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The Fix's First Take on Wisconsin Results

In case you've been hiding under a rock tonight, Sens. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) and John McCain (R-Ariz.) claimed victories in Wisconsin's presidential primaries.

John McCain and Barack Obama
John McCain, left, and Barack Obama scored big wins in Wisconsin's Feb. 19 primary. (Reuters photo composite). MORE PHOTOS >>

The big picture? Obama now has won nine consecutive contests over Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) and seems headed to a tenth straight later tonight when the results from Hawaii's caucuses are reported. It's easy to forget -- amid the granular coverage of this race -- just how amazing a feat that is and how much pressure Clinton will now feel as she looks down the road to two must-win races in the Ohio and Texas primaries on March 4.

For Republicans, it's now clear (as it really has been ever since Feb. 5) that McCain will be the party's nominee. Former governor Mike Huckabee (Ark.) can stay in the race as long as he wants, but this race is over. McCain's speech tonight (more on that later) made clear he has already pivoted to the general election race.

We'll be back tomorrow with a winners and losers post looking at all of Tuesday's results, but here are a few thoughts before we hit the hay.

* The shape of the electorate in Wisconsin should have played to Clinton's strengths. Nearly six-in-ten voters in the Wisconsin Democratic primary were women; nine in ten were white; forty percent earned $50,000 or less; and 58 percent had no college degree. And yet, in each of those categories, Obama ran ahead or close to even with Clinton. Among women Clinton took 51 percent to 48 percent for Obama; among white voters he won 52 percent to 46 percent; among those earning less than $50,000 he won by seven points; and among those without a college degree Obama won 54 percent to 45 percent.

All of that data suggests one thing: Obama is building the coalition that Clinton appeared to have built in earlier votes. And without winning back a significant portion of that coalition, it becomes VERY difficult for her to come from behind and claim the nomination.

* If there was any doubt whom McCain thinks he will face in November, his speech tonight removed all doubt. McCain attacked the "empty call for change that promises no more than a holiday from history" and wondered whether the country will "risk the confused leadership of an inexperienced candidate." Yowza.

The Obama campaign quickly retorted. "John McCain's remarks tonight shows why he's offering nothing more than a third term of George Bush's policies -- more fear-mongering, more than a century of war in Iraq, and more budget-busting tax cuts for the wealthiest few at the expense of hardworking Americans," said Obama spokesman Bill Burton.

On the one hand, McCain's rhetorical jabs at Obama firm up the sense that he is the Democratic frontrunner and that Clinton is fading from relevance. On the other, McCain's line of attack echoes Clinton's: Obama is inexperienced and, as such, voting for him is a risk. Will McCain's harping on those points force Democrats to look twice in the two weeks between tonight and votes on March 4 in Ohio and Texas?

* Looking for a bright spot for Clinton in the exit polling? The sliver of a silver lining is that among Democrats in Wisconsin, who comprised 63 percent of the primary electorate, she and Obama were in a virtual tie (51 percent for Obama, 48 percent for Clinton). As long as she stays roughly even with Obama among self-identified Democrats, the New York senator's campaign can make the case that she belongs in this race and still has a real shot at winning it. If she is unable to maintain parity among Democrats, however, it could be curtains sooner rather than later for Clinton.

* McCain is going to be the Republican nominee but conservatives remain skeptical. Self-identified conservatives made up six-in-ten voters tonight in Wisconsin, but McCain carried the group only narrowly -- 48 percent to 42 percent -- over Huckabee. Among those who called themselves "very conservative" (27 percent of the electorate), Huckabee won 49 percent to 38 percent.

How big a problem the lingering conservative unrest about McCain is remains to be seen. Our guess is that disenchanted conservatives will continue to cast a vote against the Arizona senator as long as there is an alternative candidate in the race (Huckabee). But in a general election against either Obama or Clinton, it's hard to see conservatives defecting in real numbers. Do some stay home? Sure. Do enough stay home to change the final outcome? Doubtful.

By Chris Cillizza  |  February 19, 2008; 10:54 PM ET
Categories:  Eye on 2008  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Clinton in Ohio: Work Not Words
Next: Feb. 19 Contests: Winners and Losers

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Posted by: Braden qzpth | April 9, 2008 1:15 PM | Report abuse

HILLARY is a fighter, I want her to lead. She has the brains. Presidents need brains.

This is the YOUTUBE video referred to in debate

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YuB_W8o_UsU

Posted by: mjno | February 21, 2008 10:13 PM | Report abuse


Obama was elected to the United States senate in 2004. In his first year (before he decided to run for president) he authored 152 bills, and co-sponsored another 427. These included the Coburn-Obama government Transparency Act of 2006 (signed into law by Bush), The Lugar-Obama initiatives (working with republican, Richard Lugar) aimed at nuclear non-proliferation and conventional weapons threat reduction. He is one of only 2 lawmakers sponsoring a campaign finance reform bill that currently sits in the senate. There are 890 bills in Obama's name since he entered the Senate. He has Cosponsored 1096. This is a long list, and it might lead you to conclude that people who say he has been doing nothing in the Senate are a little less than truthful.

Obama currently serves on the Senate Committees for Foreign Relations; Health, Education, Labor and Pensions; Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs; and Veterans' Affairs.

Obama has a degree in International Relations, a Law degree, and taught constitutional law for 10 years.

ENOUGH ABOUT EXPERIENCE ALREADY!
Proud - even YOU have to admit, McCain standing next to Obama is like looking at Father TIme and the 21st Century candidate.

Age and experiene are a GOOD thing - but not when you contradict your own experience and start saying torture is okay, the war could last 100 years, and Bush's policies have been good for the U.S.

I can't imagine it's even going to be a contest, if indeed, Obama is the nominee.

Don't get arrogant, Obama supporters. We still have miles and miles to go before we...wake up the rest of America.
Maybe hope really does float!
Obama 08!

Posted by: sheridan1 | February 20, 2008 5:09 PM | Report abuse

CITIZEN, besides, public donation is not any private money. Read this citation from a Obama letter calling for donation today:

"Think about that ... nearly one million people taking ownership of this movement, five dollars or twenty-five dollars at a time.

We're already more than 900,000 strong, including over half-a-million donating so far this year. This unprecedented foundation of support has built a campaign that has shaken the status quo and proven that ordinary people can compete in a political process too often dominated by special interests.

Unlike Senator Clinton or Senator McCain, we haven't taken a dime from Washington lobbyists or special interest PACs. Our campaign is responsible to no one but the people."

Posted by: pinepine | February 20, 2008 4:42 PM | Report abuse

***

"Senator Obama's words are contradicted by deeds. He said he would -- he pledged to take public financing as now Senator McCain has pledged. He has just reversed that pledge.
--Hillary Clinton surrogate Lanny Davis, CNN Late Edition, Feb. 17. 2008.

***

CITIZENXX, worry not! I believe what Obama said regarding this issue is "IF I AM THE PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE, I will aggressively pursue...". Right now officially Obama is not yet the dem Presidential Nominee! HRD is again distorting. With so many aids, it's impossible for her to overlook Obama's qualification of his position in this using public funding only issue. Distortion on purpose is shamelessly lying. HRC shouldn't insult the intelligence of the public.

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

In wisconsiin, [open primary]

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

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


Claudia:
obama got 645,954 votes (Open Primary) but so, so, so many republicans didn't vote yesterday for Mc or Huck, they did vote for Obama for getting rid of Clinton !!!

To whom do you think they are going to vote in November ???

Posted by: marthalorusso4362 | February 20, 2008 4:24 PM | Report abuse

proudtobeGOP writes
"The Ds are fielding two lame candidates, without a dime's worth of executive experience between them....

John McCain U.S. senator (21 yrs). U.S. congressman (4 yrs). Businessman (2½ yrs). U.S. Navy (22 yrs, including 5½ yrs as a prisoner of war)."

proud, step back from the koolaid. Now, as your head clears, could you point me to the executive experience in the mcCain resume that you find so lacking in the Dem candidates? If I'm not mistaken, you have to go back to his pre-POW days running a squadron in the Navy - 35+ years ago.

Posted by: bsimon | February 20, 2008 2:47 PM | Report abuse

And health savings accounts are a joke. Do you really think you could save enough for treatment for cancer [think of half a million or so] or even treatment of a minor heart attack? That's just another backdoor tax cut for the already wealthy.

Posted by: claudialong | February 20, 2008 12:48 PM


Actually, the HSA as currently defined serves a purpose. It is for use in conjunction with high-deductible plans. For instance, my plan has a $2200 family deductible, except for preventive care, which carries a copay. It also has a max out-of-pocket limit (thus providing catastrophic care). The HSA allows one to pay for that stuff in between preventive care and the max out-of-pocket.

HSAs are NOT a substitute for coverage, however. Nor is anybody's plan for tax credits to buy health insurance. Between my employer and me, the cost (as part of a big buying group) for even a high-deductible plan pushes $20k.

Oh, and if anyone wants to grow the unemployment rate, put a mandate on that $20k for all of the small businesses out there.

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

sorry, Claudia -- just saw yours...

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

I just opened up the Fix and have not had time to review the posts above, so if someone has already covered this, I apologize for the redundancy...

Did I see the results clearly last night? I got home very late, took a quick look at the tube and hit the sack.

Did Hillary, in her losing effort, garner TWICE as many votes as McCain in Wisoncsin?

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

In wisconsiin, [open primary]

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

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

Posted by: drindl | February 20, 2008 1:18 PM | Report abuse

Patrick, I suspect that those vicious attacks dircted at Hillary are actually coming from republicans, because the language and nature of them are what they have been saying for years.

Posted by: drindl | February 20, 2008 1:08 PM | Report abuse

To those that argue she should pull out to preserve her legacy, my argument is that it is in these final hours that America is finally seeing Hillary's essential character, that of an ANGRY CLOSETED LESBIAN WITH A FASCIST NATURE. She is being repudiated by voters all across America, yet she remains in the race.

Posted by: LondonInNY | February 20, 2008 12:20 PM

This is the kind of crap that I expect from the GOP not from my own party. While I have had problems with the Clintons over the years I also have reservations with Obama on some as well. Regardless I will vote for the winner and we should all take a deep breath and get ready because anyone who thinks that Rove and his sleeze brigade is going to sit out this election you are clueless.

Posted by: PatrickNYC1 | February 20, 2008 12:58 PM | Report abuse

The Ds are fielding two lame candidates, without a dime's worth of executive experience between them.

Let's look at the résumé issue again:

Hillary: U.S. Senator (7 yrs). Wife of president (8 yrs). Wife of state governor (12 yrs). Amateur, but sensationally successful, trader/investor (2 yrs). Wife of state attorney general (2 yrs). "Rainmaker" lawyer (on and off). Law school, lawyering.

Obama: U.S. senator (3 yrs). State senator (8 yrs). Lawyer on behalf of community groups and discrimination claims (4 yrs). Part-time lecturing (12 yrs). Community organizing (2-3 yrs). Office work (2 yrs). Law school, lawyering.

Compare:

John McCain U.S. senator (21 yrs). U.S. congressman (4 yrs). Businessman (2½ yrs). U.S. Navy (22 yrs, including 5½ yrs as a prisoner of war).

Perhaps the reality of this experience gap is causing Eleanor Clift to think of a better outcome from the convention ...

"Al Gore on the second ballot: A scenario that a few weeks ago seemed preposterous is beginning to look plausible to some nervous Democrats looking for a way out of the deadlock between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama ..."

From John Derbyshire's article
"The Man on the White Stallion
Al Gore is inevitable."

http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=MWQxY2Q2ZWRmZGRkMDYwNzU1ZWQxMGU4YzY5ODY1YTQ=&w=MA==

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | February 20, 2008 12:56 PM | Report abuse

"But it's not just that McCain won't raise taxes. On his campaign website, McCain trumpets a laundry list of tax cuts:

- Permanently repeal the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT)
- Cut the corporate tax rate from 35 to 25 percent
- Provide all individuals with a $2,500 [health care] tax credit ($5,000 for families)
- Expanded health savings accounts
- Allow first-year deduction, or "expensing", of equipment and technology investments.
- Establish permanent tax credit equal to 10 Percent of wages spent on R&D.

McCain may decry the current deficits, but his plan will only exacerbate them. The first three items on his tax cut list alone would cost more than $380 billion in 2009, far more than President Bush's tax cuts combined.

So, how will McCain pay for his tax cuts? He touts his pledge to eliminate earmarks, but this would save roughly $20 to $30 billion a year. McCain is still left with over $350 billion in tax cuts unaccounted for, which will require massive -- and unpopular -- spending cuts if he is going to keep his word.

McCain has said in the past that he thinks tax cuts should be paid for. He voted against Bush's 2001 tax cuts, for example, because the President did not provide a way to pay for them:

"All the predicates for the 2001 tax cuts and all the predictions for its results were absolutely, completely wrong,"he said. "And it will worsen the deficit before it ever helps the economy," he added. [Newhouse News Service, 2/24/03]

Despite admitting to not understanding the economy, McCain still needs to answer a fundamental question about his tax plan: if he's going to lower taxes and balance the budget at the same time, what programs will he cut?"

And health savings accounts are a joke. Do you really think you could save enough for treatment for cancer [think of half a million or so] or even treatment of a minor heart attack? That's just another backdoor tax cut for the already wealthy.

Posted by: drindl | February 20, 2008 12:48 PM | Report abuse

***
she is being thrown aside because, for the most part, the men in this country are willing to elect a black man as President, but NO WAY will they accept a woman. And that's what it's come down to. It's sickening.

Posted by: SMD | February 20, 2008 02:09 AM
***

This view is not enlightening at all. I'd agree with that there are still cultural and gender wars going on and will be going on as long as the true social equality in question is not achieved. However, that is not the direction of a better future for everyone. Keep in mind that colorblind and gender -blind when it comes to judging an individual are the way to achieve the real equality between people. I understand this is the ideal, not the reality. Yet this reality is getting very boring and narrow-minded. It needs CHANGE.

Posted by: pinepine | February 20, 2008 12:37 PM | Report abuse

'My wife has done research in the area and had mentioned Obama's involvement in writing legislation for this to me.'

Then you know exactly how enormous the problem is, especially in Iraq, where there's scarcely any oversight --republican contractors get huge no-bid secret contracts for 'security projects' that turn out to be utter crap like comic books.

Imagine, millions of your taxpayer dollars went for propaganda comic books. Do you really think the Iraqi people are that stupid not to be able to see through that? Do you not think it insults their intelligence that the US can't afford/seem to help them get clean water or electricity, but can manage to produce COMIC BOOKS?

When the history of this is finally written, the Iraq occupation will be seen for what it is -- a massive modern Gold Rush. Only the US treasury is the gold.

Posted by: drindl | February 20, 2008 12:25 PM | Report abuse

Hillary Clinton needs to take a cold hard look at the data. She has a run a campaign that appeals largely to left side of the bell curve preying on less informed and naive voters. Her campaign scares up the ghosts of Jessie Helms and is repugnant that it is being run by a Senator from the most diverse state in America, New York. The excessive race and gender baiting and over use of the politics of "victimization" have alienated thinking voters from Senator Clinton. While Obama is building a broad based coalition of grassroots Democrats, Independents and disaffected Republicans, Hillary's focus has been to divide up the Democratic base and create an internal war: white vs. black, women vs. men, older vs. younger voters, latino vs. black and white, middle vs. lower middle class, professionals vs. blue collar. It is a horrendous campaign appealing to the worst instincts of man and it illustrates the perceived self entitlement and blind ambition that the Clintons have for the oval office. To those that argue she should pull out to preserve her legacy, my argument is that it is in these final hours that America is finally seeing Hillary's essential character, that of an ANGRY CLOSETED LESBIAN WITH A FASCIST NATURE. She is being repudiated by voters all across America, yet she remains in the race.

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

jac - perhaps you read this correctly. But banks have a history of dealing with unsecured loans to campaigns that later default. I think a bank lawyer may tell us that this language was stipulated by the bank. There is no actual gaming going on if the borrower must execute the bank's document to take the loan.

The "game" would occur under FEC. And it would happen if McC actually paid the loan for the primary campaign out of fed funds earmarked for the GE. I do not see that as ever being likely. The fed funds for the GE are audited, correct? Misuse has penalties.

I am not trying to be partisan here. I am trying to understand a transaction that makes no legal sense to me.

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

"That will be John McCain's argument. He has a long record of taking risks in the Senate and pushing bipartisan solutions to problems. A true non-partisan maverick."

Who cares? Like Willard Mittens Romney, McCain has been sucking up to the far-right GOP base. You can forget about those indy voters now; they'll be breaking heavily for Obama.

Posted by: Spectator2 | February 20, 2008 12:09 PM | Report abuse

mark_in_austin

Hell, I don't know if it's enforceable or not. That's not really the point. The point is that it demonstrates a willingness on the part of "straight-talk" McCain to game the public financing system in his self-interest, if necessary. Nobody is pure -- nobody. Not Obama, not McCain, not Clinton.

Posted by: jac13 | February 20, 2008 12:06 PM | Report abuse

claudia, glad to hear you liked it. My wife has done research in the area and had mentioned Obama's involvement in writing legislation for this to me.

Hopefully it can get somewhere....

Posted by: rpy1 | February 20, 2008 12:03 PM | Report abuse

jac13 - So enforceable or not, this was a matter of honor for McC as it was for JRE -
regardless of how they fared, they would not destroy their credit by defaulting. Is that how you see it? Whoo do you think drafted the provision? Do you see it as enforceable?

Posted by: mark_in_austin | February 20, 2008 12:01 PM | Report abuse

" S.674 : A bill to require accountability and enhanced congressional oversight for personnel performing private security functions under Federal contracts, and for other purposes." (also in committee)"

YES! Transparency in government spending! The opposite of all the secret blackbox wholesale funneling to a few select private contractors. This would save taxpayers uncounted billions.

This is one of the most important bills this year... this definitely cements my feelings about Obama.

Posted by: drindl | February 20, 2008 11:58 AM | Report abuse

"But in a general election against either Obama or Clinton, it's hard to see conservatives defecting in real numbers. Do some stay home? Sure. Do enough stay home to change the final outcome? Doubtful."

Be honest here Chris,
When you wrote "Doubtful", you really meant "I hope not!" I think you are ignoring some basic realities. There's little doubt that "the f'ing faith-based" community that Rove so callously trivialized, has figured out by now that they were unwitting Christian pawns of the devil himself.

Many of them aren't about to take part in it again, since they won't have a Huckabee to believe in, and they WILL stay home just to protect their Christian conscience from culpability in another debacle like the Bush tribulation.

They already know Romney and McCain have fudged their "liberal" records to pander to the fundie base, but this time around they've still got Karl Roves f'ing words ringing in their spiritual ears.

PS. Your recent confession that you don't vote suggests you must have forgotten you were a citizen long before you were a poundit... the fact you don't vote in order to achieve some elite pounditous perspective, and that you seem to excuse political journalists from that responsibility really, REALLY surprised me.

And disappointed me, to be honest.

Everyone should vote, especially if they constantly, and quite publicly declare their opinions as a writer.

If you can't do both, something is wrong.

Posted by: JEP7 | February 20, 2008 11:56 AM | Report abuse

drindl, its not a conspiracy theory. Assume the language is unenforceable as written - that's what I am asking other lawyers to comment upon - if McC does not keep his word and pledge the fed funds, then if it is a demand note the bank may call it due. If it is a term note the term may not be extended.

The potential to embarrass provides the additional security - not the unenforceable
promise to make a promise.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | February 20, 2008 11:55 AM | Report abuse

Mark: thanks as usual for making my next point. Obama is not the bolt-eating Marxist commie pinko that Faux News and every R seems to be desperately trying to make him out to be. He's a rank-and-file D just as McCain is a rank-and-file R. This relabeling exercise ("News Flash: Obama is the most Liberal Senator in History!!!!") shows only that the poster/source is either (a) ignorant or (b) dishonest.

Posted by: judgeccrater | February 20, 2008 11:54 AM | Report abuse

lilly1 wrote: "51% to 48% is a "virtual tie" only when you're talking about polling numbers with a plus or minus error factor. These are real Democratic voters we're talking about and Obama won them by a 3% margin. Please, get your terminology straightened out here."

No, these numbers are the result of a scientific sample through exit polling. They DO have a margin of error.

Posted by: optimyst | February 20, 2008 11:52 AM | Report abuse

judge- that's the post to which I referred. Mark, that's also good info. Thanks to everyone.

Posted by: bsimon | February 20, 2008 11:51 AM | Report abuse

Obama's numbers look bad for both Hillary and McCain. True, conservative die-hards probably will form ranks behind McCain come November. But Obama's more respectful campaigning against Hillary means Democrats, too, will likely form ranks behind Obama. Add the independent vote and moderate Republican crossovers, and Obama has the winning coalition.

No, conservatives won't stay home in numbers large enough to change the outcome. The rest of the country will make their turnout a moot point.

Posted by: rippermccord | February 20, 2008 11:49 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: mark_in_austin | February 20, 2008 11:47 AM | Report abuse

bsimon: sure. BTW, I had a discussion with a different poster who convinced me that they are about equally effective at getting legislation passed. It wasn't clear whether the gist of Obama's legislation was broader than Clinton's but that's what the information below implies.

The irony of claims that Clinton is substantive is that those claims aren't actually backed by substance.
So, for you substance hounds out there, here's a look at Obama and Clinton's records in the Senate.
OBAMA
What has Obama done in the 3 years he's been in the Senate?
Bills authored or co-sponsored by Obama include the Coburn-Obama Government Transparency Act of 2006 (became law), the Lugar-Obama Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Conventional Weapons Threat Reduction Act (became law), the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act (passed the Senate), the 2007 Government Ethics Bill (became law), the Protection Against Excessive Executive Compensation Bill (in committee), and many more.
In all since he entered the U.S. Senate, Senator Obama has written 890 bills and co-sponsored another 1096.
CLINTON
Senator Clinton, who has served seven years, has managed to author and pass into law exactly twenty pieces of legislation. These bills can be found on the website of the Library of Congress (www.thomas.loc.gov), but to save you trouble, I'll post them here for you:
1. Establish the Kate Mullany National Historic Site. 2. Support the goals and ideals of Better Hearing and Speech Month. 3. Recognize the Ellis Island Medal of Honor. 4. Name courthouse after Thurgood Marshall. 5. Name courthouse after James L. Watson. 6. Name post office after Jonn A. O'Shea. 7. Designate Aug. 7, 2003, as National Purple Heart Recognition Day. 8. Support the goals and ideals of National Purple Heart Recognition Day. 9. Honor the life and legacy of Alexander Hamilton on the bicentennial of his death. 10. Congratulate the Syracuse Univ. Orange Men's Lacrosse Team on winning the championship. 11. Congratulate the Le Moyne College Dolphins Men's Lacrosse Team on winning the championship. 12. Establish the 225th Anniversary of the American Revolution Commemorative Program. 13. Name post office after Sergeant Riayan A. Tejeda. 14. Honor Shirley Chisholm for her service to the nation and express condolences on her death. 15. Honor John J. Downing, Brian Fahey, and Harry Ford, firefighters who lost their lives on duty.
Only five of Clinton's bills are more substantive.
16. Extend period of unemployment assistance to victims of 9/11. 17. Pay for city projects in response to 9/11 18. Assist landmine victims in other countries. 19. Assist family caregivers in accessing affordable respite care. 20. Designate part of the National Forest System in Puerto Rico as protected in the wilderness preservation system.
(Thanks to poster p3ng for looking all this up on the Library of Congress site.)
I recognize it's an asymmetric representation of their records, but the point is that Obama has written and passed major legislation, while Clinton has mostly just taken care of her constituents without demonstrating real vision.
So who's the candidate of substance?

(By the way, for an amusing example of Clinton trying to be the "doer", watch her try to make a big deal out of a diplomatic trip to Bosnia taken with -- drum roll, please -- ... Sinbad!
Here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ddgom0QWvLs)
Posted by: davestickler | February 8, 2008 12:07 PM

Posted by: judgeccrater | February 20, 2008 11:46 AM | Report abuse

'So the language, if written by the over-reaching bank, is designed merely to embarrass McC if he fails to pay the loan in full'

That's kind of a strange conspiracy theory, isn't it, Mark?

Posted by: drindl | February 20, 2008 11:45 AM | Report abuse

proud, thanks, because I hadn't bothered to look at Thomas for a list of bills that Obama has sponsored so far.

By checking that, you can find 113 bills that Obama has sponsored. Lots of them are the typical stuff to honor someone from their state, or designating a day for a specific cause. But there are others...

"S.J.RES.23 : A joint resolution clarifying that the use of force against Iran is not authorized by the Authorization for the Use of Military Force Against Iraq, any resolution previously adopted, or any other provision of law." (Currently in committee)

"S.117 : A bill to amend titles 10 and 38, United States Code, to improve benefits and services for members of the Armed Forces, veterans of the Global War on Terrorism, and other veterans, to require reports on the effects of the Global War on Terrorism, and for other purposes." (also in committee)

and one that I had already heard about:

" S.674 : A bill to require accountability and enhanced congressional oversight for personnel performing private security functions under Federal contracts, and for other purposes." (also in committee)

(claudia, I thought you might be interested in this one...)

You can look at thomas.loc.gov for more...

And yes, those are all bills that haven't been passed. He's co-sponsored a bill for non-proliferation, and also worked with McCain and Feingold on the last campaign finance reform bill.

Posted by: rpy1 | February 20, 2008 11:44 AM | Report abuse

mark writes "If BHO ultimately agrees to keep his commitment, all the better, b/c McC would gain parity and b/c it is "the right thing."

That looks like a pretty big IF at this point.

When Obama promised to "aggressively pursue" such an agreement with his Republican counterpart, I guess we shouldn't have taken him at his word.

When he says he'll aggressivley pursue Al-Qaeda and Bin Laden, we probably shouldn't take his word for that, either.

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | February 20, 2008 11:44 AM | Report abuse

COPY of a Complaint I just filed with the FCC:

Marketing, Promoting, Campaigning, Propagandizing FOR the election of Barack Obama using deception - because he supports the owner's of NBC & MSNBC (GE's) PLANS to build nuclear power plants. Nothing but negative, scurrilous, deceptive "news" "coverage" about the Clintons - because Hillary did not vote for "the Cheney Energy Bill" (H.R.6) and stated that her Energy Plans do not include nuclear. Attempted subversion of a Presidential Election to further GE's and the nuclear industry's PLANS to reap billions in Profits ... without any risk of losing a dime ... due to the Cheney Energy Bill's Guarantee of taxpayer payback of any default on the loans to build the nuclear power plants.

DATES: From the inception of their campaign "news coverage" to the present date.

Please feel Free to FILE Your OWN COMPLAINT ... You can do it in minutes with the FCC's Online Complaint FORM.

(Details of MSNBC's SELLING of Obama can be found at Media Matters Website)

Posted by: elme13 | February 20, 2008 11:43 AM | Report abuse

mark_in_austin:

Olbermann discussed this the other night. I think McCain agreed to maintain himself as a candidate, albeit with a "suspended" campaign, a la John Edwards, so he could get federal matching funds to repay the loan. To quote Jack Nicholson in "As Good as it Gets," "Is there any other way to see it?"

A Fellow Counselor

Posted by: jac13 | February 20, 2008 11:43 AM | Report abuse

For my brothers and sisters at the Bar: A lawyer friend has found the peculiar language in McC's loan.

"Additional Requirement. Borrower and lender agree that if Borrower [McCain's campaign commitee] withdraws from the public matching funds program, but John McCain then does not win the next primary or caucus in which he is active (which can be any primary or caucus held the same day) or does not place at least within 10 percentage points of the winner of that primary or caucus, Borrower will cause John McCain to remain an active political candidate and Borrower will, within thirty (3) days of said primary or caucus (i) reapply for public matching funds, (ii) grant to Lender, as additional collateral for the Loan, a first priority perfected security interest in and to all Borrower's right, title and interest in and to the public matching funds program, and (iii) execute and deliver to Lender such documents, instruments and agreements as Lender may require with respect to the foregoing."

He asks my opinion from a transactional view, because he knows I like McC, not b/c I am a transactional lawyer! My quick and dirty is that this language is beyond the pale of UCC 9.204 that allows after acquired security, because it requires another agreement, first, and fails under the general proscription against agreements to make agreements in the future. Thought of as a transaction, that language is unenforceable - under what circumstances could the Bank obtain specific performance? None. The legal remedy is the collection of the loan. So the language, if written by the over-reaching bank, is designed merely to embarrass McC if he
fails to pay the loan in full. What do you think?

Posted by: mark_in_austin | February 20, 2008 11:39 AM | Report abuse

'Ignoring your editorializing,' -- hey, i wasn't criticizing you bsimon, sorry, it did sound like it. my apologies. i was referring to proud and the many others who continue to say that obama has no 'substance' because they refuse to look at his record.

Posted by: drindl | February 20, 2008 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Last year the bloggers here at the Fix laughed at me when I suggested Obama would run and win the nomination. His entire campaign at this point is based on an artificial high. When the truth comes out - he will crash - his entire campaign is a myth.

John Kerry, who remains spineless, will stand next to Eddie Lucio III on Saturday in support of Obama. (This will happen in South Texas) Lucio's political career has been bought and paid for by Bob Perry - who funded Swift Boat Veterans. These people have no shame and do not merit my support. These people love power for the sake of power and consider the people to be an inconvenience of office.

How in gods name can Kerry stand next to someone whose entire political career has been bought and paid for by the same man who funded the Swift Boat Veterans? Because of Bob Perry this country suffered 4 additional years of hell, and Obama asks us to forget it because his supporters here in the LRGV are Bob Perry puppets.

Obama and Kerry have no shame - not an ounce of shame

Bobby Wightman-Cervantes

Posted by: bobbywc | February 20, 2008 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Proud, read my advice at 7:41A and my next post, please.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | February 20, 2008 11:37 AM | Report abuse

Prud, read my advice at 7:41A and my next post, please.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | February 20, 2008 11:36 AM | Report abuse

proudtobeGOP writes
"It looks like Sen Obama won't be keeping his word"

Jump to conclusions much?

Posted by: bsimon | February 20, 2008 11:33 AM | Report abuse

This is the essence of republican rule -- corruption, mismanagement, incompetence, and theft of taxpayer funds for personal use:

"AP) The Federal Emergency Management Agency misspent millions of dollars it received from selling used travel trailers, government investigators have found.

Instead of buying more trailers - as allowed under the law - FEMA used more than $13 million toward fully loaded sport utility vehicles, travel expenses and purchase card accounts, according to a draft report by the Homeland Security Department's inspector general obtained by The Associated Press. The report is to be released Friday. "

Posted by: drindl | February 20, 2008 11:33 AM | Report abuse

"here's a bit of it, bsimon... amzing how easy it is to google if you actually want to know"

Ignoring your editorializing, I am actually looking for the list of US Senate accomplishments that judge posted a couple times last week. But thanks for the link, as that is handy for me elsewhere.

Posted by: bsimon | February 20, 2008 11:31 AM | Report abuse

It was Obama's idea in the first place! Last year, both Obama and his campaign promised to "aggressively pursue" such an agreement with their Republican counterpart.

One year later, he's waffling and going back on his word. He seemed be saying that he never made the commitment, when it was his idea, his pledge, his gaunlet that was thrown down at the start of the campaign!

Now he says "It would be presumptuous of me to start saying now that I'm locking myself into something when I don't even know if the other side is going to agree to it." Oh please, the audacity indeed.

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | February 20, 2008 11:30 AM | Report abuse

The Cult of Her Own Personality

To my fellow Democratic Party American's; we have a dark specter crossing the landscape of our Party. Divisive primary politics aside, we have a radical element among our membership. This element is becoming more evident with each and every loss that they rack up, in that they are pulling apart of our Party. This element is showing that the pulling apart, and possible fracturing of our great Party, for what seems to be nothing more then feelings of self-entitlement toward the nomination, is a justifiable cost for their goals and aspirations.

"Senator Obama's words are contradicted by deeds. He said he would -- he pledged to take public financing as now Senator McCain has pledged. He has just reversed that pledge.
--Hillary Clinton surrogate Lanny Davis, CNN Late Edition, Feb. 17. 2008.

Again, I feel it necessary that we examine the true benefit of tying the hands of a possible Republican challenger, in this case Sen. Obama, when it comes to financing a general presidential campaign. Is it a responsible move for a Party member to actively fight against another possible presidential candidate in such a way?

Is it wise for the Party to allow ourselves to enter into a most important election with one arm tied behind our backs? Of course it is not a smart political move, yet this dangerous element in our Party feels it is fair game to attack a fellow Party member on such a matter. And, in a sense, help the opposition's presidential candidate's campaign.

By rejecting public funds, which no major party candidate has done for a general election since public funding for elections was instituted in the 1970's, Sen. Obama will be putting himself at an obvious disadvantage. Not just because Sen. Obama would have to return more money then McCain. Sen. Obama has raised $6.1 million toward the general campaign, compared to the $2.2 million that McCain has raised, but his grassroots fundraising machine is massive and not nearly close to being tapped out. This would be not just poor politics on the part of Sen. Obama, but it would be irresponsible to the Party to do such a thing.

The Democratic Party has a wonderful advantage against the Republican nomination this election year cycle when it comes to funding. A tool, which if not utilized, would be a politically reckless action on the part of a presidential Party candidate.

What we are facing with this dangerous Party element, is a high ranking member of the Party that is willing, and desirous, that we concede such an advantage for what? Is it for a possible underlying feeling of presidential self-entitlement? Is it a campaign's last ditch effort to win? A do or die burn fest? Whatever the reasoning behind such a destructive move on the part of Sen. Clinton, it is nonetheless, a very dangerous ploy for such little possible gain.

Is this the kind of politics that we need in the party, let alone in America? The idea which seems to resonate with the American populace is that we need to move away from the typical day to day operations of our political leaders. We need to have a Party, and a Country, that is truly for the people by the people. Not a country controlled by the minority of its citizenry, or by its far right leaning religious minority, nor even by the money-throwing special interest groups, all of which attempt to circumvent the will and betterment of the majority of Americans. No, this is not the type of Party that we should be. This is not what the Democratic Party is all about.

What we are facing is a path that can take us either into a future, which is based on the belief, and yes hope, that we can do truly wonderful things if we pull together, or a future that concedes we have reached the pinnacle of American greatness, and we must go back to the way it was before these disastrous last 7 years. The idea and belief that America should be governed from the bottom up, and not the top down, is a crossroads sign post which we must use to choose our great nations future.

I, personally, will give the benefit of the doubt, and look to what great things we can hope to do with this belief and faith. The past was good, and we were served well by its purveyors, but it was just that, the past. To whatever future we find ourselves living in is yet to be seen, yet the leader of our Party is clear. The time is now to realize the fact that we have our leader for the campaign to reclaim the Presidency of the United States, and we must show unity and support behind Sen. Obama if we are to succeed. The alternative will be more of the same support for the status quo, which is both detrimental, and unacceptable to the American way of life.

--- Matthew McGovern

Posted by: CitizenXX | February 20, 2008 11:29 AM | Report abuse

Dirty Cindy McCain should keep her mouth closed and not be so critical of Michelle Obama.

Cindy, who was addicted to prescription painkillers and who stole pills from a medical-aid charity she headed. Cindy McCain who used the names of unsuspecting employees to get prescriptions to compensate for her drug addiction... hmmm. and she was critisizing Michelle for what reason? Ohhh yeah! For saying "that for once in my adult life.. I am proud of my country"... Mrs. McCain should learn to keep her opnion to herself, especially with a dirty past like this..

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

Posted by: Kristenmcullen | February 20, 2008 11:28 AM | Report abuse

OK, everyone. Before you run off and condemn Obama on campaign financing based on third-hand oppo research BS, read this:

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

Posted by: jac13 | February 20, 2008 11:28 AM | Report abuse

'It looks like Sen Obama won't be keeping his word on public financing. '

I don't suppose you heard about how McCain had a deal that if he lost, his debt would be 'retired' by taxpayers? I'll look it up if you want. Saw it yesterday.

Posted by: drindl | February 20, 2008 11:24 AM | Report abuse

HAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHA.

GOOD ONE PROUD. Fear, I like that from the gop after all these years.

What else you got? Any other gripes.

Posted by: JKrishnamurti | February 20, 2008 11:24 AM | Report abuse

Well, I am a small donor (compared to the unions that support Obama) and I donate to John McCain. He has defied the CW of elections being all about how much money you can raise.

It looks like Sen Obama won't be keeping his word on public financing. He must have had a change of heart sparked by his massive fundraising haul. Promises be damned!

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | February 20, 2008 11:21 AM | Report abuse

The republican election strategy:

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

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

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

Posted by: drindl | February 20, 2008 11:21 AM | Report abuse

Bueler? Bueler? Bueler?

Posted by: JKrishnamurti | February 20, 2008 11:19 AM | Report abuse

It actually is kind of surprising how many people continue to come out to vote for Huckabee as a protest vote (many, many more than for the other remaining protest candidate, Ron Paul), since no one seriously thinks he can win the nomination. In the meanwhile, Obama continues to get favorable press, even from some conservative commentators (watch Fox News), since he is not Clinton. Once the general election starts, however, the campaign will get really, really nasty. You can be assured that conservatives will make a point of including Obama´s middle name (Hussein) when talking about him, both for the negative connotation the name has in general, and to continue to fruther the erroneous rumor that Obama was at some time Muslim. I imagine you may even see more photos of his black father than of his white mother (not in official GOP campaign materials, mind you).

Posted by: Sutter | February 20, 2008 11:17 AM | Report abuse

"Republican Sen. John McCain raised nearly $12 million in January, mostly from former Bush supporters.

According to filings with the Federal Election Commission late Tuesday, McCain had $5.2 million cash on hand at the start of February and $5.5 million in debts, including a loan of nearly $4 million."

Obama, on the other hand, raised $36 million in January, almost entirely from small donors.

Posted by: drindl | February 20, 2008 11:15 AM | Report abuse

Oops, you're basing the 51%-48% on EXIT POLLS so I guess you can say "virtual tie". My mistake.

Posted by: Lilly1 | February 20, 2008 11:13 AM | Report abuse

Ooops drindl! You forgot to paste that next important sentence! "Since most of Obama's legislation was enacted in Illinois, most of the evidence is found there"

I'm sure it was an honest oversight on your part.

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | February 20, 2008 11:13 AM | Report abuse

The Cult of Her Own Personality

To my fellow Democratic Party American's; we have a dark specter crossing the landscape of our Party. Divisive primary politics aside, we have a radical element among our membership. This element is becoming more evident with each and every loss that they rack up, in that they are pulling apart of our Party. This element is showing that the pulling apart, and possible fracturing of our great Party, for what seems to be nothing more then feelings of self-entitlement toward the nomination, is a justifiable cost for their goals and aspirations.

"Senator Obama's words are contradicted by deeds. He said he would -- he pledged to take public financing as now Senator McCain has pledged. He has just reversed that pledge.
--Hillary Clinton surrogate Lanny Davis, CNN Late Edition, Feb. 17. 2008.

Again, I feel it necessary that we examine the true benefit of tying the hands of a possible Republican challenger, in this case Sen. Obama, when it comes to financing a general presidential campaign. Is it a responsible move for a Party member to actively fight against another possible presidential candidate in such a way?

Is it wise for the Party to allow ourselves to enter into a most important election with one arm tied behind our backs? Of course it is not a smart political move, yet this dangerous element in our Party feels it is fair game to attack a fellow Party member on such a matter. And, in a sense, help the opposition's presidential candidate's campaign.

By rejecting public funds, which no major party candidate has done for a general election since public funding for elections was instituted in the 1970's, Sen. Obama will be putting himself at an obvious disadvantage. Not just because Sen. Obama would have to return more money then McCain. Sen. Obama has raised $6.1 million toward the general campaign, compared to the $2.2 million that McCain has raised, but his grassroots fundraising machine is massive and not nearly close to being tapped out. This would be not just poor politics on the part of Sen. Obama, but it would be irresponsible to the Party to do such a thing.

The Democratic Party has a wonderful advantage against the Republican nomination this election year cycle when it comes to funding. A tool, which if not utilized, would be a politically reckless action on the part of a presidential Party candidate.

What we are facing with this dangerous Party element, is a high ranking member of the Party that is willing, and desirous, that we concede such an advantage for what? Is it for a possible underlying feeling of presidential self-entitlement? Is it a campaign's last ditch effort to win? A do or die burn fest? Whatever the reasoning behind such a destructive move on the part of Sen. Clinton, it is nonetheless, a very dangerous ploy for such little possible gain.

Is this the kind of politics that we need in the party, let alone in America? The idea which seems to resonate with the American populace is that we need to move away from the typical day to day operations of our political leaders. We need to have a Party, and a Country, that is truly for the people by the people. Not a country controlled by the minority of its citizenry, or by its far right leaning religious minority, nor even by the money-throwing special interest groups, all of which attempt to circumvent the will and betterment of the majority of Americans. No, this is not the type of Party that we should be. This is not what the Democratic Party is all about.

What we are facing is a path that can take us either into a future, which is based on the belief, and yes hope, that we can do truly wonderful things if we pull together, or a future that concedes we have reached the pinnacle of American greatness, and we must go back to the way it was before these disastrous last 7 years. The idea and belief that America should be governed from the bottom up, and not the top down, is a crossroads sign post which we must use to choose our great nations future.

I, personally, will give the benefit of the doubt, and look to what great things we can hope to do with this belief and faith. The past was good, and we were served well by its purveyors, but it was just that, the past. To whatever future we find ourselves living in is yet to be seen, yet the leader of our Party is clear. The time is now to realize the fact that we have our leader for the campaign to reclaim the Presidency of the United States, and we must show unity and support behind Sen. Obama if we are to succeed. The alternative will be more of the same support for the status quo, which is both detrimental, and unacceptable to the American way of life.

Posted by: CitizenXX | February 20, 2008 11:12 AM | Report abuse

51% to 48% is a "virtual tie" only when you're talking about polling numbers with a plus or minus error factor. These are real Democratic voters we're talking about and Obama won them by a 3% margin. Please, get your terminology straightened out here.

Posted by: Lilly1 | February 20, 2008 11:11 AM | Report abuse

here's a bit of it, bsimon... amzing how easy it is to google if you actually want to know:

"People who complain that Barack Obama lacks experience must be unaware of his legislative achievements. One reason these accomplishments are unfamiliar is that the media have not devoted enough attention to Obama's bills and the effort required to pass them, ignoring impressive, hard evidence of his character and ability."

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/01/03/AR2008010303303.html

Posted by: drindl | February 20, 2008 11:07 AM | Report abuse

According to a WaPo article, most of Obama's legislative accomplishments were in Illinois, not Washington. I guess he can really pump up his resume with that community organizer stuff, but I'm just sayin'.... it doesn't hold a candle to Mack's record.

"People who complain that Barack Obama lacks experience must be unaware of his legislative achievements. One reason these accomplishments are unfamiliar is that the media have not devoted enough attention to Obama's bills (that mean old media, always picking on poor Obama. NOT!) and the effort required to pass them, ignoring impressive, hard evidence of his character and ability.

Since most of Obama's legislation was enacted in Illinois, most of the evidence is found there"

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/01/03/AR2008010303303.html

I nominate Nicholas Hacker for President; as a North Dakota Senator he has some extremely significant accomplishments too!

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | February 20, 2008 11:06 AM | Report abuse

I thought Matthews's attack on the hapless senator was cheap, underhanded and rude. Obviously Matthews -- whom I generally like -- is feeling a little self-conscious after his unfair attack on Clinton and his foolish comment about how Obama's speeches gave him "a funny feeling running up his leg (!)." Even Olbermann was stunned.

Posted by: jac13 | February 20, 2008 11:06 AM | Report abuse

Going negative is not going to help Hillary. It was rejected by the voters of Wisconsin. Most polls of the last two weeks have had Hillary at 40% to 42% support, which turns out to have been accurate. A poll on 2/10 had Obama up 45% to 41% with 14% undecided. This was before the Potomac primaries and the negative ads she ran in Wisconsin.

There is no other way to read the results than ALL of the undecided voters broke for Obama. Her advertising and campaigning approach was completely rejected.

I don't have any advice for Hillary, but I do know that if she goes more negative, she'll be even more strongly rejected.

Posted by: optimyst | February 20, 2008 11:00 AM | Report abuse

judge- could you dig up that post about Obama's legislative accomplishments for proud?

Posted by: bsimon | February 20, 2008 10:53 AM | Report abuse

Zogby's new poll shows the electability argument in the Democratic race is over.
http://jtaplin.wordpress.com/2008/02/20/electibility/

Posted by: Trumbull | February 20, 2008 10:52 AM | Report abuse

No one can deny Obama did well last night - especially in his rally in Houston - 20k plus. At some point Obama is going to be vetted by the press and the Republicans. I am not saying Hillary is the choice. There is very little doubt in my mind Obama will falter before November and McCain will become president.

American is in the middle looking for someone who can unite the people. McCain and Obama both fit the needs of the American people. The people who are high on Obama will come crashing down once he is vetted during the formal campaign.

You cannot win Texas as a Democrat without the Lower Rio Grande Valley. The LRGV has refused to turn out and vote for nearly 17 years. This has cost the Democrats power in Texas. Everyone in the LRGV knows the Dems treat us like evil step children who need to learn their place. The Dems have been out of power 15 years and more.

Obama and Hillary have both gotten in bed with the evil which is everything bad in LRGV politics. Everyone I know, save one Hillary supporter, voted for Edwards yesterday in Texas early voting. The Lucios are tied to 21.4 million dollars missing from the Port of Brownsville. It was spent on a non-existent bridge between Mexico and the port. The Lucios are hated across the board.

The Lucios decided the best way to insure a new Democratic President not authorize a criminal investigation into the missing 21.4 million dollars decided the son, III would support Obama, and the father Jr would support Hillary. To a person every Obama supporter I know cut and ran the day we heard Lucio III would be his spoke person in the LRGV. This told us a lot about Obama. He will get in bed with whomever it takes to win. He sees no reason to investigate his friends.

Lucio the III has also voted to make our community college the most expensive community college in Texas. He openly supports the continued policy of local taxpayers paying property taxes to support UT Brownsville. No other state university is funded by local property taxes. We are the second poorest county in the US. Obama clearly does not care about the people - he cares about power and this should scare people.

The high people are on about Obama will eventually go away and a true list of his friends and supporters will come to light. The crash will be hard and McCain will be the next president.

Bobby Wightman-Cervantes

Posted by: bobbywc | February 20, 2008 10:52 AM | Report abuse

EVEN A BLIND SQUIRREL FINDS A NUT ONCE IN A WHILE...
MSNBC's Chris Matthews: "You are a big Barack supporter, right, Senator?"
State Sen. Watson: "I am. Yes, I am."

Matthews: "Well, name some of his legislative accomplishments. No, Senator, I want you to name some of Barack Obama's legislative accomplishments tonight if you can."

State Sen. Watson: "Well, you know, what I will talk about is more about what he is offering the American people right now."

Matthews: "No. No. What has he accomplished, sir? You say you support him. Sir, you have to give me his accomplishments. You've supported him for president. You are on national television. Name his legislative accomplishments, Barack Obama, sir."

State Sen. Watson: "Well, I'm not going to be able to name you specific items of legislative accomplishments."

Matthews: "Can you name any? Can you name anything he's accomplished as a Congressman?"

State Sen. Watson: "No, I'm not going to be able to do that tonight."

Matthews: "Well, that is a problem isn't it?"

It will be in November. Hope and change sound great ... for a while. At some point, the spell breaks, and people wonder how all this hope and change will morph into actual policy, and whether the candidate can actually deliver it. That usually means looking at the record to see how the candidate did so in the past, when they had the opportunity to do so.

Obama simply doesn't have any record to show. He has been in the Senate a grand total of three years, one of which he's spent running for President.

Obama has no record of even attempting to bring any of the themes on which he's running now to the Senate for consideration as actual legislative product. Why didn't he act when he had the chance?

That will be John McCain's argument. He has a long record of taking risks in the Senate and pushing bipartisan solutions to problems. A true non-partisan maverick.

He hasn't just sat around talking about change; he's actually accomplished it, sometimes in directions that angered Republicans then and now. McCain can cast himself as the real agent of change and bipartisanship, while Obama just poses as such for an election without once taking any real risks.

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | February 20, 2008 10:39 AM | Report abuse

No-bid contracts to cronies who kick back cash to campaigns in an to create a permanent Republican majority would have been a nightmarish thought to our founders. Yet, this is what we have today.

This is what the Republican party is all about. Dirty money, bribery and privatization of government services -- and virtual theft of taxpayer's money to grease the skids and line the campaign coffers. McCain is a republican -- and as such, he will keep doing exactly what they are doing now.

Posted by: drindl | February 20, 2008 10:36 AM | Report abuse

@ ssergio:
Don't worry about Hillary getting nasty. The Clintons' mud attacks are too well known to have any effect. The people want to hear the candidates talk about the issues.

Posted by: dunnhaupt | February 20, 2008 10:35 AM | Report abuse

The difference is Leadership - It also appears that (at least for now) many people have learned the lessons of the negative attacks and ignore them. It is insulting to concerned voters to play out the balance of this campaign with dirty politcs. Tell me why I should vote for YOU.

Posted by: amstaur | February 20, 2008 10:33 AM | Report abuse

The Democrats are succeeding in McGovernizing the party in time for the November election. With the new walk-up registration rules they have allowed kids and sabotage voters to come in and mess up the primary state election. Instead of the Democrats fielding a solid experienced candidate, we are getting a guy who has not a blither of a chance to win even one state in the general election in November. The very biased anti-Hillary media has had a lot to do with what has happened. In my lifetime of voting in the presidential campaigns I have never seen the meadia so out of control and so viciously biased against a candidate as they have been against Sen. Clinton. Terrible bias.

Posted by: rslip | February 20, 2008 10:32 AM | Report abuse

Wonder if the new president will continue to use our taxpayer dollars in Iraq for -- comic books?

"As part of it continuing bid to beef up its "strategic communications" capabilities, the U.S. government has tried many things in Iraq, including, it turns out, distributing comic books. The military recently put out a solicitation for "twelve (12) issues of 6th Brigade Comic Book series" which is designed "to highlight the professionalism of the Iraqi Special Operations Forces (ISOF) and to enhance the public perception of the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) as a capable, well-trained, and professional fighting force IAW Information Operations Objectives..."

This apparently isn't a new thing. Last year, a published announcement said a sole source contract for 6th Brigade Comic Book went to the Lincoln Group, the private contractor that gained notoriety for paying to place favorable press coverage in Iraqi newspapers."

Now the head of the Lincoln Group is Christian Bailey, who currently holds over $300 million in no-bid goverment contracts, mainly in Iraq:

"Bailey was a founder and active participant in Lead21, a fund-raising and networking operation for affluent young Republicans, some of whom have gone on to serve in the Bush administration. Click on the links to Lead21's site today and no mention of Bailey is to be found. But on a subscriber business and social networking site, there's an archived e-mail of Bailey discussing setting up a New York branch of Lead21, and his "personal network," which lists a half-dozen members of the organization's current board, including the chairman of the California Republican Party and the senior policy adviser to the Justice Department's chief information officer. "These are going to be the big supporters, the big donors to the Republican Party in five years' time," Bailey told The New York Times in an Aug. 31, 2004, video interview during a Lead21 party at the Republican convention in New York."

Posted by: drindl | February 20, 2008 10:31 AM | Report abuse

"McCain attacked the "empty call for change that promises no more than a holiday from history" and wondered whether the country will "risk the confused leadership of an inexperienced candidate." Yowza."

"...the confused leadership of an inexperienced candidate?" Ummm, John, you've been sucking up to Bush, the poster child for confused leadership and (in 2000) an inexperienced candidate, for years. Find another tack. 'Sides, that just gives BHO an opening to tag you with the twin failures of Iraq and Afghanistan. What? Iraq is a success? Great, so the troops must be home by now. What? You want them to stay for another 100 years? What's your definition of 'success' again?

As far as attacking calls for change, that dog won't hunt either. People are hungry for change and McCain needs to go with that flow as much as he can. His biggest negative is that many of his policies appear to continue what Bush started. Labeling him as "Bush II" is a powerful negative that he must be ready to counter with fresh ideas. Staying in Iraq for 100 years ain't one of them. Neither is turning back the clock on Roe v. Wade. C'mon John, "think different" (TM Apple Computer, 1997).

Posted by: judgeccrater | February 20, 2008 10:31 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: bsimon | February 20, 2008 10:30 AM | Report abuse

If my memory serves me correctly, Bubba has lost only one election, way back when.

I guess the Billarys are on strange territory.

Will they go down gracefully, no please no. I'll miss the Bubba's big red face in all its smug air of superiority. Will they concede sooner rather than later, no please, no. I would miss the Mark Penn clueless put downs. Should Hill congratulate Sen. Obama on his recent ten to nothing winning streak, yes, please yes. Time to look after the little people of your phony "home" state of Nueva York, senadora.

Out with old, in with the new!

Posted by: rfpiktor | February 20, 2008 10:26 AM | Report abuse

Thank you Wisconsin and Hawaii. Clinton won't bow out gracefully, at least not until after Texas and Ohio. I do hope some of the nastiness subsides. Save it for Four More Years McCain.

Posted by: SarahBB | February 20, 2008 10:21 AM | Report abuse

Happy Birthday, Chris.

Posted by: J | February 20, 2008 10:16 AM | Report abuse

I hope the Clintons can accept their defeat gracefully, and not besmirch their record by an undignified exit. If they again fail to win a SUBSTANTIAL victory -- not just by a few votes -- in BOTH Texas and Ohio, then Party leaders like Al Gore and Ted Kennedy should step in.

Posted by: dunnhaupt | February 20, 2008 10:09 AM | Report abuse

Happy Birthday, Chris

The argument that Hillary Clinton is entitled to the nomination because she has won the big states is ridiculous. The candidate who wins the most votes and the most delegates is the winner. Furthermore, does anyone think that those big blue states won't vote for Obama in the general? Does anyone think that Hillary Clinton has a snowball's chance in Hades of carrying enough red and purple states. I am also amazed at the myopia of the Clinton supporters who whine about her supposedly being a stronger general election candidate against McCain. Every poll I have seen shows Obama beating McCain and Clinton losing to him.

Posted by: jimd52 | February 20, 2008 10:04 AM | Report abuse

Hillary will not drop out, at least not until after March 4th.

UNLESS, that is, some of the party elders look down the road and see that she can't win big enough in OH and TX -- if she wins one or both, that is -- to catch Obama in pledged delegates, and so the only way she wins is with Superdelegates (unlikely, since the trend there seems to be all Obama since Super Tuesday); or starting and winning a nasty fight to seat the MI and FL delegates she claims she won. The latter two would be widely seen, IMHO, as undemocratic and would cheapen the nomination even if she got it.

So the wise old heads who have kept silent so far (Gore, Biden, Dodd, maybe Richardson, maybe Edwards) go to Hillary and persuade her to throw in the towel, for the good of the party.

Do I think this might happen? Possible.

Do I think Hillary would do it? Not likely.

Posted by: jac13 | February 20, 2008 9:54 AM | Report abuse

From the San Antonio Express-News:

"Obama paced around the plaza's center for nearly 90 minutes, the focal point of an eager crowd of more than 4,000 supporters that was almost evenly divided among African Americans, Anglos and Hispanics. He took nearly an hour's worth of questions from the audience."

"Mortola said it was a difficult choice between two good candidates, and she was worried about the campaign fracturing the party, since even at the Bexar County level, Democrats can't get along."

Posted by: mark_in_austin | February 20, 2008 9:51 AM | Report abuse

Mark, your advice for McCain is spot on. MPR broadcast some excerpts from his latest speech & it didn't come across well. Arguing against change is not an effective strategy to win elections. As far as the experience argument goes, I was thinking "John, its not working for Hillary, why do you think that attack will work for you?"

Posted by: bsimon | February 20, 2008 9:44 AM | Report abuse

From the Houston Chronicle:

"Obama spokesman Josh Earnest said 7,000 tickets were printed for the Toyota Center, which cost $35,000 to rent, and another 14,000 people signed up online. He said the Obama Web site had a waiting list of 10,000 people requesting tickets."

The Rockets do not draw THAT well.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | February 20, 2008 9:42 AM | Report abuse

Chris,
Happy Birthday....and many happy returns of the day!

Posted by: cmelliott0211 | February 20, 2008 9:23 AM | Report abuse

Great analysis, Chris. As you said, on paper Clinton should have won the primary, or at least performed better in it. I'm no fan of Oprah, but did she know something the pundits didn't? When she first endorsed Obama, many politicos were already calling the Dem nomination for Clinton. Cross referencing the results of both parties' primaries in the same states, the sheer numbers are astounding. I guess it's normal for a party to get energized after the other party has "won" (using the term lightly) the last two elections. And as Chris mentioned, most Republicons will probably begrudgingly be a good conformist and vote for McCain. But when 2nd place Clinton gets more votes in a state than all Repubs combined, that speaks volumes. I still argue that where race and gender are involved, national polls don't necessarily siphon into votes--most people are at least ashamed to admit that they're harboring racial or gender biases. But with each passing generation, America gradually moves toward a more post-modernist environment. Ironically, "change" was the mantra of the baby boomers in the 60's and 70's, but now Hillary has nearly reached retirement age. So perhaps the country is ready to at least consider taking change to the next level. In another Irony, McCain fought in 'Nam, but is over 70-years-old. Wasn't the average age of U.S. troops in 'Nam--19? By opting for Bush Jr. over McCain in y2k, it seemed that the Repubs were at least acknowledging that the electorate was getting younger. Now in the tradition of the Republican Bizarro world, they're reverting back to a candidate who's old enough to be 20-somethings' grandfather. It's safe to say that a 71-year-old who has battled cancer, raises issues about health. Finally, Obama did the right thing in honoring McCain for his service in 'Nam, particularly with the vast majority of Repub leaders, preachers, and pundits being chickenhawks. Kerry should have ripped the GOP a new one after the Swift Boat fiasco. In any case, McCain is simply too old and too senatorial to have any GD chance of winning a national election. As someone mentioned on this blog, the y2k8 election could become a deja vu of '92.

Posted by: con_crusher | February 20, 2008 9:23 AM | Report abuse

Happy Birthday, Chris.

Posted by: Normscoffee | February 20, 2008 9:13 AM | Report abuse

Happy Birthday.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | February 20, 2008 9:11 AM | Report abuse

Clinton should have known that the route of the "Dirty Little Secret" would fail. The "secret" was no secret at all--it was a gift from a friend and colleague.

Now here's a real Dirty Little Secret:

dlsxpatriate.blogspot.com

Posted by: caraprado1 | February 20, 2008 8:53 AM | Report abuse

brad, did you win a "lottery" ticket?

Posted by: mark_in_austin | February 20, 2008 8:50 AM | Report abuse

Chris - Does it mean anything that Clinton in a losing effort complied more votes than the entire Republican field? What does this say about the blowhard's (Limbaugh) effort to drum up votes for Clinton?

Posted by: bradcpa | February 20, 2008 8:47 AM | Report abuse

mark_in_austin | February 20, 2008 08:06 AM

Lawyers will be present if the little people say so. This is an election, not a Bubba Restoration/Coronation, come hell or high water.

Off with your little heads, you shameless ambulance chasers. This cadaver has been vetted and sent to the morgue!

Posted by: rfpiktor | February 20, 2008 8:40 AM | Report abuse

We hold these truths to be self evident; Obama will win the dem nomination. The only thing remaining is to see how the Clintons go out. Will it be like Rudy and go out with class or will the Clintons go out ugly, slinging mud at everyone. I would bet on the latter.

Posted by: vbhoomes | February 20, 2008 8:38 AM | Report abuse

Confident Clinton Takes Aim At Attackers
Hillary Clinton Tells Katie Couric Time To "Draw Contrasts" With Her Rivals
CONCORD, N.H., Nov. 26, 2007

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2007/11/26/eveningnews/main3540666.shtml

Couric asked Clinton if she's lowering her expectations as the primary approaches.

"I never raised them, you know when I got into race at the beginning of the year. I wasn't even in double-digits. I was so far behind in Iowa, it was embarrassing," Clinton said.

Her campaign instead is "encouraged" she said, because "we're making progress - but I take nothing for granted, this is going to be a tight race."

"I think everybody should just take a deep breath and say 'let's just go to the finish line,' which will be probably be midnight West Coast time on Feb. 5," she said.

Ready on day 1?

Posted by: CitizenXX | February 20, 2008 8:33 AM | Report abuse

piktor - Lawyers must represent; at any moment, half of us are representing losers...
[grin]

Posted by: mark_in_austin | February 20, 2008 8:06 AM | Report abuse

mark_in_austin | February 20, 2008 07:41 AM

Mark, what we got in Hillary is a Democratic Huckabee. It is a matter of time until she wakes up and smells the coffee. Lawyers need not apply.

Ah, the aroma of failure...

Posted by: rfpiktor | February 20, 2008 8:01 AM | Report abuse

In your opinion is Hillary Clinton finished?

http://www.youpolls.com/details.asp?pid=1754

.

Posted by: PollM | February 20, 2008 7:55 AM | Report abuse

It will be interesting to see the tone of the debate tomorrow night in Austin. If the saner people are winning the argument in her camp, then it will be a tame, tepid affair. If we get feisty, attack-mode Hillary, that's probably a signal that she's not bowing out gracefully. And I wouldn't be at all surprised to see that Hillary.

At some point though, the Clintons have to worry about their long-term standing in the party, and the people working for her have to start thinking about their post-'08 careers. A bitter, ugly, protracted fight will likely hurt them much more than it would hurt Obama.

Posted by: novamatt | February 20, 2008 7:47 AM | Report abuse

Were I lawyering for HRC:

I would say to the supers - even if DNC excludes the FL delegation, remember that FL is one of the two pivotal states in recent elections and that HRC has shown she is stronger there than BHO. OH is the other; wait and see who wins OH.

I would avoid arguing about "constituencies", or about states any D will win [CA, NY, IL] or states any R will win [TX].
-------------------------------
Were I advertising for McC against either D, I would posterize Putin, for example, and ask who do we ultimately want sitting on our side of the table from him.
I would never talk about "experience" but always talk about "accomplishments". I would avoid bluster, but suggest that knowing the military realities as McC does will allow him to see all of our options as we prudently transform our mission from daily combat to peacekeeping and nation building. In the case of BHO, only, I would hammer "the Pledge" [http://blog.washingtonpost.com/fact-checker/2008/02/the_obama_pledge.html]
and argue that McC is the true reformer. If BHO ultimately agrees to keep his commitment, all the better, b/c McC would gain parity and b/c it is "the right thing."
------------------------------
BHO does not need my help, right now.
-----------------------------


Posted by: mark_in_austin | February 20, 2008 7:41 AM | Report abuse

Obama has now won 10 in a row and not just wins but landslides -- all wins were by 15% or more! Its over Madame Clinton. Your coronation has be called off, you have been stripped of your title and the crown given to Barack Obama.

Posted by: zbob99 | February 20, 2008 7:14 AM | Report abuse

Latest polls have Hillary up by only single digits in TX and OH. One poll has Obama up in TX. And this is before he has really started to campaign there in earnest. Plus the momentum of 10 in a row will also impact those numbers. There is no plausible way she can win this now.. without cheating. I think this thing is over. It is time for Hillary to withdraw and let the party rally around the nominee and focus on winning in Nov.

Posted by: zbob99 | February 20, 2008 7:08 AM | Report abuse

dyinglikeflies | February 20, 2008 06:57 AM

What will we write about if she concedes?

Stay, Hillary, stay!!!

Posted by: rfpiktor | February 20, 2008 7:01 AM | Report abuse

Go, little people, go! Riff raff multitudes and flyover raffle of puny inconsequential little states, go! The Hillary says you are not what this election is about. Bubba and his big time amigos from here and far abroad thought they had this deal signed, sealed, delivered.

Guess not.

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/20/us/politics/20obama.html

Posted by: rfpiktor | February 20, 2008 6:58 AM | Report abuse

As of now Clinton polls ahead in Ohio and Texas. If she wins those and Pennsylvania, Obama will have failed to carry ANY of the large states except his own (Illinois) and will not be entitled to the nomination. If Obama wins those, he is definitely entitled to it. No spin here- it's just that simple. Clinton should not bow out, any more than Obama should have bowed out when he was still behind in delegates after Super Tuesday.

Posted by: dyinglikeflies | February 20, 2008 6:57 AM | Report abuse

Another advantage for Obama is that voting in Texas has already started. Many in Texas inspired by Obama's big wins last night will be voting to today for him today. Texas will not be Hillary's firewall, more likely her Alamo.

Posted by: zbob99 | February 20, 2008 6:54 AM | Report abuse

This from the burrito's mouth:

Latinos in Texas have the daunting choice of voting for the guaranteed loser or making nice with the new African American rock star guaranteed next president of these United States of America.

Will Latinos in Texas endorse the Obama Express or will they stay behind and cry a tear for Hillaria. What do you think.

Posted by: rfpiktor | February 20, 2008 6:34 AM | Report abuse

.

Excellently Put, muaddib_7 You're right ON !

It's not the men who are voting by Gender, It's the Women.

I can't blame them, they have their cause, but it's blinding their judgment.

How can one HATE Obama? He's not a very HateWorthy person.

BUT, he committed the cardinal Sin: He got in Her way.

I hope these women don't hold their grudges, though. The Democrats will need them in November.

Hillary is a Valuable asset to the Party, to the Country, for that matter, but she's not going to be President THIS time.

And that's OK. It's not to say people Hate her (well, OK, some do), but they just like Obama more.

The People want to "turn the page" forward, not backward. Obama doesn't want to make Republicans "pay" for the mess we're in. He wants them to help get us out.

Stop Hatin' on the guy and his supporters.

.

Posted by: LeftwithNochoice | February 20, 2008 6:23 AM | Report abuse

.

OK, I Love me some Obama, too.

But, how 'bout yer Boy Kucinich?

He may look like Yoda, but you Almost always agreed with him. Remember, he kept wanting to impeach Bush? That's AWESOME. He's not even scared to mess with Cheney!

Yes, it's great Obama is our Nominee, but there WERE other choices. Let's not act like we have our two first choices up there.

By the way: What a waste those "debates" with 10 Candidates were. Actually, not a waste; They served as introductions. But substance? That's just too many people.

So, Anyways, give Kucinich some Love.

I know I do.

.

Posted by: LeftwithNochoice | February 20, 2008 6:03 AM | Report abuse

.

I actually used to respect John McCain... before he started doing the Hillary shuffle, angling for his own Presidential Races.

Obama need not attack him much. Look at him. He's basically pathetic. I mean, who would he be without Vietnam? That's scary. A guy who actually benefited, built a career out of being tortured in Nam. I like how he came out against torture, though.

BUT, he's as old as Castro, He looks like he's storing nuts in his mouth for winter... actually, he LOOKS like Old Man Winter.

He stole the "double thumbs up" from the Fonz and he doesn't even excite his own party.

This whole thing is Just About Over.

Obama wins another state, He's got the White House.

Fine with me. I think He's got more character than either of the Career Politicians he's running against.

I like Huckabee, too, though. I read Obama may tap him for Vice President.

We'll See!

.

Posted by: LeftwithNochoice | February 20, 2008 5:53 AM | Report abuse

"If there was any doubt whom McCain thinks he will face in November, his speech tonight removed all doubt."

Without a doubt, Mr. Obama is the one Mr. McCain doesn't want to face (with good reason given the polls consistently show Mr. Obama prevailing, whereas they show him defeating Ms. Clinton).

Was Kennedy's inexperience broadcasted by Nixon in 1960?

Posted by: snowyphile | February 20, 2008 5:51 AM | Report abuse

Little people of Texas, Hillary ain't ready, she's so overcooked, she's toast:

"The New York senator also opened a TV ad attack on Obama in Wisconsin that slammed him for refusing to debate in the state.

In the end, that charge "insulted people's intelligence," said Wisconsin pollster Paul Maslin, a Democrat watching the nomination battle from the sidelines.

"Do they think people in Wisconsin don't watch MSNBC or Fox or CNN? People know there have been plenty of debates."" - LATimes

http://www.latimes.com/news/politics/la-na-analysis20feb20,0,5566117.story

Posted by: rfpiktor | February 20, 2008 5:40 AM | Report abuse

I find it interesting. People are urging Mike Huckabee to swallow his conscience. Well, what else should be expected of folk who want to say, "close enough".

What does McCain have to offer in regards to revitalizing the US economy, other than what has been attempted in the past?

Why does Obama or Hillary, for that matter, continue to conclude that getting rid of a complication is justification for death. After all, biology teaches that humans can only bring forth humans, and the humanity of the child has something to do with the humanity of the parents. When that is combined with the teaching that people go through various stages of life, and the initial stages take place before birth: only a barbarian would maintain a double standard.

John McCain has had his moments of enjoying taking liberties with the Republican base. Well, consider me to be a skeptic about his peace making efforts.

This will likely be the first Presidential election since 1980 that I will not devote time to keep up to date on the Presidential candidates on the hustings. For where is room for the likes of people who don't take the good things of the US for granted.

After all, why is the US a magnet for illegal immigrants?

Then again, what does it matter when one voice points out the flaws of political correctness and is either gagged or shunned.

Posted by: commandr | February 20, 2008 5:38 AM | Report abuse

FROM THE HORSE'S MOUTH:

BILLARY, YOU'RE NO IRON LADY, YOU'RE BUBBA'S LADY.

Posted by: rfpiktor | February 20, 2008 5:22 AM | Report abuse

gerald and orders9313,

Definitely the numbers of people turning out for the Democratic race are impressive and have to be demoralizing for Republican prospects in November, but Wisconsin's open primary also skews the numbers a little, and it may not represent what the fall race looks like. All the attention right now is on Clinton and Obama. McCain has mostly sewn up the Republican race. As a result, a lot of people who typically vote Republican, and who will likely vote Republican in the fall, were crossing over to vote Democratic. Likewise, many other Republican voters probably opted to stay home. After all, it was really cold in Wisconsin on Tuesday, and there is less motivation to vote in a primary race that is mostly already decided.

In particular, Wisconsin's open primary system makes crossing over especially easy. A voter doesn't have to declare a party until literally in the voting booth--people receive a single ballot with both parties on it and are instructed to vote for only one.

Wisconsin has leaned Democrat in the last few presidential elections, but don't expect Obama to win two-thirds of the popular vote in November, as the numbers of voters turning out in the Democratic primary might suggest. In a blowout, Wisconsin might split 55-45.

Posted by: blert | February 20, 2008 4:29 AM | Report abuse

I'm not gonna brag and say it's over for Clinton. But Obama as really impressed me with the way he as run his campaign. If he can run a country just like the way he as run his campaign, the man will be one of the best presidents we have ever had rivaling JFK and Reagan. OBAMA 08!

Posted by: lumi21us | February 20, 2008 3:51 AM | Report abuse

per my predictions in the T-shirt contest the demographics truly swung towards the Democrats and particularly Obama:

he took 50% of the female vote;

he obtained 63% of the white male vote vs 34% for Hillary;

I underestimated how large the swing of independents to the Democrats would be - it was 75%, not the 2/3 I predicted.

Obama took 63% of the independents' votes, Hillary just 34%.

I thought Hillary would get 50% of the female vote - wrong! She split their vote 50-50 with Obama, really a shocker when you consider it.

GOP voters simply weren't motivated to turn out in large numbers. Whether that was simply a matter of thinking McCain had it wrapped up and no need to vote or (more likely in my view) they're dispirited by their available choices and/or the mess GWB has created and the feeling that they can't win in November - or both!

Back to the all-important Independents: there was a total of about 400,000 Inds. who voted, according to the CNN exit poll stats. Democrats got 75% (308,000) of their votes. Obama got 197,000 Independent votes (64% of the 75% that went to Democrats). Since McCain got a total of 224,000 votes in all Obama's Independent votes equaled a startling 88% of the total McCain vote count.

Tentative conclusions: Ohio is very likely to go for Obama, maybe with a percentage as high as 55%. I base that on the very similar demographics for the Democrat constituency as well as major concerns about the economy and the particular concern about jobs and job losses due to foreign trade, especially in manufacturing jobs, very big in Ohio. Union membership probably is even higher in Ohio.

Hillary Clinton has a multitude of reasons to worry about the WI results. The same holds true for McCain; his advisors will know it even if it's not his perception also.

Posted by: can8tiv | February 20, 2008 3:50 AM | Report abuse

You know, Hillary doesn't have to drop out now. But she has to tone done her own rhetoric. She has less than a 5% chance of wining the nomination. But she can stay in as long as she doesn't keep throwing dirt.

Thursday's debate should be a kiss and make up forum. It's over.

Posted by: ChrisStewart | February 20, 2008 3:09 AM | Report abuse

I find it a little surprising that Mme. Maggie, the new heir of team Clinton, has done such a poor job at putting the HRC campaign back on message.

She has introduced a whole slew of new campaign slogans, including quite a few she seems to have lifted from Obama (or inspired or responding to Obama memes), while launching a different attack almost every day.

It seems rather disparate, despite Wolfson's best attempts to tie the threads together as some kind of cohesive narrative (which when translated simply becomes one phrase: ATTACK). It seems to me a misstep for a campaign that is running short on margins for error.

Posted by: muaddib_7 | February 20, 2008 3:01 AM | Report abuse

Happy Birthday Chris. Congratulation on your fair coverage of 2008 Campaign. Take a day off and celebrate your birthday. If the Post can't find you replacement for a day, I am volunteering.


***************HAPPY BIRTHDAY*************


**********************************************

Posted by: dewanitum | February 20, 2008 2:55 AM | Report abuse

I don't think so SMD and mul. I think that HRC just happened to run post-Bill, and thus recent events really have little to do with her gender. Whether that guilt by association is appropriate or not is not for me to answer, but I do think that it has less to do with gender than you might think.

If you look at the Wisconsin exit polls, for instance, you see in response to the question: "Was Gender of Candidate Important to You?"

Of the respondents you see 15% said yes, gender was important, and of those 15%, 63% were HRC SUPPORTERS. That suggests that there are some voters who are voting for HRC BECAUSE of her gender as opposed to against it. Frankly I think that reeks of identity politics and is absurd, but that is my opinion. Supposing the true misogynists are not underreported in the survey (which is highly unlikely) this would suggest that somehow the defeat of HRC us due to her gender is an overstatement (especially since similar numbers for race seem to favor HRC at the margins and NOT Obama--suggesting that there are likely more who do not support Obama because he is black than HRC because she is a woman).


What I find truly condescending, and frankly mul, what makes me sick, is the presumption by some, SMD included, that Obama supporters, because they don't see the light of HRC that they are 'gullible'. It is completely arrogant to presume that Obama supporters lack clearly thought out justifications for their candidate, but, rather, that they have selected a candidate on the basis of race or gender, or 'rhetoric' or any such nonsense.

I think the challenge for future female candidates it is to stay true to who they are and not compromise by subsuming wholeheartedly the masculine hierarchy with respect to the political process. That is a tall order surely, but it seems the true measuring stick for success with regard to the issue you have raised.

Posted by: muaddib_7 | February 20, 2008 2:41 AM | Report abuse

I would like to frame it like this a win for Obama is win for the hard working middle class, poor, whites, blacks, asian, hispanics and the majority of americans who don't have to be a rocket scientist to figure out OUR government has been serving a select few.

Hillary there is room for you in the Obama movement we need all people in order to make tangible change. If voters speak loud and clear on March 4th have your concession/congratulation speech ready. Then put then put your sneakers on and join the movement.

Posted by: scootab | February 20, 2008 2:19 AM | Report abuse

SMD

I feel sick too.

Posted by: mul | February 20, 2008 2:13 AM | Report abuse

I thought the Republicans were gullible when they voted Bush in twice. But I have to say, a majority of my fellow Democrats are just as bad. What a disappointment.

We are about to loose one of the best candidates we will see in a long time, Hillary Clinton. She is a powerhouse, and the only candidate with the intelligence, experience, passion and determination to run this country the way it ought to be run.

She truly cares about the people of this country, and she is being thrown aside because, for the most part, the men in this country are willing to elect a black man as President, but NO WAY will they accept a woman. And that's what it's come down to. It's sickening.

Posted by: SMD | February 20, 2008 2:09 AM | Report abuse

I thought the Republicans were gullible when they voted Bush in twice. But I have to say, a majority of my fellow Democrats are just as bad. What a disappointment.

We are about to loose one of the best candidates we will see in a long time, Hillary Clinton. She is a powerhouse, and the only candidate with the intelligence, experience, passion and determination to run this country the way it ought to be run.

She truly cares about the people of this country, and she is being thrown aside because, for the most part, the men in this country are willing to elect a black man as President, but NO WAY will they accept a woman. And that's what it's come down to. It's sickening.

Posted by: SMD | February 20, 2008 2:09 AM | Report abuse

Mrs. Clinton is now toast. White males just don't like the woman. I am the exception.

Mac has a good chance vs. Obama in an election that democrats should have won by 10 points. Mrs. Obama better do something about her idiotic statement soon. I was young but remember 1988 (Obama remembers too so he voted for a flag law). Sad to say but we 'real' democrats should have just gone with another white male this cycle.

Maybe Obama can't get rid of sexism (even in his own statements) but can make racism just go away.

Posted by: mul | February 20, 2008 2:09 AM | Report abuse

I thought the Republicans were gullible when they voted Bush in twice. But I have to say, a majority of my fellow Democrats are just as bad. What a disappointment.

We are about to loose one of the best candidates we will see in a long time, Hillary Clinton. She is a powerhouse, and the only candidate with the intelligence, experience, passion and determination to run this country the way it ought to be run.

She truly cares about the people of this country, and she is being thrown aside because, for the most part, the men in this country are willing to elect a black man as President, but NO WAY will they accept a woman. And that's what it's come down to. It's sickening.

Posted by: SMD | February 20, 2008 2:09 AM | Report abuse

I thought the Republicans were gullible when they voted Bush in twice. But I have to say, a majority of my fellow Democrats are just as bad. What a disappointment.

We are about to loose one of the best candidates we will see in a long time, Hillary Clinton. She is a powerhouse, and the only candidate with the intelligence, experience, passion and determination to run this country the way it ought to be run.

She truly cares about the people of this country, and she is being thrown aside because, for the most part, the men in this country are willing to elect a black man as President, but NO WAY will they accept a woman. And that's what it's come down to. It's sickening.

Posted by: SMD | February 20, 2008 2:09 AM | Report abuse

I thought the Republicans were gullible when they voted Bush in twice. But I have to say, a majority of my fellow Democrats are just as bad. What a disappointment.

We are about to loose one of the best candidates we will see in a long time, Hillary Clinton. She is a powerhouse, and the only candidate with the intelligence, experience, passion and determination to run this country the way it ought to be run.

She truly cares about the people of this country, and she is being thrown aside because, for the most part, the men in this country are willing to elect a black man as President, but NO WAY will they accept a woman. And that's what it's come down to. It's sickening.

Posted by: SMD | February 20, 2008 2:09 AM | Report abuse

I thought the Republicans were gullible when they voted Bush in twice. But I have to say, a majority of my fellow Democrats are just as bad. What a disappointment.

We are about to loose one of the best candidates we will see in a long time, Hillary Clinton. She is a powerhouse, and the only candidate with the intelligence, experience, passion and determination to run this country the way it ought to be run.

She truly cares about the people of this country, and she is being thrown aside because, for the most part, the men in this country are willing to elect a black man as President, but NO WAY will they accept a woman. And that's what it's come down to. It's sickening.

Posted by: SMD | February 20, 2008 2:08 AM | Report abuse

The Obama campaign outmanuevered Clinton tonight when Hillary refused to concede. He just went on TV and all the networks switched to him.
http://jtaplin.wordpress.com/2008/02/19/rope-a-dope-ii/

Posted by: Trumbull | February 20, 2008 1:58 AM | Report abuse

It looks like about 350,000 votes were cast in the WI Republican primary, while 1,100,000 were cast on the Democratic side. That's a 3-1 advantage for Democrats in a state where Gore and Kerry beat Bush by 1 point in 2004 and a similar margin in 2000. Some of that is because the Democratic race is closely in play while the GOP contest is over, but even a 2-1 edge showing that kind of Democratic enthusiasm and Republican indifference would be enough for Obama to win states like Ohio, Colorado, Nevada, Iowa, New Mexico, Arizona, Virginia, West Virginia, Missouri, and even Florida in addition to all Kerry's blue states. That would be an optimistic 364 electoral votes--very close to Clinton's 1992 and 1996 totals (370 and 379).

Posted by: jon.morgan.1999 | February 20, 2008 1:47 AM | Report abuse

WE LOVE YOU BARACK!!

Landslide victory again.

GO WISCONSIN!!!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AwNlaY8busw

Posted by: Rubiconski | February 20, 2008 1:46 AM | Report abuse

jay cost has a nice breakdown of obama's cuts into clinton's numbers:

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/horseraceblog/2008/02/how_obama_won_wisconsin.html

regardless of what candidate you support, his analysis is pretty damning.

Posted by: muaddib_7 | February 20, 2008 1:45 AM | Report abuse

@orders9313:

"Do you think an open primary gives us a true picture?"

I'd say it's a better indication of how a general election will go than a closed primary.

And if you count just Democrat's votes, Obama won that, too.

Posted by: nodebris | February 20, 2008 1:43 AM | Report abuse

Obama looks to be on cruise control now, as this analysis highlights here:

Texas Primary- Hillary vs. Barack:
http://newsusa.myfeedportal.com/viewarticle.php?articleid=50

Yet, what is even more interesting from that site is this:

Obama vs. McCain- The Internet Indicators:
http://newsusa.myfeedportal.com/viewarticle.php?articleid=48

Thus, the democrats, after (depending on) Texas/Ohio, I would guess, will all back Barack Obama.

Posted by: davidmwe | February 20, 2008 1:16 AM | Report abuse

It is close to the time to move towards reuniting the democratic party and enroll independant voters to take back the White House in November. Obama can enroll independants and roll up a landslide with coattails. Obama can beat McCain, Clinton not likely.

We need 60 votes in the Senate and a 75 vote majority in the house. That is possible.

Once she loses in Ohio and Texas it will be time for Mrs. Clinton to concede.

Posted by: infrederick | February 20, 2008 1:14 AM | Report abuse

What's your take on analyzing these results based on whether it's an open or closed primary?

Do you think an open primary gives us a true picture?

Posted by: orders9313 | February 20, 2008 1:04 AM | Report abuse

The amazing numbers from Wisconsin are that Clinton, the losing Democrat, got more votes than all the Republicans put together. This does not portend well for McCain at all.

And in Washington state, McCain is struggling to get a majority of the Republican vote.

Two of the images that came out of Wisconsin were also telling: McCain gave a victory speech before a small crowd and received polite applause. But both Clinton and Obama held huge rallies with crowds that were thrilled to be there.

In other words, there simnply does not seem to be much excitement about four more years of Bush-style policies.

Posted by: gerald | February 20, 2008 12:56 AM | Report abuse

Chris,

You wrote: "...Will McCain's harping on those points force Democrats to look twice in the two weeks between tonight and votes on March 4 in Ohio and Texas?"

You must be kidding, or getting desperate for a "horse race" angle. McCain, for all his "Straight Talk Express" rhetoric, has shown himself willing to chuck overboard any idea that could cost him support, from taxes to immigration to torture.

Yeah, the guy I'll take advice from is the one morphing into BushCo ...

Posted by: pagun | February 20, 2008 12:51 AM | Report abuse

The only people that "think" Clinton can come back are the those in the media that want this primary season to extend.

She's toast, and on March 4 when Obama wins in Texas, she should bow out of this race for the benefit of the party.

Posted by: DanKirkd | February 20, 2008 12:51 AM | Report abuse

It's over. Every day Hillary stays in the race is a day closer to Roe v. Wade being overturned, to four more years of war, and to four more years of incompetent management of the economy.

Posted by: davestickler | February 20, 2008 12:50 AM | Report abuse

A little reality check for the Clinton campaign: Hillary Clinton just lost Wisconsin to Barack Obama by virtually the same margin as Mike Huckabee lost to McCain. Huckabee even won more counties overall than Clinton did.

So here is the question for gambling folks: Does Huckabee have a better chance now at upsetting McCain in Texas than Clinton does beating Obama? I wouldn't quite give even odds on that bet, but after tonight my gut is tilting more and more toward Huckabee's longshot chances than Clinton's.

Even worse for Clinton, the Wisconsin demographics don't bode well for Ohio.

Clinton hesitated at jumping into the Wisconsin race, but once she did she came in hard, throwing all kinds of negative attacks at Obama. In the end, nobody seems to have bought her attacks, and Obama won another dominant victory.

I just have to wonder now how long Clinton is going to drag this process out. Is she willing to sacrifice the party for her own bid, or will she unify behind the increasingly apparent nominee? If she tries to seat the delegates from the Michigan and Florida contests, she will implode the party on itself, and if she lobbies enough superdelegates to override the popular vote, she may achieve the same result. A lot of people who are still bitter from Gore's 2000 electoral loss despite the popular win, plus many more who have been drawn toward the party by Obama, will walk away disaffected and disenchanted.

The run up to November is still a long way off, but the longer past March 4 and into the summer than Clinton prolongs this race, the more McCain's advantage grows. Yes, the Democrats will have more attention in the press while the fight goes on, as well as more energy in the ranks, but much of this will be negative, while McCain will be able to raise money and campaign and attack unopposed the entire time. Does Clinton really want the nomination this badly?

Posted by: blert | February 20, 2008 12:44 AM | Report abuse

Before Iowa, the nomination was Hillary's to lose. She's lost it. All we're waiting for at this point is for her to get a reality check from the DNC and admit it to herself.

Every demographic save one (60+ year old white women) are peeling off to Sen. Obama. And denigrating all those Obama supporters as "culties" isn't going to help her bid one bit, either.

That's a losing proposition, however you spin it!

Posted by: miraclestudies | February 20, 2008 12:44 AM | Report abuse

Now is not the time to start talking about the 'Comeback Kid!' is it? I just can't keep from gloating over every loss suffered by Billary. What a stiff neck! And she just would not compliment Obama for his excellent campaign, with maybe, 'Great! May the best man win!'. Politics is really much more interesting when at least one of the 'ticians is telling the truth.

Texas and Ohio! Wake up and come aboard! America! America!

Can you hear it?

Posted by: craigcs1 | February 20, 2008 12:37 AM | Report abuse

How many times does it have to be said? Must I say it again? O.K. here it is,"WE ARE TIRED OF POLITICS-AS-USUAL!" We are more than tired, we are disgusted with it! And the more Hillary insists on baseless attacks as a means of propping up her sagging campaign, the more we will reject her. The huge difference between her tired way of trying to triumph and Obama's inspiring call to a positive future is so absurdly obvious.
McCain is even more tiring. He doesn't have a chance. The general election will be a landslide for Obama- for a new vision of the possibilities for America. Get ready. We're throwing the bums out!

Posted by: Arjuna9 | February 20, 2008 12:33 AM | Report abuse

McCain came out tonight and lied about Obama's position on Pakistan. Add that to his flip-flops on tax cuts for the wealthy and torture, and it's clear that the former "maverick" is becoming more and more Dubya 2.0 now that the potential of the presidency has been dangled in front of him.

Posted by: Nissl | February 20, 2008 12:29 AM | Report abuse

I have seen several comment that if their preferred Dem candidate doesn't win the nomination they will vote for McCain because he is steadfast and you know where he stands.

1) When did being steadfastly wrong (pigheaded) become a virtue that we should vote for (see Pres. Bush as prime example). Do we really want to continue a belligerent neocon foreign policy, tax cut and spend economic policy, drive the federal bench even farther to the right?

2 I think McCain jumped the straight talk express tracks long ago. He is much a political panderer as any of them.

Posted by: jswallow | February 20, 2008 12:28 AM | Report abuse

Dear Miata7,

None of the candidates have ever run a business; Bush did and lost money; Romney did and wasted his own money on a lousy campaign.

Obama, Clinton and McCain are now running the biggest operation they ever have in their lifetime...their campaign effort. Millions of dollars have been raised; messages developed and communicated, thousands of people organized. offices opened, etc., etc.

Objectively, the results are in...thus far, by a mile, Obama has run the most effective operation....more money raised, more votes and a message that is inspiring and motivating more new people to get involved in politics than any campaign in history.

We are electing a leader of the free world, not a manager. Managers manage things; leaders lead people. Know anyone who has ever followed a manager into a battle? No, I didn't think so. Can you name any famous managers? How about famous leaders? See what I mean....

Your turn to "get a grip"....and accept that "the times they are a'changin" Bob Dylan

Posted by: BGreat_in2008 | February 20, 2008 12:24 AM | Report abuse

I don't think Hillary Clinton should throw in the towell. No self-respecting male politician would dream of doing so with the vote count this close. As the minority in this race, she should continue to fight; women's future aspirations, as she no doubt knows, is now on the line. She has been maligned and berated, but she should not give up. If she pulls a Pat Schroeder, it'll set back women for decades to come.

Posted by: tfburke19 | February 20, 2008 12:15 AM | Report abuse

wow. 17 points. Did anyone think Obama was going to win Wisconsin by 17 points?

The 10 victories in a row have steadily eroded all of the arguments against Obama's appeal. Can only win in caucuses? wrong. Can only win in states with large percentages of black voters? wrong. Can only win in states with large percentages of affluent voters? wrong.

March 4 is going to be a very interesting date. The voters of Ohio, Texas, Rhode Island, and Vermont are going to directly answer the question: do they want the Democratic nomination to keep on going for several more months or will the nomination process be over?

Posted by: churtmah | February 20, 2008 12:15 AM | Report abuse

'The Bush administration was scrambling Tuesday to pick up the pieces of its shattered Pakistan policy after the trouncing that the party of President Bush's ally, President Pervez Musharraf, received in parliamentary elections'


hillary rightly said after bhutto's assasination that musharraf had lost all credibility.

it is not too late for the remaining states to vote for her before mccain or obama damage the economy and health care and shatter what is left of us foreign policy.

Posted by: sd71 | February 20, 2008 12:14 AM | Report abuse

'The Bush administration was scrambling Tuesday to pick up the pieces of its shattered Pakistan policy after the trouncing that the party of President Bush's ally, President Pervez Musharraf, received in parliamentary elections'


hillary rightly said after bhutto's assasination that musharraf had lost all credibility.

it is not too late for the remaining states to vote for her before mccain or obama damage the economy and health care and shatter what is left of us foreign policy.

Posted by: sd71 | February 20, 2008 12:14 AM | Report abuse

'The Bush administration was scrambling Tuesday to pick up the pieces of its shattered Pakistan policy after the trouncing that the party of President Bush's ally, President Pervez Musharraf, received in parliamentary elections'


hillary rightly said after bhutto's assasination that musharraf had lost all credibility.

it is not too late for the remaining states to vote for her before mccain or obama damage the economy and health care and shatter what is left of us foreign policy.

Posted by: sd71 | February 20, 2008 12:14 AM | Report abuse

'The Bush administration was scrambling Tuesday to pick up the pieces of its shattered Pakistan policy after the trouncing that the party of President Bush's ally, President Pervez Musharraf, received in parliamentary elections'


hillary rightly said after bhutto's assasination that musharraf had lost all credibility.

it is not too late for the remaining states to vote for her before mccain or obama damage the economy and health care and shatter what is left of us foreign policy.

Posted by: sd71 | February 20, 2008 12:14 AM | Report abuse

Hillary, like those at the Alamo, has put up a good fight, but like the Alamo, it is a losing battle....and there's no Sam Houston to bail her out.

Texas will be the end of the road for her campaign. I sincerely hope she shows some class, finally, and makes a concession speech.

Hillary can contribute in the senate and continue to work on the issues that are important to her and the country. All that is left for her in this campaign is more negative attacks and Bill out of control....it won't work and unfortunately is diminishing much of the good the Clintons did when they were in power. They had their chance; time to let go, turn the page and realize that this is a country of the people, by the people and for the people.

Turn out the lights, Hillary....the party's over.

Posted by: BGreat_in2008 | February 20, 2008 12:10 AM | Report abuse

The democrats really should get a grip on themselves. Holding Presidential rallies like they are revival meetings is getting a little out there.


That is just not it.


The fact is the democrats are becoming divorced from reality - McCain has the record of actually BEING the maverick in Washington, actually fighting the special interest - AND actually being the guy who has fought for change in Washington.


The democrats really have to be kidding.


At some point, this central reality is going to set in. Obama has now stolen the campaign theme from Bill in 92 and he is also taking from McCain's campaign in the 2000 election. A certain amount of that is common and OK. However, without a solid track record of his own, Obama needs a great deal more than copying off of everyone else.


Some of his lines are a complete joke.


"We are who we have been waiting for" The whole thing starts to sound like a self-fulfilling circle - I actually thought the cable networks put Obama on for extra time tonight to show everyone exactly what his speeches were like. Obama has never run a business, he has never run a state, he has never run a city, he has never run anything except a campaign, which looks more like a revival meeting than a campaign. I can understand the democrats want the war over, and they dont have the votes to do it, however for this to be the result of that frustration is out there. We are electing the leader of our country during wartime. I just wish these people could get a little more serious about their evaluation of the candidates.


Posted by: Miata7 | February 20, 2008 12:00 AM | Report abuse

I'm not sure those 4M evangelical voters were really new in 2004; they simply stayed home in 2000 after the Maine DUI revelation the weekend before the election. Rove talked about that repeatedly during Bush's first term and in the 04 campaign. Besides, the turnout jumped so much from 2000 (51%) to 2004 (60% - the highest since 1968) that 4M votes wouldn't have been enough for either candidate to win. Kerry outperformed Gore in Ohio and several other states, but still lost because Bush improved his showing even more over 2000. Looking at turnout figures by party so far this year, Obama seems to be in the position Bush was in last cycle.

Posted by: jon.morgan.1999 | February 19, 2008 11:57 PM | Report abuse

CC wrote, "But in a general election against either Obama or Clinton, it's hard to see conservatives defecting in real numbers. Do some stay home? Sure. Do enough stay home to change the final outcome? Doubtful."

Clinton is toast, but with regard to Obama, I disagree. In 2004, Bush and Rove gave the evangelicals the red meat issue of gay marriage for which Rove claimed 4 million new votes over 2000. It was done with the enthusiasm of a revival meeting and the best voter turnout organization ever assembled, and it succeeded in pumping up conservative turnout. Between the disenchantment over the war and the fact that McCain does not resonate with social conservatives, McCain is not going to be hanging on to those 4 million. There's no enthusiasm for the effort it would take to duplicate the turnout. They stay home like they usually do. That's "real numbers."

I'll save the rest of the analysis for another time, but this will not be a close contest. The margin will be 10%.

Posted by: optimyst | February 19, 2008 11:50 PM | Report abuse

The Republicans love quoting Reagan but here is a Reagan quote for Obama:

"Are you better off than you were 8 years ago?"

If the answer is no then I recommend voting for change since McCain is obviously more of the same. He isn't even "Bush-lite" more like "Bush-clone".

Posted by: MarcMyWords | February 19, 2008 11:44 PM | Report abuse

With 25% of the WA results in, Clinton is leading 49-47. But when you look at which counties are reporting so far (http://vote.wa.gov/elections/wei/ResultsByCounty.aspx?RaceID=9205&CountyCode=%20&ElectionID=0&RaceTypeCode=O), it's clear that Obama is going to win. Island, Jefferson, Pierce (Tacoma), San Juan, and Thurston (Olympia) Counties haven't reported at all, and large numbers of votes still remain to be counted in King (Seattle) and Snohomish (Everett) Counties. Those seven will all favor Obama. Moreover, King County alone has almost 1/3 of the state's population, while along with Snohomish and Pierce, it has about half. No delegates awarded in our Dem primary, but Clinton can't claim it as a symbolic win like FL.

Posted by: jon.morgan.1999 | February 19, 2008 11:40 PM | Report abuse

"unless you were under a rock"

OR watching American Idol.

An obsession with politics must sometimes give way for an obsession with another great race

Posted by: ReligionWriter | February 19, 2008 11:40 PM | Report abuse

80% and Barack has nearly 20 point lead. This is phenomenal! Bill will always be a 40 watt bulb now. He's dimmed his own light. Wonder if Hillary will exit with grace and keep her wattage up.

Posted by: wpost4112 | February 19, 2008 11:39 PM | Report abuse

I think a decision that is not made until the convention is a good thing.
such a convention would have one of the highest television ratings of any convention. If the candidates resolve to work with each other in a grand show of party unity, then the bit the road hard as Billo Clinton did in 1992, it could be the start of a steamroller.

Posted by: AlaninMissoula | February 19, 2008 11:38 PM | Report abuse

rwb111,

While I agree with the strategic and political points in your post (ie only losing the core party by 4% is hardly a sign of a healthy campaign that will be competitive with McCain in the general), you're weakening your argument when you phrase it as you did:

If Clinton can just hold on to 48% of self-identified democrats (mostly old women and Mexicans), she should get the nomination. Unbelievable.

I don't think you meant any harm, but referring to Latinos as "Mexicans" will be broadly construed as offensive.

Posted by: jonathanmstevens | February 19, 2008 11:36 PM | Report abuse

this is a sad day for these newspaper hacks. They've done their best to box in Obama, first a just a novelty, then just a candidate for blacks, then just a candidate the highly educated and rich. With each primary, the box expands a little but he's always a niche candidate and Hillary is the hero, the one who carries women, under $5ok, Mexicans, etc.

Now Obama keeps winning all of those groups and they don' know what to do except say that Hillary won 48% of self-identified democrats and therefore she should still be the nominee.

It keeps getting dumber and dumber. There are crises all over the world, and the best these hacks can come up for as "news" is whether Obama said a line given to him by his friend or a line once said by Cesar Chavez. Unbelievable how clueless these hacks become when they get wound too tightly rooting for Hillary Clinton and lose all objectivity.

Posted by: rwb111 | February 19, 2008 11:33 PM | Report abuse

That sliver of a silver lining is nothing to hold on to, sorry. The winner of the REAL election in November has to appeal to the moderate center of this country to win.

Hillary has proven time and again that she is unable to inspire anything (besides hatred in Republicans) in independents, who whoppingly support Obama over her and McCain.

In order to win the big race, we need the strongest candidate: the one who wins the most independents, crosses demographics, inspires new votes for the party, and earns the big bucks. Answer to all: Obama.

The only question now is if Hillary's selfish greed for the presidency will continue past March 4 and how much harm she will do the democrats in the process.

Posted by: hillmannic | February 19, 2008 11:33 PM | Report abuse

Why do McCain's protests that Obama offers just hollow hope remind me of Jimmy Carter's bleatings in 1980??

Posted by: jon.morgan.1999 | February 19, 2008 11:33 PM | Report abuse

I wonder how NAFTA as an issue will play in Texas (given the immigration issue) and Ohio (given the slumping economy). That may have been Bill's baby, but if she's going to claim all this "experience," then surely she must take some ownership of NAFTA.

As for the general election, I have no doubt that the McCain camp would LOVE to run against Hillary. Facing Hillary would solve McCain's biggest problem: getting the weirdos in Fundi-land to turn out.

Posted by: bloom111 | February 19, 2008 11:29 PM | Report abuse

Texas will be Clinton's Waterloo. Let's hope that she'll exit graciously.

Posted by: ProgRook | February 19, 2008 11:24 PM | Report abuse

sometimes I read the dumbest things from these so-called "experts." Hillary's supposed "bright spot" is she lost by only 3 points among self-identified democrats, and, Cillizza's logic goes, she belongs in the race.

Yeah, that makes sense. Who care is Obama expands the party base with young voters, independents, republicans, etc.? Who needs them in a general election? If Clinton can just hold on to 48% of self-identified democrats (mostly old women and Mexicans), she should get the nomination. Unbelievable.

Get over it Cillizza. Voters in state after state have rejected your hero by huge margins. She has no chance of winning the nomination and absolutely zero chance of winning the general. So you have a choice, either start being an objective reporter or continue being Hillary's cheerleader in the hope you can destroy the party and some how get her to be the nominee.

Posted by: rwb111 | February 19, 2008 11:24 PM | Report abuse

With about half the precincts counted, Democratic returns showed Clinton winning a few of the sparsely populated northern countries and within striking distance of Obama in most of the state. Obama, though, ran up big margins in Dane County, home of the University of Wisconsin and some of the more affluent liberal voters. A higher turnout among first-time voters may account for some of the large percentage of self-identified independents saying they are for Obama in exit polls.

Turnout on the Democratic side was way higher than on the Republican side. This was expected, as the GOP race is widely thought to be over -- Huckabee is less the conservative candidate than the evangelical candidate, and ran well behind McCain everywhere but the 3rd CD in western Wisconsin. But in a state that has gone narrowly Democratic in recent elections, a 2-to-1 disparity in primary votes is not a good sign for the Republicans. A significant minority of Democratic primary voters are genuinely excited about Obama's candidacy; not many here are excited about McCain's.

Posted by: jbritt3 | February 19, 2008 11:23 PM | Report abuse

Of course McCain is going to attack Obama; he has to attack whoever the Dems nominate. At least he has to get a sentence out before getting a reaction against Obama though; the mere mention of "Hillary Clinton" would do it if we nominated her. Those conservatives would unite behind McCain sooner and more fully if they were running against Clinton. I think Texans and Ohioans, and Vermonters and Rhode Islanders, will look at the slew of polls that show Obama beating McCain and Hillary losing to him and vote for Obama. Likewise most superdelegates. As you note, all the groups that formed the base of the Clinton and earlier, the Edwards campaign, have now voted for Obama several times in a row. The more time he has to campaign in a state before it votes, the better Obama does. He'll do fine on March 4, and Clinton won't catch up to him in the delegate count. Obama, proudly and amazingly, is our nominee. In 20 years, my first choice in the nominating battles has never won the nomination before. This is a sweet, sweet year.

Happy Birthday to a fellow Bicentennial Baby!

Posted by: jon.morgan.1999 | February 19, 2008 11:23 PM | Report abuse

Let's be clear about this, Wisconsin was a smashing victory for Obama. I am an Obama supporter and volunteer coordinator here in VA and I see parallels between tonights result and our own Potomac Primary. Going into the VA primary, I was confident of a win, but I knew that it was key to win across a diverse selection of demographic groups (race, age, education, etc) and win big enough in some of the congressional districts to get the supermajority delegate bonus. Did we do that? Yes, we did.
That race was being run on the home field. Wisconsin was her home field. She was ahead in the polls there after Super Tuesday, and the poll averages going into tonight (RCP for example) showed a close race. Toss in the negative campaigning and bad press over the last few days, and I thought Clinton might squeak a win. I was nervous that even the 4-5% margin for Obama that was being predicted by the polls would be regarded as a "comeback" of sorts for Clinton. Instead, she lost by a landslide margin in a 90%+ white state with a primary (rather than a caucus).
Only Obama can now win the Democratic nomination fairly cleanly and unify the party. At this point a Clinton win would have to be ugly, protracted, and guaranteed to rupture the party. Clinton could still be the nominee, but only McCain or Obama can be President.

Posted by: jonathanmstevens | February 19, 2008 11:21 PM | Report abuse

I think the only way Hillary can win the nomination is to start playing nasty. And if she does that, she will probably piss off enough of the democrats to hand the general election to McCain on a silver platter. Please, please, please bow out Hillary. Don't drag this out and take our collective energy (and money) away from the general election.

Posted by: ssergio | February 19, 2008 11:20 PM | Report abuse

Missouri is the bellwether: Obama will win nomination by a whisker. Tonight is the beginning of her end as a nominee. Baring, of course, some disaster on his part. It's not over till it's over.

Posted by: wpost4112 | February 19, 2008 11:19 PM | Report abuse

"Looking for a bright spot for Clinton in the exit polling? The sliver of a silver lining is that among Democrats in Wisconsin, who comprised 63 percent of the primary electorate, she and Obama were in a virtual tie."

That is a sliver of a silver lining. The question the Dems have to ask themselves - meaning the superdelgates & the party leadership - is, do they want a candidate supported by half the base, or a candidate that brings indepedents & moderate Repubs into the fold?

Obama Republicans will be the story in November.

Posted by: bsimon | February 19, 2008 11:16 PM | Report abuse

It's been a great race, but even the strong Clinton supporters see the beginning of the end. I voted for Hillary in Virginia, but I hope she chooses to take the classy way out. Every time she has directly attacked Obama, it has boomeranged. Good Lord! The guy is rubber. Amongst the Dems, let's hope this holds true through November.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | February 19, 2008 11:14 PM | Report abuse

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