERMALINK

Armando said that because of his WallyWorld ins with Hillary.

Posted by: SocraticGadfly on February 6, 2008 at 2:29 PM | PERMALINK

When I look at what happened I thought Obama was President but then I remembered that the vote was for the primary. Since it is the first election, why not just use those vote totals and add them up in the fall? Then the President can be elected and the vote does not have to happen at all. On the other hand, when the election is over and the vote is wrong, does that mean a do over?

Plus, the bad side of this is, there won't be any bread in the bread store because on election day, they don't bake bread. The bars are also closed on election day, but that shouldn't matter because alcohol is not a factor in determining who best represents the will of the American people and their citizens abroad.

But you know, on the other hand, I said that badly. On the foregone conclusion hand, what matters is that Obama can't be elected because he's a black man in a white world made for a Hipanic candidate who is not John McCain.

Posted by: Swan on February 6, 2008 at 2:32 PM | PERMALINK

Mike:

Then you haven't been paying attention. Obama himself has commented that his people may not support Clinton. "I am confident I will get her votes if I'm the nominee," Obama stressed. "It's not clear she would get the votes I got if she were the nominee."

Context in the key here. I believe Obama was speaking of the undeclared and first time voters he would pick up who might go to McCain or just sit out if Clinton were the nominee.

Posted by: Keith G on February 6, 2008 at 2:34 PM | PERMALINK

Kentucky is not a big state. KY is seeing a hell of a lot more grass roots Obama movement than HillBilly movement.

While IN may roll for Clinton don't be suprized if moderate KY would side with Barack.

Posted by: Derby City Espresso on February 6, 2008 at 2:36 PM | PERMALINK

Swan, wtf?

Me thinks you are just quacking like an ungly duckling.

Posted by: Keith G on February 6, 2008 at 2:37 PM | PERMALINK

Much has been made about electability, but if you don't get elected, does it mean that electability didn't matter? Or does it mean that the voters thought you could be elected but decided to vote for someone else. Not everyone who votes thinks about who they vote for, sometimes, they just vote and that's what happens. But the other side of the coin is, when an electable person is elected, but not because they were electable, does that then mean that the election doesn't count.

The other point is that if Obama runs as the most electable Democrat, that only means he thinks he will get more votes than Hillary. It doesn't mean he thinks he will win.

Posted by: Swan on February 6, 2008 at 2:44 PM | PERMALINK

Me thinks you are just quacking like an ungly duckling.

It helps if you read his posts in Milhouse VanHouten's voice.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on February 6, 2008 at 2:44 PM | PERMALINK

I went to the Kansas #7 caucus last night in Johnson County Ks which is a very Republican county. I got there at 6:05 and the line went clear around the church. By 7:00 I still had not made it in the door and the line was a city block long. Old people with walkers, moms with babies, lots of young people and seniors all waiting for nearly two hours in 34 degree weather with mist and rain coming down the entire time. I did not hear one complaint--the comments were "and they just keep coming" and "how wonderful that so many people are getting involved with their government again". They ran out of forms for Repub. and Indep. to re-register to become Dems.and had to send out to have some copied. They expected 500 and 2000+ showed up according to the paper this morning with Obama beating Hillary 3:1. It was bedlam once we got inside as it was so crowded so they called the rabbi and opened up their building across the street. Finally, they just asked people to sign sheets on their way out to indicate their choice as we could not separate into groups. The "Yes We Can" chant was heard several times. The only ones to stay were those who wanted to be delegates.
The enthusiasm displayed bodes well for the Demo. party. The Repub.couple next to me for the wait said all the Repub. candidates support George Bush's policies and the only way to get change is to vote Democratic. I did not disagree with them. It was quite an exciting evening even if it took me two hours to get these three artificial joints warm again. There is definitely something big going on and we are a part of it.

Posted by: kraftysue on February 6, 2008 at 2:44 PM | PERMALINK

Swan at 2:32.

Posted by: Lucy's Parody Alert on February 6, 2008 at 2:44 PM | PERMALINK

Obama himself has commented that his people may not support Clinton. "I am confident I will get her votes if I'm the nominee," Obama stressed. "It's not clear she would get the votes I got if she were the nominee."

Keith G is exactly right. Obama's not suggesting that his Democratic base wouldn't support Clinton in the general if she were to be the nominee. He's simply pointing out that the independents & moderate Republicans who've pulled the lever for him thus far in the primaries would be far less likely to do the same for Clinton if she were matched up against McCain. There's nothing even vaguely controversial about Obama's statement.

Posted by: junebug on February 6, 2008 at 2:47 PM | PERMALINK

KraftySue - I heard that on KCUR this morning, and jumped for joy! Then on Talk of the Nation just a few minutes ago someone called in from Wichita with encouraging news, too. I was one of seven Democrats in Sedgewick County for several years while billeted at McConnell. Not that I would move back across the state line, but the thought is tempting, just to do a victory lap!

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on February 6, 2008 at 2:48 PM | PERMALINK

Keith G is exactly right. Obama's not suggesting that his Democratic base wouldn't support Clinton in the general if she were to be the nominee. He's simply pointing out that the independents & moderate Republicans who've pulled the lever for him thus far in the primaries would be far less likely to do the same for Clinton if she were matched up against McCain.

I agree to a point - and would agree 100% without reservation if not for Michelle's comment about she would have to think about it (voting for Clinton) if Hillary won the nomination.

I am still of the opinion that we have two strong candidates and I wish the Democrats would stop doing half the Republicans dirty work for them by attacking the candidate they haven't lined up behind.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on February 6, 2008 at 2:52 PM | PERMALINK

Obama throws a great party and it's great to get drunk on inspiring rhetoric, at least for awhile. However, smart, practical political skills are sustainable and can get things done. Of Obama vs. Hillary delivering the goods for the long haul, my money is on Hillary.

Posted by: Lynn on February 6, 2008 at 2:52 PM | PERMALINK

I can't believe what I'm reading from Kevin and others.

Clinton's people seem to have done a good job of getting their spin out so far.

To say that last night was anything but positive for Obama is nuts. He won 14 out of 25 states, and came away with more delegates, yet this is bad??? Did everyone suddenly forget that Clinton was the favorite?

What logic is everyone using where the person who won less delegates, won the night?

I just don't get it I guess.

Posted by: Dan on February 6, 2008 at 2:53 PM | PERMALINK

Cut the spin BS about big states and superdelegates defying the pledged delegates. Obama is in command of the race right now. And if he runs off a string of victories this month pressure will build for Hillary to leave the race. It'll start looking like Giuliani redux, where she camps out a month later waiting to turn voters to her side (even though in TX, with the combined primary-caucus system, Obama is likely to do well). Like Rudy, the momentum, media narrative and cash will destroy her by March 4.

Her only chance is to pick off a few states this months, like Wisconsin, Maine caucuses, Louisiana or Washington caucuses. But all will be very difficult.

For more detail, see this post from Booman:
http://www.dailykos.com/story/2008/2/6/123959/6127/416/451126

Posted by: Elrod on February 6, 2008 at 2:57 PM | PERMALINK

Shit, here's the actual link to Booman's entry:

Here

Posted by: Elrod on February 6, 2008 at 2:59 PM | PERMALINK

With her “big state” wins, Hillary only won the popular vote by 54,000 votes. Take California out of the equation and Obama wins big.
CNN, ABC, and NBC kept talking about Hillary’s “big state” wins. Yet, with the exception of California, more people voted in the Democratic primary in Illinois than New York; and Georgia (a red state) had almost as many voters as New Jersey. Massachusetts stands out for Clinton, but Alabama stands out for Obama (I’m in Alabama). In the last poll in Alabama, Clinton had a 22 point lead.
I think Obama supporters have much to be proud of. When you take in the margins he had to overcome, his showing last night was nothing short of miraculous. I was disappointed in the loss in California, but after I looked at the big picture, my enthusiasm is renewed.

Posted by: Hawk on February 6, 2008 at 3:06 PM | PERMALINK

I read that the total popular vote went 50.2% Clinton and 49.8% for Obama. If that's true, and I think it's close, it might be a little hard to spin it for either candidate.

However, Super Tuesday was supposed to be the day the vaunted Clinton Machine obliterated Obama. It didn't work out that way.

Super Tuesday was a day Obama had to survive. He did that and more. This weekend Washington will hold caucuses and then Maryland, DC and Virginia vote. I have to think Obama will do very well in all of those.

Posted by: Pug on February 6, 2008 at 3:09 PM | PERMALINK

AF, Frankly and others will like this:

Hillary Pollster Mark Penn: Obama Has Become The "Establishment Candidate"

...From TPM Election Central

Posted by: Keith G on February 6, 2008 at 3:11 PM | PERMALINK

It'll start looking like Giuliani redux, where she camps out a month later waiting to turn voters to her side (even though in TX, with the combined primary-caucus system, Obama is likely to do well). Like Rudy, the momentum, media narrative and cash will destroy her by March 4.

I'm pulling for Barack in this one, but to be fair Hillary isn't spending anywhere near the $50 million Rudy did for one measely candidate. So she's got that going for her.

Posted by: cyntax on February 6, 2008 at 3:11 PM | PERMALINK

I agree to a point - and would agree 100% without reservation if not for Michelle's comment about she would have to think about it (voting for Clinton) if Hillary won the nomination.

Except that your parenthetical summary of those comments misstates them. The question Michelle Obama was asked wasn't, "Will you vote for Clinton if she's the nominee?" It was, "Could you see yourself working to support Hillary Clinton should she get the nomination?" Now maybe Bill Clinton has been out front on this one, talking about the campaigning he plans to do for Obama if he becomes the nominee, but I must've missed it.

Posted by: junebug on February 6, 2008 at 3:19 PM | PERMALINK

I can't believe what I'm reading from Kevin and others.

Clinton's people seem to have done a good job of getting their spin out so far.

To say that last night was anything but positive for Obama is nuts. He won 14 out of 25 states, and came away with more delegates, yet this is bad??? Did everyone suddenly forget that Clinton was the favorite?

What logic is everyone using where the person who won less delegates, won the night?

I just don't get it I guess.

I look at it this way: A tie at convention time will mean the nod goes to Clinton. That's my gut feeling. What I see is them getting a tie, and Clinton, being the senior Democrat, will get the nomination.

Posted by: Quinn on February 6, 2008 at 3:29 PM | PERMALINK

Darn it all, I meant to quote Dan's entire quote above in italics....now it just looks confusing.

Posted by: Quinn on February 6, 2008 at 3:30 PM | PERMALINK

He won 14 out of 25 states,

I know we all want our favorite candidate to have "Momentum" so that we can get all the other people to jump on the bandwagon, but would you please please stop talking about the number of states won?

To use a sports metaphor, that's like the NE Patriots crowing because during the Super Bowl they led the Giants for the most minutes.

It may be a true point but it is irrelevant.

Dan,

What logic is everyone using where the person who won less delegates, won the night?

I don't know any objective person who says Clinton won the night. Obama won the night and cut into Clinton's lead, but she is still ahead at the moment.

Anyone who claims the Democratic race is over now is fooling him/herself.

For the record I supported neither candidate in the caucus but will happily vote for either in the final election.

Their positions are nearly identical and in my opinion they both would do me proud although our real problem is systemic and has little to do with the politicians. Oh, and Bush sucks, but that goes without saying.

Posted by: Tripp on February 6, 2008 at 3:40 PM | PERMALINK

A few points:

1)

This focus/spin on the money being so helpful for Obama versus crippling for Clinton might be more convincing if we weren't watching Romney with all the money getting no bang for his buck. I'm not saying that it is of no impact but I do think Obama supporters are overestimating its power/influence especially at this stage of the game.

2)

The problem with Obama is that his demographics are narrower than Clinton's especially when contrasted with the national demographic makeup. Take the comments about whether HRC can get Obama's AA vote, why do we not hear any concerns about whether Obama can get HRC's women's vote, and of the two demographics which is the larger? The same follows with the Latino and Asian votes to date. If Obama was not pulling in the AA vote at such a high level he would already have been defeated, it is that overwhelmingly lopsided support that keeps him in the game. So how does that work going forward not just in the rest of the primaries but also in the general, especially against a McCain candidacy which will almost certainly eat into Obama's independents support.

3)

Obama is only winning large primary States with strong AA demographics, the rest he is barely winning when he does at all while HRC is racking up significant margins (sorry, once you are into double digits it is a significant margin no matter who it is) while Obama is winning most of the caucuses which are far less inherently reliable as an indicator of the voting pattern of the State overall unlike a primary. It is remarkable that he has not been able to show his movement momentum in the large primary States and does indicate that the movement (and its reputed momentum) may be significantly less massive than the perception of it has been in the media and Obama supporters.

4)

The argument about how Obama won because weeks ago the polls showed him well behind is disingenuous. It discounts the fact that Obama won every media cycle since SC, has run with a media clearly more focused on Clinton's negatives than his, and that this race was being described a couple of days ago as having a real chance with CA and NJ yet once the votes came in that didn't prove out to be the case. The idea that Clinton is winning on name recognition still carries no credibility, Obama's name recognition in the past month has come to within one or two points of Clinton's from what I've read/seen in my browsing. So if there was truly this large movement out there for Obama there should have been more evidence of it in States with primaries than there appears to be.

Conclusion:

Last night may have shown Obama's high water mark (note, I say may and not did). He needed to be able to pick off one of the large primary States other than his home one and ones with larger than average AA demographics, and he didn't do that. Connecticut was a good pickup for him but given how much Leiberman loves Obama that didn't surprise me all that much. I was surprised at how far down into second he was in MA after all the endorsements from MA machine politicians like Kennedy and Kerry and the governor as well, while I didn't think it was likely he could win it I did expect it to narrow more than it did. I do think he was smart to work the caucuses to his advantage to make his delegate numbers stay close to Clinton's and to give the appearance of momentum/victory last night, and I do not think anyone can count him as out of the running yet.

However, in the end I do think this was a Clinton advantage when all is said and done. Despite the massive wave for Obama that was running throughout the media coverage going into yesterday the results weren't there, and it looks like a repeat of what happened between Iowa and NH all over again. His demographic support has not broadened significantly throughout this primary season since Iowa showed AA's that white voters would vote for a AA candidate. It is also unlikely that he is going to get the same lopsided favourable media coverage for much longer, and indeed one of the things people were saying Monday and yesterday was that whoever won California was the one with the win for the day, and now it becomes yet another standard, and if anyone thinks this constant moving of the goal posts consistently to favour one candidate over another is not getting noticed in the general public I have a bridge in Brooklyn to sell you along with some wonderful land in Florida.

I think going forward it is a hard slog for Obama, and the more he is forced to use negative attacks against Clinton the more he undercuts his message of post-partisanship and doing politics differently. He needed to do better than he did, and going into the race yesterday he was certainly perceived to be poised to do exactly that. In the end I think Clinton came out ahead, but not by much. The question is can she build on it with her tortoise approach or will Obama's hare win in the end. As I have said before it will be interesting to watch and see what the voters decide on that.

Posted by: Scotian on February 6, 2008 at 3:44 PM | PERMALINK

Junebug at 3:19 - I'm admittedly playing catchup - I was off-line for a week, and every day I was forced to consume the M$M's version of "information" I felt my political acumen and IQ drop precipitously. (Still love me some Junebug, tho!)

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on February 6, 2008 at 3:48 PM | PERMALINK

Just like conservatives may not turn out for McCain in the general election, liberals may not show up for Hillary. Obama has consistently captured most of the progressive voters on the left, and if their candidate doesn't get the Democratic nod, they might sit home in November. I know many Democrats who think Hillary and McCain would be equally bad as President. I, for one, would have a very, very tough time voting for Hillary.

Posted by: Obama or Bust on February 6, 2008 at 3:52 PM | PERMALINK

"Health care and Social Security are serious issues."

So serious that Hillary doesn't want to raise taxes on high-income earners to pay for SS and will send the IRS after you if you don't buy a policy from her friends in the "Health Care" industry.

Posted by: brucds on February 6, 2008 at 3:54 PM | PERMALINK

That last comment was hyperbolic, but I wanted to prove I've got the same analytical powers as Paul Krugman.

Posted by: brucds on February 6, 2008 at 4:00 PM | PERMALINK

I'm admittedly playing catchup - I was off-line for a week, and every day I was forced to consume the M$M's version of "information" I felt my political acumen and IQ drop precipitously.

Being off-line for a week can be a nice mental health break. Now you might be back to the problem that I think we all face -- oversaturation. It's nice to see you back, Blue Girl.

Posted by: junebug on February 6, 2008 at 4:07 PM | PERMALINK

Picture "Charismatic change" meeting Mitch McConnell.
Or whomever is the new Minority leader.

This one's gonna be close, and if the D's take it,
the new Pres will collide with an enraged opposition Senate.

Where hopeful speeches won't make much difference.

Posted by: Fred on February 6, 2008 at 4:22 PM | PERMALINK

Obama or Bust,

I know many Democrats who think Hillary and McCain would be equally bad as President.

Oh brother. I heard the exact same thing from Nader voters in 2000 and how did that turn out?

Posted by: Tripp on February 6, 2008 at 4:27 PM | PERMALINK

The fact that Hillary loaned her campaign 5 million dollars should be a wake-up call for those who think she's the "new" Washington.

Nope. Right in there with the rest of the monied interests.

Obama has raised money by bits and drabs, which is far more than HRC can say.

Watch the media NOT really run with this 5 million loan bit.

Posted by: Tom Nicholson on February 6, 2008 at 4:32 PM | PERMALINK

1)

This focus/spin on the money being so helpful for Obama versus crippling for Clinton might be more convincing if we weren't watching Romney with all the money getting no bang for his buck. I'm not saying that it is of no impact but I do think Obama supporters are overestimating its power/influence especially at this stage of the game.
Posted by: Scotian

There's a pretty important distinction between Romney and Obama in terms of money: Romney is spending his own fortune, while Obama is raising his from individual donors (the majority of it from small $$ donors). In fact Obama has had more women donate to his campagin than Clinton. So the money is important not just because it keeps his campaign buying airtime and other essentials but is indicative to some degree of his popularity. Also remember that he has taken no money from lobbyists (unlike Clinton).

Posted by: cyntax on February 6, 2008 at 4:32 PM | PERMALINK

KD ...On the other hand, Obama has more money than Clinton. For now, anyway. That might make a difference...

And I bet it would have made a difference to some voters yesterday had they KNOWN that HRC loaned her campaign 5 million bucks!

Think about it. You want to see a woman president, but you learn she loaned (where did that money come from?) her effort beaucoup bucks, would you still pull the lever?

Or does it matter to you who voted for her?

Be honest.

Posted by: Tom Nicholson on February 6, 2008 at 4:36 PM | PERMALINK

Dan: "To say that last night was anything but positive for Obama is nuts. He won 14 out of 25 states, and came away with more delegates, yet this is bad??? Did everyone suddenly forget that Clinton was the favorite?"

People on these threads take it as an act of faith that the MSM are hostile to Clinton and love Obama. Me, I don't see that. I think the media love HRC. That's why everyone suddenly "forgets" that she was the favorite. It's why, after New Hampshire, suddenly she was billed as the "comeback kid". It's why race-baiting before NV and SC was so quickly forgotten. It is why Bill dropped out of the pictures so quickly after SC. It's why she can try to change the rules re Florida and MI and no one is crying foul. It's why she has been able to spin herself as the candidate with experience and evidence of her bad judgment (healthcare, 94; pro-Iraq, Bill, etc) is overlooked.

Posted by: PTate in MN on February 6, 2008 at 4:48 PM | PERMALINK

I don't mean to beat this dead horse but according to bloomberg

"..plus a $10 million transfer from Clinton's Senate account.."

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=aTIaywG6MqOs&refer=home

Now does this mean 15 million of the Clinton's money has gone into the campaign? Or was just 5 of the 10 million a "loan" ?

Seems like Romney gets dirt for funding his own campaign.

Just how much has Obama contributed? I don't think 10-15 million!

Posted by: Tom Nicholson on February 6, 2008 at 4:53 PM | PERMALINK

Any post to Talk Left makes me groan. Liberal criminal defense lawyers get on my nerves. And I'm a liberal criminal defense lawyer.

Posted by: Shine on February 6, 2008 at 4:54 PM | PERMALINK

Hmmm.

"And in a quick update, her campaign has just confirmed that she’d already lent her coffers $5 million of her own money in late January. A just-issued statement from her camp:
The loan illustrates Sen. Clinton’s commitment to this effort and to ensuring that
our campaign has the resources it needs to compete and win across this nation. We have had one of our best fundraising efforts ever on the Web today and our Super Tuesday victories will only help in bringing more support for her candidacy.
Her advisers says she’s considering ANOTHER LOAN (emphasis mine) because money is tight now — the mega-primaries yesterday were quite the financial drain. And although she won many states yesterday, including some very big states like New York and California, the victories weren’t resoundingly decisive enough — especially when you look at the extremely tight delegate matchup right now — to inspire a lot of new giving,..."
NYT 2/6/08
and the money shall flow. Now are we talking real bucks yet? By my reckoning... one could say Clinton has infused her campaign with 10s of millions of dollars from her own funds.

http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/02/06/clinton-considers-lending-her-campaign-money/index.html?ex=1360040400&en=77a8b7da77fce82b&ei=5118&partner=rssaol&emc=rss

Posted by: Tom Nicholson on February 6, 2008 at 5:06 PM | PERMALINK

Hawk - "Take California out of the equation and Obama wins big."

So are you implying that with his godlike charisma and stature that Obama could cause the giant earthquake?

Now that is what you would call real negative campaigning.

Posted by: optical weenie on February 6, 2008 at 5:13 PM | PERMALINK

B4 this thread dies...

35 million of his own money = Romney
http://embeds.blogs.foxnews.com/2008/01/31/romney-loans-18-million-dollars-to-his-campaign/

_________ million of her (and Bill's) own money = Hillary

Will someone please fill in the blank for me above. I am aching to know!

Sorry for the ad nauseum posts... but I am really ticked that so much personal wealth has become a prerequisite for presidential candidates!


Posted by: Tom Nicholson on February 6, 2008 at 5:14 PM | PERMALINK

Obama’s MO is gone? Really? What we tell ourselves to keep the Boggy Man away. It is sad that you can not recognize a well-executed strategy to block what was suppose to be Hillary’s coronation yesterday. I suggest you begin to understand that Obama has a little bit more going for him than his ability to thrill a crowd. Take your blinders off. Why not let the current strategies of the candidates illuminate what kind of leadership he or she would bring to the White House on DAY ONE. Most importantly, please realize that Obama exceeded his expectations to close the gap with Hillary on Tuesday. Now, according to Hillary’s own people, it is going to be a slog to the nomination. And Obama has tapped into something that will go the distance. A co-worker of mine, a McCain supporter, is thinking of switching to Obama for reasons that transcend our current political topography. Like Vernon Jordon recently said ‘ it is hard to run against a movement.’

Posted by: Rich on February 6, 2008 at 5:15 PM | PERMALINK

There's nothing wrong with self financing, per se, especially if the money is spent wisely & leads to things like effective ads, campaign organization, and GOTV operations. Clinton is certainly capable of doing these things, and you can expect contributions from supporters to start pouring in if she starts to catch fire. In the meantime, Marc Ambinder raises the interesting point that this can have the effect of reversing assumptions about these candidates regarding the question of who's the underdog & who's the presumed leader. If Obama is seen to be spending boatloads more money than Clinton and the race continues to be as close as it has been, then all of a sudden Clinton starts to look like a pretty shrewd insurgent. This dynamic can be exacerbated when you consider the fact that, as things stand right now, Obama supporters tend to be a wealthier demographic, on average. All of a sudden, a race that's been tinged with the issues of gender & race stands a chance of being viewed as class-based, too. That would be a curious prospect for a Democratic nominating process.

Posted by: junebug on February 6, 2008 at 5:25 PM | PERMALINK

Any post to Talk Left makes me groan.

TL used to be regular reading for me, until they brought on that crypto-Republican buffoon Armando.

Posted by: Disputo on February 6, 2008 at 5:32 PM | PERMALINK

Leftists are censored at TalkLeft.

Posted by: Brojo on February 6, 2008 at 5:56 PM | PERMALINK

I think a Clinton/Obama ticket might work, and I'm an Obama supporter. There may not be much of a choice the way things are splitting up, and I do subscribe to the view that in the end Hillary will win the nomination.

Obama needs to accept the offer if it is made - we can't afford to lose in 2008.

Just make sure that Bill is sent off to a brothel or something somewhere and that Obama can work as the negotiator with Congress.

Posted by: Manfred on February 6, 2008 at 6:15 PM | PERMALINK

cyntax:

I think you missed the point, it is not where the money comes from but the amount of impact having more will inherently have on the race that I was talking about. As for the claim Obama gets no lobbyist money, Ha! I guess then getting it from lawyers that work at lobbying firms, State lobbyists and so on doesn't count in your books as lobbyist money, me I am far less trusting and far more cynical when it comes that that sort of thing. This is one of Obama's biggest problems from where I sit, he makes claims that upon careful examination if not outright false (like telling Iowans he passed nuclear safety legislation when it actually died on the Senate floor) turn out to be incredibly tightly parsed along the lines of what the meaning of is is.

I said in my very first criticism of Obama at PA that he talks out of both sides of his mouth, that his rhetoric is not matched by his actions, and to date that only has gotten worse. Take last night, Clinton comes on and gives a positive speech without taking swipes at Obama, but Obama comes on with several swipes at Clinton. Then Obama puts out a flyer blaming by implication the Dem losses in Congress on Bill Clinton neglecting of course to blame Dem Congressmen in major scandals like Dan Rostenkowski (I think I got the name right), Tom Foley, and other major Dems that made it very easy for the GOP to paint the Dem Congress as corrupt, all of which has nothing to do with Clinton. Yet Obama is the candidate of doing politics differently and not using the tired old politics of the past like negative advertising and smear attacks.

Actions speak louder than words to me, and it is his actions which have made him so dangerous a candidate for the general in my view. As for his claim that he is ready to stand up to the GOP because he is withstanding the Clinton machine, male bovine excrement is all that is. The Clinton machine has not been anywhere near as aggressive as it usually is in elections, if anything he has gotten a far easier ride than most Clinton opponents, and the Clinton machine was never as destructively negative as the GOP one to begin with. It is also Obama's campaign that is putting out negative attack ads and flyers, yet he is the positive move beyond partisanship candidate. Why don't people recognize the inherent hypocrisy in this and worse just how open/vulnerable it makes him for the general election?

Remember, I am not singing Clinton's praises here at PA; I am focusing on what I see as the major faults in the candidate that I see presenting the bigger risk of LOSING in the general, and the last few weeks have only reinforced that opinion by his actions. I do NOT want another GOP President this time out, the dangers to the world economy and stability in my view is too great.

Posted by: Scotian on February 6, 2008 at 6:49 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin--I'm a longtime reader and usually enjoy this blog, but all your whiny back and forth about Clinton and Obama has gotten really painful. The blogosphere hyped up Obama's "momentum" out of all proportion last week and now people like you are going to the other extreme about how his campaign is over. The fact that Super Tuesday was at all competitive, much less that Obama came out ahead in the delegate count is a huge win for him. Add to that his fundraising and I think that it's a lot more likely that this was basically a tie, though when you manage to tie a virtual incumbant like hillary clinton, then it might as well be a win.

Posted by: jdays on February 6, 2008 at 6:54 PM | PERMALINK

With regard to the memes circulated by Hillary's attack dogs on PA, just a reminder that Obama's home page has a Fact Check section responding to news reports, rumors, allegations, etc.

Posted by: Lucy on February 6, 2008 at 8:21 PM | PERMALINK

It reads to me that most of you weenies who voted for one yet cheered on the other are suffering from underdogitis which may not be curable, due to the fact that is a liberal mental disorder brought on by the all consuming desire to be above all, fair. This is one of the reasons that Barack has done as well as he has. Pick the right person, for whatever reasons, and stick with her/him, and vote for the democrats in November.

Hell, look at me...after 55 years of backing eventual and perpetual losers, I'm still a SF Giants and California Bears fan, knowing with dead certainty, that they are going to both be No. 1 this fall.

My fear is that with your "Gee, I don't know if I should vote for..." or "Gosh, I should have voted for..." mental frame, is that you'll wind up voting for the biggest, self described under dog, McCain, in the fall.

Posted by: EL on February 6, 2008 at 8:34 PM | PERMALINK

Scotian: I also noticed the demographics issue for Obama. One thing I haven't seen much comment on is the fact that the red states he has won will almost surely go to the republicans in the general election. I don't think a democrat has much chance in Alabama, South Carolina, Georgia, or Mississippi (which has yet to vote).

Another point is that Florida, which the democrats can certainly win in the general election, voted decisively for Clinton. Unlike Michigan, all the candidates were on the ballot in Florida. I think it will be hard for the Dem convention to deny Clinton those delegates in the end; or at least cut a deal that favors her.

OTOH, Obama's campaign remains pretty strong and I certainly have no confidence in any prediction I could make. My guess is that his road is slightly uphill and that he will have to make some gains in a couple of big states.

Myself, I had a Kevin-like experience with regard to the super bowl. I thought I was neutral, but found myself rooting very hard for the New York Giants. Was it because I haven't forgotten how Tom Brady supported GWB? Patroit cheating? The underdog thing? Just don't know.

Posted by: little ole jim on February 6, 2008 at 8:54 PM | PERMALINK

Armando also thinks that last night ended Obama's momentum and pushed the race in Hillary's direction. I'm not sure I agree with everything he says, but I suspect he's in the right ballpark.

—Kevin Drum

You two clowns deserve one another.

Posted by: Econobuzz on February 6, 2008 at 9:47 PM | PERMALINK

Hawk: "Take California out of the equation and Obama wins big."

Take California out of the equation, and Japan wins World War II.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on February 6, 2008 at 9:49 PM | PERMALINK

Most salesmen know that, in general, people make decisions emotionally and then justify those decisions with logic. There seems to be a relationship between the emotional part of the brain, in the decision making process, and the logical side in order to solidify one?s beliefs and conclusions. In other words, Obama needs to give more logic to his emotional hook in order to maintain the growth of his support. This might explain why he seems to have stalled.

Posted by: BeeBuzz on February 6, 2008 at 10:31 PM | PERMALINK

Interesting. I voted for Clinton, but watching the returns found myself pulling for Obama, feeling like I'd blown my opportunity to be a part of a movement/feeling, like what I imagine Robert Kennedy supporters had in 1968. Maybe it's buyer's remorse, maybe it's because you pull for the underdog, or maybe it's a sign that I'll be happy with either in Novemeber, but I've never rooted for "the other guy" before.

Posted by: AD on February 6, 2008 at 10:38 PM | PERMALINK

If anyone wants to see the vitriol of Obama voters should Hillary get the nomination, try virtually any blog, from Salon (you might have to be a Premium member to read the comments) to The Nation to AlterNet to Robert Reich's blog, to The American Prospect....and follow the threads for any article having to do with the election. It is unbelievable. I think more people are starting to get sick of the "take my marbles and go home, so there!" attitude of so many Obama voters who post, which is reassuring. I think we need to come to our senses. I have never read a post where a Hillary supporter will refuse to vote for any Democrat who takes the nomination.

It's odd to me to hear Obama and supporters claim he just doesn't have name recognition, that's why he has lost some votes to Hillary. In fact, he has had more and far more positive publicity than anyone else on either side in this election season. No way anyone who's actually paying even a tiny bit of attention to the news in the last months has not heard Obama's name and heard about the "Obama Movement" or "Surge" the media love to crow about.

I just think it's impossible to miss how drunk on Obama the mainstream media and the pundits are. Regarding Hillary, they chuckle and have these "wink-wink" moments all the time about her and about Bill as well - oh, wait, I think they say "Billary" - just so we know the little lady can't control her man - I guess that's meant to be endearing, even on the cover of Newsweek. I wonder what the equivalent snarky slime Newsweek has put on its cover about Obama? Oh... nothing...that's what I thought.

I'm sorry, I don't know who posted this: "Not sure if Hillary can count on an outpouring of support from African Americans in the general after a bruising primary battle against Obama." But I do need to comment: Do you seriously think African-Americans on the whole would really prefer to have John "In-Iraq-for-100-years" McCain over Hillary? I think they're a lot smarter and a lot more aware of the consequences of putting a Republican in the White House than that.

Posted by: sallywally on February 7, 2008 at 12:15 AM | PERMALINK

Lucy:

"With regard to the memes circulated by Hillary's attack dogs on PA, just a reminder that Obama's home page has a Fact Check section responding to news reports, rumors, allegations, etc."

I'd feel a lot better about a Fact Check section that didn't have a built-in conflict of interest.

Posted by: sallywally on February 7, 2008 at 12:24 AM | PERMALINK

Take California out of the equation, and Japan wins World War II.

LOL. Good to see that you got your sense of humor back. Now try using it for good instead of evil.*

* That's a joke.

Posted by: Disputo on February 7, 2008 at 1:03 AM | PERMALINK

If anyone wants to see the vitriol of Obama voters should Hillary get the nomination, try virtually any blog, from Salon (you might have to be a Premium member to read the comments) to The Nation to AlterNet to Robert Reich's blog, to The American Prospect....and follow the threads for any article having to do with the election. It is unbelievable.

You know, I keep hearing about this mythological vitriol, but I have as yet to see any actual documentation, or even a simple link. Interesting, that.

On the other hand, in this forum there is a large chorus of irrational Obama haters who have been trashing the man for the last year.

The fact of the matter of course is that the Obama haters have been out in full force for a long time, since even before he announced or was any real threat to HRC; HRC hatred (of the women, as opposed to her policies) from the left is a new phenom that arose primarily as a reaction to the HRC campaign's decision to start blowing their racist dog whistles. The later is earned; the former is not.

Posted by: Disputo on February 7, 2008 at 1:10 AM | PERMALINK

Post 2/6/08

Kevin, Scotian, nepata, Boorring, Sharon, Donald from Hawaii, etc, etc, … anyone on this blog …

I noticed something new and odd about Obama’s speech last night that I don’t know how to interpret and have a serious and honest question about, a concern really, that I have not seen addressed anywhere. So, I hope others here can help me make sense of what it means.

That is, I noticed Barack Obama using the word “MOVEMENT” over and over again to refer to his quest for the nomination and the Presidency. He said things like, “I want to welcome to the Movement” . . . “our Movement is going forward“. . .“our Movement is gaining strength” . . . etc.
When he first used the word I thought it was a gaffe, that he meant to say “campaign,” but when he used the word, over and over again, I recognized that it was a very deliberate choice of words. What do you (meaning others who comment on this blog) understand from his deliberate choice of words here? Does it ring certain alarm buttons for anyone else here?
To me, the word MOVEMENT does not belong in American politics. It connotes a controlled ideology and group thinking, group pressure . . something I associate more with Communism, or Nazism or other forms of despotic “’isms” than with American Democracy. Obama’s characterization of his quest as a “MOVEMENT” scares me, a bit. I remember my mother (who grew up in Austria when the Hitler phenomenon and the Nazi movement swept over the land) telling me with what spirit of unquestioned adulation she and her friends enthusiastically joined the Hitler youth program and waived and excitedly screamed their approval when Hitler marched into Austria. She explained, I and my friends did not investigate or understand what Nazism was all about, “we weren’t political,” she said. We were just caught up in the fervor and fever of the Movement that promised to bring change and hope -- the economy and other things were so very bad in Austria in 1938, she explained.

Now, don’t everybody get excited! I am NOT in the least suggesting that Obama and Hitler have anything in common (except maybe a penchant for rousing speech-making). Obviously not. What I am saying, however, is that an emotionally propelled rush to join-up to a new political MOVEMENT, fostered by adulation of the movement’s leader because his speeches “inspire” people, scares me. And, I’m explaining why I have that reaction.
So, I'm asking: what does “MOVEMENT” in the context of Obama’s political campaign mean to you, and why do you think he has now chosen to use that charged word to describe his campaign?

(Maybbe I should post this under another thread, as I'm really serious about seeking an answer to my question -- it is not a rhetorical question -- and I'm afraid it will get buried here.)

Posted by: Erika S on February 7, 2008 at 1:46 AM | PERMALINK

"I have never read a post where a Hillary supporter will refuse to vote for any Democrat who takes the nomination." Posted by: sallywally on February 7, 2008 at 12:15 AM

A month ago I would have agreed with this statement, as until then I had not seen any Clinton supporters making that sort of statement while having seen it from many Obama supporters. However, over the last month I have seen this come from some Clinton supporters, although it gets slapped at by other Clinton supporters around when I see it and it still is not on par with the amount of such from Obama supporters in my experience/observation. The level of vitriol that Disputo is unable to see for him/herself despite it being in plain sight (and since it is in plain sight I see no point in trying to convince that person, they clearly have their mind made up that this is a myth, this despite the many examples offered in other threads by various people as well as from Disputo him/herself towards some pro-Clinton commentators at this blog) here and throughout the blogosphere is quite intense and common. What is worse there is a strong percentage of that vitriol which uses highly sexist to misogynistic language/framing in their "criticisms", at levels that if comparable/similar language/framing were used with instead racially charged language it would be clearly called out as massively racist by all but the most open/blatant/hardcore racists.

So while it is still predominantly coming from the Obama camp the behaviour of that camp and the campaign itself has started to upset core Dem supporters of Clinton to the extent that they are considering not voting, something they flatly refused to believe only a few weeks earlier, all because of how negative and nasty the Obama campaign and followers have been towards their candidate and to them for defending their candidate. Ironically enough I first started seeing it after Obama stated that he could get all of her votes while she couldn't get all of his, that really set the cat among the pigeons on this one.

Erika S:

I think he is trying to prevent being tagged as leading a cult of personality as much as anything else, and besides, his campaign was always predicated on his being the leading edge in a movement within the electorate to a new kind of politics. So I do not read into it anywhere near the negative connotations that you do. However, I also can see why someone might, especially someone with a family history that you described, so I can see why you are so concerned about it. After all, charismatic leaders have cropped up throughout history appearing at the outset like a wonderful person/leader to have faith in (especially in troubled times as you noted) but who end up showing themselves to be far les attractive once they have the power, that is when they don't go altogether insane with it like the example you cited.

I do think Hitler was insane by the end of it, but then I also think he was a genius too and the line between genius and madness is well known to be a fine one. He was after all able to take a beaten, bankrupted and bitterly humiliated and divided society that has lost WWI and in just a short decade in power built up a unified nation and war machine that came closer to conquering the world than anyone else to date. He was particularly aware of the power of the new visual medium of television for propaganda use and he made excellent use of it. I mention all this because I want people to understand that just because I call Hitler a genius it is out of respect for the capabilities he showed he had and not in the slightest for what he put those abilities to use for. That is something like all decent human beings I find totally horrific. However, as I said the line between genius and insanity is a fine one after all so it is hard to call him insane without noting that as well. I suspect the PTSD from his WWI experiences didn't exactly help in this either.

So while I understand your concern on this I suspect you are overreacting, even if that overreaction is rooted in the horrible lessons of history, especially when it is in your family history that you have such a first hand example of the power of such "movements" led by charismatic leaders in troubled times. I am concerned that there is a cult of personality surrounding Obama, but I have said that several times before. Indeed, in many ways I would be happier if I saw a real political movement with Obama, those are not inherently as dangerous as the cults of personality such as the one Hitler turned into the Nazi movement. I hope that answers your question.

Posted by: Scotian on February 7, 2008 at 5:00 AM | PERMALINK

Kevin -
Your concern that Hillary not be humiliated is touching and even a bit gallant. Would that her husband had felt some similar level of concern over the years.

Posted by: old school on February 7, 2008 at 8:17 AM | PERMALINK

I'd feel a lot better about a Fact Check section that didn't have a built-in conflict of interest.

You'd think this would go without saying, but OK. The sky is blue!

Where do you expect responses from the candidate to come from, if not from the candidate?

Posted by: Lucy on February 7, 2008 at 8:44 AM | PERMALINK

"I'd feel a lot better about a Fact Check section that didn't have a built-in conflict of interest.

You'd think this would go without saying, but OK. The sky is blue!

Where do you expect responses from the candidate to come from, if not from the candidate?" Posted by: Lucy on February 7, 2008 at 8:44 AM

Oh, I don't know, maybe from a disinterested third party like Factcheck.org maybe? Maybe by going and checking original sources directly instead of what the campaign chooses to use? Really, anyone that takes any campaign's "fact-checking" as the gospel truth is so incredibly naive and gullible it isn't funny. This was an incredibly bizarre statement Lucy, all politicians spin the facts to make themselves look the best and their opponents the worst and Obama is no different for all the claims to the contrary. Indeed, Obama seems to have this repeated need to have to "clarify" his original remarks, me I tend to take what comes out the first time as being more likely the "real" politico in such situations, pols clarify when they realize they have said something damaging to them, not because they are oh so interested in making sure everything is factually correct. You must have led a very sheltered political life if you think differently.

Posted by: Scotian on February 7, 2008 at 9:19 AM | PERMALINK

Scotian,

I've admitted the sky is blue. Why are you belaboring the point?

People should consult disinterested sources, duh. If you're so anxious about the integrity a candidate's statements, it might be helpful to familiarize yourself with those statements in the first place.

Really, anyone that takes any campaign's "fact-checking" as the gospel truth is so incredibly naive and gullible it isn't funny.

Of course, I never implied any such thing, but it seems you are comfortable with being patently dishonest in the interest of sttaing the obvious.

Posted by: Lucy on February 7, 2008 at 9:42 AM | PERMALINK

My deepest regrets for the typo. What I meant to write was:

Of course, I never implied any such thing, but it seems you are comfortable with being patently dishonest in the interest of stating the obvious.

Posted by: Lucy on February 7, 2008 at 9:43 AM | PERMALINK

Your concern that Hillary not be humiliated is touching and even a bit gallant. Would that her husband had felt some similar level of concern over the years.

We know Hillary's husband is a whore because of an independent prosecutor's investigation, but we do not know what motivated him to seek an outlet for his sexuality outside his marriage. It could very well be Mr. Clinton's wife is at least 50% responsible for her husband's sexual frustration. It could very well be 100% his responsibility, too. We do not know if Bill's just a slut or if Hillary is frigid, and I do not want to know.

I doubt very much Michelle Obama's husband could withstand an investigation by Mr. Starr and not achieve some level of humiliation for his spouse. I doubt that any marriage could survive such an investigation without one or both members of the union suffering from some sort of humiliation. Humiliation is a an emotion derived from knowing other people know something about oneself. No doubt infidelity is deeply emotionally painful for the spurned individual, but public knowledge makes it humiliating.

Posted by: Brojo on February 7, 2008 at 11:29 AM | PERMALINK

as the results came in, I found myself sort of rooting for Hillary.

Cause you and Hilary are in basic agreement. You both roled over for the Repubs and supported the Iraq Invasion. It's only natural.

Posted by: Mooser on February 7, 2008 at 4:32 PM | PERMALINK
….You two clowns deserve one another. Econobuzz at 9:47 PM
Dude, part of that problem is the enormous media build up Obama received from the anti-Clinton crowd. MSNBC was especially egregious.
I'd feel a lot better about a Fact Check section that didn't have a built-in conflict of interest. sallywally at 12:24 AM
The fact check section should have links to sources.
You know, I keep hearing about this mythological vitriol…. On the other hand, in this forum there is a large chorus of irrational Obama haters ….Disputo at 1:10 AM
Evidentially you see what you want to see and hear what you want to hear. Try slammin' sammy for example. As for irrational hatred….. I presume to question him is to hate him --- or something
…..To me, the word MOVEMENT does not belong in American politics. It connotes a controlled ideology and group thinking, group pressure ….Erika S at 1:46 AM
To me either. I have the same reaction. It's on the verge of becoming more of a cult than a campaign. I've also noticed Obama is using some Bush techniques of mockery and sarcasm which I regard as another warning sign.
You both roled over for the Repubs and supported the Iraq Invasion. Mooser at 4:32 PM
Actually not but then Obama voted billions to fund the war. Posted by: Mike on February 7, 2008 at 6:13 PM | PERMALINK

Erika S, I had vowed not to comment tonight as I went waaaay over any reasonable quota of commentary on Monday and Tuesday, but you have raised a provocative issue. (I haven't read past your post yet, but I predict you have stirred up a veritable sh*t storm.) I only want to observe that the longer I participated in the Clinton v. Obama debate Monday night the more foreboding I felt until I finally had to leave as my mood had turned so dark, despairing, filled with dread that I couldn't stand it any more. Like you I sensed we are witnessing the emergence of the flip side of Movement Conservativism with perhaps a more pernicious, because more subtly clothed in light, rejection of reason.

Scotian, Donald from Hawaii, napeta, Erika S, et al, thank you for your extraordinary kindness and gentle midwifery.

Blue Girl, I've been craving your good company. Welcome back.

Posted by: Sharon on February 7, 2008 at 10:36 PM | PERMALINK

Scotian,
Thank you, Scotian, for taking the time to comment on my somewhat overstated concern that Obama, by publicly terming his political campaign “a Movement,” had accepted the Caesar mantle, scepter and crown that his smitten and enthralled flock have seemingly been offering him. Your calm, wise and thoughtful and well-reasoned reflections on this are much appreciated and a great pleasure to read, as are all your posts. Thank you.
Sharon,
You know what, I’m actually flattered that someone thought you and I are the same person. We do seem to see and sense things in very similar fashion. And, also, I much appreciate your basic personal warmth and your sincerity and passion which come through loud and clear in your in your posts. I always like seeing what you have to say

Posted by: Erika S on February 8, 2008 at 1:49 AM | PERMALINK

You know what, I’m actually flattered that someone thought you and I are the same person

Likewise, Erika. That sockpuppet thing sailed past me until Scotian explained it. What is interesting is that Napeta is similarly insightful, warm, sincere, and passionate and no one would ever say Napeta = Sharon = Erika S. Napeta helps me keep my balance.

Posted by: Sharon on February 8, 2008 at 7:47 AM | PERMALINK

I guess that to receive the loans from banks you must present a great reason. Nevertheless, one time I have received a car loan, just because I was willing to buy a house.

Posted by: ChristinePHELPS19 on January 26, 2011 at 11:12 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

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