Pluck and Yesterday’s Primaries


Barack Obama owned last night — and he’ll own the rest of the month for the most part until he runs up against the contests in early March in Rhode Island, Texas and Ohio. Despite Obama’s impressive sweep of Nebraska, Washington and Louisiana yesterday, the delegate count remains at near parity between them. It’s hard to see either breaking out and winning the delegate race outright.
Part of me wishes we could skip what are sure to be teeter-totter results of the rest of the primary season and just get to the wrestling that will take place at the convention in August.
Obama’s wins were very impressive and his next ones will be too — but it’s a mistake to think that Obama’s surge has come anywhere near knocking Hillary Clinton out of the ring. She’s got huge support out there in the country still — and in my view the Democratic Party remains deeply divided between them.
One thing I really don’t get is why Hillary Clinton’s team keeps reporting how much they were outspent or out organized by Obama’s campaign. This seems to plant in the minds of many in those respective states that they didn’t matter in the Clinton campaign’s calculus.
This from the Clinton campaign press office last night:

Tonight there are contests in three states that the Obama campaign has long predicted they would win by large margins. According to a spreadsheet that was obtained by Bloomberg News, the Obama campaign predicted big victories in Washington State, Nebraska and Louisiana.
The Obama campaign has dramatically outspent our campaign in these three states, saturating the airwaves with 30 and 60 second ads. The Obama campaign has spent $300,000 more in Louisiana on television ads, $190,000 more in Nebraska and $175,000 more in Washington.
Although the next several states that hold nominating contests this month are more favorable to the Obama campaign, we will continue to compete in them and hope to secure as many delegates as we can before the race turns to Ohio, Texas and Pennsylvania.

I’ve already written extensively that I think Mike Huckabee will be McCain’s GOP VP running mate. His scores last night in Kansas and Louisiana only reinforce my prediction. I think McCain will pull it out in Washington but only by a toe nail.
More later.
— Steve Clemons


12 comments on “Pluck and Yesterday’s Primaries

  1. Kathleen says:

    Thank you for that one, POA…
    The first time we got a tax rebate, I sent mine to Senator Jim Jeffords in appreciation to him for subtracting himself from the Repigs, changing the majority in the Senate and all the chairmanships, making the 9/11 commission, such as it was, possible. I made copies of the IRS check and my covering letter to Jeffords so I could send copies to certain people like Trent Lott and Busholini.
    This time, I’m going to borrow against mine so I can send it to Ralph Nader’s exploratory committee. I’d prefer to vote Green this time with a Nader/McKinney ticket, again, assuming we actually have another election. Don’t forget, right after the electoral college certified the Busholini Coup de Court, he actually said it’s a lot easier if you have a dictatorship, especially if he’s the dictator.
    Impeach now or forever hold your peace or should that be piece?


  2. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “Revolutionary Change”
    Really??? What a catchy little phrase, care to elaborate?
    Obama’s False Hope: Why I will not Vote for Obama
    by Remi Kanazi
    Global Research, February 4, 2008
    At what point does an individual stop supporting the lesser of two evils? The question became particularly important this primary race, as one man ascended to political stardom ostensibly breaking free from the evils of mainstream politics and creating a platform based on hope and change. This transcendent figure is presidential hopeful Barack Obama.
    Searching for substantive policy, I began to chip away at Obama’s political posturing, and came to a daunting conclusion: there are a multitude of reasons one shouldn’t vote for Barack Obama, especially those within the Arab-American community.
    Senator Obama is not anti-war, nor does he genuinely seek appropriate alternatives to militarism in the Middle East. Arab-Americans and putative leftists naively, and sometimes willfully, overlook the fact that he is an ardent supporter of the invasion, bombing, and ongoing occupation of Afghanistan. One also cannot dismiss that his views are consistent with the Democratic Party platform, which aspires to refocus on Afghanistan. Such views bode well with Obama’s plan to deploy additional troops and increase funding, but as with the case in Iraq, it will only intensify the struggles of the civilian population of Afghanistan. Obama fully supported the Lebanon war (even as the Israeli military killed hundreds of Lebanese civilians and leveled civilian infrastructure with tens of thousands of US-shipped cluster bombs), and played up his pro-Israel rhetoric nearly as much as his current democratic opponent, Hilary Clinton. As with nearly every other candidate, Obama fully supports Israel’s 40 year occupation of Palestinian land and dutifully endorsed the besiegement of Gaza. Surprisingly, this is a politician who once curried favor with prominent members of the Palestinian community, attending a community fundraiser in which Edward Said was the keynote speaker, dining with Rashid Khalidi in Chicago, and receiving praise from Ali Abuminah during his time as a state senator. Domestically, his shift to the right is glaringly apparent, reflecting weaker stances on undocumented residents, the patriot act, gay rights, and a host of other domestic issues.
    Obama may have voiced opposition to the Iraq war five years ago, but his “courage” came at a time when it minimally affected his political aspirations. Since entering the senate, he has voted in favor of nearly 300 billion dollars in war appropriations and will continue to appropriate billions more if elected president. Obama is already playing up his ability to be hawkish on foreign policy (e.g. his illustrious declaration that he’d bomb Pakistan on “actionable intelligence”) and has tried to validate himself as a “tough when necessary” type of leader.
    Post-911, inexperience with foreign affairs has been a sore point for all democrats. There is nothing more troubling than a field of candidates trying to prove themselves to their opposition. One only needs to look at the rise of Amir Peretz as Defense Minister in Israel. He was a well-known leftist against the Israeli occupation before coming into office. In an attempt to demonstrate his intestinal fortitude and establish himself among the Israeli public, he championed the destruction of Lebanon, and defended the decision as fervently as any right-wing activist. At best, Obama’s inexperience will limit his capacity to control the military occupation of Iraq, as it would every democrat and most republicans during the inaugural year. Additionally, expectation for his vaguely outlined phased withdrawal, which creeps well into midterm election campaigning, further denies the mechanics of mainstream American politics and Congressional trepidation. No democrat or republican can afford to lose seats in the house and senate; it’s precisely why little is achieved during election years. Potential voters may find it useful to recall the excitement engendered after the 2006 midterm elections when a pullout was “imminent;” assurances were given that mass hearings would take place on Capitol Hill, and accountability was declared to be the wave of the future. Predictably, campaigning supplanted accountability, while the people of Iraq were left hanging in the balance. Ultimately, no viable political candidate will be able to pull out of Iraq before the 2010 elections.
    Contrary to public perception, Obama is not a humanitarian. He consistently places the onus of solving the conflict in Iraq on the Iraqi people alone, absolving the US of its responsibility for an illegal invasion and occupation. Nor does he support a sustainable future for the Iraqi people or their right to reparations; rather, he supports an eventual end to the war primarily to alleviate America’s financial and militaristic burden. His position illustrates a profound difference between a humanistic and militaristic approach to Iraq, the latter of which will have a dramatic negative effect on Iraq’s civilian population. Moreover, Obama squarely blames Iraqis for their own misery, focusing little attention on the US campaign. The incessant mantra that Iraqis refuse to pull themselves up by their bootstraps and accept democracy ignores a simple reality: it was never presented to them in the first place, nor has there been a serious attempt to rebuild Iraq infrastructurally or economically.
    continues at…..


  3. Robert M. says:

    Oh, Steve, oh Steve. McCain does not want Huckabee & Huckabee doesn’t want it either as he has no desire to associated with a Sunk Ship. Hucks playing for 2012, as Mitt thinks he is too (that’s rich – Mr. Inauthenticity vs Mr. Preacher Man — who’d win that one eh).
    And just get used to it. It will NOT be a brokered convention as following all the primaries, Clinton’s superdelegates will peel off towards the state/vote/poll winner–Obama.
    Obama wins by at least 55% in November over McCain. Revolutionary Change.


  4. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “POA — if he does pick Lieberman, then at least the Dems will be able to score a blow out”
    Ok, fair ’nuff.
    Thats barring any shenanigans at the polls; an expectation that is unrealistic, and certainly unsupportable if one examines the past two presidential elections and our “representatives” complete failure in securing the credibility and security of the electoral process.
    You are also ruling out another galvanizing “event” designed to get us all back on board the Terror Train; a very real possibility, because it worked so well for them them the last time they staged, (or simply allowed), an attack.
    Besides, bringing Lieberman on board may shift the strong AIPAC support out of Hillary’s camp, and into McCain’s, to say nothing of the support it would garner from the Dem Jewish community, many of whom see Lieberman as Israel’s darling, and rightfully so. Certainly, McCain is wooing Israel and AIPAC’s support, and his “kill all the Muslim’s” mindset has the RW zionists in a constant state of orgasm. Just imagine the inner workings of a mind that that adopts “gooks” as acceptable semantics, and it not hard to imagine “sand niggers” synapsing around in his maniacally deranged little hotbed of hateful grey matter.
    But hey, I realize we aren’t supposed to bring up these candidate’s subservience to Israel and AIPAC here. Its just too politicaly insensitive. I mean hey, lets just disregard loyalties that may telegraph the future stances that these candidates might take towards foriegn policy in the Middle East. Better we debate the modern day meaning of “pimp”, and whether or not sucking sounds escaping from the Oval Office of Bill Clinton had a hand in landing Hillary’s candidacy.
    The media earmuffs might drown out the elephant’s roar, but the internet seismographs are still picking up the vibrations of their stampede, Steve.
    How about a gentleman’s bet, Steve?


  5. Kent from Waco says:

    ….she will need to win by over 60% in texas and ohio…..not happening…she will win texas but Ohio will be a different story..
    Don’t be so sure about Texas. There hasn’t been any recent polls and the old ones were way back in the fall when there was still a full field.
    Hillary is setting up her base of operations in San Antonio and will be heavily campaigning in South Texas and the entire border region all the way to El Paso where she should do well in communities that are up to 95% Hispanic, like Laredo and the Rio Grande Valley.
    However I expect Obama will take all the other major cities in Texas outside San Antonio. He should take Houston and the Dallas/Fort Worth area including the sprawling exurban suburbs around those metro areas. That is 1/2 the state’s population right there. Austin is also tailor-made for Obama as politically and demographically it is more like Seattle than the rest of Texas. That leaves the small cities and towns of central and east Texas–areas that are predominantly Republican. Hillary-hatred and Clinton hatred has been so intense and deep-seated in these areas that I think a lot of hit has rubbed off onto Democrats. Here in the Waco area I see a lot of interest in Obama and a lot of visceral distaste for Hillary among Democrats.
    Point being. I don’t think the Texas primary will be won in south Texas like Clinton thinks. I think it will be won in the sprawling DFW and Houston metro areas and Obama should do well in both.


  6. Dan Kervick says:

    I don’t think the teeter-tottering is going to last much longer, Steve. The Obama campaign has all the momentum, and this race is at a tipping point. As Obama begins to rack up victories in February, much of Clinton’s support will begin to defect at an accelerating pace to get behind the eventual nominee.
    You shouldn’t be surprised by the Clinton tactical errors like the dismissive writing off of states who voted for Obama. This is a campaign that has, after all, squandered massive early leads all across the country, a lead based mainly on name recognition and familiarity, and has now lost 18 out of 28 states. It’s a losing operation. The Obama campaign, on the other hand, has been on a consistent upward trajectory.
    I think the difference in the performance of the two campaign operations tells us something about which team would be the more successful governing group. And ultimately, the credit or blame falls on the person at the head of the operation. Clinton made a hash out of the health care initiative in the 90’s with her controlling, secretive, top-down management style, and she is making a hash out of her campaign. What evidence is there, then, that she would be an effective chief executive?


  7. Steve Clemons says:

    POA — if he does pick Lieberman, then at least the Dems will be able to score a blow out. Steve


  8. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Steve, McCain will pick Lieberman as his running mate.


  9. Cee says:

    Hillary said Michigan doesn’t count.
    NHPR’s Laura Knoy: “So, if you value the DNC calendar, why not just pull out of Michigan? Why not just say, Hey Michigan, I’m off the ballot?”
    Hillary Clinton: “Well, you know, It’s clear, this election they’re having is not going to count for anything”
    Here’s a link to the short (edited) byte with the interviewer’s question and the response:


  10. lew says:

    If Hillary is the nominee the nation will be constantly reminded of Clinton’s slobbering blow jobs in the Oval Office and Hillary will have to address those blow jobs, and Chelsea will have to stand there and be so smilingly proud of her Daddy & Mommy.
    Out damned spot! be on your way.


  11. Linda says:

    It’s easy to see the Clinton strategy that is illustrated very well by all the comments in the open thread on Chelsea yesterday. Clinton is playing the low expectations, underdog, woman as victim card that plays well with her base–older feminists like Robin Morgan, lower paid women, etc. Oh, gee whiz, I am so poor that I can’t campaign everywhere and compete. That mean guy at MSNBC picks on my little girl, and somebody should fire him. I didn’t do very well yesterday, but it’s no wonder with all this to worry about. Cry for me, OH, TX, and PA and vote for me. The big bad Obama machine is winning, and it’s so unfair.
    The facts can be interpreted differently:
    1.) Money – The Clintons are rich enough to loan her campaign enough money to compete in every state, but perhaps too cheap to do that. The money came from book deals (worth a lot for both after Bill was President), Bill’s speaking fees, and deals with Ron Burkle, etc.–kinda like Whitewater, i.e., their rich friends cut them into deals.
    Obama wrote a best-selling book when he was nobody that was better written. He doesn’t take money from lobbyists, but earns it the hard way from many small contributors.
    2.) Appeal to Women – Clinton will always have some of the older women feminists like Robin Morgan who sound a bit silly still being the victim years later. That doesn’t play well at all with younger educated women like Chelsea who, thanks to those early feminists, don’t feel identify with being victims. And it doesn’t play well with older women like me who agreed with the political and economic goals of feminism, but thought burning bras and demanding that history be changed to herstory were silly.
    When the attention turned to Chelsea yesterday, it reminded me, as an older woman, that I don’t care about the Clintons’ private life and never could understand why Hillary stayed with Bill after Monica Lewinsky because don’t see how she could forgive him–perhaps possible for his publicly embarrassing her–but not for doing that to their daughter too. So many women view that as the signs of a weak woman and not a strong one.
    And it reminds us that when the Clintons are in the spotlight, the public has to endure all this soap opera irrelevant stuff with deja vu over and over and over again.
    It detracts from the dignity of the office of the President, plays to the lowest levels of the blogosphere, talk radio and TV.
    But still they have the party machine, control many super-delegates—and if the race goes until August, the Democrats are likely to self-destruct again.


  12. jim miller says:

    –pledged delgates—obama is halfway home, leading HRC by about 75….
    —Superdelegates—who knows for sure except to say that until this past week’s contest they definitely leaned Clinton…they move with the wind…believe me they are feeling it…
    —GE polls…Obama beats Mccain in all…Hrc loses in most….SD’s–paying attention yet?
    — out of the last 25 contests OBAMA HAS WON 10 WITH 60% OR MORE OF THE VOTE—10 STATES—HRC has won 1—still dont see her on the ropes Steve?(too much of a foreign policy wonk to dirty yourself with the historical significance of this number?)
    — Yet even though I reside far away from the beltway, have zero aspirations for gov job/position I still feel a need to remind myself that it would be unwise to underestimate the Clinton machine….
    —let’s assumme steve’s HRC optimism is right, I dont thinlk it is, reality is still settling and it usually takes a minimum of 4 to 5 days to see the impact of major events….thus last nights ass whuppin could be the result of Super tuesday’s dominance, thus we will feel the real effects towards the end of the upcoming week, ENOUGH—back to the steve is right part….she will need to win by over 60% in texas and ohio…..not happening…she will win texas but Ohio will be a different story….yet history asks us which canidate that lost 10 contests where their opponent received greater than 60% in a national primary in a two week time period went on to become that party’s nominee?
    —i prefer to use numbers for understanding….also known as empirical evidence/fact—yet never underestimate a clinton….time will be our teacher…


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