Friday, February 29, 2008

Bill Clinton Was The Comeback Kid Well Before New Hampshire In 1992

Back in 1992 Bill Clinton was not the assumed front-runner leading up to Primary Season, in fact he was one of the lesser candidates and when it came to New Hampshire he was way down with about a week to go but he closed the gap and even though he still came in 2nd to Senator Paul Tsongas Clinton has all of the momentum and wound up as the democratic nominee that year. However this was not the 1st time Bill Clinton made a political comeback. Back in 1972 Senator George McGovern was running against the incumbent President Richard Nixon, McGovern was a candidate that the people of the Democratic party wanted to believe in, they were sick of Nixon and his croneyism and the Vietnam War (sound familiar?) well McGovern was suppose to be the guy to take back America from the evil Dick Nixon. Well something went terribly wrong, McGovern got his ass handed to him, losing by 22 points. The late, and great, Hunter S. Thompson wrote about this in his book Better Than Sex, a book about the 1992 presidential election, here is an excerpt from it about our buddy Bill.

Another thing I still remember from that horrible day in November of '72 was that some dingbat named Clinton was said to be almost single-handedly responsible for losing 222 counties in Texas--including Waco, where he was McGovern's regional coordinator--and was "terminated without pay, with prejudice," and sent back home to Arkansas "with his tail between his legs" as an aide put it. "We'll never see that stupid bastard again," one aide muttered. "Clinton--Bill Clinton. Yeah. Let's remember that name. He'll never work again, not in Washington"

Hunter started the next page with the words "O Ye of little faith", you can't make that stuff up. So Bill Clinton was in the middle of it back in 1972, with Hillary if I remember correctly because 35 years of experience would put Hillary back into 1972 where she also was involved in McGovern's candidacy. Politics is a strange and cruel entity where one day you are riding high and the next day you are slumming it, or in this case the other way around.

4 More Days, McCain Already Running A General Election Campaign

4 More Days

We are just 4 days away from "Mini-Tuesday", "Super Tuesday-2", or whatever the cable news channels will come up with over the weekend. As it stands right now Senator Barack Obama seems to have caught up to Senator Hillary Clinton in both of the big states that go to the polls on Tuesday: Texas and Ohio, Rhode Island and Vermont are also set to vote on Tuesday. As you may or may not remember I predicted last week that Obama's momentum would carry him to leads in the polls in Texas by mid-week and would pull him even to Hillary by the weekend in Ohio, well my friends, I was right on.

In the most recent poll in Ohio Obama is only 2 points away from Clinton and only 5 away in the previous few, Clinton was up by an astounding 21 points as late as February 12th. In Texas things look even more morbid for the Clinton Campaign. Over the last 6 polls taken in the Lone Star State over this last week Clinton only leads in one of those polls, by 4%, while Obama leads in 4 of those polls, 3 by 4%, but the most recent poll had Obama with a 6 % lead.

Yesterday however, Clinton got a bit of good news, her campaign announced that she had raised $35 Million dollars in the month of February. That is a monster number of money raised, earlier in the campaign Obama raised $36 Million in January setting the record for most money raised in a month. Upon hearing this news the Obama Campaign was quick to point out that they had raised "considerably more" than Clinton. Some people close to the campaign are putting out numbers like $50 or $60 Million for Obama in February, and I'm guessing both will try to capitalize on the extra day in this month.

All of this makes me thing about former Louisiana Governor Edwin Edwards who famously said on the eve of the 1983 election "The only way I can lose this election is if I'm caught in bed with either a dead girl or a live boy" and no matter whether you find that funny or distasteful I have a feeling that is what it is like for Obama as of this moment, Clinton has been unable to rattle him at all. She had 14 days of no one voting, the longest period with out a vote since this whole thing got started, and forever in politics time I might add and she could not stop his momentum. She had 2 debates and could do nothing to keep him from continuing on his way. People are starting to try to figure out what it will take for Clinton to stay in this race; does she need to win both of the big states Texas and Ohio? Does she only have to win one of them? Can she get away with just taking Rhode Island? (Obama is expected to take Vermont by a considerable margin) These are not the questions you want to be fielding from the media. And the one good news Clinton receives, 35 MILLION DOLLARS!!! That is so much money, a great haul by all accounts and what happens? Obama pulls in 50, possibly 60? You have to feel bad for Hillary right now. John McCain doesn't even talk about her now; he exclusively spars with Obama now.

McCain and Obama Spar About Iraq

Over the course of this week, starting on Tuesday when Barack Obama was asked a hypothetical during the Ohio Debate whether he would go back (after withdrawing) into Iraq if Al-Qaeda was trying to set up a base, Obama answered yes, he would want to protect American interests. The next day Senator John McCain, the de-facto GOP presidential nominee, grilled Obama about the fact that Al-Qaeda is already in Iraq.
It's called Al-Qaeda in Iraq

McCain said this as he painted Obama as naive and a neophyte. Obama responded by saying that there was no Al-Qaeda in Iraq until we invaded Iraq, Obama tied McCain with President Bush and tried to show McCain as the old school and himself as the new school. CNN put together a little piece of their responses.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Live Blog-The Final Debate?

Ok final stretch, I believe there is about 15-20 minutes left in this debate, Obama seemed to waffles on his stance about Public Financing but it doesn't appear to make too much of a difference, again Clinton doesn't attempt to hit Obama low at all. Obama still wins if it is a tie.

1st question Obama-W00t Hillary!

Obama's voting record more liberal than Teddy Kennedy. How will he unify country with such a record?

Obama says these ratings are silly. Gives example of something he thinks isn't liberal but was graded as liberal.

'The proof is in the pudding"- gross


Hillary-Putin's successor is hand-picked. Clever but transparent way for Putin to hold onto power. Hammers Bush's Russian policy. She butchers his name, finishes it with "whatever" I hear a war already starting.

Obama-Bush neglected relationship with Russia as they centralized power. Have to change stances on human rights, etc.

Obama slurping the Clinton Administration about the work done in the Balkans.

Careers in Public Serive, any vote you want back?

Hillary-wants the Iraq vote shit Sherlock
Hillary spreads her foreign policy wings, Darfur, Middle East, Central America

Obama-Terri Schiavo, wishes to have done something about that situation to stop government intervention.
Obama throws some love Hillary's way "she has campaigned magnificently". He loves her, he wants to kissss her.

Closing Questions(Obama goes 1st)

What question must Hillary answer to prove worthiness of nominee?

Obama side steps it, says she is already qualified but he thinks he can do better, spends rest of his time connecting McCain to Bush. He says he is better because he can bring America together in a unique way.

What question must Barack answer to prove worthiness of nominee?

She also side-steps it, says seating a women as President would be a big change. She says her experience is what makes her a better candidate. She is finishing on a soft note, must be going after those women who have left her, Obama split them with her 50-50 in the most recent primaries.

Well that is it. Overall I thought the debate was fairly boring and that means Obama wins. It was interesting to see how she played out each topic never really going after him. Keith Olbermann just said "it looks like they were scoring field goals not touchdowns" I completely agree. Now we will just have to wait and see. 1 week until the next Primaries, what some are calling Mini-Tuesday.

Live Blog-The Final Debate?

The 2nd half of the debate opens with Clinton's mocking Obama on the campaign trail.

Obama gives her points for delivery, but understands the broader point she is trying to make read: "Speeches, not Solutions".

This gives Obama a chance to run down his whole deal, I'm sure he loves this softball.

Personal story time, he met 4 women, at a table like this one...Russert is impressed.

Clinton's talks about the video.
She responds by talking about Health insurance.......i want to shoot myself.

Now Clinton gets to run down her whole deal, she is happy because she got asked the question 2nd.

Williams is really trying to pick a fight here, now showing Obama talking about Hillary using her 1st lady years to be "co-president"

"hope is not enough"-Obama, at least he knows

Obama slams Clinton on her special interest ties.

Russert hammers Obama on Public Financing. Basically that means each candidate (Rep and Dem) gets 85 mill to campaign with starter after the Conventions.

Obama waffles on this, and Russert let him go, interesting.

Russert to Clinton on her tax returns, why wot she release them?
Obama has but Hillary and Bill has yet to.

She will release them, "upon becoming the nominee or earlier" is already earlier Hillary.

Russert, will you release 10,000 pages of your daily calendar as 1st lady?
Clinton says yes but has not released it yet, she says ASAP.

Lewis Farrakhan makes an entrance, Obama denounces his anti-semitic remarks but doesn't say he denounces his endorsement.

Russert pushing Obama on issues with Jews, Israel.

Obama says he was a "stalwart" supporter of Israel. He has strong support from Jewish community.
He wants to rebuild the relationship among jewish americans and african americans.

Clinton piping in about her "similar" situation in her senate campaign, she says she did not want to be around anyone with such ideals...implicating denouncing Farrakhan isn't enough for Clinton.

They both agree to reject and denounce. Oy.


live Blog-The Final Debate? Half-Time

As of right now, this race is exactly where it started 50 minutes ago. Obama is unscathed so far and Clinton is failing to inflict any damage. Healthcare dragged on FOREVER..AGAIN but other than that it has been pretty fair.

Live Blog-The Final Debate?

They both love new energy, they heart new energy big time. Wind, Solar, sounds like Captain Planet with Bio-fuel replacing the "heart" guy...he sucked anyway.

Williams quotes Clinton on comparing Obama to Bush and asks him what he thinks about his foreign policy credentials.

Obama brings up the Iraq vote, he trade mark by now, "$12 billion a month in a Iraq" he wants to take some of that and use it to pursue his Captain Planet Plan.

Williams asks if Clinton thinks Obama will be a good Commander-and Chief.

She mentions his 2002 speech, but said he didn't have a say in anything then meaning it meant nothing.

"He threatened to bomb Pakistan"....who wouldn't?

Hillary plays the first-lady card "been to 80 countries" also that she has been on the armed service board in the Senate.

Obama's turn: "I was one of the most vocal opponents of the war"..."this was a big strategic blunder"

Obama clarifies Pakistan stance. Says he would only bomb Pakistan if he had actionable intelligence and the Pakistani Government were not going to do anything.

Troop Withdrawl questions.

Obama-initiate a phased withdrawl, provide continued support, important not to be held hostage by Iraqi gov't.

Clinton-no military solution without full co-operation from iraqi gov't, 1 to 2 brigades a month.

Clinton goes after Obama on his seat on the foreign relations commitee, not holding hearings etc.

Obama says he has only been a chair in that committee since beginning of 2007 start of Presidential Campaign.

Clinton wants one more rebuttal but alas, NBC has to pay the bills.

live Blog-The Final Debate?

"i always get the 1st question on all these issues" -Clinton

"if you saw the SNL skit you could see..."-Clinton
WAHHHHH get over it and get to the topic.

Hillary says she has ALWAYS been against NAFTA, I would bet Obama says something to contradict that.

Bingo here he goes. He mentions she was for NAFTA while campaigning for Senate in 2000. I'm sure she will also have something to say to that.

Hillary Clinton on Free Trade according to CNN
"Supported NAFTA while first lady but now believes NAFTA should be changed. During a 2005 trip to India, she stated, "There is no way to legislate against reality. Outsourcing will continue." However, during 2007 presidential debates, she said outsourcing was a problem. Would end the tax breaks that exist in the tax code for outsourcing jobs and have trade agreements with enforceable labor and environmental standards."

Obama according to CNN
"Would immediately call the leaders of Mexico and Canada to try to amend NAFTA. Would eliminate tax breaks for companies that are moving overseas. He stated, "We also have to have an intentional strategy on the part of the federal government to make sure that we are reinvesting in those communities that are being burdened by globalization and not benefiting from it."

Tim Russert is hammering Clinton on her prior NAFTA comments, trying to pin her down on whether she would get out in 6 months, she says no but wants to revise it.

OOOO she told Russert he doesn't have all the record!

Russert says Obama told Iowa farmers that NAFTA had some advantages in 2004, Obama says Clinton's response was right on. Use threat of opting out in order to revise it

"I want to be an advocate for workers"- Obama

BASH BUSH TIME, Obama gets the 1st whack at the pinata.

Clinton wants to make 5 Millions new jobs in the next 10 years!!!!!! Thats crazy!

Blame it on Bush, Clinton's turn.

Live Blog-The Final Debate?

Obama addresses the mail out flyers and then turns it around to mention Clinton's flyers in Iowa and South Carolina. And now he mentions HIS healthcare plan.

Clinton has a rebuttal about her healthcare now.

and now back to Obama.

Back back and forth and forth, back back and forth and forth....this is like a Wu-Tang song.

Bottom Line: Clinton wants to mandate healthcare for everyone, garnishing wages if you don't buy it.

Obama wants to make healthcare more affordable but doesn't want to mandate it for all, leaving out the 15 million people Clinton always quotes.

The longer this discussion goes on the better it is for Obama, the more he talks the more he proves he has some substance on the issues.

Hillary talking over Obama.

16 Minute discussion as Brian Williams points out....time for NAFTA...WHOOOPPPEEEE

Live Blog-The Final Debate?

Brian Williams and Tim Russert are the moderators tonight. Brian Williams looks like he is an anchor robot: perfect hair and monotoned, right out of the factory.

They open the debate with a montage of Hillary's different outbursts starting with the ending of the the last debate into the flier waving tirade.

Hillary defends her healthcare plan and wishes to have a debate without and falsehoods.

Obama takes Clinton's word on the "Obama Dress Photo"

ANNNDDD were off on healthcare...again

Live Blog: The Final Debate?

Here is the 1st post of what I assume will be plenty tonight as I go over what is happening blow by blow.

Revisiting Hillary Dropping Out; Debate Tonight!

After I posted my prediction about Senator Hillary Clinton dropping by March 5th on Friday several journalists in the media have started to call for the same thing, only sooner. Among others, Bob Novak of The Chicago Sun-Times and Newsweek's Jonathan Alter have come out with columns stating that Hillary would be better off conceding to Obama to keep her political pedigree intact as she looks forward to the 2012 or 2016 presidential races. Here is an excerpt from Alter's piece.

Withdrawing would be stupid if Hillary had a reasonable chance to win the nomination, but she doesn't. To win, she would have to do more than reverse the tide in Texas and Ohio, where polls show Obama already even or closing fast. She would have to hold off his surge, then establish her own powerful momentum within three or four days. Without a victory of 20 points or more in both states, the delegate math is forbidding. In Pennsylvania, which votes on April 22, the Clinton campaign did not even file full delegate slates. That's how sure they were of putting Obama away on Super Tuesday.

Hillary is looking at an uphill battle. Both ways. In the snow. With out her shoes. Carrying Bill on her back. Another problem Clinton seems to be facing now, at least in the eyes of public (and pundit) opinion is that the Republican party, though as of right now still divided on the McCain nomination, would rally the troops to defeat Clinton who they see as a "socialist" and cut right out of her husbands mold. Here is a part of the Novak column.

Clinton's burden is not only Obama's charisma but also McCain's resurrection. Some of the same Democrats who short months ago were heralding her as the ''perfect'' candidate now call her a sure loser against McCain, saying she would do the party a favor by just leaving.

Now with all of this said, we have been wrong before. Senator Barack Obama had leads up to 12 points the day before the New Hampshire Primary and everyone and their mother wrote off Hillary who surprised us all with a 2 point win. Hillary still has a chance and she needs to start tonight, which leads into the 2nd part of this post: The Debate.

Last Debate Before March 4th

Tonight in Cleveland Senator's Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama square off for their final debate before the primaries on March 4th in Texas, Ohio, Rhode Island, and Vermont (who knew about the last 2?). We have seen Hillary go after Obama in several ways over the last 5 or 6 days. 1st she tried to kill him with kindness at the debate, hoping that showing a softer side of herself would help ingratiate her with the voters like her crying moment did in New Hampshire. Then on Saturday we saw the furious Hillary who waved around 2 fliers the Obama Campaign released in Ohio about her support of NAFTA and her Health Care program. Her latest incarnation appeared on Monday where she oozed with sarcasm as she mocked Obama's uplifting style. (video below)

So the question becomes: how does she go after Obama tonight? It was clear that in Texas her attempt to zing Obama failed and her attempt to act soft made it appear she wanted to retreat. I expect Hillary to go hard after Obama his experience, that is the one issue where Clinton kills him even though she hasn't been able to make that stick so far in the campaign, she needs to paint him as inexperience and unable to be able to handle the work load of the president. I also expect a nice wonky 15 minute discussion on the differences of their health care packages, which I personally don’t want to hear ever again, every debate they talk about the same things, it would be nice for MSNBC to frame this debate in separate terms. One thing to look out for is the mentioning of Tony Rezko, a land dealer is going to court soon on corruption charges and a person who Obama had purchased land at one point. Rezko has donated to Obama's campaigns for senator as well as his run for president, he says that he has donated all the money he has received from Rezko to a number of charities. Rezko goes on trial March 3rd, a day before the primaries. Just something to look out for.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

CNN Debate SNL Style

Just got a tip about this, last night was the 1st SNL since the writer's strike stopped and we finally got to see their take on the presidential race. I think Larry David would say "its pretty pretty preetty preeettty good".

Amy Poehler does a great Hillary Clinton.

Hillary Gets a Tad Upset

Here is video of Hillary's outburst yesterday about Barack Obama...its quite entertaining.

Now she claims that those two flyers that were being handed out by the Obama campaign were not true, and whether that is true or not it appears that Clinton is grasping at straws right now. Obama was attacked pretty severely in South Carolina when Clinton bent the truth to her advantage and you never saw Obama come storming on stage waving her hands around like a mother scolding her child. This video will be exactly what people think about when someone makes a "Hillary is a witch" comment, and after looking at that video could you argue?

Here is an example of Clinton taking Obama out of context. Early in the campaign Obama spoke about Ronald Reagan and how he put the country on a different path, as did JFK in the early 60s. He mentions that Republicans were the party of ideas then but Hillary twisted it into something a little different. Check it out

And here is a Clinton radio ad skewing those thoughts.

Whether Obama's flyers were right or not, and from what I have read one appears to be false and the other is basically right on, Hillary acts like these tactics are just down right TRBL. (That’s terrible in Charles Barkley speak) when in fact she is playing the same dirty tricks herself. I bring this up because that "shame on you, Barack Obama" cut is going to get played every 20 minutes all week...and we just thought we were going to have to live with "change you can Xerox for the next 10 days.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Official Prediction: Hillary Will Drop Out March 5th.

Several things have led me to this prediction:

1) The Debate The crowd last night seemed MUCH more in favor for Obama, now you could argue that this took place on a University campus (Texas...Hook'em Horns...that is so lame by the way) and thusly the young people would obviously be for Obama, but the people at these debates are usually very involved in the process and they may have been mostly younger people it was clear at several points that they were in his corner. A) When she used that "Xerox" line
Lifting whole passages from someone else's speeches is not change you can believe in, it's change you can Xerox."
, it fell flat and you could actually see the awkwardness in the room floating around. B) When he turned the Commander and Chief question into a diatribe about her vote for the Iraq War. C) When he called her on the "silly stuff" for brining up the plagiarism stuff with Deval Patrick, funnier now that we can see real comparisons between Clinton's last words (which her supporters called her STRONGEST point in the debate last night) and something John Edwards said in a debate earlier in the campaign.

2) The Polls Obama's power in the polls in incredible, and I don't think many people could disagree. Obama is now standing even with Clinton in a recent Texas poll, a place where he was down by 16 points on Valentines Day. 16 points in 8 days is pretty crazy. In Ohio Clinton was up by 21 points on 2/12 in the latest poll taken from 2/16-2/20 she is only up by 7, an improvement of 14 in 8 days as well.

3) The Money There was a terrific article in the New York Time (seems to be less likely nowadays) about campaign finance that paints the Clinton campaign as egregious spenders. Here are some excerpts.
The high-priced senior consultants to Mrs. Clinton, of New York, have emerged as particular targets of complaints, given that they conceived and executed a political strategy that has thus far proved unsuccessful.

The firm that includes Mark Penn, Mrs. Clinton’s chief strategist and pollster, and his team collected $3.8 million for fees and expenses in January; in total, including what the campaign still owes, the firm has billed more than $10 million for consulting, direct mail and other services, an amount other Democratic strategists who are not affiliated with either campaign called stunning.

Howard Wolfson, the communications director and a senior member of the advertising team, earned nearly $267,000 in January. His total, including the campaign’s debt to him, tops $730,000.

3.8 Million???? That is bat-shit crazy to be spending that much on consulting...and getting so little out of it. The campaign doesn't just splurge on consultants however the article goes to say that the Clinton campaign is big on Pizza and Dunkin Donuts.
Even small expenses piled up in January: the campaign spent more than $11,000 on pizza and $1,200 on Dunkin’ Donuts runs.
The article goes on to say that the problem Clinton has run into financially is two-fold: She created a "Top-Down" fund-raising operation where she would rely on a small amount of donors to give the maximum ($4,600) early on in the Primary race therefore her campaign would not be built for the long-haul, something that can clearly be seen as Clinton is 0-10 after Super Tuesday. The 2nd problem is that she has been running this campaign like the president, splurging on everything.
And second, Mr. Trippi said, the Clinton campaign spent money as though the race were going to be over after a handful of states had voted and was not prepared for a contest that would stretch for months. “The problem is she ran a campaign like they were staying at the Ritz-Carlton,” Mr. Trippi said. “Everything was the best. The most expensive draping at events. The biggest charter. It was like, ‘We’re going to show you how presidential we are by making our events look presidential.’ ”

For instance, during the week before the Jan. 19 caucuses in Nevada, the Clinton campaign spent more than $25,000 for rooms at the Bellagio in Las Vegas; nearly $5,000 was spent at the Four Seasons in Las Vegas that week. Some staff members also stayed at Planet Hollywood nearby.
So when you have a fund-raising style that limits how many donors you can have and you spend all that money very liberally because you expect the race
to be over before it does that could put you between a rock and hard place. And that is exactly where Hillary Clinton is.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

10-0bama...It Looks Like Hillary Will Need a Miracle

Senator Barack Obama won the Wisconsin Primary last night, defeating Senator Hillary Clinton by 17 points 58%-41%. At first look it seems that Obama had a nice night where he probably sunk into some of Clinton's voters to help him achieve victory but after sifting through the exit polls it is very apparent that Obama is doing something very amazing. Obama's core group of supporters has been college-educated and affluent voters as well as young people and African-Americans, but now it is clear that Obama is really grabbing many of the old Clinton supporters. Obama won 53% of the white vote and 48% of the women vote, places where he needed to do better if he really wanted to show he had the "electability" quality. Those numbers are improvements from Super Tuesday when he won only 41% of the white vote and the women vote. He split non-college degree voters 50-50 with Hillary, a large part of her original base.

Barack Obama also won he once home state of Hawaii. They held a caucus last night and Obama won big, garnering 76% of the vote to Hillary's 24%, that gave Obama is 10th straight victory since Super Tuesday and now it appears that Texas and Ohio are MUST WINS for Hillary Clinton if she still would like to be the Democratic Nominee. It is so puzzling when you look at the strategy Clinton employed after Super Tuesday; she basically did not campaign hard in any of these states from Washington even up to Wisconsin. Its almost as if she didn't think they mattered and employed the Rudy Strategy where you skip states to go onto the bigger "more important" ones. This has backfired terribly on Hillary because she is now facing a big mountain to climb. She was and is still leading in Texas and Ohio but new polls out of Texas suggest that her lead is shrinking, after the 1st polls came out early last week they showed Clinton with a 15-20 point lead in Texas but the last few polls to come in show her with leads a low as 2%.

Senator John McCain seems to think Barack Obama is the front-runner as well now. During his victory speech after the Wisconsin Primary was called in his favor he gave a speech similar to the ones Hillary gave, he spoke about Obama's being full of hot air and he played the experience card and he never mentioned Clinton once.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Do or Die For Clinton? A Few Non-Scandals For Obama

Senator Hillary Clinton is facing what many believe will be her best chance to stop Senator Barack Obama's momentum in the Wisconsin Democratic Primaries today. Clinton had held a big lead in this states for several months until the last few weeks when Obama took it away from her. During the aftermath of the Potomac Primaries it was thought that Hillary was going to have little chance in Wisconsin: She did not campaign there in until Sunday and Monday, opposed to Obama who practically lived there all of last week. Clinton quickly split to Ohio and Texas who vote March 4th where she thinks she can make some moves and perhaps regain the delegate lead going into Pennsylvania. But then something interesting happened, and perhaps we should have noticed this before but everyone seemed to be impressed with Obama's wins to actually look into the Wisconsin demographics. Most Democratic voters are not college educated 55% actually (Clinton people) there is also a small percentage of Black people in Wisconsin (Obama people), which would help Clinton hold her own in the Badger State. There are also a nice percentage of seniors in Wisconsin who are also supporters of Clinton. Given all this it was a little surprising to see Obama was leading until some polls started to show Clinton had a lead going into today. An American Research Group had a poll showing Clinton as a 6 point favorite. So now Wisconsin is setting up as a test for both of the Democratic Candidates, Hillary needs to win or place very close in order to show Obama isn't the unstoppable force he has appeared to be over the last 2 weeks or so. Obama needs to show he can win a state where the demographic outlook doesn't favor him.

There is another contest going on today as well, the islands of Hawaii are caucusing today to see who will receive the majority of their 20 delegates. Obama is expected to win in Hawaii because of his background growing up there. Although Chelsea Clinton has been campaigning for her mother down there for the past few days so you never know.

Obama Plagiarizes?

That is the accusation the Clinton Campaign rained down on Barack Obama on Monday after it was found out that Obama had used words very similar in a speech as current Governor of Massachusetts Deval Patrick used in a speech of his own while campaigning for the governorship back in 2006. Deval Patrick was on Good Morning America today and he said the "Plagiarism" charge was a little out of line. "It's an elaborate charge and an extravagant one," Patrick said. Obama and Patrick have been very friendly for a long time, Obama campaigned for Patrick back in 2006 and Patrick is currently an Obama supporter. Here is a quote from an ABC report about the situation.

"In 2006 Patrick gave a speech quoting famous phrases: "'We have nothing to fear, but fear itself,' … just words. 'Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.' Just words. … 'I have a dream' … just words,'" he said, switching effortlessly from FDR to JFK to MLK. On Saturday in Wisconsin, Obama said, "Don't tell me words don't matter. … 'I have a dream.' Just words. 'We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.' Just words. 'We have nothing to fear but fear itself.' Just words. Just speeches."

Obama also campaigned in 2004 on the slogan, "Yes we can," which Patrick did in 2006.

Clinton responded Monday by saying, "If your whole candidacy is about words, they should be your words."

This was a very interesting thing for the Clinton Campaign to tackle, after the Potomac Primaries Clinton attempted to draw sharp contrasts between the two Senators by saying that she was about "Solutions" and he was about "Speeches” so it was very clever attempt of the Clinton camp to try to catch Obama on the one thing he is apparently about.

Obama has since said he should have attributed the words to Patrick which he had actually done earlier in the campaign in New Hampshire while quoting another concept of Patrick's. "But you know in the end, don’t vote your fears. I’m stealing this line from my buddy (Massachusetts Gov.) Deval Patrick who stole a whole bunch of lines from me when he ran for the governorship, but it’s the right one, don’t vote your fears, vote your aspirations. Vote what you believe."

Plagiarism is not uncommon on the campaign trail Senator Joe Biden infamously plagiarized a speech by the then-leader of Britain's Labor Party. Michael Dukakis, his rival for the Democratic nomination, jumped on the situation, distributing a tape of Biden's address juxtaposed with its British counterpart. Biden dropped out of the race.

Michelle Obama is Only Proud of Her Country Now?

Another situation that has caused some people to raise their eyebrows towards the Obama camp stems from a quote from Michelle Obama, Barack's wife, had to say during a stump speech on Monday in Milwaukee
"Let me tell you, for the first time in my adult life, I am proud of my country."
Obama claims to be referring to all the Hope that is being spread across the country at this time due to her Husband, but Right-Wingers took it as a chance to kick dirt on the Obama's. Cindy McCain, John's wife, took he time in a rally for her husband to state, " I am proud of my country. I don’t know about you — if you heard those words earlier, I am very proud of my country,”. Another nothing out of something situation in my opinion at least but I guess we will have to wait and see if this story has any more legs to stand on later this week. I would not be surprised to see that if Obama doesn't perform as well or even loses to Clinton in Wisconsin today, people to look back to these to things in order to find some reasons why when in fact if that were to happen it would be because of the voters and the demographics in Wisconsin. We will just have to wait and see.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Obama Takes 8 In A Row, Hillary Goes the Rudy Route....Breaking Romney Endorses McCain

Senator Barack Obama is on quite a roll. After a nice showing on Super Tuesday where he definitely held his own against Senator Hillary Clinton by winning more states than Clinton while she won the bigger states: California, New Jersey, New York. Following Super Tuesday Obama took the country by storm, 1st by defeating Clinton handily in the Washington and Nebraska Caucuses and the Louisiana Primary; he even won the Virgin Islands. Then on Tuesday Obama beat Clinton silly in the "Potomac Primaries": Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia where Obama defeated Clinton by 23%, 29%, and 51% respectively. Obama was able to do this by capitalizing in the Caucuses during the weekend where his supporters’ motivation and his great organization are keys to victories in Caucus states. On Tuesday Obama was able to win by large margins because he was finally be break Clinton's hold on certain demographics: Women, Blue-Collar Workers, and Seniors. Obama beat Clinton among seniors in Virginia and Maryland 52%-47% and 50%-46% respectively. On top of these demographics Obama also split the white vote in Virginia and Maryland basically 50-50. This is a vast improvement from earlier in this campaign where he got only 24% of the white vote in South Carolina and that was considered high!

Hillary Clinton did not spend any time in the Potomac states after the voting started, she jetted straight to Texas which is one of her "firewall" states along with Ohio and my very own Pennsylvania. Texas and Ohio vote on March 4th and Pennsylvania goes to the polls on April 22nd. Recent polls in both Ohio and Pennsylvania show Clinton with a sizeable lead on Obama; 55%-34% among Ohio Democrats and 52%-36% among Pennsylvania Democrats. In the next few weeks Clinton will be trying to draw sharp contrasts with herself and Senator Obama in order for her to get back in this race because although the delegate race is fairly even Obama has taken the lead for the very first time and according to a report from the Orlando Sentinel notable Clinton supporter and Democratic Strategist James Carville said "make no mistake... If she loses either Texas or Ohio, this thing is done." It appears by looking at these polls that Clinton still has a chance but if there is one thing we have learned in this Democratic race is that the longer Barack Obama campaigns in a state the more votes and momentum he gets, it would not surprise anyone to see these polls be within 7 or 8 points within the next 10 days or so. What is even more interesting now is that it appears that unless Clinton or Obama win the rest of the states by a ridiculous margin, lets by getting 80% of the vote neither will have enough pledged delegates to reach the 2,025 number needed in order to receive the nomination. This brings in the Superdelegates, high-ranking members of the Democratic National Committee, members or Congress, Governors and Former Presidents (at least we know 1 of them will be voting for Hillary). There are 796 Superdelegates which means that 1 of their votes is equivalent to about 10,000 popular votes. Needless to say they have ALL the power when it comes down to a close campaign like this one. Hopefully one of the candidates will be far enough ahead heading into the convention that all of these Superdelegates will be forced to vote the way the people have so there will not be any riots on the streets of Denver Colorado where the Democratic Convention will be held at the end of August.

The next big primary on the Democratic side will be the Wisconsin Primary where it is expected that Obama will win yet again giving him 9 wins in a row, in Clinton's defense she will not be spending much time there, only running ads, she will spend almost all of her time campaigning very hard down in Texas and in Ohio to try to keep this race close heading into Pennsylvania.

Mitt Romney Endorses John McCain...Don't These Guys Hate Each Other?

It is now being widely reported that Governor Mitt Romney will endorse the GOP front-runner Senator John McCain. It is also being reported that Romney will ask all 286 of his delegates to back John McCain which would make McCain a mere 81 delegates away from wrapping up the nomination. The read on this move is that if Romney does this that will help end the GOP campaign and give it time to heal and unite in order to try to defeat the Democrats this November. Due to very high Democratic turnout, 2-1 to Republican turnout, in the primaries and caucuses it is very important for the Republicans to get their act together if they want to try to defeat the Democrats who appear to be very mobilized and ready to take back the White House.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Super Tuesday Re-Cap, Romney is Out and McCain is the GOP Man.

Wow, what a night Tuesday was. Lots of crazy action happening. Overall I would say that things happened roughly how we all thought they would with one exception: Mike Huckabee.

Huckabee started of Tuesday with a bang when he won the West Virginia Caucuses defeating Mitt Romney by 5 points 52-47. This win was not without controversy though as Romney accused Senator John McCain of turning a "backroom Washington deal" where McCain supposedly told all of his supporters to vote for Huckabee to keep Romney from winning a state he had previously thought would be his. McCain denied this accusation but if you look at the facts this could be totally plausible. Bill Richardson was accused to doing this same thing in Iowa where it was thought that he informed his people to throw their weight behind Barack Obama. McCain needed Romney to falter on Tuesday in order to keep him at bay and to try to secure the nomination that night. If McCain (who did not receive the needed 15% to be viable) did tell his supporters to back Huckabee that would have been a very smart strategy, once Huckabee wins this state Romney is now already behind where he thought he would be on this day. I would not call this strategy (if it did occur, but I mean Come On!) devious as Romney's camp did, things like this can happen by themselves in a caucus based on the rules in a caucus, once this occurred you had a feeling that this probably wont be Mitt Romney's day. Huckabee's good day/night continued as he went on to win several Southern states including his home state Arkansas. Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama were the other states Huckabee won. This also contributed to Romney's Super Tuesday Failure because in order for him to keep up with McCain Romeny was going to have to win these southern states to keep the delegate count close. John McCain did just as well as we all thought, winning 9 states including the big delegate states of California and New York as well as the bellwether state Missouri. He now has 714 delegates and only need 1191 to secure the nomination.

All of this led to Mitt Romney suspending his campaign yesterday at the CPAC convention, a Conservative Convention where he praised heavily by all. Romney gave a great conservative speech and said he was stepping out because he wanted to give the party time to get ready for the General Election, he didn't want to "forestall the launch of a national campaign and be making it easier for Senator Clinton or Obama to win." This has set up Mitt Romney as the Conservative Candidate for the next election. (be it 2012 if the Dems win or if McCain chooses to serve only 1 term or 2016) There has been much ballyhoo about how all of the Conservative talk radio hosts have hated on John McCain saying that he is not conservative enough for them and had been begging people to vote for Romney, these are the same people that backed candidates who had no chance at winning the nomination: Tom Tancredo, Duncan Hunter, even Rudy Giuliani. All of these talk radio people waited too long to get behind Romney who they didn't have great things to say about earlier in this campaign and now it appears the GOP has their candidate, and he is not nearly the nominee that they had hoped for. I think this is a clear sign that these talk radio people: Rush Limbaugh, Mark Levin, Laura Ingraham (who introduced Romney before he spoke at CPAC) are losing their influence on the voters.

Democrats Duke it Out...Still Nothing New.

On the other side of the isle the Democratic race went exactly the way we had expected, 1600 or so delegates were handed out on Tuesday and Senators Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama split them very fairly. Obama won the majority of states however 14-8 but Clinton won the big states: California, New Jersey, and New York. Obama took many of the caucus states, where good organizations and enthusiasm is needed in order to pull off a win. Obama won Minnesota, Colorado, Idaho, North Dakota, Alaska, and Kansas on Tuesday; he also took the primaries in Georgia, Alabama, Delaware, Connecticut (on of the few surprises), and his home state of Illinois where he defeated Clinton 2-1. Clinton took her two home states of New York and Arkansas. Obama supporters have been happy to point out that Clinton's victory in New York was much closer than Obama's in Illinois which they point to as proof he is indeed winning this fight and on a roll. Hillary did take California by a sizeable margin, which defied a number of polls that came out right before Tuesday that showed Obama tied or even leading in some cases in California. Overall we still don’t know who is going to come out of this race ahead, we will know more over the weekend and into next Tuesday where Primaries will be held in the "Potomac States" of Maryland, Virginia, and D.C. on the 12th. Caucuses will be held in Washington and Nebraska. Those caucuses look to be Obama country as well as Maryland and D.C given their Black population, Hillary will have a shot at Virginia but it appears she will be holding back and putting money into Ohio and Texas who will vote on March 4th.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Its Obama and Clinton and Down the Stretch They Come!

A couple of new polls have been released in the past couple of days that are shedding some light on the Democratic race on Super Tuesday. Most notably was the release of the new National Nomination poll from CNN where their data showed Obama clearing out ALL of Clinton's lead and had him ahead of her by 3 points, 49-46. There is also a new poll in New Jersey by Reuters/CSPAN/Zogby that has Hillary and Barack in a dead heat. Out in California, the most important (or at least delegate rich) state that is voting on Tuesday, there are two new polls showing Obama with a lead of 6 and a lead of 1.

Now all of this doesn't mean a terrible amount, but its not like this isn’t news either. Because nearly all Democratic Primaries/Caucuses are not winner take all; as long as the two candidates stay within about 10% of each other they will split the delegates pretty evenly. What this does show is that Barack as ALL the Mo, I've seen people argue that if Super Tuesday were another week away Obama could possibly come out with a "win"(more states, more delegates) and I agree with that, it seems that Obama is really striking a chord in America. Obama even took out an ad in local markets in Super Tuesday states during the Super Bowl.

It appears that this will be a race down to the wire and Super Tuesday wont be a big help in figuring out who the Democratic nomination will be. A "doomsday" scenario for the Democrats would be Pennsylvania (YAY!). Ben Smith, of, described this situation on Saturday.

"The current consensus is that this whole thing might wrap up Tuesday; or it might drag through March 4.

But burnt-out campaign operatives are also grimly contemplating another possibility: the "Pennsylvania scenario."

Pennsylvania, on April 22, is the last big state to vote, with 158 pledged delegates. It also comes more than a month after the previous primary, in Mississippi, on March 11.

And so, if the two Democrats are still alive then, Pennsylvania becomes Iowa, on steroids. The campaigns and the media all decamp to Harrisburg. Clinton and Obama develop a keen interest in the concerns of the Amish. Michael Nutter becomes a major national figure."

So if a winner is still not declared by March 11 this whole big circus is coming to the Keystone State. For a MONTH. I feel torn about this situation because if this nomination process has to go this far I have a feeling things will go through at least one more "nasty cycle" which will eventually start to hurt the Democrats and strengthen the Republicans because it seems that McCain might have his candidacy by early Wednesday morning, giving plenty of time to the GOP to point and laugh at all the infighting the Democrats are doing, it also gives time for the Republicans to solidify their base and get behind McCain.

On the other hand if Pennsylvania turned into Iowa for a month I would be very excited to see the whole political process right in front of my face. Living in a college town (State College) the candidates would stop here every time they go to Pittsburgh from Philadelphia and vice versa. (And Allentown and Scranton/Wilkes-Barre) Hillary and Obama would be having rallies in the Bryce Jordan Center and shaking hands with Joe Paterno, it would be CRAZY.