Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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March 25, 2008
By: Kevin Drum

"THINGS ARE BEING DONE"....Via Dana Goldstein, here is Harry Reid telling a reporter how the Democratic primary race is going to play out:

Q: Do you still think the Democratic race can be resolved before the convention?

Reid: Easy.

Q: How is that?

Reid: It will be done.

Q: It just will?

Reid: Yep.

Q: Magically?

Reid: No, it will be done. I had a conversation with Governor Dean (Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean) today. Things are being done.

My mind is now at rest. Thanks, Harry.

Kevin Drum 1:38 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (51)

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Comments

Could you be a little more vague Harry?

Posted by: Paul on March 25, 2008 at 1:41 PM | PERMALINK

Was he drunk? Thought he was off the record?

If you're going to anger 48% of your voters through peremptory action, at least be a little diplomatic about it.

Posted by: geoff on March 25, 2008 at 1:42 PM | PERMALINK

Now these types of things always make me wonder. Does Reid say these intentionally infuriating things because 1) he doesn't know better; 2) he doesn't give a shit; or 3) he wants to illicit an infuriated response?

Posted by: DougMN on March 25, 2008 at 1:43 PM | PERMALINK

He must be busy drafting the Articles of Impeachment against Bush and Cheney. Or not.

He has done such a bang-up job of holding the Bush Administration accountable. NOT! Most ineffectual Senate Majority leader in history. Hang it up Harry!

Posted by: The Conservative Deflator on March 25, 2008 at 1:45 PM | PERMALINK

Posted by: DougMN on March 25, 2008 at 1:43 PM

Sadly, I believe he does it because he wants to look like he is skillfully in charge of a roiling situation he lost charge of in early 2007.

Posted by: Zit on March 25, 2008 at 1:50 PM | PERMALINK

Maybe what he means is Dean told him to offer Clinton his job as Majority Leader. What a boob.

Posted by: NHCt on March 25, 2008 at 1:50 PM | PERMALINK

Have to agree with Reid even though he's a Hillary supporter. Since Barack already won (do the math), of course it will be resolved. The superdelegates are stampeding toward Barack at this very moment. Look at Lynn Woolsey's recent defection from Hillary to Barack.

Posted by: Al on March 25, 2008 at 1:51 PM | PERMALINK

I'm beginning to get the feeling that if Pelosi, Gore, Reid, Edwards and Schumer sit down with Hillary after Pennsylvania to tell here she's done and it's time to hang it up, all they'd get in return is a middle finger. When your advisers are comparing you to Jesus Christ even while there's no way the math is going to work for you, it seems obvious that rationality has gone by the wayside.

Posted by: pinson on March 25, 2008 at 1:51 PM | PERMALINK

Interesting. One of the possible consolation prizes for Hillary is Queen of the Senate. That's not really something in Howard Dean's power to give, but if Reid's on board it may be possible.

Posted by: ArkPanda on March 25, 2008 at 1:52 PM | PERMALINK

The only way either one of the candidates would withdraw from the race at this point is if enough of the superdelates publicly declare their support for one that places that person over the magic number of delegates to win the nomination outright.

But for them to do so before all the primaries are conducted would bring down vicious denunciations from the losing candidate's supporters, so you know that they will all wait for the last possible moment to make a public decision.

So it my belief this thing is going to go the full distance and the Dem nominee will be decided at the convention. Gotta hand it to you guys, you really know how to run a political organization.

Posted by: Chicounsel on March 25, 2008 at 1:57 PM | PERMALINK

Expect this exchange soon:

REID: "Hillary is being studied by Top Men."

REPORTER: "Like Who?"

REID: "Top. Men."

Posted by: Jim D on March 25, 2008 at 1:57 PM | PERMALINK

One of the possible consolation prizes for Hillary is Queen of the Senate.

Hey, that's really catchy! Somehow, that reminds me of The Door's "Queen of the Highway".

Posted by: Doc at the Radar Station on March 25, 2008 at 1:58 PM | PERMALINK

The next six months will be crucial.

Posted by: AJ on March 25, 2008 at 1:58 PM | PERMALINK

Things get curiouser and curiouser.

Reid lives in a dream.

My Take: Hillary for Senate leader; Obama for President.

Further afield: McCain picks Thomas for Veep. Rice converts to Judaism and becomes Israel's second women prime minister.

Tell me I'm not insane!

Posted by: nostradamus on March 25, 2008 at 1:59 PM | PERMALINK

The next six months will be crucial.

Funniest thing I've read all day.

Thanks.

Posted by: lobbygow on March 25, 2008 at 2:00 PM | PERMALINK

Chico: the Dem nominee will be decided at the convention

It's called Democracy. It's why we're the Democratic party. Scary to behold, ain't it?

Posted by: thersites on March 25, 2008 at 2:04 PM | PERMALINK

Reid sounds like a mob enforcer getting ready to whack one of them.

Posted by: eric on March 25, 2008 at 2:05 PM | PERMALINK

Chicounsel: "Gotta hand it to you guys, you really know how to run a political organization."

It's a lot easier for the Republicans since they are an organized crime syndicate that only masquerades as a political organization.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on March 25, 2008 at 2:08 PM | PERMALINK

damn it, JimD beat me to the Indiana jones reference.

Posted by: Glenn on March 25, 2008 at 2:18 PM | PERMALINK

Mr. Unsel: So it my belief this thing is going to go the full distance and the Dem nominee will be decided at the convention.

And your beliefs have such a history of being borne out. Why, you've been right as much as 2 percent of the time.

Posted by: shortstop on March 25, 2008 at 2:18 PM | PERMALINK


"Expect this exchange soon:

REID: "Hillary is being studied by Top Men."

REPORTER: "Like Who?"

REID: "Top. Men."

ROTFLMAO.

If only we could put Penn and Wolfson in a box (lock-box!) and stack it beneath a lot of other boxes in a big room full of boxes.

Get me Senator...Boxer!

Posted by: cazart on March 25, 2008 at 2:24 PM | PERMALINK

It's called Democracy. It's why we're the Democratic party. Scary to behold, ain't it?

Posted by: thersites on March 25, 2008 at 2:04 PM | PERMALINK

No, there's nothing scary about beholding it to me. It's no skin off my ass who ends up with the nomination because I believe that neither one of them will be able to beat McCain in the general.

But as you may or may not know, having the nominee chosen at the convention is what I believe should happen in the first place. Think of how much better the 100 million dollars that all the candidates have spent on these stupid primaries could have been better used for building party infrastructure and GOTV efforts for the general election.

Posted by: Chicounsel on March 25, 2008 at 2:31 PM | PERMALINK

One way it could play out: Pennsylvania happens (presumably, Obama loses by 15+). Then, Obama wins North Carolina on April 6, and Indiana does whatever it does.

At this point, Edwards announces that since both North and South Carolina went for Obama, and b/c Obama's the candidate of change, he's endorsing Obama and directing his 12 pledged delegates to vote for him, and asking his "automatic" delegates to back him as well.

Game. Set. Match.

Posted by: JoshA on March 25, 2008 at 2:39 PM | PERMALINK

I'm afraid Hillary will win Pennsylvania, call it the only state that matters, and soldier on until she's defeated by a large margin on North Carolina.

Posted by: Joe Buck on March 25, 2008 at 3:22 PM | PERMALINK

Let me guess Harry, you're going to write another strongly worded letter to somebody.

Posted by: vrk on March 25, 2008 at 3:24 PM | PERMALINK

An excellent expression of democracy in action I`d say & the way it should always function.

Leaving plenty of time for St. McCain to trip over his very broad ignorance several times and maybe even get some more free booze cash from his wife.

"The first lesson of democracy is not to hold the public in contempt." - Ronnie Earle

Posted by: daCascadian on March 25, 2008 at 3:46 PM | PERMALINK

What is done is my party affiliation with the Dems.

I changed my party affiliation to Independent this week and it will be cold day in hell before they ever get another penny from me.

Posted by: Tang on March 25, 2008 at 3:57 PM | PERMALINK

If the superdelegates are going to end this cleanly, they need to do it before much longer. If Clinton wins PA by double digits, it will be very, very messy.

Clinton may still not take no for an answer, but it will be harder for her to do so.

Posted by: Yancey Ward on March 25, 2008 at 4:44 PM | PERMALINK

And when it's done, can we get a new Majority Leader in the Senate? Maybe Hillary Clinton? Because I am so over Reid.

Posted by: Stacy on March 25, 2008 at 5:24 PM | PERMALINK

I don't see Hillary as Senate Dem leader. Dodd would be better at that during an Obama administration.

Of course, the Senate is still fairly conservative, so if Hillary were to triangulate.....

No, that's not legal under Senate rules.

She's in a very tough spot.

Posted by: MarkH on March 25, 2008 at 5:44 PM | PERMALINK

Okay, bye, Tang. Write if you find work.

Posted by: the democratic party on March 25, 2008 at 6:12 PM | PERMALINK

The message was for Hillary and you can bet that Harry isn't the only one who's saying it. The Clintons must not be allowed to destroy the Democratic Party's chances in November. She needs to be shut down and shut down soon.

Posted by: Lilly on March 25, 2008 at 6:17 PM | PERMALINK

Any chance Reid could offer to support her for Majority Whip? What would Durbin do?

Posted by: sherrold on March 25, 2008 at 6:36 PM | PERMALINK

Is it possible they aren't changing the rules to end the race but coming-up with a strategy to keep Clinton's campaign "in-check" or to isolate it from the Democratic Party.

A little shoulder muscle from the Party leaders and she might just drop out after seeing the wisdom of such a choice.

Posted by: ThunderHeart on March 25, 2008 at 6:50 PM | PERMALINK

Party nominating procedures ought to be entirely opaque and the nominees ought to be announced NO SOONER than four weeks before the general election.

Posted by: Frank Wilhoit on March 25, 2008 at 7:23 PM | PERMALINK

better hurry Harry...we are now independents

Posted by: coolkraft on March 25, 2008 at 7:39 PM | PERMALINK

better hurry Harry...we are now independents

Posted by: coolkraft on March 25, 2008 at 7:39 PM | PERMALINK

Yeah, things are being done just like we do things in the Senate--so no one can seem them. It's magic, see...or rather, don't see... invisible now, invisible tomorrow, invisible the day after that.

Posted by: JO on March 25, 2008 at 7:58 PM | PERMALINK

Only way Dems will win in November, is if BOTH Barack and Hillary desist from their bid for the Presidency. It should be a Gore/Bloomberg ticket - or Gore/Edwards as an option - with Clinton as Secretary at HEW, with a mandate to fix the Health crisis, and Obama to replace Rice, with the huge task to get us back on speaking terms with the rest of the known universe, which now hates us.

Pierre JC Allard

Posted by: Pierre Allard on March 25, 2008 at 8:48 PM | PERMALINK

I heard things. I heard some things.

Jake

Posted by: Rodger Lodger on March 25, 2008 at 8:52 PM | PERMALINK

I believe it when I see it.

First, Senator Harry Reid has been an incompetent failure as majority leader. Now we're supposed to believe he's suddenly found a brain, a backbone, and backers to accomplish something of this magnitude (getting Hillary to stand aside)?

Second, hinting that Hillary will be forced out humiliates her and risks alienating many of her supporters (not to mention actually making the possibility of a concession less likely). The only way Hillary can reasonably be expected to withdraw is if she can save some face and claim that she made the decision on her own for the good of the party (even if the reality is that she was forced out kicking and screaming behind closed doors).

Third, it doesn't inspire much confidence in Reid or whatever process he believes is taking place that he would hint at it publicly like this. It suggests he's as politically clueless as he is indiscreet.

Best of luck, but I'm not holding my breath.

Posted by: Augustus on March 25, 2008 at 9:13 PM | PERMALINK

Glad to see that Kevin and others are starting to acknowldege that Ried is a dim bulb. How does a guy like that get to be majority leader?

Posted by: brian on March 25, 2008 at 9:30 PM | PERMALINK

No doubt by the people that do . . . you know . . . things.

Posted by: pjcamp on March 25, 2008 at 10:15 PM | PERMALINK

Finally, let's hope he's right, it's about time!

Posted by: Russell on March 26, 2008 at 5:55 AM | PERMALINK

I like Pierre's take on it.

Posted by: Clem on March 26, 2008 at 5:56 AM | PERMALINK

Bill and Hillary said when they ran in the OH and TX races that she had the nomination if she won those states. Texas is still up in the air as to who really won due to the primary and caucus results. Now, they say if she wins PA that it will wrap things up! Now they are recalculating the delegates in their own manner. I mean come on...she has a 5% chance of winning! How obvious can you get? I admire her tenacity but there is a time to graciously withdraw. I do not believe for a minute that the Democratic party will wrap this up in June because the Clinton's will never, ever give up or accept that now is not Hillary's time. She can still go on to do great things but it's time to close shop and move on.

Posted by: Melissa on March 26, 2008 at 11:39 AM | PERMALINK

It is Time to Shut Down Hillary Clinton
With Democratic race getting nastier by the day and Republican nominee wandering the world looking Presidential, it is time that Democrats brought an end to the nomination race.

Hillary Clinton is stretching her experience claims each day. She and her camp are trying to dig up dirt on the front runner so much so that it could damage the Democrats in fall. Hillary's trip to Bosnia under hail of fire has been discussed much in the media. Last night on Larry King Live, the renown journalist Maureen Dowd who accompanied Hillary put paid to Hillary's peace claims in Ireland. She said that apart from having tea with old ladies, Hillary had no contribution towards the Irish peace on that trip.

There is no mathematical possibility of Hillary Clinton winning the nomination. She is likely to win Pennsylvania, but she is 21 points behind Obama in North Carolina according to latest opinion polls.

It is time that a large number of Democratic Senators, Congressmen/women and party officials step forward and endorse Barack Obama in order to shut down Hillary Clinton before she does more damage to the party. Perhaps this is what Harry Reid was talking about yesterday.

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