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January 19, 2008

Comments

Well, I didn’t like him last time, and I like him this time even less. I liked his neighbor…

Hmmm, it might make more sense for Edwards to at least roll the dice in South Carolina, and see if he can squeak out something convincing there. I agree that Edwards is toast for the presidency, but that's been fairly clear for some time. Does his endorsement really help Obama much? The little polling I have seen on this point suggests that Edwards voters will go to Hillary, if anything. I think that in his shoes, it is worth going on through SuperTuesday, and seeing if he picks up enough delegates to make the difference. That gives him more bargaining power, rather than a hurried cashing in of chips at this stage.

"Perhaps the biggest story though is Edwards' miserable showing, coming in right now at an anemic 5%."

Less, it appears. This moment:

Democrats
25 pledged delegates, 8 unpledged
Candidate Vote % Delegates
Hillary Rodham Clinton 4,898 50.9% Delegates will be decided April 18-20.
Barack Obama 4,339 45.1
John Edwards 355 3.7
Uncommitted 29 0.3
Dennis J. Kucinich 4 0.0
[...]
82% reporting | Updated 4:47 PM ET

I wonder how much the gambling issue affected the results? With Obama being vocally against gambling and Hillary showing that there is no vote she won't pander for, I wonder if that impacted the results.

"I think that in his shoes, it is worth going on through SuperTuesday, and seeing if he picks up enough delegates to make the difference."

Not many people choose to vote on the basis that their guy is going to lose, but let's give him some delegates as bargaining chips, however.

If Edwards had made a major showing in one or two of the contests so far, he could have still been in a position to get the ball rolling. As it is now, it's difficult to see that happening.

Unfortunately for Edwards, between Clinton's semi-successful inevitability machine, and Obama's charisma, not enough oxygen was left for him to break through to the public.

Have I left any cliches behind? Oh, yeah, Edwards has no big mo. (Maybe Joe Lieberman has some joementum left in his garage he could spare for a comrade former Democratic Veep candidate: Joe won't be using his Democratic joementum again. I'm sure it could make all the difference.)

You know, political strategy aside, there's also the small matter that Edwards just seems to prefer Obama's policies. I mean, one of the nice things about being politically toast is also that he no longer has to make a decision about who to support based on how it's going to affect his political gains.

Agreed, except: he should do it AFTER South Carolina, not before. In South Carolina I think him being in the race helps Obama.

The most plausible way I can see for Obama to win this is: convincing win in SC because of record black turnout; Edwards drops out & endorses him; he plays Feb. 5 to a tie & they continue to fight it out for delegates.

It is not as plausible as I'd like.

I would like Edwards to stay in the race at least until Super Tuesday because I think he is the only one saying things like, "when I am president, there will be no more torture." He raises the issues that Clinton and Obama have not dealt with. In the last debate, I noticed how much both of them were using Edward's themes.

I was disappointed that there was no discussion on OW about Obama's Reagan blunder (unless it was in comments on an unrelated thread). Obama often sounds like an erudite political scientist, and presidential candidates should save their political science for their memoirs and libraries. Does he truly understand our soundbite political culture? I anticipate hearing that clip about the Republican Party's being the party of ideas all through the fall in Republican ads.

I wonder whether Edwards can convincingly endorse Obama at this point. I think the way back to Hillary's side is closed (and was never something Edwards wanted). However, I am not so sure that an Edwards endorsement after his attacks on Obama in the last couple of days will carry much weight. If he does plan to endorse, better to try and do so on the back of a half-decent showing in South Carolina, rather than a miserable beating in Nevada.
...For the longer term, it is true that people try and pick winners, but there is also a residual hardcore of the committed and true believers. They might still be enough to get Edwards a 8-10% share of the delegates overall, and if Clinton/Obama are within say 5-6% of each other, that still might make the difference. Sure, uncommitted voters won't go to bat for him - but if the "base" stays loyal, and is big enough, I think it would be premature to dismiss the kingmaking scenario at this point. Plus, he has conspicuously announced recently that he was in this all the way.

"because I think he is the only one saying things like, "when I am president, there will be no more torture."

No he isn't. Obama's had a line in his stump speech about rendition for quite a while.

Here it is:

"It's time for us to show the world that we are not a country that ships prisoners in the dead of night to be tortured in far off countries. That we are not a country that runs prisons which lock people away without ever telling them why they are there or what they are charged with. We are not a country which preaches compassion to others while we allow bodies to float down the streets of a major American city.

That is not who we are."

I don't know if he still uses that but it was in there for months.

Clinton may well say similar things (though not, I will bet you $20, on rendition, what with the whole awkward her-husband-started-it thing).

I stand corrected Katherine. I should have known better. Originally, I wasn't going to cite that; I was going to mention populist issues. Edwards was making the torture pledge on CNN just as I was typing the comment.

I'm disappointed Edwards is doing so poorly. Clinton is hated with unreasonable anger by all the Republicans, even otherwise reasonable people who would come out to vote to keep "that Clinton Bitch" out of office.

Meanwhile Obama, who started so promisingly, has been playing up all sorts of right wing bullshit talking points the last while. From the Republicans being "party of ideas" (all bad bad horrible unworkable and stupid ideas) in the 80s, to the attacks on universal health care, he's giving the Republicans gifts. (Leaving aside racism and the "secret Muslim!" lies that motivate a bunch of people)

I'd still rather have Obama than Clinton, but he's kinda dimmed his glow for me lately.

Well, I suppose one could argue that if HRC does get the nomination, the next GOP president will be forced to spend four years trying and failing to deal with the post-Bush mess. I can't imagine that voters will turn out for her in the south, and Democrats in the swing states have made their feelings pretty clear about her impact. Not a nice prospect, 4 more years of GOP in the White House, but, one could see it as the final inoculation for a whole generation. I simply hope that we shall survive relatively unscathed. Still, it would be nice not to see the Democrats pick the obvious loser - just for once.

Redstocking: Yeah, to me it didn't speak well of either Clinton or Edwards that they hopped on him for these rather innocuous comments about Reagan.

And:

Gregory Martin, a financial adviser in Reno, said the caller, who had a woman's voice, said she was calling to bring to his attention recent comments Obama had made "in support of the Republican Party and Bush's vision for America." The call also said Obama was in favor of storing nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain and was identified as coming from "friends of Hillary Clinton," Martin said.

Look, whether or not I might otherwise want HRC for President, I certainly don't want another person for President who has friends like this.

The Clintons have deep roots among those people who use the Democratic Party for their own personal advancement. Or, rather, these sorts of people are attracted to the Clintons, because the they do dole out favors in a way reminiscent of old-style political machines.

Shorter me: Clinton brings out the shadiest and most disreputable figures within the Democratic Party, because they see her as a meal ticket.

An interesting release from David Plouffe of the Obama campaign:

“We currently have reports of over 200 separate incidents of trouble at caucus sites, including doors being closed up to thirty minutes early, registration forms running out so people were turned away, and ID being requested and checked in a non-uniform fashion. This is in addition to the Clinton campaign’s efforts to confuse voters and call into question the at-large caucus sites which clearly had an affect on turnout at these locations. These kinds of Clinton campaign tactics were part of an entire week’s worth of false, divisive, attacks designed to mislead caucus-goers and discredit the caucus itself."

I honestly don't think people hate Hillary as much as many bloggers think they do. The more opportunities they have to see her, the more they can see she is isn't a she-devil.

nickzi: If that happens and if the Dems lose a big chunk of their elected officials in the swing states, then they deserve all consequences of their collective stupidity (for if it comes to pass, then I think I can safely say that HRC was a dumb, dumb pick for a nominee).

Hillary is really the ultimate machine candidate of the 21st century. Very few people seem passionate about her. Her support in certain communities is incredibly hard to explain. She just has suborganization after suborganization tilting for her.

Maybe it is time for the Democrats to realize that the party as presently configured is often going to yield bad, bad candidates.

I'm in California. California has a problem. California's very blue, with a big state bureaucracy that the Dem party is beholden to. As a consequence of this, we get incredibly ridiculous candidates for governor. People come out of the machine of California who've spent their political lives finessing the state labor unions and the Democratic Party. But all that finesse makes them woeful candidates once they come out of the party machine.

Case in point, they ran Cruz Bustamante against Arnold Schwarzenegger for Governor. Cruz, a man who later ran for insurance commissioner on the basis of his weight loss. I'm not fat anymore, vote for me. Gray Davis, touted for years as the master bureaucrat, was recalled.

I've heard this kind of thing as the explanation for why states dominated by one political party (in registration, in national election results) tend to do worse than expected in statewide elections.

It's important for all of us to remember that whenever we read or see a negative story about one of the candidates, it's almost certainly -- however much or little truth there is to it -- a story crafted and spun into present form by one of the candidate's opponents, and it's apt to be a fairly distorted account.

On Obama's mention of Reagan, I'll note Ezra's comments, which seem quite right to me. (See also his post above that one on Clinton on taxes.

I'm second to few in abhorring Reagan, but, folks, we're not going to get anywhere politically if our primary concern is that our candidates be ultra careful not to offend our points of political irritation. The way one wins is by reaching out to people who don't already think just like us.

Demanding that a candidate never try to coopt points and issues and language of the opposition is not a sane approach. The goal here is not to nominate a candidate who makes us feel terribly terribly right, and awesomely good about that. The goal is to win the election.

Saying that Bill Clinton was not a tranformational president, and that Americans like optimism, is both true and anodyne. I recommend keeping perspective, and not going nuts about every line and choice of language. (Hey, it's only nine and a half more months to go!)

...I have to say that for years I thought that the Clintons had suffered unfairly at the hands of the media. I believed that Bill was a womanizer, and quite an unpleasant one, but I felt that the impeachment was a ridiculous public attack on a private failing.
...I must say that, having now seen the Clintons in action, with the lies, race-baiting, distortions, vote-suppression etc., I would be very reluctant to see them in the White House again. I might be more generous if Hillary was running alone, but Bill's behavior just strikes me as crudely manipulative, aggressive and dishonest. Is that someone who ought to be anywhere near political power? Honestly, if Bill reminds me of anyone these days, it ain't Reagan, but Nixon.

BTD on Ezra's view. Summary: "simply balderdash".

rilkefan: actually, I completely disagree with BTD, speaking as someone who was there, and completely disliked Reagan.

He did shift the center. He did it by seeming much more genial than his policies actually were, and by inspiring people. Personally, his inspiring qualities were lost on me, but I can't see that it does me any good at all to deny that they had an impact on others. Reagan really did change the political landscape in a pretty serious way.

Also, I can't imagine where BTD gets the idea that Ezra thought Reagan had appeared magically out of thin air, without e.g. Goldwater's precedent, or that that's in any way necessary for Ezra's argument. Personally, while I have always liked BTD, I think he's gone slightly off the rails of late, at least when it comes to the Dem. primary.

Shorter me: Clinton brings out the shadiest and most disreputable figures within the Democratic Party, because they see her as a meal ticket.

Yup. I don't rabidly hate the Clintons, but I do find them pretty intensely distasteful, and their pandering to Democratically connected slimeballs is a big reason why.

I honestly don't think people hate Hillary as much as many bloggers think they do. The more opportunities they have to see her, the more they can see she is isn't a she-devil.

She-devil? No. Cynical, manipulative, power hungry machine politician, like 90% of them? Absolutely. And I say that as someone with a lot a of respect for her intelligence and command of the issues. The more I see of her in this campaign, though, the more it reminds me why I wouldn't vote for her for school board much less POTUS.

Demanding that a candidate never try to coopt points and issues and language of the opposition is not a sane approach.

Most definitely not. Isn't that exactly how Bush got elected in 2000? Like him or not, Reagan was a very popular President of whom a majority of American voters have fond memories. Appealing to that brand is a smart general election play. Reagan-bashing as red meat to fire up the base is not.

It looks to me like the Democrats would rather lose on their own terms than make meaningless rhetorical compromises to win.

Fascinating point for the evening: it seems that Obama may have gained more delegates than Clinton from Nevada - 13-12. How this works, I really do not know, but I am amused that victory seems to be effectively undeclarable at tis point.

It amazes me how so many people are getting worked up because Barack Obama said something reasonably nice about Ronald Reagan. Oh the horrors!!

Ronald Reagan had some terrible policies and, IMO, he distorted the entire political landscape. But he was an incredibly effective politician. The man got caught red handed violating numerous Ameircan laws, some of which were EXPLICITLY passed to prevent him from doing exactly what he did. And yet he managed to leave office with nary a single charge being levied directly at him.

Among Republicans he is a saint who singlehandedly defeated the Soviets and cleaned up our government. It doesn't matter to them that neither of these points are even close to true.

I see nothing in pointing out how effective he was. What the Democrats NEED is their own Reagan. We haven't had one since FDR, although JFK could have been one.

And the last part of the reaction to Nevada results by John Edwards:

"The race to the nomination is a marathon and not a sprint, and we’re committed to making sure the voices of all the voters in the remaining 47 states are heard. The nomination won’t be decided by win-loss records, but by delegates, and we’re ready to fight for every delegate. Saving the middle class is going to be an epic battle, and that’s a fight John Edwards is ready for".

No unkind sentiments here, but I really don't know about "the epic battle for middle class" as a slogan. Rhetorically, I am not convinced. I do however give myself a pat on the back for rejecting the "Edwards will bail out theory".

*executes small happy dance for first correct political prediction this century*

"Summary: 'simply balderdash'."

So far as I can see -- and I'm considerably familiar with the details of both Goldwater and Reagan's histories -- BTD's response is a non-sequitur.

Yes, Reagan was a key player in the creation of the Goldwater movement: so what? How exactly does that demonstrate that "harnessing the ideological forces of the moment to push the country in a new direction" is a bad thing? How, exactly, does it make homogenizing Reagan's political legacy and language a bad thing? Why would that make sanitizing and subtly reworking Reagan's legacy so it fits with a liberal worldview, rather than undermining it, something to avoid?

Call me pedantic, but I don't find "balderdash" a terribly convincing argument. Too many details, I suppose.

"Fascinating point for the evening: it seems that Obama may have gained more delegates than Clinton from Nevada - 13-12. How this works, I really do not know"

I don't know anything about the rules Nevada is working with, but I know how caucuses work in general, and simply put, delegates are elected by caucus, not by overall state-wide proportional representation, so it's perfectly easy for one candidate to get a plurality of overall votes, but still not win a majority or plurality of the caucuses, and thus the delegates.

That's not even getting into super-delegate rules.

May I suggest that BTD was triangulating between shock and horror?

Another interesting Nevada point, is that outside Las Vegas, Obama pretty much swept the state. Apparently we shall never now the actual number of voters per candidate - instead, we get county delegate totals. If all of this does result in Obama 13 Hillary 12, in real terms I would call that an Obama win, magnified by the 20-25 point apparent disparity between the two candidates a month ago. Could the big story awaiting us be that Obama has the real momentum, but that the Clinton machine is just hanging on? As for Edwards, it turns out that he got no union support, while Hillary had more union endorsements than Obama, and that the latter two seem to have split the union vote in the end. This would be another reason for Edwards to hang on for states where he may get more union backing (and perhaps that of the menaced middle class). Curioser and curioser, so to speak.

*blush* "know" not "now". My instant gratification syndrome got the better of me.

A preliminary count by district:

[...] District 1 Clinton 3, Obama 3

District 2 (Washoe) Clinton 1, Obama 2

District 2 (Rural) Clinton 0, Obama 1

District 2 (Clark) Clinton 1, Obama 1

District 3 (Clark) Clinton 2, Obama 2

At-Large Clinton 2, Obama 1

PLEO Clinton 3, Obama 3

Obama is right to trumpet this as a victory. Delegates are what matter most in getting the nomination, just as electoral votes are what matter in winning the general election, and not the popular vote. The popular vote, in both cases, is only useful as advertising, insofar as it supports winning delegates.

The person who walks out of the most states with the most delegates wins the race for the nomination. Obama won this one. (Narrowly.)

Chris Bowers at Open Left had a post aboutthe effect of Edwards on Obama's chances. Long story short: if Edwards drops out, Obama loses. For some reason most Edwards supporters pick Clinton as their second choice. The exception is Edwards bloggers--highh information Edwards supporters tent to pick Obam as second choice, but they are aminority amongst Edwards supporters.

I have no rational explanation for why Edwards supporters and pro-edwards sites like MyDD have engaged in so much anti-Obama nastiness. The nitpicking, carping, and sniping has been relentless, but it never seemed to dawn on anyone that by pulling Obama down they were pushing Clinton up. Now all thhey will get for all their petty paritisanship is a candidate they have actual, real reasons to dislike!

"Apparently we shall never now the actual number of voters per candidate - instead, we get county delegate totals."

Again, knowing nothing about Nevada's rules, but generally about caucuses, it doesn't really make sense to speak of "voters per candidate."

One could list the first ballot round votes, especially since some people leave after casting those, but the way a caucus works is that the first round gets counted, and then the votes of those candidates not making a minimum cut-off, or possibly the lowest vote-getter, or both, get cut off, and those voters then choose their second choice, and so on.

It's true that it's perfectly possible to track and publish those stats, but it's conceivable there might be objections to that on the basis of allegations it could lead towards the possibility of allowing people's individual votes being reconstructed and attributed. Regardless, it's complicated data to analyze, and nothing so simple as the one-round straightforwardness of a single primary ballot.

I just returned from the Nevada caucus in Reno (Washoe County). In my precinct, out of nearly 200 voters, about 100 voted for Obama, 63 for Hillary and 28 for Edwards, who missed viability by only one vote. On the second alignment, half the Edwards people voted for Obama, about a quarter for Hillary, and a quarter wouldn't cast a second ballot. All four precincts caucusing at my site went for Obama. Half the registered Democrats in our precinct showed up for the caucus--a big record. When they ran everything through the formulas, Obama got 5 delegates and Hillary 3.

Though I have not seen it reported or analyzed anywhere yet, I think it is important to point out that Obama won Washoe County, the second most populated county in Nevada, by nearly 10 points. And Washoe County is considerably more "white" than Clark County, where Las Vegas is. Obama, in fact, won most of Northern and rural Nevada, where there are relatively few minority voters in comparison to Las Vegas. Of course, the size of Las Vegas means that it really dominates statewide tallies. But it should be noted that Hillary's win was not universal through the state.

Frankly, the Hillary group at my precinct reminded me of a waiting room at the social security office. All silver hairs. It didn't look like there could have been but more than a handful that were under 55 years of age--and most of them looked to be grandchildren that had come along with grandparents. Obama, on the other hand, had people from all age groups, pretty evenly distributed, and seemed to include as many women as men. I can't recall, however, noticing any minority voters among the Obama supporters--all were white (this isn't a very ethnically diverse part of town).

In only say this to highlight my observation that Obama still has widespread support in some regions of this country where there are few minorities.

Though I also like Edwards, I agree with Publius that this might be a good time for him to get out and help stop the Hillary machine. It is my hope that Edwards could take a high profile position in an Obama administration--like Attorney General. We are now all praying for South Carolina....

Gary, I totally agree with you, but people are starting to talk about the popular vote, who actually won, comparing situations with Florida 2000 etc. That's why the real number of votes cast might have been of interest. For myself, I am more than happy to celebrate a delegate win for the Rebel Alliance.

This is the actual "party of ideas" quote in context, as I transcribed it:

And the Republican approach has, I think, played itself out. I think it's fair to say that the Republicans were the 'party of ideas' for a pretty long chunk of time there, for the last 10, 15 years, in the sense that they were challenging conventional wisdom. Now [as in 'nowadays'], you've heard it all before -- you look at the economic policies that are being debated among the [Republican] Presidential candidates, it's all... tax cuts. You know, we've done that. We've tried it. that's not really gonna solve, you know, our energy problem, for example.
If you actually watch the interview, it's pretty clear that he's just talking about perceptions of the GOP -- he says 'party of ideas' as if it's in quotes. In context, he's actually criticizing Reaganite voodoo economics. I don't think we'll be seeing that clip in attack ads anytime soon.

FWIW:

[...] Black voters made up 16 percent of Democratic Nevada caucus-goers — and roughly 80 percent of them voted for Obama, according to entrance polls. Clinton won support from 16 percent of black voters.

In Michigan's Democratic primary Tuesday — a contest that was rendered meaningless after party sanctions — roughly 70 percent of African-American voters did not cast their votes for Clinton, choosing the “uncommitted” option instead. According to CNN exit polls, those voters overwhelmingly favored Barack Obama, whose name did not appear on the ballot.

Had Obama’s name been on the Michigan ballot, CNN exit polls showed that he would have won an overwhelming 73 percent of the African-American vote, in contrast to 22 percent who say they would have voted for Clinton under those circumstances.

Variant:
[...] Two-thirds of caucus-goers were white and Clinton won then by 52 percent to 34 percent for Obama. Fifteen percent were black and Obama won 83 percent of them. A similar proportion were Hispanic and they went more than 2-to-1 for Clinton, although the survey could not cover nine at-large voting precincts at casinos on the Las Vegas strip — sites expected to include many Hispanics among culinary union workers.

Women comprised 59 percent of caucus-goers and they went 51-38 for Clinton, while men split pretty evenly between her and Obama. That was more like the results in the New Hampshire primary than the Iowa caucuses, which Obama won by narrowly defeating Clinton among women.

Black women — choosing between voting for a black man or a white woman — supported Obama as overwhelmingly as black men did.

Excluding the casino sites, three in 10 caucus-goers were union members and they split evenly between Clinton and Obama.

Clinton won 58 percent of Catholics, who were 27 percent of the electorate. She won 44 percent of more numerous Catholics in New Hampshire.

Clinton and Obama split most ideological groups, although Clinton won among those who called themselves very liberal. Obama had won that group in New Hampshire but came under attack from Clinton and John Edwards as the Nevada race ended over perceived complimentary comments he made about Ronald Reagan. Clinton also edged out Obama among voters who made up their minds Saturday, though fewer than one in 10 did so.

As he did in Iowa, Obama won nearly six in 10 caucus-goers under age 30 — but they made up only 13 percent of caucus-goers. Clinton dwarfed that advantage by winning 60 percent of voters over age 60, who were more than a third of the electorate.

Obama won independents by 14 points while Clinton won by 12 among Democrats, who were four out of five caucus-goers.

Half the caucus-goers said it was most important to them that a candidate can bring about needed change, and Obama won 60 percent of them. But Clinton prevailed by getting three in 10 "change" voters plus nearly nine of 10 of those whose top priority was the candidate's experience.

Edwards found no particularly strong support among any voter group as he ran a distant third. Because the Nevada Democratic caucuses used rules like Iowa's, with an initial viability stage followed by final delegate allocations, much of Edwards' support ultimately went to other candidates. Asked their second choice in the entrance poll, four in 10 of Edwards' supporters chose Obama while one-third chose Clinton.

Chew before swallowing.

http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2008/1/19/162953/644/790/439573

This is a story that should be read by everyone, in my humble opinion, before they decide on "How the West was won" to use Hillary's strikingly unfortunate phrase. Has no-one told her about genocide, ethnic cleansing, smallpox, land theft, racism and those other happy components of the acquisition of the western United States? It seems we can now add a whole new dimension: vote-rigging.

http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2008/1/19/162953/644/790/439573

Sorry, this is the correct link, en clair. Not sure why the magic formula chopped off the last part. Many apologies!

"It seems we can now add a whole new dimension: vote-rigging."

I'd like to point out that this is a single person's allegations.

It may be gospel truth, but, myself, I wouldn't even pass along, let alone cite as fact, the deeply reliable report of Some Guy On The Internet.

Others will argue the case for passing along every rumor of every single person in the country, and leaving it to the reader to evaluate them, while others will be more selective, and argue that their chosen rumor seems credible for X reasons, which is fine.

But it's still the allegations of one (count em, one) person, claiming to speak for a bunch of other unnamed people.

I prefer to wait for a tad more verification, myself.

Blargh. I had intended to vote for Edwards in the Ohio primary, but he'll almost certainly be out by then. I guess I'll vote for Obama, then.

'Personally, while I have always liked BTD, I think he's gone slightly off the rails of late, at least when it comes to the Dem. primary.'


At the moment, the posts at talkleft, openleft, taylor marsh etc, are reminding me of the type of nonsense that I would usually associate with a site like redstate. It appears that some of them are convinced -so they say - that Obama is the second coming of GWD.

I've been surpised at the lack of pushback against this in the Liberal Blogosphere.

This is a story that should be read by everyone, in my humble opinion, before they decide on "How the West was won" to use Hillary's strikingly unfortunate phrase.

Look, we fought them there so we wouldn't have to fight them here. Ceding control of the Pacific Ocean and its vital natural resources to our enemies was simply not an option. We must never forget the lessons of Fort Dearborn, Fort Mims, and the Dakota War.

How to link.

Working link.
"Not sure why the magic formula chopped off the last part."

Remarkably, HTML does not take action by itself. If you look at what you typed, via Page Source/View Source, you'll notice that you left out the closing quotation marks.

The report is detailed and precise, citing multiple other violations, and tallies with other reports coming in. It also goes out of its way to say that the tactics used might not have led to a Hillary win, as she probably did win enough authentic votes. This hardly seems like the work of a random nut, or a smear job. Earlier I cited another report, labelled as by David Plouffe, claiming 200 documented cases of violation. To me, that seems worth attention, and I think your scepticism, Gary, ought to be supported by something more than your personal intuition. As for the idea that this may be "some guy on the internet", I would suggest you offer reasons from the report itself for making such a suggestion. I have hardly passed along "every rumor of every single person" here, and I think that to implicitly raise the possibility is unfair. In any case, I hope people will read the document and decide on the basis of that document.

Gary: Obama's campaign manager is also claiming 200+ reports of voting irregularities -- that doesn't prove anything, but the claim isn't totally uncorroborated, either. Given the way this has shaped up, I imagine we'll be hearing more about it from both sides soon.

It may also be worth noting that the diary writer is apparently a well-known kossack and considered reliable (according to the comments -- I wouldn't know). Personally, I think it scans, but I'm admittedly biased.

Regardless, I think you treat it as you would any first-hand report -- it's not like you can ask the guy to do anything but account for what he saw, and you certainly wouldn't want him to say nothing, so I think you just read it and take it with a grain of salt. Seems pretty straightforward.

nickzi,

I'm a fan of Sen. Obama and would like to believe these allegations. I would advise caution, though.

How would Obama voters treat these allegations if they were coming from the Hillary camp?

"To me, that seems worth attention, and I think your scepticism, Gary, ought to be supported by something more than your personal intuition."

I'm content to support my skepticism with skepticism.

I'm content to support my skepticism with the principle that I don't believe something until I've confirmed it personally through multiple sources I consider reliable.

If in five minutes, or five days, several reliable sources confirm the allegations, spiffy. I haven't lost anything.

"I have hardly passed along 'every rumor of every single person' here,"

Indeed. That wouldn't be possible. You passed along one of the innumerable rumors and allegations out there, because you ran into this one, and it strikes you as plausible; cross-checking it against all the other allegations and rumors out there isn't something you could possibly do. That was my point.

But I'm not interfering with you passing along the allegations. Neither am I instructing you on how to be skeptical (but thanks for the tips). I'm simply saying that an allegation isn't a fact, and there's no need to act otherwise. If something is true, there will be confirmation. If you want to argue that we must believe allegations, without waiting for confirmation, well, okay.

"so I think you just read it and take it with a grain of salt. Seems pretty straightforward."

Indeed. Nickzi is objecting to the "grain of salt" part. We mustn't be skeptical!

I have to say that I kinda like "I think your scepticism, Gary, ought to be supported by something more than your personal intuition."

Not words I'm planning on asking to have inscribed on my grave.

How would Obama voters treat these allegations if they were coming from the Hillary camp?

--I know you were addressing nickzi :) but if I can interject one last thing: Bill Clinton did just make some intimidation allegations, and I think the reaction was the same -- skepticism.

It didn't seem to me that either camp crowed about it much (though my impression is that it did affect the backlash within the culinary union), though Bill's anecdote seemed a bit thin compared to the DK diary and the specific allegations by Plouffe. I think it's fair to say that neither side has been jumping the gun, though.

Frankly, this sort of thing seems par for the course at this point. My gut feeling is that the Clinton supporters are being a bit more aggressive than Obama's, though I also get the impression from the reports that the Obama people are simply more green than Clinton's, and have been caught flatfooted at times. Obama has also been more adamant about keeping things above-board, which is in line with his overall message, but also might just be a tactical move -- Obama's supporters are less disciplined and more likely to commit gaffes, and the Clinton campaign has been very quick to exploit any missteps, so it makes sense for Obama to play it safe.

At this point, I'm not convinced that anything notably 'dirty' has happened, and certainly not as part of an intentional strategy (with the exception of the lawsuit over the Strip at-large precincts, which left a bad taste in my mouth). The campaigns are simply playing to their strengths -- the Clinton campaign is leveraging a more seasoned ground organization, and the Obama campaign is trying to turn their less aggressive tactics into a net plus and to keep the Clinton campaign honest by recounting some of the more egregious behavior. I don't think it has to be much more complicated than that -- in fact, both tactics seem reflective of each candidates' overall approach, so if anything it's just a natural way for them to differentiate themselves.

Oh, and one last though about Edwards dropping out -- Edwards affords Obama a major advantage by remaining in the race, because he's able to be much more aggressive than Obama, which becomes more important if Bill continues to play bad cop like he has been over the last few weeks.

Also, in the debates Edwards can keep the discussions broad and draw attention to what's not being said, which I think tends to work in Obama's favor.

Forgive me for suggesting that something seemed the case, only to have this represented as a statement of absolute belief, The report SEEMED convincing to me, and it SEEMED worth posting. However, since posting it attracted a degree of sarcasm and rather distorted reasoning, I think that this particular discussion club has lost its charm. I don't mind an honest disagreement, but I don't think this level of discussion benefits anyone in the end. I've enjoyed much of my brief time here, but I don't feel interested in dealing with such thinly veiled unpleasantness and distorted argument about an honest attempt to contribute to the discussion.

Do you think that the MSM will follow up on Pres. Clinton's allegations? Should they?

I'm an Obama partisan, and realise that I'm for from objective. Nevertheless, I'm beginning to think that [some] Republicans had a point wrt the Clintons.

nickzi, if you want to stomp off in a huff because I suggested skepticism about a single source report, you took offense, and I defended skepticism in such a matter, no one can stop you. I think you've had a bunch of thoughtful, interesting, things to say, and I hope you'll stick around, but if so, you'd better be prepared for the experience of a lot less productive, and more irritating, exchanges than something as glancing as that happening from time to time.

Wait until someone is simply being nothing but abusive, or entirely obtuse.

Or, best of all, both at once.

nickzi: don't go. (I mean, obviously it's your choice, but we'd miss your comments.) Gary is a fairly precise person. I can't speak for him in this instance, what with not being him and all, but in general he doesn't mean it in a hostile or mean-spirited way; he just notices things and points them out.

I agree with Publius that this might be a good time for him to get out and help stop the Hillary machine. It is my hope that Edwards could take a high profile position in an Obama administration--like Attorney General. We are now all praying for South Carolina....

The problem is, won't Edwards' voters at best split between Obama and Hillary? I imagine the upper-middle college-educated set who like him because of his progressive bona fides would go to Obama, but the economically downscale white voters who form the other part of his coalition seem much more likely to back Clinton. I suppose if Edwards endorsed Obama it could make a difference, but I think him staying in the race to be the one who roughs up Hillary is a bigger service at this point.

Another interesting Nevada point, is that outside Las Vegas, Obama pretty much swept the state.

Very interesting. Given the exit poll data I've seen (Hillary with her typical advantage among older voters, Latinos going for her at >80% rates) it would seem the evidence says it's not whites who won't vote for the black candidate, but old people and Latinos.

nickzi: I think you are right. The real story here is that once they start campaigning, Clinton just loses steam to Obama. Everywhere, the trend is the same. But because of the compressed schedule, even though HRC's support is on the decline and Obama's is rising, there just isn't enough time for him to overtake her.

Here is a snapshot of Nevada polls, showing what I mean.

Sadly, though, when she wins, the storyline is not that she barely was able to hang on, but rather that she is consolidating her support. Blame the media if you would like.

Now, I have this feeling that the trendline on Clinton's support could sag all the way to November. She might be a lame candidate by the time the convention rolls around. She might be limping by March, even as she locks up the nomination.

She's just not a good campaigner. Her machine has locked up a lot of support and endorsements, but she doesn't fare well outside these circles. And -- contrary to what the Clintons say which for some reason others have repeated and believed -- she is not resilient to attacks. Even on this blog, you'll see that people's enthusiasm for her has waned significantly over the last two months. It might be bias. It might be psychological. Who knows? Whatever it is, she is easy to wound. Attacks stick to her.

It's like the Clintons made a deal with the devil, and all of Bill's magical imperviousness to criticism has come at the expense of his wife, to whom it all sticks like glue.

Presumably everyone has noticed that McCain's won South Carolina.

Pretending he was being slandered like he was in 2000 seems to have paid off.

It's probably time for everyone to look forward to seeing Fred Thompson on Law and Order again.

It's probably time for everyone to look forward to seeing Fred Thompson on Law and Order again.

Can't say I'm sorry about this development. Thompson's candidacy has always seemed kind of a vanity project to me. As if some of his friends said "hey, you've played a President on TV, you could do this thing!" and he thought "yeah, why not?" and then realized that doing the job for real would require, you know, actual WORK. Only candidates willing to take the work of governing seriously, please. Particularly after GWB.

Only candidates willing to take the work of governing seriously, please. Particularly after GWB.

I'd consider Romney more seriously if they would open-source his code.

"I'd consider Romney more seriously if they would open-source his code."

I figure he runs on Windows. Macs are too crunchy-granola, and Linux is for, like, communists or something, isn't it?

Mitt knows that big business unleashed produces the best results. Ergo, he runs on Windows.

I figure he runs on Windows. Macs are too crunchy-granola, and Linux is for, like, communists or something, isn't it?

I question that. Macs are very smooth and shiny, much like Mitt. And he definitely has that upper-crust, polished industrial-design sensibility about him.

We've also never seen him crash, to the best of my knowledge, which suggests a stable OS. Were he running Windows, I'd think he'd have accumulated some spyware cruft by now -- you know, everyone once in a while he'd yell "SEE H0T CH1CK5 HERE," ask everyone in the crowd if they'd like a bigger pen1s, and then claim to be Nigerian royalty.

But I might have just missed it -- I could see how that sort of thing might have slipped under the radar at some of the GOP debates so far.

I could cite Digby and Drum against the Ezra interpretation, but whatever.


"Pretending he was being slandered like he was in 2000 seems to have paid off."

Experimenting on unborn children isn't a slander?

"Experimenting on unborn children isn't a slander?"

Does citing a single -- or two, or four -- slander(s) demonstrate that "he was being slandered like he was in 2000"?

You tell me.

'Does citing a single -- or two, or four -- slander(s) demonstrate that "he was being slandered like he was in 2000"?'

Or a million? Kinda, yeah. And given the quality of the slanders, unquestionably.

Rilkefan, are you -- I want to be clear -- claiming that John McCain was, in fact, slandered with equal intensity in South Carolina in recent months to that which occurred in 2000? And that McCain was far more slandered in South Carolina this year than in other states and than the other Republicans were?

are you -- I want to be clear -- claiming that John McCain was, in fact, slandered with equal intensity in South Carolina in recent months to that which occurred in 2000?

What slander? McCain was just ahead of the curve on the illegitimate-black-child issue. Strom Thurmond brought it into the mainstream. McCain's just forward-thinking, that's all.

'Does citing a single -- or two, or four -- slander(s) demonstrate that "he was being slandered like he was in 2000"?'

I guess it all depends on what 'like' is like, doesn't it? To be sure, the original user of the phrase is entitled to mean by it what he meant by it, and to explain that; but others aren't obliged to attach the same meaning to the words.

Perhaps "slandered in way that, though analogous, is not identical, to" would clear up all the ambiguities and leave us once more bathed in sweetness and light?

Less forceful, though, I admit.

There may even be a pattern here.

Anytime someone talks for more than a few minutes you can pull quotes out of context and make someone appear to be saying something they clearly aren't. I like people who occasionally appear to be thinking, not just pandering and lying to me.

Hilzoy said: "[Reagan] did shift the center. He did it by seeming much more genial than his policies actually were, and by inspiring people. Personally, his inspiring qualities were lost on me, but I can't see that it does me any good at all to deny that they had an impact on others. Reagan really did change the political landscape in a pretty serious way."

Obama's observation about Reagan reminds me of a stage magician who believes that the most effective presentation of his illusions would be to explain how they are produced beforehand.

Since dem voters/caucusesees so far - the people who brought us the quintessential modern dem. candidate, John Kerry - have, in their terribly finite wisdom, decided, with typical backwards logic, that since Edwards wouldn't win they oughtn't vote for him, and that, besides, there is room for only 2 (or one and a half) candidates, I'd say it doesn't matter that much, from Edwards' personal POV, what he does now. He's not going to be a 'kingmaker' no matter what. I think Bowers makes a pretty good case that JE staying in helps Obama, so if that's true, he ought to stay in. But I don't think he will be much of an electoral factor either way for very long.

I'd say nobody deserves the ridiculous politics we have in this country, but in this particular cycle, Democrats deserve every bit of what we'll probably get: HRC vs McCain, and a fairly close election, with HRC being pulled to the right throughout, and winning, then governing - probably for one term - as the mediocrity that she is. Yes, Democrats are Real Americans after all: perpetually horrified by excellence (and by 'excellence' I mean both Edwards and Obama, but particularly JE's campaign this time).

The last comment is as depressing to me as NE not losing a game.

Tons of people in November trying to convince me how great I should feel incl. Thom Hartman arguing any candidate will be fine with him, incl. someone who furthers a bunch of things he spends his days railing against.

Drink, anyone?

I'm an Edwards supporter and I don't want him to endorse either of those two. I'm so damn irritated that the media has played an outsized role in determining the candidates for President; not the people.

I'm going to have to hold my nose and vote for either Clinton or Obama. Obama has truly lost my support with all of this holier than thou Kumbaya stuff. Sorry, I don't buy it. Republicans who cared about the Republic have been defeated long ago. Not going to happen. And it isn't that he said something nice about Reagan...it is just that he has spent a lot of time using Republican talking points against his opponents ("trial lawyer," he called Edwards) ("Social Security crisis..." against Clinton). Unfortunately, to me, he reminds me of Joe Lieberman.

And Hillary has done nothing to gain my support. I don't know what she is passionate about with the exception of her great ambition. All of her earlier work with the Children's Defense Fund seemed to go up in smoke with Bill's welfare "reform" act. And don't get me started on how they treated their friend Lani Guinier. These acts are what I think of when she mentions "experience."

I'm only voting in November because I promised myself that as long as people are dying for the right to vote, I will vote.

But it will not be a vote of choice, passion, or happiness. If this is the best the Democrats can do, we need help.

If you thought that 2007 with the Democratic Party's majority in Congress was a right waste of time - just think of it as the preview.

I'm going to have to hold my nose and vote for either Clinton or Obama. Obama has truly lost my support with all of this holier than thou Kumbaya stuff. Sorry, I don't buy it. Republicans who cared about the Republic have been defeated long ago. Not going to happen. And it isn't that he said something nice about Reagan...it is just that he has spent a lot of time using Republican talking points against his opponents ("trial lawyer," he called Edwards) ("Social Security crisis..." against Clinton). Unfortunately, to me, he reminds me of Joe Lieberman.

Well, of you feel that way, you need to vote you conscience.

But I can't think of any two Democrats, based on their record, who are more far apart than Obama and Lieberman.

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