Regarding the New Hampshire primary vote: was the sudden jump in
Hillary Clinton's fortunes real, or were there some fun and games being played?
In most cases I would dismiss this kind of talk as crybaby sour grapes
stuff. But I have to admit that the New Hampshire situation has caught my
First of all, there is a major difference in Ms. Clinton's fortunes,
depending on whether the votes were counted by hand or machine. It is
literally the difference between her winning and losing.
Most primary votes were counted by machine. And when machines were used
Hillary Clinton beat Barack Obama by 40% to 36%. However, in
the precincts where hand counts were done, a funny thing happened. Barack
Obama beat Hillary Clinton by 39% to 35%.
The most simple explanation for this is that, since most of the hand counts
were in rural New Hamphire, rural voters preferred Obama to Hillary.
However, a) we don't know that for sure, and b) somehow the idea that rural
areas went more strongly for the Black candidate while more urbanized areas
went more strongly for the White candidate has a funny sound to it.
Let me point out that I am not making any specific accusations here.
But I have to admit that the disparities in hand versus machine counts, and
where they came from, have me thinking.
Then we have the fascinating influx of "voters" who may have showed up in New
Hampshire on primary day and disappeared into the wind immediately
thereafter. Bob Parks has a pretty good piece on this, which I will show
Recent history tells us that when
liberals win an election, we were hearing the will of the people. However,
we also know when liberals lose, its because the voters were too stupid to know
what they voted against, OR the election was stolen.
Many are showing their disdain for pollsters
(who are held in close to the same contempt as telemarketers) and their glaring
errors, calling the New Hampshire primary early for Barack Obama. As we
all know, they were way off and Hillary Clinton won by a few percentage
But what many of the analysts are not mentioning
is that the pollsters were pretty much spot on with their predictions of the
Republican race. My question is this: How does everyone only get half a
Surely if the Democrat results were that way off,
so too would be the Republicans.
So, a few things to consider.
The screwed up poll results involved a race a
Clinton was desperate to win.
According to one of my sources, some who live in
New Hampshire and work in Massachusetts heading home on the major highways noted
massive traffic headed toward Boston from NH, which normally is almost none for
traffic at that time of the early evening. One even said that he thought
there was more southbound traffic than northbound.
We agree this could have been college kids who
went home to vote and headed back to a Boston campus. This could have even
been volunteers for campaigns heading home for dinner. Or, it could have
been a drive by voters from Massachusetts going up there to assist in the
According to the Democracy for New
Hampshire website, If new
election day registrants do not have an approved form of photo ID, they will
still be able to vote, but their registration affidavit will be marked, and
within 90 days of the election they will receive a letter of welcome from the
Secretary of State.
If there was voter fraud, what are they going to
do? Take votes away from Hillary? It aint gonna happen, and thats
what some may be counting on.
As you can see, Bob is pretty cynical about who voted and how vote totals
came to be. And he makes a few pretty good points, the most salient of
which may be that the same polls which had those cockamamie results for the
Democratic candidates were far closer - and in correct order - for the
Fascinatingly, Dennis Kucinich (of all people) is demanding a recount in New
Hampshire. Since he got 3,793 votes out of the 287,580 cast for
Democrats, it certainly isn't because he thinks he won. So it must be for
some other reason, mustn't it?
If media have 1/50th the interest in this controversy that they have shown
when the voting controversy involves Republicans, this could get very
interesting very fast.
YOU CAN'T MAKE THIS STUFF UP (Cont.)
This is a sad story, not a funny one. But it is also a "you can't make
this stuff up" classic. So, courtesy of the UK Sun, here it is:
Twin plight cruel beyond
Separated at birth ... twins
have an intense and unique bond
By JAMES CLENCH
Published: 12 Jan
unwittingly got married after they were separated at birth were victims of a
quirk of fate cruel beyond belief, it emerged last night.
The smitten brother and sister
adopted by different families discovered the shattering truth only after tying
Against all odds they had met and
fallen for each other neither even knowing they had a twin.
The horrified British couple faced
the heartbreak of seeking to have their marriage annulled in the High Court
after eventually finding out their love was forbidden.
A judge was forced to rule the union
was NEVER valid in law.
Last night the peer who uncovered
the astonishing case told The Sun of the twins trauma.
Lord Alton of Liverpool said:
Anyone hearing this story would feel heartbroken for them.
Its cruel beyond belief to
discover that someone youre in love with is so closely related to
The twins were not named but it is
known they were separated soon after birth. Each was adopted by different
parents who never told them they had a twin. It was not clear HOW they
eventually discovered they were brother and sister.
Experts said they would have been
naturally attracted to each other because they were so alike.
Biological psychologist Dr George
Fieldman said: Their mannerisms and even their odour would remind them of
themselves. Psychotherapist Audrey Sandbank, a consultant for the Twins and
Multiple Births Association, said: These twins were together until they were
born and may have had a strong connection in the womb.
When they met they would have
felt like soul mates particularly as like all siblings they shared
approximately 50 per cent of their genes.
The organisations chief executive Keith Reed said:
This sad situation shows that in the majority of cases it is vital that
multiple birth siblings are raised together.
Pro-life crusader Lord Alton, who
used the case to highlight problems with the Human Embryology and Tissues Bill
in Parliament, said it showed the need for children to know their biological
Donors who help couples have
children lost their right to anonymity in April 2005. A new law gave children
the right to identify their genetic parents when they turn 18.
But there is still no legal obligation for the parents who
raised them to tell them the truth about how they were conceived.
Lord Alton said of the twins
marriage: We are opening the door to more cases like this one.
One of the most fundamental things
of all is to know who you are. The issue here is about human rights. He told
the Lords the saga of the twins was revealed to him by a High Court judge.
I genuinely sympathize with these two poor souls. What a
On the other hand, I recognize that it could happen here.
For this reason, I strongly urge that, at all costs, we try to keep keith
olbermann and barbra streisand apart. The consequences could be
THE HILLARY CONUNDRUM
"Can (Hillary Clinton) win
the nomination....? Yes she can. But it would be extremely
hard. And to do it she would have to attack Barack Obama in a way that
could easily alienate many Black voters, who comprise the most reliably
monolithic segment of Democratic support (93% in the last presidential
If that were to happen, she
would literally lose by winning, because without huge Black support she's DOA in
the general election.
To say this is a major problem for Ms. Clinton is to grossly
understate. It is a severe problem approaching disastrous
Me, January 6, 2008.
Ok, ok, I'm bragging, I admit it. But I've been saying this for a while
now, and some political analysts are just starting to catch on. Since I'm
about to show you what one of them has to say, I felt it was ok to remind you
that my stuff predated his.
Here is an excellent analysis (absent a few paragraphs to make its size more
manageable) by Ben Smith of www.politico.com . It talks about -
what else? - the problem Hillary Clinton has when she attacks Barack Obama,
which Senator Clinton has to do to get the Democratic nomination:
Racial tensions roil Democratic
race By: Ben Smith January 11, 2008
05:09 PM EST
A series of comments from Sen. Hillary Rodham
Clinton, her husband, and her
supporters are spurring a racial backlash and adding a divisive edge to the
presidential primary as the candidates head south to heavily African-American
The comments, which ranged from the New York
senator appearing to diminish the role of Martin Luther King Jr. in the civil rights
movement an aide later said she misspoke to Bill Clinton
dismissing Sen. Barack Obamas image in the media as a fairy tale
generated outrage on black radio, black blogs and cable television. And now
they've drawn the attention of prominent African-American
A cross-section of voters are alarmed at the
tenor of some of these statements, said Obama spokeswoman Candice
Tolliver, who said that Clinton would have to decide whether she owed
anyone an apology.
Theres a groundswell of reaction to these
comments and not just these latest comments but really a pattern, or a
series of comments that weve heard for several months, she said. Folks are
beginning to wonder: Is this really an isolated situation or is there something
bigger behind all of this?
Clinton supporters responded to that suggestion
with their own outrage.
To say that there is a pattern of racist comments
coming out of the Hillary campaign is ridiculous, said Ohio Rep. Stephanie
Tubbs Jones. All of the world knows the commitment of President Clinton and
Sen. Clinton to civil rights issues and not only the commitment in terms
of words but in terms of deeds.
Referring to the King quote, Sheila Jackson Lee,
another Clinton supporter, said Clinton was trying to contrast King and Obama,
not to diminish King: "It really is a question of focusing on the suggestion
that you can inspire without deeds what is well known to the child who
studies Dr. King in school is that yes, he spoke, but he also moved people to
But other black Clinton supporters found
themselves wincing at the Clintons words, if not questioning their
A Harlem-based consultant to the Clinton campaign,
Bill Lynch, called the former presidents comments a mistake, and said his own
phone had been ringing with friends around the country voicing their
Ive been concerned about some of those
comments and that there might be a backlash, he
Illinois State Senate President Emil Jones, a prominent Obama
supporter, echoed those sentiments.
"Its very unfortunate that the president would
make a statement like that," he said of Bill Clinton's criticism of Obama's
experience, adding that the African-American community had "saved his
presidency" after the Monica Lewinsky scandal.
"They owe the African-American community
not the reverse," he said. "Maybe Hillary and Bill should get behind Sen. Barack
Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., through a spokesman, used
even stronger language. "Following Barack Obama's victory in Iowa and historic
voter turnout in New Hampshire, the cynics unfortunately have stepped up their
efforts to decry his uplifting message of hope and fundamental
"Regrettably, they have resorted to distasteful and
condescending language that appeals to our fears rather than our hopes. I
sincerely hope that they'll turn away from such reactionary, disparaging
The series of comments Clinton critics cite began
in mid-December, when the chairman of HIllary Clintons New Hampshire campaign,
Bill Shaheen, speculated whether Obama had ever dealt
drugs. In the final days of the
New Hampshire campaign, however, the discomfort of some black observers
intensified as Bill Clinton dismissed the contrast between Obamas judgment on
the war and Clintons as a fairy tale and spoke dismissively of his short time
in the Senate. And the candidate herself, in an interview with Fox News,
stressed the role of President Lyndon Johnson, over Martin Luther King Jr., in
the civil rights movement.
I would point to the fact that Dr. King's
dream began to be realized when President Lyndon Johnson passed the Civil Rights
Act of 1964, when he was able to get through Congress something that President
Kennedy was hopeful to do, the president before had not even tried, but it took
a president to get it done, she said, in response to a question about how her
dismissive attitude toward Obamas false hopes would have applied to the civil
rights movement. That dream became a reality, the power of that dream became
real in peoples lives because we had a president who said we are going to do it,
and actually got it accomplished.
An aide later said Clinton didnt
intend to diminish King, and later that day she went out of her way to stress
his accomplishment and courage in leading a movement.
Then, when Obama
lost New Hampshire, the first question on black media outlets like the Tom
Joyner Show was whether white racism had defeated him, and when a Clinton
supporter, New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, said though not
directly in connection to Obama that politicians cant shuck and jive in
early primary states, it only added fuel to the fire.
Thursday, a key player in black South Carolina
politics, Rep. Jim Clyburn, told The New York Times hed consider endorsing Obama in response to what he
considered a lack of respect in the Clinton campaigns approach to Obama.
For him to go after Obama, using a fairy tale, calling him as he did
last week. It's an insult. And I will tell you, as an African-American, I find
his tone and his words to be very depressing, said Donna Brazile, a longtime
Clinton ally who is neutral in this race, on CNN earlier this week.
Asked in an e-mail from Politico about the situation Friday, she
responded by sending over links to five cases in which the Clintons and their
surrogates talked about Obama, along with a question: Is Clinton using a
race-baiting strategy against Obama?
Brazile later said she wasn't intending to raise
the question herself, just to pass on a question that was being asked by
The black blogosphere was even less diplomatic, with the widely
read site MediaTakeOut calling Clintons comment on King explosive and the blog
Jack and Jill Politics saying it pretty much solidified the image that whatever
happened in the '90s, you are now some out of touch rich white folks..
Theres a concern about that kind of stuff especially in the
black community, said Bill Perkins, a New York state senator who is among
Obamas leading supporters in Clintons home state. The dynamic changed in New
Hampshire, and all these little mistakes contribute to the general sense that
this isnt a mistake.
Clintons supporters dismiss the hubbub as the
Obama campaigns strategy to woo African-American supporters in South Carolina.
Some of the Obama people are clearly trying to use Hillarys comments
about Martin Luther King and distort them into something she did not say, which
is outrageous, said former Pennsylvania Rep. William Gray. Its a hot issue in
South Carolina, and theyre spreading the word all over. I hope that the good
senator will make sure that none of his people are doing that. We dont need to
have a debate about race or gender.
Obamas national spokesman, Bill
Burton, wouldnt comment on Grays assertion.
Voters have to decide for
themselves what they think about those comments, he said.
campaign also released a statement from a deputy campaign manager, Bob Nash,
defending the senator.
The stress of the political season can lead
people to say outlandish things and we assume that this was the case here. With
Dr. Kings birthday upon us, its important to keep in mind that his legacy is
about the things that bring us together as one people, he said.
Lynch, the Clinton consultant who is advising Clintons South Carolina campaign,
said he wouldnt advise Clinton to fight on this terrain.
The more you
kind of defend it, the worse it gets, said Lynch. .
The conundrum is obvious. If Ms. Clinton does not go after Barack Obama
hammer and tongs, he is going to win the nomination and she's over and out for
four, maybe eight more years. That's not an option.
If Ms Clinton does go after Barack Obama hammer and tongs and wins the
nomination, she outrages a great many Black voters. And if even a small
percentage of them decided to sit out the presidential vote - or (gasp!) vote
for a Republican (don't think a John McCain, for example, couldn't bring in a
percentage of Black Democrats), the only way she'll ever get to the oval
office is as a visitor.
Let me repeat what I've said over and over again: If you think the
Democratic party has an easy road to the presidency this year, think
LAST NIGHT'S REPUBLICAN DEBATE
Here are a few random thought about last night's debate:
-John McCain came out extremely well. He was forceful, his issues
resonated with the audience and he probably improved his (already strong)
position in South Carolina and, I suspect elsewhere too. I don't make
predictions, but if I were a betting man my money would be on McCain in this
-Fred Thompson also came out pretty well. In truth, just acting like he
didn't wake up from a sound sleep for the debate improved his performance
compared to the other ones. He was very aggressive - especially against
Huckabee (they are competing for the same votes in South Carolina) without
acting like a jerk. Probably a net gain, though I can't see him winning
-Mike Huckabee did ok but not great. He tried deflecting some of the
criticism from Thompson (and others) by using his celebrated sense of humor, but
it didn't work as well here as it has previously. Fred Thompson did a good
job of painting Huckabee as a tax and spend liberal without offending the
evangelicals both he and Huckabee are trying to pull in.
Huckabee is still in the hunt for South Carolina, but was probably set back
by last night's debate. If he loses South Carolina I look for him to fall
elsewhere. This could be the point at which his campaign quickly spirals
-Mitt Romney is what he is. Slick, polished, damn good looking and very
articulate (quick aside: I think Barack Obama is articulate
also. Why would some people think I'm complimenting Romney and insulting
Obama -- other than their own racism, not mine?).
Romney held his own and even got a few applause lines in. I think he
probably treaded water in this debate, neither rising nor falling.
-Rudy Giuliani was disappointing. While he had several good things to
say, he sounded tentative, unsure and even distracted at times. In a
way, he reminded me of President Bush's father glancing at his watch during
a debate in 1992.
Giuliani didn't have much of a chance in South Carolina walking into last
night's debate, and probably has less of a chance walking out of it.
That's not the issue for him - the issue is whether this lackluster performance
hurt him in Michigan, Florida and other key upcoming states. Time will
-ron paul sounds nuttier every time he opens his mouth. He had a small
but wildly dedicated contingent in the audience which was happy to scream in
delight at every nugget he gave them. But, although there were no
face-shots of the audience, I got the sense that a good many of them were
listening to him with roughly the look that the stuttering lawyer got from the
jury in My Cousin Vinny - i.e. open-mouthed disbelief.
PANDERING, TAKEN TO A NEW LEVEL
It is hardly news that there are politicians who pander and
news reporters who fawn over politicians. But every now and again you find
a classic example that makes you just sit back and shake your head.
Here, courtesy of the Las Vegas News-Journal (most of the article is shown
below), is an example of what I am talking about. Frankly, it is hard to
say who is more committed: Senator Clinton to the pandering or the writer,
Molly Ball, to the fawning over her.
As usual, the bold print is mine:
LAS VEGAS STOP: Clinton pitch hits
Democratic hopeful goes
door to door
People in the Las Vegas neighborhood saw all the
cameras and trucks and buses and police on the streets Thursday, and they began
to trickle out of their houses to find out what was going on.
Soon, as a sherbet-orange desert sunset filled the
sky, they got their answer, as New York Sen. Hillary Clinton began walking up
the street of low-slung houses near Eastern and Washington avenues, accompanied
by the area's representative, state Assemblyman Ruben Kihuen.
Clinton hugged Kihuen around the shoulders and
asked about his family, and then the two began knocking on doors, the same doors
Kihuen knocked on nearly two years ago in his first campaign. Clinton spent more
than an hour in the predominantly Hispanic and black neighborhood.
Gilberto Santana, 38, sat on the edge of a chair
as Clinton sat on the brown leather sofa in his living room next to his wife and
two young children.
Santana told Clinton how his wife, Elizabeth, a
housekeeper on the Strip, was barely supporting the family single-handedly while
he was unable to work for two months because of an operation.
"We're sort of struggling," he said. "We're
getting there, but you have to be strong to make it."
Clinton asked the couple questions about their
mortgage and his disability payments, and answered his questions about
immigration and the war and health care costs.
Stroking the 4-year-old girl's head,
Clinton said, "I feel so strongly that if we don't take care of our children, we
don't take care of our future."
Santana said, "We are going to do
everything we can to make sure that everyone in Las Vegas votes for
That is the warm, earnest, human side of
campaigning, politicians comforting people with detailed explanations of how
they will solve their problems and flattering them with their
After leaving the Santanas' house, Clinton walked
across the street and took questions from a few of the dozens of reporters,
standing in front of a faded American flag pinned to a dingy garage
Today, Clinton is scheduled to travel to Los
Angeles, where she will give a policy speech about the economy and what kind of
stimulus she believes it needs.
"I think we're slipping toward a recession," she
said. "A couple of people that I met on the street, they work in construction.
They tell me it's slowed down."
She reiterated her doubts about the caucus
process, which requires in-person, on-time participation.
"That is troubling to me," she said. "People who
work during that amount of time, they're disenfranchised. People who can't be in
the state or are in the military, they cannot be present. ... If people feel
like there's no reason to participate or they can't, then that's the same thing.
So I think it's a problem."
Clinton and her busload of traveling press moved
from there to the popular local Mexican restaurant Lindo Michoacan, where a
"roundtable" that was actually square passed a microphone around to tell her
people's concerns about the mortgage crisis and foreclosures. She took notes and
munched on tortilla chips.
In broken English, one woman told Clinton how she
wasn't making money as a broker anymore.
"I have no income at all," she said. "So how will
Choking up with emotion, the woman said, "In my
neighborhood, there are brand-new homes, but the value is nothing. I'm glad you
are here so I can tell you, because you're going to be the president, I
A man shouted through an opening in the
wall that his wife was illegal.
"No woman is illegal," Clinton said, to
Summing it up at the end, Clinton said, "We've
only talked to a few people, but each of them talk about some part of the
problem we are confronting. This is a problem that is only going to get worse if
we don't address it."
Clinton said unscrupulous lending leads to bad
mortgages, which lead to foreclosures, which lead to people with nowhere to go
and vacant neighborhoods that can go rapidly downhill.
"We treat these problems as if one is
guacamole and one is chips, when ... they both go together," she
In an interview, Clinton enthused about Nevada but
didn't predict victory.
"I never make predictions," she said. "But I'm
very confident. We've got a great campaign here, we've got a lot of support
across the state, and it just feels good. But of course the big question mark
is, how many people are going to come out? And I keep urging people, get out and
do this, for yourselves, your families, your future."
Clinton said Nevada, which stands to break the
current tie between her and Illinois Sen. Barack Obama in terms of how many
victories they've chalked up, will be an important indicator of "what the people
in the West think," but is not the end of the race.
"We have an election that'll go through February
fifth, maybe beyond. I've always run a national campaign."
Clinton said the race is "hard fought, as it
should be. And I was very pleased that starting in New Hampshire we finally
began to draw some contrasts and comparisons, because that's what voters need to
have. They need relevant information to make up their minds."
She recounted her work to help establish the
Children's Health Insurance Program, secure health care for members of the
National Guard and Reserves, and oppose the nuclear waste repository at Yucca
"I come with all of my experience and my lifelong
commitment to making positive change for people with a record on issues that
matter to the people of Nevada."
With change the buzzword on everyone's lips, and
Obama's soaring speeches credited with inspiring a movement of hope, she said,
"I think there's a difference between talking and acting and between rhetoric
Clinton criticized the ethics bill that is Obama's
signature achievement, saying it doesn't prevent lobbyists from eating with
members of Congress as long as they are standing rather than sitting.
"I'm not asking people to take me on a leap of
faith," she said. "I'm asking them to look at what I bring to this race, and
what I will do as president."
She blamed President Bush and the, until recently,
Republican-controlled Congress for obstructing change.
"But change never stops," she said. "Change is
going to happen whether anybody does anything or not. The question is, is it the
right kind of change. Is it positive change?"
Clinton implied that Obama's career has mostly
been spent running for office rather than governing.
Now THAT is pandering and fawning to the nth degree.
A couple of favorite excerpts:
-How about those three paragraphs (the first three that are in bold print) with Hillary barfing out her standard-issue
platitudes about "our children", the sucker..er, possible supporter assuring her
that he would try to get "everyone" to vote for her, and the reporter drooling
over how warm and earnest Hillary Clinton is. It doesn't get more
_________than that (you fill in the word. I don't think I'm allowed to use
it if this blog is read over interstate lines).
-Then there is the unbelievably pandering comment that "No woman is
illegal". What the hell does it mean? That all women are
legal? Or that all women who are here illegally are legal
anyway? Or that only men can be illegal? This is not only one
for the Pandering hall of fame, it is one for the Mindless
Idiotic Vomiting Out of a Platitude That Doesn't Mean Anything hall of
-And as a grand final? How about that reference to guacamole
and chips? How can these people NOT know the offensiveness it
displays? Would Senator Clinton go to a Black neighborhood and gratuitously toss out
a reference to watermelons and collards?
It is INSULTING. It is OFFENSIVE. It is a
STEREOTYPE. But......it is also HILLARY. So the reporter
somehow didn't seem to (or, more exactly, didn't want to) notice.
So we see, as we have seen so many times in the past, that when you are a
protected species you get a free pass on Insulting, offensive
stereotyped comments like these. And that, baby, is Senator Clinton,
to a "T".
All things considered, I think it would be fair to say that Hillary was,
literally, having a Ball.
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