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May 07, 2008


I started out as an Edwards supporter. Do I get to claim that my candidate won a contested primary if I switched to Obama after New Hampshire?

I don't think so, J, and neither do I. :)

In the meantime, I would recommend that Obama supporters avoid the urge to crow over this too loudly or with unrestrained glee. We need Clinton supporters for November--need them. We cannot win without them, so remember that before you do a booty-dance on their blogs or in their comment sections.

I share your feeling of disbelief. Although Obama's victory has been close to a foregone conclusion for some time, it feels real for the first time tonight. My fondest wish is that Hillary Clinton changes tactics early tomorrow: begins bashing McCain, stumping for the party rather than herself, finds a few nice things to say about Obama. I'd very much like to respect her as much as I did only a few months back.

hilzoy, care to elaborate on who you supported over the years? You know there are some scorekeepers around here. I guess I'm most curious about '72, if it wasn't McGovern. Shirley Chisholm?

Were you for Tsongas? (I was.)

It's exactly the same with me. After I worked so hard volunteering with Dean last time - I was one of those orange hatted freaks in Iowa [they gave us those hats and it was very cold, I'm sorry]- I actually stayed my hand from volunteering for Obama as much as I otherwise would have, because I didn't want my loser stink to alienate voters. And I'm much more enthusiastic about Obama than I was for Dean, and that's saying a lot. I can't believe my guy is going to win. That is unprecedented, and I'm 43.


I'm with you on this one.

Although I had a really good feeling all day yesterday, for some reason.

I was a staffer during the primary campaign for Michael Dukakis in '87 and '88, so I suppose I achieved the dubious distinction of having my candidate win a nomination two decades before hilzoy did.

Needless to say, it proved to be a pretty pyrrhic victory!

Note that Clinton has now scheduled an appearance in WV for this morning. So she continues on for at least another week, it appears. Any polling there?

She just canceled all appearances. Looks like your right about her. It's over.

Uh, McGovern ran in 1968? Against Bobby and Hubert and Clean Gene?

Any polling there?

she's gonna crush him in WV.

I suspect the one WV event is a matter of keeping up appearances.

The word on the street is that Wes Clark asked her to bow out of the race.

It's going to be an interesting week.

Were you for Tsongas? (I was.)

The blogosphere has a higher percentage of Tsongas supporters than anyplace else on earth.

Although no one asked me:

92 Tsongas (then G.H.W. Bush, after Clinton beat Tsongas).

96 Clinton.

00 McCain. Sat out based on vow never to vote for W. Bush after the South Carolina primary.

04 Kerry, as protest vote. South Carolina + mismanaging the war was just too much for me. I was prepared to trade the incompetent that I knew for the incompetent that I didn't know.

08 Probably McCain, but, if Obama's the nominee, as seems likely, my life just got more difficult.

Drudge is now reporting that she loaned her campaign a whopping 6.4M over the past month, and will give more to continue the race. I have a hard time seeing how this will give the superdels that warm and fuzzy feeling. OTOH, admitting this might be a way to generate a last funding surge for her campaign.

Desperation is a tender trap.

Time for the ultimate blackmail: Give me the nomination or I run as an independent candidate guaranteeing a GOP win. ;-(

Who I supported (note: I regard all choices through 1976 as made before I reached the Age of Reason; in fact, it was during the 1976 campaign that I sort of came to and thought: wtf? I should be supporting Udall. Thereafter, I stand by my choices. Before then, it has more to do with such things as: wanting to support someone no one else I knew supported.)

1968: McGovern. (Yes, he did run in 1968.) 1972 and 1976: Birch Bayh. 1980: John Anderson. (I had no preference between Carter and Kennedy; I think Carter has gotten a bad rap over the years, but what that means is: I think he should be regarded as a mediocre President rather than a horror).

In 1984, I had no preference. (I think I was intrigued by Hart before he dropped out.) 1988: Bruce Babbitt. 1992: no preference. (I didn't like Tsongas.) 1996: not contested. 2000: Bradley. 2004: Wes Clark.

The thing is, though: starting in 1976, every time I supported a candidate, I didn't just support that candidate; I worked my heart out. I drove to New Hampshire. I did all that stuff. Never once did it actually work.

(About Tsongas: another politician from MA; thus one I had had the chance to see close up. I recall two episodes in particular: once, he was hectoring my Dad about how Harvard should divest from S. Africa. My Dad had a rather thoughtful position on that, one of whose points was that it was not the university's role to enforce political positions, and universities should be very wary of doing so.

It was absolutely the role of the Congress, though, so Dad asked: have you introduced legislation barring investment in South Africa (or: in SA companies that don't abide by the Sullivan principles)? Or any legislation that might help achieve this end? Tsongas was apparently all flustered by this, not having (apparently) considered the possibility that anyone other than Harvard might try to achieve whatever ends he thought divestment might achieve, and in particular, that *he*, as a member of Congress, might.

Feh, I thought.

Likewise, he joined a protest at Harvard that involved shantytowns in Harvard Yard, and made a big deal about how he was going to spend the night in one. Once the cameras had gone, he left and slept elsewhere.

Double feh, I thought. No one has to sleep in a shantytown, of course, but if you *say* you will, then you should not quietly check into a hotel, or drive home, or whatever he did.

So: no Tsongas for me.

Obama needs to telegraph to the Clintons that he won't help them get back their $11M if they keep up the kamikazi approach.

My own perfect record of backing the wrong horse in primaries ever since Eugene McCarthy is unsullied, since I was an Edwards supporter this time around.

I'm good with Obama, though.

Tsongas was flawed, yes, but I thought he was more thoughtful and honestly engaged than his opponents, and I never really have "no preference".

To me, the second-most inspiring thing about this election season has been the way that Obama has consistently made adult, thoughtful, and rational responses to childish and manipulative provocations, and it worked. After so many years of childishness and manipulation being the whole currency of our political discourse, this is heartening.

(The most inspiring thing is the massive turnout and new-voter registration in state after state. Something is changing.)

"Senator Clinton gambled on the stupidity of the voters, and she lost."

It seems to me the bet she lost was that the media would ignore her populist economic nonsense the way the media routinely ignore populist and/or conservative economic nonsense. It's not likely the voters are any wiser about the fundamental economics involved; they've just heard too much noise from too many quarters that dropping the gas tax wouldn't work (as indeed it wouldn't).

Now, it's good to know there can be a salutary effect when the media become uncharacteristically reality-based. But motivated skepticism isn't vigilance. If we could get them to apply their new-found respect for expert consensus more generally (how about that idea that lowering taxes increases overall tax revenues?), we'd actually have something to celebrate.

Heh. John Scalzi:

You know, today would be an excellent day for the mandarins of the Democratic Party to pay a call to Hillary Clinton, sit her down and then, kindly and gently, and with full appreciation of everything she’s done for party and country, stick a goddamn fork in her.

See picture at link as well. ;)

Please please please let this be just for appearances sake:

On a conference call with reporters this morning, the Clinton campaign says there have been "no discussions" of ending the campaign.

It's not over before the fat lady sings (and Hillary does not seem to be overweight) ;-)

Here's my tale of the tape:

1976 - Carter
1980 - Barry Commoner, resulting in the Reagan victory, although Anderson was probably more responsible.
1984 - Mondale
1988 - Dukakis
1992 - Clinton after a hard look at Perot. Aliens coming to abduct his daughter was a deal breaker back then. Today, not so much.
1996 - Clinton
2K - Gore
2K + 4 = Kerry

All-in-all, this problem goes back to Reagan and how the Dems got pwned consistently from then on - including Clinton's interregnum.

Obama will clean up and the Dems will have a record win in the House and Senate.

Then comes the hard part. They must understand that they have to play hardball EVERY DAY or else they'll eat their own and Obama will be a footnote. That's how they did it with Carter, so it will be up to Obama and his team to take a Southside approach with ALL the villagers - the media, the 'pukes, and their own (who can be the most dangerous).

The pundit primary:

[...] The moment came shortly after midnight Eastern time, captured in a devastatingly declarative statement from Tim Russert of NBC News: “We now know who the Democratic nominee’s going to be, and no one’s going to dispute it,” he said on MSNBC. “Those closest to her will give her a hard-headed analysis, and if they lay it all out, they’ll say: ‘What is the rationale? What do we say to the undeclared super delegates tomorrow? Why do we tell them you’re staying in the race?’ And tonight, there’s no good answer for that.”

It was not exactly Walter Cronkite declaring that the Vietnam War would end in stalemate. But the impact was apparent almost immediately, starting with The Drudge Report, the online news billboard that is the home page to many political reporters in Washington and news producers in New York. It had as its lead story a link to a YouTube clip of Mr. Russert’s comments, accompanied by a photograph of a beaming Mr. Obama with his wife, Michelle, and the headline, “The Nominee.”

The thought echoed throughout the world of instant political analysis, steamrolling the Clinton campaign’s attempts to promote the idea that her victory in Indiana was nonetheless an upset in the face of Mr. Obama’s heavy spending and his campaign’s predictions that he would win there, or that she could still come back if delegates in Florida and Michigan are seated.

“I think there’s an increasing presumption tonight that Obama’s going to be the nominee,” Chris Wallace, the Fox News host, said to Karl Rove, President Bush’s longtime political guru, who is now a Fox News analyst. The statement preceded a discussion about what a general election race would look like between Mr. Obama and the presumptive Republican nominee, Senator John McCain.

A posting on the DailyKos Web site included a mock memo to Mrs. Clinton titled, “To-Do List Before Dropping Out.”

Speaking on CNN, David Gergen, a former adviser to several presidents, including Mrs. Clinton’s husband, said, “I think the Clinton people know the game is almost up.”

Stating it more bluntly, Bob Franken, the political analyst, told the MSNBC host Dan Abrams shortly after 2 a.m. Eastern time, “Let’s put it right on the table: It’s over. It’s over.”

And it picked up again on the major morning news programs in a devastating cascade of sound bites for Mrs. Clinton and her campaign.

Bob Schieffer on the CBS News program “Early Show”: “Basically, Maggie, this race is over.”

George Stephanopoulos on the ABC program “Good Morning America”: “This nomination fight is over.”

Matt Lauer on the NBC News program “Today”: “Good morning, is it over?”

The commentary was punctuated by some brutal morning newspaper headlines: “Toast!” blared The New York Post; “Hil Needs a Miracle” declared The New York Daily News.

They're a fickle bunch, to be sure.

What? Nobody wanted Jerry Brown in 1992?

My first as well! Not as long a string but, TK, Gary Hart, Al Gore, Gore again followed by 1-800-Jerry (anyone remember the actual number? Revolutionary fund raising, supporter of the living wage), 2000 I was agnostic, tired of Clintonism but not a real supporter of Bradley, Edwards/Dean and finally Barack!!!

Meh. Now there's going to be a week of people saying her campaign is dead and Obama has it locked up, and then when she wins WV she can be the comeback kid again. Blyeah.

No, I do think the supers will weight in - finally! Esp. if Clinton continues her attacks on Obama, the supes will very quickly show her the door.

I confess to voting for Comoner in the general as well. Learned my lesson there and have been straight D since.

1980 - Barry Commoner, resulting in the Reagan victory, although Anderson was probably more responsible.

Hooray! I finally found the other person (besides me) who voted for Barry Commoner in '80!

Nice to meet you, Wilson.

Commoner garnered 1/4 of 1% of the popular vote. Which, given his widespread name recognition and electrifying personal charisma, I thought was actually not bad.

I don't think our votes for Commoner were what put Reagan over the top.

Thanks -

and then when she wins WV she can be the comeback kid again

she'll get WV, Puerto Rico, and KY too, probably. O-bomb will get the rest.

Three Commoner supporters in one thread has got to be a record of some sort. I met when he visited my college, not sure why I voted for him, not like he was electric.

Three Commoner supporters in one thread has got to be a record of some sort. I met when he visited my college, not sure why I voted for him, not like he was electric.

No kidding! Three Commoner supporters in an form of proximity is, I think, pretty unusual.

No, he was not an electrifying presence. He was just a smart guy. My comment upthread was affectionate snark.

Thanks -

Three Commoner supporters in one thread

Four. (Actually, I backed Anderson right up to election day, but decided that if I was going to protest I might as well protest.)

Scalzi's been hanging out at Fark, it appears.


My dad also voted for Barry Commoner (I was a tiny baby at the time; my mom voted for Anderson). Does that count?

Indiana was the wrong state to try using a "gas tax holiday" as a campaign pledge.

See, Indiana HAD such a holiday, back in 2000 (so did Illinois). This wasn't an excise tax suspension, but a sales tax of %5-6. Still, it should have a big effect, right?

Well, not so anyone would notice:

(and BTW, the pdf internals show that this paper was last revised in 2002, so it's not something cooked up for the current election)

Consumers got a bit more of half of the immediate benefit (3.5 cents/gal), IN lost 7 cents/gal in revenue that had to be made up for by....TA DA! The citizenry!

Net result: 4 cents/gal right from the consumer's pocket to the gasoline industry. Is it any surprise that Hoosiers didn't fall for this again?

Me: Missed voting for Jimmy Carter in the general in '76 by 3 days.

In '80, I went to the Republican caucus to vote for John Anderson, in a futile protest of Reagan getting the nomination, and wound up, along with my girlfriend, as Dave Horsey's editorial cartoon in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer the next morning, since he was one of the 8 or so people in our caucus.

In 1984 I was an elected Hart delegate to the Seattle King's County Democratic Convention, and a strong Hart supporter. (And also had my picture on the front page of the next day's Seattle Times after the initial precinct caucuses, along with 6 or so other members of our caucus, since we were the nearest precinct to the Times office, and the most convenient for them to get a Typical Caucus Shot of.)

In '88 I went from Hart to Simon to Dukakis, with a flirtation with Jesse Jackson, and I don't really recall whom I ended up voting for in the NY primary.

In '92, Tsongas, with a flirtation with Brown.

"Uh, McGovern ran in 1968? Against Bobby and Hubert and Clean Gene?"

Yes. This is not a secret.

With McGovern and McCarthy dividing the anti-war votes, Humphrey was able to win the nomination. McGovern came in third with 146.5 delegates, well behind Hubert Humphrey's 1759.25.
I personally had and still have immense difficulty understanding how anyone could see Ronald Reagan, and Jimmy Carter, in 1980, as sufficiently similar that it made no difference, so you might as well vote for a third party. Voting for a third party was a vote for Reagan. Why did people vote against Carter, and thus get Reagan elected? What kind of leftism is that? I've never understood. (Obviously Carter wasn't any kind of "leftist," but he was a hell of a lot less rightwing than Ronald bleeding Reagan, for god's sake.)

What were you people who voted against Carter thinking, exactly?, if I might take the opportunity to ask. Were you happy that you elected Ronald Reagan? Did you not expect that to happen? Or what?

Gary: to be clear: I supported Anderson in the Republican primary (I became a Republican specially for that reason.) Obviously, I supported Carter in the general.

Were you for Tsongas? (I was.)

I was too. That was the first presidential election I was eligible to vote in.

What were you people who voted against Carter thinking, exactly?

Personally, I was interested in helping establish a credible third party.

What can I say, I was young and foolish.

Thanks -


According to the article at this link Clinton said in WV today:

"I'm happy to be here in West Virginia and excited about next week!" she told the throng. "We were very excited about our come-from-behind victory in Indiana. We came from about eight or so points behind to win."

What? I think there was maybe one poll showing her losing, just about every other poll had her winning by more than twice what she ended up winning by.

And, I mean, I suppose if she's going to continue to run she has to say things like:

She spoke as if nothing had changed Tuesday night.

"It's a new day, it's a new state, it's a new election," she said cheerfully, as Chelsea stood smiling in the background. She seemed unruffled - and without irony - when she reported that "I feel really good coming off our victory in Indiana."

But, she sounds like GWBush talking about how "we're making progress in Iraq, and, uh, freedom."

And this is ridiculous:

She said she would seek to have the Democratic Party's rules and bylaws committee this month reinstate the outlawed Florida and Michigan delegations that support her -- and "if people are not satisfied with that, they go to the credentials committee" at the convention, she threatened.

"I'm not ceding any vote now," she said. "I'm staying in this race 'til there's a nominee" who receives 2,210 delegates -- a figure that assumes inclusion of the Florida and Michigan delegations. "We will continue to contest this election and move forward."

CBS radio's Mark Knoller asked if she was putting a Democratic victory at risk. "I just don't believe that," she said. "This is a dynamic electoral environment." Venturing into the speculative, she added: "If we had the rules that the Republicans have, I'd already be the nominee."

Yes, yes, too bad they're not more like the Republicans.

"Obviously, I supported Carter in the general."

Yes, I know that, as we've discussed it on several occasions. I was moved to ask by the Barry Commoner voters, but thought I'd keep it open-ended to include any other third party votes in the general.

I voted for Carter in the general election, too, of course, and campaigned for him, not that the Seattle Democratic majority vote was in any doubt that year.

Russell: "What can I say, I was young and foolish."

That happens.

Not to me, of course, but I recognize that it happened to other people.


"Personally, I was interested in helping establish a credible third party."

Not structurally possible in the U.S. on a long-term basis, absent considerable changes in the legalities of every state's election mechanisms, as well as national legislation, which means a massive social movement, not just winning two or three elections. Relevant conditions then and now are essentially unchanged, so it made as much sense in 1980 as it does now. IOW, also ask for a pony. You're more apt to achieve the latter.

But it's not like everyone I was arguing this with at at the time was convinced, either. And, hell, I have plenty of politically outlying friends, so it's not like I'd even try to argue with the communists, or the extreme libertarians, etc.

As a trivial note, while accompanying a friend to vote in North Carolina yesterday, I was amused to see on the ballot that dynasties continue, with Sam J. Ervin IV running for the Court of Appeals. (God, elected judges: what a horrible idea.)

"I'm not ceding any vote now," she said. "I'm staying in this race 'til there's a nominee" who receives 2,210 delegates

she's psychotic

Re: "trying to to establish a viable third party".

My parents, Carter supporters-because-Anderson-would-be-a-vote-for-Reagan one night in 1980 learned that friends of theirs were Reagan supporters-because-Anderson-would-be-a-vote-for-Carter.

So they agreed that all four of them would vote for Anderson. I suspect that Anderson's 7% contained a significant number of such deals...

Not structurally possible in the U.S. on a long-term basis

Yeah, I agree with this, especially at the federal level, and especially for President.

A third party House Rep or Senator might work, but then again I think Bernie Sanders is the only one at present, and Vermont is a special place.

I think Sanders is well-respected, and probably reflects his constituents' point of view pretty accurately, but I don't know if he's been able to secure any of the committee positions that the Reps and Dems seem to use as rewards for seniority etc.

she's psychotic

I really have no bone to pick with Clinton. I think she's been a pretty good Senator for NY, probably better than anyone really expected her to be, and it's certainly her right to run as long as she wants to.

But lately I wonder if she isn't heading for Norma Desmond territory.

Hope not.

Thanks -

I played around with CNN "delegate tracker" -- you can slide a slider for every state that hasn't yet had it's primary and it will apportion delegates accordingly -- after the results from IN and NC came in. If Clinton got 70% of the vote in **EVERY** state from now until the convention (which she won't), she would still be way under Obama's total.

The **ONLY** way she has a chance is by "breaking the party" -- doing some back-room deal to get delegates who should be for Obama. She MUST know this and just doesn't care.

Since she shown she's not really a Democrat, I wish she'd drop out of OUR party.

I backed McCarthy in 1968, McGovern in 1972 (first time I could vote, and I canvassed door to door in Marcus Hook, PA, a Sun Oil company town; also held a big "PULL LEVER A" sign on election day).

1976: Udall. 1980: Kennedy.

1984: Jesse Jackson (participated in the Iowa caucuses).

1988: total disgust with Democrats and electoral "choices" (Dems were part of a bipartisan consensus to fund the war in El Salvador). 1992: can't remember, but I loathed Clinton from the get-go. Jackson? Udall? It's a blur. Still out of electoral work, alienated. 1996: No primary action; first time ever not voting in a presidential election.

2000: Nader. Gave money, worked. [Go ahead, lib Dems, throw the rotten vegetables. My state still hasn't gone blue since LBJ.]

2004: Dean. 2008: Edwards.

It's difficult to understate my expectations, but at least it won't be a candidate who backed the invasion of Iraq, for the second time since the war and occupation began.

I became an anarchist in 1980 at my disappear that there was no viable third party candidate (the Libertarian could afford to advertise on tv but not Anderson--how to outrage an adolescent). I had a great time all the way through high school denouncing division and proclaiming my anarchism before emerging to support Hart in '84. We have been doing the Obama vicotry dance in my house. It feels good

Should preview. That should be disappointment and not disappear

The only path to the nomination for Hillary seems to involve assassination. This would be most practical if done in DC, where she could hold out hope of pardons. (No, I don't take this seriously, but there are no clear alternatives that are likely to work. The resemblance to a certain kitten is not intentional.)

What I fear is that Hillary will run a positive campaign for a couple of weeks, then someone will ask her if she is really in it to win it. I see her recent goal of making Obama not electable coming back.

The new clarity over the winner is a relief to me, because I've been trying to keep the emotional ability to support Hillary over McCain. (Also, keeping my negative emotions in check was something about which I could agree with the Hillary supporters at my church.)

((I supported Anderson throughout 1980, primary and general elections. Because the hostage anniversary was on election day, I had completely given up on Carter. Even went so far as to doorbell my inner-city precinct. This year I can look at the irrational belief of the Paul supporters and understand.))

The **ONLY** way she has a chance is by "breaking the party" -- doing some back-room deal to get delegates who should be for Obama. She MUST know this and just doesn't care.

Well, there's also the possibility that Obama suffers a complete meltdown of the Bittergate x 10 variety. Hard evidence emerges that he's actually a member of the Black Panthers. Or an Islamofascist Manchurian Candidate. Or that his father was actually Saddam, and that's why his middle name's Hussein. Extremely, extremely unlikely, but given that there's a little time left on the game clock, I suppose Hillary figures she might as well stay on the field on the hope that he manages to fumble the ball away three times in 30 seconds. If she cares about the party, though, she'll change the tone of her campaign so as not to damage him further heading into the general election.

I see her recent goal of making Obama not electable coming back.

The issue for her is, she's also making herself unelectable. She's not going to win the nomination this year, and if Obama loses to McCain, a lot of Democrats are going to blame her, which will torpedo her chances in 2012. I suppose she could try to take him down with her out of spite, but I have trouble seeing the superdelegates allowing her to do that. I suspect if she goes too negative they will pull the plug on her by announcing en masse for Obama.

"The issue for her is, she's also making herself unelectable. She's not going to win the nomination this year, and if Obama loses to McCain, a lot of Democrats are going to blame her, which will torpedo her chances in 2012."

Dangerous to guess, but at this point I would suspect there is a little of the motivation that we talked about with Rev. Wright: if it is true that she is trying to make Obama unelectable, her chances in 2012 (FWIW nil I would think) don't really have anything to do with it. It is more--If I can't win, you sure as hell aren't either.

The Clintons are famously loyal, not to party but to their own little clique (with them at the head of it). They are also famously vindictive (what was the name of the Congressman who proposed a more realistic health care proposal and was punished for years later? I can't remember his name.) Combine those two and it wouldn't shock me if they would hurt Obama purely out of spite at this point.

"They are also famously vindictive (what was the name of the Congressman who proposed a more realistic health care proposal and was punished for years later? I can't remember his name.)"

Tennessee Representative Jim Cooper (D).

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