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Glorious Victory, or Is It?

You could tell before the polls closed in Ohio and Texas that the TV people were looking at their exit data and seeing a Democratic primary victory for Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton even if they didn't specifically say so on the air. No question, it was a big night for the New York senator, but as Peter Baker and Anne E. Kornblut point out this morning, "The slim margin in the Texas popular vote and an additional caucus process in which she trailed made clear that she would not win enough delegates to put a major dent in Sen. Barack Obama's lead. And regardless of the results, she emerged from the crucible of Ohio and Texas with a campaign mired in debt and riven by dissension."

Our Readers Who Comment are in a pretty good debate themselves over just what last night's results mean, but their assessments seem to track with whichever candidate they support. There are those who think that Clinton won because the MSM finally began to stop cheerleading for Obama and began to look at his qualifications, those who think Clinton won with her 3 a.m. phone call attack ad, and those who just throw up their hands and find none of the candidates in either party the solution to the country's problems.

Interestingly, few readers argue that Clinton's campaign troubles are the result of her being a woman. Columnist Ruth Marcus addressed that question in writing that "Clinton's loss, if it comes to that, will have more to do with squandered and mismanaged resources; a shapeless, shifting message; a loose-lipped spouse; and arrogant strategists who dismissed the threat from Barack Obama and assumed the past would predict the future."

First, comments on the Baker-Kornblut analysis.

NonAngryWhiteDude said that "... So HRC won the popular vote, but Obama won the pledged delegates again (as he did in Nevada and New Hampshire). Daunting indeed."

And Nissl wrote, "You think she can win the GE with superdelegates overturning pledged delegates in the wake of "vigorous attacks"? You can kiss off the African-American vote if that happens."

DualAg warned that "Clinton's narrow win in Texas and wider one in Ohio will be remembered, in a historical context, like Ralph Nader's 97,000 votes in Florida in the 2000 presidential campaign. They will propel John McCain to the presidency... Thanks, Hillary. We'll now have 100 more years in Iraq, and Rush Limbaugh will be in rare form."

alarico said, "She's a negative campaigner. Sure she prevented a debacle, but her tactics... shameful."

mnjam wrote, "...Hillary ran a very dirty campaign in Texas and Ohio. The truth is coming out, with more to follow. There will be a huge backlash. I'm a Pennsylvania voter and I'm totally disgusted. I'm donating to Obama and volunteering."

But bobbyvalenz said that "...Obama should concede now before the Rezko affair blows up on his face... He is not a success story. The media invented it. He is a green horn. His time has yet to come if ever he will wither the Rezko storm coming."

davideconnollyjr raised the media-favored-Obama charge in writing, "...the day the media started being more even handed regarding the candidate's coverage, Hillary Clinton started pulling ahead... With this realization, one comes full circle to the old adage that reporters, and editors are responsible to report fully, accurately, and without bias, lest incomplete coverage leads others to misinformed decisions."

But barbnc said that "When Clinton wins it is all about Clinton. When Clinton loses it is all about Clinton. You wouldn't know Obama was even in the race the way the media keeps fawning all over Clinton. Obama has to fight against the media's attempts to install Clinton... Yet, despite all that, he is still winning on delegates. What does that tell you?"

carlsonchaf , noting that if Clinton ultimately wins the nomination it will be because she has won the superdelegates, wrote, "So let me get this straight, the superdelegates are there to save us from ourselves? Whew, thank god someone is there when we need to check democracy. God forbid the will of the people should prevail."

rwarrenmeddoff said that "The nation is an urban nation, concentrated primarily in large states. Obama has failed to win a single large state. The Democrats supporting Obama are prepared to win the battle and loose the war..."

But malagasy replied that the nation is "...a fairly even and interesting mix of urban and rural, which is why both primary and general election contests are often so drawn-out. Go back to 6th grade and study some maps." And, to the assertion that Obama has not won a large state, malagasy said, "Obama won Wisconsin and Illinois among many others..."

vpucsekberman said, "I'm glad that Mrs Clinton won yesterday. She said don't count her out and she was right. Keep on keeping on."

And now for a few comments on the Ruth Marcus column.

tessa2 said, "If anything, the playing field has been demographically tilted in Clinton's favor. Women account for nearly six in 10 Democratic primary voters. Yes but women do not vote as a bloc. 85% of African Americans have voted for Obama. Over and over again on these posts women rightfully say I will not vote for a candidate solely because we are of the same gender..."

OldUncleTom said, "I think America is ready for a woman in the Presidency... just maybe not THIS particular woman. I would agree that the nomination last fall was hers to lose, and bless her heart, she has nearly succeeded in doing exactly that. Someone this unready to win the nomination is unlikely to be "ready on day one" to run the country..."

darrren12000 wrote that "the idea of ranking gender is just stupid. but the idea that men are neutral actors while women have an affinity for clinton is stupid as well... when men say that a woman is shrill, ambitious, whiny, chilly, and other negative things , i do not think that gender isnt precluded because they didnt use the b-word."

johnsonc2 said, "I am sick to death by Hillary's tactics and fear all she can do now is doom our nominee in the Fall... What does it say about Americans that we respond with such Pavlovian predictability to even the most transparent appeals to our fear? Will we ever learn?"

And Linda7 said, "Although I would not vote for Mrs. Clinton I do feel that there are other factors working against her that are paramount: the media love for Obama, the fact that almost everything she says about him is perceived to be racist by the political correctness police, and further down the list is the Clinton baggage, and last, maybe the fact she is a woman."

All comments on the Clinton victory story are here.

All comments on the Marcus column are here.

By Doug Feaver  |  March 5, 2008; 9:15 AM ET
Categories:  Clinton  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Are We There Yet?
Next: Brother Gets Bigger


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been toooo depressed to comment. To think Hillary's been able to delude my fellow Dems into believing she has more experience was sad enough, but her negative spin pute in a tail spin. Reading this thread has given me hope - many, many excellent comments, thank you all. Dems excusing Hillary by claiming she's doing Barack a favor by inoculating him with the kind of bleep McCain will use, thereby making him tough are mistaking toughness for strength. Toughness is Bush. Strong is Barack who mopped the floor with McCain's snotty comment by goodnaturedly mimicing him. We'll never hear Barack whine about being asked questions first. Is Hillary scared to take the first shot or what?

Posted by: jhbyer | March 6, 2008 11:46 PM | Report abuse


Unfortunately, we will never know Obama's thoughts on any of those countries.

However, his statement that, if elected president, he would immediately call the President of Canada to renegotiate NAFTA is unsettling.

Canada doesn't have a President. They have a Prime Minister. That the potential leader of this country does not know that is downright scary.

Posted by: oldwatcher | March 6, 2008 11:15 AM | Report abuse

On the issue of our presidential candidates' foreign policy experience and judgment:

Uzbekistan's President for life Islam Karimov and his regime is recognized as one of the most brutal in the former Soviet Union, if not the world. Karimov's most notable "excess" came in 2005, when he ordered Uzbek troops to open fire on a peaceful demonstration in Andizhan, an act that resulted in the deaths of several hundred unarmed civilians and a worsening of relations with the US. Few recall that those relations first bloomed during the Clinton administration in the mid 1990s. In fact, Hillary Clinton visited Uzbekistan in 1997 and her remarks during a joint visit to Samarkand with the wife of the Uzbek President on November 15, 1997 illustrate the judgment then in vogue:

"This morning, Mrs. Karimova and I visited a Jewish synagogue in Bukhara, and there the rabbi in that small and ancient congregation told me of the way that you, Mr. President, and your government have restored religious freedom and encouraged religious and cultural tolerance. Mrs. Karimova explained to me that under the Soviet communist regime, individuals and families were forbidden to exercise their religion and even prohibited from practicing time-honored traditions surrounding the birth of a child, a marriage, or the loss of a loved one. Thankfully, those days are over. In Uzbekistan today, people of all religions and worship freely and openly."

Former Communist Party First Secretary Islam Karimov is currently former Soviet KGB chief Vladimir Putin's closest ally in Central Asia.

Then there is Bill Clinton's current friendship with President Nursultan Nazarbayev of Kazakhstan which he leveraged to the financial benefit of one of his financial contributors, a Canadian uranium miner by the name of Frank Giustra. Nazarbayev's cut from this deal is still outstanding and will be paid by the next US president: Kazakhstan will chair the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in 2010, notwithstanding Nazarbayev's dismal human rights record and the complications Kazakhstan's membership in the Russian and Chinese-led Shanghai Cooperation Organization may pose for US and EU foreign and energy policies.

At minimum, Senator Clinton may wish to rethink her position on NAFTA....

I think it's fair to point out that this is the type of experience and judgment that Senator Obama's opponents are offering to the American people.

Posted by: Andreas | March 6, 2008 7:11 AM | Report abuse

Julie, you're in for a rough awakening. Now that the media is treating Obama like a candidate they'll be reporting all of his warts, closet skeletons, and past misbehavior.

He is, afterall, a politician, complete with questionable supporters, land deals, and personal failings and character flaws. You see, he is a human, not a Messiah.

What Clinton has done so far has been mild and well within the bounds of typical campaigns. The Republicans will do far worse to him if he gets the nomination.

Now that Obama is stalling out, you will see his minions throwing dirt at Clinton, and his remarks will become sharper. Preaching goodness and hope can get you going, but you have to fight to win. Nice guys really do finish last, and he knows that.

If you think Hillary is motivated only by her own passion to become President, and not the good of the Party or the country, you're right. The same is true of Obama and McCain.

Welcome to the real world.

Posted by: oldwatcher | March 5, 2008 9:45 PM | Report abuse

Screw this joint ticket mess. With all the over-the-top dirty lies and halftruths and condescending BS remarks Hillary's tossed not only at Barack -- but at all his many supporters? -- Barack should never agree to be on a ticket with that 3-faced, soul-less excuse for a senator. She squandered that goodwill back in Carolina.

Good job destroying your party and handing another 4 years to Bush, McCain & Cronies, Hillary.

Your inevitability's for attracting drama and division, not for being a great leader AT ALL. You've become the slime you used to rail against and let down too many Americans.

Posted by: Julie, California | March 5, 2008 8:32 PM | Report abuse

The theory is if you can't get win a plurality of votes from the voters in your own party, then you'll never win a majority of votes against a candidate who has the most support in his party.

The candidate, whether R or D, must have strong party support to win in the general election, and the loser in a party's primary isn't going to have that.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 5, 2008 4:10 PM | Report abuse

I'm confused about something. Hillary says Barack can't win the big states but if he doesn't win, he comes in very close and actually takes the larger cities. Am I right?

Posted by: Anonymous | March 5, 2008 3:18 PM | Report abuse

to all the Clinton haters.....the less you know the more you speculate. Get over yourselves. She's the best so just live with it.

Posted by: maj | March 5, 2008 3:13 PM | Report abuse

There were a very large number of voters in heavily Republican areas here in Ohio who voted with a Democratic ballot. The suspicion is that this was an orchestrated vote for Hillary in order to keep the Democratic fight going and to help make her the candidate in November because they see her as highly beatable by McCain.

Posted by: jbitt | March 5, 2008 3:09 PM | Report abuse

I'm trying to figure out how that stupid ad is considered to be the beginning of a comeback for Clinton. She was polling 20 points ahead in the states she eventually won by 5-6%. Obama almost caught her and thanks to Texas' rules he may get more delegates.

I've been raised Democratic all my life, but if she steals this nomination at the convention through "Super" delegates or seating the Florida or Michigan delegations, I will never vote for a Democrat again.

The mudslinging, the lies, and the deceptive innouendos were once reserved for the Rovian Republicans, but like she says, she can sling crap with the best of them.

Should she win the nomination, she can't win the general election. Should she lose it, her ego will pull the rest of the party down in the mud with her and her husband.

Posted by: H. Simon | March 5, 2008 2:28 PM | Report abuse

Hillary needs to be very careful with the stones she is casting. Anyone remember her and Bill feting a Red Chinese front man at the White House who gave the Clintons tons of money compliments of the Red Chinese Army. And how about those cattle futures? Nobody before or after Hillary has ever seen those profits; not even close to what she got.

Posted by: Lee A. | March 5, 2008 2:16 PM | Report abuse

How is Obama less about fear? He has talked about Iraq more than any other candidate. In fact he is the only candidate who would benefit of the war continuing at least until the end of 2008.

Posted by: Alec | March 5, 2008 1:46 PM | Report abuse


NY TIMES - The question of strategy came up. Mrs. Clinton has run a television advertisement suggesting that Mr. Obama lacks the gravitas to answer 3 a.m. phone calls if the apocalypse beckons. He responded that Mrs. Clinton has had no particular experience taking such calls either.
Reporters asked: Has she gained the upper hand by attacking you? Do you need to adjust your strategy? He shook his head.
"Look, I mean, there's no doubt that if you're being attacked every day, that it creates a sense of turbulence in the minds of people," he said. "I don't want to change our campaign because that's how I think we're going to ultimately be able to govern."
High-minded, no doubt, although his Chicago-based campaign also possesses a few guys who know how to wield a crowbar. So a little later a campaign adviser for Mr. Obama suggested to reporters that he's absolutely fascinated about why Mrs. Clinton has yet to release her tax returns.


It's hard someone want changes happen so fast when still exist old politic methods that fascinate majority of people.
Unhappy lies still fascinate and convince many people at any place of the world. They seem more attractives to the eyes of poors, ignorants, less educated, conservative minds etc.
The fear used by old politics also is other old politic method to pressure and intimidate undecide and ignorant people too. The fear when used to intimidate people, it can to obstruct true changes and damage hopes...
I can talk about use of the fear in the politic here at Brazil: The PT slated Lula for the presidential elections of 1989, the first one in 29 years. He lost in the second round by a slim margin, and two years later championed the national campaign against corruption that led to the impeachment of President Fernando Collor de Mello.
In 1994 and 1998, Lula was again a candidate, having lost both times to Fernando Henrique Cardoso, who channeled the fears of change of a significant section of the electorate.
The depreciation of the Real in January of 1999, then after the 1998 election, the international crises, administrative deficiencies as the ones that had allowed the Blackout at almost all Brazil at 2001 was used by old politics to intimidate people vote not for Lula in the election at 2002. They said that Lula had not enough studies and experience to decide and solve problem if he be elect president from Brazil.
The fear won not hopes and the election at Brazil. In october 2002, Lula was elect president from Brazil with big advantage of votes for all country. He won more one time old politics at 2006 by second mandate and nothing bad happened with the country. The Brazil is changing and growing each day more...
When we talk about politic at any place of the world, it's important to remember who nobody alone can govern a country. It's important have a great group, good politics and the people supporting the president.
Congratulations Mr. Obama! You are beeing a example of new generation of politics at USA, showing honesty and dignity making politic. You are a big winner fighting against old politics and conservative minds of the own democrates.
Obama, you keep firmly making your honest politic with quality at USA, without to use lies or fear to win primaries.
I never would vote for candidate that use lies and the fear to win any election.

We are with you, OBAMA!
Hugs from Brazil

Posted by: Dalmo | March 5, 2008 1:44 PM | Report abuse

The Clinton campaign is taking itself down a blind alley if it succeeds in convincing Democratic primary voters this election is about fear, national security, and experience, because that's a sure loser for Hillary against John McCain. In fact, that's probably the only campaign McCain can win. Hillary has no real foreign policy or national security experience to speak of, apart from trotting around in her capacity as First Lady and shaking hands with foreign dignitaries, making one notable speech at a World Women's Conference in Beijing, and four years of service on the Senate Armed Services Committee. Contrast that to McCain's status as a decorated war hero (Silver Star, Bronze Star, Legion of Merit, Purple Heart, Distinguished Flying Cross), 22 years of military service including several years as the Navy's chief liaison to the U.S. Senate, and 20 years on the Senate Armed Services Committee. If this election is about which candidate has the "experience" to trust with the "red phone," it's simply no contest---McCain has it all over Hillary. All McCain has to do is re-play Clinton's campaign ad and compare his resume to Clinton's.

The Democrats will succeed if they make this a campaign about judgment, not experience; and hope, not fear. That points to Barack Obama. If Clinton succeeds in taking down Obama in the primaries, McCain mops up in November.

Posted by: Brad K | March 5, 2008 1:03 PM | Report abuse

The Dems are really split down the middle between these two. Sure hope they don't snatch defeat from the jaws of victory as they did in 1988, 2000, and 2004.

Posted by: newageblues | March 5, 2008 1:02 PM | Report abuse

If Clinton is so strong, tough and experienced, why is she complaining about unfair media treatment?

The media gave her a "pass" by installing her as the "inevitable" candidate, without an ounce of discussion about her qualifications. Her qualifications have been assumed by her supporters AND the media. It is not a coincidence that only NOW do you hear reporters asking her to specify the experience she claims helps her answer that 3 am phone call more effectively than anyone else. Even her campaign managers were at a loss for words. How RIDICULOUS is it that that question is being raised only now?

Posted by: Anonymous | March 5, 2008 12:24 PM | Report abuse

The Clintons have so much baggage and Obama
lost Texas & Ohio by being a nice guy! If he does not attack Clinton she will eat him alive. I shudder thinking the Clintons could be back in the White House.
It looks good for McCain!

Posted by: John Y. | March 5, 2008 12:02 PM | Report abuse

I'll admit Hillary can't get my female vote because I don't believe a strong woman keeps a cheat. Seriously, how can she trust him to play nice as 'Spouse in the House'? He already broke the vows of marriage.

I can't see Bill sitting quietly at 3 A.M. when the red phone rings. IMHO during a crisis, instead of presenting a united front they might just make two different responses public.

Posted by: Not_Her | March 5, 2008 11:51 AM | Report abuse

Let's not spin this any longer. Sen. Obama does not have the experience or outstanding achievements at this time to handle the pressing issues of the country. It would be an unbeatable combination if Sen. Clinton is the presidential nominee and Sen. Obama as her running mate. This way he would gain experience and gain credibility. Without the combination of the two, democratic party will either lose the support of Women, Hispanics and Asians if Barack is the nominee. Or the party will lose the youth vote if Hillary is the nominee.

Posted by: truth | March 5, 2008 11:50 AM | Report abuse

let me get this straight- one campaign calls the other in their mailing D Punjab, calls a "fairy tale" racist comment, a description of the political process is racist and the other side is running a dirty campaign?

Posted by: rak | March 5, 2008 11:34 AM | Report abuse

Bravo, MarieT: I feel the same way. I found her campaigning to be negative and divisive. I hope that she takes this window of opportunity to turn it around and if she decides to pull out later, not leave a damaged party.

Posted by: LAC | March 5, 2008 11:27 AM | Report abuse

Democrats beware!
If the candidate you select has received a smaller nationwide vote than the other, the Republicans will chew you up (the Democrat's PICKED someone who didn't even get a plurality of votes - someone unwanted by their own voters. If elected, do you think they'll care about what you want?).
I hope the superdelegates add up all the votes and make sure that doesn't happen.

Posted by: oldwatcher | March 5, 2008 11:25 AM | Report abuse

"The closer we get to the change we seek, the more we're seeing of the politics we're trying to end -- the attacks and distortions that try to distract us from the issues that matter to people's lives, the stunts and the tactics that ask us to fear instead of hope."

Mrs. Clinton why can't your platform win without NEGATIVE campaigning, distortions, innuendos and nasty rumors... Why do you constantly disparage Senator Obama's speeches, as being eloquent but empty? Don't you stump your speeches? Although your speeches are uninspiring and just plain nasty!!! Shame on you Mrs. Clinton!!

I will have three choices, if you win the presidential Democratic Party nomination; vote for McCain, not vote at all, or vote for you... IF you clean up your act... and I am not sure if I can forgive your maliciousness in this campaign.

For the first time in years, I have HOPE... I am a 46 year old AA Female, from Texas and I am so disappointed in your behavior.

I'm not asking you to give up... No way, you've worked to hard for this... But I just cannot stand this negativity you seem to promote with such ease.

Run a clean campaign, Mrs. Clinton... before your reputation with my voting block is irreparably damaged... imagine me becoming a Republican at this late stage of my life.

Posted by: MarieT | March 5, 2008 11:02 AM | Report abuse

the clinton's dirty tricks took off. what would they do next. they appear to help MacCain...

cannot imagine Hillary sitting across the table from Kaddafi..can you?

Posted by: center | March 5, 2008 10:26 AM | Report abuse

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