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Wag the Blog: Slippage or Status Quo?

The new USA Today/Gallup national poll out this morning shows the presidential race's two frontrunners -- Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani -- coming back to the pack.

Clinton led Sen. Barack Obama (Ill.) 39 percent to 24 percent while Giuliani held a more narrow 25 percent to 16 percent edge over former Gov. Mike Huckabee (Ark.) whose surge in Iowa is now being mirrored nationally.

The storyline so far today appears to be that the poll indicates a slippage by the two leaders as the Iowa caucuses loom on Jan. 3.

And, there is obviously merit to that argument. Clinton is on the attack against Obama as Iowa polling shows the race there a statistical three-way tie between those two and former Sen. John Edwards (N.C.). Giuliani, too, has also been stepping up his contrasts with former Gov. Mitt Romney (Mass.), a tacit admission by the campaign that the former mayor needs to slow Romney's momentum in Iowa and New Hampshire to preserve his own chances at the nomination.

But, there is a counter argument as well. The America public likes races. Blowouts aren't all that exciting in sports or in politics so there is a natural tendency to want to see a real competition before a nominee emerges. Maybe its our anti-monarchical tendencies that resist the idea of a coronation, but the truth of the matter is that races almost always tighten up in the final weeks before crucial votes.

For today's Wag the Blog question, we want to hear your opinion on this question. Does the USA Today survey represent serious slippage by Giuliani and Clinton or the natural tightening that should be expected in any race as high profile as this one?

Sound off in the comments section below. And, remember, we'll pluck the best and most thoughtful comments and feature them in a post of their own later this week.

By Chris Cillizza  |  December 4, 2007; 11:45 AM ET
Categories:  Wag The Blog  
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Comments

Clinton's status came from name and the belief she was the strongest against the republicans. Democrats are spooked by the specter of the swiftboat without concidering the republicans are not that scary and the swiftboat was largely Kerry's fault for ignoring it.
HRC is not a loved figure. Women want a woman president and support her on gender basis. Plus many voters have this illusion that it's really a restoration of Bill Clinton.
However, at the JJ Dinner, what Obama did was not so much the speech, which we know he is an inspiring orator. It was that he addressed the problems of Clinton directly in front of her without being negative. People in Iowa, who already liked Obama, took him even more seriously and saw a man who was indeed presidential that night.
When Hillary attacked Obama, what she did was show that Obama can take on the feared Clinton machine and do it in a way that cuts her down but, not nasty. An artful but, very effective way of taking her on.
He proved he is capable of standing up to republicans, which was a worry some democrats had. Clinton hurt herself but, also helped Obama a great deal. Especially with him not even breaking a sweat cutting her down and even Bill a few times. It let the air out of the fear dems had of the Clintons and the inevitability of her.

Posted by: vwcat | December 7, 2007 7:57 PM | Report abuse

Among Democrats nationwide, Clinton's fall wasn't matched by a rise for Obama, whose standing rose 2 points from early November.

What could be the reason behind the shrinking leads of the two frontrunners Giuliani & Clinton?

http://www.youpolls.com/details.asp?pid=1249

.

Posted by: jeffboste | December 7, 2007 4:27 PM | Report abuse

Bsimon -- I hope you read this.

I'm glad you asked that question, and it didn't offend me in the least bit.

If you actually knew me, you would know that I am fairly mild-mannered, polite, and friendly.

I don't exactly see how I'm "acting" like a Mohammed, a warlord.

My "beliefs" are passionate. I passionately belive in JUSTICE. I have chosen, as my first career, what I believe to be the administering of justice.

But I'm not personally a warlord. I don't advocate violence against the innocent - especially moderate Muslims.

So, if "believing" something (and expressing it) is the same as "acting" a certain way (IE, leading men into battle to spread my religious law and hope to die in the name of Allah), then you might have a point.

I'm just trying to get a point of view across to a group of people I don't think hear it enough, if ever - Bin Laden would gladly kill ANY of us blogging on the fix, and only a few stand between him and you.

And I don't understand why, throughout the course of history, it has always been "a few" that stand between justice and injustice.

That's where I have a problem with you so-called "moderates". There is no such thing as "moderation" when it comes to justly protecting the lives of the innocent.

Anyway, thanks for your question, but I am actually not a pedofile warlord criminal who has psychotic visions and oppresses women.

I'm a pretty nice guy who leaves big tips in restaurants, lets people in my lane on the freeway, and loves America.

Posted by: USMC_Mike | December 5, 2007 4:54 PM | Report abuse

Sheridan, you probably won't get around to reading this so I'll be breif.

I don't recall typing "irregardless". Can you read?

You are right unborn means unborn. But you don't even have the balls to go far enough to say that unborn means NOT alive.

Innocent life > guilty life. Period.

You can point to extreme cases (rape & abortion) rather than discussing the real issue. 1 in 5 babies world wide are murdered prior to being born. I sincerely doubt 20% of pregnancies in the world are the result of rape. But then again, "men like you" think defending only the fringes of your argument is sufficient for the whole thing.

Iraq, Iran, Afg. - yes, I am. I am concerned for unborn life around the world, as I'm sure our Lord is as well.

Are you?

Or are you the only one who gets to ask rediculous questions?

Posted by: USMC_Mike | December 5, 2007 4:47 PM | Report abuse

First of all, Mike, IRREGARDLESS is not a word. It is a double negative. Kind of like you. The word is "regardles."
Secondly, I would like to address this -"Why are liberals more concerned with the rights of terrorists than the rights of the innocent unborn?"
Possibly because we are actually PRO LIFE. Terrorists may be what you name them and they may NOT be. But they are human beings and they are alive. Your creator made them as well as you. Unborn babies are exactly that - unborn.
If your wife/sister/daugter was raped and impregnated and had reoccuring nightmares about it, would you FORCE her to have the child?
Seems kind of like turture to me. I can assure you, women will have abortions whether they are legal or not. And when they are not, sometimes women DIE in the process. So, how is that "pro-life?"
I love it when men like you, Mike, are so concerned about the "innocent unborn." I only wish it were that simple. Are you concerned about the "innocent unborn" in Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan?

Posted by: sheridan1 | December 5, 2007 4:16 PM | Report abuse

Mike, why, in combatting Islamic extremists, are we acting more like your characterization of Mohammed than like your characterization of Jesus?

Posted by: bsimon | December 5, 2007 10:10 AM
"

Now your getting it, simon. To defeat the terrorist, must we become terrorists? And who will stop the terrorists in the republican party (some moderate sell-out dem's lieberman feinstein kerry clinton Biden to and extent, though I think he'll come around.)

My point is, simon, who is going to do somethign about it? Do we hold them accountable by electing a repuclian? No, though paul definatly is getting a major seat at teh table of politics. So you turn to the democrats. Will the democrats hold the republcains accountable? some are willing to, some are not. Unfortunatly it is looking like the moderates are more like republcains than they are the new democratic party. So who will hold them accounable? I'll take my chances with the liberal wing. Hoping they don't sell us out when they get power, like after 06. Tiem will tell I guess.

But liek Sen. Obama says. "we have no good options". Only hard choices.

Posted by: JKrishnamurti | December 5, 2007 11:29 AM | Report abuse

"P.S. Unless you live within a city of 500,000 plus residents, you're not allowed to talk about the threat of terrorism. Your nonsensical diatribes about terrorism put the overall security of those of us living within the five boroughs in jeopardy every time that we step onto the subway platform. So if you could please, stick to what you know best: Homogeneous suburbs, and school budgets.
Thanks guys!

Eugene Debs '08
"

Wow. Word is born. Thank you for that insightfull post. Really. On point Eugene. I live in reno. the district has never been republican since, at least 1984 (when it was districted). So I feel you believe me. Then to hear oreilly and hannity talk about free speech and how the left wants to take their rights. Unbelievable. This after dixie chicks lose their profession for their political point of view. Pat tillman loses his life at their hands , and other soldiers. Rosie off the air. Professors and judges being fired. Because the right is "offended". Them murdering tazing beating people offend me. Do I get to silence them? Time will tell.

Great post Eugene. You get to the heart of what the internet and blogs are for. Thanks again.

God BLess.

Posted by: JKrishnamurti | December 5, 2007 11:24 AM | Report abuse

I reject the premise that it has to be one or the other. There is a natural tightening of the polls in the final month before voting begins, partially in the form of Giuliani and Clinton slipping. The fact that there is a historical precedent for this pattern of polling changes does not make it any better news for these two former front-runners.

Posted by: JacksonLanders | December 5, 2007 10:18 AM | Report abuse

Ok, I'm going to make a deliberately inciteful (not insightful) remark, to make a point.


late last night, USMC_Mike wrote:

"Let's face it. Mohamed was a warlord. He led almost 200 military campaigns.

Jesus Christ was not. He led 0 armies and wielded 0 swords."


Mike, why, in combatting Islamic extremists, are we acting more like your characterization of Mohammed than like your characterization of Jesus?

Posted by: bsimon | December 5, 2007 10:10 AM | Report abuse

Throughout history war can be justified or reasoned by one word "Religion". Each and every one has been about believing someone or something other than our own beliefs including the love of money or greed as some would define it. This "Religion" has many faces, such as the one in Iraq, which I said from the beginning was for Oil/Money and still maintain to this day.

Posted by: lylepink | December 5, 2007 2:51 AM | Report abuse

king of zouk,


I'm sure you can do better than Sean Hannity-like remarks. I find it so ridiculous that you're willing to defend the Republican Party. This is like Jonah Goldberg of the NY Post defending tax cuts for the rich. How obsequious do you have to be to defend the top 5% of income earners? If you're making over $250, 000 annually, I retract these remarks; however, I suspect that you're not that wealthy, so it is incomprehensible to me why you would defend such a small percentage of society. Bear in mind, the 5% you're defending do not care about you, at all. They care that you're an intolerant person with little or no tact. Therefore, they seize upon the opportunity to use voters like you to divide the electorate. I agree that Hillary Clinton and many Democrats are as corrupt, dishonest as their Republican counterparts. Notwithstanding, the greatest thing we have to fear of a Democratic Administration, is an increase in taxes. I'm not that afraid of that because I'm not a part of that top 5% of income earners. If you are, then I can understand your avarice. George W. Bush lied about weapons in Iraq. Thousands of men, women and children are now dead or severely wounded as a result of his Administration's ineptitude. That is not meant as judgment, but an unfortunate reality. We learned yesterday that President Bush and his ilk have knowingly mislead us on Iran's supposed weapons program. The Bush/Guiliani apologists such as yourself are as detached from reality as this President was disconnected from his own intelligence agencies. All sixteen of them. So needless to say, I'm not too worried about an increase in taxes on private-equity firms, hedge funds. Not from a moral standpoint, but from a pragmatic one. These folks represent a small portion of society, of which I am not a part. And I'm glad you have attacked Mike Huckabee because this clearly illustrates how disconnected you and much of your ilk are from the zeitgeist. Mike Huckabee, Ron Paul. Lou Dobbs, Pat Buchanan and a growing many represent the disaffected ranks of your party. And instead of reconciling with this wing, you're castigating them. The immigration issue is ensuring a decrease in Hispanic support for your party next year. So who are you left with? Wealthy whites and obsequious ones like yourself and Jonah Goldberg. And what is your platform next year? "Republicans, a graceful return to the 1980's." Most Americans don't want to return to the 1980's. In 2000, the euro was worth $.76 to the dollar. Now it is worth $1.47. The pound is roughly $2 to our one. And more Americans are beginning to realize that their dollars cannot buy them as much of those nice foreign goods they like so much at the mall. The Republicans' Wilsonian rhetoric has created more tension in the Middle East, and raised oil to roughly $100/barrel. As a matter of fact, your delusional politicking has actually served to validate liberals & greens' clamoring for energy independence. If you don't think these issues matter to the other 95% of income earners, you're sadly mistaken. Your party looks like the Democrats in 1980. Tragically flawed, and utterly fragmented.


P.S. Unless you live within a city of 500,000 plus residents, you're not allowed to talk about the threat of terrorism. Your nonsensical diatribes about terrorism put the overall security of those of us living within the five boroughs in jeopardy every time that we step onto the subway platform. So if you could please, stick to what you know best: Homogeneous suburbs, and school budgets.
Thanks guys!


Eugene Debs '08

Posted by: legan00 | December 5, 2007 1:43 AM | Report abuse

The history of Islam is a history of a violent struggle - a war to spread the religion by force. Cities where battles were won, Jews were killed, and people were 'united' by force under General Mohammed, are called "holy".

OK.

The history of Christianity may not be perfect, but its founder spread its message through peace and love. And so too did his 12 followers, who experienced horrendous deaths.

Posted by: USMC_Mike | December 5, 2007 12:51 AM | Report abuse

femalenick -- I like the spirit of what you said, although I disagree with the substance. You wrote a lot, so I took the time to read it.

The spirit is the respect for the power of the spoken word. I believe very deeply in the power of the spoken word. For instance, when people are constantly down about my Aggies, they tend to lose. Maybe it gets back to them somehow and affects them. I don't know. But you're right. We should be careful of what we say. Like saying we are losing the war or that Bush planned 9/11. The spoken word is more powerful than we think.

However, one part of your discussion I think is untrue:

"Every single one of the "great religions"... has black marks on its history. For anyone to suggest that Islam is the least tolerant is asinine and unbelievably ignorant."

1. I already conceded examples of this earlier

2. Those examples are rare, in comparison. Islamists have repeatedly attacked, or tried to attack, every western country.

3. There are no "fundamentalist Christian" nations that oppress women, freedoms, and seek to actively destroy other nations. But I can think of at least 5 Islamic nations that are/do.

4. Drop a cross in a bucket of urine and call it art. No one dies.

Call a teddy bear a wrong name.
Draw a picture of someone.

Someone might die.


Are there extremists? Yes. Do we all agree extremism is bad? Sure.

But there are countless more Islamic extremists. And they're infinately more violent and committed than any other kind.

5.) I have read it myself. I have read interpretations of it, just to be sure. The Koran -- the parts that call Muslims to arms. That glorify death for Allah. That justify killing us cows.

Let's face it. Mohamed was a warlord. He led almost 200 military campaigns.

Jesus Christ was not. He led 0 armies and wielded 0 swords.

Violence, aggression, and war, holds a central place in Islam. From the beginning. From its orgins. From its founding, and founder.

It is inherent. It will not go away. That is why I can say, 1 of the 12 world's religions is different from the rest.

Posted by: USMC_Mike | December 5, 2007 12:38 AM | Report abuse

USMC_Mike - one more point - I imagine that the USMC refers to the US Marine Corps.

I come from a military family and thus continue to have an inordinate number of people who are either active or retired in the US Armed Forces. Every single one would find your comments regarding Islam and torture grossly offensive.

I hope you were just being flippant and trying to incite discussion for I found it extremely disturbing that there are people like you who might think this way. Even the die-hard Republicans and ultra-conservatives I know would find your comments offensive.

The reason I'm pointing them out is so that readers who are less "radical" can see that there are more of us on this blog who are sane than not.

Posted by: femalenick | December 5, 2007 12:28 AM | Report abuse

Mark (and others)

As always, thank you for your controlled, well-reasoned, and concise insight.

Just to be clear, I don't advocate an official policy of "torture".
Yes, we're trying to take the moral high ground.
Yes, our reputation matters (to a degree).
Yes, we don't want to aid in terrorist recruitment.

But what is right is not always legal,

and what is legal is not always right.

And I would choose right over legal and live with the consequences.

Posted by: USMC_Mike | December 5, 2007 12:22 AM | Report abuse

"

In a college-level comparative religion class, there was once a professor who began the first day with the following statement:

There are 12 major religions in the world. While many of them have many things in common, most notably, 11 of them have 1 thing in common - tolerance for the other religions.

1 religion, however, does not share that tenant. Islam."

That professor should not be teaching in any university. Every single one of the "great religions" (Christianity, Judaism, and Islam) has black marks on its history. For anyone to suggest that Islam is the least tolerant is asinine and unbelievably ignorant. Within each group are fundamentalists which make them intolerant. The statements that this professor made are precisely the type of comments that promote intolerance and war.

BTW - Buddhism is the only "religion" (it's in parenthesis because it technically is NOT a religion) whose tenets categorically oppose war. In fact, when Tibet, formerly a warrior country, embraced Buddhism hundreds of years ago, they disarmed, later unable to protect themselves from invaders.

"Islamists are fundamentally incapable of peacefully coexisting with any "cows" (as they call us) who have not signed up to be slaves of Allah."

You need to be sure to add the word "fundamentalist" in front of Muslims when referring to jihadists, 'lest it be interpreted as your referring to all Muslims. And the word is Muslim, not Islamist.

One last point -- "jihad" has been interpreted by the Wahabis, a fundamentalist sect in Saudi Arabia, as a war against those who oppose Islam. Most Muslims interpret it as an "internal struggle." It's really no different than fundamentalist Christians who think that homosexuals don't have the right to exist, or that it's okay to bomb a family planning clinic that gives abortions.

My point is that careless generalizations are dangerous and grossly unfair, regardless of whether you're talking about a person, an entity, or a religion.


Posted by: femalenick | December 5, 2007 12:18 AM | Report abuse

The notion that Hillary was inevitable has been media mystique not based on genuiune regard for Hillary herself or any positions. Slippage, probably not... just genuine recognition that the support for her is as slippery as her positions. When the fix for social security is a bipartisan commission, well, that's a position one can't get excited about. Frankly, the Obama/storm trooper U-Tube video was quite telling about the extent to which she thought preaching babble to zombies was a winning strategy. The zombies woke up.

Posted by: eharsh2 | December 5, 2007 12:14 AM | Report abuse

My $.02 on the torture discussion follows.

jimD said: "But I would make a distinction between torture as a policy and a hypothetical situation where a captured terrorist has knowledge of the whereabouts of a nuclear weapon making its way to one of our cities."

I believe it was the Marine JAG who testified to the effect that he would do whatever he had to in order to save lives from a hypothetical terrorist, but that he would properly face the Court Martial that followed his unlawful "interrogation".

We cannot make exceptions for torture in the law or in social policy. However, were
USMCMike, for example, to face a court martial after obtaining by torture, from a Jihadist, the location of a backpack nuke inside the Loop in Chicago, he would raise legitimate mitigating factors at his trial [perhaps duress, perhaps defense of others] that would be heard with sympathy by the court.

If he actually saved Chicago, he might lose 1/3 pay for 30 days for messing up a terrorist.

Yes, the law can recognize the difference between that hypothetical and the figurative random tearing of wings off insects. But torture nevertheless can not be our policy or be made lawful, for all the reasons that were stated here today, and more.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | December 4, 2007 10:16 PM | Report abuse

vienna12 -- Despite your obvious drooling for Hillary Clinton, all Senators, despite their age or term number, are considered "junior" Senators in their state, if the other has been in the Senate longer.

Unfortunately for NY, Chuck has been there longer.

Ted outranks John, making John Kerry the "junior" Senator from Mass.

It's not an attack.

The men aren't piling on this weak little woman who is simultaneously strong enough to fight terrorists and protect America.

Stop drooling.

Posted by: USMC_Mike | December 4, 2007 10:09 PM | Report abuse

These polls recently are indications of how the "Media Darlings" Rudy and Obama, get the most favorable coverage possible. Examples are the Sunday Iowa poll with Obama in the lead, and today's Rasmussen with Rudy tied with Mike at 18%. Most of the media tried to give Rudy every way possible to hush up the widely growing scandal that surfaced a few days ago. The Sunday Iowa poll was front page headlines in a lot of newspapers as well as the lead in the TV Talk shows. My earlier post showed how polls could be manipulated, this shows how the media bias is exposed.

Posted by: lylepink | December 4, 2007 9:28 PM | Report abuse

To CC: The WashPost reporters are driving me nuts in print and on CNN and MSNBC by yucking it up with the host and sneering at HRC NOW. And Chris, have you always labeled Hillary as the the "junior" Senator from New York? She is in her second term. Contrast that with the real junior Obama. Some "reporter," was it you?, said in an online chat recently that reporters are angry at Hillary for not giving them enough time. That moment of honesty explains a lot about the media frenzy about her these days. I do hope that the public will see what the media are really doing--promoting congenial Obama because he is so comfy for them.

Posted by: vienna12 | December 4, 2007 7:50 PM | Report abuse

I think this represents a natural tightening due to the fact that there are a lot of folk just now paying attention with all of the ads and attacks...http://www.enewsreference.com

Posted by: nquotes | December 4, 2007 7:39 PM | Report abuse

Chris,
David Corn has an excellent column that explains why Clinton and her campaign have gone off the tracks recently.
Seems they are being guided by a deep hatred for Obama and feel he is being 'uppity' for daring to think he can deny HRc the nomination.
for real.
And if this is how they are operating, then the hate is taking over reason and showing in the dumb moves they have made recently.
This could undo her campaign.
I do wonder if her campaign have also internals that we don't know about that have set them off on this bender.
anyway, it would be good for you to read this column.
http://blogs.cqpolitics.com/davidcorn/2007/12/hillary-on-obama-fear-and-hatr.html

Posted by: vwcat | December 4, 2007 7:33 PM | Report abuse

i thought you had a family zouk -- why aren't you spending quality time with them -- or is that a lie like all your other lies?

'guiliani didn't profit and didn't intend malfeasance'

LOL. City taxpayers paid for police to walk Judy's dog and cart her friends around. Andno one has profited more from 9/11 than Rudy Guiliani. Like he said, 9/11 didn't make his career, but it sure helped...

Posted by: drindl | December 4, 2007 6:40 PM | Report abuse

"George Bush says he got the new NIE report last week: Oh, really?
By: John Amato @ 1:01 PM - PST

I just went through Bush's NIE presser and it was pretty disturbing all around. The war drumbeat against Iran has been going on for sooo long now. You can understand why this report shatters the Bush/Cheney doctrine of immorally--attacking-a-country--that hasn't attacked us. It's a virtual replay of their Iraq intelligence scam. NBC's David Gregory, called Bush on his "hyping" this scam just like he did with Iraq. Bush ineffectually told David Gregory that he just got the results of the NIE report last week.

Download (934) | Play (1169) Download (493) | Play (606)

Q Mr. President, thank you. I'd like to follow on that. When you talked about Iraq, you and others in the administration talked about a mushroom cloud; then there were no WMD in Iraq. When it came to Iran, you said in October, on October 17th, you warned about the prospect of World War III, when months before you made that statement, this intelligence about them suspending their weapons program back in '03 had already come to light to this administration. So can't you be accused of hyping this threat? And don't you worry that that undermines U.S. credibility?
"

WWW.CROOKSANDLIARS.COM

Posted by: JKrishnamurti | December 4, 2007 6:36 PM | Report abuse

yES THEY DO. rIGHT ZOUK

hahahhahaha

"Right Claims Iran NIE a CIA Plot Against Bush
By: Nicole Belle @ 1:46 PM - PST Another bang-your-head-against-the-keyboard moment.

Neocon Grandfather Emeritus Norman Podhoretz-now serving as FOREIGN POLICY ADVISOR (oh, help us all) to Rudy Giuliani-has decided that the NIE report is a deliberate attempt by the CIA to subvert the Bush Doctrine.

Un-fricking-believable.

How 'bout this, Norm? YOU'RE WRONG. You've always been wrong and you will continue to always be wrong. Always. The only 'conspiracy' here is the one that gives you any kind of platform to continue to further your utter and complete wrongness.
"

Posted by: JKrishnamurti | December 4, 2007 6:35 PM | Report abuse

"A federal grand jury on Tuesday indicted a top Democratic fundraiser accused of cheating investors of at least $20 million and using some of the money for illegal donations to political candidates such as Hillary Rodham Clinton.

business as usual - if you're a clinton

Posted by: kingofzouk | December 4, 2007 06:09 PM
"

What will you talk about when obama is the nominee? how will you funtion without a boogie man? At least only the dwindling dittoheads stil beleive you. Everyone else in , not only the country, but the world see you for the fascists you are.

how can you win zouk? how cna your party win? To win you need to GET more converts to fascism. you need more mindless robots. From my vantage point your people are dropping liek flies. Nobody wants anything to do with the RNC. But they is zouk. Live from his momma's basement all day everyday. What is your goal? how many republcain converts do you get coming here, you think? how about rush and fox? how many converts are they producing? I see your numbers dying out. The way of he do-do.

Cow Folk are no longer viable in america 2007. your people have been passed by. You can never defeat truth with lies smears and misdirection.

In terms of your attacks on drindl. Does that help your cause? If so, with what kind of person? Do you think fascists are out there blogging having conversations and debating? Is that what a fascist does? No. that is why the same 3 of you cowards are here all day everyday. you have to represent your movement. If your not here, who will be.

HAHAHAHAHAHHAA.

you show your faces.

Posted by: JKrishnamurti | December 4, 2007 6:22 PM | Report abuse

Only one problem - neither huck nor the Rudy story has any actual legs. Huck will have his 15 minutes and will spiral into oblivion once the liberal press decides to stop conflating him and insted do him in. he has no substance to speak of and all those feel good aw shucks statements don't go far.

Same wih the silly "scandel" about rudy's mistress. he has nothing to do with paying for security or deciding to take it or not. It is not an option.

However, presidential pardons are optional and the option can be exercised with glee if your brother gets a big payout.

this is called lining your pockets. guiliani didn't profit and didn't intend malfeasance. but I presume those differences go beyond what Libs want to consider.

Where did all those FBI files come from, I mean where did they go? I mean how did they get in here? why are all those Republican IRS forms sitting here. how do these things happen? Lib Magic.

Posted by: kingofzouk | December 4, 2007 6:20 PM | Report abuse

"how is it that all of a sudden all intelligence is perfect and beleivable? I think I have the key - if any data makes the US look bad - it is 100% credible. If any info makes the US look good - it is a republican lie. Like the lie about the surge working. I think it might be time to stop "suspending disbelief" and maybe go with the facts for a change.

Posted by: kingofzouk | December 4, 2007 06:01 PM
"


The surge is working? ALRIHGT. WHOA. Let's bring the troops home. The surge is working everybody. HAHHAHAHAAHA

you are a riot Zouk. Zero tolerance for reality. Your party is done. They have been lying to you for years now. But you still trust they are lying to you in your best interests? I thought you republcaisn didn't trust the government. Why all of a sudden they are infalable? Why do you hate the terrorists, yet turn away from bush and rudy's terrorism ties?

Immagration tough guys. That is your new platform, right. That is what is going to save your party? You pulled it out of the blue, last year. You are the tough immagration party. ENlighten me. Who offered the last blanket amnesty in 1986? What has your party done since to secure the border, and enforce the immagration laws? I know, NOW you care abou timmagration. now you do, since it's all you got let. What, you were saving this issue for decades? HAHAHAHAH

your party is done. Enjoy yourirrelevance.

Posted by: JKrishnamurti | December 4, 2007 6:16 PM | Report abuse

OK Mark, I take your point. I still say HRC and Rudy are the likelies. But, to put it in your terms, are they the favorites 'against the field'?

Not so sure anymore.

Posted by: JD | December 4, 2007 6:15 PM | Report abuse

"Does the USA Today survey represent serious slippage by Giuliani..."

It represents that Giuliani-- oh wait, another poll coming in...

http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/election_2008__1/2008_presidential_election/daily_presidential_tracking_poll

It means that a real candidate has come along so the Republicans don't have to swallow the man who tried to cover up his security detail tending to his mistress at taxpayer expense. It means that they are going for...

MIKE HUCKABEE, NOW TIED WITH GIULIANI NATIONALLY!

Posted by: B2O2 | December 4, 2007 6:12 PM | Report abuse

A federal grand jury on Tuesday indicted a top Democratic fundraiser accused of cheating investors of at least $20 million and using some of the money for illegal donations to political candidates such as Hillary Rodham Clinton.

business as usual - if you're a clinton

Posted by: kingofzouk | December 4, 2007 6:09 PM | Report abuse

KOZ - Your 5:55P post is a take I may have rejected [in my head] too soon. That is a recurring problem with my internal conversations - no checks and balances apply.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | December 4, 2007 6:05 PM | Report abuse

Why am I hearing nothing from the right in regards to this iran news?

you mean the idea that an invasion of its neighbor convinced Iran that it better not have a secret nuclear program. that it also convinced Libya of the same thing?

how is it that all of a sudden all intelligence is perfect and beleivable? I think I have the key - if any data makes the US look bad - it is 100% credible. If any info makes the US look good - it is a republican lie. Like the lie about the surge working. I think it might be time to stop "suspending disbelief" and maybe go with the facts for a change.

Posted by: kingofzouk | December 4, 2007 6:01 PM | Report abuse

""Of and btw, Im not in the Peace Corp because I have a husband and a child to raise."

--So does Hillary Clinton

--Why attack Zouk for not being in Iraq?

I hate it when rules must apply to us all.

Posted by: USMC_Mike | December 4, 2007 05:12 PM
"

Because we can fight for peace right here. If you want war, GO GET SOME. But do not wage war agaisnt your own countrymen. That is why your are traitors. That is why you are terrorists. That is why your are fascists.

Bu all means have your beleifs. It's when your beliefs infringe on MY rights. Then we have a problem. Sound familar?

Posted by: JKrishnamurti | December 4, 2007 6:00 PM | Report abuse

"Mike, I find your unique range of views quite interesting. What does the Pope think about acts of torture, I wonder?


Posted by: proudtobeGOP | December 4, 2007 05:09 PM
"

Teh pope does not represent america. The pope does not even represent christans. The pope represents one section of one faith. That's it. God left the catholics when they left God, IMO.

Posted by: JKrishnamurti | December 4, 2007 5:57 PM | Report abuse

Which is worse - not fighting about your security detail and going on with your day to day or selling Presidential pardons for 300K cash payment to your brother. can these even be compared?

Posted by: kingofzouk | December 4, 2007 5:56 PM | Report abuse

"I support moderate Muslims. I shouldn't have to say that to make everyone in the audience comfortable with my attacks on the JIHADISTS."

Well, considering that you are caliming the radicals have taken over the religion & you endorse killing all the radicals, perhaps a clarifying statement is in order. Is it really a surprise that the radicals are convincing moderates to join their cause by claiming that we're fighting a war against islam?

Posted by: bsimon | December 4, 2007 5:56 PM | Report abuse

"There are "Keys" to all of the these polls, included, but not limited to 1. Area of the country, 2. Makeup of those polled, age, gender, etc.. 3. The likelihood of the person actually voting. 4. Sequence of the questions. These are known as "Internals" and can and does effect the actual outcome that is arrived at by somewhere in the 3 to 5% + or - range that could be added to the margin of error, but is not considered in most by the poll takers.

Posted by: lylepink | December 4, 2007 05:12 PM

"

Pink? What are you doing? I should have known you would dispute the polls. Man.

It's alright. Look at the bright side. Just because things don't go your way, or mine, doesn't mean the info is bogus. Have you learned nothing the last week.

Why am I hearing nothing from the right in regards to this iran news? Nothing on O'Liely, nothing on hannity. I was all excited last night. Nothing. Just liek the old days when they would black out all news for anna nicole or lindsey lohan.

At least they show their face. I guess that's all I can ask for

Posted by: JKrishnamurti | December 4, 2007 5:55 PM | Report abuse

Mark - what do you think of the idea that lots of bagggage can be a good thing. If another story about hillaries corruption surfaces, no one even bats an eye. but wait until the first story about Huck comes out. It will be big news.

hillary will be releasing some nasty dirt on Obama soon, through some sort of shadow group. it will play big becuase he has no record to dilute it.

rudy and Hillary may be the only two who can withstand the onslought over time.

Posted by: kingofzouk | December 4, 2007 5:55 PM | Report abuse

"These two have more baggage than their opponents, and it must weigh them down over the long haul."

It can only weigh them down if the baggage sticks.

I'm no RG guy, but if an accountant messed up, it's not his fault. And if the comptroller took years to find the error, even worse.

Whereas, nothing sticks to a Clinton.

Posted by: USMC_Mike | December 4, 2007 5:54 PM | Report abuse

I am surprised that HRC and RG are still leading the polls.

I offered to JD to bet the field against either of them, months ago.
I see that JD is no longer even willing to assure us of HRC's inevitability, and KOZ, an RG supporter, to his credit, has never predicted a slam dunk for his guy.

These two have more baggage than their opponents, and it must weigh them down over the long haul.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | December 4, 2007 5:52 PM | Report abuse

Better, now can all you Libs please give the guy in the uniform a standing ovation. Afterwards you can cut his civilian support out from under him with a 41st try at budget gimickery and finessing a battlefield loss. Remember, even one loss of life is a tragedy. and so on.

I think drindl slunk off to spend some quality time with her family. now to find a way to also dispel the rufas pest.

Posted by: kingofzouk | December 4, 2007 5:47 PM | Report abuse

Sorry Zouk -- I forgot to establish my "street cred" by prefacing all of my comments with a P.C. blanket support for Muslims. I'll do better next time.

Posted by: USMC_Mike | December 4, 2007 5:43 PM | Report abuse

Marine mike - you are not permitted to pass judgment on anyone, especially Muslims, gays, blacks/mexicans/any victim minority or Lesbians, until after a sufficient trial whereby all the facts are subjected to liberal interpretation. It doesn't matter if they are shooting at you, hitting on you, spending your money, or changing your laws, you may not make any judgments until after court,

Please comply.

Posted by: kingofzouk | December 4, 2007 5:41 PM | Report abuse

bsimon -- I see how that could happen, but only by a dishonest broker.

By an Amy Goodman, for example, in her interview this morning of Lou Dobbs.

I support moderate Muslims. I shouldn't have to say that to make everyone in the audience comfortable with my attacks on the JIHADISTS.

Posted by: USMC_Mike | December 4, 2007 5:36 PM | Report abuse

I don't think you have to claim that waterboarding produces 100% accurate information in all cases, every time it has been used, to justify why we should use it.

For you liberals out there -- imagine if you had to prove not only that human beings are 100% to blame for global warming, but that we stand a 100% chance of 'saving the planet'.

Not only could you NEVER meet that burden, but even if you eventually (somehow) could, if you were right, it would be too late and we would all be doomed to burn to death.

Posted by: USMC_Mike | December 4, 2007 5:34 PM | Report abuse

USMC_Mike, do you see how your comments could be interpreted as an intolerance for Islam - the very thing you accuse that religion of being?

Posted by: bsimon | December 4, 2007 5:34 PM | Report abuse

"What is inconsistent about that?"

"Islam is uniquely intolerant, on a global scale. It has been hijacked by Islamists. "

"1 religion, however, does not share [tolerance for the other religions]. Islam."


Posted by: bsimon | December 4, 2007 5:33 PM | Report abuse

you think making nasty remarks about people's families is funny?

you mean like Mrs Guiliani?

We have just discovered the biggest hypocrite and she lives on this blog. but her rules don't apply to her - just like most Dems.

Posted by: kingofzouk | December 4, 2007 5:31 PM | Report abuse

""Waterboarding has been used to obtain information"

wait a minute there, that doesn't go along with our Liberal world view.
"

Was it the information saying saddam had wmd's? Is that the info? Good work?

What about Iran? Did torturing get you that piece of gold also?

for all the false information your people are putting out, kind of speaks agaisnt their methods, doesn't it. If they are torturing people and all or most of their intel is false, then do you have to look at the methods of aquireing the info? Not to the gop. They don't do accountability. they do what they want, because they can. Or think they can. Who stops them? Simon, pink, moderates? who stops the gop from doing whatever it wants when it wants, without regard for country the future or laws? Moderates? Democrats? When?

Somebody's got to. I didn't start blogging or getting involved until after bush was elected the second time. Somebody's got to do something. they are spending my children's money. My brother could get drafted. But I know, us "liberals" are the cause to allthe worlds ill's.

Posted by: JKrishnamurti | December 4, 2007 5:29 PM | Report abuse

proud -- I don't think protecting innocent people is situational ethics.

I stand for protecting innocent unborn,

for protecting innocent Americans from terrorism,

and for protecting innocent children of God from tyranny.

What is inconsistent about that?

Posted by: USMC_Mike | December 4, 2007 5:27 PM | Report abuse

srobinson2 -- thank you for the examples. I never claimed any other religion has a perfect history, or that any other religion does not have its fanatics.

Islam is uniquely intolerant, on a global scale. It has been hijacked by Islamists.

It's like comparing the sun to a candle.

Posted by: USMC_Mike | December 4, 2007 5:24 PM | Report abuse

"In a college-level comparative religion class, there was once a professor who began the first day with the following statement:

There are 12 major religions in the world. While many of them have many things in common, most notably, 11 of them have 1 thing in common - tolerance for the other religions.

1 religion, however, does not share that tenant. Islam.

Posted by: USMC_Mike | December 4, 2007 05:03 PM
"

your teacher should get fired for broad characterizations and making false statements. It's happening, now. Slower than I would hope. The go loves to test teh boundries, don't they? They love to hide behind our freedoms while destroying those they don't "need".

Posted by: JKrishnamurti | December 4, 2007 5:24 PM | Report abuse

Mike, A person's faith is never something I would malign or make jokes about. You seem to be applying situational ethics on some weighty issues and in an uneven fashion. That is what I call into question.

In the MTV forum last night with Sen. McCain, he spoke about his faith saying it was something he preferred to keep fairly private. He told the audience of his captor in Vietnam who had loosened the ropes binding him during his 5 hour shift one day, and then on Christmas day had drawn the sign of the cross in the dirt with his foot in McCain's cell, then erased it quickly so none of the other guards could see.

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | December 4, 2007 5:23 PM | Report abuse

'nd laugh at the above comment -- out loud.'

you think making nasty remarks about people's families is funny?

clearly, you're as big an as*hole as zouk. too bad for you.

Posted by: drindl | December 4, 2007 5:23 PM | Report abuse

Too far, zouk, too far my friend.

Posted by: USMC_Mike | December 4, 2007 5:22 PM | Report abuse

wikepedia -- the Universe's ultimate source of Truth.

Posted by: USMC_Mike | December 4, 2007 05:00 PM
"

If you can't rebute the point, attack the source. The gop manta for eliminating a party from the political table of relevance.

Posted by: JKrishnamurti | December 4, 2007 5:22 PM | Report abuse

USMC_Mike, every college has a professor or ten who have a few sweeping generalizations to explain everything that ever happened. Doesn't mean they're right, especially when what they say confirms your own preconceived notions (always a danger signal).

Fire up your browser and look up the following and then tell me about how Islam is uniquely intolorant of other religions--

Srebrenica Massacre
Northern Ireland
Assasination of Ghandi, causes
Holocaust
Thirty Years War
The Inqusition
Masada

(Admittedly, I'm not aware of any pograms, murders or massacres of unbelievers by Buddhists or Taoists.)

And then, when you're done with that assignment, look up "people of the book."

Posted by: srobinson2 | December 4, 2007 5:22 PM | Report abuse

'Proud -- I assume you either know what the Pope thinks about it, or could easily find out, but you have instead resorted to taking an oh-so-subtle shot at my faith because I disagree with your hero McCain.'

she's simply pointing out that the Pope does not agree with your position.

"Some nations have also criminally prosecuted individuals for performing waterboarding..."

The US is one of them.

Posted by: drindl | December 4, 2007 5:21 PM | Report abuse

Mommy - what's for dinner?

"Not now kid, I'm blogging. can't you see someone has to save the free world from itself?"

But I need help with my homework.

I'm very busy here.

But all you ever do is stare at that screen.

I am raising my kids, now go away.

Posted by: kingofzouk | December 4, 2007 5:20 PM | Report abuse

"It can OBTAIN INFORMATION so according to this cite, it is effective."

Does the source mention the reliability of the info?

More specifically, does it claim that such info is only available through waterboarding or other forms of torture?

Posted by: bsimon | December 4, 2007 5:19 PM | Report abuse

"But we won the war, and saved countless more.

Would you NOT have dropped the bomb?
"

Again. Gop propoganda and false justification. Who was more to fear. The Real axis, or a bunch or people riding camels in the desert. your comparing apples to oranges. I know you are laughing and giggling to yoruself with all this. Independant thinkers will read this and see how foolish you are. There is a reson your party is in the dumps. Nobody wants to be put in the "fascist" camp, with you clowns..

Explain why we should fear the "terrorists" and I'll give you respect. Why should we fear them more than the chinesse? The chineese can actually do something. These terrorists couldn't take ny, la chicago, much less america.explain.

Fear has crippled you people. Work on that. When you grow up and get older, you will understand where us liberals are coming from. Fear doesn't exist, like pain. you wer einthe marines, you should know pain is a senor reaction. Why does your fear not extend?

Posted by: JKrishnamurti | December 4, 2007 5:19 PM | Report abuse

"...go back to raising the next generation of worthless hippies and pitiful spinless men."

Claudia, I respect your dad for his service to our nation, but I can't help but think you're a lunatic today, and laugh at the above comment -- out loud.

Posted by: USMC_Mike | December 4, 2007 5:19 PM | Report abuse

'the next generation of worthless hippies and pitiful spinless men.'

f*ck you zouk, you miserable cheesy little mental midget. you don't have a job-- you're on here all day. nor do you have any rational thought process. you resort to insulting my family because you have nothing worthwile to say -- you useless piece of human garbage.

Posted by: drindl | December 4, 2007 5:19 PM | Report abuse

"I hate it when rules must apply to us all."

"if you have to misrepresent what I said, you stand on nothing."


Indeed.

Posted by: bsimon | December 4, 2007 5:16 PM | Report abuse

drindl - too busy lining your own pockets to follow your convictions? why aren't you in amnesty International? If not you are not entitled to an opinion. (and you can always tell opinion by the lack of any reason, links or otherwise coherent input)

and since you don't work for the IRS we won't be considering your views on any tax policy. and since you don't work for the EPA, your bizarro thoughts on climatology will go unheeded. etc.

since you don't work, maybe you should retire from this blog entirely and go back to raising the next generation of worthless hippies and pitiful spinless men.

Posted by: kingofzouk | December 4, 2007 5:15 PM | Report abuse

claudia -- if you have to misrepresent what I said, you stand on nothing.

I never advocated "killing all [billion] Muslims".

Just the terrorists. The ones who would rape and decapitate you if they could.

Posted by: USMC_Mike | December 4, 2007 5:15 PM | Report abuse

claudialong,
"Waterboarding has been used to obtain information, coerce confessions, punish, and intimidate." It can OBTAIN INFORMATION so according to this cite, it is effective.

"means to support interrogation is based on its ability to cause extreme mental distress while possibly creating no lasting physical damage to the subject." So, in other words, if done right, no physical damage and you obtain information.

"Numerous experts have described this technique as torture." Numerous experts have described this technique as not torture.

"Some nations have also criminally prosecuted individuals for performing waterboarding..." Some nations have also criminally prosecuted individuals for allowing a class of children to name a teddy bear Muhammad.

Posted by: dave | December 4, 2007 5:14 PM | Report abuse

"Because when it comes to keeping a BOMB from exploding in Los Angeles, you are clearly not qualified to have a coherent discussion."

I'm going to speak for all liberals here, hope no one is offened.

Fear. Are you rally scared of these people, gop? Really. Goat herders half way around the world. Do you really fear them? Do you sit up at night fearing a man with nothing of value but a few goats a donkey and an ak. Really?

Come on gop. Your not that cowardly are you? How did you people make it through the cold war? How did america make it through our american revolution, when we had NONE of the advantages over the enemy. Are the "terrorist" a threat? To whom? Isreal?

think before attacking. Work on yourselves and your own fear gop. Do not gut the coutnry and it's values because yoru scared. think about the future. Where we were and where we are now.

you peopel would have never made it though the american revolution. None of the laws that make this country great would exist if you fascists had your way.

Explain, why are you NOT cowards? How am I , a liberals, to think you tough guys are not terrorists but really scared to death of cow herders.

Explain. Either you are fascist sabotuers or cowards. Which is it?

Posted by: JKrishnamurti | December 4, 2007 5:14 PM | Report abuse

Proud -- I assume you either know what the Pope thinks about it, or could easily find out, but you have instead resorted to taking an oh-so-subtle shot at my faith because I disagree with your hero McCain.

You never responded to my 20/80 comment above.

Posted by: USMC_Mike | December 4, 2007 5:13 PM | Report abuse

Islamists have a presence in every country in the world and do not represent any single nation. Yet each pocket is a threat to civilization.'

so you think we should kill all muslims, then? way to go, usmc. what a good christian you are.

Posted by: drindl | December 4, 2007 5:13 PM | Report abuse

"Of and btw, Im not in the Peace Corp because I have a husband and a child to raise."

--So does Hillary Clinton

--Why attack Zouk for not being in Iraq?

I hate it when rules must apply to us all.

Posted by: USMC_Mike | December 4, 2007 5:12 PM | Report abuse

There are "Keys" to all of the these polls, included, but not limited to 1. Area of the country, 2. Makeup of those polled, age, gender, etc.. 3. The likelihood of the person actually voting. 4. Sequence of the questions. These are known as "Internals" and can and does effect the actual outcome that is arrived at by somewhere in the 3 to 5% + or - range that could be added to the margin of error, but is not considered in most by the poll takers.

Posted by: lylepink | December 4, 2007 5:12 PM | Report abuse

"Is that a word. Maybe a triple negative? irregardless, it shows a paucity of thinking skill."

Undisirregardlessly, does not the clever playground reference of a nursery school rime likewise demonstrate a paucity of cognitive efforts?

Posted by: bsimon | December 4, 2007 5:09 PM | Report abuse

Mike, I find your unique range of views quite interesting. What does the Pope think about acts of torture, I wonder?

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | December 4, 2007 5:09 PM | Report abuse

"Because when it comes to keeping a BOMB from exploding in Los Angeles, you are clearly not qualified to have a coherent discussion."

And you are not qualitified to have a coherent discussion of much of anything, apparently.

Torture does not produce accurate information. End of story. A person being tortured will say anything to make it stop. Torture is mostly useful for making people confess to things they didn't do.

But we don't torture in this country, right? That's what your president says. Of and btw, Im not in the Peace Corp because I have a husband and a child to raise. a citizen in this country is sstill free to criticize their government -- aren't they?

Posted by: drindl | December 4, 2007 5:09 PM | Report abuse

Islamists are fundamentally incapable of peacefully coexisting with any "cows" (as they call us) who have not signed up to be slaves of Allah.

Islamists have a presence in every country in the world and do not represent any single nation. Yet each pocket is a threat to civilization.

Islamists hate the West, especially Britain and the United States, and will stop at nothing to hurt us in a big way.

If you do not understand these 3 characteristics of Islamists, you cannot credibly discuss how to combat them.

Posted by: USMC_Mike | December 4, 2007 5:08 PM | Report abuse

"Does the USA Today survey represent serious slippage by Giuliani and Clinton or the natural tightening that should be expected in any race as high profile as this one?"

It's not just the USA Today survey. She's dropping in every survey, both in the national polls and in the state polls from Iowa and New Hampshire.

That said, I don't see what the difference is between "natural tightening that's to be expected" and "serious slippage" attributable to factors specific to the candidates. To the person doing the slipping, its always serious and, as usually happens, its causing panic-induced errors by the frontrunners which will likely lead to more "slippage."

Posted by: srobinson2 | December 4, 2007 5:07 PM | Report abuse

"Waterboarding has been used to obtain information"

wait a minute there, that doesn't go along with our Liberal world view.

"creating no lasting physical damage to the subject" Hey wait, that's not torture either. those darn facts always interfere wtih every Lib argument.

Maybe you so-clever Libs had this other definition of torture in mind - something you are emminently capable of doing all the time:

distortion or overrefinement of a meaning or an argument

Posted by: kingofzouk | December 4, 2007 5:06 PM | Report abuse

"If you fundamentally don't understand radical Islam, you cannot coherently discuss fighting it."

I submit that you do not understand them. The terrorists are opposed to us because we support Israel, we support repressive, authoritarian regimes especially the Saudi monarchy, because we have troops stationed in Moslem countries and because they hate Western culture and believe our culture is poisoning their countries. As Rumsfeld himself said, we are not winning if by our actions we create more terrorists than we kill.

I am NOT advocating that we do not do those things except perhaps supporting repressive regimes to the extent we do. But, we need to understand what motivates them to fight them. We also need to oppose the terrorists on a variety of fronts. One of the most important is undermining their support among the general populations in the Muslem world.


I do not doubt that radical Islamist terrorists would like to get their hands on a nuclear weapon. I just think the scenario that the only way we can uncover details of the plot is by torture is far fetched.

Posted by: jimd52 | December 4, 2007 5:05 PM | Report abuse

No. If, in the context of the question, a 'tool' is torture, no, we absolutely do not risk losing by not using that 'tool'. In fact, the opposite is the case - we risk losing by torturing."

Good point simon. We have nukes at our disposal to. By the gop rationalization we should be nuking peopel, cause we can. Who where subscibes to that? You show your face gop. Now you know why your party is done for thirty years. What you want, is not america. What you want has been tried and failed. We defeated the NAzi's

Posted by: JKrishnamurti | December 4, 2007 5:05 PM | Report abuse

In a college-level comparative religion class, there was once a professor who began the first day with the following statement:

There are 12 major religions in the world. While many of them have many things in common, most notably, 11 of them have 1 thing in common - tolerance for the other religions.

1 religion, however, does not share that tenant. Islam.

Posted by: USMC_Mike | December 4, 2007 5:03 PM | Report abuse

For both sides -- the results reflect people beginning to pay attention. Nothing really surprising on the Democratic side -- very little movement across the board.

It's the Republican race that I think is more interesting, especially where Huckabee is concerned. This just out today from an AP-Pew Poll in Iowa:

Mitt Romney, 25 percent
Mike Huckabee, 24 percent
Rudy Giuliani, 14 percent

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20071204/ap_on_el_pr/poll2008_iowa;_ylt=Ano2ZojN.i7IvM4YpePjWIOyFz4D

This is significant for the GOP because it's the pro-life party, and many Christians, Catholics included, are suspicious of Mormonism. I thus believe that this new poll in Iowa will soon be reflected nationally.

But the situation is different on the Dem side. While you see Clinton slipping, outside of Iowa, there's little movement for Barack and Edwards. Nationally, the gap between Clinton & these two guys remains in the double digits. Iowa is in no way representative of Democrats as a whole, so I don't think it will have as much effect on how the rest of the early states vote, especially given that the New Hampshire vote takes place only a week later.

Posted by: femalenick | December 4, 2007 5:03 PM | Report abuse

"all you need to know, piper, is that I would be lucky to be waterboarded if I were captured by these nut cases. That would be getting off easy."

If you play by terrorists rules, usmc, does that make you a terrorist?

Posted by: JKrishnamurti | December 4, 2007 5:01 PM | Report abuse

unrebuttable

Is that a word. Maybe a triple negative? irregardless, it shows a paucity of thinking skill.

but if the name fits.....

Posted by: kingofzouk | December 4, 2007 5:01 PM | Report abuse

wikepedia -- the Universe's ultimate source of Truth.

Posted by: USMC_Mike | December 4, 2007 5:00 PM | Report abuse

drindl - why aren't you at amnesty international?

Posted by: kingofzouk | December 4, 2007 4:59 PM | Report abuse

http://images.google.com/images?hl=en&q=waterboarding&um=1&ie=UTF-8&sa=N&tab=wi

here's some pictures. it dates back to the Inquisition, by the way.

Posted by: drindl | December 4, 2007 4:58 PM | Report abuse

"We are in a battle for hearts and minds in the struggle against terrorism. We don't help our cause by torture. "

Will you "moderates" NOW, finally acknowledge the gop is in with the terrorist? Will you admit that now? Everything they do generates more terroists and makes the world more angry.

do you now realize they are lying to you, after iran info. Does bush have to make a public statement saying saudi arabia is now our "sister nation" for you people to realize the gop is the party of terrorists?

Gop (JD MARK, USMC), defend yourselves. How is your party NOT a party of traitors. I will spell it out for you. How are you not terrorists, gop? HEre is the defination of the word, because I realize you have years of double think and propoganda to get through. I can't spell it out any clearer. Defend youselves gop,and you positions. Traitors? Terrorists?

"Terrorism in the modern sense[1] is violence or other harmful acts committed (or threatened) against civilians for political or other ideological goals.[2] Most definitions of terrorism include only those acts which are intended to create fear or "terror", are perpetrated for an ideological goal (as opposed to a lone attack), and deliberately target or disregard the safety of non-combatants. Many definitions also include only acts of unlawful violence.

As a form of unconventional warfare, terrorism is sometimes used when attempting to force political change by convincing a government or population to agree to demands to avoid future harm or fear of harm, destabilizing an existing government, motivating a disgruntled population to join an uprising, escalating a conflict in the hopes of disrupting the status quo, expressing a grievance, or drawing attention to a cause.
"

Posted by: JKrishnamurti | December 4, 2007 4:58 PM | Report abuse

"Because when it comes to keeping a BOMB from exploding in Los Angeles, you are clearly not qualified to have a coherent discussion."

Mike, by putting the word 'bomb' in all caps, your point becomes irrefutable.


zouk writes "simple simon"

You sir, are likewise unrebuttable, in starting your post with such a clever and unique nickname. I've never heard that before.

Posted by: bsimon | December 4, 2007 4:57 PM | Report abuse

Waterboarding is a torture technique that simulates drowning in a controlled environment. It consists of immobilizing an individual on his or her back, with the head inclined downward, and pouring water over the face[1] to force the inhalation of water into the lungs.[2] Waterboarding has been used to obtain information, coerce confessions, punish, and intimidate. In contrast to merely submerging the head, waterboarding elicits the gag reflex,[3] and can make the subject believe death is imminent. Waterboarding's use as a method of torture or means to support interrogation is based on its ability to cause extreme mental distress while possibly creating no lasting physical damage to the subject. The psychological effects on victims of waterboarding can last long after the procedure.[4] Although waterboarding in cases can leave no lasting physical damage, it carries the real risks of extreme pain, damage to the lungs, brain damage caused by oxygen deprivation, injuries as a result of struggling against restraints (including broken bones), and even death.[5]
Numerous experts have described this technique as torture.[6][7][8][9][10][11][12] Some nations have also criminally prosecuted individuals for performing waterboarding, including the United States.[13]

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

Posted by: drindl | December 4, 2007 4:56 PM | Report abuse

bsimon -- you are not.

Contrary to the liberal opinion, WE are not the cause of radical islam.

Unfortunately, we are (one of) the target(s).

Posted by: USMC_Mike | December 4, 2007 4:55 PM | Report abuse

"After all the constitution should apply equally to the entire planet." LOL

Posted by: USMC_Mike | December 4, 2007 4:53 PM | Report abuse

"They want to blow us up because they hate us - our values - what we stand for - our Christian virtues - our religious tolerance.
If you fundamentally don't understand radical Islam, you cannot coherently discuss fighting it."


You seem to think that we, or our values, are the cause of radical islam. Am I understanding you correctly?

Posted by: bsimon | December 4, 2007 4:53 PM | Report abuse

bsimon -- we compramised those values by dropping the bomb in Japan.

We killed countless innocent.

But we won the war, and saved countless more.

Would you NOT have dropped the bomb?

Posted by: USMC_Mike | December 4, 2007 4:52 PM | Report abuse

""How dare you compare the US to Nazis."

Your outrage is misplaced. Perhaps you should be more upset with the people torturing in our name, rather than criticizing those who find the practice reprehensible.
"

Sorry I'm reading and catching up. Word is born.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/usa/story/0,,2064157,00.html

Posted by: JKrishnamurti | December 4, 2007 4:52 PM | Report abuse

-Hillary Clinton and Rudy Guiliani have slipped, and will continue to slip in this election. This should not come as a surprise. The sudden collapse is the result of two factors: 1) Name recognition and the ability to collect swaths of campaign contributions from wealthy, well-to-do lobbyists earns you initial attention, but society at large generally resents this quality. I pass no judgment here, this is certainly an important asset for a (winning) politician. 2) I'm not attacking the media, but I submit that the media has largely allowed these aforementioned qualities to dictate the race. Therefore, Guiliani & Clinton naturally emerged as the "front-runners."
-If the election remains fluid, I believe John Edwards & John McCain will emerge as the "real" front-runners. If you think about it, neither party is foolish enough to throw it away completely. These two are the sensible choice for each party.
-McCain, though a little old, does not sound as soulless as his Republican counterparts. McCain is a respectable, dignified politician.
-Edwards, though a bit stale, is a compassionate politician.

-Say what you will about the other "top-tier" candidates, but liberals & conservatives should be able to agree that Edwards and McCain appear to be the best leaders.

-Edwards-Obama v. McCain-Huckabee

Eugene Debs '08

Posted by: legan00 | December 4, 2007 4:51 PM | Report abuse

simple simon - let's be sure to increase the defense budget so all our grunts can go to law school. we wouldn't want them messing up any crime scenes with inadvertant firing or blowing things up. and make sure they tell the enemy their rights as they are surrenduring. After all the constitution should apply equally to the entire planet. and be sure to print all those secrets that come out in trial right on the front page of the NYTimes.

And after all this does anyone still wonder why Liberals are not trusted with defending the country and don't win Presidential elections.

Posted by: kingofzouk | December 4, 2007 4:51 PM | Report abuse

Let's go back to talking about something that doesn't make my blood pressure spike, like why you want to raise taxes, nationalize medicine, spend dollars on phony climate 'science', or retreat from a war we can and should win.

Because when it comes to keeping a BOMB from exploding in Los Angeles, you are clearly not qualified to have a coherent discussion.

Posted by: USMC_Mike | December 4, 2007 4:51 PM | Report abuse

"They want to blow us up because they hate us - our values - what we stand for - our Christian virtues - our religious tolerance."

And some of those values are valuing human rights and the rule of law. We absolutely have to demonstrate the superiority of those values - by not compromising them - in order to defeat them.

Posted by: bsimon | December 4, 2007 4:51 PM | Report abuse

"What did Orwell say? I think it was "All animals are created equal - but some are more equal than others."

If that doesn't ring a bell, its from "Animal Farm", where the pigs rewrite their list of commandments in order to justify some changes.
"

Word is word simon. Now you know how the term "pigs", came to be for cops. :)

Citizens and not. Starship troopers (which the military is handing out to our brave soldiers). you get three books now in basic. The military code, a religous book, and starship troopers. Take from that what you will.

Posted by: JKrishnamurti | December 4, 2007 4:50 PM | Report abuse

"Surely conservatives don't care about this country more than liberals?"

Conservative thinking: In order to save it, we had to destroy it.

Posted by: bsimon | December 4, 2007 4:48 PM | Report abuse

wrong bsimon.

These people don't want to blow us up because we 'torture' the ones we capture.

They want to blow us up because they hate us - our values - what we stand for - our Christian virtues - our religious tolerance.

If you fundamentally don't understand radical Islam, you cannot coherently discuss fighting it.

Posted by: USMC_Mike | December 4, 2007 4:48 PM | Report abuse

"It's a sad time in America when pouring water on a terrorist's face to save American lives is likened to treason and 'torturing to death'."

If we don't tortue then we don't have to worry about this, do we?

Posted by: JKrishnamurti | December 4, 2007 4:47 PM | Report abuse

"This might not bother claudia or bsimon, but it bothers me."

That you have to resort to misrepresentations implies that your argument is failing.

Torturing incites more people to side with the radicals, which means more volunteers for the suicide missions that may eventually place WMDs in US cities. The policies that you are endorsing - encouraging - put us at greater risk, not lesser.

Posted by: bsimon | December 4, 2007 4:46 PM | Report abuse

"I heard that the HRC camp is now accusing Obama's camp of dirty tricks to her Iowa and NH campaigns. Of course, HRC always takes the high road when it comes to politics. Go ask Vince Foster.

(Oh wait, I'm sorry, he shot himself .... in the back of the head .... 3 times .... )
"

TO THE MODERATES HERE, PINK simon, What would these people do, how would they compete if they didn't have clinton garbage to pull up from a decade ago? What if Ted Kenneddy were gone, and these clowns can't talk about things from the 70's? What would these fascists do then? Is clinton and kenneddy that important to you, that you would give these people who hate their country and the democrats any wiggle room.

I would think the less people with shady pasts the better. Do we really need to fight these battles for decades on end?

To JD. When are you people going to let this stuff die? For all your vince foster and ted kenneddy garbage. We're talking, even it it is true, what ten people. How many deaths are a direct result republcains and their "crusades"? Millions? Your complaints and gripes fall on deaf ears.

What would the gop do if they couldn't point the finger? Would they take responsibility for their actions ONCE? It has gotten better in this aspect. These propogandists liek jd have to pull stuff up from decades ago.

Kinda makes you liberals want to start making broad charaterizations about the republcains and their hatred of this country and it's freedoms. Nixon, regan, bush 41, bush 43. All waging war agaisnt america and americans. Do not fear or pity these liars and propogandists people. think about why they attack attack attack. If they do not stay on the offensive they get ripped to shreds. Well, they do anyway, but you get the idea:)

Posted by: JKrishnamurti | December 4, 2007 4:45 PM | Report abuse

"I also think the idea that torture would be required to prevent a nuclear attack is pretty far-fetched" -Jim

That is why Democrats can NEVER run this country.

Not only is it not far-fetched, I promise you, it is actually happening.

This is rediculous.

Posted by: USMC_Mike | December 4, 2007 4:45 PM | Report abuse

I don't see why this is an ideological issue. Why is it that conservatives tend to agree that we should protect ourselves from nuclear or biological attacks, at all costs -- while liberals are more concerned with the rights of terrorists than with the rights of Americans?

Surely conservatives don't care about this country more than liberals?

And here's another one. Why are liberals more concerned with the rights of terrorists than the rights of the innocent unborn?

Posted by: USMC_Mike | December 4, 2007 4:42 PM | Report abuse

JD

I certainly agree that we do not need to come down to the level of the terrorists. I also think the idea that torture would be required to prevent a nuclear attack is pretty far-fetched. But I would make a distinction between torture as a policy and a hypothetical situation where a captured terrorist has knowledge of the whereabouts of a nuclear weapon making its way to one of our cities.

mike - the Philippine insurgency was not one of the brighter chapters in our history. The torture used there was more to terrorize the population than to get information. There was a very active Philippine independence movement which we encouraged during the Spanish-American War and which had reason to feel betrayed when we annexed the country as a colony.

Posted by: jimd52 | December 4, 2007 4:41 PM | Report abuse

JD asks
"At the end of the day, do we risk losing this war if we cannnot use all tools at our disposal?"

No. If, in the context of the question, a 'tool' is torture, no, we absolutely do not risk losing by not using that 'tool'. In fact, the opposite is the case - we risk losing by torturing. The nutshell argument is that the reason our system is better is because of our respect for the rule of law and human rights. The best way to defeat the Islamic radicals is to demonstrate to the world & the Islamic moderates that our system is better. That means that when we capture terrorists, we put them on trial, in front of the world, and list their crimes. You prove them criminals & treat them appropriately. By holding them secretly & torturing them, we are not only lowering ourselves to their level, we're demonstrating that our system is NOT better. That can amount to losing the 'hearts and minds' argument, which will essentially amount to either a 'loss' in the war or, at best, a perpetual conflict.

Posted by: bsimon | December 4, 2007 4:41 PM | Report abuse

One minor point - the Geneva convention specifically applies to soldiers in uniform fighting for a country. they also require that the soldier purposefully avoid civilians.

the guys we capture are more akin to spies, who wear no uniform and prey on civilians. You remember what we do to spies don't you?

I don't think actual torture is an official policy of the USA. but if it were my personal call and the situation were grave, I would torture first and take my chances later. better to be judged by 12 than buried by 6.

but this is all just designed to create a false issue. we don't torture, it is against the law.

Posted by: kingofzouk | December 4, 2007 4:41 PM | Report abuse

Yes, Clinton & Guiliani are both actually slipping in their chances to win their respective party nomination. Clinton had a huge shot to shore up the D nomination, and couldn't do it. Her stumbles and Obama's great fundraising has allowed him to overtake her in Iowa. Clinton is still the front runner, but no doubt she has slipped.

Rudy was not given a great shot from the beginning of shoring up the Republican base. He failed in doing so. Romney shot for the early states, which is now unraveling for him in Iowa. Fred Thompson has fizzled out. Huckabee has became the party's standard bearer now as the socially conservative candidate. Plus, he has a record of bold ideas to get things done. Now, he has endorsed the idea of the Fair Tax. He has also engaged himself in a personal and bitter rilvary vs. Romney. With all of these things combining, Guiliani has slipped.

Posted by: bryant_flier2006 | December 4, 2007 4:38 PM | Report abuse

Dr. Jim Olsan, Professor at Texas A&M University, at the George Bush School of Government, former CIA Moscow station chief, and author of the book Fair Play, recently told me --

*we get actionable intelligence from interrogations

*we cannot afford NOT to use it

and -- most surprising

**He is surprised -- shocked -- that a nuclear device has NOT ALREADY been detonated in one of our cities.

That it is only a matter of time.

This might not bother claudia or bsimon, but it bothers me.

We have no choice but to use all tools available to us.

Posted by: USMC_Mike | December 4, 2007 4:38 PM | Report abuse

To go along with the "Dated Dean, Married Kerry" idea, this is how I think the Democratic candidates are viewed by the Democratic voters right now (disclaimer, since I'm a man, I will compare them all as if they were females.... this is not intended to be an in-depth look at the female gender, just for fun)

Clinton - your friends either lover her or hate her; has all of the attributes you are looking for, but you're not sure if it will drive a wedge between your friends; sends mixed messages

Obama - the hot looker; everyone is really interested in her and like her, but they are just not sure if she is ready for a real relationship

Edwards - the high school sweety; fun and energenic and full of passion; is it the real thing or is it nostalgia and time truly passed her by

Biden - the cougar, in every way possible; worldy and aggressive; its a cougar, not a wife

Richardson - seems to have it all, but when you meet, there is no real spark

Dodd - Plain Jane; makes a good friend, but you never looked at her like that

Kucinich - the cool chick that you go for one-night stands

Gravel - the chick that you only hook up with if you are really drunk... or no one is looking.

Posted by: mcmahon10 | December 4, 2007 4:35 PM | Report abuse

"read about our defeat of the insurgency in the phillipines in 1902."

Didn't we prosecute one of our own for war crimes perpetrated during that conflict - waterboarding to be specific?

Posted by: bsimon | December 4, 2007 4:35 PM | Report abuse

All this torture stuff is kind of interesting to me. On the one hand, we don't want to lower ourselves to the level of the animals we are fighting, cutting off heads slowly with knives, strapping bombs to their kids to blow up schoolbuses, etc.

On the other hand, cliches like "don't bring a knife to a gunfight" and "fight fire with fire" come to mind.

At the end of the day, do we risk losing this war (loss defined as they manage to use a nuke to blow up NYC, for example) if we cannnot use all tools at our disposal?

Posted by: JD | December 4, 2007 4:33 PM | Report abuse

all you need to know, piper, is that I would be lucky to be waterboarded if I were captured by these nut cases. That would be getting off easy.

Posted by: USMC_Mike | December 4, 2007 4:32 PM | Report abuse

All you need to know, Marine Corp Mike, is that Japanese soldiers were indeed prosecuted after WWII as war criminals for using two forms of water torture against American soldiers. Waterboarding is torture, which is expressly forbidden by the Geneva Conventions, a treaty signed and ratified by the United States and thus U.S. law.

Or put another way, would waterboarding be acceptable treatment to be used against you if captured by an enemy on foreign soil? After all, we set an example, and what is good for the goose is good for the gander.

Posted by: piper190 | December 4, 2007 4:30 PM | Report abuse

jimd -- read about our defeat of the insurgency in the phillipines in 1902.

You defeat the insurgency by using terrorism -- their weapon of choice -- against them (yes, in combination with winning the hearts and minds of the population).

Posted by: USMC_Mike | December 4, 2007 4:29 PM | Report abuse

If any of you tortue fanatics don't think for one second you would torture someone who was connected with kidnapping your daughter/wife/husband/whatever to SAVE THEIR LIFE, you are not being intillectually dishonest.

There is a time and a place for self-examination.

But why are we more outraged at Americans trying to save American lives than we are about radical Islamic Nazi's who are relentlessly and ruthlessly pursuing world religios domination?

My outrage is misplaced? My outrage is against terrorists -- takers of innocent life.

You sir, your outrage is misplaced.

Posted by: USMC_Mike | December 4, 2007 4:27 PM | Report abuse

"It's a sad time in America when pouring water on a terrorist's face to save American lives is likened to treason and 'torturing to death'".

I wouldn't say it has been likened to treason just a betrayal of this country's ideals. Waterboarding entails a bit more than pouring water on someone's face. The one candidate in the race who has been tortured is vehemently opposed to it. Most of the military hierarchy is strongly opposed to it. The presumption that torture produces accurate information is questionable at best. It usually results in the one being tortured saying what he thinks the interrogators want to hear. I would also submit that a great part of US strength in the world is based on our ideals.

We are in a battle for hearts and minds in the struggle against terrorism. We don't help our cause by torture. As the Army counterinsurgency manual, authored by General Petraeus, says (I paraphrase) you do not defeat an insurgency by killing all the insurgents, you defeat an insurgency by persuading the population that supports them to stop supporting them.

Posted by: jimd52 | December 4, 2007 4:24 PM | Report abuse

"How dare you compare the US to Nazis."

Your outrage is misplaced. Perhaps you should be more upset with the people torturing in our name, rather than criticizing those who find the practice reprehensible.

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

We're not talking about a baptism here, USMC Mike. Waterboarding is torture. It violates the Geneva Conventions. Civilized societies don't torture. McCain is right on this, and is Huckabee agrees, bully for him.

Speaking as a partisan, I hope the republicans nominate a waterboarding advocate. He'll be easy to debate. But as an American, I'm embarrassed this is even an issue to be debated.

Posted by: rich5 | December 4, 2007 4:21 PM | Report abuse

You and Rosie have said some pretty extraordinary things.

Zouk is right. If you think he should be in Iraq, I think you should be in the peace corps. Why aren't you, hypocrite?

Posted by: USMC_Mike | December 4, 2007 4:21 PM | Report abuse

In WWII Nazis dropped babies off roof-tops to see how far they bounced. Go to a Halocaust museum.

How dare you compare the US to Nazis.

I'm going to call BS on that one right now.

Posted by: USMC_Mike | December 4, 2007 4:17 PM | Report abuse

drindl - why don't you work for amnesty International. If you don't your opinion means nothing.

And your facts are as usual - made up.

Posted by: kingofzouk | December 4, 2007 4:16 PM | Report abuse

Bill Clinton said Tuesday that if reporters covered the candidates' public records better, his wife's presidential bid would be far ahead of her rivals. During a campaign stop on behalf of his wife, New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, the former president said he can't understand why so much of the media coverage of the campaign ignores her experience

Ummm - because there is none?????

Posted by: kingofzouk | December 4, 2007 4:11 PM | Report abuse

Please stop the BS Mike. You know that the actual technique is forcing water down the throat of someone lying on his back with his head lower than his feet so the water will flow down into his lungs. It is controlled drowning, and if not stopped in time will result in death. Your dishonesty is disgusting. Over 100 persons --and god knows who they were -- have died in our custody after undergoing the laughingly termed 'enhanced interoogation' hey did you know that's what the Nazis used to call it too?

During WWII, Japanese who used this technique on Americans were prosecuted for crimes agianst humanity.

Posted by: drindl | December 4, 2007 4:11 PM | Report abuse

"It's a sad time in America when pouring water on a terrorist's face to save American lives is likened to treason and 'torturing to death'."


What did Orwell say? I think it was "All animals are created equal - but some are more equal than others."

If that doesn't ring a bell, its from "Animal Farm", where the pigs rewrite their list of commandments in order to justify some changes.

To ride the train of thought further from the topic at hand, Eugene Robinson's article today explores the increasing fearfulness of Americans. It seems that Roosevelt was right - but we've failed to learn the lesson.

Posted by: bsimon | December 4, 2007 4:10 PM | Report abuse

I think that both Clinton and Giuliani have limited upsides. They have high negatives for a variety of reasons.

Senator Clinton is deeply mistrusted by many commited liberals. Her personality and public image turn off many people. Many others instinctively recoil from a Bush-Clinton-Bush-Clinton succession. There is real concern about her electability and the impact of a highly motivated anti-Hillary Republican base turnout on down-ticket Democratic candidates. Her early lead can mainly be attributed to name recognition, nostalgia for her husband's administration and lack of name recognition for her opponents. Should a single major challenger (the most likely one would be Obama) emerge victorious in the first few primaries, I would expect her lead to disintegrate.

Giuliani has high negatives with some core Republican voters for his stands on social issues and guns as well as his turbulent marital history. His personality can be very abrasive and, as he gets more exposure, that can pose problems in many areas of the country. None of his opponents, with the exception of Senator McCain, approaches his name recognition and McCain has his own problems with the Republican base. However, Huckabee and Romney have been getting more national press attention lately and more voters are paying attention as the first contests draw near. I have always thought a Giuliani victory is possible but only if the race does not narrow to him and one other too soon.

Posted by: jimd52 | December 4, 2007 4:10 PM | Report abuse

"It's a sad time in America now, that being opposed to torturing a possible innocent person to death can destroy your political career."

It's a sad time in America when pouring water on a terrorist's face to save American lives is likened to treason and 'torturing to death'.

Posted by: USMC_Mike | December 4, 2007 4:05 PM | Report abuse


'Mike Huckabee's Republican opponents might have found a new wedge issue they can use against him. The Washington Post notes that Huckabee came out of a recent meeting with John McCain and a group of retired generals, now firmly opposed to waterboarding and in favor of closing the prison camp at Guantanamo.

It's hardly the sort of position that would appeal to the dominant Jack Bauer sensibilities of the modern GOP. By contrast, Mitt Romney has denounced the idea of affording any Constitutional protections to terror detainees, praised the use of "enhanced interrogation techniques" and has even said he wants to "double Guantanamo."

McCain and Huckabee are starting to really appeal to me. I don't agree with them on a lot, but they have courage to take these stands that are tremendously unpopular with their vicious base. It's a sad time in America now, that being opposed to torturing a possible innocent person to death can destroy your political career.

Posted by: drindl | December 4, 2007 3:56 PM | Report abuse

Who do you suppose is behind this disgusting attack on Huckabee? Club for Growth? Rudy? Mitty?

'Mike Huckabee's surge in Iowa isn't going unnoticed -- nor is it going unopposed. A new group with the rather interesting name, "Iowans for Some Semblance of Christian Decency," are distributing a flier attacking Huckabee not only on the basis that he isn't a real conservative, but that the former Baptist minister isn't a real Christian, either.

Among their complaints is that his coddling of illegal immigrants amounts to a violation of the 8th Commandment -- that is, he's allowing illegals to steal from American taxpayers. Huckabee's past statements in praise of America's religious tolerance and diversity are also called into question, saying that such talk is "a tool to undermine Biblical Christianity."

Posted by: drindl | December 4, 2007 3:49 PM | Report abuse

While I certainly agree that both Guiliani and Clinton are suffering from a combination of slippage as the electorate pays more attention to the race as well as media interest in an actual "horse race", maybe more important is where they go from here. Both campaigns were likely anticipating this inevitable bump in the road on their way to the White House. Both campaigns certainly have internal data regarding how high their respective polling was when it reached it's apex and if that highth will be attainable again after some slippage. Both campaign will easily climb back to the top of their parties respective laddders for the very reasons they have slipped. As the voting draws near the electorate will pay more attention yet fall back to their parties "known" candidate. The media definately would love nothing more than a "horse race" where the two leading phillies hail from the great state of N.Y.

Posted by: readnman | December 4, 2007 3:48 PM | Report abuse

Does the phrase "regression towards the mean" mean anything? Beyond the natural tendency of any political race to ebb and flow, the media always pushes for a closer horserace. Hence the anti-Hillary, pro-Barack and anti-Rudy, pro-Huckabee stories we've seen in recent weeks.

Hillary will be the Democratic nominee. Rudy, will probably represent the Republicans, unless his nasty side comes out into wider view and turns off voters.

Posted by: elanmel | December 4, 2007 3:46 PM | Report abuse

I heard that the HRC camp is now accusing Obama's camp of dirty tricks to her Iowa and NH campaigns. Of course, HRC always takes the high road when it comes to politics. Go ask Vince Foster.

(Oh wait, I'm sorry, he shot himself .... in the back of the head .... 3 times .... )

Posted by: JD | December 4, 2007 3:35 PM | Report abuse

Definite slippage. Why else would HRC be making these stupid attacks on Barack? I don't think HRC would start making attacks if she did not feel threatened. And the oddness of the attacks (e.g Kindergarten essay) just makes it worse for her. Watch for more slippage in the future.

Posted by: gknight1 | December 4, 2007 3:13 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: nquotes | December 4, 2007 3:07 PM | Report abuse

'Giuliani conceded that Sept. 11 "fits" into the arc of his career but said "it wouldn't quite be fair to say September 11, like, made my career," Giuliani told C-SPAN's Steve Scully.'

Posted by: drindl | December 4, 2007 3:04 PM | Report abuse

"I don't think the two explanations are mutually exclusive. It's probably a combination of both - more scruntity as more folks get interested and people growing tired of the same faces always seeming to be in the lead. I don't have a concrete reason to hate the Patriots, but I was cheering at the thought of them losing last night - most likely because I'm tired of them winning."

It's called jealousy :)

But remember. If you take delight in hurting your country OR COUNTRYMEN, you are a traitor to your country. Sorry for the tone. I just see MOST gop members as sabotuers who care about no one but themselves and their money.

Posted by: JKrishnamurti | December 4, 2007 2:52 PM | Report abuse

There are two separate stories here. There's the tightening of the race as shown in the poll numbers. That is very real and is the result of "real voters" getting more interested both in the early states and nationally, their interest has boosted Obama and Huckabee, seen respectively in their parties as a breath of fresh air and agents for real change.

The other narrative which is what I think CC's post is really about is the narrative being driven by the media. In the interest of making the election story more interesting and dynamic, they've attempted to label each campaign to build drama from week to week as the new polls come out. The horse race is more interesting for the pundits than for the public.

Posted by: jamesbedell | December 4, 2007 2:52 PM | Report abuse

2008 Presidential Election Weekly Poll

http://www.votenic.com

The Only Poll That Matters.
Results Posted Every Tuesday Evening.

Posted by: votenic | December 4, 2007 2:47 PM | Report abuse

2008 Presidential Election Weekly Poll

http://www.votenic.com

The Only Poll That Matters.
Results Posted Every Tuesday Evening.

Posted by: votenic | December 4, 2007 2:46 PM | Report abuse

As the election nears, the electorate is paying closer attention and thinking more soberly. The many many flaws of Clinton and Giuliani in the eyes of their respective parties are changing minds. In many ways, including style, ideology, and personality, Obama and Huckabee are their parties "dream" nominees. The importance of name recognition is subsiding, and more serious thinking is turning voters away from the frontrunners.

Posted by: xjspzx | December 4, 2007 2:38 PM | Report abuse

The Clinton team is just not as sharp with Hillary as the front person for the duo. She's got to know better than to personally go after Obama, But she can't help herself. She is the female version of Richard Nixon: Mean & Nasty. I wonder if it was a coincedance that Bill got along with Nixon so well. I think he must be attracted to that type of personality.

Posted by: vbhoomes | December 4, 2007 2:36 PM | Report abuse

I don't think the two explanations are mutually exclusive. It's probably a combination of both - more scruntity as more folks get interested and people growing tired of the same faces always seeming to be in the lead. I don't have a concrete reason to hate the Patriots, but I was cheering at the thought of them losing last night - most likely because I'm tired of them winning.

Posted by: USMC_Mike | December 4, 2007 2:29 PM | Report abuse

Norman Hsu indicted. More great news for Senator Clinton.
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601103&sid=aVIRM6Ct5MRM&refer=us

Posted by: TennGurl | December 4, 2007 2:08 PM | Report abuse

The longer the campaign and the longer one candidate has been a front runner, the more likely that a swoon will become permanent. Hillary is not coming off well under the spotlight. Her only salvation may be the timing of Iowa so soon after the holidays and the unknown effect of campaigning during that time. But I think she won't be able to compete with whichever candidate inherits the "anyone but Hillary" mantle.

The situation on the republican side is much more dynamic. It is almost like the more the voters get to know these candidates, the more they'd like other choices. Huckabee has real momentum, but it has yet to be seen whether he can emerge nationally as Jimmy Carter did in 1976, or whether his strength and delegate count are limited regionally. My own hunch right now is that he is strong enough with the base to take the nomination despite his organizational and financial weakness. Pure likeability can be the trump card.

Posted by: rich5 | December 4, 2007 1:52 PM | Report abuse

The media outlets and their pundits will hype any and all changes in the numbers to convince viewers/readers that we have a tight, unpredictable race. The media wants a race, because the drama is good for business: increased viewership/readership ensures more advertising revenue.

When Hillary was ahead by 25 points in national polls, many pundits said the Democratic nomination race is all but over. How ridiculous to say such a thing so early in the process, months before the first primary. The latest numbers prove the volatility of the race, and of public opinion, throughout the process.

The main problem is that the nominees for both parties are likely to be determined by early February. Between February and November of 2008, national and international events -- and the ways in which the nominees react to them -- will change the dynamics of the race again and again. Primary voters will repeatedly experience "buyer's remorse" throughout the spring, summer and fall. Moreover, pundits will say, "We thought we knew how it would all turn out, but perhaps we're not so sure now."

It's an ongoing soap opera for political junkies like us who need a daily "fix." The only predictable element of the presidential campaign is the ongoing media hype which turns every blip into major drama.

Posted by: harlemboy | December 4, 2007 1:50 PM | Report abuse

After Kindergate will Clinton's lead continue to shrivel. The Clinton campaign is now attacking the ambitions of a five year old. Talk about desparate and sad.

http://www.hillaryclinton.com/news/release/view/?id=4479

Posted by: TennGurl | December 4, 2007 1:49 PM | Report abuse

"The next time somebody in the media denies that there is media bias, ask how they explain the fact that there are at least a hundred stories about the shrinking arctic ice cap for every one about the expanding antarctic ice cap, which has now grown to record size. "

Everyone's an enviornmental scientist now adays. I'll take real scientists over the propogating Zouk's of the world. He (and his party)doesn't have an agenda or bias here; HEHEEHE

Oh.

Go Obama 08 WHOOAA :)

Posted by: JKrishnamurti | December 4, 2007 1:47 PM | Report abuse

One of the main reasons not to elect Rudy is that he does business with terrorists:

'WASHINGTON, Dec. 3 -- Although Rudolph W. Giuliani is campaigning as President Bush's staunch ally in the war on terror, his law office has lobbied Congress on behalf of legislation that the Bush administration calls a threat to antiterrorism efforts in the Horn of Africa.

A State Department official described the legislation that the firm helped to push as detrimental. "The reality is, in fact, it does harm a relationship" with an ally, the official said.'

'The contradictory and stunning reality is that Giuliani Partners, the consulting company that has made Giuliani rich, feasts at the Qatar trough, doing business with the ministry run by the very member of the royal family identified in news and government reports as having concealed KSM--the terrorist mastermind who wired funds from Qatar to his nephew Ramzi Yousef prior to the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center, and who also sold the idea of a plane attack on the towers to Osama bin Laden--on his Qatar farm in the mid-1990s.'


Posted by: drindl | December 4, 2007 1:42 PM | Report abuse

"There are far better reasons to not like Giuliani."

There are reasons to like him, as well. It's all part of the total package that folks look at to make a judgement call on who is most capable to lead the country. I also just recently learned that Giuliani's father, Harold Giuliani, spent time in Sing Sing for armed robbery.

But Giuliani didn't use his neighborhood or his mob-connected in-laws or his father's criminal past as an excuse for failure, and I admire him for that.

In 1993, he became the first Republican in a generation to be elected mayor of New York City. In 1997, in a city where Democrats hold a five-to-one registration advantage over Republicans, Giuliani was re-elected with nearly 60 percent of the vote. This, after serving as U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, appointed by President Reagan, where he targeted and prosecuted the heads of New York's five mob families.

All told, not a bad step up from Sing Sing in one generation.

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | December 4, 2007 1:41 PM | Report abuse

proudtobeGOP writes
"that should've read "For example, some may not have known that he got a draft deferrment to keep him of out Vietnam""

There are far better reasons to not like Giuliani. I wasn't eligible at the time, but had I been, I too would have done whatever it took to avoid the draft for Vietnam. I think your general comments about character are more relevant (for both he & HRC).

Posted by: bsimon | December 4, 2007 1:31 PM | Report abuse

"Does the USA Today survey represent serious slippage by Giuliani and Clinton or the natural tightening that should be expected in any race as high profile as this one?"

Yes.

I don't see the distinction between the options. You seem to be asking whether the slippage is specifically caused by voters disliking Giuliani and Clinton, or by voters generally disliking the candidate in the lead. But Giuliani and Clinton have been the frontrunners for nearly a year because of their name recognition and media coverage. Now that people are finding out more about them, their numbers are slipping. So the drop in poll numbers was bound to happen, though the exact reasons for it are based on the details of the candidates. Voters have gotten tired of overlooking the frontrunners' flaws.

Posted by: Blarg | December 4, 2007 1:29 PM | Report abuse

Up until recently, the national polls have been little other than reflections of name ID and press coverage. The tightening of the numbers reflects the fact that more potential voters are becoming engaged and forming actual opinions rather than just regurgitating headlines. How Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Giuliani will fare in this process remains to be seen, but it is traditionally very damaging to early frontrunners.

Posted by: Stonecreek | December 4, 2007 1:23 PM | Report abuse

from the WSJ ...

'For months, Dale Albright, a 30-year-old Tampa, Fla., bankruptcy lawyer, has watched as his clients buckle under mortgage and credit-card debts. After an expensive recent hospital stay, he's worried that a run of bad luck could leave him in financial straits, too.

"I care about bringing our troops home...and for the most part, I believe as far as domestic terrorism goes, I think we've got that pretty much under control," Mr. Albright says. "But the economy really scares me." A longtime Republican, this election he says he's voting Democrat.

With the parties just weeks away from the first presidential nominating contests, economic concerns are seizing a top spot in many voters' minds. Falling housing prices, rising gasoline prices and health-insurance worries are supplanting the war in Iraq and concern over terrorism.

"Everywhere in town halls, you'll get a question from someone saying, 'I'm worried about losing my job and my health benefits,'" says Douglas Holtz-Eakin, economic adviser to Arizona Sen. John McCain. "You have to have a health plan even in the Republican primary, and that's a new development."

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB119673283200712636.html?mod=hpp_us_editors_picks

Posted by: drindl | December 4, 2007 1:23 PM | Report abuse

sorry, that should've read "For example, some may not have known that he got a draft deferrment to keep him of out Vietnam"

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | December 4, 2007 1:16 PM | Report abuse

Twenty seven years ago, in November 1980, Chile, Dr. Pinera's home country, approved Social Security reform in which a tax-based, pay-as-you go government retirement system -- essentially identical to what we have here -- was replaced with an ownership based system of individually owned retirement accounts. Yes, in principle the kind of reform that President Bush proposed.

As the then youthful Minister of Labor and Social Security of Chile, Pinera was the godfather, mastermind, architect, navigator, and quarterback of the reform.

Key in execution was to allow every Chilean worker the dignity of choice.

They could choose to stay in the existing system, continue to pay payroll taxes, and qualify for government benefits at retirement, or they could get out and use those same funds to open and invest in their own personal retirement account.

Within months, 90 percent of the Chilean workforce opted out of the government system and into their own personal ownership regime.

The result has been more than just an enormously successful transformation of a failed government retirement system. Chile's social security privatization -- if I may use the word that politicians, even the conservative ones, choke on these days -- has been a driving piston in Chile's economic engine, now the most powerful in Latin America.

The average real (adjusted for inflation) annual return of Chile's personal retirement accounts over the last 26 years has been over ten percent (the historical real annual return on stocks in the U.S. is 7 percent).

http://www.townhall.com/Columnists/Column.aspx?ContentGuid=ae20874e-298b-42ce-bbeb-da9645705d59

Posted by: kingofzouk | December 4, 2007 1:07 PM | Report abuse

The American people are finally realizing that meaningful change will not happen if we continue to elect the same people over and over. Experience in office does not equate to making the right decisions. Look at all those Senators and Representatives who have served more than 3 terms. How has America benefitted from all their combined experience? Nothing. Their experience has translated into personal power and wealth for them, while eroding the American middle class, the backbone of our nation.

That is why voters have finally awakened to the fact that they must pick the right candidate this time or face an even bleaker future. Concerned voters will not be fooled by false promises, name recognition, or so-called experience. Voters want someone who has the intelligence, integrity, and vision to lead us on the right path. We want someone who is man enough to admit when he is wrong and has the courage to correct his mistakes. Obama has what voters are looking for.

Posted by: Nevadaandy | December 4, 2007 1:06 PM | Report abuse

"Electile Dysfunction" LOL. good one. It's becoming more prevalent too, due to the huge increase in money raised vs. energy expended in truth telling.

Slippage in the polls is to be expected, especially since neither party has found the "perfect candidate", and never will. Giuliani's front-runner image has been tarnished as voters look closely at his bio and judgement. For example, some may not have known that he got a draft to keep him of out Vietnam while he attended law school. Later, in 1968, as the Vietnam War was escalating, he was classified 1-A, or draft eligible, but after going to work for a federal judge, he received an occupational deferment.

All in all, I think leadership traits or experience are far less important to voters than character attributes such as honesty, and that may be ultimately where Clinton and Giuiliani have a problem.

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | December 4, 2007 1:05 PM | Report abuse

Several thoughts:

1. HRC's lead was based a lot on WJC and the natural high name id. When people start focusing on the race, they move from name id to the actual candidate.

2. Bill and Hillary have both had some major slips that allowed voters to flashback to parsing and triangulation. That probably did not help her.

3. Obama and Edwards have gotten much better at pointing out real differences between their policy platforms and HRC's. She would have been happy to leave it as all three are the same, move on to the general.

4. HRC is a tough customer and when you move away the huge unnatural grin and the strange ill placed laugh, you end up with someone with extremely high negatives. That typically hurts when voters start to focus.

Posted by: cg_tgt | December 4, 2007 1:04 PM | Report abuse

So, if politicians ever get around to making Social Security stable, let's make sure of one thing: we all recognize that it always was a system based on swindle, a swindle that politicians devised and politicians exploited and politicians still praise.

So, it's about time for Hillary, and Rudy, and Mitt, and the others to start talking about these issues up front, and honestly.

But if we citizens do not press them, if we do not take the initiative, they will wait until it's way too late. Further, we must do this before they commit another atrocity, concoct yet another huge swindle of a welfare state system . . . as many of them are planning to inflict on us right now. We must tell our politicians to Fix Social Security NOW -- Prove to us that you can be trusted with our health.

The best way to prevent a health care reform fiasco? Make politicians deal with Social Security first. The rule should be: fix what you've broken before you fix what you've merely damaged. And learn from your mistakes, for goodness sake.

http://www.townhall.com/Columnists/Column.aspx?ContentGuid=8451789c-b798-4325-96e0-fb6453333ff9&page=2

Posted by: kingofzouk | December 4, 2007 1:03 PM | Report abuse

i repeat, zouk, how much do they pay you for coming on her and posting outright lies and propaganda?

and why aren't you in iraq?

Posted by: drindl | December 4, 2007 1:01 PM | Report abuse

You see, trolling for Exxon can be quite profitable:

'Christopher Monckton, a well-known climate change "skeptic" and British aristocrat has fired off a response to U.S. Senators Snowe and Rockefeller for their letter this fall urging oil giant ExxonMobil to cease funding to US "think" tanks that are actively involved in the PR campaign to confuse the public about climate change.'


'Sterling Burnett is a senior fellow at the National Center for Policy Analysis, an organization that has received over $390,000 from ExxonMobil since 1998. This afternoon on Fox, Burnett compared watching Al Gore's movie, An Inconvenient Truth, to watching a movie by Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels to learn about Nazi Germany.

ExxonMobil doesn't have a substantive answer to Gore's movie, so it bankrolls people like Burnett to smear Gore personally.

Dutifully, Burnett recently wrote an editorial defending former Exxon CEO Lee Raymond's lavish compensation (which amounted to $190,000 a day in 2005). He failed to mention his financial connection to the company.

Posted by: drindl | December 4, 2007 12:59 PM | Report abuse

I can only guess that you resent the idea that a Liberal might have to defend their religion. that you want to stomp on any discusssions or arguements because of your weak and indefensible positions. that you prefer to scream over any intelligent debate. that every liberal issue is "settled".

Yet no facts or reason penetrate your egotistical bubble. how could they?

Posted by: kingofzouk | December 4, 2007 12:59 PM | Report abuse

how much does exxon pay you zouk?

Posted by: drindl | December 4, 2007 12:55 PM | Report abuse

Now that the British television documentary, "The Great Global Warming Swindle" is available on DVD, will those schools that forced their students to watch Al Gore's movie, "An Inconvenient Truth" also show them the other side? Ask them.

sowell

Posted by: kingofzouk | December 4, 2007 12:49 PM | Report abuse

The question is not whether the frontrunners lose ground but rather why. And there is absolutely no doubt that the media play a central role in these ups and downs during the campaign.
Reporting day-in and day-out about the same line-up is no fund for the press. So it makes sense to knock down the leaders that the media installed and bolstered for a while, and then knock them down and promote other candidates.
This is obvious with respect to the Democratic and Republican races.

Posted by: bn1123 | December 4, 2007 12:48 PM | Report abuse

The next time somebody in the media denies that there is media bias, ask how they explain the fact that there are at least a hundred stories about the shrinking arctic ice cap for every one about the expanding antarctic ice cap, which has now grown to record size.

sowell

Posted by: kingofzouk | December 4, 2007 12:46 PM | Report abuse

Clinton and Guiliani's slippage is simply the fact that people are getting to know who they are a lot better -- and not liking it much.

Posted by: drindl | December 4, 2007 12:39 PM | Report abuse

The latest news from Iran about the supposed abandonment in 2003 of the effort to produce a Bomb -- if even remotely accurate -- presents somewhat of a dilemma for liberal Democrats.

Are they now to suggest that Republicans have been warmongering over a nonexistent threat for partisan purposes? But to advance that belief is also to concede that Iran, like Libya, likely came to a conjecture (around say early spring 2003?) that it was not wise for regimes to conceal WMD programs, given the unpredictable, but lethal American military reaction.

After all, what critic would wish now to grant that one result of the 2003 war -- aside from the real chance that Iraq can stabilize and function under the only consensual government in the region -- might have been the elimination, for some time, of two growing and potentially nuclear threats to American security, quite apart from Saddam Hussein?

War is unpredictable and instead of "no blood for oil" (oil went from $20 something to $90 something a barrel after the war, enriching Iraq and the Arab Gulf region at our expense), perhaps the cry, post facto, should have been "no blood for the elimination of nukes."

VDH

Posted by: kingofzouk | December 4, 2007 12:38 PM | Report abuse

I believe that it is slippage by the front-runners. I would also argue that it is because of the efforts of the other candidates. For Giuliani, the false images of "America's Mayor" and "9/11 Hero" may not be enough to convince people of his candidacy. As for Clinton, try as she may, she will not be able to convince Americans of her honesty and straight-forwardness. I believe that while the national media, and some democrats, has called for Barack Obama to run a more negative campaign, I believe that he has run a smart, effective, and different campaign. I believe that it is time for Americans to find a way to come together. We face so many challenges, that if we are not united, all our wealth, all our might, and all our strength may not save us. I truly believe that Obama gives us a better shot of uniting as a country, in comparison to Clinton.

Posted by: frfrew11 | December 4, 2007 12:27 PM | Report abuse

Liberals, at least genuine liberals, are actively opposed to Clinton. One liberal group, Democratic Courage, began airing negative commercials opposed to her yesterday in Iowa. Nationwide, liberals are organizing, collecting money, and assembling campaigns to defeat her. Basciall we see her as a spineless weasel, a Bush Republican in her tired failed policies, the weakest of all possible Democratic candidates, and a certain looser come next November.

Posted by: mibrooks27 | December 4, 2007 12:25 PM | Report abuse

Bill Clinton's wife seems to have gone totally "No wire hangers!!" as she slaps, pinches, kicks, yells and grabs young Obama by his inviting ears and accuses him of all the things that are wrong with her own candidacy. Breathtaking to watch.

The media and liberals are just now beginning to realize they have a creeping case of Electile Dysfunction when it comes to the Bubbas. This sort of thing happens when you fall in love with someone new and young and different. It can be humiliating and thrilling at the same time. Call it the ten year itch relieved by Obamanism.

http://lucianne.com/

Posted by: kingofzouk | December 4, 2007 12:22 PM | Report abuse

the poll certianly does not show slippage in the"i voted for it before i voted against it" sense but it does show that clinton is coming back to the pack that is Obama. on the democratic side the poll shows a surge in Huckamania members fueled by people waking up to the fact that mittromeny is the republican John Kerry.

Posted by: candylane | December 4, 2007 12:21 PM | Report abuse

It would have been near impossible for Clinton to maintain the lead she had. But the interesting point to make is none of the other candidates has excited poeople.

It is so easy to forget that Clinton started out way behind in Iowa. She always knew that it would be the toughest State for her and chose to battle it out. After all Edwards has nearly lived there for two years and was there often the two years before.

The AP/PEW poll shows that it is really a race there as they have her up while the Iowa poll has Obama up so it is really going to be close and will depend on who can get their voters out.

The recent Gallup poll and the the PEW poll both have her up by at least 15% nationwide. If one looks at the Nevada, Florida, CA, SC polls she still holds commanding leads even after being attacked by everyone - democrats and republicans- for the last three months.

I think this will be a tight race but I can still imagine Hillary being called "The comeback girl" after New Hampshire- something that some of the press would enjoy as they like headlines.

I agree with ctown_woody that however Clinton came down the press would make a big deal of it- they like to make races and they like to build someone up and tear them down. We have seen it time and time again.

It would be actually great if the press would all go home and just publish the position papers of all the candidates and let people read them. Give people some credit for smarts.

They don't always need often biased reporters telling them what to think.

Posted by: peterdc | December 4, 2007 12:21 PM | Report abuse

Genuine liberals loathe Clinton. As of yesterday, a group "Democratic Courage" started airing negative commercials against her. Nation wide, other liberal advocacy groups are coming out against her. Basically, we think she is a spineless weasel, the weakest of all possible candidates, a sure looser come next November, and a Republican in Dmeocratic clothing. So, "YES", it's slippage.

Posted by: mibrooks27 | December 4, 2007 12:21 PM | Report abuse

Chris, I said it before and I'll say it again: people are finally paying attention to the race. Conservatives are finding they have a genuine conservative with some charisma in Huckabee. Liberals are finding they have a genuine liberal with charisma in Obama. The prior national leads of Clinton and Giuliani were based on name recognition, which drove positive media coverage, which further increased their leads.

Now that voters are considering the candidates actually becoming president and, you know, doing things, all bets are off.

I'd further point out that both Clinton and Romney have slipped massively in both IA and NH where people have been actively engaged with the race for maybe a month now; it's taking time for the national numbers to catch up due to the fact that not everyone is paying attention yet.

Posted by: Nissl | December 4, 2007 12:21 PM | Report abuse

I think that poll numbers at the beginning of campaigns are pretty much useless - for two reasons. One, most people just simply don't much about the candidates running. Hell, they probably couldn't even name most of them. So name recognition counts for a lot. Thus Rudy & Hillary get props because people don't want to seem like they're not paying attention. Secondly, I think people don't want to get caught backing a "loser" - that they don't want to "waste" their vote on someone who - in their mind - has no chance of winning. Just look at the recent surge for Huckabee. I always thought it strange that his numbers were in the low single digits given that he's the most natural fit for the evangelical vote. I think his numbers are rising because people are starting to pay attention to the candidates and because he now seems "viable" so it's OK to support him. It would be interesting to see what the poll numbers would be if people actually supported who they really wanted rather than calculate their vote. I think on the Democratic side, the race would be much tighter, with 4 or 5 candidates all within striking distance of each other - rather than the situation we have now where it is essentially a 2 person race (on days that I'm feeling more generous, I could include Edwards and say 3).

Posted by: louchelife | December 4, 2007 12:20 PM | Report abuse

The media likes horse races in elections, not voters. Can you really see a voter sitting there thinking, "Wow, Hillary is just too far ahead. I'm going to throw my support to Edwards so the election is closer." Beyond ridiculous.

Hillary is down because it's impossible to remain 30 pts ahead as name ID starts to even out and people start to pay attention. It's not because voters would be bored with a blowout.

Posted by: cmss1 | December 4, 2007 12:20 PM | Report abuse

I believe as you suggest this is a natural tightening of the race as well as the desire of most media (especially those hearing the same old speech every day) to make something out of the race. The real problem as I see it is the whole Iowa getting to choose the candidates for the rest of us. As a resident of California, a state so large and with so many people, its vote should certainly count, I know that by the time I participate, the cadidates will already be selected and the focus will be on who will be VP. This process is quaint, but discriminates against the rest of America. As such, what ever the national polls say is irrelevant given that the choice will be made by less then 200,000 Iowans, with New Hampshire sealing the deal.

Posted by: tmslatton | December 4, 2007 12:20 PM | Report abuse

this is the silly season when the voters begin to consider what an ideal candidate could do. the facts do not matter. they muse over electing inexperienced candidates who offer no substance. they did it with Dean too.

But later, when it counts, the electability factor will return and Rudy and hillary will dominate again.

Posted by: kingofzouk | December 4, 2007 12:12 PM | Report abuse

If the polls showed that support for Clinton over Obama, or Guiliani over Romney/Huckabee, dropped from 100%-0%, to a new 99%-1%, pollsters and reporters would be talking about a tightening race. The differences in most states, except Iowa, have been exceedingly small and the races close; that hasn't changed. However, "No real change" isn't a headline, byline or first line to any 'real' story.

Posted by: ctown_woody | December 4, 2007 12:06 PM | Report abuse

I believe most voters are interested in the horse race only in the sense that they want to know how their candidate is doing (and in contrast, how the candidates they dislike are doing). The media likes the horse race for horse race's sake much more than potential voters, most of whom select their candidate on far more important criteria.

Posted by: edwardcopeland | December 4, 2007 12:05 PM | Report abuse

Chris,
I think this is just a natural tendency in primaries, rather than evidence that either front runner is in danger of losing the lead for good. You're right, people do enjoy a horse race-- but the media enjoys it even more, as it makes for a good story.
DB in DC

Posted by: dbitt | December 4, 2007 12:04 PM | Report abuse

CC writes "Maybe its our anti-monarchical tendencies that resist the idea of a coronation,"

Or maybe the MSM didn't realize that their 'educated picks" had nothing in common with what the regular day Americans wanted.

Clinton and Guiliani were always flawed as candidates to start with. What you are seeing now is the public is starting to pay attention and that is happening right when Obama and Huckabee are hitting their strides. Running for president is more about hitting your peak at just the right time and not to early (see Dean of 04) or too late (Edwards of 04).

That being said the poll you mention polls Adults not voters so it should be taken with a grain of salt in regards to the election.

Posted by: AndyR3 | December 4, 2007 12:00 PM | Report abuse

There is no doubt that Clinton's lead is slipping. I would credit that not to a return to the status quo, but rather her slipping. Simply put, when you are at the top, there is no other way to go but down. She ran a great campaign for most of the race, but has recently done a poor job responding to the attacks of her opponents. Before, she could appear to be above the fray. However, when the other Dem. contenders started attacking her on a variety of issues, she responded with juvenile attacks on baseless issues. Furthermore, most of the criticisms can be leveled right back at her. It's not the status quo, it's her slipping in the polls due to bad decisions by her and her staff.

Posted by: bwvr | December 4, 2007 11:57 AM | Report abuse

"Does the USA Today survey represent serious slippage by Giuliani and Clinton or the natural tightening that should be expected in any race as high profile as this one?"

The USA Today poll represents a natural change resulting from the electorate beginning to pay more attention to the race. The natural 'name recognition' lead of candidates like Clinton and Giulianni shrinks as voters learn about all the candidates and their relative strengths & weaknesses.

Posted by: bsimon | December 4, 2007 11:57 AM | Report abuse

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