Sunday, March 30, 2008

Obama comes to PSU

Obama draws 22,000 to Old Main

Sunday Funnies

We had a couple of nice things to poke fun at this week and what better way to enjoy them than checkin out a few political cartoons?

Can't you just imagine Hillary slingin concussion grenades?

Faith got ya down?

Fox News loves this story, whether you think it is relative or not

Friday, March 28, 2008

Bill Clinton Visits Penn State, Obama Set To Speak On Sunday

Former President Bill Clinton spoke to a crowd of 8,000 in Rec Hall on Thursday night. I did not attend the event but I was driving downtown last night when it was letting out and there were people everywhere, the former President sure can draw a crowd. Of course Clinton was there to campaign for his wife Senator Hillary Clinton who will be trying to win the key state of Pennsylvania on April 22nd. Clinton knew how to get the crowd going when he mentioned some alumni related to the senator.
I'm here to represent the only candidate for president who had a father and a brother who played football for Penn State

Knowing my fellow PSU students they were definitely charged up to hear that. He went on to mention the Creamery too. Clinton spoke on economic topics through out the hour-long speech, in a part I viewed on the Internet he mentioned helping college students graduate with less debt.

This marks the beginning of the campaigning in my little town of State College, Senator Barack Obama is set to speak on the lawn of Old Main Sunday where the attendance is expected to exceed 10,000 and up to 20,000 according to some university officials.

This should be quite the spectacle indeed on Sunday; hopefully weather will permit this historic occasion, according to a Collegian article
The last time a presidential candidate visited Penn State and spoke on Old Main's lawn was former President George H. W. Bush during his second campaign, Mahon said, adding that 9,000 to 10,000 people attended the event.

It will be very cool to see that many people on the lawn listening to someone talk about politics, this year the younger people really do seem to be very interested in the campaign, a great sign of things to come hopefully. I'll be at the Obama address and hopefully I'll have a post about it Sunday night or Monday morning, I'll be sure to bring my camera to capture this historic event.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Superdelegate Primary?

Recently the Democrats have seemed to be very interested in wrapping up their presidential race. Some interesting ways have come up to solve this problem, of course the easiest would be to have one of the candidates drop out but we all know that will happen when pigs fly. The one strategy that has gained publicity in the last couple of days is the idea of a "Superdelegate Primary" this was first floated by Governor of Tennessee Phil Bredesen. The basic premise would be to have a two-day convention in June where all 796 superdelegates would come to vote for the candidate they support.
The DNC needs to organize it... My thought would be that it would just be a business-like meeting. Have it some place that's easily accessible... For the good of the party we need to bring this thing to closure," he says. "Let's get on to fighting John McCain.

This convention would be as transparent as possible by putting everything on the record. People in politics, specifically Washington, do not seem to be too keen on this idea but for the rest of the nation I'm sure it sounds like a pretty good idea they want anything this will stop the endless drama that has become the Democratic race.

Democratic strategist Dan Gerstein has also been on this bandwagon, here is an excerpt from a piece he did for
Here, for example, is one idea for adding a big democratic dose of clarity, transparency and accountability to the superdelegate dilemma: Hold a superconvention. Assuming neither Barack Obama nor Hillary Rodham Clinton can clinch a decisive advantage in pledged delegates once the voting is done in June, let’s convene a special summit of superdelegates around July 4 in Philadelphia (a little obvious symbolism is in order here). Get them off the phone and out of the proverbial smoke-filled rooms — and into full public view for the rest of the party. To maximize this meeting's legitimacy, tap Al Gore — the party’s most senior and respected unaligned superdelegate — as chairman. Invite Obama and Clinton to give a full pitch as to why he or she is the best nominee for the party.

Sounds wonderful! During breaks they can all go down to Geno's or Pat's or Tony Luke's (my favorite) for some cheesesteaks and discuss the ins and outs of Hillary's and Barack's speeches.

I'm not sure whether this would actually fly with the campaigns but it is certainly something to give thought to.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Fun With Numbers

I'm a HUGE sports fan. In particular baseball and football (We Are Penn State!) and one of my favorite things about sports is that statistics can help you better understand the game. The same can be said for understanding the electorate. I saw two interesting polls conducted about the democratic race this morning and I thought I would analyze them a little bit; it will help keep my mind of my busted March Madness bracket.

The 1st item discusses the likeliness of someone who supported the loser in the democratic race to switch over and vote McCain. Specifically Hillary Clinton, in this study 28% of Clinton backers say they would vote for McCain in the general election if Bema would become the nominee. By comparison 19% of Bema supporters would shift to McCain. This study was done by the Gallup people from March 7-22, which would be after Ohio and Texas. I'm trying to figure out what these numbers actually mean, it could be that the Blue-Collar workers that Hillary is getting a majority of would be willing to vote for McCain or it could mean that Hillary supporters HATE Barack Obama, I'm guessing it is more of the former but to say the latter wouldn't be occurring either would be silly. On the other hand the Barack numbers could mean that his backers are more interested in seeing a Democrat in the White House than a Republican. It could also mean that many of those people wouldn't vote at all (mostly the young people) which could explain why his number of defectors was lower. I would bet that Obama supporters are more liberal and thusly less likely to vote for a Republican. It is very interesting to say the least, I have a feeling that this summer will be the hottest one in a long time, lets say in 36 years?

The 2nd item is from Rasmussen Reports and it asked if people thought Hillary or Barack should drop out. As it turns out 22% of Democratic voters nationwide think Hillary Clinton should quit the race. Not too bad, the number is smaller than I thought it would be I pinned it at 30% or so. What is interesting about this study is that an identical number of people 22% think Barack Obama should drop out. 47% of Obama supporters thought Hillary should drop out and 38% of Clinton supporters thought Obama should drop out. The democrats are truly a party divided... see paragraph above where I mention a hotly contested summer.

In other numbers news Barack Obama who was down 26% in Pennsylvania during a 3/15-3/16, now is only down 10% behind Clinton in a poll that was conducted on 3/24. Apparently Obama's speech on race and religion was received well in the Keystone State. If polls remain steady at about 10 points or creep into the single digits Hillary should become somewhat concerned but PA really does have similar demographics to Ohio so advantage is still Hillary's until further notice.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Hillary "Misremembers" Her Trip To Bosnia

On St. Patrick’s Day Senator Hillary Clinton was giving a speech where she claimed to have been on the front lines in war-torn Bosnia in her trip there in 1996. Clinton claimed to have gone because it was considered too dangerous for President Clinton.
I remember landing under sniper fire. There was supposed to be some kind of greeting ceremony at the [Tuzla] airport, but instead we just ran with our heads down to get into vehicles to get to our base.

Well unfortunately for Senator Clinton the fabulous world that is the Internet has brought video of this heroic trip back into light. You can view her heroism below.

You think the Secret Service had to pat down the little girl?

This whole debacle is another example of the press getting bored when no real voting is occurring, however it is also news because it appears Clinton flat out lied about something that she was trying to use to beef up her experience and toughness credentials. Of course her campaign people are on the record saying that she "misspoke". Hey, maybe she did, maybe instead of sniper fire and running with her head down she meant "I remember landing under clouds, and there was supposed to be some kind of greeting ceremony and then I met a little child and she gave me flowers and we all smiled and took pictures".

The famous Washington Post blog "Fact Checker" has given Hillary 4 Pinnochios for this one

Monday, March 24, 2008

The Price We Pay When No One Votes For 7 Weeks

This just in on the mud-slinging wire: Obama supporter references Monica's Blue Dress in a tirade. Gordon Fischer, a former chair of the Iowa Democratic Party, wrote on his blog. “Bill Clinton cannot possibly seriously believe Obama is not a patriot, and cannot possibly be said to be helping — instead he is hurting — his own party. B. Clinton should never be forgiven. Period. This is a stain on his legacy, much worse, much deeper, than the one on Monica's blue dress."

ZING.... yea he's gonna be fired.

As I watched the cable news channels this afternoon I started to notice something, all of the talk about the Democratic presidential race has become about things that have nothing to do with the actual race. It is as if we have zipped through the period of time when we look at the candidates based on the issues. First there was Rev. Wright, then there was Hillary's schedule as 1st lady, and now it appears all that’s left is for the surrogates of these two candidates to sling mud at each other.

There has been a little dust up between people of both campaigns over some comments President Bill Clinton made over the weekend to some military people. Here is a part of the report from the Huffington Post
MSNBC is reporting that on the campaign trail today in Charlotte, North Carolina, the former president said a general election matchup between his wife, Sen. Clinton, and Sen. John McCain would be between "two people who love this country" without "all this other stuff that always seems to intrude itself on our politics."

Now Obama supporters in particular Tony McPeak, a retired Air Force general and current co-chair of Obama's presidential campaign, were indignant with Clinton's comments and McPeak went on to say this
"It sounds more like McCarthy," McPeak said. "I grew up, I was going to college when Joe McCarthy was accusing good Americans of being traitors, so I've had enough of it."

Some fiery rhetoric to say the least. This is what happens in politics and its news cycle when there is a static lull in actual voting or real news. It continued yesterday and today after renowned Democratic strategist and Clinton supporter James Carville compared Bill Richardson's endorsement of Barack Obama to a Judas-like betrayal of the Clintons. Richardson was appointed the US ambassador to the U.N. by Bill Clinton and served as Clinton's Secretary of Energy.

Bill Richardson responded by saying this

I'm not going to get in the gutter like that - and you know that’s typical of many of the people around Senator Clinton. They think they have a sense of entitlement to the presidency.”

This is like a back and forth volley at a tennis match, one player fires up a serve and the other returns it with just as much fervor.

One more thing that is on my mind today is a new tactic the Clinton campaign seems to be using, several journalists and Clinton people are now coming up with an argument that Senator Clinton has won more electoral votes than Senator Obama. That’s right, I said electoral votes; you know the things that only matter when you’re pulling the lever in November? Well it seems that the Clinton camp is proud to announce that they have received more electoral votes than Obama. This from the New York Times.
Senator Evan Bayh of Indiana, who backs Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton for president, proposed another gauge Sunday by which superdelegates might judge whether to support Mrs. Clinton or Senator Barack Obama. He suggested that they consider the electoral votes of the states that each of them has won.

“So who carried the states with the most Electoral College votes is an important factor to consider because ultimately, that’s how we choose the president of the United States,” Mr. Bayh said on CNN’s “Late Edition.”

As of now Clinton would have 219 electoral votes to Obama's 202. This appears to be a poorly played attempt to sway the minds of undecided voters and undecided superdelegates. The problem with this tactic is that many people would argue that Obama would win many of the same states Clinton won including the hugely important California and New York which are the bluest of blue states. This also does not take into account that Clinton has won Texas, the reddest of red states. That analysis could go on forever, you could argue that Clinton would have trouble carrying states like John McCain's own Arizona and New Mexico and Tennessee, states that she has won primaries in.

This argument also ties into the debate of Florida and Michigan re-votes and such of the likeness. But that is a whole other post.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Sunday Funnies

We've had a busy week here what with all the race speeches and basketball games and 1st lady schedules being released. Look for some posts tomorrow regarding such matters but today is sunday, and happy easter to those you of you celebrating it today, also happy purim to those of you who celebrated the other day. Now its time for a few good laughs.

Here we have Senator McCain not knowing his apples from his oranges.

The State department is doing their job diligently.

Having just a little but more fun with Senator Obama and Rev. Wright.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Spring Break Hiatus Is Over, Boy Did We Miss A Lot

Hello all I'm back from my extended break and I'm ready to roll on into this presidential campaign. I took spring break off to decompress from all the political mumbo jumbo, it was seriously frying my brain having to remember delegate numbers and dates of primaries and whether those primaries were open or closed or semi-open or whether they were actually caucuses and poll numbers in states that don't vote for another 5 weeks. Politics can get a little crazy and last week was the proof you needed.

Ok so we have a few things going on right now:

1) Senator John McCain is in the Middle East looking very presidential as he visits with troops and dignitaries. He has also looks a lot like President Bush in the recent days as he has fumbled on some facts about the Middle East, from The New York Times' Michael Yorker.

But all did not go according to plan on Tuesday in Amman, Jordan, when Mr. McCain, fresh from a visit to Iraq, misidentified some of the main players in the Iraq war.

Mr. McCain said several times in his visit to Jordan — in a news conference and in a radio interview — that he was concerned that Iran was training Al Qaeda in Iraq. The United States believes that Iran, a Shiite country, has been training and financing Shiite extremists in Iraq, but not Al Qaeda, which is a Sunni insurgent group.

McCain continued on his trip and making very similar comments until finally his friend Senator Joe Lieberman corrected him.

Mr. McCain said at a news conference in Amman that he continued to be concerned about Iranians “taking Al Qaeda into Iran, training them and sending them back.” Asked about that statement, Mr. McCain said: “Well, it’s common knowledge and has been reported in the media that Al Qaeda is going back into Iran and receiving training and are coming back into Iraq from Iran. That’s well known. And it’s unfortunate.”

It was not until he got a quiet word of correction in his ear from Senator Joseph I. Lieberman of Connecticut, who was traveling with Mr. McCain as part of a Congressional delegation on a nearly weeklong trip, that Mr. McCain corrected himself.

Now some democrats and pundits have tried to jump on this, some saying that had Ted Kennedy whispered this correction into Barack Obama's ear this would be huge news and something to add to the "Obama not ready for prime time" argument. So far I have not seen a whole bunch about it on the cable news show but that could change tonight and into tomorrow, god knows Keith Olbermann will hammer this home tonight.

2) Barack Obama had to answer questions about his former pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, and his highly divisive and unpatriotic statements made in the pulpit of Obama's church. By now I'm sure you've all seen the videos of Rev. Wright statements so I will not repeat them here. What is interesting about this is how Obama has done damage control. The story broke late last week and he made the rounds on the cable news channels on Friday night, not something you usually do, the normal thing to do would have been to go on the Sunday talk shows and deal with it there but Obama chose to try to nip this thing in the bud. That however, didn't seem to calm down the tensions so he decided to make a speech about race and religion on Tuesday in hope to put this matter and others behind him.

The speech itself I thought was amazing, Obama took the issue of race head on and did a good job talking straight about it, Here is a piece that I was especially interested in mostly because I do not think EITHER Clinton or McCain could approach this topic. For context he is talking about white people.

So when they are told to bus their children to a school across town; when they hear that an African American is getting an advantage in landing a good job or a spot in a good college because of an injustice that they themselves never committed; when they're told that their fears about crime in urban neighborhoods are somehow prejudiced, resentment builds over time.

He compared this resentment to that of people of the black community, some of those resentments were represented in Rev. Wright's sermons. Obama was able to toe the line, gracefully, had I said something similar to that I could be considered racist or bigoted etc. but Obama can talk about this subject eloquently without stepping on anyone's toes.

Now with all that said I did not think Obama took a hard enough stance against Rev. Wright's comments. He said he denounced them "unequivocally" but he could have gone farther, he could have called his comments what they were: Gutterspeak. He could have NOT lied to Keith Olbermann on Friday night when he told him that he had not heard anyone of this hate speak while in attendance of the church, but that changed on Tuesday in his speech:
Did I ever hear him make remarks that could be considered controversial while I sat in church? Yes. Did I strongly disagree with many of his political views? Absolutely - just as I'm sure many of you have heard remarks from your pastors, priests, or rabbis with which you strongly disagreed.

Now we can argue semantics that Obama might have meant he wasn't in the pews for the specific sound bytes we've heard on the news but he still should have mentioned this beforehand.

Some are comparing Obama's speech to MLK's "I have a dream", in real social substance I could see where those people are coming from. In the context of this campaign however I feel the speech has done little to change the harm Rev. Wrights comments have made to Obama, it might be safe to say that "Obamamania" has stopped... for now. If he can capture the nomination the convention should be able to raise the level of "O-Mania” It will be interesting to see the polls that come out in PA later this week to see if this whole situation has had an effect on the democrats of the Keystone State.

More catching up tomorrow between binge drinking and basketball watching, including:

Hillary's schedule has been released; we now get to know whether she answered the phone at 3 am or whether Bill did because it was Monica calling.

Iraq, 5 years later...what’s the deal with that?

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Sunday Funnies

Welcome back to Sunday Funnies. Today we have a couple good cartoons to share with you so we'll get right to it.

Funny thing about this cartoon is that last summer when the DNC put down these rules they were the ones trying to scare the states into moving back their primaries, now they are arguing about who will pay for a "re-do".

Obama is trying to finish off Hillary but just doesn't seem to be able to do it, 1st in New Hampshire, then after 11 wins in a row. Obama took the Wyoming Caucuses last night so at least he stopped her win streak, next up: Mississippi on Tuesday.

One thing that is true in politics, EVERYONE has a weakness.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Obama Is "Ken Starr", Hillary Is A "Monster"

No Love Lost

After the March 4th Primaries concluded everyone thought that the race would get a little bit more aggressive, and it did not take long for that to happen. The day after, Wednesday, the Obama Camp immediately sent out a memo asking why Hillary Clinton has yet to release her tax returns. Hillary and Bill Clinton file a joint return because they are married and there have been some interest in Bill's dealings since he left the Oval Office. For example there is one report that Bill went over to Kazakhstan (jagshemash!) and signed some deal with their King and he Clinton gave MAD money for some investment with a guy who runs a coal plant in Canada... some really weird stuff and Obama's whole deal is that he is for transparency in government, one of the biggest things he as done in D.C. is ethics reform. So the Obama Camp is trying to put pressure on Hillary to release it soon. Clinton responded by comparing Obama if Ken Starr... known most for his investigations in the Whitewater Scandal and the Monica Lewinsky Scandal. Chief Clinton Spokesman Howard Wolfson said this on a conference call with reporters:

"After a campaign in which many of the questions that voters had in the closing days centered on concerns that they had over his state of preparedness to be commander in chief and steward of the economy, he has chosen instead of addressing those issues to attack Senator Clinton," Wolfson told reporters in a conference call. "I for one do not believe that imitating Ken Starr is the way to win a Democratic primary election for president."

I give Wolfson a hand pound for his statement, it was a very nice tie in, especially considering what I just said about Obama wanting Clinton to release her taxes, that has no real reasoning for actually being involved in this campaign... exactly what Wolfson just said.

On the other side of the fight they are also throwing insults out, an aide to Obama who was giving an interview to The Scotsman, a Scottish Newspaper if you were wondering, her tongue a bit more forked:

"Ms. Power told The Scotsman Mrs. Clinton was stopping at nothing to try to seize the lead from Mr. Obama. 'We f***** up in Ohio,' she admitted. 'In Ohio, they are obsessed and Hillary is going to town on it, because she knows Ohio's the only place they can win.

" 'She is a monster, too - that is off the record - she is stooping to anything," Ms. Power said, hastily trying to withdraw her remark. 'Interestingly, the people in her innermost circle seem to not mind her; I think they really love her.' But she added: 'There is this middle circle - they are really on the warpath. But the truth is she has proved herself really willing to stoop.' "

I also give Samantha Power, an Obama foreign policy aide, because its hard to argue with that, Clinton threw the kitchen sink at Obama in the last 3 days, from the ads to mocking him to running with all his bad stories. (Rezko, NAFTA snafu) That could get you labeled a monster, no? Powers apologized earlier this morning saying that that’s now how she personally felt... even though SHE said it. Clinton supporters are pushing for Powers to be fired. (UPDATE Samantha Powers has resigned)

So the campaigns are getting pretty heavy in this post March 4th world and I wouldn't be surprised to see it go on for a long time.

Virginia Is For Lovers But Pennsylvania Has Intercourse... And Long Campaigning

A quick look at the polls shows that Hillary is still ahead in PA, the newest Rasmussen poll shows Clinton with a 15-point advantage. It appears that Clinton has received a "bump" due to her success in Texas and Ohio. A poll taken at the end of February had Obama within 6 points. The Clinton people see Pennsylvania as an Ohio twin. Lots of blue-collar workers, as Chris Matthews always likes to say "meat and potatoes Democrats" that is Clinton's wheelhouse. Obama will have to work here in order to win this state, the demographics aren't in his favor that much except that there are not that many Hispanics here, who vote basically 2-1 for Clinton everywhere. Obama will get his time though, the Keystone State votes on April 22nd 46 days away.

What everyone is really concerned about is the length of this race; no one wants to see this campaign last all the way to August 25th, the 1st day of the Democratic Convention. Robert Novak speaks on this subject in his latest column, here’s an excerpt:
Clinton's decisive victory in Ohio and unexpected narrow win in Texas coincided with Obama facing adversity for the first time in his magical candidacy, and not handling it well. The result is not only the prospect of seven weeks of fierce campaigning stretching out to the next primary showdown April 22 in Pennsylvania, but also perhaps what Democratic leaders feared but never really thought possible until now: a contested national convention in August.

As of right now Obama still has the delegate lead, has won more states, and has the popular vote. All of those are good to have when going into the convention; the only question is whether he can hold on to any of those things. It looks like it will be very hard for Hillary to take the delegate lead but she can certainly close the gap to within 10 or 20. The popular vote could also swing the other way and if both of those things happen it would probably be because Hillary beat Obama in the last few big delegate rich states: PA, NC, even Puerto Rico has 55, that’s more that RI, VT, MS. Etc. On top of that Howard Dean, chairman of the DNC, has said he would be for Michigan and Florida having “do-overs” whether by primary or caucus which puts those 156 delegates in Michigan and 210 in Florida back into play and would put the magic number from 2025 to 2208 or some odd number like that, now if they are caucuses held that would seem to favor Obama since he as won all but 1 of those so far, a plus for the states and the DNC is that caucuses are free, primaries on the other hand could cost as much as $25 Million dollars. The states and the DNC will definitely argue about who would pay for a primary.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

John McCain Stands At The Top. (Finally) I'll See You All In Pennsylvania

McCain Wraps Up The Nomination

Senator John McCain locked up the Republican nomination for president Tuesday night with wins in all four contests: Ohio, Rhode Island, Texas, and Vermont. All by very large margins, which put him over the top of the 1191 delegate thresh hold. Now McCain can rest and relax for a little bit while he watches the Democrats destroy themselves.

McCain's smallest victory over former Governor of Arkansas Mike Huckabee was 51%-38% in Texas. He was dominant in every state and because of all of this we were not surprised to see Huckabee bow out gracefully last night.

"The apostle Paul wrote that, I fought the good fight; I've finished the race; and I've kept the faith. And I believe tonight that one of the things that we will be able to say is not only that we fought the good fight and finished the race; we'd like to have finished it first, but we stayed in until the race was over."

Huckabee gave a strong conservative speech; similar to the one Mitt Romney gave at CPAC last month when he bowed out of the race. Huckabee is setting himself up for a run later, 2012, or a TV gig. He was by far the most interesting candidate, the funniest and the easiest to listen to.

"Pennsylvania Is The New Iowa"

Those words coming from Clinton spokesman Doug Hattaway. Senator Hillary Clinton had a great evening last night; she won Ohio (and it wasn't that close) Rhode Island where she was expected to roll and Texas by 4 points. These victories for Clinton make the campaign a whole new ballgame. Clinton praised the people of Ohio and America in her victory speech.

"Ohio has written a new chapter in the history of this campaign, and we're just getting started. More and more people have joined this campaign, and millions of Americans haven't spoken yet. In states like Pennsylvania and so many others, people are watching this historic campaign, and they want their turn to help make history. They want their voices to count, and they should. They should be heard. So, please, join us in this campaign."

The Clinton Camp is now looking forward to the upcoming contests in Wyoming, Mississippi, and most importantly Pennsylvania (The Keystone State, home of WaWa, Cheesesteaks, and the Roethlisberger... yea its a fat state, er Commonwealth) They are saying that this is now a horse of a different color. As of right now it is still unclear how many delegates behind Clinton still is but we do know she is at least a little bit closer to catching Obama. One thing that still has yet to be decided is the caucus in Texas, which, as of this moment with 36% of precincts reporting Obama holds a slight edge over Clinton 52%-48%. At the end of the day Obama could still win the most delegates in Texas because of the two-step system.

Senator Obama gave another very nice speech in San Antonio, he thanked the people of Vermont who voted overwhelmingly for him (60%-38%) and he talked right at some of the tactics the Clinton Campaign and some conservatives had used in the recent weeks.

"If I am the nominee of this party, I will not allow us to be distracted by the same politics that seeks to divide us with false charges and meaningless labels. In this campaign, we will not stand for the politics that uses religion as a wedge and patriotism as a bludgeon. San Antonio, I owe what I am to this country, this country that I love. And I will never forget it."

The Obama camp is playing the math game with the media, and themselves. They are quick to point out that Clinton would need to win something like 62% of the rest of the delegates in the last 12 states in order to catch Obama in the delegate lead. I think it is safe to say that neither candidate will receive that much of the vote in any race. So what will it come down to?

SUPERDELEGATES. I thought these dudes were going to be out of the picture but Obama just could not close the door on Clinton. Now it appears this campaign will go on until at least April 22nd, when PA votes but I would not be surprised if crazy things happen and Michigan and Florida vote AGAIN and we are all waiting around on June 3rd to see who Puerto Rico picks.

If you are a Democrat there are some things that should concern you:

1. The longer this lasts; the better it is for the Republicans.
2. Longevity leads to likeliness that a divide in the party is created.
3. Superdelegates are the spurn of society, if it takes Superdelegates to decide the nomination at the Democratic Convention in Denver in late August, we could see the craziest scene in politics since the '72 DNC convention floor.... Which interestingly enough is when the idea of Superdelegates was created, but it wasn't used until the mid-80s.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Can Hillary Pull This Off?

Some have said this campaign was over, some have called for Senator Hillary Clinton to do the "honorable" thing and drop out, and some (myself) have said that she can do whatever she wants but once she gets beaten in Texas and Ohio she needs to go. Well well well we need to hold on just a minute. Last week I wrote about Senator Barack Obama catching up to Hillary in the polls in Texas and closing the gap considerably in Ohio. Once I saw Obama catching up I figured he would just blow right past her but it appears that Hillary is hangin tough, the last 3 polls in Ohio have it played out like this: Obama by 2, Clinton by 12, Clinton by 6. So after Obama closed the gap to 4 or 5 and even took the lead in one poll Clinton appears to be surviving in Ohio. In Texas it looks like we will have a toss-up. Here are the last 5 polls from Texas: Clinton by 4, Obama by 4, Obama by 3, Obama by 1, TIED, Obama by 3. So Obama has the slightest of leads but when a poll is within 3 or 4 points it is usually inside the margin of error basically making it a coin flip. If you had a gun to my head I would tell you that Clinton will hold on in Ohio and beat Obama 52-48 or something like that, as for Texas it gets a little bit more complicated for a multitude of reasons.

1) Early Voting: As of the day of the Wisconsin Primary, February 19th, the voters in Texas have been able to in vote early instead of voting on their specific day, they were allowed to do this until the 29th. Most experts think that the early voters will be leaning towards Obama because they also saw a lot of new voter registration indicating younger people were the ones going to the polls.

2) Texas-Two Step: Texas has a wacky system of allocating delegates, they have both a primary and a caucus on the same day, the primary runs from 7-7 during the day then everyone goes to caucus later in the evening, here’s a little piece from the New York Daily News explaining the intricacies

Texas begins its voting with a normal primary to determine who wins slightly more than half of the state's 228 delegates. Then it follows with a caucus to allot the remaining delegates.
Only people who voted in the primary are allowed to participate in the caucus.

Now we know that Barack has taken every caucus state, aside from Nevada, most of them he won very easily so you would assume that Obama might do well there but, Hillary has stayed close to Obama in Texas once he took a slight lead in the polls so that could still fall either way. If I had to make a prediction about Texas I would say that Obama wins, just slightly but he wins which would mean they two split the big states that vote tomorrow, what is interesting is that it looks like they will split the other two that vote on March 4th, Vermont and Rhode Island. Obama looks like he will take Vermont in a landslide, last poll there had Obama with a 24-point lead, the same is true in Rhode Island for Hillary, she has a 9-point lead in that state.

So here is the question the Clinton camp will be asking themselves tomorrow and into Wednesday: Can we stay in the race if we only win of the big ones? Can we stay in the race if we only win one big one by 4 points and basically gain 0 delegates on Obama, who is up by around 100-150 depending on whose math you use. After seeing those fundraising numbers from February where Hillary made $35 Million, she would have the money to carry-on to Pennsylvania on April 22nd.

The problem for the Clinton camp is that they will be under a lot of pressure to drop out if they do not win BOTH Texas and Ohio. That pressure will come from the public and possibly the DNC who will not want to drag their race on longer than it has to, especially because it is possible for Senator John McCain to officially wrap up his nomination tomorrow. Aside from the DNC it will be hard for Clinton to fight all the momentum Obama has, because even if she wins Ohio by 4 you have to remember that 2 or 3 weeks ago Clinton was up 21! And Obama only had 3 weeks to campaign there; in Pennsylvania he will have 6 or 7 weeks. And on top of that Hillary has had a net Super delegate loss of something like 5 or 6 since Super Tuesday compared to Obama who has had a net gain of almost 30. So the Super delegates are also riding Obama's momentum.

Hillary's one shot is to surprise everyone in Texas and do very well in the caucus and steal it from Obama, if she can do that I believe she will already have Ohio and then we will travel on.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Sunday Funnies

This will be a new weekly institution here at TGOEM, every Friday when I get back from class I end up perusing the series of tubes that is the internet and stumble upon the weeks best political cartoons. I first got into political cartoons when I was in 6th grade and we had to read them every week in Social Studies. I'd like to thanks my teacher, Mrs. Gable, for hooking me into political cartoons, I believe they are a great source of comedy and sarcasm, and the best ones always leave you thinking. So I'm going to post a couple from this week in hopes that I can hook you guys on these things.

I think this one is brilliant, it has recently seemed as though Clinton has been playing checkers to Obama's chess especially when Hillary started hootin and hollerin last weekend like a crazy woman.

This is for any sports fans, notice the picture the guy is taking down.

I think every democrat feels the exact same way about Ralph Nader.