Tag Archives: politics

Obama shows executive skills in Texas

If Obama wins more delegates than Clinton in Texas, then he deserves the nomination. Not so much because she lost yet another state and the delegate count is slipping from grasp, but rather because of the disciplined nature of his campaign organization. Unlike the Clinton campaign, the Obama campaign was so well organized in nearly every precinct as to strategically shepherd folks back to the caucus following the primary. If it is true that the Clinton campaign was still hunting for precinct captains in Texas as late as last week, then Obama wins points for his executive prowess.

According to bravenewfilms.org, Marc Andreeson, founder of netscape, talks about some time he spent with Obama over a year ago. Obama told him to assess his executive abilities by examining his campaign. check out this post. The Texas campaign seems to bear him out.

Clinton Takes Ohio? Obama Texas?

Early exit polls suggest Clinton wins with voters who think the economy, and health care are the most important issues. Obama wins with voters who think the war is the biggest issue, but only 18% voters place Iraq at top of their list. Clinton is winning women; Obama is winning young voters and males.

If exit polls are to be believed (and they haven’t been reliable), then Hillary wins Ohio. May want to keep in mind that Ohio voters also say they want change over experience…. Although polls in Sandusky remain open, the msn talking heads are sounding like Hillary gets the win (Brokaw sort of spilled the beans with his reporting of the exit tallies)

In Ohio, Hillary might win because voters are divided by race, gender and age. Seems her divide and conquer strategy works.

But even if she wins the popular vote in Ohio, Obama may still win more delegates in Ohio.

In Texas, early exit polling shows a much closer race, with Obama possibly eeking it out.
With 126 delegates in Texas, Obama could win more delegates here too even if Clinton wins popular vote

So, with an Obama trouncing of Clinton in Vermont, Does this amount to a comeback?

and the real winner? MSN, CNN and FOX! the blabbering will continue another seven weeks at least.

Potomac Primary Makes Clinton Toast?

Here in Baltimore, you’d think Obama had already won the nomination. On Monday, about 11,000 people cut school and cut out of work to see Obama at the First Mariner Arena. Obama was 2 1/2 hours late which meant that many folks who parked cars at a meter, found their cars had been towed. But they didn’t mind much, which is my point, given the Obama experience they had just witnessed.

On Tuesday, these and many more folks braved the rain and icy roads to give Obama 60% of the vote to Clinton’s 37%.

Perhaps the Clinton camp already sees the writing on the wall. They seemed to have conceded the Potomac primary in the days leading to the vote, even tho they needed a virginia win and needed Maryland to be close.

Consider as perhaps indicative that there was no big pre-primary ‘fire up the troops’ rally for Clinton in Baltimore or College Park, Fredrick or anywhere elsin MD. Sure, Chelsea was spotted at Baltimore’s Belvedere Square Market (which has amazing homemade soups and breads) and Hillary addressed workers at a White Marsh factory, but not much else, and Bill was disappointingly quiet.

Perhaps no firing up because Clinton is already toast.

I think the Potomac Primaries will go down in the political history books for the 08 campaign as marking the beginning of the end for Hillary Clinton’s presidential ambitions.

As of this morning, she faces a delegate and financial crunch. And given the blogosphere’s persuasive demands for transparency this primary season, the Clinton chore wrestling superdelegates (behind closed doors) away from a clear Obama mandate will be closely scrutinized and documented. And the Clintons probably do not want to be remembered for playing Bush to Obama’s Gore. Thus an all the more urgent situation for Hillary since she must now win about 57% of all the remaining delegates.

The potomic primaries might also be remarkable for signalling a progressive resurgence that actually and finally reaches the levers of power.

In addition to Obama, Donna Edwards victory in Maryland’s 4th CD is a victory, according to Kos, not only for “more democrats” but “better democrats.” Donna Edwards beat a democratic incumbent by telling voters in PG county that he was not progressive enough and was too far to the right of the dem party, and it worked. A similar message failed in 2006 when Edwards lost in her first run against Albert Wynn. The times are a changin.

Yep. 2008 seems different. Obama’s “yes we can” bromide is suddenly being felt in people’s bones (and up chris mathews leg). i never would have guessed.

Is Clinton toast?

According to the Potomac, the toaster is plugged in, fired up and ready to go!!

Barack, Beware the Wave

President Gary Hart would tell you, beware the wave!
Hart, the 1984 candidate of “new ideas,” rode the crest of popular, new generational appeal. After four years of Reagan, Hart offered something new against the establishment candidate Walter Mondale. He offered “new ideas,” however vague.

Keep in mind, after Hart rode high during primary season, Mondale came away with the nomination by hording supedelegates, and by asking a simple question– “where’s the beef?” that appealed to the public’s lingering doubts about Hart’s “new ideas.” (Hart later came away with Donna Rice).

Lesson for Barack? Beware the overconfidence that can follow sudden “rock star” status on the eve of what looks to be another big primary night. Beware cocky arrogance that will turn a now fawning press against you–instantly– and beware the clinton version of the mondale question that will no doubt be asked in some upcoming debate, “where’s the beef?” For Mondale, that question was all it took to reclaim the lead and for the Hart campaign to unravel quickly and unglamorously.

Should Edwards Endorse?

from comment I added on firedoglake post

As a former Edwards supporter, I now support Obama, so an Edwards endorsement wouldn’t affect my vote.
I do think an endorsement of Obama helps further solidify Obama’s progressive change credentials; a Clinton endorsement might seem opportunistic.

I also think that Edwards’ support is fragmented among at least three candidates: his progressive change message to Obama; his economic populism message– which crosses party lines to include some white conservative huckabee-like populists split between obama and clinton, and some even going to Huck. Finally, folks concerned about the details of Edwards health care policy are likely to go to Clinton, because their proposals almost match. The issue of mandates here is likely to scrape some edwards supporters away from obama.

should he endorse? sure. the obama wave is continuing to swell and edwards would do well by his message, supporters and himself to going with this flow.

I join the chorus that believes edwards would make a terrific AG!

waddya think? leave comments below

Hillary and Hubert

As the ’08 campaign settles into a marathon pace, some salient lessons from the 1968 primary campaign are once again worth noting.

Last year, campaign junkies started looking to 1968 for comparisons. The question was whether Barack or John or Hillary were the ’08 version of Bobby Kennedy in 68. I thought Edwards was Bobby Kennedy. They spoke economic justice and parted their hair the same. Barack was Gene McCarthy, the anti-war upstart, (or JFK for the now cliched 1960 comparison), and Hillary was Hubert Humphrey.

As the primary season takes form, Hillary is looking more and more like Hubert Humphrey. It is worth another glance.

Consider the following shared characteristics:

1) progressive precursor. Early in their public careers, both Hillary and Hubert were active in progressive causes, Humphrey’s advocacy of civil rights in 1948 and Hillary’s work for children at the Children’s Defense Fund brought each to national attention and brought public attention to progressive causes.

2) supplicant. Later, each spent 2 terms (almost 2 terms for HHH) in close proximity to the White House, a somewhat abused supplicant to a powerful president (think LBJ/ Vietnam, and Bill/Monica), and each suffered great personal pain and public condemnation for their loyalty. Humphrey’s loyalty to LBJ ultimately showed weakness and a lack of principle and doomed any chance he had in becoming president. Anti war democrats never forgave Humphrey; many women never forgave Clinton. residual effect on Hillary?

2) circumventing the will of the people. In terms of strategy, in 1968, Humphrey wrested the nomination with a strategy relying on non-primary delegates, a precursor to Clinton’s focus on super delegates. Hillary is currently losing the pledged delegate contest (tho barely) and her campaign (using Bill and Chelsea) is increasingly leaning on super-delegates to cast their lot with her before the end of the primary season. Given a deadlock in pledged delegates or a narrow loss to Obama, Clinton is relying on super-delegates to get the nomination.

4) religion/race demagogue. For some other similarities, it is worth noting that Humphrey previously had run for president against John F Kennedy, to whom Obama is compared. Like the Clinton’s, Humphrey’s thirst for power in 1960, twisted his thinking into exploiting JFK’s Catholicism in Wisconsin and West Virginia to Humphrey’s advantage. It backfired. The Clinton’s took similar action against Obama in S.C., to similar effect.

5) blind ambition. Humphrey’s personal ambition blinded him to the riots taking place outside the Chicago convention hall. His inability to take a principled stand against the police abuse of anti war protesters left the party divided and doomed his candidacy. Now? Many observers note a similarly principle-starved Clinton campaign.

6) personal style. Finally,they both share a style on the stump that exude a sense of happy and upbeat competence, which never quite rings true.

Humphrey’s ’68 debacle brought us Nixon and Watergate. At this low ebb after seven years of Cheney/Bush, can we as a country survive a McCain/Nixon presidency?

Republicans and Immigration: All Smoke, No Flame

Immigration is one of those issues in the ’08 campaign that is all smoke and no flame. Conservatives are voicing some pretty ugly xenophobic rhetoric about immigrants but they haven’t voted for the xenophobic and nativist candidates. All the same, the smoke suffocates rational discourse about immigration. Were the issue truly incendiary, Duncan Hunter or Tom Tancredo, perhaps even Mitt Romney would be the Republican nominee. The remaining smoke, however, also screens out the practical advantages of having every driver get a license and insurance not to mention also concealing discussion about the militarization and privatization of immigration control.

It is too bad that presidential candidates aren’t discussing the positive role immigrant businesses, entrepreneurs, engineers, and others could and do play in slowing economic recession; or the continuing racism and discrimination in society that expands well beyond “illegal aliens” but lately has focused on them; or the constitutional issues (due process; privacy; free speech) that affect everyone regardless of immigration status.

The smoke is piped in by conservative radio and cable talk hosts (Rush, O’Reilly; Beck; Coulter; Dobbs…) and right wing anti-immigrant policy centers (FAIR CIS), which energize conservative mobs with red meat claims of alien hordes and terrorists.

But no flame. Folks aren’t voting their anti-immigrant rhetoric. For all the ranting against immigrants according to primary state exit polls, Republican voters have failed to cast votes (decisively, at least) based on their anti-immigrant opinions, settling instead on the least anti-immigrant Republican in the field–John McCain.

Briefly here’s why:
1) The immigration issue has no first-order constituency. When it comes right to it, anti-immigrant xenophobes hate a lot of other things as much or even more than they dislike immigrants. Over the years, opinion pools have shown that americans may not be in favor of immigration (in the abstract) but they like the real individual immigrant neighbor down the street or in the office. Thus, small towns around bigger cities where necomers often first reside, may rail against immigration but few would actually take up arms (figuratively), or call ICE to report their colleague, friend, neighbor, babysitter, landscaper or painter (real human beings with families). Anti-immigrant rhetoric thus becomes less salient in the voting booth because few voters have been harmed by actual immigrants (the system perhaps, immigrants, no). The same cannot be said about Iraq, lob layoffs, sub-prime mortgages, lack of health insurance, poorly funded public schools and so forth which create real tangible harm for most people. These are the issues that generate acutal votes when the voting booth curtain closes.

2) Dominent interests inside and outside government have financial claim on perpetuating a perceived problem with “illegal immigration.” Immigration agencies within the DHS have been hollowed out almost as much as have other DHS agencies during the Bush years. As Naomi Klein argues in Shock Doctrine, this is no isolated occurrence. It is part of a much larger globalization movement towards free market neo-liberalism; The larger point here is that the demonization of immigrants helps efforts to privatize and militarize immigration control, which in turn benefits a wide assortment of security management firms which have donated a great deal of money to Bush brother and current Repub. campaigns, and which get incredibly lucrative DHS contracts in return.

Republican contenders this year stand to gain ideologically and some financially by puffing smoke at immigrants and generating the growth of the immigrant industrial complex at the borders and thoughout the country. Within this system, voting hardly matters.