Is It Over?


Tom Edsall thinks so — tomorrow night.
Edsall writes:

Hillary Clinton has summoned top donors and backers to attend her speech tomorrow night in an unusual move that is being widely interpreted to mean she plans to suspend her campaign and endorse Barack Obama.
Obama and Clinton spoke Sunday night and agreed that their staffs should begin negotiations over post-primary activities. In addition to help raising money to pay off some $20 million-plus in debts, Clinton is known to want Obama to help out black officials who endorsed her and are now taking constituent heat, including, in some cases, primary challenges from pro-Obama politicians.
“This has never happened before,” one donor said, referring to the personalized request by email to attend the event in New York Tuesday night. Obama is expected to claim enough delegates to put him over the top that night at a separate event in Minneapolis.

— Steve Clemons


31 comments on “Is It Over?

  1. Tahoe Editor says:

    Way to deflect, Kathleen.


  2. Kathleen says:

    Tahoe Editor… did you know anyone’s head could get this big? Yes, reading your comments, I’d say you’ve got the edge on that… maybe a good friend will do you the favor of sticking a pin in your distended ego. You’ll feel better with less pressure.


  3. Tahoe Editor says:

    Now contrast that with BHO’s remarks in St. Paul. Did you know anyone’s head could ever get this big? His hot air alone will accelerate global warming!

    “I am absolutely certain that generations from now we will be able look back and tell our children that this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal.” — Barack Obama in St. Paul


  4. Tahoe Editor says:

    Some highlights from McCain’s speech in New Orleans:

    You will hear from my opponent’s campaign in every speech, every interview, every press release that I’m running for President Bush’s third term. You will hear every policy of the President described as the Bush-McCain policy. Why does Senator Obama believe it’s so important to repeat that idea over and over again? Because he knows it’s very difficult to get Americans to believe something they know is false. So he tries to drum it into your minds by constantly repeating it rather than debate honestly the very different directions he and I would take the country. But the American people didn’t get to know me yesterday, as they are just getting to know Senator Obama. They know I have a long record of bipartisan problem solving.
    Both Senator Obama and I promise we will end Washington’s stagnant, unproductive partisanship. But one of us has a record of working to do that and one of us doesn’t. Americans have seen me put aside partisan and personal interests to move this country forward. They haven’t seen Senator Obama do the same. For all his fine words and all his promise, he has never taken the hard but right course of risking his own interests for yours; of standing against the partisan rancor on his side to stand up for our country. He is an impressive man, who makes a great first impression. But he hasn’t been willing to make the tough calls; to challenge his party; to risk criticism from his supporters to bring real change to Washington. I have.
    I don’t seek the presidency on the presumption I’m blessed with such personal greatness that history has anointed me to save my country in its hour of need. I seek the office with the humility of a man who cannot forget my country saved me.


  5. Luch says:

    WigWag, I live in Oregon, so alas, my vote will not count if I vote for a republican. I do think though that because the fall election will probably put larger majorities of democrats into congress, that having a McCain as president will be a good thing. We will get his foreign policy decisions and the democratic congress will keep his domestic policies from going too far afield for my tastes.


  6. WigWag says:

    Tahoe Editor, what did he say?


  7. Tahoe Editor says:

    Anyone who heard John McCain tonight knows JohnH’s last post — the millionth attempt to equate Bush and McCain — is B.S.


  8. WigWag says:

    JohnH, as I mentioned a couple of comments up, Obama was right about the war in Iraq from the beginning; McCain was wrong. This doesn’t mean that Obama will get us out of Iraq any faster than McCain will.
    I know what Obama has said. He said he will pull all combat troops out as quickly as practical. I think it is entirely reasonable to speculate that with his inexperience and lack of gravitas in military affairs (really in everything)Obama will quickly succumb to the pleas of the generals that a pull out will result in a military disaster. I don’t doubt that Obama will fold like a cheap suit.
    McCain has said he will keep troops in as long as necessary for victory, but he isn’t dependent on his generals to make the decision. He understands the military and he understands foreign affairs. He could easily decide to pull thre troops out sooner.
    Things rarely work ou the way we expect. Bush ran on a platform of a humble foreign policy. We certainly didn’t get what Bush promised us. Given Obama’s lack of a track record, there is no reason to believe anything he says. I don’t believe him. If anyone has any reason that I should, I would be happy to hear it.


  9. JohnH says:

    A question for Wigwag, Luch and other Democrats thinking of voting for McCain: do you want to maintain the course in Iraq? If so, for what?
    None of the long list of domestic problems will get addressed as long as more than half the federal operating budget goes to defense and the wars. And John McCain shows no inclination to do anything but follow Bush’s failed policies. At least with Obama there is a possibility that the wars will be wound down. With McCain there is none.


  10. WigWag says:

    Luch, I think there’s reason to hope that McCain’s foreign policy won’t be terrible (not that I think it will be good). Those who say that McCain is the second coming of Bush are just being silly. McCain’s foreign policy experience is measured in decades not hours (like Obama’s experience or Dubya’s experience). His history of being shot at might make him more reluctant to start a war flipantly. He does kawtow much too much to the odious neocons, but he has a maverick streak that just might motivate him to throw them overboard if he’s elected.
    As for the war in Iraq, Obama has always been right and McCain has always been wrong. But that doesn’t mean that Obama will take us out of Iraq any faster than McCain, despite Obama’s rhetoric. On foreign policy and military affairs, McCain is sure of himself; I doubt that Obama will have the cajones to pull out once our military commanders tell him it will lead to a disaster and an implosion of the country. We could easily be out of Iraq faster with McCain than Obama.
    As for other foreign policy issues, McCain might surprise Washington Note readers. On Israel/Palestine, McCain could easily pull a Nixon goes to China ploy. Obama will have to be much more attentive to Jewish voters given his history of associating with pastors who don’t like Israel and other virulent Israel critics.
    On domestic policies, of course Obama is better, much better. With Obama we’ll get better access to health care than with McCain. But both McCain and Obama believe in global warming and the need to address it; McCain supports stem cell research even though he opposes abortion and McCain is much too competent to allow another Hurricane Katrina fiasco.
    While Obama is terribly inexperienced, I have to admit, that given his age, I wonder whether McCain might just be losing it a little. Given how close to his age I am, I hope not.
    Don’t get me wrong, McCain is bad news. His foreign policy isn’t good; his domestic policies are worse. Obama’s policies are better, I think significantly better. But don’t let anyone tell you that McCain is George Bush. He’s not.
    If like me, you can’t abide Obama’s terrible behavior, his hypocracy and his sexism, McCain is a choice defineitely worth thinking about.
    I won’t vote for Obama. Maybe I’ll vote for McCain; maybe I’ll vote for Nader, maybe I’ll write Hillary’s name in as a protest or maybe I won’t vote at all.
    Depending on where you live, Luch, it may or may not matter what how you vote. Obama is winning all the Northeast states (except maybe New Hampshire). McCain is winning most of the Southern state (except maybe Virginia). I live in a swing state (Florida). I remember 2000 very well. I know every vote counts. That’s why I’m thinking so long and hard about this.
    Good luck with your decision making process. The fact that you take it so seriously is very impressive.


  11. Tahoe Editor says:

    (Even Obama said McCain would be an improvement over Bush. But that was before he started getting his talking points memos from MoveOn-McCain=Bush’sThirdTermWe’veSaidItAMillionTimesNowWhyDon’tYouBelieveUs?.org)


  12. Tahoe Editor says:

    Obama is farther to the left than McCain is to the right. McCain has a proven record of bucking his party to make tough choices and reach across the aisle. Obama has no such record. He has his broken-record speech about “PR and spin” and “there are no red states and there are no blue states” and “what unites us is greater than what divides us.” Sadly, these are just words.
    David Ignatius | Obama: A Thin Record For a Bridge Builder
    McCain Offers Alternative Change You Can Really Believe In


  13. Luch says:

    WigWag has helped me understand why I have a sinking feeling when I think of voting for Obama. I am a democrat, but have voted for a republican, or no one, if the democratic candidate was in the radical left of the party. I am thinking that I cannot vote for Obama due to his liberal, big-government stands. I am really a centrist and Obama’s policies are as far to the left of mine as McCains are to the right, so I thought that was why I was having a hard time moving my vote preference from Clinton to Obama. After reading WigWag’s comments, I realize that it is also partly due to Obama’s willingness to allow the press to bias the public against Clinton through his silence. And, perhaps through some of his surrogates hinting to press people behind closed doors, although I don’t want to be that paranoid about this.
    What I do know, sans paranoia, is that Obama has been quite willing to let the press call Clinton racist, and has been willing to let them, and his blogosphere following, express some sexist remarks about her without showing any sign of distaste.


  14. Andrew Mehdiz. says:

    I’m not sure its over. The Politico seems to think otherwise, and a Clinton memo suggests that Ickes is not ready to pull the curtain:


  15. Tahoe Editor says:

    Hillary never uttered the word “inevitable.”
    Barry did say, however, “I have no doubt I can get her votes. The question is, can she get mine?”
    Now he has to backpedal on all the divisiveness he’s proffered throughout the primary and actually start trying to act like the uniter he claims to be.
    He’s got a lot of selling to do, and it will have to be more than talking about “spin and PR” and “a new kind of politics” ad nauseam.


  16. WigWag says:

    David, I enjoyed reading your comment very much. In my opinion it is very well reasoned, full of optimism and, as a call to reconciliation, very timely. unfortunately, I think you are mostly wrong.
    Hillary Clinton will certainly endorse Obama and it wouldn’t surpirse me in the least if she works hard for his election. At the very least, she will implore her supporters to vote for him. Most will, but millions will not. The millions of mature women who support Hillary want her to win because they think she would be a fine president. Once she’no longer in the running, many won’t care who she endorses. They will decide for themselves (as I will) and they will not vote for a candidate who acquieced (and occassionally encouraged) the most heinous sexist attacks. Hillary Clinton can deal with it. After all, it’s just politics and she is a politician. To her supporters, the attacks on her, were attacks on us. Every time the press commented on her cleavage, the thickness of her ankles, the timbre of her voice, whether she cries too much, etc. we know they were also attacking us. When Senator Obama said nothing about this and when his supporters joined in the frenzy merely because it offered him a temporary tactical advantage, we learned everything about Senator Obama that we need to know.
    Clinton supporters understand that Obama’s position on the issues is better than McCains. But Senator Obama thinks he can remain silent in the face of the most egregious sexism and not pay a price for it. Just like he thinks he can call working class people bitter and still be entitled to their votes. There’s an audacity there, but it’s not the audacity of hope.
    David, Senator Obama’s problem is not just with older women and self identified feminists. You’ve seen the exit polls. In swing state after swing state enormous percentages of Clinton supporters say they won’t vote for Obama. Could this change by November? Sure. Many of these voters will hold their noses and vote for Obama anyway. But many won’t. Those who won’t could easily be numerous enough to swing the swing states to McCain.
    If I were you, I’d get ready to hear Hail to the Chief at Senator McCain’s inaugaration. If it happens, Senator Obama and his supporters will have only themselves to blame.


  17. David says:

    Anyone who thinks Hillary will not fully support the Democratic nominee for president really hasn’t been paying attention for about 30 years. She believes she is the stronger candidate, and she knows the primary is for the presidency, so she is fighting tooth-and-nail to be the next president of the United States.
    Hillary will bring most of her supporters back into the general Democratic fold. Women who support her fervently are more angry than stupid. In fact, I doubt there are any dumb Hillary supporters, period. And they are correct that the press is far more misogynistic than racist. And some of Obama’s most fervent supporters have been foolish in their attitude toward Hillary.
    Hillary did commit one unpardonable sin when she suggested John McCain was more qualified to be commander-in-chief than Barack Obama, but the burden is on Obama to counter every attack from every side. Hillary is not weakening Obama, at least not at anywhere near the level John McCain intends to sink to. Hillary’s damage was to herself and to the Democratic brand, but she can rectify both in the general election, and she will.
    I stand by a suggestion I made on another blog. Every Obama supporter who said they would vote for McCain over Hillary should send a sincere letter of apology to Hillary. And every Hillary supporter who ever said they would vote for McCain over Obama can best apologize by voting Democratic in November, unless they have no respect for the things Hillary has stood for and fought for her whole adult political life. There is no greater insult a Hillary supporter could hurl at Hillary than to vote for McCain.


  18. Carroll says:

    “From what I read on pro Clinton websites, women who support Clinton are already organizing in swing states like Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Mexico, Colorado, etc. to urge women not to vote for Obama in the Fall.”
    Well, these are the women that give men a reason to call women stupid.
    Anyway, for the past month I have been convinced that Hillary was continuing her campaign for the sole purpose of raising money to make up her financial shortfall.


  19. WigWag says:

    Spunkmeyer, we agree entirely. That whole inevitability thing didn’t work out at all for Senator Clinton. Will it work out for Senator Obama? It might, but not if tens of thousands of women supporting Senator Clinton have anything to say about it. Look, the internet is not always a reliable source. From what I read on pro Clinton websites, women who support Clinton are already organizing in swing states like Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Mexico, Colorado, etc. to urge women not to vote for Obama in the Fall. It certainly wasn’t enough for Senator Clinton in the Democratic nominating process. Will it be enough to deny Obama the presidency? Time will tell. I know one thing, parties that are divided rarely win. Just ask the socialists in France who had a nominating fight similar to what the Democrats are experiencing now. That’s why France is led by President Sarkozy. The Democratic Party is about to experience a civil war. To those who care about progressive causes, it won’t be pretty.


  20. Spunkmeyer says:

    Yes, WigWag, that’s true… that whole “inevitability” thing didn’t
    work out so well for Hillary Clinton.


  21. leo says:

    I’ll guess you’re referring to my suggestion of two Obama terms, Wigwag, rather than my estimation of Senator Clinton’s character.


  22. WigWag says:

    Leo, you might be right and you might be wrong. But, if I were you, I wouldn’t get too cocky. Remember the old adage, “pride goeth before a fall.”


  23. leo says:

    Hah, Hillary will still be claiming to be the superior candidtate throughout Obama’s two likely terms, and ever after.


  24. WigWag says:

    The nominating process may or may not be over in the next few days, but let me tell you what won’t be over. Thousands, tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of Democrats reregistering as independents won’t be over. Clinton supporters searching for, then finding and then supporting anti-Obama 527 organizations; that won’t be over. Clinton supporters deciding whether to vote for McCain, vote for Nader or just stay home; that won’t be over. Clinton supporters arguing as loudly and eloquesntly as they can why a vote for Obama is a vote for sexism; that won’t be over.
    Alot of Clinton supporters are not being honest. They say they oppose Obama becuse he cant’t win. That’s not true. Although he is weaker general election candidate than Clinton, he definitely can win. Whether he will or not; that’s another story. Many Clinton supporters will be doing everything that they can to make sure he doesn’t. Will it be enough to defeat him in November? Only time will tell. Florida was decided in 2000 by a few hundred votes; Ohio was decided in 2004 by less that 20 thousand votes. Obama needs every Clinton vote he can get. He will get most of them, but perhaps, not as many as he needs. Many women refuse to be held hostage by the prospect of a McCain presidency enacting anti-women positions. If Obama’s sexism is rewarded all women will suffer. The die will be cast. Be as sexist as you want; the consequences are non existant. That’s why no matter what Obama or his supporters say, we’re turning Senator Obama down. He will never get our votes.


  25. Spunkmeyer says:

    I would be very surprised if this isn’t over by Friday at the latest.
    Obama is so close in the delegate count that it’s entirely possible
    he’ll have enough announced superdelegates that by the time
    polls close he has enough to clinch the nomination.
    Short of pulling a “Bull Moose Party” strategy tomorrow evening,
    it’s Hillary’s last chance to save face and create an atmosphere of
    party unity. So much as her most avid supporters swear they’ll
    vote for McCain over Obama, I’m convinced that if she sets the
    right tone many people would vote for him as the nominee in
    November. I realize that this will cause a tremendous case of
    cognitive dissonance for some, but…


  26. Kathleen says:

    Did the fat lady sing? I hope they both remain intransigent all the way to Denver and that someone nominates Gore from the floor.


  27. JohnH says:

    I guess I won’t have Hillary to kick around any more. But I still would like her to be straight with us on a few things. Iraq: does she really want out, or just a cosmetic draw down? Just why did her husband sign away depression-era economic protections (a gift to Wall Street) just as she was ramping up her campaign to represent Wall Street in the Senate? And why did he sign the “Enron loophole” into law as his last “gift” to America, allowing energy speculators to run amok, unsupervised? Guess we’ll never know–unless she runs in ’12.
    The corporate media has been an avid cheerleader for Bush’s Occupation, and there are just some questions–which relate to their own selfish, “vital strategic self-interests”–that they just won’t ask, and she’s happy not to answer.


  28. MarkL says:

    I think the only way for the party to be unified is for Hillary to take it to the convention.
    As things stand now, Hillary supporters will not consider an Obama win legitimate.
    Likewise, of course, if Hillary wins by a convention vote, no Obama supporter can deny her legitimacy.
    Of course, if Larry Johnson is right, Obama will be on the ropes in a few days.
    By the way, citizen, I’d say the vote stealing of the RBC is more detrimental to the party than anything Hillary can do.


  29. Mr.Murder says:

    Ask not for whom the bell tolls….


  30. citizen spot says:

    The keyword is suspend. It is my opinion that she is not going to concede victory while she can still work the superdelegates behind closed doors to switch back to her. She is going to take this thing all the way to the convention floor, to the detriment of the Democratic party.


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