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Bloggingheads
04-04-2008, 11:48 AM

ohcomeon
04-04-2008, 11:59 AM
Sure, Senator Clinton still has a chance. It will require her to rip the party to shreds. And many Democrats believe she will not hesitate to do so.

laura
04-04-2008, 12:34 PM
I too wish she would drop out, but what Jonathan is missing is that even a 1% chance of being President is a lot to give up.

bjkeefe
04-04-2008, 01:59 PM
I too wish she would drop out, but what Jonathan is missing is that even a 1% chance of being President is a lot to give up.

I agree. The correct response to Jon's analogy about the 100-meter dash, with one participant being five meters from the finish and the other eight, would have been: there's still a chance that the leader could stumble and fall.

Shout-out to Jon, by the way, for bringing the metric system.

On a related note, since you mention "1%," I thought it was a little silly of David to say there's no way to put a numerical measure on Clinton's chances. Of course there's no precise way to quantify it, but he could come pretty close by asking yourself what odds he'd need to bet on Clinton to win the nomination. Would he put up a $100 against $500? Then he thinks she has at least a 20% chance of winning. Would the other person need to offer $1000? 10%. $10,000? 1%. And so on.

Seemed to me David spent most of the diavlog ducking in this manner, frequently retreating to "well, we just can't be sure." It was a little disappointing, since I never think Jon Chait gets enough BH.tv face time.

One good point that Jon made that never occurred to me before: in all the discussion of "this primary isn't lasting that long, compared to others in history," he noted how much earlier this one started. Maybe obvious to everyone else, but it struck me as something that's been overlooked.

johnmarzan
04-04-2008, 02:27 PM
so hillary's doing a huckabee. what's the problem? don't force her out of the race. and the superdelegates has every right to vote who he or she thinks is the best candidate regardless of the delegate count or the popular vote.

i think her strategy is to just wait for barack to stumble so that she can reclaim what is rightfully hers.

for barack, i would advice him to start focusing his attacks on mccain asap and less on hillary.

bjkeefe
04-04-2008, 02:56 PM
johnmarzan:

I agree with your view that Hillary has every right to stay in the race and that the superdelegates have every right to vote their consciences. But ...

i think her strategy is to just wait for barack to stumble so that she can reclaim what is rightfully hers.

That doesn't jibe with what is easily observed. She is, instead, attacking Obama with everything she can think of. And when she's not attacking, she's making sly insinuations, cozying up with former enemies from the far right, and even comparing Obama unfavorably to the other party's candidate.

I have no problem with her staying in until at least the end of the next round of primaries, but I really think she should be campaigning by emphasizing what she has to offer and how she'd be better than McCain. What she's doing now is mostly provoking tempers and exacerbating divisions within her own party. That is not "just wait[ing] for Barack to stumble."

for barack, i would advice him to start focusing his attacks on mccain asap and less on hillary.

I think he is mostly doing that, and would certainly prefer to, but given her tactics, he has little choice but to respond partly in kind. Just the realities of "what works" in American politics.

Joel_Cairo
04-04-2008, 03:23 PM
The point Greenberg is trying to make here (http://bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/9903?in=00:19:17&out=00:19:54) makes no sense, and employs the kind of non-sequitor reasoning that seems to circle around and kick itself in the ass. If the race is shaping up as "movement guy" (Obama) vs. "party guy"(HRC) but the ideal general election candidate is an "independent with broad appeal", how in God's name is the "party guy" better positioned to don that mantle than the "movement guy"??

Movements are fluid and dynamic, and attract previously unaffiliated people into the fold to assemble novel coalitions (if the coalition of groups in the movement were already mobilized into an alliance, it wouldn't be a movement). And, if the Movement is strong enough to result in a presidential candidate, it can reasonably be said to have crossed the "broad appeal" threshold. By contrast, a Party is saddled with all kinds of baggage, and is pretty rigidly institutionalized, reducing cross-over appeal. The "of the Party" candidate is by definition no "independent."

graz
04-04-2008, 03:55 PM
Quote:
"Seemed to me David spent most of the diavlog ducking in this manner, frequently retreating to "well, we just can't be sure."

Agreed on the overall effect of David's hedging. He simply never made a convincing case that Clinton has a realistic chance to win. He suggests that there is the hope for the super-delegates to determine that she is more electable. Based on what? What did the primary process count for?
Just because Clinton does not have to quit, and has said " I have been making the case that I can win, because I believe that I can win.
Well, she can only win if she is "gifted" the nomination.
But can someone offer the case that David failed to.

Credit to Joel for pointing out the specious idea of contrasting "party" vs. "movement."

brucds
04-04-2008, 04:45 PM
I think it's becoming increasingly evident - as we see in the Greenberg "case" - that there's a Clinton personality cult in full swing. Can't see any other rationale for her continued candidacy at this point. Given the disastrous cluster of cronies and the marginally competent who brought her campaign to its current impasse, the "experience" argument is increasingly looking like precisely the kind of too-familiar Clintonian experiences most sentient Democrats would rather dodge. The specter of eight years of Bill running around red-faced, pointing his finger and lecturing his wife's detractors or the reliable apparatchiks like Mark Penn dispensing advice on how best to proceed given his latest polling doesn't do much for me when I contemplate who is ready to be President and has the better temperment, core values and character for the job.

Wonderment
04-04-2008, 04:50 PM
I hope Hillary drops out tomorrow. I don't like the Clintons (never did), and I will never forgive her for the pro-war vote on Iraq.

But, the percentage argument seems specious to me. If it were a baseball game, no one would say to the team losing by 5 runs in the bottom of the ninth not to come out of the dugout. On the contrary, such a team would be vilified as cowards if they chose that course of action. Moreover, in baseball, as opposed to the Dem. primaries, you could actually do the math and come up with a good percentage: percent of teams that overcome a 5-run deficit in the last half inning of play.

The reason people are calling for Clinton to drop out is not that Obama is "inevitable" as Chait suggests. Chait simply fears that Hillary could hurt Barack, and he builds the "throw in the towel" argument based on that fear.

It seems to me to be more honest to say, "Hillary, fall on your sword for the good of the party." Another more promising approach would be to appease her with the vice-presidency.

If I were Obama, I'd be like the tough DA (that would be Fred Thompson!) on Law and Order:

"Look, Hillary. This VP offer is going to be on the table for exactly 5 minutes. When I walk out of here, I'll offer the same deal to Bill Richardson. Make up your mind, homegirl."

Mr. Mayhem
04-04-2008, 05:19 PM
I would absolutely watch Historians' Monday (http://bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/9903?in=00:45:24&out=45:44).
(First dingalink attempt... apologies if it didn't work)

Joel_Cairo
04-04-2008, 05:27 PM
I would absolutely watch Historians' Monday (http://bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/9903?in=00:45:24&out=45:44).
(First dingalink attempt... apologies if it didn't work)

But, schedule-wise, wouldn't that conflict with Free Will? I'd propose Historians Sunday, as the Day of Rest seems a fitting time to relax BHTV's feverish drive to keep pace with rapid-fire news-cycles and Feiler Faster horserace-happenings.

look
04-04-2008, 05:37 PM
"Look, Hillary. This VP offer is going to be on the table for exactly 5 minutes. When I walk out of here, I'll offer the same deal to Bill Richardson. Make up your mind, homegirl."

Then the camera would pan in on her crazy psycho killer eyes...fade to black.

I don't see at all what's in it for her. If Obama won two terms she'd be 69 at the time if she finally won. As it is, she's a rising senator from an important state. She'd do much better to hope Obama loses, or run against him next time...especially if he didn't live up to expectations/has a poor run due to circumstances beyond his control, e.g. the economy, etc.

AemJeff
04-04-2008, 05:44 PM
I think you're making a good point. I'm somewhat worried about the increasing vilification of Hillary among those of us on the left. Partly, I think she's being asked to give up a shot at something that she may never get another chance to attain. I find it hard to ask her for that. As somebody pointed out earlier a five percent shot at the presidency is a big deal. Politicians generally belong to parties because of their perception of what the parties can do for them, not the opposite - and yeah, I'm pretty cynical in that regard. Also I really hate to give right-wing memes, especially the vomitous garbage spread about the Clintons, any kind of generic currency. (Not that I particularly love either of them.) It seems perfectly all right, in right wing circles to say anything at all, regardless of of taste, evidence or any of the normal social boundaries that constrain most of us in our discussions about other people. It hasn't progressed to that point among people on this side, but I fear the trend.

I have what's evolving into a clear preference for Obama. I still feel the need to stress what I consider to be the most important fact about this election: The ability of the president to appoint the Federal judiciary, and Supreme Court justices is by far the power that's going to reach most deeply into most of our lives for the longest time. Despite promises, even the Democrats are going to find that they face a number constraints on what they're able to accomplish in foreign policy. (Note what the congressional class of '06 has been able to do in this regard.) The Supreme Court is already overbalanced to the right. Issues of privacy, surveillance, the balance between corporate and individual freedom, etc... are going to be decided in a Court led by John Roberts. That's a catastrophe, in my opinion, and it's going to have more far-reaching than even the war in Iraq.

bjkeefe
04-04-2008, 05:46 PM
Joel:

Well said, especially this:

If the race is shaping up as "movement guy" (Obama) vs. "party guy"(HRC) but the ideal general election candidate is an "independent with broad appeal", how in God's name is the "party guy" better positioned to don that mantle than the "movement guy"??

I'd add two things. First, to the extent that Obama is any kind of "movement" guy, his "movement" is a consistent call to bring the nation together. Call it empty or whatever you want, if you don't buy his message, but at least concede that his "movement" is not one that seeks to divide the country further.

Second, and more important, the Republicans are going to attack either Obama or Clinton as "liberals," come the general election. David's argument is classic over-intellectualism; he's trying to argue for the existence of a difference that, even if it exists in some abstract sense that he can get an article out of, has no pertinence in the reality of today's politics.

laffercurveball
04-04-2008, 05:52 PM
what about the UN report on Sunday?

bjkeefe
04-04-2008, 05:52 PM
Wonderment:

Minor quibble:

If it were a baseball game, no one would say to the team losing by 5 runs in the bottom of the ninth not to come out of the dugout.

I don't like the analogy. Baseball has no clock and no finish line. There is no such thing as an insurmountable lead, at least in theory. By contrast, the primaries have a definite endpoint and a finite number of points available. I think Jon's analogy of the race was better.

Which is not to say that I think Hillary "should" drop out now. Just that she's in a different position from a baseball team down 5 in the bottom of the ninth. She needs more than an unlikely rally, she needs something from completely out of the blue, like Obama falling flat on his face right before the finish line.

bjkeefe
04-04-2008, 05:53 PM
what about the UN report on Sunday?

Sunday is always a good day for a doubleheader!

Wonderment
04-04-2008, 05:54 PM
I have what's evolving into a clear preference for Obama. I still feel the need to stress what I consider to be the most important fact about this election: The ability of the president to appoint the Federal judiciary, and Supreme Court justices is by far the power that's going to reach most deeply into most of our lives for the longest time.

I absolutely agree. And this is where McCain is most beholden to the right-wing.

He has assuaged concerns about his conservative creds by promising the base more Roberts-Alito type judges.

If a liberal dies or retires, you will have a SC majority of Scalia-Thomas-Alito-Roberts and a McCain nominee. That would be catastrophic.

Wonderment
04-04-2008, 06:03 PM
I don't like the analogy. Baseball has no clock and no finish line. There is no such thing as an insurmountable lead, at least in theory. By contrast, the primaries have a definite endpoint and a finite number of points available. I think Jon's analogy of the race was better.


I will quibble a bit more. Maybe baseball is not the best analogy, but even the most rabid quit-now folks are conceding CLinton a 5% chance.

A 1-in-20 chance is not so ridiculous. It all depends on what is personally at stake for you. If I had a 1-in-20 chance of dying in a car trip to LA tomorrow, there is NO WAY I'd be on the road. If, on the other hand, I had a 1 in 20 chance of winning the California State Lottery tomorrow, I'd surely buy plenty of tickets.

So even conceding the dubious math to the make-believe statisticians like Jon Chait, the odds are not so long. They are only long from Chait's point of view, i.e., that Hillary playing them is disastrous to his (and Obama's) interests.

Wonderment
04-04-2008, 06:04 PM
I don't see at all what's in it for her. If Obama won two terms she'd be 69 at the time if she finally won. As it is, she's a rising senator from an important state. She'd do much better to hope Obama loses, or run against him next time...especially if he didn't live up to expectations/has a poor run due to circumstances beyond his control, e.g. the economy, etc.

Ok, my final offer: a seat on the Supreme Court. Whadaya say, Hillary? It's now or never.

look
04-04-2008, 06:10 PM
Ok, my final offer: a seat on the Supreme Court. Whadaya say, Hillary? It's now or never.
Borr-ringg!

bjkeefe
04-04-2008, 06:20 PM
Wonderment:

I quite agree: Hillary has a chance. I don't know that I agree with "5%" exactly, but I'd say it's somewhere around there. Therefore, I don't say she should drop out of the race because the odds are against her.

I do say, however, that she should drop out of the race if the only thing she can think to do is to attempt to destroy Obama. It's not just dividing the party for this election that she's risking. She is also risking alienating many blacks, turning off tons of young and new voters, rejecting some moderates who have had it with the endless Republicans-vs-Clintons wars, and if I may project, rejuvenating cynicism and apathy among white liberals who like to think they're part of the intellectual elite.

I'm not one of those who threatens to vote for McCain, or to stay at home, if she manages to pull this one out. Not yet, at least. There are too many arguments in favor of holding my nose once again. But I gotta say, she's not going to get cash, time, or even vocal support from me, and if she continues the smear nonsense, she's going to lose my vote, too. At some point, I would rather not reward slash-and-burn politics, and I'll take the worse of two evils in hopes of forcing the country to wake up in 2012.

bjkeefe
04-04-2008, 06:26 PM
Borr-ringg!

Oh, come now, look. If HRC got nominated for a seat on the SC, there wouldn't be enough popcorn in the world to last through the epic drama that the wingnuts would stage. We'd have to bring the troops home from Iraq just to keep Rush Limbaugh at bay.

Think of it -- every day on TV, another Republican member of the Judiciary committee, having multiple aneurysms. You think Bill Clinton can bring the red face? He'd be Casper TFG next to these guys.

look
04-04-2008, 06:46 PM
Oh, come now, look. If HRC got nominated for a seat on the SC, there wouldn't be enough popcorn in the world to last through the epic drama that the wingnuts would stage. We'd have to bring the troops home from Iraq just to keep Rush Limbaugh at bay.

Think of it -- every day on TV, another Republican member of the Judiciary committee, having multiple aneurysms. You think Bill Clinton can bring the red face? He'd be Casper TFG next to these guys.

Brendan, I was answering as Hillary if she was offered SC Justice as a buy- off.

Wonderment
04-04-2008, 07:34 PM
Borr-ringg!

Think about it, Hill. What's your alternative? Building bridges from Buffalo to nowhere and putting up with Sen. Leahy's perpetual smirk?

And the Court is for life. You'll still be a player in 2020 when Barack is reduced to hammering nails into planks for Habitat for Humanity. You'll never have to fund raise again. You'll defend Choice literally unto your death bed.

And best of all, you can finally dump that red-faced no-good philandering phony.

bjkeefe
04-04-2008, 09:22 PM
Brendan, I was answering as Hillary if she was offered SC Justice as a buy- off.

Sorry for misunderstanding. Now that I'm clear, it appears Wonderment already said what I would have said.

Further question of clarification: You think don't HRC would like the job? Or you don't like the job for her?

cragger
04-04-2008, 09:32 PM
Re the game analogy -

Certainly in a game one may as well play it out to the bitter end. It costs nothing. In a lottery one may consider a low-percentage chance an excellent chance in terms of cost vs. potential benefit. You risk a buck. Neither baseball nor a lottery serves well to model the situation.

As noted in the mentions of the SC, politics has many very real costs as well as benefits, at least in terms of affecting the real world in ways that one cares about. The court is only one of many. Anyone who cares about winning in able to affect the state of the nation and world rather than simply because they want to be a personal "winner" who can then strut around like Boy George crowing "I'm the decider now" has to take that into account.

The likely cost of any remote scenario in which Hillary can now "win the game" of achieving the nomination is that she then goes on to lose the general election. The stake she is willing to risk to play the game is exactly that suggested, she is an attack dog for McCain and throws the election to him.

This is unlikely to benefit her even if she cares only about her personally winning, and not about why she "should" want to win - in order to influence the movement of events in a way her party and presumably she cares about. The idea that she will be well positioned to get elected after four years of McCain is silly in the extreme. Even if he doesn't live long enough with sufficient health to run again, there would then be both an incumbent successor in the VP office with four or eight years to work on the succession, and a Democratic electorate much less inclined to hand her the nomination than was the case at the beginning of this cycle.

There are a number of reasons that Democrats are perpetual losers these days despite being on the right side of most issues. A party that wins both houses of congress and is then so paralyzed with fear of appearing weak that they are incapable of standing up for anything illustrates one. To return to the game analogies, at this point being obsessed with the rules allowing the first game to be played to the final out at the expense of losing the most important season in memory is another reason Democrats and the left lose. In this case an ivory tower obsession with process allows a triumph of narcissism over results. The results include President McCain in all probability.

To beat a probably dead horse (while starting not only a sentance but a paragraph with a preposition to the dismay of my poor English teachers), those who care about ideas and principles don't seem to "get it" about the real world. This is hardball. We are playing for keeps now kids. You are coming to score debating points and the other team is coming for a street fight. Anyone suggesting Hillary should play it out doesn't get it about the Democrats winning only three out of the last ten presidential elections, and one of those only coming because of Nixon's criminal disgrace and impending impeachment.

Swinging at that supine horse one last time and suggesting a relationship to why the Democrats, and the left in general lose, I noticed a considerable reaction, a veritable "social sanction" at work regarding a recent post which suggested blacks were responsible for their relative poverty in rather inpolitic language. In relation to my position on how a right minded person should react to advocates and appologists of torture I suggest that the reaction to the "racist" post was due to how the points were made, and not to what the points were in that post.

It doesn't much matter why Hillary doesn't concede, whether its about her ego or some obsession of hers over the 5% difference between her positions and Obama's. A party that cares more about playing the game out than winning in the real world we live in, losing by vainly hoping that this is a process that will obtain the best possible result rather than ensuring the best result possible is represented by a community that cares more about the politeness of the language with which ideas are put forth than with the ugliness of the realities of those ideas. This will largely be a losing party, who need to look to themselves for the reason.

Get up Old Paint.

Wonderment
04-04-2008, 10:03 PM
This is unlikely to benefit her even if she cares only about her personally winning, and not about why she "should" want to win - in order to influence the movement of events in a way her party and presumably she cares about. The idea that she will be well positioned to get elected after four years of McCain is silly in the extreme. Even if he doesn't live long enough with sufficient health to run again, there would then be both an incumbent successor in the VP office with four or eight years to work on the succession, and a Democratic electorate much less inclined to hand her the nomination than was the case at the beginning of this cycle.

It may not be that complicated. The simpler, non-Machiavelian, and at least as plausible version is as follows:

Hillary wants to be president in 2008. At her age, she's sick and tired of deferred gratification. She doesn't really care about 2012 or 2016, and she either doesn't believe McCain can win or doesn't care all that much if he does.

Unlike her husband, she knows what is is. Is is just what she says it is: a campaign to win in November. Period.

From that point of view, a 5% chance is great.

Again, I emphasize that I would love Hillary to quit, but I don't find in mystifying that she won't.

look
04-04-2008, 10:05 PM
Think about it, Hill. What's your alternative? Building bridges from Buffalo to nowhere and putting up with Sen. Leahy's perpetual smirk?

And the Court is for life. You'll still be a player in 2020 when Barack is reduced to hammering nails into planks for Habitat for Humanity. You'll never have to fund raise again. You'll defend Choice literally unto your death bed.

And best of all, you can finally dump that red-faced no-good philandering phony.

Barack, a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush, and you're currently empty-handed, so how can you guarantee me the SC? Besides, it's not my style, and I can do much more good encouraging legislation to make birth control more widely available, covered by insurance, etc. I think I'll take my chances on McCain burying you in 527 ads, and whichever of you wins, I'll see him in 2012. And the red-faced, finger-pointing bastard? It'll be so much more satisfying to give the White House guards a standing order to shoot him on sight.

Wonderment
04-04-2008, 10:09 PM
Barack, a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush, and you're currently empty-handed, so how can you guarantee me the SC? Besides, it's not my style, and I can do much more good encouraging legislation to make birth control more widely available, covered by insurance, etc. I think I'll take my chances on McCain burying you in 527 ads, and whichever of you wins, I'll see him in 2012. And the red-faced, finger-pointing bastard? It'll be so much more satisfying to give the White House guards a standing order to shoot him on sight.

Your call, Hillary. See you in Denver.

look
04-04-2008, 10:10 PM
Further question of clarification: You think don't HRC would like the job? Or you don't like the job for her?

Personally, I think SC Justice is the most honorable position in government, but I think the be all, end all for Hillary is the Presidency.

look
04-04-2008, 10:18 PM
Your call, Hillary. See you in Denver.
Bring your A game, homeslice.

bjkeefe
04-04-2008, 10:32 PM
look:

Noted. Thanks.

piscivorous
04-04-2008, 10:37 PM
For a couple of political wonks I can't believe that neither see that it is a no brainier for the Super delegates to back Senator Obama at this point in time. Both Mr Chait and Mr. Greenberg acknowledge that it is a very long shot For Senator Clinton to win the delegate count and the only way for here to win is if Senator Obama is somehow seemed to made unelectable. Well If the good senator manages to produce this perception the super D3eligates being the politicians that they are will posture, bloviate in exaggerated rhetoric over such and such so that it has made it impossible to further support this high flawed and clearly unelectable candidate.

They only reason it is happening no is their belief that there is little chance of such an event occurring while others are still not convinced. And if it does it will still give them a possible with minimal political fallout.

These are politicians were talking about are they not?

allbetsareoff
04-04-2008, 11:17 PM
Count me in for historians' [whatever day of week]. Strike a blow against historical illiteracy.

Dilan Esper
04-04-2008, 11:27 PM
The netroots didn't want partisanship for the sake of partisanship. We don't object to Democrats working with Republicans on bipartisan initiatives that are consistent with liberal principles or involve a serious and good faith effort to solve a problem.

We object to Democrats caving to the business community, or supporting dumb wars, or refusing to present an alternative, more dovish foreign policy.

Clintonism is all about creating meaningless, mindless partisan fights to distract us from how craven and conservative they are. Why would we want that rather than someone who was right on the Iraq War and will be willing to change our foreign policy and present an alternative?

donroberto
04-05-2008, 03:10 AM
Would he put up a $100 against $500? Then he thinks she has at least a 20% chance of winning.

With those friends of mine who argue that this thing is far from over and Hillary still has a chance to win, I always propose making a small bet in which I offer 10 to 1 odds. Before the Wright controversy I was offering 20 to 1 odds. Nobody took me up on my generous, yet reasoned offer. Having people put their money where there mouth is is usually the best way to keep them from talking trash.

There is never a truly empirical method of determining the percentages on such contests. And yes, there is always a chance that the unforeseen can happen such as the frontrunner stumbling and falling. But when Vegas sets the odds on sporting events, such things are factored in. There is no such thing as a sure bet (barring a fixed game).

If you believe in the wisdom of the free market, then you might use Intrade.com as a measure. Right now Obama's stock is trending upward to 85 and Clinton's is trending downward to 14.

basman
04-05-2008, 03:36 AM
I thought Greenebrg made a good case for Hillary staying in just as he did in his TNR essay setting this nomination fight in historical context.

She's in it to win it and let her fight to the bitter end win or lose as well as try to get some mileage out of Florida and Michigan. I see the calls for her dropping out now as in some measure a species of whining and special pleading. And I like her present staunch "no" to that. She will no doubt adjust her position to accord with whatever realities present themselves out of the next primaries and unless she gets blown out by stunning reversals or an early stampede of super delegates, I say she should fight on until there is no more fight to be had.

Both Greenberg and Chait agreed that there was a danger in Obama getting typecast as the "movement" candidate rather than the "party "candidate and both agreed in drawing a meaningful contrast between the two--the movement candidiate being the hostage of the extreme left of the Democratic party; and the party candidate being the political centrist/moderate who will not alienate mainstream voters. There is a general danger of Obama getting assimilated to a McGovern/Dukakis/Kerry and even Gore type of candidate--either too left, too pointy headed, or too ineffectual. If I were to bet, I'd say that his great political skills will allow him to escape that fate, but not for nothing do both Greenberg (more) and Chait (a little) worry about either his "movementness" and/or his diffidence.

donroberto
04-05-2008, 03:40 AM
Certainly, in gambling, or any endeavor, there is always the risk/reward factor. If you have nothing to lose and everything to gain, then it doesn't matter if the odds are 5 to 1 or 1,000,000 to 1.

But all things being equal, 20 to 1 odds are long odds. I myself, not being a high roller, would not risk anything of value given those percentages. Maybe Hillary has nothing to lose, but the Democratic party and the rest of us do. I don't care for her screwing around and wasting our time with her taking her personal long shot. If I thought her opponent were totally unacceptable, I would encourage her to hang in there. But that is not the case. In fact, quite the opposite.

bjkeefe
04-05-2008, 08:50 AM
donroberto:

I'm interested that you offered odds. That's the hardest part of dealing with long shots -- there's so much to lose if you back the favorite. But, yes, it is telling that no one took you up on your offer.

There is never a truly empirical method of determining the percentages on such contests.

Agreed. It wouldn't be gambling otherwise. But as a conversational gambit, just talking about what you'd be willing to bet serves as a convenient summary of your overall assessment of the situation.

If you believe in the wisdom of the free market, then you might use Intrade.com as a measure. Right now Obama's stock is trending upward to 85 and Clinton's is trending downward to 14.

I used to have more interest in Intrade until people started really looking at it. I now think it's not much more than a measure of the conventional wisdom. Which is not nothing, of course, but it does appear that Intrade is as much a trailing indicator of things as a leading indicator.

bjkeefe
04-05-2008, 09:01 AM
... Obama getting typecast as the "movement" candidate rather than the "party "candidate ... --the movement candidiate being the hostage of the extreme left of the Democratic party; and the party candidate being the political centrist/moderate who will not alienate mainstream voters. There is a general danger of Obama getting assimilated to a McGovern/Dukakis/Kerry and even Gore type of candidate--either too left, too pointy headed, or too ineffectual.

I suppose his opponents will try to cast him this way, and I suppose compared to the ever-willing-to-triangulate Clinton, he is comparatively more liberal on some issues. I also agree that those who have a kneejerk anti-intellectual instinct will be amenable to calling him "pointy-headed." Same thing for those for whom "patriotism" begins and ends with wearing a flag lapel pin.

However, I don't agree that Obama is such a candidate. As I said in another comment, the only "movement" he has given any voice to is one away from partisanship for partisanship's sake. Also, his health care plan seems less extreme than Clinton's. Also, he was for a long time hardly the darling of the netroots.

Do you, yourself, see Obama as a "hostage of the extreme left?" And if so, do you have any reasons for feeling this way other than the fact that a lot of stereotypical members of this contingent like Obama?

Wonderment
04-05-2008, 04:39 PM
I was offering 20 to 1 odds. Nobody took me up on my generous, yet reasoned offer. Having people put their money where there mouth is is usually the best way to keep them from talking trash.

Actually, it's you who should put your money where your mouth is. Since you believe the real odds are only 5% (at best) you should BUY bigtime at INTRADE, where as you note, Hilary is priced at approximately three times 5%.. Then, as she declines, you will sell Hillary and reap huge profits.

basman
04-05-2008, 06:16 PM
To B.H. O'keefe:

I like Obama's brains, but I worry that he has a tendency to be ponderous. That was evident in the early debates and less so as his debate performances improved. I worry that for the general electorate, as against McCain who has some very simple and straight forward things to say--if he can remember them all--Obama might paradoxically be hampered in performance by the very fact that he is thoughful and nuanced. Remember Gore against Bush, who he was supposed to dismember but did not do so well against. Flat out, I think Hillary is a better debater than Obama, more incisive and commanding.

I would not get too haughty or patronizing about what main stream perceptions of Obama might be. Obama will be contesting against McCain's compelling narrative as war hero, maverick, fiscal hawk, foreign policy maven, blah blah blah and will be excoriated by the "right wing attack machine". Little symbolic things will loom large amongst the independents who will most likey swing the election, and Obama needs to be careful not to alienate Reagan Democrats, who are attracted to McCain.

My initial criticism of Obama was that he could not live up to his rhetoric as post partisan, post racial, above the conventional fray, new type of poltician, doing a new type of politics rooted in things like good faith bargaining and other to-my-ears new agey clap trap. I think that now that that criticism has become both stale and precious. What is now to me noteable about Obama is his calculating flexible ability to pivot and to appear rhetorically as one thing while really being something else, just like all the mugs in the mugs' game but getting better and more deft at it. I am not ready to say he triangulates. I await seeing him campaign generally. By the way, triangulation is not necessarily a bad thing. It is the modus operandi of the Third Way.

It is precisely the kind of politics that Obama initially rhetorically disdained and that Hillary is good at--infighting, getting down and relatively dirty, willing to do what is necessary, which is to say, aggressive. partisan "negative" politics, which opportunistically seeks to situate itself for power and political advantage--that he needs in my opinion to bring to a high art to beat McCain--a high art that Stevenson, Mondale, McGovern, Dukakis, Gore and Kerry could not do.

I worry, like Greenberg, that he also may not be able to and I think, like Greenberg, that Hillary can, which is why I think she is a better bet to win the general election and then deliver on the policies which animate her and Obama, and which is why I do not want her to quit until she is beaten, and why I want her to fight like Hell till then.

I think that Obama will win the nomination; and I hope he politically muscles up, the way I think he needs to, to win the general or he will join the illustrious list of presidential losers just mentioned. Part of that muscling up will require him to transcend any perception of him as left wing, overly cerebral, only diffidently American, wavering and untough, and other things like that, that little symbols of the kind you you disdainfully mentioned in passing can foster.

In sum, what concerns Greenberg about Obama concerns me too for the general election.

bjkeefe
04-05-2008, 07:08 PM
basman:

All good points, though I don't agree with them all. The one that bugs me the most is the admiration of down-and-dirty political fighting. It hasn't done the country much good -- in a race to the bottom, everybody loses. I recognize the need in the status quo not to get walked upon, but that doesn't mean I like it. Obama is the first candidate I can remember that can walk the high road and not be perceived as a typical Democratic wimp. I want to see that pursued.

I also disagree that Clinton has any advantage because of this. No matter what she does, she'll never be able to outweigh her fixed high negatives, nor will she be able to change the fact that she'll energize the opposition far more than Obama will. The Republicans would dearly love to run against her, and not just for the White House -- the whole down-ticket part comes into play, too. You think Rush Limbaugh has been talking up "Operation Chaos" every day for weeks now, just because he can't think of anything else to bloviate about?

I would not get too haughty or patronizing about what main stream perceptions of Obama might be.

Sorry. Can't be helped. Since I consider myself a fairly dumb shit, I have no patience for people even dumber than me.

Fortunately for Obama, I am not a campaign consultant.

David_PA
04-06-2008, 08:00 PM
Bjkeefe Wonderment: ... no one would say to the team losing by 5 runs in the bottom of the ninth not to come out of the dugout. ...

I [do not] think Hillary "should" drop out now. ... She needs more than an unlikely [bottom of the ninth] rally, she needs something from completely out of the blue, like Obama falling flat on his face right before the finish line.Obama is ahead by 10 runs as the bottom of the 9th begins. Home-team Hillary jinxes mop up guy and they get 3 quick runs. Mop up guy #2 comes in, nervous, gives up 5 more runs, & leaves with the bases loaded. Then the closer - Obama - jogs in.

Hillary comes up to bat, with 2 outs, 3 still on, and needing just a single to tie it up, or maybe take the lead with their speedy runner at first.

The count is 2-and-2. Obama brushes her back off the plate. She flashes him an evil look. The cameras replay it on TV five times as Obama mulls over his next pitch from behind the mound.

3-and-2: Hillary catches Obama's eye just before he delivers the the payoff pitch - and winks at him. You hear the crack of the bat ...

deebee
04-07-2008, 10:12 AM
This was a really interesting, thoughtful conversation on both sides. I agree with David Greenberg that the race should continue for the reasons he states and in order to once and for all settle any uncertain "what if" doubts in the voters minds i.e. IF the contests were "winner take all" or IF Florida and Michigan were included in the totals or IF Clinton won the remaining states, it's possible/probable that Clinton would come out ahead. Unless it goes on and reaches a satisfactory conclusion, or if Obama is seen as stridently pushing Clinton out too quickly, her supporters are much less likely to support him in the general election.

Also, based on what has gone before, it's obvious that anything can be revealed about either candidate that could quickly alter the direction of this race. I sense in the nervousness on the Obama side that they realize this as well and want to wrap it up asap. But we really should chill out and allow events to unfold -- we shall soon see if the Democrats ultimately prefer Mr. Charm or Ms. Moxie.

rubbernecking
04-07-2008, 11:17 AM
That was very very well said. I also wish she would choose to withdraw but your most pithy and evocative of comments makes it a human decision.

There's some poetry in Barak Obama that I haven't experienced in my lifetime (I'm 46). It is, indeed, the poetry of a movement and a leader of movements and it's the inspiration that can move our country away from the awful darkness inflicted by this administration.

I thought I felt poetry with Bill but I still wonder if I was muddled because I enjoyed his preternatural political skills. I indulged myself in Bill Clinton and now I feel a little bitter and maybe a little dirty. I wonder if many of us feel that bitterness and Hillary is paying the price. It's not quite fair to her . . . but it's a little fair. She indulged herself too, and you can't have everything.

AemJeff
04-07-2008, 11:20 AM
I thought I felt poetry with Bill but I still wonder if I was muddled because I enjoyed his preternatural political skills.

What's the difference? (Between "poetry" and "preternatural political skills" - they seem to designate pretty much the same thing to me.)

rubbernecking
04-07-2008, 12:51 PM
What's the difference? (Between "poetry" and "preternatural political skills" - they seem to designate pretty much the same thing to me.)

Great point. I justaposed the "poetry of a movement" with the effect of pure political skill.

Pure political skill is instrumental and serves an effort. Pure political skill isn't inspired by anything greater than the desire to effect people. The poetry of a movement is both inspired and the expression of people's inspiration.

It seems to me that 'the poetry' is the words that transmit, publicize, evoke, and themselves 'are' , the hopes, dreams, feelings and best humanity of people. It's words that are, in the original definition, "inspired" by a muse and thereby inspiring. The poetry of a movement transcends politics. Transcendence is not a frivolous or New Age word. It's exactly what we need.

I could be mistaken but it's worth a shot. Things are very, very, very bad. It's time to try for something very, very, very good.

thouartgob
04-07-2008, 02:39 PM
To B.H. O'keefe:

I worry that for the general electorate, as against McCain who has some very simple and straight forward things to say--if he can remember them all--Obama might paradoxically be hampered in performance by the very fact that he is thoughful and nuanced. Remember Gore against Bush, who he was supposed to dismember but did not do so well against. Flat out, I think Hillary is a better debater than Obama, more incisive and commanding.
...
Obama will be contesting against McCain's compelling narrative as war hero, maverick, fiscal hawk, foreign policy maven, blah blah blah and will be excoriated by the "right wing attack machine". Little symbolic things will loom large amongst the independents who will most likey swing the election, and Obama needs to be careful not to alienate Reagan Democrats, who are attracted to McCain.



When dealing with the undecided and independent voters I feel that hillary has less of a chance againt McCain's simplistic, "straightforward" narrative than Obama actually. Her negatives are high and have been for a decade McCain's negatives are pretty low and have been for a while as well. She comes off as more of a politician and a dissembling one at that while McCain has his straight talk schtick down pat. Some of her biggest bumps in the polls come at times when she is thought to be attacked, that works in democratic cirlces but in the general election she won't enjoy nearly as much compassion. McCain will push honor, integrity and Hillary hasn't comported herself as well as she might in this election. McCain has the edge as a war hero in Vietnam etc.. but both hillary (female) and obama (young) don't have to stand one to one on that level.

Obama might still be more of a blank slate to the undecideds and indies in the general and hopefully will frame himself as opposed to getting framed. He stuck by his minister at some cost so he might garner some amount of respect for this honorable behaviour. He just doesn't have her baggage. Winning a debate with McCain might just come down to who can make him angrier faster. He hates Obama and hopefully Obama can use that. He likes Hillary, but she might drive him crazy quickly as well and considering his lovely thought about his wife (http://rawstory.com/news/2008/McCain_temper_boiled_over_in_92_0407.html) he isn't a fan of women either so that might be a wash (hint hint he likes the c-word).

uncle ebeneezer
04-07-2008, 02:48 PM
Let me take a crack at the sports analogy. What everyone has left out is that Hillary and Obama, while competing are only in the semi-finals with the final opponent (that they both want to lose) already resting and waiting for the finals. There's really no perfect fit, but here goes....Olympic tennis.

In an alternate universe, let's say that America and Iran are the two tennis powerhouses. Team America has the favorite (Clinton) and an impressive newcomer with a fresh style and extreme talent(Obama.) Everyone assumed that the favorite would coast through to the gold medal match against the evil Iaranian (McCain) who is not the best-ever, but has a formidable game that will be tough for any opponent. And the Iranian team has won the last two gold medals, one under extreme controversy by a very questionable call by a line judge (supreme court).

The young upstart does surprisingly better in the early rounds and becomes a fan favorite and all the talk is that he (Obama) has a better game for beating Evil McCain. The two Americans meet in the semi's and Obama is on the verge of winning the match but they end up in extended rallies and a tie-breaker. It becomes clear that it will take almost a miracle for Hillary to prevail, and the longer they stay on the court, the more damage it will do to team America's chances in knocking off the evil Iranian waiting to face them tomorrow morning. Additionally, Obama's game could present a tougher challenge to McCain than Hillary's would. And a good amount of the crowd (fans of either country) don't particularly like Hillary and would be hesitant to support her even if she does make it to the final.

Sorry, I tried to come up with an analogy that could use real players, but it's just impossible.

PS the choice of "Iran" for McCain was just too good to resist, though in reality Russia or Bosnia would be a better real-world tennis example nowadays.

look
04-07-2008, 03:33 PM
He likes Hillary, but she might drive him crazy quickly as well and considering his lovely thought about his wife (http://rawstory.com/news/2008/McCain_temper_boiled_over_in_92_0407.html) he isn't a fan of women either so that might be a wash (hint hint he likes the c-word).I'll bet you a million dollars that he hates Hillary, especially after reading your link. And I wonder if she's ever forgotten the time he insulted Chelsea's looks...something about her father being Janet Reno.

thouartgob
04-07-2008, 03:57 PM
I'll bet you a million dollars that he hates Hillary, especially after reading your link. And I wonder if she's ever forgotten the time he insulted Chelsea's looks...something about her father being Janet Reno.

Well the Clinton's seem to have good things to say about the guy but I would think Hillary has something pent up about him. I think he hates obama more than hillary though. I haven't read much about McCain but just got a vibe that he was a bit of a misogynist and I doubt this will be the last thing we will hear about his berating and belittling the fairer sex.

look
04-07-2008, 04:01 PM
Well the Clinton's seem to have good things to say about the guy but I would think Hillary has something pent up about him. I think he hates obama more than hillary though. I haven't read much about McCain but just got a vibe that he was a bit of a misogynist and I doubt this will be the last thing we will hear about his berating and belittling the fairer sex.

I hadn't heard anything about him hating Obama...any juicy links?

piscivorous
04-07-2008, 04:08 PM
... He stuck by his minister at some cost so he might garner some amount of respect for this honorable behaviour. Really you actually believe that it was honorable behavior to stick by a guy that shouts racial hate and derisions, preaches conspiracy theories about AIDS and is ready to blame White America for the ills of the world? This honorable behavior and $4.00 will get him some coffee at Starbucks but not much else in middle class America.

thouartgob
04-07-2008, 04:57 PM
This link was the 3rd google link

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/03/30/AR2008033002401_pf.html

There may be more stuff.

bjkeefe
04-07-2008, 05:07 PM
Really you actually believe that it was honorable behavior to stick by a guy that shouts racial hate and derisions, preaches conspiracy theories about AIDS and is ready to blame White America for the ills of the world? This honorable behavior and $4.00 will get him some coffee at Starbucks but not much else in middle class America.

If that were all Rev. Wright said, you might have a point. But since you're basing your entire criticism on a few minutes of videotape excerpted from a multi-decade career, you don't.

I will grant that the Obamapponents will not cease in trying to spin things this way, and I don't doubt there are some shallow people in America who will be all too happy to think of the situation this way. It will be interesting to see how many of these people start getting as annoyed as McCain already is when the "McSame wants 100 years of war" meme won't be given a rest.

piscivorous
04-07-2008, 05:29 PM
If that were all Rev. Wright said, you might have a point. But since you're basing your entire criticism on a few minutes of videotape excerpted from a multi-decade career, you don't.

I will grant that the Obamapponents will not cease in trying to spin things this way, and I don't doubt there are some shallow people in America who will be all too happy to think of the situation this way. It will be interesting to see how many of these people start getting as annoyed as McCain already is when the "McSame wants 100 years of war" meme won't be given a rest. The problem with this argument is that sooner or later everyone will get to see/hear the full quote of Senator McCain's and properly weigh it; while the Pasture Wright effects will never get as complete and full an airing, it is too complex and long for a 90 second news spot or 30 second commercial.

thouartgob
04-07-2008, 05:42 PM
Really you actually believe that it was honorable behavior to stick by a guy that shouts racial hate and derisions, preaches conspiracy theories about AIDS and is ready to blame White America for the ills of the world? This honorable behavior and $4.00 will get him some coffee at Starbucks but not much else in middle class America.

For the "anti-american" stuff I offer a quote I have used before from a preacher with a similar sense of drama.

"God didn't call America to engage in a senseless, unjust war. . . . And we are criminals in that war. We've committed more war crimes almost than any nation in the world, and I'm going to continue to say it. And we won't stop it because of our pride and our arrogance as a nation. But God has a way of even putting nations in their place." the preacher then predicted this response from the Almighty: "And if you don't stop your reckless course, I'll rise up and break the backbone of your power."

"God has a way of putting nations in their place" How is that different from Wright.

Wright's language isn't about hate it is about ANGER, black anger. Obama made the point in the speech that there is also White ANGER as well, and that anger, over lack of opportunity and crime, does not equal HATE.

Now if Obama is the nominee in the general I predict that there will be quite a bit of context added to Wright's comments ( which, since it will be played over and over again will, IMHO get boring ). I see more mainstream personalities/politicians weighing in and embracing many of the good things that congregations like Wright's have done and will continue to do. Wright will probably end up making some concession on his more overheated language and in time he will appear more human than devil. There is an opportunity to shine a light on the differences between what goes on in many "black churches" and more mainstream churches and what is the same. "Liberation theology" is not just used in black churches.

Lots of democrats have links to churches like Wright's and they will all be aired out. Condemn the hundreds of thousands of their parishioners as evil racists if you will but I feel that most of the people who are going to care come november weren't gonna vote fer obama anyhoo.

While standing by your preacher (both the good and the bad ) is at least a stand, which is something that McCain has and Hillary, or at least the perception of her, doesn't have.

bjkeefe
04-07-2008, 05:46 PM
The problem with this argument is that sooner or later everyone will get to see/hear the full quote of Senator McCain's and properly weigh it; while the Pasture Wright effects will never get as complete and full an airing, it is too complex and long for a 90 second news spot or 30 second commercial.

I disagree. One of the big problems with our country is that people do not, in fact, make the effort to learn the context. Sure, the GOP will make every effort to push the full video surrounding the "100 years" phrase, just as the Dems have made every effort to talk about Wright's positive contributions. Some, in both cases, will realize, "Hey, maybe there is something more to this than that one clip I saw." Some will not.

I grant that on the surface, it would seem easier to flesh out the context of McCain's phrase than Wright's. On the other hand, it was McCain himself who said it, and he has a whole lot of other stuff on the record that aligns with that key phrase. Every time he says something along the lines of having to stay in Iraq, it's easy for Dem spinners to work "100 years" back into the game. It's also easy for people to remember "100 years" every time they hear McCain talking this way, without even needing to be reminded.

By contrast, Obama has dealt with the Wright issue, and there does not appear to be fresh fuel to add to this particular fire. I'm sure there are some who turned against Obama in reaction to this controversy, and some of those might not ever come back. But the story is old hat, and except for rallying the far-right base, I don't see it being of much use in the general campaign.

piscivorous
04-07-2008, 06:06 PM
For the "anti-american" stuff I offer a quote I have used before from a preacher with a similar sense of drama.

"God didn't call America to engage in a senseless, unjust war. . . . And we are criminals in that war. We've committed more war crimes almost than any nation in the world, and I'm going to continue to say it. And we won't stop it because of our pride and our arrogance as a nation. But God has a way of even putting nations in their place." the preacher then predicted this response from the Almighty: "And if you don't stop your reckless course, I'll rise up and break the backbone of your power."

"God has a way of putting nations in their place" How is that different from Wright.

Wright's language isn't about hate it is about ANGER, black anger. Obama made the point in the speech that there is also White ANGER as well, and that anger, over lack of opportunity and crime, does not equal HATE.

Now if Obama is the nominee in the general I predict that there will be quite a bit of context added to Wright's comments ( which, since it will be played over and over again will, IMHO get boring ). I see more mainstream personalities/politicians weighing in and embracing many of the good things that congregations like Wright's have done and will continue to do. Wright will probably end up making some concession on his more overheated language and in time he will appear more human than devil. There is an opportunity to shine a light on the differences between what goes on in many "black churches" and more mainstream churches and what is the same. "Liberation theology" is not just used in black churches.

Lots of democrats have links to churches like Wright's and they will all be aired out. Condemn the hundreds of thousands of their parishioners as evil racists if you will but I feel that most of the people who are going to care come november weren't gonna vote fer obama anyhoo.

While standing by your preacher (both the good and the bad ) is at least a stand, which is something that McCain has and Hillary, or at least the perception of her, doesn't have.

It's great that you interpret it that way and if you are th typical voter that pays attention in the last 30-60 days, or often less, of the election no problem. If your not, and your participation here sort of hints in that direction, it may be somewhat more of a problem.

thouartgob
04-07-2008, 06:11 PM
It's great that you interpret it that way and if you are th typical voter that pays attention in the last 30-60 days, or often less, of the election no problem. If your not, and your participation here sort of hints in that direction, it may be somewhat more of a problem.

I would agree and I would also say that is feature not a bug. Undecidededs and indies may indeed make their choice in the last month or week and that is where the battle is joined. It is indeed my interpretation and that is worth what you pay for it of course :-)

piscivorous
04-07-2008, 06:15 PM
I disagree. One of the big problems with our country is that people do not, in fact, make the effort to learn the context. Sure, the GOP will make every effort to push the full video surrounding the "100 years" phrase, just as the Dems have made every effort to talk about Wright's positive contributions. Some, in both cases, will realize, "Hey, maybe there is something more to this than that one clip I saw." Some will not.

I grant that on the surface, it would seem easier to flesh out the context of McCain's phrase than Wright's. On the other hand, it was McCain himself who said it, and he has a whole lot of other stuff on the record that aligns with that key phrase. Every time he says something along the lines of having to stay in Iraq, it's easy for Dem spinners to work "100 years" back into the game. It's also easy for people to remember "100 years" every time they hear McCain talking this way, without even needing to be reminded.

By contrast, Obama has dealt with the Wright issue, and there does not appear to be fresh fuel to add to this particular fire. I'm sure there are some who turned against Obama in reaction to this controversy, and some of those might not ever come back. But the story is old hat, and except for rallying the far-right base, I don't see it being of much use in the general campaign. Are you sure yo really disagree. 20 years of "honorable behavior" of sitting in the pew and no record of Senator Obama having said anything about this type of speech vs a quote taken out of contest to slander the honor of the good Senator McCain. I'm no PR guy but I think even I could deal with this comparison fairly handily.

bjkeefe
04-07-2008, 06:26 PM
Are you sure yo really disagree. 20 years of "honorable behavior" of sitting in the pew and no record of Senator Obama having said anything about this type of speech vs a quote taken out of contest to slander the honor of the good Senator McCain. I'm no PR guy but I think even I could deal with this comparison fairly handily.

There's no point in continuing this. You've got your spin points and I've got mine. We both think there's mileage to be gained out of our own and little to worry about from the other. Either you believe Obama had good reason for remaining in the church despite a few points of disagreement with his pastor or you don't. Either you think McCain is a war-obsessed simpleton who shoots from the hip or you don't.

I will point out, however, that the real attacks on McCain by the Democrats have yet to begin, whereas we've seen the main points against Obama trotted out for months now, both by Republicans and by the Clinton campaign.

basman
04-07-2008, 08:46 PM
thouartgob:

My views about Hillary are subject to the fallout from her recent troubles over her Bosnian misstatement and Penn—Pennsylvania will tell the story of that I suppose. She seems to need a healthy win there. But that said, Whether Hillary will do better against McCain than Obama in debates and in campaigning will in large measure depend on how Obama gets defined, is able to define himself and how he is perceived by swinging independents and Reagan Democrats. You may say McCain’s narrative is simplistic; I would say it is straight forward, ostensibly compelling and easy to understand by working class Democrats and independents. If Hillary can translate her *tough/negative*, dogged, never say die, come-back-from-the-dead more-than-once-like-Lazarus campaigning into an view of her formidability, then I like her chances compared to what the Republicans may be able to do to Obama as I originally described.


Keefe:

As to down and dirty fighting, there are limits of course: and the limit that suggests itself to me are tactics, going negative, that winnow you of moral authority. As I said in the preceding paragraph Hillary’s recent problems are troublesome in that regard. But that granted, within a perimeter of legitimate *down and dirty* politics, your worry about such campaigning becomes analytically irrelevant and, for me, as already said by me, a practical argument for Hillary over Obama. That practical argument turns on the difference between the nature of the inter-party campaign and the intra-party campaign.

I can’t say with your certainty that the Republicans will prefer to run against her over Obama. I have seen and heard comments by some eminent Republican thinkers that suggest the opposite for among some of the reasons I have laid out and others. I’m no greater reader of polls, but aren’t they saying—and I am happy to be set straight on this—that in key industrial states which Democrats need to win, she polls better against McCain than does Obama. If that is accurate, I’d enter it into evidence as some support for my contention about her a better general election candidate than Obama.
But in the end, I harbour very little hope her wining the nomination, and that is not helped by her recent round of difficulties. She may be in the mist of imploding. I hope not.

Quote:

I would not get too haughty or patronizing about what main stream perceptions of Obama might be.

“Sorry. Can't be helped. Since I consider myself a fairly dumb shit, I have no patience for people even dumber than me.

Fortunately for Obama, I am not a campaign consultant.”

Cute and self-deprecating: but troublesome in line with my main argument. Obama will face difficulties enough against McCain with knocks on his and his wife’s supposed diffidence about America, some of his associations and other things I mentioned. The last thing he needs is to be perceived as haughty in relation to those who you effectively call “really dumb shits”. But, then, again, as you say, he is fortunate that he is not consulting you on his campaign.

bjkeefe
04-07-2008, 09:02 PM
basman:

... in key industrial states which Democrats need to win, she polls better against McCain than does Obama.

Yeah, this is something of an indicator. But don't forget these are polls taken during the primary, by which I mean both that they're probably biased a bit by people maniacally supportive of Clinton while she's still in the race, and do not reflect the view of McCain that will emerge once the left really focuses on exposing his many weak areas.

Also, you haven't considered the advantage Obama has in other states that Clinton did not do well in. I think he has a real shot to win some states that she could never win. Even if he can't win a lot of these states, he can really make McCain work to hold states that have traditionally been gimmes for the GOP, which means that McCain will have fewer resources to devote to the purple states.

The last thing he needs is to be perceived as haughty ...

You might be right. On the other hand, I feel certain that there are also people who are sick of candidates who put on a show of being their buddy and "jes plain folks," and are looking instead for someone who has the intellectual chops to lead and isn't afraid to show it.

AemJeff
04-07-2008, 10:15 PM
It's time to try for something very, very, very good.

I'm at a loss to find this kind optimism within myself. I don't think the current political system is capable of elevating the kind of transcendent figure you're describing. I'm not sure I think that's a bad thing, either. Which is not to say that it's not possible for Obama to become a transforming force in American politics, just that I'm pretty sure that he'll be a lot like Clinton and Bush - a talented politician in whom a lot of people will see what they want to see.

Democracies just aren't tuned to allow for more than that. These words of Winston Churchill's (http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Winston_Churchill) (which I find myself bringing up pretty much at the drop of hat) are apropos:

No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise. Indeed, it has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.

If Barack Obama can manage just to be competent and rise just a little over his cynical political nature, I'll be content with his presidency, if he achieves it.

Poetry is a form based on the music inherent in words, and Obama is, in that sense, an estimable poet.

piscivorous
04-07-2008, 11:27 PM
Actually REal Clear Politics (http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2008/latestpolls/index.html) keeps very current with all the latest political polls both state and National, running averages and more. It has links to all the polling data that one can reasonable consume.

piscivorous
04-07-2008, 11:32 PM
Poetry is a form based on the music inherent in words, and Obama is, in that sense, an estimable poet. Yes but so far it seems to be only the poetry of enchantment, sweet to the ears but bereft of meaning.

David_PA
04-08-2008, 01:04 AM
Yes but so far it seems to be only the poetry of enchantment, sweet to the ears but bereft of meaning.
Plenty of meaning in the words, as long as you aren't deaf to them. I'm not talking about the rhetoric either. Though, that is pretty good too, sometimes great. Obama speaks much more adult than most politicians do, much less pandering and duplicity.

Mr. Straight talk McCain has been all over the map on all issues, except perhaps Iraq. His tough stance there is a big gamble. Obama's stance that the fight against AL Q should be fought in Afghanistan and Pakistan, more than in Iraq, is a much brighter stance.

Speaking of which ... you guys on the right otta like OB for what he said about 'actionable intelligence' last summer - taking out Al Qs in Afghanistan-Pakistan. After all, the Bushies stole the idea - and won a few points off of it themselves.

piscivorous
04-08-2008, 01:42 AM
The root of the problem arises form the Middle East with the Persians and the Arabs not the Punjabis or Pashtun of Pakistan and Afghanistan. It does no good to treat the symptoms of the cancer while letting the cancer itself grow and further metastasize.

While much has been made of the most recent strike in Pakistan, simply because it came after Obama's debate line, it was not the first strike in Pakistan using American assets so the line was not anything new controversial, except for the politics of it.

David_PA
04-08-2008, 01:48 AM
The root of the problem arises form the Middle East with the Persians and the Arabs not the Punjabis or Pashtun of Pakistan and Afghanistan. It does no good to treat the symptoms of the cancer while letting the cancer itself grow and further metastasize.

While much has been made of the most recent strike in Pakistan, simply because it came after Obama's debate line, it was not the first strike in Pakistan using American assets so the line was not anything new controversial, except for the politics of it.
And who do we have brewing and bubbling in Afghanistan? The Sunni Arab Al Qs. How many more of them are in Afghanistan than in Iraq - 10:1, 50:1, more?

Who do have fighting in Iraq? The Shiites Arabs.

You sure McCain has a basic grasp on who's who in this area?

I know Obama does. He not the type to get stuck in discredited positions. And he and his advisers always takes a holistic view. Actually, you'll find if he becomes the pres., that he is much more to the right militarily than the right is portraying him to be. But, in a more judicious way than the blustering righties.

piscivorous
04-08-2008, 02:02 AM
Beyond the leadership the AQ in Pakistan and Afghanistan the majority of the foreign fighters have been coming from the Southern Federal District regions of Russia while the majority of foreign fighters in Iraq have come from Saudi Arabia. That may be changing now as AQI has seemed to have worn their welcome thin in Iraq and seem to be focusing the propaganda efforts away from Iraq to Pakistan, Afghanistan and Israel.

David_PA
04-08-2008, 02:05 AM
Beyond the leadership the AQ in Pakistan and Afghanistan the majority of the foreign fighters have been coming from the Southern Federal District regions of Russia while the majority of foreign fighters in Iraq have come from Saudi Arabia. That may be changing now as AQI has seemed to have worn their welcome thin in Iraq and seem to be focusing the propaganda efforts away from Iraq to Pakistan, Afghanistan and Israel.
And the implications of that AL Q shift for a smart US Middle East and Iraq policy are?

deebee
04-08-2008, 10:01 AM
From: thouartgob - He hates Obama and hopefully Obama can use that. He likes Hillary, but she might drive him crazy quickly as well...

I see several potential landmines for Obama against McCain. First, I believe that it will be difficult for the upstart Obama to criticize well-established icon McCain without coming across as cocky and presumptuous. Just note the overwhelming reaction to the NY times lobbyist/affair article where the paper became the bad guy. And its unclear who will be hurt by McCain's personal animus toward Obama. Any heated back and forth between the two is likely to benefit the elder statesman and McCain's anger could also reinforce Clinton supporters' lingering resentment.

Way before any Clinton/Obama rancor began, polls indicated that a large portion of Clinton voters' chose McCain second while Obama voters chose Clinton. I can only imagine that the Clinton voters position has hardened since then.

bjkeefe
04-08-2008, 02:16 PM
I see several potential landmines for Obama against McCain. First, I believe that it will be difficult for the upstart Obama to criticize well-established icon McCain without coming across as cocky and presumptuous. Just note the overwhelming reaction to the NY times lobbyist/affair article where the paper became the bad guy. And its unclear who will be hurt by McCain's personal animus toward Obama. Any heated back and forth between the two is likely to benefit the elder statesman and McCain's anger could also reinforce Clinton supporters' lingering resentment.

Way before any Clinton/Obama rancor began, polls indicated that a large portion of Clinton voters' chose McCain second while Obama voters chose Clinton. I can only imagine that the Clinton voters position has hardened since then.

Seems to me you're projecting here, deebee. First, I don't think a lot of Clinton supporters will maintain their current temper through November. Some might, sure. But realistically, anyone who supports Clinton cannot rationally prefer McCain as a second choice. I think pretty much everyone agrees that Clinton and Obama are very close on policy views, and McCain is diametrically opposed on most. Just to pick a few: McCain (now) favors making the tax cuts for the rich permanent, he is much more hawkish, and he'd put anti-choice judges on the Supreme Court.

Second, for whatever worries you have about Obama being perceived as "cocky" for disagreeing with McCain, isn't it just as likely that McCain will come off as a cranky old man? His reputation for bad temper has hurt him in the past, and the age question itself is likely to grow in importance (cf. non-release of medical records, for example, and various misstatements about Iraq/Iran/Al Qaeda for another).

piscivorous
04-08-2008, 07:10 PM
Seems to me you're projecting here, deebee. First, I don't think a lot of Clinton supporters will maintain their current temper through November. Some might, sure. But realistically, anyone who supports Clinton cannot rationally prefer McCain as a second choice... thats an awful bold assumption. it dose not take a whole lot if imagination to believe that there are center left voters that find Senator Clinton's positions and gravitas, before the leftward drift demanded in the primaries, over Obama's youth and inexperience who could conceivably vote for the center right Senator McCain. Yes I know right now he calls himself conservative but given his ability to work with others from the Democratic side, to actually get some things done rather appealing

bjkeefe
04-08-2008, 07:15 PM
pisc:

Sure, there are undoubtedly some voters that match your description. But I doubt it's really that large a number. The policy differences are just too big.

Wonderment
04-08-2008, 07:34 PM
Sure, there are undoubtedly some voters that match your description. But I doubt it's really that large a number. The policy differences are just too big.

There will be big differences between the candidates on the war in Iraq.

McCain has tethered himself to the Iraq holocaust and the ludicrous notion of an American victory.

Americans will unite around a timetable for withdrawal. McCain has already lost that argument against both Clinton and Obama.

My guess is that no pro-Iraq War candidate can win the 08 national election, and McCain is the hawk par excellence.

It doesn't follow that Hillary or Barack have good answers for Iraq. There are no good answers. But the Dems. will be perceived as the party that can best end the debacle.

piscivorous
04-08-2008, 09:35 PM
While I know it is hard to believe that there is not only the far left and the far right in the political realm both of theses factions are actually small parts of the general electorate; the vast majority of voters lie much closer to the center. Many of these center voters make their decision by weighing the various positions and make the least worse choice according to their own particular set of priorities and desires which in many cases will not come anywhere close to yours or mine believe it or not.

bjkeefe
04-08-2008, 09:42 PM
pisc:

I'll grant that lots of people are more centrist than you or I. Nonetheless, it's hard for me to imagine a significant number of Democrats voting for McCain. I think the overwhelming majority of Democrats see McCain as far right, and will have this sense enhanced once the general election campaigning starts in earnest. He's for the war, for Bush's tax cuts, and in thrall to the evangelicals on abortion. He is going to be seen as McSame -- four more years of Bush policies on both the domestic and foreign policy fronts. I just don't see "centrist" Democrats buying any of that.

David_PA
04-08-2008, 10:33 PM
the vast majority of voters lie much closer to the center. But, at pres. election time, the dems will have an unshakable 45% and so will the repubs. The battle will be over the remaining 10%, which I agree (at least from the perspective of today) could go either way depending on how the campaigning goes.

deebee
04-09-2008, 08:51 AM
QUOTING BJKeefe: First, I don't think a lot of Clinton supporters will maintain their current temper through November. Some might, sure. But realistically, anyone who supports Clinton cannot rationally prefer McCain as a second choice..

You may be right but you base your assumption on rational decision making. Those who perceive the race as being unfair due to discrepancies between primary and caucus/primary vote totals, not allowing all states to vote, sexist and/or racist comments, etc. could choose to cut off their nose to spite their face and teach the DNC or the other side a lesson. Since such intense emotion and resentment has surfaced on both sides in this race, you have to take that into account. Also we all know by now that McCain is cranky and seem to still like him overall - Obama is still a new face and unknown quantity.

I feel that the only resolution is to form a combo ticket although I feel that this particular dream has turned into a nightmare.

bjkeefe
04-09-2008, 10:39 AM
deebee:

I feel that the only resolution is to form a combo ticket although I feel that this particular dream has turned into a nightmare.

Think HRC would accept the VP slot?

thouartgob
04-09-2008, 03:20 PM
You may be right but you base your assumption on rational decision making. Those who perceive the race as being unfair due to discrepancies between primary and caucus/primary vote totals, not allowing all states to vote, sexist and/or racist comments, etc. could choose to cut off their nose to spite their face and teach the DNC or the other side a lesson. Since such intense emotion and resentment has surfaced on both sides in this race, you have to take that into account. Also we all know by now that McCain is cranky and seem to still like him overall - Obama is still a new face and unknown quantity.

I feel that the only resolution is to form a combo ticket although I feel that this particular dream has turned into a nightmare.

I don' think the rancor of the primary will carry into the general unless something even more bizarre happen, although given the general insanity of this race that isn't as unlikely as it would seem. The mi/fl thing is a wash since even if it there is an ugly fix at the end of the day it will be a fix and there is plenty of quotes from Hillary and company about mi/fl not counting now but now they count yada yada yada.

Obama has shown to be pretty cautious in debates so being too "cocky" in debates with McCain is less likely than his being too cocky on the stump or the occasional interview. The juxtaposition of old and wise vs young and cocky on the same stage won't be as much of a problem. As for angry exchanges I doubt Obama will get as riled since he has guarded against being the angry black guy this entire campaign. As for Hillary getting angry all I can think of is "Shame on you ...." and I don't get a warm and fuzzy feeling. I think she is more likely to garner more sympathy if attacked on the stage however.

McCain is no pushover and there will be some significant footage of him going after Abromoff and such but I think his record/past will get a much needed colonoscopy and there will be some unpleasant things in there. He might get away with saying "I don't know" or "yeah I was wrong" a lot because people aren't used to hearing that from a politician but once they get used to it ....

Obama as unknown isn't as bad as it might be. He is charming and personable in crowds ( something significantly lacking in democratic circles ) and though his track record isn't as long as McCain's it is a good one and a positive trajectory at that.

As for a dream ticket that one is tough. HRC as Obama's VP is problematic since she doesn't add much REAL experience and she comes with some substantial negatives. Obama would be a logical VP but he would be overshadowed by Bill ( asst. VP Obama ) and any issue that would lose him the nomination might just as well make him poisonous as a VP.

It really is up to Obama though. Since he is an unknown his track record in the public mind is basically how well he does in the campaign ( kind of a boot-strap dynamic ). I think he has to do more than just survive the nominating process, he has to really show some more leadership (more than the clintons ever showed). If he wins well and blows people away at the convention then he has a great chance of not only beating McCain but having the long coat tails as well.