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With Early Caucuses, Questions Abound


Obama's for Iowa, but are Iowans listening to Obama? (Reuters).

By Dan Balz
DES MOINES -- There is one question every presidential candidate would love to know the answer to this week: Is anybody in Iowa listening?

The political calendar says it's now just eight days before the caucuses, a time for final arguments and intensive campaigning. The public calendar says it's the week between Christmas and New Year's, a time when family and friends take precedence over the worldly pursuits of politics. Which calendar will ordinary voters be operating on? The answer is not inconsequential.

The candidates have no choice but to assume this is still the time to lock down supporters and woo the many Iowans -- if history is a reliable guide -- who haven't made a firm decision about whom to support. But what strategists in all the campaigns are wondering is whether the normal rules of political campaigns apply and, if not, if there is anything to be done about it.

No one has ever been through what the candidates are facing this week. "Uncharted waters," David Axelrod, Barack Obama's chief strategist, wrote in an e-mail message early Wednesday. "This is normally when campaigns reach a crescendo. The question is, how much people are willing to tolerate and who is listening."

Howard Wolfson, Hillary Clinton's communications director, offered a hopeful assessment in an e-mail. "It's obviously never been done before," he wrote. "But the electorate here is so engaged and tuned in that I think they will remain focused on the race."

Strategically, the week presents a variety of challenges. How much are voters prepared to hear from the campaigns? Every candidate's Iowa staff has been calling and re-calling supporters, attempting to gauge any backsliding, or trying to arrange rides or child care for caucus night. Iowa voters have been bombarded with telephone calls, personal visits, direct mail, DVDs and, of course, television ads. Are the voters tuning out at this point? Will they be turned off by what the campaigns may feel they must do over the next eight days?

A second question is whether any of the candidates is prepared to take the risk of going negative in the final week. Normally, campaigns close on a positive note and on the overriding message of the campaign. But the battle among Clinton, Obama and John Edwards has been so fierce, and the stakes potentially so significant, that one or another candidate may still feel the need to drive an argument that is critical of his or her opponent. Will they do that rhetorically? Through television ads? Through mail? By telephone? If they do, will it be effective -- or will it backfire?

Will the person attacked turn the other cheek in deference to the season -- and defy the normal rules of politics that say no attack should ever go unanswered? Or will he or she answer back and risk an escalation that could accrue to the benefit of the candidate who stays out of the line of fire?

Another question is what impact the outside groups will have on this year's caucuses. The conservative Club for Growth announced Wednesday that it plans to air additional television spots attacking Mike Huckabee, the former Arkansas governor who is trying to upset Mitt Romney in the caucuses. Obama's campaign frets about the potential impact of an "independent" organization with ties to Edwards.

The answers were not evident as the candidates returned to the campaign trail on Wednesday.

As has been true for months, most of the focus in Iowa is on the competitive Democratic race among Clinton, Obama and Edwards. Clinton and Obama began the final eight days with events in Iowa, reengaging on the issue that has defined the Democratic race for months: Clinton's claim of experience vs. Obama's appeal as a change agent.

The Clinton campaign wants no one to miss its message, labeling her latest foray around Iowa the "Big Challenges, Real Solutions -- Time to Pick a President" tour. It is as inelegant as it is unmistakable -- a variation of the theme John F. Kerry used four years ago to undermine the candidacy of Howard Dean. Clinton assembled as much political muscle as possible, including her husband and former Iowa governor Tom Vilsack, to amplify her message.

Obama simultaneously launched his final tour with the "Stand for Change" tour. His strategists believe they can successfully counter any doubts raised about the Illinois senator's experience by casting Clinton as old politics for a new century.

Edwards detoured to New Hampshire Wednesday but will be in Iowa later in the week to press his own change message on the caucus electorate. His advisers believe he has as good a chance to win the caucuses as either Obama or Clinton.

There are distractions aplenty that will lure voters away from the campaigns this week -- post-Christmas shopping, football games and, of course, celebrations marking the arrival of 2008. Perhaps only in Iowa (okay, maybe New Hampshire, too) might that not be enough to keep people from focusing on presidential politics.

The candidates will act as if all is normal, and maybe Iowans will also. As a strategist for one of the leading Democratic candidates put it in a message Wednesday morning: "I think in Iowa the people who pay attention to this stuff, who are going to caucus, will pay attention during the holiday. The nation may not, but it's not about them right now anyway."

What a strange ending to a year of campaigning here.

By Web Politics Editor  |  December 26, 2007; 1:38 PM ET
Categories:  A_Blog , B_Blog , Barack Obama , Dan Balz's Take , Hillary Rodham Clinton , John Edwards , Mike Huckabee , Mitt Romney  
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Comments

jfnatalie-Sorry my point went so far over your head! The current Population of Illegals working the Construction Jobs they are, are working them because they are illegal!
The Employers pay no Payrolling expenses, Employer benefits or taxes, no insurance, and no Unemployment fees!

Legalize the workers, or worse yet, Naturalize them, and they become un-Employable, and then are entitled to Welfare as they now lose out the NEXT wave of UNDOCUMENTEDS!

The solution, is to fine the Employers for every worker under them that does NOT have proper ID! Go to the sites, and start writing Fines, like a Traffic Cop at Daytona Raceway!

Posted by: rat-the | December 27, 2007 2:20 PM | Report abuse

The only candidate on either side that has principals or a philosophy on how to deal with government is Ron Paul(his philosophy is to follow the Constitution, remember that old document). I'd love to see Hillary or Obama debate Paul. Government will solve all of your problems vs. Your problems are none of the governments business. That is a debate I would like to have. I don't understand how any of you can vote for candidates that will give us MORE government. Do you all read or pay attention at all? The govt. does two things well, they deliver the mail and run the military. That's it. Everything else has been a monumental failure. Most voters will choose the candidate that promises them the biggest handout. I'm afraid the nanny state has bred any shred of independance out of most people.

Posted by: cptmarvel147 | December 27, 2007 9:13 AM | Report abuse

There are so many errors in rat the's argument from an economics standpoint, that I will sum it up this way: If all the immigrants are taking away your construction jobs, how can you claim they are all coming here to sit around collecting welfare.

Your argument shows your racism.

Posted by: jfnatalie | December 27, 2007 8:39 AM | Report abuse

I believe the reason people are not listening is that it has seemed like these races have been going on for way too long. People are tired of listening to this. One day Obama is ahead, next day Hillary is ahead. Mitt's ahead, now it's Huckabee. With poll after poll after poll and the news media going CRAZY over every detail, I think people are tuning out the politics because other things are more important (like how to pay bills, taxes, etc).

Posted by: johnathonnorville | December 27, 2007 8:37 AM | Report abuse

The Democrats love Mike "Dukakis" Huckabee, because they know that any Democrat will beat a bible thumping praise the Lorder faux conservative, with a Willie Horton in his closet in the general election.
Hillary is a Stalinist in nature, who "knows what's best for you" and whose only experience is that of a mistreated and abused wife. Some icon of feminism. She couldn't find her billing records, she mangled healthcare, rode her husbands oil slick into the Senate, and can't remember if she was for the war before she was against it. She is, however; an expert at baking cookies, running a bimbo eruption squad, and of course, an expert in cattle futures.
Either one of them would be a disaster for this nation.

Posted by: KJS1953 | December 27, 2007 8:23 AM | Report abuse

I laugh at the misinformed Huckabee supporters. Huckabee is liberal Hillary with a bible and a sex change.

Posted by: steven | December 27, 2007 7:01 AM | Report abuse

JakeD wrote: "I live in southern California (San Diego), and I still think immigration is one of our country's greatest strengths, not weakness."

Unfettered immigration is NOT a strength. That's why we have laws to regulate it. My fear is that most liberals believe and support illegal immigration.

Consider these facts:

There are about 3.5 million on the waiting list to enter the US legally.

More than 98% of California's Population Growth In The Last 10 Years Was Due to Immigration.

Most Californians are barely replacing themselves.

Most Californians are having less than two children per household.

Many immigrant families are averaging more than 3.3 children per household.

Unfettered immigration is not a strength. Illegal immigrants are a great weakness to any country. If we continue at the current rate, the USA will have become a third world country by 2050.

"Suppose 20 millions of republican Americans thrown all of a sudden into France, what would be the condition of that kingdom? If it would be more turbulent, less happy, less strong, we may believe that the addition of half a million of foreigners to our present numbers would produce a similar effect here. If they come of themselves, they are entitled to all the rights of citizenship: but I doubt the expediency of inviting them by extraordinary encouragements...." Thomas Jefferson

"In the first place, we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin. But this is predicated upon the person's becoming in every facet an American, and nothing but an American. There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn't an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag. We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language. And we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people." Theodore Roosevelt

Posted by: voyetra8 | December 27, 2007 6:39 AM | Report abuse

Oh yeah. Ron Paul is Batman http://freetoys.com

Posted by: Thrilltone | December 27, 2007 6:33 AM | Report abuse

Traditionally, the only people who show up in Iowa, are the old guard party members... but rarely have there been supporters with the fervor and faith of the Paul Pod People.

I urge everyone to check your basement for suspicious looking pods.
If you begin to crave gold or feel irresistable urges for liberty, immediately destroy the pod.

Posted by: Thrilltone | December 27, 2007 6:32 AM | Report abuse

Mike Huckabee is clearly the choice of the people of Iowa and Mrs. Bill Clinton is the pick of the media elites. Why do I say that? The media spends hours pointing out the smallest differences between the Republican candidates and even drags Conservative heavyweight Rush Limbaugh into a fight with Huckabee, while Mrs. Bill Clinton skates allowed to claim her experience as First Spouse while giving her a total pass on all of her White House screw ups. Remember Hillarycare? The press doesn't. Remember when she kissed Suhu Arafat during a state visit? Not the press. And the fiascos that she was directly responsible for when she was Hillary Rodham and Rodham-Clinton are completely ignore. Attorney for the so called Children's Defense Fund that created the template for children "divorcing" their parents? Yugo grrllzz- completely forgot.
Mike Huckabee will represent all of us not just left leaning socialists.

Posted by: adirondackal | December 27, 2007 6:05 AM | Report abuse

All reliable polls give Huckabee Iowa and now Florida and South Carolina. Obama is history. Hillary will win in Iowa. However, Huckabee is front runner over all Republicans. Rudy is going out slowly and the others are history. Come on folks listen to facts and truth not to the "wishes" of the sites you read from and/or the news media outlets who want their pretty boy or girl.

Posted by: Lcarnes1 | December 27, 2007 5:24 AM | Report abuse

Obama is going to win the Iowa caucus mark my words! Final vote tally: Obama 42% Edwards 28% Clinton 22%

Posted by: lumi21us | December 27, 2007 2:02 AM | Report abuse

winemaster,

you make an excellent example of the kind of liberal that it is hard to take seriously-you start making what sounds like a rational argument, then finish it with a "my way or they can just die" statement. How do you, as a supposed progressive, justify that kind of talk? Why should the balance of your statement have any credibility whatsoever? Nice example for our youth...Isn't that just about the mentality that the neocons use? What a knuckle-dragging statement... I hope you make a better vintner than you do a debater.

Posted by: chrisaz2 | December 27, 2007 1:58 AM | Report abuse

Why is this article only on Democrats? Aren't Republicans running in Iowa too? More media bias.

I think the choice is between socialism/communism and conservatism. I don't see this nation improving with the first scenario, but there are a lot of fake conservatives running too, so it seems to be one big illusion. I think most people are tuning out this election because they are sick and tired of the status quo. Clinton/Obama/Edwards? Are these the best Democrats can really do? They're all nauseating to me.

Posted by: mamalahma | December 27, 2007 1:57 AM | Report abuse

One cannot win the presidency without the South and no matter whether some call it racism or not, the South will not elect a Black Northerner as president. It is not just the color of his skin, he has other baggage against him...His name, his inexperience, his voting record (and non-votes), and his promises which can't be fruitful no matter how hard the utopians wish it so. Edwards would be the best pick to get the Southern vote but I highly doubt he has a chance to get the nomination.

But if Democrats really want the presidency they should nominate him. As they say, politics is the art of compromise and Dems better think long and hard on whom has the best chance in a national election, not who best represents their views during the nomination process.

Posted by: jerry | December 27, 2007 1:32 AM | Report abuse

Anyone interested in what Huckabee is really like face to face should try this funny (but it actually happened) column:
http://goupstate.us/index.php/lanefiller/2007/11/02/title_14

Posted by: lanefiller | December 27, 2007 12:48 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: RayRobison | December 27, 2007 12:44 AM | Report abuse

The guy who said the Republicans will shred Clinton to peices is fooling himself. The Clintons have already been shredded to pieces, and proven to be vile trashy scum. Exactly what their base is looking for. Every new character flaw that gets exposed on them apparently strengthens their chances of winning.

Posted by: jim | December 27, 2007 12:42 AM | Report abuse


The comment that pointed out that Obama currently polls better against all Republicans than anyone else including Hillary of course is true, and needs to be acknowledged.

The other point made though, is that is before the Republicans rip into him. The little messing around from clearly non-Hillary supporter JakeD is child's play to what they will do if they are able to help get Obama past Hillary for the Democratic nomination. JakeD is not playing by the Republicans handbook because they don't want those negatives talked about till after a nomination if that were to come to pass. Then they go to town on him.

Concerning the Republicans hatred for Hillary, yes, they do, and do you think they like Obama any better? Spare me. The difference is they've said and done every vile thing they could conjure up about Hillary, and she's still standing. Just voted Most Admired Woman for 2007 standing, along with Most Admired Man Bush. (we stand by our President and she stands by her man and all that stuff, I guess).

But Obama? Like I say here every once in awhile, what they did to Kerry with Swift Boat lies will be a walk in the park with what they do to Obama. Who cares what the truth is, they certainly don't.

But I support Hillary because of her policies and plans, not just because I also know whe can withstand everything the Republicans will throw at her, because she already has.

As for Edwards, if he wins it means his message is resonating well, and his more limited money will be better spent than for example what Romney is doing anyway.

I saw on Hardball tonight that if a candidate like Hillary does well in the early primaries, as I hope, that the "campaign" will pressure Obama to withdraw early.

This is silly talk from Matthews (whom I find entertainingly interesting even as he tries to stick it to Hillary every chance he gets :). This is why the states gang up front trying to have some influence in the election. The debates should be taken throughout the land until someone has locked up the necessary delegates, and if no one does, then we'll have a real old fashioned convention instead of a crowning ceremony.

That would be a change for you right off the bat.

rd

Posted by: ralphdaugherty | December 26, 2007 10:04 PM | Report abuse

Barack most electable? Better take a look at Joe Biden. They can't attack him on defense, morality or security.

HE IS the most electable.

www.Dough4Joe.com

Posted by: Jeannie1960 | December 26, 2007 9:26 PM | Report abuse

hilary clinton will stop the republicans acting like a bunch of vulchers stealing the americans peoples surpluses of 5.8 trillion from social security,medicaire/medicaid and pension trust funds,then repeal those huge tax cuts of over 2.5 trillion that were given to the wealthy that took away the american peoples surplus from those trust funds.then call back over half of our troops to come home,and get rid of those contractors that are being paid billions.then once we get those huge tax cuts back from the wealthy that wasnt needed in the first place because it was taking from the american peoples trust funds and the rest wasted on the pentagon budgets and supplementals,then republicans stop dipping into those trust funds and the american people who pay into social security,medicaire/medicaid and pension trust funds will accumulate tons of cash after each week,each month and each year and be able to save those trust funds and then help out the american people in tax cuts,pay raises,better education,better healthcare,better living standards and so much more.hilary clinton will be the best president we ever had

Posted by: apeaslee | December 26, 2007 9:23 PM | Report abuse

OK, Now even I am a little jealous! Stanford and the smaller college just north(Forgot the name), are nestled in one of the most beautiful spots in Cali!

And La Jolla is very far removed from the Barrios! Drive to National City some Night, and take a stroll. Then tell me again how you feel about all your Amigos!

Still curious about I am thinking it was called the "Boatyard" bar, and Moose McGillicuddies(Sp?).

Again, I am certain Tourmoline, Wind and Sea, La Jolla Cove/Scripps Pier, and many other Fav Haunts, are still around! LOL!

Posted by: rat-the | December 26, 2007 8:48 PM | Report abuse

Granted, people my age aren't hanging at either SDSU or UCSD (I went to Stanford myself ; )

Posted by: JakeD | December 26, 2007 7:58 PM | Report abuse

I hear ya -- we actually live next to Pacific Beach, off Soledad Mountain Road -- regardless, some of us still think healthy immigration is a good thing : )

Posted by: JakeD | December 26, 2007 7:42 PM | Report abuse

JakeD, National City, is a long ways from Balboa and Pacific Beach! Even though they are only 15 Miles apart! If, you are hanging at SDSU, as opposed to UCSD, again, light years apart even though 20 miles separarted!

Is Mooses still around? Blind Melons? What about I believe it is "The Shipyard?"(The place with the big Fire pit, and the Spaggetti Specials)?

Memories! sigh! I am sure Wind and Sea has not moved! LOL!

Posted by: rat-the | December 26, 2007 7:35 PM | Report abuse

I live in southern California (San Diego), and I still think immigration is one of our country's greatest strengths, not weakness.

Posted by: JakeD | December 26, 2007 7:27 PM | Report abuse

JakeD-That was put on there by the French, not US!

Opportunity? Look at SoCal, then look at Baja!

Look at Argentina, Peru, Australia, Etc., Etc.,!

Immigrating to the US for "Opportunity" would have been equivalent to immigrating to London or Paris from the 1800's America!

It is simply invading the Land of Milk and Honey to rob and loot!

Posted by: rat-the | December 26, 2007 7:11 PM | Report abuse

It's at least POSSIBLE that some of those 34 year-olds (and younger) would be doing those jobs instead -- don't forget the cumulative impact as well -- some of those 34 year-olds would have had kids themselves. Of course, no one knows how many of those abortions would have been biologically impossible during a full-term pregnancy (i.e. some women have multiple abortions within a 9 month timeframe), so I noted above that abortion statistics are of varying reliability -- I'm simply asking the questions no one else is daring to ask.

Posted by: JakeD | December 26, 2007 6:09 PM | Report abuse

JakeD,
so your position is that if abortion was not made legal there would plenty of American born babies of age now to work the jobs that are currently being occupied by illegal aliens? Therefore, had America not legalized abortion there wouldn't be an illegal alien problem in America today?

If one applied the concepts of analyzing statistics as done in the book "Freakonomics" this position would have some merit as it pertains to illegal immigration. Yes, I'm rethinking my previous position. I believe legalizing abortion has done far more harm to the individual and society as a whole than being the genesis of an immigration problem.

Posted by: SteelWheel1 | December 26, 2007 5:46 PM | Report abuse

Correction: here is the entire "NEW COLOSSUS" poem by Emma Lazarus:

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
"Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she
With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to be free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

Posted by: JakeD | December 26, 2007 5:42 PM | Report abuse

bsimon:

I would be happy to start with a link to the answer Obama gave to that one question for now (remember, at 5:04 pm, YOU were the one who claimed he's answered every question I asked).

river845:

Please see my post above re: Edwards accepting public financing and swiftboating.

Posted by: JakeD | December 26, 2007 5:38 PM | Report abuse

BTW: 300 million people is not "surpassing our natural resources and infrastructure" capacity at all -- we have 3.79 million square miles in this great country of ours, so that's not even 100 per square mile -- we are still the richest nation the world has ever known.

"Give us your poor, your tired, your huddled masses longing to be free . . ."

Posted by: JakeD | December 26, 2007 5:34 PM | Report abuse

Edwards is the best candidate.

Obama and Hillary have gender and racial issues that will be a obstruction to their winning a general election.

The republicans are notorious for using race and gender to manipulate people.

We can't take a chance that gender or race would be used to stop someone from winning that otherwise would.

Posted by: river845 | December 26, 2007 5:34 PM | Report abuse

JakeD writes
"Please link to the answer from [each candidate] as to when the last time [they] used cocaine."

Good Idea! This should be added to the fact sheet for everyone running for office - a little questionnaire to be filled out upon becoming a candidate. What drugs have you used, and when? Last extramarital affair? Any same-sex sexual contact? Any freaky/deviant behavior? Perhaps they could each take a quiz on their claimed faith's tenets, so we can ensure nobody's pretending what religion they are (constitutional bans on tests aside). What else should be asked?

Posted by: bsimon | December 26, 2007 5:33 PM | Report abuse

Well, thanks for answering the question, but I think you (and Obama) have indeed played the race card, from the bottom of the deck, as I pointed out above.

Posted by: JakeD | December 26, 2007 5:31 PM | Report abuse

JakeD,

Your question: didn't YOU play the race card by implying the failure to nominate Obama means the U.S. has not completely transcended the racial divide?

My answer: No, I was not implying that at all. What I'm saying is that whether or not Senator Obama wins the nomination it will be on the strength of his position on the issues that matter to Americans and NOT his ethnicity. And for that I am Proud. Race isn't playing the dominate role it once did.

Posted by: SteelWheel1 | December 26, 2007 5:27 PM | Report abuse

Steelwheel-You are right about the Idiocy of the fence. It is simply a great big chunck of useless posing Pork! Not to mention, a environmental issue due to blocking wildlife!

To talk of Fences, when Austin Texas, the State CAPITAL!, is a Damned Sanctuary City in open violation of Federal Labor Laws, with now Two Day Labor assemblies facilitating Un-Documented Workers with construction jobs lost under the Tax Table of the City itself!, is evident at how wrongheaded some of our elected officials are! I am talking dumber than sacks of Rocks-or Traitors!

The entire Construction Industry has been ussurped! Never mind Agriculture or Factories-Get out and BUST the Contractors using un-Documented workers building all the so-called valuable Houses! When People like myself cannot afford to compete against the unfair practice, and go into other fields, we then lower their abilities to get a fair wage! Begin with the Construction Industry, and see if that does not begin fixing many others as well!

There is NO good reason, any elected Official should be able to declare it's locality a "Sanctuary", and NO good reason any Tax dollars should be spent helping any Un-Documented Workers find Employment!
NONE! Any Elected Rep doing so should be Fined and thrown in Jail-Pronto, and post haste!

Then, let's get it on with HR:1940 Already!

Or, do we have to finally start screaming for a Revolution?! Because we have been betrayed by people who swore to protect us, but are instead trying to kill us!
When you lose everything you ever had, and you lose it because there is zero opportunity to save it, well...

Posted by: rat-the | December 26, 2007 5:23 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: JakeD | December 26, 2007 5:22 PM | Report abuse

Did you know there was a Stanford study linking the decrease in crime to abortion of inncer-city babies?

Posted by: JakeD | December 26, 2007 5:20 PM | Report abuse

Good to be back, thebobbob : )

Posted by: JakeD | December 26, 2007 5:19 PM | Report abuse

That wasn't my question, SteelWheel1 -- three strikes and you're out -- nice try though.

Posted by: JakeD | December 26, 2007 5:18 PM | Report abuse

Watching the right-wing hate machine frothing at the mouth while they sputter about muslims, black drug dealers and immigrants replacing aborted babies is truly great political entertainment. Scream it louder! The more you whack-jobs beat that drum of lies, the more you alienate the 80% of Americans who are done with the swiftboating, Rush Limpaw the drug addict, crowd. Welcome back to the lunatic fringe!

Posted by: thebobbob | December 26, 2007 5:18 PM | Report abuse

As for the abortion question, first of all, because reporting of abortions is not mandatory, statistics are of varying reliability. Since 1973, there have been 600,000 to 1.4 million abortions per year -- the oldest of those would be 34 today, some with families of their own -- it doesn't take too much logic to assume that illegal immigrants are doing the work that MILLIONS of 16-18 year-old U.S. citizens could have been doing. Seems more like common sense to me.

Posted by: JakeD | December 26, 2007 5:16 PM | Report abuse

JakeD,
if your question is "Why won't I just say I'm proud that the American racists are giving Senator Obama a chance" I will say it here.

I'm proud that the American racist both black and white did not engage in shouting down Senator Obama's vision for a Greater America with a bunch of racial nonsense.

Posted by: SteelWheel1 | December 26, 2007 5:15 PM | Report abuse

bsimon:

Please link to the answer from Obama as to when the last time Obama used cocaine.

SteelWheel1:

One last time -- didn't YOU play the race card by implying the failure to nominate Obama means the U.S. has not completely transcended the racial divide?

Posted by: JakeD | December 26, 2007 5:10 PM | Report abuse

'spam', you are either woefully misinformed or being deliberately misleading with your post. Same thing with JakeD at 4:17. The questions have been asked & answered. I recommend both of you do some basic research before voting in order to make a properly informed decision.

Posted by: bsimon | December 26, 2007 5:04 PM | Report abuse

JakeD-Reality check, and a wake up call!

With 300 Million people surpassing our natural resources and infrastructure, I could not care one iota about some groups observation about our substantiated growth!

We are importing POVERTY! Given a Choice of decent Wages so I could build a Family that I would be wanting to support myself, Vs. being flooded by illiterate Leechs wanting my Tax dollars to support their offspring, well, I think the answer is pretty obvious!

The FACT so many Americans are unable to provide for their offspring, and are so prone to have abortions to keep from being dragged down into dependancy on social Services, should be a MAJOR wake-Up call, that the current Wage depressed environment is HOSTILE to Growth of anyone too proud to be a social Leech!

That the glorious Days of opportunity to build Futures has been ussurped!

As I have tried to point out previously, and is 99% of the reason I consider Myself on borrowed time, Wages are 1970's Level, in 2007 Price Realities! In 1978, a LifeGuard made $10/Hr! In 2007, in Austin, Texas, $7.50!
Sports Cars in 1978-(Camaro/Mustangs)-@$5-7K, in 2007-$30,000!

The biggest difference in Raising the costs for Labor in the Decimated construction Industry three fold, would mean a small fraction added to the final Cost, but the ability for the Builders to be able to afford to own one again!

We cannot live on $10/Hr! We sure as hell, cannot buy homes and raise Families on that!-Not without being Subsidized, or getting the $10/Hr under the Table Tax Free!

The system is worse than broken! It is a KILLER!

Posted by: rat-the | December 26, 2007 5:03 PM | Report abuse

JakeD,
what question did you ask that I didn't answer?? Please ask me again.

In regard to your post to rat-the you said " Maybe if American mothers had not aborted 50 million children, we wouldn't need illegal immigrants".

How can you be so sure that those aborted babies would have worked the jobs these illegals are working? Although I do agree with the spirit of your point (abortion is wrong) I think your logic as it pertains to illegal immigration is inconsistent.

Posted by: SteelWheel1 | December 26, 2007 5:02 PM | Report abuse

I don't think I said anything about "Massive Amnesty" (that was "rat-the").

Posted by: JakeD | December 26, 2007 4:59 PM | Report abuse

oops... rat-the, JakeD, please sort out my reply...didn't mean to lump you together.

Posted by: malis | December 26, 2007 4:58 PM | Report abuse

A poll came out a few days ago that stated that 80% of Americans identify themselves as Christian. Barack's late father was a Muslim. Obama has been very oblique on whether he's a Christian. The closest Barack has come to answering the Christian question is when his campaign staff issued a press release that said Barack attends the United Church of Christ in Chicago and follows the Christian faith. Barack Obama himself has never directly answered the questions of Christianity and Islam and which takes precedence in his life. Obama tends to be wordy, vague and elusive in addressing what should be a simple answer.

Posted by: spam | December 26, 2007 4:58 PM | Report abuse

JakeD, I agree on you about Barry Bonds, but I'm afraid little else. By 'Massive Amnesty' you're referring to President Bush's plan, correct? You might be interested in reading the Post's lead editorial this morning:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/12/25/AR2007122500877.html

As to Obama, your parroting of the hate-radio talking points is disappointing. I'm aware of the provenance of each of those points, and I find them unconvincing. I made my point earlier: Please make your choice based on your understanding of the views, positions, and moral strength of your candidate, not on someone else's distortions.

Posted by: malis | December 26, 2007 4:55 PM | Report abuse

rat-the,
your logic is on point but your assignment of the responsibility is lopsided. You are right when you said the Democrats will go overboard with the social programs benefiting the illegals but you are wrong when you attribute the Amnesty Bill to Democrats only. The money wing of the Republican party are the ones pushing the hardest for the Amnesty Bill because it is GREAT FOR THEIR BUSINESS.

The only way America solves this illegal immigration problem is to:

1. Remove the incentives for breaking the law.

2.Punish those who violate the law.

3. Apply the rule of law.

It is just that simply. Building a wall, no matter how fortified it may be, is only a temporary solution.

Posted by: SteelWheel1 | December 26, 2007 4:55 PM | Report abuse

rat-the:

Maybe if American mothers had not aborted 50 million children, we wouldn't need illegal immigrants?

Posted by: JakeD | December 26, 2007 4:48 PM | Report abuse

Fine, SteelWheel1, if you'd rather not answer my questions, we'll leave it as "America has done well producing a Senator Hillary Clinton AND Senator Barack Obama." Maybe next time you will want to actually engage in the discussion.

Posted by: JakeD | December 26, 2007 4:45 PM | Report abuse

JakeD ,
even with your clarification of what newagent99 might had meant still doesn't apply. At no time has Senator Obama dealt from the bottom of the racial deck, quite the contrary. On many occasions Senator Obama and his wife Michelle has said "he is running to become President of the United States not Black Man for the United States".

As for your point concerning the gender divide, I believe America has done well producing a Senator Hillary Clinton. Senator Clinton has both men and women hating and loving her but they all respect her political acumen. Hillary Clinton is the only reason there is even a scintilla of cohesion in the Republican party. Take her away and the Republican party has no cohesive message!

Here you have a WOMAN that has the power to unite both political parties!! Tell me, when has a man been able to unite both political parties??? Talk about transcending the gender divide!!

Posted by: SteelWheel1 | December 26, 2007 4:39 PM | Report abuse

mlalliso-Here is the Reality. Any Democrat will push through a Massive Amnesty, who will then be able to file even more massive requests for many more Family members to now come join their wrongfully legalized presence. They will instantly be eligible for denied benefits, Worker's Comp., Unemployment, and unfortunately WELFARE-which THEY will need, because the Employers they have do NOT WANT Legal Right demanding Workers!

Let's see, if 4 Million, turned into to 12 Million, after the First stupid move, then the next wave should be @ 48 Million Illegals!

Es no bueno!

Then, I think our Country could really live without Libbie Judges like the ones on the Ninth Circuit-who Blocked our Government's attempt at trying to catch ID Thieves! And you better believe the Dems live to appoint the Legislate from the Bench jerks!

Posted by: rat-the | December 26, 2007 4:37 PM | Report abuse

winemaster2:

I would have no problem voting Alan Keyes for President of the United States.

Posted by: JakeD | December 26, 2007 4:33 PM | Report abuse

And, thank you for the asterisk, mlalliso (now, if we could just get the same for the Barry Bonds "record" ; )

Posted by: JakeD | December 26, 2007 4:29 PM | Report abuse

rat-the said:

mlalliso-Allow me!
Amnesty and Libbie Judge appointees!
Does that help?
_________________

ummmm...actually, no. We in the reality-based world usually prefer some sort of argument or example based in fact. If you have a point you're trying to make, please clarify.

JakeD, thank you for the reality-based comment! You're right, Edwards' overall funding limit (accepting matching funds means he has a ceiling on what he can raise privately) could be an issue affecting his ability to compete. My point was based on whether or not people will vote for him, and the emotional populism he's using does appeal to many (too many in my view, but that's a different topic). A comment on his electability does deserve your asterisk.

Posted by: malis | December 26, 2007 4:24 PM | Report abuse

Iowa is conservative republican mentality with the age old perversity of racism, discrimination, farmers used to Federal Subsides and good old Sunday Christians. This caucusing business is worst then even the flawed election system. These politicians and their momentum is all old hog wash history. Hillary and her hick are a polarizing. In the first place the conservative republicans hate her poison and second, even the decent democrats see her what she is. The big question is if this country with all the old racism is ready for a black man to be elected.

As for the republicans, the SOBs can commit collective suicide and the country will be better off.

Posted by: winemaster2 | December 26, 2007 4:24 PM | Report abuse

Folks, as I have tried to point out, the system is FLAWED! As long as we allow members of one "Camp" to vote in the other during the Primaries, we are forever going to be winding up with Two Sides of the same Coin.
Untill such a Time as the Parties themselves choose the Candidates, or we are able to cross reference something like Social Security Numbers to keep Dimocrats from affecting God's Own Party's choice, we will suffer attrition by saboteurs.

If this trend again shows itself to be true, count on a Billary/Giuliani Showdown. They are both so Moderate as to be able to be in either Party!

Posted by: rat-the | December 26, 2007 4:21 PM | Report abuse

Yes, SteelWheel, I read your post twice before I responded -- the implication (to me at least) was that you would be very proud of the racists (you, like Obama, just didn't want to be caught using the word "racist"). I notice that you didn't answer my questions either.

Posted by: JakeD | December 26, 2007 4:19 PM | Report abuse

Of course, when it comes to Barack Obama, plenty of other questions "abound" too:

1) Has Obama revealed everything about his connection to Antoin "Tony" Rezko?

2) Is Obama a Christian?

3) What is his middle name again?

4) What did he learn in that Indonesian Madrassa? And, if the madrassa is CURRENTLY secular, was it "secular" when Barack attended?

5) When was the last time? Did you ever give drugs to anyone? Did you sell them to anyone?

Posted by: JakeD | December 26, 2007 4:17 PM | Report abuse

JakeD,
please read my post again.

I said "If Senator Obama doesn't win the nomination I will STILL be very PROUD of the American people. It encourages me that one day we will completely transcend the racial divide".

I say this because Senator Obama did not allow his message to be hijacked by the likes of Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, et al.
And white America listened to what the Senator Obama had to say. To me, this is huge racial progress. We can discuss a black political candidate's position without accusing each other of being racists. I'm very proud of that!!

Posted by: SteelWheel1 | December 26, 2007 4:15 PM | Report abuse

mlalliso,

well put!

This "electability" litmus test voting method is much like the saying....

"I would rather vote for the devil I know rather than vote for a devil I don't know".

The problem with this approach, of course, is the person doesn't know whether the unknown is a devil or not but the person they DO KNOW is indeed a devil!

I think it is plain stupid to vote for a person you already know will do you harm simply because the person is on your team and you think he has the best chance at beating your adversary.

Posted by: SteelWheel1 | December 26, 2007 4:04 PM | Report abuse

P.S. to mlalliso -- the Democratic National Convention ends on August 28, 2008 -- that's a long eight months that Edwards would be left wide-open to attacks.

Posted by: JakeD | December 26, 2007 3:59 PM | Report abuse

SteelWheel:

Didn't YOU just play the race card by implying the failure to nominate Obama means the U.S. has not completely transcended the racial divide? I think dealing the race card from the bottom of the deck is what newagent99 was referring to. BTW: couldn't Hillary make the same exact argument as to the gender divide?

Posted by: JakeD | December 26, 2007 3:57 PM | Report abuse

Since John Edwards took matching funds, I think a good argument can be made that he is NOT "eminently electable" -- since he will basically have no money to do anything until AFTER the Democratic National Convention -- you thought John Kerry's lackluster response to the swiftboating was bad, just wait until Edwards won't even be able to respond.

Posted by: JakeD | December 26, 2007 3:53 PM | Report abuse

newagent99,
you are a bit off base when you said

" He (Obama) accuses everyone of racism if they treat him like every other canidate.He's effete, he whines, he doesn't show up for votes, he avoids tough decisions"

I won't dispute you on the point that Sen Obama was absent for an important vote and I'll not argue with you on whether or not Sen Obama avoids making tough decisions but I will vehemently disagree with you about Senator Obama using the race card!

Senator Obama has never made his ethnicity an issue nor used it to hide behind and it is wrong for you and anyone else to spread this falsehood!

Senator Obama presence in this campaign and the fact that his ethnicity isn't a point of contention is evidence of America's maturity insofar as race is concern.

If Senator Obama doesn't win the nomination I will still be very PROUD of the American people. It encourages me that one day we will completely transcend the racial divide.

Posted by: SteelWheel1 | December 26, 2007 3:52 PM | Report abuse

mlalliso-Allow me!

Amnesty and Libbie Judge appointees!

Does that help?

Posted by: rat-the | December 26, 2007 3:51 PM | Report abuse

The choice between the top 3 candidates should be easy.

Democrats need to elect someone who can win. That's NOT [FILL IN THE BLANK]


Please spare us the dramatics...Clinton, Obama, and Edwards are all eminently electable (as are Biden, Richardson, and Dodd. Kucinich..not so much). I'll gladly and enthusiastically vote for either Obama or Clinton. Edwards could make me consider a couple of the Republicans, but that's just me--there are plenty of other folks who will vote for him (and even I might end up voting for him depending on the alternative).

Folks who insist candidate XXXXX can never win the general election because of reason YYYYYY and only candidate ZZZZZ can, are generally not credible and do not reflect favorably on their preferred candidates.

Please make your choice based on your understanding of the views, positions, and moral strength of your candidate, not on someone else's distortions.

Posted by: malis | December 26, 2007 3:48 PM | Report abuse

Newagent99, did you read Broder on Sunday?

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/12/21/AR2007122101923.html

What he describes is neither effete nor whiny. Perhaps you've mistaken another candidate for Senator Obama.

Posted by: bsimon | December 26, 2007 3:31 PM | Report abuse

Why did you ignore julied's post documenting Hillary Clinton's high negatives? The GOP will shred her like lettuce at a Taco Bell too.

Posted by: JakeD | December 26, 2007 3:27 PM | Report abuse

The choice between the Top 3 candidates should be easy.

The Democrats need to nominate someone whoe can win the general election. That's NOT BO.
Barak cannot win. The GOP will shred him like lettuce at a Taco Bell.

He accuses everyone of racism if they treat him like every other canidate.
He's effete, he whines, he doesn't show up for votes, he avoids tough decisions.

Clinton or Edwards would be the best choice

Posted by: newagent99 | December 26, 2007 3:11 PM | Report abuse

The choice between the top 3 candidates should be easy.

Democrats need to elect someone who can win. That's NOT HILLARY.

Hillary is the least electable. Hillary' s 44% negative rating exceeds her 42% positive mark.

Edwards or Obama would do well in the general election.
However, Obama has the national support and the financial resources that Edwards does not. In order to ensure a 2008 victory, Democrats should nominate Obama. Obama is the most electable in the general.

http://blogs.usatoday.com/onpolitics/2007/12/zogby-obama-is.html

http://www.gallup.com/poll/103396/Hillary-Clinton-Electable.aspx

Posted by: julieds | December 26, 2007 2:23 PM | Report abuse

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