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For Clinton, What Defines a 'Win' on March 4?

Six days before Hillary Rodham Clinton puts her political future on the line in Ohio and Texas, one pressing question remains: What qualifies as a "win" next Tuesday?

Is a victory official only if Clinton claims victories over Barack Obama in both Ohio and Texas AND secures more delegates than the Illinois senator?

Is it a win if she narrowly carries the raw vote in both Ohio and Texas but loses the delegate race in Texas -- a unique possibility given the primary-caucus mix the state uses to allocate delegates?

What about if she splits the two states? Winning Ohio but losing Texas? Or vice versa?

Former president Bill Clinton made clear where he stands on the question last week during a speech in Beaumont, Texas. "If she wins Texas and Ohio I think she will be the nominee," the former president said. "If you don't deliver for her, I don't think she can be. It's all on you."

Is the former president right? Are Ohio and Texas must-wins? Seeking some guidance, The Fix spoke with a handful of top Democratic strategists who remain unaligned in the contest. Most spoke with their names attached (hooray!) while a few did not (boo!). Their responses generally fell into two different categories:

* Two Wins Plus: It's easy to forget amid the full-court coverage of Ohio and Texas that Vermont and Rhode Island also hold primaries on March 4. Clinton has generally run strong in the Northeast to date, and several party strategists said that she has to win at least one of the two New England states -- in addition to Ohio and Texas -- to keep her campaign viable.

"To declare victory, she needs to win both states and more delegates on March 4," said Steve Murphy, a former senior adviser to the presidential bid of New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson. "A win in Rhode Island would help too."

Doug Schoen, a former partner of Clinton pollster Mark Penn, echoed that sentiment. "My own sense is that she needs to win Rhode Island and Ohio certainly and convincingly," said Schoen. As for Texas, Schoen argued that Clinton "needs to win the popular vote by some margin, however small."

Given the fact that Clinton has lost ten straight contests to Obama, that she now trails by double digits in national polling and that she is being outspent on television almost everywhere by Obama, winning three out of four March 4 contests seems like a stretch. Of course, a victory in the New Hampshire primary last month also seemed far-fetched until it happened.

* Win the Big States Big: Forget Vermont and Rhode Island -- all that matters are the margins in Ohio and Texas.

This theory, espoused by the likes of former John Edwards campaign manager Joe Trippi, puts significant emphasis not just on Clinton winning in the big states but winning by wider-than-expected margins. "She has to win big," said Trippi, pointing out that because of Texas Democrats' arcane rules a small margin for Clinton likely means Obama will walk away from the state with more delegates. "She has to win big to prevent that," added Trippi. "Two narrow wins won't be enough."

Mark Mellman, a prominent Democratic pollster, said that while Clinton could certainly declare victory if she won both Ohio and Texas narrowly, it would be a hard case to make given the delegate reality. "At one level, if she wins both states she's a 'winner'," said Mellman. "But in reality, winning delegates is the coin of the realm and she's got to be closing that delegate gap in a meaningful way."

Speaking of that delegate gap, here's a reminder of where things stand. Obama has 1,370 delegates to Clinton's 1,274 delegates. At stake in Texas are 228 delegates -- 126 of which will be handed out proportionally based on the candidates' showings in the 31 state senate districts; another 67 will be doled out at a caucus/convention in early June. (Still don't get it? Check out this primer by the Lone Star Project). Ohio has 162 delegates at stake in its primary.

What's clear from our conversations is that the expectation among party poobahs is that Clinton needs -- at a minimum -- popular vote victories in Ohio and Texas to continue her campaign until the next big showdown in Pennsylvania in late April.

We couldn't find a single person who thought Clinton could/should go on if she split the raw vote with Obama in Ohio and Texas. "Right now it feels like air going out of a tire very slowly and you'd have to believe that they could not hold the superdelegates with a loss in either [state]," said one Democratic consultant granted anonymity to speak openly.

Not everyone was so down on Clinton's prospects. Nick Baldick, a senior party strategist and campaign manager for Edwards's 2004 race, said that if Clinton can manage to win Ohio and Texas, she would effectively overturn the expectations game played by the media -- a turnabout that would dramatically reshape the race and greatly increase her chances.

"Considering the expectations the press has set for her, if Senator Clinton wins both it will shock them and then the game is back on and everyone heads to Pennsylvania," said Baldick.

Six days and counting...

By Chris Cillizza  |  February 27, 2008; 8:11 AM ET
Categories:  Eye on 2008  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: First Thoughts on the Showdown in Cleveland
Next: Winners and Losers: The Democratic Debate

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Posted by: qvfyxmtwo jerxz | April 16, 2008 11:32 AM | Report abuse

As much as I love the fact that Obama has been able to maintain his delegate lead by NOT engaging in the divisive strategies that the Clinton campaign employed (to apparent success) in winning Texas, Ohio and Rhode Island, it's time to fight fire with fire. If she's willing to rip the party asunder and risk giving McCain a 3 month head start in fundraising and campaigning for the general election, then Obama has to be willing to do the same. I'm hopeful that while Obama is in Chicago for the next few days his campaign strategists convince him to:
A) Step up the calls to release the tax returns RIGHT AWAY - ridicule her for trying to make us believe that the Clintons don't have an accountant who can produce previous returns immediately.
B) Dig into and exploit: the scandals that the Clintons were involved in during Bill's administration, the legal troubles Hillary will soon be facing (as a defendant), and the strong ties between Mark Penn and special interests.
C) Expose the "experience" argument as a fraud. Enough of this nonsense about being ready to answer the phone at 3AM. What crisis (other than the laying bare of her marital problems on worldwide TV) has she ever truly dealt with as the head decision maker? She must be forced to answer that question. Ask about exactly what she did on her visits to 80 countries. High tea with the spouse of a head of state doesn't count. Visits to orphanages, while a nice gesture, have no bearing on foreign policy. Show that it was Madeline Albright, not Senator Clinton, who cleaned up the situation with the Kosovars.
D) Hit her hard on the jobs issue first raised by Tim Russert in the last debate. She claimed that she couldn't make good on her promise of thousands of new jobs in western New York because she "thought that there would be a Democratic president". If that was the case, how will she advance her positions as President if the House or Senate revert to Republican control?
E) Point out that despite being the presumptive presumptive (yes, I know I used the word twice, think about it) nominee as much as a year ago, SHE has yet to knock HIM out of the race. We keep hearing this foolishness about Obama having had 3 chances to "put her away" (New Hampshire, Super Tuesday, and last night). Does anyone REALLY think she would have pulled out of the race had she lost New Hampshire? As to Super Tuesday, if anything, that was HER chance to knock HIM out of the race and she failed to do so. Last night, her campaign admittedly rode an "everything including the kitchen sink" strategy to win Ohio by 10 points and Texas by 4 (this after Obama was down 20 points in both states 6 weeks ago.
F) Point out that the good Senator Clinton, who claims to be the champion of the little guy, has lived a life of relative privilege since becoming the first lady of Arkansas in the 80's (Governor's mansions, corporate boards, the White House, Chappaqua). The Obamas were able to pay off their school loans only within the last 8 years (with the publishing of his first book). Who might be closer to the realities of lower and middle class voters?
G) Show that Clinton's shameless pandering to women actually denigrates the feminist movement. Saying (as she did at the end of the Cleveland debate) "vote for me because I'm a woman" - even if you accompany it with, "I'm also smart and capable" - actually downplays the accomplishments women have made in this country. Obama has NEVER said vote for me because I'm black. In fact, he has assiduously avoided saying that.
H) Get after her on health care. Show clearly that her "with me or against me" attitude on universal health care doomed it in '93 and will do so again.
I) Play up the idea that the Clinton name is like red meat to the Republican party. There's no one - not even a black guy whose middle name is Hussein - who is going to fire up the Republican base (and attack machine) more than her (and by association, her husband). Let the voters know that if she wins the nomination, they will have to hear about Monica, impeachments, Whitewater, Mark Rich, et al all over again.

He's got to take the gloves off at this point. Demonstrate to those on the fence voters in the last states and the uncommitted superdelegates that she's not the only one who can fight. If she wants a fight so be it. The hope (for Obama supporters) is that he maintains his delegate lead and that the fight gets so nasty in the coming weeks that the superdelegates have to step in and throw their weight behind him before McCain gets to far ahead on the road to the general election.

Final note: going into this campaign I at least respected Senator Clinton. As a resident of NY, I voted for her over both Lazio and whoever it was she ran against the 2nd time. However, I must say at this point that that good will is gone. She has shown that she'll stop at nothing to win this nomination - at the risk of alienating half the party with her mockery of Obama supporters.

Posted by: chris_michel | March 5, 2008 4:22 PM | Report abuse

here is my proof about Zogby its the brother who also runs Zogby research. I remember reading this story just wasn't sure wher and hearing John Zogby confronted by Russert on Meet the Press weeks ago about it. I don't come here just making up bs as some want to do to advance their candidate. Does it effect their polling which always seems to inflate B.O polling spreads, you decide, but you were wrong and here is the proof from myDD a progressive proObama site. How about Brazinksy are you going to try and convince me that that her BO cheerleading has no connection to her dad who is B.O.'s foreign affairs top advisor. See a pattern here of conflicts? Do you want proof that Zbignew Brazinky is Mika's dad?
Apparently others have pointed out these conflicts by the media which no one wants to confront.

Zogby Analyst is Obama Superdelegate
by silver spring, Tue Feb 05, 2008 at 11:42:35 AM EST

I found this interesting story in the Legal Times this morning:

http://www.law.com/jsp/dc/PubArticleDC.j sp?id=1201601143051&hub=TopStoriesMo re

"The Battle for Superdelegates Heats Up in D.C."

"James Zogby is firmly in the Obama camp -- so much so that he's worked other superdelegates on behalf of the Obama campaign. The president of the Arab American Institute says he first heard Obama speak at the 2004 convention, when Obama burst onto the national political stage, and he was impressed.


And then in February 2006, Obama spoke at a DNC meeting, giving "a thoughtful discourse on the idea of cynicism, and talked about how we need to install idealism in politics." That was enough for Zogby, who gave Obama workers his phone number. Zogby became an official supporter this past summer.

Zogby has made at least a couple of dozen calls to other superdelegates to rally support for Obama. He's had some success winning over a few..."

I looked up the Zogbys on Wikipedia and found this:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Zogby


"(James) Zogby is also a senior analyst with the polling firm Zogby International, founded and managed by his brother John Zogby, and is a prominent lecturer and scholar on Middle East issues..."

So, it's interesting to note that one of the senior analysts with Zogby Polling -- the pollster who is predicting big Obama wins for today -- is also a major Obama superdelegate.

There is no proof, of course, of any bias resulting from this apparent juxtaposition, but this is nevertheless an interesting part of today's picture.


Tags: Zogby, Polls, Obama, Superdelegate

I am waiting for an apology.

Posted by: leichtman | March 2, 2008 9:11 PM | Report abuse

co host on CNBC's Morning Joe Mika's Brazinsky's dad Is B.O. foreign policy advisor and Zogby is a DNC superdelegate and influential member on the DNC who has publicly come out for B.O. Can we spell conflict of interest? Its not whining to discuss these obvious conflicts of interest in the media and confused that others don't appreciate this conflict.

Should Repubs be allowed to vote in our primary. Not those who then laugh and say they have no intention of voting for the Dem nominee in Nov and realistically you can t get them to sign loyalty oaths. I just have a problem with B.O relying on these primary voters. I would prefer that Dems pick our nominee but unfortunately Texas does not have party registration like other state

Posted by: leichtman | March 2, 2008 6:58 PM | Report abuse

http://youtube.com/watch?v=eHpTenxBqco

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Posted by: themtb2007 | March 2, 2008 5:24 PM | Report abuse

my was supposed to be "his", I was typing too fast.

Posted by: divamore2003 | March 1, 2008 12:38 PM | Report abuse

Only the media and Hillary supporters (from her supporters you expect it) are again rearranging the rules. The Media are slugs. Had Obama made that promise he would be raked over the coals if he backtracked, just as they are trying to say about my "promising" to accept public financing emphatically. He did not. But the media wants you to believe he did.

If she loses either TX or Ohio, she should be done! The public should hold her feet to the fire if she doesn't. But the best wake to sink the Media and the lying behind Clintons is for Texas and Ohio to vote her butt out and put this to rest!

Posted by: divamore2003 | March 1, 2008 12:35 PM | Report abuse

I believe as long as Hillary is gaining delegates, she should stay. The naysayers should stop crying and vote for Hillary. I would hope all the people would wake up and support her, since she is the best of all the candidates out there. She can and will be a better president than Bush, or Obama, or McCain.

Posted by: katherine11 | February 28, 2008 6:34 PM | Report abuse

She should get out unless she wins the popular vote and the delegates in 3 of the four states, with at least Ohio being a big win (55-45 or better). Right now, all she is doing is alienating Democrats by the millions as she trashes the candidate who will represent us in the fall regardless of how she does on March 4. She can't catch him in popular vote; she can't catch him in elected delegates; if she catches him via super delegates who overrule the popular vote, the party will basically split apart and she will lose big to McCain in the fall. Get out before you do any more damage!

Posted by: dolph924 | February 28, 2008 1:48 AM | Report abuse

She should get out unless she wins the popular vote and the delegates in 3 of the four states, with at least Ohio being a big win (55-45 or better). Right now, all she is doing is alienating Democrats by the millions as she trashes the candidate who will represent us in the fall regardless of how she does on March 4. She can't catch him in popular vote; she can't catch him in elected delegates; if she catches him via super delegates who overrule the popular vote, the party will basically split apart and she will lose big to McCain in the fall. Get out before you do any more damage!

Posted by: dolph924 | February 28, 2008 1:47 AM | Report abuse

claudialong,

It's not that uncommon for the IRS to investigate more liberal churches. All Saints in Pasadena, California was investigated by the IRS--they were considering revoking the church's tax exemption--for speaking out against Bush in the 2004 election. The investigation was later dropped, but it's hardly a new tactic.

Posted by: katm5225 | February 28, 2008 1:44 AM | Report abuse

February 27, 2008
White House blames Clinton for document delay
Posted: 08:45 PM ET

The White House said Wednesday the Clintons are responsible for delaying the release of documents.
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- White House spokeswoman Dana Perino briefly waded into the presidential campaign on Wednesday, denying a suggestion by Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-New York, that the Bush administration may be slowing down the release of more than 11,000 pages of documents related to her time as first lady.

Perino said the Bush administration has previously moved fast to release roughly 550,000 pages of documents from the Clinton administration. She said in this case the White House is waiting for a representative for former President Clinton, Bruce Lindsey, to approve the release of the new documents and then formally ask the Bush administration to do so.

"And if the Clinton representative approves the release of the records, we act as quickly as practical to get them out," Perino said, when a reporter asked about the controversy at the White House daily briefing. "And as I said, we don't have anything pending at the moment."

During a debate with Sen. Barack Obama, D-Illinois, on Tuesday night, a journalist pressed Clinton on whether she will make sure the documents are released during the primary season to give voters a clearer view of her experience as first lady. "I have urged that our end of it move as expeditiously as we can," said Clinton. "Now, also, President Bush claims the right to look at anything that is released, and I would urge the Bush White House to move as quickly as possible."

Clinton spokesman Jay Carson told CNN the senator was not trying to cast any blame on the president. "All she did was note President Bush is part of the process, not that he's in any way holding this up," said Carson. "He's not [delaying this], and she's not either."

Carson said the latest batch of documents, which consist of her schedules during eight years as first lady, were cleared by the National Archives on Jan. 31. That triggered a 45-day period for Lindsey to review the documents for any sensitive material before he has to give the White House a recommendation on whether or not to release the papers.

Posted by: MsRita | February 28, 2008 12:11 AM | Report abuse

Does anyone else think that it is ridiculous to let non-Democrats vote in the primary? If the idea of doing this is to allow everyone to have their say in who is running than maybe we should abolish parties (I would go for it) and have straight votes for who we nominate and elect. Otherwise, why should someone who has showed no loyalty or concern for my party have the same vote that I do in party selection. I am an agnostic, so on the god front I'm "uncommitted". Isn't voting in someone elses primary like me going into a church for the first time and helping to chose the pastor?

Posted by: nycLeon | February 27, 2008 10:51 PM | Report abuse

All of you Obama supporters, I can't wait to see your faces and hear your cries when your Obama coolaid runs out. When John McCain and the Republicans keep the White House because you supported the wrong canidate and you participated in the bias and unfair tactics against our STRONGEST CANIDATE. ENJOY McCAIN!!! YOU DESERVE HIM.

Posted by: charlie834 | February 27, 2008 10:18 PM | Report abuse

claudialong - "but the McCain question -- letting him off the hook about trying to get out of public financing, while trying to press obama on it-- was pure spin.

as was the ridiculous hypothetical about 'al queda in Iraq'"

Sorry I could not address all your points earlier. Asking Obama about something that he pledged to do and now appears to be hedging on, I think, is a perfectly acceptable question during a political campaign where all politicians are making promises. It also plays into the Obama theme that he is a different kind of politician. While it may not have been the best question of the night, I don't see it as ridiculous.

As far as al-Qaeda in Iraq, it matters not if they were part of the original group or not. They appear to be part of the group now, however loosely aligned and however they formed. To me, it is a question that would try to get the candidates to tell you what they would do if their theories did not pan out. The Dem approach to Iraq is that if we get out, the Iraqis will get there act together... or not. If they don't and terrorists, be they al-Qaeda, al-Qaeda wannabes or solo terrorists, are allowed to flourish, that does nobody any good. I don't know that an Iraq civil war is exactly the desired outcome either, IMO. Somehow I get the feeling that would not be a good thing for the Middle East. That said, it is a valid approach to the Middle East. But the question is an excellent one. What kind of leader would you be? If conditions suggested you should go back on one of your main campaign pledges, would you?

Posted by: dave | February 27, 2008 10:11 PM | Report abuse

edac 1974, I agree with every single word in your comment. It is truly sickening the unfair way media is covering this race. Yesterday on CNN they had that jerk Cafferty reading anti-hillary messages posted on his blog. Totally unchallanged. I hardly ever look at a news broadcast on that channel without being reminded of how totally biaz they are.

Posted by: njrburke | February 27, 2008 6:12 PM | Report abuse

as I recall their was a bipartisan Base Closing Commission, chaired by Republican Robert Dole.

Posted by: iraleichtman | February 27, 2008 5:17 PM | Report abuse

kingofzouk,

so downsizing the military began in fiscal year 2002 and bubba was elected in November 2002, and began to govern in January 2003. Your point is...? Better reconfigure your "facts".

PS no matter how much you wish it, the sun will continue not to rise in the west and set in the east.

Posted by: ricroc | February 27, 2008 5:13 PM | Report abuse

My guess is that depends on how bad she does. If she takes a beating I thing he'll tell her to bail.

Posted by: PatrickNYC1 | February 27, 2008 4:46 PM | Report abuse

I wonder what WJC will say if she loses Texas or Ohio and wants to stay in the race? It depends on how you define "don't deliver for her"? That will be interesting. Then again, she may pull it out.

Posted by: BillfromLA | February 27, 2008 4:33 PM | Report abuse

There were yearly terrorist attacks on US soil during the Clinton administration? Do tell.

And yes, they must be on US soil. You can't start talking about attacks on allies or military installations abroad, because you claim there haven't been any attacks under Bush. And there have been numerous attacks on our allies, embassies, and soldiers abroad during Bush's presidency.

Posted by: Blarg | February 27, 2008 4:17 PM | Report abuse

Hillary needs at least 65% of the delegates available Tuesday. The remaining states are Obama states, except possibly Pennsylvania. The one with the most delegates wins.

Posted by: gmundenat | February 27, 2008 4:04 PM | Report abuse

I think if Hillary wins either Texas or Ohio by any considerable margin she would and (probably should) stay in until PA.

If she wins both by small margins--I think the same.

However, if she loses one big or small and only wins won small; she should begin an exit strategy.

But-if she is viable at all in either state, she owes it to the party and the country to stay in and let PA (prob the "last BIG state" be the final battleground. If she can't do that then she's just bleeding from within.

Also--I think Obama will take VT and RI on 3/4

Posted by: chadibuins | February 27, 2008 3:49 PM | Report abuse

And while we have been fortunate not to have been attacked here since the Towers, there are the attacks in Spain and England.

Posted by: PatrickNYC1 | February 27, 2008 3:35 PM | Report abuse

"Technically yes, but it was planned for years based on the non-reponse to all the other terror attacks on the US under the clinton fiddling. Since then, no attacks. coincidence? Or perhaps going on the attack over there did what it was supposed to do."

One attack on US soil in the Clinton years, 1 month after he took office. Sounds like he did a good job defending gthe country by your definition...

If, however, you want to include other attacks against US interest (embassy bombings, USS Cole, etc), he did respond pretty strongly to the Embassy bombings, for which he was derided for playing "wag the dog" by conservatives. The Cole- It usually takes 3 months or so to put together a strong military reaction for a contingency. Cole was bombed 20 Oct 2000, so three months later was 20 Jan 2001- so let me ask you this, why did our fearless leader against these evil terrorists not do anything when he came to office? Why did he ignore warnings about growing terrorist threats and choose to focus all his early effort first on China and then on Iraq (even before 9-11)? How about all the numerous al Qaida attacks on our allies and US interests abroad since 911 the overall level of terrorism is up worldwide since then, you know...

The simple fact is Bush had two months of transition and eight months in office where people were shouting that terrorists were a rising threat, ten whole months, not just one. Besides that, al Qaida only emerged on the US radar in 1996, and only became a serious threat in 1998 with the embassy bombings. So it's not eight years of constant planning vs one month of little warning, it's 2-4 years of a slowly building but escalating threat vs. almost a year of constant warning plus the opportunity and political ability to react, which republicans denied Clinton after 1998. Stop passing the buck, it's just pathetic.

Posted by: kreuz_missile | February 27, 2008 3:31 PM | Report abuse

"There were no terrorist attacks under Clinton "

except there were, at least one every year with no response. too busy with interns and pardons I presume.

Posted by: kingofzouk | February 27, 2008 3:27 PM | Report abuse

There were no terrorist attacks under Clinton except for the WTC bombing, which occurred a month after he took office. There were no attacks because global terrorists were biding their time, preparing for 9/11, while Clinton did nothing to stop them.

There have been no terrorist attacks under Bush, except for 9/11, which occurred 8 months after he took office. There have been no attacks since because Bush is whupping the terrorists all around the world, keeping us safe with warrantless wiretaps and the PATRIOT act.

The exact same situation is explained in two very different ways. Coincidentally, both of those explanations are very friendly to Bush. The logic of Bush defenders is just bizarre.

Posted by: Blarg | February 27, 2008 3:11 PM | Report abuse

I love how the Right Wing Fox News crowd always has an excuse. Rice said they did nothing on it, even after being warned that PLANES WERE GOING TO BE USED TO ATTACK US.

Posted by: PatrickNYC1 | February 27, 2008 2:40 PM | Report abuse

sfb, i don't worry about "someone" reacting because i know you will react. it's a non-issue. You are no more advanced than one of Pavlov's dogs.

Posted by: Spectator2 | February 27, 2008 2:38 PM | Report abuse

so W was expected to reecognize and fix a problem in less than a month that had been brewing unattended for 8 years. sounds reasonable. I know Repubs are more effective than Dems but not quite to that level. the mess left by the clintons was going to take longer to clean.

Posted by: kingofzouk | February 27, 2008 2:34 PM | Report abuse

so the Lib defenders fo all things clinton were able to find a single memo in the entire transition that mentions the word bin laden.
------------------------
Actually that was the title of the memo, less than a month before the attack, when W and his gang of crooks were on one of his month long breaks.

Posted by: PatrickNYC1 | February 27, 2008 2:20 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Spectator2 | February 27, 2008 01:54 PM

It seems he will continue posting the same old stupid stuff until someone reacts. this is about the third day in a row. can you also regurgitate the DJIA as an explanation for something too? I think if you try every day with that one you might randomly hit something.


The memo, titled "Bin Laden determined to attack inside the U.S."

Talk about non-response, but then again W and Cheney were to busy planning the Iraq war.

Posted by: PatrickNYC1 | February 27, 2008 01:58 PM

so the Lib defenders fo all things clinton were able to find a single memo in the entire transition that mentions the word bin laden. Sounds urgent. but not as urgent as gluing down Ws on keyboards and farewell parties all month long and don't forget issuing bought and paid for pardons and stealing silverware and air force one memorabelia.

Posted by: kingofzouk | February 27, 2008 2:14 PM | Report abuse

For Senator Hillary Clinton, she must win in Texas and Ohio to drive her heart to keep her hope alive in presidential bid.

If media decides to play fair with Sen. Hillary. Her records of 35 years, she has also served eight years as First Lady and an experienced assistant to president to our former president Bill Clinton, she is running on the HOPE for Americas future political and economy system. She has a vision and wisdom to fight for what is morally right, in setting the course to reaffirm our greatness as a God honoring nation and people.

While Sen. Obama is only a junior U.S. senator. He does not have any experienced to put American values around the world.

I sincerely hope and pray that Sen. Hillary Clinton to become our next president of United States of America.!!!

Posted by: akber_kassam | February 27, 2008 2:12 PM | Report abuse

"the Dem base has a natural proclivity toward anger and irrationality."

Posted by: kingofzouk

And so does the Rush Limbaugh/Ann Coulter fan club. Those two have become rich feeding on that proclivity. One of the many reasons that I, and many others, are disgusted with both parties.

Posted by: jimd52 | February 27, 2008 2:01 PM | Report abuse

"Wasn't the attack on the Towers under Bush? "

'Technically yes, but it was planned for years based on the non-reponse to all the other terror attacks on the US under the clinton fiddling.'Posted by: kingofzouk
-----------------------------

The memo, titled "Bin Laden determined to attack inside the U.S."

Talk about non-response, but then again W and Cheney were to busy planning the Iraq war.

Posted by: PatrickNYC1 | February 27, 2008 1:58 PM | Report abuse

Note how each and every one of zouk's posts falls into one of four categories:

1. Nonsequiturs/strawmen
2. Insults
3. Unsupported laundry lists of GOP talking points
4. Cut and paste jobs from right-wing fishwraps

Some posts might fit into more than one category (e.g, insults combined with nonsequiturs).

Posted by: Spectator2 | February 27, 2008 1:54 PM | Report abuse

"reply to you-know-who".

OK, I understand why you Libs wouldn't want to reply to any conservatives. your arguments are weak enough without having to stand open to the light of day. so continue to ignore me by talking about ignoring me all day long. It sure beats having to defend your weak principles based on surrender, defeat, envy , victimology, nannyhood and pity.

Poor, poor hillary, being questioned by that mean old reporter. and poor put-upon barack, having to fill in details in his empty rhetoric. the rules are: only Repubs answer hard questions and confront reporters. Dems ride free. Dems like free stuff. vote for them and you can get free stuff too.

Posted by: kingofzouk | February 27, 2008 1:46 PM | Report abuse

"trying to argue with inanimate objects"

Are you talking about al gore here?

Posted by: kingofzouk | February 27, 2008 1:38 PM | Report abuse

just amusing myself, rad, but you're right.

Posted by: drindl | February 27, 2008 1:37 PM | Report abuse

I used to own a 911 Targa. In TX we usually get 5-7 mph grace on the highways. Not in a 911.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | February 27, 2008 01:17 PM

Why did you sell it? did you ever get to stretch its legs on the open road? I have still only been up to only 100 mph, on the Jersey TP on a trip to NY. no shake, no rattle, just like sitting still, but nevertheless quire exhilerating. I have considered going to the track in WV but heard insurance doesn't cover you there. was yours a 996 or even earlier?

Posted by: kingofzouk | February 27, 2008 1:37 PM | Report abuse

zouk, i have to say, and this is the last time i will waste on you"
Posted by: claudialong | February 27, 2008 12:49 PM

you mean, insane, Addrick?

Posted by: claudialong | February 27, 2008 12:59 PM

Except for that one. and the next one. :


Wait for it, it may take all of four minutes:

Ah, Addrick... but I have a string of polo ponies, you know. And then there's the jumpers and the hounds.

The poor lad, he has such a fixation on me too, you notice that? He spends hours foaming about me personally. Amusing wouldn't you say? Although clinically, quite a sad case.

Posted by: claudialong | February 27, 2008 01:18 PM

So predictable the level of hate and emotional irrationality, it is uncontrollable.

Posted by: kingofzouk | February 27, 2008 1:33 PM | Report abuse

claudialong: Please, you do yourself a severe injustice even by lowering yourself to reply to you-know-who. To the rest of us, his opinion of you [or anyone] is as worthless as his ranting opinions on whatever the topic happens to be.

It is irrational to argue with an irrational person. And we [I'm presuming here] haven't time for irrelevant or irrational diversions. It's as pointless as getting angry at or trying to argue with inanimate objects--like appliances, computers, or cars. They never seem to listen or act intelligently.

Posted by: radicalpatriot | February 27, 2008 1:30 PM | Report abuse

"Wasn't the attack on the Towers under Bush? "

Technically yes, but it was planned for years based on the non-reponse to all the other terror attacks on the US under the clinton fiddling. Since then, no attacks. coincidence? Or perhaps going on the attack over there did what it was supposed to do.

and the subsequent loss of wealth makes the cost of the war in Iraq look like peanuts, never mind the horror of dead civilians in downtown NY.

do you forget that the sore losers who lost the election tied up cabinet appointments and many other government functions while they tried to steal the election, severly hampering the new administration from doing its job of cleaning up the mess left by the most corrupt regime in modern US history?

why are you Libs so fascinated by what kind of car I drive? Is it so far fetched that someone on this blog drive car brand X? I think it is just your typical Lib envy rearing its ugly head.

drindl drives an old beat up chevy and has to clip coupons because her husbands part time job as a roadie can't feed the kid. No consideration has been given to finding a paying job. so in response to someone else's apparent success, the only response a devoted Lib can offer is envy and an attempt to steal it for themselves. that and accusing everyone around them of lying about even the most trite things.

Posted by: kingofzouk | February 27, 2008 1:30 PM | Report abuse

though i don't think clinton will win texas...ohio, maybe...there is a bigger issue at hand...she cannot beat mccain...I don't see how the democratic party can, in good conscience, back a losing horse...she's had ample opportunity to hold her own and, unfortunately, to her demise, she has not played a smart hand...as to the media's scrutinizing attention to her...they are none too quick to forget her past indiscretions, her dubious tactics to achieve her passions, her appearance of secrecy regarding papers, taxes and such, and her lack of grace and diplomacy in many general interactions...she has become their fodder..in watching last night's debate, she struck me as a woman of desperation, the little kid in the classroom, overstepping her boundaries, crying "I know, I know, pick me, pick me"...that obama has projected a "cool drink of water" attitude and is winning in the popular poll must be driving her mad...she is a fighter, of this there is no doubt, but her lack of grace and diplomacy are off-putting...obama has held his own...he answered questions specifically and succinctly, directly refuted rebuttals and accusations..refused to "take the bait", as it were, and tended to aim for grace...and in doing so, tempered the tone of the latter part of the debate...for the big win, this is what the democratic party needs...not a blustering gale blowing hither and yon...he has shown himself to be a force to be reckoned with...running a campaign that is focused, determined, streamlined...a fighter in his own right, but of a different ilk...the democratic party would be well served to have a strong leader who comes to grace and diplomacy easily,yet with a firm hand...there is the bigger battle ahead with the republican party , the veritable snakepit that is congress and the global interactions to consider...more bees with honey, baby.

Posted by: jazzgrrrl25 | February 27, 2008 1:27 PM | Report abuse

some are, mark, some are ridiculous.

dave, however, i do see where the farrakhan remark came from. but the McCain question -- letting him off the hook about trying to get out of public financing, while trying to press obama on it-- was pure spin.

as was the ridiculous hypothetical about 'al queda in Iraq'

did you read my earlier post about that?

Posted by: drindl | February 27, 2008 1:26 PM | Report abuse

mark, if BHO should win the nomination, which is still an if, I sincerely doubt we will see him return to texas other than for fundraising.We always here that cannard but if Obama should lose Ohio next week which certainly looks probable and he still prevails, he might better spend his time in Columbus rather than Austin and that is not the Columbus here in Texas. And with BHO we will certainly here the L word ad nausea in the general election which will certainly not help Noreiga or our efforts to take back the Texas Senate.

Posted by: iraleichtman | February 27, 2008 1:26 PM | Report abuse

And as I peruse this morning's posts, I am struck by the reasonableness of Dave's selection of Russert's questions, quoted in Russert's defense.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | February 27, 2008 1:21 PM | Report abuse

scott I doubt anyone would question that vermont is the most liberal state in the union, which is not exactly the greatest message for voters in other states. Vermont is not representative of any other state other than vermont.

Posted by: iraleichtman | February 27, 2008 01:02 PM

ira, I am not saying that Vermont is representative of any other state. I am merely pointing out the irony that the black candidate is killing the white candidate in the whitest state in the US. I find that interesting, maybe you do not.

Posted by: NMModerate1 | February 27, 2008 1:20 PM | Report abuse

And guess who will come to take on McCain in 2012? Hillary. She would be like "I told you so" and most likely will beat McCain in 2012.

Posted by: mike78625 | February 27, 2008 01:10 PM

----------------------
I don't Hillary raising the money for another race, plus she'd have to give up running for her Senate seat.

Posted by: PatrickNYC1 | February 27, 2008 1:18 PM | Report abuse

Ah, Addrick... but I have a string of polo ponies, you know. And then there's the jumpers and the hounds.

The poor lad, he has such a fixation on me too, you notice that? He spends hours foaming about me personally. Amusing wouldn't you say? Although clinically, quite a sad case.

Posted by: drindl | February 27, 2008 1:18 PM | Report abuse

I used to own a 911 Targa. In TX we usually get 5-7 mph grace on the highways. Not in a 911.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | February 27, 2008 1:17 PM | Report abuse

Adrick, I am glad someone answered your question while I was working. I might add that the magic google phrase for finding the government's own budget items for Iraq and Afghanistan is "Supplemental Appropriations".

RadPat, thanks for the kind words and thanks for posting the "burntorange" excerpt, which had seen, as you guessed.

But we know that TX is voting R for Prez in the Fall. Our esteemed Lege Ds are worrying about the down ticket effect. And their observation that BHO has promised to campaign in TX is all about the down-ticket. The D ceiling for prez is about 45%, I would guess [Ron Kirk territory]. If BHO tops 40% many more Ds will be elected to the Lege, and if McC gets low turnout b/c HRC is not on the ticket, Noriega has some slim chance against Cornyn. However, if KBH is the VP,
I think she can help the Rs in TX offset malaise. Remember, she strongly outran GWB in '04.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | February 27, 2008 1:15 PM | Report abuse

You people left out one scenario:

If Obama wins the nomination, which I doubt it, he will more than likely lose the general election to McCain. That is a certain fact. If you have any doubts, read about all the republican voters voting for Obama in the states with open primaries. These same voters will come back to give Obama a real kick in the butt and let McCain win. And guess who will come to take on McCain in 2012? Hillary. She would be like "I told you so" and most likely will beat McCain in 2012.

Posted by: mike78625 | February 27, 2008 1:10 PM | Report abuse

zouk, i have to say, and this is the last time i will waste on you"
Posted by: claudialong | February 27, 2008 12:49 PM

you mean, insane, Addrick?

Posted by: claudialong | February 27, 2008 12:59 PM

Except for that one. and the next one. If there is nastiness to slew and insults to throw, you can always count on deep, dark drindl. the pronouncements are always very temporary. she can't keep a single evil thought in her empty little head for more than about three minutes between each post.

If you have any disagreement with her perverse view of the universe in any way, you are either insane, evil, stupid or lying. there is no other option. this is fairly typical of the moonbat wing of the Dem party - the 15% ers flat earth society that still thinks Pelosi and Reid are a hoot.

They also think raising taxes in a down market is splendid, that losing wars has no consequences, that the government is the best arbitrer of all prices and wages, that the rich are evil and deserve to have their rewards confiscated while unemployed bloggers reap the rewards of sloth.

Posted by: kingofzouk | February 27, 2008 1:09 PM | Report abuse

ooops. now only if I could learn how to spell it!

Posted by: AdrickHenry | February 27, 2008 1:07 PM | Report abuse

scott I doubt anyone would question that vermont is the most liberal state in the union, which is not exactly the greatest message for voters in other states. Vermont is not representative of any other state other than vermont.

Posted by: iraleichtman | February 27, 2008 1:02 PM | Report abuse

insane perhaps, Claudia, but he has a Porche!

shhhh... don't tell anyone, but I have TWO!!!

Posted by: AdrickHenry | February 27, 2008 1:02 PM | Report abuse

another holiday from history - another invitation to attack us without consequence - like clinton and carter all over again.

Posted by: kingofzouk | February 27, 2008 11:57 AM

Wasn't the attack on the Towers under Bush? With a Mayor Fooliani ignoring his own staff who said don't put the command center there after the first attack, which was 15 years ago yesterday.

Posted by: PatrickNYC1 | February 27, 2008 1:02 PM | Report abuse

"zouk, i have to say, and this is the last time i will waste on you"

I will open a bottle of Chateau Petrus tonight in celebration. can you encourage your fellow jackels to find another sandbox to soil also?

Posted by: kingofzouk | February 27, 2008 1:01 PM | Report abuse

you mean, insane, Addrick?

Posted by: drindl | February 27, 2008 12:59 PM | Report abuse

claudialong - Actually, in case you missed it, this is the reason for the Farrakhan question:

A Spry Farrakhan Sings Obama's Praises
CHICAGO (AP) -- In his first major public address since a cancer crisis, Nation of Islam Minister Louis Farrakhan said Sunday that presidential candidate Barack Obama is the "hope of the entire world" that the U.S. will change for the better.

The 74-year-old Farrakhan, addressing an estimated crowd of 20,000 people at the annual Saviours' Day celebration, never outrightly endorsed Obama but spent most of the nearly two-hour speech praising the Illinois senator.

"This young man is the hope of the entire world that America will change and be made better," he said. "This young man is capturing audiences of black and brown and red and yellow. If you look at Barack Obama's audiences and look at the effect of his words, those people are being transformed."

Farrakhan compared Obama to the religion's founder, Fard Muhammad, who also had a white mother and black father.

"A black man with a white mother became a savior to us," he told the crowd of mostly followers. "A black man with a white mother could turn out to be one who can lift America from her fall."

Posted by: dave | February 27, 2008 12:59 PM | Report abuse

Some comments about PA on 22 April, which seems to be getting tighter.

Not much regarding the biggest date for delegates outside of 8 Feb and 4 Mar, which is 6 May when NC and IN vote.

Obama has solid leads in both states at last look, which isn't likely to change too much absent a massive string of errors. Possible, but not much to hang your hat on...

Posted by: J | February 27, 2008 12:57 PM | Report abuse

I can just hear conservatives everywhere saying, "with friends like Zouk..."

Posted by: AdrickHenry | February 27, 2008 12:55 PM | Report abuse

Dissent is good, Zouk. You DO contribute to this thread. I think you are an excellent representative of the Right. You might say that you actually are the epitome of the right wing.

Posted by: AdrickHenry | February 27, 2008 12:53 PM | Report abuse

It's interesting to me that Obama is killing Hillary in Vermont, the whitest state in the union, by a marging of 60% to 35% in the most recent poll. Obama hasn't even had a campaign event in Vermont yet. Any doubts about his ability to appeal to a white audeience should be laid to rest.

Posted by: NMModerate1 | February 27, 2008 12:52 PM | Report abuse

KoZ, as usual, ignores facts, runs down thousands of side discussions, gets rebuked by more facts, ignores points, then claims all others are ignoring facts and wanting to run away from the conversation simply because they're tired of his lunacy. Man, do you work for the American Enterprise Institute or something?

Posted by: kreuz_missile | February 27, 2008 12:50 PM | Report abuse

William F. Buckley, dead at 82.

A very nice obit for him from Rick Perlstein:

http://www.ourfuture.org/blog-entry/why-william-f-buckley-was-my-role-model

'Just because you are a total loser with no life to speak of, doesn't mean the rest of the world suffers from your inadequacies. If you had a shred of talent in your chosen field, perhaps you could eventually get some paying work. but I don't suppose there is a lot of paying demand for cutting and pasting from leftist hate sites.

envy, spite and hate are really so 1990s clinton. can't you see your chosen MO is obsolete?'

zouk, i have to say, and this is the last time i will waste on you, that you have the most complete lack of self-awareness of any human being i have ever seen. you go on and on spewing this astonishing venom and then say 'envy , spite and hate are so 1990's'. you are a freaking parody of yourself. get a life. see a shrink. seek the help you so desparately need.

Posted by: drindl | February 27, 2008 12:49 PM | Report abuse

Another thread trashed. On to the next one.

Posted by: Spectator2 | February 27, 2008 12:35 PM
*****

Yes, kingofzouk's work here is done!

Posted by: dognabbit | February 27, 2008 12:47 PM | Report abuse

Another thread trashed. On to the next one.

Posted by: Spectator2 | February 27, 2008 12:35 PM

translation - you don't toe the moonbat line. We can't tolerate any dissension because our opinions are based on very shaky ground. take your facts elsewhere. We are very weak Libs and need censorship when confronted.

Posted by: kingofzouk | February 27, 2008 12:47 PM | Report abuse

blarg is absolutely correct:

"This Obama supporter would tell you that winning a primary is different from winning a general election. You can't use primary results to predict what will happen in November. I'd also point out that you're assuming a Hillary victory next week, which is far from assured."

That is why we have been telling Obama supporters that while winning in Kansas, Va. Utah, and Montana and many other states,in a primary is truly impressive, it means zero in a general election.

Hillary has not won Ohio yet but there are strong indications that she will. But again we should not underestimate the importance of Ohio in the general election, I don't think that Senator Kerry did and still regrets not winning a mere 80,001 voters there in 2004.

As to resolving Florida and Michigan delegates,(however that is fair to both sides and more importantly to the voters of those states)why have we heard zero from Senator Obama about those 2 states before we rush to judgment about the nomination. As a Clinton supporter, which I am not hiding from, I don't have a magic answer nor will I argue it must be done by the way most fair to my candidate, but what I will argue is that those are two mega states, one of which we all know was responsible for putting W into office. Why are we not talking about those 2 states before rushing to judgment and trying to do what is necessarily most advantagious to one side but not necessarily fair to the millions of frustrated Dems in those 2 mega states. Am I alone in demanding a fair resolution of those delegates before the convention and before settling on a nominee? I may be in the minority but I am for a winner take all 2 week primary in those two states.


Posted by: iraleichtman | February 27, 2008 12:46 PM | Report abuse

"Fox may lean conservative, but they are not outright propagandists.

lol

and I thought you had no sense of humor, KOZ!!!

Posted by: AdrickHenry | February 27, 2008 12:44 PM | Report abuse

'And BTW it's a Porsche, not a Jag.'

omigod. hilarious. what big fantasies you have, little man... very little man.

Posted by: claudialong | February 27, 2008 12:30 PM

Curious how drindl knows so much about the personal lives of every anonymous poster on here. goes along with the evil motivations she can see from Repub pols. If everyone only knew as much as drindl thinks she knows, there would be no need for teachers, politicians or scientists any longer.

do you have to sacrifice small farm animals to get that crystal ball to work, sorceress?

Just because you are a total loser with no life to speak of, doesn't mean the rest of the world suffers from your inadequacies. If you had a shred of talent in your chosen field, perhaps you could eventually get some paying work. but I don't suppose there is a lot of paying demand for cutting and pasting from leftist hate sites.

envy, spite and hate are really so 1990s clinton. can't you see your chosen MO is obsolete?

Posted by: kingofzouk | February 27, 2008 12:43 PM | Report abuse

"so clinton was simply following the Bush I policies with no input of hiw own. I see. did Bush also beleive that terrorists should be given a free pass because interns were more urgent? Was cow-towing to Arafat and other scoundrels also just following the path left by others?"

No, joint effort, initiated by a Rpeublican president with a Democratic congress, continued by a Democratic president with a Republican Congress (numbers didn't begin to shift back up until 1997/98). Let me remind you it was Reagan who turned tail and ran from Lebanon after a terrorist attack, Bush I who rightly chose to leave Saddam Hussein in power because fighting to Baghdad would be disasterous, etc. Your dumbed down talking points get you nowhere here, we all have a basic education in the matter. I'm certainly not a Hillary supporter and have no intention of defending either her or her campaign, but I would like to know exactly what senate votes you are referring to with respect to the next President of the United States.

Posted by: kreuz_missile | February 27, 2008 12:40 PM | Report abuse

doens't matter, spectator. he'll be on till 7, no matter what CC puts up. the guy lives here.

Posted by: drindl | February 27, 2008 12:40 PM | Report abuse

Another thread trashed. On to the next one.

Posted by: Spectator2 | February 27, 2008 12:35 PM | Report abuse

troop cuts began in FY92

so clinton was simply following the Bush I policies with no input of hiw own. I see. did Bush also beleive that terrorists should be given a free pass because interns were more urgent? Was cow-towing to Arafat and other scoundrels also just following the path left by others?

If hillary can't even plan a campaign three months into the future and not spend every dime way ahead of schedule, what makes you think she will be any different with the US military?

If Obamabi can't even make up his mind on simple senate votes, what makes you think he'll know what to do with N Korea for example? Maybe Carter's foreign policy team can help him out. we all know how effective they were.

Posted by: kingofzouk | February 27, 2008 12:32 PM | Report abuse

'And BTW it's a Porsche, not a Jag.'

omigod. hilarious. what big fantasies you have, little man... very little man.

Posted by: drindl | February 27, 2008 12:30 PM | Report abuse

"I am interested to know what the Obama supporters will be saying if their candidate can not win in a state like Ohio that was absolutely defining in the 2004 election."

This Obama supporter would tell you that winning a primary is different from winning a general election. You can't use primary results to predict what will happen in November. I'd also point out that you're assuming a Hillary victory next week, which is far from assured.

"And if Obama supporters want to make sure those delegates are never seated then why are they adverse to having another primary in those states, to show Florida and Michigan we want their support in November whoever the nominee is."

Obama supporters are averse to having new primaries in FL and MI? News to me. I thought Obama supporters want new primaries or caucuses, while Clinton supporters want to use the extremely flawed results that help their candidate.

Posted by: Blarg | February 27, 2008 12:28 PM | Report abuse

"I am interested to know what the Obama supporters will be saying if their candidate can not win in a state like Ohio that was absolutely defining in the 2004 election."

What about states like Missouri, Virginia, Colorado, etc., that will be critical in the 2008 election? By your logic, Hillary can't win there, so she's useless in the general election.

Posted by: kreuz_missile | February 27, 2008 12:28 PM | Report abuse

thanks, les ca for the hard numbers.

ok, exactly what i'm talking about:

"I want to ask both of you this question, then. If we -- if this scenario plays out and the Americans get out in total and al Qaeda resurges and Iraq goes to hell, do you hold the right, in your mind as American president, to re-invade, to go back into Iraq to stabilize it?"

--this is an absurd hypothetical. for one thing, it is misleading. 'al queda in iraq' -- is nothing but a homegrown sunni insurgent group, WHICH HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THE AL-QUEDA WHO ATTACKED US, they simply admire bin-Ladin, you see.

the al-queda who DID attack us IS resurgent -- in Pakistan and Afghanistan. This is clear rightwing spin. The real question is, how long do we babysit the Iraqis while they play civil war?

"Senator Obama, let me ask you about motivating, inspiring, keeping your word. Nothing more important. Last year you said 'if you were the nominee you would opt for public financing in the general election of the campaign; try to get some of the money out. You checked "Yes" on a questionnaire. And now Senator McCain has said, calling your bluff, let's do it. You seem to be waffling, saying, well, if we can work on an arrangement here. Why won't you keep your word in writing that you made to abide by public financing of the fall election?"'

More rightwing spin.

'NEW YORK -- Republican Sen. John McCain might well ride out his standoff with federal regulators over his withdrawal from public financing for the primaries.

The contretemps, however, could haunt him in the general election.

The Federal Election Commission's decision to challenge McCain has forced the Arizona senator and likely Republican presidential nominee to defy the government's top campaign finance regulator in an area of law that McCain himself has helped seed with regulations.

His defiance, legally defensible or not, threatens to strip him of the moral high ground he needs to level the financial playing field for the general election.

McCain has been trying to hold Democratic Sen. Barack Obama to an agreement made last year that if both become their respective party nominees, both would participate in the general election public finance system.

Obama has hedged, saying the terms he laid out last year were not a pledge. Such an agreement, after all, would force Obama to holster his vastly superior fundraising operation -- he has raised $138 million in his one-year quest -- and require him to confront McCain on equal financial footing. Under public financing, each candidate would get $85 million in government money and be prohibited from spending any money raised from contributors.

McCain took Obama to task for equivocating, and seemed to be seizing the high road as the candidate most devoted to reducing the influence of money in electoral politics.

Then FEC chairman David Mason wrote him ``The Letter.''

In it, Mason told McCain that he could not withdraw from the primary public finance system until he (1) answered questions regarding a $4 million loan he obtained late last year, and (2) received approval to withdraw from four members of the six-member commission.

McCain and his lawyer, former FEC chairman Trevor Potter, responded unequivocally: McCain was out of the primary public finance system and the FEC could not force him into it.'

And this is ridiculous. Has Farrakhan come out for Obama? No. Has Obama asked for his support. No. Russert brought it up because Farrakhan is one of the hot-button rightwing boogeyman, like Michael Moore and George Soros. The mere whiff of association is the kind of dog-whistle politics that brings out outraged howling of the moon from the pavlovianed R pack.

"Do you accept the support of Louis Farrakhan?"

Posted by: drindl | February 27, 2008 12:26 PM | Report abuse

It depends on what the meaning of win is. I think Hilary is about to find out what the meaning of lose is.

Posted by: thebobbob | February 27, 2008 12:26 PM | Report abuse

LOL-- a clown who stay on this blog all day, with no visible means of support, form 12 to 7 every day--oh yes, he's an economist, and a scientist too, you know, and he has a yacht and a jag and a wife who's a supermodel -- and really lots and lots of credibility.

Posted by: claudialong | February 27, 2008 12:13 PM

Leave it to nutjob drindl to defend her views with..........spite and hate as usual. no doubt she lives in hillary's district. you never see a link to any facts from drindl, only rehashed, sky-is-falling clap from Kos and the other leftist hate sites.

It wasn't too long ago that she posted every ten minutes about how the war was lost. now it is how the economy is doomed. I guess we won the war. global warming must have solved itself too, because the record cold has halted her hourly rantings on that topic. Maybe some other disater in the wings will arrive soon to keep her from her lucrative career as a copy writer for MAD magazine.

And BTW it's a Porsche, not a Jag.

Posted by: kingofzouk | February 27, 2008 12:25 PM | Report abuse

"you mean the one that Dems always add to when it makes it to congress? you can't get a single piece of legislation up for a vote without Dems adding millions to every aspect of it."

Ummm, REPUBLICANS controlled Congress through most of those years... Maybe Bush should have discovered his Veto pen back then. Oh wait, we need to criticize "tax and spend Liberals" while giving borrow and spend Conservatives a free pass.

Posted by: kreuz_missile | February 27, 2008 12:25 PM | Report abuse

"Imagine if rush Limbaugh or Ann coulter became the anchor for some network and reported the "news"."

Don't tell me you've never watched Fox...

Posted by: kreuz_missile | February 27, 2008 12:22 PM | Report abuse

"this is exactly what Carter and Clinton did and Obama promises to do to balance the budget. We could have a balanced budget right now if we have no enemies in the world and no need for an Army."

KoZ, stop spewing garbage talking points. The "peace dividend" that Republicans (espeically Giuliani) kept attributing to Clinton actually was termed, initiated, and pressed by Bush I. You can go here and see that military spending began to rise after a steady decline beginning in 1978, and that troop cuts began in FY92 (FY94 was Clinton's first budget) while spending had steadily decreased since 1987:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:US_military_personnel_and_expenditures.png

http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/309/

Posted by: kreuz_missile | February 27, 2008 12:19 PM | Report abuse

It seems to me that the clinton failure was in using the attack dog tactics on a fellow Democrat. this approach works well against Repubs because the Dem base has a natural proclivity toward anger and irrationality. the problem here was that the usual supporters of this tactic didn't appreciate it when it was used on one of their own.

Save that for the general election would have been what most of the drindl's would have said.

In the early part of the primaries, this is exactly what hillary did, attacked Bush and ignored Obama et al, since she was the inevitable candidate. Only when Obama proved resilient did she turn her nastiness on him and suffer the results.


now the press is giving hillary a taste of what Repubs have had to deal with all along - a subtle bias that can be denied by true believers. It is really a shame that the MSM has become so jaded and capable of such fanciful renderings of so-called facts, replete with opinion and falsehood.

Imagine if rush Limbaugh or Ann coulter became the anchor for some network and reported the "news". this is exactly what has happened at MSNBC with Krazy Keith and Chris Mathews. but until it was turned on a liberal, it went without comment. Fox may lean conservative, but they are not outright propagandists.

Posted by: kingofzouk | February 27, 2008 12:19 PM | Report abuse

"What's the differece? The media will indict her, no matter what the outcome.."

very accurate observation.

jnoe state: "I don't understand the conspiracy theories about Republicans voting against Hillary.' unfortunately its more than a theory. It was a front page story in Monday's Houston Chronicle. They interviewed Republicans in Houston who giggled mischieviously saying how much they would enjoy meddling in the Texas Democratic primary but admitted they have absolutely no intent of supporting Senator Obama in Nov. While it is great to appeal to these folks in a general election I have a real problem with their meddling in a Democratic primary that is so very important to democratic voters. I would never think of voting in their primary just to meddle in their process.

Interestingly I read that Hillary is 97 delegates behind which is 2.5%, but then read here from Obama suporters that no she is 155 delegates behind. There are also 1 million uncounted votes in Ca and numerous state conventions coming up in April and May to select hundreds of delegates. I have attended many state conventions and they are unpredictable.

I also read here that Hillary's campaign is flat broke which is far from accurate although she is behind in total dollars raised. She has raised 1.2 million per day during the last 18 day which gives her around $20 million that she is spending this week and next. I also see the SEIU in Texas spending millions for Senator Obama which I distinctly remember Senator Obama slamming John Edwards for in the October debates.

Why don't we just wait and see what happens next Tuesday rather than setting perameters as to what the individual Obama supporters want to define as being a win for Hillary. Seems like they want to define in it in their own terms saying she must win by 15% in Ohio or its a loss. Again John Kerry would have been ok 80,001 more votes in Ohio as a win in 2004. I am interested to know what the Obama supporters will be saying if their candidate can not win in a state like Ohio that was absolutely defining in the 2004 election. Winning in states like Montana, Utah, Kansas etc is certainly impressive but how about losing in California, New Jersey and perhaps Ohio. And I ask again if the Democratic Party is sincerely ready to simply walk away from voters in Florida and Michigan. I understand the arguments on both sides but don't those voters deserve a voice at the convention. And if Obama supporters want to make sure those delegates are never seated then why are they adverse to having another primary in those states, to show Florida and Michigan we want their support in November whoever the nominee is.

We should all wish Senator Byrd a get well note for all that he means to this country and the US Constitution.

Posted by: iraleichtman | February 27, 2008 12:18 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, but this "media bias" thing is crap.

Hillary's people all have amnesia, but until she lost badly in Iowa, she was being described by the media as having run a brilliant campaign, doing everything right, pitch perfect, etc., etc., etc.

Obama won in Iowa and was the media darling for exactly 72 hours. Then Hillary "found her voice" in NH and was the "comeback kid." They were so enthralled with her and her "victory" in Nevada that they all overlooked that Obama won more delegates there, and only grudgingly reported it at that.

Then came South Carolina. The Clintons overreached there, and their miscalculation probably inflated Obama's victory and, in truth, they've never recovered. The media reported SC as a big Obama victory, but I remember lots of commentators questioning whether he would get a "bounce" from it.

On to Florida. IMHO, the MSM gave Hillary a pass on her "victory" rally there when there had not really been a campaign.

Super Tuesday coverage was, I thought, pretty balanced: they called it a dead heat because that's what it was.

That was followed by Obama's "February Run." Was it biased for the media to report that as anything other than (i) Obama exceeding expectations; (ii) HRC's campaign underestimating the importance of caucuses and getting out-organized in the caucus states; and (iii) her spinmeisters downplaying the importance of the states where Obama won? Of course not; that's what happened.

The fact is that the story of this election is right out there for everyone to see. The Clinton campaign underestimated its opposition; it was mismanaged; and it had no post-Super-Tuesday plan. The Obama campaign raised more money and has been superbly managed, and Obama has been a better candidate.

The fault for what has happened to HRC does not lie with the media; it's in the mirror.

Posted by: jac13 | February 27, 2008 12:17 PM | Report abuse

'another holiday from history -'

not to mention reality. that's the current gop, the anti-conservatives, who clearly believe we can stay in Iraq another 100 years, magically without any financial consequences.

'yes, and remember that it's all being borrowed, and that now, debt service/interest consumes a huge chunk of our budget.

Posted by: claudialong | February 27, 2008 11:55 AM

She says without knowing anything about what she is talking about.'

LOL-- a clown who stay on this blog all day, with no visible means of support, form 12 to 7 every day--oh yes, he's an economist, and a scientist too, you know, and he has a yacht and a jag and a wife who's a supermodel -- and really lots and lots of credibility.

Posted by: drindl | February 27, 2008 12:13 PM | Report abuse

the huge Federal deficit and national debt accumulated by Bush-Cheney.

Posted by: les_ca | February 27, 2008 11:57 AM

you mean the one that Dems always add to when it makes it to congress? you can't get a single piece of legislation up for a vote without Dems adding millions to every aspect of it.

Posted by: kingofzouk | February 27, 2008 12:10 PM | Report abuse

I think the story will be a Clinton win if two things occur:

1) She wins the popular vote in Ohio and Texas.

2) She wins more delegates on March 4 than Obama wins on March 4.

If either of those things don't occur, if Obama wins the popular vote in Texas or ifObama extends his delegate lead, I think it'll be a loss and Clinton will drop out.

Posted by: morlingc | February 27, 2008 12:09 PM | Report abuse

Age of Russert when he worked with Cuomo - 34
Age of Clinton when she was Goldwater Girl - 17

While I think people can change their views for numerous reasons at any point in their lives, I see little to suggest that Russert had a mid-life crisis that transformed him from a staunchly Democratic political hack to partisan conservative. Hillary's story at the formative years in her life, on the other hand, is well known.

I think his questions are actually very good. They try to get politicians to nail down their positions and get past the BS. A lot are hypotheticals but not unrealistic and they give me an idea of how a candidate will approach things. I don't see a problem with any of the questions from last night. Which ones are "clownishly juvenile and idiotic"?


"Will you, as president, say to Canada and Mexico, "This has not worked for us; we are out"?"

"The fact is, exports now have the highest share of our national income ever. Ohio ranks fourth in terms of exports to Canada and Mexico. Are you sure this has not been better for Ohio than you're suggesting?"

"If the Iraqi government said, President Clinton or President Obama, you're pulling out your troops this quickly? You're going to be gone in a year, but you're going to leave a residual force behind? No. Get out. Get out now. If you don't want to stay and protect us, we're a sovereign nation. Go home now." Will you leave?"

"I want to ask both of you this question, then. If we -- if this scenario plays out and the Americans get out in total and al Qaeda resurges and Iraq goes to hell, do you hold the right, in your mind as American president, to re-invade, to go back into Iraq to stabilize it?"

"Senator Obama, let me ask you about motivating, inspiring, keeping your word. Nothing more important. Last year you said if you were the nominee you would opt for public financing in the general election of the campaign; try to get some of the money out. You checked "Yes" on a questionnaire. And now Senator McCain has said, calling your bluff, let's do it. You seem to be waffling, saying, well, if we can work on an arrangement here. Why won't you keep your word in writing that you made to abide by public financing of the fall election?"

"Why won't you release your tax return, so the voters of Ohio, Texas, Vermont, Rhode Island know exactly where you and your husband got your money, who might be in part bankrolling your campaign?"

"Do you accept the support of Louis Farrakhan?"

"Before the primary on Tuesday, on Sunday, March 2 there's an election in Russia for the successor to President Putin. What can you tell me about the man who's going to be Mr. Putin's successor?"

"Before you go, each of you have talked about your careers in public service. Looking back through them, is there any words or vote that you'd like to take back?"

Posted by: dave | February 27, 2008 12:09 PM | Report abuse

I like AdrickHenry's suggestion for a debate: no moderator. A really telling and frank debate would involve merely setting up speaking turns and time limits, and then leaving the moderator merely in the role of timekeeper, telling one candidate or the other to shut up at the appropriate time.

Give Candidate One a couple minutes to lay out some plan or policy position on an issue of choice, then Candidate Two gets to question Candidate One about that position, followed by a chance to offer his/her own position, which Candidate One then has the chance to question. Then both candidates get a chance for final rebuttals, and then the process starts again with Candidate Two going first in offering a position on a particular issue.

The problem with this format is that it requires actual intelligence and debating skills, which is in contrast with the mere ability to recite lines. Candidates would have to be prepared to talk about any issue that their opponents might raise, and the risk of public embarrassment for both candidates is magnified greatly. But wouldn't it make a great debate!

Instead, we get these glorified press conferences. I mean, how is this really different from a press conference? Reporters ask questions, and candidates answer with essentially prepared comments and a series of evasive moves to prevent going off script when pressed to do so. The only unique quality of these "debates" is that both candidates are on stage, and they do interact to a degree, but everything is, well, moderated, or filtered and softened by the reporters whose real function seems to be to make the debates a safer place for both candidates.

Yes, there is a time and place for candidates to stand on stage with one another and take questions from people and from reporters, but let's don't pretend that this constitutes a debate. Instead, let's on occasion get rid of the filters, get rid of the safety nets, switch off the safeties, and have a real debate. Yeah, someone might hit the ground hard or get shot, metaphorically speaking, but isn't that the point?

These moderated debates are a lot like the Democratic primary schedule, guaranteed to leave two competitive candidates looking much the same as they did at the start. By keeping the discussions moderated, there is very little chance that either candidate will take a big lead, which is the same effect that proportional distribution of delegates is having on this entire race. Any losses or wins are, in most cases, minimal at best.

Posted by: blert | February 27, 2008 12:08 PM | Report abuse

yes, and remember that it's all being borrowed, and that now, debt service/interest consumes a huge chunk of our budget.

Posted by: claudialong | February 27, 2008 11:55 AM

She says without knowing anything about what she is talking about.

Posted by: kingofzouk | February 27, 2008 12:08 PM | Report abuse

Quinnipian today has Pennsylvania down to 6 points - 49% - 43% for Clinton, well over a month out. With that in mind, with the delegate count being where it is, and given the trend of 11 in a row for Barack, Clinton NEEDS to win 3 out of the 4 contests, and win at least one of the big ones by at least 15 - 20 points (if not both). Anything less than that, she may call it a win and declare she will fight on, but superdelegates, money, and everything else needed to keep fighting will move to Obama, who will go from frontrunner to presumptive nominee on 5 March, because the scenario I outlined above ain't gonna happen (don't believe me, look around at how many places the media narrative has shifted away from Texas, at best she can hope for a very narrow win there but a likely delegate loss, moving the entire focus to Ohio where she may pull off a 5-10 point win, not nearly enough to begin to close the delegate gap).

Posted by: kreuz_missile | February 27, 2008 12:05 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, radicalpatriot.

So, that is in the vicinity of $400,000,000 PER DAY.

I divided 12 billion dollars by 30 days = 400 million dollars a day.

Wow.

Posted by: AdrickHenry | February 27, 2008 11:59 AM | Report abuse

Of course if you include the soldiers salaries in the calculation, it may seem like a lot of money. but you don't get to stop paying the Infantry just because they are stateside. Only if you eliminate the infantry can you stop paying them.

this is exactly what Carter and Clinton did and Obama promises to do to balance the budget. We could have a balanced budget right now if we have no enemies in the world and no need for an Army.

another holiday from history - another invitation to attack us without consequence - like clinton and carter all over again.

Posted by: kingofzouk | February 27, 2008 11:57 AM | Report abuse

RE: "...3rd, can anyone (Claudia? Mark?) verify the number Obama threw out there yesterday on Iraq? Are we really spending $12,000,000,000 a MONTH?!?!?

Does anyone know the amount we've been spending per month? And if yes, what is your source?"

Posted above by: AdrickHenry

$12 billion per month is the "official" USG spending on US military forces in Iraq, USG military assistance to the Iraqi military, and USG spending for the "official" reconstruction and economic development efforts controlled by the US Dept of State. That monthly figure comes from annual fiscal yr figures released by the USG Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and by the Defense Dept. and State Dept., divided by 12 to obtain a monthly amount. That amount doesn't incl "unofficial" spending by the USG intelligence community in Iraq for bribes to Iraqi political parties and politicians, for so-called "walking money" paid by the US military to Iraqis for "tips" against anti-US insurgents -- and, of course, financial support paid to the Iraqi Sunni insurgents and the local rural Arab sheikhs who form the "neighborhood auxiliary watch groups" -- all of whom have temporarally allied themselves with the US military because the USG is paying big bucks to them under the table. Analysts who follow those "subterranean anti-insurgency efforts" in Iraq currently estimate that as much as $20-$40 billion (yes BILLION) per yr is going to JUST those below radar "anti-insurgency efforts."

Even all of that is not the most shocking financial figure. By the end of fiscal yr 2008, the USG will have spent almost 3/4 of a trillion US dollars -- repeat, TRILLION US DOLLARS -- on all of its activities stemming from the US invasion, occupation and war in Iraq.

I find it amazing that neither Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton -- or, in fact, ANY other Democratic leader has mentioned these amazing amounts of money.

For that matter, neither has the Wash Post or any other part of the MSM publicized these incredibly large amounts of USG and taxpayer funds having been and continuing to be thrown right down the toilet -- when such funds could have been used for universal health care, fixing the crumbling US infrastructure, providing a solution to Social Security coverage of baby boomers when they retire -- or even just REDUCING the huge Federal deficit and national debt accumulated by Bush-Cheney.


Posted by: les_ca | February 27, 2008 11:57 AM | Report abuse

'AdrickHenry: Yes, Obama's assertion that we are spending about $12 billion a month in Iraq is accurate. It is hard to get an exact figure, of course, because there are many ways to calculate that figure. But just do a Google of "monthly spending in iraq" and you will get dozens of reliable sources with a figure between $10 to $15 billion per month.'

yes, and remember that it's all being borrowed, and that now, debt service/interest consumes a huge chunk of our budget.

Posted by: drindl | February 27, 2008 11:55 AM | Report abuse

My view is that she can go on if she wins any state on March 4th. The media has acted with extreme bias (or should I say hatred( against Hillary from the day Obama and Hillary joined the race, and is now calling Obama unstoppable. So if she can stop him in Ohio with no money and no media favor, that tells you something: She is a better candidate in all the large states except where the black vote is so large and so monolithic for Obama. If Obama can not win in Ohio now with everything in his favor, he may be a loosing candidate in November. Remember, when he faces the Republicans, all bets are off. Media can project him as the most electible in November(just as they treated Hillary until Obama's Iowa victory), but by the time Republicans play their dirty campaign Obama may not look like the phenomenon that he is now. All his lofty words will acquire sinister meaning and he will surely unite the conservatives behind John McCain. So Ohio victory for Hillary in March 4th may cause alarm bells for fence sitters and we will see a realization that Obama is not all that popular that the media make it out. If he wins all four states, then there is no stopping him. For better or worse, democrats have to unite behind him, but I have a nagging feeling that some Hillary supporters will take it out on him (and justifiably so because of the media hate and bias so brazenly manifested during the primary season)in November.

Posted by: vaidyatk | February 27, 2008 11:52 AM | Report abuse

Hillary missed an important opportunity to nail Obama by not asking him "How does your merely voting "Present" in the Illinois Senate, prepare him to make major decisions as President?

In my opinion, such reluctance indicates a lack of preparedness and an unwillingness to make the hard decisions.

Posted by: ryemoor | February 27, 2008 11:45 AM | Report abuse

Mark [and other Texans]: I presume you have seen--you seem to see everything ;) --the following [excerpted here] from the Burnt Orange Report:

Reps. Dunnam, Coleman, Gallego: Clinton Has Wrong Attitute Towards Texas

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

The three members of the Texas House Democratic Leadership team -- State Rep. Jim Dunnam (Waco), State Rep. Garnet Coleman (Houston), and State Rep. Pete Gallego (Alpine) -- held a press conference yesterday to call out Senator Clinton's statement about Texas not being in play in the general election. It should be noted upfront that all three State Reps. have endorsed Senator Obama.

First, here is Senator Clinton's statement, as was originally reported by Evan Smith of Texas Monthly (and later discussed by Michael here at BOR):

"I'd love to carry Texas, but it's usually not in the electoral calculation for the Democratic nominee; Florida and Michigan are.

Our House Democratic Leadership didn't appreciate the comment. From the Dallas Morning News:

"It harkens back to the 1990s, when Texas Democrats were basically abandoned," Dunnam said. Democrats lost all statewide offices in 1998. They later lost total control of the Legislature. The party has been trying to rebuild ever since. The lawmakers said Obama has assured them he would campaign in Texas if he becomes the nominee. They noted that he helped campaign for other candidates in red states in the 2006 elections.

Posted by: radicalpatriot | February 27, 2008 11:40 AM | Report abuse

AdrickHenry: Yes, Obama's assertion that we are spending about $12 billion a month in Iraq is accurate. It is hard to get an exact figure, of course, because there are many ways to calculate that figure. But just do a Google of "monthly spending in iraq" and you will get dozens of reliable sources with a figure between $10 to $15 billion per month.

Posted by: radicalpatriot | February 27, 2008 11:35 AM | Report abuse

I think history will record that the Clonton's $5 million loan to Hillary's campaign, was the moment when everything started to go wrong.
http://jtaplin.wordpress.com/2008/02/27/where-hillary-went-wrong/

Posted by: Trumbull | February 27, 2008 11:35 AM | Report abuse

I don't see how Senator Clinton can credibly go on if she doesn't win both Texas and Ohio. As it stands now I expect Obama to win Texas and Vermont and Clinton to squeak by in Ohio and win Rhode Island. The delegate math is difficult for her. Looking past March 4, the Obama leaning states are, for the most part, heavily for Obama and the Clinton leaning states are, for the most part, fairly close. That leaves super-delegates and somehow seating the Florida and Michigan delegates as her only hope. If she wins the nomination that way, it will hopelessly split the party.

Assuming my predictions for March 4 are accurate, I would expect the super-delegates to begin lining up behind Obama and putting the nomination away. The pros will realize that handing the nomination to Senator Clinton through something that smacks of a "back-room" deal will mean President McCain (a good thing from my perspective). There will be enormous pressure on her to drop out and her fundraising will dry up.

As for the Republicans voting for Obama, I find that amusing since he is by far the stronger Democrat in a race against McCain. It doesn't help Senator Clinton to continue to maintain she is a better candidate versus McCain while the head to head polling shows Obama beating him and McCain beating Clinton. I suspect that the crossover phenomenom is partly Republicans seriously attracted to Obama and partly Clinton Derangement Syndrome. I never voted for Bill and wouldn't vote for Hillary. But, I do not understand the irrational hatred they inspire.

Posted by: jimd52 | February 27, 2008 11:32 AM | Report abuse

No matter what happens next Tuesday, one dynamic in this race is clear. the more people see and hear Obama, the more they move toward him. The reverse seems to be true regarding Hillary Clinton. In so many states, her once double-digit leads became deficits or narrow victories. I would happily support either one of them in the general election, but Obama seems to be the one who is much more in tune with the mood of the electorate.

Posted by: cjspellane | February 27, 2008 11:29 AM | Report abuse

so what about it...

Are we spending $12,000,000,000 a month in Iraq like Obama asserted last night?

Is that figure accurate? Anyone know?

Posted by: AdrickHenry | February 27, 2008 11:29 AM | Report abuse

bryant_filer:

Don't look now, but Hillary is no longer "up big" in PA. Quinnipiac poll out today has her lead down to 6 -- with eight weeks to go. And Rendell hasn't been doing her any favors lately with his comments about people in his state not being ready to vote for an African-American candidate and how the media does [sic] not like Hillary.

Also, in this discussion of whether Hillary can catch Obama or not, no one is mentioning what has happened with the Supers since Feb. 5: Obama has gotten 25 or so and Hillary has actually lost 5. It's hard to look at all the facts and argue that this is trending anywhere but towards Obama.

Posted by: jac13 | February 27, 2008 11:28 AM | Report abuse

well color me chastized by the analogy-police!

Perhaps I should've said: Hillary's campaign is hanging by a thread, but she's not mathematically eliminated yet?

Posted by: AdrickHenry | February 27, 2008 11:28 AM | Report abuse

For Clinton to win March 4, she needs to get at least 50 delegates more than Obama. Even then she would still probably lose the nomination. If she gets close to even or just 20 or 25 more, she is the loser. If Obama comes out even or ahead, he is the big winner. Because, remember, after this there are only 13 more contests including Puerto Rico. And many of those should favour Obama. And he has been narrowing her Super Delegate lead.

Posted by: storyofthefifthpeach | February 27, 2008 11:27 AM | Report abuse

The media bias argument by Hillary supporters is tired. Months ago, she was "inevitable" and the media was fawning over her. Now, she can't catch a fair break? I don't buy it.

The media follows the story. Unfortunately, Hillary has given them so much fodder in the negative way she has run her campaign. Like sharks following a blood trail, they followed the story of her internal campaign problems, Obama-bashing, and "leaks" of photos to Drudge. She honestly has no one but herself to blame for the less than flattering coverage, because that is the story that she is giving them.

Obama has not participated in that kind of politics, so his positive message has been reported by the press. The fact that he is inspiring crowds of 20,000 IS news, which is why its being reported. Hillary needs to realize that the ends do not justify the means, style matters as does substance, and that she is reaping the negative attention that she has sewn. Her clueless advisers are not helping her in this regard.

In today's world, with the internet, youtube, blogs like this, etc., there are tons of ways for candidates to get their message across outside of the mainstream media. She has been campaigning personally for months in primary and caucus states and has not been succeeding. You cannot blame the media for that.

I've noticed her greatest supporters don't care about her abrasive style. That might be fine and good for her fans, but it is a major turn-off for most people and comes off as juvenile during the debates.

Posted by: hillmannic | February 27, 2008 11:25 AM | Report abuse

Last night's debate was a visual display of the difference between presidential temperament and temperamental.

Unfortunately, Hillary manages to display all of the traits that prejudice against women in positions of power... touchy, mean-spirited, flighty.

Our country does need a woman in the Oval Office.... just not this woman.

http://whathappenedtomycountry.blogspot.com

Posted by: Truth_Hunter | February 27, 2008 11:24 AM | Report abuse

Is it possible, just possible, that the SNL sketch was the "jump the shark" moment for the Obama campaign, signaling the beginning of a backlash that may come too late to affect the nomination fight, but just in time to benefit McCain in the general election? To my mind, if Hillary wins the popular vote in Texas, Ohio and one of the New England states, particularly in the face of such lowered expectations, it would prove that such is indeed the case and strongly suggest the need to wait until Pennsylvania votes, regardless of where the delegate count stands.

Posted by: TommyBarban | February 27, 2008 11:23 AM | Report abuse

I'm glad to see that our rational man in the Capital city led off the blog today.

But do any of you really think that Clinton would take advice, counseling, or any other type of informed opinion that runs contrary to her own "my way or the highway" mentality [sounds like the mentality of you-know-who also, of course]?

Hillary is, as her loyal lapdogs always assert, a "real fighter." I agree. Nobody, for example, has fought so successfully for so many years against the exposure of truth. [Well, to be fair, President Bush-Cheney also deserves an least a dishonorable mention in that regard.] The Clintons are now poised to show their fighting skills in a fight which could cleave the Democratic Party in half, in order to still secure their rebid for power. Oh how Rove must be chuckling to himself. Fight on, Hill-Bill.

Posted by: radicalpatriot | February 27, 2008 11:22 AM | Report abuse

So it seems the lines have been drawn. The sell-out clinton biden di fi moderates are siding with the gop. the gop is a cult. to them ,eithe ryou are like them or nothing. They will turn on you moderates. Please do not sell-out to the gop.

this is the gop mindset we're up against. Choose moderates. Are you republicans or not? If not please stop sabotaging your party and the future

"Unarmed is Dangerous
Let the kids have guns.
by Daniel Gelernter
02/27/2008 12:00:00 AM"

http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/014/801bwykp.asp

Posted by: JKrishnamurti | February 27, 2008 11:19 AM | Report abuse

After 20 debates not sure what voters got out of this one that they did not in other debates. Given that nominees close on issues, voters will be voting for the individual they connect with, for whatever reason. Love Hate or other.

Who do you believe won the MSNBC Democratic Debate in Cleveland Ohio?

http://www.youpolls.com/details.asp?pid=1788

.

Posted by: PollM | February 27, 2008 11:12 AM | Report abuse

Dave. Its a fair argument but I think analogizing the Obama-Clinton contest to a 11-10 baseball in the bottom of the ninth is wishful thinking.

Obama has won 25 of 35 contests. He has 155 more pledged delegates and a 100 total delegate lead (including superdelegates). His lead in the popular vote is just shy of 1 million. Even if we were to count Florida, his lead would stand at 630k. And, once again, he has won the last 11 contests by an average margin of 30-35 points.

It is indeed the bottom of the ninth, but Obama has a formidable lead and Hillary is running out of gatorade.

Posted by: Republicus1 | February 27, 2008 11:10 AM | Report abuse

Hillary was strongly advised to withdraw after Wisonsin, but she was already in denial.

Bill extracted a promise Hillary would withdraw UNLESS she won TX and Ohio.

Bill, knowing precisely what a Clinton promise is worth, immediately PUBLICLY announced the race was hopeless unless she won both TX and Ohio to pin her down.

Hillary will never know al the times she was stabbed in the back by Dems. And each blow was well deserved and earned.

Posted by: JaxMax | February 27, 2008 11:09 AM | Report abuse

"How Do We Defeat Tim Russert?"

You fools - you can't stop Tim Russert. You can only hope to contain him.

For all you Russert-haters, I'd like to see you shoot your mouths off to him in the Sunday morning hotseat. He's called Hillary and countless others on their BS many times, and our world is better for it.

Posted by: bondjedi | February 27, 2008 11:09 AM | Report abuse

Has Hillary gotten the $5 million back, or is it still "loaned" to the campaign? And, what is the real source of this money? Is it 1/2 Bill's money? Is it from some rich foreign lobbyist? How can it truly be "her money" and not partly "his money?" I think the answers to these questions will impact whether Hillary continues campaigning or not....whether she needs to con the public into helping her repay the $5 million loan. And do the "donations" go into a slush fund that can be used for her/their personal expenses, such as getting her hair done, or another $200 haircut for Bill [remember...on the tarmac while other planes are diverted around LAX?] I think we have had enough Clintons in office because the past memories are not so good.

Posted by: ArmyVet | February 27, 2008 11:08 AM | Report abuse

Obama supporters, you're right. Most Americans hate the backbiting politics of recent decades. Yes, everyone should get together and, ya know, make things better. Now, have you already forgotten the early 2000s when the Republicans ruled both the White House and Congress? They took their shot at finally destroying the Democratic Party, you remember that? Yeah, well, a couple of years later it's hard to imagine that they'll suddenly play nice. Karl Rove will not stop Roving. Swift Boaters will not stop Swift Boating. To me, Obama's biggest allure is that he might inspire the American Public to pressure their Congressmen to make nice. But if the American Public loses interest a couple of months into Obama's presidency, well, then Obama loses strength. Unless he surrounds himself with staff members who understand how Washington works, we could be in for yet another failed presidency. I hope Obama's as good as he says he is!

Posted by: dognabbit | February 27, 2008 11:08 AM | Report abuse

pdgray7, the problem is that with proportional delegate allocations, even a lead of just 100 delegates is a yawning gap with so few contests still to come. The remaining states that favor her, at least on paper, are Ohio, Texas, Rhode Island, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. Obama, meanwhile, can count on Oregon, Montana, Wyoming, South Dakota, Mississippi, North Carolina, and Vermont. I count Indiana and Puerto Rico as pushes. But she's lost her lead in Texas, and delegate-rich Ohio and Pennsylvania are looking more and more like draws at best for her. And when you look at the trend of the national numbers, it's reasonable to conclude the same sort of shift is going on elsewhere.

Outside of the pledged delegates, her only hopes are for the Michigan and Florida delegations to be seated as they are presently constituted, which won't happen, or for the superdelegates to more than make up the deficit among pledged delegates. That would be a disaster for the party, but the neutral observers who have been paying attention don't think that will happen either.

So that's where Hillary stands. And if she actually loses further ground next Tuesday, it becomes all the more hopeless. She really needs a convincing delegate-count victory next Tuesday to have any hope, and the recent polling from Texas and Ohio makes that a more and more remote possibility.

Posted by: novamatt | February 27, 2008 11:07 AM | Report abuse

$$$$$ The Clintons will need to write a $10 Million Dollar check to the campaign to stop Obama's Momentum before March 4 $$$$$

Posted by: FutureJumps | February 27, 2008 11:06 AM | Report abuse

Hillary is running out of runway; either she takes 3 of 4, including both TX and OH, or it's game over.

As for her contention that the media is doing to Obama what that plump girl did to her husband; well, she mostly has herself to blame for that. As others have noted, she's a shrill, mean-spirited campaigner who specializes in demonizing her opponents and fighting dirty. Is it any wonder that the media (as a reflection of America) is going to view that negatively?

Posted by: JD | February 27, 2008 11:02 AM | Report abuse

This is the way I see March 4 right now.

Clinton: Ohio & Rhode Island

Obama: Vermont

The big battle ground seems to be Texas. Texas is very close and either of them could win it. But as far as Clinton getting out, I doubt it seriously. If she wins Ohio & Rhode Island and splits the vote in Texas, she has a strong leg to stand on...whether she wins or loses Texas by 1 or 2 points. Clinton is up big in Pa., and with the support of gov. Rendell she seriously has the edge there. Clinton goes on to Pa.

McCain awaits the winner.

Posted by: bryant_flier2006 | February 27, 2008 10:55 AM | Report abuse

It amazes me how the Clinton supporters cannot accept the fact that the CHANGE American voters want is a president reaching across the aisle and bring both Republicans and Democrats together to get needed legislation passed instead of the Clinton way which is demonizing the opposition, and being totally divisive and polarizing. Hating the Republicans is not going to get our nations business accomplished, and this whining about Russert and the moderators sounds like a sports fan's paranoia that the referees in a game were always penalizing their team. Poor losers make those kind of accusations.
Obama will work with both parties to get needed changes and his message is uplifting and working together whereas Clinton's message is tearing your opponent apart. If what you want in a president is a mean, nasty and divisive person then vote for Clinton. However, our nation deserves better and progress never comes from mean spirited, nasty, divisive politics.

Posted by: amitai | February 27, 2008 10:54 AM | Report abuse

> Never count Hillary out. She is a fighter and that is what we need > as President. I for one am a self employed person and the cost of > health insurance is incredible.
> I need a fighter in the White House to remember those of us who ?will never move our business to another country. Hillary 08

>Posted by: GSWAGNER | February 27, 2008 08:35 AM

You would trust the person who bungled health care reform (and then abandoned the subject until she needed it again) to fix it?

Posted by: GWGOLDB | February 27, 2008 10:51 AM | Report abuse

At Last Hillary was able to point out on National TV how One Sided the so-called 'Liberal' press has been toward the Clinton/Obama contest. Especially obnoxious to me has been the nakedly partisan role MNBC (cosponser of the recent televised debates)has chosen to assume in the race.

Beginning with the wholly inappropriate 'Makes Me Puke' comment re: Chelsea Clinton's role in her mother's campaign by a Chris Matthews protege, it has been sadly apparent MNBC has decided to interject it's own perjudices into a national campaign to select the Next president.

Any doubt of MNBC's intent to try and create a negative vibe around Clinton was completely erased during 'The Tim Russert Show' this Saturday during which his hand selected panel of Obama partisans Nora O'Donnel, Micheal Stern and the notoriously myopic Eugene Robinson met to spend an hour excoreating Clinton and beating the drum for Obama.

Russert's and these other "Journalists" behavior was shameful enough on the Russert Show Saturday, without the fact that Russert was schuduled to at least give the IMPRESSION of being neutral as MNBC's moderator of the next Clinton-Obama debate.

RE: Russert's behavior last night as moderator of the debate, suffice it to mention that according to one calculation metioned in this edtion of the Wa. Post, Clinton's charge at the beginning of the debate that she was put on the spot more often by the moderators of the last debates then Obama was is (of course) spot on. And Russert did NOTHING to alter that record last night.

As the shameful history of the terribly compliant and passive behavior of the "Liberal" press demonstrated during the run-up to the debacle of the Iraq War, it seems our self styled guardians of a free press are often times either to lazy to practice objective journalism or will sometimes let themselves be dazzeled by a smooth talker who gives the appearence that they stoop to conquer.....

Shame on the "Liberal Press" who should have learned something from the tragidy in Iraq and shame on us as citizens of a Free country if we do not demand more from the Fourth Estate.

Birddog

Posted by: Birddog08 | February 27, 2008 10:51 AM | Report abuse

I'm impressed! I thought after reading Chris' piece, I'd scroll down and read pro-Obama Screamers puking all over Hillary and the MSM. Instead, the first two postings - from mark_in_austin and AndyR3 - were thoughtful (!) and, I believe, correct. A little further down, Seneca7 struck a similar tone. A *Useful* tone. I don't learn anything from the hating Screamers.

Posted by: dognabbit | February 27, 2008 10:50 AM | Report abuse

bsimon -- what you said. The comparison is unrealistic. McCain's campaign revived because he started winning primaries. Hillary's campaign is now hanging by a thread because she started losing primaries. Hillary doesn't exactly have many primaries left to win.

Posted by: esmerelda123 | February 27, 2008 10:50 AM | Report abuse

Hillary will keep moving her goal posts as long as someone is supplying her with money. Her real problem going forward is not the press, her campaign's schizoid strategy, or even her difficult-to-love personality. Her real problem is finding the money to continue. I'm not sure she could defeat Obama today even if the only people voting were her previous donors.

When the money is all dried up (if it's not already), Hillary will "suspend" her campaign and wait on the sidelines in hopes of a Macaca Moment for Obama. However, she will never concede a nomination which she feels is "rightfully" hers.

Posted by: Stonecreek | February 27, 2008 10:49 AM | Report abuse

Clinton needs BIG wins in both Texas and Ohio for her to claim victory. If she loses either state, this thing is over and the media should treat it like it is.

Posted by: jcrozier1 | February 27, 2008 10:44 AM | Report abuse

"1st, Hillary's campaign is hanging by a thread. But that doesn't mean she's dead. McCain's campaign also hung by a thread once, remember?"

AdrickHenry, its a flawed analogy. McCain's campaign hung by a thread before a single vote was cast & before any of his opponents had established any significant momentum.

Posted by: bsimon | February 27, 2008 10:44 AM | Report abuse

chadibuins: I agree 100%.

BTW, Tim Russert is the man.

Posted by: jnoel002 | February 27, 2008 10:41 AM | Report abuse

It's about time someone pointed out that New Hampshire was NOT a surprise. There was not enough time between Iowa and New Hampshire for the NH voters to reconsider their decisions about for whom they would vote. I would have been surprised if Obama had won that state with all the foregone conclusion propaganda that was out (especially on the East Coast) at that time. Voters in TX, OH, RI and VT will get plenty of time to get to know BOTH candidates. I predict the Obama bandwagon will roll right over the Clinton camp (if perhaps, slowly). Then Hillary will get the chance to flip/flop on the agreements concerning MI and FL delegates.

Posted by: wwwqueen | February 27, 2008 10:37 AM | Report abuse

I think Hillary should continue stay in the race through the convention; it's the democratic thing to do. However, she needs to change her tactics and not be so aggressive or negative. I would respect her for continuing through.
I don't understand the conspiracy theories about Republicans voting against Hillary. As a Republican and knowing many Republicans, I thought the only chance Republicans had to keep the White House was if Hillary was the nominee.
I think you may be underestimating Obama-Republicans.

Posted by: jnoel002 | February 27, 2008 10:37 AM | Report abuse

A few things..

1st, Hillary's campaign is hanging by a thread. But that doesn't mean she's dead. McCain's campaign also hung by a thread once, remember?

HRC needs wins in both TX and OH. If she loses either, she may still hang-on, but it would only be delaying the inevitable.

I give Obama an 90% probability of winning the Nom now. But there's still that 10%...

2nd, wouldn't it be great to have a debate with no moderator. Just a conversation. No rules. Just the two candidates talking to each other for an hour. Asking each other the questions. If either became overbearing or rude I am sure that that would not play well. So, rules would not be necessary -- the candidates would be self-moderating.

3rd, can anyone (Claudia? Mark?) verify the number Obama threw out there yesterday on Iraq? Are we really spending $12,000,000,000 a MONTH?!?!?

Does anyone know the amount we've been spending per month? And if yes, what is your source?

Posted by: AdrickHenry | February 27, 2008 10:35 AM | Report abuse

"Tim Russert - went to Woodstock in a Bills jersey with a case of beer, went to work on New York Democrat Daniel Patrick Moynihan's 1976 Senatorial campaign and later went to work on New York Democrat Mario Cuomo's 1982 gubernatorial campaign. Currently employed by anything but conservative NBC. How can anybody not see he is clearly part of the VRWC... Claudialong's MO - shoot the questioner."

1976? you don't think people can change their political opinions? you know Hillary worked for Barry Goldwater, right?

And as far as NBC -- no, it's not 'conservative' but neithr are so-called 'conservatives.' What it is is corporate and rightwing leanings, as are all the networks.

And I'm sorry, the questions are clownishly juvenile and idiotic. Why shouldn't we demand better? Are you actually satisfied with this level of drivel?

Posted by: drindl | February 27, 2008 10:30 AM | Report abuse

BWC--you're wrong-Obama has and encourages people to deal with the tough issues and "bite the bullet"--Neither he nor Hillary are saying we can get anything we want. It sounds like you are buying into the groupthink of relegating everything Obama says to sugar and spice.

mjno--have you been watching the debates?

And to everyone, since when is having a better (and winning) strategy a bad thing, or dubious thing. If he has better strategy in the debate then he has better srategy in the debate. She went first because she a) lost the coin toss and b)likes to answer questions and is more assertive--I admire that about her--but I don't think she should then turn it into "they're picking on me because I always go first"--Perfect example--last night Russert asked both candidates what they knew about Putin's successor--she jumped on the opportunity to answer--and did a great job--I think it was one of Obama's weaker answers--but SHE chose to answer first--she could have deferred to him and possibly really shown him up--but she chose to jump in with an answer.

People--the idea that this 12+ month long race is anything but a race is ridiculous. Every race has to be won eventually, and just becasue Obama has pulled into the lead now--does not mean he is being coronated. These candidates have been campaigning and debating since Spring 2007---we're coming into the home stretch and someone is in the lead--it's not over yet, but someone is in teh lead, and worked hard to get there--that does not mean he was given advantages or is dubious--it means at this point he is running the race smarter and better than she is.

May the best Man or Woman win!

Posted by: chadibuins | February 27, 2008 10:26 AM | Report abuse

can I have a side of hash browns with that?

Posted by: AdrickHenry | February 27, 2008 10:24 AM | Report abuse

pdgray7 | February 27, 2008 10:13 AM

The TOAST is served and buttered. Wake up and smell the coffee.

Posted by: rfpiktor | February 27, 2008 10:23 AM | Report abuse

pdgray, I think the issue is that Obama has completely defied expectations. The fact that he is ahead this much at all, and on the streak he has now to boot, is such a turn from the given that Hillary would be the candidate that the story has more legs. I don't think you can imagine the swap of delegate numbers with the same effect.

Posted by: esmerelda123 | February 27, 2008 10:22 AM | Report abuse

wentmat: I thought my numbers looked wrong, but I was in a hurry. You're right.

Posted by: Blarg | February 27, 2008 10:21 AM | Report abuse

Republicus1 - 'How else can a candidate who has been thumped 11 times in a row by around 30-35 points (on average) still be considered a viable candidate?"

Perhaps because based on the total delegate count listed above, he has 51.8% of the delegates and she has 48.2% of the delegates which means that it is still a very, very close race. It's like a team being down 11-10 in the bottom of the ninth of a baseball game. Nobody would think to call the game just because the team that was down scored all 10 runs in the first inning and the other team SCORED 11 STRAIGHT RUNS.

Posted by: dave | February 27, 2008 10:21 AM | Report abuse

I completely agree with epinchicago -- this isn't about the math; it's about the good of the party and moving on to support a national candidate who can win in November. Hillary just can't. As much as I respect her, I respect her a hell of a lot less than I did a month ago. Her performance last night was filled with the catty negativity that has seeped through in recent weeks, and that is her own fault, not the media's doing. All this nonesense about the media favoring Obama is infuriating. Put the two side by side like last night and their demeanor speaks for itself. The cattiness of Hillary is such a turn off. Obama's response to the Farrakhan question sealed the deal for me. His humor at the inappropriate questions was icing on the cake. He has the presidential qualities we need right *now* and Hillary has just shown too much stomach-turning behavior recently for me to take. I don't think she will win in Ohio and Texas but sadly I also don't think she is going to drop out.

Posted by: esmerelda123 | February 27, 2008 10:20 AM | Report abuse

I have to say the "experts" sound like they are on a hike from reality and into Mark Penn's alternate Hillaryland Parallel Universe scenario.

Posted by: rfpiktor | February 27, 2008 10:19 AM | Report abuse

As for Texas, Schoen argued that Clinton "needs to win the popular vote by some margin, however small."


SEE THIS:

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2008/president/tx/texas_democratic_primary-312.html

Posted by: rfpiktor | February 27, 2008 10:16 AM | Report abuse

I have a question for both BO and HC supporters: do you think that if the votes were reversed, BO would be considered to be "ahead of expectations" by being within 100-150 delegates? I know it may be irrelevant at this point, but because it is a relatively slim margin, I don't see HC as being "toast", even if she LOSES by a slim margin in both Ohio and PA, and the delegate count remains somewhat in the 100-200 range in BO's favor. That's only a slim lead when a little more than 2,000 are needed to get the nomination. (By the way, I voted for BO, but I won't be disappointed if HC gets the nomination).

Posted by: pdgray7 | February 27, 2008 10:13 AM | Report abuse

Blarg - I think your maths is wrong. To make up a 155 delegate deficit Senator Clinton would have to win 263 delegates to Senator Obama's 107 (giving her a net gain of 156 delegates). In other words, she would have to win 71% of the delegates, a near impossibility.

Posted by: wentmat | February 27, 2008 10:11 AM | Report abuse

Why is the NATIONAL CO-CHAIR FOR HILLARY CLINTON'S PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN -- former Idaho Gov. Tom Vilsack -- leading a "privately convened commission of labor and immigrant advocates" and conducting independent "hearings" into how the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) branch is enforcing immigration and labor laws?

One would think that with everything going on with Hillary's campaign at the moment, Governor Vilsack might have a little more to worry about than the "constitutional rights" of illegal alien criminals.

Could Vilsack be auditioning for a cabinet post? How about Director of Homeland Security?

See:

Immigration Agency Accused of Illegal Searches
Washington Post, February 26, 2008
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/02/25/AR2008022503369.html

"PANEL TO EXAMINE AGENCY INVOLVED IN SWIFT RAIDS"
ASSOCIATED PRESS • FEBRUARY 24, 2008
http://www.desmoinesregister.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080224/NEWS/802240329/-1/NEWS04

and

"OHIO'S FIRST LADY CAMPAIGNS TODAY FOR CLINTON"
Wilmington (OH) News JournalFebruary 23, 2008
http://www.wnewsj.com/main.asp?SectionID=49&SubSectionID=156&ArticleID=163363&TM=31294.23

Posted by: Vic1 | February 27, 2008 10:09 AM | Report abuse

I also think Hillary's accusations of pro-Obama media are ridiculous. The converse is true. How else can a candidate who has been thumped 11 times in a row by around 30-35 points (on average) still be considered a viable candidate?

Posted by: Republicus1 | February 27, 2008 10:07 AM | Report abuse

SHE SHOULD WIN! She is without a doubt a "fighter." But...The last two debates were more of the same. Clinton gets the questions first, then Obama uses his strategy. Stare at her, agree with everything she says, then end with "but I am better." Why even show up for the debates.

Posted by: mjno | February 27, 2008 10:07 AM | Report abuse

Does anyone have a cupie doll they can give Clinton? That may make her happy, knowing that she won something, and then Bill can drive her home.

Posted by: johng1 | February 27, 2008 10:07 AM | Report abuse

Hillary needs to win both states, out right or she is done. Thats absolutely how it has to be, there is no way she can sustain if she wins only Rhode Island. Even if Obama only wins by 3 or 4 points that is a 20-25 point swing in 3 WEEKS! Ever since Super Tuesday where ever Hillary goes the numbers automatically drop

http://theghostofedmuskie.blogspot.com/

Posted by: srg5007 | February 27, 2008 10:03 AM | Report abuse

Tim Russert - went to Woodstock in a Bills jersey with a case of beer, went to work on New York Democrat Daniel Patrick Moynihan's 1976 Senatorial campaign and later went to work on New York Democrat Mario Cuomo's 1982 gubernatorial campaign. Currently employed by anything but conservative NBC. How can anybody not see he is clearly part of the VRWC... Claudialong's MO - shoot the questioner.

Posted by: dave | February 27, 2008 10:00 AM | Report abuse

Senator Clinton's campaign has several things they must do if they want to be able to make a credible argument for remaining in the race. The first is to reverse the delegate flow to Obama. A 'tie' here is not adequate, particularly if they tie the delegate counts in OH & TX, but lose ground via losses in VT & RI. Secondly, and possibly more importantly, they have to expand their base. Sen Obama's campaign has been winning certain groups of voters by wide margins - and has been making inroads into groups that used to go for Clinton. If Sen Clinton's campaign does not improve her performance in groups that aren't her base, it becomes extremely difficult for her to convince superdelegates that she is the better candidate for the general. And that's what she has to do: she cannot, for all practical purposes, catch Obama in pledged delegates, so has to rely on the superdelegates to swing her way. If she is only attractive to the blue collar & elderly female voters, that's a hard case to make.

Posted by: bsimon | February 27, 2008 9:58 AM | Report abuse

I agree with "blert." And has anybody noticed that Obama has quietly moved within 6 in PA?

Posted by: jac13 | February 27, 2008 9:58 AM | Report abuse

What happened to all of the talk about Hillary needing to win big in Ohio and Texas to keep it close? Why has that dissipated and morphed into discussion of her winning by a couple of points in TX and OH, possibly losing the delegate count on March 4, and still trying to claim a big victory that night.

It is still the case that she needs to win OH and TX by big margings. If she doesn't, she is done and should drop out for the good of the party. Of course she will lose the delegate count in TX, but she'll hang around like Huckabee, just because she is a "fighter".

Were the roles reversed, the media would be talking baout how much damage Obama was doing to the party by hanging around in a losing effort.

Posted by: psears2 | February 27, 2008 9:56 AM | Report abuse

"The IRS is investigating the United Church of Christ over a speech Sen. Barack Obama gave at its national meeting last year after he became a candidate for president, the denomination said Tuesday.

Obama, an Illinois Democrat, belongs to the 1.2 million-member Protestant group through his Chicago congregation."

Funny thing now, isn't it? Huckabee, who has had voter bussed to polls by church groups and who has received direct funding from megachurch leaders and minister's groups, has never been investigated by the IRS, nor have any of the groups involved.

I WONDER WHY THAT IS.

Posted by: drindl | February 27, 2008 9:51 AM | Report abuse

She at least needs Texas (and something close in Ohio):

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

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

Posted by: davidmwe | February 27, 2008 9:48 AM | Report abuse

The Hillary/Barack debate is a repeat of Carter/Reagan and Barack is Reagan. If Hillary can make people understand this she can still take Texas. Today Texas will past the 500,000.00 mark in early voting - time is running.

Remember Carter told us we needed to bite the bullet and deal with the oil issue - we needed to sacrifice - Reagan said no - remember the line "There he goes again."

We all know Carter was right - we should have dealt with the oil issue back in 1980 - but Reagan said "oh no, the people can have anything they want." we are now paying the price for eating Reagan's candy.

Hillary needs to ask the question - would we be better off today had we bit the bullet in 1980? She needs to make the comparison to Reagan and his call for sugar canes and lollipops.

Barack allows the people to deny the reality of our economy - this is dangerous

Bobby Wightman-Cervantes

Posted by: bobbywc | February 27, 2008 9:47 AM | Report abuse

The Hillary/Barack debate is a repeat of Carter/Reagan and Barack is Reagan. If Hillary can make people understand this she can still take Texas. Today Texas will past the 500,000.00 mark in early voting - time is running.

Remember Carter told us we needed to bite the bullet and deal with the oil issue - we needed to sacrifice - Reagan said no - remember the line "There he goes again."

We all know Carter was right - we should have dealt with the oil issue back in 1980 - but Reagan said "oh no, the people can have anything they want." we are now paying the price for eating Reagan's candy.

Hillary needs to ask the question - would we be better off today had we bit the bullet in 1980? She needs to make the comparison to Reagan and his call for sugar canes and lollipops.

Barack allows the people to deny the reality of our economy - this is dangerous

Bobby Wightman-Cervantes

Posted by: bobbywc | February 27, 2008 9:47 AM | Report abuse

Breaking a little better than even delagate-wise between the 4 states will allow Hillary to stay in the game. Superdelagates along with the fact that the people who are supposed to know the facts about the delagate totals can't agree on who has what means there is wiggle room for Hillary. If she wins a state or two (or more), she can claim momentum is stopped as "the streak" would be over. If that happens, look for more arguments about what to do with the votes in FL and MI.

Posted by: dave | February 27, 2008 9:46 AM | Report abuse

There are two different important measures of viability for the Clinton campaign. One is delegates; the other is momentum (a.k.a. public perception or media spin).

By the second standard, which is the easier threshold to meet, Clinton needs to win both Ohio and Texas, and probably needs to win both the Texas popular vote and delegate count. This would serve to stem the negative publicity cycle over the past month and to make the race look like a race again rather than a coronation.

However, the more realistic standard is the first one, which requires winning enough delegates to significantly close ground on Obama. Clinton is going to have an increasingly difficult time wooing superdelegates. Some are willing to buck the popular vote, but many won't, and winning over the remaining superdelegates by a margin of 100 or 150 or so will be hard. Clinton needs to win by big enough margins in states like Texas, Ohio, and Pennsylvania to reduce Obama's lead by 50 or 70 delegates. Unless the polls are wrong by 15-20 points or more, there is no chance whatsoever of this happening.

By the delegate standard, Clinton already looks done, but by the momentum standard she might be able to prolong her campaign a bit longer with marginal wins, even if doing so doesn't gain her (or the party) anything tangible in the end.

Posted by: blert | February 27, 2008 9:43 AM | Report abuse

Has a single moderator in any of these presidential debates asked a canddiate what they would try to do about this -- the single most important issue facing us? The financial survival of the middle class, let alone the working class?

'Gasoline prices, which for months lagged behind the big run-up in the price of oil, are suddenly rising quickly, with some experts saying they could approach $4 a gallon by spring. Diesel is hitting new records daily, and oil settled at a record high of $100.88 a barrel on Tuesday.

The increases could not come at a worse time for the economy. With growth slowing, energy increases that were once easily absorbed by consumers are now more likely to act as a drag on household budgets, leaving people with less money to spend elsewhere. These costs could worsen the nation's economic woes, piling a fresh energy shock on top of the turmoil in credit and housing.

"The effect of high oil prices today could be the difference between having a recession and not having a recession," said Kenneth S. Rogoff, a Harvard economist.

The depth of the nation's economic problems became clearer Tuesday with the release of figures showing that prices at the producer level rose 1 percent in January from December, driven in large measure by energy costs. Compared with a year ago, prices were up 7.4 percent, the worst producer price inflation in the United States since 1981.

Other new figures showed that home prices around the country are falling at an accelerating pace, suggesting no end is in sight for the housing slump."

Posted by: drindl | February 27, 2008 9:41 AM | Report abuse

'How Do We Defeat Tim Russert?
Can someone please explain to me how that can possibly happen until something is done about the reprehensible political press? From tax returns to Farrakhan to footage shown by "mistake" to the endless, trivial, gotcha bullsh*t, this debate spectacle tonight was a classic demonstration of what people really hate about politics. It isn't actually the candidates who can at least on occasion be substantive and serious. The problem is Tim Russert and all his petty, shallow acolytes.'

I have to agree with this.Debate moderation hit an all-time low this year, reduced to a surreal cross between kindergarten and the Soviet Union. Puerile, shallow, nauseating--it's a rightwing clown show. Ugh.

Posted by: drindl | February 27, 2008 9:35 AM | Report abuse

blert said:
Still, it's curious to see Republicans (or at least a Republican) leaning the other direction now.

I think it is more of a difference between Southern Repubs and northern Repubs than an overall trend.

Posted by: chadibuins | February 27, 2008 9:31 AM | Report abuse

claudialong,

There is nothing illegal about registering a party affiliation, nor about encouraging people to do so. It is a dirty tactic, but it's also one that has been played for a long time.

The "vote against Hillary" sentiment is actually a little surprising given that, just a week or so ago, there were a lot of Republicans in Wisconsin's open primary (where people decide after receiving the ballot which primary they want to vote in) considering a vote for Clinton. McCain was seen either as distasteful or else as having the nomination sewn up, and the Republicans felt that Clinton was the weaker of the two Democrats in the general election. A lot of good it did Clinton, of course--Obama won by a landslide.

Still, it's curious to see Republicans (or at least a Republican) leaning the other direction now.

Posted by: blert | February 27, 2008 9:26 AM | Report abuse

Those who are minimizing Obama's position because he is "only" 150 delegates ahead are ignoring the glaring fact that he has not only won 11 primaries/caucuses in a row, but by an average of some 30 points -- in fact, Wisconsin, generally viewed as a blowout at 17-18 points, was the CLOSEST!

We have to look at the whole picture, and what it tells us if that the voters have embraced Obama and rejected the doubts Hillary has tried to raise about him.

Posted by: jac13 | February 27, 2008 9:25 AM | Report abuse

Chris,

The expectations game is over. She's been blown out 11 times in a row. She simply has to Ohio and Texas by at least 15 points to have a meaningful chance. If she wins in both states but fails to win by wide margins, its over - it just might take a little longer for the superdelegates to fall in line.

- R

Posted by: Republicus1 | February 27, 2008 9:19 AM | Report abuse

GOODBYE, HILLARY !!!

Posted by: nosubstituteforvictory | February 27, 2008 9:18 AM | Report abuse

Caraprado1 said:
The difference between Obama and Clinton was made clear in the question regarding Louis Farrakhan. Clinton raised it tactically, in order to attempt to frame Obama as having sympathies that she knows he does not actually have--and Obama answered in with honesty, grace, and relaxed humor. He knows who he is and what he believes. A tactical, reactive response--based on fear--was not necessary.

Obama--substantive and solid.

YES YES YES, I couldn't agree more.

And I do not think there has been much favortism--again, I think she is "hitting the refs" and I think the media is responding by going out of their way to be nicer to her and make sure they look tough on Obama--only problem is seen in the Farrakhan isue--he answers openly and honestly and even "conceded" to her point --on LIVE TV he conceded her point and said the words she was pressuring him about "I reject and denounce" . . .much more than she can say about the Iraq war--which she has said she regrets and wouldn't do again, but WILL NOT just say I WAS WRONG--I APOLOGIZE. He is a different breed of politician, and I think our country will benefit from his leadership.

Posted by: chadibuins | February 27, 2008 9:16 AM | Report abuse

I think if she loses either state then for the good of the party she should withdraw. It's going to be hard enough for Obama to win back Hillary supporters which he'll need in the general election. He'll also need the continued support of the media. The greatest tragedy would be media, after railroading him into the nomination, abandons him during the general election. I honestly don't think that will happen though, the media sees at least two years of big money news interest in President Obama. And BTW Hillary supporters, we know the republicans skewed our primary, we've known it from the beginning. Get over it, the best way to beat the republicans for voting in dem primary is to actually elect Obama (which they never thought would happen).

Posted by: DPoniatowski | February 27, 2008 9:14 AM | Report abuse

A win for Sen. Clinton will be that she concedes in a dignified manner and goes back to being New York's junior senator.

Barack Obama is the Democrat's nominee for the general election.

Hill, you are toast. I will cry not a tear for thee or the one called Bubba.

Posted by: rfpiktor | February 27, 2008 9:12 AM | Report abuse

The difference between Obama and Clinton was made clear in the question regarding Louis Farrakhan. Clinton raised it tactically, in order to attempt to frame Obama as having sympathies that she knows he does not actually have--and Obama answered in with honesty, grace, and relaxed humor. He knows who he is and what he believes. A tactical, reactive response--based on fear--was not necessary.

Obama--substantive and solid.

If you can't make it to an Obama rally, or want to take it with you as we get closer to decision day, you can find the entire Obama rally setlist--from "City of Blinding Lights" to which he takes the stage to "Signed, Sealed, Delivered"--the entire setlist!--on Itunes, here:

http://phobos.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewIMix?id=273867065&s=143441&v0=575

Posted by: caraprado1 | February 27, 2008 9:08 AM | Report abuse

I think this is less about the mathematical capability for Hillary to win and more about what her staying in the race is doing to the Democratic Party. (I guess the good news is that once McCain gets in the ring, Obama will have been more "vetted," albeit by his allies.)

I have tremendous respect for Hillary Clinton, but this isn't about if she can win, especially when polls show Obama with a 10 point lead over McCain. We need a Democrat in the White House next year and as much as I respect her experience and service, she's not the one.

Posted by: epinchicago | February 27, 2008 9:06 AM | Report abuse

and call me superstitious but I'm betting/feeling an Edwards endorsement before 3/4.

I assume this would be for Obama--but not 100% sure.

Posted by: chadibuins | February 27, 2008 9:02 AM | Report abuse

CC--I agree with your take on it.

I think for a decision to be made someone needs to be a decisive winner--but at a minimum, to stay in the competition she needs to win both (even marginally, or even only in the popular vote)

The delegate count is too up in the air--you have a around 100; CNN says around 150--regardless of the way delegates are counted, the fact that there are more than one way means both of you guys must be somewhat off (if even a little bit)--and if he loses Texas popular vote, but wins the majority of Texas delegates it feels like a "technicality"--maybe it really will come to them spending money campaigning in Puerto Rico---can you imagine?? But what a position for Puerto Rico. :)

Posted by: chadibuins | February 27, 2008 9:00 AM | Report abuse

If Hillary pulls out TX and Ohio (no matter how small the margin), the relentless and countless pundits will change their tune overnight. Don't forget, none other than Tim Russert called Hillary's NH win "the biggest political upset in his lifetime". She will get demolished in Vermont, so a Rhode Island win for Hillary is also an important narrative for next Tuesday. All that said, if she loses either of the biggies by even one vote, it is over.

Chuck Todd just declared on MCNBC that Obama will in all likelihood come up short in Ohio. It is going to be a VERY interesting evening.

Posted by: jamesclicktr | February 27, 2008 8:59 AM | Report abuse

Are you all nuts?

Right now she's only about 100 delegates behind. So even if she loses both, she's still in much better shape than Huckabee on the Republican side. So I'm not even sure if she should concede if she loses both.

And certainly if she wins one of the two, she's STILL be only 100 delegates behind, in a convention with 4000 delegates.

I think she should follow the Huckabee test- no concessions until its mathematically over.

Posted by: lewyn | February 27, 2008 8:58 AM | Report abuse

Hillary is currently behind by 155 pledged delegates. There are 370 delegates at stake on March 4. To make up her delegate deficit, she needs to win 215 delegates, or 58%. That's extremely unlikely. So even if she wins all four states somehow, Hillary will still be behind in pledged delegates.

Posted by: Blarg | February 27, 2008 8:54 AM | Report abuse

"Playing games in what is the most important primary election in years is reprehensible - especially when it's under the guise of language that's so manipulative."

As Mark can tell you, Drindl, the same thing is going on in TX. HRC is such a remarkably motivating negative force that the GOP will come out to vote against her even in the primaries.

As far as HRC status in the race after March 4, my question is: will she drop out when she should? If she loses TX, RI and VT but wins OH will she say she now has some sort of tiresome mandate and soldier on?

Posted by: judgeccrater | February 27, 2008 8:52 AM | Report abuse

If Clinton wins both TX & OH, no matter how narrowly, I think she will continue, though she shouldn't for the good of the party. If she lost either, she'll bow out. I would think she would need a big win in at least one of the big states (preferably OH, because it is a swing state that the Dems will need in the Fall) and to win 3 out of the 4, for her campaign to have turned the ship around. Anything short of that would almost mathematically put her out of the delegate race without the superdelegates, which would kill the party if that is what decides this race. If the money race was reversed, I could see this being possible, but with Obama's organization (which is the real surprise of this election), he'll bus enough people to the polls to preclude another Clinton comeback.

Posted by: SinnedNoir | February 27, 2008 8:51 AM | Report abuse

Mark Begich to announce this afternoon that he's running for Senate. That's another one for the good guys. Think we're up to between +3 and +8 in the Senate now.

Posted by: novamatt | February 27, 2008 8:50 AM | Report abuse

What's the differece? The media will indict her, no matter what the outcome.
This has been an election by default:
the failure of the press to allow the process to proceed on its own, starting back in Iowa. The Press got on the Obama bandwagon and that was the end of the race; they have essentially elected the Democratic candidate...

Posted by: vammap | February 27, 2008 8:50 AM | Report abuse

With 6 days left for undecided voters to decide, we have to wait only a few days for the polls to show us the futility of Hillary's task. If I had to guess how it turns out, she'll be left with the irony of a win only in Rhode Island on March 4, a cruel fate for someone who argued her electability based on being able to win the large states.

I suspect that Obama will cement his advantage with some more high profile endorsements before March 4. The super delegates will break swiftly to Obama after the results are in, allowing Hillary no option but to withdraw.

Posted by: optimyst | February 27, 2008 8:50 AM | Report abuse

From an Austin interview with a Clinton pollster:

Martin: Senator Clinton performed well with Hispanics in California. Do you see any tangible differences between California Hispanics and Texas Hispanics?

Bendixen. I think that Texas Hispanic voters are a lot more interested in the military, in how we treat the soldiers that come back from Iraq and Afghanistan, and I think they are less interested in immigration policy than Hispanic voters in California. That has a lot to do with the makeup of the electorate in those two states. Almost one-half of Hispanics in California are immigrants, compared to only 18% in Texas.

Mr. Bendixen noted that there are two large segments of Hispanics -- those who are English-language dominant (AZ, TX, NM, CO, NV), and those who are Spanish-language dominant (CA, NY, FL).

Posted by: mark_in_austin | February 27, 2008 8:46 AM | Report abuse

Isn't this illegal -- it's definitely unethical:

'A top Clear Channel talk radio station has been (sort of) urging GOP listeners to switch sides and vote in Ohio's Democratic primary.

Over the last several days, a promo for a popular show hosted by Bob Franz has been playing repeatedly. It suggests this method of beating both Sen. Hillary Clinton of New York and Rep. Dennis Kucinich of Ohio, who's facing an uncertain primary contest:

"If I weren't more responsible, I would get on the radio and say something like this: 'Registered Republicans, your vote for McCain is already cast whether you want it to be or not because he's the nominee. Cross over in the primary on March 4th and vote Democrat and vote against Hillary Clinton and against Dennis Kucinich. Make sure he doesn't make it out of the primary. Make sure she doesn't make it to the nomination. You have to do this for the good of the city, for the good of this district, for the good of this country.' If I weren't a responsible talk show host, I would say that," Franz says in the promo on the 50,000 watt Cleveland station.

"It's a talk show host's opinion," said station executive Ray Davis in an e-mail. "The last time I checked there is still freedom of speech in America."

A Kucinich spokesman, Andy Juniewicz, said that the fact that the station has repeatedly run the promo without saying it is only the host's opinion indicates it is campaigning against Kucinich.

"What that host and what that station has done is insulting to intelligent listeners," Juniewicz said. "Playing games in what is the most important primary election in years is reprehensible - especially when it's under the guise of language that's so manipulative."

Posted by: drindl | February 27, 2008 8:45 AM | Report abuse

I think she needs to win both Texas and Ohio, at a minimum. Even then, if she doesn't win them both by substantial margins, the argument for her continuing -- although I think she probably would -- gets very thin.

But here's a different question for you, Chris. Although there seems to be some disagreement about who "won" last night, with most people saying it was Obama, there is a clear consensus that the debate didn't produce the game-changer/knockout Hillary needed. So, with the trend in the polls we've seen since Wisconsin -- Obama has overtaken Hillary in Texas and is closing fast in Ohio -- what do you see happening in 6 days to change this momentum, if last night's debate didn't?

Posted by: jac13 | February 27, 2008 8:43 AM | Report abuse

If Hillary doesn't win BOTH Texas and Ohio, I'd counsel her to drop out of the race. As it is, even if she won both states, she probably wouldn't ever amass the number of delegates needed to win the nomination. Winning just one of those big states would certainly not be enough. Obviously, both campaigns are tired, the public is probably tired and there's no need to drag this nomination process out anymore. March 4th should be the deciding factor in whether or not Hillary stays in the race. The success of the Democratic party is at stake.

Posted by: Seneca7 | February 27, 2008 8:42 AM | Report abuse

I couldn't bear to watch more than a few minutes of the shallow, bullying, bloviating Russert. Did he ask a single question of either of them about the economy, which is rapidly sinking?

'SINGAPORE (AP) -- Oil prices broke through a new intraday high of $102 a barrel Wednesday as a slide in the U.S. dollar prompted investors to pump more money into energy futures as a hedge against inflation.

The dollar sank to a record low against the euro after the release of three disheartening U.S. economic reports Tuesday that show that the economy is slowing as prices for consumer goods rise. The dollar's decline prompted investors to seek a safe haven from turmoil in the financial markets and the threat of inflation.'

Posted by: drindl | February 27, 2008 8:41 AM | Report abuse

The writing is in the wall. Hillary has lost, and all the last minute desperation and permutations of the intricacies of delegate math will not save her campaign. Prediction: she will lose both Ohio and Texas. She will lose Rhode Island and Vermont. The Streak survives, the Hope goes on, the People cheer, the Deal is sealed (to parody Ted Kennedy a little.)

Let's be realistic. The ONLY reason Hillary is still in is that her husband is the former president. If she had competent campaign staff, they would have pulled the plug already. It's a campaign on life support.

Posted by: jade_7243 | February 27, 2008 8:39 AM | Report abuse

Putnam, your source has incorrectly stated SSD delegate totals. Austin's SSD is the largest - it has 8 delegates. One Houston SSD has 7. One Dallas SSD has 6. The SSD that stretches from northwest San Antonio to southwest Austin and includes rural counties is the only R SSD with 6.

The point that the largest Districts are BHO strongholds is correct.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | February 27, 2008 8:38 AM | Report abuse

The mass media coverage for this presidential election campaign is outrageous! Do you know there are striking similarities with the presidential elections of Russia and USA? At least in terms of mass media coverage it is 100% true.
I can ensure you, I do follow both Russian state-run TV channels and the main American TV broadcasters. It is disgusting to see this biased media coverage.
It is apparent that the mass media in the US is biased against Hilary Rodham Clinton in favor of Obama. He is treated like Mr. Putin - only good or nothing about him! Anything bad or something sensitive to harm his image is a taboo. If something such comes to the surface it is demonized instantly as a smear campaign. Obama is given more time in TV debates, as well his advocates are given more time. I just watched some video clips on NBC news website; it was shameful to see the Soviet style hysteria.

Posted by: edak1974 | February 27, 2008 8:38 AM | Report abuse

Never count Hillary out. She is a fighter and that is what we need as President. I for one am a self employed person and the cost of health insurance is incredible.
I need a fighter in the White House to remember those of us who will never move our business to another country. Hillary 08

Posted by: GSWAGNER | February 27, 2008 8:35 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: jtputnam | February 27, 2008 8:31 AM | Report abuse

It's unbelievable how Mr.Cillizza tries to assemble parts and pieces of extraordinary and dream catching events and wishes of March 4th to get a tinker toy win for Hillary.

Posted by: sperrico | February 27, 2008 8:29 AM | Report abuse

If you want a deeper analysis of the Texas primary/caucus rules than what the Lone Star Project primer provides,
please visit us here (Frontloading HQ via Election Updates).

Posted by: jtputnam | February 27, 2008 8:29 AM | Report abuse

IMO, Hillary has to win the popular vote in Ohio and Texas. Rhode Island would be nice too but it isn't important in the national scheme of things (sorry Little Rhody).
And I don't think the delegate count matters that much. The question will be if she goes forward or not. Her campaign is in the hole financially, her poll numbers have been dropping, and her staff is deflated. All the signs look to her quitting, BUT if she wins Ohio AND Texas then the national media for the next two days will be talking about how she is back.

However, it doesn't matter cause I think Obama is going to win both Texas and Ohio and really drive the dagger home.

Posted by: AndyR3 | February 27, 2008 8:27 AM | Report abuse

Unless you thought she should already have quit the race it is obvious that she should continue if she wins TX and OH.

Were I her campaign manager, I would seriously consider conceding if she lost TX and I would counsel concession as the only option if she lost OH.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | February 27, 2008 8:25 AM | Report abuse

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