Reversal of the Reversal of Fortune?

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Before she was up and he was down and now he’s back on top again.
According to Gallup’s daily tracking polls, Obama now has a three point lead over Hillary Clinton.
What is clear to me — but seems to be unclear to many Clinton supporters and Obama supporters is that the Democratic Party remains deeply, evenly divided. The strategy both sides seem to be using to reach the supporters of the other is to yell more loudly what they have already been saying.
— Steve Clemons

Comments

41 comments on “Reversal of the Reversal of Fortune?

  1. Tahoe Editor says:

    WALTER SHAPIRO
    Let ’em duke it out: The Obama-Clinton drama is good for voters and the Democratic Party. And bad for John McCain.
    http://www.salon.com/opinion/feature/2008/03/06/democratic_primaries/
    The Democrats’ anti-momentum: The ’08 race has revealed the weird science of the Democratic primary system — and the true problem with the long Obama-Clinton battle.
    http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2008/03/24/dem_remorse/index.html

    Reply

  2. carsick says:

    Senator Clinton better take a page from Obama’s campaign and begin to sketch out reasons to vote for her and not just against the other guy.
    He has been giving substantive speeches clarifying his ideas on race, foreign policy, the economy and military engagement. What’s she been up to lately?

    Reply

  3. TonyForesta says:

    We’ve all been wrong before downtown, and hence our dread concern. While the “disarray” you speak of is coming, and it will be a painful bitter pill for poor and middle class Americans to swallow, – if should there be some dustup in Iran, or Venezuela, or the Gaza, or Pakistan, – then the fascists would proselytize the patently false parables of adults at the controls, and bold and decicive leadership, and personal conversations with the vengeful wrathful demon, – I mean god worshipped by the fascists in the Bush government, the republican reich, and the dim sheep in redneck America – and the complicit parrots in the socalled MSM will conduct the exact same slime, disinformation, propaganda, information domination, and perception management campaigns that were so successfull in decieving the American people and congress into hurling our daughters and sons, and unknown unknown billions of the peoples dollars to the costly, bloody, neverending horrorshow in Iraq.
    Don’t count the fascists out, or underestime the depths of depravity they are capable of and willing to stoop to advance and protect the PNAC pipedreams, imperialist tyranny and predations, fascist machinations, and wanton profiteering of the fascists in the Bush government.
    McCain is a vote for the 4th reich, and the unabated perpetuation of the exact same unholy, costly, bloody policies, machinations, and wanton profiteering of the fascists in the Bush government.
    The longer democrats slash at each other, and avoid or defray the epic confrontation that is certain to come, – the less hope there is for poor and middle class Americans to seek a restoration to sanity, the rule of law, the Constitution, and the principles that formally defined America.
    “Deliver us from evil!”

    Reply

  4. downtown says:

    I can’t see the American Public electing John McCain. Just physically, he’s utterly unappealing and this will be emphasized once he stands next to either Obama or Clinton. Plus, he’s chosen to drape himself with the Bush mantle. In another 6 months, we will be in even greater disarray, both economically and politically, that this is going to be the proverbial albatross around his neck. But I’ve been wrong before.

    Reply

  5. Roger Wehage says:

    What’s clear is that Clinton has less than a 10% chance of winning
    the Democratic nomination, unless she pulls off some unethical
    tactics guaranteed to destroy the party and put McCain in the White
    House.

    Reply

  6. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Its fairly obvious that McCain is going to be seated in the Oval Office, with Lieberman reminding him to zip up his fly in public.
    The Dems are proving themselves unable to do anything but roll around in the heaping pile of manure that seems to have buried Washington DC.
    Thats it folks. Get ready for eight more years of fascism, war, cronyism and greed. And thats the GOOD news. The bad news is, this nation will likely fail to survive it. And that might be true even if the Dems do stop knifing each other in the back long enough to squeek through with a win.

    Reply

  7. leo says:

    “I believe Senator Clinton will win the nomination and the general election in November despite the slime and the doomsday forecasting of the Obama bots.”
    You’re deep in the Kool-Aid, and coddled in unreality by the supine media, surrender Clinton-bot!
    Tony cracked me up BTW.

    Reply

  8. TonyForesta says:

    Polls mean nothing. Polls are tools used by the fascists to manipulate the hearts and minds the dim sheep.
    While democrats squabble amongst themselves, bleeding and dividing the party, – McCain is gaining ground and promising an unabated perpetuation of the exact same horrors, tyranny, predation, rank perversion and betrayal of the Constitution, the rule of law, and the peoples trust, and wanton profiteering proselytized and practiced by the fascists in the Bush government.
    It sickens me to see democrats squander what could have been, and should be certain victory snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, and feeding red meat to the fascists warmongers and profiteers in the republican reich.
    Ask these two question progressives. What gain or benefit will working Americans ever glean from the horrorshow in Iraq? And the second question is – what will define victory in Iraq?
    Sadly the American people were deeply traumatized, – shocked and awed as it were – by the mass murder and mayhem of 9/11, – and blindly, sheepishly, and willingly allowed and enabled the fascists in the Bush government to repeatedly and incessently lie about the reasons and necessity of a neverendingwar and occupation in Iraq, and reengineer the Constitution.
    By the time Americans wakened from our collective torpor, – the commitments in Iraq were so huge, and so bloody and costly, – and the Bush governments predations, tyranny and wanton profiteering in Iraq so pervasive, – and situation in Iraq had deteriorated to a point of near catastrophe – it was simply to late to correct these terrible wrongs. Now we are left with the grim reality of never leaving Iraq, and being FORCED to manage a costly bloody horrorshow we allowed the fascists to create and perpetuate.
    Democrats should be singularly focused on defanging and dethroning the fascists, providing solutions and remedies to the many potentially calamitious issues confronting all Americans who are not superrich, or fascist, and restoring credibility, the rule of law, and the Constitution.
    Democrat on democrat knife fights only feed redmeat to the fascists and further confuse and dismay the dimsheep in redneck America. What feeble gains were won in 2004 have been cowardly squandered by a democratic party that is either pathetically week, or complicit.
    If there is any hope for America, it is democrats swiftly selecting a candidate, uniting under that candidate, preparing for the tsunami of slime the fascists are certain to unleash on that democrat, – and defeating McCain.
    A vote for McCain is a vote for the fascists. The choice is simple. Democrats are undermining that epic choice by slashing at each other, and FAILING to hold the fascists in the Bush government accountable, or holding thier hooves – I mean feet to the fire for a festering legacy of deception, abuses, failures, wanton profiteering, and rand perversions and betrayals of the peoples trust, the rule of law, and the Constitution.
    “Deliver us from evil!”

    Reply

  9. Mr.Murder says:

    As soon as all of America can vote in Pennsylvania this might mean something in the coming weeks, Steve.

    Reply

  10. Mr.Murder says:

    Chief of firm involved in breach is Obama adviser
    http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/03/22/passport.files/
    The victim’s narrative got hium a spike once again.
    Oh, Gallop polls the GOP to the extent it does Democrats.
    So 1/3 of the major party voters equals 2/3 of the major party voters. We all know gerrymandering done ahead of shcedule didn’t water the play field that much. Still, it shgows those “Democrat for a Day” mailers must be working their magic for Obama. He’s sending them out to Republicans isn’t he? Imagine that, working with the GOP through their mailing lists.
    Maybe Al Sharpton and Roger Stone are meeting again?

    Reply

  11. mike says:

    Donald:
    You were right unfortunately. Her bio at http://www.michigan.gov/gov/0,1607,7-168–57920–,00.html says she was born in Vancouver, British Columbia.
    I knew there was a reason I liked Governor Granholm. Good blood up there beyond our northern border. My great-great grandparents were Canuck wetbacks who eloped and snuck over the border one night into Maine. We need more like them and more Granholms.
    mike

    Reply

  12. Will Bower says:

    Henry.
    Whilst that might keep the -party- together, I don’t think that
    would -win- the party the White House in November… not after
    the events of the past two weeks.
    I no longer see a path to the White House for Obama… and I think
    he would only act as an anchor to any chances -Hillary- might still
    have.

    Reply

  13. henry says:

    MIKE writes: “if Obama is the nominee … (Clinton) would … refuse the veep … She would help him much more in the Senate.”
    MIKE, for most of the year, I would have agreed with you. But now the Dems look like they’re coming apart. The new reality, which I think STEVE CLEMONS intuited early on, may be that the only way to bring the party together, to prevail in the Fall, is for both to be on the ticket. Henry.

    Reply

  14. Will Bower says:

    DigDug:
    Did not Obama’s campaign of “unity” begin with images of Hillary at
    BIG BROTHER? …of throwing a hammer into her face? …of
    hundreds cheering for her downfall?
    What kind of unifying message is THAT?!

    Reply

  15. mike42 says:

    Will Bower;
    I believe Senator Clinton will win the nomination and the general election in November despite the slime and the doomsday forecasting of the Obama bots. I was only responding hypothetically to henry’s 11:18 comment.
    Donald;
    A pity if true, Granholm would have made a fine vp and an outstanding president.
    mike

    Reply

  16. tomj says:

    So Hillary was on the rise for a week, and Steve said nothing. Then Obama started to move up in the poles, and Steve said nothing. But as soon as Obama moves up three and Hillary moves down two and Obama is on top by three, suddenly the Dem race is evenly divided.
    My thought is that Hillary supporters were hoping for a permanent reduction in Obama support. This would indicate to them that the race was no longer deeply, evenly divided. But as long as Hillary is below Obama, the race is divided. If she ever gets up a few points, not so, instead, she is surging, showing Obama’s weakness.
    Truth is that the more we learn about Obama’s pastor, the less of a problem he seems to be. Today we learned that a few of the inflammatory clips were from parts of a sermon where he was quoting/summarizing a former US Ambassador who appeared on Fox News after 9/11. And yet Fox clipped this reference out of the sermon. The more context you get, the better Rev. Wright sounds, same with Obama.
    With Hillary, seems to be quite the opposite. We are still waiting on the last 8 years of tax returns.

    Reply

  17. Donald from Hawaii says:

    mike:
    I believe that Michigan’s Gov. Granholm was born in Canada, and is a naturalized U.S. citizen. Therefore, if that’s the case, she is ineligible for consideration.

    Reply

  18. Will Bower says:

    Ps — It *is* still possible (no matter *how* unlikely) to nominate Al
    Gore as the Democratic candidate…
    …to save us from all this.

    Reply

  19. Will Bower says:

    Mike.
    Hillary can recover such losses by rallying a new Latino base.
    Something which Obama will not be able to do… at least not
    against McCain.

    Reply

  20. mike says:

    John Lynch, Ted Strickland, or Maria Cantwell would also be winners on Obie’s short list for vp. He needs to mend the party if he wins the nomination. He could start the healing by going with a Hillary supporter for his vp.
    mike

    Reply

  21. mike says:

    digdug:
    Half of Democratic voters feel that Obama’s campaign has gone far too negative. Where did he round up all of his internet mudslingers?
    There will be a lot of sour grapes come November, and primarily it will be due to carping by supporters of one candidate calling the other candidate dishonorable.
    Clinton should not accept the veep position. She will be a much better supporter for Obama in the Senate. But all that is mox nix anyway as Obama and his supporters appear to be petty enough never to give her an opportunity to turn the job down.
    mike

    Reply

  22. digdug says:

    Clinton has gone far too negative for it to make sense for Obama to
    take her on as vp. It would undercut one of his central themes.
    If she had run a more honorable race, I could see it definitly. As
    could many others. But since she started doing McCain’s dirty work
    for him, it makes little sense.
    There will be a little sour grapes come November, no doubt. But I
    doubt if it will be significant enough to make an impact. Most
    Dems will line up behind the nominee. McCain/Bush’s 3rd term
    would be far too much of a disaster for most to hold onto bitter
    feelings over.

    Reply

  23. mike says:

    henry;
    Clinton would certainly need Obama as veep to win in November because if not, his supporters would likely sulk it out or vote for Nader or Donald Duck to vent their rage.
    However, if Obama is the nominee, I believe that she would support Obama but refuse the veep (if offered which would be doubtful). I am a Clinton supporter but cannot see her as the veep. She would help him much more in the Senate. He needs a veteran as his veep, perhaps Jim Webb or Jack Reed. Or he might do well to offer the job to another woman, someone younger than Hillary and someone from one of the large states that Clinton won like Cal, NY, Ohio, etc. Or perhaps offer it to Governor Granholm of Michigan which may salve the bitterness of Michigan voters for his shutting down their vote. Giving the job to a Clinton supporter would go a long way in healing the wounds that his attack dogs have inflicted on the party.
    mike

    Reply

  24. Dan Kervick says:

    Anna85,
    What would such a split be based on? There is very little difference ideologically between the two rivals, so there is no foundation for some sort of partisan schism here. The dispute is mainly over the personal qualities of the two candidates.

    Reply

  25. mike says:

    citizen;
    Your arrogance is showing – perhaps you should put it back under the covers before YOU destroy the Democratic Party. Or – – – more likely, you are a Rovian troll.
    mike

    Reply

  26. henry says:

    Gallup’s daily tracking poll looks like a DOUBLE HELIX, no? Maybe Steve Clemons is right: the winner will have take the loser has his/her VP. Henry.

    Reply

  27. citizen says:

    1. I am an Obama supporter.
    2. I am educated in electoral politics…will spare you the time of polishing my teachers/experiences/studnets, my degrees and doctorates, rather I cite these as my foundation in reasonable thought and mind(except during GBP games–it’s genetic)…but I come from a position of reason, not emotion as the original post implies(I am passionate about my agenda issues)
    3. I come to this site for centered, detailed foreign policy insight that provide ideas, insights and suggestions that I have been unable to arrive at on my own. I would consider Steve a teacher/director in this endevor.
    4. Of reason and non-emotional thought I object to the the assertion that implies some sort of “horserace”, rather this would be to accept the premise of Senator Clinton having a mathematical possibility, she does not according to the precontest mutually agreed upon rules. Nor does she have a chance(according to law of probability)based on the precontest agred upon litmus of majority of pledged delegates, majority of pledged delegates and majority if electoral contests. Senaotr Clinton has been eliminated from all three contests. This is electoral scientific fact.
    5. These results were evident after wisconsin, they did not change in the slighest after texas and ohio from a scientific rational, yet the msm seemed to creates god’s 8th day where the senator could win the nomination.(I apologize if the humor offends, but as a citizen grounded in thought and science your premise is dangerous on many levels, ala the weapons of mass destruction charade)
    6. The Clinton campaign’s window is to bloody BO and label him an unamerican, muslim loving n###er, if you doubt me please go to wikpedia and search “the southern strategy” now please list the 20 different narrative frames that have been introduced since south carolina cumulating with the clintons friend, pastor wright. The evidence is is powerful and the result is evident in these silly polls. Obama’s general election performance will closely mirror his Wisconsin, as he responds to the hateful swiftboating in professor-like fashion. The clintons should have swept the primaries, yet something happened and the democratic party chose a new leader,like it or not, the democratic nominee is Barack Hussein Obama( see politico.com article if after reviewing the “southern strategy “, you still support Senator Clinton.
    7.I would be surprised if Senator Clinton is still running in 2 weeks, yes I said, I dont believe we are going to Penn…this is emotion, not science, I say this not to be smug, rather based on my 20 plus years of evalutating and studying the former first family of the democratic party, I soubt they will continue their kamikaze mission, to do so will permenantly tarnish their legacy and ability to participate on their accustomed level.
    Numbers 1-6 are based in scientific fact and thoughtful reason, lucky 7 is based on hoipe of a unified party.

    Reply

  28. anna85 says:

    Dan K.
    You are wrong. This is a split in the Democratic party that will not mend by Nov08. It will last a generation. Perhaps a new party will form on the ashes of the current two.

    Reply

  29. BillB says:

    Steve,
    Not sure I agree with your final take here. Including the “race speech,” Obama gave three long, substantive speeches this week that were not quite “shouting the same things louder than before” – whatever one may think of them.

    Reply

  30. JohnH says:

    Some really might not vote for Hillary in November. I have detailed my reasons:
    1) Instead of bringing the troops home, Hillary only commits to BEGINNING to bring the troops home, kind of like what Bush is now doing. It drives me nuts when she tries to pose as being against the Occupation but actually supports it.
    2) Bill’s decision to throw the economy under the bus in 1999 by signing away Depression era protections against mergers between banks, insurance companies and investment banks. On this, Hillary hasn’t even said, “if I knew now what I knew then…” Of course not, Bill’s gift probably bought Wall Street’s acquiescence to her run for Senate.
    3) Bill’s decision to throw American jobs under the bus by giving Most Favored Nation status to China, allowing Chinese apparel and consumer goods to flood the US market with no environmental, consumer, or human rights protections. The decision substantially helped Walmart, where Hillary served on the Board, but it devastated our trade deficit and American manufacturing.
    4) What could we expect Hillary to give her corporate pals and Wall Street, which she now represents as Senator? Given the Clintons’ history of prostrating themselves before corporate giants, might really privatize Social Security? After what Bill did, can you take her at her word that she would not?

    Reply

  31. Philipp says:

    Steve,
    I recognize and respect the attempt to be even-handed, but I feel like I’m missing something here, and this applies both to this post and much recent reporting.
    I agree with you, the tight poll numbers make it clear that the Democratic electorate is genuinely divided. But even close races have to have winners and losers. At this point, it’s exceptionally unlikely that, by the end of primary and caucus season, Obama will have lost his lead in delegates or votes, and, for that matter, in number of primaries, caucuses, red states, and blue states won, or to throw out yet another metric, in dollars raised. Even if Clinton somehow manages to pull ahead in the vote count, which is unlikely, that vote count derives solely from primaries, so she’d have to argue for effectively disenfranchising caucus states. Is it impossible that Clinton could convince enough super delegates to join her camp for her to clinch the nomination, despite the narrow but effectively insurmountable lead that Obama holds? No, it’s not impossible, but can we agree it’s a very long shot, and Clinton is less likely to get the rather substantial number of super delegates that she needs to override Obama’s lead than Obama is to get the far smaller number he’ll need to complement his lead?
    So the above post, like much recent reporting, suggests an essentially tied horse race, and at least to my mind that’s a rather misleading take at this point in the game. Am I missing something?

    Reply

  32. tobie says:

    Steve,
    Your argument might be plausible if it weren’t for the article in the Washington Post yesterday, in which the reporter talked with over 100 reporters in the media crew during Hillary’s 1996 trip to Bosnia, including the Post’s John Pomfret. None remembers any sniper fire or having to run from the tarmac or having to forego the welcome ceremony.
    I agree that the democratic party is fairly evenly divided. And although I am an Obama supporter, I will vote for Hillary in November if she’s the democratic nominee, since the prospect of McCain presidency is pretty frightening. That said, she’s been shown to consistently embellish, if not fabricate, the truth in this campaign in ways that make her a less than trustworthy presidential candidate. Think about her version of her position on NAFTA in the 90s which doesn’t seem to match anyone else’s in the Clinton administration. Think about how she has tried to take credit for the Family Medical Leave Act and SCHIP, when there is NO evidence that she played any role in helping get this legislation passed. (Ask the sponsors of the legsilation–Chris Dodd in the first case, Orrin Hatch and Ted Kennedy in the second–if you doubt this.) Think about how she has exaggerated her role, if any, in the Northern Ireland Peace Accords. Think about the ludicrousness of her claim that she has 35 years of experience, when 35 years ago she was a mere law student volunteering for a campaign.
    These distortions are disturbing to say the least. I recognize that all politicians exaggerate their resumes when they’re running for high office, but Hillary seems to border on serial lying. That, compounded with the ruthlessly negative campaign she’s been waging for the past three weeks, makes committed democrats like myself impatient with and hostile toward her candidacy. We will not vote for her but against McCain if she’s the nominee.

    Reply

  33. Chicagon says:

    I really have no idea how to respond to this. Many people who accompanied her on that trip have categorically refuted her account. No one— not one person— has backed her story. Questioned on this, she stuck to her version of events. This video footage backs the version of events *everyone else who was there* remembers. She is, unambiguously, lying, and the reason this actually matters is that she’s cited this as a national security credential. It goes to the heart of her experience argument.

    Reply

  34. Will Bower says:

    Chicagoan. No, I -don’t- “know perfectly well”.
    I’m guessing that she had more than one take-off and more than one landing that trip.
    You sound like Fox News did when they attacked Gore for confusing two of his 16 FEMA trips.

    Reply

  35. Chicagoan says:

    This is the very same landing she was talking about, as you know perfectly well. I don’t like to get into the manufactured controversy of the day, but this is an unbelievably vivid example of the sort of sociopathic lying that makes people out and out despise Clinton, and I’d honestly like to know Steve’s take on it.

    Reply

  36. Will Bower says:

    Chicagoan.
    Um. Where’s the lie here? Both accounts can coexist… the one Hillary describes and the landing we see in the video. Different landings.

    Reply

  37. Dan Kervick says:

    The division in the Democratic Party might be fairly even, but I don’t think it is very deep. It’s mainly just a division over candidates, not over fundamentally different approaches to governance. Once there is a nominee, the division will disappear.

    Reply

  38. Chicagoan says:

    I am an Obama supporter, not because I think he’s fit for the White House, but because I think he’s less unfit than the other candidates and because it’s too late for Al Gore to step on the stage.
    With that card on the table, Steve, how do you respond to this devastating video that shows Hillary flatly lying— three days ago!— about her foreign policy experience, even after people ranging from reporters to Sinbad had already called her on this out and out lie?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iOsGo_HWP-c

    Reply

  39. Will Bower says:

    Acer.
    With the media having lulled Hillary, her supporters, and -all- of us for the last 3 years that Hillary was the heir-apparent for the nomination, who would have ever suspected that a grassroots campaign was in order.
    And then, lo, that same media throws its rockstar into the equation, to ensure a ticket-selling fight. So, yes, her camp was taken unawares by a media with an agenda.
    Norm. Watch those poll numbers change once she wins the next few primaries.

    Reply

  40. Norm says:

    One day does not a trend make, but we may be seeing the effects
    of the race speech. If so, Clinton may now remain permanently
    below Obama.

    Reply

  41. acerimusdux says:

    What those up and down polls really show is just how close this race is. But, with the national polls that close throughout, really you would think the delegate count would be closer than it is.
    I guess some Clinton supporters might blame the caucus process, but I really think the Clinton campaign could have been better organized than it was. As the established favorite coming into the campaign, she really should have been able to put together the grass roots on the ground effort to compete more in those caucuses.
    I don’t think this really reflects on her as a candidate so much, but that she really had the wrong advisors running her campaign. Had she done more early on to organize and lock up support amongst party activists, she should have been able to win this.

    Reply

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