Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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May 21, 2008
By: Kevin Drum

ELECTION THREAD....OK, OK, Barack Obama won Oregon and Hillary Clinton won Kentucky. I wasn't ignoring them, I was just out to dinner. Consider this an open thread to chat about the election.

Kevin Drum 1:23 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (104)

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first

Posted by: joel hanes on May 21, 2008 at 1:31 AM | PERMALINK

Hillary's got the momentum now! It's on to the convention and then on to the White House! Whoooo-hooooo!!!

(Oh.... I've just been told that this apparently changes nothing and that Obama has actually just clinched the nomination. Please ignore my previous celebration.)

Obama's got the momentum now! It's on to the convention and then on to the White House! Whoooo-hooooo!!!

Posted by: msmackle on May 21, 2008 at 1:32 AM | PERMALINK

But wait!! Don't forget about Puerto Rico!!! This thing is "far from over". BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

Posted by: CB on May 21, 2008 at 1:38 AM | PERMALINK

Looks like The Oregon Hook is not going to make it.

Sigh.

"A nation of sheep will beget a government of wolves." – Edward R. Murrow

Posted by: daCascadian on May 21, 2008 at 1:40 AM | PERMALINK

I appear to have already forgotten about Puerto Rico, where is that again? Does it still exist? Why do we still care? Who am I? Where do I come from?

This thing better be far from over, because I need some time still to stop bashing my head into the wall.

Posted by: msmackle on May 21, 2008 at 1:44 AM | PERMALINK

Think of the children, for God's sake. Think of the children.

Posted by: gregor on May 21, 2008 at 1:48 AM | PERMALINK

[Channeling Hillary]

Oregon doesn't count. It's California's Canada. So it's like a foreign country.

But Puerto Rico ... Puerto Rico counts!

[/Channeling Hillary]

Posted by: Callimaco on May 21, 2008 at 1:49 AM | PERMALINK

Oh oh, it looks like the morons that infected the firedoglake comment section with the moronic "first" and "zed" bullshit that makes that section largely a waste of time have metastasized.

Posted by: red@cted on May 21, 2008 at 2:03 AM | PERMALINK

I'm so disappointed about Novick losing, really dispirited.

Posted by: Ty Lookwell on May 21, 2008 at 2:34 AM | PERMALINK

At this point it's just a matter of the supers declaring till Hillary is mathematically eliminated even by whatever moronic scenarios Terry McAuliffe is currently floating.

One thing that the extended campaign has demonstrated is how gawdawful bad Hillary Clinton's judgment is. She picked the wrong strategist (Mark Penn), the wrong campaign rationale ("experience" during the change year to end all change years), the wrong strategy (skim the swing states and bank on being finished by Super Tuesday), the wrong campaign structure (top down with a vengeance), and the wrong donor focus (the FOB big donor network instead of the internet). When things went south for her campaign, she decided to roll out the GOP talking points. Now that it's over and we have a presumptive nominee (that's not her), she's still refusing to bow to reality.

I'm seeing that the death of HillaryCare back during her husband's first term, as well as the AUMF vote, aren't isolated things - they are what happens whenever you put Hillary Clinton in charge and let her make choices.

Man am I glad she's not going to be president.

Posted by: jimBOB on May 21, 2008 at 3:06 AM | PERMALINK

It looks like buyer's remorse regarding Obama is setting in.

Oregon: Obama wins 21 delegates; Clinton wins 14 delegates.

Kentucky: Obama wins 14 delegates; Clinton wins 37delegates.

In the last month, Clinton has won 242 delegates to Obama's 217.

As expected, Obama in Oregon, won the latte-sipping liberals in the major cities and surrounding counties and lost most of the rest of the state.

All of those caucus victories in the early elections have put Obama in the lead, but what good does he do by winning delegates in traditionally Red States?

Posted by: TangoMan on May 21, 2008 at 3:36 AM | PERMALINK

sorry, red@cted.
if it happens again, won't be me.

Posted by: joel "moronic" hanes on May 21, 2008 at 3:49 AM | PERMALINK

TangoMan - I'm a liberal and I don't sip lattes. The primary race is not the presidential race. Why are you talking about swing states? In fact... what *are* you talking about?

Posted by: William on May 21, 2008 at 3:50 AM | PERMALINK

FRIST!

yeah - I know

Just doin' to piss off red@cted

Posted by: on May 21, 2008 at 4:11 AM | PERMALINK

As expected, Obama in Oregon, won the latte-sipping liberals in the major cities and surrounding counties and lost most of the rest of the state.

Yeah, just like he won those states just overflowing with latte-sipping liberals (what exactly is wrong with sipping latte has quite curiously never been explained - I mean, the stuff is hot - you could burn your throat if you drank it too fast) in states like Alaska, Wyoming, Iowa, Utah, etc.

States absolutely overrun with latte-sipping liberals, you know.

And Obama - who is half black - lost in West Virginia and Kentucky???? Well, I am under-fucking-whelmed!!! You're a political genius, Tango.

You ought to apply for Mark Penn's old position with that kind of political aptitude.

Posted by: chuck on May 21, 2008 at 4:16 AM | PERMALINK

I'm one of those who strongly suspect that Obama is a far better primary candidate than general election candidate (like McGovern or Kerry or Dole) so I hope Clinton hangs in as long as possible in case Obama implodes sooner rather than later.

On the issues, I'd vote for Obama over McCain, but I'm furious with the democratic party over the Florida debacle. If the Florida delegates aren't seated I'll probably abstain.

Posted by: mafketis on May 21, 2008 at 4:50 AM | PERMALINK

In the Great Land Down Under it is a duty of citizenship (indeed residence) to vote, so its the law. Some voters, of course, fail to read the instructions or deliberately spoil their votes and otherwise generally screw up. In some places spoiled votes can amount to near 10%! Its called the Donkey Vote and disproportionately hurts the Left.

So I am always interested in the thought process that has it that if you do not vote the election result is not your fault. Or, the other good one, I'll vote for the other guy if I don't get the one I want. There is something wrong here, votes in fact count and the results do matter. I am not a disinterested foreigner, the US election counts for the world beyond your shores too. Your electoral incompetence (twice) gave us eight years of illegal war, a catalogue of missed chances, greater international insecurity, and global economic meltdown. You betcha your vote counts. For us all. So do it right.

PS. For what its worth, anecdotal evidence amongst foreigners here in Asia suggests that international opinion of Hillary is that she is Old Washington for all the reasons JimBOB mentioned above (plus a gut feeling that she would be unforgiving and vindictive to political enemies). Hillary's gas tax pandering damaged her - where was the principle or the commonsense? Obama on the other hand offers a hope that he might be able to change the paradigm. Anything is better than Old Washington. His approach to the gas tax nonsense was spot on and encouraging. Be assured, however, that the Chinese government prays every night for a Hillary victory - its the only way to have certainty and business as usual.

Posted by: Aussie on May 21, 2008 at 5:34 AM | PERMALINK

Of the states that Obama has won, 18 were Red States and 12 were Blue States in 2004. These states represent 227 electoral votes in the General Election. The 12 Blue States from 2004 that Obama won represent 96 Electoral College votes in the General Election.

Of the states that Clinton has won, 12 were Red States and 8 were Blue States in 2004. These states represent 308 electoral votes in the General Election. The 8 Blue States from 2004 that Clinton won represent 159 Electoral College votes in the General Election.

Obama has won 13 caucus elections and 18 primaries. Clinton has won 1 caucas election and 18 primaries.

Look at the arcane Texas results: Clinton won 1,459,814 primary votes to Obama's 1,358,785 primary votes, thus getting 65 delegates to Obama's 61 and beat him by 101,029 votes but then the secondary caucus vote went 23,918 for Obama and 18,620 for Clinton, a margin of only 5,298, but those caucus voters awarded Obama an additional 38 delegates to Clinton's 29.

Counting every vote cast in primary elections, Clinton has garnered 16,517,667 votes to Obama's 16,079,945, a margin of 437,722 votes in her favor.

Obama's strengths have been in caucus states and in states that went Republican in 2004. More Democrats have voted for Clinton and most importantly she has shown the greatest appeal in states that traditionally vote Democratic.

It's clear that buyer's remorse is setting in in that as people get to know Obama, rather than projecting their own hopes onto him, they're realizing that he's a product of Chicago machine politics, a radical leftist who hasn't shown an ability to "heal the partisan divide" and someone who has associations with racist preachers and domestic terrorists. That's why Clinton has won more delegates than Obama in the last month even when the tide of the whole election process has almost swamped her.

The question of the day is how many of those early Obama supporters, who supported him because they projected their own hopes and dreams onto the man without knowing who he really was, would today like to change their support?

Posted by: TangoMan on May 21, 2008 at 5:38 AM | PERMALINK

The reason I love (reading) Kevin is for posts like End of an Era.

However, in the interests of fairness, this is a pretty poor excuse for an "Election" open thread. I guess. Pretty much everything is about the election, and for better or worse will be until November.

Posted by: James on May 21, 2008 at 5:57 AM | PERMALINK

TangoMan:

Those "radical leftists", like John F. Kennedy and FDR, are who have spurred greatness in the United States in the last century. It sure as fuck has not been conservatives, who have left nothing but war, debt and pollution as a legacy. And don't give Reagan credit for ending the Cold War or the collapse of the Soviet Union since that was a result of imperial overreach and mismanagement by their leaders and not a goddamn thing that Bonzo did or didn't do. It is conservatives who should hang their heads in shame. Obama may end up as the greatest president of the 21st Century.

TCD

Posted by: The Conservative Deflator on May 21, 2008 at 6:42 AM | PERMALINK

On the issues, I'd vote for Obama over McCain, but I'm furious with the democratic party over the Florida debacle.

Wow.

I'll tell you one person who wasn't furious with the DNC about Florida. Hillary Clinton (and that's a fact, if you go back and check).

That is - until the unthinkable happened and she started losing.

But go ahead and research it, if you don't remember. There was not a peep of protest out of the Hillary campaign until she started losing. Some of her people were even on the rules committee that decided to punish FL and MI. Finally, if you want to be mad at anyone, be mad at the Dems in those states who made the boneheaded move in the first place. There are rules in place, and there are consequences to breaking those rules.

Even if your name is Hillary Clinton.

Oh, and Tango, you desperately need to STFU with this "buyers remorse" business. If there were such buyers remorse, you wouldnt have one superdelegate after another endorsing Obama, would you?

So go ahead and make your arguments, whine, whimper, whatever you want, but please make sense and do not insult our collective intelligence. You're not on redstate.org over here.

Posted by: chuck on May 21, 2008 at 6:56 AM | PERMALINK

Obama's strengths have been in caucus states and in states that went Republican in 2004. More Democrats have voted for Clinton and most importantly she has shown the greatest appeal in states that traditionally vote Democratic. [...] It's clear that buyer's remorse is setting in in that as people get to know Obama.

You can't have it both ways--is Obama's pattern of success and failure based on primary dates, as a "buyer's remorse" story would indicate; or is it basically geographic, as the comparisons of win and loss states would suggest? I think it's the latter.

Obama's string of wins in the middle of the primary season created the impression of a story arc, and the political media love stories. But if you look at the maps of winning districts for Obama and Clinton, you see a lot of patterns that cross state boundaries regardless of the primary dates, and the patterns that do stop at the state boundary mostly have to do with caucus vs. non-caucus states.

In other words, when the primary happened matters relatively little, contrary to what you'd expect from a narrative about gaffes and streaks and buyer's remorse and closing the deal.

Now, you could reasonably think of this as being either good or bad for Obama. But it does suggest that it pays to be skeptical of horse-race stories.

Posted by: Matt McIrvin on May 21, 2008 at 7:13 AM | PERMALINK

I voters are experiencing buyer's remorse, what are we to make of this chart:

http://www.pollster.com/08-PA-Pres-GE-MvO.php

Which shows Obama overtaking McCain as the preferred candidate of Pennsylvania voters over the past few weeks?

Posted by: C. on May 21, 2008 at 7:47 AM | PERMALINK

I think the scenario of Clinton supporters claiming they'll sit out or vote for McCain should Obama get the nod is real, not the passing disappointment and anger many project. The numbers polling with that intention are too high for it all to dissipate. I find it incomprehensible a liberal/progressive/Democratic woman would pull the lever for McCain, a man if elected surely in a position to entrench 2-3 more rabidly conservative members on SCOTUS. Does it matter to these Clinton supporters the damage that would do to women's rights, the enviroment, civil rights, the courts down the line and generally the entire judiciary for generations to come? Evidently not. To explain they haven't thought it all out and hence their attitude says little for their intellect. They're no better than the recent votes in Appalachia primaries speak of those citizens, avoiding Obama in large numbers out of obvious racial animus. Between lacking the support of bigots and sore losers Obama may very well lose the election. That he needs the votes of such small, petty people is just as maddening. Democrats will deserve the wreckage they create if that happens.

Posted by: steve duncan on May 21, 2008 at 7:56 AM | PERMALINK

Hillary lost the election when she voted for the war and then wouldn't admit it was a mistake. That's when she lost me. We don't need another god damned politician who won't admit a mistake: its a sign that they don't know what they are doing in the field of civics; and it means that bad ideas go on for ever even when it's obviously bad and bleeding the country white.

She lied about simple stuff (Bosnia), she's pandered to the idiots (gas tax), She's shown she's vendictive to those that cross her (screw the working class in Arkansas), and has massively bad judgment, especially when it comes to selecting people (Mr. Penn) and she shown she's poor strategist (that's where Obama out foxed her - she's a street fighter, a tactician, but has little strategic skills). She's a great person as long as she doesn't have too much power, then she's dangerous. Unfortunately she's power hungry too.

She can't figure out right from wrong - or she wouldn't have voted for the war or done all of these things.

I'm worried about Obama's ability to manage a ship as big as the United States. But he's certainly shown damn fine competancy so far. And he hasn't pandered or spoken any lies that I no of so far.

Everything hinges on his ability to manage his administration and that means he has to both be a master politician, a master strategist, an occasional street fighter, read tons of stuff quickly, make tons of decisions quickly, exercise good judgment and communicate to the rest of us while he's at it.

I see nothing that says he can't do any of this. Though there are a few things here that I have yet to see him do.

I will say this. I was 9 years old when Armstrong walked on the moon. I was 29 when the Berlin Wall fell, I was 41 when the twins towers fell - the single greatest historical event in my life time would be seeing an African American inaugerated into the Presidency of the United States. I figured a women would probably do it in my life time, I figured Priest would marry and women would become Priest in my life time, but I never believed a black person would ever become President of the United States in my life time, your life time, your childrens life time or your childrens, childrens, childrens life time. If he has a good presidency it could be a big step forward for us all. If he has a bad presidency it might be another 242 years before we get another one. There's an awful lot riding on his shoulders.


Posted by: Bub on May 21, 2008 at 8:03 AM | PERMALINK

Kevin! Out to eat?

How could you possibly eat with the incalculable suspense of Oregon and Kentucky hanging over all of us?

Posted by: Rick B on May 21, 2008 at 8:05 AM | PERMALINK

so I hope Clinton hangs in as long as possible in case Obama implodes sooner rather than later.

Because if she drops out before the convention, and Obama goes belly up for some as-yet-unavailable-but-always-darkly-hinted-at reason, we won't know how to find her?

I'm pretty sure the DNC has her current cell number.

Posted by: shortstop on May 21, 2008 at 8:13 AM | PERMALINK

As long as Kobe loses I'm happy.

Posted by: B on May 21, 2008 at 9:15 AM | PERMALINK

Tango's allegations of "buyer's remorse" setting in are refuted by the most recent Gallup Polls, which show Obama moving ahead of Hillary in every demographic category except white women over 50. If remorse was setting in, the numbers would have gone in the opposite direction, at least in this universe.

As far as Kentucky goes, exit polls say that 21% of primary voters say race figured into their decision. 81% of these voters cast their ballots for Clinton. Does this mean superdelegates should throw their support to Clinton for fear of losing these voters to McCain? I think the Democratic party is wise to try to retain these voters, but not by acceding to their racial fears. You do it by addressing other issues important to them, which are by and large economic. But you don't capitulate to racism, ever. Choosing a VP who could aid in this reaching out is important.

Posted by: bluestatedon on May 21, 2008 at 9:20 AM | PERMALINK

so I hope Clinton hangs in as long as possible in case Obama implodes sooner rather than later.

Why would it matter? Imploding over and over never hurt Hillary.

Posted by: calling all toasters on May 21, 2008 at 9:32 AM | PERMALINK

I see it over and over again - Clinton supporters who say they won't vote for Obama in the general election because they think Clinton should have won the nomination because she is more likely to win the general election. Of course, by not voting for Obama they may very well have a role in making a self-fulfilling prophecy. Of course, there are Obama supporters who say exactly the same thing - they wouldn't vote for Clinton because... I'm sorry folks but that kind of thinking strikes me as lame. Sure you may like your candidate better than the other, but surely your candidate's stands on the issues are more important than something like a cult of personality (well, okay, that was a bit melodramatic) - Clinton and Obama simply aren't that far apart of most issues. Please don't let McCain win because your favorite candidate is not the nominee.

Posted by: TK on May 21, 2008 at 9:34 AM | PERMALINK

bluestatedon wrote: "Tango's allegations of 'buyer's remorse' setting in are refuted ..."

TangoMan is just cutting-and-pasting scripted Republican talking points.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on May 21, 2008 at 9:35 AM | PERMALINK

I voted for Hillary and "race" was a factor in my vote. I really really didn't appreciate Obama surrogates insinuating racism at every opportunity following NH and I think this party would be a lot less divided if Obama had put a stop to it at the beginning by supporting the Clintons' record with respect to race. This isn't what the democratic party needed.

What's interesting to me is how crystallized the contest has become. I sure hope Obama is saving a lot of that money he's getting because commercials aren't changing many minds in the primary season.

Posted by: asdf on May 21, 2008 at 9:37 AM | PERMALINK

Obama did make a strong statement supporting the Clintons' record when it comes to race. He made it prior to the Nevada caucus in January.

Posted by: PE on May 21, 2008 at 9:41 AM | PERMALINK

Last!

Posted by: absent observer on May 21, 2008 at 9:44 AM | PERMALINK

"Clinton supporters who say they won't vote for Obama in the general election"

Don't waste your breath. I don't think they read blogs.

My guess is the biggest factor in these poll answers is people's belief that John McCain is a true moderate and a generally likable guy when he's actually a conservative and an asshole. Time to start the relabeling process.

Posted by: asdf on May 21, 2008 at 9:44 AM | PERMALINK

"Obama did make a strong statement supporting the Clintons' record when it comes to race. He made it prior to the Nevada caucus in January."

Yeah, after sitting on his hands for a week and a half and watching a forty point swing in the African American vote. The politics of race . . .

Posted by: asdf on May 21, 2008 at 9:49 AM | PERMALINK

shit.

Posted by: absent observer on May 21, 2008 at 9:52 AM | PERMALINK

asdf--
I really really didn't appreciate Obama surrogates insinuating racism at every opportunity

Yes, I don't appreciate that from my fellow Obama supporters. Where would they get the nerve? Because it's all true what the Clinton campaign says: I voted for Obama because he is "the black candidate." In fact, I think of him as my "cool black friend." Maybe it's just because I'm not that "hard-working." And, of course, I'm not Hispanic, otherwise I'd show less "willingness or affinity to support black candidates." Either way, I understand that Obama is "only in the position he's in because he's a black man."

What I'm saying is--I really dig playing the race card, especially against someone as blameless as Hillary.

Posted by: calling all toasters on May 21, 2008 at 9:57 AM | PERMALINK

like i said everything has pretty much crystallized. especially opinions on blogs.

I accuse Obama of being a savvy and successful politician who rode an undercurrent of insinuations. You accuse Hillary of being a racist. This ain't going to change.

Posted by: asdf on May 21, 2008 at 10:07 AM | PERMALINK

like i said everything has pretty much crystallized. especially opinions on blogs.

No. For instance, I used to defend the Clintons when they are attacked unfairly, and I still do. But I've adjusted my opinion of them from "basically good people, good moderate Democrats" to "power-mad assholes." And many, many Democrats have performed a similar reappraisal. When the facts change, we change our opinions. If Hillary had stopped with all her divisive, pandering, racist bullshit, I would adjust my opinion to one somewhat more favorable. But she hasn't.

Posted by: calling all toasters on May 21, 2008 at 10:18 AM | PERMALINK

like i said everything has pretty much crystallized. especially opinions on blogs.

Thank goodness most people voting in November don't read blogs. Also thank goodness that McCain can be swiftboated as effectively as any Democrat. There is just to much ammunition because of his long senate career. Obama's inexperience will actually be a plus. Not nearly as many flip-flops or moral compromises on record. "Straight Talk" and "integrity" are going to be shot to hell by November. Especially with as much money as the Democrats will have as compared to the Republicans.

Sore losers aren't going to have any impact whatsoever on this election. If the Democratic party unites (including Hillary) behind Obama, he has a good chance of winning.

Posted by: lobbygow on May 21, 2008 at 10:24 AM | PERMALINK

Sore losers aren't going to have any impact whatsoever on this election.

Sure. If Hillary surrogates run around crying that she was defeated because of sexism--that won't massively depress Democratic turnout?

Posted by: on May 21, 2008 at 10:31 AM | PERMALINK

If the racists in Appalachia (a state of mind more than a geographical location) elect McCain for four more years of Bush, then they will deserve everything that happens to them, and I will have an overdose of shadenfreude. (Trans: pleasure in the sorrow of others).

It would be easy for me, a comfortable retiree, to say the hell with it and remember what Ben Franklin said when someone asked him what the Constituional Convention and decided: "A republic, if you can keep it". Indeed..."if" is the biggest small word in any language.

If (there it is again) only I didn't have a grand-daughter a year old tomorrow.

Posted by: jrosen on May 21, 2008 at 10:37 AM | PERMALINK

For the record, as someone registered to vote in Florida I don't care who was for or against the massively stupid idea to not seat Florida delegates. I don't like it and I'm not enthuasiastic about voting for the party under those conditions no matter who the nominee is.

Not seating delegates is tantamount to ceding the state to the republicans in November.

I'm fine with releasing them from the results of the primary (which was a farce) but seat them.

Posted by: michael farris on May 21, 2008 at 10:45 AM | PERMALINK

It's clear that buyer's remorse is setting in in that as people get to know Obama,

Fucking moron.
.

Posted by: Grand Moff Texan on May 21, 2008 at 10:46 AM | PERMALINK

zed!

Posted by: FDL Rools on May 21, 2008 at 10:52 AM | PERMALINK

Good points, Grand Moff.

Posted by: Bob M on May 21, 2008 at 11:00 AM | PERMALINK

"Sore losers aren't going to have any impact whatsoever on this election"

Agreed, in fact I think the nomination battle has energized and enlisted a large number of democratic voters who weren't involved before. Obama has gotten about 3 campaigns worth of experience from this and is much better off than if he had just been given the nomination after a few states.

From now on it's basically his job to avoid land mines and let the media love/mud fest ensue. McCain should be easy to take down but you have to remember that the main players in the game are 6-year olds chasing a soccer ball that's already gone out of bounds.

I wouldn't chime in but this whole focus on race continues to be counterproductive. I see more enmity against Hillary and her supporters than I do against McCain and the Republicans. People also don't seem to know what a racist comment is anymore and there's a penalty for crying wolf and calling your own voters out as racist (even when it's true).

Posted by: asdf on May 21, 2008 at 11:03 AM | PERMALINK

It always surprises me that so many Democrats hate Clinton more than they hate Bush/Cheney.

Posted by: jen flowers on May 21, 2008 at 11:23 AM | PERMALINK

"Counting every vote cast in primary elections, Clinton has garnered 16,517,667 votes to Obama's 16,079,945, a margin of 437,722 votes in her favor."

Only if you count a state where every major candidate other than Clinton withdrew their names from the ballot. And when asked why she didn't follow suit, Clinton responded by saying that it was because everyone knew that Michigan wouldn't count.

Arguing that the vote totals from this state are somehow meaningful makes you a lunatic or a liar. Which is it?

Posted by: Joe on May 21, 2008 at 11:26 AM | PERMALINK

Arguing that the vote totals from this state are somehow meaningful makes you a lunatic or a liar.

No it doesn't. Why didn't Obama take his name off the Florida ballot? Obama and Edwards took their names off the Michigan ballot as a campaign strategy. Clinton was going to win big, so by lumping Edwards and Obama into one "uncommitted" vote gave a better chance of her not winning. But she won anyway...

Posted by: elmo on May 21, 2008 at 11:34 AM | PERMALINK

"Why didn't Obama take his name off the Florida ballot?"

Well, mostly because he couldn't. This isn't exactly rocket science.

Posted by: PaulB on May 21, 2008 at 11:43 AM | PERMALINK

"Obama and Edwards took their names off the Michigan ballot as a campaign strategy.

And Clinton left hers on as a campaign strategy. Did you have a point?

Posted by: PaulB on May 21, 2008 at 11:45 AM | PERMALINK

I have voted for Bill Clinton for President and Hillary Clinton for Senator. In this primary, I voted for Barack Obama, even though I plan to support whomever wins the Democratic nomination.

Now what we have is essentially a nominating process that has ended up with two candidates with two coalitions close to the same size. Barack Obama has come out ahead in the delegate race even though the popular vote is close to tied.

Given that Barack Obama is my preferred choice, I am happy that he is ahead. Yes, the Democratic allocation process is a bit convoluted, but it is the process both candidates began this campaign with. Hillary Clinton could have won the nomination with this process. So far, however, it looks like she won't. Her supporters can claim that she is more electable, more vetted, more experienced.. but we have a process in place where these things are decided. It's a flawed process, but it's a process both campaigns accepted at the start. While I don't think the DNC made the best decision regarding Florida and Michigan, that again was a decision that was accepted by both campaigns at the start. If the Clinton campaign's concern about Florida/Michigan was not about their campaign's self interest, they would have protested in 2007.

Posted by: PE on May 21, 2008 at 11:50 AM | PERMALINK

And Clinton left hers on as a campaign strategy. Did you have a point?

Yes, my point was that vote totals from this state are meaningful and does not make one a lunatic or a liar as Joe asserted.

Posted by: elmo on May 21, 2008 at 11:51 AM | PERMALINK

Consider this an open thread to chat about the election.

Because, you know, discussions on Washington Monthly threads are so stimulating and informative.

/snark

Posted by: Swan on May 21, 2008 at 11:53 AM | PERMALINK

We discussed Jimmy Carter yesterday, and one of his wife's quotes has stuck with me the last few weeks. In one of her petty bitter moods she said Reagan's biggest accomplishment was that he made us comfortable with our prejudices. I never thought that was fair about Ronnie, but doesn't the blatent red-neck vote in WV and Kentucky kinda sorta track back to Hillary's hard-working = white Americans comments? If Obama loses this race I think the key factor would be these mean spirited appeals to the basest instincts of her supporters.

Posted by: loki on May 21, 2008 at 12:00 PM | PERMALINK

If Obama loses this race I think the key factor would be these mean spirited appeals to the basest instincts of her supporters.

Of course, it couldn't possibly be that his supports' lust for hating Hillary could have any effect on an Obama lose in November...

Posted by: elmo on May 21, 2008 at 12:06 PM | PERMALINK

All of those caucus victories in the early elections have put Obama in the lead, but what good does he do by winning delegates in traditionally Red States?

Funny, considering Hillary's big win last night was in Kentucky....and some of her other big wins came in Tennessee and Oklahoma (and Texas if we're talking popular vote). Are you saying Hillary will win these states in the general?

Should we stop having caucuses and primaries in what are considered red states and just ignore Democrats there?

The logic of some Hillary supporters is bizarre....especially since she now needs a big win in Puerto Rico to give her some sort of justification for staying in the race (Puerto Rico doesn't vote in the general election).

Posted by: Joe on May 21, 2008 at 12:07 PM | PERMALINK

Are you saying Hillary will win these states in the general?

She could win Tennessee and Kentucky, for sure, but I doubt her or Obama have a shot at Texas or Oklahoma.

Posted by: elmo on May 21, 2008 at 12:15 PM | PERMALINK

It's clear that buyer's remorse is setting in in that as people get to know Obama, rather than projecting their own hopes onto him, they're realizing that he's a product of Chicago machine politics, a radical leftist who hasn't shown an ability to "heal the partisan divide" and someone who has associations with racist preachers and domestic terrorists. That's why Clinton has won more delegates than Obama in the last month even when the tide of the whole election process has almost swamped her.

Wow, somebody's got their right-wing talking points down. No discussion of issues, just smears, Hannity and Limbaugh would be proud.

Do you really find the fact that Obama lost Appalachia surprising? It's not buyers remorse, it's the fact that these Appalachian states hold their primaries late in the game.

All you got to do is look at the general election polls, and see Obama's WIDENING lead to realize how wrong you are.....or you can put your head back up your ass and claim that the country folk from Deliverance are the "real" Americans.

Posted by: Joe on May 21, 2008 at 12:16 PM | PERMALINK

She could win Tennessee and Kentucky, for sure

And Obama's chances at winning Colorado and Virginia are just as good if not better than her chances of winning Tenn and Kentucky....so what's the point complaining about it?

Posted by: Joe on May 21, 2008 at 12:22 PM | PERMALINK

"Yes, my point was that vote totals from this state are meaningful and does not make one a lunatic or a liar as Joe asserted."

First, it wasn't just Edwards and Obama -- it was also Dodd and Richardson.

Second, when asked why she didn't remove her name like every single other major candidate, Hillary said it was because everyone knew the primary wouldn't count.

If you actually believe that it is appropriate to include the results from this election -- where Hillary beat Obama, Edwards, Dodd and Richardson COMBINED by a score of 300,000+ to ZERO -- in any legitimate popular vote tabulation, you are a lunatic. If you understand that this is not some second tier former Soviet republic and that sham elections with one candidate on the ballot should not be equated with meaningful contested elections where all candidates participate, yet you advocate this anyway because it benefits your preferred candidate, then you are a liar.

Again, which one is it?

You would have a non-insane (but still wrong) argument if only Obama had removed his name from the ballot and Clinton had protested the move by arguing that the election would count at the time. But this didn't happen. EVERY serious candidate except Clinton removed their names, and she explained her failure to do so by saying that it didn't matter because the state wouldn't count. One would have to be literally insane to think that the election held under those circumstances has any sort of value when tabulating a popular vote.

(This disregards the interesting but irrelevant fact that Obama and Clinton are polling about the same in the state.)

Posted by: Joe on May 21, 2008 at 12:44 PM | PERMALINK

Joe, I was just answering YOUR question, not making a point. You do realize that when one asks a question it is normal to get a response?

Posted by: elmo on May 21, 2008 at 12:45 PM | PERMALINK

elmo--Yes, my point was that vote totals from this state are meaningful and does not make one a lunatic or a liar as Joe asserted.

I think Myanmar is now looking for lobbyists. You might want to look into that.

Posted by: calling all toasters on May 21, 2008 at 12:52 PM | PERMALINK

Joe, Obama made the choice to pull his name, there are no Soviet aspects to it. Give Obama all the uncommitted votes if you want, no sweat off my nuts...

Posted by: elmo on May 21, 2008 at 12:53 PM | PERMALINK

As expected, Obama in Oregon, won the latte-sipping liberals in the major cities and surrounding counties and lost most of the rest of the state.

Really? It's too bad that the facts don't bear that out. http://www.oregonlive.com/politics/

Obama won a significant number of the non-urban counties, all over the state. The Clinton wins are primarily (heh) in counties with the sparsest populations. Not just no cities, but hardly any people. And even in some of those counties, there is only a 2-3% margin between the two candidates.

And what's up with the latte cliche, anyway? It's your problem, frankly, if you haven't learned to appreciate good coffee. Or beer.

Posted by: gummitch on May 21, 2008 at 12:55 PM | PERMALINK

calling all pop-tarts, your wit aint as sharp as you presume it to be...

Posted by: elmo on May 21, 2008 at 12:59 PM | PERMALINK

"You do realize that when one asks a question it is normal to get a response?"

Sorry. I assumed that "meaningful" would be interpreted as "meaningful in the context of the 'popular vote' discussion."

So I guess I should ask the question directly: Do you believe that the 300,000+ to 0 vote totals in Michigan have some valid meaning when calculating the national popular vote?

(Also, on an unrelated topic, polls have Clinton losing by double digits to McCain in Tennessee and Kentucky. This is before she gets attacked in any significant way.)

Posted by: Joe on May 21, 2008 at 12:59 PM | PERMALINK

Do you believe that the 300,000+ to 0 vote totals in Michigan have some valid meaning when calculating the national popular vote?

Yes, because Obama made a calculated political decision to take his name off the ballot. He did not have to. But like I said, go ahead and give him ALL the uncommitted votes. She still wins the popular vote. So your point is mute.

Posted by: elmo on May 21, 2008 at 1:14 PM | PERMALINK

So Elmo wants to count the Michigan election where only Clinton was on the ballot as is and Obama is punished for taking his name off the ballot to adhere to the primary rules that were set in place and agreed to by all Dem candidates. This means that Elmo wants to change the rules in the midst of the primary and count ballots that are completely unrepresentative of the state and award Hillary for her malfeasance. Elmo also gives away all the uncommitted to Obama regardless of who these people wanted in the primary.

You tickle me Elmo.

Posted by: ckelly on May 21, 2008 at 1:36 PM | PERMALINK

"Yes, because Obama made a calculated political decision to take his name off the ballot. He did not have to. But like I said, go ahead and give him ALL the uncommitted votes. She still wins the popular vote. So your point is mute."

Again, this argument would be non-insane IF Clinton had made it at the time. But she didn't. She explained that she didn't remove her name from the ballot like every other major candidate because everyone knew it wouldn't count.

As for giving Obama the "uncommitted" vote, if you do that I have him winning the popular vote by about 170,000 votes (including Florida and all caucus states). It's theoretically possible -- though unlikely -- that Clinton could overcome that deficit with Puerto Rico, but any argument to superdelegates that she won the popular vote on the back of a territory that will not vote in the presidential race is ludicrous. I mean, how would it even go? "I should get the nomination because more people voted for me than my opponent, but only if you count the votes from territories that won't have a role in picking the next president?" Isn't that argument directly contrary to her parallel assertion that you should heavily weigh swing states and swing voting blocks?

Posted by: Joe on May 21, 2008 at 1:41 PM | PERMALINK

The majority of racist bigots in states like W. Virginia, Texas, Tennessee and Kentucky would not vote for Sen. Clinton in the general election. Many Republicans voted for Sen. Clinton in the Democratic primaries that allowed open voting as an anti-Black vote, not because they prefer her to Obama.

It is true that much racist bigotry exists in America, and our native racism may affect the outcome of the general election. However, thinking Sen. Clinton could overcome that bigotry and win outright in racist states like Texas is delusional because their bigotry exceeds just racism. Their bigotry includees the fear of everything unlike them, which candidates like Sen. Clinton, or any other moderate to liberal Democrat, also embody.

Posted by: Brojo on May 21, 2008 at 1:44 PM | PERMALINK

This means that Elmo wants to change the rules in the midst of the primary...

No, not literally, ckelly. I was just using it to show she legitimately won the popular vote. That is not an illegitimate claim.

Joe, if she is ahead now by almost 500,000 votes, and you give Obama the 238,168 uncommitted votes from Michigan, she is still in the lead.

Posted by: elmo on May 21, 2008 at 1:50 PM | PERMALINK

Elmo--

RCP has her up by about by about 63,000 votes including all states (FL, MI and the caucus states) before allocating any MI uncommitted votes. If you allocate the 238,000+ votes to him, that puts him in the lead by about 175,000 votes.

Posted by: Joe on May 21, 2008 at 1:55 PM | PERMALINK

I should add that he'll also probably pick up about 20,000 more votes from Oregon, given that the as-of-yet unreported precincts are in heavy Obama territory.

Posted by: Joe on May 21, 2008 at 1:57 PM | PERMALINK

Elmo - You're still trying to pick a candidate by numerology. That's not how we do things.

Posted by: doug on May 21, 2008 at 2:05 PM | PERMALINK

Since mamy Democratic primaries were open, allowing Republicans and independents to vote in them, the popular Democratic vote cannot be compared accurately between Clinton and Obama. Many Republicans and independents who voted in the Democratic primaries did so to disrupt the process, not to choose a preferred presiidential candidate. Their votes cannot be counted as Democratic votes because they are not Democrats.

Posted by: Brojo on May 21, 2008 at 2:13 PM | PERMALINK

So your point is mute.

When I watched Bush giving this year's State of the Union address, and when I see him at press conferences, always with that huge smirk on his face, it's occurred to me, "This man actually thinks he's doing a good job."

I get much the same feeling reading elmo's posts.

Posted by: bonds in seconds on May 21, 2008 at 2:16 PM | PERMALINK

I was just using it to show she legitimately won the popular vote.

Only by including FL and MI as is - which is not legitimate.

Posted by: ckelly on May 21, 2008 at 2:19 PM | PERMALINK

Only by including FL and MI as is - which is not legitimate.

No, it's even worse than that. Only by illegitimately including FL and MI as is and not counting four caucus states: Iowa, Maine, Nevada and Washington.

It's Alice in Wonderland time. The White Queen might as well be saying, "We shall only count states with the letter V in them that voted on Tuesdays on which there was a forecast of rain."

The superdelegates won't believe six impossible things before breakfast.

Posted by: bonds in seconds on May 21, 2008 at 2:25 PM | PERMALINK

Finally, if you want to be mad at anyone, be mad at the Dems in those states who made the boneheaded move in the first place. There are rules in place, and there are consequences to breaking those rules.

If I remember correctly, it was the Republican dominated legislature in Florida that voted to move the Primary up. Even if all the Democrats had voted against, it still would have been passed.


Posted by: MLuther on May 21, 2008 at 2:26 PM | PERMALINK

I'm not really up on the whole math controversy but why wouldn't Hillary include Nevada in her PV calculation when she had more people caucus for her?

Posted by: asdf on May 21, 2008 at 2:30 PM | PERMALINK

I'm not really up on the whole math controversy but why wouldn't Hillary include Nevada in her PV calculation when she had more people caucus for her?

Those four states are ones in which the popular vote wasn't tabulated at all. Some caucus states don't even count it, you see, since the Democratic primary process, as Clinton herself kept avowing early in the primary season, is based on delegates, not on the popular vote. Then she started getting pounded in delegates and suddenly decided the Democratic Party process, including the caucusing she and Bill had been through multiple times and should have known how to prepare for, wasn't for her.

Starting to get "up" on the Bizarro World math now?

Posted by: bonds in seconds on May 21, 2008 at 2:44 PM | PERMALINK

If I remember correctly, it was the Republican dominated legislature in Florida that voted to move the Primary up. Even if all the Democrats had voted against, it still would have been passed.

But they didn't vote against it; they voted for it unanimously, I believe. And, more damningly, they then passed up a second chance to stay within party rules and save their delegates.

Posted by: bonds in seconds on May 21, 2008 at 2:49 PM | PERMALINK

elmo: Yes, because Obama made a calculated political decision to take his name off the ballot. He did not have to. But like I said, go ahead and give him ALL the uncommitted votes. She still wins the popular vote. So your point is mute.

Umm...what??? Take a gander here. The only way she "wins" the popular vote is if Michigan is counted, and Obama received NO votes there. Give him the uncommitted vote and he's once again ahead...

Posted by: The Other Joe on May 21, 2008 at 3:44 PM | PERMALINK

gummitch wrote: "The Clinton wins are primarily in counties with the sparsest populations. Not just no cities, but hardly any people."

if i remember correctly, one of the recurring patterns in bush's 2004 victory was the less populated an area was, the more it went for bush.

so it seems that hillary is kinda gaining votes through the same pattern, winning in places the democrate will likely lose in november.

Posted by: dj spellchecka on May 21, 2008 at 3:49 PM | PERMALINK

Yes Joe, the other one, looks like Obama wins by 64,175 votes with all the uncommitted votes from Michigan. I stand corrected...

Posted by: elmo on May 21, 2008 at 4:33 PM | PERMALINK

So your point is mute.

Which would make it a silent point, as opposed to a moot one.

Sorry -- I missed out on the pet peave thread a couple weeks back.

Posted by: e henry thripshaw on May 21, 2008 at 5:02 PM | PERMALINK

LOL, thanks henry...

Posted by: elmo on May 21, 2008 at 5:06 PM | PERMALINK

From that conservative rag, Salon: "The Cleveland suburbs -- while in some ways more gritty than their Philly counterparts -- are also a bit less sophisticated and perhaps less taken with the latte-ish phenomenon of Obama."

It seems that this Democratic pollster has correctly identified the salient characteristic of Obama supporters. Good call on his part.

Posted by: TangoMan on May 21, 2008 at 5:10 PM | PERMALINK

Ok, since it was made very clear up thread that the uncommitted also contained Richardson, Dodd, etc. lets give Obama 2/3's of the uncommitted vote(fair?). Then Clinton is up by 15,215 or so votes. Seems like it is basically a draw so far. We wont know till after the final states vote. As for the caucus states not counting popular votes, it seems that it would have favored Clinton if they had, if you go by the Texas model.

Posted by: elmo on May 21, 2008 at 5:18 PM | PERMALINK

But they didn't vote against it; they voted for it unanimously, I believe. And, more damningly, they then passed up a second chance to stay within party rules and save their delegates.

It made no difference, as it would have become law in Florida regardless. They could have all got up and walked out and it still would have become law. Republicans set the date and had the votes to make sure it would stay that way. Since the vote did not matter, the Florida Dems decided to unite and hope to change the DNC rules.

As for as the DNC "second chance," it was DOA, as there was no way to undo the Florida law.

Take note of Bill Nelson's threatened "legal recourse." I know several of Bill's staff quite well, and it was the Florida Democratic parties conclusion that they had no other legal alternative, so they might as well go along with Charlie Christ and gang.

However, I will be the first to admit that it made them look really stupid.

Posted by: MLuther on May 21, 2008 at 5:28 PM | PERMALINK

Hillary is welcome to try and change the rules for 2012. For now, though, she's just a lying scumbag who is 63 delegates away from losing the election. Pat yourselves on the back for your "imaginative" distortions of the popular vote, but that's how it is.

Posted by: calling all toasters on May 21, 2008 at 5:29 PM | PERMALINK

As for the caucus states not counting popular votes, it seems that it would have favored Clinton if they had, if you go by the Texas model.

We should definitely try to cram Maine, Nevada, Iowa and Washington into the Texas model. W00T! Don't fuckin' mess with Maine! We should also assume that primaries held in months ending in "h" and "y" all go to Hillary, since her first name starts and ends with those letters and Barack's totally doesn't.

Also, Puerto Rico is shaped more like a breast than a penis, when you think about it, so it just makes sense to give all its delegates to Clinton. And finally, in well-known Ivy League tradition, Yale is paper and Harvard is rock, and I think we all know that paper covers rock. Don't we?

Posted by: shortstop on May 21, 2008 at 6:11 PM | PERMALINK

"Also, Puerto Rico is shaped more like a breast than a penis, when you think about it, so it just makes sense to give all its delegates to Clinton."

Well then Florida clearly goes to Obama and Hillary gets the oven mitt in honor of all the tea and cookie diplomacy she's done.

Still unclear on Nevada. Hillary got 6% more county delegates and 12% fewer national delegates. You can say it's the rules but it sure looks silly from a democracy perspective.


Posted by: asdf on May 21, 2008 at 6:50 PM | PERMALINK

Still unclear on Nevada.

What's to be unclear about?

1) Clinton is arguing that the popular vote is suddenly the new measure on which the Democratic primary should be decided.
2) To make this case, she has to include Michigan (counted with the play-by-the-rules Obama getting none of the uncommitted delegates and none of the popular vote, although clearly a forever indeterminate percentage of votes was intended for him) and Florida (counted as is).
3) To make this case, she's also excluding four states, named above, in which the popular vote wasn't and now can't be tabulated. So, to "enfranchise" (a wholly incorrect description, since this term applies only to general elections; state parties can choose their delegates any way they wish, including excluding voters altogether and letting party figures pick), she has to say that the legitimate processes in four other states don't count. Not because those states didn't play by DNC rules; they did. It's solely because they don't fit her shiny new popular vote scenario.
4) If she manages to convince the DNC to completely disregard the legitimate, inside-the-rules processes of four states and legitimize the processes of two outside-the-rules states that she'd agreed would not count, she'll be...wait for it...less than 1 percent ahead in the popular vote.

Really, this isn't hard. Her "plan" only sounds crazy and desperate because it is.

Posted by: bonds in seconds on May 21, 2008 at 7:56 PM | PERMALINK

elmo: Ok, since it was made very clear up thread that the uncommitted also contained Richardson, Dodd, etc. lets give Obama 2/3's of the uncommitted vote(fair?).

Lol...wtf? Clinton beat uncommitted in Michigan 55-40. Considering that she was the only major candidate with her name on the ballot, that's a pretty small margin of victory....She won Pennsylvania by 9.2%, Ohio by 8.7%, and Indiana by 1.2%, yet, you think giving her Michigan (a state with a larger black population than Ohio, Pennsylvania, or Indiana) by more than 15% is fair?? This is delusional...

And you get extra points for being willing to give Obama all the uncommitted vote, until it was pointed out that he'd still be ahead, at which point you decided that that 40% should be widdled down to what 38%? 37%?....just enough to squeak Hillary ahead in the popular vote (but only if you don't count the caucus vote totals in Iowa, Nevada, Washington, and Maine)

I give Hillary supporters credit for chutzpah...this would be comical if they weren't serious.


Posted by: The Other Joe on May 21, 2008 at 8:12 PM | PERMALINK

I see y'all are still high strung. I said it was basically a draw. But I know that is too close for comfort for those Obamazooids who have held the popular vote in high regard since 2000. We still got a little time left to have some fun, though...

Posted by: elmo on May 21, 2008 at 9:11 PM | PERMALINK

Is this the Democratic party or two religous cults having a war?

Obama or Hillary, who cares? There is a about 5% difference in their positions. We should be supporting whoever our nominee is, not alienating the other half of the party with such crap.

At this rate, why don't we just give it McSame right now.

Four more years, courtesy of the Democratic party.

Posted by: MLuther on May 21, 2008 at 9:37 PM | PERMALINK

Swan:
Because, you know, discussions on Washington Monthly threads are so stimulating and informative.

/snark

Yeah! Let's go over to FDL, pull up a chair, pour the coffee, and discuss how warm the cookies are.

Oh, and, uh, ZED!!!


Posted by: red@cted on May 22, 2008 at 12:16 PM | PERMALINK

I live in Florida. I voted for Obama. I knew my vote woulnd't count in the primary. If you'd asked me as I was walking out of the polling station, I would have told you I would never vote for Hillary. However, at this point, I will vote for whomever is the eventual Democratic nominee. No hard feelings. People, please, look at the alternative. You're out of your bleedin' minds if you think this country can handle another four years of Repulican madness!

On another note, the only fair way to apportion the Florida and Michigan delegates is to conduct another vote, period. Absent that, the candidates should abide by the decision the party made before these respective primaries. It's to late to cry foul. They have to be grownups about this. You can't change the rules mid-game. I think I learned that in like kindergarden?

Let's stop the madness and come down off that ledge m'kay?!

Posted by: adelena on May 22, 2008 at 3:30 PM | PERMALINK

Harold Ickes, who as a member of the rules committee, voted last year to strip Michigan and Florida of its delegates, now wants the entire Michigan delegation seated with the delegates representing Clinton voters to be seated as Clinton delegates and the uncommitted delegates to be up for grabs. It would be "presumptuous", he says, that those voting for uncommitted might have been voting for Obama (or Edwards or Richardson for that matter).

Posted by: PE on May 22, 2008 at 7:51 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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