Thursday, March 27, 2008
Friday, March 21, 2008
On Thursday, March 20, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reported that the "Cuyahoga County Board of Election has launched an investigation that could lead to criminal charges against voters who maliciously switched parties for the March 4 presidential primary." According to the report, "One voter scribbled the following addendum to his pledge as a new Democrat: "For one day only."
"Such an admission amounts to voter fraud," the report continued, attributing that conclusion to BOE member Sandy McNair, a Democrat. The report said the four-member board -- two Democrats and two Republicans -- had yet to vote on whether it would issue subpoenas, although Ohio's secretary of state, Democrat Jennifer Brunner, is empowered to cast tie-breaking votes when the BOE is deadlocked.
Thursday, March 20, 2008
Friday, March 14, 2008
the other day at the bank my window of time was closing....fast. these pics are the result of handing over to mia her favorite "hands off" gadget. it bought me 10 minutes longer in the bank. but it took another 15 minutes to get the settings back to normal..........
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
Tue Mar 11, 2008 at 05:50:02 AM PDT
A few days ago I laid out a strategy for Obama for Barack Obama to pursue to secure the Democratic nomination. The gist was to keep winning as many or more delegates as Hillary Clinton (like he did this weekend in Wyoming, which despite the primary loses in TX, OH and RI secured him a net tie for the week), to downplay Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Kentucky (because Clinton is likely to win all three) and not make any huge blunders. Provided he doesn't kill his own candidacy, the math is on his side, and he's almost certain to be the nominee.
There's been some squawking from Clinton supporters that pointing out that the math practically precludes a Clinton victory is somehow an illegitimate or dishonest argument. On the contrary, arguing that the math doesn't demonstrate the improbability of a Clinton nomination is silly. As I explained the other day, if Obama and Clinton split the remaining pledged delegates 50/50, Obama would need only 35% of the unpledged delegates (aka superdelegates) who haven't yet committed to a candidate, while Clinton would need 65% of them. Since Clinton has added few unpledged delegates since January, while Obama adds unpledged delegates at a rate of 3 to 1 over Clinton, it's hard to imagine how she gets the nomination...except by benefiting from the destruction of Barack Obama as a viable presidential candidate.
Benefiting from an Obama collapse will be very difficult for Clinton. She cannot be seen by voters in the remaining primaries and caucuses as being responsible for an Obama collapse. Yet it will be hard for it to happen without Clinton contributing to it. Therefore, the Clinton strategy requires steady but not overwhelming attacks on Obama. It requires her to keep the campaign going until he collapses. And it requires a lot of luck for Clinton to benefit from the collapse.
One of the tactics the Clinton campaign is fond of is to denigrate or dismiss Obama's wins. With the national press, her campaign appears to believe, knocking states she lost will help them marginalize Obama's candidacy. States he wins become "boutique" states or states we won't win in November (but because she won it, Oklahoma is suddenly a state where we must be competitive, even though the average Democratic vote for president in OK since 1980 has been only 37%).
While the press may eat up her dismissals of states that have tended to vote Republican or are small or have caucuses, one has to think it will hurt Clinton with the unpledged delegates who have yet to commit to a candidate. It seems unlikely that many unpledged delegates will reward her dismissals of their states—many of which Obama has won—by giving her their support.
She can appeal to the credentials committee to seat the Michigan and Florida delegations in proportion to the unauthorized votes those states conducted in January. Because the ratio of Obama delegates on the credentials committee will be roughly equal to the ratio of Obama delegates entering the convention, it's implausible that she would prevail if seating these delegates could swing the nomination away from Obama.
If Clinton ends the primary season without conceding and pledges to continue on to the convention, it won't be because her team honestly thinks they have a chance of winning the nomination against an undamaged Obama. They would be stretching out the race waiting, hoping, praying that Obama will commit an error so grievous, so damaging, that there is no way he could be our nominee, and all the delegates—including a significant number of pledged delegates--at the convention will realize that he is so damaged that it won't be illegitimate to dump him in favor of another candidate.
"The only way I can lose this election," former Louisiana Governor Edwin Edwards once proclaimed, "is if I'm caught in bed with either a dead girl or a live boy." (If there were any dead girls or live boys around, they weren't tied to Edwards; he won the election.) Obama would have to experience an unprecedented collapse for Clinton to end the primaries with a delegate lead. And about the only foreseeable way he could suffer that kind of collapse would be to commit a gaffe like George Romney's comment about having been brainwashed in Vietnam, or for revelations to emerge about Obama which individually or when accumulated would be the equivalent of Edwards' "dead girl or a live boy."
Clinton can wait and hope—without much reason—for Obama to damage himself. Or, she could follow the steps laid out by Jonathan Chait:
Clinton's path to the nomination, then, involves the following steps: kneecap an eloquent, inspiring, reform-minded young leader who happens to be the first serious African American presidential candidate (meanwhile cementing her own reputation for Nixonian ruthlessness) and then win a contested convention by persuading party elites to override the results at the polls. The plan may also involve trying to seat the Michigan and Florida delegations, after having explicitly agreed that the results would not count toward delegate totals. Oh, and her campaign has periodically hinted that some of Obama's elected delegates might break off and support her. I don't think she'd be in a position to defeat Hitler's dog in November, let alone a popular war hero.
After the Wisconsin primary, I wrote that Obama had effectively locked up the nomination, and the only question would be whether Clinton would scorch the earth. At least to this point, she hasn't scorched the earth, but the portents aren't good. Clinton appears unsure if she will wage full out political warfare against Obama, but she's definitely taking shots at Obama that he's inhibited from engaging with the same brio with which he's parried shots from McCain. Again, Chait:
Obama can’t "test" Clinton the way she can test him. While she likes to claim that she beat the Republican attack machine, it’s more accurate to say that she survived with heavy damage. Clinton is a wildly polarizing figure, with disapproval ratings at or near 50 percent. But, because she earned the intense loyalty of core Democratic partisans, Obama has to tread gingerly around her vulnerabilities. There is a big bundle of ethical issues from the 1990s that Obama has not raised because he can’t associate himself with what partisan Democrats (but not Republicans or swing voters) regard as a pure GOP witch hunt.
Knowing that he can't fire back at her with the same force he can fire at McCain allows Clinton to degrade some of Obama's appeal. But is it good for the party? Again, Chait:
With Obama's lead and with comparatively few delegates left to be contested, there are only two conceivable ways that Hillary Clinton can secure the Democratic nomination. She can destroy Obama herself. Or she can poke, prod and try to wear down Obama and hope he destroys himself.
Clinton's kamikaze mission is likely to be unusually damaging. Not only is the opportunity cost--to wrap up the nomination, and spend John McCain into the ground for four months--uniquely high, but the venue could not be less convenient. Pennsylvania is a swing state that Democrats will almost certainly need to win in November, and Clinton will spend seven weeks and millions of dollars there making the case that Obama is unfit to set foot in the White House. You couldn't create a more damaging scenario if you tried.
Imagine in 2000, or 2004, that George W. Bush faced a primary fight that came down to Florida (his November must-win state). Imagine his opponent decided to spend seven weeks pounding home the theme that Bush had a dangerous plan to privatize Social Security. Would this have improved Bush's chances of defeating the Democrats? Would his party have stood for it?
Monday, March 10, 2008
Friday, March 07, 2008
Fri Mar 07, 2008 at 03:32:01 PM PST
- Mark Penn
"Could we possibly have a nominee who hasn’t won any of the significant states — outside of Illinois? That raises some serious questions about Sen. Obama."
- Hillary Clinton
"I was shocked when I learned Iowa and Mississippi have never elected a woman governor, senator or member of Congress," Clinton told the paper. "There has got to be something at work here. How can Iowa be ranked with Mississippi? That's not the quality. That's not the communitarianism, that's not the openness I see in Iowa."
- Hillary Clinton
"It’s not a factor," was how Clinton dismissed Obama victories in Maine, Nebraska, Louisiana, Virgin Islands and Washington state in an interview with WJLA and Politico on Monday.
- Hillary Clinton
"You know, I know that there are three things, when you think about electability. Number one, I've been winning the big states we have to win.
"You know, with all due respect, unless there's a tsunami change in America, we're never going to carry Alaska, North Dakota, Idaho. It's just not going to happen. But we have to carry the states that I'm carrying, the primary states, the states that really have to be in the winning Democratic column."
- Bill Clinton
"The caucuses aren’t good for her [Hillary Clinton]. They disproportionately favor upper-income voters who, who, don’t really need a president but feel like they need a change."
- Hillary Clinton
She said she never expected to do well in any of those contests, even though she had been favored to win Maine. Clinton repeated her criticism that the caucus system is undemocratic and caters mostly to party activists.
As for Louisiana, "You had a very strong and very proud African- American electorate, which I totally respect and understand," Clinton said.
She noted that the states she won on Super Tuesday were all states Democrats must win to succeed in the general election. Many of the states Obama won that night, such as Alaska and North Dakota, would not be competitive for Democrats next November, she said.
- Mark Penn
"I think for superdelegates, the quality of where the win comes from should matter in terms of making a judgment about who might be the best general election candidate," said Mark Penn, Mrs. Clinton’s senior campaign adviser.
- Hassan Nemazee, national finance chair
"I’m telling donors and supporters: Don’t be overly concerned about what goes on in the remainder of the month of February because these are not states teed up well for us," Mr. Nemazee said.
- Bill Clinton
Clinton also told about 100 people in Charleston that he was proud of the Democratic Party for having a woman and a black candidate and he understands why Obama is drawing support among blacks, who may comprise up to half of Saturday's turnout.
"As far as I can tell, neither Senator Obama nor Hillary have lost votes because of their race or gender," he said. "They are getting votes, to be sure, because of their race or gender — that's why people tell me Hillary doesn't have a chance of winning here."
- Joel Ferguson, Michigan campaign co-chair
"Superdelegates are not second-class delegates. The real second-class delegates are the delegates that are picked in red-state caucuses that are never going to vote Democratic."
- Hillary Clinton
"It is highly unlikely we will win Alaska or North Dakota or Idaho or Nebraska," she said, naming several of Obama's red state wins. "But we have to win Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, California, Arizona, New Mexico, Florida, Michigan ... And we've got to be competitive in places like Texas, Missouri and Oklahoma."
- Mark Penn
"Sen. Obama, in contrast, won with large margins in Alabama and Georgia, two states that have been in the Republican column in the last two elections. He also won with large margins in a string of caucus states with comparatively fewer voters - Alaska, Idaho, Utah, and Kansas - and have also been in the Republican column. Of course, he won his home state."
"I agree he’s done well in those caucus states — we didn’t make as much of an effort as we probably should have," Ickes said. "But those states simply are not going to vote this year for a Democratic president, Andrea.
Thursday, March 06, 2008
Remember the "RATS" ad used against Gore in 2000? The Bush campaign was mocked in its claims of ignorance because ad makers pore over every detail of their ads before releasing them for broadcast. There was a concerted effort by Clinton's ad people to make Obama look darker, more sinister, and with a wider nose. The evidence is indisputable.