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The Line: Casting Doubts on Clinton's Inevitability?

The dueling narratives about Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton are as follows: She is a lock to win the Democratic presidential nomination; she is overrated, and Tuesday's debate in Philadelphia was the first step in an inevitable downward slide for a fatally flawed campaign.

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Clinton addresses an AFSCME meeting Wednesday in Washington, DC. Clinton accepted the endorsement of AFSCME during the event. (Getty Images)

Such a Manichean view of Clinton is a vast oversimplification and always has been. The truth of the matter is that Clinton has been and will be the frontrunner in this race at least through the Jan. 3 Iowa caucuses. At the same time, she has never been as strong as her allies claim or as weak as her detractors are painting her in the aftermath of her debate performance earlier this week.

Clinton has huge positives in her favor. She is universally known by Democratic primary voters, many of whom hold her (and certainly her husband) in near reverence. Clinton is widely seen as the most experienced candidate in the field and the candidate with the best chance to reclaim the White House for Democrats in 2008. She also has vast financial and organizational networks both nationally and in key early states.

But from the very start of the campaign, Clinton's numbers in Iowa have not matched her national numbers. A variety of reasons have been offered for this discrepancy, from the fact that Bill Clinton never really built an Iowa machine (native son Tom Harkin won the state without a real challenge in 1992, and Clinton was not challenged in 1996 as the incumbent president) to the idea that Clinton's 2002 war vote and her 2007 Iran vote do not sit well with dovish Iowa caucusgoers.

Regardless of the reason, polling has consistently shown Clinton in a three-way scrap with Sens. Barack Obama and John Edwards. According to the invaluable pollster.com, the mashing up all the Iowa polls shows Clinton at 29.9 percent, Obama at 24.2 percent and Edwards at 19.1 percent. (It's worth noting that the trend lines for Clinton and Obama are moving upward while Edwards's line is tracking downward.)

Should Clinton lose in Iowa, it will in all likelihood puncture the balloon of inevitability that has surrounded her campaign from the start. If Clinton no longer looks like a sure-thing, voters may well turn that sentiment into a self-fulfilling prophecy.

And so, be careful over the coming weeks and months not to paint Clinton's chances at the nomination in black and white. Anyone who tells you it is a done deal for her is just plain wrong; same goes for people who predict the Philadelphia debate was the beginning of the end for the Clinton juggernaut. Campaigns matter. And we'll relearn that lesson more than once between now and next January.


Highlights of This Week's Line:

Moving Up: Joe Biden, Mike Huckabee
Moving Down: Fred Thompson
Moving Out: Chris Dodd

To the Line!

DEMOCRATS

1. Hillary Rodham Clinton: We spoke our peace on the junior senator from New York above. The illegal immigrants/drivers licenses answer on Tuesday night was an unforced error by a candidate who doesn't make many. Is it a sign of things to come? Hard to know. Clinton rarely makes the same mistake twice -- compare the disastrous rollout of her health care plan in 1993 with the flawless debut of her health care plan in this election; her rivals shouldn't bank their campaign on her making mistakes. What the debate did was signal open warfare on Clinton by her rivals from now until the Iowa caucuses. Although her campaign complains about it publicly, they had to know this time would come. Now, the question is: Can she weather it? (Previous ranking: 1)

2. Barack Obama: Obama is never -- we repeat NEVER -- going to be the in-your-face attacker that some longtime Clinton opponents want him to be. It's just not who he is, and Obama, still somewhat new to the political game, has a sensitive ear for inauthenticity. That is, Obama knows in certain situations what the politically savvy move is, but often doesn't do it due to his personal distaste for looking and acting political. The question for Obama is whether voters will react to his generally polite criticism of Clinton or opt for the more vituperative style of Edwards. What's clear is that Obama isn't planning to change his stripes. (Previous ranking: 2)

3. John Edwards: Say this for Edwards: He's not going down without a fight. Edwards showed his teeth in the debate earlier this week, taking several big swings at Clinton over Iran and electability. But it wasn't all venom from Edwards; he used his own personal story to illustrate why he, and he alone, understands the concerns and hopes of average Americans. It's a theme his new ad in Iowa strikes -- "It is time for our party...to show a little backbone, to have a little guts, to stand up for working men and women," he says at the ad's conclusion. For Edwards to have a chance, he must sell himself as the best anti-Clinton messenger AND offer voters his own positive vision. It's a tough task. (Previous ranking: 3)

4. Joe Biden: Once you get beyond the Big 3 on the Democratic side, it's very hard to predict whether any of the other candidates has a real chance. So who has the best chance of making the leap. Biden makes his debut on The Line based on a hunch -- nothing more. With Iowa shaping up as by far the most important winnowing contest of the early states, and with foreign policy (Iraq/Iran) dominating the issue landscape in the state, Biden could well have an opening to surprise in the first contest. We've written before that Biden has managed to win Iowa endorsements far in excess of his polling numbers in the state. Recognizing an opportunity, Biden has basically re-located his national campaign to Iowa. If voters tire of the top three and are looking for an articulate candidate with a detailed plan for the way forward in Iraq, Biden could well be their guy. (Previous ranking: N/A)

5. Bill Richardson: After making some waves in Iowa and New Hampshire over the summer, it feels like the Richardson campaign has stagnated. It may well be that all of the talk about whether he is considering running for the open New Mexico Senate seat -- speculation that he has denied vigorously -- is distracting wavering Democratic voters who might otherwise look to Richardson as an alternative to the Big 3. Richardson has doggedly tried to distinguish himself by touting his executive experience, his record of getting things done as a diplomat and, above all, his plan to remove all troops from Iraq by the end of the year. None of them has worked just yet. Richardson needs a spark; we just can't figure out where it might come from. (Previous ranking: 4)

REPUBLICANS

1. Rudy Giuliani: The more the media spends time and ink on the Democratic nomination fight, the better for Giuliani's chances of winning the GOP nomination. If things froze in place right now and didn't thaw out again until Jan. 3, Hizzoner would be the nominee. As we were watching the Democrats debate on Tuesday night, we wondered how long it would be until we saw a Republican debate where Giuliani took the kind of verbal pummeling that Clinton was subjected to. So far, the leading Republican candidates haven't ganged up on Giuliani, instead choosing to engage in something of a circular firing squad. For months we have been amazed at how little scrutiny Giuliani's positions on issues like abortion, gay rights, gun control and immigration have drawn from his opponents. It seems as though Giuliani's rivals believe he will go away as a threat once Republican voters focus in on the race. That attitude may just backfire. (Previous ranking: 1)

2. Mitt Romney: The last few weeks have had Romney in one of those predictable dips that come as part and parcel of any presidential campaign. Even mired in the doldrums, Romney managed to win the support of New Hampshire Sen. Judd Gregg (R) -- one of the last remaining major catches in the endorsement pool. The opposition narrative that Romney will say whatever an audience to wants to hear is starting to become a major thread of the campaign (witness Obama's repeated references to Romney's alleged flip-floppery in Tuesday's debate), and that is a dangerous thing for the former Massachusetts governor. For the moment, however, that story line isn't effecting Romney's poll numbers in Iowa or New Hampshire where he continues to lead. That alone keeps him firmly in the second slot on this month's Line. (Previous ranking: 2)

3. Mike Huckabee: In a presidential race momentum matters. Momentum drives press coverage, which drives fundraising, which drives organization, which drives viability. Huckabee is the momentum candidate on the Republican side right now, using his strong debate performances, his near constant presence on cable television and his steadily improving poll numbers in Iowa to build buzz around his candidacy. It's paying off -- literally. After raising a paltry $1 million between July 1 and Sept. 30, Huckabee has raised $1.1 million since Oct. 1, thanks to a very aggressive series of online solicitations. Huckabee now looks like he will have enough money to run a real campaign in Iowa. And if he comes in second to Romney there, he will be THE story heading into New Hampshire. South Carolina could well be fertile ground for him too, with social conservatives looking for one of their own. Could it be Huck's moment? (Previous ranking: 5)

4. (tie) John McCain: Even in the darkest moments of McCain's free fall this summer, we never totally counted him out. Why? Two reasons. First, and most importantly, he has the best story to tell of any of the serious candidates running for president. Second, McCain is the lone candidate who has been through this ringer before and knows how to weather the storm. McCain's Waterloo will be New Hampshire where is focusing his advertising dollars and his campaign time. Polling shows that McCain remains in the mix in the Granite State, although it's not clear whether a dismal showing in Iowa -- a real possibility at this point -- would dampen enthusiasm for the senator among New Hampshire voters. Given where he was a few months ago, however, the fact that McCain has clawed his way back up The Line is a testament to his stick-to-it-tiveness. Before you get too high on McCain, however, remember two things: He has almost no money, and a large segment of the GOP base still doesn't totally trust him. (Previous ranking: 4)

4. (tie) Fred Thompson: No campaign mystifies The Fix more than this one. Thompson, as he always has been, is a candidate with enormous potential. And yet, as has always happened in the campaign, he seems unwilling or unable to capitalize on his unique political gifts. It's still not entirely clear why Thompson is in the race. Is he the electable conservative? The reform minded truth teller? The celebrity candidate? All of the above? It's hard to know. Thompson has an opportunity to quiet the complaints of the chattering class with his appearance on the granddaddy Sunday talk show -- NBC's "Meet the Press" -- this weekend. But past results leave us skeptical about his capacity or desire to shine. Thompson pledged at the start of this campaign that he would not much concern himself with the way presidential campaigns are expected to act or operate. On that count he has lived up to expectations. (Previous ranking: 3)

Disagree with any of the above? Sound off in the comments section below.

By Chris Cillizza  |  November 2, 2007; 5:00 AM ET
Categories:  Eye on 2008 , The Line  
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Next: NM-Senate: Shifting Sands

Comments

Is there a reason that Ron Paul was not included in this ranking?

Posted by: Fred | November 9, 2007 12:38 PM | Report abuse

Chris -

You got it wrong for the Ds - Dodd has been showing the surge among tier two, not Biden. I agree that Richardson shouldn't be 4 right now too - he's told people close to him to keep the powder dry for a run at the open Senate seat. Although it's not his style, I don't think in the Prez race he is keeping up.

Dave
Albuquerque, NM

Posted by: dave.sommers | November 7, 2007 11:53 AM | Report abuse

""Dave, if Hillary Clinton was flying around in a private plane owned by someone who was once convicted of dealing cocaine, wouldn't you [or zouk] point that out?"

Honestly, if it happened 25 years ago, probably not.

Posted by: dave | November 5, 2007 12:23 PM"

Umm, dave, Jimmy Carter left office ~27 years ago. Without opening the door any farther, need I say more?

Posted by: judgeccrater | November 5, 2007 6:03 PM | Report abuse

the Bible teaches and Christians believe "... that government ...derives its moral authority from God. Government is the 'minister of God' with powers to 'revenge,' to 'execute wrath,' including even wrath by the sword..."

I thought it also taught to render unto Caesar what is Caesar's, no? Government derives its moral authority from the consent of those who are governed.

Posted by: piper190 | November 5, 2007 2:32 PM | Report abuse

Isn't it time to put the "Christian Nation" thing to rest? While the nation was founded largely by Christians, they made it quite clear that they were not establishing a theocracy.

Among others:

Thomas Jefferson interpreted the 1st Amendment in his famous letter to the Danbury Baptist Association in January 1, 1802:

"I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should 'make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,' thus building a wall of separation between church and State."
--------------------------------------
Officially called the "Treaty of peace and friendship between the United States of America and the Bey and Subjects of Tripoli, of Barbary," most refer to it as simply the Treaty of Tripoli. In Article 11, it states:

"As the Government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian religion; as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquillity, of Musselmen; and as the said States never have entered into any war or act of hostility against any Mehomitan nation, it is declared by the parties that no pretext arising from religious opinions shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries."

That Treaty was signed into law by John Adams, who, if history serves me correctly, was one of those exhaulted Founding Fathers.
http://www.earlyamerica.com/review/summer97/secular.html

America was clearly not designed to be a Christian fundamentalist theocracy.

Posted by: piper190 | November 5, 2007 2:31 PM | Report abuse

'If you have a cite that shows a presidential candidate wanting to replace the US Constitution, cite it.'

dave, they never actually say that. whaat they say [and i should have been, again, more precise], is that the consistution is subservient to the word of god, meaning the Old Testament. That's why Mike Huckabee thinks that it's okay to amend the Constitution to ban gay marriage, so that it better reflects the will of God. I do have cites on that. It's nuanced, but a great deal of Republican issues [school vouchers, prayer in school, federal funding of religious agencies] are about the destruction of the wall between church and state.

As Antonin Scalia, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court explained a few months later, the Bible teaches and Christians believe "... that government ...derives its moral authority from God. Government is the 'minister of God' with powers to 'revenge,' to 'execute wrath,' including even wrath by the sword..."

Posted by: drindl | November 5, 2007 12:43 PM | Report abuse

"Dave, if Hillary Clinton was flying around in a private plane owned by someone who was once convicted of dealing cocaine, wouldn't you [or zouk] point that out?"

Honestly, if it happened 25 years ago, probably not.

Posted by: dave | November 5, 2007 12:23 PM | Report abuse

Mark/some of you might be interested in this Memorandum, re Mukasey:

'A group of distinguished intelligence and military officers, diplomats, and law enforcement professionals delivered an urgent message this morning to the chairman and the ranking minority member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, calling on them to hold the nomination of Judge Michael Mukasey until he takes a clear position on the legality of waterboarding.

Their message strongly endorses the view of former judge advocates general that waterboarding "is inhumane, is torture, is illegal." The intelligence veterans added it is also a notoriously unreliable way to acquire accurate information.

They noted that the factors cited by the president and Mukasey as obstacles to his giving an opinion on waterboarding can be easily solved by briefing Mukasey on waterboarding and on C.I.A. interrogation methods.'

http://noquarterusa.net/blog/2007/11/05/urgent-letter-from-intelligence-military-diplomatic-and-law-enforcement-professionals/

Posted by: drindl | November 5, 2007 12:23 PM | Report abuse

I am not debating that there is a group of people that someone could label dominionist. I would like to see where one of the candidates says they are a dominionist since you state the following:

"There is a substantial group of 'dominionists' who would love to see the Consitution of this country replaced by the Old Testament [someof them are running for president]] which would be very similar to Sharia."

It seems that the re-ocurring "they are just like us" liberal screed is raising its ugly head again. It's the similar to the early 80's when the liberal rant was that we were no better/no worse than the communists ("we share the same biology regardless of ideology"). Now, it's "Fundamentalist christians are the American Taliban". If you have a cite that shows a presidential candidate wanting to replace the US Constitution, cite it.

Posted by: dave | November 5, 2007 12:22 PM | Report abuse

/Philip Martin's drug issues seemed to end in 1983 and his probation ended in 1989./

Dave, if Hillary Clinton was flying around in a private plane owned by someone who was once convicted of dealing cocaine, wouldn't you [or zouk] point that out?

Posted by: drindl | November 5, 2007 12:12 PM | Report abuse

dave, this is what we call 'dog-whistle politics'. It's using a language that certain people understand to mean one thing, but to others something entirely different. although the officials doctrines of christian reconstruction and dominionism arose in the 70s, I was raised in the ultra-fundamentalist sect that spawned it, so I know what the words mean. When someone talks about 'reclaiming america for christ,' they are talking about dominionism.

It's not a conspiracy, it's not a secret, it's quite well-documented. When you understand what they are saying, you will see how open it really is, and understand why, for instance, John McCain recently said, 'America is a Christian nation."

Christian Reconstructionists believe that church and state have separate spheres of authority, but that the state must submit to biblical morality as interpreted by the church. There are several organization which sells books and tapes attacking the separation of church and state, arguing that all of America's founders were conservative evangelical Christians, that American was founded as a Christian Nation, and that only Christians should be allowed to run for public office.

'Pat Robertson, a powerful televangelist with a strong influence in the Republican Party, who is frequently asked to serve as a "religious commentator" by mainstream channels like CNN. D. James Kennedy, who hosts a yearly "Reclaiming America for Christ" conference that brings together nearly every major Christian Right leader and many powerful Republican Party leaders (this year's conference will feature Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee). Dominionist Jack Hayford gave the benediction at George W. Bush's first presidential inauguration.'

Posted by: drindl | November 5, 2007 12:08 PM | Report abuse

claudialong: The Guy gained power by an overthrow of the Govt. He now has complete power as a Dictator of the country, and the US has been his biggest supporter. The US is rattling their sabres against Iran, who is a threat to nobody, only in our minds. Nuclear weapons and the means to deliver them in the region are there. The Taliban is a very strong force there as well, and don't forget The Taliban was once a strong ally of ours before we betrayed them. This could be the hot spot no one wants to talk about, since the Saudia folks and him are not on very good terms and he does not like Israel very much either.

Posted by: lylepink | November 5, 2007 12:08 PM | Report abuse

claudialong,
It might be beneficial for many of us for you to note when you are recycling news from the late 70's and early 80's. Philip Martin's drug issues seemed to end in 1983 and his probation ended in 1989.

Posted by: dave | November 5, 2007 11:57 AM | Report abuse

Sorry dave, the last 3 grafs of that post were directed to you.

Posted by: drindl | November 5, 2007 11:56 AM | Report abuse

I thought McCain got off a zinger about rudy last night:

'Here's McCain, firing back during a town hall meeting in Iowa Sunday night: "When someone says waterboarding is similar to harsh interrogation techniques used against the mafia in New York City, they do not have enough experience to lead our military."

The founders of Blackwater, our US paramilitary, call themselves 'Christian Soldiers' and say they are on a 'Crusade' in the ME..

As far as 'replacing Consitution' see what I said to Mark above, or google 'dominionists' -- there's lots of material.

Groups such as the Christian Coalition have adopted many of the tenets of Dominionism, and many key Christian right leaders are close to Reconstructionism, which thinks that the U.S. Constitution is a sub-document overruled by Old Testament Biblical Laws."

Posted by: drindl | November 5, 2007 11:54 AM | Report abuse

In spite of Romney's clearly manufactured persona interesting analyses at Slate show that only Romney and Huckabee are trending upwards in many States. If those trends continue....

http://www.slate.com/id/2175496/nav/ais/

Posted by: judgeccrater | November 5, 2007 11:43 AM | Report abuse

claudialong,
"How would you like Muslim troops in Rome?" First off, I would say we have US troops, not "Christian troops", in Saudi Arabia. And secondly, I grew up Catholic and if the Vatican had no problems with "Muslim troops", I'd be fine with that. But the point of my post is that according to Sullivan, Obama has much the same policy as everyone else running. So he probably would not be closing down the base in Saudia Arabia. I agree that the base is one of the reasons that OBL gave for his motivation. So how would Obama be any better or worse, simply based on his skin color and name, if he would carry out the same policies as everyone else since it's the policies that are seemingly driving al-Qaeda and Muslim extremism? And I have to take exception with you that there are people running for president that would ditch the US Constitution. Please cite where someone is calling for the replacement of the US Constitution.

Posted by: dave | November 5, 2007 11:42 AM | Report abuse

'This could very well be a repeat of how this guy got into power and it may be what brings him down.'

Mushareff, Lyle? The dictator? Not sure what you mean here.

Tell me, did anyone ask Fred about this:

'Thompson has flown around the country in a private jet borrowed from businessman Philip Martin, a co-chairman of Thompson's campaign who also has a criminal record for drug dealing, The Washington Post reported Sunday.

Martin pleaded guilty to the sale of 11 pounds of marijuana, but the court withheld judgment pending completion of his probation. He was later charged with violating probation and multiple counts of bookmaking, cocaine trafficking and conspiracy. He pleaded no contest to the cocaine-trafficking and conspiracy charges, and was continued on probation, the newspaper said.'

Posted by: drindl | November 5, 2007 11:04 AM | Report abuse

Mark, I should have been more specific. I suspect Huckabee is, although not positive. But whether they are active dominists themselves, whomever the R nominee is will have to pass muster with these folks if they want a large chunk of american voters. You've probably heard of the massive Coral Ridge Ministry in Florida. That's the center of domionist thought in this country today, and all R candidates make a pilgrimage there. Dr. Richard Land is a dominionist, as was Jerry Falwell. Google dominionist and you may be surprised at what you find. I also urge you again to read Kevin Phillips' 'american theocracy'. You probably know he was an R strategist going back to Nixon, so he's quite authoritative... it was eye-opening to me.

'Before the midterm elections of 2006, dominionists controlled both houses of the U.S. Congress, the White House and four out of nine seats on the U.S. Supreme Court. They were one seat away from holding a solid majority on the Supreme Court. As of January 1, 2007, dominionists will not control the leadership of either house of Congress, and the President will no longer be able to so easily appoint dominionists to the federal courts.

Five of the Republican Senators who were unseated on November 7 received whopping scores of 100% from the Family Research Council and Focus on the Family Voter Scorecards. Those Senators are: Conrad Burns (R-MT), George Allen (R-VA), Rick Santorum (R-PA), James Talent (R-MO), and Mike DeWine (R-OH). Rick Santorum was the number three ranking Republican in the party. Santorum and Allen both had Presidential ambitions. (FRC and FOF are the most politically influential of dominionist organizations.)'

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=dominionists&btnG=Google+Search

Posted by: drindl | November 5, 2007 11:00 AM | Report abuse

claudialong: The Sunday talk shows were a litte drab, Fred T. was about the best thing for dems. This guy did not answer a single soft ball question posed by Russert, who is, IMO, a strong GOP supporter. Russert asked the three Gs that GOPers stress so much. The attacks on Hillary last week by Edwards seem to have about done him in, and the endorsements doesn't appear to work, one way or the other. Watch statements coming from the Administration concerning Packistan. This could very well be a repeat of how this guy got into power and it may be what brings him down.

Posted by: lylepink | November 5, 2007 10:47 AM | Report abuse

Who is running for President who claims to be a "Dominionist"?

Who is running for President that you, drindl, would call a "Dominionist"?

Why?

I am not challenging your statement - I am sincerely wanting to know.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | November 5, 2007 10:34 AM | Report abuse

'With someone else as the Dem nominee, the race will be about Bush's disgraceful presidency'

NO. The race will be about whatever the republicans choose as a narrative, unless there is a dem strong enough to fight back. 2004 should have been about bush's presidency, sholdn't it? But it wasn't. It became about Vietnam.

The R's will soil and destroy whoever is running--they always do, because the media allows helps them. It jdoesn't matter how decent the person is -- there is no one better at character assasination than the current R party, and there is no other entity in the world to equal it in terms of structure, organization, reach, and financing. Richardson would be eaten alive by them. He just isn't sophisticated enough, or fast enough on his feet, to fight back the inevitable deluge of sewage.

Posted by: drindl | November 5, 2007 9:54 AM | Report abuse

'we have the idea that we can have a footprint in various countries in the ME (like Saudia Arabia)'

That's the reason Osama bin Ladin cited, dave. We had troops in their holy cities. How would you like Muslim troops in Rome? If you were a Catholic, perhaps not so much. I'm not defending it, nor blaming America. I'm just saying that I can see how others might perceive our actions differently than we do.

They know there are many Christian fundamentalists and wackjobs here [ like Erik Prince, the head of Blackwater] who beleive the very same things that bn Ladin says about us -- namely, that we think all Muslims re evil and thatthe US is engaged in a 'crusade' to to rid the world of Arabs.

And the Christian fundalmentalists don't care much for our 'freedoms' either. There is a substantial group of 'dominionists' who would love to see the Consitution of this country replaced by the Old Testament [someof them are running for president]] which would be very similar to Sharia.

Posted by: drindl | November 5, 2007 9:47 AM | Report abuse

This morning I heard Sen. Biden give one of the better reasons for Sen. Clinton to not be the nominee of the Dem party.

He pointed out that if she is the nominee the race will be about her and Bill, their old baggage, etc. With someone else as the Dem nominee, the race will be about Bush's disgraceful presidency. True.

Biden also said he is going to call Musharraf this morning and push him to hold parliamentary elections within the next 60 days, but also noted that Musharraf is affected by the rest of the political and social leaders in the country and that the situation needs to be looked at as a whole.

All the other presidential candidates in Iowa (and there are a slew of them today) addressing the subject are just spouting, no action behind their words.

http://whathappenedtomycountry.blogspot.com

Posted by: Truth_Hunter | November 5, 2007 9:17 AM | Report abuse

I'd like to see John Edwards pull ahead decisively. I see him as the first chance we've had to put a true progressive Democrat in the White House since Kennedy.

It's been heartbreaking to see how one man could make us, as Americans, responsible for a bloody genocide in Iraq, and turn our country from the most admired country in the world into the most hated one, in 6-7 short years. The flip side of that is the right man could turn it around almost that quickly.

This is probably the most important election in modern history. And John Edwards is the real deal. I hope no one minds if I post this link to the "Heroes" piece that Chris already linked to. I find it to embody everything we ever wanted in a president. It won't be hailed as bipartisan by the pundits/powers that be, but that doesn't change anything. It's an appeal across party lines to We The People. I can't watch it enough.

http://tinyurl.com/yo5p3f

Posted by: panarchy | November 4, 2007 5:54 PM | Report abuse

I very much enjoyed Sullivan's take, as I usually do - curiousity that Sullivan is. His best social point was the continuing VN divide. His least defensible was casting Obama as a healer with Islam.


I think dave is making points that must be made. Let me add two more counterweights, here.

I was actually surprised that Sullivan did not caution that an Obama presidency would raise false hopes in central Africa that we would think their welfare would become, magically, a national security interest of the west.

I wonder if Sullivan has considered the fate of apostates under sharia law. The Wahhabbists
continue to train reactionary fundamentalists
who believe in a past utopia. That an American son of a probable moslem is a liberal western Christian will present the face of dreaded apostasy to them.

Watching Biden on FTN.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | November 4, 2007 11:52 AM | Report abuse

claudialong,
Those would be our ideas of democracy, equlity and freedoms that are associated with "western culture" as opposed to their interpretation of Sharia law. There is also that they don't like the fact that we support the idea of Israel or that we have the idea that we can have a footprint in various countries in the ME (like Saudia Arabia) if the government of that country allows us to be there. How Obama's color on his face will change that is a mystery to me.

roo_P,
Yes it does. And I guess the assumption is that there would be no recruiting of terrorist if we had not invaded Iraq which is simply rediculous since terrorism existed and terrorists were recruited prior to Iraq. One can make the argument that Iraq did not help or that it made it worse but there terrorist attacks prior to Iraq were plentiful, well funded and there was no problem getting recruits. The fact of the matter is that anything the US does in the ME is used as a recruting tool. In fact, things countries do at home (like political cartoos or laws on burkas) are used as recruiting tools. Obama's color will not change that.

Posted by: dave | November 4, 2007 10:31 AM | Report abuse

dave--The passage quite clearly refers to the people who are not YET terrorists or terrorist financiers.

Posted by: roo_P | November 3, 2007 10:55 PM | Report abuse

'Islamic terrorists don't seem to care what color you are, what religion you are, or what your history has been. They care about our policies and the fact that we are percieved to be a powerful voice for ideas they do not agree with. They will kill anyone, Muslim or Christian, black or white, that associates with these policies. '

I'm curious, dave, what ideas would those be?

Posted by: drindl | November 3, 2007 2:55 PM | Report abuse

Sullivan's love letter to Obama had me until he tried to state why Obama would be the candidate to fix the divide. "If you wanted the crudest but most effective weapon against the demonization of America that fuels Islamist ideology, Obama's face gets close." The idiocity of this statement alone undoes all the rest of the piece. Islamic terrorists don't seem to care what color you are, what religion you are, or what your history has been. They care about our policies and the fact that we are percieved to be a powerful voice for ideas they do not agree with. They will kill anyone, Muslim or Christian, black or white, that associates with these policies. We will still be occupiers regardless of who is president in 2008. An Obama presidency will not be radically different foreign policy-wise. We will still be friends with Israel. We will still be viewed in exactly the same way simply because our policies will not be radically different, as Sullivan states. He failed to convince me.

Posted by: dave | November 3, 2007 2:48 PM | Report abuse

'Or Rangel's "War on the middle class"

This is how orwellian zouk is -- Rangel's plan to cut taxes on the middle class is a 'war' on the middle class -- honestly these people are dangerously subversive and insane.

Posted by: drindl | November 3, 2007 2:33 PM | Report abuse

The Sullivan piece could be one of the most important texts of this election cycle, honestly. It is absolutely excellent.

Posted by: roo_P | November 3, 2007 3:38 AM | Report abuse

Yay for Joe Biden! I believe he has either won every debate or done as well as any candidate. It is apparent that he has the foreign policy expertise lacking in the others. I believe that he appeals to independents and potentially moderate republicans. Although he does well in the debates, I saw him at an Iowa event, and determined he needed a good stump speech. He could also benefit from a speech coach. He wandered all around what he was trying to say. Sadly, after so many years in the Senate, I'm sure he doesn't realize it. Further, he needs to stop making so many references to his mother.

The plagiarism incident from his past is not a big deal, but needs to be addressed. He ought to do more than apologize & perhaps explain it. As I recall, he was asked about it in a debate? Well, I can't remember anything beyond an apology.

I'm for Biden. He's smart and experienced and electable. I also think he could be successful at diminishing the divisiveness so pervasive in politics.

Posted by: claire2 | November 3, 2007 1:00 AM | Report abuse

roo, thanx for the Sullivan cite.

I would support, tomorrow, McCain, Biden, Dodd, Obama, and Richardson ahead of HRC.
Maybe Obama ahead of Dodd - maybe not.
They all have more relevant experience and more demonstrated skill at building consensus than HRC.

As Sullivan implies, HRC vs. RG could be
seen as the continuation of a very long bad dream for America.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | November 2, 2007 11:40 PM | Report abuse

Roo, I read that earlier and was really blown away. the writing alone was top notch and the social commentary on how we got where we are today was powerful.
I liked how he tied it all into why Obama is so important to elect. I wish every beltway pundit and journalist would read it.

Posted by: vwcat | November 2, 2007 11:03 PM | Report abuse

Ah, here we go.. I have been reading the Internet again. Clinton camp admits to using the Little Defenseless Girl Victim Card:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20071101/ap_po/on_deadline_clinton_1

Now, let us discuss her failures to discuss issues.

Posted by: roo_P | November 2, 2007 10:58 PM | Report abuse

Andrew Sullivan lays out his case for Obama beautifully: http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200712/obama

Posted by: roo_P | November 2, 2007 10:03 PM | Report abuse

lylepink--Well, I did uncharacteristically add a little satirical smiley-face there to show that I was not completely serious.

Re: economy.. I was just skimming the report and it turns out that 103 000 of the 166 000 jobs are *estimated* without any particular proof. Great.

Posted by: roo_P | November 2, 2007 9:29 PM | Report abuse

rooP: Your 8:31 PM post, is a insult to all Hillary supporters. You can support[Obama] or anyone you choose, but don't fall into the trap of repubs that are so scared of her, from INFO I have gotten/received, they have even donated many $$ to Obama in the hope of derailing Hillary which is not going to happen, IMHO.

Posted by: lylepink | November 2, 2007 9:26 PM | Report abuse

Democrats like "odd." It's the Adleigh Stevenson syndrome. They never shook it off. After Adleigh lost twice to the general, they considered running him a 3rd time, but Kennedy, like B. Clinton, was tricky enough to dodge their gate-keepers. You have to trick them into running someone with a pulse.

They have a fascination with woodenness as though it goes hand in hand with high seriousness. He looks half-dead, so he ought to be able to handle the pressing issues of the day. Hillary is the liveliest of the current crop. She dominates. Edwards is fifty-four but looks twelve. He has a twelve year-old's haircut. Kucinich is some "Lord of the Rings" animatronic doodad. He admits to having seen a UFO. Biden is a walking comb-over. Dodd polls less than Kucinich. He has no hope. Who the hell would invite him to be VP? Who needs a VP from Connecticut? Oh wait - Gore tried that. What was he thinking? Richardson looks like he just ate Kucinich and has a stomach ache.

And Obama - the new Adleigh reveals himself. Once the great white hope for defeating Hillary. Everyone acted like he was RFK challenging Johnson. Yeah. What he has in common with RFK is that they're both bone-thin. Obama took this long to come out swinging. Please. They have a fascination with maintaining the pose that this is a contest of ideas. So Hillary will never get properly vetted, and the Democrats will take it on the chin. Hard.

They need the GOP to stumble. To somehow skip Guiliani and run an unknown governor, like Huckabee, with a waffler, like Romney, of Massachusetts, as sidekick. Then she might win.

Posted by: chuckcoulter | November 2, 2007 9:07 PM | Report abuse

roo--I'm concerned too... I enjoyed watching the latest Edwards ad about Clinton, though. For somebody who is leaning towards Clinton based on name recognition and seeing her before in the White House, this has got to be a revelation.

Posted by: urban4 | November 2, 2007 8:49 PM | Report abuse

urban4--In my view, if all voters were informed, Clinton would be polling at 5% ;)

The reality is that there are certainly people who are not as savvy (fortunately the primary voters DO tend to be better in this respect) and this is why I am still concerned about the eventual outcome.

Posted by: roo_P | November 2, 2007 8:31 PM | Report abuse

Fox did a poll on second choices in Feb, 2007. The poll showed that second choices followed name recognition.
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,251178,00.html
Is anybody aware of newer data?

Unless the dynamics of the voters has changed completely since then, it is likely that Clinton will benefit more from people dropping out of the race than her challenger.

I suspect that contributors to this blog are not a representative sample of the voters. The average voter is probably less interested in politics and is willing to make less of an effort to make an informed decision based on the issues that each candidate represents. Does anybody have data on what percentage of Clinton supporters are "true believers"?

Posted by: urban4 | November 2, 2007 8:24 PM | Report abuse

lylepink--Yeap, exactly right about the economy. A lot of the wage increase is due to high earners earning even more, not the <$60k getting paid more. I am not sure why I bother rebutting him, though, KOZ will just pretend as if I never posted anything anyway.

Posted by: roo_P | November 2, 2007 8:11 PM | Report abuse

Truth_Hunter--I am, of course, speaking in generalities but Biden's policies are closer to Clinton which may be attractive to some.

Will you completely abstain if it looks like Biden is dropping out? Would an endorsement by Biden affect you?

Interesting question, though. Perhaps my equation is exactly the wrong way around?

Perhaps Biden/Dodd/Richardson supporters already considered Clinton and refused to go in her camp (even though she is far likelier to win) because of some unrecoverable flaw in her otherwise and would therefore be LESS likely to go for her? I can certainly see this as a possibility. On the other hand, I do not think it is likely that the "protest" side will switch to Clinton.

At this point, I am resigning myself to Clinton being the single most popular candidate and that the nomination fight will come down to how the "also-ran" supporters break between Clinton and whoever her main contender is.

Posted by: roo_P | November 2, 2007 8:06 PM | Report abuse

I not so sure that Richardson supporters would necessarily support Clinton if he implodes. While I respect Hilary a lot... she is smart and hard working, her approach toward Iraq is farthest from Richardson's. If I have to support someone else - which at this point I have no intentions to - I would probably support Obama or Edwards. I live in New York and have asked a few of my woman democrat friends if they are supporting Hilary. I haven't yet met anyone who is, though quite a few say they haven't decided who they are supporting. Now,
it could be that they are saying that to me just to not admit it. I really wonder if these people who support Hilary in the polls are really familiar with her stance on the issues and some of her recent votes.

Western NY Geologist

Posted by: prichard | November 2, 2007 7:52 PM | Report abuse

MarkinAustin & rooP: The economy according to Kudlow and other GOPers is great. Look at the bigger picture,IE.. where are these jobs created, what industries etc.. Chrysler announced recently a planned lay off of some 12,000 workers. The jobs created, from what I have been able to find out, are in the lowest income levels, Flipping Burgers ETC.. I have found nothing in the middle income earners that supports these claims. I define middle income as between $50,000 and $100,000. This may be off a little when children of these earners are considered. You may consider the average income of all workers, but it creates a false impression as to the real earnings. The top earners of a Billion plus can, and is, figured in these where the medium income is derived.

Posted by: lylepink | November 2, 2007 7:39 PM | Report abuse

"Clinton is widely seen as the most experienced candidate in the field and the candidate with the best chance to reclaim the White House for Democrats in 2008."

Biden has vastly more experience than does Clinton or any of the other candidates (save Richardson's lengthy resume, which does him little good). Biden is also much better positioned to reclaim the White House if he gets through the Primary (and I am routing for him).

I think voters (and some of the press) are done flirting with Obama - he was all hype with no substance, and despite the Chicago machines efforts, it takes more than a 'unique' back story if you are seeking to be commander in chief of our armed forces. Obama is clearly in over his head.

Edwards - if he were a true populist he might have a chance, but alas, he is a trial lawyer, and I don't think he can get past NH and be competitive.

This race is going to come down to Biden and Clinton, and Clinton may be better positioned to win the primary, but Biden is the better candidate. Let's hope shoe leather still counts for something, but he has an uphill battle to win the primary.

Posted by: clawrence35 | November 2, 2007 7:36 PM | Report abuse

Well, roo, you are right about that -- I did one of those select your candidate quizzes twice--and the first time came out with Obama, the second time, Kucinich.

My first choice in the primaries would be Gore, but there you go. I could go for Biden, followed closely by Obama.

'Roo_P On what do you base your "switch to Clinton" theory? I'm now a Biden supporter and would NEVER switch to Clinton unless I lost my mind and wanted more of the same.'

Well more of same, on steriods, Truth, would be Rudy. Do you really want to enable that? Hillary is far from my favorite, but this guy is Mussolini. trust me, I live in NY... I could tell you stories...

Posted by: drindl | November 2, 2007 7:35 PM | Report abuse

CC - At last Biden is receiving his due. You are rightly picking up on his increasing popularity, especially in Iowa.... forthright style is what voters are looking for.

Roo_P On what do you base your "switch to Clinton" theory? I'm now a Biden supporter and would NEVER switch to Clinton unless I lost my mind and wanted more of the same.

Frankly, I have no second choice although if I HAD to choose someone besides Biden, it would be Gore.... I know, he's not running, but none of the others appeal.

http://whathappenedtomycountry.blogspot.com

Posted by: Truth_Hunter | November 2, 2007 7:16 PM | Report abuse

kingofzouk / Larry! - Nice to meet you at long last. As reported in the BBC, however, the vas majority of those jobs went to "immigrants". Close to 100% of hi-tech jobs go to guest workers on H1-B visas. If you read the fine print in that newest jobs report, it was "adjused", too. Just another fine way for your government to lie to you...to all of us. I know you don't believe much of what your local government has to say I certainly don't. So, why do you persist in believing anything that Washington or the White Hose has to say?

Posted by: mibrooks27 | November 2, 2007 7:14 PM | Report abuse

Roo,
Here is my list of preference, if I pay no attention to polls and electability:
Obama, Biden, Richardson, Kucinich, Dodd, Clinton, Edwards, Gravel.

Posted by: urban4 | November 2, 2007 7:04 PM | Report abuse

claudialong--I posit that Kuchinich is a fine candidate, the U.S. political system is what is terrible :)

Personal anecdotes show that (by far, like 65%+) most people doing one of these "select your candidate" quizzes come out with Kuchinich on top.

Who is your first choice in the primaries (whether or not you will attend)? If he or she drops, who is your second?

Posted by: roo_P | November 2, 2007 7:04 PM | Report abuse

Roo, I like a lot of Kucinich's ideas. But he's a terrible candidate... too hard a sell to most folks, kind of a loose cannon and comes across wacky, although he isn't really.. Obama of course I like, but I think I would put Biden ahead of him, purely on foreign policy creds. I'm liking Dodd but he has no chance. not enough time or money. Edwards is okay with me in a lot of ways, but he isn't gettng traction either. Richardson is flailing, Gravel is pretty over.

And you're right, I won't do the Nader protest vote -- I will vote for Clinton if I have to, because I think everyone on the R side is scarier than her, as I have said, except McCain, and he doesn't seem to please his party's purists.

Posted by: drindl | November 2, 2007 6:57 PM | Report abuse

kingofzouk--You (or Kudlow) are fudging your "real" numbers, predictably.

http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5jsanM66tszKz1zFq0LOG4XvWS7zAD8SLMI5G0

* Most growth in lower service sector.
* Unemployment rate is not decreasing (which means that jobs added are keeping pace with "workforce inflation")
* Wages grew 0.2%, 3.8% over the last TWELVE MONTHS.
* You completely ignore oil prices and the housing problem.
* Dow is diving (I do not think much of it but you always tout how important Dow is, so you cannot have it both ways.)

Posted by: roo_P | November 2, 2007 6:54 PM | Report abuse

mark_in_austin--Yeah, I am certainly working off coarse assumptions myself but let us assume for a moment that the polls that show 45-48% of Democrats being for Clinton at this point are accurate. If (and when) this becomes a two- or three-way race, I have a hard time believing that NONE of the supporters of the rest of the field will switch to support Clinton instead.

Continuing that thought, I see Biden, Dodd and Richardson's current supporters being far more likely to switch to Clinton. This is my "establishment" vs. "protest" division.

But as you, I am keenly interested in other people's opinions on this topic. Who IS your second? My line from most to least favourite:

Kuchinich, Obama, Edwards, Dodd, Biden, Gravel, Richardson, Clinton.

Posted by: roo_P | November 2, 2007 6:45 PM | Report abuse

Mark or Colin, a question on the driver's license program. How can it be done legally? If this is strictly for 'undocs' -- and they provide, say birth certificates, that certify they are NOT here legally, aren't they subject to immediate deportation?

Posted by: drindl | November 2, 2007 6:15 PM | Report abuse

Hillary may be the front runner because of her name recognition and because there are a lot of women who want to show that a woman can be elected President.

I would guess a portion of those who say they are for Hillary are basing it solely on name recognition and association to Bill and not on her stand on the issues, and haven't bothered to educate themseleve on where all the candidates stand on the issues. They assume that she will be like Bill. If they elect Hillary on this premise they will be sorely surprised when they get something entirely different. These voters need to start educating themselves. If these people are too lazy to research all the candidates' experience and stand on issues and vote on name recognition alone, if Hillary gets in because of these people I don't want them crying after the fact what a bad president she is and and that they were not aware of her stand on something. Look at the Conservatives who helped get Bush re-elected and shortly thereafter cried that he wasn't doing what they thought he would do.

For those who just want to see a female as President, you need to ensure that the female is the best person for the job, based on the same criteria that you would judge a male running for office. After all you wouldn't want the wrong female to get elected and fail. If this were to happen, it would be along time before another female candidate would be elected President.

This is the first time in history that voters have had to educate themselves on the candidates, and this is the first time there are sooo many candidates to choose from. I hope that people will not cast their vote for Hillary solely on name recognition and because she is married to Bill; and I hope women will not vote for her solely because she is female. The choice for who runs against the Republicans in '08 is too critical to be solely left up to name recognition and gender association. We need to elect the best candidate, based on their stand on the issues and the strength and integrity of their character, and their ability to lead.

Posted by: Nevadaandy | November 2, 2007 6:05 PM | Report abuse

EEEEKKKKKKK - real numbers. don't look at them drindl, you will surely turn to stone. or perhaps billions and billions of little pebbles.

Posted by: kingofzouk | November 2, 2007 6:02 PM | Report abuse

Well, well, well ... 166,000 new jobs. Twice the consensus view. Did somebody say Goldilocks? Did somebody say the greatest story never told?

U.S. businesses and entrepreneurs are in very good shape. These are the real job creators. And with low tax rates, low inflation, and low interest rates, the economic and stock market outlook looks extremely bullish. The economic bears continue to underestimate the strength of the consumer because they continue to underestimate the strength of business. Ultimately, it is business that creates jobs. And it is jobs that create income.

Here's the key point: Outside the struggling financial and consumer discretionary sectors, the economy is firing on all cylinders. Economy-wide profits are up a smoldering 15 percent in the third quarter when you remove these two laggards. And in addition to today's robust, expansionary jobs number, GDP blew away forecasts earlier this week, coming in a hair shy of 4 percent. (For the record, this represents the biggest back-to-back quarterly gain in four years.) This means healthy American businesses are generating jobs. Meanwhile, hardworking American workers are out there spending money, with real, disposable, after-tax, after-inflation income running around 4 percent -- a big number.

In the October jobs report, average hourly wages for non-management workers increased 3.8 percent, well above inflation. These wage gains don't come from home-equity lines. They come from strong job creation. This is the heart of the consumer story. The October jobs gain is the best in five months. Over the past year, 1.7 million new jobs have been created. The bulk of these, by the way, are coming from high-pay service jobs, including business and professional services, as well as education and health services.

Looking back over four years, from the middle of 2003 when President Bush's tax cuts took effect, the economy has created 8.6 million new jobs. Presently, non-farm payrolls in the U.S. stand at 138.5 million, a new record high. The unemployment rate today is a low 4.7 percent. And total civilian employment stands at 146 million, just shy of the record high. In fact, when you look at the October jobs report, it appears that employment is speeding up, not slowing down.

Message to all you worrywarts out there: The U.S. economy remains strong. There is no recession ahead. Goldilocks rules.

no mikeB - the sky is not falling.

Larry Kudlow

Posted by: kingofzouk | November 2, 2007 5:54 PM | Report abuse

Oh yes, JD, as Mike mentioned, there's also the matter of the billions and billions of dollars sent to Iraq that have just mysteriously vanished -- no paper trial, no accounting, no nothing. Just gone. Poof.

Posted by: drindl | November 2, 2007 5:52 PM | Report abuse

lyle and lwoodfield are not allowed to say HRC is their "second favorite", of course!

Bye.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | November 2, 2007 5:52 PM | Report abuse

didn't care to take on the "war on Poverty"?

how about Dirty Harry Reids War on the military?

Or Rangel's "War on the middle class"

Or hillary's "War on integrity"?

Posted by: kingofzouk | November 2, 2007 5:49 PM | Report abuse

I know, MikeB. and I also understand what you said about feeling sorry for the undocs. That watering hole story dave posted pretty much summed of the poignance of it... these are folks who know they have a good chance to dying to get here, but they still do it because they may well be fighting for their family's survival. Under other circumstances, we might call that courage.

But because of our so-called fabulous economy, a lot of our citizens are competing with them for crappy low wage jobs. Big employers should be heavily penalized -- and no one ever talks about the culpability of the Mexican government. Tthey have never lifted a finger to help us. How about some kind of sanctions until they enforce their side of the border and do something, anything, to help their people's lives improve.

Posted by: drindl | November 2, 2007 5:49 PM | Report abuse

roo, you may have made assumptions about voter preferences that are unrealistic.

If HRC is not a comfortable fit for a voter now it will be either

because that voter does not think she has relevant experience, or

because that voter does not think her relevant experience bodes well, or

because of perceptions, fair or unfair, about her character.

She is a known. She will carry Ds in a general election, of course, if she is the nominee.

But I, an independent, would bet the field against her because I think she will never reach 50% in her own party. I do not think many D's rank her their "second favorite" candidate.
There are many Ds who post here. Ask that "second favorite" question, yourself.

KOZ posted a video of HRC that is, I suspect, a mild harbinger of things to come.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | November 2, 2007 5:48 PM | Report abuse

There is a determination among some to deny reality. A large number of people arguing about whether Hillary should be playing the victim should first cite where she has ever played the victim. People telling us how cold she is might like to see the whole video of her at Wellesley where she is funny and mischievous and twits the other candidates. Then there's the blogger here who states that there's no real enthusiasm for Clinton. That is particularly self-deluding. Go to a Clinton meeting, read the Clinton blogs, look at the polls -- her supporters are dedicated, they love her, and have pledged a million hours to get her elected.

We have gone from "I don't know any of my Dem friends who are for her" to "They only like her because they think she's inevitable" -- hence the endless "she isn't inevitable" pundit theme. She isn't inevitable -- but anyone who puts money on someone else is making a very bad bet.

Look for Hillary supporters who say "Wow - I used to support her but now I'm for Obama or Edwards or Biden." Look for previously uncommitted voters who say "I now really dislike O and/or E". Which group is larger?

Posted by: lwoodfield | November 2, 2007 5:47 PM | Report abuse

Concurrent Technologies is a bizarre company in Pennsylvania's rust belt that seems to exist for no other reason than to benefit from mindbending levels of graft -- last year's was revenue $248 million -- courtesy the company's local congressmen John Murtha.


Plenty of money for this.

Posted by: kingofzouk | November 2, 2007 5:47 PM | Report abuse

kingofzouk--Are you JOKING? The "War on Drugs", brainchild of Nixon and later more formally Reagan, is a failed LIBERAL policy?

Yeah, it is a CATASTROPHIC failure, as are the mandatory non-violent drug sentencing guidelines. However, whenever there is pressure to change those (medical marijuana, even), the fscking CONSERVATIVES are up and in arms!

Posted by: roo_P | November 2, 2007 5:42 PM | Report abuse

claudia - You're forgetting one important point, too....WE HAVEN"T EVEN *STARTED* TO PAY FOR THE INVASION OF IRAQ AND AFGHANISTAN YET! None of Bush's war bills have come due yet. Those debt's go to the sad suckers that come after he leaves town, and they will pass them onto us. Also, the billions tossed to that Halliburton subsidiary KRR, end up being shipped on a barge to their new headquarters in Dubaii. They aren't even an American company any more.

Posted by: mibrooks27 | November 2, 2007 5:32 PM | Report abuse

Well, OK I didn't pick up on the sarcasm.

They haven't done anywhere close to $50b though, because of Iraq or anything else.

Again, Iraq's been going on for what, since 2003? And 9b/year times 4 years is.....

And most of the rev is not Iraq-related....

Posted by: JD | November 2, 2007 5:27 PM | Report abuse

Hey drindl - how much has the failed "war on Poverty" cost us? when will you Libs declare it is lost and the time has come to get out? how much has the "war on Drugs" cost us? when will you admit failure on that one? how much has the Libs "War on Bush" harmed us for local Lib political gain? you can't even pass a single approps bill, so is it now time to declare the war on Bush a failure and moveon? Or will you simply regirgitate all the lies and smears for use on Rudy?

Interesting that the war in Iraq is the only thing Dems consider to be expensive and worth cutting funds for - the one thing that the Federal government is actually authorized to do for all of us. all those bridges and earmarks and Byrd buildings do not enter into any cost cutting debate. and when it comes to power aggrandization - the sky is the limit for Libs - more health care, more eco-foolery, more regulation, more interference, more price fixing.

Posted by: kingofzouk | November 2, 2007 5:27 PM | Report abuse

Eh, KBR et al. You want to live in a capitalist society, you pay the price. In this case, it is a private company leeching whatever it can while providing substandard products and services. I believe the technical term is "business as usual."

I think a far more productive line of argument, claudialong, would be to start holding people accountable for LITERALLY losing billions of dollars.

Posted by: roo_P | November 2, 2007 5:22 PM | Report abuse

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qggO5yY7RAo

Edwards new scathing video on hillary's two sided mouth. I couldn't have done it better myself.

the beginning of the end for Hillary - we hope.

Posted by: kingofzouk | November 2, 2007 5:19 PM | Report abuse

I was being facetious myself, JD -- half a trillion is about what we have spent so far. A great deal of that has been to KBR, and they started getting money before the invasion even started, for oil surveys and what not. So it's been five years now. Let's say just for fun then that all they've made is $50 billion approx. that ain't chump change, and there's a whole lotta other contractors like them.

Right now this war has cost every citizen in this country about $8000 each, not counting the interest since it's deficit spending, which we will pay dearly fo at some point.

Posted by: drindl | November 2, 2007 5:14 PM | Report abuse

Looks like KBR did $9b+ last year.

http://finance.yahoo.com/q/is?s=KBR&annual

I accept your apology

Posted by: JD | November 2, 2007 5:04 PM | Report abuse

So Claudia, it's your contention that KBR has received $500b in contracts since the Iraq conflict began?

I'm afraid I'm going to need to see some backup.

Make serious arguments please, or don't make them at all.

Posted by: JD | November 2, 2007 5:02 PM | Report abuse

Claudia, I was being facetious...and doing a poor job of it. Also, I do not hate illegals. I actually feel sorry for them. Most are wretchedly poor and come here becasue the alternative is starvation. The problem is, in the numbers that are here, they have wrecked havoc with our own poor workers. Illegals have virtually taken over the construction trades, meat packing, even non-union manufacting jobs. The consequence of that has been reduced wages and benefits for American workers...and we all know the social consequencesa of THAT - more failed marriages, families falling apart, debt, homes lost, increase juvinile crime and gang membership. I understand that businesses, taking advantage of illegal immigrants, playing Amercian workers off against them to win those wage and benefit concessions is the underlying problem. Also, with the sharp downturn in the housing market, we are seeing hundreds of thousands of illegal workers suddenly without those construction jobs. They are moving into other markets..and into crime. The most recent DOJ statistics attributes 24% of all crime to illegal immigrants: "...illegal immigrants cause 3,360 murders, 19,950 rapes, 450,000 burglaries, and 1.45 million serious thefts, besides other categories of crimes." And it's growing at a rate of 4.5% annually, far outstripping the less than 1.5% growth rate for the rest of the population! Last year 31% of all homicides were due to Latino gangs. That's pretty outrageous, when you consider that *all* Hispanics compose a bit more than 10% of the whole population of this country.

Posted by: mibrooks27 | November 2, 2007 4:57 PM | Report abuse

"Reportedly, there are parts along some of the more harsh and remote border areas where people have set up stations that have water to be used specifically by IA's during their crossing as a humanitarian aid to prevent dehydration and death"


People did this for us on the Appalachian Trail when I hiked it in '99. That was a big drought year, so a lot of the usual water sources were dried up. Humanitarian locals would leave jugs of water at road crossings so us pesky hikers could keep walking our walks. People that do little things like that help maintain my faith in humanity.

Posted by: bsimon | November 2, 2007 4:56 PM | Report abuse

claudialong,
"-'Remove the artificial watering holes' did I miss something. I confess, I don't have a clue what you'r talking about here."

Reportedly, there are parts along some of the more harsh and remote border areas where people have set up stations that have water to be used specifically by IA's during their crossing as a humanitarian aid to prevent dehydration and death. The argument is that this makes an uncrossable section (due to the harsh conditions) now crossable and induces people to cross there. That selection would not be on my personal list but I put it out there as I have heard of it.

Posted by: dave | November 2, 2007 4:42 PM | Report abuse

'It is and it isn't. When a person applies for a driver's license, they are supposed to prove their identity, among other things. So the question becomes - how are people who are here illegally proving their identity? That and who's job is it to enforce immigration law?'

That's the really interesting question. I would think the DMV should be bound to determine exactly who they are, in which case a lot of them would be deported. Bingo! End of problem. We don't even have to go after them.

Actually it would make a pretty good sting, for a while. Cruel, but hey, they're breaking the law.

Posted by: drindl | November 2, 2007 4:39 PM | Report abuse

'endangering our troops by denying them the equip and $ theysaid they needed. '

the reason they aren't getting the equip they need is that about half a trillion dollars has disappeared down the black hole that is KBR's pocket.

Posted by: drindl | November 2, 2007 4:35 PM | Report abuse

claudialong writes
"The driver's license thing is a real quandry. I don't think it's an easy yes or no at all."

It is and it isn't. When a person applies for a driver's license, they are supposed to prove their identity, among other things. So the question becomes - how are people who are here illegally proving their identity? That and who's job is it to enforce immigration law?


Posted by: bsimon | November 2, 2007 4:32 PM | Report abuse

'Hey, we are at least getting the official word from one of the Clinton crowd! They want to legalize illegals, grant them all amnesty, Social Security benefits, free medical care, drivers licenses, and *your* job. '

You're being hysterical again, Mike. I'm not your enemy. I am not a Clinton supporter, do not want legalize illegals, give them medical care, SS or anything else. Read what people actually say, don't listen to the dog whistle in your head.

I was simply pointing out that in things like preventing epidemics, as Mark says, and identifying/tracking people who are here, we are protecting ourselves. You would shooot yourself in the foot just because you hate them so much.

Posted by: drindl | November 2, 2007 4:32 PM | Report abuse

edit to say, I see no reason why that reasoning COULDN'T apply here.

Posted by: JD | November 2, 2007 4:32 PM | Report abuse

As for the compliments, likewise Colin.

I know that Rudy may be vulnerable to that charge; wasn't Bill Bradley also ridiculed when he told Iowa caucusers that he's for farm subsidies (ethanol) as prez, but was against them as a NJ senator, because now he has different constituencies?

I see no reason why that (somewhat sound) reasoning should apply here.

And frankly, I'm not sure I'd call Rudy a flip-flopper - he's been pretty consistent, like him or hate his positions. Mitt, yes, but Rudy no and McCain no.

HRC IMHO has done much worse; she's pandered - she voted for the Iraq vote when she thought the wind was blowing that way, then she voted against funding the troops once they were there, endangering our troops by denying them the equip and $ theysaid they needed. She needs to pick a side and stick with it.

Posted by: JD | November 2, 2007 4:31 PM | Report abuse

MikeB, I still don't see the problem with anchor babies. This woman claims she shouldn't be deported, because she has a baby who's a citizen. And yet it seems she was deported; having a citizen for a child doesn't give her any legal standing. It gives her a reason to complain, but that's not doing her any good. So why is this a problem?

Posted by: Blarg | November 2, 2007 4:30 PM | Report abuse

I'm not worried about "them" taking my job, mibrooks -- sorry to hear you have a job "they" might be qualified to take.

Posted by: Spectator2 | November 2, 2007 4:26 PM | Report abuse

I will blather on for a bit still about my "establishment wing" vs. "protest wing" theory.. the important implication, as I am sure many figured out already, is that the "real" race at this point is between Clinton on one side and Obama + Edwards on the other--a far closer call than Obama or Edwards by themselves. The vast majority of their supporters will likely fall in with the other's rather than Clinton's.

Posted by: roo_P | November 2, 2007 4:25 PM | Report abuse

Hey, we are at least getting the official word from one of the Clinton crowd! They want to legalize illegals, grant them all amnesty, Social Security benefits, free medical care, drivers licenses, and *your* job. Thank you Claudia!

Posted by: mibrooks27 | November 2, 2007 4:23 PM | Report abuse

"bsimon, out of curiosity, where do you live?"

I'm in Minneapolis.

Posted by: bsimon | November 2, 2007 4:23 PM | Report abuse

Blarg - It has always been my understanding that any children born to even one U.S. citizen is automatically a U.S. citizen, whether they are born on U.S. soil or not. I would not want that changed.

As for anchor babies, a good case in point is that Mexican woman who was held up in that Chicago church. She had entered the country illegally and been deported any number of times. On her last attempt, she was pregnant and had her child (paying nothing and sticking the hospital with the bill) at a U.S. border town hospital. Ever since, under the guise of "not breaking up the family", she and illegal apologists have been filing lawsuits and sob stries of their "plight" take up excess space in newspapers like the Post. I want people like THAT deported. I would even make illegal border crossing a felony and, if the courts do decide that the child is a U.S. citizen, take it from her as an unfit parent (a felon) and toss her back across the border. We make it far too easy for illegals and guest workers and the damage they do to U.S. workers is too often ignored.

Posted by: mibrooks27 | November 2, 2007 4:21 PM | Report abuse

'A contract employee of an Arizona nuclear plant was stopped at a plant entrance Friday with an explosive device in his truck, officials told CNN. The capped pipe was found in the truck bed during a regular security search outside the Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station -- the country's largest nuclear plant.'

just saw this. a 'contract employeer' --wonder if they do much background checking for contract workers at nuclear power plants- they're notoriously sloppy around here with Indian Point. which is why basic security precaustions should be government mandated and enforced.

i couldn't help wonder if he was illegal, or just one of our homegrown anti-government types. all the fences in the world won't stop the well-armed timothy mcvieghs of this country.

Posted by: drindl | November 2, 2007 4:20 PM | Report abuse

Yes, JD, agreed. But prices will still be higher -- in some cases much higher, and that's why the costs will balance out.

Posted by: drindl | November 2, 2007 4:07 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, Mark. So what's the threat of anchor babies? Is it the fact that the baby can return years later as a legal citizen? I don't see why this is such a big issue.

Posted by: Blarg | November 2, 2007 4:06 PM | Report abuse

' think getting the federal courts to declare immigrants to be part of an invading army would be very difficult. '

yeah, most invading armies doen't work at Perdue.

Posted by: drindl | November 2, 2007 4:05 PM | Report abuse

CC, you have finally came around in the Republican nomination race! I have said for a while it's down to 4 candidates, Romney, Guiliani, Huckabee & McCain. F. Thompson never impressed me, and it looks like the majority of conservatives agree. When I used to post under the name "reason", I wrote that for 2 weeks or so before this Line revealed it. F. Thompson don't cut it with Republicans. It looks like Romney is now the front runner, in my estimation. He's winning big in Iowa, and in NH. The endorsement of Sen. Gregg is icing on the cake in NH. I noticed he is now leading in SC, a state where Huckabee could certainly do well or even win, giving him a huge leg to stand on in this campaign. Nevada will be interesting, but Romney now leads there, too. Romney has big advantages in Michigan. Guiliani really needs to compete strong in Michigan & Florida, before the massive primaries on Feb. 2. Florida may be Guiliani's best hope for an out and out win before Feb. 2. Huckabee, to remain in the race, has to have at least 2nd place in Iowa and really needs to win it outright. Then it would be on to SC for Huckabee. NH will likely be won by Romney. Guiliani will very likely have a great day on Feb 2., but the nomination is still wide open. If Huckabee doesn't win Iowa or SC, he's gone. McCain just about has to take 1st place in NH to continue the race, but if he wins NH he's in it to win it. But, by the Florida/Michigan primaries, it could well be down to Romney vs. Guiliani if Huck can't win Iowa or SC and McCain doesn't win NH. Who knows how it will turn out at this point?

On the Democratic side, Clinton really looked like she was cruising until the debate this week. However, if Clinton wins Iowa it's over and she will win the nomination. If someone can beat her in Iowa, they can certainly beat her in SC, too. The good news for Obama & Edwards: there is a great shot one of them will win Iowa.

Posted by: bryant_flier2006 | November 2, 2007 4:01 PM | Report abuse

Minors generally get deported with their deportee parents, blarg.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | November 2, 2007 4:01 PM | Report abuse

JD -- thanks for the info. Like I said, I wasn't sure if provisions for funding had been made or not. At the very least, I respect the fact that you're prepared to pay for what these new measures will cost. As usual, I admire your intellectual honesty. On the merits, I'd still prefer to see the Feds come up with a comprehensive solution. Immigration seems like the perfect example of when a federal solution is superior to a patchwork approach.

Here's a general immigration question for everyone. If either Romney or Rudy are the GOP candidate, will they really be able to hit immigration hard? Both were STRONG advocates for amnesty-like programs before they started running for the GOP nod. It would be pretty easy for Clinton or Obama to throw up some very nasty video clips showing both Romney and Rudy sounding quite liberal on the issue. I'd be curious to hear others thoughts. [NB -- especially since both Rudy and Romney have flip-flopped on a number of other issues too. That really will be a strong narrative to use against the GOP this go-round]

Posted by: _Colin | November 2, 2007 4:00 PM | Report abuse

Claudia, you say the prices for those things will go up.

I look at it from an economist's POV: the prices will settle at the 'correct' level, no longer artificially influenced downward by the shadow economy's effects.

Posted by: JD | November 2, 2007 3:59 PM | Report abuse

bsimon, out of curiosity, where do you live?

Also, I notice that the whackjob Rufii have not posted here. How nice. I guess he's participating in an important experiment

http://people.csail.mit.edu/rahimi/helmet/

Posted by: JD | November 2, 2007 3:57 PM | Report abuse

'we save $ in the long run (less crime, less emerg room visits, less schooling of the illegals, etc)."'

well, yes and no. a lot of prices will go up -- food, construction, landscaping, childcare, so I expect it to probably just kind of balance out. Since there are many Americans who rreally cna't afford to live on what illegals work for, certain jobs will have to pay more and of course, costs will be passed on to consumer.

I still think however, employers and illegals should be punished, because they are both breaking our laws. And I agree Mark, that the current situation with SS/undocs is absured.

dave-'Remove the artificial watering holes' did I miss something. I confess, I don't have a clue what you'r talking about here. As to the fence, if you've visited along the border much, you'll see how silly and how ridiculously expenesive it will be. As far as technology, that's a different matter. The money would be better spent on camera, motion sensors, etc, increased border patrol too. National Guard -- we ain't got the number, they're in Iraq.Minutemen? Oh yeah, that's a good idea. Give a bunch of racist gun nuts a license to kill and watch them go in and shoot up whole towns. Bad bad idea, Dave.

The driver's license thing is a real quandry. I don't think it's an easy yes or no at all. Licensing them provides a way of tracking them... knowing who they are and that they are here. They will also need to buy liability insurance to drive, so if you are in an acicdent will them, they will pay. The way it is now, they can simply disappear after an accident, with no way to track them down.

Posted by: drindl | November 2, 2007 3:56 PM | Report abuse

MikeB, what about couples where one member is a citizen and the other isn't? It would be extremely unfair to deny citizenship to their children. But allowing their children to be citizens could still allow some form of anchor babies to be legal, in certain circumstances.

Could someone explain what is helpful about an anchor baby? If two illegal immigrants have a baby and the baby is a citizen, how does that benefit them? They can still be deported. Or are there exemptions to immigration laws for parents of citizens? If so, maybe that's the laws that should be revised, not the 14th Amendment.

I think getting the federal courts to declare immigrants to be part of an invading army would be very difficult. Particularly since there's absolutely no evidence to support that stance. But I don't know the relevant statues; as I've told you before, I'm not a lawyer. I'm a software engineer.

Posted by: Blarg | November 2, 2007 3:56 PM | Report abuse

proudtobeGOP--I was trying to explore that hypothetical (among others) earlier. If we assume that Clinton and Obama are the two winners, how are the backers for the other candidates going to break? Will enough go to Obama to bring the two even nationally? What is the scenario if it is Clinton and Edwards or Biden? What about Obama vs. Biden?

I was trying to get a gauge how people figure the "factions" within the Democratic party--how many, if it comes to an either-or choice, will break for Clinton and how many for Obama/Edwards/Biden/Whoever.

In my view, Clinton, Biden, Richardson and possibly Dodd are sort of the "establishment wing" of the party. In a head-to-head between Clinton and anyone above, Clinton wins (unless she has made some huge blunder.) On the other side there is the "protest wing" with Obama, Edwards and recently Dodd and a matchup between one from either camp would be more even. Then there is the "unfairly labeled kooky wing" of Kuchinich and Gravel, neither of whom likely have a chance (I can hope though!) and both of whom fall in the "protest" camp.

Posted by: roo_P | November 2, 2007 3:54 PM | Report abuse

M in A, since HRC's major weakness will be her illegal immigration stance (in the primary, but mainly in the genera), I don't think you're threadjacking at all.

Posted by: JD | November 2, 2007 3:53 PM | Report abuse

Colin, I think that's incorrect. I saw the hearing (and wow did it go late into the night), and they talked about another $1m needed. This is in light of Keane's budget cuts to the counties, which was mentioned many times (gotta save that rainy day fund to keep the AAA bond rating....).

I don't think they've passed the tax increase yet, but I can tell you that living in the highest per-capita-tax paying zip (property taxes are constant %, and our houses here in the west are worth the most), that I'm ready for it. And I'm OK with it.

Corey Stewart (sp?) is the one spearheading this, and he's got my vote. THey had the Sheriff on the radio the next day and he explained all the training with ICE that they need to do (which will drive the cost). The training is to make sure we're legal and lawsuit-proof, and make sure we don't use racial profiling to execute the board's wishes.

That's not to say we won't get sued - I heard some Puerto Rican Defense Fund meddlers from NYC have filed suit (tell me again their standing?), but I'm confident we'll hammer them in court.

Posted by: JD | November 2, 2007 3:49 PM | Report abuse

dave, colin, bsimon, blarg, jason, Citizen, and MikeB - this threadjack is not my fault, but I do like it.

1] Dave's list - limit the fences to the twin cities where they can be visually policed and where they provide some disincentive to the immediate overwhelming of Laredo, El Paso, San Diego with drugs and street people. Go with hitech, BP, and NG on the huge rural stretches.
2] What bsimon and Colin said: Get a consistent employment policy that is enforceable - probably includes ID cards.
Couple of years away from when it is first legislated, so get the SS situation fixed now.
3] jason - we are going to need a farm/ranch worker program not because of the oft repeated "Americans won't do it" but because the native population of W. TX, NM, AZ, and CA doesn't even produce enough eligilbe workers who are otherwise unemployed.
We will need that as soon as we can get it in place.
4] Citizen, withholding public health service from anyone is a recipe for epidemic. That's like saying you won't put out a fire at a burning building because it is full of squatters.
5] Citizen, Mike, blarg - The 14th A was affirmatively debated in 1866 to include as citizens the children of the Chinese coolies who built the UP and SP railroads . The way to deal with "anchor babies" is not to panic about them but to include in the next round of NAFTA negotiation an amendment that addressed the children of illegal "alien" workers as citizens of their countries of origins. Treaties are on parity with the Constitution.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | November 2, 2007 3:48 PM | Report abuse

Blarg, I suppose I would deny citizenship to the children of both groups. I imagine there are plenty of Mexican's here, who were supposedly taking a trip to visit a relative in L.A. or wherever, and just disappear once across the border. The local hospitals, here, see about a quarter of births from Mexican and outh AMercian nations who purposefully came here to have an "anchor baby". I went back and read the 14th Amendment and suppose a good argument could be made that these people aren't just graking U.S. law, they are part of an enemy invasion, and any children born to them would not be granted U.S. citizenship as a result of being born in the U.S. I'm not sure if you're a lawyer, too, but I've heard that argument made and that the issue has never been before the federal courts and am wondering if it's valid.

Posted by: mibrooks27 | November 2, 2007 3:39 PM | Report abuse

WHAT IF THE IOWA POLLS DON'T CHANGE?

What if the current polls in Iowa are the final result?

What if Hillary only narrowly beats Obama in the first caucus state?

With two months to go before the Iowa caucus, everything can change, and probably will, but it is worth speculating on what the impact will be if things don't change much from now until then.

"Edwards, who had been leading in Iowa until recently, would probably have to leave the race. That would coalesce the entire ABH vote (Anybody But Hillary) around Obama, giving him a leg up in the national race.

Hillary's vulnerability, newly revealed in the Iowa vote, could create a sense that she might not be electable given her baggage and lead Democratic voters to look seriously at Obama.

The result could be a real slugfest between the two candidates, making a mockery of the idea that her nomination is inevitable.

And the outcome? Hillary probably still wins. The history of Democratic primaries has always been that challengers emerge and run stronger than anyone believed they would but then fade and the front-runner prevails after all (see Bradley in 2000, Tsongas after New Hampshire and Brown after Connecticut in 1992, Gore after the Southern primaries in 1988, Hart in 1984 and Kennedy in 1980)."

http://www.vote.com/mmp_printerfriendly.php?id=538

There may be some, but not much doubt about Clinton's inevitable status as D nominee.

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | November 2, 2007 3:29 PM | Report abuse

MikeB, do you mean that citizenship shouldn't be granted to the children of illegal immigrants, or the children of non-citizens in general?

If it's the former, you have to deal with people who are legal immigrants but overstay their visas, which is a large proportion of illegal immigrants. Do their children stop being citizens when the parents' visas expire?

Posted by: Blarg | November 2, 2007 3:26 PM | Report abuse

mark - got it! And I would agree. Whatever it takes to get those people out of American jobs and off the job market! As for the automatic citizenship, what do you think of the argument that, as the children of illegals, there is no automatic citzenship for their children?

Posted by: mibrooks27 | November 2, 2007 3:17 PM | Report abuse

Congressman Ron Paul (R-Texas) is the leading advocate for freedom in our nation's capital. As a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, Dr. Paul tirelessly works for limited constitutional government, low taxes, free markets, and a return to sound monetary policies. He is known among his congressional colleagues and his constituents for his consistent voting record. Dr. Paul never votes for legislation unless the proposed measure is expressly authorized by the Constitution.

Border Security and Immigration Reform
The talk must stop. We must secure our borders now. A nation without secure borders is no nation at all. It makes no sense to fight terrorists abroad when our own front door is left unlocked.

This is my six point plan:

Physically secure our borders and coastlines. We must do whatever it takes to control entry into our country before we undertake complicated immigration reform proposals.

Enforce visa rules. Immigration officials must track visa holders and deport anyone who overstays their visa or otherwise violates U.S. law. This is especially important when we recall that a number of 9/11 terrorists had expired visas.

No amnesty. Estimates suggest that 10 to 20 million people are in our country illegally. That's a lot of people to reward for breaking our laws.

No welfare for illegal aliens. Americans have welcomed immigrants who seek opportunity, work hard, and play by the rules. But taxpayers should not pay for illegal immigrants who use hospitals, clinics, schools, roads, and social services.

End birthright citizenship. As long as illegal immigrants know their children born here will be citizens, the incentive to enter the U.S. illegally will remain strong.

Pass true immigration reform. The current system is incoherent and unfair. But current reform proposals would allow up to 60 million more immigrants into our country, according to the Heritage Foundation.

This is insanity.

Legal immigrants from all countries should face the same rules and waiting periods.

http://www.ronpaul2008.com/issues/border-security-and-immigration-reform/

Thanks for NAFTA and ILLEGALS CLINTON
US-Citizen

Posted by: US-Citizen | November 2, 2007 3:09 PM | Report abuse

I agree with your assessment, BSimon. Assistance to the Mexican economy as well as increased utilization of SS verification (with the ability to add it as a hiring standard subject to some sort of review).

If we agree that using cheap labor is an important part of our economy (which we can't but lets ignore that), maybe some sort of incentive to use South and Central American labor could be started.

Posted by: JasonL_in_MD | November 2, 2007 3:09 PM | Report abuse

Dave asks
"Where is the best bang for the buck?"

The best bang for the buck lies in 'G' None of the above. The problem is not a lack of border guards, or the lack of a fence. The problem is in the draw of easy employment. Take away the easy employment and people will stop risking their lives walking through the desert. It is still unclear to me how many people actually do cross on foot. I suspect that far more enter legally and fail to return home than actually 'sneak' over the border.

Posted by: bsimon | November 2, 2007 2:54 PM | Report abuse

While not surprised by the MSM The Fix continuing to trumpet their official picks of Sen Clinton and Mayor Guilani as if they were inevitable, I am surprised that Sen Dodd didn't go up in the rankings.

Never mind, they'll all be overshadowed by the Gore-Obama ticket in the end.

The people will be heard, no matter how the MSM tries to spin it.

Posted by: WillSeattle | November 2, 2007 2:51 PM | Report abuse

Dave -- I'm all for having the discussion your talking about, lets add a needed dimension. How much will each of those ideas cost and are you willing to pay for them.

The "wall" option, for example, would be prohibitively expensive. In San Diego, it cost $39 million to build the first 9 miles of a planned 100 mile wall. DHS estimates antipate approximately $5 million per mile to finish the wall in the San Diego area -- which has fewer logistical problems attached to it than building all along our borders would.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/10/09/AR2006100901006.html

Oh, and its also worth noting that (1) there's no consensus that a wall would actually be effective absent spending even MORE money on other enforcement mechanisms; and (2) it is HORRIBLE symbolism for the US.

Anyway, I'm all for a discussion about how to improve border security. But that discussion needs to be realistic, take into account costs, and recognize that enhanced policing of those employing illegal workers (with the kind of good faith protections Mark in Austin has noted) will be integral to any plan.

Just my two cents.

Posted by: _Colin | November 2, 2007 2:48 PM | Report abuse

Regarding the Rasmussen poll, the data is just from the debate. I support Hillary, but I suspect she takes a hit among white men in Iowa for the driver's license issue if for no other reason than the media won't shut up about it. Remember, the license moment was at the very end of the debate, so most people have just seen clips of her vacillating.

Also, I'd point out only three loony-bend Ron Paul posts. Don't know how you are doing it, but way to go CC!

Posted by: zmeunier | November 2, 2007 2:46 PM | Report abuse

LoudounVoter,
Whoops, my bad. Misread that you said 1984. Nixon did have a bigger percentage than Reagan in 84 and there were no real 3rd party candidates (as there were in 1980).

Posted by: dave | November 2, 2007 2:43 PM | Report abuse

LoudounVoter,
I think you are slightly incorrect on the percentages. Clinton 1996 - 49.2%, Reagan 1980 - 50.7%. You are correct about Nixon although he A) ran against McGovern and B) there was no credible 3rd party candidate like Anderson in 1980.

Posted by: dave | November 2, 2007 2:40 PM | Report abuse

There has been the IA discussion over the last couple days, mostly focused on what to do with IA's once they are here. Some have mentioned that it is important for the Feds to secure our border. How should that be done? Below is a list of possible suggestions off the top of my head (some of which I would not do). Any thoughts on ranking (or other suggestions) for the best solution? Where is the best bang for the buck?

-Build the fence
-Increase the border patrol numbers
-Utilize and develop technology
-Utilize Minutemen type groups
-National Guard
-Remove the artificial watering holes

Posted by: dave | November 2, 2007 2:34 PM | Report abuse

Roofelstoon, Hillary voted to authorize use of force against Iraq. She claims that she did not consider the vote as a vote for war, and that the president abused the authority given by Congress in starting the war. Recently, she voted for a bill that calls Iran a state sponsor of terrorism, but she's confident that Bush won't use that bill as justification to attack Iran. Many people think she's making exactly the same mistake twice. Or is she making two separate and distinct mistakes?

Posted by: Blarg | November 2, 2007 2:29 PM | Report abuse

Lyle: Clinton's popular vote margin in 1996 was actually a bit larger than Reagan's in 1980 -- Reagan won the EC by much more, of course.

And Nixon's popular vote margin in '72 was larger than Reagan's in '84, but the Trickster is not exactly a Republican "god," is he?

Posted by: Spectator2 | November 2, 2007 2:29 PM | Report abuse

LV: Along the same line RR was elected twice by vast margins and is considered a "God" by most repubs. Consider Bubba in a comparison by the dems, same thing, although he didn't win by margins even close to those of RR.

Posted by: lylepink | November 2, 2007 2:19 PM | Report abuse

Hillary is the smartest candidate on either side.

As you said Chris, she won't make the same mistake twice. But her opponents, be they GOP or Dems, will feel that if it worked once it'll work again... and again... and again... and

Maybe Hillary's misstep(s?) will make it look more like she's working to get the nomination rather than coasting towards the nomination. That's appealing to some folks.

Posted by: Roofelstoon | November 2, 2007 2:10 PM | Report abuse

bsimon: I think you are supporting Obama[not sure] and MarkinAustin is giving a legal opinion. There are issues illegal/undocumented that cross party lines. The law is pretty clear on a Federal leval, local not so. The primary reason for the Feds is to protect us from all enemies. By not proctecting our borders, they are violating our laws, it is that simple.

Posted by: lylepink | November 2, 2007 2:08 PM | Report abuse

MikeB, bsimon nailed it. As an employers' lawyer, I want to see Congress pass a shield law protecting employers from ER suits when they terminate new hires with phony SS cards.

As things stand, employers are in something akin to limbo when they want to terminate an undoc. I believe that EEOC would take the complaint of an undoc claiming discrimination on the basis of national origin. Seriously.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | November 2, 2007 2:00 PM | Report abuse

bringbackimus: "Just because Bill Clinton was the only Democrat to win office since Jimmy Carter's four year term, does not Clinton great. He ran against two weak elderly Republican candidates and won the presidency with under 50 percent of the vote."

Vote percentages are completely irrelevant to a determination of how great a president is. Our greatest president was elected intially with not even 40 percent of the vote. Fellow named Abe Lincoln.

Conversely, several absolutely horrible presidents piled up huge margins. Warren G. Harding got over 60 percent of the vote, for example.

Posted by: Spectator2 | November 2, 2007 1:53 PM | Report abuse

mibrooks writes
"Mark, I understand your agument, but isn't that abit of a red herring? I mean, there may be a very few cases of SSA "false findings". Today, with millions of people applying for and receiving SS, how many are "lost"?"

Mike, I'm not sure what you think Mark's argument is. I think he's complaining about the difficulty employers face when trying to do the right thing - not hire people with bad documents. A recent court ruling said that employers cannot fire employees with documents that the SSA says are invalid. You'd think that if an employer sends info to the SSA that implies they have a job applicant with fraudulent data that the feds would show up to investigate that person further. But that doesn't happen. The person gets hired anyay. In fact, it may be against the law to NOT hire that person.

Posted by: bsimon | November 2, 2007 1:46 PM | Report abuse

"The latest Rasmussen poll is showing her support rose AFTER the debate. Sorry Chris it looks like the storyline will have to change."

Considering the debate was held Tues night & its now only Friday, I question whether it is appropriate to yet predict what the fallout from the debate is. It is certainly possible that HRC will gain support as a result, I'm just skeptical of any poll that purports to have reliable data that proves it. If a survey taken over the next couple days shows a boost, I'll be more convinced of your argument. Any results released today would have to have been conducted before many people were exposed to post-debate reports and discussion.

Posted by: bsimon | November 2, 2007 1:41 PM | Report abuse

Mark, I understand your agument, but isn't that abit of a red herring? I mean, there may be a very few cases of SSA "false findings". Today, with millions of people applying for and receiving SS, how many are "lost"? Compare this with the estimated number of illegals here, taking jobs from Amercian workers. What is that humber? 12 million? 38 million? The 12 million was two years ago and the 38 million is being widely used today, but who knows. Either of those numbers flat out dwarfs any mostakes that SSA could possible make. ANd, just as when SS or Medicare or Medicaid denies a claim, it is up to the applicant to appeal the finding. It would seem to me to be a simple matter to emplace a process of appeal of a negative finding, based solely on mistaken identity with fines and other draconian punishment for people (illegals and other identity thieves) abusing that appeal process, that would prolong the time period before an automaic termination took place. As things stand right now, however, for every case of a mistake we have thousands of American citizens without jobs, or taking pay and/or benefit decreases, because of these illegal immigrants.

Posted by: mibrooks27 | November 2, 2007 1:39 PM | Report abuse

The Dodd change is incomprehensible. Previously when you DID include Dodd, I would have said you did so incorrectly. Recently, though, Dodd has been making some waves and building support with his, frankly, leadership. Biden nor Richardson have gone *nowhere* in the same time.

Posted by: roo_P | November 2, 2007 1:39 PM | Report abuse

The latest Rasmussen poll is showing her support rose AFTER the debate. Sorry Chris it looks like the storyline will have to change.

Posted by: johnbsmrk | November 2, 2007 1:29 PM | Report abuse

Good column, good picks.

I hope that Joe Biden's foreign policy acumen and intellect lead to an upward trajectory for his campaign. In my mind, Biden is the strongest Democrat on foreign policy and John Edwards is the strongest Democrat on domestic policy. I would be happy to have either or both on the Democratic ticket in 2008.

With respect to Senator Clinton, her candidacy is well organized and well-financed. That said, this writer would be far happier about her candidacy if the Senator would take a firm position on something... anything...

Posted by: ANetliner | November 2, 2007 1:29 PM | Report abuse

(Obama supporter)

The Clintons are popular among the Democratic base, who credit them with reviving the party in the 1990s. However, outside the base, independent voters, new voters, some Southern Democrats, and moderate Republicans are much more skeptical. I have not heard a compelling story from Sen. Clinton about how she plans to win enough of those folks over to win a general election. I fear that Democrats think it's "our year" and that we'll win simply because the GOP is weak. No, the nominee will have to put together a coalition with at least one more state than Kerry or Gore won. If Clinton can explain how she will do that, I'd be a lot more comfortable with her as the nominee. Until then, Sen. Obama is my choice.

Posted by: wesfromGA | November 2, 2007 1:28 PM | Report abuse

Obama called Clinton out on her transparent "weak little girl" inferences:

http://www.reuters.com/article/politicsNews/idUSN0254101120071102

Posted by: roo_P | November 2, 2007 1:27 PM | Report abuse

Some good stuff this morning.
Dave, thanks for posting the PWC resolution at the previous thread.
HRC could have dealt with the NYDL flap by truthfully saying Chertoff approved it as an anti-terror measure, but she was unprepared and missed it.

That is no biggie, really.

The biggie is the one I ID'd previously and bsimon IDs today: to we independents, IAs and undocs are a real big issue and the Ds have avoided addressing it. The Ds do not have to address it like Tancredo and Hunter, or like KBH's modest proposal, or like McCain's current proposal; and like Rs they need not be in unison. But if they do not address it at all, Indies will believe they have no one listening over "there."

And again I tell the tale of having recently done an SS# search for a conscientious employer/client. We learned that his new hire's SS# is "false". SS then WARNS us we must double check,and send the new hire to the local S office, and in a month or so ask the new hire what happened; BUT MY CLIENT SHOULD NOT FIRE THE NEW HIRE BASED ON THE "FALSE" FINDING FROM SSA.

The Ds could say as little as bsimon suggests and that would be infinitely more than they are saying now.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | November 2, 2007 1:05 PM | Report abuse

With respect to your surprise that Fred Thompson has not done better, have you considered that his health problems may be worse than he has let on? I do not know whether that is true, but his lethargic performance to date -- such as his infamous four-minute speech in Florida -- suggests that he simply is not up to the grueling demands of a modern Presidential campaign.

Posted by: lydgate | November 2, 2007 1:02 PM | Report abuse

'She is a perpetual liar just like anyone else that grew up in Illinois. She has NO norms and values and says what sounds good at the moment. She is BS artist at the highest level, nothing more.'

hilarious. i guess that includes abraham lincoln too?

i see idiotitis is spreading and getting mor whacked out every day..

Posted by: drindl | November 2, 2007 1:00 PM | Report abuse

Just ran across this, so apropos today:

'James Madison, in a speech to the Virginia Convention in 1788:

I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations.'

Posted by: drindl | November 2, 2007 12:58 PM | Report abuse

She is a perpetual liar just like anyone else that grew up in Illinois. She has NO norms and values and says what sounds good at the moment. She is BS artist at the highest level, nothing more.

Posted by: virgin12 | November 2, 2007 12:57 PM | Report abuse

Clarification: I meant that imposing democracy from high on Iraqis is a harebrained neoconservative concept, not democracy itself. Rushed wording and typing there.

Posted by: mkarns | November 2, 2007 12:50 PM | Report abuse

US-Citizen: That is about the best suggestion I've seen for a long time. I would add what I think is the most important--Impose Heavy Santions on the Employers that hire these folks. I have thought for a long time that eliminating the jobs being offered is a prime deterrent. When you look at where the jobs being offered are in a few industries/areas where profit is marginal and depends to a large degree on labor costs. A bunch is paid under the table to avoid FICA and other taxes, this is where the lowering of wages arguement comes in and it is a false arguement, IMO.

Posted by: lylepink | November 2, 2007 12:49 PM | Report abuse

"So, do you think that we might be hearing a little bit more about Iraq if things were deteriorating instead of improving since the surge? If (and obviously this is a really BIG IF) this trend continues, what will the Dems run on next year?"

Nice try, but most Americans have long since concluded that the war is not worth it. In light of the nonexistent WMD's, the administration decided we should expend soldiers and money there in order to build a "democracy", a harebrained neoconservative concept that most Americans view as not worth the trouble, even at a somewhat lower level of bloodshed.

If Iraq had really been a threat instead of a trumped up one, or if we had gone in with an adequate force to begin with, then maybe Bush's policy will be popular. But he blew it, and it's probably too late to turn that around in a major way.

And the Republicans running to succeed him are only digging their own political graves by swearing allegiance to his Iraq policy. Especially as the GOP apparently thinks that propping up the Iraqi incompetents is more important than healthcare for children at home.

Posted by: mkarns | November 2, 2007 12:48 PM | Report abuse

Will Hillary accept the vp spot?

Frankly, I think she's pretty much peaked--although as the others attack her, she reinforces her base among women. But even that seems to be a limited opportunity since so many women don't like her.

Her biggest problem is the "enthusiasm" factor; she doesn't generate much. She's "safe" and "known," but beyond the women voters, about the best that can be said is that she makes few mistakes. That's not bad, but it does little to generate that enthusiasm.

Obama hasn't capitalized on his reputation as an inspirational speaker or as a prodigious fund-raiser; that just isn't enough.

Edwards hasn't gained much traction, much like the racing slicks used in his NASCAR state. Biden is starting to gain some momentum, but whether it will translate into a competitive war chest remains to be seen. Richardson, as CC says, is treading water; his early impressive ad campaign needs to be refreshed.

Kucinich and Paul should probably run together on the Outsider Party ticket: lots of enthusiastic supporters, but no chance in the general.

Posted by: orloski | November 2, 2007 12:48 PM | Report abuse

As far as Hillary being the front runner...funny, didn't they say that about Howard Dean last time around?

I'm still holding out slim hopes for Bill Richardson myself. He's a solid public servant, but regrettably, a lousy campaigner. He'd probably be better off running for the Senate seat and trying again in a few years. Which is too bad, because he could probably bring the US some foreign relations and energy credentials we so desperately need NOW.

Posted by: Chasmosaur1 | November 2, 2007 12:43 PM | Report abuse

At this point in the game, with only two months remaining before the Iowa caucuses, I would be willing place a very large wager that Hillary Clinton will win the Democratic nomination.

John Edwards is going to fight until the very end, but his hopes look grim. And Obama - I really have to say - he just isn't Presidential material. I don't even think it's his lack of experience. He's just not the type.

Posted by: audart | November 2, 2007 12:41 PM | Report abuse

You are amazed how little Rudy Giuliani's positions have been scrutinized by his rivals. You should be more amazed how little the media have done in this respect. Mr. Giuliani has not only adapted his positions to win enough conservative support to win the Republican nomination, he even resorts to outright lies to further his chances.
See on this,
http://www.reflectivepundit.com/reflectivepundit/2007/11/giuliani-oppose.html

Posted by: bn1123 | November 2, 2007 12:37 PM | Report abuse

Huckabee's raised $1.1 million since the first of October? Wonderful! And Ron Paul has raised over $2.6 million since the 1st of October. And was on the Tonight Show this week. And he's bought $1.1 million worth of advertising in New Hampshire. And his book is now in the Top 30 best sellers on Amazon.com. And the other night he won another Straw Poll, this one among SW Missouri Republicans. And Ron Paul is the only GOP candidate to have a headquarters in Nevada, who's caucuses are Jan. 19.

But you wouldn't know any of this unless I wrote it because Chris seems hell bound and determined to prop up the Huckabee camapaign regardless of what it costs his journalistic integrity and keep Ron Paul off his so-called "Line". So if Huckabee does well in Iowa, which he very well could, he will suffer just like every other Iowa or New Hampshire-centric campaign, trying to build a national campaign organization from scratch in the space of a few weeks with the primaries coming fast and furious. It simply cannot be done no matter how much money flows into Huckabee's coffers. Ron Paul, on the other hand, has supporters and organization in all 50 states.

What if Paul finishes a good third in Iowa? Would you deliberatley ignore him Chris just so you give all your ink to your long, lost brother Mike Huckabee or would you objectively appraise the situation after Iowa to show which candidate has a chance to compete for the nomination and which one doesn't?

Posted by: sean4 | November 2, 2007 12:32 PM | Report abuse

So, do you think that we might be hearing a little bit more about Iraq if things were deteriorating instead of improving since the surge? If (and obviously this is a really BIG IF) this trend continues, what will the Dems run on next year?

"The number of attacks against U.S. soldiers has fallen to levels not seen since before the February 2006 bombing of a Shiite shrine in Samarra that touched off waves of sectarian killing, according to U.S. military statistics released Thursday. The death toll for American troops in October fell to 39, the lowest level since March 2006, and the eighth-lowest total in 56 months of fighting, according to the Web site icasualties.org, which tracks military fatalities.

An unofficial Health Ministry tally showed that civilian deaths across Iraq rose last month compared with September, but the U.S. military found that such deaths fell from a high this year of about 2,800 in January to about 800 in October."

Posted by: dave | November 2, 2007 12:32 PM | Report abuse

One quick comment. The Republicans haven't yet started really going after each other, and that's probably smart. They'll get more bang out of their oppo research in January and early February than if they unleash it now.

Good article in the new TNR about the contours of the coming Republican fight: http://www.tnr.com/politics/story.html?id=6b76c3e3-a3f8-432a-9710-56a5e85e3c85

Posted by: novamatt | November 2, 2007 12:28 PM | Report abuse

I seem to be the only Hillary supporter again today. JacksonLanders: Did I misread your post on the other thread, where you stated you were a loyal dem but would not vote for Hillary in the General if she is the dem nominee??

Posted by: lylepink | November 2, 2007 12:23 PM | Report abuse

Congressman Ron Paul (R-Texas) is the leading advocate for freedom in our nation's capital. As a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, Dr. Paul tirelessly works for limited constitutional government, low taxes, free markets, and a return to sound monetary policies. He is known among his congressional colleagues and his constituents for his consistent voting record. Dr. Paul never votes for legislation unless the proposed measure is expressly authorized by the Constitution.

Border Security and Immigration Reform
The talk must stop. We must secure our borders now. A nation without secure borders is no nation at all. It makes no sense to fight terrorists abroad when our own front door is left unlocked.

This is my six point plan:

Physically secure our borders and coastlines. We must do whatever it takes to control entry into our country before we undertake complicated immigration reform proposals.

Enforce visa rules. Immigration officials must track visa holders and deport anyone who overstays their visa or otherwise violates U.S. law. This is especially important when we recall that a number of 9/11 terrorists had expired visas.
No amnesty. Estimates suggest that 10 to 20 million people are in our country illegally. That's a lot of people to reward for breaking our laws.

No welfare for illegal aliens. Americans have welcomed immigrants who seek opportunity, work hard, and play by the rules. But taxpayers should not pay for illegal immigrants who use hospitals, clinics, schools, roads, and social services.

End birthright citizenship. As long as illegal immigrants know their children born here will be citizens, the incentive to enter the U.S. illegally will remain strong.

Pass true immigration reform. The current system is incoherent and unfair. But current reform proposals would allow up to 60 million more immigrants into our country, according to the Heritage Foundation. This is insanity. Legal immigrants from all countries should face the same rules and waiting periods.

http://www.ronpaul2008.com/issues/border-security-and-immigration-reform/

Posted by: US-Citizen | November 2, 2007 12:19 PM | Report abuse

con_crusher...i love the associations people make. What in the world does nude TV have to do with Senator Obama getting elected? Obviously, according to historical precedent, any white-haired white guy has the best chance during the general. Strange, though, that the two overall front runners are neither of those things. Also, obviously, there are plenty of lunatics out there who wouldn't want to vote for someone a) who is African American or b) has a funny name. I'll posture that those same folks wouldn't be a) voting for a Democrat at all, b) won't be any more inspired to cast a vote for a Mormon or New York City Italian-American and c) wouldn't vote for a woman if their life depended on it.
In that the field actually has some ethnic and gender individuality happening this time, I think those who would vote on those lines are going to be nullified.
To elaborate on the gender issue, in the very least, racism is acknowledged in this country. People, even if they don't mean it, discourage rascism or the appearance of racism. There is a strong undercurrent of guilt, and I think a large majority of the population would like to see some of that tension rectified. As for sexism, it is not acknowledged and for that reason is almost more insidious. There are arguably just as many women who wouldn't vote for a woman at all as there are women who would choose the female candidate because of her gender. In the case of African American men, I think the "fear" factor is very real and could prevent some voters from selecting Obama in the General. However, fear indicates some level of respect, in the very least. I think those who are opposed to Clinton are not afraid of her, they just flat out don't respect her. I think fear garners more votes than you would think, especially if 2000 and 2004 are any indication. I think it is a gross underestimation of Senator Obama's electability, especially considering the overall diversity of the field.

Posted by: squintz | November 2, 2007 12:19 PM | Report abuse

JD writes
"The idea is, by making PWC a far more unfriendly place to those who forgot to sign the guestbook before slipping under the fence, we save $ in the long run (less crime, less emerg room visits, less schooling of the illegals, etc)."

The merits of that kind of proposal certainly seem to appeal to people's more base instincts. I think the candidates should make the point that enforcement of immigration law & enforcement law is a federal problem & passing the burden down to local jurisdictions is inefficient & potentially counter productive. Why should PWC taxpayers bear the burden of a failure of the feds to do their job? Around here anyway, local budgets are tight enough without adding new tasks % responsibilities.

Posted by: bsimon | November 2, 2007 12:09 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, CC, can you PLEASE write mor about Joe Biden? By writing about Hillary everyday, you are increading her 'inevitably'...

Posted by: drindl | November 2, 2007 11:59 AM | Report abuse

con_crusher,
"nobody in their right mind believes that Obama can win a general election."

I don't think he can now. He performance has been lacking. Early on I truly believed he could win a general election based on the Obama I saw give the keynote address a few years back. But he has not been able to rekindle that magic. Regardless, there was absolutly no time that I cared one way or another about his name.

Posted by: dave | November 2, 2007 11:58 AM | Report abuse

JD -- correct me if I'm wrong, but my impression was that PWC voted to up enforcement BUT voted AGAINST raising the funds to enforce the new mandate. Which, in my view, is literally the most ridiculous option available.

Posted by: _Colin | November 2, 2007 11:57 AM | Report abuse

With every debate, the contrast between Biden and the other candidates becomes greater. His comment on Pakistan was an eye-opener for me. It's clear he understands the Big Picture in the Middle East, and the interrelatedness of the countries. We need that type of experience at this time. A true statesman.


Posted by: gateley1 | November 2, 2007 11:55 AM | Report abuse

S'he is also taking money from defense contractors. Now, that's a group strange bed fellows who would profit from a war with Iran. (see last weeks "The Nation")'

all agreed, but still, that would very likely mean a win for Rudy--who has PROMISED war with Iran.

Posted by: drindl | November 2, 2007 11:49 AM | Report abuse

Edwards still has an opprtunity. The economy is heading south as we speak. The employment number released today we analyszed by the BCC and found "wanting" - over 80% of those newly employed were "immigrants", both illegal and legal and NOT U.S. workers at all. Even Wall Street is starting understand that things are going to get a lot worse. The ONLY candidate who predicted this mess and has a plan to deal with it is Edwards. Clinton and Bush and their "free market" insanity is the cause of this mes. Once the voters wake up, CLinton will end up being tossed like yesterdays garbage. All she has to offer is shrill feminism, male bashing remarks, hatred, fear, and greed. She has no polcies, at least none that anyone knows of, and her followers are so wrapped up in the same sort of fear and anger that drove the Bush machine...and this country right off a cliff.

Posted by: mibrooks27 | November 2, 2007 11:42 AM | Report abuse

bsimon, as you are one of the most intelligent and reasoned ones on this board (even if you and I probably vote diffently), again I agree with your analysis.

Interesting about the illegal immigration cost question; my county (PWC, to the 5% of you who are local to the WaPo), is wrestling with that now - do they adopt a tax increase to deal wtih the costs of training the cops on how to deal with the illegals. It was a unanimous vote by our Board - do it. This includes Dems and Repubs.

The idea is, by making PWC a far more unfriendly place to those who forgot to sign the guestbook before slipping under the fence, we save $ in the long run (less crime, less emerg room visits, less schooling of the illegals, etc).

Posted by: JD | November 2, 2007 11:41 AM | Report abuse

Chris, The media focus on Clinton and Obama continues to make them the front runners not their positions on issues important to the American public. Biden is looking to be Hillary's Secretary of State and Richardson wants to be her VP. So, the only really serious rival is Edwards who is ignored.

I am a Democrate but I will never vote for Clinton. Her supporters include Bush's former partner in Harken Oil (Quashe). He is collecting donations to her from hedge fund operators on Wall Street. She is also taking money from defense contractors. Now, that's a group strange bed fellows who would profit from a war with Iran. (see last weeks "The Nation")

If Edwards does not win the nomination I hope he forms a third party. If Clinton wins Dean will be out of the DNC and the gang of "Republican Lite" the DLC will move back in. It's not a party I can attend and it will be a party orchestrated by the media.

Posted by: Duky | November 2, 2007 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Your use of dialectical dissonance is correct. Hillary hasn't tied up or lost the race. Iowa is important, but she can still get the nomination without winning Iowa. Still, she should definitely finish at least second. As you mentioned, she has the $ and such to win. But it will ultimately come down to whether or not she can win the nomination. Let's make something crystal clear, though: nobody in their right mind believes that Obama can win a general election. America doesn't even show nudity on free TV. It's not an issue for me, but he has electability problems with his name alone. You think the "Bubba" voters that Howard Dean alluded to a few years ago, will pull the lever for a dude named "Barrack Hussein Obama"? If his first name were Bob or Jim, he might have something there. The race will essentially come down to Hillary's and Edwards' #1 assets: Hillary's $ versus Edward's electability. Conventional wisdom says that as a while male, Edwards would match up better in red/purple states. But there don't seem to even be a copious number of Dems who are saying, "Let's give this guy another chance." Like McCain, if voters in Edwards' party have seen Edwards and know what he's about--yet still haven't decided to give him another shot on the ticket--his chances of getting the nomination are probably slim to none. Also, "Mr. Nice Guy" won't fare well against the ruthless, unfounded bombardments of Rove/FOX News. Edwards is like a smarter version of Dan Quayle. The Boy Scout aura still won't get it done, though.

Posted by: con_crusher | November 2, 2007 11:33 AM | Report abuse

Colin: Many months ago I made the statement,IMO, "Obama has ZERO chance of being elected POTUS in 2008." That was my opinion then and now. There are no "Facts" to support my opinion, and it is my opinion, either way. You may consider the media, as a group, tend to be more repub and not the "Liberal Media" so many of them keep repeating. Obama was the media "Rock Star" early on, and to an extent still is. The repubs want to run against the one they think they can beat, and that is Obama. Hillary is by far the one they fear the most, and has been all along. This is about as close to "Facts" as I can give you.

Posted by: lylepink | November 2, 2007 11:24 AM | Report abuse

'The Dems will blow a golden opportunity to improve the political dialogue in this country if they nominate her.'

I'm sorry, bsimon but the R's will not allow that to happen. Irrationally and hate work really well for them, they will not let that paradigm change.

Posted by: drindl | November 2, 2007 11:13 AM | Report abuse

LOL--exactly what I knew you would say...

'Most R's, IMO, would have no problem with paying to make this happen. The money to pay for it does not have to come from raising taxes, it could alternatively come from a cut in spending somewhere else or deficit spending'

In other words, you wouldn't spend a cent. "A cut in spending somehwere else" --and where would that be? The FCC? So there's more toxic untested pharma out there? The FDA? So there's more e-coli? Defense contracts -- hey since most of that's wasted on fraud and cronies, I'm with you there. But I suspect you wouldn't want to cut there. So it's the usual phoniess. You guys don't want to pay for ANYTHING -- you're leaches. You have no problem saddling your children and grandchildren with mountains of debt, however. Selfish, selfish.

Posted by: drindl | November 2, 2007 11:10 AM | Report abuse

Chris, thanks for giving the best candidate, Joe Biden, some of his due. He is going to surprise some people, I assure you. He ain't no Mo Udall, you know...Go Joe!

Posted by: soonerthought | November 2, 2007 10:57 AM | Report abuse

"So any dem candiadte who is a decent soul has very little chance. Bill and Hillary both are tough as nails, and that is what is needed to survive the cock fights that have become our elections. I don't like it, but I recognize it."

That raises the age-old question. If you compromise your principles in order to win, have you actually won anything?

If we have replaced a brutal dictator with torture chambers of our own, have we made the world a better place?

If Dems can win back the Presidency by exploiting wedge issues that further divide the country, are they really offering anything better than the last 7 years?

In my opinion, a vote for HRC is a vote for partisan bickering, wedge issues, gridlock and negative progress. The Dems will blow a golden opportunity to improve the political dialogue in this country if they nominate her.

Posted by: bsimon | November 2, 2007 10:53 AM | Report abuse

Check out some of the already dirty fliers and releases the GOP is running after Clinton's comments on illegal immigrants: http://www.campaigndiaries.com/2007/11/driver-lincenses-for-immigrants-story.html

And in Senate news, check out the first poll pitting Elizabeth Dole with her new challenger Kay Hagan, released yesterday: http://www.campaigndiaries.com/2007/11/more-senate-news-dole-on-verge-of.html

Posted by: campaigndiaries | November 2, 2007 10:46 AM | Report abuse

my criticism is for Hillary. I like all the other candidates and if you read my posts i would think it obvious that I support Obama.

Posted by: vwcat | November 2, 2007 10:45 AM | Report abuse

this is the future, folks..water fights between farmers, fisherfok, and municipalities:

'In the latest attempt to grapple with one of the harshest droughts on record and a decades-old battle over water rights, the Bush administration brokered a deal Thursday among three states that should keep Atlanta's water supply flowing.

Under the deal, the Army Corps of Engineers would send less water to Alabama and Florida from Georgia reservoirs that the corps has jurisdiction over. The move would curtail water to power plants, farms, commercial fisheries and smaller municipalities in the two states.

Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne said the agreement could put an end to lawsuits involving the corps and all three states. He said the water changes could go into effect in two weeks if the federal Fish and Wildlife Service gives preliminary approval.

State and federal agencies estimated before the deal that water supplies for Atlanta and some other cities in the region could begin running out in three to nine months.'

Posted by: drindl | November 2, 2007 10:44 AM | Report abuse

drop thompson and stick ron paul in there. he has money, he has the youth vote in spades, and republicans on the far right that thompson attracts won't vote for a man who lets his trophy wife run his staff around likekids at recess

Posted by: candylane | November 2, 2007 10:43 AM | Report abuse

bsimon,
"How badly do you want all those immigrants gone? How much are you willing to spend to make it happen?" Most R's, IMO, would have no problem with paying to make this happen. The money to pay for it does not have to come from raising taxes, it could alternatively come from a cut in spending somewhere else or deficit spending. My feelings are that the only way it shouldn't be done is by deficit spending. But the problem has not been one of money, it's been the lack of political will.

"does HRC have any principles on which to make a stand? I suspect not." Is political expediency a principle? I still maintain that not taking a position is better that taking the "wrong" one. Ron Paul and Dennis Kucinich appear to me to pick principled positions and state them clearly. While that is part of their appeal, it also is part of their problem and definitely the reason the polls show minimal support for them.

Posted by: dave | November 2, 2007 10:39 AM | Report abuse

Hillary hasn't made many mistakes and I expect her to clarify the license issue soon. She is sharp....as for Hizzoner ...I think that the Hillary fklash is protecting him but once some of his real views and flips get out bye bye

Posted by: heavenlycharlie | November 2, 2007 10:33 AM | Report abuse

Chris has repeated Harold Wolfson's talking points since the debate on Tuesday evening. At least today, he has backed off a little on the Clinton rhetoric. His observation about Obama's style is correct. Obama is not a screamer or an "in your face type of human being". If he were to sling attacks at H. Clinton, it would come off as forced and phony. Obama has a quiet, but intellegent strengh, and is appealing to many voters who are tired of the nasty rhetoric of politics in the 21st century. Even many Republicans state that they like Sen. Obama.
I am a Democrat, but my opinion of the Clintons is far from near "reverence". Just because Bill Clinton was the only Democrat to win office since Jimmy Carter's four year term, does not Clinton great. He ran against two weak elderly Republican candidates and won the presidency with under 50 percent of the vote. The last "great" Democrat was RFK.

Posted by: bringbackimus | November 2, 2007 10:33 AM | Report abuse

'How badly do you want all those immigrants gone? How much are you willing to spend to make it happen?'

You hit the nail on the head, bsimon. The folks screaming the loudest about undocs are the ones least likely to want to lift a finger or spend a cent doing sonmething about it. You can imagine how fast they'd bail on this occupation too if they actually had to pay for it.

Posted by: drindl | November 2, 2007 10:28 AM | Report abuse

'Apologies if I've misread your views or if I'm simply overbearing on the issue.'

Not at all, Colin. You are never overbearing, always the most thoughtful of posters. I guess my point is that politics in this country has become, largely through the many years of daily onslaughts of propagandists like rush limbaugh, a savagely partisan brawl. I can turn on 770 AM on my car radio, 24 hours a day --and within five seconds or less, hear a scathing attack on all Democrats. there's nothing comparable to it on the left. So any dem candiadte who is a decent soul has very little chance. Bill and Hillary both are tough as nails, and that is what is needed to survive the cock fights that have become our elections. I don't like it, but I recognize it.

I am still sending money to Joe, but will support fully the dem nominee.

As for you vwcat, I have never heard you say a positive word about anybody or anything. Is there anyone you support, anything you for, rather than against?

Posted by: drindl | November 2, 2007 10:24 AM | Report abuse

JD writes
"If HRC *does* get knocked off her perch, it could very well be that illegal immigration position.

If you want to find one issue where the meat-eating Repubs, the liberatarians, and the southern Dems all agree, it's building a fence and getting a handle on that crowd. That will bring people out in droves to the polls, if it lasts as an issue; maybe the Dems biggest Achilles heel."


You could very well be correct. On the first part, I suspect her waffling on the Spitzer program could be used effectively to underscore her ongoing habit of trying to be all things to all voters. I had a thought the other day, and don't have an answer. It was: what core Dem constituency has HRC risked alienating by taking a principled stand? Given the breadth of their support, it seeems you'd have to annoy one group or another - yet HRC has avoided this problem. I recall Obama, by comparison, going to the Teachers' union and arguing for merit pay or something equally distasteful to that group. Which makes me wonder - does HRC have any principles on which to make a stand? I suspect not.

On immigration itself, Dems risk getting caught without a program. If I were a Dem candidate for Pres, I would argue that existing law isn't being enforced & that the GOP has demonstrated an inability to effectively run the gov't. Here's the problem: it takes money to run the gov't. At some point you have to ask yourself, do you want services - like enforcing immigration law - or do you want low taxes? There ain't no such thing as a free lunch, GOP promises notwithstanding. Solving the immigration problem will have to start with increasing staffing at the SS admin, for starters, so they can do a better job of identifying which job applicants are legit & which are not. With more time, new programs can be designed & implemented that will be more efficient - but that takes time & money. How badly do you want all those immigrants gone? How much are you willing to spend to make it happen?

Posted by: bsimon | November 2, 2007 10:20 AM | Report abuse

The victim role worked in 2000 against Lazio because she was just coming out of the aftermath of the Moncia fallout and everyone felt sorry for her. the sympathy was very high.
However, it is now 2007. And she is running for president and the victim role isn't working anymore. She has overplayed that hand.
As for republicans, all the candidates can take care of themselves. And the polls are not going to show much movement regarding the debate fallout for awhile. But, Hillary was clearly exposed as playing the same games as Bill did in the 90s and that, too is no longer a viable game.

Posted by: vwcat | November 2, 2007 10:12 AM | Report abuse

Hillary Clinton: Ahead but electable? This is an obvious strategy by her opponents to put doubt in the heads of people inorder to reshape their choices.

In your opinion do you believe that Hillary Clinton is Electable?
----> http://www.youpolls.com/details.asp?pid=861

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Posted by: PollM | November 2, 2007 10:08 AM | Report abuse

I think that folks are underestimating the importance of this week's debate. Hillary's performance, like a broadway show closing after only one night, was panned so broadly in the press that voters, whether they watched the debate or not, have developed the perception the Hillary is a deeply flawed candidate.

Can she recover. I think not. She was obviously flustered by having her character being brought into the campaign. Say what you like about her, she can not accept criticism with dignity. This is the same character flaw that our current President displays with great regularity. His propensity for "going it alone" is the root cause of his blunders.

The American people know Bill Clinton, and Hillary is certainly not cut from the same cloth. A Hillary presidency would resemble Bush's to a degree not fully appreciated by the public. She does not have the intellectual nimbleness nor the humility to excercise the discerning judgment that will be required of our next President.

Hillary is a candidate with a short shelf life. Her expiration date is fast coming up.

Posted by: kolp999 | November 2, 2007 10:07 AM | Report abuse

Outside of the 7 years as Senator, we don't know what Clinton's experience really is since she will not release her White House papers.
isn't that the basis of her whole argument for experience?
As for Obama's experience. I believe 8 years as a state senator who Successfully worked on Health Care for those under 18,ect., and the 3 in the US Senate, and as a Constitutional law professor, his experience seems to top Hillary's by a quite a bit.
Most of Hillary's experience is trading on family, just like King George has.
I would also urge people to check the Senate site and look at what exactly Hillary has done there besides vote for war twice and introduce a flag burning bill.

Posted by: vwcat | November 2, 2007 10:03 AM | Report abuse

Drindl -- I hear what you're saying. I just think it's worth remembering that (1) Democrats actually CAN win even when Republicans engage in smear tactics; and (2) The Clinton was of winning isn't the only way. Moreover, neither Senator nor Biden are John Kerry, who was a decent man but a TERRIBLE candidate. A more competent politician never would have allowed themselves to get smeared the way he did, especially when you consider that he ended the election with $ in the bank.

Anyway, you should obviously support whoever you like. I just hate to see Hillary gain ground based upon, in my view, a false sense of inevitability. Apologies if I've misread your views or if I'm simply overbearing on the issue.

Posted by: _Colin | November 2, 2007 10:02 AM | Report abuse

Colin, again, look at what they did to John Kerry, a war hero. And remember that Guiliani has just as high negatives nationwide, as Hillary. And hey, I really like Obama. But he doesn't seem to be breaking through. and ditto for Joe Biden.

I'm just seeing that for peoople I know who don't really pay attention to politics [most of the public], Hillary seems to be the default candidate for some reason I cannot really fathom, except that they know who she is.

Unfortunately we live in a country where almost everyone knows the state of angelina and brad's marriage, or who has custody of Britney's kids, but they have no idea who the presidential candidates are. Which is why we have people who are better equipped for a sandbox than an oval office running this country.

Posted by: drindl | November 2, 2007 9:53 AM | Report abuse

First time I actually agree with most of what you say. As to Clinton's prospects (and I'm not a fan) the liklihood of a "downward momentum" for her are probably overblown by the press and her opponents' spinners. Considering the pile-on she dealt with in that debate, she acquitted herself well enough. Obama raised his long term prospects (2012?) by keeping it dignified, and Edwards came off as an aggressive trial lawyer with no ideas of his own- bad idea in Iowa. Once the scrutiny turns to the top two Republicans on your line, and their flip-flop whoppers on gun control, abortion and "gay" issues, Clinton will start to look like the Rock of Gibralter. And a Republican who can't look steady on those issues loses.

Posted by: dyinglikeflies | November 2, 2007 9:50 AM | Report abuse

Lyle -- I'd still love to know how you characterize Obama's chances at the presidency at 0%. You know, since polls show he would beat all of the GOP candidates just like Hillary in a general election. Any facts for your assertion?

Drindl -- Certainly the GOP will try to smear any Dem who wins the nomination. But they've already succeeded in convincing 48% of the country that Hillary is terrible. There's no reason to think they'd be as succesful with other Dem candidates. Bill Clinton did, after all, manage to define HIMSELF in 1992 rather succesfully. Every now and again Democrats actually do win the spin battle -- which is worth remembering. As is the fact that Hillary is NOT inevitable.

Posted by: _Colin | November 2, 2007 9:44 AM | Report abuse

Could this be the rare election when voters recognize and support the most authentic, i.e., honest, independent-minded and credible candidates? Clearly Mike Huckabee has that quality and it is shining through, particularly against the phony posturing of Guiliani and Romney. Though a victim of his own pandering to the right and lousy campaign management, John McCain has a long record of service that will earn him at least grudging support from a significant share of GOP and independent voters in the early primaries.
On the Democratic side, my reading of his books and observation of Barrack Obama over the past year tells me this is a man who knows and is comfortable with who he is. Obama's unwillingness to adapted the aggressive and potentially divisive tone urged on him by the full time "fight promoters" in the press is simply another bellwether of his sound judgment ability to "wear well" long term with the electorate. This is a quality that is most important in a President and, in my view, clearly missing in Hillary Clinton's persona. She not only is a risky candidate in her own right, her name at the top of the ticket would most definitely reduce chances for producing a working majority for Democrats in the Congress, according to the most seasoned political pros and observers I know here in Texas and other states in the Midwest and Southwest.

Posted by: rbholcomb | November 2, 2007 9:36 AM | Report abuse

Blarg, whoever is the dem nominee will be demonized. That's what the so-called conservatives do. It's ALL they do. Think about it -- they're always calling their enemy du jour 'hitler' --they can never shut up about Hitler -- and 'enemies' and 'evil men' and 'terrists' and treason -- 'aiding the enemy' -- their rhetoric consists entirely of the language of visceral fear and hatred. Sure, they've had years to build up a real knee-jerk Pavlovian reservoir of hate for the Clintons, but you can bet whomever is the Dem nominee that there's already boatloads of oppo research, attack ads, character assasination and demonization waiting in the wings.

Probably very few peoople even know who John Kerry was before 2004 -- but look how effectively they managed to trash and tar him forever. It's the one thing they do very well-- they have a huge, tightly managed assasination machine-- and the MSM always obligingly plays right along.

Posted by: drindl | November 2, 2007 9:34 AM | Report abuse

This might be trivial, but why don't you have Richardson on the 'Going Down' list? Because he did.

Posted by: mutanttoasterfiend | November 2, 2007 9:33 AM | Report abuse

Chris,

Would you please write about something, ANYTHING, other than Hillary Clinton? It's like you're obsessed. Every one of your blog entries lately is Hillary, Hillary, Hillary. It got old a couple of days ago. There are many other viable candidates in the race. Please cover them.

Posted by: JacksonLanders | November 2, 2007 9:28 AM | Report abuse

Blarg: I think your favorite is Obama, not sure, and I still maintain he has ZERO chance of being elected POTUS in 2008. The greatest R boon, I think you meant BOOM, can also be said of the dems, when Hillary is nominated, because Bubba is still the best liked pol in the world.

Posted by: lylepink | November 2, 2007 9:25 AM | Report abuse

To add to jaybrams' comment... Hillary does have more experience over Edwards and Obama, but they're the only two the press keeps comparing her too.

Why won't the media compare Hillary's experience to Biden, Dodd, or Richardson? All three of them have more experience.

Posted by: badger3 | November 2, 2007 9:25 AM | Report abuse

I see Bush is channeling Malkin, Limbaugh, et al again... do you suppose Rush is his official Hater/Speechwriter now?

'In the same speech, Bush also linked Congressional Democrats to the liberal group MoveOn.org and the anti-war group Code Pink.

"When it comes to funding our troops, some in Washington should spend more time responding to the warnings of terrorists like Osama bin Laden and the requests of our commanders on the ground," Bush said, "and less time responding to the demands of MoveOn.org bloggers and Code Pink protesters."

I will be thrilled to have this tired and jaded crowd out of power just so I won't have to listen to them beating dead horses and flogging straw men and red herrings and torturing the language--there's hardly anything they're not sadistic about. And omigod, those scary grassroots organizations that want our young men and women to come home, they're 'terrorists' you know -- or they certainly will be before the next election.

And why have the R's not attacked each other? Because they are all [with the exception of McCain] animated with one principle only, which is fear and loathing of all democrats, but particularly the Clintons.

Posted by: drindl | November 2, 2007 9:24 AM | Report abuse

By all means, attack HRC's positions on a subject, but enough of the attacks on the stupid stuff--her hair, her makeup, her wardrobe, her laugh, her thighs, her choice of bras and her sexual preferences. That stuff is just mean, and won't play with most people--Hence the feeling that the victimology analysis is correct. If the Republicans are going to do anything, they really need an agenda that is more than WE HATE HILARY.

Posted by: melody | November 2, 2007 9:24 AM | Report abuse

johnbsmrk: You are rite on. Remember a few months back I told "The Fix" about some friends traveling through Iowa had told me not to be suprised if Hillary won Iowa. At the time Edwards was running way ahead. From all indicaters that can be measured, IMO, Edwards is about done. The media is almost totally against Hillary and the funny part is MSNBC has just about overtaken Fox for the "Faux News" title.

Posted by: lylepink | November 2, 2007 9:15 AM | Report abuse

johnbsmrk, why do you think that Republicans "dread" campaigning against Hillary? They love campaigning against her! That's why Republican debates have consisted mostly of Clinton-bashing. It's fun for the Republicans. It lets them relive the 1990s, when their party was on the rise and they could blame everything on the Clintons.

There's no candidate who will stir up the Republican base like Hillary. Not for any legitimate reason; they just can't stand her. If Hillary is the nominee, we'll have to sit through more discussion of Whitewater, Travelgate, Monicagate, and whatever other minor fake scandal Rush Limbaugh can slap the -gate suffix on. A Hillary Clinton candidacy would be the greatest boon to the Republican Party in a decade.

Posted by: Blarg | November 2, 2007 9:13 AM | Report abuse

I don't get it. Why do you assert Hillary is "widely seen as the most experienced candidate?" Since when does first lady count more than Biden and Dodd's Senate experience? Or more than Richardson's combined executive, legislative, and diplomatic experience? Since when is she most electable? The country has never elected a woman as president, and if it were to do so, I would submit Diane Feinstein is far better qualified than HRC.

Posted by: jaybrams | November 2, 2007 8:57 AM | Report abuse

I'm still trying to figure out why Obama and Edwards are ahead of Biden (or Dodd, or Richardson). Obama doesn't have enough experience. Is it because he did a moving speech at the National Convention? Is it because Oprah endorces him? He seems like a nice smart guy....None of these make him qualified to be President of United States, especially when God only knows how bad the mess will be when the new President inherits office. That doesn't mean he won't be qualified down the road though.
For some reason, I don't even know why...Edwards just is unlikeable to me.
Biden, Dodd, and Richardson are so much better equiped to take over as President. What's the deal? Is all about the money raised? Is it because moderators like Russert and Williams don't really bother to ask questions at the debate other than to Hillary, Obama, or Edwards? Do the people just follow the press?
Every debate I've seen so far, Biden comes across as knowledgable and filled with common sense. Given that there's a debate, just about every other week, aren't they suppose to mean something? It just seems like if the media keeps telling these are the top three candidates, and their only coverage is how will Obama and Edwards move ahead of Hillary, then what chance to the other candidates really have?
I wish there was a way Biden could move ahead of Obama and Edwards. I think he has the best chance then to move ahead of Hillary.


I like Hillary, but truthfully, I like Biden better and I think he'd be more electable.

Posted by: badger3 | November 2, 2007 8:52 AM | Report abuse

CC, this is the best line you have had in a while. You are finally starting to look at the poll trends and not just the DC chatter.
On the Democratic side the top four are spot on and Biden is looking like a possible giant killer two months out from the caucus.
Richardson is done. His poll numbers are trending down in serious way, and lets face it he just doesn't look presidential.
I also agree with the GOP rankings except for one thing you said About Huckabee "And if he comes in second to Romney there, he will be THE story heading into New Hampshire." The thing is that Huckabee is going to WIN Iowa. I predicted that he would lead the polls in Iowa in three weeks from today so my prediction is about right on track. I see Huck winning Iowa which will kill Romney's chances, then he comes in third in NH behind McCain who is surging there and Guiliani. The Huckabee will win SC and carry that into the February with all the momentum.
My prediction is Huckabee/McCain for the GOP.
The Democrats I just don't know but right now I am sticking with the idea that Gore endorses Edwards and you have a Edwards/Obama ticket.

Posted by: AndyR3 | November 2, 2007 8:38 AM | Report abuse

According to the Real Clear Politics average, Clinton is actually improving her position in Iowa where she is now 7% ahead of Obama. This is a state that a few months back the conventional wisdom peddled by journalists like Cilizza was she had no chance of winning and the issue was whether she would come second or third. I would now say she has a fair chance of winning although Iowa is hard to call. That said it doesn't really matter if she loses because in every other one of the early primary states she has double digit leads most of them in the twenties. This includes NH which polls only five days later. In short the Iowa narrative is baloney. All part of an attempt to puncture Clinton by the press so that they can turn this into a horserace. This is so blatantly transparent it's laughable. Apart from committed Obama/Edwards supporters, and the Republicans of course who dread a Clinton campaign, no one seems to be buying it.

Posted by: johnbsmrk | November 2, 2007 8:22 AM | Report abuse

Here is an excellent article on Hillary and the 'Thou Shall Not Criticize her majesty'
attitude:

http://www.boston.com/news/globe/editorial_opinion/oped/articles/2007/11/02/the_clinton_gospel/

Posted by: vwcat | November 2, 2007 8:18 AM | Report abuse

If HRC *does* get knocked off her perch, it could very well be that illegal immigration position.

If you want to find one issue where the meat-eating Repubs, the liberatarians, and the southern Dems all agree, it's building a fence and getting a handle on that crowd. That will bring people out in droves to the polls, if it lasts as an issue; maybe the Dems biggest Achilles heel.

Of course, before you GOP-hating emotion-bots start flaming, I'm fully aware that Bush and McCain and others pushed the ill-considered amnesty bill this summer. But Bush ain't running, and McCain ain't gettin the nom.

Posted by: JD | November 2, 2007 8:17 AM | Report abuse

Awood, the blame everyone else and play the victim is a longtime game of the clintons.
If you listen to her spin it's always Bush this and Bush that. Excuse me, we all know bush is a nightmare, but, he is not running.
Tell me what you are going to do.
But, it's always everyone's fault with both clintons and I am so sick of the games. We will never be able to be done with them because they are addicted to the spotlight and crave attention but, it is not the 90s anymore. It is 2007.

Posted by: vwcat | November 2, 2007 8:10 AM | Report abuse

Consider me one of those highly educated professional women not in Hillary's camp. She's a hawk, she's the victim. She's the frontrunner; the men are piling on unfairly. Blame the moderator, blame the old boys club.
The post-debate spin is demeaning to women. The vast right-wing conspiracy (which I believe existed when she first uttered the spin and still exists) is now a vast conspiracy by the old boys club and MSNBC.
Pleez.....

Posted by: awood | November 2, 2007 7:52 AM | Report abuse

Chris, You have some excellent points though I disagree.
Hillary was only inevitable as that was you guys storyline and her campaign strategy. It came at a heavy cost to the other candidates because the press went along with their spin. Obama knew that the others were primed for a kill along with you guys. and he knew Hillary would play the victim again. And that happened. She spun her 'oh poor little me' for sympathy like always and women ate it up. It may have hurt the others with women because the clintons are so good at play acting.
However, her victim sobs will bite her back.
Obama used his gift for disparaging rivals and drawing blood that way and it is effective.
I live in Illinois and he is very good at bringing someone down without doing 90s style attacks. The press underestimates him because he doesn't do things the CW way. then you guys always end up looking foolish a few weeks later.
Obama is not this babe in the woods as you in the press think. he is quite savvy but, is not typical politician like Clinton. He simply will not act like you guys want.

Posted by: vwcat | November 2, 2007 7:21 AM | Report abuse

Chris,

I definitely agree with your rankings, especially those on the Democratic side. Your assessments of Obama, Edwards, and Biden are spot on. Regarding Richardson, I addressed his biggest problem in my analysis of the debate that took place earlier this week. In a nutshell, his Iraq rhetoric and legislative record are not congruent with each other. I likened him to Arnold Schwarzenegger in a tutu. It just doesn't seem natural. You can read more about this and the new battle between Obama and Edwards here:

http://www.theseventen.com/2007/11/pennsylvania-debate-analysis-d.html

Your GOP rankings are also accurate, in my opinion. Mike Huckabee's Iowa numbers are phenomenal. As he gains credibility in the eyes of voters, his stock value continues to rise. I don't think he's VP material at all. I believe Huckabee can run at the top of the ticket and win the whole election with more than 53-54% of the vote. Very dangerous candidate.

Posted by: theseventen | November 2, 2007 6:50 AM | Report abuse

Maybe it will be a good thing to have her balloon punctured. Although I plan on voting for her, she has seemed overconfident to me lately. Of course, it would be hard to emerge confident from that dogpile debate the other day. It is one thing to challenge another candidate. It is quite another to spend the biggest part of the debate criticizing that candidate instead of explaining what YOU believe. It was disgraceful.

She is the only Democrat who has a chance of beating Giuliani, IMO. I believe that he will be the Republican nominee. And we cannot afford 8 more years of the SOSDY.

Posted by: mollycoddle1 | November 2, 2007 6:30 AM | Report abuse

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