"California show your teeth
"She's my priestess; I'm your priest"
I love that song by the Chili Peppers!
Barack Obama is gifted, he's talented. He belongs in the majors. This woman is just on another level.
He starts right in with the self-serving abstractions: "This isn't about black or white, or male or female, this is about going forward or looking back." Nice frame, but a meaningless abstraction. How is universal or the first woman President not moving forward?
Bloggers say Obama won the exchange on Iraq. E.g.:
"And twenty minutes of Iraq happened. And so I’ll give Obama the edge. Clinton was forced, for about 20 minutes, to recapitulate her vote on Iraq, over and over again. It was tough for her. She seemed to mire herself in the details of history." -- Marc Ambinder
I'm not sure. Ambinder's thinking about Iowa/MoveOn. But I wonder about the majority of voters who supported the war in 2003, who would have kicked out the Dems if they didn't give the President his war resolution. They want out now, but how do they react when Blitzer throws a hardball at Clinton: "so you're saying you were naive when you trusted George Bush?"
"Nice try, Wolf" came back Hillary. And then she scored--maybe. It's hard for me to say. I opposed the war so I can only imagine what soccer moms/Reagan Dems who backed Bush in 2003 think now. Clinton answered with specifics about coercive diplomacy, making the case that, yes, we were wrong in hindsight, but we weren't total idiots. Voters who supported what Obama calls a 'dumb war' may have needed to hear that--maybe. As I say, I can only imagine their 'mindset.'
But she did score a hit on Obama's head. Leaning forward defiantly, she said 'they're accusing ME of surrender'. Subtext: they're not even thinking about you, Barack. I thought I saw her beat her chest like Kong, maybe it was just her attitude. But Obama flinched -- her body language said this debate was just a courtesy, bring on McCain! Body language doesn't lie.
She's more concrete on withdrawal: her fight with Eric Edelman, Bush signing treaties to bind the next President. All Obama has is his 2002 speech. The Clintons hit him again and again, 'All you did was make a speech, you're all talk no action.' He had the chance to tell us anything else he's done. He didn't.
Obama had a clever line: "I don't just want to end the war, I want to end the mindset that got us into the war." Bloggers liked that. Means nothing to me. I'm not so worried about kooky Neocon mindsets, I'm more worried about the blind, raging nationalism the Necons exploited.
Obama says "I welcome the debate" with McCain. It's not going to be a debate. It's going to be a scorched earth campaign to brand him as an appeaser, a wimp, a surrender monkey, Osama's ambassador, Kennedy's gay buttboy. Obama says he's in a better position to bring the troops home because they can't say 'You voted against the war.' McCain will definitely say that -- I've seen him silence Kerry with it. He won't silence Hillary in full warrior goddess mode. On withdrawing from Iraq, Hillary plays the 'Nixon in China' card and wins.
I voted for the question about Romney's business experience on Politico--it was supposed to go to Obama. But Hillary jumped on it and knocked it so far out of the park that ball is still flying: "the U.S. Government is not a for profit corporation." Pow! Obama just had an unconvincing remark about how he's gotten more bang for the buck than Romney in the primaries -- which actually isn't true. Romney's still in the race.
Florida and Michigan
If Obama were ahead at the convention, but the FL and MI votes would give the nom to Hillary, how could DNC resist the pressure to seat those delegates? In that case, DNC would ’select’ the nominee just as the Supreme Court selected Bush. Even more so, since the Court only ended the recount, they didn’t throw Gore’s votes in the dumpster.
There are only three scenarios: (1) If Hillary is leading, she’ll seat the delegates. (2) If Obama goes into the convention with a bigger lead than the FL-MI spread, he’ll seat the delegates. If they don't matter, they'll be seated. (3) What if they are decisive to the outcome?
The only scenario where they might not be seated — Obama leads by less than the FL-MI spread and refuses to seat them — is a nightmare. Mr. ‘Hope’ would become ‘Mr. Fraud/Mr. ‘Typical.’ Obama would run with less legitimacy than Bush. Mr. ‘Unity’ would start all out total war in the Democratic Party. Rejected by the voters, Obama would be the 'appointed' nominee of the Democratic Establishment. I’m sorry, but is Howard Dean smoking crack? He needs to put this to rest right now — not wait for a potential holocaust at the Convention. I don't even think he can wait until after Super Tuesday.
The events of this primary undercut any technical argument Howard Dean can make. Time's Mark Halperin said after the Philadelphia debate, 'the Democratic race is largely about Iowa.' Pundits were reading Hillary the Last Rites on the eve of New Hampshire -- in their minds, the Democratic nominee would be selected within a week by two small, rural states with largely white demographics (similar to Dean's home Vermont). The elected legislatures of Michigan and Florida, states with much larger populations, including large cities with far greater diversity, voted to offset the exorbitant influence of Iowa and New Hampshire. Only on the shakiest of hypertechnical grounds can Howard Dean claim to supersede the elected MI and FL legislatures, as well as the expressed will of Michigan and Florida voters, in favor of the status quo -- what Kilgore calls the Iowa-New Hampshire duopoly.
I for one would support Hillary and Bill in doing anything–-anything!-–to prevent Obama from winning through massive disenfranchisement. Women were denied the right to vote until 1920. Martin Luther King died to secure the right to vote for blacks. Now the first black Democratic nominee wins through massive disenfranchisement? The first woman Democratic nominee loses only through massive disenfranchisement? The Obama ‘Hope’ campaign would turn into a stain on American history. Howard Dean needs an emergency catscan if he thinks that dog will hunt.
Wonkette thinks Edwards might go either way. The only sense I make of Edwards' primary strategy (kiss up to Obama/attack Hillary in Philly and NH debates) is he's always believed Hillary would win. Edwards reversed that strategy in SC (kiss up to Hillary/attack Obama), possibly because he was going for the anti-black vote. Assuming Edwards understands his own people--and winning trial lawyers are vaunted for their sky-high emotional intelligence--I'd say Edwards still thinks Hillary will win. It doesn't matter whom he endorses -- his supporters are either whites who won't switch to the black candidate or anti-Hillaryites who won't switch to Hillary. So his endorsement will be in his own self-interest; he's not a kingmaker and he knows it. Piss off the next President (Hillary)? Or piss off the netroots (he can still make money off of them)? All I can say about John Edwards is I'm glad he's a Democrat.
Super Tuesday Smackdown - GOTV
Super Tuesday Smackdown - Metacafe
My new animation. Silly, yes. Juvenile, yes. GOTV.