Friday, May 30, 2008

Obama Has Always Been Prepared to be a Groundbreaker!

One of the main assumptions underlying Rachel Maddow's recent warning about Hillary's intentions is that the Democrats can't win after a contested convention.

As this race has progressed, and it has become more apparent that Hillary has every intention of risking political suicide to keep her campaign alive to the bitter end, I have to think that Obama has been planning for this eventuality.

Clearly, a man running to be the Nation's first black president isn't going to accept conventional wisdom that says he can't win after a contested convention just because no one has ever done it before!

In keeping with everything else about the Obama campaign, I suspect that he is prepared to use the time between the last primary on June 3 and the convention in late August to position himself against John McCain't and begin uniting the party, even if Hillary is still yapping like a startled dog about her electibility!

I suspect Obama now knows he can essentially ignore her without fear of superdelegate defections, and thus begin the general election campaign, because he understands that she has at least three strikes against her that she'll never be able overcome with the superdelegates:

1. She signed a pledge regarding Michigan and Florida and then reneged when it suited her!

2. She used racial fears to solidify her base, but alienated both the African-American community and all the other Democrats who value them!

3. Her RFK comment was either a) intentionally devious and unpresidential, or b) carelessly insensitive and unpresidential!

Without the ability to gain superdelegate support, Hillary's campaign (and now probably her political career) is dead in the water. Her "base" will slowly shrink to Bushian proportions, and have just about as much influence on the general election.

In other words, if Hillary contests the convention, and there's no one there who hears her, does she make a sound?

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Here’s One Thing Hillary has Achieved.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

No, not a buzz!

By extending her campaign well beyond the point of reverse inevitabilityTM (or would that be “evitability?”), Hillary Clinton has perhaps accomplished the following:

It is now highly probable that I will not get to experience the enjoyment of seeing her concession speech!

If she concedes the nomination to Barack Obama some time during the next 3 ½ weeks, while I’m on a small Croatian island in the Adriatic without television or regular Internet access, she will be able remain blissfully unaware of the rare absence of my scathing commentary (Truth be told, over the course of this campaign, I’ve come to realize that one of the few things Hillary actually has in common with average Americans is being blissfully unaware of my scathing commentary, but I digress!)

It is possible that I might find the time to write and the access to post an occasional piece during my travels, such as these highlights from previous trips abroad, but I certainly won’t know what’s going on in the political world as it happens.

I’m just hoping to return in 3 ½ weeks to find that Obama is the officially acknowledged Democratic nominee, and that the party is busy working together to build its campaign against John McCain’tTM.

Unfortunately, I’m afraid I’ll find Hillary still looking for another bunch of binge drinking Neanderthals who can be convinced, over shots and camera flashes, to fear an Obama presidency more than another hundred years in Iraq, or a misspoken command to obliterate Iran during a 3 AM phone call after a hard night of drinking!

She'll Bite Your Legs Off!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Out of Context???!!!!!

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

When I was much younger, I remember seeing an ad on TV that was part of the early “war on drugs” campaign. It featured a father lecturing his teen after discovering drugs in his room. The father, exasperated, asks the son forcefully, “Where did you learn about stuff like this? And the son yells back, “From you, Dad. I learned it from watching you!!!!”

That’s what I think about when I read Hillary’s op-ed in which she accuses critics of taking her “Assassin-gate” comment out of context:

This past Friday, during a meeting with a newspaper editorial board, I was asked about whether I was going to continue in the presidential race.

I made clear that I was - and that I thought the urgency to end the 2008 primary process was unprecedented. I pointed out, as I have before, that both my husband's primary campaign, and Sen. Robert Kennedy's, had continued into June.

Almost immediately, some took my comments entirely out of context and interpreted them to mean something completely different - and completely unthinkable.

Hillary, if there is one thing you can’t accuse others of doing in this campaign, it’s taking things out of context:

Remember "Obama loves Ronald Reagan?"

Remember “Bittergate?”

Remember David Shuster?

Remember Obama’s experience consists of “a single speech?”

Remember “I take him at his word that he’s not a Muslim?”

Remember “Jesse Jackson won South Carolina too?”

Remember any of probably hundreds of times during the 26 debates that you twisted a word or a phrase uttered by another candidate to your own political advantage?

In fact, it is your great skill, touted often by your supporters as making you “a brilliant debater,” that you always, always, ALWAYS take everything in whatever context is needed to advance your ambitions and your goals!

But this time, blaming others for taking your statement out of context won’t work, because everyone knows that it is exactly the context in which you made your unfortunate remarks that makes them so egregious!

And the fact that you deliberately, to this day, refuse to recognize the true context in which your statement was made - by apologizing to the Obama family - shows that you are still trying to use this incident to advance your ambitions and your goals.

So don’t lecture us about taking things out of context.

We learned (to reject) it from watching you!

Also at Daily Kos

Saturday, May 24, 2008

If Hillary’s Campaign is a Dead Parrot . . .

A few days ago, I highlighted Dana Milbank’s column comparing Hillary’s campaign to Monty Python’s dead parrot sketch.

I guess this would have to qualify as the Obama campaign’s very lively counterpart:

And in the wake of Hillary’s latest travesty, here’s a link to my post from yesterday on Daily Kos, which posed the following question:
What if Hillary is so afraid of the political symbolism of
the Cardoza 40
defecting from her to Obama that she suddenly felt she needed to create a plausible justification that she can use to keep other superdelegates, and more importantly her working class supporters whose children still have bikes to sell, from giving up on her campaign?
You can read the whole thing over there, as it includes a bit more discussion than I can hope to generate over here.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Assessing Rachel Maddow’s Dire Warning

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

During her radio show yesterday, Rachel Maddow expressed some concerns that seemed consistent with some of my worst fears about the end-game for the Clinton campaign. Rachel’s own detailed description of her thesis is contained here, but the real meat of it can be summarized in three parts:

1. Hillary is trying to use Michigan and Florida to create a procedural dispute over the Democratic Party electoral process that she can appeal all the way to the convention.

2. Once at the convention, anything can happen and she retains a chance of getting stealing the nomination.

3. If the nominee is still in dispute at the convention, there is no chance of either Democrat beating John McCain in November.

Her conclusion is that the only possible way to head off this scenario is to avoid a dispute during the May 31 meeting of the DNC Rules Committee, by conceding everything to Hillary regarding Florida and Michigan so there won’t be anything left for her to appeal.

This begs the question: What is “everything” regarding Michigan and Florida? Rachel doesn’t say, although she does point out that Hillary used the phrase “to her satisfaction,” suggesting that if she really wants a dispute, she’s going to be pretty damned hard to satisfy!

I would say that the issue is pretty clear in Florida, where Obama got votes and the intentions of those who voted can easily be divided between Clinton and Obama (with some Edwards delegates remaining unassigned until they commit on their own).

Regarding Michigan, I think it’s reasonable for Obama to expect to get the delegates assigned to “Uncommitted,” because from a political perspective, all of Hillary’s own arguments could be turned around as a call not to disenfranchise those who wanted to vote for Obama though his name wasn’t on the ballot (at the urging of the DNC). [Update: Technically, he already has 31 of them!] Again, the Edwards delegates in Michigan would remain unassigned).

So the ultimate question is: Can Obama concede these things without risking the nomination?

According to Maddow, he would need some things to happen very soon – either a big enough wave of superdelegates to secure his lead before he concedes, or the confidence to know he will still win the nomination by June 3 or shortly thereafter, even after he concedes.

Rather than walk through all the permutations, let me just defer to a couple of heavyweights on the key question.

Poblano goes through all the number crunching, with excellent tables detailing multiple scenarios, and reaches this conclusion:
The Florida/Michigan brouhaha is much ado about nothing. Even if Clinton gets her way with the two states, she'd still need about 80 percent of superdelegate commitments to secure the nomination. Clinton's arguments about electability and the popular vote might persuade a dozen delegates, or a couple dozen, or perhaps even the majority. It won't persuade 80 percent. (Or more realistically, the 90 percent she'd need if there is some sort of compromise on Florida and Michigan).
And Al Giordano gives a similar run-down on the leanings of the remaining undeclared superdelegates, before revealing the likely winning poker hand by Obama:
I suspect, that after giving Senator Clinton enough rope to continue to behave ridiculously as she did today in Florida for the next ten days, the Obama campaign may - a day or two before the May 31 Rules and Bylaws Committee meeting - pull the chair out from under her and call for seating the whole shebang, looking gracious and magnanimous in victory, and leaving her presidential campaign hanging by the rope of its own making.
And, just for posterity, I’ll tack on my earlier assessment from May 8th describing why Michigan and Florida didn’t matter even before Hillary started the current gambit described by Maddow.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Al Gore Should Stop Hillary’s Assault on Reason

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

In the conclusion of his 2007 book, Al Gore wrote the following:
The rule of reason is the true sovereign in the American system. Our self-government is based on the ability of individual citizens to use reason in holding their elected representatives, senators, and presidents accountable for their actions. When reason itself comes under assault, American democracy is put at risk.
Only a year later, Hillary Clinton has run a campaign for the presidency that seems to embody Gore’s critique of public discourse. Here’s just a partial list of the many times the Clinton campaign have careened off the tracks of reason:

• Suggesting that Obama isn’t accomplished enough to be president, but that he would make a great vice president!

• Categorizing delegates such that small state delegates are not as good as large state delegates, caucus delegates are not as good as primary delegates, “latte” delegates are not as good as “Budweiser” delegates, etc., etc.

• Suggesting that nearly every waking moment adds to her “lifetime of experience,” while claiming that Obama’s life consists of nothing more than a “single speech.”

• Arguing that the rules regarding superdelegates’ ability to overturn elections must be respected, while simultaneously arguing that the rules regarding Michigan and Florida must be considered undemocratic.

• Suggesting that party activists who participate in caucuses, and devote their time and energy to learning the issues and working for their beliefs, are somehow subverting the democratic process from those whose sit at home and vote absentee for whatever name they recognize on the ballot.

• Using fear to scare voters into thinking their voting decision will affect the immediate safety of their sleeping children.

• Suggesting that she is working hard for Democratic principles while aligning herself with the Republican nominee in order to crush the probable Democratic nominee.

• Presenting herself, as the “commander in chief” of a campaign that went from inevitability to the verge of elimination, as being about “solutions,” while claiming the “commander in chief” of a campaign that rose from obscurity to become the most energized and efficient campaign in the history of American politics is “just words.”

• Suggested that white votes are more important to the Democratic Party than African-American votes.

• Add your dozen or two examples here.

The culmination of Hillary’s rejection of reason is coming now in her repeated efforts to de-legitimize the process she has lost, by casting herself in the role of Al Gore (hat tip to this Dkos diarist for the inspiration) as someone who is “winning the popular vote,” but is going to be denied the nomination by the Supreme Court DNC Rule Committee! She’s already got supporters holding up “Count Every Vote” signs and planning protests of Obama in Florida. She’s making a point of reminding voters of “hanging chads.”

I think she actually believes that this approach will cause the party to eventually coalesce around her as some sort of redemption for what happened to Gore!

So I certainly hope the former VP will step forward and make it clear that any comparison between Obama’s victory over Clinton and Bush’s “victory” over Gore should be rejected as the kind of assault on reason that he wrote about in his book, lest American democracy continue to be placed further at risk by Clintons tactics!

Actually discussed at Daily Kos

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Nostradamus, Meet Samantha Power!

Hillary Clinton’s Kentucky “victory” speech certainly seems to confirm earlier statements that she expects to continue for quite some time in her delusional quest for a nomination that Barack Obama has already won!

If I had to rely on the prognostication ability of a single person to chart out the remaining course of the current Democratic primary drama, I think I’d have to consider Samantha Power, who seemed to know the plot of this movie before we had even gotten through the opening credits!

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Monday, May 19, 2008

Woolsey’s “Magic” Number!

Some of you may be aware of my ongoing efforts to sway my congressional representative, Lynn Woolsey, from her original endorsement of Hillary Clinton.

At this point, she has said that she continues to support Clinton, but will not cast her superdelegate vote to overturn “the will of the American public.”

I initially took this to mean she would vote with the pledged delegate winner, since that is the official scoring method for assessing the State primaries and caucuses. However, the latest statement I found from her office sounds a bit more slippery:
Representative Lynn Woolsey's press secretary says Woolsey still supports Clinton, but will vote for whoever wins the popular vote, not counting Michigan where Obama wasn't on the ballot.
My sense is that Woolsey is desperately trying to extend the clock so she doesn’t have to publicly cross Clinton and risk being added to the dreaded enemies list!

She’s now seems to be accepting Clinton’s argument that the popular vote means more than the delegates (which is like trying to claim a football victory based on total yards after losing by a touchdown!)

Woolsey also seems to be trying to thread the needle by counting Florida votes, but avoiding the blatantly silly Clinton position of counting all of her Michigan votes, while disenfranchising those who would have preferred to vote for Obama!

What also remains unclear is whether Woolsey is willing to ignore the caucus results in States without popular vote totals as an additional way to keep the jury out even longer on the popular vote results!

At this point, going into tomorrow’s primaries in Kentucky and Oregon, I’m willing to give Woolsey the benefit of the doubt and assume she’s still accepting the pledged delegate race (albeit with Florida results, but not Michigan) as a valid expression of the public’s will. Of course, considering John Edwards endorsement and giving his Florida delegates to Obama (2 of 13 have already officially moved), the magic number now looks like this:

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Obama will clinch the pledged delegate race tomorrow - with or without Florida - so Woolsey will have to twist her logic even more if she wants to justify continuing to keep her options open (and her bed horse-head free!)

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Not Just Parroting the Campaign Spin!

I’ve never been a big Dana Milbank fan. He always seems to be trying too hard to prove how clever he is. But I’m a huge Monty Python fan, and Milbank just impressed me with this column, in which he invokes the comparison of Hillary’s campaign to a dead parrot, with Terry McAuliffe presumably playing the part of Michael Palin!

And I suppose this could be her new campaign song:

While there are some who might say the time has come to lay off the criticism of Hillary’s campaign in light of the need for her supporters to rally around Obama, I believe that as long as Hillary is putting forth a line of argument that seeks to delegitimize Obama’s nomination, her “hardcore” supporters aren’t going to embrace Obama anyway. So my little-noticed mocking will continue until she concedes both the nomination and her claims of victimhood!

As an aside, I might add that the song’s author, Neil Innes, is a favorite of mine, whom I was fortunate enough to meet two years ago when this picture (with some doctoring to maintain "anonymity") was taken:

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Time for a Change in Strategy!

First, the “treasonous” trio of Bush (in the speech shown above), followed by McCain and Lieberman, all decided to suggest a comparison of Barack Obama and his supporters to Nazi appeasers.

Not surprisingly, Obama and all of the Democratic leaders responded in appropriately harsh fashion.

But I don’t think this is enough!

I have reached the point where I believe that Barack Obama should make his willingness to investigate and prosecute the crimes of the Bush administration into a campaign issue!

I used to accept the idea that such a position would undercut Obama’s message of bipartisanship and unity, and would become a distraction from fixing the problems faced by the country.

Now, I have come to think that the despicable actions of the Bush administration, and the fact that they have happened without consequence, is one of the major problems faced by the country!

If Obama can frame this issue as a way of “reclaiming the soul of the country” for both Democrats and Republicans, he could probably merge the themes of hope and redemption to gain widespread support from all but the most loyal Bush dead-enders (who would vote for McCain anyway!)

He would also make it impossible for McCain to run away from the current president, because he would force McCain to debate in public the issue of whether Bush’s legacy should be protected by turning a blind eye on the evidence.

As an added bonus, Obama can probably count on the clueless Bush to make an endless string of despicable comments, such as his recent ones, with each helping to cement the disdain a majority of Americans have for him. And each time, McCain will be forced to embrace or reject these statements in the context of deciding how much he wants to avoid being seen as a “Bush appeaser!”

[Update] Apparently, Americans aren’t the only ones disgusted with Bush, as depicted in this image offered with the verbatim caption from Reuters:

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
Members of the Knesset listen as U.S. President Bush speaks to the Knesset in Jerusalem Reuters via Yahoo! News - May 15 8:18 AM

Today's - Republican Mouthpiece Smackdown!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Some Things Never Change

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Just like the ridiculous demented wide-stance elephant chosen for the official logo of the Republican National Convention in Minneapolis-St. Paul, the Republican Party has recently decided on their official slogan for the 2008 campaign, and it’s equally ridiculous:

Tah Dah! The winner is: The Change You Deserve.

Kinda sounds like what the country got the last two times it elected a Republican president! And it’s too bad they ended up stealing the slogan from the maker of an anti-depression medication.

If that was the winner of slogan contest, I was determined to find out which suggestions just missed making the final cut, so I tracked them down and here they are:

We Got Your Change, Right Here!

Change! Don’t! Change!

Change You Can Spare?
(and it’s corollary, Why Lie: We Need a War!)

Change – So You Can Be Ready When the Moment is Right!

Whips and Change: You Know You Want It!

I Can’t Believe it’s Not Change!

McCain/Change ‘08. Yeah, That’s the Ticket!

The Change You’re Afraid Of

The Experience to Know that Change Depends.

Hey Change, Get off My Lawn!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

This Will Unify the Democratic Party!

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Many people have expressed concern over potential repercussions in the general election of the often negative, divisive campaign run by Hillary Clinton. Some have speculated that Clinton’s seeming strategy is to ensure that, if she can’t win the 2008 nomination, her bloodied opponent will lose to the Republican and free her path for an easier run in 2012.

Polls have shown that a large number of Clinton supporters say that they won’t vote for Obama, but would rather vote for John McCain or just sit out the general election altogether. A smaller, but still significant number, of Obama supporters have said that they won’t vote for Clinton.

To all this, I call “bullshit!” My reason is simple. There is one thing capable of getting everyone, on either side of the current democratic divide, to set aside their bitterness over the primary campaign and vote against John McCain, and it has very little to do with John McCain.

The reason is this: It does not matter how much you think Barack Obama is a “shallow pretty boy,” or you think Hillary Clinton is a “divisive, manipulative liar.” It does not matter if John McCain reminds you of the grumpy grandfather to whom you never got to express your affection before he passed away. If John McCain wins the presidency in the general election, George W. Bush is going to act like he’s retiring as an undefeated champion!

Despite his record low approval ratings, and widespread disdain for his war policies, George Bush will be able to leave the White House claiming that he got a “vote of confidence” in his leadership. Any future deterioration in Iraq, or anywhere else in the Middle East, will be on McCain’s head. Any further decline in the American economy, will be on McCain’s head. George Bush will claim, rightly or not, that he left with a mandate from the American people to continue his policies.

And it doesn't matter that this is complete crap. This is the man who claimed a “mandate” after beating John Kerry by an infinitesimal fraction of a percentage point. Regardless of what anyone says about him after Bush leaves office, if McCain wins, he’ll be like members of the 1972 Miami Dolphins, drinking champagne every time another president of either party is turned away in a change of party leadership.

Think about it! The Democratic Party has not had a president elected to two terms, and then replaced by another Democrat, since Franklin Roosevelt was followed by Harry Truman in 1945. And before that, you have to go all the way back to Andrew Jackson followed by Martin Van Buren in 1837. If Bush does it, on the other hand, he will forever be able to brag of his ability to follow in the footsteps of the "great" Ronald Reagan!

No matter how much you might want a McCain victory to represent vindication for the defeat of your primary candidate, it will not be. Historically, and more importantly in George Bush’s feeble, bicycle ridin’, brush cuttin’, arrogant, chuckling, mind, it will be a personal victory!

That will be the choice in November of 2008. Use your vote in a hopelessly forgettable attempt to vindicate your losing candidate, or take advantage of your last chance to repudiate George W. Bush’s presidency, and deny him a lifetime of claiming that McCain’s victory proves he was right!

Also ignored at Daily Kos

Friday, May 09, 2008

What Did He Say, Really?

This is pretty funny!
NEW YORK (AP) — Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama said Thursday that Republican John McCain was "losing his bearings" for repeatedly suggesting the Islamic terrorist group Hamas preferred Obama for president.

That brought an angry response from McCain's campaign, which accused Obama of trying to make an issue of McCain's age.

Age is a touchy subject for McCain, who turns 72 in August and would be the oldest person to be sworn in as president if elected.
Obama’s response was primarily related to McCain’s statements that he “doesn’t believe in negative smear campaigning.” In that context, he was purportedly talking about the shifting direction of McCain’s moral compass.

But the McCain campaign, perhaps mirroring the candidates noted reputation both as a hothead and a bit of a simpleton, thought Obama was saying that McCain lost his marbles!

All I can say is that if Obama’s comment was straightforward, then McCain is going to be quite entertaining with his constant defensiveness about his age.

And if Obama deliberately chose his words to imply the double meaning in order to goad McCain, then I really can’t wait to see him take on McCain in the debates!

And Joe Lieberman is doing his part to keep McCain from looking like the most oblivious person on the campaign trail:

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Why Michigan and Florida Don’t Matter.

After disappointing performances in North Carolina and Indiana, the Clinton campaign immediately bucked conventional wisdom (and most laws of rational thinking) by trying to claim that the magic number for clinching the nomination is not 2025, but is actually 2209 because of Michigan and Florida.

Somehow, Hillary thinks this means there won’t be a nominee when the primaries end on June 3, and that the race will have to continue to the convention in August.

To which I say the magic number is actually one, representing the number of fingers I’m holding up with one hand, while I type this with the other! And not because I'm suggesting that “Hillary is number one!"

In the world of reality, Michigan and Florida don’t matter at all, because the real magic number has to do with winning the pledged delegate race. Adding Michigan and Florida to the mix only delays the probable day of clinching by one primary. Either way, the pledged delegate race is likely to be over before the last two primaries on June 3.

The following table shows approximately how Michigan and Florida would be split under the most favorable scenario that the Clinton camp could hope for: accepting the Florida vote in its entirety; and giving Hillary her full percentage of the vote in Michigan, while giving Obama the delegates for those who voted “undecided,” since he wasn’t on the ballot.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

After adding these figures to the current totals without Michigan and Florida, the following table shows the change in the pledged delegate magic number, and the delegates needed for Obama to clinch, which changes from 33 to 84.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Now here are the remaining primaries, with a projected share of delegates for Obama. The projected share was adapted from the early spreadsheet released by the Obama campaign, but adjusted to slightly more conservative figures in the Clinton states.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

If you follow the cumulative totals in the right column, you can see that Obama clinches the pledged delegate race on May 20 without Michigan and Florida, and clinches during the very next primary on June 1 in Puerto Rico (even with a projected loss) with Michigan and Florida!

And technically, as pocketnines explains in this Daily Kos diary, Obama essentially has 37 more pledged delegates already, because viability rules in each of the remaining 37 individual electoral districts require that he get one delegate just for meeting the 15% threshold. This means he has already clinched without Michigan and Florida, and could clinch, even with Michigan and Florida, on May 20. (note: this isn't a direct subtraction from the number needed to clinch because these "viability delegates" are included among the projections in each state. It just means he can already count on them even before the primaries are held.)

As I’ve suggested before, once Obama clinches the pledged delegate race in the eyes of the superdelegates, there will be a flood of support for Obama from those unwilling to consider overturning the will of the voters (particularly after Obama ran probably the most effective campaign in electoral history!) We’ve already seen the start of this movement from those superdelegates with rudimentary math skills, but eventually it will be obvious even to the (um, how should I say it?) “low information” superdelegates!

This Should Replace All of the Talking Heads

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

***There really is no reason to listen to any of the pundits blabbering on and on about all of the different scenarios affecting Hillary’s or Obama’s chances of getting the nomination when you can just go here and simply toggle the arrow back and forth.

***Now that I’ve cancelled my newspaper, where will I turn to get the real truth about what’s going on? Here is one of those sources explaining a classic example of why the commercial media is so utterly useless.

***In case you haven’t read the letter that will eventually (perhaps very soon) be viewed as the tipping point that showed the way for timid superdelegates to save the Democratic Party from being obliterated by the Clintons, here are Joe Andrew’s words.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Three Reasons We Know It’s Over!

As Obama cruises to a blowout win in North Carolina, and surges to a photo finish in Indiana, here are three reasons why we officially know the race is over:

1. Tim Russert just talked for five minutes without mentioning Rev. Wright, bowling, bitterness, or flag pins!

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

2. Harold Ford is on MSNBC suggesting that the way Obama needs to strengthen his appeal among rural, working class voters is to consider making Hillary his VP choice. Frankly, I’m guessing that more serious consideration will be given to this guy:

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

3. Hillary’s financial troubles have apparently re-appeared. As this picture demonstrates, the Clinton campaign can no longer afford to pay their heating bills!

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Olbermann: Hillary's Ever Changing Metrics

Monday, May 05, 2008

Hillary’s Problem: Superdelegates are the “Elite!”

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

In her recent ABC town hall, Hillary Clinton apparently had a moment that I think defines why her quixotic attempt to maneuver her way to the Democratic nomination has been doomed for a long time.

I’ll get back to the specifics a bit later, but first I’d like to expand on a theme I first heard in a brief comment by Keith Olbermann. After Super Tuesday, Hillary’s strategy basically took two parallel tracks. The first was to align herself with stupid low-information voters who might be susceptible to racist fears and distrust of what she calls “elitism.” The second was to appeal to superdelegates to choose her over Obama based on her superior electability.

The problem with these two tracks is that in order to campaign to stupid low-information voters, she has to make stupid low-information arguments, often about people who are too smart elitist to understand the concerns that simple-minded ordinary people have about their lives. The basic logical structure of many of Hillary’s arguments can be summarized as variations of the inflammatory rallying cry:
They think they’re smarter than you . . . just because they’re smarter than you!
This may work with those who are fiercely proud of their status as stupid low-information citizens, but requires a willing denial of reality to be accepted by those capable of recognizing faulty logic when they see it. That would be the informed populace that Hillary demonizes as the “elite,” and which happens to include, most likely, all of the superdelegates!

This is why, even though some of the racist/elitist fear mongering seems to have helped Clinton in states like Ohio and Pennsylvania, the flow of superdelegates to Obama has continued steadily, and has even increased!

Now, back to the town hall, where Hillary had the audacity (of dope?) to claim she was siding with the common people against the nearly unanimous opinion of “elitist” economists who say that her support for a "gas tax holiday" is a ridiculous and harmful pander that will hurt more than help the American people.

Fortunately, there was at least one voter present who was willing to state the obvious – that perhaps people who study economics know something about economics!

What Hillary doesn’t seem willing to admit is that even most low information voters aren’t stupid when it comes to seeking advice from experts when they have the need and opportunity. I doubt she would get very far making a comparable argument that her supporters shouldn’t listen to their “elitist” doctors about their health, or ignore their “elitist” pastors about religious matters.

With her recent statement at the town hall, she might as well have been telling her supporters that they should resist the suggestion of “elitist” electricians to not take their electric radios in the bathtub - because those “elitists” don’t appreciate the desires of working class Americans to “rock out” while scrubbing the day’s accumulation of shit from their tired working class bodies!

Friday, May 02, 2008

The Creativity Gap

Here’s yet another example of the kind of creativity inspired by Barack Obama’s candidacy.

Hilary Clinton? Well, let’s just say that the decision to copy John McCain’s call for a “gas tax holiday” registers high on the creativity scale for the Clinton campaign.