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Feb. 19 Contests: Winners and Losers

Another primary (and caucus) night is in the books, with Sens. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) and John McCain (R-Ariz.) sweeping their respective races and, in the process, consolidating their status as the frontrunners for the two parties' presidential nods.

Beyond the obvious headlines, who were the big winners and losers in Hawaii, Wisconsin and Washington State?

The Fix's take is below. Agree? Disagree? Have a totally different take on the winners and losers from last night? The comments section awaits.

WINNERS

* Jim Doyle: The Wisconsin governor got behind Obama in early January -- perhaps never thinking he would have a chance to show his support in his home state primary. But the protracted nomination fight gave Doyle that chance, and he helped deliver a convincing victory for his candidate. Doyle seems a long shot in the veepstakes but may have put himself in position for a slot in the Cabinet of an Obama administration.

* Mark Salter: McCain's speech writer, co-author and alter-ego served up a doozy last night. McCain is a somewhat stiff speaker regardless of the text, but Salter's words ensured that people would pay attention as the Arizona senator delivered a ringing indictment of Obama. Phrases like "an empty call for change that promises no more than a holiday from history" and "the confused leadership of an inexperienced candidate" had the ring of Salter and provide a blueprint for how McCain will attack Obama if and when the two square off later this year.

* Milwaukee: Wisconsin's largest city made its voice heard last night for Obama. He took the city, which accounted for one in every five votes cast statewide, by a 62 percent to 35 percent margin -- his largest in any of the five regions measured by the exit polls. Obama's wide margins in the city provide a nice boost for Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, a former Member of Congress and Obama supporter. Naming Milwaukee a winner also allows us to link to this.

LOSERS

* Clinton's Television Tactics: Clinton's team decided to use Wisconsin as a test case for using their television advertising to draw contrasts with Obama in hopes of laying the groundwork for a more full-frontal attack against him in Ohio and Texas. The results were decidedly mixed. More than a quarter of voters in the exit polling said that only Clinton had unfairly attacked Obama and, not surprisingly, that group went overwhelmingly for the Illinois senator (91 percent to 6 percent). Just 6 percent said that Obama alone had unfairly attacked Clinton. One potential bright spot for Clinton: 27 percent of respondents said both candidates unfairly attacked one another and that bloc went for Clinton 55 percent to 43 percent. That could be read as a sign that Clinton can win if she can turn the race into a mud-slinging contest.

* Obama's Speech: One of the highlights of election nights this year has been Obama's victory speeches -- the marriage of a gifted writer (wordsmith Jon Favreau) with a master orator. It's our belief that the quality of his victory speeches following primary and caucus wins to date has helped build Obama's momentum, since so many casual observers of politics are tuned in at that time. And yet, last night's speech didn't have the resonance of past addresses (at least to this listener's ear) and went on WAY too long.

* Clinton's Speech: Just as she was getting warmed up in Youngstown, the cable television networks broke away to cover Obama's remarks. Ouch. Welcome to underdog status. And the candidate's failure to make even a mention of the results in Wisconsin?

* Illegal Immigration: Remember when his support for a comprehensive immigration reform proposal was going to end McCain's chances at the nomination? It certainly damaged his candidacy but didn't destroy it. Exit polling in Wisconsin last night suggests the issue is losing its potency (at least for the moment). Just 15 percent said illegal immigration was the most important issues facing the country -- well behind the economy (41 percent) and the war in Iraq (24 percent). Asked how America should handle illegal immigrants moving forward, a clear majority chose either a path to citizenship (32 percent) or temporary worker status (27 percent) while just four in ten opted for deportation. Interestingly, McCain beat Huckabee resoundingly among all three groups.

By Chris Cillizza  |  February 20, 2008; 11:42 AM ET
Categories:  Eye on 2008  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: The Fix's First Take on Wisconsin Results
Next: Clinton's Blueprint

Comments

adult-diapers , adult-diaper

Posted by: diaper | April 19, 2008 8:28 PM | Report abuse

adult-diapers , adult-diaper

Posted by: diaper | April 19, 2008 8:28 PM | Report abuse

"why are folks so anti-intellectual in America?"

Good question.

Posted by: bsimon | February 21, 2008 1:21 PM | Report abuse

dixielandpunker writes
"And by "majority," I mean the largest percentage of given voters."

Which is to say that you mean 'plurality', not majority.

Posted by: bsimon | February 21, 2008 1:20 PM | Report abuse

BTW, Obama was actually asked to write his autobiography. The publishing house approached him because he was the first black president of the Harvard Law Review. Shame on him for sharing his story. Also, why are folks so anti-intellectual in America? Can't we be intellectually curious and well-educated and not be spoiled brats?

Posted by: mortonsaltgirl6 | February 21, 2008 12:30 PM | Report abuse

McCain's remarks about Obama after his Wisconsin victory struck me as dark, dispiriting, and dangerously dismissive of millions of voters. McCain is a serious man, and that is a strong point in his favor, but he always seems to be on the verge of being too dour. Dour may play well to dour people, but I think most Americans find it uninspiring, and McCain has a huge enthusiasm gap to overcome before November as Wisconsin's voter turnout demonstrated yet again. Of course a number of pundits have tried to help McCain make his Obama-is-nothing-but-a-grand-delusion pitch. Nevermind this condescending argument implies that nearly 10 million Americans who have voted for Obama and potentially half or more of the nation come November are fools for buying into Obama's broad themes of hope and change. McCain doesn't have a broad inspirational theme to counter. That's a huge negative for him. He and Hillary ask Obama, "Where's the beef?" Well, where's his grand unifying vision for America's future? I haven't heard it yet myself. Can anyone succinctly explain it to me in a way that doesn't deride or come across as negative? I don't see how continuing Bush's foreign policy agenda, eliminating congressional earmarks and keeping his head in the sand about health care constitutes an inspiring set of reasons to vote for him. He seems so sure he knows best and he reveals it in his dour tone. I wonder if the unappealing, condescending faces he constantly made toward Ron Paul and Romney during the Republican debates will make a return if he faces Obama. Those looks say a lot about his ability to communicate with people who don't agree with him. I don't know. I just don't get McCain's appeal. Perhaps I've been too deluded by my own empty hopes.

Posted by: adamstanleywoodard | February 21, 2008 6:14 AM | Report abuse

Hey!! where have the Clintonites gone? They aren't posting it seems.
Good night Clintonites

Posted by: cgavignet | February 20, 2008 9:50 PM | Report abuse

Okay. Lets not talk about Cindy McCain's drug use. I agree past drug use is off limits. However, lets talk about the breach of her fiduciary duty to the nonprofit organization that supplied medical needs to people in need and the theft of property for her personal use.

The problem I have is everyone piling on MO as if she had literally commited a crime by her statement or mistatement about her pride of this country and then proceeded to take a broad brush to assail not only her patriotism but smear her character. Further, they then use this asinine reasoning to question BO's presedential credentials in some way. The whole "MO is a liability" crap is just plain silly when you measure her by her life accomplishments.

I hold no malice towards CMc, but people in glass houses shouldn't throw stones. Because, in reality, people who abuse their power in office of power and authority in a nonprofit organization typically go to jail. Ask the previous head of the United Way. By the way, it is very unpatriotic to steal goods destined to be used by the less fortunate. Is that better?

Posted by: JMac_in_MD | February 20, 2008 9:33 PM | Report abuse

And by "majority," I mean the largest percentage of given voters.

Posted by: dixielandpunker | February 20, 2008 9:10 PM | Report abuse

Now, I didn't major in math (or miracles, for those of you keeping score at home), but when you say:

"Asked how America should handle illegal immigrants moving forward, a clear majority chose either a path to citizenship (32 percent) or temporary worker status (27 percent) while just four in ten opted for deportation. Interestingly, McCain beat Huckabee resoundingly among all three groups."

I just get confused. Mainly because 4 in ten IS a majority (40%). Can someone explain this?

Posted by: dixielandpunker | February 20, 2008 9:08 PM | Report abuse

Chris, your persistent refusal to classify Obama as one of your winners and Clinton as one of your losers after these lopsided Obama victories is very telling.

Posted by: ProgRook | February 20, 2008 8:37 PM | Report abuse

Which would you want to be your first lady???

We are voting for a President, not who for first lady. And I thought it was 'politically incorrect' to bring up someone's drug use?

Posted by: clawrence35 | February 20, 2008 7:06 PM | Report abuse

clawrence35 -- I hear what you're saying, and I'll think about it some more.

I had decided yesterday to vote Obama over McCain, for a number of reasons.

It could be that on the 1 absolutely paramount issue of our time, McCain is right and Obama is wrong.

I'm torn.

Have a good evening.

Posted by: USMC_Mike | February 20, 2008 7:05 PM | Report abuse

Lets see...Michelle Obama said that she was not proud of her country until now and she and the Senator is condemned.

Cindy McCain for approxiamtely 3 years stole and used presciption drugs from a nonprofit organization that she ran. She is an admitted drug addict and if she was not a rich woman married to a Senator, she would have been and should have been jailed. She is a criminal and an admitted drug addict.

Check out this post:

http://www.freerepublic.com/forum/a389bc0cd788b.htm


Which would you want to be your first lady???

Posted by: JMac_in_MD | February 20, 2008 6:53 PM | Report abuse

"pointing out the problems we face isn't a demonstration of leadership"

Can anyone say John Kerry?

OK, maybe BHO is more interesting to watch.

But he's just another liberal with no solutions.

Posted by: USMC_Mike | February 20, 2008 6:51 PM | Report abuse

USMC Mike - I am not running for political office. Just make sure you join the McCain campaign and advocate for him - this nation is at a very important juncture and we need someone with the demonstrated courage to tackle tough issues, the individual willing to risk his political career to do the right thing, an individual who thinks we need to insist on competence from our generals and leaders in the Federal Bureaucracy, and who has shown he will persevere through the most challenging of situations.

It is going to take everyone willing to stand up for the right guy to get involved. His opponents will do everything they can to ridicule this honarable man who merits being President and Commander in Chief.

Posted by: clawrence35 | February 20, 2008 6:51 PM | Report abuse

"sure, we want to chase down and kill terrorist leaders who are hiding in Lawless regions of Western Pakistan but you DON'T come out and openly say that!"

Well he did'nt. But what would you suggest we openly say? Should we talk about how good of freinds we are, and how America respects the soverngty of other nations, mean while, we employ CIA operatives/assassins to kill those terrorist threats whether the Pakistani govt. likes it or not? Even if we have to bomb a couple of innocent civilians as "collateral damge" we'll get it done. Let's be honest. Is'nt that what we're going to do anyway? Oh, and you,re right, Mac would never make a mistake like telling the truth. Unfortunately, this type of deceit tactic has come to be called by our leaders., "using diplomacy." The problem is that other nations are'nt buying our BS anymore. It's no wonder Americans are called "devils" by people in some countries. Let us abandon this hypocritical, smile in your face, backstabbing, foreign policy, and issue in a new era of more forthright policy.

Posted by: outlookdirections | February 20, 2008 6:46 PM | Report abuse

Claudialong answered a question posed by myself of 'What actions have the Obama's made to live up to those words?' by coping the post of an 'earlier military poster' that list Obama's impressive resume and the standard boilerplate of a politicians accomplishments.
I will tell you that I am do not disagree that Senator Obama has impressive academic credentials, and should be proud of his service in to the Chicago Community. That alone doesn't make him anymore qualified to be President and Commander in Chief of our Armed Forces than it does several thousand lawyers in the city of Chicago. It is also true that he run a campaign that he should be proud of, one that has inspired millions to become involved in our political system and that has advocated for many positions that I share.

But as far as his legislative record and his ability to deliver 'change' I think his actions come up well short of living up to those words. Those impoverished citizens on the south side of Chicago are still impoverished, with a local political system that is endorsed by Senator Obama that continues to victimize them by relying on a clout heavy, patronage system that is taxing them out of their communities and is bankrupting many for the benefit of a few. The service on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee has resulted in a Senator who has never conducted a hearing with his responsibilities, much less someone who has experience sitting across of a negotiation table with a foreign leader. The veteran service in IL are a disgrace, as evidence by Cheryl Reed at the Sun-Times investigative reporting, and any the disability help was bringing a state with the worst record compared to others only nominally better than it was. The Senator has a position on the Senate VA committee, and he has done nothing to implement the Dole/Shalela recommendations.

The most disturbing thing about the Senator's record is that his advocates brush over the local situation in IL. There is never any response to the lack of any accountability for the torture that occurred in the CPD, and the Senators unwillingness to use his political capital to do the right thing. The fact that the senator continues to support the same kind of patronage hiring in Cook County that destroyed Federal agencies like FEMA. That the Senator wants to take credit for any positive development, but lives in a state with formidable problems that the political system refuses to fundamentally change, and that he doesn't support those advocating for changing it. If he is unwilling to deliver change at the local or state level, why in the world do you think he is capable or willing to do so at the national level. His web page has the same standard boilerplate of positions as any Democrat. Where is the 'change'? Or is all just empty rhetoric to tap into peoples frustrations and disgust in the lack of leadership in our nation? Pointing out the problems we face isn't a demonstration of leadership, taking tough stands and risking your political capital to advocate for the hard right, ...to do the right thing - that is what is missing from Obama's impressive resume.

Posted by: clawrence35 | February 20, 2008 6:43 PM | Report abuse

"Obama wants to get out of Iraq
McCain does not."

We all want to get out of Iraq. Some of us want to win.

"Obama wants to provide health care for all Americans.
McCain does not."

We all want health care. Some of us want to pay for it.

"Obama wants to end the tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans.
McCain does not."

We all want tax breaks. Some of us understand economics.

Posted by: USMC_Mike | February 20, 2008 6:28 PM | Report abuse

his resume conveniently fits on a post-it.

Posted by: USMC_Mike | February 20, 2008 6:14 PM | Report abuse

It is rather needless to debate which candidate is the better orator or which has more experience or which has the better-spoken spouse... why?

Because the differences on where they want to lead America are so stark.

Obama would take the country in one direction -- McCain in a completely different direction.

Obama wants to get out of Iraq
McCain does not.

Obama wants to provide health care for all Americans.
McCain does not.

Obama wants to end the tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans.
McCain does not.

It is so very clear.

So arguing over something Michelle Obama said, or what kind of speaker McCain is or is not, is not necessary.

Each candidate has clearly stated in what direction they would lead the country.

Choose.

If you think the invasion of Iraq -- a country that did not possess WMD and did not have any ties to 9/11 -- was a good move, then vote for McCain.

If you think that pouring billions and billions of dollars into Iraq is a wise use of our money, rather than, say, using our money here at home for education or health care, then vote for McCain.

If you would like to see our military bogged down in the needless side-show of Iraq while our REAL enemy gets stronger and stronger, then vote for McCain.

If you would like to see the Federal Deficit continue to Balloon because of the fiscal irresponsibility of cutting taxes on the rich while waging a needless, endless war, then vote for McCain.

If you would like to see China get stronger and stronger vis-a-vis America, by buying the debt we incur to stay in Iraq and give tax breaks to the wealthy, then vote for McCain.

The choice is SO CLEAR.

If you would like to have 4 more years of George W Bush's policies then vote for McCain.

McCain / Cheney '08

Posted by: AdrickHenry | February 20, 2008 6:13 PM | Report abuse

"It just so happens that, in comparing the two men, one has a self-focus, and the other is a servant to a *cause greater than himself*.


*This rhetoric may offend liberals, unless that "cause" is the perpetuation of the Holy Church of the Federal Government."

No, Obama has a cause -- which is preserving the Consituition, I guess what you refer to as the Holy Church of the Federal Government, which you would rather replace with your particular version of th bible.

Posted by: drindl | February 20, 2008 6:08 PM | Report abuse

'What actions have the Obama's made to live up to those words?'

To repeat earlier military poster:

"A brief bio of a person I can support for president.

* Degree in Int'l Relations
* Community organizer in poorest Chicago
* Magna Cum Laude from Harvard Law
* President of Harvard Law Review
* Civil rights attorney
* Constitutional law Prof for 10 yrs
* IL State Senator for 8 yrs, passing healthcare for 150,000 people, ethics reform, videotaping interrogations
* US Senator for 3 years; Senate Foreign Relations Committee, bills incl weapons threat reduction, gov't transparency, lobbyist reforms, veteran's disability help

He seems pretty strong on substance to me. Is it wrong that he is also inspiring?"

"holiday from history" boy, does that ever sum up gw bush. think you're right, tomjx.

Posted by: drindl | February 20, 2008 6:05 PM | Report abuse

"USMC_Mike

So, you have to be tortured before you can write a book? I have written two without being tortured. So, does that make me a spoiled brat too? I guess that would also apply to Charles Dickens, Shakespeare, etc.

W Obama

"

What is wrong with you people?

Obama can write all the books he wants to.

It just so happens that, in comparing the two men, one has a self-focus, and the other is a servant to a *cause greater than himself*.


*This rhetoric may offend liberals, unless that "cause" is the perpetuation of the Holy Church of the Federal Government.

Posted by: USMC_Mike | February 20, 2008 6:04 PM | Report abuse

Happy Birthday. :-)

Mark Salter:
Sustitute 'George W. Bush' for 'Barack Obama' and see if those 'ringing indictments' don't make a lot more sense:
"holiday from history"
"the confused leadership of an inexperienced candidate"

I think Mark is just recycling what he wanted to say back in 2000. ;-)

Posted by: TomJx | February 20, 2008 5:56 PM | Report abuse

"Michelle's life is a hymn of pride to this country.

Sometimes words are just words. Actions always are actions."

That has got to be one of the most pittiful defenses of a blatantly stupid "slip" I've ever heard.

Posted by: USMC_Mike | February 20, 2008 5:47 PM | Report abuse

BHO - "I opposed this war in 2002. I will bring this war to an end in 2009. It is time to bring our troops home."

It will be a fast withdrawl. Don't know how careful it will be...

Posted by: dave | February 20, 2008 5:46 PM | Report abuse

clawrence35 -- You're the kind of D my wife is.

One with a brain.

I respect you, and would vote for you.

Thank you for your contributions to the thread today,

And for your service overseas.

Posted by: USMC_Mike | February 20, 2008 5:45 PM | Report abuse

McCain / Cheney '08

Yeah ! ! !

Posted by: AdrickHenry | February 20, 2008 5:42 PM | Report abuse

wpost4112 writes "True pride is shown through action. Many say they are proud of their country, but show how shallow their pride is by breaking the laws of the country, stealing from its citizens, etc etc.
Michelle's life is a hymn of pride to this country.
Sometimes words are just words. Actions always are actions.
This issue is pettiness perfected."


Words aren't important? Just words? "Ask not what this country can do for you, ask what you can do for this country." Just words? "We have nothing to fear but fear itself." Just words? "We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal." Just words? "I have a dream..." Just words?

But you are right that actions speak louder than words. What actions have the Obama's made to live up to those words? I think you need to ask just who is exhibiting the perfected pettiness here.

Posted by: clawrence35 | February 20, 2008 5:41 PM | Report abuse

I like the way Pat Shiplett put it in his editorial cartoon last week:

... A woman...
... an African American...
... or a guy who won't torture people.
... Not Bad.

I'm not crossing any of those three out, but (as a middle-aged, retired military, decidedly non-cultish white guy), I have favored Obama ever since it became obvious Biden wouldn't be an option.

I cribbed this from another source but it does sum it up for me:
__________________
A brief bio of a person I can support for president.

* Degree in Int'l Relations
* Community organizer in poorest Chicago
* Magna Cum Laude from Harvard Law
* President of Harvard Law Review
* Civil rights attorney
* Constitutional law Prof for 10 yrs
* IL State Senator for 8 yrs, passing healthcare for 150,000 people, ethics reform, videotaping interrogations
* US Senator for 3 years; Senate Foreign Relations Committee, bills incl weapons threat reduction, gov't transparency, lobbyist reforms, veteran's disability help

He seems pretty strong on substance to me. Is it wrong that he is also inspiring?

Posted by: malis | February 20, 2008 5:33 PM | Report abuse

Bsimon writes: "There are certainly talented & capable people who've served, but there are likewise talented and capable people who haven't served. Mitty Romney, according to some Republicans. Or Rudy, or Fred, or Dick, or Newt, or Huck. When those guys were in the running, military service wasn't talked about - but now its suddenly important? Flippity Flop!"

That's not true. In Iowa, Mitt Romney made the boneheaded comment equating his five sons volunteering on his campaign as service comparable to the sacrifices that our brave soldiers and marines are making in Iraq and Afghanistan. He was (rightly I believe) roundly ridiculed and criticized for willing to advocate putting others children at risk while his own sons were safe in the US. Senator Biden and Senator McCain both have children who are either deployed or will be in combat zones, and neither raised the issue out of respect to their children. That doesn't mean it wasn't a consideration of many of us in our support for any of the candidates.

That we continue to say that we 'support our troops' and then ridicule the courage, sacrifice, and leadership they show on the battlefield tells me that this nation doesn't isn't really committed to honoring our service members service to this nation. You need only look at the controversies in the VA system, and the fact that we haven't implemented the Dole/Shalela commission recommendations. There is no demonstrated resolve to truly honor our service members, just a lot of rhetoric and political posturing. On both sides of the aisle.

Posted by: clawrence35 | February 20, 2008 5:32 PM | Report abuse

or "it's just a little water."

Posted by: wpost4112 | February 20, 2008 5:30 PM | Report abuse

USMC_Mike

So, you have to be tortured before you can write a book? I have written two without being tortured. So, does that make me a spoiled brat too? I guess that would also apply to Charles Dickens, Shakespeare, etc.

W Obama

Posted by: storyofthefifthpeach | February 20, 2008 5:28 PM | Report abuse

'Yeah, yeah...as careful getting out as we were carelss getting in.....I'm so sick of that tired, meaningless line I'm about to puke if he says it one more time. '

you mean like 'stay the course' or 'the surge is working'?

Posted by: drindl | February 20, 2008 5:25 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: kb_jax: "Old Boring Reliable Know-it-all Al Gore vs. hip, youg, shiny new George Bush II ' I'm a uniter not a divider'
The fight between Hillary and Obama for the nomination is reminiscent of the Gore/Bush fight. America as a whole favors the young, shiny new things."

Gore lost because of a number of things.

1. The audible sighing whenever Bush was making a debate point. Granted, the point may have been absurd, but the sighing was very annoying.

2. Gore's wardrobe issue. (What to wear, what to wear?) And the lessons on how to act like an alpha male.

3. The most devastating issue, and when I knew Bush would beat him, was when Gore tried to pressure Bush into explaining why Bush wasn't willing to sign on to hate-crimes legislation. Bush replied that a black man--I believe his name was James Byrd--had been lynched, dragged behind a pickup truck by two Gomers. To paraphrase Bush, he said something like: "You know whut? If those two boys are found guilty, they gon' DIE." American yahoos loved that. Checkmate.

Posted by: edwcorey | February 20, 2008 5:22 PM | Report abuse

True pride is shown through action. Many say they are proud of their country, but show how shallow their pride is by breaking the laws of the country, stealing from its citizens, etc etc.

Michelle's life is a hymn of pride to this country.

Sometimes words are just words. Actions always are actions.

This issue is pettiness perfected.

Posted by: wpost4112 | February 20, 2008 5:19 PM | Report abuse

""Perhaps more should serve.""


Absolutely. I admire Israel's mandatory military service and think we should have something similar.

In addition, we should grow up and, like the army of Israel and every other military service in "adult" Democracies, get rid of the gay/lesbian prejudice crap too.

Posted by: wpost4112 | February 20, 2008 5:13 PM | Report abuse

Re: Michelle Obama's Dumb Remark

She expressed it very poorly, I'll grant you that. But as a 59-year-old white male professional (sounds like a personals ad, doesn't it?) who has had his share of success in life, I can relate to Michelle Obama. These are the things about my country that I am decidedly NOT proud of:

1. A president who, after the worst domestic terrorist attack in our nation's history, when he could have used our unity to improve things for the whole country, chose instead to use his popularity to ram through a right-wing conservative agenda, including mindless tax cuts that our grandchildren will be paying for.

2. A Congress that rolled over and went to sleep while that same president broke laws and invaded our privacy (having impeached his predecessor for lying about a BJ).

3. An attorney general who politicized the Justice Department worse even than John Mitchell and, even worse, destroyed the morale of the institution.

4. An administration that has unapologetically held hundreds of detainees at Guantanamo without charges for years, while preaching to the rest of the world about respecting human rights.

5. A vice president who has spent 7 years ensuring that the various government agencies coddle and overlook wrongdoing by the very industries they are supposed to be regulating.

6. A president who lied us into a war of choice for who-knows-what reason (to show up his old man, who wouldn't go to Baghdad?), costing 4000 lives, tens of thousands maimed, spending a trillion dollars we don't have, creating a breeding ground for terrorists and ruining what was left of our good name and good will on the planet.

Need I go on?

Not only am I not proud -- I am embarrassed.

So I know what the sister was trying to say.

Posted by: jac13 | February 20, 2008 5:09 PM | Report abuse

kenonwenu ask "Hey clawrence35, answer me one question, I'm curious. Do you think invading Iraq was the right thing to do? Yes or no?"

No, I think invading Iraq was a strategic mistake, and prior to the October 2002 vote to authorize it, I expressed my concerns to my Senator, Dick Durbin. Having said that, I think it would be an even bigger strategic mistake to have a precipitous withdrawal that would jeopardize the progress that Gen. Petreaus and his troops have made. I am less concerned about the failures of our legislature and the current President made in 2002/2003, or the judgments of those at that time, than I am with who would be the best leader going forward. When I returned in 2004, Sen. Kerry and nearly the entire Democratic establishment was advocating for a policy and strategy (as did Sen. McCain) that Gen. Petreaus is now showing is making progress - and yes - it is going to take several years to accomplish. This nation went to war, it took on a responsibility (remember Colin Powell's pottery-barn theory of you break, you own it), and we can not just walk away from those responsibilities because the going got to hard.

This is perhaps the most important election in over 4 decades, and to me the choice is so clear. I wish that the Democrats had gotten it together and put forward a candidate who possessed the experiences and demonstrated accomplishments that would have led to a real debate on the issues facing this nation. It is sad that they choose style over substance, and that the core of the argument to elect Obama is the opportunity to elect the first Black President. We are facing far too many serious problems to trivialize our election to such a superficial issue as the color of someone's skin, rather than the merit of their abilities and experiences.

Posted by: clawrence35 | February 20, 2008 5:05 PM | Report abuse

In the last four elections, a guy with no military experience beat a guy who served.

It's hard not to notice a lot of generals have been wrong about a lot of things lately. Colin Powell, for example.

And there has also been a procession of quite simply bad general officers through the news pages. Like Myers and Pace, the Keitel and Burgdorf of the Bush Administration. Tommy Franks, Sanchez, Casey, Boykin ... were all just substandard.

Franks, for one, had major political ambitions. But he was a crappy soldier, and everybody noticed it. So there'll be no President Franks, thank God.

Posted by: kenonwenu | February 20, 2008 5:05 PM | Report abuse

I do agree that Hillary's TV tactics were a loser during the Wisconsin Campaign. A 17 point defeat was hardly a ringing endorsement of the negative attack ads that Clinton launched in her effort to stop Obama's momentum in the Dairy State.
However, I am disappointed that there seems to be a bit of wiggle room for Hillary on this point. You just have to consider the source with that 6% who were foolish enough to claim they believed that Senator Obama was the candidate who was more guilty of using attack ads against his opponent. The Obama was aggressive in meeting each of Clinton's atacks head on (as a candidate must do in the face of such negative tactics), but in no instance did Senator Obama come near the level of depravity exercised by Hillary and her gutter politics. It will be interesting to see what Camp Clinton has in store for the voters of Texas and Ohio in the coming two weeks. Considering the fact that they will be even more desperate than ever now, I'd be surprised if they don't try to fill the airwaves with even more lies and deception in these two very important states. The only question left is exactly how low Hillary will go.

Posted by: diksagev | February 20, 2008 5:04 PM | Report abuse

"Bomb, bomb, bomb,
Bomb, bomb, b-Iran."

No way this guy should be near a nuclear button. Joke or no joke.

War Hero? Yes. President? No.

Posted by: wpost4112 | February 20, 2008 5:02 PM | Report abuse

"Perhaps more should serve."

Perhaps indeed. There is a limit to the size to which our military could grow, so I also endorse serving through programs like the Peace Corps or Teach for America, among others.

Posted by: bsimon | February 20, 2008 5:02 PM | Report abuse

"Is it really so unrealistic to prefer someone with military experience to be CIC of our military?"

Its not unrealistic, but it may be irrational. There are certainly talented & capable people who've served, but there are likewise talented and capable people who haven't served. Mitty Romney, according to some Republicans. Or Rudy, or Fred, or Dick, or Newt, or Huck. When those guys were in the running, military service wasn't talked about - but now its suddenly important? Flippity Flop!

Posted by: bsimon | February 20, 2008 4:59 PM | Report abuse

IT'S OVER

VIRGINIA STARTED IT!
WISCONSIN CINCHED IT!

Barack Obama IS the Democratic nominee

in fact, in a contest between Obama and McCain, Obama will win. So:

Barack Obama is our next president (get used to it)

Posted by: kevinlarmee | February 20, 2008 4:58 PM | Report abuse

"the Arizona senator delivered a ringing indictment of Obama. Phrases like "an empty call for change that promises no more than a holiday from history" and "the confused leadership of an inexperienced candidate" had the ring of Salter and provide a blueprint for how McCain will attack Obama if and when the two square off later this year."

If the pundits truly liked NcCains victory speech Tuesday night, it must have been for the effect that they feel it might have on conservative Republican voters who McCain is desperately trying to energize. I found his speech to be more of a blueprint for how to lose the general election by helping to further energize Democrats and drive away Independent voters who are clearly tired of the failed practices of George W Bish and the Saber rattling that could lead to the next war in the Middle East.

Adopting the Clinton line of attack against Obama might not be the best strategy for McCain considering how poorly it has been working for her in the last 10 elections held. McCain's call for voters to not be "deceived by an eloquent but empty call for change" certainly appeared more hollow than normal after the detailed speech last night in which Obama covered his position on ALL of the major issues. One would almost think he had been given a peek into McCain's playbook last night.

There were two parts of McCain's speech last night that I thought really hurt his chances against Obama. He either innocently stated Senator Obama's position (or tried borrowing some more of Hillary's tactics and lied in an effort to distory Obama's position concerning Pakistan. According to John McCain, Senator Obama "threatened to bomb our ally, Pakistan. That never happened. This was apparently a much distorted account of Senator Obama's response to a hypothetical question posed to him during a debate when he stated that he felt he would feel compelled to act if he had "actionable intelligence" pinpointing the exact location of Osama Bin Laden in Western Pakistan. Senator Obama did indicate thathe would take whatever measures he felt were necessary to take out the architect who murdered so many innocent Americans on 911, with or without the consent of the Pakistani President. I find it hard to believe that the majority of American voters would disagree with our President exercising the right to retaliate against Al Quaeda and we should not allow any country to shelter this gravest of all international criminals within their border.

The other subject where I thought McCain committed a very serious error was when he chose to engage in a little saber rattling against Iran. I believe that most Americans already fear that either he or Hillary Clinton would be a threat to provoke yet another Mid East War against Iran during their Presidency and Senator McCain linking his harsh rhetoric against Iran with the use of a claim that they were amassing "WEAPONS of MASS DESTRUCTION" evoked clear memories of how George W Bush (with the support of Both McCain and Clinton) took this country to war in Iraq.

The only comments that I feel allowed McCain to lay a glove on Obama concerned his being the more experienced candidate. Unlike Hillary Clinton, McCain's claims of experience have some validity. Unfortunately for McCain, what he refers to as "experience" is being interpretted as "tied to the policies and practices of government that has failed to represent the people of this country and that dog just won't hunt in this election cycle.

Posted by: diksagev | February 20, 2008 4:55 PM | Report abuse

That this nation no longer talks about a shared sacrifice, and that a smaller and smaller percentage of our citizenry is willing to defend our freedoms and constitution, is a very sad commentary of our nation.

well said.


bsimon -- is it really so unrealistic to prefer someone with military experience to be CIC of our military?

Perhaps more should serve. I'd start with the ingrates in Berkley.

Posted by: USMC_Mike | February 20, 2008 4:53 PM | Report abuse

proudtobeGOP, do you actually believe that Iraq is on the road to becoming a beacon of democracy, an example that other states in the region will want to follow? Do you honestly, actually believe that?

Iraq is a broken country, led by parties that were founded and groomed in Tehran for the express purpose of taking over Iraq. Parties who could control about 5 of their 18 provinces without US help.

Ten percent of the country's population has fled. Among the educated and those with money to leave or somewhere to go, the rate is far higher: more than half of Iraq's doctors have fled. All 30-odd players on Iraq's Asian Cup winning soccer team live abroad.

Beyond the c.350,000 killed and the millions of crippled, orphaned and homeless, the NON-Violent death rate in all ages and sexes has also risen by 60% since 2002, according to the latest UN/WHO survey. That's about 55,000 kids dead who would have lived.

The biggest reason for the decline in violence in Baghdad is the that the ethnic
cleansing of the city has been completed, and Sunni and Shia who once lived side by side can now only reach each other with mortars.

Iraq is the world's leading source of terrorists, not only AQI types, but also Kurdish terrorists who plague America's NATO ally Turkey from their Iraqi safe haven.

Iraq is a hellish failed state and the whole world looks at it in horror.

Posted by: kenonwenu | February 20, 2008 4:53 PM | Report abuse

Bsimon writes "Heroism neither makes nor breaks a Presidential candidacy, on the battlefied, or otherwise. Military service likewise is not a prerequisite for the Presidency. Considering that only a small percentage of the population serves - and that percentage keeps growing smaller - we'd be foolish to consider military service a prerequisite."

That this nation no longer talks about a shared sacrifice, and that a smaller and smaller percentage of our citizenry is willing to defend our freedoms and constitution, is a very sad commentary of our nation.

I don't think it is foolish at all to consider military service as a prerequisite. When Senator McCain speaks about torture, he speaks with authority because of his experiences, and he is willing to do the hard right, rather than the easy wrong, and risk the political backlash. You contrast that with the academic thoughts of Obama (and he has never called for any accountability for those who turned a blind eye, Mayor Daley was then the Cook County States Attorney and the city taxpayers have spent millions in court cost for him to avoid testifying in federal court, for the torture that occurred in the Chicago Police Dept. under John Burge) and I think it is very important.

The Democratic Party is going to try and paint McCain as Bush - his record and experiences show that he is not. And the choice is between someone with a long and distinguished record as a 'maverick' who is willing to risk everything for what is right, and a candidate with little record to speak of, and that includes their military record.

Posted by: clawrence35 | February 20, 2008 4:47 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, yeah...as careful getting out as we were carelss getting in.....I'm so sick of that tired, meaningless line I'm about to puke if he says it one more time. What does it actually mean? Specifics, please? Citations, please? He doesn't even know what it means, he's just repeating it because some advisor dreamed up the statement for him. (Paging Barack Obama: Deval Patrick wants his line back.)

Clinton and Obama have unrealistic plans for withdrawing our troops.

In what amounts to political pledges, both senators say they will begin withdrawing troops almost immediately after taking office.

Their approach is similar to what they accuse Bush of doing -- making up his mind about Iraq, then surrounding himself with military officers who agree with him. What if the facts don't fit their plans?

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | February 20, 2008 4:47 PM | Report abuse

clawrence35

Thank you for your service, and your conviction.

I agree about not wanting to fight "on the cheap".

It's unfortunate the Democrats shifted away from wanting to fight this war for real to wanting to completely retreat.

I agree: Obama is in NO WAY qualified to be my commander-in-chief.

But since I'm probably much further to the right than you are,

and since Obama and McCain are indistinguishable on a number of issues,

I'd rather the Democrat party be blamed for leftist policies which [i believe] will surely fail.

Posted by: USMC_Mike | February 20, 2008 4:41 PM | Report abuse

proud writes
"Dems continue to have their heads in the sand about the benchmarks that are being met, and real progress being made by Iraqis."

Citations please.

For instance, which benchmarks?

Is there a benchmark for Sadr's cease-fire order - which is set to expire shortly?

Posted by: bsimon | February 20, 2008 4:41 PM | Report abuse

proudtobeGOP writes
"Sen. Obama ... has repeatedly called for an immediate withdrawl"


Do you even care whether what you say is true or not?

He has stated, on multiple occasions, that we have to be as careful getting out as we were careless getting in. That isn't 'immediate withdrawl', which is the plan Bill Richardson proposed, to much ridicule.

Posted by: bsimon | February 20, 2008 4:39 PM | Report abuse

McCain brings in $11 million over a 90-day period, at a time when Obama is bringing in $1.3 million per day.

Get ready for the Obama ads blanketing the nation 24/7 showing McCain singing "Bomb, Bomb, Iran" with a tag of Brian Wilson of The Beach Boys patiently explaining his song is not a war anthem.

Get ready for the Obama ads blanketing the nation 24/7 with a still of a contorted, red-faced McCain, with a sound clip of him talking about being in Iraq 50 years, 100 years, even 10,000 years.

Fade to black with a graphic:

McCain Iraq War Exit Date: 12009 AD.

GAME OVER.

Posted by: BushCrimeFamily | February 20, 2008 4:34 PM | Report abuse

Hey clawrence35, answer me one question, I'm curious. Do you think invading Iraq was the right thing to do? Yes or no?

Posted by: kenonwenu | February 20, 2008 4:34 PM | Report abuse

"When did Clinton or Obama claim that the surge failed?!!"

Well, for starters Sen Clinton called the commander of the multinational forces in Iraq a liar when he was reporting the surge progress in September, and told General Petraeus that his progress report on Iraq required "a willing suspension of disbelief."

And after Moveon ran it's disgraceful "General Betray Us." attack ad on General Petraeus, calling him a traitor, the Senate voted to repudiate it.

Sen. Clinton opposed the measure, siding with the moveon crowd.

Sen. Obama did not deign to show up for the vote, and has repeatedly called for an immediate withdrawl, continuing his rhetoric that "it doesn't change the underlying assessment that there's not a military solution to the situation in Iraq. The underlying political dynamic has not changed."

But, it has changed. Dems continue to have their heads in the sand about the benchmarks that are being met, and real progress being made by Iraqis.


Posted by: proudtobeGOP | February 20, 2008 4:30 PM | Report abuse

With all of the work and effort expended over the past several decades on civil rights and racial harmony, I would agree that we still have a lot of improving to do. But it troubles me to no end when I see that the electorial process in this, a nation of supposedly intelligent and open minded people, there is still the need to put RACE in the foreground of a campaign. We have candidates trying for a very prestigious position of power and influence who seem to think that it is necessary to keep the race or sex of their competition in the forefront of the process. Delegates who have stated their preference for one or the other are being threatened and scorned for their choices because of their "so-called" lack of racial pride and loyalty to those of their own race. Excuse me but I hae always thought that an election was held to TRY to put the most qualified, honest and experienced candidate into office, regardless of the color of their skin, their religion, whether they wear a skirt or trousers. What should be the grounds for these choices is the ability to do the job and get our nation working as one instead of the turbulance we have been forced to put up with for oh too long. Why must a Superdelegate be made to feel like he is a traitor to his "kind' because he has used his mind and conscience to support one candidate rather than one of a racial type. He has obviously looked at the lack of experience, of this candidate and though maybe not much better other choice and honestly seen which would have a better idea of what this country needs. But NO, he evidently does not have the right to be a free thinking and conscientious person and should only base his decision on the RACE of the candidates. For all we have fought for, died for and gained in the past decades, why do THE FEW seem to think that they need to keep bigotry, racism, hate of those different from themselves and giving the elections away to the type of leadership we have had for the past eight years. People this is supposedly the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, LAND OF THE FREE AND DEFENDER OF THE FREE WORLD. There isn't a person alive today who hasn't seen what the type of politics being thrown into this election has done to hurt this nation. Why then do these tactics and attitudes have to keep us in the mud and keep us from getting the best people elected into office, the people who have more than a partial term of experience, who have their eyes open as to the problems facing our country and last but not least a real desire to make a difference for ALL Americans and not just the POLITICALLY CORRECT few that are causin the problems in the first place.

EIGHT YEARS OF THE CORRUPT AND DON"T HAVE A CLUE type of leadership is enough!

Posted by: smokpol1 | February 20, 2008 4:29 PM | Report abuse

Original take by Cillizza on McCain's speechwriter. While the sentiment is widespread that Obama's speech was not his best and dragged on some, Cillizza won't find many who agree that McCain's was a zinger. Most of us have been hearing those lines from Hillary for weeks.

Most observers think McCain should be glad that the time of two-party primaries on the same night is drawing to a close, because he won't have his speeches compared head-to-head with Obama's anymore.

I'm not surprised the issue of illegal immigration is waning. It's no coincidence this came suddenly to the fore in in Rightwingland in 2006, just as the bottom fell out of the public support for the Iraq war.

Stirring up a flap over immigration was the GOP's way of keeping its base from losing hope over Iraq, by making them pay even less attention to it than usual.

"Look over there! A Mexican!"

Posted by: kenonwenu | February 20, 2008 4:27 PM | Report abuse

USMC Mike - I am a die hard Democrat. I, like most Americans, almost despise Bush. He has done almost irreparable harm to our nation, its men and woman in the military, and our veterans.

John McCain is no George Bush.

If anything, Sen. Obama resembles Bush in his promise to work across party lines because of his experience in the state house (IL and Chicago are perhaps the most corrupt political environments to work in and Obama fit right in, never delivering on any 'change' in our political system that is bankrupt).

I was an early supporter of Sen. Biden, but I will be voting for McCain if Obama is the Democratic nominee, and I am not alone among veterans who returned from Iraq and Afghanistan who went out and campaigned for John Kerry on the promise that the Democratic Party would fight to ensure that we didn't fight the war on terror on the cheap.

Sen. Biden alone among the Democratic candidates voted to fund the Mine Resistant Vehicles that protect lives, put forward a political solution that gained bi-partisan support, and understood the consequences of an increasingly demoralized Army and Marine Corp., as well as a dysfunctional State Department, Justice Department, and Intelligence agency.

Obama is the most unqualified person I have ever seen run for President and Commander in Chief or our Armed Forces. I will not vote for him because Senator McCain is a superior candidate who has worked to solve the problems facing our nation, confronts difficult situations despite the political consequences, and knows who he is and why he is fighting for these things.

I am sick and tired of living on a hope and prayer that the leader of this nation will do the right thing, and constantly being disappointed. Obama offers the same hope and a prayer that Bush does, and I want someone who has demonstrated leadership that I can trust.

The Democrats blew it with an historic opportunity.

Posted by: clawrence35 | February 20, 2008 4:25 PM | Report abuse

PROUD; THE reason they are at GITMO is because it is not U.S. soil. If you close GITMO and bring them to the US. That would entitle them access to our courts. And Frankly TRUE CONSERVATIVES DON'T GIVE A DAMM WHAT EUROPE THINKS.

Posted by: vbhoomes | February 20, 2008 4:19 PM | Report abuse

If you're a great writer, it doesn't assure that you'll be promoted from your cubicle.

But if you're a terrible one, make yourself at home.

In the same way,

If you're an American hero, it doesn't guarantee you'll be (a good) CIC.

But if you're a coward, (like say... a draft-dodging Clinton), it pretty much assures you that rag-tag 3rd world thugs (like in Somalia) can kick around the world's lone "superpower".

Posted by: USMC_Mike | February 20, 2008 4:18 PM | Report abuse

Leadership.

Fact is, if we look in our own lives, the "leaders" we know come with all sorts of different baggage.

Each are different in their personal histories (education, smarts, bravery, looks, ancestry, humor or lack, hobbies, memories, etc), but each is identical in having that elusive something that "makes" others want to follow them, work for them, sacrifice for them...and the very best turn all that energy not towards themselves but towards a greater good.

That is how I see Barack. He has the elusive something.

McCain has never had it. Too much the loner. He is uncomfortable with the lead role and sabotages himself whenever he gets it. He is a fighter pilot, a solitary shooter, not a general, not a leader of troops.

Hillary is paranoiac and demands attention through fear. This is not leadership. This is bullying. Read the interviews at
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/clinton/interviews/
Its all there.


Barack. Leader. Commander-in-Chief.
He's got "it."

Posted by: wpost4112 | February 20, 2008 4:15 PM | Report abuse

"Heroism neither makes nor breaks a Presidential candidacy, on the battlefied, or otherwise"

Oh really? Tell that to US Grant or Gen Washington.

Heroism made the Grant candidacy, for sure. Too bad he was also among the very worst presidents of all time. Give me a competent, non-drunk, non-hero, please.

Posted by: Spectator2 | February 20, 2008 4:15 PM | Report abuse

'Federally approved' means nothing anymore, when those doing the approving are former lobbyists for the product.

'The justices ruled against the estate of a patient who suffered serious injuries when a catheter burst during a medical procedure.'

all depends on whether the catheter was inherently flawed or faulty, doesn't it?

Posted by: drindl | February 20, 2008 4:13 PM | Report abuse

McCaine doesn't attract enough conservatives blah blah blah, this is all a fake contest to keep the Repubs in the spotlight to stop Dems from stealing all the press time.

How are these republican primaries even meaningful?

McCaine supporters are not going to go out of their way to vote when they know he is the clear winner. This is the reason for the low turnout. The numbers mean nothing on the republican side, just more babble for the press to feed on to get some free undeserved attention.

Posted by: vincent_kha | February 20, 2008 4:13 PM | Report abuse

my point, clawrence, is that being a "hero" (in the military context) correlates in no way, shape, or form to being a good president.

And I'm not saying that McCain hasn't done good things in the Senate either. But that's almost irrelevant too. And that's why this country elects very few senators as president.

McCain's complete resume correlates very closely to Bob Dole's: War hero, accomplished senator, cranky old man. The voters rejected that bill of fare in '96.

Posted by: Spectator2 | February 20, 2008 4:12 PM | Report abuse

"Heroism neither makes nor breaks a Presidential candidacy, on the battlefied, or otherwise"

Oh really? Tell that to US Grant or Gen Washington.

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | February 20, 2008 4:10 PM | Report abuse

When did Clinton or Obama claim that the surge failed?!!

Where do you guys get this stuff from?

Or do you just make it all up in your tiny little brains?!!

Posted by: SistaPolitica | February 20, 2008 4:10 PM | Report abuse

I see Bill O'Reilly is planning on possibly lynching Michelle Obama. Yes, he really said it. Can the radical right get any more deranged? And isn't it interesting how these says these things on the 'liberal media.'

" O'Reilly later stated: "I don't want to go on a lynching party against Michelle Obama unless there's evidence, hard facts, that say this is how the woman really feels. If that's how she really feels -- that America is a bad country or a flawed nation, whatever -- then that's legit. We'll track it down."

Posted by: drindl | February 20, 2008 4:08 PM | Report abuse

drindl, wpost, It seems like a fairly easy call for the Supremes...only one dissenting vote from Justice Ginsburgh (I'm shocked, shocked, that a liberal judge would be on the side of more litigation!).

In an 8-1 decision, the court made it harder for consumers to sue makers of federally approved medical devices.

Federally approved devices.

The justices ruled against the estate of a patient who suffered serious injuries when a catheter burst during a medical procedure. I guess nothing is supposed to ever go wrong in the perfect liberal utopia world of the Dems.


End pain and suffering forever, vote D!

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | February 20, 2008 4:05 PM | Report abuse

The way Clinton and Obama have run their respective political campaigns so far is a good indication of their management skill and style, I believe.

Obama picked good people to advise him in his campaign, and has retained them consistently without any big conflicts or firings. Clinton, on the other hand, has had mix-ups, bad people judgement, internal conflicts among her staff, and firings.

Obama has had a consistent message and has presented a consistent presence to voters. Clinton has "reinvented herself" virtually on a weekly basis, coming up with constant new "personalities" in order to try (unsuccessfully) and get votes. In terms of her positions, she has been noted on numerous occasions, to flip-flop.

Clinton has made the major misjudgement of allowing her husband to go off the deep end on numerous occasions, lying about Obama, ranting and raving... getting red-faced and confrontational, and basically making an assho*e out of himself. Obama's spouse is not the Ex-president and can't be compared to Bill Clinton, but all in all, she's done at least an OK job on the stump, and seems pretty straightforward.

Clinton blew through all her money in the first month or two of her campaign, while Obama planned his finances much better. Clinton ended up having to "loan" her own campaign $5 million to cover her financial mis-management.

Obama has raised enormouse amounts of money, not just because he is inspirational to many people, but because he and his staff knew how to use the internet to get many small contributions which added up. Clinton has depended upon big donors, and she's taken money from lobbists, which Obama has not, and yet, he's still been MUCH more successful than she has in raising money.

For the most part, I believe Obama has stuck to the "high road" in this election. He has refused to play dirty politics. His campaign has stuck to the truth, and not hit below the belt in their accusations against the Clinton campaign.

The Clinton campaign, however, has taken the low road against Obama, lying about him, belittling him and marginalizing him, and, lacking any really serious material against him, focusing on unimportant points (such as his borrowing a phrase from a friend to put in his speech). Clintons have not only behaved unethically, they have insulted the intelligence of voters.

Frankly, solely on the basis of how they've run their campaigns, I say: SUPPORT OBAMA !!!


Posted by: MarthaP1 | February 20, 2008 4:04 PM | Report abuse

Heroism neither makes nor breaks a Presidential candidacy, on the battlefied, or otherwise. Military service likewise is not a prerequisite for the Presidency. Considering that only a small percentage of the population serves - and that percentage keeps growing smaller - we'd be foolish to consider military service a prerequisite.

Posted by: bsimon | February 20, 2008 4:04 PM | Report abuse

The question now is how many states could an Obama-Webb ticket win?

I'd say they'd have 47,48 in play. No joking.

Webb would immediately shore up Obama's weakness on military affairs, and give a tough voice to counter the GOP chickenhawk brigade.

Posted by: steveboyington | February 20, 2008 4:01 PM | Report abuse

wpost4112 -- see above


claudialong -- see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sarcasm

idiot.

Posted by: USMC_Mike | February 20, 2008 4:01 PM | Report abuse

"MaCain says he will chase bin Ladin to the Gates of Hell. But apparently not if those gates are in Pakistan."

---------------

Pakistan? Heck, no need to go that far. They're in Crawford, Texas.

Posted by: wpost4112 | February 20, 2008 4:01 PM | Report abuse

Clearly, Obama is a big winner.

Barack vs Hillary Analysis
The Home Stretch- Hillary's Personal Alamo: The Web:

http://newsusa.myfeedportal.com/viewarticle.php?articleid=53

Hillary absolutely needs Texas, as well as Ohio. Things will be very interesting the coming weeks...

Posted by: davidmwe | February 20, 2008 4:00 PM | Report abuse

Spectator2 writes "By the way, John McCain was no more heroic than George McGovern, who flew many bombing missions over Germany during WW2. Guess they just learned different lessons from their wartime experiences."

Obama is the presumptive nominee, not McGovern. Obama has never been in a combat environment, he has never served on the Senate Armed Service Committee, he has never had to make even take a tough stand on any issue relating to our security (he was busy campaigning when the Iran Revolutionary Guard vote on declaring them a terrorist organization came up and he conveniently missed yet one more important vote). Speeches and academic theories do not make a hero. Spending five years as a POW, returning to work across patrician lines to find common ground on campaign finance reform, immigration, and many other issues to demonstrate his debt to this nation does. Senator McCain stands head and shoulders above the well spoken, well intentioned senator from IL with few accomplishments to show for all his lofty rhetoric and good intnentions.

Posted by: clawrence35 | February 20, 2008 3:59 PM | Report abuse

'My wife is starting to think Obama is the anti-Christ.'

You knew they would go there. That's the GOP... it's all about the demonization. I'm kind of surprised, though, that he went straight from Castro to the anti-Christ, without stopping off first at Chavez or Hitler, although I think he did briefly compare him to Putin last week. It's hard to keep track of whom their current demons are, they are always changing. But Hitler and the anti-christ are always on the top 10.

'Yale and Harvard are junk schools and everyone knows it. Only idiots go there.'

I guess that's what you say if you went to your local community college.

Posted by: drindl | February 20, 2008 3:59 PM | Report abuse

"My wife is starting to think Obama is the anti-Christ.
He's well-spoken, he came from nowhere..."

====================

Well, if one believes in religious myths, I suppose that would be important. Or if one wanted to pretend we were living in the Middle Ages..or wanted to begin burning witches in Salem again.

Not sure what that has to do with a democratic republic based on a Constitution and Bill of Rights.

And no, I'm not an atheist.

I believe that God gave us brains to use them. Reason, not superstition. Science, not myth. We are after all made in God's image.

Anti-Christ?

Using primal/emotional labels sure is an easy way to avoid our un-dramatic responsibilities as thinking citizens.

Posted by: wpost4112 | February 20, 2008 3:58 PM | Report abuse

rpy1,

Neither of us actually *believes* he is the anti-Christ.

Just an interesting comparison...

Posted by: USMC_Mike | February 20, 2008 3:55 PM | Report abuse

clawrence, Thank you for your service to our country, and for your very well-stated post. You are the reason why my heart swells with pride and my eyes well up every time I hear the National anthem.

God Bless the Land of the Free, and the Home of the Brave!

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | February 20, 2008 3:54 PM | Report abuse

'Another big hit from the Supremes: "Nothing But Heartaches"

"In a case with huge implications for the health care-technology industry, the Supreme Court ruled on Wednesday that the manufacturer of a federally approved medical device cannot be sued under state law if the device causes an injury."

good one, wpost. yet another reason not to vote for McCain. He promises more of the same rightwing judges, who always favor multinational corporations over consumers and citizens.

Posted by: drindl | February 20, 2008 3:54 PM | Report abuse

clawrence35 -- well said.

The same people who are "voting for good grades" call Bush stupid, even though he made better grades than Gore.

Yale and Harvard are junk schools and everyone knows it. Only idiots go there.

Let's not even talk about Al Gore's science classes... hahaha

Posted by: USMC_Mike | February 20, 2008 3:54 PM | Report abuse

*******************
My wife is starting to think Obama is the anti-Christ.
*******************

Well, USMC_Mike, good to know where your family stands on the issue...

Posted by: rpy1 | February 20, 2008 3:51 PM | Report abuse

Nevadaandy writes "I'm voting for the person who got good grades in all his subjects and graduated in the top of his class and who will be cautious about putting American troops in harms way."

That anyone would put grades scored in a classroom above the courage shown on the battle field is a sad statement. You have obviously have never been in a combat environment. Anyone who has uses caution when putting American troops in harms way - and they back it up with real support of our troops to ensure they have all the tools they need to win. Sen. McCain was not just courageous and heroic on the battlefield, he risked his political career to support Gen. Petreaus (one of the few commanding officers who was critical of our strategy when I served in Iraq) and the surge that finally, after over three long years, demonstrated that we were not going to wage war on the cheap and deny the reality that our strategy was flawed.

I only hope you are not one of those Berkley un-American citizens who value academic theory over those who protect the freedoms that allow them to exorcise their thoughts. They may believe that Marines are an unwelcome and intrusive presence, but I welcome and really do support anyone in America who has made the sacrifices to protect the rights of a privileged few to compete for good grades in our elite universities and colleges.

Posted by: clawrence35 | February 20, 2008 3:49 PM | Report abuse

Yes, imagine if McCain had been tortured to sign a confession, then executed on the basis of it, which is what this administration is proposing we do now. Would we have thought that was fair?

And how is that different again, from a witchcraft trial?

Posted by: drindl | February 20, 2008 3:47 PM | Report abuse

Happy Birthday, Mr. Fix. Good analysis, as always.

I would add John Edwards as a loser. In the two weeks he has been out of the race, Edwards has let whatever clout he had wither away. If he had endorsed Hillary, it might have given her a new lease on life and a Wisconsin win, or at least a smaller loss. An Obama endorsement might have added to his margin, and proven Edwards the kingmaker.

With Edwards remaining silent, Obama has proven he doesn't need Edwards' endorsement to succeed. And Hillary's now so far behind that an endorsement won't provide the huge springboard she needs. Besides, if Edwards had wanted to endorse her before, he's probably not going to now that the ship is sinking.

Posted by: kevk91 | February 20, 2008 3:47 PM | Report abuse

"Question - have there been any reliable polls taken to gauge the numbers if all three run in the general election? Like most I would assume that McCain would run well ahead of Obama and Clinton if both remain in the race, but I don't know that to be so."
-----------------


I think it would be an entirely different environment. I'm not sure the polls would matter. 2 months ago, Hillary hada 20-30 point lead in just about every state.

Lots depends on the campaign, the debates, the economy, the war, the mistakes, the ....

McCain is losing both far-right Repubs and Independants by going right of center.

Barack is picking up from every group, even far right (admittedly few of these), but plenty from across the blue-red spectrum.

Hillary is losing everything except liberal white women over 50 and seniors...and even there she is slipping.

But what happens if they all 3 compete?...well, depends on VP choices. Obama/Bloomberg would seem a run-a-way ticket. Leadership-Charisma/Business savvy. McCain/Romney would be strong Competition, but strong enough? Hillary/Clark? Don;t see anythingfor Hillary, esp if she continues to go negative. I keep overhearing people complaining about listening to her voice on the TV...not a good sign.

All mystery now.

Posted by: wpost4112 | February 20, 2008 3:47 PM | Report abuse

bhoomes, I agree with McCain that it should be closed, but the legal matter of what to do with the prisoners will be the deciding factor. Obama's plan will apparently give them full legal protection, habeus corpus, other vague as yet to be defined 'rights', whereas McCain calls for a continuation of the Commission at another location.

In fact, the Cahirman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mullen, agrees with McCain that Gitmo should be closed.

Adm Mullen said he favors closing the prison as soon as possible because he believes negative publicity worldwide about treatment of terrorist suspects has been "pretty damaging" to the image of the United States.

Asked why he thinks Gitmo should be closed, and the prisoners perhaps moved to U.S. soil, Mullen said, "More than anything else it's been the image - how Gitmo has become around the world, in terms of representing the United States."

IMHO, it's very important to listen to the commanders on the ground and those who are military leaders and experts rather than pandering to extremes. McCain's plan strikes the right balance for America.

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | February 20, 2008 3:45 PM | Report abuse

MaCain says he will chase bin Ladin to the Gates of Hell. But apparently not if those gates are in Pakistan.

"McCain then sidestepped, discussing the merits of diplomacy. "The first thing you do is you don't tell people what you're going to do; you make plans, and you work with the other country that is your ally and friend, which Pakistan is."

Whereas Obama knows that we don't have to ask permission [as we have beendoing for 7 years] of other countries who are sheltering the 9/11 terrorists--as Pakistan is--whether we can bring justice to the 3000 9/11 dead.

"Let me make this clear. There are terrorists holed up in those mountains, that murdered 3,000 Americans," he said, continuing with resolve: "If we have actionable intelligence about high-valued terrorist targets and President Musharraf will not act, we will."

All Pakistan does is take our money and create 'treaties' with bin Ladin, alqueda, and the Taliban. Some ally.

Posted by: drindl | February 20, 2008 3:42 PM | Report abuse

"If "Prez Hussein Obama" closes Gitmo, moves the detainees to, say, Ft. Leavenworth, and gives them habeas corpus, does that mean he's against the military tribunals and wants terrorists to have full access to U.S. courts?"

When McCain was held in Vietnam, we know he was tortured - and in his words, he 'sang like a bird.' If the North Vietnamese had held a trial of McCain for war crimes, would we have viewed it as valid?

Posted by: bsimon | February 20, 2008 3:41 PM | Report abuse

USMC Mike - Of course a President (and Congress) can manage the economy. I keep reading, from conservatives, remarks like this. But, up until Clinton 1/3 of federal revenues were from trade tarrif's. Clinton got rid of them, signed on to NAFTA, the WTO, introduced legislation cr4ating the H1-B visa (and changed the L-1 visa from an educational visa to a work visa), passed laws ending penalties for outsourcing jobs and technology and production capacity. All of this was continued and even accelerated under Bush. The "free trade" train wreck was government created national suicide. So, please don't tell me about "managing" the economy. The past two Presidents mismanaged the economy right into the biggest economic mess that this country has ever seen. And, I would like it noted, everything I predicted about unemployment, about rising inflation, all of it is coming to pass right now. Hillary Clinton wont end globalizatrion. It was her idea. Obama will, and McCain will "modify" it out of existence.

Posted by: mibrooks27 | February 20, 2008 3:38 PM | Report abuse

My wife is starting to think Obama is the anti-Christ.

He's well-spoken, he came from nowhere...

FYI, she voted for Kerry and was a John Edwards supporter (for a while).

[She's not part of the VRWC like me].

Posted by: USMC_Mike | February 20, 2008 3:37 PM | Report abuse

claudia writes
"[It] certainly seems like record low turnout will be the story in november."

The story in November is: Obama Republicans.

Posted by: bsimon | February 20, 2008 02:42 PM

I think you both are right. While my conservative GOP brothers will hold their noses and vote for McCane, he looks like he needs a cane doesn't he? My sister told me she might go for Obama, even asking what his positions are. I also think that the record turnout by the youth vote will be a major factor. You don't hear from many Young Republicans these days.

On Biden, his off the cuff remarks like "I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy," Biden said. Are a bit foot in mouth, many say his staff is the brains behind him, but I would have been happy with him as well.

Happy B'Day Mr. C. Your blog is a daily must.

Posted by: PatrickNYC1 | February 20, 2008 3:37 PM | Report abuse

While many are hailing the large number of Democratic votes cast in WI compared to Republicans, bear in mind that lack of a competitive (R) race had many voters crossing over to vote (D). Especially true in the NE of the state--John King nailed this perfectly last night on CNN.

Can speak of many acquaintances who will be voting McCain in the fall that didn't yesterday. So discount the large disparity between Dem and Rep votes. What is most interesting about the WI results is that even with the cross-over, Hillary couldn't make a dent in Barack's support.

Posted by: Blackbern | February 20, 2008 3:34 PM | Report abuse

Question - have there been any reliable polls taken to gauge the numbers if all three run in the general election? Like most I would assume that McCain would run well ahead of Obama and Clinton if both remain in the race, but I don't know that to be so.

Posted by: abcde3 | February 20, 2008 3:33 PM | Report abuse

This Just In:

Another big hit from the Supremes: "Nothing But Heartaches"

"In a case with huge implications for the health care-technology industry, the Supreme Court ruled on Wednesday that the manufacturer of a federally approved medical device cannot be sued under state law if the device causes an injury."

Posted by: wpost4112 | February 20, 2008 3:31 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of dope operas, I get a kick out of all these Obama-haters who have created this "Messiah" story about Barack...and yet, it was George W Bush who claimed that his real father was his Father In Heaven and that THAT father, "God," had called him to be President and gave him advise daily.

now THAT's a messiah-complex if I ever saw one...let alone a dope opera.

Fortunately, our burning Bush is down to the last cinder. Can't wait for the ascension.

Posted by: wpost4112 | February 20, 2008 3:26 PM | Report abuse

The republican election strategy:

"Secret evidence. Denial of habeas corpus. Evidence obtained by waterboarding/torture. Indefinite detention. The litany of complaints about the legal treatment of prisoners at Guantánamo Bay is long, disturbing and by now familiar. Nonetheless, a new wave of shock and criticism greeted the Pentagon's announcement on February 11 that it was charging six Guantánamo detainees with war crimes--and seeking the death penalty for all of them.

Now, as the murky, quasi-legal staging of the Bush Administration's military commissions unfolds, a key official has said that the trials are rigged from the start. According to Col. Morris Davis, former chief prosecutor for Guantánamo's military commissions, the process has been manipulated by Administration appointees in an attempt to foreclose the possibility of acquittal.

Colonel Davis's criticism of the commissions has been escalating since he resigned this past October, telling the Washington Post that he had been pressured by politically appointed senior defense officials to pursue cases deemed "sexy" and of "high-interest" (such as the 9/11 cases now being pursued) in the run-up to the 2008 elections. "

McCain has not spoken out on these tribunals, which are as crooked as anything ever cooked up in the Russian gulags, which Guantanomo resembles, only the prisoners are treated worse. Even military lawyers call them illegal and oppose them.

Bottom line: If you want to continue creating terrorists, eroding america's moral standards and making us the world's most hated villain, vote republican.

Posted by: drindl | February 20, 2008 3:23 PM | Report abuse

Happy Birthday, fellow Aquarian!

And great analysis - spot on.

Know of any Facebook groups for Texans for Obama?

Posted by: WillSeattle | February 20, 2008 3:21 PM | Report abuse

PROUDTOBEGOP: McCain has the same position as Obama about closing GITMO and giving these murderous spugs access to our courts. That's why I will vote for Obama, there's just no difference and I prefer the dems to get the blame for screwing up the country.

Posted by: vbhoomes | February 20, 2008 3:20 PM | Report abuse

"wpost: More like our "dope opera

=============

LOL. No, that is reserved for Bush.
Mike does wash twice a day.

Posted by: wpost4112 | February 20, 2008 3:18 PM | Report abuse

Obama's Speech

Wasn't Mr. Obama campaigning in Wisconsin and then give a speech in Texas last night?

Is a guy supposed to be up, alert and not tired after all the grind?

Have you been to half his appearances, TV and radio interviews, handshake marathons and endless strategy sessions?

Give the guy a break. He has won 10 elections in a row, have you been there firsthand and in Technicolor for each and every day of this race, following Mr. Obama's every step?

Yesterday night Mr. Obama was hoarse and dead tired, thanks for noticing. He is the one doing all the winning, not just talking a big game.

Posted by: rfpiktor | February 20, 2008 3:18 PM | Report abuse

wpost: More like our "dope opera."

Posted by: Spectator2 | February 20, 2008 3:17 PM | Report abuse

USMC Mike -- beyond hopeless

Posted by: drindl | February 20, 2008 3:16 PM | Report abuse

"Go back to your soap operas, please."
----------------


But, Mike, you ARE our soap opera!

Posted by: wpost4112 | February 20, 2008 3:15 PM | Report abuse

I love the way you completely spin the data on the immigration exit poll. A "clear majority" support the liberal preference - citizenship (32%) or guest worker status (23%). That leaves "only" the measly remaining "four in ten" (that's 40%, for those of you confused by the sudden change in format) voting for deportation.

Wouldn't it have been easier to state that the most popular choice was deporatation? Or that the "clear majority" support either guest worker status or deportation?

Posted by: medssn1 | February 20, 2008 3:14 PM | Report abuse

yes, this is how that vote went:

'Underscoring the narrow victory, the provincial elections law passed only after the parliamentary speaker Mahmoud al-Mashhadani, a member of the minority Sunni faction, raised his hand to break a tie after 82 lawmakers cast their votes in favor and 82 against.

Critics complained the blanket vote violated the constitution.

"This is a clear evidence that this parliament is unable to offer anything to the Iraqi people and we demand the parliament be disbanded and the United Nations take over," said one of Iraq's most prominent Sunni politicians, Saleh al-Mutlaq.

Osama al-Nujaifi, a Sunni lawmaker with the secular Iraqi List, complained the Kurds did not merit 17 percent of the federal budget.

"This is a clear violation of the rights of the Iraqi people," he said.'

Posted by: drindl | February 20, 2008 3:14 PM | Report abuse

"Spectator2 -- your ideology does not determine your heroism. Becuase you don't agree with him, he's not a hero?

Go back to your soap operas, please."

First of all, where did I say he was not a hero? I was mocking your use of the term "authentic American hero." I have no problem saying McCain's a hero, so you can move along, mmmkay?

Second, s-for-brains, what is it with you and this soap opera stuff? You really should reconsider relying on brooks for your cheap insults.

Posted by: Spectator2 | February 20, 2008 3:13 PM | Report abuse

'It makes me very uncomfortable hearing Hussein Obama talking about "MANAGING" the economy.

You can't "MANAGE" an economy as President.

It's not your job.

Perhaps we could say that dictators, like the murdering tyrant Fidel Castro, "MANAGED" his economy.'

this is how the whackjobs are proceeding. first they compare obama to castro -- in a week or so, they'll be so desperate they'll be comparing him to hitler, as they always do with their Villain Du Jour.

Posted by: drindl | February 20, 2008 3:11 PM | Report abuse

Spectator2 -- your ideology does not determine your heroism. Becuase you don't agree with him, he's not a hero?

Go back to your soap operas, please.

Posted by: USMC_Mike | February 20, 2008 3:10 PM | Report abuse

During his speech last night, Obama said:

"We are going to lead by example, by maintaining the highest standards of civil liberties and human rights, which is why I will close Guantanamo and restore habeas corpus...."

http://www.weeklystandard.com/Weblogs/TWSFP/TWSFPView.asp#4647


Sounds great...but, like everything else about the Obama campaign, it's not clear what the actual change in policy will entail. Just more change for change's sake.

If "Prez Hussein Obama" closes Gitmo, moves the detainees to, say, Ft. Leavenworth, and gives them habeas corpus, does that mean he's against the military tribunals and wants terrorists to have full access to U.S. courts? It isn't clear, but that's what it sounds like, although I'm not a lwayer. Obama is, though, and as a law professor maybe he should spell out just what changes are going to be made.

Bottom line: If you want full legal protection for Al-Qaeda terrorists, vote Obama!

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | February 20, 2008 3:10 PM | Report abuse

claudialong -- pathetic.

Posted by: USMC_Mike | February 20, 2008 3:09 PM | Report abuse

I just want to note that, as mike points out, John McCain is an "authentic" American hero. I guess that would be as opposed to a fake one, like Ronald Reagan, who loved to share his WW2 memories. Too bad he never left Hollywood.

By the way, John McCain was no more heroic than George McGovern, who flew many bombing missions over Germany during WW2. Guess they just learned different lessons from their wartime experiences.

Posted by: Spectator2 | February 20, 2008 3:08 PM | Report abuse

A contest between McCain and Obama is a no brainer for me.

I'm not voting for the person who graduated near the bottom of his class at Annapolis (790th out of 794 graduates)because he only liked 2 courses - literature and history and did what he had to to pass math.

I'm voting for the person who got good grades in all his subjects and graduated in the top of his class and who will be cautious about putting American troops in harms way.

Granted McCain is a "hero" having endured a POW camp. But it seems he is seeking to revenge his years of torture by taking America down a path of war with all our enemies. I guess old nicknames are hard to shake off - McNasty because he liked to get into fights in school and now he wants America to keep fighting wars that he'll be quick to get into.

Posted by: Nevadaandy | February 20, 2008 3:08 PM | Report abuse

Proud, they won't claim the surge has failed.

They will, as HRC did, try to take credit for it.

After all, it was the Democrats who effected positive change in Iraq. They were the ones banging the withdrawal drums, which sent the message to the Iraqis that they better get their sh** together because we're packing up and moving out.

Therefore, by OPPOSING the surge, B. Hussein Obama and General Hillary Clinton can now take credit for its SUCCESS.

Posted by: USMC_Mike | February 20, 2008 3:07 PM | Report abuse

Winner - McCain! Keep delivering a speech like you did last night and given your past experiences, you will win the presidency. Just don't pick Condi Rice as your VP. Stick with a Gov. Pawltrey

Losers - Democratic Party. The millions of 'Reagan Democrats' now have an option to vote for. This spells trouble in States like Iowa, MN, WI, MI, OH, PA, and even NY. McCain takes the growing advantage among Latino voters in the West away from the Dems. They will loose many of the Veterans who considered voting with the Democrats because of a brief show of respect toward Kerry and Webb - Vets in America will not be fooled again by the empty "We support our troops" slogans that are not backed with actions. A Biden or Richardson (two of the most qualified candidates) could have prevented much of this.

Hillary - biggest loser due to a poorly run campaign in which she believed you could make this race solely about the candidates and not the voters, never
really had a ground game to compete for votes, and expected political insiders to decide this election. It's over (despite having more delegates if FL and MI were counted).

Michelle Obama - at 44, a Princeton/Harvard grad, this ungrateful women finds Pride in her nation because her husband is the front runner for President? It will be hard to live those words down.

Barack Obama - secured the momentum to the nomination, and then delivered a 45 minute speech that was almost painful to watch. Stick to the souring rhetoric and drop the policy - it only makes him look even more inexperienced than he actually is. Your in trouble - the press is starting to see through the empty rhetoric - the coalition you counted in the General is not far behind - and the back-story of a pot smoking teen struggling with his bi-racial identity going on to Harvard and becomes a community organizer might win over the inner city, but it doesn't stack up well against a former POW who was critical of the reckless Bush/Rumsfeld policy and has a history of working across party lines to deliver results. When the only thing you are campaigning on boils down to the opportunity to "make history" by electing the first African American President, you got a very hard job of keeping all those screaming twenty something's over 8 months.

Posted by: clawrence35 | February 20, 2008 3:06 PM | Report abuse

snapshot of iraq today:

Al-Sadr threatens to end cease-fire
AP - Wed Feb 20, 11:51 AM ET
BAGHDAD - Anti-U.S. cleric Muqtada al-Sadr may let a six-month cease-fire expire as soon as Saturday, a move that could send his Shiite militia fighters back to the streets and jeopardize security gains that have led to a sharp decline in violence.

Deadly Baghdad blast was 'well-planned ambush'
AFP - Wed Feb 20, 11:37 AM ET
BAGHDAD (AFP) - A massive blast of explosives and Katyusha rockets that killed 15 Iraqi police and soldiers in a Shiite bastion of Baghdad was a "well-planned ambush," security officials said on Wednesday.

Suicide bomber kills 10 in Iraq market attack
AFP - Wed Feb 20, 6:48 AM ET
BAQUBA, Iraq, Feb 20, 2008 (AFP) - Ten people were killed when a suicide bomber detonated his explosives in a market near the restive city of Baquba north of Baghdad on Wednesday, an Iraqi army officer said.

Posted by: drindl | February 20, 2008 3:05 PM | Report abuse

Proud - "...Or will they continue to claim the surge has failed and demand rapid withdrawal of our troops?"

You know that you can't let the truth get in the way of a good campaign issue.

Posted by: dave | February 20, 2008 3:04 PM | Report abuse

It is unbelievable how Obama is first criticized because his speeches are too good and supposedly lack substance, and now, after last night's speech in Texas where he included more specifics than in any other victory speech, The Fix is chastising him for length. The man has won ten straight contests in blowouts across the board, but apparently he lost last night because his speech was too long and boring.

Posted by: anthonyelmo | February 20, 2008 2:59 PM | Report abuse

LeftwithNoBrain, The surge, by quelling violence and providing security, was supposed to produce "breathing space" in which reconciliation could take place.

Now it has, not because President Bush says so, but based on those same benchmarks that Democrats once claimed were measures of failure in Iraq.

Last week, the Iraqi parliament passed three laws that amounted to a political surge to achieve reconciliation. Taken together, the laws are likely to bring minority Sunnis fully into the political process they had earlier boycotted and to produce a new class of political leaders.

Just as important is what the laws reflect in Iraq today. "The whole motivating factor" behind the legislation was "reconciliation, not retribution," says American ambassador Ryan Crocker, who has never sugarcoated the impediments to progress in Iraq. This is "remarkably different" from six months ago, he said.

Next in importance to reconciliation is an amnesty law under which thousands of jailed Sunnis who haven't been charged with a crime will be released.

Months ago, the administration said "the prerequisites for a successful general amnesty are not present." But the surge changed that by reducing violence and creating the conditions for amnesty.

The Iraqis are now sharing oil revenues through the $48 billion budget they passed.

http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/014/758phfdr.asp?pg=1


Now, the facts on the ground have changed dramatically, and so has progress on the benchmarks. Will liberals like Obama acknowledge this? Or will they continue to claim the surge has failed and demand rapid withdrawal of our troops?


Posted by: proudtobeGOP | February 20, 2008 2:59 PM | Report abuse

It makes me very uncomfortable hearing Hussein Obama talking about "MANAGING" the economy.

You can't "MANAGE" an economy as President.

It's not your job.

Perhaps we could say that dictators, like the murdering tyrant Fidel Castro, "MANAGED" his economy.

Posted by: USMC_Mike | February 20, 2008 2:57 PM | Report abuse

AlaninMissoula - "And there will be a great kiss and make up no matter if Ombama or Clinton comes out on top because, it is our year, dammit, and the smart people in the Obama and Clinton camps will not want to mess that up!"

I thought 2004 was your year too? Smarter this time around?

Posted by: dave | February 20, 2008 2:55 PM | Report abuse

"In short, Mike, just because most youngsters don't have a compelling story to tell, doesn't mean that none do. "

While I agree bsimon, it just doesn't help his Messiah/cultish/empty aura.

And I think it's fair to point out that John McCain, an authentic American hero, didn't even bother writing about his experiences until DECADES after the fact.

There's something to be said for humility.

Of course, is it possible to be humble in running for national office?

Posted by: USMC_Mike | February 20, 2008 2:54 PM | Report abuse

Having just returned from a McCain rally in Yellow Springs Ohio, its going to take a lot more of Mark Salter's talent if this guy is going to have any chance. The crowd at best was about 150 to see him and thats counting a couple of Obama's supporters beside me. Contrast that with Obama's sellout crowds and one could conclude it's going to be a major Obama rout in November.

Posted by: vbhoomes | February 20, 2008 2:54 PM | Report abuse

Re Obama's speech:

Probably a bit long, but not excessively, as it indicated in change in tactics, i.e., adding a few specifics.

The one scary aspect was his casual allusion to becoming "your Commander-in-Chief." Has the Imperial Presidency gone so far that even its supposed critics are beginning to accept it?

The POTUS is NOT the C-in-C of the country, only of the armed forces, and then only in time of war - PLUS the original intention that a DECLARED war was assumed.

I just hope Obama misspoke, and really does understand this distinction.

And happy b'day, Chris, on this 46th anniversary of John Glenn's epic flight.

Posted by: jobie | February 20, 2008 2:53 PM | Report abuse

The Germans took the wall down... it was on TV

Posted by: LeftwithNochoice | February 20, 2008 2:50 PM | Report abuse

.

St. Ronnie: Bitc# of the Terrorists

.

Posted by: LeftwithNochoice | February 20, 2008 2:49 PM | Report abuse

"Obama has lived the rags-to-riches American dream "

And yet, he and his wife aparently have NOTHING to be proud of, except his run for the Presidency.

Not their personal accomplishments,
Not their families or their struggles,
Not their education or opportunity in this country,
Not the millions of people around the world we aid,
Not the fall of the berlin wall

But the successful run for national office.

How arrogant. How disgustingly un-American. How ungrateful.

How audacious.

Posted by: USMC_Mike | February 20, 2008 2:48 PM | Report abuse

Some of my thoughts on last night and this analysis.

CC - "Asked how America should handle illegal immigrants moving forward, a clear majority chose either a path to citizenship (32 percent) or temporary worker status (27 percent) while just four in ten opted for deportation."

Or one could say that less than a third believed that illegals should have a path to citizenship. And my perception, but I don't know for sure, is that Wisconsin might not be the state to gauge the effectiveness of the illegal immigration arguement. Texas, on the other hand...


On the speech. The more I listen to Obama, the less I like him, the more I disagree with him and the less that I think he wants to actually change the way Washington works. Last night's speech was horrible for a number of reasons including being way too long and unfocused. He seemed tired to me (which is understandable). But the speech itself actually reminded me more of a state of the union type speech than victorious campaign type speech, only less realistic and more, I won't quite say partisan but will say, pointed.

CC, I'd kind of surprised that you did not list Tim Kaine as a winner ;-)

On Clinton's TV tactics - If about a 25% said only HRC unfairly attacked, 27% said only Obama unfairly attacked and 6% said they both did, does that mean that the remaining 42% or so thought there were no unfair attacks and if so, how did they vote? To label her tactics as a losing proposition, you need to know what happened to the other 42%.

Posted by: dave | February 20, 2008 2:48 PM | Report abuse

PS: The comment from USMC_Mike is what you'd expect from a McCain supporter or even McCain himself. He has a track record of snottiness towards "impertinent" youngsters.

But I can't help but wonder who will be more appealing to more voters, the impertinent youngster or the cranky old coot.

Posted by: Spectator2 | February 20, 2008 2:45 PM | Report abuse

.

AH, so there IS political progress being made in Iraq!

Here, I thought they were still trying to write a constitution between vacations.

So, that's it, the surge worked. "Mission Accomplished" (where were the cries for plagiarism?)

OK, then. Why are we still there?

If everything is going so well, as you contend, why are we still needed there?

You can't have it Both ways. It's either Broken or Fixed. Make up your mind. Go buy an argument.

Actually, know what?

Doesn't matter, you'll be wasting your vote on John McAngry in November, you might as well vote for Mitt Romney, or Newt Rockney, for that matter.

.

Posted by: LeftwithNochoice | February 20, 2008 2:44 PM | Report abuse

"What a self-centered, spoiled, ivy-league brat."

You, sir, really can come across as an a-hole.

Posted by: Spectator2 | February 20, 2008 2:42 PM | Report abuse

USMC_Mike_neocon -

Hahahahahahahahhhaaaaaa

I hardly have anything else to say. Spoiled ivy league brat? The last time I heard a second-generation fatherless poor immigrant called a spoiled brat was...oh wait, nevermind, no one has ever been stupid enough to call him that. Until you.

Congratulations, you just reached a new low. Obama has lived the rags-to-riches American dream and apparently that makes him a bad person. You just earned yourself a ticket to my "no read" zone. It's kind of like when I come across Ann Coulter's name, except you are surely quite a bit uglier than she is.

Posted by: thecrisis | February 20, 2008 2:42 PM | Report abuse

claudia writes
"[It] certainly seems like record low turnout will be the story in november."

The story in November is: Obama Republicans.

Posted by: bsimon | February 20, 2008 2:42 PM | Report abuse

"I wonder how many of the primaries and/or causes are open ones where Republican voters can switch so that they will vote for Obama..."

raposoartico, I wonder why you can't look up that information yourself.
http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2008/president/democratic_delegate_count.html
A little "c" next to the delegate count means that it's a closed primary. There have been 13 closed primaries, excluding Florida. Obama has won 9 of them. Even when only registered Democrats vote, Obama wins and Clinton loses.

Posted by: Blarg | February 20, 2008 2:42 PM | Report abuse

Very interesting piece by Samuelson

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/02/19/AR2008021902336.html

Pokes a lot of holes in Obama's approach to campaign promises.

Posted by: JD | February 20, 2008 2:40 PM | Report abuse

"In that Matthews has interviewed a hundred Clinton surrogates on MSNBC and never asked ONE what this supposed "35 years of service" has amounted to, or asked one to name a single piece of legislation that bears the name of this most "experienced" Senator, it's about time Matthews started playing "Fairball" with his invited guests."

======================

Ding, ding, ding, ding, ding!

Bullseye!

You, sir, are right on the money!

Posted by: wpost4112 | February 20, 2008 2:40 PM | Report abuse

Latest American Research poll:

"Among Americans registered to vote, 18% approve of the way Bush is handling his job as president and 78% disapprove. When it comes to the way Bush is handling the economy, 15% of registered voters approve of the way Bush is handling the economy and 79% disapprove.

A total of 78% of Americans say the national economy is getting worse and 47% say the national economy is in a recession."

This is the anvil around mccain's neck

Posted by: drindl | February 20, 2008 2:40 PM | Report abuse

USMC_Mike writes
"What had he done? He went to Princeton, then Harvard Law.

Join the very large group of us that have gotten ourselves an education, Obama.

An AUTOBIOGRAPHY?"

Sometimes a person with the ability to tell a compelling story serves the public good by writing their story down, even when they're young. As a white boy who grew up in nice suburbs and a two-parent household, the story of a mixed race person growing up in the US and overseas, who struggles with his identity and place in the world is compelling insight into a part of America in which I have zero experience. The guy who wrote 'Lone Survivor' is a bit of a young pup too, who's story is primarily focused on a week in Afghanistan. But its a hell of a read, and an insight into several cultures in which I have zero personal experience.

In short, Mike, just because most youngsters don't have a compelling story to tell, doesn't mean that none do.

Posted by: bsimon | February 20, 2008 2:39 PM | Report abuse

"an empty call for change that promises no more than a holiday from history" and "the confused leadership of an inexperienced candidate"

Bring it on, Johnny Bright.

At the moment Mr. Obama is busy kicking a little big Clintonian behind. When he is finished dispensing with the ceremonies, soon enough, do not worry, his attention and powers at his disposal that you have no idea of, will serve you up with equivalent but doubly demolishing empty little words you and your associates so stentoreously despise.

Let's just say bring it on, baby, bring it on. You will see near and first hand the dread of a Republican septuagenarian confronted with a roaring lion propped up by the little people spoiling for a fight. The Lion versus the Septuagenarian. What a fight!

Posted by: rfpiktor | February 20, 2008 2:37 PM | Report abuse

ITS ALL PRETTY SIMPLE. JOHN MCAIN, MORE OF THE SAME. BARACK OBAMA, THE CANIDATE FOR REAL CHANGE. I STRONGLY REMEMBER WHEN JOHN WAS PART OF THE CHARLES KEATIN FIVE ATTEMPTED COVERUP. .

Posted by: rcbootsmiller | February 20, 2008 2:36 PM | Report abuse

"Barack Obama was wrong in opposing the surge, wrong in saying the surge is not translating into progress, including political progress, and wrong in saying that dire consequences will not follow if we are defeated in Iraq.

Most importantly, Obama's views on Iraq massively undercut his effort to project himself as an independent thinker, anti-ideological, a reasonable, reflective man who is open to hearing and accepting new facts.

On Iraq, Obama increasingly looks to be in a state of denial -- rigid, ideological, and in search of an excuse to justify a full-scale American retreat.

It's a bad idea for a leader of a major political party to be hermetically sealed off from authentically good news, especially when it comes to a deeply consequential war. But that is increasingly where Senator Obama finds himself these days.

There will be a price to pay for the position Obama has staked out."

http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=ODZjOTRiODNiZWEzNDE2ZTY3MTBlZTE1MjU4MGI4NWI=&w=MQ==


Posted by: proudtobeGOP | February 20, 2008 2:36 PM | Report abuse

'In 2000, Obama Voted Against Making Permanent The Repeal Of Illinois' 5 Percent Sales Tax On Gasoline'

I presume this is posted by someone who beleives we should not be building or maintaining roads or bridges.

Posted by: drindl | February 20, 2008 2:36 PM | Report abuse

You were totally off on Obama's speech, Chris. And dtsb is right - it should have been in the WINNER's column.

Real Winners:
1. Barack Obama and
2. American democracy ("we, the people" are backing a president they can truly call their own) and
3. civil discourse in the political arena (uncivil discourse having been soundly rejected by the voters).

Real Losers:
1. Hillary Clinton
2. the other petty, mean-spirited people in our nation's public forums.
3. the Republican Party (it's payback time).

And happy birthday, Chris. I am always truly grateful for your doing such a wonderful job of listening to your fans! (Even when I disagree with you - which is often. lol)

You are the gift we get every day. Thank you!

Posted by: miraclestudies | February 20, 2008 2:34 PM | Report abuse

In 2003, Obama Voted To Tax Natural Gas Purchases. (S.B. 1733: Concurrence In House Amendment #4, Passed 31-27-00, 5/31/03, Obama Voted Yea)
In 2000, Obama Voted Against Making Permanent The Repeal Of Illinois' 5 Percent Sales Tax On Gasoline. "[Obama] voted 'No' on making permanent the repeal of the state's 5 percent sales tax on gasoline." ("Obama's Key Votes," Belleville [IL] News-Democrat, 9/13/04; S.B. 1867: Illinois Senate Floor Third Reading, 46-12-0, 11/15/00, Obama Voted Nay)
In 1997, Obama Voted To Enact A Tax On Oil And Gas Production. (H.B. 998: Senate Third Floor Reading, Passed 54-2-0, 5/16/97, Obama Voted Yea)
In 1997, Obama Voted To "Impose A Tax On The Privilege Of Using Electricity." (H.B. 362: Senate Third Floor Reading, Passed 57-2-0, 10/30/97, Obama Voted Yea)

Posted by: elsylee28 | February 20, 2008 2:33 PM | Report abuse

'bsimon, in the prediction thread, said "record low turnout for the GOP bodes poorly for that party in Nov." Perhaps he has finally won a coveted Fix T-shirt.'

I hope so, bsimon, you have been right on about most stuff. And I certainly seems like record low turnout will be the story in november.

'Personally, while I respect Biden on foreign policy, his support on the bankruptcy bill turns me off.'

I know, I felt that way too, but got past it. It's really a symptom of the sick campaign financing system, that donors like the ubiquitous bank lobby get to write their own legislation. It still bothers me but he has so much else good going for him. I'd still like to see him as VP or SecState.

'What had he done? He went to Princeton, then Harvard Law.'

You went to Princeton, and Harvard Law, Mike? My, I would have never known.

I really do beleive Chris Matthews is either on --or off -- some kind of 'meds'. He's completely batty.

Posted by: drindl | February 20, 2008 2:32 PM | Report abuse

I think you definitely have to put State Sen. Kirk Watson down on the big loser list. I could have come up with three bills off the top of my head, for god's sake. As already mentioned, though, Chris Matthews did not pose the same question to Clinton's surrogate, and I would have been interested to hear if she came up with anything good. She said something about 35 years of legislative accomplishments, which I found intriguing, considering that Hillary has been in the Senate for 7 years, and her notable legislative "achievement" before that period was a failed health care plan.

Posted by: ASinMoCo | February 20, 2008 2:25 PM | Report abuse

I wonder how many of the primaries and/or causes are open ones where Republican voters can switch so that they will vote for Obama, knowing full well that an African-American regrettably will be extremely difficult to be elected President based on the white majority in this Country.

McCain as the probable Republican candidate would undoubtedly have a harder time winning against Clinton vis-a-vis his chances of running against Obama for the above-reason.

And while this is not beyond the realms of being a possibility, and not in the class of "swift-boat" dirty tricks of which the Republicans are and have been capable, it would be very revealing to know just what are the statistics from the various voter registrations throughout the US.

It certainly would be fairly easy to determine how many registered Democrats voted and subtract those numbers from the actual votes that were recorded. Even though some Republicans may have finally got the meesage that the present mired conditions the US is because of Iraq, the economy, the health system ad nauseam all have been the result of Republican mismanagement of the Country's affairs.

Posted by: raposoartico | February 20, 2008 2:24 PM | Report abuse

Obama's speech was too long? Give me a break. He delivered Hillary to the Land of Be Careful What You Ask For.

She derides he is eloquence over substance, so he delivers an extra-long speech which is nothing but issue specific, and he knocks her off the air with it!

Win-Win.

As for the clown that thinks Chris Matthews had a good night, you HAVE to be a Clintonista to misread the event that badly.

The best part of the Matthews flameout was not Keith Olbermann having to remind Matthews that he was not on "Hardball" but was doing election returns, and Matthews being visibly shocked at the reminder.

It was Keith asking Matthews, the supposed political insider, to name one legislative accomplishment by ANY Senator over the past seven years, and Matthews couldn't come up with one!

The derisive laughter from the off-camera crew spoke volumes at Matthews' comeuppance.

*LOL* Matthews, you just got served!

In that Matthews has interviewed a hundred Clinton surrogates on MSNBC and never asked ONE what this supposed "35 years of service" has amounted to, or asked one to name a single piece of legislation that bears the name of this most "experienced" Senator, it's about time Matthews started playing "Fairball" with his invited guests.

Otherwise, Keith may have to slap him around some more. :-

Posted by: BushCrimeFamily | February 20, 2008 2:23 PM | Report abuse

Check out "Ready on Day One?" http://savagepolitics.com and "Barack Obama's Apostasy" http://savagepolitics.com/?p=101.

Brilliant analysis!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: elsylee28 | February 20, 2008 2:21 PM | Report abuse

On campaign funding limits: Obama's suggestion that the candidates pledge to halt their supporters cheating to run attack ads is an excellent one. But we know that John (100 years in Iraq) McCain won't agree to it. In 2004 McCain was cowardly in his refusal to condemn the swift boat attacks on fellow veteran John Kerry. McCain will silently assent to similar swift boating of Obama this year, you can bet on it.

McCain -- with his craven flip-flopping on torture and on immigration -- is a centerpiece of the old politics that we are trying to sweep out of Washington, along with the poisonous Bush administration.

Posted by: dee5 | February 20, 2008 2:21 PM | Report abuse

What had he done? He went to Princeton, then Harvard Law.

Join the very large group of us that have gotten ourselves an education, Obama.

An AUTOBIOGRAPHY? Ha ha ha.

Posted by: USMC_Mike | February 20, 2008 2:18 PM | Report abuse

I subscribe to both campaigns as I haven't made up my mind. The letter to Hillary's internet supporters today said she was outspent 4-1 on TV in Wisconsin and she needs anything we can spare "even $5" to beat Obama in Texas.

With proportional awards of delegates, no one will get the 2,000-plus needed to win until the majority of super-delegates make their wishes know. If they are smart, and have a sense of political gamesmanship, they will not make any decision before the convention.

Why? Because with no decision made, the Democratic convention will be the highest rated convention in years. It will easily outrate the Republicans, who will have the usual ho-hum scripted convention we have been used to.

I don't see a Democratic convention that starts with no decision as a debacle. I see it as great showmanship. It will be a spirited debate on issues that matter to Americans. And there will be a great kiss and make up no matter if Ombama or Clinton comes out on top because, it is our year, dammit, and the smart people in the Obama and Clinton camps will not want to mess that up!

Posted by: AlaninMissoula | February 20, 2008 2:17 PM | Report abuse

Anyone who thinks McCain has a chance over Obama must have really failed their math at school. And it's not really math - it's just a case of recognising one number (Obama's votes) to be a lot bigger than another (McCain's). Now, I was a bit worried after McCain's speech that he was going to have an accident on those steps and then when he was bizarrely hoisted up by some of his 'friends' -what was that about? Where are the secret service guys for him? And the way he tries to make how he's really passionate by banging his hands on the lectern - so sad. And after saying Obama was promising a holiday from history, McCain said he would take 'everyone to the moon to fight extremists because that's what I believe in'! Crazy fool.

Posted by: rupertornelius | February 20, 2008 2:17 PM | Report abuse

Neither speeches were "victory speeches." Rather, they were campaign rallys that were timed to happen at the time of the results, so they were both just giving their usual stump speech.

Posted by: sweetemotion131 | February 20, 2008 2:16 PM | Report abuse

Mark Salter is a winner???

Every pundit last night noted that McCain was just killed by the contrast of speeches, especially when the networks cut from McCain to Obama.

They wondered why he relied on a front-center teleprompter as opposed to opposing sides prompters.

They wondered how he would ever compete with Obama when his readings are such an exercise in flat-lining, the words hardly matter, as the result is insomnia-curing.

They wondered why he was relying on the same themes for his speech that have proven so ineffective when tried by Clinton.

The only good thing said all night that he had the sense to stand in front of banner that was embossed 500 times with his name, as opposed to the old white guy wax museum tableau that he previously stood in front of, that David Letterman rightfully described as looking like the membership of a restricted country club.

Posted by: filmex | February 20, 2008 2:14 PM | Report abuse

"Obama started writing his autobiography when he was what, 28, and just out of law school?
Now that's audacity.
What a self-centered, spoiled, ivy-league brat.
McCain spent 5 years being tortured and didn't think to write about it until 1999 (4 years after young Obama's book went to print).
I guess the "me me me me me" liberal mentality is held near and dear to B. Hussein's heart.
"an empty call for change that promises no more than a holiday from history"
HA!"

=====================

My, my. Where does one start?

How DARE that 24-year old brat write a book at age 24? Who does he think he is? He's just like that other self-centered spoiled brat, Winston Churchill!! (without the money of course..or the connections..or the..well, you know).

And G-damn! How dare he be born too late for the Vietnam War and his chance to be tortured...That's what I call bone-lazy!!

I hate those gifted people who make the most of their lives and don't sit around and feel guilty because they weren't lucky to live the life someone else lived.

Damn them!!!

Why don't they stifle themselves!

Maybe then they'd be as bitter and negative and ignorant and self-pitying as I am!

Yes. Me. Me, me, me, me, me, me!

Posted by: wpost4112 | February 20, 2008 2:12 PM | Report abuse

claudia- I still have March 5 for Sen Clinton's withdrawl from the race.

Posted by: bsimon | February 20, 2008 2:09 PM | Report abuse

" the limiting of issue groups is way outside the control of the candidates. BHO's revised pledge is ephemeral."

Yes, but its nothing that we don't already expect of McCain. Sen Obama merely proposes the candidates "refus[e] fundraising help to outside groups" and discourage supporters from cheating. Its a pledge to use the bully pulpit to discourage 'swift boaters' acting on either candidate's behalf.

Posted by: bsimon | February 20, 2008 2:06 PM | Report abuse

mark, I think it was a hard year for a D in the Congress during the Iraq vote, the Patriot Act, etc. to do well in the primary.

Personally, while I respect Biden on foreign policy, his support on the bankruptcy bill turns me off.

Posted by: rpy1 | February 20, 2008 2:06 PM | Report abuse

Mark Salter won't be much help in the debates. Unless they use that secret wireless prompter Bush-occio uses.

Nevertheless McC got off some good lines last night. But we all know the danger of relying upon "just words."

Kudos to Bambam for going sans-teleprompter. Good practice.

Thursday's debate will be more important than expectations admit.

Hillary, we hardly knew ye.

Posted by: wpost4112 | February 20, 2008 2:05 PM | Report abuse

"On the other hand (no pun intended), Obama has written two of his own books "

Obama started writing his autobiography when he was what, 28, and just out of law school?

Now that's audacity.

What a self-centered, spoiled, ivy-league brat.

McCain spent 5 years being tortured and didn't think to write about it until 1999 (4 years after young Obama's book went to print).

I guess the "me me me me me" liberal mentality is held near and dear to B. Hussein's heart.

"an empty call for change that promises no more than a holiday from history"

HA!

Posted by: USMC_Mike | February 20, 2008 2:02 PM | Report abuse

"Oh yeah, why was it you Ds did not like Biden?
I mean, really, why?"

===========================

Hair plugs. Really.

Posted by: wpost4112 | February 20, 2008 2:00 PM | Report abuse

Mark Salter is the next Karl Rove. Remember his name because he's going to be a key element in this fall's smear game. After all, he's got his hand up McCain's...and you can't even see Mark's mouth move!

On the other hand (no pun intended), Obama has written two of his own books and while he does get help with his speeches (everyone does to some extent) it's nice to know he can come up with his own original thoughts when he needs to.

Posted by: thecrisis | February 20, 2008 1:57 PM | Report abuse

"The fight between Hillary and Obama for the nomination is reminiscent of the Gore/Bush fight."
=========================

In what universe?

Bush was/is dumb, paranoid, insecure, delusional (God wants me to be President) and plays mean and dirty.

Al was dull as dirt and had the political reflexes of a demented sloth.

Both were silver-spoon spoiled brats with a chip on their shoulder.

Barack/McCain couldn't be any more different.

At least in this universe.

Posted by: wpost4112 | February 20, 2008 1:57 PM | Report abuse

bsimon, as judge has noted, the limiting of issue groups is way outside the control of the candidates. BHO's revised pledge is ephemeral.

You think BHO can stop KOS from just going bananas? And Bob Perry will not care if McC tells him to play nice.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | February 20, 2008 1:56 PM | Report abuse

"I thought BHO's speech was better than McC's, too"

I disagree.

BHO's went on and on and on. We finally turned it off, mid-speech, and went to bed.

I thought it was funny that they cut HRC off though.

I have extremely low expectations when Mac speaks - and he surpassed them last night. Teleprompters do wonders.

Posted by: USMC_Mike | February 20, 2008 1:54 PM | Report abuse

Oh yeah, why was it you Ds did not like Biden?

I mean, really, why?

Posted by: mark_in_austin | February 20, 2008 1:52 PM | Report abuse

rpy1, thanks for the link.

Presumptive Dem nominee Barack Obama writes
"I propose a meaningful agreement in good faith that results in real spending limits. The candidates will have to commit to discouraging cheating by their supporters; to refusing fundraising help to outside groups; and to limiting their own parties to legal forms of involvement. And the agreement may have to address the amounts that Senator McCain, the presumptive nominee of his party, will spend for the general election while the Democratic primary contest continues."

It seems he has, again, stolen some wind from the opposition's sails. proudtobeGOP, I'm lookin' at you.

Posted by: bsimon | February 20, 2008 1:52 PM | Report abuse

Well, Bambam just picked up the endorsement from Teamsters. Suppose that will help in Ohio.

Posted by: wpost4112 | February 20, 2008 1:51 PM | Report abuse

Good point, Marty. I thought BHO's speech was better than McC's, too. And I am not "biased" to think that - BHO is a superior speaker, and the Houston Chronicle says he worked without teleprompter last night, which means he is getting better at it. Proud, take note of that last.

We all knew the F86 was better than the MIG 15 b/c of our killl ratio in Korea - til we captured one, and Yeager demonstrated that no F86 pilot could take him in the MIG.

BHO makes any speech sound better.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | February 20, 2008 1:50 PM | Report abuse

"! heard Pat Buchanan, a speech writer also praise McCain's totally boring speech."

-------------------

A lovely man, but Pat's idea of exciting is folding kleenex on a Friday night watching McLaughlin Group reruns. Wouldn't pay it much mind.

I suspect Chris is just jaded. Besides, it's his birthday and we are more forgiving on birthdays.

Posted by: wpost4112 | February 20, 2008 1:49 PM | Report abuse

claudia writes
"so democrats together got almost 3 times more votes than combined republican tally. so who do you think is better placed to win? we've seen results like this in almost every state."

bsimon, in the prediction thread, said "record low turnout for the GOP bodes poorly for that party in Nov." Perhaps he has finally won a coveted Fix T-shirt.

Posted by: bsimon | February 20, 2008 1:48 PM | Report abuse

Thought folks might be interested in the response from Obama regarding the pledge in USA Today:

http://blogs.usatoday.com/oped/2008/02/opposing-view-3.html

Seems like he's still up for the pledge as long as something is agreed to regarding the 527s.

Thoughts?

Posted by: rpy1 | February 20, 2008 1:48 PM | Report abuse

Chris Cillizza:

1. It's difficult to say that the illegal immigration issue itself is "losing its potency" because the MSM is too corrupt to report everything involved in the issue. For instance, various WaPo reporters constantly lie and mislead about the issue (example: http://lonewacko.com/blog/archives/007442.html ), CNN asked wimpy questions in their "debates" (example: http://youtube.com/watch?v=wm0uWz2BS9M ) and allowed the candidates to mislead, and so forth.

2. Polls about this issue are extremely suspect because the questions are usually worded in such a way as to get a desired outcome. And, no polls mention all the downsides of things like a "path".

Maybe the WaPo could lead the charge to having an honest debate about this issue.

(P.S. I'm just kidding about the last bit. Everyone knows the WaPo is too corrupt to do real reporting about this.)

Posted by: LonewackoDotCom | February 20, 2008 1:46 PM | Report abuse

The honest, simple answer I wish an Obama surrogate would give is that if this election were about shiny accomplishments in the legislative trophy case, it would be Dodd and Biden slugging it out now for the nomination.

Voters want change. Obama is the least tainted by Washington insider-ism of the lot, and that's one big reason why he's where he is now.

Posted by: novamatt | February 20, 2008 1:46 PM | Report abuse

Old Boring Reliable Know-it-all Al Gore vs. hip, youg, shiny new George Bush II ' I'm a uniter not a divider'
The fight between Hillary and Obama for the nomination is reminiscent of the Gore/Bush fight. America as a whole favors the young, shiny new things. Look at Hollywood. We elected someone who did not have foreign affair experience, and we were surprised at what happened in Iraq? We elected someone who said 'I'm a UNITER not a divider' and we're surprised he limited our scientists ability to research stem cells? I have to admit I was leaning towards Obama, the idea of a black man being our president was almost too much for me to resist, until I heard Hillary went up to give a thank you speech. She calmly stated what she can do for me and my family, and how she's going to do it. What she can do for the economy and how she's going to get us there, and then Obama admitted in a debate that he's a delegator, and that was the end of my love affair with the young, hip, cute candidate from Illinois. 
This country of ours let emotions rule our day to day lives, it's unfortunate but true

Posted by: kb_jax | February 20, 2008 1:46 PM | Report abuse

In reading your discussion of McCain's speech vis-a-vis Obama, I was perplexed. To me, the gulf between the two is huge, but in the opposite direction. I heard Pat Buchanan, a speech writer also praise McCain's totally boring speech. In reading other comments here, a possible explanation hit me. Perhaps, you have McCain's speech in written form, and you perceive the speech from the viewpoint of having read the written word. Somehow, the Kennedy-Nixon debate comes to mind. Purportedly, those who heard the debate on the radio believed that Nixon won, while those watching the debate saw an entirely different result. Given the election result in 1960, it was clear that the television had replaced the radio as the means of mass communication in this country. Now we are further down the video highway with not just television, but YouTube et al., and the substantive zingers that you perceive in the written word matter much less than video imagery of the delivery of a speech. Of course, this elevates style to a higher plane; but, that is what the history of moviemaking is all about (theater as well). And, last night Obama's speech was the winner and McCain's was the loser. I think you make the same mistaken that Clinton has made in believing that Obama's success is merely about words and speeches. You could have had Obama deliver McCain's speech last night and McCain deliver Obama's, and Obama would still have won. Obama is not so much about words and speeches, but about inspiration and hope. To those who don't get it and aren't inspired, it looks like his supporters are in a cult of the personality, but isn't that like arguing about whether the glass is half-empty or half-full? Good leaders have the ability to inspire. Those who don't have that ability, but who want to lead, spend their time trying to denigrate ability to inspire.

Posted by: martymcclain | February 20, 2008 1:43 PM | Report abuse

*********************
Losers: US Rep Tammy Baldwin (D) - along with the Lt Gov, she was always mentioned as the states big Clinton supporter. Dane county went 68 - 31 for Obama. While it's not going to cost Rep Baldwin her seat, it's not exactly a great move to be that far behind your constituents.
*********************

Good call, caribis! I think that Rep Baldwin is safe in her seat, but hope she will reconsider her superdelegate vote.

Posted by: rpy1 | February 20, 2008 1:36 PM | Report abuse

Winners:

1. Barack. Nuff said.

2. Bloggers on NYT who defended Michelle's "pride" remark.

3. Obama Cheeseheads.

4. Howard Fineman who is the finest, most impartial and most lucid commentator/journalist on television.

5. as always, the American people.


Sore loser: Hillary

Losers:

1. Texas State Senator Kirk Watson
(and the Obama campaign if they sent him).

2. Greaseballer Chris Matthews for sadistically letting no.1 hang out to dry and for never putting the same question to Hillary's supporter.

3. Howard Wolfson for his failed plagiarism-gate.

4. Maggie Wiliams for bringing no good change to Hillary's campaign.

5. All those who doubted Wisconsin, including me.

6. Cindy McCain, the ex drug-addict bleach blonde heiress, for the cheap shot at Michelle Obama.

7. Tim Russert for the bad hair dye.

Posted by: wpost4112 | February 20, 2008 1:35 PM | Report abuse

But I could list ten of McC's accomplishments without even spending 20 min. at Thomas.

If McC touts "experience" he will be perceived as "old".

If he touts "accomplishments" he may be perceived as relevant.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | February 20, 2008 1:32 PM | Report abuse

In all fairness to the Texas politician that was embarrassed by Chris Matthews last night.

It should be noted that seconds after the interview ended, Keith Olbermann asked Chris Matthews if Chris could name one legislative accomplishment that HilLIARy Clinton had achieved.

Chris responded with the SAME stone faced look as the Texas politician, and then he responded with some weird and unintelligible retort that included the statement "well this is Hardball."

MSNBC and others are not showing this part of the now infamous interview. The full interview was VERY interesting and embarrassing for BOTH parties.

Posted by: valskeet | February 20, 2008 1:31 PM | Report abuse

valskeet - Poor Chris!

He could find HRC's few accomplishments on Thomas within 20 minutes. Too bad he was not prepared for the question.

Poor Chris.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | February 20, 2008 1:30 PM | Report abuse

In all fairness to the Texas politician that was embarrassed by Chris Matthews last night.

It should be noted that seconds after the interview ended, Keith Olbermann asked Chris Matthews if Chris could name one legislative accomplishment that HilLIARy Clinton had achieved.

Chris responded with the SAME stone faced look as the Texas politician, and then he responded with some weird and unintelligible retort that included the statement "well this is Hardball."

MSNBC and others are not showing this part of the now infamous interview. The full interview was VERY interesting and embarrassing for BOTH parties.

Posted by: valskeet | February 20, 2008 1:25 PM | Report abuse


Poor Kirk!
I suppose that's what comes of being unprepared.
Not gonna help Watson back in Austin. He was a supporter of JRE who just switched last week. Nobody ever should have let him into the building.
Of course, BHO supporters can name a few accomplishments - the Thomas source allows for the research to be done in 20 minutes.
Poor Kirk.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | February 20, 2008 1:24 PM | Report abuse

In wisconsiin, [open primary]

obama got 645,954 votes
clinton got 452,757 votes
mccain got 224,209 vote
huckabee got 151,181

so democrats together got almost 3 times more votes than combined republican tally. so who do you think is better placed to win? we've seen results like this in almost every state.

Posted by: drindl | February 20, 2008 1:20 PM | Report abuse

Losers: US Rep Tammy Baldwin (D) - along with the Lt Gov, she was always mentioned as the states big Clinton supporter. Dane county went 68 - 31 for Obama. While it's not going to cost Rep Baldwin her seat, it's not exactly a great move to be that far behind your constituents.

Posted by: caribis | February 20, 2008 1:17 PM | Report abuse

Obama's speech shouldn't be in the losing column, IMO. The media (which seem to be Clinton surrogates lately) have been hounding Obama for weeks to give them more substance, even though his website offers untold pages of policy positions. So Obama started giving substance in his speeches (as well as a policy briefing) for the past two weeks. So now conveying substance in his speeches puts him in the losing column? Puh-leeze.

Clinton's negative attacks--and hopefully McCain's--may backfire. Negative attacks put both Clinton and McCain squarely in the "politics as usual" column that Obama has been hammering; voters seem to be rejecting "politics as usual." Also,Obama is tremendously popular, and voters don't seem to be taking kindly to spurious attacks against him.

Posted by: Seneca7 | February 20, 2008 1:17 PM | Report abuse

Loser: John (100 years in Iraq) McCain's speech last night was a long snarling attack, overblown in its paranoia, and signalled a fundamentally unbalanced view of the world and of his potential opponent for the presidency. It was also downright creepy in the disconnect between delivery and content.

Loser: Hillary Clinton' tired and ungracious speech catured exactly why she is not going to prevail.

Winner: Barack Obama's speech was detailed, eloquent, captivating, and profound. He spoke for 40 minutes without notes or teleprompter and never faltered or uttered a confused idea or incomplete sentance.

Our problem is that we have been exposed to too much of Bush's inarticulateness and inept leadership over the past seven years. We are only now beginning to understand what greatness can look like.

Posted by: dee5 | February 20, 2008 1:13 PM | Report abuse

Texas State Senator Kirk Watson, speaking with Chris Matthews on behalf of Obama, was a big loser. Did you see Matthews humiliate Watson? Ouch!

In his New York magazine article this week, John Heilemann expertly explains the media's double standard in its coverage of Clinton and Obama:

"The implications of Obama's and Clinton's respective meta-narratives for their press coverage have been profound. For Clinton, the inability to change the story line meant that any vaguely negative maneuver was interpreted in the darkest possible light, for it reinforced a preexisting supposition. For Obama, however, any criticism could be fended off as a manifestation of grubby old politics. And any act he committed that could be perceived as nefarious created cognitive dissonance...a prime example is the case of Tony Rezko, the now-indicted Chicago fixer and slumlord to whom Obama has been linked for many years. 'There was no way for the press to believe it wasn't true--because, you know, it looks like people are going to jail...so instead the press dismisses the story as an aberration.'

"The trouble for Obama is that the Republicans aren't terribly likely to let that dismissal stand--nor the polite avoidance of discussing his controversial minister, his wayward youth, or, indeed, his blackness itself. Again and again, as Clinton often points out, the GOP has proved painfully adept at taking compelling, carefully honed meta-narratives and blowing them to pieces. In ways too numerous to mention, Obama has been toughened up by the primary process. But no matter what his handlers say, the notion that he's been subjected to the most withering press scrutiny imaginable is--how to put this?--a fairy tale. His success has turned in no small part on his skill at avoiding such flyspecking, and on his rival's inability to muster the same kind of dexterity. If Obama winds up facing John McCain, a man whose meta-narrative is spun from pure gold, he is unlikely to be so fortunate again."

Posted by: harlemboy | February 20, 2008 1:11 PM | Report abuse

danram writes
"Sure, we want to chase down and kill terrorist leaders who are hiding in the lawless regions of Western Pakistan, but you DON'T come out and openly say that!"

Ok. So, when it was front-page news that a CIA-operated Predator took out a high-level terrorist in Pakistan, do you STILL say "oh, of course we'd never ignore your sovereignty and operate within your borders"?

Posted by: bsimon | February 20, 2008 1:11 PM | Report abuse

I disagree completely about McCain and Obama's speeches. They only serve to highligh how one candidate is the future and one is an old and tired relic of the past.

Posted by: havok26 | February 20, 2008 1:07 PM | Report abuse

Obama is the real thing, and we're lucky he came along. Give him time, and be patient. He'll deliver.

Posted by: ronimacz | February 20, 2008 1:06 PM | Report abuse

"Who in the world was that idiot on Chris Matthews last night?!!"

Ummm .... That would be Chris Matthews. ;-)

And ClaudiaLong, Obama's statement regarding pursuing terrorists into Pakistan is a prime example of why he would be out of his league when it comes to defense and foreign policy. Sure, we want to chase down and kill terrorist leaders who are hiding in the lawless regions of Western Pakistan, but you DON'T come out and openly say that! That's a slap in the face to ther Pakistanis because it implies that they can't take care of the problem themselves (which they can't, but they don't want to admit that) and it also implies that we have no respect for their territorial soverignty. John McCain would never make such a mistake. He knows better.

Posted by: danram | February 20, 2008 1:03 PM | Report abuse

Obama's speech was purposely different last night, much more aimed at discussing issues (in the mention-all hyperblip modus operandi of all the usual candidates). Far too long, yes, but we cannot continue to criticize the supposed lack of specifics, Chris, then complain when he's not soaring on a higher plane. The speech, in my view, was effective, weighty, and, I'll say it again, too long. But he needs to habitate the specifics plane for a bit.

As for McCain's speech, I have to disagree with your props for Salter. I don't see either of these phrases - "an empty call for change that promises no more than a holiday from history" and "the confused leadership of an inexperienced candidate" - as holding all that much weight. At best you're overestimating how much of a successful blueprint these words portend. Why? Well, they are merely regurgitated stereotypes that are easy to say but not really backed up by the breadth of the Obama campaign.

"An empty call" is hard to sustain when the candidate spends 40 minutes talking about real things that he hopes to do (and he has been spending more and more time lately hammering home specific proposals as opposed to the generic change/etc/change argument of his earlier speeches).

Further, the" holiday from history" part may sound nice, but it in itself is essentially empty words and a vast misconception of the Obama argument towards a politics of the future as opposed to an orientation towards the past.

Equally, the vast organizational success of the Obama campaign to this point argues rather convincingly that he is far from "confused." This is a man who came up with a blueprint for how to overcome a more well-known candidate and then executed it to perfection.

What remains I think of all those words is the question of experience, and it's ultimately a debatable question. An argument was made when discussing our current president's inexperience that the quality of the team around him would not interfere with his basic political vision. While that alone might argue towards a healthy wariness of yet another "Inexperienced" candidate, I always felt that it was W's lack of intellectual curiosity that ultimately drew red flags. I would hope we all agree at this point that Obama has a healthy, roaming intellect, which at least theoretically argues that a polished, experienced team of advisors should make up for any latent greenness. Sure, McCain's best argument is experience, but that has not always been a big issue for the American public.

Anyway, like the rather hollow attempt to make Obama's decision not to debate an issue (after 18 previous debates), I honestly think Salter's words are going to prove too thin by autumn. They will already be seen afar from Obama's rearview mirror.

And you'll also note, the only "Yes we can" was foisted on him from the audience (he said it once). All in all, Obama opened out a little bit and made one think about what he'd do on day one, which in itself is a nice development.

Posted by: fallingissa | February 20, 2008 1:02 PM | Report abuse

on vp's

while surfing around, i picked up this rumor of potental running mates on McCain. i thought it was interesting and figured i put that list out to all the posters in here.

Jodi Rell(governor CT)
Tim Pawenty(governor MN-you might wanna comment on this bsimon)
Steve Forbes(millionare and past presidental canidate)

and thats the short list. if anything he's better off in picking mike huckabee for the general election.

Posted by: jaymills1124 | February 20, 2008 12:59 PM | Report abuse

Chris,

I was actually remarking during McCain's speech that Salter wasn't doing him any favors. McCain can't string together those long, compound assertions very effectively. Blunt, succinct sentences would serve him better.

Posted by: Kipc9 | February 20, 2008 12:59 PM | Report abuse

I liked Obama's speech. He did what he needed to do: veer away from "Obamamania," which was beginning to get a bad name (undeserved), and into the wonky world of the Beltway. It's time for Obama to bring 'em all over his side.

Obama needed to add some substance just to shut the Clintonistas up and show that he does have thought-out point-by-point policies -- and that his policies go toe-to-toe w/ Clintons. He did just that.

And, he left in some hope and inspiration in there as well. A winning recipe.

Happy Birthday!

Posted by: VoiceofReason5 | February 20, 2008 12:58 PM | Report abuse

Who in the world was that idiot on Chris Matthews last night?!!

The Obama campaign should vet every supporter that they plan to use as a surrogate on the political shows to be sure they are *real* supporters. That incident looked like a setup to give credence to the notion that people are blindly following Obama based on emotional fanaticism, not substance.

I think nothing could be further from the truth. You only have to compare the blogs of both candidates to see where the more thoughtful and discerning supporters are. They are on Obama's side.

This whole "Messiah" spiel is making me very ill :@ ... The man has plenty of substance. He's running an awesome campaign for a so-called inexperienced newbie and his legislative record speaks for itself. Anyone who takes the time to do a little research will be able to see that.

Geez! Leave the clowns at home!

Posted by: SistaPolitica | February 20, 2008 12:55 PM | Report abuse

Hillary was the big loser last night. She is now showing she has no class whatsoever. She needs to quit tonight, welcome the will of the voters, and begin to campaign against McCain for Obama.

George W Bush -- WORST PRESIDENT EVER -- will go down in history, and his entire extended family will roll in perpetuity in their graves because of this -- as the man who was so bad we were ready, no make that eager, to elect a black man president.

Yo, yo, yo, Barbara Bush, how's that homey?

Posted by: queenskid | February 20, 2008 12:55 PM | Report abuse

Here's this morning's editorial from the Madison Wiscinsin paper -

It's confirmation of Chris's point of view.

How Obama won state
An editorial -- 2/20/2008 9:27 am

Barack Obama claimed his victory in Tuesday's Wisconsin Democratic presidential primary in Houston, Texas, but the Illinois senator was still marveling at this state's "enormous civic pride."

"You know, in Wisconsin when you go to vote it's five degrees outside," Obama told 20,000 cheering supporters in the next state he must win. "But that has not deterred people from Milwaukee to Green Bay to Eau Claire, all across that state, from casting their ballot and exercising their civic duty."

Obama knows of what he speaks.

He may be from Illinois, but Obama "got" Wisconsin.

That's the answer to the question: How did this relative newcomer to national politics win so dramatically over Hillary Clinton, a woman who has campaigned in Wisconsin steadily over the past two decades?

Obama came.

He listened.

He responded.

After the Illinois senator swept the Feb. 12 "Potomac primary" in Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia, he started his Wisconsin campaign that Tuesday night in Madison.

Obama remained in Wisconsin for most of the next week, campaigning in just about every corner of the state on a grueling schedule that had him up early and to bed late.

But it was not just hard work that won Wisconsin.

It was smart work.

And the way to be smart in presidential primary politics is to pay attention to what is being said by the people who know the state you want to win.

Obama did exactly that.

A little over a week ago, in an interview with The Capital Times, U.S. Sen. Russ Feingold, D-Wis., said that a candidate who wants to win Wisconsin should go to Janesville, tour the General Motors assembly plant there, listen to workers who are worried about losing their jobs, and talk about how he or she plans to change trade policies that are offshoring U.S. industries and jobs.

On the morning after his Tuesday rally in Madison, Obama went to Janesville, toured the General Motors assembly plant there, listened to workers who are worried about losing their jobs, and talked about how he plans to change trade policies that are offshoring U.S. industries and jobs.

What Obama said was not perfect. It was not as strong as what Feingold is saying, for instance.

But there was no question that this evolutionary candidate was trying.

In contrast, Hillary Clinton neglected Wisconsin. She did not campaign as hard or as thoroughly here. And she certainly did not campaign as smart.

Democrats who are still considering which candidate to nominate for the presidency should pay attention to what happened in Wisconsin. And they should recognize what Wisconsinites did: Barack Obama is doing what it takes to win.

Posted by: gandalfthegrey | February 20, 2008 12:55 PM | Report abuse

Much agreed on keeping Doyle off the VP list. I am a native badger and ol' Diamond Jim has more than enough corruption scandals to sink Obama's chances. I voted for Obama despite Doyle's endorsement. I remain shocked at the low level of support for McCain last night. Huckabee represents just about everything a native Wisconsinite loathes, yet he pulled more than acceptable numbers here. Makes me think that McCain's chances are somewhere between slim and none in the general election. Loved seeing everyone's predictions yesterday.

Posted by: jmackesey | February 20, 2008 12:50 PM | Report abuse

I liked Obama's speech. True, it wasn't the ringing oratory, but I'm not really moved by ringing oratory. It had a lot of the specifics, the nitty-gritty details, that I've been waiting to hear from him. I found myself applauding a couple times as I listened, and that's never happened for one of his speeches before.

Posted by: jnfr | February 20, 2008 12:48 PM | Report abuse

claudia, sounds like we agree on this. It's a very big industry at this point, and there isn't a heck of a lot in place to oversee what's happening.

Posted by: rpy1 | February 20, 2008 12:44 PM | Report abuse

It seems like very bad form that Clinton repeatedly fails to congratulate Obama on his victories. Why on earth does she believe doing so would not be in her interest - as one has to surmise after her doing so time after time?

Anyway, I hope this resounding defeat will make her understand that she's doing her party and herself no favours by going negative against the Democrats' almost assured nominee. I trust this party-damaging behaviour will cost her further sympathies among superdelegates.

Lets face it. She's basically tried everything to take Obama down. It hasn't worked.

I think she ought to fight a constructive campaign until March 4th and then graciously bow out. People need to know when it's time to quit.

Posted by: charlesf | February 20, 2008 12:44 PM | Report abuse

Why is no one mentioning that the biggest loser of the night is Hillary Clinton?

She came into this contest with a situation in which she had to stem Obama's momentum. As of yesterday, the polls had her losing Wisconsin by 5 percentage points. She was close to winning it.

In the end, she lost by 17 percentage points. That's a HUGE loss. It shows that even when she is close, she still doesn't have a prayer of pulling it out.

If she truly believes that she can pull some delegate miracles out of this, she is nuts. She needs to cease her campaign and let the Democratic party coalesce around Obama. That way we can stem McCain before he gets any momentum.

Posted by: bwvr | February 20, 2008 12:44 PM | Report abuse

CC-seriously tho, did you even watch obama's speech last night? compare it to McCain's speech and its practially night and day!

the real winners and losers?

Winners!
Obama: 10-0 and heading into the tuesday 2-step primaries with a full head of steam.

Voter Turnout: 1.1 Million Dem voters over barely over 400k Gop.

Losers!
Team Clinton: looks like team billary is blasting off again!

McCain:sure he won last night but is he going to break 53% any time soon? also, he looks ancient compared to obama? someone should ask him did he fight with davy crockett and sam houston at the alamo.

Mark Penn: Memo from Hillary, YOUR FIRED!

Posted by: jaymills1124 | February 20, 2008 12:41 PM | Report abuse

blert writes
"Immigration will only revive if McCain brings it back, and that would only seem likely if McCain is losing toward the end of summer and needs a wedge issue to resurrect his bid."

For the issue to work to McCain's benefit in such a circumstance, McCain would have to do the ole flippity flop, as his current position isn't particularly conducive to driving a wedge through the electorate.

Posted by: bsimon | February 20, 2008 12:40 PM | Report abuse

Have to give it to McCain. He loses nothing by going after Obama now. Some of us in California remember Gov. Gray Davis spending $11 to defeat LA mayor Richard Riordan . . . in the REPUBLICAN PRIMARY. The tactic worked, the winner of the primary was the much weaker Bill Simon who Davis routed (only to be recalled a year later).

If McCain flings the mud at Obama now, he may accomplish one of two things: 1) weakening the eventual nominee or 2) help convince gullible democrats that they should elect the "battle tested" HRC. The added benefit of #2 is oh yes, she already has 47% of the country against her and will motivate conservatives to go to the polls in November in a way his campaign can't otherwise accomplish!

Posted by: gahiii | February 20, 2008 12:39 PM | Report abuse

Chris:

You claim that Obama's speech was one of the losers of the night is wrong in my opinion. While his victory speeches have tended to be more of a rallying cry, that speech last night was something different. It was not just a victory speech but a campaign speech to a group of people who are not that familiar with him. He touched on his ideas for education, immigration, etc. as a way to let the people of Texas know where he stands. Campaign stump speeches tend to be longer than the normal victory acceptance speech. The speech was about 40 minutes long or so. What you failed to mention is that after Hillary spoke for 5 or six minutes on TV, she continued for another 20 minutes after they cut from her.

Posted by: dtsb | February 20, 2008 12:37 PM | Report abuse

The immigration issue will fade considerably through the election, especially with economic jitters looming. Unless McCain tries to pick up immigration as an issue against the Democrats, which seems unlikely, and perhaps to connect economic problems to immigration (housing bubble the fault of illegal immigrants? say what?!), immigration will fall to the wayside. The entire issue was largely constructed by conservative Republicans and the media as a wedge issue, and people when confronted with the issue generally express a negative opinion of illegal immigration, but very few people actually volunteer this as a leading concern in their lives without that prompting from politicians and the media.

In a lot of ways, immigration is like the anti-gay marriage initiatives of the last presidential election cycle, except that this time the issue didn't gain enough traction. Republicans settled for a candidate who isn't as harsh on immigration, and so the issue's relevance recedes as people talk about it less and less.

Immigration will only revive if McCain brings it back, and that would only seem likely if McCain is losing toward the end of summer and needs a wedge issue to resurrect his bid.

Posted by: blert | February 20, 2008 12:35 PM | Report abuse

Let's take a closer look at who's really qualified and or who's really working for the good of all of us in the Senate. Obama or Clinton.
Records of these two candidates should be scrutinized in order to make an informed decision.
Senator Clinton, who has served only one full term - 6yrs. - and another year campaigning, has managed to author and pass into law - 20 - twenty pieces of legislation in her first six years.
These bills can be found on the website of the Library of Congress www.thomas.loc.gov, but to save you trouble, I'll post them here for you.
1. Establish the Kate Mullany National Historic Site.
2. Support the goals and ideals of Better Hearing and Speech Month.
3. Recognize the Ellis Island Medal of Honor.
4. Name courthouse after Thurgood Marshall.
5. Name courthouse after James L. Watson.
6. Name post office after Jonn A. O'Shea.
7. Designate Aug. 7, 2003, as National Purple Heart Recognition Day.
8. Support the goals and ideals of National Purple Heart Recognition Day.
9. Honor the life and legacy of Alexander Hamilton on the bicentennial of his death.
10. Congratulate the Syracuse Univ. Orange Men's Lacrosse Team on winning the championship.
11. Congratulate the Le Moyne College Dolphins Men's Lacrosse Team on winning the championship.
12. Establish the 225th Anniversary of the American Revolution Commemorative Program.
13. Name post office after Sergeant Riayan A. Tejeda.
14. Honor Shirley Chisholm for her service to the nation and express condolences on her death.
15. Honor John J. Downing, Brian Fahey, and Harry Ford, firefighters who lost their lives on duty. Only five of Clinton's bills are, more substantive. 16. Extend period of unemployment assistance to victims of 9/11.
17. Pay for city projects in response to 9/11 18. Assist landmine victims in other countries.
19. Assist family caregivers in accessing affordable respite care.
20. Designate part of the National Forest System in Puerto Rico as protected in the wilderness preservation system.

There you have it, the fact's straight from the Senate Record.

Now, I would post those of Obama's, but the list is too substantive, so I'll mainly categorize.
During the first - 8 - eight years of his elected service he sponsored over 820 bills. He introduced
233 regarding healthcare reform,
125 on poverty and public assistance,
112 crime fighting bills,
97 economic bills,
60 human rights and anti-discrimination bills,
21 ethics reform bills,
15 gun control,
6 veterans affairs and many others.

His first year in the U.S. Senate, he authored 152 bills and co-sponsored another 427. These inculded **the Coburn-Obama Government Transparency Act of 2006 - became law, **The Lugar-Obama Nuclear Non-proliferation and Conventional Weapons Threat Reduction Act, - became law, **The Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act, passed the Senate, **The 2007 Government Ethics Bill, - became law, **The Protection Against Excessive Executive Compensation Bill, In committee, and many more.

In all, since entering the U.S. Senate, Senator Obama has written 890 bills and co-sponsored another 1096.
An impressive record, for someone who supposedly has no record according to some who would prefer that this comparison not be made public.
He's not just a talker.
He's a doer.

Pass it on....It's impressive

Posted by: motiondo | February 20, 2008 12:33 PM | Report abuse

Obama's speech was too long and too unfocused. It seemed kind of freeform. McCain's though was too short and too focused. He was practically snarling, and I don't think he strayed more than a sentence or two from the theme that Obama isn't as juiced as he is about raining merciless death down on all who oppose us. USA!!! USA!!!

Also, the incongruity of McCain's macho bluster and his weird grin (and his robot wife's loving gaze flitting on him every 3.2 seconds) gives me the creeps. Has McCain's mental status been talked about much?

Posted by: novamatt | February 20, 2008 12:32 PM | Report abuse

I have a friend in getting ready to go back to Iraq, and he tells me that a good number of soldiers are given 3,500usd, which they are to use to help citizens.

It is used if a local person want to set up a business, and needs 500usd, they are given it. No reciept, no paper, nothing. Hand it out, make the locals feel like we are the good guys, and thats it.


When the soldiers need more pad money, they go back and get another 3,500usd.

My friend is not even close to a liar or fabricator.

Posted by: CitizenXX | February 20, 2008 12:32 PM | Report abuse

I listened to one of my first Obama speeches after he won Wisconsin. Hey, this guy is pretty good.

Posted by: DMcCall2 | February 20, 2008 12:31 PM | Report abuse

Doyle should *not* be anywhere near the VP list. He's not terrible, but there's no way that he belongs near that slot.

Posted by: rpy1 | February 20, 2008 12:30 PM | Report abuse

I'm sure the Obama ads showing McCain morphing into Bush are already finished.

If Obama can't successfully make the case that "Tired old man" plus "More of Bush" = someone who should not be president, then that's just sad.

Posted by: Spectator2 | February 20, 2008 12:29 PM | Report abuse

'My wife has done research in the area and had mentioned Obama's involvement in writing legislation for this to me.'

Then you know exactly how enormous the problem is, especially in Iraq, where there's scarcely any oversight --republican contractors get huge no-bid secret contracts for 'security projects' that turn out to be utter crap like comic books.

Imagine, millions of your taxpayer dollars went for propaganda comic books. Do you really think the Iraqi people are that stupid not to be able to see through that? Do you not think it insults their intelligence that the US can't afford/seem to help them get clean water or electricity, but can manage to produce COMIC BOOKS?

When the history of this is finally written, the Iraq occupation will be seen for what it is -- a massive modern Gold Rush. Only the US treasury is the gold.

Posted by: drindl | February 20, 2008 12:28 PM | Report abuse

When laws are broken, somebody's got to be punished. In the case of Cindy McCain, that somebody is Tom Golinski.
By Amy Silverman and Jeremy Voas
You're U.S. Senator John McCain, and you've got a big problem.
Your wife, Cindy, was addicted to prescription painkillers. She stole pills from a medical-aid charity she heads and she used the names of unsuspecting employees to get prescriptions.
The public is about to find out about it.
Until now, you've managed to keep it all quiet. When Tom Gosinski, a man your wife fired, sued for wrongful termination and threatened to expose the whole sordid story, you didn't hesitate to call in the big guns.
John Dowd, the attorney who got you out of your Keating Five mess, worked on getting your wife a sweetheart deal with federal prosecutors. He also made Gosinski's lawsuit go away.
He didn't stop there.
To help maintain your reputation and discredit your wife's accuser, Dowd called Maricopa County Attorney Richard Romley and complained that Gosinski was trying to extort money. Romley, your Republican ally, promptly launched an extortion investigation.


YOU DECIDE: http://www.freerepublic.com/forum/a389bc0cd788b.htm

Posted by: CitizenXX | February 20, 2008 12:28 PM | Report abuse

Some big news in the latest Reuters poll:
http://www.reuters.com/article/topNews/idUSN2032989820080220

The nationwide poll has Obama leading Clinton by 14 points, 52-38. But the general election polls are even more interesting. Obama beats McCain 47-40; Clinton loses to McCain 38-50. General election polls aren't too reliable right now, but a difference that big is definitely significant.

Posted by: Blarg | February 20, 2008 12:27 PM | Report abuse

"....McCain IS a tired old man -- and looks it."

Agreed, Spectator2. I posted a while ago that he sometimes looks like he just got up from his wheelchair. He's still got that spark, though. I give him a lot of credit for doing what he's doing at age 71 (I think). I hope I'm half that active at 71.

Posted by: judgeccrater | February 20, 2008 12:27 PM | Report abuse

Seems to me McCain really boxed himself in with his no new taxes pledge, given our ballooned again deficit and looming social security obligations, and his wanting to stay in Iraq for a long, long time and probably attack Iraq and probably escalate militarily in Afghanistan. If the assumption that the Dems hold Congress is correct, and he means what he says about taxes, that could be quite the train wreck.

Posted by: newageblues | February 20, 2008 12:26 PM | Report abuse

Obama should just hammer home the generation gap with McCain. Make McCain look like another Bob Dole, Poppy Bush tired old man. Shouldn't be that hard, since McCain IS a tired old man -- and looks it.

Posted by: Spectator2 | February 20, 2008 12:24 PM | Report abuse

Republican turnout has to be a continuing loser as well--presenting McCain with a real problem for the fall, along with far more robust Democratic fundraising. Here in WA, the Democratic primary didn't count for any delegates, while the Republicans used it to pick 51% of theirs. STILL, the Democratic turnout (with 57% of the votes in) was 519,000 to the GOP's 383,000. If I were running a Republican general election campaign this year, I'd be worried.

http://vote.wa.gov/elections/wei/Results.aspx?RaceID=0&ElectionID=0&RaceTypeCode=O

Posted by: jon.morgan.1999 | February 20, 2008 12:22 PM | Report abuse

"the Arizona senator delivered a ringing indictment of Obama."

Pshaw. Obama's speech had a lot more "ringing indictments" in it than Johnny Mac's. Eventually you'll actually have to listen to one of his speeches, CC.

Posted by: judgeccrater | February 20, 2008 12:22 PM | Report abuse

What was catastrophically confused, McCain, was going into Iraq to fight the terrorists of September 11. Shoulda listened to Obama.

Posted by: newageblues | February 20, 2008 12:21 PM | Report abuse

Sen Obama, like Sen McCain, is now the presumed nominee of his party.

Posted by: bsimon | February 20, 2008 12:19 PM | Report abuse

Big loser: McCain. In his race to embrace the Republican smear machine, he flat-out LIED about Obama's position on Pakistan. He will be hit hard to for this. The straight-talk express is no more.

And it was an anemic crowd he had as well. At least we wasn't flanked by retired senators this time.

Posted by: Nissl | February 20, 2008 12:19 PM | Report abuse

I add my Happy-Birthday wishes to the others.

I agree Obama's speech last night wasn't his best, but it was still pretty good. Could it be that he's feeling the sting of the "no substance" criticism, and that's why he ladled in so much policy talk?

I did like how he waited to see if HRC was going to congratulate him (or make any mention of Wisconsin), and when she didn't, and instead launched an attack on him, he sprinted onstage and the networks cut her off in mid-sentence. Brilliant!

On another subject, as I said in another post, I thought Matthews's attack on the Obama supporter was really over the top -- and a little bizarre, actually. He was probably trying to atone for saying HRC's career was derived from her husband, and then making that creepy remark about a "feeling going up his leg" from Obama's speeches. (He appears to have found the cure for whatever that was!)

Posted by: jac13 | February 20, 2008 12:18 PM | Report abuse

I'm not hugely impressed by oratory, however, I though Obama's speech last night was one of his best yet.

On the other hand, I didn't hear so much a "ring" in McCain's attacks, as rather a "thud". McCain has the luxury of having Hillary test-drive his anti-Obama attacks, but what does it profiteth him if the test driver runs off in the ditch? McCain will have to enlist someone much more charismatic to drive home the Republican attacks against Obama. But their big problem is the one that is frustrating Hillary, which is that very little sticks to Obama. Obama is looking increasingly teflon, while McCain has a lot of velcro potential.

Hillary's silver lining from last night seems to be that she is losing her base more slowly than she was last week. By my calculus, she will not totally run out of supporters until sometime in 2009. Her voter base is a lot like my 401(k) account.

Posted by: Stonecreek | February 20, 2008 12:17 PM | Report abuse

Illegal immigration may be finally, rightfully, losing currency; or it may also just fail to be a big issue in Wisconsin, an Upper Midwest state which has no foreign border but isn't far from threatening Thunder Bay, Ontario.

Posted by: jon.morgan.1999 | February 20, 2008 12:17 PM | Report abuse

The biggest loser in my estimation was John McCain. He is the ordained winner of the GOP nomination, yet he was unable to hit 50% in the Washington primary and not too much over 50% in the Wisconsin primary.

That shows me that many people in the party still have trouble supporting him. The vote in Washington shows it is not just the evangelical right who has trouble with him - Catcher's Mitt Romney got 20% of the vote. Evangelicals aren't as likely to support Romney as Huckabee.

In a sad note for Republicans in general, 1.1 million people voted in the Democratic race in Wisconsin, while barely 400,000 voted on the Republican side. Good sign showing whose people are excited and whose aren't.

Posted by: dlbiowa | February 20, 2008 12:11 PM | Report abuse

Oh, yeah, Chris, this should resonate -- and whip up the crowd: "an empty call for change that promises no more than a holiday from history" -- PU-LEEZ!

Posted by: lrb100 | February 20, 2008 12:09 PM | Report abuse

Happy Birthday, and look, you've given us a present - another thoughtful and interesting post to chew on.

Posted by: sxpatr | February 20, 2008 12:09 PM | Report abuse

Happy Birthday Chris.

Did you happen to see Chris Matthews Laying the smack down on one of Obama's supporters???

http://politicalbyline.blogspot.com/2008/02/obama-supporter-cannot-name-one-thing.html

Gold, Pure Classic Chris Matthews Gold.

Again, Happy Birthday Chris!

P.S. I envy you with the heat of one thousand suns. You've got my dream job. ;-P
Yeah, I'd like to be a Political/Opinion/Opinion writer myself.

Posted by: hardline | February 20, 2008 12:07 PM | Report abuse

Mac has a very good lines of attack on Obama that is for sure. Life story, work in the congress, working to unite across party lines, standing up vs. special interests and own party.

Iraq and Health care are Obamas best arguments but his Health care plan sucks (maybe Hillary will give him hers).

Obama is cooler at the moment but Mac is not a nerd deep down and did have a movement of sorts in 2000.

Either can win in 2008 which I would not have said 3 months ago.

Posted by: mul | February 20, 2008 12:05 PM | Report abuse

Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you, happy birthday, cfix, happy birthday to you.

Posted by: Retnep | February 20, 2008 12:02 PM | Report abuse

Happy Birthday!

Posted by: Strong24 | February 20, 2008 11:57 AM | Report abuse

Mark Salter has ghost written all McCain's books.

Why Barack would be better against terrorists...

"On the front page of Tuesday's Washington Post was an article detailing how in late January U.S. forces, acting with autonomy inside Pakistan, were able to target and kill Abu Laith al-Libi, a senior al-Qaeda commander.

The strike, which came without the Pakistani government's knowledge and helped eliminate an individual who had long eluded the spy-agency's capture, was an obvious boon in the War on Terror. But the political implications of the operation were just as fascinating.

In August, Sen. Barack Obama had made the argument that, as president, he would target Al Qaeda officials in Pakistan even without the country's acquiescence -- the type of attack that, six months later, proved to be successful.

At the time, Obama was roundly criticized for his remarks, both by his Democratic competitors for the White House and by the Bush administration.

"We think that our approach to Pakistan is not only one that respects the sovereignty of Pakistan, but also is designed so that we are working in cooperation," said then-Press Secretary Tony Snow."

Posted by: drindl | February 20, 2008 11:53 AM | Report abuse

I second the birthday wishes. Thanks for the great scoops and insight!

Posted by: hollinaj | February 20, 2008 11:53 AM | Report abuse

happy birthday, Fix!

Posted by: mada4u87 | February 20, 2008 11:49 AM | Report abuse

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