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June 01, 2008

Comments

Harold Ickes is an unmitigated, under-medicated a**, who clearly cares more about his own ego (ala a Hillary Clinton "victory") than either the Democratic party or the good of the country.

What a putz.

publius,

I think it is too soon to draw conclusions regarding Hillary's camp and their intent, just because the end of the actual primaries is so close now, being only a few days away.

I think some of the more extreme rhetoric from the HRC campaign regarding electoral issues (e.g. MI and FL) and electibility issues more generally were made as short-term tactical moves - you don't know what will or won't work until you try it, and having come this close the temptation to leave no stone unturned has to be enormous. I'm guessing that the HRC camp knows that in the wake of the RBC decision the nomination contest is now effectively over but their past rhetoric has boxed them in so they can't start the process of backing down until after the last votes have been cast.

The most charitable interpretation of their recent statements I can think of is that fighting to the last vote is something they need to do to maintain credibility with their supporters who will need to be persuaded by Hillary back into the Democratic camp, and prematurely (in the eyes of these supporters) dropping out of the fight will do more harm than good for both camps, so it is better to gut it out for a few more days than to stop now.

The key question is: at what point will the largest practical share of Hillary's supporters feel that this process is well and truly done, and June 3rd seems like the most logical point short of the convention to me.

I have much less charitable interpretations stashed in my back pocket, but I'm trying to exercise the patience to keep them there until events compell me to discard the more charitable ones.

Oh, I thought you were talking about the other Clinton, and these dangerous liaisons.

They just keep fanning the flames and, as publius says, it almost doesn't matter what they are planning internally - unless they are a ship adrift at sea and not actually planning anything.

One of my favorite ever lines in a film, from Willow, seems relevant. A woman finds that a man who was passionately besotted with her has changed his mind. She says: "You dwelt in darkness without me . . . and it went away?"

Hillary chose to frame the election in the most emotional way she could to a party traumatized by 2000 and supporters deeply engaged in getting her elected. Now she's (big maybe) going to tell them "never mind about all that stuff I stirred you up with?" And that's going to work?

I don't think so. The genie is out of the bottle.

The MOST charitable interpretation may be that HRC really is compelled along by the genuine - and frankly very compelling belief that Obama truly cannot and will not win the general election. And that she is the only hope for a D in the White House come January.

And she's probably correct.

they are completely irresponsible, selfish, and cynical. and i am so glad none of them will never be near the White House again.

imagine if Clinton had won it and we only got to see this side of her after it was too late. *shudder*

He will not be able to win.

xanax,

You assert that Wright issues will be massive unsurmountable challenges for Obama in the general election. Do you have any evidence for that belief? Or is this just your opinion?

Frankly, if I were HRC and I was surveying the shattered wreckage of my campaign, I would be spending more time considering how I managed to fail rather than assess other candidates, but that's just me.

And she's probably correct.

and she's working to make her prediction come true.

I worry that a much bigger tragedy is playing out in the long term: ever since the 2000 presidential election, some Americans have actively been spreading a resentful distrust of their own electoral system, a consistent message that "the vote was rigged by an all-powerful 'Them.'"

These repeated claims and conspiracy theories about "stolen elections" -- election year after election year -- might eventually undermine the trust in democracy.

Mind you, it doesn't matter if any election was "rigged" in reality; the bad faith in itself does the most damage. Trust in the system is vital; if large swathes of the population really start believing the elections are a sham, they might turn to extremism or attack the system itself.

Turbulence & cleek: It's not just Wirght. It's the group of loonies Obama has self-identified as his "spiritual advisors" and what they are on record, tape, video and YouTube across the internets having said. You've seen the videos, right? Need I cite the Chicago Sun Times article again? OK.

As far as evidence? Just recalling what the RNC concocted against Kerry (think Swift Boat Veterans and the relentless "I voted for the war before I voted against it" drumbeat). I've been in advertising and marketing my entire professional life and have participated in many political campaigns. And I can easily visualize - almost frame by frame - the "These Are My Spiritual Advisors" attack ads Obama is going to face. And I can easily intuit their powers of persuasion on the national electorate.

And it doesn't look pretty. (But that is very definitely JUST MY OPINION for what it is - or isn't - worth).

YMMV.

And for the record, I really, REALLY hope I'm wrong.

Clinton has won more votes than Obama has. She has won more primary votes than any candidate in history.

So why should she listen to the a-holes who want her to drop out?

cleek has it. Once Clinton realized that she was all but mathematically eliminated, she cranked up the attacks on Obama. She's worked hard to drive home the idea that he's an elitist black guy who doesn't understand the concerns of white people. And she's a skilled campaigner-- she did a good job driving up his negatives.

I think most of the angry Clinton supporters will come around to Obama, once they conclude that they don't want their sons to go to Iraq and their daughters to face the risk of back-alley abortions. But the damage that she's worked to do to Obama's image among moderates and inattentive voters could turn out to be a big deal.

xanax,

I was going to write a cogent response, but ThatLeftTurnInABQ just said it much better than I ever could:

If I were counseling the advertising, marketing and PR arms of the Democratic party

xanax,

Your idea to focus test Obama vs. Reagan "Democrats" and have him drop out if they are not sufficiently impressed with him would have produced interesting results if applied to say, every nominee since 1980. Who would have passed this test in say 1992? Certainly not Bill Clinton, since he failed to win a majority of blue collar white voters in that election. Ditto for Geraldine Ferraro and Mondale in 1984.

I have a different idea: why don't we try having the Democratic nominee and party stand for something other than advertising, marketing and PR?

I love the Taylor Marsh post because it boils down to, "Why did you take those four delegates away from us? Don't you know how crazy we are?"

As for the popular vote nonsense, there is no national popular vote. It's a chimera. To even begin to calculate it you need to add up the votes from states that had open primaries, states that had closed primaries and states that had caucuses, each of which draws a different percentage of the electorate. That's not even talking about counting elections where the voters were told that their vote wouldn't count and in which none of the candidates campaigned.

As someone else pointed out, if we're counting all votes, we need to count the votes of the Texas caucusers and the non-binding Washington primary also. We also need to count the Obama write-ins from MI that were discarded.

I continue to think many people are vastly overestimating how many actual voters the Clinton dead-ender nutjobs actually represent. I think the potential Clinton-ressentiment vote, or nonvote, is actually not all that sizable. And I also believe that a substantial percentage of the Clinton-troll internet presence actually consists of Republican ratfsckers.

So I really don't cae what Clinton does from now on- she's irrelevant, and the realization of that is what the howls of pain are really about.

Clinton has won more votes than Obama has. She has won more primary votes than any candidate in history.

The speciousness of the whole popular vote argument is really breathtaking. Even if it somehow made any sort of sense to talk about popular vote after the rules have been established in a contest in which several states do not have primaries, one has to make a moral argument about counting all the votes while simultaneously making a number of arbitrary decisions about which votes to count and which not to based upon completely procedural concerns. Its utter nonsense.

But more importantly, its also moot. Popular vote to the extent that Clinton can make her incredibly weak case for it, is an argument that she can only really make to the Party and to the Superdelegates. They are the only ones, based upon the rules all the candidates worked under, who can address and consider her argument. She has made the argument. In fact she has been making the argument for weeks now and they have found it unpersuasive. Thats the end of it. Everything else is just pointless wankery. Its like sitting around arguing that your baseball team should have won the game because they had a higher batting average when the other team scored more runs.

So why should she listen to the a-holes who want her to drop out?

Because there is no point in her continuing unless her intention is to harm the party in November. The contest is over. In truth, its been over for some time. She has done all that she could to hold out hope for herself winning even knowing that the only very slim possibility she had was to badly wound the party and her own chances at election in November. Now even that Phyrric victory is no longer even a slim possibility. She can listen to the so-called "a**holes" or she can apply her own common sense but the bottom line is that she has nothing to gain from continuing.

This stolen four delegates outcry is nonsensical. Obama actually had a narrow margin in the vote to seat his Michigan 50%-50% plan but opted for a larger and fairer consensus (19-8) on the Levin-Michigan proposal in an attempt at conciliation.

Maybe my perspective is somewhat different, as (first) someone who's a Clinton supporter and (second) a constituent. When she ran for senator here in NY she scrapped for every last vote. I live in rural upstate and this area was pretty much ceded to the Republicans in the past, but she visited and she visited and she visited again, and by late October you could drive through rural Chenango county and see "Hillary" yard signs in front of people's farms, which I thought was pretty amazing. She worked insanely hard and she didn't quit and she didn't concede anything, and she won.

The other thing is that I hope *somebody* learned some lessons from the 2000 presidential election and the recount mess in Florida. I'm pretty sure Clinton did and I really, really, really hope that Obama did, too. I think one of those lessons was "don't give an inch until it's over." I think it's over and that it's time for both sides to start repairing the damage, but boy, would I like to see more Democrats with as much scrap in them as Clinton's got.

I think one of those lessons was "don't give an inch until it's over." From where I stand, there's a difference between that and what she's doing.

The popular vote argument is another way of telling the flyover states "You don't count, only populous coastal states count."

Talk about elitist.

Or to put it another way, I have less of a problem of what Clinton is doing than how she's doing it.

but boy, would I like to see more Democrats with as much scrap in them as Clinton's got.

i'd agree with that

So explain to me, and to Hillary, why she should drop out when more democrats voted for her to be the nominee than voted for Obama.

Obma has not won the nomination in any sense of the term. The nomination will be decided in Denver. Obama can drop out now if he want to but Hillary should not drop out as long as we have a chance to have her as our nominee.

but boy, would I like to see more Democrats with as much scrap in them as Clinton's got.

Melinda,

I would like to hear more from your perspective, so please elaborate when you have time and inclination (also, thank you for using such a polite and constructive tone in the midst of a rather heated debate).

With regard to your specific statement that I've quoted above, let me toss out an idea and see what you make of it.

IMHO, scrapiness (i.e. a determination to fight to the last inch) is not a virtue in and of itself. It is only a virtue when it is deployed in a righteous cause, where there is enough of a difference between the different winning and losing outcomes to justify fightling on.

The question I have is, do you see a determination to fight on as an unqualified good which always justifies itself regardless of circumstances?

Personally, I would say no to that question, because I can think of plenty of historical example of people who fought with great determination in defense of causes which most people today do not regard as admirable (in extremis I could cite some causes that were simply loathsome), but I don't want to get sidetracked here, so let's keep it at a more abstract level unless you want me to go into more detail.

So how would you answer that question?

And if your answer is, like mine, no, then what is the great difference between Hillary winning and Obama winning, which is sufficient to justify the scorched earth tactics which the HRC campaign is either already using ("hard working white Americans","Zimbabwe",etc.) or is threatening to use (e.g. Ickes threat to take the FL/MI challenge to the convention, and statements by numerous Clinton spokespeople which imply that Obama's victory is illegitimate and undemocratic)?

In other words, what is at stake here, from your point of view?

Know who else is a fighter? Ralph Nader. I would hope people learned about the harm done by vanity campaigns from the 2000 experience.

Ken, she can't win the nomination without taking a gamble that would substantially increase the odds that McCain wins, even in the very unlikely event that she becomes the nominee. (Hence all the Republican support for her continuing in the race).

The thing has been damaging for weeks.

My thought about the headline was similar to that of KathyF in her 4:00 comment, and I wonder whether Publius intended the double entendere.

So explain to me, and to Hillary, why she should drop out when more democrats voted for her to be the nominee than voted for Obama.

Stating that over and over doesn't make it any more true.

Obma has not won the nomination in any sense of the term. The nomination will be decided in Denver. Obama can drop out now if he want to but Hillary should not drop out as long as we have a chance to have her as our nominee.

That makes its sound as if your argument has nothing to do with the popular vote at all. The "chance" that you imagine Clinton having does not really exist, but to the extent that it does at all, it certainly has nothing to do with the popular vote. That is not how the party chooses its nominee and they don't have any real method of determining that with any accuracy anyway.

So, if your argument is that Clinton should continue as long as she has a "chance," whatever it is you imagine it to be, then this absurdity about the popular vote is really just a non sequitur.

So why should she listen to the a-holes who want her to drop out?

Because it's over. It's over and she lost.

I think that a lot of Congressional Democrats will concede too readily, make "compromises" that are actually rolling over and playing dead, and so on. I do think the ability to fight on is inherently a good thing but it can be put to bad use. Kind of like personal charisma, eh?

And just so we're clear, think I regard a lot of the comments about Clinton in this particular forum (although it's not alone) as being of a similar quality as you all seem to regard some of the stuff coming out of Clinton supporters. It's over-the-top, hostile, and inappropriate. A small wee tiny simple gesture you could make might be to use "Clinton" and "Obama" or "Hillary" and "Barack," rather than "Hillary" and "Obama."

It's over-the-top, hostile, and inappropriate. A small wee tiny simple gesture you could make might be to use "Clinton" and "Obama" or "Hillary" and "Barack," rather than "Hillary" and "Obama."

That's funny. Its only my sense of things and I certainly haven't done an empirical study of it but my experience is that is mostly Clinton's supporters that call her Hillary. To wit, commenter ken above. Indeed she markets her campaign with her first name and refers to herself in the third person with her first name all the time. I notice this sort of thing because I never refer to her as Hillary not because I think it is really in any way disrespectful but just because its what I am used to. Nonetheless, I feel quite certain you will find as many people who support Clinton that refer to her as Hillary as not.

Pug, Obama has not won the nomination. Hillary has not lost the nomination. It is not over.

As long as we have a chance to have Hillary Clinton as our party's nominee she should not quit. I expect this to be decided in Denver. Until then she should campaign as hard as she can to defeat Obama. Once she does that then we can turn our attention to defeating McCain.

Melinda -- Like ThatLeft Turn, I appreciate your reasonableness.

As to Hillary/Barack vs Clinton/Obama, I can suggest at least two reasons why the naming so often goes as it does:

1. See the candidates' websites. Hillary calls herself "Hillary"; her website's logo says "Hillary for President." Obama's says "Obama '08." Have you asked her why she doesn't refer to herself as "Clinton"?

2. See "Bill." There have been two Clintons (not counting Chelsea) in the public eye for a very long time now, and the former president has not been invisible in this race. Referring to both of them by their first names, or (as I often see) by first and last together, becomes a habit, given that in many contexts it may be necessary to distinguish which Clinton you're talking about at any given moment.

I was writing while Brent was posting. Sorry for the duplicate observations.

Sorry. Meant to add that its also fairly unusual to find supporters of either candidate referring to Obama as Barack. As an Obama supporter, it certainly wouldn't bother me if they did but my sense is that people use Barack less because it is a harsher sound. So is Clinton.

Oddly I do tend to refer to Bill Clinton as "Bill."

So Ken, if enough superdelegates were to declare for Obama in the next week or so to put him incontrovertibly over the top mathematically, should she spend the next 2-3 months trying to get them to changes their minds? After all, it wouldn't have been Denver yet.

Is there any metric where Hillary Clinton "wins" the popular vote where the Michigan results are excluded? I'm not aware of any. To include those in any popular vote calcuation, where Obama was not on the ballot, is patently unfair. She should not be allowed a 300,000+ vote total for Michigan in what was not a competitive contest.

And just so we're clear, think I regard a lot of the comments about Clinton in this particular forum (although it's not alone) as being of a similar quality as you all seem to regard some of the stuff coming out of Clinton supporters.

It'd be helpful to be more specific with quotes here. Less chance of pissing off people who are making comments of higher quality.

Is there any metric where Hillary Clinton "wins" the popular vote where the Michigan results are excluded?

No. There isn't but like I keep saying, its all really a pointless argument anyway that tries to compare apples(primaries) and oranges (caucuses). To the extent that Clinton has any argument here, it is an argument that she can only make to the party and the Superdelegates. She has made her argument and lost it. Getting into the weeds of which votes should count, and how to count caucuses and how to consider votes in Michigan when major candidates were not on the ballot etc. is IMHO, a mug's game. If she feels she can convince the SD's to vote for her based upon this ridiculous cobbled together metric rather than based upon the metric that everyone agreed to at the start of this contest - delegates - then she is free to try. She is wasting her own time.

As I mentioned yesterday I'm looking forward to voting for Obama in November, even though I preferred Clinton (and to be honest, neither was my first choice, which was Edwards, but I'm happy that there was such a great Democratic field this year). But I am seeing some stuff that sends up warning signs about the possibility of a Democratic loss, not because of Obama but because of how he's being framed and will continue to be framed using the kind of rhetoric we're seeing here to support that framing.

For starters, the "Fuck Hillary" and "Her supporters are all insane" stuff isn't good. Like it or not Obama isn't winning this in a walk - it's been a close, close race. Just how much of the Democratic constituency do you think you can toss overboard and still win?

Next, some of the comments here really have been offensive and really are "elitist." The reason that Clinton supporters don't spend much time here, or at least don't post here, is that it's a very hostile environment for us. It's not that Clinton supporters don't know how to use computers, and trying to explain *that* piece of inanity away with an assertion that it's that working class/blue collar people don't know how to use computers just makes things a lot worse. Seriously.

A substantial chunk of Clinton's supporters come from traditional wings of the Democratic party - labor, women, Jews, and so on. I think it's worth giving some consideration to whether or not it's a good idea to alienate those groups in your rush to express your outrage that she won't just quit. I'm sure that there are some Clinton supporters who just won't vote for Obama but it's my sense that there are actually very few, despite all the attention they're getting. In the meantime I think it's time to draw the huge number of rest of us in, rather than push us away.

Melinda, the 'Fuck Hillary and her supporters' campaign has been the essense of the the Obama strategy from day one. Giving Hillary the finger, refusing to shake her hand, accusing her of race baiting (when he was the only one actually using race baiting as a strategy) and having his surrogates demean and mock her all all part of who Obama is as a man.

Hillary needs to remain in the race till Denver and she needs to campaign for super delegate votes now that the primaries are over. As far as I am concerned this November it is either Hillary Clinton or McCain. I will not vote for Obama and I once was one of his most vocal advocates. Now, I cannot tolerate him and see him as just another GW Bush - in it completely for himself.

For starters, the "Fuck Hillary" and "Her supporters are all insane" stuff isn't good. Like it or not Obama isn't winning this in a walk - it's been a close, close race. Just how much of the Democratic constituency do you think you can toss overboard and still win?

More specifics here would be helpful as well. Insane as applied to Clinton supporters in general is one thing; insane as applied to particular strategies, particular statements or individuals is another.

Again, you'll piss off fewer people with specifics.

And, of course, the conciliatory gestures go both ways.

For starters, the "Fuck Hillary" and "Her supporters are all insane" stuff isn't good. Like it or not Obama isn't winning this in a walk - it's been a close, close race. Just how much of the Democratic constituency do you think you can toss overboard and still win?

Melinda,

No one has said those things on this thread. If you think specific comments are offensive please quote them. Accusing the people here of saying things they never said is highly offensive. It is also not conducive to the unity needed to win in November.

Next, some of the comments here really have been offensive and really are "elitist."

Can you cite them? Or even just one?

Also, what does elitism mean? Given that we're talking about two Ivy league lawyers, I'm very confused.

The reason that Clinton supporters don't spend much time here, or at least don't post here, is that it's a very hostile environment for us. It's not that Clinton supporters don't know how to use computers, and trying to explain *that* piece of inanity away with an assertion that it's that working class/blue collar people don't know how to use computers just makes things a lot worse. Seriously.

What are you talking about? If you're talking about Bruce Baugh's earlier comment, are you aware of the fact that Bruce has been defending consistently Clinton and her supporters? I mean, you can certainly argue that he overgeneralized from the set of Clinton supporters that he personally knew, but you're not doing that.

I don't think you can speak authoritatively on behalf of all Clinton supporters. My suspicion is that OW focuses on foreign policy, and Clinton was pretty wrong on the most important foreign policy issue of her career. That means that Clinton supporters are going to be underrepresented at OW.

A substantial chunk of Clinton's supporters come from traditional wings of the Democratic party - labor, women, Jews, and so on. I think it's worth giving some consideration to whether or not it's a good idea to alienate those groups in your rush to express your outrage that she won't just quit.

Given that many more Clinton supporters insist in polling that they won't vote for Obama than vice versa, I'm not sure it makes sense to talk about Clinton supporters being more traditional members of the Democratic party. Unless voting for the nominee is now untraditional.

Who exactly has alienated these groups? What specifically did they say?

I'm sure that there are some Clinton supporters who just won't vote for Obama but it's my sense that there are actually very few, despite all the attention they're getting. In the meantime I think it's time to draw the huge number of rest of us in, rather than push us away.

There might be few or there might be many, its hard to know right now. But in states where Clinton has performed best, the polling indicates that a very large fraction of her supporters indeed report that they won't support Obama.

What do you want me to do in order to help draw the rest of the Clinton supporters in? And what do you think I've done to push you away?

Be closed Italics!

Next, some of the comments here really have been offensive and really are "elitist."

I can certainly speak for no one else but I think the "some comments" formulation is really bad form. If you think that someone has been elitist I think it is only fair to refer to them directly and allow them to defend themselves and their own comments.

It's not that Clinton supporters don't know how to use computers, and trying to explain *that* piece of inanity away with an assertion that it's that working class/blue collar people don't know how to use computers just makes things a lot worse.

Who here has suggested anything of the sort? Who has made a comment that can be fairly characterized this way?

I think it's worth giving some consideration to whether or not it's a good idea to alienate those groups in your rush to express your outrage that she won't just quit.

I think that to the extent that there is any outrage in this forum at all, which seems pretty questionable to me, it has little to do with whether she chooses to quit but whether having effectively lost the race she chooses to continue in a way that deliberately damages the probable nominee.

But I guess from my point of view, even if there is such outrage, it seems to me that can be expressed honestly and forthrightly and with intellectually honest argument. If my attitude toward Clinton is outrage or if someone else's attitude towards something Obama has said or done is anger, then I don't see why I should take it personally if they decide to express that. I can defend my arguments and my feelings toward a candidate on the merits and Clinton's supporters can do the same. Why should anyone act as if such disputes are off limits?

Giving Hillary the finger, refusing to shake her hand, accusing her of race baiting (when he was the only one actually using race baiting as a strategy) and having his surrogates demean and mock her all all part of who Obama is as a man.

None of these things have actually happened. You are imagining things.

I'm an Obama supporter, and I'm with Melinda about the first name thing. I really wish HRC were going by Rodham, actually. Both candidates, by virtue of their gender or race, are knee-jerk targets for belittling. The fact that Hillary is marketing herself as Hillary? Welp. I don't think she's doing herself any favors. All this sexism and racism rhetoric in the air -- the difference for me hasn't been in quantity OR quality of it, but in the candidates' responses to it: Obama's has been mindful, and Clinton's has been brittle. Granted, her supporters' noise (Melinda's and others' mindful responses excluded) has added to the problem, but Clinton is at the core.

And then there's the math thing. Whatever the outcome, I'll be very curious to see both candidates' responses to it. OBW was right on in its weight on the importance not so much of the rules committee's decision as on candidates' response to it. So many are watching.

It's not done yet. I have a nickel riding on it.

Melinda, I'd be interested if you find any comment from an Obama supporter as harmful to unity as Ken's of 7:19.

I will say this, though, at least Ken has made his position clear: nothing Obama or his campaign say or do will make any difference here, and he's frankly not concerned in the least if her continued hopeless fight does serious damage to Obama. Which side is more promiscuous with the 'F the Candidate' line? I know what I see here.

melinda,

I am sympathetic to your complaint and the complaints of those like you who show up to various sites I read. I know you are frustrated with how Clinton supporters are characterized. However, when you wonder why they are viewed that way, look to people like ken here or even Taylor Marsh in the link cited. Here is ken's latest keen observation:

Melinda, the 'Fuck Hillary and her supporters' campaign has been the essense of the the Obama strategy from day one. Giving Hillary the finger, refusing to shake her hand, accusing her of race baiting (when he was the only one actually using race baiting as a strategy) and having his surrogates demean and mock her all all part of who Obama is as a man.

How far into the weeds do you have to be to argue that Obama subtly gave clinton the finger when scratching his nose? Moreover, how disconnected from reality do you have to be to argue that Obama has been actively unpleasant or vindictive toward Hillary throughout? Even weirder is the contrast that suggests she is saintly when she went any number of primaries in a row without ever acknowledging that he beat her.

Or look at Taylor Marsh's post. It is absolutely bizzare that someone could argue about how petty the rules committee was to deny Hillary 4 votes and then threaten to sink the entire party because of 4 votes!!1! When most of us read screeds like that, we conclude that those who are currently arguing that Clinton should fight to the end are completely unreflective and unable to apply their own rules of governance to themselves. Moreover, we begin to suspect that their motives have very little to do with support for positions or good governance and are, in fact, merely a cult of personality.

I, like you, suspect that those who really feel that Hillary should fight until the end are a small minority, roughly equivalent to the current Bush dead-enders. However, it is a vocal minority, especially in the blogging world. As such, it garners a level of attention and angry response that is most likely unwarranted (in respect to its actual electoral import). However, I hope you understand that Obama supporters generally don't assume all hillary supporters are hysterical maniacs. They just respond to the fact that most of the Clinton supporters they interact with on any given day (and certainly those they end up wrestling with the most) are.

I've been on a podium in front of large audience. I know how to scratch an itch without giving the finger to someone when their name is mentioned. Obama clearly gave Hillary the finger. Only an idiot would think it was innocent.

Also, I've taken classes in public speaking.

We are taugt to keep our hands away from our faces. Don't rub your chin, wipe sweat from your brow, or cup your hand over your ear or make any other gesture unless you are trying to make a point concerning the topic you are addressing.

When talking about Hillary Clinton and bringing his finger to his face Obama was clearly making a point: Fuck Hillary.

Well fuck Obama as far as I am concerned.

"Turbulence & cleek: It's not just Wirght. It's the group of loonies Obama has self-identified as his "spiritual advisors" and what they are on record, tape, video and YouTube across the internets having said. You've seen the videos, right?"

I haven't. Can you please link to what you're talking about, and explain what it is your thesis is, and what we should be concerned about? Thanks.

"Need I cite the Chicago Sun Times article again? OK."

Ok, I read it: what is it you have to say about it? Is there something in the piece I'm supposed to be bothered by, and if so, can you say what it is, please? Thanks.

"So explain to me, and to Hillary, why she should drop out when more democrats voted for her to be the nominee than voted for Obama."

Because the nomination is gained through achieving a majority of delegates. Period. That's all that's relevant. End of story.

"So explain to me, and to Hillary, why she should drop out when more democrats voted for her to be the nominee than voted for Obama."

No matter how that goes to elect President McCain, and how much damage it does to the Democratic Party.

Some of us care about the Democratic Party, per se. And one never campaigns in a nomination battle in a way that damages the chances of the Party in the general election.

Anyone who does that is putting their own ambition above that of the welfare of the Democratic Party, the people who make it up, and the citizenry and polity of the United States of America.

Anyone.

I've been on a podium in front of large audience. I know how to scratch an itch without giving the finger to someone when their name is mentioned. Obama clearly gave Hillary the finger. Only an idiot would think it was innocent.

And Hillary pronounces "Barak" to rhyme with "schmuck". Try and tell me that's not deliberate.

wvng: besotted

I've always loved that word. I mean, if it’s Friday, I want to get darned besotted. What? Sunday you say? Killjoys… Still – can I get popcorn with that?

(Yes, I am getting way too much pleasure out of this… It is a character flaw, I admit.)

But Gary, Schmuck would also rhyme with: Good luck!
(Maybe that's what she meant).

But, Uh Oh... That means it would also rhyme with "Hockey Puck."

See, it is racist!


A substantial chunk of Clinton's supporters come from traditional wings of the Democratic party - labor, women, Jews, and so on. I think it's worth giving some consideration to whether or not it's a good idea to alienate those groups in your rush to express your outrage that she won't just quit. I'm sure that there are some Clinton supporters who just won't vote for Obama but it's my sense that there are actually very few, despite all the attention they're getting. In the meantime I think it's time to draw the huge number of rest of us in, rather than push us away.

Melinda,

I agree with you that cooling off of the tribalistic rhetoric is both desirable, necessary and timely. Thank you for pointing that out and also for setting a positive personal example in doing so.

I can't speak for "Obama supporters" as a group, any more than anyone else can or any one person can speak for "Clinton supporters" as a group, so let me make some personal observations instead.

This has been a high stakes campaign, in part because I think many people rightly see this as a pivotal election and in part because the general electoral climate is also viewed as more favorably skewed towards the Democratic nominee than were the recent elections in 2004 and 2000.

Under these circumstances, and given that the policy differences between the dominant campaigns were small compared with differences vs. the GOP (see 1968 and 1972 as counterexamples), this nomination contest was bound to be both hard fought and to revolve around identity politics in a broad sense, i.e. to focus on demographic factors rather than policy papers.

Also, this is a truly historic election insofar as once HRC and BHO emerged as the front-runners, one of them was going to smash a glass ceiling.

I am feeling (and I suspect that others may share this) a very mixed set of emotions as the contest comes to a close

- pride in the positive qualities of the candidate I'm backing.

- pleasure in having a nominee I won't have to hold my nose to support in November in contrast with my experience for most of my adult lifetime. This applies with particular force regarding Obama's stance re: the Iraq War, compared with Kerry in 2004.

- excitement over the possibility that we may be able to run strong in some states (in the Mountain West for example) which have been GOP strongholds for a generation or more, and that the extraordinary outpouring of support for Obama coming from younger voters bodes well for party branding efforts over the next generation of electoral contests.

- anxiety that the general election campaign is going to be difficult because we will not have a traditional senior white male candidate and do not really know how much of a negative effect that will have.

- impatience to get on with the business of the general election campaign.

- a desire to have a "victory lap" as an emotional release from the stress of a very long and grueling nominating contest, both to celebrate the historic nature of the candidate, and because this was a monumental upset of an overwhelmingly favored establishment candidate, one of the biggest upsets in Democratic party politics since LBJ withdrew from the 1968 race under the pressure created by the insurgent antiwar candidacy of Eugene McCarthy.

- partially suppressed fears which Hillary Clinton brought to the surface with her remarks re: RFK.

- anger, sometimes intense and barely suppressed anger, at the way that Hillary Clinton has at times campaigned in a manner which has not only played fast and loose with the rules (in a way which Obama would never have been allowed to get away with) but which also implied that those demographic and ideological groups which were not supporting her are at best second class citizens within the Democratic party who should expect to carry water but not to lead the party.

For example, without even intending to do so (I strongly suspect), you yourself are echoing certain assumptions about which groups count, and which do not, when you say something like:

"A substantial chunk of Clinton's supporters come from traditional wings of the Democratic party - labor, women, Jews, and so on.",

which leads to the question, so are African American voters not a traditional wing of the party? Are progressives not a traditional wing of the party? Are grass roots activists (who have been attacked at latte sipping elites) not a traditional wing of the party?

Each of these groups has at least as strong a claim to being long-standing and highly loyal members of the traditional Democratic coalition as the groups you mentioned (also, you might want to check the record of which labor unions have endorsed which candidate before including "labor" as an unambiguously pro-Clinton group).

Yet the message which the Clinton campaign collectively has been sending for months now to those of us who belong in one of these other groups has been, to boil it all the way down: "the party isn't yours, it doesn't belong to you it belongs to me, so STFU and go sit in the back of the bus where you belong". They never come quite out and say it that explicitly but that is the message I've been hearing loud and clear from them ever since the Ohio primary, if you put all of the pieces of the jigsaw puzzle together.

It isn't a very nice message, and the Obama campaign has shown extraordinary patience and forbearance in putting up with it without unloading on the Clintons (both of them) with the sort of negative attacks that we all know the GOP will show no hesitation in using.

What we have seen instead is a campaign which has sought to take as much of a high road as they can without risking the damage from being seen as "too weak" and "not a fighter", and "unable to stand the heat", out of deference to an established figure who has a lot of very strong support, and out of a desire to remain consistent with Obama's early contest rhetoric about bringing a new tone to our political discourse.

And this has taken place with a back drop of MSM coverage determined both to prolong the contest as much as possible and to take it into the gutter if at all possible to stir up emotions and garner ratings from the resulting knife fight.

It has been a trial of patience, and of courtesy, in which all of the emotions which I listed above have been attacked by the Clinton campaign, or blocked by them, or picked at like a bleeding scab. Think of how you might have reacted under such a trial, and show some understanding for those of us, imperfect as we are, who on occasion allow more of our emotions to come through than we perhaps should. Ask yourself how well you would be doing if the positions had been reversed.

Gary, for your information.

Barack Obama has not won enough delegates to win the nomination.

For you to insist that Hillary drop out when we still have a chance to nominate her at the convention is borderline insane. Reality dictates she continue her campaign to defeat Obama now and then AFTER Denver we unite to defeat McCain with Hillary Clinton as our candidate.

And the fact that Hillary is the candidate supported by more VOTERS than anyone else should count for something. At least that's what I've always been taught.

End italics

And the fact that Hillary is the candidate supported by more VOTERS than anyone else should count for something.

To add to my earlier response to this "point" you keep trying to make, the fact that you have decided to capitalize certain words in when repeating this false statement also does not make it any more true.

ken,

As a Michigan resident, I was denied both the opportunity to vote in a meaningful, legal primary (thanks to the selfishness and pigheadedness of the Michigan Democratic Party), and the chance to register my preference in the Soviet-style election that resulted (thanks to Obama's choice to remove his name, and Clinton's rather duplicitous choice to keep hers on the ballot). Suggesting that the results of that election have *anything* to do with democracy is not just an insult to me and thousands of other Michiganders who supported Obama or Edwards, but an attack on the basic principles of democracy itself.

This isn't a controversial proposition when apply to blatantly non-democratic states such as Saddam's Iraq or Stalin's Soviet Union. So why can't you recognize its applicability here?

If you must bang the gong for including the Michigan votes, do the people denied a voice in Michigan a favor and steer clear of claims that such a demand has anything to do with principle. This is about wanting your candidate to win, and nothing more.

mss, Obama chose not to run in Michagan. Why blame anyone but him for that choice? It seems so typical of Obama, and his supporters, that he not take responsibility for anything. I am tired of it. The election was held in Michagan. Complain about the outcome all you want but the election was held. Those votes count. At least in my version of America, where all voters are respected, they do.

If we cannot agree that when voters take the time from their busy lives and go vote to count those votes then we don't have much common ground in America any more.

Melinda: thanks for sticking up for your candidate in a way that does her proud.

ken: profanity violates the posting rules.

"And Hillary pronounces "Barak" to rhyme with "schmuck". Try and tell me that's not deliberate."

They rhyme. So what? Perhaps he should change his name?

You are probably calling people racist who use his middle name when referring to him also.

Gary: All the links you requested are here. Though it appears to be only one, the link associated with "these breathtakingly fertile fields" is actually four links to videos or print articles of Wright, Meeks, Pfleger and Moss making incendiary, race-oriented comments.

Gary: "Is there something in the piece I'm supposed to be bothered by, and if so, can you say what it is?"

Pretty simple, really Gary. In light of what Wirght and Obama's cadre of "spiritual advisors" are on record as having said, once the RNC attack machine gets to work with all this raw material, can Obama win? Can he overcome the liability represented by his self-proclaimed spiritual advisors. In light of their comments, to me, the liabilities appear significant.

That was all.

They rhyme. So what? Perhaps he should change his name?

LOL. He was making fun of your ridiculous argument about "the finger"... and they don't rhyme. Just another in the long list of things you imagine to be true which it turns out are not.

Hilzoy, it was Melinda who first used profanity. I thought it was fitting so I repeated it.

And how do you talk about Obama running a Fuck Hillary campaign without referring to his campaign strategy by name?

ken,

I can find no flattering explanation for your choice to argue that Michigan had a democratic election, and so I won't try to figure out why you are saying these things.

As you doubtless know, the DNC, Obama, and Clinton herself acknowledged in advance that the Michigan primary would not count, so your insinuation that this situation arose because Obama and his supporters are irresponsible is just another insult. For me, and for many others, the choice to abstain had nothing to do with laziness; I did not participate because I refused to dignify a sham election, just as I would abstain from a one-candidate election in a dictatorship. If you cannot acknowledge the flaws in the Michigan primary, then you don't know what it means to respect the voters.

I could care less about the outcome---my complaint is *precisely* that no democratic election was held in Michigan whatsoever.

Let me be blunt, ken. My vision of America is one in which our democratic process is open, fair, competitive, and legal. Before 2000, I thought this was common ground for us all; since then, I have been vigilant against efforts to undermine these bedrock principles in order to win at any cost. Hillary Clinton and her dead-enders have crossed that line, and by invoking the "popular vote" in Michigan, are as much enemies of democracy as George Bush was in 2000.


"The election was held in Michagan. Complain about the outcome all you want but the election was held. Those votes count. At least in my version of America, where all voters are respected, they do."

Fingernails on a blackboard. Driving me absolutely bonkers, the concern trolling for America and the votes.

mss,

I think if you look at ken's comments a bit more closely, you will realize you are wasting your time trying to put forth a rational argument. He's not interested. I admit that I have, to my own discredit, fed the troll myself (although he's basically ignored me) but I hate to see anyone else making the same mistakes that I have.:)

If there were any doubt before, I think his last comment pretty much settles the issue with respect to just what sort of character we are dealing with here.

mss, you are wrong. Any election held in America when American citizens have a chance to express their preference is democratic.

Your guy decided not to run in Michigan. So what? He loses. He wanted it that way.

But now he doesn't want to be accountable for his choice. This is so typical of Obama. But that is not the American way. it is outragous what he conned the party leaders into doing. Or perhaps he didn't con them at all and the democratic party at its leadership level is no different than the republicans.

brent,

Agreed; I just wanted to put down a marker, and felt this was an appropriate place. Normally I wouldn't feed the trolls, but it's been rough the last couple of days listening to his type pouring salt in the wounds of the already disenfranchised by pretending to stand up in favor of voter rights.

I mean, I already went through this once in January; now I fear I will have to suffer through it all summer. Thanks to the other ObWi readers for your patience.

I made the mistake of getting involved in this circular firing squad. I visited a pro-Clinton blog called The Confluence and tried to dissuade them from the wailing and gnashing of teeth. Many of them were ready to jump ship and vote for McCain as a dramatic gesture. Having a feminist tell me that the GOP overturning Roe would "build character" among the younger generation is simply too much to withstand. This is a crowd where history is constantly being adjusted to fit the narrative and creative memory fills in for a lack of results.

ken,

See my last three comments. Jeebus, just read and think about the first paragraph of your own final comment for a moment.

We're done here.

ken,

You are aware that the Clinton campaign signed on to the DNC's disciplinary action against Michigan and Florida when it was first announced right (as did all the major candidates)? That she didn't seem to feel that it constituted a civil rights abuse until (as best as I can determine) *immediately* after Super Tuesday, when her people realized she wasn't quite as certain of victory as they had thought?

I find it hard to imagine how you can look at that and conclude that she's standing on principle rather than self-interest. Given that, her invocation of Selma and suffragettes, etc., is exactly the kind of thing that damages her reputation among lots of reasonable people.

Of course, I didn't think Obama was giving her the finger, either, so I must be an idiot. Disregard me.

I have this feeling that some Clinton supporters are implicitly committing themselves to a standard they wouldn't consciously choose. This is a thing people do, very much including me, but I'd like to poke at it a bit.

Here's the deal. Two states scheduled their primaries for circumstances they knew the national party wouldn't approve. It didn't. All the candidates agreed to the party's ruling - none of them made any push in those states, it's just that Clinton took fewer active steps to disengage fully than Obama or Edwards. There was no disagreement among the candidates at that time about it. This is all record, not open to dispute. Clinton began raising the issue only after her original strategy proved insufficient. This is also on record.

The foundation of her argument is that when you find the outcome sufficiently significant, the rules don't matter. The question is, with this standard, what isn't okay?

Florida stripped tens of thousands of people from its voting rolls on bogus grounds. Should Democrats have had them vote anyway, or forged ballots on their behalf?

Diebold and other voting machines have been proven vulnerable to tampering - there are security alerts for them from the international body in charge of computer security standards. Where they're being used by people on record as seeking to toss elections Republicans' way, should Democrats hack the machines themselves to restore what voters had in mind?

Polling places are often in short supply in neighborhoods that are poor and likely to vote Democratic. How about if I set up a polling place of my own, weeks after the election, and get neglected votes and insist they be counted?

I am, seriously, not trolling with this. Once we take the standard that procedure is entirely dismissable when we want the outcome enough, and when we are talking about actions to ascertain the voting wishes of the public, what can ever not be okay in the cause?

AndyK, Hillary Clinton has no more authority to claim that votes don't count than GW Bush has to excuse torture.

Who cares who said efing what? It is what the voters said that matters.

Respect that or we have no common ground in this country. None. And your argument is no better than the sophistry used by the supreme court to give Bush the white house.

A small wee tiny simple gesture you could make might be to use "Clinton" and "Obama" or "Hillary" and "Barack," rather than "Hillary" and "Obama."

go look at HillaryClitnon.com. what do you see prominently displayed at the top of the page ? ok, skip the contribution pag and go to the official main page. i count 14 uses of "Hillary" ("Hillary Tours Puerto Rico", "Join Team Hillary", "Travel For Hillary", "Vote For Hillary's Next T-shirt", etc.). every page on the site is like that.

if she isn't bothered by the use of her first name, why should anyone else be ?

Iraq is the most important issue that the next President can have an effect on. I was going to vote for Obama because he was most adamant about getting out of Iraq.

Hillary is turning out to be the best Candidate. She’s the only one tough enough to get America out of the Democracy in Iraq mess. Obama would fold when the images started coming in faster than he turned his back on his congregation. McCain’s navy pilot brain would keep trying to defeat an enemy that he is not willing to define.

Hillary would do it for her own purposes, but she is the best chance of getting out of there. She is tough and calculating. Obama surrounds himself with nuts. Hillary probably does to, but she at least has the strength and wisdom to keep them relatively quiet.

Bruce,

I think you're asking an important question, and it's one that I think can be addressed, at least partly, through the law (caveat: IANAL). Some states (Washington comes to mind) have "voter intent" statutes that direct the courts to attempt to ascertain the intent of voters when ballots are unclear, rather than to discard them if they don't exactly follow the rules.

And the courts can also make rulings under equal protection that could go a long way to remedying the other examples you raise (unequal access to the polls through machine shortages is a personal pet-peeve). The courts have been extremely strict, for example, on apportionment of Congressional districts, require the states to draw them such that *exactly* the same number of people live in each CD in a state, according to the census. If we can go to such surreal lengths for "one-man, one-vote" in one context, we can do a better job in others. But the key is doing it ahead of time---not during a difficult election. I hope the Dems remember this in 2009.

A final step, worth thinking about, is to what extent we should use statistical methods to redress election problems. The Michigan compromise brings this up in translating votes to delegates, but really, the DNC can do anything it wants, as selecting a nominee is the internal affair of a private group. I think the more interesting question is whether (very strong) statistical evidence should be relevant in challenges to general elections, e.g., should the very very strong statistical evidence that Gore voters mistakenly punched Buchanan in Palm Beach 2000 been grounds for an election challenge? We'd probably need new and carefully written laws, but I think it's worth considering.

Holy crap! BOB just jumped the shark!

Obama surrounds himself with nuts. Hillary probably does to, but she at least has the strength and wisdom to keep them relatively quiet.

Ickes
Davis
Wolfson
McAuliffe
Penn
Saban

These are all nuts I fear a hell of a lot more than Wright. They are powerful DLC insiders who have actually screwed over "hard working white americans" in order to enrich themselves. And they are a hell of a lot louder. And they are a hell of a lot closer to Clinton.

Obama made a tactical error in removing his name from the Michigan ballot. I believe he did so in a sincere attempt to comply with party rules, and that Clinton was playing a cynical but strategically smarter game. That said, the error is Obama's and there's no reason he should be excused it's consequences just because Clinton pulled a fast one. The Obama campaign's decision to endorse the Michigan compromise is more serious strategic error. He gains 4 votes at the expense of energizing Clinton's most rabid partisans and possibly enabling a floor fight at the convention that will cripple him going into the general election. Obama does not need those four votes. By taking the high ground and making Clinton look like a devious schemer he positions himself well to approach the superdelegates as the candidate of party unity and paint Clinton as doing what Reagan did to the GOP in 1976.

I apologize for that last outburst.

Hillary has lost, it is time to be gracious.
I must repeat the mantra:

Please, Hillary supporters, realize this is not just about your feelings and your candidate. McCain is a million times worse than Obama. McCain is a million times worse than Obama. McCain is a million times worse than Obama....

Bruce,

I think it is true that when the results of a close election are in doubt then counting all the votes becomes more important. But this is self evident, isn't it?

In a blow out election skipping some late voters or making some errors in the results that will not change the outcome is not so damaging to democracy.

Look, the principal is to count all the votes, especially in a close election. That should be the commmon ground in settling disputes and agreed upon by everyone. That should be the first 'rule'.

The republicans refused to live by this principal in 2000 and now Obama and his supporters are refusing to live by it.

But making specious arguments that this principal would allow one to send in bogus ballots long after the election took place is silly. Drop it.

But changing the secondary rules on how we count ballots and which ones to count are and should be open to discussion even if this would change the outcome. Again the rule would be to be as inclusive as possible in counting all votes in a close election.

So counting of absenttee ballots that where misplaced and not discovered till after the election was certified is in my mind ok. So would be counting write in names when the election rules don't allow them. Anything that can be used to determine the will of the voters on election day should be given every consideration and generally allowed, as far as I am concerned.

In other words the overriding principal should be to assertaint the will of the people as expressed in the election. We would therefore exclude the use of exit polls, astrologers, and mystics but rely instead on the hard cold facts of the data contained on the ballots as cast by the voters.

The Obama campaign's decision to endorse the Michigan compromise is more serious strategic error. He gains 4 votes at the expense of energizing Clinton's most rabid partisans

everyone who thinks Clinton's Rabid Partisans would be calmed by four delegates: raise your hand.

everyone who thinks Taylor Marsh would say "Oh, well, that changes everything! i take it all back!" if Clinton had secured those 4 delegates, raise your hand.

anyone have a hand up ?

if so, slap yourself with it - you're dreaming.

Interesting--Lyndon LaRouche backs Clinton and wants her to take the nomination battle to Denver. I seriously wonder how many "die hard Clinton supporters" at the hearings were actually LaRouche acolytes?

I've gotten so stuffed that I couldn't eat another kernel of popcorn, so I gotta post something to keep my hands busy. :)

My opinion is that if Senator Clinton's campaign continues to the convention, it largely won't matter. About a week ago Josh Marshall coined the line that she is staying in the primary while Senator Obama is moving on to contest the general election. This seems to be his strategy, and I like it so far.

The comments of Senator Clinton's supporters on talkleft, taylormarsh, and hillaryis44 suggest that many have decided to give up on the Democratic party. They can choose to do so. But the silver lining of this extremely too-long primary is that there is plenty of time for fear of Senator McCain's stated positions to change their minds. Some will see him as the one to fear most. Let the rest sit out or form a third party. Stay focused on a campaign against Senator McCain's positions and actions.

Unlike Senator Clinton's voters, she, her staff, and superdelegates supporting her will face clear consequences for seeing the choice of the Democratic Party's completed primary process as an enemy. They risk being read out of the party as disloyal, unreliable, and ultimately irrelevant (once most voters move on to the general election).

BTW, I would vote for Senator Clinton without hesitation if she were the Democratic nominee.

That said, the error is Obama's and there's no reason he should be excused it's consequences just because Clinton pulled a fast one.

What consequences are you referring to?

The Obama campaign's decision to endorse the Michigan compromise is more serious strategic error. He gains 4 votes at the expense of energizing Clinton's most rabid partisans and possibly enabling a floor fight at the convention that will cripple him going into the general election.

It is the Michigan State Democratic party that put forth the compromise. If Clinton wants to take the battle to the floor and fight both the larger party apparatus and the Michigan State Democratic party and its delegates over an agreement that they themselves endorsed, she will just make herself look foolish. I won't rule anything out but this seems like a highly unlikely scenario.

Yes, br. But I’d consider them to be calculating nuts on a leash, a different league of nuts than some nuts that shall go nameless.

People say that Iran is the big winner in the Iraq war. I don’t believe it though. Our actions have strengthened the regional Shia hand by merging parts of Iran and Iraq. Sunni Saudi Arabia doesn’t like this as they are the traditional enemy of Iran.

That cute Arab lady that Hillary pals around with and was the source of the rumors is the daughter of a Saudi leader. I suspect that Hillary gets advice quite often about the danger of creating a Shia superstate that could counterbalance Saudi Arabia.

That is one more reason why I think Hillary is the one to get us out of Iraq. Getting out of Iraq would strengthen her personal assistant’s family’s position in the world. A clever leader could use the new balance of power in the Persian Gulf (you have to call it ‘Arabian’ Gulf when talking to Saudi honchos). We’re due for a clever leader in probably two or three years.

Iraq's fortunes are all about Huma? That is very funny.

Good job, Brick's parody troll.

But I’d consider them to be calculating nuts on a leash, a different league of nuts than some nuts that shall go nameless.

Oh, don't be so shy, B.O.Bill! I'd put you right at the forefront of any league of nuts you care to name, or not. The only question is, are you leashed or unleashed?

But I’d consider them to be calculating nuts on a leash, a different league of nuts than some nuts that shall go nameless.

Oh, don't be so shy, B.O.Bill! I'd put you right at the forefront of any league of nuts you care to name, or not. The only question is, are you leashed or unleashed?

But I’d consider them to be calculating nuts on a leash, a different league of nuts than some nuts that shall go nameless.

Oh, don't be so shy, B.O.Bill! I'd put you right at the forefront of any league of nuts you care to name, or not. The only question is, are you leashed or unleashed?

GRRR! I hate Typepad.

Unleashed baby. In all my glory.

Reason 1286 why I love the internets

FiveThirtyEight.com's popular vote scenario tester

Another question that I mean seriously even though such things are usually said trollishly:

If Clinton is currently correct about what MI and FL deserve, then she was very vocally wrong for months. She spoke without noticeable sympathy in her repeated agreements with the DNC's ruling. Does she owe MI and FL Democrats an apology now? Or is it sufficient that she continue to press for solutions not endorsed by their own state parties?

Senator Clinton will officially lose by the end of this week, if not earlier. Maybe this lesson will help curtail her support of Republican war machines. She still hasn't apologized for her role in letting the madman in the White House have a blank check for death and destruction. If she had apologized in 2007 and vowed never to do it again (Iran), then she would have won the nomination easily.

On the other hand, maybe she and some of her supporters are actually in favor of unnecessary wars. A few of her supporters have said they'd vote for McCain over Obama. The only explanation for that insanity is that they secretly love war. Because that's what you'll get with a President McCain.

"Obama can drop out now if he want to but Hillary should not drop out as long as we have a chance to have her as our nominee."

Why should this policy not also be followed by the supporters of John Edwards? Of Joe Biden? Of Bill Richardson? Of Dennis Kucinich? Of Tom Vilsack? Of Mike Gravel?

How about Chris Dodd?

Can you explain, please?

"As far as I am concerned this November it is either Hillary Clinton or McCain."

I see. Not a Democrat, then, clearly. Good to know.

"Obama clearly gave Hillary the finger. Only an idiot would think it was innocent."

I believe it's a violation of the posting rules to call everyone who disagrees with you an "idiot." But I don't speak for this blog.

"But Gary, Schmuck would also rhyme with: Good luck!"

Um, what? I think you want to talk to "Mike," not me.

"And the fact that Hillary is the candidate supported by more VOTERS than anyone else should count for something. At least that's what I've always been taught."

Find me a history book, or a cite to a political history of any reputable kind, that says that the popular vote of all the primaries and caucuses has ever had anything whatever to do with getting the nomination of a party, and get back to us. What are you talking about?

I'd ask how long you've been active in the Democratic Party, ken, but when you say you'll vote for John McCain, it's clear that you are not a Democrat, at least as of that decision.

"mss, Obama chose not to run in Michagan. Why blame anyone but him for that choice?"

It seems rather clear that bringing the facts to your attention will be insufficient, and that further engagement is unlikely to be productive.

But to answer your question, all the candidates swore not to campaign in Florida and Michigan, and swore to abide by the rules of the Democratic Party. All the candidates participated in setting the rules, and everyone was fine with it. No protests were made at any time by any campaign.

Until the Clinton campaign started to lose the race for the nomination; at which time that campaign began retroactively denouncing the rules they'd supported and agreed to.

Clinton, Obama and Edwards Join Pledge to Avoid Defiant States

By JEFF ZELENY
Published: September 2, 2007

PORTSMOUTH, N.H., Sept. 1 — Three of the major Democratic presidential candidates on Saturday pledged not to campaign in Florida, Michigan and other states trying to leapfrog the 2008 primary calendar, a move that solidified the importance of the opening contests of Iowa and New Hampshire.

Hours after Senator Barack Obama of Illinois and former Senator John Edwards of North Carolina agreed to sign a loyalty pledge put forward by party officials in Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York followed suit. The decision seemed to dash any hopes of Mrs. Clinton relying on a strong showing in Florida as a springboard to the nomination.

“We believe Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina play a unique and special role in the nominating process,” Patti Solis Doyle, the Clinton campaign manager, said in a statement.

The pledge sought to preserve the status of traditional early-voting states and bring order to an unwieldy series of primaries that threatened to accelerate the selection process. It was devised to keep candidates from campaigning in Florida, where the primary is set for Jan. 29, and Michigan, which is trying to move its contest to Jan. 15.

The Democratic National Committee has vowed to take away Florida’s 210 delegates — and those of any other state that moved its nominating contest before Feb. 5 — if it does not come up with an alternative plan.

What happened:
When Michigan and Florida moved their primaries ahead of the dates set by the Democratic National Committee, New York Sen. Hillary Clinton supported the party's decision to strip those states of their delegates.

[...]

In September 2007, the crowd of Democrats running for president signed a pledge not to campaign in Florida or Michigan. The Democratic Party had punished those states for shifting their primaries and diluting the importance of early-voting states such as Iowa and New Hampshire.

At the time, Clinton was the front-runner, and she signed the pledge. Most candidates, like Illinois Sen. Barack Obama and former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards, went so far as to take their names off the ballot in Michigan. Clinton left hers on the ballot. During an interview on New Hampshire Public Radio, a caller asked Clinton what was up.

"Now, just this week most of your Democratic competitors removed their names from the Michigan primary ballot. But you didn't, and my question is why?" said the caller, who identified herself as Elaine. "It strikes me as this is politics as usual, where the politicians say one thing and they end up doing something else."

Clinton responded that she stayed on the Michigan ballot because she didn't want to totally dismiss voters in an important swing state.

"It's clear this election they're having is not going to count for anything," Clinton said.

[...]

But really, Clinton said, leaving her name on in Michigan wasn't a big deal.

"I personally did not think it made any difference if my name was on the ballot," she said.

January 21st, 2008:
It's one more quirk in a presidential election year that has begun with many of them: Votes cast for Democratic candidates in Michigan -- and in Florida's upcoming primary -- will not count.
You can check all the news stories you like from that time, if you are unfamiliar with what was happening, and didn't follow it at the time.

Pledge. Senator Clinton signed it, with no protest whatever.

Four State Pledge Letter 2008
Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, South Carolina
August 31, 2007

WHEREAS, Over a year ago, the Democratic National Committee established a 2008 nominating calendar;

WHEREAS, this calendar honors the racial, ethnic, economic and geographic diversity of our party and our country;

WHEREAS, the DNC also honored the traditional role of retail politics early in the nominating process, to insure that money alone will not determine our presidential nominee;

WHEREAS, it is the desire of Presidential campaigns, the DNC, the states and the American people to bring finality, predictability and common sense to the nominating calendar.

THEREFORE, I _______________, Democratic Candidate for President, pledge I shall not campaign or participate in any state which schedules a presidential election primary or caucus before Feb. 5, 2008, except for the states of Iowa,
Nevada, New Hampshire and South Carolina, as “campaigning” is defined by rules and regulations of the DNC.


___________________________ __________
John/Jane Doe, Doe for President DATE
HTH. HAND.

"Obama can drop out now if he want to but Hillary should not drop out as long as we have a chance to have her as our nominee."

Why should this policy not also be followed by the supporters of John Edwards? Of Joe Biden? Of Bill Richardson? Of Dennis Kucinich? Of Tom Vilsack? Of Mike Gravel?

How about Chris Dodd?

Can you explain, please?

"As far as I am concerned this November it is either Hillary Clinton or McCain."

I see. Not a Democrat, then, clearly. Good to know.

"Obama clearly gave Hillary the finger. Only an idiot would think it was innocent."

I believe it's a violation of the posting rules to call everyone who disagrees with you an "idiot." But I don't speak for this blog.

"But Gary, Schmuck would also rhyme with: Good luck!"

Um, what? I think you want to talk to "Mike," not me.

"And the fact that Hillary is the candidate supported by more VOTERS than anyone else should count for something. At least that's what I've always been taught."

Find me a history book, or a cite to a political history of any reputable kind, that says that the popular vote of all the primaries and caucuses has ever had anything whatever to do with getting the nomination of a party, and get back to us. What are you talking about?

I'd ask how long you've been active in the Democratic Party, ken, but when you say you'll vote for John McCain, it's clear that you are not a Democrat, at least as of that decision.

"mss, Obama chose not to run in Michagan. Why blame anyone but him for that choice?"

It seems rather clear that bringing the facts to your attention will be insufficient, and that further engagement is unlikely to be productive.

But to answer your question, all the candidates swore not to campaign in Florida and Michigan, and swore to abide by the rules of the Democratic Party. All the candidates participated in setting the rules, and everyone was fine with it. No protests were made at any time by any campaign.

Until the Clinton campaign started to lose the race for the nomination; at which time that campaign began retroactively denouncing the rules they'd supported and agreed to.

Clinton, Obama and Edwards Join Pledge to Avoid Defiant States

By JEFF ZELENY
Published: September 2, 2007

PORTSMOUTH, N.H., Sept. 1 — Three of the major Democratic presidential candidates on Saturday pledged not to campaign in Florida, Michigan and other states trying to leapfrog the 2008 primary calendar, a move that solidified the importance of the opening contests of Iowa and New Hampshire.

Hours after Senator Barack Obama of Illinois and former Senator John Edwards of North Carolina agreed to sign a loyalty pledge put forward by party officials in Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York followed suit. The decision seemed to dash any hopes of Mrs. Clinton relying on a strong showing in Florida as a springboard to the nomination.

“We believe Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina play a unique and special role in the nominating process,” Patti Solis Doyle, the Clinton campaign manager, said in a statement.

The pledge sought to preserve the status of traditional early-voting states and bring order to an unwieldy series of primaries that threatened to accelerate the selection process. It was devised to keep candidates from campaigning in Florida, where the primary is set for Jan. 29, and Michigan, which is trying to move its contest to Jan. 15.

The Democratic National Committee has vowed to take away Florida’s 210 delegates — and those of any other state that moved its nominating contest before Feb. 5 — if it does not come up with an alternative plan.

What happened:
When Michigan and Florida moved their primaries ahead of the dates set by the Democratic National Committee, New York Sen. Hillary Clinton supported the party's decision to strip those states of their delegates.

[...]

In September 2007, the crowd of Democrats running for president signed a pledge not to campaign in Florida or Michigan. The Democratic Party had punished those states for shifting their primaries and diluting the importance of early-voting states such as Iowa and New Hampshire.

At the time, Clinton was the front-runner, and she signed the pledge. Most candidates, like Illinois Sen. Barack Obama and former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards, went so far as to take their names off the ballot in Michigan. Clinton left hers on the ballot. During an interview on New Hampshire Public Radio, a caller asked Clinton what was up.

"Now, just this week most of your Democratic competitors removed their names from the Michigan primary ballot. But you didn't, and my question is why?" said the caller, who identified herself as Elaine. "It strikes me as this is politics as usual, where the politicians say one thing and they end up doing something else."

Clinton responded that she stayed on the Michigan ballot because she didn't want to totally dismiss voters in an important swing state.

"It's clear this election they're having is not going to count for anything," Clinton said.

[...]

But really, Clinton said, leaving her name on in Michigan wasn't a big deal.

"I personally did not think it made any difference if my name was on the ballot," she said.

January 21st, 2008:
It's one more quirk in a presidential election year that has begun with many of them: Votes cast for Democratic candidates in Michigan -- and in Florida's upcoming primary -- will not count.
You can check all the news stories you like from that time, if you are unfamiliar with what was happening, and didn't follow it at the time.

Pledge. Senator Clinton signed it, with no protest whatever.

Four State Pledge Letter 2008
Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, South Carolina
August 31, 2007

WHEREAS, Over a year ago, the Democratic National Committee established a 2008 nominating calendar;

WHEREAS, this calendar honors the racial, ethnic, economic and geographic diversity of our party and our country;

WHEREAS, the DNC also honored the traditional role of retail politics early in the nominating process, to insure that money alone will not determine our presidential nominee;

WHEREAS, it is the desire of Presidential campaigns, the DNC, the states and the American people to bring finality, predictability and common sense to the nominating calendar.

THEREFORE, I _______________, Democratic Candidate for President, pledge I shall not campaign or participate in any state which schedules a presidential election primary or caucus before Feb. 5, 2008, except for the states of Iowa,
Nevada, New Hampshire and South Carolina, as “campaigning” is defined by rules and regulations of the DNC.


___________________________ __________
John/Jane Doe, Doe for President DATE
HTH. HAND.

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