Wednesday, 06 February 2008
SUPER TUESDAY: THE REPUBLICANS
Here is an excellent analysis of the Republican aftermath of Super Tuesday,
written by "Adam C" (whoever that might be) of www.redstate.com. If I were doing the
writing I'd largely be duplicating it, so I'll let Mr.C (?) tell the
story, then add a few thoughts afterwards:
The Aftermath of Super Tuesday
Huckabee Overperforms, Romney Underperforms,
By Adam C
Overall, the popular vote (76% reporting at
1. Surprising many, GOV Huckabee pulled narrow
victories in GA, TN, AL, and WV to add to his home state win in AR. Huckabee
continues to fail to appeal outside the South. He would make a great Senator of
2. Romney slightly underperformed. He won his home
states of UT and MA and he showed his continued success at caucuses, winning ND,
MT, CO, and MN. However, his weaknesses were undeniable. Romney came in third in
the South stealing votes from either McCain or Huckabee. And he showed a
surprising weakness in primary states where no one had a tie to the state (CA,
MO, CT, NJ, NY). Overall, Romney seemed to hit a ceiling of support based on his
coalition. His chance of winning the nomination is negligible.
3. The number of Democratic voters vastly
outnumbers the Republicans in most states. Even in the South and in solid
Republican states like Oklahoma, there were more Democratic votes. Whoever wins
the nomination still faces a big uphill battle.
4. McCain expanded on the same formula he used in
NH, SC, and FL. He won moderates and mildly conservative voters while making
inroads with more conservative voters. His acceptance speech was another olive
branch to conservatives. However, until he is officially the Last Man Standing,
it is unlikely that conservatives will give him a chance to win them back.
Finally, mathematically, McCain maximized his
advantage by winning a lot of WTA states: NY, NJ, CT, DE, AZ and MO. Thus, the
tiny victory in MO sends 57 delegates McCain's way. And while his 51-41 loss in
MA only translates into a 22-17 delegate loss, his 47-34 win in AZ gave him all
53 delegates. The two home states combined become a 70-22 McCain advantage. If
the current CA results hold up (44-25), McCain will take over 150 of the 173
Based on rough estimates, it seems the delegate
count will be roughly:
A few thoughts of my own:
-The polls were lousy again. No one showed
Huckabee with this kind of strength. Romney was supposed to be surging in California but McCain beat
him by 9% there. Etc. etc. etc. Why do people live and die
by these polls? How many times does this have to happen before they
get it? Beats me;
-Unless something unforeseen happens, Romney has one foot in the grave and
the other on a banana peel. I don't see a realistic way he can win
-Mike Huckabee reminds me of George Wallace in 1968. Not for his views,
which are certainly incompatible with Wallace the segregationist, but in the
fact that he has a super-loyal following at one end and a lid clamped tightly
shut at the other.
Wallace got, about 13% of the vote in the 1968 presidential election and I
remember thinking he couldn't get less than 8% -10%or more than 10-15%.
Similarly, Huckabee will hold a segment of the political right and evangelical
Christian vote (a good deal of overlap there) but will be anathematic to a great
many others (like me) who don't want a clergyman with an interest in
proselytizing anywhere near the oval office. A clear low end and a clear
-There is a lot of speculation this morning that McCain and Huckabee
have cut a deal and Huckabee will eventually be McCain's VP nominee.
That would make the Republican standard-bearer a 71 year old man who has to
work at keeping his temper in check (with only partial success) and who was
gullible enough to be one of the Keating 5 and to foist
the McCain-Feingold idiocy on us. His running mate would be a
former Baptist minister who said he wanted to take the country back for Christ
and has never rescinded that statement.
Could this ticket win? Yes it could. But without me.
I have never had a problem voting Republican. But there is not a chance
in hell I would ever vote for McCain/Huckabee. And I ain't the only
I KNOW MORE!!! I KNOW MORE!!!
So there's this sex education class in which the instructor says "There
are 100 different ways of having sex". A student jumps up and screams "I
know 101!!! I know 101!!!" The instructor says "Will you sit down and
behave or I'll toss you out of here". He sits down and the instructor
continues: "One way is when the woman lays on her back with her legs
spread and the man inserts his penis in her vagina". The
student jumps up and screams "I know 102!! I know 102!!":
With this in mind, please read the following article from today's edition
of www.politico.com, written by Jim
VandeHei and Mike Allen, that talks about "Five reasons Hillary should be
Hillary Clinton survived a Super Tuesday
scare. But there are five big reasons the former first lady should be
spooked by the current trajectory of the campaign.
Clinton friends say she recognizes the peril in careening between
near-death primary night experiences and small-bore victories.
Although the friends did not have details, they believe she may go
ahead with the campaign shake-up she had been planning just before her
surprise victory in New Hampshire.
Her team is girding for trench
warfare, telling reporters that the nomination will not be decided until
at least the Pennsylvania primary on April 22, if then.
aides told reporters on a conference call today that the Democratic
Partys complex delegate allocation rules mean that neither candidate is
likely to take a sizable lead in the foreseeable future.
Clintons campaign gloated about having the most total delegates for the
cycle so far, her staff nevertheless recognizes that Super Tuesday was no
triumph. Heres why:
1. She lost the delegate
derby. Pure and simple, this is a war to win delegates, one that
might not be decided until this summers Democratic convention.
And when the smoke cleared this morning, it appeared that Barack
Obama had ended up with slightly more delegates in the 22 states.
Obamas campaign says the senator finished ahead by 14 delegates.
With results still coming in, Clintons campaign says the
candidates finished within five or six delegates of each other. Either
way, Super Tuesday was essentially a draw.
Clinton may still hold
the edge overall, but Obama is closing in rapidly.
essentially tied Obama in the popular vote. Each won just over
7.3 million votes, a level of parity that was unthinkable as recently as a
few weeks ago.
At the time, national polls showed Clinton with a
commanding lead in some cases, by 10 points or more. That dominance is
One reason is that polls and primary results reveal that
the more voters get to know Obama, the more they seem to like him.
This is especially troubling for Clinton since the schedule slows
dramatically now and a full month will pass before the next big-state
All of this allows candidates ample time to introduce
themselves to voters in each state which plays to Obamas core
3. She lost more states. Obama carried
14 states, six more than Clinton, and showed appeal in every geographical
His win in bellwether Missouri was impressive by nearly
every measure, marked by victories among men and women, secular and
churchgoing voters, and urban and suburban voters.
lost the January cash war. Money chases momentum, so Obama
crushings 2-to-1 fundraising victory last month is revealing.
raised more than $31 million; Clinton raised less than $14 million. The
implication is hard to ignore: Democratic activists and donors are
flocking to Obama at a pace that could have a profound effect on the race
5. The calendar is her enemy. Now
that more than half the states have weighed in, there is a fairly
predictable formula for determining who is most likely to win the upcoming
In caucus states, Obamas organizational strength
shines: He has won seven of eight. Up next are three more caucus states,
Washington, Nebraska and Maine.
Obama also runs tremendously well
in states with large African-American populations, another promising sign
since next Tuesdays three primaries are in the District of Columbia,
Maryland and Virginia all of which have significant percentages of black
Then comes another caucus state, Hawaii, where Obama is
viewed as a native son.
The bottom line is that it figures to be
another month before Clinton hits a stretch of states places like Ohio
and Pennsylvania where she will be strongly favored to win.
it couldnt be any clearer as to why the supposedly inevitable candidacy
is anything but even when shes supposedly
Boy does this ever make me feel like the student in that joke.
Yes, all five mentioned by VandeHei and Allen are valid reasons Ms.
Clinton should be worried. But there are more. Here is a
-The only way Ms. Clinton can win is to attack Mr. Obama into
submission, which will alienate untold numbers of Black voters.
They have a very real potential to show their "appreciation" on election
day by either writing in his name, not voting at all for President or
(gasp!) pulling the Republican lever. If Clinton loses even 10-15% of
the Black vote she can kiss any chance of winning the presidency goodbye;
-Ms. Clinton has a number of serious campaign finance scandals to worry
about, all of which occurred during this campaign. I've blogged about
them over and over again here. If the media decide they prefer Mr.
Obama more than her, they will suddenly find reasons to tell the general
public these scandals exist;
-Every time Hubby Bubba opens his mouth Ms. Clinton has to worry about what
damage he'll do to her campaign. He is the loosest of loose cannons, and
no one is capable of stopping him.
Those are three. Three major ones. If Mr. Obama finally decides
to play the hardball he has to play in order to win this nomination, not only
will he use them, but I can almost picture him jumping up and screaming...
"I know more!!! I know
HOW DO GERMANS SEE THE DEMOCRATIC PRIMARIES?
Here's how. No comment necessary
A carnival float carries
large papier-mache figures during the traditional Rose Monday carnival parade in
Duesseldorf February 4, 2008. The Rose Monday parades in Cologne, Mainz and
Duesseldorf are the highlight of the German street carnival
PEACE PARTNER UPDATE
Here is an excellent detailed account of Monday's terrorist
strike against Israel. It is spot-on in describing the terrorist
groups involved - fatah and hamas - which also happen to be the groups
elected to govern palestinian Arabs.
The article was found at www.gloriacenter.org. But not by
me. It was brought to my attention by "free", a chatroom buddy who knows I
blog here. I thank him for the heads-up::
Arab-Israeli conflict definitely holds the record for the most bizarrely treated
issue in modern history. It is easy to forget just how strange this situation is
and the extent to which it is understood and handled so totally different from
other, more rationally, perceived problems.
Let's take a very simple example and
examine the surrealistic, bizarre way in which normally sensible people and
On February 4, 2008, two terrorists
attacked the quiet town of Dimona in southern Israel. One blew himself up near a
toy store in a marketplace, killing an elderly woman and wounding forty people.
The other was injured in the first blast and, before he could detonate his own
bomb, was killed by a policeman.
At first, some Fatah officials
claimed that one of the men was theirs, from that group's al-Aqsa Brigades; the
Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) said the second belonged to
them. Such are the bare facts. But from here it gets far stranger.
Apparently, Fatah and the PFLP did
dispatch a two-man terrorist team, but they were apparently caught before
crossing into Israel. At the exact same time, Hamas sent another duo, and they
succeeded in reaching Dimona.
Thus, through no fault of their own,
Fatah and the PFLP did not actually commit the attack. But they tried and would
have preferred to have carried out the terrorist assault. From here, a number of
conclusions should be obvious:
- The nature of Fatah. Why is Fatah, the
organization routinely described as moderate by Western governments and media,
involved in constant terrorism attempts--and sometimes successes--against
The al-Aqsa Brigades are an
integral part of Fatah. The Brigades' founder and leader is Marwan Barghouti
who has been head of Fatah on the West Bank. Many of the Brigades'
gunmen are on the Fatah payroll in various ways, often as members of security
forces which are supposed to prevent...terrorism.
Of course, the leader of the
Palestinian Authority (PA) and in effect Fatah chief Mahmoud Abbas "condemned"
the attack. That is, he said he didn't like it. But no member of Fatah has
ever been expelled from the organization or fired from the security forces for
involvement in terrorism. The PA's media regularly broadcasts incitement to
commit terrorism. It does not transmit television, radio, and newspaper
demands on its members not to attack Israeli civilians.
So is Fatah a terrorist
Well, apparently not. Granted,
Abbas personally would prefer these attacks not occur. In the Fatah spectrum
he is at the moderate end. Nevertheless, he presides over a group that is
terrorist and which regards itself as fighting a war against Israel whose main
tactic is deliberately murdering civilians. It uses its funds for this purpose
and encourages such behavior through program and propaganda.
A Reuters' dispatch about the
attack, when it was thought to be perpetrated by Fatah, said it was a
challenge for Abbas to control "rebels within his own Fatah faction." The point, however,
is that they aren't rebels at all but rather members in good standing who
probably have more support in Fatah than does Abbas himself.
- International policy toward Fatah. Therefore,
if Fatah, and the PA, should not be shunned at least they should be subjected
to serious international pressure, right? If only for their own good since
presumably the world believes that they are better off if they abandon
terrorism? Again, apparently not.
Fatah is the group which is being
given well about $7 billion by international donors. And there are no strings
attached to that aid: no measure of whether Fatah uses or advocates terrorism
whatsoever. It gets the money no matter what it does. There are good reasons
for the West to work with, and even aid, the PA and Fatah but there are no
good reasons for that support and aid to be unconditional.
- Motive. Fatah officials said the reason for the
attack was to protest Israeli "aggression" against Palestinians in the Gaza
Strip. To begin with, of course, Israel is merely responding to rocket and
mortar attacks on its territory. If these were to cease, Israel would never
attack the Gaza Strip and continue to supply it--directly and indirectly--with
its electricity. But if Israel were never to attack the Gaza Strip, the Hamas
regime and its junior partners in the Gaza Strip would continue to attack
Israel. By definition, then, they are the ones who are aggressive.
Incidentally, there are no
sanctions whatsoever against the West Bank, which Fatah rules. Thus, Fatah is
at war with Israel while Israel, despite periodic raids against individuals
directly involved in terrorism, treats Fatah as a partner and urges countries
to give it financial aid.
But there's more. Fatah is
essentially coming to the aid of a Hamas regime which threw it out of Gaza and
killed, sometimes in cold blood, and represses its own people. Why? Because
Fatah and the PA are competing for Palestinian popular support in the Gaza
Strip and the way that one does this is to murder Israeli civilians. This is a
very telling definition of Palestinian politics, ideology, and public
- The other terrorist killed was initially
claimed by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), a radical
Arab nationalist group, which also tried to kill Israeli civilians on that
day. Recently, the founder and long-time head of the PFLP, George Habash,
died. Habash was a veteran terrorist who practically invented airplane
hijacking and international terrorism. Habash was lauded by the PA and Fatah
at his funeral as a great hero of the movement.
Riyad al-Malki, the PA's Minister of
Information and Foreign Affairs of the "moderate" PA is a PFLP member and ran the
organization on the West Bank for many years. So when Western politicians and
diplomats deal with the "moderate" PA they are talking directly to a man who
played a leading role in a terrorist group which continues to make--and
proudly claim responsibility for--terrorist attacks.
Arab members of Israel's
parliament went to the funeral and joined in the accolades for a terrorist
whose group continues to murder their fellow citizens.
- When the second terrorist fell as a result of
the first explosion, Israeli medical personnel did not hesitate from rushing
to help a man they thought was an Arab victim of the attack. Then the nurse
saw the explosives' belt and realized the man she was trying to save was about
to murder her. She had to run for her life, pulling along another wounded
person, and yell for help from the police.
To summarize: Fatah acts as a
terrorist group; the PA facilitates terrorism and includes people leading
terrorist groups; Fatah views itself as an ally of a group that attacks it and
murders its own members; the West aids Fatah and the PA with no attempt to
discourage their behavior; Israeli Arab politicians side with terrorism; and
Israelis, at the risk of their lives, try to save Arab lives, and would like to
have a two-state solution if the other side is every able to make and implement
such a deal.
Oh, yes, and guess who much of the
world blames for the conflict. As I said, uniquely bizarre.
These, folks are the people who Israel is expected to be peace
partners with. And palestinian Arabs, en masse, are the people who freely
elected them as their leaders.
Peace process, my backside.
WHAT WE ARE FIGHTING IN IRAQ
It is sometimes (ok, often - no, make that usually) forgotten that our fight
in Iraq is not with the government. Nor is it with the general
Our fight is with terrorist insurgents. And the most dangerous
terrorist insurgent group is al qaeda.
Here, courtesy of the Associated Press, is a reminder of how depraved they really
are. Please read it slowly so every word will sink in deeply:
US says al-Qaida in Iraq using
By LAUREN FRAYER, Associated Press
Writer 44 minutes ago
Videotapes seized during U.S. raids on suspected
al-Qaida in Iraq hide-outs show the terror group training young boys to kidnap
and assassinate civilians, U.S. and Iraqi officials said Wednesday.
Footage aired for reporters showed an apparent
training operation with black-masked boys some of whom appeared to be about 10
years old storming a house and holding guns to the heads of mock residents.
Another tape showed a young boy wearing a suicide vest and posing with automatic
But U.S. and Iraqi officials said they could offer
no estimate on how many children have fallen under the terror group's control.
They named just a handful of attacks blamed on women or children.
The American military said some of the tapes were
found in December during a U.S. raid in Khan Bani Saad, northeast of Baghdad,
and said it indicated a pattern that al-Qaida in Iraq was increasingly using
children for sinister means.
"Al-Qaida in Iraq wants to poison the next
generation of Iraqis," Rear Adm. Gregory Smith, a U.S. military spokesman, told
reporters Wednesday inside the heavily guarded Green Zone. "It is offering
children as the new generation of mujahedeen," he said, using the Arabic term
for holy warriors.
"We believe this video is used as propaganda to
send out to recruit other boys ... and to send a broader message across Iraq to
indoctrinate youth into al-Qaida," he said.
Other scenes from the Khan Bani Saad video showed
masked boys forcing a man off his bicycle at gunpoint and stopping a car and
kidnapping its driver along a dusty country road. At one point the boys
wearing soccer jerseys with ammunition slung across their chests sit in a
circle on the floor, chanting slogans in support of al-Qaida.
Iraqi Defense Ministry spokesman Mohammed
al-Askari told reporters that militants are kidnapping more and more Iraqi
children, though he could not offer details or numbers.
"This is not only to recruit them, but also to
demand ransom to fund the operations of al-Qaida," al-Askari said.
Meanwhile, the U.S. military said Wednesday that
its troops, along with Iraqi forces, killed seven suspected insurgents and
detained 45 others in five days of raids across Iraq.
Also Wednesday, a roadside bomb exploded near a
police convoy transporting suspected Shiite militia fighters south of Baghdad,
killing four passers-by and wounding nine other people, police said. At least 19
people were killed or found dead Wednesday across the country.
The roadside bombing was an apparent attempt to
free the 10 detainees who were linked to the Mahdi Army militia that is
nominally loyal to radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, according to police
Brig. Gen. Ghassan Mohammed Ali.
He said the detainees had been captured over the
past month and had been accused of attacking civilians and U.S. and Iraqi
security forces in the city.
The bomb went off in Diwaniyah, 80 miles south of
Baghdad, where there have been fierce clashes between rival Shiite militia
factions engaged in a violent power struggle in the oil-rich area.
Two women and two men in a car near the explosion
were killed, and nine other people two policemen, three prisoners and four
civilians were wounded, Ali said.
Al-Sadr has ordered his militia to stand in a
six-month cease-fire that expires at the end of February, but the U.S. military
says disaffected fighters have broken with the movement and persisted with
Iraqi security forces in the area also are often
accused of being infiltrated by militia fighters, particularly from the Badr
Brigade, the militant arm of the largest Shiite party, the Supreme Islamic Iraqi
Council, or SIIC.
Ten year olds? TEN YEAR OLDS?????
This is what al qaeda is. This is what it is capable of.
This is what it does. And, in the sick-beyond-belief world of
terrorist groups, it is not alone. Palestinian Arab terrorists, for
example. are every bit as depraved as al-qaeda is. Then we have Sudan
and Zimbabwe and....well, you get the idea.
The harry reid's and nancy pelosi's of the world (and
the Barack Obama's and Hillary Clinton's, let's not forget) would like to cut and run
from Iraq regardless of whether the freely elected government's security forces can contain these
"people". In other words, while al-qaeda still could take over the
country against the will of its population, and to the extreme detriment of everyone's
Would you sleep well knowing we did that? I sure
MEDIA BIAS AGAINST ROMNEY
Here is a heartfelt commentary by Joe Scarborough of MSNBC regarding media
hatred - and concomitant media bias - against Mitt Romney. I read it at www.newsbusters.org and I'm passing it
along so you can see if it rings true:
Scarborough: MSM 'Blinded By
Hatred' of Romney
Joe Scarborough has
given away the MSM's dirty big secret: it hates Mitt Romney and is letting that
animus distort its coverage of the Republican race. Joe went on an impassioned
riff at the opening of today's Morning Joe.
JOE SCARBOROUGH: I want the media mavens in
Manhattan and Washington, DC to listen what I'm about to tell you, because it
goes against your narrative, but it is the truth. Look at the map; let's put
the map back up there. Last night was a good night for John McCain, he won the
big states . . . but starting at about 9 PM last night, before a lot of the
Western states were closed, we heard over and over again that Mike Huckabee
had now raced into second place, and once again friends that Mitt Romney
should drop from the race . . . McCain had nine states won, Romney had
seven states won, Huckabee had five states won. And yet, what did we hear time
and time again, at this network and every other network: Mike Huckabee has now
raced into second place.
View video here.
Here's a shocking thing, and I know
it's going to stun a lot of people, and I hate to make a leap of faith here,
but from where I come from, 207 [Romney's delegate count] is higher than 142
[Huckabee's ]. Now I am not being a smart aleck, but I can read numbers
and the news media can read numbers, and if the news media looked past the end
of their nose, and looked past the narrative that they wanted to tell, they
would also bring up something else, Mika: they would bring up the fact that
Mike Huckabee had a wonderful night last night, but the only other state in
the Deep South, that is his home base, from now till the end of the process:
Mississippi . . . I have to point this out time and time again: I am not in
the tank for Mitt Romney.
I am flabbergasted that people in the
media are as blinded by hatred for one candidate. I know all the other
candidates have said they hate Mitt Romney: it's everybody against Romney, and
that's fine: they can hate him if they want. But the news media is supposed to
report dispassionately. If they did, they would look at the future calendar
and say this . . . as we move forward friends, right now, John McCain is not
the presumptive nominee, but he is close to that. A couple of more big wins
for John McCain and he will represent the Republican party this fall.
But as we move forward, the states that are
going to be on the calendar are states where Mike Huckabee will not be as
strong unless he expands dramatically past his evangelical base. What does
that mean? That means Mitt Romney finally has what Mitt Romney has wanted
since Iowa: a one-on-one where the conservative runs against the moderate. One
other thing that Mitt Romney has: money.
Now if you look at the calendar, if you
look at what's coming up in the future, you don't say that this is Mitt
Romney's to lose. But you sure as hell don't say he should drop out of the
race. We heard that Mitt Romney should drop out of the race after Iowa, after
New Hampshire, after Florida. It continues, over and over again, and I'll be
damned if we didn't hear it again last night. We've been beating this drum --
look at all the states the man won. He won Maine, he won Massachusetts, he won
Michigan. He won all of those states; he's got the second most delegates;
he's got the most money. And yet the media continues to scream: "drop
. . .
MIKA BRZEZINSKI: Since you believe
there's been this narrative against Mitt Romney, why do that hate him so much?
SCARBOROUGH: I don't know, and that's really not
my job. My job is -- listen, I can't get into the minds of people. I don't
know why the other Republicans hate him so much but there have been reports
they do. I don't know why the m -
BRZEZINSKI: I think they think he's a faux
SCARBOROUGH: OK, well, the thing is, if
you're in the media, and you think he's a phony, you put that on your
BRZEZINSKI: Well that has happened.
SCARBOROUGH: You don't let that color your
news coverage, and it has colored the news coverage from the beginning. It
doesn't matter whether he's a phony, it doesn't matter whether he's a Marxist
or not. If you are reporting election results, you cannot have your analyst
come on every single week, and last night, last night, Willie, they were
saying before: they were wringing their hands over evangelicals rejecting
[Mitt Romney] when he got as many evangelical votes as [Mike
WILLIE GEIST: I wonder if there is
something to Romney's argument about him being the outside guy, and even in
the media everyone knows John McCain, they know his story, they like John
McCain, and whether that's translating over the airwaves in the analysis: I
think there's something to it.
Wow. I don't know what's causing it - maybe the remembrance that he
still is a registered Republican even if MSNBC signs his paychecks - but Mr.
Scarborough bluntly told off the mainstream media, didn't he?
Do they deserve it? Are you kidding? Does Gladys Knight have
Pips? Is a crab's ass waterproof?
R.I.P. JOHN MCWETHY
I'll let the Fox News report tell the story of former ABC correspondent John
McWethy's untimely death:
KEYSTONE Former ABC News correspondent John
McWethy was killed when he skied into a tree at Keystone Resort Wednesday, the
Summit County Coroner confirmed.
McWethy, 61, was skiing on an intermediate trail
when the accident occurred. Witnesses said he missed a turn and slid
chest-first into the tree
shortly after 10 a.m
He was pronounced dead at the Summit Medical
Center in Frisco.
McWethy, a five-time Emmy award winner, was a
correspondent for ABC News from 1979 until 2003 and the lead correspondent
during the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
He had moved to Boulder,
Colorado last fall after retiring for the television industry.
spokeswoman for Vail Resorts said McWethy was wearing a helmet at the time of
How ironic that the lead correspondent in Afghanistan and then Iraq survived
those horrible wars, but died suddenly during a sports activity while in
May he rest in peace.
SUPER TUESDAY: THE DEMOCRATS
In two words, the Democratic Party's primary outlook is...a mess.
Ed Morrissey of www.captainsquarters.com lays it out
beautifully for us. I'll add my two cents afterwards:
The Democratic primary race took an interesting
twist last night. Hillary Clinton went into the massive Super Tuesday contest
with twice as many wins as Barack Obama and a significant lead in pledged
delegates, both normal and superdelegates. She came out of Super Tuesday in
almost a dead heat among normal delegates, and losing more contests than she won
-- but still technically leading the race.
The Politico claims
that the big-state wins gave Hillary an edge, but it ignores the structure of
The clarity Democrats so desperately
sought escaped them on Super Tuesday, as both candidates found cause to claim
victory even as one of them cemented her front-runner status.
By winning critical contested strongholds in
Massachusetts, New Jersey, and most important California, Sen. Hillary
Rodham Clinton of New York showed big-state muscle and remained the putative
leader. Decisive red-state victories in Oklahoma and Tennessee bolstered her
assertions of electability.
But Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois proved the
breadth of his national appeal and national organization in winning six more
primaries and caucuses than his rival.
He narrowly beat Clinton in the key interior
state of Missouri. He didn't clearly reverse the campaign narrative or seize
the momentum of the race, but he ground out a rough tie in the number of
delegates each campaign accrued.
Big states don't mean much for Democratic
candidates. All states proportionally allocate delegates in Democratic
primaries, so what matters is the overall vote across all of the states. Obama
kept it close enough in the big states, and won big in Illinois and other
medium-sized states to make up the difference.
In wins, Obama now clearly outshines Hillary.
Obama won 14 of the contests yesterday, and he won a broader geographical
spread. Hillary won in California, New York and New England, and three Southern
states. Obama won the interior West, completely carried the Midwest, got the
larger Southern states, and stole Connecticut. A look at the map shows Obama's
Without the superdelegates, the count between
Hillary and Obama separates them by a mere six delegates. She has a current lead
of 87 superdelegates to put her 93 above Obama, but that may not last long. The
next contests favor Obama, with Saturday's Louisiana, Nebraska, and Washington
primaries, and next Tuesday's DC, Maryland, and Virginia Beltway showdown. Obama
will vault ahead of Hillary in normal pledged delegates by next Wednesday -- but
probably not with the superdelegates Hillary has in her pocket.
It's still looking like the GOP 1976 for the
Democrats. If Hillary has to rely on the superdelegates to beat Obama at the
convention, it will be a disaster for the party. They needed a more decisive
outcome yesterday, and what they got was a complete muddle.
UPDATE: CapQ commenter RBJ wonders whether I'm
including Michigan and Florida delegates in these totals. No, I'm not, but that
brings up another point about the convention. Hillary would have a significant
lead if those delegates get seated in Denver -- and the floor fight to seat them
could be the catalyst for the meltdown I described
yesterday. The only way that gets avoided is if Hillary has won the nomination
-Let me start by pointing out that, as was true for the Republican primaries, political polling was lousy.
California is a great example. The last several polls showed Senator
Obama surging ahead of Senator Clinton. Zogby (which can't seem to
blow its reputation for accuracy no matter how many times over how many years it
is badly wrong) had Obama ahead by 13% there. The reality? Clinton beat
Obama by 11%. That is a difference of 24%. Huge.
But you have my personal guarantee that the so-called "pundits" will give you
every poll number they can find throughout the campaign anyway. Hey, it's
easier than thinking;
-Ms. Clinton may have won a few more delegates, but Mr. Obama won 2/3 of the states. The Democratic nomination isn't
going to be settled until the convention, even though it
looks like the Republican nomination is pretty close to over already -- exactly opposite
of what was supposed to have happened. The architect of
this primary structure was Terry McAuliffe, which gives us another insight into
-Hillary Clinton has already shown Obama what she is capable of, between the
stealth attacks on his background, the intimations that he is just a "Black"
candidate and her sob and cough routines. I hope that Mr. Obama
understands she is capable of worse. And I hope he understands he will be
seeing it for sure in the upcoming weeks.
-How fascinating is that last point about Michigan and Florida? And
how frought with danger it is for the Democratic party!
Republicans already have a fair to middling shot at
retaining the presidency - something that seemed unlikely just a few months ago
when the collective geniuses of media were busy anointing Ms. Clinton as if
she'd already won it. But what happens when this goes to the
convention without a clear winner and Clinton demands the Michigan and Florida
delegates be seated and counted?
Both Obama and Clinton pledged to shun these two
states because they had disobeyed the DNC on when they held their primaries.
It was understood none of the delegates would get a vote.
But, with all too characteristic dishonesty, Ms. Clinton left her name
on the Michigan ballot so she would "win" it anyway, and then campaigned in
Florida despite promising, along with Mr. Obama, that she would not do so.
Suppose - and it is a very realistic scenario - Clinton demands Michigan and
Florida be seated and it is their votes that give her the nomination.
That will create a firestorm of such magnitude among Black Democrats that
a) Clinton will lose a ton of them on election day (if that happens she cannot
win the presidency) and b) may cause a large number of Blacks to reconsider
their unfailing loyalty to the Democratic party, just as so many Blacks moved
from the Republican party in the 1960's.
You will hear that the fix was in. You will hear that there was no way the Democratic party
would allow a Black man to be its candidate. You will hear about Jim
Crow and keeping Black people down. And I am certain there will be a
tidal wave of write-in ballots from Black areas on election day, all for
Senator Barack Obama.
Never in my 50+ years of watching politics have I ever seen an election cycle
like this one.
THE SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE'S TAKE ON BERKELEY
Today the San Francisco Chronicle has an editorial about Berkeley and its
treatment of the U.S. Marine recruiting station there.
Here it is. See what you make of it. But please pay special attention
to the final two paragraphs, which I have put in bold print:
Berkeley goes to war
Wednesday, February 6,
There's nothing surprising - or objectionable -
about an anti-war protest outside a Marine Corps recruiting office in Berkeley.
Bullhorns, locked arms, chanted slogans: Bring it on if that's the way
demonstrators want to oppose the Iraq war.
But what is the Berkeley City Council doing by
endorsing statements denouncing these recruiters as "uninvited and unwelcome
intruders" and reserving curb space for the convenience of weekly protesters?
Berkeley's leaders have taken the worthy notion of
political protest and shoved it over the cliff. While playing up arguments of
free speech and organized protest, the council has loaded the deck with
insulting language that denigrates the military and embarrasses the anti-war
The motion approved by the council includes a
number of remarkable statements: "The United States has a history of launching
illegal, immoral and unprovoked wars of aggression" and "The military recruiters
are sales people known to lie to and seduce minors."
The move has provoked an uproar. South
Carolina Republican Sen. Jim DeMint wants to yank some $2.1 million in
Washington money bound for Berkeley schools, food programs and ferries. Sorry
senator, we don't see the connection - or sense of fairness.
Two Berkeley City Council members, Sharon
Olds and Laurie Capitelli, are hurrying a resolution for the council's Feb. 12
meeting to paper over the harm done. Their idea is to state Berkeley's
opposition to the Iraq war and support the troops, no-brainer notions in local
politics. The measure would also attempt to undo the damage by also dropping the
offending rhetoric of the original resolution that singled out the Marine
recruiters. That would be a welcome ending to a foolish
I was on board until those last two paragraphs. Here's why they don't
sit well with me:
-Senator Jim DeMint has it right. It isn't just
the city council, it is the city that elected
the council -- and
a mayor who, as I blogged about yesterday, has a history of suppressing the
free speech he disagrees with.
Berkeley's City council does not act in a vacuum. It is sanctioned by the
population. Maybe it's about time there was a consequence for their
-If the the Berkeley city council and the San Francisco Chronicle think that
hurriedly putting out some kind of backtrack to cover their
butts is going to create a "welcome ending to this foolish crusade", they
are both nuts.
No one, in or out of Berkeley, will see it as anything other than trying
to have their cake and eat it - i.e. sending out their hate message loud and
clear, then retracting it just enough to get the goodies they're afraid of
Some whoring is subtle. But this whoring is right on the square.
Let me say again what I said in a previous blog: I hope Senator
DeMint's proposed withholding of funds goes through. In record time.
Let these anti-USA jerks know that their hatred comes with a price tag.
And if they don't like the price? If they think they've lost too much
$$$ for their actions? Just bill code pink for the effing parking
space. That will be a start.