« Kristof On McCain | Main | McCain Sells Birthright For Mess Of Pottage »

February 18, 2008


"What doesn’t make a lot of sense about this article is that the Clintons should be very familiar with Texas. Bill led McGovern’s campaign in Texas in ’72"

The current national system was revamped in 1980, and has been tweaked time and time again. I'm quite sure that the 1972 Texas presidential electoral system was significantly different from what it is today, from what I remember. The affirmative action rules didn't exist then, for example.

For an example of a Texas electoral change, in 1972 local candidates had to pay s high as $8,900 to get on the ballot. I could be wrong, but I don't think that's a current requirement.

Thanks, Gary, for the info on the Pennsylvania registration deadline. (I already had too many windows open to start searching on a new topic.)

That deadline isn't so different from Virginia's. But I wonder if there might be a longer lead time for people already registered I, R, or NP to change their party preference? Pennsylvanians? (Or Gary, if you feel like searching? I have to be at a meeting at 7:00.)

"But I wonder if there might be a longer lead time for people already registered I, R, or NP to change their party preference? Pennsylvanians?"

I don't see how that would be legally compatible with the language of the voter registration document I cited.

This seems quite explicit to me. When you get your Voter Registration Card, you're certified as a registered voter, including any party registration checked. You get it when you submit the form 30 days before, etc.

Why do I support Obama?

For many reasons, but I'll pick one.

I don't believe The United States of America is a Banana Republic that should be trading the Presidency of the United States between TWO FAMILIES.

I think that's a good enough reason.

Check this out. Molly Ivins endorses from the other side....
Sorry. You will have to cut and paste, for I don't know how to do a link.

Whoops. I should have read a bit further before posting. I see that Deborah has beaten me to this reading recommendation.

Where have I seen such lack of forethought before?

This is just like Napolean reaching for all the Russias, and then "learning" that it snows.

Clinton is no general if she doesn't understand that the lay of the land, the weather, and the boots on the ground all affect the campaign, and I would not want her as Commander-in-Chief where lives were at stake. She's never admitted to guilt in the Iraq fiasco, either. She simply assumed that she'd be the anointed empress by now and that everyone would be cowed by her inevitability. Belief only works inside one's own mind, not upon reality.

Obama seems to have the knack for picking people who can go in, fight, and deliver results. He is organized.

He doesn't make sorry excuses, either.

How to link.

by the way, people that subscribe to this fantasy that this is a plot to depress expectations confuse me.

you depress expectations by citing to some external variable - like demography - that you can't control. you don't depress them by saying "gee we fucked up a coupla weeks ago so we anticipate losing the state."

"He doesn't make sorry excuses, either."

Right on. He didn't raise a fuss after the Alabama primary, where Clinton lost the popular vote but received the majority of the delegates.

Whoops, I take back the comment about the Alabama results. Obama got the majority. That'll teach me not to fact check BEFORE I POST.

Hillary's campaign, based on a coronation/inevitability theme, was built to come to a climax and victory on Super Tuesday. It really has been better suited to running under Republican, winner-take-all rules.

Now, one of the firewalls proves to be anything but. In fact, there is no Texas primary at all--so disregard anything that you see on CNN, MSNBC et. al. from TX on 3/4. The statewide vote is purely a beauty contest. Delegates come in the caucus or by apportionment in the 31 state Senate districts.

FWIW, the Obama precinct captain training session in Collin County (north of Dallas, heavily Republican area) drew 435 people on Sunday night.

Your response would be an amusing response if it were amusing, but it's not so much.

If my accusation of plagiarism was so horrible, then why did Hillary plagiarize it? Hmm? This looks to me like some serious inauthenticitude. (R)(C)(TM)

"Obama's really confusing my cynicism, too - it's just not used to being challenged for so long.

Posted by: cleek | February 18, 2008 at 12:20 PM"

Me too. I feel like I'm losing my snarky, cynical, pomo hipster cred.

Someone who already learned his lesson

Herald & Review (Decatur, IL)

February 17, 2008
Section: News
Page: B1

Hynes sees déjà vu in primary

Illinois Comptroller Dan Hynes was one of the earliest backers of U.S. Sen. Barack Obama's presidential bid. But Hynes told the Herald & Review editorial board last week he has some sympathy for U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton of New York as the former first lady has started to fall behind Obama in the Democratic presidential primary sweepstakes.

"It's the phenomenon that I faced when he and I ran against each other," Hynes said.

Hynes was one of six Democrats who opposed Obama in Illinois' 2004 U.S. Senate primary. He came in a distant second place, despite starting with greater name recognition and institutional support than Obama.

"When people get to know him, they get to hear him, they get to see him, they're swept away - and it's not artificial by any means," Hynes said. "It's real, and it's warranted, but it takes that exposure."

Hynes said he had a bit of a "deja vu" feeling watching Obama pick up steam in recent contests as he's won eight in a row, many by large margins.

"I think the Clintons are baffled by it, to be quite honest," he said. "I don?t think they know what to do. They've changed their slogans 15 times. They've changed their strategy. Now, they're changing their staff."

The comptroller said he thinks the Clintons eventually will have to acknowledge the same thing he had to acknowledge following his primary loss to Obama when a reporter asked him what went wrong in his campaign.

"I said it had nothing to do with what I did or what I didn't do," Hynes said. "It was just the phenomenon of Barack Obama."

Just when you think they can't go any lower:

Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign intends to go after delegates whom Barack Obama has already won in the caucuses and primaries if she needs them to win the nomination.

I really hope Politico got something wrong here, but it's certainly troubling, especially with the earlier reports from Clinton supporters being chosen as delegates even when their precincts went overwhelmingly for Obama.

One commenter at TPM compared this to a candidate in the general saying that their strategy was to go after the other candidate's electors, seeing what they could offer them to switch their votes in the Electoral College.

Obama needs to keep winning, and winning big, to make all these slimy machinations irrelevant before they get started. And it wouldn't hurt to have a few more superdelegates step up for him.

KCinDC: reading charitably, I think the Politico headline could be misleading. The quote they seem to be relying on is:

"“I swear it is not happening now, but as we get closer to the convention, if it is a stalemate, everybody will be going after everybody’s delegates,” a senior Clinton official told me Monday afternoon. “All the rules will be going out the window.”

That could be a prediction that everyone will behave badly, and everything will be ugly. Of course, since this is a Clinton official with (I assume) not a lot of inside info about the planning of the Obama camp, a prediction that "everything" will get ugly, here, is mostly a prediction about how the Clinton camp will act. But still.

Via Matt, another bit of incompetence:

"Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign failed to file a full slate of convention delegate candidates for Pennsylvania's April 22 primary.

This despite the possibility the primary proves critical and despite Clinton owning the full-throated support of Gov. Rendell, state Democratic Party leadership, Mayor Nutter and, presumably, the organizational skill all that entails.

And despite a Rendell-ordered extension of the filing deadline that could be viewed as more than just coincidental."

Apparently, they're short 10-11% of their potential PA delegates. How big a deal this is, I suspect, depends on how the missing delegates are distributed. If it's never more than one per CD, then it only means trouble if the Clinton campaign racks up wins big enough that they would take all the delegates from some CD. If, on the other hand, they clump in one area or another, it could mean that they just don't have the delegates they need. But it's another unforced error.

Anyone know what time the polls close in WI tonight?

9pm ET.

Thanks hilzoy, my google skills were failing me yesterday when I tried to find out.

Fwiw: Clinton spokesperson denies any intention of going after Obama's pledged delegates.

Their statement said: "It's now time for the Obama campaign to be clear about their intentions." I'm sure they will, since as far as I can tell, no one had thought this was an option until Clinton people were talking about pursuing it.

-- Oh, update: now they have: ""We would absolutely not use these sorts of tactics. Senator Obama is focused on winning contests and earning the support of pledged delegates."" (Same TPM Election Central link; it just got updated.)

a little more about Hillary's unseated delegate thing (from the linked-article):

    But Clinton's faux pas is more of an image problem than a practical one.

    Under Democratic Party rules (and does any organization on the planet have more rules or more complex rules?) a presidential candidate winning in a congressional district gets delegates from that district (assigned at a later date) whether he or she files slates delegates or not.

so, sounds like it's not a big deal.

It is Politico, so I'm quite willing to believe that they got the story wrong, but it's shameless for the Clinton campaign to be turning the accusation on Obama now. What's next? "It's now time for the Obama campaign to be clear about whether they intend to firebomb the hotel rooms of Clinton-voting delegates"?

hilzoy: That could be a prediction that everyone will behave badly, and everything will be ugly. Of course, since this is a Clinton official with (I assume) not a lot of inside info about the planning of the Obama camp, a prediction that "everything" will get ugly, here, is mostly a prediction about how the Clinton camp will act.

I’m not saying this is wrong, and I’m not in a position to pass judgment on rules that Democrats came up with for their own primary (other than saying I find them in sum to be pretty whacked).

But at least in terms of super delegates, Obama is going after them.

You can sweet talk them into changing their mind before their state has even voted.

Or just buy them off.

Now I don’t believe this is the same thing as going after regular pledged delegates after a state has been decided. But at least with the superdelegates, apparently anything goes.

This tidbit is pretty eye-opening:
Though it might seem undemocratic to allow elected officials who have received money from the candidates to have such power in picking their party's nominee, the process was not meant to be democratic, Arizona State's Herrera said. "If anything, it was meant to take it out of the democratic process. In 1982 [the party] said they needed to have some professionals making decisions here to blunt the potential effects of what they perceived as amateur delegates making decisions—those who vote with their heart and not their head."

Wow. (h/t Patterico)

Well, yeah: that was explicitly declares as the motivation for the superdelegates when they were first introduced. I have no problem with the theory of that, btw; I just have a problem with the way they're executed and (more importantly to me) the sheer number of them.

Thanks again, Gary. A Pennsylvania activist confirms the info.

I'd wondered because of what seems like a deafening silence about registration and affiliation-adjustment on the part of Pennsylvania-based blogs. But I've not been immersed in primary-blog-reading, so may have missed it.

The main source of my enthusiasm, such as it is, for the Obama candidacy is the potential for party expansion and the impact on down-ticket races in this and future elections. A drive to register and re-affiliate supporters in Pennsylvania between now and March 24 would have immediate benefits for the Obama campaign and long-term benefits for the whole party.

There's also education to be done about who voters will actually be voting for, and it's nice to see Atrios doing some of it.

Can't help being a field wonk; old habits die hard.

Guess you weren't watching the 1972 Democratic convention live, eh, OCSteve? McGovern's acceptance speech took place, if I'm remembering correctly, after 1:00 in the morning.

The actual thrashing-out of political battles during a convention, and the way it interfered with the choreographed TV spectacle, deeply frightened the pols.

Those of us watching closely then absorbed many lessons. No convention will ever be as revealing, which is how the pros like it.

Anarch: I have no problem with the theory of that, btw

I’m not sure of the reason for the primary season then. To let the “amateurs” feel like they have a say in the process? But then the professionals will straighten things out in the end?

Anyway – your rules and welcome to them. Pass the popcorn. ;)

OCSteve: Superdelegates are unpledged, and I think going after them is completely fair. I also think that were I a superdelegate, I would not collude in blocking the pledged delegate result in this particular election, but that's just me.

Pledged delegates are different. They are supposed to reflect the outcomes of primaries and caucuses. To me, it's like trying to win a Presidential election by trying to convince members of the electoral college to switch.

That said, I don't think that it's clear, from the story, that the Clinton campaign actually planned to do this.

Guess you weren't watching the 1972 Democratic convention live

It would be a few years yet before I paid the slightest attention to politics. ;)

I’m not sure of the reason for the primary season then. To let the “amateurs” feel like they have a say in the process?

Ding! Ding! Ding!

I'll just note that many, many aspects of the system of legalized bribery that permeates our electoral and legislative process have this as their objective. All citizens are fleeced, not only grassroots Democrats.

Winner-take-all primaries are far more blatant a method of squashing intra-party insurgency than the superdelegate system, especially considering that half the superdels are elected officials with some incentive to follow their state or district's primary preference.

OCSteve, your "buy them off" link is a rather strange way of spinning things. Back in 2005, when Obama was directing money to congressional candidates (not thought of as 2008 superdelegates at the time), we called it "helping to elect more Democrats to Congress", and people were unhappy that Clinton wasn't spending more of her own war chest (unnecessarily large for a Senate campaign that wasn't going to be much of a fight) to do the same. Now people are calling it bribing the superdelegates and complaining that Obama is better at it than Clinton.

I’m not sure of the reason for the primary season then. To let the “amateurs” feel like they have a say in the process? But then the professionals will straighten things out in the end?

The idea is that were the "amateurs" to nominate someone like, e.g., Kucinich -- who has zero chance of winning the general election -- that the professionals could step in and say "Uh, no". But they should only be an extremal check; anyone who's vaguely electable should be given a fair shake at the general election.

And what Nell said about winner-take-all, btw.

"Pledged delegates are different. They are supposed to reflect the outcomes of primaries and caucuses."

Yes and no. Yes, they're supposed to. But there's no rule that says they have to. Trying to get pledged delegates to switch on a second ballot has been done innumerable times, and is utterly legitimate. Trying to get pledged delegates to switch on the first ballot doesn't tend to work too often, save under extremely unusual circumstances, but again, there's no rule against it, and it always happens to some mild degree; I've never heard of a campaign rejecting a delegate willing to flip at any stage.

Trying to flip pledged delegates before the convention is unusual, so far as I know -- though I may easily be unaware of some examples -- but, again, so far as I know there's no rule against it. The main downside is simply bad publicity, and that it would have some appearance of underhandedness about it to some people, probably wouldn't get very far, and probably isn't worth the bad publicity compared to what slim results you'd be apt to get, in advance of the convention -- so waiting until the actual convention before trying too hard would seem to make the most sense, but I don't see that it's actually unethical.

If there were a rule against it, that would be entirely different, of course. But the fact that most people are ignorant of the fact that there is no such rule, and never has been, doesn't make a non-existent rule suddenly appear, even if some people think there should be such a rule. If they want such a rule, they should agitate to create one. Meanwhile, there never has been such a rule.

In practice, it's not something that seems to me to be worth spending much time or energy on, but if others hold different views, I certainly have no objection to their taking action.

"and people were unhappy that Clinton wasn't spending more of her own war chest..."

That's a good point KC, and deserves to be remembered. The way I was thinking about it at the time is that it could only be a net positive for Clinton to commit a significant portion of her war chest, not just to shore up congressional challengers, but maybe give her some cred with people like myself who weren't enthralled by the thought of her presidential candidacy. Plus, I imagine it would have been remembered when seeking funds from otherwise cold donors. OTOH, she might not have been able to afford Mark Penn lo these many years, and might now be the frontrunner walking away with it.

Does the money being raised to elect more Democrats to Congress by John Kerry and Barbara Boxer and Wes Clark and John Edwards and Mark Warner and Russ Feingold and innumerable other high-profile politicians through their PACs count as "bribing superdelegates" now, or is it still okay for them to help build the Democrats' congressional majority? Does it retroactively become bribery if one of them announces they're running for president in 2012?

"Does it retroactively become bribery if one of them announces they're running for president in 2012?"

I'm just glad that John McCain would never form a PAC and donate to politicians. It's a huge secret that he and just about every politician in Congress does this, of course. That's why no one knows about it.

Straight Talk America: Expenditures
Total records: 2527
Records are displayed 50 at a time.
Sort by:

Recipient Amount Date Description
11th Congressional Dist Republican Cmte, Novi, MI $5,000 4/24/2006 Cand/Cmte Contributions-NonFed
12th Congressional Dist Republican Cmte, St. Clair $5,000 4/24/2006 Cand/Cmte Contributions-NonFed
13th District Republican Committee, Detroit, MI $1,000 4/24/2006 Cand/Cmte Contributions-NonFed
14th Congressional Dist Republican Cmte, Grosse Il $1,000 4/24/2006 Cand/Cmte Contributions-NonFed
15th Congressional Dist Republican Cmte, Bellevill $1,000 4/24/2006 Cand/Cmte Contributions-NonFed
1st Congressional District Republican Cmt, Chassel $1,000 4/24/2006 Cand/Cmte Contributions-NonFed
1st Congressional District Republican Cmte, Chasse $2,849 8/10/2006 In Kind Contribution Airfare
21 Club, New York, NY $2,569 11/16/2005 Meeting Expense - Meals
2nd District Congressional Cmte of MI, Manistee, M $5,000 4/24/2006 Cand/Cmte Contributions-NonFed
4th Congressional District Republican Cmt, Midland $1,000 4/24/2006 Cand/Cmte Contributions-NonFed
6th District Republican Committee, Three Rivers, M $1,000 4/24/2006 Cand/Cmte Contributions-NonFed
701 Restaurant, Washington, DC $575 10/17/2005 Meeeting Expense - Meals
7th Congressional District Republican Cmt, Ottawa $1,000 4/24/2006 Cand/Cmte Contributions-NonFed

Etc., etc.

Or candidates donated to:

Straight Talk America
PAC Contributions to Federal Candidates
2006 Cycle
House Candidate Total Contribs
Bachus, Spencer (R-AL) $5,000
Barrett, Gresham (R-SC) $1,000
Bass, Charles (R-NH) $6,441
Bilbray, Brian P (R-CA) $5,000
Blasdel, Chuck (R-OH) $5,000
Bonilla, Henry (R-TX) $2,000
Bono, Mary (R-CA) $1,028
Bradley, Jeb (R-NH) $2,500
Brown, Henry (R-SC) $1,000
Cannon, Chris (R-UT) $5,000
Castle, Michael N (R-DE) $3,900
Chabot, Steve (R-OH) $1,358
Chocola, Chris (R-IN) $3,856
Conaway, Mike (R-TX) $2,500
Crenshaw, Ander (R-FL) $2,500
Davis, Geoff (R-KY) $2,500
Davis, Tom (R-VA) $5,000
Diaz-Balart, Lincoln (R-FL) $544
Diaz-Balart, Mario (R-FL) $544
Feeney, Tom (R-FL) $2,500
Fitzpatrick, Michael G (R-PA) $4,916
Flake, Jeff (R-AZ) $5,000
Gard, John (R-WI) $9,664
Gerlach, Jim (R-PA) $7,363
Gutknecht, Gil (R-MN) $4,821
Inglis, Bob (R-SC) $5,000
Johnson, Nancy L (R-CT) $2,893
Kelly, Sue (R-NY) $2,284
Kirk, Mark (R-IL) $5,000
Kline, John (R-MN) $5,000
Lamberti, Jeffrey (R-IA) $7,993
Latham, Tom (R-IA) $5,000
Lungren, Dan (R-CA) $2,111
McCaul, Michael (R-TX) $2,500
McSweeney, David (R-IL) $6,548
Miller, Candice S (R-MI) $5,000
Moran, Jerry (R-KS) $5,000
Norman, Ralph (R-SC) $5,000
Pickering, Charles "Chip" Jr (R-MS) $5,000
Porter, Jon (R-NV) $2,500
Putnam, Adam H (R-FL) $5,000
Renzi, Rick (R-AZ) $5,000
Reynolds, Tom (R-NY) $5,000
Roskam, Peter (R-IL) $4,574
Roulstone, Douglas Robert (R-WA) $5,000
Schwarz, Joe (R-MI) $5,000
Shadegg, John (R-AZ) $5,000
Shays, Christopher (R-CT) $4,004
Shimkus, John M (R-IL) $5,000
Simmons, Rob (R-CT) $4,004
Sodrel, Michael E (R-IN) $2,500
Sweeney, John E (R-NY) $3,524
Upton, Fred (R-MI) $5,000
Wakim, Chris (R-WV) $5,000
Walberg, Tim (R-MI) $5,000
Weldon, Curt (R-PA) $6,228
Whalen, Mike (R-IA) $4,995
Wilson, Heather A (R-NM) $7,500
Zubairi, Daniel F (R-MD) $1,000
Total to Democratic House Candidates: $0
Total to Republican House Candidates: $246,093

Senate Candidate Total Contribs
Allen, George (R-VA) $10,000
Bouchard, Michael J (R-MI) $5,852
Burr, Richard (R-NC) $2,500
Chafee, Lincoln D (R-RI) $7,490
Chambliss, Saxby (R-GA) $2,500
Collins, Susan M (R-ME) $2,500
Corker, Bob (R-TN) $9,441
DeMint, James W (R-SC) $5,000
DeWine, Mike (R-OH) $9,276
Graham, Lindsey (R-SC) $5,000
Hutchison, Kay Bailey (R-TX) $5,000
Isakson, Johnny (R-GA) $2,500
Kean, Thomas H Jr (R-NJ) $7,421
Kennedy, Mark (R-MN) $5,000
Lott, Trent (R-MS) $5,000
McGavick, Michael (R-WA) $4,942
Ricketts, Pete (R-NE) $5,000
Snowe, Olympia J (R-ME) $2,500
Steele, Michael (R-MD) $4,995
Sununu, John E (R-NH) $2,500
Talent, James M (R-MO) $2,500
Thune, John (R-SD) $2,562
Total to Democratic Senate Candidates: $0
Total to Republican Senate Candidates: $109,47

Thank goodness John McCain and Republicans would never do such terrible "bribing" of superdelegate/fellow politicians as this.

Sheesh. Straight talk!

More info.

Obama was generaous in helping lots of people b ack inn the day. HHe did a fundraiser out here form Maria Cantwell. Funny that, if it was a bribe, it didn't work: she has endorsed Clinton.

The bribery claim is just more shit from the Clintons. I hate the way they are poisoning our discourse and sewing acrimony within the party. I don't respect Hillary at all any more . Dead to me!

shrubstex wrote: >>I also want to pose a question to the Obama supporters in your midst. Explain to me why Obama is the better candidate without using the words, Hope, Change, and Future, in your reply. I may have to cross over and give Hillary a sympathy vote.<<

I'll take that challenge by describing the moment that I said "WOW this guy is great". It was during his first year in the Senate and I was watching the CSPAN coverage of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearings about pre-9/11 intelligence and the witness was Condolezza Rice. All the Republicans were throwing soft-balls (they were the majority at that time) and all the Democrats were hammering Rice on her role pre-9/11 (Barbara Boxer even had charts!) Then Obama started his questions, he was courteous, his questions were delivered in a cool, calm voice. But his questions were so devastating that Rice was disarmed and probably admitted more than she had during the prior questioning.

Another instance is his speech about his vote against the nomination of Chief Justice John Roberts. (IMO, it should be put in a book of great speeches of the U.S. Senate). If you remember, many liberal groups were slaming the Judiciary Members for voting for the nomination. Obama praised his colleagues for their votes, but he dissagreed with them. Again, there was no partisan attacks, just cool logic. What impressed me was his argument against the nomination: Roberts was qualified, Obama was impressed by Roberts interviews with him, but he said Roberts history was against him. Obama said that in every case Roberts was involved in, Roberts took the side of the powerful against the weak. Obama allowed his experience working as a community organizer in poor districts of Chicago to inform his decision about people in high office. He didn't forget where he came from. He wasn't going to be pushed around by anybody, left or right. He made his decision by using his own brain. This is why he says that his judgement about the Iraq War should be a reason to elect him President. He can look at data, make a judgement about it, and come out with the right answer.

That's how he works and it is evident in the way he is campaigning. Intelligent, methodical and, as Clinton is finding out, devastatingly effective.

"I'll take that challenge"

I rather doubt the asker will bother to return to read any responses. I'll hope to be surprised.

It is the definition of hubris to assume you can waltz to the nomination and not bother to come up with a strategy for anything beyond February 5th.

Is that the kind of half-baked thinking we want in the White House? Is this the candidate with solutions?

She appears ready for defeat:

If you are who I think you are, then you'll remember me perhaps as Erika. We knew one another through Diaryland, Livejournal... respond to this and I'll give you my email.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Blog powered by Typepad