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Spinning Super Tuesday

The Fix is flagging as it gets later in the day, but I had enough energy to jump on a series of conference calls and rifle through a few campaign memos earlier in the day to parse through the opening volleys in spinning the Super Tuesday results.

While "spin" is roundly dismissed as useless by most reporters and political observers, there is a utility to it on days like today when the campaigns are trying to put the best face on major event. What they say -- and what they don't -- provides insight into where a campaign may be headed strategically.

On the Democratic side, the campaigns of Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton held conference calls within 30 minutes of one another to "help" reporters sort through yesterday's returns.

Here are the key quotes from each side:

* Obama campaign manager David Plouffe: "There's no doubt [the Clinton] strategy was predicated on trying to secure the Democratic nomination last night. On that score they failed miserably."

* More Plouffe: "We think [Feb. 5] was the most challenging day for us in the entire election contest." ... "We won more states, we won more delegates, we won more votes."

* Clinton pollster Mark Penn: "Senator Clinton bounced back to win a strong win in the large states across the country."

* More Penn: "This is a contest that would be all but over in a winner-take-all system."

* Clinton communications director Howard Wolfson: "We won the votes of people who decided on the last day."

All of those quotes signify just how important it is for both sides to claim momentum coming out of Super Tuesday. In a race where it is impossible to name a frontrunner at the moment -- and with the series of states set to vote over the next month promising little clarity -- momentum is everything. Looking like a winner is as important as being one.

To that end, the Clinton campaign noted that last-minute deciders had swung to her, a sign, they argued, that she had withstood the crush of press attention following Sen. Ted Kennedy's (Mass.) endorsement of Obama, and that she won over voters with her debate performance last week in California.

Obama's campaign sought to cast Feb. 5 as a bullet dodged, a day when the expectation was a Clinton romp and the reality was a relatively even split in terms of states won and delegates awarded. Surviving Super Tuesday equals victory and momentum, according to Obama's side. They also argued that states scheduled to vote over the next few weeks -- Washington, Nebraska, Louisiana, Maine, D.C., Maryland and Virginia -- are all prime opportunities for them to extend a delegate lead.

Over on the Republican side, John McCain's campaign released a memo penned by senior strategist Charlie Black designed to increase the pressure on Mitt Romney to rethink his decision to continue on in the contest.

"With Mike Huckabee still a factor in this race, particularly in the South, and many contests moving forward proportional, the math is nearly impossible for Mitt Romney to win the nomination," wrote Black. He goes on to note that between March and May there are just four states that have "winner take all" primary votes; the rest will be split by congressional district or some other manner of apportionment. "This makes Mitt Romney's prospects even dimmer," Black wrote.

The message from McCain is clear: Whether or not Mitt Romney wants to admit it, the race for the Republican nomination is over. Numbers don't lie.

Why focus on Romney in a day-after memo while leaving Huckabee basically unscathed? Because the McCain inner circle knows that Romney's massive personal wealth could make him a factor in the race as long as he wants to keep spending. Huckabee and McCain are as close to allies as you can get for two candidates running against one another for the same office, and the fact that the former Arkansas governor has very little money and even less organization makes him a non threat to McCain.

Romney, unbowed, offered some spin of his own in the wee hours of this morning. "One thing that's clear is this campaign's going on," he said. "I think there are some people who thought it was all going to be done tonight. But it's not all done tonight. We're going to keep on battling. We're going to go all the way to the convention. We're going to win this thing, and we're going to get to the White House."

Hmmm. We doubt Romney meant to do this, but that "all the way to the convention" line eerily echoes John Edwards's comments right before he dropped out of the Democratic presidential race.

The goal for Romney last night and today is to create the impression that this race isn't over yet. The problem with that spin is that there appears to be little fact behind it. Looking at the states still to vote, it's hard to see where Romney makes a comeback, especially given the anointing of McCain as frontrunner by media outlets across the country after last night.

In the end, spinning the vote on the Republican side is tough. McCain's victories in a series of large states and the massive delegate lead that came with those wins, makes him a clear frontrunner for the party's nomination. Romney and Huckabee can -- and may -- stay in the race for a few days or even a few weeks, but in the end it's hard to see either of them seriously challenging McCain.

On the Democratic side, however, the spin war is serious business. While Obama won more states, Clinton won larger and more populous states. Both sides insist they are ahead -- narrowly -- on the delegate count after last night. (For what it's worth, NBC News has Obama in the lead by four delegates; the Associated Press, which is still sorting through the delegate counts, has Clinton up by 98.)

The battle for momentum coming out of Super Tuesday is, in many ways, a spin battle. Who will win? The next few days will be crucial.

By Chris Cillizza  |  February 6, 2008; 3:16 PM ET
Categories:  Eye on 2008  
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Next: Clinton Loaned Campaign $5 Million Last Month

Comments

I often wonder how really stupid the "Hillary Haters" are, and this thing about the loan proves it one more time. For your information, the loan will be repaid from donations to her campaign. More than likely it is already repaid.

Posted by: lylepink | February 7, 2008 11:39 PM | Report abuse

If Hillary claims that she loaned that $5M to her own campaign org. who does she expect to pay her back? A "loaned" money is totally different from "contribution/donation" = if the money is never paid back, can she claim it as a loss and can be tax deductible? Right? Slick Billary! This is very reason why I don't like this couple! They're try to outsmart every AMERICAN all the time.

Posted by: leeevelyn | February 7, 2008 3:10 PM | Report abuse

If Hillary loaned $5M of her own money, who does she expect to repay her? If it becomes later on, that she donated her own money to her own campaign, is it tax deductible? If it is, she lost nothing. Am I right?

Posted by: leeevelyn | February 7, 2008 2:34 PM | Report abuse

Obama a coward for not having the NINETEENTH debate? I think not. Clinton is asking for a debate as the strategy of a candidate who is out of money and is looking for free media. There's no reason on earth Obama should give it to her and any smart campaign strategist would tell him so. Where he excels--and picks up votes--is by retail politics--meet and greets--which, if he is smart he will spend ALL of his time doing. God knows, there's not much that can be said in a debate that hasn't already been said.

As for Blacks voting for Obama "just because he is Black"--I think it could just be because the Clintons are clearly prepared to jettison Black goodwill at the first sign of what they clearly consider alienation of affection on the part of Black voters AND because, as "nice" as Bill was to them in public, his administration did nothing of substance for Black voters in his 8 years in office--except support the kind of insane & racist drug laws that put Black kids with a gram of "rock" in their pockets away for long periods of time while White yuppies with "powder" cocaine get off with fines and community service. I worked in inner city Detroit in the Clinton years and things were NOT substantively improved in the Black community during the Clinton tenure. It was just a vast relief to have someone who was not overtly racist in the White house after Reagan and Bush 41. As for the "Clinton" "economic boom"--the money flowing in the 90s had MUCH more to do with Bill Gates than it did with Bill Clinton. The entire Western Hemisphere was building out its tech capacity and wiring the world. Once THAT was finished we had the tech bust--which just so happened to reach a crescendo as Clinton left office.

Posted by: tlmck3job | February 7, 2008 2:26 PM | Report abuse

odonnell619 says that unfortunately there are people voting for Obama simply because he is black. Is it equally unfortunate that there are people voting for Clinton simply because she is a woman? It cuts both ways. Probably there were people voting for John Edwards simply because he was neither, also.

Part of my opposition to Clinton IS the factor of her husband. I was giving her the benefit of the doubt that she was going it on her own merits earlier in the campaign. Now it's clear that the ethical and other complications of Bill's presidency would continue into Hillary's.

Posted by: dnfree | February 7, 2008 2:09 PM | Report abuse

Clinton has raised over 5 million in less than 24 hours eclipsing Obama and more importantly Obama is refusing to have any further debates! What a coward! Hillary has already accepted five invites for debates while obama hides behind Oprah's skirt! America wants substance not a blowhard coward like Obama who is afraid to debate a woman who is clearly smarter and more experienced, hence more prepared to lead. Obama is a loser and a coward! No wonder Obama has so much Republican support! The love battling cowards!

Posted by: rayacop | February 7, 2008 1:48 PM | Report abuse

Clinton's $5MM personal loan to her campaign raises a potentially troubling question for her: Where did she get that kind of money? After all, the Clintons claimed to be flat broke during their Whitehouse years due to the costs of Whitewater defense, even having to tap their personal homeowner's insurance policy to settle the Gennifer Flowers suit. And for the last seven years, Hillary has been making a public servant's salary, and although a nice one, the $175,000 or so annually that her Senate seat pays hardly is the kind of income that amasses you assets of more than $5MM to play with. So, is it really Bill's money? (Speaking fees are good, but are they THAT good?)

Sitting public servants becoming apparently wealthy virtually overnight through unseen means is the kind of issue that hardly endears them to the "Walmart Democrats" who are believed to be Hillary's base.

Posted by: Stonecreek | February 7, 2008 10:44 AM | Report abuse

I think a couple of things are clear:

1. If it were not for early voting, Obama would have won California.

2. Obama won a majority of white voters in California. He has beaten back the Clintons' effort to ghettoize him.

3. Obama is expanding the electorate in a big way - bringing young people to the polls in unprecedented numbers. It is highly doubtful, to say the least, that Clinton would motivate many of them to vote in the general election.

3. Contrary to certain posters' religious beliefs, Obama is a much stronger general election candidate against McCain than Clinton. Look at the polls showing McCain winning independents in match-ups against Clinton. That is where elections are decided and Clinton is hugely unpopular with independents. McCain is popular with them. Obama is even more popular with independents.

4. Team Clinton's spinning is audacious - I heard a spokesperson claiming that Clinton was better able to expand the electorate. MMMM, her main bastions are the elderly and middle-aged women - two groups with pretty good voting records. Also, we know that highly negative campaigns depress turnout - can anyone imagine a Clinton campaign without negativity?

5. The Clinton spokesperson also said basically that all the dirt on Clinton made her more electable since there is nothing left to be revealed (not sure I buy that one).

Rove's strategy has been to try and turn an opponent's strengths into weaknesses. Clinton seems to be trying to spin weaknesses into strengths.

Posted by: jimd52 | February 7, 2008 8:58 AM | Report abuse

"Judicial Watch is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Judicial Watch neither supports nor opposes candidates for public office. For more information, visit www.judicialwatch.org. "

Judicial watch is an extreme right wing organization with a decided ideological agenda.

Posted by: jimd52 | February 7, 2008 8:47 AM | Report abuse

M. Penn is right. In a winner take all system, Hillary would have a huge lead right now! I am so tired of Obama's message of change and bipartisanship. Look back at news articles from the 2000 election. Bush claimed over and over again that could bridge the gap between the two political parties, and we all know how that worked out. I have heard absolutely no substance behind Obama's message. It is the naïve first-time voters that are being sucked into the "hopes and dreams" theme. Obama simply fills his speeches with clever sound bites that he knows the media will eat up and ignorant voters will buy into. People...please do your research and think for yourselves. Hilary is the best choice for Democrats. She is providing concrete solutions and proven experience. She is speaking in specific details, not buzzwords. Who cares how she voted about the Iraq war. Don't forget, she was voting the conscience of her constituency, the citizens of New York. Remember, the ones who were personally devastated by 9/11. That's in the past. Let's move forward.

I am a white 30 something male. I would love to see either a women president or a African American president. But I would never vote for someone simply because of the race or gender. Unfortunately, there are people who are voting for Obama simply because he is black, as evidenced by his 80% take of the black vote yesterday. Vote for the person who you think can do the most good for our country over the next 4 or 8 years. That has to be Clinton. Then hopefully the next President will be Obama, but he is simply not ready in 2008.

Posted by: odonnell619 | February 7, 2008 8:31 AM | Report abuse

http://news.yahoo.com/s/bloomberg/20080206/pl_bloomberg/ahvrn9haldqg

This is the Obama team predicting the future delegate count when all the primaries are over and who will win on the upcoming contests. They have now set the bar and they need to accomplish what they have stated they will do.

Posted by: ericr1970 | February 7, 2008 1:46 AM | Report abuse

http://news.yahoo.com/s/bloomberg/20080206/pl_bloomberg/ahvrn9haldqg

This is the Obama team predicting the future delegate count when all the primaries are over and who will win on the upcoming contests. They have now set the bar and they need to accomplish what they have stated they will do.

Posted by: ericr1970 | February 7, 2008 1:46 AM | Report abuse

"the fact that the former Arkansas governor has very little money and even less organization makes him a non threat to McCain."

Even more than labor unions are for Democrats, conservative evangelical churches are the most important organizing tool for Republicans. These are huge numbers of people who see each other every week around a common cause.

That's the organization that has been there for Huckabee so far, and it will continue to be, I imagine.

You can't buy that kind of organization.

Posted by: lappzimm | February 6, 2008 11:05 PM | Report abuse

Michigan and Florida are testament to the kind of "change" the Democratic Party needs. The DNC and, more specifically the Democratic Leadership Council, have done their best to make the party its own worst enemy for nigh on two decades, now.
Michigan and Florida are two delegate rich states, both of whom CHOSE to make themselves irrelevant in response to DNC stupidity. To count them at the convention would run the risk of alienating the vast number of new voters Obama has attracted to the process. In Michigan, Clinton was the only Candidate primary voters COULD vote for....How many people does the party think simply stayed home when given the choice between Clinton and "uncommitted?" I've never missed a primary in 30 years and I would have stayed home given that choice. In Florida, Clinton and Edwards refrained from campaigning and didn't build state orgs while Clinton had the remains of the Clinton I machine to call on there. (not to mention her pandering to the old-line Cuban exile community.) To "give" Clinton those delegates after all of the Democratic candidates agreed those delegates would not be counted would be an outrage--and would breed nothing but cynicism and alienation among a whole new generation of young, would-be Democratic voters. (not to mention some of us Old democratic voters who have had enough of the cynical political calculations of the DLC which have lost us MOST elections since 1980 and who are THRILLED that Barack Obama has bucked the DLC's conventional "wisdom" on a host of issues like Cuba, Iran, Immigration, etc. where the DLC has sought to be as indistinguishable from the RNC as possible.

Posted by: tlmck3job | February 6, 2008 8:49 PM | Report abuse

Judicial Watch Announces List of Washington's "Ten Most Wanted Corrupt Politicians" for 2007
(Washington, DC) - Judicial Watch, the public interest group that investigates and prosecutes government corruption, today released its 2007 list of Washington's "Ten Most Wanted Corrupt Politicians." The list, in alphabetical order, includes:

1. Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY): In addition to her long and sordid ethics record, Senator Hillary Clinton took a lot of heat in 2007 - and rightly so - for blocking the release her official White House records. Many suspect these records contain a treasure trove of information related to her role in a number of serious Clinton-era scandals. Moreover, in March 2007, Judicial Watch filed an ethics complaint against Senator Clinton for filing false financial disclosure forms with the U.S. Senate (again). And Hillary's top campaign contributor, Norman Hsu, was exposed as a felon and a fugitive from justice in 2007. Hsu pleaded guilt to one count of grand theft for defrauding investors as part of a multi-million dollar Ponzi scheme.

2. Rep. John Conyers (D-MI): Conyers reportedly repeatedly violated the law and House ethics rules, forcing his staff to serve as his personal servants, babysitters, valets and campaign workers while on the government payroll. While the House Ethics Committee investigated these allegations in 2006, and substantiated a number of the accusations against Conyers, the committee blamed the staff and required additional administrative record-keeping and employee training. Judicial Watch obtained documentation in 2007 from a former Conyers staffer that sheds new light on the activities and conduct on the part of the Michigan congressman, which appear to be at a minimum inappropriate and likely unlawful. Judicial Watch called on the Attorney General in 2007 to investigate the matter.

3. Senator Larry Craig (R-ID): In one of the most shocking scandals of 2007, Senator Craig was caught by police attempting to solicit sex in a Minneapolis International Airport men's bathroom during the summer. Senator Craig reportedly "sent signals" to a police officer in an adjacent stall that he wanted to engage in sexual activity. When the police officer showed Craig his police identification under the bathroom stall divider and pointed toward the exit, the senator reportedly exclaimed 'No!'" When asked to produce identification, Craig presented police his U.S. Senate business card and said, "What do you think of that?" The power play didn't work. Craig was arrested, charged and entered a guilty plea. Despite enormous pressure from his Republican colleagues to resign from the Senate, Craig refused.

4. Senator Diane Feinstein (D-CA): As a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee's subcommittee on military construction, Feinstein reviewed military construction government contracts, some of which were ultimately awarded to URS Corporation and Perini, companies then owned by Feinstein's husband, Richard Blum. While the Pentagon ultimately awards military contracts, there is a reason for the review process. The Senate's subcommittee on Military Construction's approval carries weight. Sen. Feinstein, therefore, likely had influence over the decision making process. Senator Feinstein also attempted to undermine ethics reform in 2007, arguing in favor of a perk that allows members of Congress to book multiple airline flights and then cancel them without financial penalty. Judicial Watch's investigation into this matter is ongoing.

5. Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani (R-NY): Giuliani came under fire in late 2007 after it was discovered the former New York mayor's office "billed obscure city agencies for tens of thousands of dollars in security expenses amassed during the time when he was beginning an extramarital relationship with future wife Judith Nathan in the Hamptons..." ABC News also reported that Giuliani provided Nathan with a police vehicle and a city driver at taxpayer expense. All of this news came on the heels of the federal indictment on corruption charges of Giuliani's former Police Chief and business partner Bernard Kerik, who pleaded guilty in 2006 to accepting a $165,000 bribe in the form of renovations to his Bronx apartment from a construction company attempting to land city contracts.

6. Governor Mike Huckabee (R-AR): Governor Huckabee enjoyed a meteoric rise in the polls in December 2007, which prompted a more thorough review of his ethics record. According to The Associated Press: "[Huckabee's] career has also been colored by 14 ethics complaints and a volley of questions about his integrity, ranging from his management of campaign cash to his use of a nonprofit organization to subsidize his income to his destruction of state computer files on his way out of the governor's office." And what was Governor Huckabee's response to these ethics allegations? Rather than cooperating with investigators, Huckabee sued the state ethics commission twice and attempted to shut the ethics process down.

7. I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby: Libby, former Chief of Staff to Vice President Dick Cheney, was sentenced to 30 months in prison and fined $250,000 for lying and obstructing the Valerie Plame CIA leak investigation. Libby was found guilty of four felonies -- two counts of perjury, one count of making false statements to the FBI and one count of obstructing justice - all serious crimes. Unfortunately, Libby was largely let off the hook. In an appalling lack of judgment, President Bush issued "Executive Clemency" to Libby and commuted the sentence.

8. Senator Barack Obama (D-IL): A "Dishonorable Mention" last year, Senator Obama moves onto the "ten most wanted" list in 2007. In 2006, it was discovered that Obama was involved in a suspicious real estate deal with an indicted political fundraiser, Antoin "Tony" Rezko. In 2007, more reports surfaced of deeper and suspicious business and political connections It was reported that just two months after he joined the Senate, Obama purchased $50,000 worth of stock in speculative companies whose major investors were his biggest campaign contributors. One of the companies was a biotech concern that benefited from legislation Obama pushed just two weeks after the senator purchased $5,000 of the company's shares. Obama was also nabbed conducting campaign business in his Senate office, a violation of federal law.

9. Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA): House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who promised a new era of ethics enforcement in the House of Representatives, snuck a $25 million gift to her husband, Paul Pelosi, in a $15 billion Water Resources Development Act recently passed by Congress. The pet project involved renovating ports in Speaker Pelosi's home base of San Francisco. Pelosi just happens to own apartment buildings near the areas targeted for improvement, and will almost certainly experience a significant boost in property value as a result of Pelosi's earmark. Earlier in the year, Pelosi found herself in hot water for demanding access to a luxury Air Force jet to ferry the Speaker and her entourage back and forth from San Francisco non-stop, in unprecedented request which was wisely rejected by the Pentagon. And under Pelosi's leadership, the House ethics process remains essentially shut down - which protects members in both parties from accountability.

10. Senator Harry Reid (D-NV): Over the last few years, Reid has been embroiled in a series of scandals that cast serious doubt on his credibility as a self-professed champion of government ethics, and 2007 was no different. According to The Los Angeles Times, over the last four years, Reid has used his influence in Washington to help a developer, Havey Whittemore, clear obstacles for a profitable real estate deal. As the project advanced, the Times reported, "Reid received tens of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from Whittemore." Whittemore also hired one of Reid's sons (Leif) as his personal lawyer and then promptly handed the junior Reid the responsibility of negotiating the real estate deal with federal officials. Leif Reid even called his father's office to talk about how to obtain the proper EPA permits, a clear conflict of interest.

Judicial Watch is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Judicial Watch neither supports nor opposes candidates for public office. For more information, visit www.judicialwatch.org.

December 19, 2007

###

Posted by: manwaringjd | February 6, 2008 8:09 PM | Report abuse

Why all this nonsense about who won what, who will be the VP, and who will win some upcoming election, when it is clear that Obama is the Second Coming of Christ. Please stop all this questioning of this capabilities and asking for "specifics" about running a government. Such questioning of the Messiah is Oblasphemy!!!

Posted by: Wander_SF | February 6, 2008 6:56 PM | Report abuse

"What's going on with a system where public servants are becoming fabulously wealthy pimping their connections?"'

ask jack abramoff

Posted by: drindl | February 6, 2008 5:38 PM | Report abuse

that was from rush limbaugh. Sorry forgot to give the fat head his credit for his lie spin and propoganda

Posted by: JKrishnamurti | February 6, 2008 5:21 PM | Report abuse

hahahahhahaha

"I'm going to struggle to explain this correctly. But I think even among our candidates that are running; there is a greater interest in running against certain elements of their own party than there is running against Democrats. Now, I understand it's a primary, and McCain has to run against Romney; and Romney versus McCain; and Huckabee has to run against Romney as well.

But I think it goes deeper than that. It's just something that I have sensed. There is a greater desire on the part of members of our party to destroy certain elements of our party, than there is a unified party desire to defeat Democrats. This is also turning people off because the element of the Republican Party that seems to be under assault is the conservative base. It seems like that's what's out for destruction this year amongst the Republican Party. It goes right along with my theory. McCain can thumb his nose; he can stick his thumb in the eyes of conservatives, not pay a price for it within his own party. In fact, he's lauded as some sort of maverick who is able to cross the aisle and get things done with the Democrats. He's far more eager to work with Democrats against the interests of Republicans, particularly conservatives -- and not only does he not pay a price for it, he's lauded for it. He gets credit for it. This infuriates Republicans who want some payback and who want to get in the game at the same time to protect themselves, protect the conservative base and that particular identity of the Republican Party"

The ultra right is irrelevant. No one earned irrelevance more than these people

Posted by: JKrishnamurti | February 6, 2008 5:19 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the count, wall0551. My prediction is, because of the Ds proportional representation, the outcomes of rest of the primaries/caucuses won't matter that much.

Both HRC and BHO are going to go into the convention roughly equal in voted-for delegates. Convention will come down to old fashioned politikin' among the Party insiders with Superdelegate status.

Conventional Wisdom is that the Clinton machine will have the edge there. I'm not so sure...if HRC doesn't get the nomination, her political influence is about gone (she'll remain a moderately influential Senator for another decade, if she wants it). Even if he loses this time, Obama might be a major D player for another 30 years.

Superdelegates will have an interesting set of factors to consider before deciding who to go with.

Posted by: malis | February 6, 2008 4:45 PM | Report abuse

It's very hard to see how there's much spin room for Romney. It's bad enough that he got so soundly beaten by McCain. But he even came in third in a lot of places. Huckabee has good a claim to being the "real" challenger to McCain as Romney has. In fact, if it hadn't been for his personal wealth, Romney would have had to drop out after Florida. You can say what you like about Huckabee but the only thing propping up his campaign is enthusiastic volunteers.

Posted by: anon99 | February 6, 2008 4:32 PM | Report abuse

Coming out of Tuesday with the momentum and excitement i think "time" will be on Obama's side (the longer this race stays even). He has mentioned part of the reason California was lost was due in part to the people not getting a chance to really understand the type of candidate he is. I beleive in the coming days the american people can really get a sense of the type of person Barack is and when matched to Hillary's "take no prisoners" efforts the people will decide.
...and i hope to heck the primary drama comes to PA..

Posted by: mmpeifer | February 6, 2008 4:31 PM | Report abuse

Farlington, LOL! That's the exact same response I had last night while watching Romney's sad rallying cry. Yeeeeaaagghhh!!

The scream that wasn't. He's too controlled to ever let anything like that happen, though.

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | February 6, 2008 4:31 PM | Report abuse

wall- aren't the two states you listed as 'coming up' for Clinton significantly after the majority of those 'coming up' for Obama. A lot of the states that are soon and expected to be favorible to Obama are this month, specifically this weekend & next tues, while TX and OH are not til march. I wouldn't put them on even ground in terms of significance or immediacy and Obama's next states could give him a momentum boost into 'hillary's' next states if they break right.

Posted by: cmsore | February 6, 2008 4:30 PM | Report abuse

rfpiktor writes "The amazing Obama Money Express is the key to this election."


Just like the amazing Romney money machine was the key to this election, right? no.


And, "It is my belief that unless Obama is caught at a motel in bed with an underage boy, Hillary is toast"

Just like when Bill was caught with any number of bimbos, the Clintons were toast, right? no.

Gee, piktor, got any more insightful CW to share with the rest of us?

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | February 6, 2008 4:27 PM | Report abuse

"We're going to keep on battling. We're going to go all the way to the convention. We're going to win this thing, and we're going to get to the White House."

Yeeeaaaarrrrgghhhh!!!!!!

Sorry, it had to be said.

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | February 6, 2008 4:26 PM | Report abuse

You want spin? Read the current Achenblog

http://blog.washingtonpost.com/achenblog/?hpid=opinionsbox1

the Clinton camp executed some world-class spin on Massachusetts result: "If Senator Obama doesn't win Massachusetts, I think that would have to be a significant disappointment." Yeah, Mr. Wolfson, except that the most recent polls there showed Clinton trouncing Obama. When I visited a few days ago I couldn't walk two paces without bumping into someone who liked the Clinton brand name and basically had never heard of this Obama person.

Posted by: JD | February 6, 2008 4:26 PM | Report abuse

malis @ 4:05

The totals without superdelegates (not counting MI and FL).

Before Super Tuesday: 63 Obama, 48 Clinton, 26 Edwards.

Last night's results are still being calculated, but currently it's 863 Obama, 850 Clinton.

So total that's 926 Obama, 898 Clinton.

Posted by: wall0551 | February 6, 2008 4:14 PM | Report abuse

It is my belief that unless Obama is caught at a motel in bed with an underage boy, Hillary is toast.

Posted by: rfpiktor | February 6, 2008 4:09 PM | Report abuse

Does anyone have a straight delegate count that EXCLUDES Superdelegates? I equate the Supers with college athletic recruits before 'Letter of Intent Day' (which happens to be today).

Counting Superdelegates in the delegate total is little different from counting polls for states that haven't voted yet...it's a statement of intent but meaningless until you reach the point where a real consequence results from changing your mind.

(the issue is complicated by the fact that there are many circumstances where even 'voted-for' delegates can their minds--but such voted-for delegates are still a much more accurate indicator of support than Superdelegates).

Posted by: malis | February 6, 2008 4:05 PM | Report abuse

We know how her campaign operates under pressure - go ugly early.

Posted by: kingofzouk | February 6, 2008 4:04 PM | Report abuse

The $5 million campaign loan could be the key fact out of Super Tuesday. Yes, they are racing around the track bumper to bumper, but somebody will be heading for the pits soon.

Maybe this is why she challenged him to those 4 debates. She needs the free media exposure. Fascinating. Looks like we'll get to see how her vaunted campaign operates under pressure.

Posted by: optimyst | February 6, 2008 4:01 PM | Report abuse

When two people who claim they have "spent their life in public service" and come from humble backgrounds, are able to loan tens of millions of dollars to their own campaign, the obvious reaction will be "What's going on with a system where public servants are becoming fabulously wealthy pimping their connections?"

The negative attention this would draw to the Clintons' own crony-capitalist fortune would vastly offset the benefit. You can complain that Romney was trying to buy an election, but at least he earned the money in the private sector (ditto Ross Perot and Bloomberg). But we're in a sorry state if politicians can cash out their connections, then buy their way back into office.

I can't imagine the Obama camp is worried about this. It would be a gift, as it plays right into their narrative.


Posted by Paul | February 6, 2008 2:05 PM

http://marcambinder.theatlantic.com/archives/2008/02/clinton_weighs_a_selfloan_to_f.php

Posted by: kingofzouk | February 6, 2008 3:58 PM | Report abuse

so hillary clinton - the "frontrunner" is broke and all her doners are maxed out already, only halfway through the contest.

this is the person who is going to balance our budget and run the economy?

this is pretty fitting for a Lib candidate. time to hit the chinese bank account and get those dishwashers, monks and all the other "no controlling legal authority" donors in line.

Unfortunatly, in this case the donors gave willingly, not like the taxpayers will have to when she needs to be bailed out.

Posted by: kingofzouk | February 6, 2008 3:54 PM | Report abuse

Let's say you allocate the MI and FL delegates in accordance with the votes in those states (giving Michigan's uncommitted voters to Obama).

I think it would be extremely unfair to Obama to change the rules in the middle of the process; however, for the sake of argument, let's say we do that.

It adds up to 164-101 in Clinton's favor.

In other words, by my math, Obama would still be ahead going into Pennsylvania.

Posted by: wall0551 | February 6, 2008 3:52 PM | Report abuse

One of the best articles of the day on the real state of the race is "Five Reasons Hillary Should be Worried" over at politico by VanderHei.

Posted by: welchd | February 6, 2008 3:49 PM | Report abuse

Another Clinton Foreign Money Scandal?
Posted by: Amanda Carpenter at 2:35 PM
Apparently, Hillary is considering using some of her own money to finance her campaign.

If she does, I can guarantee there'll be questions about the millions in foreign money Bill Clinton has racked up in speaking fees that's likely stashed in their joint checking account.

I wrote about this in the first chapter of my book .

Since leaving the White House, Clinton has earned more than $20 million in speaking fees from foreign sources in places like the People's Republic of China and Dubai, according to her Senate financial disclosure forms. They also share a joint checking account according to those same forms.

If Hillary uses that foreign money to finance her campaign she will have successfully exploited a loophole in campaign finance rules that forbids the use of foreign money in U.S. elections.

I dunno about you, but it sounds like the beginning of another classic Clinton financial scandal. And this comes on top of recent news that Bill's been courting uranium deals for the benefit of her foundation in Kazakhstan and looming questions about whether Bill would be more of a renegade global ambassador than First Gentleman in the White House

http://townhall.com/blog/g/5a356515-3b48-4a9b-8b1c-a9d1ec038b60

Posted by: kingofzouk | February 6, 2008 3:47 PM | Report abuse

The amazing Obama Money Express is the key to this election.

Posted by: rfpiktor | February 6, 2008 3:46 PM | Report abuse

bsimon | February 6, 2008 03:36 PM

That, my friend, will be fun to witness.

Posted by: rfpiktor | February 6, 2008 3:45 PM | Report abuse

"you didn't do the math. how many NE+DC+HI does it take to equal one TX?"

Um... I did that math. See above.

LA, NE, WA, ME, DC, MD, VA, HI, WI, MS = 480

OH + TX = 334

Or to answer your question, NE + DC + HI + LA + WA = one TX

Posted by: wall0551 | February 6, 2008 3:44 PM | Report abuse

"Money trouble in Hillaryland?"

I wonder if they're yet rethinking the expense of the Hill-a-copter in Iowa.

Posted by: bsimon | February 6, 2008 3:43 PM | Report abuse

Money trouble in Hillaryland?

I have always said that the amazing dollar numbers collected by the Obama campaign were a sign of his victory over Hillary. Here's the first evidence:

http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/02/06/clinton-considers-lending-her-campaign-money/

Posted by: rfpiktor | February 6, 2008 3:40 PM | Report abuse

MI and FL will be THE item of the convention.

Posted by: dave | February 6, 2008 03:36 PM

Maybe the supreme court can hand the election to hillary this time around.

I demand a recount. My lawyer will be calling you. his name is John edwards.

Posted by: kingofzouk | February 6, 2008 3:40 PM | Report abuse

you didn't do the math. how many NE+DC+HI does it take to equal one TX?

this is exactly what happened last night to turn out a tie.

Posted by: kingofzouk | February 6, 2008 3:38 PM | Report abuse

wall0551 - "Control the DNC committees that determine a solution for FL and MI. Both of those are possible, but neither will reflect well on the process for the nomination."

Denying Michigan and especially Floridians a say in a whisper close election would reflect well? The DNC has a huge problem regardless of Clinton pressure. Come to think of it, I should have put the DNC on the list of losers from yesterday. I really think that if the delegates fall like they seem they are going to, MI and FL will be THE item of the convention.

Posted by: dave | February 6, 2008 3:36 PM | Report abuse

It will be interesting to see how the Dem leadership reacts. Are the Dem leaders / superdelegates coalescing around one side or the other? Or are they waiting for one candidate to take a definitive lead?

Posted by: bsimon | February 6, 2008 3:36 PM | Report abuse

How can Barack Obama not be considered a winner coming out of Tuesday night?

Let's do some delegate math.

Coming up for Obama: LA, NE, WA, ME, DC, MD, VA, HI, WI, MS

Coming up for Clinton: OH, TX

Not sure who is favored: RI, VT, WY

A safe assumption is that Obama wins 60% of delegates in his states, and Clinton wins 55% of delegates in hers. That gives Obama a 100-delegate advantage going into Pennsylvania on April 22 (which has only 150 delegates up for grabs).

I think you have to assume Obama comes out of Pennsylvania ahead in pledged delegates. And that's not even accounting for significant advantages in fundraising and momentum as he rolls through the February calendar.

Clinton has only two remaining paths to the nomination: Get the superdelegates to swing her way. Control the DNC committees that determine a solution for FL and MI. Both of those are possible, but neither will reflect well on the process for the nomination.

Posted by: wall0551 | February 6, 2008 3:27 PM | Report abuse

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