Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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February 19, 2008
By: Kevin Drum

CONVENTIONAL WISDOM ECHO....Sometimes there's nothing to do except agree with the conventional wisdom, so I guess that's what I'll do. Barack Obama absolutely crushed Hillary Clinton tonight, and Texas and Ohio are now the mother of all firewalls. If Hillary doesn't notch up solid wins there, it's all over. And since Obama usually does better the longer he has to campaign, the two week stretch between now and March 5th probably works to his advantage.

Unless the press decides they're tired of him, of course. Then all bets are off.

By the way, was it just me or did John McCain look unusually scripted and robotic tonight? His heart really didn't seem to be in his victory speech.

Kevin Drum 11:22 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (126)

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The AP says Hillary is fading. I think the AP is right. The MSNBC discussion says Hillary is going to need over 65% of the remaining delegates in the big states just to catch up. Unless Obama self-destructs that isn't going to happen.

Hillary needs to decide whether she is going to flail away trying to hurt Obama or if she is going to take a higher road.

Posted by: Corpus Juris on February 19, 2008 at 11:28 PM | PERMALINK

McCain always looks that way to me. You can see his eyes move in a teleprompter even more than you can see Bush's--which is saying something.

He has an odd way of smiling in almost every pause, which is very jarring when he's just posed some grisly scenario. Death and destruction .

Posted by: riffle on February 19, 2008 at 11:29 PM | PERMALINK

Unless the press decides they're tired of him, of course. Then all bets are off.

If the money keeps coming in and the ads keep airing he shouldn't need the press. How many voters read papers or listen to the news, anyway.

Posted by: JS on February 19, 2008 at 11:30 PM | PERMALINK

Darned angle bracket.

should be, imitating McCain..."Death and destruction. [forced smile]

Posted by: riffle on February 19, 2008 at 11:31 PM | PERMALINK

Forgive me, but, John McCain just looks and acts old....

Posted by: pol on February 19, 2008 at 11:32 PM | PERMALINK

With the polls showing Texas very close and Ohio
getting tighter, and the Clinton campaign operating
with all the competence and focus of a headless
chicken, this race seems just about done. Hard to
imagine anything that can dig Hillary out of the
hole she dug with her "inevitability" BS strategy.

The good news is that while HRC's campaign may have
lost, the Obama campaign seems to have been a
terrific operation - well planned, well executed,
and disciplined. That bodes well for November.

Posted by: Richard Cownie on February 19, 2008 at 11:34 PM | PERMALINK

I'd agree with riffle. McCain always looks that way. It will be an interesting matchup in November -- Obama's dynamism vs. McCain's experience.

Posted by: ex-liberal on February 19, 2008 at 11:35 PM | PERMALINK

.... what is Clinton's motivation or raison d' etre for continuing? I guess these debates is all she'll have to hang her hat on but is there anything we're unaware of that could come out? Michelle Obama and Tony Rezko in a loving embrace? Obama getting campaign advice from Hassan Nasrallah?

Posted by: robbymack on February 19, 2008 at 11:37 PM | PERMALINK

It's like Eagle... wow. Continues to be like Eagle.

Anyhow, don't count the Clinton's out! Wisconsin didn't matter and Texas might not either but Ohio matters!

Posted by: MNPundit on February 19, 2008 at 11:38 PM | PERMALINK

The two weeks is not bad for Obama, but it is a high-risk period. If Texas and Ohio were next week, it would be Clinton on the defensive and Obama on a roll. Two weeks means that there is time for a mistake that will be blown totally out of proportion, or a smear campaign that knocks him off his game, or the corporate press/media turning on him, or any number of other things that can go wrong. And only a few that can go right.

Clinton is in a tough spot because she does not have a wedge issue worth a damn that she can exploit, one that will work with Democratic primary voters. She has to make it about preferring her to Obama and most people who are going to make that choice already have.

I won't mind if she loses, just as I won't mind if she wins. I am not in love with either one, but I also don't dislike either one. I do not, however, want to see her go down badly. That is something both she and Obama, and I guess Bill Clinton, have to be concerned with.

Posted by: James E. Powell on February 19, 2008 at 11:40 PM | PERMALINK

Thursday's debate will be really telling, I think. Clinton's going to have to go after him and try to draw blood. I expect it to be a mirror image of their Super Tuesday debate. It's going to be nasty.

Posted by: Quinn on February 19, 2008 at 11:40 PM | PERMALINK

KD: I think 15% is bigish, but not big enough to use "absolutely crushed", which is probably something like a 25% margin. It is not over until the fat lady sings. She won't do that yet, although she is probably warming up her voice. Obama's speech didn't sound nearly as good as last weeks. Partly it was because he said the same things, but his tone of voice just sounded tired to me.

Posted by: bigTom on February 19, 2008 at 11:41 PM | PERMALINK

Ah, Kevin.

Well, old buddy, I'm an Obama mamma as of tonight. I like winners, and Omama is definitely that.

He's got that air of inevitabilility, like Reagan. And his message is very positive and bipartisan. Once the general rolls around, he'll likely move more to the right, which is a bonus.

Posted by: egbert on February 19, 2008 at 11:41 PM | PERMALINK

Hillary needs to decide whether she is going to flail away trying to hurt Obama or if she is going to take a higher road.

Hillary's latest attack on Obama for not pledging to take federal matching funds in a general election (thereby capping the total amount that he could raise and spend) is worrying on many accounts. One, she's attacking Obama on a non issue simply to attack him and take him off message. Two, it would be suicidal for either candidate to handicap themselves with spending limits if the Republicans do not. It's hard not to look at that and fear that Hillary is more concerned about securing the nomination for herself than she is worried about doing what is right for the party and for the chances of defeating the Republicans in November.

Also, the fact that people in her camp would even talk about trying to lure away pledged delegates (not super-delegates) suggests someone who is planning to fight for every last vote even if it means a brokered convention. I hope that's not the case, and I realize both candidates would probably be forced to do that anyway, but talking about it here and now is really startling (and potentially speaks to her unwillingness to concede at any point).

Here's hoping it doesn't come to that. We need a Democrat in the White House. Desperately.

Posted by: Augustus on February 19, 2008 at 11:43 PM | PERMALINK

It was nice when the primary didn't come to a complete halt with a single caucus in Iowa. But now I'm getting pretty sick of it. Fatigue with Obama is really fatigue with this whole race, which now has a true Groundhog Day feel to it. Wasn't there just some caucus in some snowy state where x had to do real well to win yesterday? And the day before that? And a week ago, and several weeks before that? You know, the one in Oklabamainebraskansouthcarizonorthdakoregon.

I have to say though, my US Geography is much sharper now than at any other point in my life.

Posted by: lampwick on February 19, 2008 at 11:44 PM | PERMALINK

This game is over. Hillary Clinton will not be the Democratic nominee. Wisconsin was practically a toss-up, tightening, HRC leading in some polls, demographics as favorable to her as you'll find in the U.S. And Obama wins by 17? Please. This Obama win far exceeded expectations--it was an annihilation, an obliteration.

Clinton's a smart person, dedicated, a strong senator for New York, but she has been outplayed and outdone. Obama will win Texas, maybe lose Ohio by a bit or maybe win there--either way, it's over but the shouting, and I hope there'll be relatively little shouting from here on out. It's time to coalesce behind our nominee and defeat John McCain in November.

Posted by: John E. on February 19, 2008 at 11:44 PM | PERMALINK

"Unless the press decides they're tired of him, of course. Then all bets are off."

Got that right.

Posted by: Howard Dean on February 19, 2008 at 11:45 PM | PERMALINK

I guess the solutions business doesn't include congratulating your opponent and thanking your supporters.

Americans hate sore losers.
The Mother of all firewalls in going up in flames.

Posted by: frankly pissed in Hawaii on February 19, 2008 at 11:45 PM | PERMALINK

Given that most polls had Wisconsin within 5 to 7 points, I think a 17% (as of right now) margin of victory is big. Clinton may not have given it her all, but this was a state that she should've done well in. I just don't understand her strategy. Even if she didn't win Wisconsin, wouldn't she be better off making an argument that momentum might be shifting if her loss were along the lines of 52%-48%? She almost ignored the state, however.

Posted by: Quinn on February 19, 2008 at 11:47 PM | PERMALINK

cast.......drop.......

cast.......drop.......


cast.......drop...!}+_)snag)*&$%#! WHAT THE FUCK!

Posted by: elmo on February 19, 2008 at 11:48 PM | PERMALINK

Unless the press decides they're tired of him, of course. Then all bets are off.

By which you mean, of course, until the press decides they're tired of him.

It's looking like that won't happen before Clinton is down for the count. And the difference in press coverage may or may not have made the difference, or indeed any difference, in the nomination race (although, somehow, you'd think almost 20 years of hostility would have some effect...)

But to the point, what's gonna happen when they decide to start patronizing, infantilizing, and disrespecting Obama? Ever so delicately, of course; nothing that would jar Establishment liberal sensibilities. "But really, he is awfully young, you know. Little more than a boy (titter titter, oh my dear stop). Not really Presidential material. I mean, seriously..."

Whoever wins, between the press and the Republicans, we better be prepared for some major ugly.

Posted by: bleh on February 19, 2008 at 11:51 PM | PERMALINK

Oh goody... Uncle Elmo the little boys pal just showed up to talk to himself for half a dozen posts or more. Right on time!

Folks, want to see a working example of insanity? Just don't respond to him.

Sure skim his crap as it comes up. It is deliciously nutso shit. Every now and then, sit back and muse at what sort of illness sits on the other side of those posts. Got to be fat, snaggle-toothed, and sub-100... right?

Posted by: Thread Psychologist on February 19, 2008 at 11:51 PM | PERMALINK

Let's just remember that the Wisconsin polls were tight going into tonight. The talking heads are trying to pretend that the negative attacks blunted his victory margin. None of the polls predicted a 17 point victory.

Posted by: Keith on February 19, 2008 at 11:53 PM | PERMALINK

The firewall metaphor no longer applies. TX is even, and OH is more like a "safe room" than a firewall at this point. I.e., you retreat there while the rest of the house is carted off in a truck, or burnt down around you.

They'll continue through Mar 4, though, just in case something happens: press tires of Barack, he falls off a stage, Jenna Bush is discovered in his dressing room, etc. I wish they'd cool it a bit, though; exit polls this time are indicating the beginnings of bad blood among Democratic voters. Actually, it seems mainly to be growing resentment of Clinton among Barack supporters. So they're really not helping themselves.

Posted by: Ted on February 19, 2008 at 11:56 PM | PERMALINK

Oh goody... Uncle Elmo the little boys pal just showed up...

Is this your stump speech, Thread Psychologist? And if my wife says "yes", can I fuck you in the ass?

Posted by: elmo on February 19, 2008 at 11:59 PM | PERMALINK

Obama is leading by over 150 pledged delegates. The most delegate rich districts in Texas are in the college town of Austin and in the African-American neighborhoods of Dallas and Houston. Hillary will have difficulty netting more than a handful of delegates out of Texas and the race in Ohio is tightening. Hillary's chances of coming to within 50 pledged delegates of Obama are probably under 10 percent now.

This race is over. I appreciate the Hillary supporter's desire for her to go on, but it is too late for that. The only way that it is remotely possible for her to win is to tear the party apart two months before the general election. Think about it. From now on, every vote for Hillary hurts the party. Every dollar given to Hillary hurts the party. That is the reality.

Posted by: Mike on February 20, 2008 at 12:00 AM | PERMALINK

Hillary is done. And the negativity of her campaign and her counter bloggers have finished her. Maybe Don in Hawaii can give us another Rezko update, or Chrissy can tell us how we have been set up, or Frankly0 can re-recite the Krugman defamations. But that strategy was a loser because Obama is a likable man. And a winner. The negative campaigning really cost Hillary. I went from a possible supporter to "get her off the television!"
As for Obama: I Loved the line about "Washington: where ideas go to die." Maybe one of the sock puppets can figure out where that was plagiarized.

Nothing wrong with being a natural leader, eloquent speaker, or on the right side of hope.

Posted by: Sparko on February 20, 2008 at 12:05 AM | PERMALINK

I have to disagree about the growing resentment of Clinton among Barack supporters. Clinton supporters are going all Taylor Marsh on Barack and his supporters.

. . .Jenna Bush is discovered in his dressing room . . .

This would give Barack a ten point bounce. We're talking about Democrats here.

McCain has observed the stunning success Hillary has had with the "empty rhetoric" line and has decided to use it himself. That's encouraging. For someone as boring as he is to sneer about "elouquent but empty" is just plain dumb. He should never utter the word eloquent.

And he really does need to quit smiling at such inappropriate times. "My friends, I hate to tell you this but there will be more wars" should not be followed by a big smile.

Posted by: Pug on February 20, 2008 at 12:08 AM | PERMALINK

We also see story after story about how well organized the Obama team has been -- from boots on the ground to fundraising and everything in between. Stories about Hillary's campaign are mostly about the opposite -- and her having to fire her campaign manager late in the game testifies to her organizational problems.

So much about the candidate who is supposed to have no experience with national campaigns, or with running things -- and with the one with experience that is ready to get going from "day one".

Posted by: JS on February 20, 2008 at 12:13 AM | PERMALINK

Kevin, you're brave enough to echo the conventional wisdom. At least you can say that for yourself. /ribbing

New blog post

Posted by: Swan on February 20, 2008 at 12:14 AM | PERMALINK

Actually, it seems mainly to be growing resentment of Clinton among Barack supporters. So they're really not helping themselves.

From what I gather, it's more like presentment. In other words, they assume that the Clinton campaign will do every thing it can to get her the nomination even if the majority of the delegates fall to Obama, and they are angry about it before it even happens.

As with the Howard Dean supporters, there is a strong anti-authoritarian/anti-establishment streak among Obama's supporters. That's the flipside of empowerment -- somebody has to lose some power. In this case, the Clintons and their long time champions within the party.

I think Hillary has more sense and commitment to the ideals of the Democratic party than people give her credit for. Yes, she's ambitious, but who running for president isn't? I expect she will bow out if she loses either Texas or Ohio.

At least I hope she will.

If she's as experienced as she says she is with the press and the VRWC, she has to know that any maneuvering to get the nomination via superdelegates or trying to seat FL or MI will be portrayed, rightly or wrongly, as the actions of a desperate sore loser. She might get the nomination, but she would be severely weakened as a candidate in the general.

I used to think a brokered convention would be a great idea. With all of the friction between the two camps, I've changed my mind. The Dems don't need to head into summer without a nominee.

The next round is the deciding round.

Posted by: lobbygow on February 20, 2008 at 12:18 AM | PERMALINK

The question is, when, not if, Hillary declares that her race is over. The "when" will determine the health of the Democratic party, and message, going into the general. She can choose to lose it for all of us. Hope she doesn't.

Posted by: MC on February 20, 2008 at 12:19 AM | PERMALINK

Presentment? That is the knowledge that she will rip off more of the Rove playbook. In case you didn't watch a week's worth of plagiarism, Michelle Obama is unpatriotic, and Obama has a cult articles and postings . . .

Nope, Clinton went negative right away, and tried to find that right tenor of closeted racism. She is toast. Lost all respect for her choices in this campaign. She needs to apologize. Big time--not just for dissing Obama's victories the last two weeks either. She brought this on herself. Ready for day one my ass.

Posted by: Sparko on February 20, 2008 at 12:25 AM | PERMALINK

Sparko, you were set up. The only reason Obama has gotten where he has is the support of wealthy and foolish individuals like Oprah and corporations like Exelon and the cheap flattery and biased unethical treatment by the press. Between March and the end of August is a long time. A mediocre pol with a spotty resume makes a rather poor idol for a sustained amount of time.

Posted by: Chrissy on February 20, 2008 at 12:28 AM | PERMALINK

Kevin, you don't seem too enthusiastic about Obama winning. Is this due to dissatisfaction with him as a candidate, or with this extended primary season in general?

Posted by: firebrand on February 20, 2008 at 12:36 AM | PERMALINK

McCain was OLD in 2000. He is now VERY OLD. The guy is a GEEZER. Hey, nothing aginst old people but...

And his wife makes Laura botox" Bush look animated. The woman is creepy. Anyone know her history... a drug addict!!! Let's call this Repub race what it is... the best of the losers. F Republicans.

Posted by: Jay in Oregon on February 20, 2008 at 12:45 AM | PERMALINK

Pat Buchannan uncorked a good one tonight in his so-called analysis. He started talking about the "average joe...you, know, in the American Legion Hall..."

Pat, Pat. If you asked 10 million randomly selected american males if they even knew what the American Legion was, I'd be willing to bet about 25% would actually have any familiarity with the Legion or what it stands for.

This guy gets paid millions to spew this ludicrous nonsense. Guess it's just more proof that life is just not fair.

Posted by: bobbyp on February 20, 2008 at 12:49 AM | PERMALINK

The wheels may come off the bus, of course...but I think you'd be hard pressed to point to any major errors the Obama campaign has made so far, or any mistakes that they haven't corrected quickly. There will be tough times to come, but I think this team has earned the right to expect to overcome them.

Anyway, I'm just glad Clinton isn't my pick, because I'd hate to waste much bandwidth on trying to come up with a reasonable strategy for how she's going to pull this out. A stubborn unwillingness to concede, though a not totally unadmirable trait, is not a plan.

Posted by: mrsaturdaypants on February 20, 2008 at 12:49 AM | PERMALINK
From what I gather, it's more like presentment. In other words, they assume that the Clinton campaign will do every thing it can to get her the nomination even if the majority of the delegates fall to Obama, and they are angry about it before it even happens.

Exactly. But it's not like Hillary hasn't given us reason to be fearful and angry about this. She's actively trying to seat the delegates from Michigan and Florida. And she's been out there defending the idea that superdelegates should be allowed to decide the nomination. And now there's this trial balloon about going after Obama's pledged delegates.....it's hard not to be suspicious, distrusting, and feel a bit of animosity towards her and her campaign.

Posted by: Joe on February 20, 2008 at 12:54 AM | PERMALINK

If I were Obama tonight I'd be on the phone to Bill Richardson asking if he really wants to be SecState. If he were to do an Obama tour from El Paso to Brownsville and back to San Antonio Hillary would pound sand for the next two weeks. Maybe try to flip the LA mayor, at least get him to switch back to neutral, ask Spielberg if he's reconsidering his endorsement. Hillary's not done yet, but she's got less than a 5% chance at this point - if she came back it would be a bigger shock than the Giants over the Pats, and would cause such hard feelings that McCain would have a great shot in the fall.

Posted by: loki on February 20, 2008 at 12:54 AM | PERMALINK

And he really does need to quit smiling at such inappropriate times.

Mmmmm, but he learned that from the master, the deliciously huggable Smirky McBewildered.

Posted by: shortstop on February 20, 2008 at 12:56 AM | PERMALINK

It's over. There are a million 'tells' on this. McCain treating Obama as the likely nominee. The Intrade forecasts. The tone among pundits, all over the blogosphere. But to me the biggest 'tell' was Hillary's truncated speech tonight. Not just that it *was* truncated, and that no network even hesitated to truncate. But the speech itself. The content signalled *nothing* new in her already-defeated campaign against him. Even more than that was her delivery. She hopped form point to point and missed all her marks. Her heart just wasn't in it. She didn't sound like someone who believes she can win anymore.

If she hadn't shown the ruthless win-at-any-costs side to Clintonism this last week, I'd almost feel sorry for her.

Posted by: Maggie on February 20, 2008 at 1:02 AM | PERMALINK

Maggie, what really is there to be sorry about regarding Hillary Clinton. Sure, she will likely not be the nominee, but she is a Senator from one of the most powerful states in the country. As a Senator, she can outlast Barack Obama and have more influence if she plays her card right. No real pity, in the end.

Posted by: Boorring on February 20, 2008 at 1:06 AM | PERMALINK

Maggie, what really is there to be sorry about regarding Hillary Clinton. Sure, she will likely not be the nominee, but she is a Senator from one of the most powerful states in the country. As a Senator, she can outlast Barack Obama and have more influence if she plays her card right. No real pity, in the end.

I don't think the rather all-or-nothing Clintons see it that way, though. Her senatorial seat was always supposed to be a stepping stone to the presidency.

The same is true for Obama, of course, but he's a younger person and this wouldn't necessarily have been his last chance at the White House. It will be hers. It will be interesting to see if she decides to stay long in the Senate if she loses this nomination.

Posted by: shortstop on February 20, 2008 at 1:15 AM | PERMALINK

She'd be an idiot not to stay in the Senate.

Posted by: Boorring on February 20, 2008 at 1:31 AM | PERMALINK

lobbygow is absolutely right. Hillary has dipped into negativity a bit, she's poked around at the idea of seating fl and mi, and she's hinted and some ditry tricks, but in my view she hasn't crossed the line. Both candidates have been absolutely appropriate in their level of attack. Just enough that it hurts, but not so much that you really draw blood. Good sparring partners.

As long as things don't take a turn, the winner is going to be in really good shape for november.

Posted by: doug on February 20, 2008 at 1:35 AM | PERMALINK

As a Senator, she can outlast Barack Obama and have more influence if she plays her card right.

Bullshit. Why is she running for president then?

Being one of 100 Senators in a polarized Senate--with not too much seniority at that--is not nearly as good a gig as being president. Seriously, the President of the United States? The most powerful person in the world? The job every kid wants to have? How stupid is this person?

Posted by: Lev on February 20, 2008 at 1:43 AM | PERMALINK

Maggie... Don't feel sorry for Clinton. She ran a campaign and lost. I was a supporter. It happens. The 'race' is over. We all move on. The party will nominate...

...a flyweight motivational speaker.

Cheezuz.

Posted by: Steve-O on February 20, 2008 at 1:43 AM | PERMALINK

Take it easy, Lev. (shakes head)

Posted by: Boorring on February 20, 2008 at 1:50 AM | PERMALINK

And his boxing weight class matters because...?

Don't lead us there, bub.

Posted by: psmith on February 20, 2008 at 1:51 AM | PERMALINK

Just got back from the Democratic caucus at Manoa Elementary school, about a mile from the where Obama went to high school (Punahou School). Usually, there are about 100 or so people at a caucus. Tonight, there were thousands. People stood in line for hours to register as Democrats so they could vote. None of the old timers who were there could recall anything like it, not even close.

I'm told the same scene was repeated all over the state. I can't imagine a bigger indicator of dissatisfaction with the current political lanscape and the desire for dramatic change.

At Obama headquarters, calls were coming in from people identifying themselves as Republicans asking if anyone could register as a Democrat and vote in the caucus.

I don't think how the press feels about Obama is going to matter all that much at this point. A lot of voters have already made up their minds, and opinions airing on cable news won't change them.

Posted by: DevilDog on February 20, 2008 at 1:52 AM | PERMALINK

It's not the press that is hurting Hillary; it's her going after Obama more than McCain, rather than focusing on her own core message.

Also, all that money she collected from the pharmas, health insurance industry, and 15% income tax paying hedge fund managers doesn't help either...

Posted by: Brian on February 20, 2008 at 1:54 AM | PERMALINK

Well the remaining question is - Does Hillary still want to take a shot at the presidency in 2012 (2016)? I suspect not, but that decision really shapes my preferences as to whether or not she remains my Senator from NY. As a NY Senator, she's been atrocious (the Joe Lieberman school of representation) and she constantly allowed her presidential ambitions to get the best of her Senatorial behavior. A blue state like NY simply cannot continue to afford that degree of triangulation (in her defense, Schumer can sometimes be infuriating as well, but it's usually limited to regulating the financial industry). But if she eschews her presidential ambitions, it's possible she can play a much more visible and progressive role in the Senate, perhaps even replacing Harry Reid as majority leader. That's an attack-dog role she might be particularly well-suited for, especially if she completely embraces her recently re-found liberal persona. But I'll believe it when I see it (well, actually, I still probably wouldn't believe it...)

Posted by: Augie on February 20, 2008 at 2:02 AM | PERMALINK

psmith And his boxing weight class matters because...?

Because he's about to get his ass kicked.

Posted by: Steve-O on February 20, 2008 at 2:14 AM | PERMALINK

I can be okay with Hillary staying in the race as long as she doesn't go negative and waits to see if Barack stumbles. Tag-teaming against him with McCain is political suicide though.

She shouldn't be in the amen corner parroting McCain's attacks on Obama. She should be out there attacking McCain for daring to attack Barack's credibility on the war or anything else. It would be a gutsy move and may even move her poll numbers up.

In fact, it would be a clever bit of jujitsu because if she's out there in front defending Obama against McCain it makes Obama look like he's too weak to defend himself.

Posted by: john on February 20, 2008 at 2:23 AM | PERMALINK

...a flyweight motivational speaker.

As opposed to a flyweight inarticulate half-wit? Seriously, if he can do half as much good as Bush has damaged this nation, we'll be fine.

Besides, I think you need to separate the campaign style from the man. He doesn't talk much policy when campaigning, but you can't say he doesn't have a firm grasp of the issues.


Posted by: kis on February 20, 2008 at 2:28 AM | PERMALINK

There's a new meme growing out there now IMHO. It goes like this amongst Hillary leaners: OK, 'nuff already, let's vote for Obama so we can get this damn primary season behind us!

Barack wins TX by double digits, OH by 9.

Still, Hillary trudges on ... God help us all!

Posted by: CB on February 20, 2008 at 2:30 AM | PERMALINK

>His heart really didn't seem to be in his victory speech.

McCain has a heart?

Go on! No way man.

Posted by: James on February 20, 2008 at 3:04 AM | PERMALINK

I like the idea of Hillary in the Senate and Barack in the White House. Hillary can help shepherd Barack's health care plan through the Congress, and maybe she can improve on it.

Posted by: Jake on February 20, 2008 at 3:11 AM | PERMALINK

The Hawaii caucuses just finished about an hour ago, and I can report from my own district caucus (I'm also the new district chair), which experienced record turnout this evening. My district's results were as follows:

Barack Obama 766 votes, Hillary Clinton 281, Dennis Kucinich 5.

There are 51 districts statewide, so I expect the turnout to have been well over 50,000 people. It was a great night for democracy.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on February 20, 2008 at 3:20 AM | PERMALINK

Sparko: "Maybe one of the sock puppets can figure out where that was plagiarized."

Everyone loves a gracious winner, Sparko, especially a vicarious one like you, who probably hasn't lifted a finger to stuff an envelope or offered to walk a precinct for your precious candidate. So unless you have something constructive or positive to say about Sen. Obama's campaign, why don't you just STFU?

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on February 20, 2008 at 3:40 AM | PERMALINK
John: She should be out there attacking McCain for daring to attack Barack's credibility on the war or anything else. It would be a gutsy move and may even move her poll numbers up.

I like this idea. If nothing else, it would help Hillary repair her image and allow her to make a more graceful exit.

However, don't hold your breath. For the third primary/caucus in a row, she has failed to mention Obama in her post-election rally, yet alone congratulate him on his victory. Accurate or not, it comes off as small, petty, and selfish.

It's also very stupid and short-sighted. It simply reinforces negative stereotypes people already have of Hillary and/or the Clintons in general. It also makes her supporters/defenders look stupid for expending so much energy trying to fight the uphill battle of disabusing people of their negative perceptions of her.

And she has no one to blame but herself (and her husband).

Ted Kennedy's endorsement of Obama was a direct result of the Clintons going back on their word to Senator Kennedy (he had brokered a cease fire between the two campaigns; she broke it not long afterwards). Bill's seemingly racially charged comments after South Carolina didn't help.

Hillary then violated her written pledge not to campaign in Florida and Michigan (I believe she also had a hand in drafting the initial sanctions against these states) as well as to remove her name from the Michigan ballot. She went back on her word, broke the rules, effectively ran unopposed in two delegate-rich states, and has been trying to seat these delegates ever since.

Who does she think she is, general Musharraf? Okay, that may be a bit harsh - there's a good chance Musharraf will concede defeat before Hillary does.

Since Super Tuesday the Clinton campaign started ramping up the negative attacks on Obama. The worst part is that the attacks are generally personal and devoid of any substantive issue (it would be fair game to criticize his voting record, to question his political alliances, judgment etc.). Instead, Hillary's campaign has accused Obama of plagiarizing a few phrases in his stump speeches. Never mind that the person he borrowed a couple of slogans from said he and Obama wrote a lot of speeches together. When asked whether Hillary herself was using phrases borrowed in a similar fashion, they declined comment (for starters, she's borrowing phrases from her husband).

We've also seen the efforts to portray Obama's supporters as anything from fad followers to crazy cult followers.

And now she's attacking Obama for not pledging to take federal matching funds in a general election (which would likely give the Republicans a huge financial edge and could quite possibly cost the Democrats the White House). First, how on earth is this something to criticize him for? Second, it would hamstring the Democratic nominee in a general election. It gives the impression she will say or do anything to secure the nomination for herself, even at the risk of losing the general election for the Democratic party.

The longer Hillary stays in the race, the more it looks like she's more concerned with her ego than what is good for the party and, by extension, the country itself. That certainly would support one of the more negative stereotypes of the Clintons. Hillary may soon remove any doubt.

Posted by: Augustus on February 20, 2008 at 3:43 AM | PERMALINK

I love that Obamamania/Obama Bubble meme. This country loves bubbles. It had the stock market bubble 10 years ago, then it had the real estate bubble. If Obama is a bubble, he is barely six months into it and has another 5 good years left in him. That should be enough to get reelected before he starts to leak.

I'm starting to like bubbles. They are better than dry warts like McCain.

Posted by: rational on February 20, 2008 at 4:32 AM | PERMALINK

Obama's dynamism vs. McCain's experience.

What good is McCain's experience if he hasn't learned anything from it? He is so willing to send other people's kids to feed his lust for military action. Another 100 years of war, my ass. He can go fight them himself with his buddy Bush. Leave our kids alone. They already have a lot of hard work ahead of them to pay off Bush/McCain misadventures in Iraq.

Posted by: rational on February 20, 2008 at 4:37 AM | PERMALINK

The Wisconsin vote is reassuring in many ways to those who were routinely told by the "experts" for months that the Presidential race would feature Rudy vs. Hillary but were never convinced. Indeed, until about three weeks ago Mrs. Clinton still seemed invincible, at least in the minds of supporters.

In retrospect, however, Rudy was destined to fail, as was Mrs. Clinton. Last night David Gergen, who consistently called her "Presidential" after each debate, explained why: "political malpractice." Indeed, Where does one begin in citing the problems?

She began the campaign by citing an inflated c.v., which many in the media accepted with little scrutiny. Yet, other than dining with dignitaries as First Lady, Where is her foreign policy experience? Careful, only the most adept sophists should attempt to respond positively. She then discovered the notion of change, and promoted "35 years of change."

At that point, her reliance on out-of-date polling templates should've been apparent. W, the Neocons, Katrina, subprime chaos, $90+ oil, devaluation of the currency, the resuscitation of the Taliban, the surge that isn't going to end in July, all prompted a widespread cry for change. Yet somehow Mark Penn's microtrend polling framework missed this phenomenon early in the race.

Repackaging Bill's Third Way Administration was, instead, the original strategy - and one they stayed with entirely too long. Amazingly, Team Clinton acted as if the electorate wasn't going to fathom the intricacies of how some of Bill's moves, such as systematic deregulation, NAFTA, and pro-Fortune 100 initiatives deleteriously affected the economy, including the spread of globalization, lowered or static wages, loss of domestic manufacturing, pools of cheap labor, the crash of the peso that worsened the illegal immigrant problem, and predatory lending practices.

No, Team Clinton decided that playing it simple would work because the public wouldn't be able to decode the complexities. They were lured into believing the political environment was controlled by microtrends. Thus, they overlooked: the macrotrend of the internet where savvy, mostly younger bloggers brilliantly analyzed Team Clintons' weaknesses while bolstering the candidacy of Obama.

Yes, the people can be fooled much of the time, particularly through the use of astute Focus-Group marketing. Think, Head On for example. But after the people have been repeatedly fooled, after the '06 Democrats didn't end the war, or even come close (see: http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/story/18349197/the_chicken_doves for an indication of the mass discontent) , after Mrs. Clinton avoided specifics regarding her positions (at one point saying she wouldn't answer "hypotheticals" about an Iraq exit strategy), after Mrs. Clinton went for months without taking unscripted questions from audiences, then the people got fed up. And when they're fed up, they want one thing: change.

Team Clinton realized the significance of the huge appetite for change late in the process. Since it was so obvious, and so strategically vital, it's fair to ask, If Team Clinton failed to recognize the elemental importance of such an obvious phenomenon, What else have they been overlooking? How the vote for Kyl-Lieberman could start WWIII? How suggesting that interest rates be frozen for five years violates contract law and hinders the Fed from controlling inflation? How taxing the rich at a higher rate only prompts them to move into shelters, which the Clintons have no plans for abandoning? How in a time where many legislators are talking about minimizing Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, mandated Healthcare may not be feasible without massive reformation, or unacceptably high rates of taxing spending?

This no Clinton supporter can justifiably refute: If the Clintons ran the country the way they've run their campaign, America would be in dire straights. Along with the reputation of the Democratic party. The curtain has been pulled back on Hillary of Oz, and, not surprisingly, she doesn't closely resemble that figure, so widely touted a mere 12 months ago, but rather appears insubstantial and inauthentic. Too bad it took this long, because the party's been severely hurt in the process.

Posted by: arty kraft on February 20, 2008 at 4:39 AM | PERMALINK

Guys, it's a primary, and everyone gets mad. But doug is right that . . . "lobbygow is absolutely right. Hillary has dipped into negativity a bit, she's poked around at the idea of seating fl and mi, and she's hinted at some dirty tricks, but in my view she hasn't crossed the line."

I would say that Obama has run a much cleaner campaign than HRC, because her camp also *did* try a bit of racialization . . . . but neither campaign has been a mud-and-guts Rove sort of thing, and at this point there is not any real damage to the party. We're all hyped up, but that will fade.

The question is, what can the HRC people do over the next two weeks? There really is no chance of winning at this point; when we wake up tomorrow, the math is just going to be prohibitive. (Though the MSM won't tell us that -- the story is too good to spoil.) I don't think the Clintons want to go a lot more negative; at this point it's less likely to help than to leave a bad taste. But they seem to have committed to staying in through March 4th, and they may hope that the "plagiarism" attack will grow legs. My guess is that we see them stick around in a half-hearted way.

Posted by: Ted on February 20, 2008 at 5:10 AM | PERMALINK

Hillary's downfall was Mark Penn's decision to act like she was the nominee and that the voters in each state were to behave like good little citizens and turn out for a ceremonial ratification of that fact on primary day. When that didn't happen, they became confused and angry and you can see that in the snitty attitude of her supporters on this board. It's not hard to see why a lot of voters preferred Obama's message of political change over Bill and Hillary's sour grapes as he began amassing delegates. If Obama's such a political "featherweight" as some here have claimed, how does he keep creaming Hillary? If it's because he's such a good orator, well, hasn't he proven himself as someone who can rally voters to himself on the stump? You're actually upset that his speeches aren't wonky snoozefests that Jon Stewart can make fun of the next day? If it's because the press was in his corner, isn't that a major strategic advantage going into the general election against a similarly popular Republican opponent?

It's also just -- just -- possible that Barack Obama is a very smart guy who has good ideas and made an inspirational case for why he should be president and Hillary couldn't craft a message to compete with that and [has probably] lost. But what do I know?

Posted by: jonas on February 20, 2008 at 5:28 AM | PERMALINK

Hillary Clinton has a simple choice: go down, a bitter, destructive loser; or exit gracefully, remaining a powerful leader in the democratic party.

I think she'll choose the latter.

Posted by: Econobuzz on February 20, 2008 at 5:54 AM | PERMALINK

Unless the press decides they're tired of him, of course. Then all bets are off.

I think it's a myth that the media has this much influence on the results so far, or the primary process in general.

Posted by: Jimm on February 20, 2008 at 6:04 AM | PERMALINK

Obama is unstoppable. What is too bad is that the harpie Hillary Clinton doesn't have the common human decency to bow out gracefully and to congratulate and support him. She didn't even offer a congratulation to Obama after last night's win in Wisconsin and Hawaii. Shameful.

John McCain? Well, he is shaping up to be the Bob Dole candidate of 2008 - tired, lackluster, geriatric old fool that is going to get kicked to the curb in November - Count on it!

Posted by: The Conservative Deflator on February 20, 2008 at 6:07 AM | PERMALINK

There's a new meme growing out there now IMHO. It goes like this amongst Hillary leaners: OK, 'nuff already, let's vote for Obama so we can get this damn primary season behind us! - CB

I can see that happening. Particularly as McCain continues to take his shots. Dems may want to get this one behind us.

Posted by: Quinn on February 20, 2008 at 6:31 AM | PERMALINK

"Unless the press decides they're tired of him, of course. Then all bets are off."

Exactly. Well, for us in the rest of the world, this builds real confidence in the political system of the US. Another election decided by the media. Great. The last two times have been such a tremendous success, you know...
|-(

Posted by: Gray on February 20, 2008 at 6:47 AM | PERMALINK

"I think it's a myth that the media has this much influence on the results so far, or the primary process in general."

President Edwards agrees with you, I'm sure.

Posted by: chaboard on February 20, 2008 at 7:18 AM | PERMALINK

heart???? maybe he's sharing a paceMaker with chaineeeeee.old man walking slowly.

Posted by: mestizo on February 20, 2008 at 7:25 AM | PERMALINK

"And his wife makes Laura botox" Bush look animated. The woman is creepy. Anyone know her history... a drug addict!!!"

Can we stick to the issues, please? So what if Cindy McCain has done drugs? Not all drug addicts are condemned to live in a crack house or die in a ditch. Many people do drugs at some point in their lives and are lucky enough to get off the stuff and go and (gasp) lead normal lives. Yes, I know she got off yada yada yada, but if given the opportunity to use any connections we had to avoid prosecution for anything every single one of us would use those. She's not the issue, a very tired conservative Bushthink agenda is the issue.

Laura Bush didn't get us into a useless war, erode the constitution and expand executive power to ridiculous degrees. She's just married to the man who did all this.

Don't go all wingnut on us, this sounds like it's come from a progressive version of Fox News.

Posted by: skyweaver on February 20, 2008 at 7:34 AM | PERMALINK

I wish the Rezko trial was starting now instead of in March.... It is starting in March, just as the press delivers up this consummate phony and his nasty wife as our nominees. This maybe the second coming .. but not the second coming that he is promising.

Posted by: MsCommnet on February 20, 2008 at 8:37 AM | PERMALINK

The press has a vested interest in stringing this campaign out as long as they can. After all, where do you think the lion's share of Barack and Hillary's$250 million is going? Local tv affiliates, is the answer.

Posted by: lampwick on February 20, 2008 at 8:43 AM | PERMALINK

The irony is the Clinton machine is loosing to a gifted upstart politician that is going around the country preaching "hope." The woman married to the man from Hope is loosing to the man preaching hope. The resume similarities between Obama and the young Bill Clinton are striking and I don't understand why so many of you don't get why Obama is winning. It has nothing to do with the press or Hillary's poor campaign , but everything to do with Obama's political skills and instincts. Looking back when this is all said and done, people will realize she never had a chance.

Posted by: hawk on February 20, 2008 at 8:50 AM | PERMALINK

Bob Dole says Bob Dole did not look unusually scripted and robotic last night! Bob Dole, fired up, ready to go! Bob Dole Bob Dole!

Posted by: Bob Dole on February 20, 2008 at 9:05 AM | PERMALINK

Bob Dole so very tired... Bob Dole Bob Dole....

Posted by: Bob Dole on February 20, 2008 at 9:13 AM | PERMALINK

What good is McCain's experience if he hasn't learned anything from it?

As "ex-liberal" -- always a reliable neocon propaganda robot -- indicates, it's going to be his selling point.

Of course, he's vulnerable to having his experience abandoning his so-called "principles" pointed out -- even the Kristof concedes the point, claiming it was done reluctantly.

Posted by: Gregory on February 20, 2008 at 9:18 AM | PERMALINK

Hillary's downfall was Mark Penn

You could have stopped there.

Posted by: Gregory on February 20, 2008 at 9:19 AM | PERMALINK

So in the end, misogyny trumps racism. Good to know.

Hillary can thank American loser women for her defeat.

I guess you gals will never get it together.

Doesn't bode well for us gay folk, does it?

Posted by: Michael Buchanan on February 20, 2008 at 9:25 AM | PERMALINK

"Unless the press decides they're tired of him, of course"

How rich, and how true! The press is a fickle and capricious lover. After all, why bother with facts when it's easier to react to feelings?

Posted by: Fred S on February 20, 2008 at 9:27 AM | PERMALINK

The irony is the Clinton machine is loosing to a gifted upstart politician that is going around the country preaching "hope." The woman married to the man from Hope is loosing to the man preaching hope. The resume similarities between Obama and the young Bill Clinton are striking and I don't understand why so many of you don't get why Obama is winning. It has nothing to do with the press or Hillary's poor campaign , but everything to do with Obama's political skills and instincts. Looking back when this is all said and done, people will realize she never had a chance.

I think "never had a chance" is a bit strong. I think when folks were saying that she was the presumptive nominee that it was disregarding Obama too much. I think Hillary's losing because of poor campaign management against a skillful opponent. When people look back, it won't be obvious that Obama would win, but that Hillary's decision to stake all her chips on Texas and Ohio to the exclusion of ten other primaries and caucuses was the fundamental problem. Time will still tell whether that's the way it turns out...I'm hopeful that Obama will win, but I'm not discounting Clinton either.

Posted by: Quinn on February 20, 2008 at 9:28 AM | PERMALINK

I don't know if this qualifies as conventional wisdom, but I heard on "Marketplace" this morning that Obama's campaign had over 650 thousand contributors, most of whom were still eligible to contribute more and, of course, could draw other people into the fold. In contrast, half of Hillary's supporters have already contributed the maximum.

Money isn't everything (Romney proved that), but if Hillary isn't winning on message and isn't winning on money, what has she got left?

Ohio Democrats still heavily favor Hillary according to the most recent polls. I think it is about a 20 point lead. If Obama cuts that lead in half or better, then Hillary will bow out. I wonder how good Obama's ground game is in Ohio?

As for Obama being a "lightweight," puhleeze. You could say the same for any number of people elected to high office - some who worked out, some who didn't. Also, portraying Obama supporters as gullible sheep too stupid to understand that they are being wowed by an empty suit is just wishful thinking. Could he be a huge disappointment in the general election or as president? Of course, but the facts on the ground currently available do not support that he will be weak against McCain. Just look at how many more Democrats are voting in the primaries.

Hillary's problem may have been that the only thing her troops knew how to do is stand up to dirty attacks from Republicans.

To be fair, Obama has been extremely lucky. But, one mark of a leader is in how well they capitalize on opportunity. Regardless of whether he gets the nomination, his campaign has been a masterwork and will be studied by political junkies for years.

Posted by: lobbygow on February 20, 2008 at 9:34 AM | PERMALINK

The lesson to learn from Obama's campaign: If you want to beat a competent women, find a well-spoken black guy with a law degree.

Posted by: Michael Buchanan on February 20, 2008 at 9:37 AM | PERMALINK

Yet another reason that it will be over after March 4: Democratic voters are focused on this election as they have never been focused on a primary election. They know that the only chance that the Republicans have is a Hillary victory because such a victory would come only with the most bitter internecine fighting. The Democratic voters in Ohio and Texas know this. I think that we can depend on a meaningful percentage of these voters taking this fact into the voting booth and voting for Obama for the sake of the party's chances in November.

And that's Hillary's base. They might not be fired up but they're ready for her to go.

Posted by: JD from VA on February 20, 2008 at 9:37 AM | PERMALINK

Lobbygow,

Clinton's lead in OH is less than 10% in the most recent polling. Unfortunately, I don't think she's going anywhere until March 5 at the earliest.

Posted by: JD from VA on February 20, 2008 at 9:40 AM | PERMALINK

It's my understanding that Hillary is still determined to seat the Michigan and Florida delegates.

Oh boy.

Posted by: Lucy on February 20, 2008 at 9:42 AM | PERMALINK

"So in the end, misogyny trumps racism. Good to know."

This is an absurd notion -that if someone, male or female, decides not to go with Hillary that it's misogyny. Our mothers and grandmothers did not march for the right to vote solely because they wanted to vote for other women. They just wanted a level playing field. I am a woman, I think Hillary is a fine candidate. I like Obama better. I am not rejecting women by doing voting for him and not her.

Posted by: galpal on February 20, 2008 at 9:51 AM | PERMALINK

It’s not just that Barack Obama keeps winning primaries and caucuses. And it’s not just the sizable margins of his victories. What’s really disconcerting for the Clinton campaign right now is how — and with whom — Obama is getting ahead.

If she doesn't start winning a few contests, MI/FL won't help save her at all.

Posted by: Joe Klein's conscience on February 20, 2008 at 9:51 AM | PERMALINK

What's that sound?

Answer: it's the sound of nearly 40,000 new contributors to the Obama campaign.

Last night at 10:30pm their donors count stood at 462,100; this morning at 9:48 it stands at 500,700, an increase of about 39,000 - in less than 12 hours.

That's just new donors. It says nothing about the old ones.

Pretty impressive.

Posted by: lampwick on February 20, 2008 at 9:52 AM | PERMALINK

I meant to reply to Lucy's comment.

Posted by: Joe Klein's conscience on February 20, 2008 at 9:55 AM | PERMALINK

For those who keep saying "don't count Hillary out" I have to say... she's out. I've counted. Before yesterday there were several scenarios where she might be able to squeak out a victory in the end with help of super delegates. However, all of the "How Hillary Can Still Win" scenarios required at least a *close* race in Wisconsin. That didn't happen. She's done. Texas will net about even on delegates and she may get a few more than BO in Ohio, but it will not be enough.

If she has any love at all for her country and her party, she should concede. The longer she stays in it now, the worse off we are in November.

Posted by: Da5id on February 20, 2008 at 9:58 AM | PERMALINK

If Obama wins or splits Texas and Ohio, there will be no discussion of Michigan and Florida. So far there really hasn't been pressure on Clinton to drop out. She's drawn a line in the sand, and that's Texas and Ohio. If she loses one of those, the pressure will begin, and she'll drop out.

Posted by: Quinn on February 20, 2008 at 10:01 AM | PERMALINK

Yet another reason that it will be over after March 4: Democratic voters are focused on this election as they have never been focused on a primary election. They know that the only chance that the Republicans have is a Hillary victory because such a victory would come only with the most bitter internecine fighting. The Democratic voters in Ohio and Texas know this.

Well, I'm in Texas and I know this, but I'm not so sure about everybody else. The big name bloggers have been kind of beating around the bush on this.

Posted by: Mike on February 20, 2008 at 10:06 AM | PERMALINK

What is too bad is that the harpie Hillary Clinton...

Good work, Conservative. Continuing your pattern of using highly gender-specific insults--something to be really proud of there, and a real credibility enhancer for you.

On a more neutral note, I hope Clinton has the grace to step aside without going to the mat over Michigan (give me a break!), Florida (the time to bring that up and look for resolution was before the primaries) and superdelegates. I'm not quite as sanguine as some about the prospects of her bowing out graciously. The Clintons want this badly enough that I can see them going to court over Michigan and Florida unless superdelegates promptly make it clear that HRC doesn't have their support. I slightly suspect--and greatly hope I'm grossly wrong--that the Clintons see the damage to the party as less important than the loss of the presidency.

All of that will be inoperative (have always wanted to use that to mock Ron Ziegler) if Obama wins Texas and/or Ohio.

Hillary can thank American loser women for her defeat.

I guess you gals will never get it together.

Doesn't bode well for us gay folk, does it?

Well, reading your comment, I do detect some clouds on your personal horizon. Not sure I'd extrapolate that to all gay folk.

Posted by: shortstop on February 20, 2008 at 10:12 AM | PERMALINK

I hadn't read Da5id's comment about the numbers disallowing a Clinton nomination when I posted mine of 10:12. I'll be interested to see if and how many blogs start running the numbers. The MSM sure ain't gonna do it, although they've all assiduously reported that there's no way Huck can get the GOP nomination.

Posted by: shortstop on February 20, 2008 at 10:18 AM | PERMALINK

So in the end, misogyny trumps racism. Good to know....

The better candidate is winning.
Period.

Posted by: frankly pissed in Hawaii on February 20, 2008 at 10:57 AM | PERMALINK

The unique democratic process of the American primary system has most likely chosen Sen. Obama to be the Democratic nominee for president. At least he is not a pussy like Gore or a milquetoast like Kerry. Fill up those stadiums with tens of thousands of supporters, Sen. Obama. The MSM might not report it, but the local media will.

McCain has already achieved the senility of Reagan. I am hoping Michelle can conjur another zinger to give him a debilitating stroke, but it might be better if Barack does it during a nationally televised debate.

Posted by: Brojo on February 20, 2008 at 11:10 AM | PERMALINK

After an initial stage of the campaign when it seemed clear Edwards and Obama were competing for the Progressive voters it strangely became clear this wasn't so. Instead, Edwards & Clinton were fighting for the same voters and splitting them up gave Obama a chance (which he's taken).

So, if the 'powers that be' had let Edwards knock Clinton out of the race after Iowa, when it seemed clear he had achieved, he might've gotten all those voters together to really compete with Obama.

Instead, Diebold came to Clinton's rescue (or simply that NH is close to NY or somesuch) and she stayed in the race. That did in Edwards campaign and ensured Clinton would take longer and longer to lose.

So, after NH it was pretty much assured Obama would win. Sounds like a short primary season to me.

Of course, Obama might not have been in the campaign and might not be winning it now if strange things had not happened in Iowa to start with. Got Democracy?

Posted by: MarkH on February 20, 2008 at 11:14 AM | PERMALINK

"So in the end, misogyny trumps racism. Good to know...."

And what if, in the end, Hillary won - did racism trump misogyny? Or is there a slight chance...I know, I know, it boggles the mind...I mean a slight chance that, say, the superior candidate won? Nah! All those DEMOCRATIC women who vote in Democratic primaries HATE other women!

Posted by: Augie on February 20, 2008 at 11:22 AM | PERMALINK

Someone upthread echoed what we are going through now: election fatigue. It's only February and we're already sick of campaigns. If the media keeps this up until November, the entire nation is going to stay home. I hope we can take a nice long break after Ohio/Texas. Just shut the hell up until convention time and give the electorate a breather.

Posted by: arteclectic on February 20, 2008 at 11:33 AM | PERMALINK

Wow, all you people say that the MSM declared Clinton the winner and now you declare Obama the winner. He needs 710 out of 1463 of the remaining delegates to win outright. Given what's been happening, that's very likely but it's not definite. And given that, why should Clinton drop out? It's very very unlikely that she wins outright, but it could happen that Obama doesn't win outright.
As an aside, what's up with Washington? Obama won 68% in the caucus and is running at 50% in the primary (which doesn't count for anything).

Posted by: JohnL on February 20, 2008 at 11:38 AM | PERMALINK

Call me a troll, but to me the Hillary supporters on this board sound like typical boomers..."if you disagree with my choices, it must be because you have a highly obvious personal defect." Why can't it be because Obama supporters like them and/or don't like political dynasties and/or think Clinton's Lieberman lite senate resume doesn't qualify her for the presidency?

Posted by: anon on February 20, 2008 at 11:49 AM | PERMALINK

This "typical boomers" crap gets tiresome.

Speaking as a boomer, I have clear memories of

> boomers demonstrating against the Vietnam war
> boomers pounding the crap out of antiwar demonstrators
> boomers demonstrating in favor of the Vietnam war
> boomers evading fighting in the Vietnam war
> boomers volunteering to fight in the Vietnam war
> boomers drafted to fight in the Vietnam war
> boomers trying every drug there was
> boomers that wouldn't drink beer until they were 21
> boomers joining the Young Republicans
> boomers joining the SDS
> boomers marching for civil rights
> boomers flinging around the N word
> boomers beating up minorities
> boomers that would fuck anything that moved
> boomers that chose to wait until marriage before having sex

I could go on, but I think you get the idea

Posted by: thersites on February 20, 2008 at 11:57 AM | PERMALINK

And given that, why should Clinton drop out? It's very very unlikely that she wins outright, but it could happen that Obama doesn't win outright.

I don't believe she should drop out now. I wouldn't. Neither do I think she should fight to the bitter end and wrestle for superdelegates and the seating of Florida/Michigan if she fails to nail Ohio and Texas. If those two states really are the bright line, as she's indicated, I believe she should step aside if she fails to win them decisively.

Posted by: shortstop on February 20, 2008 at 11:59 AM | PERMALINK

"And given that, why should Clinton drop out? It's very very unlikely that she wins outright, but it could happen that Obama doesn't win outright"

Because there's little point in trying to "win" by
some kind of technicality or back-room deal.
Given the current totals of pledged delegates,
together with the delegate-allocation rules for
the remaining states, it appears close to impossible
for HRC to beat Obama on pledged delegates. This
isn't the Superbowl, where you can stay close
and then win it in the last minute: she's behind,
she's falling further behind, and there's no
plausible way to turn it around.

If she wants to stay in through March 4th and hope
for a miracle, that's fine. But if she ends up
with a 100-seated-pledged-delegate deficit and
tries to overturn that at the convention, just
because Obama hasn't reached 50%+1, then it's
really foolish and damaging. After March 4th
the people will probably have spoken, and
politicians in a democracy have a duty to accept
their verdict (or else end up in the same circle
of hell reserved for GWB and the SCOTUS after
Florida 2000).

But hey, maybe it's for the best. HRC's advisers
and campaign staff have done a poor job, and
I wouldn't be sorry to see them blacken their
names and disqualify themselves from consideration
for positions in an Obama administration.

Posted by: Richard Cownie on February 20, 2008 at 12:00 PM | PERMALINK

What thersites said, with the note that his list showing how diverse boomers of a certain age are completely leaves out boomers of a totally different age, which only strengthens his point. I was born in the last year of the boom. Put me next to the people born in the first, and everyone in between, and you'll see how different we all are.

Posted by: shortstop on February 20, 2008 at 12:03 PM | PERMALINK

Yeah, shortstop. But we're the real boomers. You're fakers. ;)

Posted by: thersites on February 20, 2008 at 12:06 PM | PERMALINK

McC has won the poisoned chalice; not much cause for enthusiasm on his part . . .

Posted by: penalcolony on February 20, 2008 at 12:28 PM | PERMALINK

While I'm surprised at how poorly the Hillary campaign performed and how savvy the Obama campaign has turned out to be, Hillary was always a bad candidate. After almost two decades of attacks the electorate is conditioned to dislike her, and she is not talented or impressive enough to overcome this disadvantage. That is why I signed the petition urging Barack Obama to run.

Watching Hillary's speech last night I did feel sorry for her. She seemed completely exhausted, and her delivery was forced and unconvincing. She has grit, and I've always admired her for it. But she is simply the lesser candidate.

The Hillary snipers here and elsewhere never made a case for her. Instead, they vilified Obama for his virtues, among them being an incredibly successful politician who can rally huge crowds and bring countless new voters into the process and into the Democratic party. They demonized Obama supporters as lockstep cultists, willfully ignored good faith arguments, and resorted to dishonesty, distortion, and insult. They made pretzel-like rationalizations about which voters matter and which Democratic party rules should apply. It's been all negative all the time, and it was a loser, and rightly so.

Posted by: Lucy on February 20, 2008 at 12:32 PM | PERMALINK

Yeah, shortstop. But we're the real boomers. You're fakers. ;)

LOL--the boomers won't have me and neither will Gen X. I'll be the chick without an annoying generational label.

Posted by: shortstop on February 20, 2008 at 12:47 PM | PERMALINK

kis - ...but you can't say he doesn't have a firm grasp of the issues.

"YES I can!" Good luck in Nov.

Posted by: Steve-O on February 20, 2008 at 1:00 PM | PERMALINK

Wow. Touched a nerve with the Hillary counter bloggers. Good.

Posted by: Sparko on February 20, 2008 at 1:02 PM | PERMALINK

Hillary's campaign mirrored the incompetence of the Gore and Kerry campaigns. She would have had difficulty running a good, hard hitting campaign against a walking platitude like McCain. I hope I don't say that about Barack in November.

Sen. Obama, do not return Donna Brazile's phone calls and kick that fucking cloth coat Republican senator from MA off of your stage.

Posted by: Brojo on February 20, 2008 at 1:32 PM | PERMALINK

All the judgmental comments that Hillary should bow out now are premature. Make your comments after TX and OH.

Posted by: don'tknow on February 20, 2008 at 1:47 PM | PERMALINK
….they vilified Obama for his virtues…willfully ignored good faith arguments, and resorted to dishonesty, distortion, and insult….at 12:32 PM Lucy at 12:32 PM
Those virtues are singularly hard to find. Listening to Obama, the only word that adequately describes his heresthetics is bull. He is a huge disappointment for anyone even with a moderately liberal agenda: his healthcare guru is Jim Cooper, one of the people who ….helped scuttle universal health care, in 1993….

[T]here are still certain things that make me really, really nervous about Obama. At the top of that list is the health care debate, where I think he’s just wrong about the importance of universality, and where he’s employed Harry and Louise-style tactics to argue against Clinton’s plan. My concerns shifted into overdrive, though, when I noticed that the Obama campaign is now using Rep. Jim Cooper as a spokesperson/surrogate on health care.
…no Democrat did more to destroy our chances in that fight than Jim Cooper….
Cooper, a leader of conservative Dems on the health care issue, instead of working with us, came out early and said universality was unimportant, and came out with a bill that did almost nothing in terms of covering the uninsured. He quickly became the leading spokesman on the Dem side for the insurance industry position, and undercut us at every possible opportunity, basically ending any hopes we had for a unified Democratic Party position….

His economic advisor, wins approval of conservative Geoge Will, which is certainly a bad omen for progressives.

…Is Goolsbee dismayed about widening income inequality? Yes, but with a nuanced understanding. The stagnation of middle- and working-class incomes, and the anxiety this has generated, is, he says, a most pressing problem, but policymakers must be mindful about trying to address its root cause, which Goolsbee says is "radically increased returns to skill."….

No, the root cause is the tax structure that Republicans have put into place since the Reagan administration which has reduced rates for the wealthiest.

As to the 'good faith' arguments' and vilification, the former have been in extremely short supply from you and the latter echoed every Republican talking point from the past 15 years, the same period the Republicans became, Ta ta: The Party of Ideas.

Posted by: Mike on February 20, 2008 at 2:39 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin wrote: "Unless the press decides they're tired of him, of course. Then all bets are off."

The corporate media is saving their campaign of character assassination for the general election. That's when Obama will be Gored and Swift-Boated. Bet on it.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on February 20, 2008 at 3:00 PM | PERMALINK

At this point, I would say Hillary should drop out. With the endorsement of the Teamsters and the growing tsunami of the Obama campaign, for her to stay along will seriously undermine any future attempt of her running for President, as well as her influence within the Senate.

From a pure power perspective, she would be wise to bow out gracefully before she loses more support, and leave an impression of potential. If she were to stay and lose Texas, then her chances in the future would be hard and she wouldn't be seen as credible.

Posted by: Boorring on February 20, 2008 at 3:57 PM | PERMALINK

Correction:


With the endorsement of the Teamsters to Obama and the growing tsunami of his campaign, for her to stay along-

Posted by: Boorring on February 20, 2008 at 4:04 PM | PERMALINK

delegatehub.com

Paid for by Hillary Clinton for President

Posted by: Lucy on February 20, 2008 at 4:21 PM | PERMALINK

Excuse me, I did not give the full credit as it appears on the home page of delegatehub.com.

Paid for by Hillary Clinton for President

Hillary Clinton for President is not responsible for the content of any external websites.

paid for but not responsible

Got it.

Posted by: Lucy on February 20, 2008 at 4:28 PM | PERMALINK

Bill Clinton says Texas could be Hillary's 'last stand.'

ABC News

Posted by: nepeta on February 20, 2008 at 5:42 PM | PERMALINK

"That's when Obama will be Gored and Swift-Boated"
The media better be working hard inventing new smears, because both Kerry and Gore had pre-existing smears with their names written on em and ready to go.

Really though, is there any way a real progressive could get into the White House except by pretending to be a corporate elitist?

Posted by: Joey Giraud on February 20, 2008 at 8:12 PM | PERMALINK
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