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07 June 2008
Fairy tales, can come true, it can happen to you...
by Alan Smithee
Hillary Clinton speaks at the
National Building Museum
in Washington, DC, in the Great Hall of the Pension Building
(former name for the building.)
Senator Clinton, President Clinton, Senator Clintons mother
and Chelsea mount the podium. She
waves and yells "Thank you" a few times, "Thank you so much, thank you
all". She keeps thanking while waiting for the crowd to quiet down.
Well this isn't exactly the party I planned but I sure like the
company. I want to start today by saying how grateful I am to all
of you...list of thank yous (who scrimped and saved to donate
money, who emailed and contributed online, etc) To the moms
and dads who lifted their little boys and little girls on their
shoulders and whispered in their ears "see, you can be anything
you want to be." Anecdotes about people who sacrificed to donate
and volunteered support, women in their 80s and 90s born before
women could vote.
My commitment to you and to the progress we seek is unyielding.
You have humbled me with your commitment to our country...Women
and men, young and old, rich, poor and middle-class, gay and
straight, you have stood with me and I will continue to stand
strong with you. The dreams we shared are worth fighting for.
Anecdote about woman who works three jobs but has no health
care, the Iraqi war vet, the feeling invisible shtick.
You'll always find me on the front lines of democracy fighting
for you (crowd goes wild.) The way to continue our fight now,
to accomplish our goals, is to take our energy...and help
elect Barak Obama the next president of the United States (some
booing but mostly wild cheers.) Today as I suspend my campaign
I congratulate him...and throw my full support behind him. And
I ask all of you to join me in working as hard for Barak Obama
as you have for me (some boos but mostly cheers.) List of
Barak Obama plaudits...Now when I started this race I intended
to win back the White House and put our country back on the
path to peace and progress and that's exactly what we're going
to do with Barak Obama.
Now I understand that this has been a tough fight, but the
democratic party is a family...we may have started on separate
journeys but now our paths have merged...because so much is
at stake...list of platform items (economy, prosperity, universal
health care) it is a fight I will continue until every American
is insured...women's rights to gay rights...promoting unionization,
we all want to restore America's standing in the world and end
the war in Iraq...
You know I've been involved in politics and public life in one
way or another for four decades...and during those forty years
our country has voted ten times for president...democrats have
only won three of those elections and the man who has won two
of those times is with us today...We made tremendous progress
under a democratic president...think about how much more progress
we could have made if we had a democratic president those forty
years...(and these past seven years)...we cannot let this moment
slip away. Some will say we can't do it, it's too hard, we're just
not up to the task.
So today I am standing for Senator Obama and saying "Yes We Can!"
...that's why we need your help to elect Barak Obama President.
On the day we live in an America where (platform items are a
reality) we'll live in a stronger America. That's why we have
to elect Barak Obama.
(Again, platform items...)
That's why we have to elect Barak Obama our president.
When we first started people everywhere asked the same question: "Could
a woman really serve as commander-in-chief?" Well I think we
answered that one. And, can an African-American really be president,
and I think Barak Obama has answered that one...
Now, on a personal note, when I was asked what it was like
to be a woman running for president I always answered I was
proud to be a woman but I was running because I thought I
would be the best president...I ran as a daughter who benefitted
from opportunities my mother never dreamed of, as a mother...,
we must make sure that women and men alike must understand the
struggles of their mothers and their grandmothers...equal pay
and equal respect. Let us resolve and work towards achieving:
There are no acceptable limits, there are no acceptable
prejudices in the twenty-first century. You can be so proud
that from now on it will be UN-remarkable for a woman to
(win state primaries, to be a president of the united states)
and THAT is truly remarkable my friends.
To those who are disappointed that we couldn't go all the way,
especially the young people...when you stumble get right back
up and never listen to anyone who says you can't or shouldn't
go on. As we gather here today in this historic, magnificent
building...(right now the fiftieth woman is orbiting the earth)
if we can launch fifty women into space we can
certainly launch a woman into the white house...
List of various struggles (suffragists at Seneca Falls, civil rights
workers who defeated Jim Crow.) Because of them Barak Obama and
I could launch a campaign...because of them an African-American
or woman can yes become president of the united states...you
helped pave the way to that day...every moment wasted looking
back keeps us from moving forward. Life is too short, time is
too precious, and the stakes are too high. We have to work
together for what still can be...I hope and pray all of you
will join me in that effort (to elect Barak Obama.) To my
supporters (in congress etc) thank you...labor unions...to my
friends in every stage of life...to my family especially, Bill,
Chelsea and my mother...and to my extraordinary staff and
volunteers thank you and thanks to your families as well. Now
being human we are imperfect, that's why we need each other,
to catch each other when we falter...our lives, our freedoms,
and our happiness are best protected and best advanced when
we work together...we will make history together...we will stand
united for the values we hold dear...there is nothing more American
than...looking out at you today I have never felt so glad. The
challenges I have faced in this campaign are nothing compared
to what millions of Americans face every day...I'm going to
keep working (for various platform items)...
This now our time,
to do all that we can, to make sure in this election, to add
another democratic president to that small list of the last
forty years...thank you all and god bless you and god bless
America (crowd cheers, speech ends.)
03 June 2008
And Now Comes Obama...
by Alan Smithee
Senator Obama speaks in St Paul, Minnesota (highlights.)
Note: The TV networks are beginning to call Obama the
Thank you Minnesota...Thank you...Thank you so much (cheering crowd.)
What a wonderful reception...thank you St Paul, thank you Minnesota,
thank you Michelle Obama (and names kids)...thank you to my brothers
and sisters...thank you to my staff...thank you to my volunteers...thank
you to our campaign manager (David Croft?) who has built the best
political organization in the country...thank you to my grandmother
who is sitting right now in Hawaii because she can't travel, who
made me the man I am today...tonight is for her.
Tonight, Minnesota, after 54 hard-fought contests, our primary
season has finally come to an end (crowd cheers.) 16 months
have passed since we first stood together on the steps of the
old step capital in Springfield, Illinois...because you decided
that change must come to Washington...because you chose to listen
not to your doubts or your fears but to your hopes and your
highest aspirations...we mark the end of one journey and the
beginning of another...because of you I can say that I will be
the democratic nominee for the president of the United States of
America (crowd goes wild.)
I want to thank...I want to thank...all those in Montana and
South Dakota who stood up for change today...I want to thank
every American who stood with us on the good days and the bad.
I also want to thank the men and women who stood with me as
fellow candidates for president...I have not just competed with
them as rivals, I have learned from them as friends, as public
servants...they are leaders of this party...and this is particularly
true of the candidate who has travelled further than anyone else.
Senator Clinton has made history in this campaign...she has made
history not just because she is a woman who has done what no
woman has done before...but because she is a leader who inspires.
I congratulate her on her victory in South Dakota, and I congratulate
on the race that she has run.
I can tell you what gets Hillary Clinton up in the morning is...an
unyielding desire to improve the lives of Americans...when we
win that fight (for health care) she will be central to that
victory. When we transform our energy policy and lift our children
out of poverty it will be because she fought for those things...I
am a better candidate for having run against Hillary Rodham Clinton.
There are those who say this primary has left our party weaker...there
are independents who discovered that this isn't just about a change
in Washington, but about a need to change Washington...at the end
of the day we aren't the reason you came out...you didn't do that
because of me, or Senator Clinton, or anyone else...you did that
because...we can't keep doing what we've been doing. For all those
who dream of this tonight...let us begin to chart a new course for
America (crowd goes wild.)
In just a few short months the republican party will arrive in
St Paul with a very different agenda...to nominate John McCain,
a man who has served this country heroically, I respect his many
accomplishments even if he chooses to deny mine...my differences
with him are not personal, they are with the policies he has proposed
in this campaign...though he has been independent in the past,
independence has not been the theme of his campaign...(links McCain
to Bush)...(McCain) asks everything of our soldiers in Iraq, and
nothing of Iraqi politicians...a war which isn't making America
any safer...there are many words to describe McCain's policies,
but change is not one of them...change does not begin with a war
which should have never been authorized, and should have never been
waged...what's not an option is leaving our troops in that country
for another 100 years when our military is being stretched...We must
be as careful getting out of Iraq as we were careless getting in. It's
time for Iraqis to take responsibility for their country's future.
It's time to refocus our efforts on Al Qaeda...climate change...terrorism,
nuclear weapons...that's what change is. Not just meeting their fire power,
but the power of our diplomacy...where the president of the United
States isn't afraid to tell a petty dictator what our policies are.
Middle class tax break to those who need it...investing in our
crumbling infrastructure...renewing our commitment to science and
innovation...fiscal responsibility like when Bill Clinton was president.
John McCain is talking about making a trip to Iraq...but maybe if
he went to the towns and cities in America and saw people struggling
he'd understand...(health care reform...that's the change we need
Minnesota...crowd cheers.) Maybe if John McCain went to Pennsylvania
and met the man who lost his job and can't afford the gas to go
around looking for a job...we can't afford oil bought from dictators.
And maybe if John McCain spent some time in the schools in South
Carolina, or St Paul, or where he spoke tonight in New Orleans...That's
why I'm running for president of the United States (crowd breaks out
into a "Yes We Can!" chant.)
Now, the other side will come here in September and offer a very
different set of policies and positions and that is a good thing,
it is a debate I look forward to...but what you don't deserve is
another election which is governed by fear, and innuendo, what you
won't hear from this side is...using religion as a wedge, and patriotism
as a bludgeon...we may call ourselves democrats, or republicans, but
we are Americans first, we are always Americans first.
Despite what the good Senator from Arizona may have seen tonight...list
of various political accomplishments...beyond all the point-scoring
in Washington...Americans are a decent people, united by common
hopes...(historical references)...so it has been for every
generation that has faced down the greatest challenges and most
improbable odds to give their children a better world...America
this is our moment, this is our turn, this is our time to turn
a page on the past...to offer a new direction for this country
that we love...the journey will be difficult, the road will be
long. I face this challenge with profound humility...but I also
face it with limitless faith in the American people...I am absolutely
certain that we will look back and say this was the moment we
began to provide health care, slow the rise of the oceans, heal
the planet, this was the moment, this was the time, when we came
together to remake this nation so it may always reflect our highest
ideals...Thank you Minnesota, thank you America, God Bless You.
03 June 2008
Hillary Speaks! No Decision Tonight!
What A Long, Strange Trip It's Been!
by Alan Smithee
Thank you, thank you all so much, thanks so much to South Dakota,
you have the last word in this primary season...I want to start
tonight by congratulating Senator Obama...our party and our
democracy is stronger as a result. It has been an honor to
contest these primaries, just as it is an honor to call him my
Sixteen months ago we started a journey...list of states etc...to
right here in the great state of New York. We saw millions of Americans
registering to vote for the first time...Mothers and fathers lifting
their little girls and boys onto their shoulders and saying "See,
you can be anything you want to be" (crowd cheers.) I am just
enormously grateful...because you asked yourself a simple question: Who
would be the strongest candidate, and who would be the strongest
president...who will be ready to take back the White House. People
in all 50 states and the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico had
a chance to let your choice be known...18 million of you voted...more
votes than any primary vote in American history. Even when the pundits
and the naysayers (boos) said this was over you kept voting.
You have voted because you wanted to take back the White House and
because of you we won, together, the swing states necessary to get
to 270 electoral votes. (Crowd chants "YES SHE CAN!") In all states
you voted because you wanted a leader who can stand up for the
values of the democratic party...list of platform items...I often
felt that each of your votes was a prayer for your nation...to chart
a new course...I am so proud we stayed the course together (crowd
Because we stood our ground every citizen made their voice known,
35 million voted in this primary. We have brought so many people
into the democratic party...I am committed to uniting our
party...to take back the White House.
So many people felt invisible, like your president didn't even
see you....I have met too many people without health care, just
a diagnosis away from financial ruin...
None of you is invisible to me, you never have been. I see you,
I see how hard-working you are...I will keep working for you
every single day...I see the promise of America every day.
I know a lot of people are asking "what does Hillary want?" I want
to end the war in Iraq, I want to turn this economy around, every
child to live up to their god-given potential...every person...to
no longer remain invisible (crowd goes wild.) I have an old-fashioned
notion, one which has been the basis of my life's work. That public
service is about helping people...and that's what I want for
every single person...it's wrong that people pay 50% more for
health care than any other wealthy nation...I've been working
on this issue not for the past 16 months but for the past 16
years...I want an economy that works for all families...(jobs)
That's why I souned the alarm on the mortgage crisis over a year
ago. I want to restore American's leadership in the world again.
These are the issues that brought me into this race. They have been,
and they will continue to be the lifeblood of my work. Your spirit
has inspired me every day...you reached out to help me...to grab
my arm, look me in the eye to tell me not to quit (crowd cheers and
chants.) List of donators (Iraq vet, kid who sold his bike, lady
who waited to give me a rosary.) You brought me back in Ohio,
and on Super-Tuesday...list of states she won.
I will carry your stories and your dreams with me every day of my
The question is where do we go from here? ...I will be making no
decisions tonight (crowd goes wild.) But this has always been your
campaign. So to the 18 million who voted from me I want to hear
you...I hope you will go to my web site at hillaryclinton.com.
I will be consulting with (...) to determine the best way to
And I want to conclude tonight saying thank you, thank you for
welcoming me into your hearts and your homes...I am humbled...thanks
to the staff and volunteers, I thank your families and your loved
ones. And I especially want to thank the leadership of my campaign,
Terry McCauliffe who worked so hard...and especially my family,
Bill and Chelsea, ...and my mother who turns 89 tomorrow. And finally
I want to thank all of the people who had the courage to share
all of their stories with me. Anecdote from "just yesterday", a
woman was standing right up against the barrier...she grabbed
my hand and said what are you going to do about health care? She
works three jobs, she suffers from seizures, she can't afford
health care...whatever path I travel next I promise I wlll keep
Tonight we stand just a few miles from the statue of liberty and
where the twin towers fell...a constant reminder that we are
brilliant, we are courageous, no barrier we can't overcome,
no dream we can't realize, if we just start acting like Americans
again...Thank you! And God Bless America!
Maybe the Obama Oval Office can still feel indie even after the first
incident forces him to choose between upsetting Palestinians or upsetting
Israel;organizing trade with China and protesting Tibet; saving the economy
or offering middle-class taxpayers a break. Like Iron Man
a movie with a big indie heart and a giant budget and record-breaking
Not a bad analogy, Barak Obama as "Iron Man", the independent movie
which didn't come out of big Hollywood but was a huge box office
So what would John McCain be? How about "Indiana Jones and the
Kingdom of the Crystal Skull"? You know the hero is too old for
these antics, definitely an 80's hold-over, but you're curious
what the maverick will do anyhow.
And Hillary Clinton? Definitely "The Transformers", something you
thought was way cool when you were younger, back again trying to
milk that nostalgia. But somehow seeing this transformer transform
doesn't feel quite right when it's all big Hollywood, even if you know
that's what transformers do, they transform! Well, maybe now she
can transform into a VP candidate, we'll just have to wait and see.
Onwards to tonight's South Dakota and Montana democratic primary
results, and any upcoming Hillary, Obama, and McCain comments.
20 May 2008
Kentucky & Oregon & The Inconclusive End...
Big Brown Wins The Kentucky Derby!
by Alan Smithee
Kentucky, The Bluegrass State,
home of the Derby (Big Brown won this year, and won
the Preakness last week so has a shot at the triple crown),
and Oregon, The Beaver State, where vast fields of that
important pizza spice oregano were discovered by the
Lewis & Clark expedition, have their primaries today.
There are about 100 delegates in play today, specifically
51 tied to Kentucky's primary plus 9 superdelegates, and Oregon
has 52 tied to today's primary plus 13 superdelegates.
Expectations are that Clinton will win Kentucky by a large margin
and Obama should win Oregon by a few points.
The current count gives Obama 1,613 pledged delegates plus
305 superdelegates for a total of 1,918, and Clinton 1,442
pledged plus 277 superdelegates totalling 1,719.
The new number being used, to win the nomination, is 2,026, so
Obama is (before today's primaries) short by 108 and Clinton
307. It's unlikely either candidate will reach that 2,026 number
today or by the end of the primaries which have now ticked
down to Puerto Rico (6/1, 55 pledged, 8 super),
Montana (6/3, 16 pledged, 9 super), and South Dakota (6/3, 15 pledged,
on the democratic side.
So after tonight there are only 86 delegates plus 25 superdelegates
left in primary states. There are a few more superdelegates out
there such as the 2 at-large, Edwards' 19 delegates most of which
have already committed and are in the above candidates' numbers.
It's likely Obama and Clinton will roughly split today's primaries
with probably a few more to Clinton, about 50 each plus some split
of the 22 superdelegates, let's call it 61 each for argument's sake.
Add in half each of the remaining (though Clinton is expected to
do very well in Puerto Rico) and we have another 111 or 55 each,
so 105 each if we split them evenly.
This means Obama can in theory come within
three delegate votes of clinching the nomination but that's not
what's going to happen because Clinton will get somewhat more
of the remaining 111 delegates putting Obama just out of reach,
perhaps 15 or 20 delegates short, of claiming the crown. Yes,
At this point we suspect it's very likely Obama will bridge that
gap and win the nomination. It seems too easy for Obama to dig up 20 delegates
given the open, uncommitted nature of superdelegates unless
Hillary surprisingly sweeps these few remaining primaries
putting it further than a few delegates,
or even somehow grabs some superdelegates thought to be Obama's.
19:30 Both CNN and NBC have projected Hillary Clinton the winner
in Kentucky. She's leading Obama almost 60/40.
20:15 Hillary comes to the podium with Bill Clinton in Kentucky
to give victory speech. "Thank you Kentucky!", "Where every man and
woman has a fair chance", makes a statement about Ted Kennedy, talks
about projects she's worked on with senator Kennedy, "five extraordinary
decades devoted to America", "we wish him well and send our thoughts
and prayers to him", "it's not just Kentucky bluegrass which sounds
like music to my ears", "some said that your votes didn't count",
"we're winning the popular vote and I'm more determined than ever
that every vote is cast and every ballot counted", "though we've
been outspent massively your support has helped us get our message
out", "go to hillaryclinton.com and together we'll make history,
and together we will make history and I can't do it without you",
(crowd interrupts chanting "Hillary! Hillary!"), "more people
have voted for me than anyone who has ever run for the democratic
nomination, that's more than 17 million votes", "for too long
too many Americans have felt invisible in their own country, well,
you're not invisible to me, I've been fighting for you" (crowd
cheers), "every single American deserves quality health care,
a shot at the American dream", college, secure retirement, etc,
"if we only had a president ready, willing, and able to lead"
(crowd interrupts with "Yes she (we?) can"), end the war in Iraq,
restore our moral leadership in the world, "we believe America
is worth fighting for", "never giving up, and never giving in",
"not because I want to demonstrate my toughness...but because
I believe the democrats have to take back the white house", "that's
why I'm still running and that's why you're still voting", "and I'm
going on now to campaign in Montana, South Dakota, and Puerto Rico,
and I'm going to stand up for the voters in Florida and Michigan",
"I'm going to keep making our case whoever SHE may be!" (crowd
goes wild), "It's especially sweet because Kentucky has a knack
for picking presidents", "this state voted twice for a president
named Clinton", "neither Obama or I have won the 2,210 delegates
necessary to secure the nomination", "neither senator Obama nor
I will reach that number when the voting ends on June 3rd",
who is ready (to lead us out of the war on Iraq etc), I want to
thank Bill and Chelsea, various Kentucky campaign people, "grateful
to the Kentucky veterans for Hillary", to Terry McCauliffe, "I have
one more request to my supporters tonight...to everyone who has
put up signs etc...keep working, keep fighting for everything you
believe is right...people ask me how I keep going, well it is
you who keeps me going...women who were born before women could
vote, 89 year old (???name???), Andrea Steagall who's drove across
Kentucky to tell me her and her husband in Iraq support me,
some 11 year old kid who sold his bike to support her campaign,
I finally had a chance to meet him in Prestonburg, the $422 you
raised help carry the day in Kentucky","That's why I'm in this
race", "the state motto of Kentucky is ``United we stand, divided
we fall''", "we will come together as a party united by common
goals...when we do there will be no stopping us...Thank You And
God Bless You And God Bless America!" (ok that wasn't quite a
transcript but it's the high points.)
20:38 With almost 85% of the vote in it's safe to say
that Hillary Clinton
has won Kentucky by a landslide, 65% to 30%, 35 percentage points,
over 200,000 more votes than Obama.
22:13 Obama addresses supporters in Des Moines, Iowa. "It is
good to be back in Iowa!", thanks campaign workers, "I just want
to take a point of personal privilege and say I sure have a nice
looking wife and kids!", speaks about senator Edward Kennedy,
"so many of us here have benefitted in some way because of the
battles he waged", "let Ted Kennedy know that we are thinking of
him, that we are praying for him...", "15 months ago in the depths
of winter it was in this great state that we took the first steps...",
"by the fall the pundits in Washington had all but counted us out, but
the people of Iowa had a different idea" (crowd goes wild), "will
this country go down the same road which has failed us for so long,
or will we choose a new path...", lists goals, an America where
a family doesn't have to declare bankruptcy because a child got
sick, where they don't lose their home because of some deceptive
lender, "a nation which is a beacon of all that is good about
America", "you're democrats who are tired of being divided,
but also republicans who no longer identify with the party which
runs washington", (you're farmers, factory workers, veterans),
"you stood for change, and because you did a few thousand stood
up, and then a few million stood up, and tonight Iowa in the fullness
of spring...we have returned to Iowa with a majority of delegates",
"the road here has been long, there have been some bumps along the
way, I've made some mistakes", "in her 35 years of public service
senator Hillary Clinton has never given up in her fight for the
American people", notes Kentucky win, "she has changed an America
in which your daughters and my daughters have come of age",
"the hardest and most important part of our journey lies ahead",
comments on John McCain, that the republican party has been a
contest to see which candidate can out-Bush the other and John
McCain has won that contest, lists McCain policies, Iraq war,
tax cuts, lobbyists are now running John McCain's campaign, "I will
leave it up to senator McCain to explain (his policies) but the one
thing they don't represent is change", lists change items,
a tax code which will reward businesses which create jobs here
instead of shipping them overseas, health insurance, energy
policy that doesn't involve buddying up to the Saudi royal family
and then begging them for oil, that will create millions of new
jobs, change is parents who turn off the TV and the video game
and read to their children once in a while, ending a war we
never should have started, finishing with al Qaeda, the legacy
of Roosevelt, and Truman, and Kennedy, that is the choice in this
election (crowd cheers), "the question of whether this country,
this moment, will keep doing what it's been doing for the past
four years", "it's our turn to choose", "(the other party) will
play on our fears, on our doubts, try to distract from the issues
which matter", "it won't work because you won't let it work"
(crowd interrupts with "YES WE CAN!" chant), "my faith in the
decency and honesty and generosity is not based on false hope
or blind optimism, but what I've seen in this state, when we
were dismissed by all the polls and the pundits...", list
of types of people who helped with his campaign (old people,
students, etc), "Iowa, change is coming to America", "change
is coming to America Iowa", "a better day is still possible if
people are willing to work for it, to fight for it", "our journey
may be long...we are ready to believe again, Thank You America,
Thank You Iowa" (again, not a transcript, just high points.)
23:28 Both CNN and NBC have projected Barak Obama to win
01:15 With 65% of the vote in it's safe to say
Barack Obama has won Oregon by a landslide, almost 60% to 40%,
20 percentage points, 75,000 more votes than Clinton.
The interesting question is why did Clinton do so well over Obama
in Kentucky, and Obama did just about as well over Clinton in
Oregon, 60/40 and 40/60? It leads to speculation about region
or race or whatever but it all seems kind of silly when
Chris Matthews and Tim Russert and David Gregory repeat their
anthropological theories over and over and over and over again,
appalachia, appalachia, yup, it's them Hatfields and McCoys who
threw this election!
And another thing! The media has to stop saying over and over
and over how Hillary is determined to stay in the race until
June! JUNE IS NEXT WEEK or thereabouts, 'kay? In April this
"Hillary until June" thing sounded like news...Really, until
June? Wow. But it's now late May, so let go of it before you're
still saying it in July.
votes / % / delegates
458,955 / 65% / 37*
209,763 / 30% / 14
18,027 / 3% /
242,266 / 41% / 19
344,410 / 59% / 29
votes / % / delegates
16,238 / 8% / 0
142,854 / 72% / 42*
13,439 / 7% / 0
268,724 / 85% / 27*
47,304 / 15% / 0
* Projected winner
14 May 2008
John Edwards Endorses Barak Obama in Grand Rapids, MI
by Alan Smithee
After telling CBS news' Bob Schieffer on Face The Nation
May 11th that in recent weeks
Hillary Clinton has become a stronger candidate
Edwards has now endorsed Barak Obama. Maybe he didn't get the
phone call from Hillary he was expecting in response to his praise
John Edwards got over seven per cent of the vote in West Virginia
18:40 Barak Obama takes the podium, acknowledges that he
didn't campaign in Michigan. Very upbeat. Introduces John Edwards,
Bruce Springsteen's "The Rising" playing as he mounts podium.
"What am I doing here?" Edwards starts with. "I want to say a word
about your friend and my friend Senator Hillary Clinton..." Lists
bunch of campaign issues (health care, etc) he's spoken to Clinton
about, and that they agree on the issues. "It is very, very hard
to get up every morning and do what she has done". "She is a woman
of steel". "This battle...will be over soon." "We are a stronger
party because Hillary Clinton is a democrat." "Now, what brought
all of us here...is the profound..." Crowd interrupts chanting
"There's a wall...and the American people are
on the outside of that wall...big corporations are on the inside".
"...Our job come next January is to tear that wall down!..."
"...cut poverty in half...Barak Obama stands with me..."
Education, health care, continues with "wall" metaphor. "Also
a wall that's divided our image in the world...all the world
sees now is a bully...a government that argues that waterboarding
is not torture...that wall's got to come down...we can change it,
we can change it, yes we can!" Crowd chants "YES WE CAN YES WE
"There is one man who knows how to create the change, the lasting
change you have to build from the ground up...and that man is
Barak Obama!" Crowd goes wild.
Tells the James Lowe story about the man who lived for 50 years
unable to speak due to cleft palate due to lack of health care.
Repeats many of the same issues using "One America where..." instead
of "wall". "One America that rebuilds our moral authority in the
world." "One America where the walls will fall!" (mixes both
"This is our time to take down these walls...if you want that...then
join me in sending Barak Obama to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue..."
"...Thank you, god bless you, and good bye."
13 May 2008
New River Gorge Bridge, WV
West, By God, Virginia!
Or...Obama Flips WV The Bird
by Alan Smithee
We've all heard by now how Barak Obama didn't campaign in West
Virginia, so somehow today's primary isn't very important because
it'll just go to Clinton almost by default.
But what about the people of West Virginia? How do they feel
about a nominee and presidential contender who writes them off
Or, worse, the implication that W. Virginia has very few non-whites,
so Obama stayed away.
You can really sense the bias for Obama in the media by the silence
on this issue. If Hillary Clinton had written off North Carolina
as "too black" the media would have been howling day and night about
it. In fact Bill Clinton campaigned like hell in North Carolina. But
then again no one doubts Bill Clinton's confidence that he can
reach out to all Americans except perhaps hard-line right-wingers.
There's something ugly about Obama's skipping West Virginia, we hope
this becomes part of the public dialog.
Hillary wins West Virginia by a
landslide! With 12% of the vote counted she leads Obama almost
2 to 1.
21:20 Hillary Clinton West Virginia victory speech is strong,
forceful, no indication she's giving up. She points out that no
democrat has won the White House without carrying West Virginia since
1916 (Woodrow Wilson.) Very upbeat, "God Bless America!"
21:25 Can't find any results from the Nebraska non-binding
republican primary. We'll project John McCain the winner!
22:11 With almost 50% of the vote in Hillary is ahead of
Obama in West Virginia by almost 2.5 to 1.
It looks like democrat Travis Childers
has won a special election for Mississippi's northern
That would be three republican districts (including former speaker of
the house Dennis Hastert's district) which have gone to democrats.
votes / % / delegates
239,062 / 67% / 20*
91,652 / 26% / 8
26,188 / 7% / 0
votes / % / delegates
12,175 / 10% / 0
89,683 / 76% / 9*
5,914 / 5% / 0
* Projected winner
06 May 2008
Hoosiers and Tar Heels!
by Alan Smithee
Civil War Era Tar Heel Postcard
No one really knows the origin of either the nicknames "Hoosiers"
for people from Indiana or "Tar Heels" for North Carolinians but
their primaries are in the spotlight tonight as Barack Obama and
Hillary Clinton continue their slugfest in those two states.
19:21 In early results Clinton seems to be whoopin' Obama
60/40 in Indiana
19:30 NBC News projects Obama wins North Carolina though nobody
seems to have any vote results yet.
19:41 CNN projects Obama wins North Carolina though nobody seems
to have any vote results yet.
21:45 Clinton's lead over Obama in Indiana narrows to 4% with
75% of the vote in. Obama appears to have a solid win in North Carolina,
57%/41% (the rest voted "no preference".)
23:12 Tim Russert, Chris Matthews, and Keith Olbermann are
babbling endlessly on MSNBC like they're a paid propaganda machine
to convince their viewing audience that it's over for Hillary, that it's
just a fact. Now Pat Buchanan is saying her speech tonight was a
"Hail and farewell" speech (we didn't see that.)
We still maintain that Clinton's eyes are set on the fact that either
one candidate attains 2,025 delegates or we go to a brokered convention
and a nominee is chosen by other means. It's not enough to walk in
with the majority of delegates, it takes 2,025 to wrap it up.
It might be true that Hillary can't attain 2,025 delegates, but it's
highly unlikely Obama will either. That means neither wins, and
the nomination is opened to the floor of the convention.
01:33 Clinton is projected to win Indiana but by a slimmer
margin than expected earlier in the evening. With 99% of the vote
reported Clinton leads Obama by 22,412 votes out of 1,254,136 cast
or less than 2%.
votes / % / delegates
638,274 / 51% / 37
615,862 / 49% / 33
654,484 / 42% / 31
887,186 / 56% / 20
votes / % / delegates
41,018 / 10% / 0
317,837 / 77% / 57*
31,481 / 8% / 0
19,480 / 5% / 0
62,351 / 12% / 0
378,020 / 74% / 69*
40,026 / 8% / 0
20,123 / 4% / 0 (no preference)
* Projected winner
04 May 2008
Guam's Latte Stones
Clinton, Obama Split Guam
by Alan Smithee
Clinton and Obama split Saturday's Guam caucuses 4 delegates each
though each Guam delegate gets only 1/2 vote so it's 2 delegate votes gained
by each candidate (got that?)
Obama received seven more votes than Clinton, 2,264 to 2,257.
CNN's current delegate estimate is Obama 1,493 pledged, 243 super,
total 1,736 and Clinton 1,334 pledged, 265 super, total 1,599. That
accounting separates the two candidates by 137 delegates.
We wonder if either candidate has ever been to Guam?
And Onwards to Tuesday To End All Tuesdays Number 3!
On Tuesday Indiana and North Carolina vote in their democratic party
primaries. There are 72 delegates up for grabs in Indiana plus
12 super-delegates. Of the 12 Indiana super-delegates five have already
committed to Obama and four to Clinton, so three remain uncommitted.
North Carolina has 115 delegates which will be decided by Tuesday's
vote plus 19 super-delegates (total 134.)
A total of 187 delegates are therefore up for grabs on Tuesday,
plus 31 super-delegates nine of which are already committed. Neither
candidate can wrap it up (required: 2,025) even if they took 100%
of the delegates on Tuesday, but decisive wins or losses by either
candidates could change the dialogue.
30 April 2008
Poseurs? Or "Hi! I'm with Stupid!"?
The Obama / Wright Controversy
by Alan Smithee
Here's a theory: Barack Obama didn't go to the Trinity United
Church of Christ (TUCC) much, he doesn't really know Jeremiah
Wright very well.
You'll say wait, Obama says Wright married him, baptized his children,
even inspired the title of one of his books ("The Audacity of Hope"
is taken from a Wright sermon.)
So what? How many couples together some years can't even name
the minister who married them or baptized their kids (or administered
last rites for a loved one.) Ok, we don't
believe the Obamas were quite that random and just paid some minister
to do the deeds.
But maybe they weren't in church very much? Is there really
any evidence Barack Obama actually attended church much?
The problem is that there is a pattern in the dialogue from
Barack Obama. He often relies on negatives, on non-events to
make a point.
For example, he says over and over that HE didn't vote for
the Iraq war, and Hillary Clinton did.
But Obama wasn't IN the senate in 2003, so he couldn't possibly have voted
one way or the other for the funding of the Iraq war.
Similarly, Obama makes various claims about not having any relationships with
(taking money from, at least) lobbyists and PACs.
But that falls somewhat to the same basic reasoning. He's only been
in the Senate since January 2005, such junior senators don't often
have many such relationships in their first term in the senate though
we suppose he could have developed a few (it would be interesting
to compare him to other freshman senators.)
Now he says he's never heard Wright say anything like the things
people are reacting negatively to, and if he had he would have
quit the congregation.
Studying the above here's an explanation: If he rarely went to
church then of course he never would have heard Wright speak like
that. Maybe because he hasn't heard Wright talk much at all?!
This wouldn't be shocking news, that Obama only appeared to be
an active member of TUCC. Oprah attended the church for a while,
so did MSNBC anchor
when she lived in Chicago (she's said this on her show.) Apparently
it was the "see and be seen" church for upwardly mobile african-americans
So, where's the evidence of Obama's church attendance?
P.S. AS WE TYPE THIS (~18:49 EDT)
Ed Schultz is asking EXACTLY the same question
on David Gregory's show on the TV across the room.
And now Pat Buchanan lit up and agrees,
maybe Obama never went to church much and is now being hoisted on
his own petard (i.e., Obama exaggerated his church attendance.) It's
the logical explanation. David Gregory completely drops the ball
and change the subject back to the well-worn script.
22 April 2008
This has absolutely nothing to do with the state of Pennsylvania
Glenn Miller Orchestra PEnnsylvania 6-5000
Hillary Takes it by 10%
by Alan Smithee
20:40 Well, it's finally here! At this hour Senator Clinton is pulling
ahead though very few votes are in so far.
20:50 MSNBC projects Senator Clinton will win Pennsylvania.
21:08 Why are Tim Russert and Chris Matthews continuing
to assert the lie that the Democratic Party rules mandate that
if Obama has more delegates he must be the nominee? That's simply
not true. Either you go into the convention with 2,024 or more
delegates, or it goes back to the floor.
21:11 CNN projects Senator Clinton the winner.
Chris Matthews, Tim Russert, Keith Olbermann, and
Brian Williams have completely run out of things to say, but
they keep talking, like zombies in TV land.
22:12 The new narrative: Obama has failed to win any
battleground states, Clinton has won all of them
(e.g., NY, NJ, OH, TX, and now PA.) The only large state Obama
has won is Illinois and that's his home state. Democrats have
to win the states Senator Clinton has won if they are to win the
election. Why can't Obama win even one of them, even with his
much larger campaign war chest?
22:16 Senator Clinton speaks to supporters in Pennsylvania,
"Today you chose". "I thank you Pennsylvania." "I'm in this race
to fight for you." "You (in uniform on tours of duty) deserve
a commander in chief who will finally bring you home." "Because
of you (everyone) the tide is turning." "It is high time we
stopped talking about our problems and started solving them!"
"We're going to end the war on science and have a renewed commitment
to science and research." "Will we be the can-do nation that defies
the odds and does the impossible?" (cheers) "Will we take back the White House
and take back our country?" (cheers) "Yes We Will! Thank You!"
22:46 Obama speaks to supporters, congratulates Senator
Clinton, "She ran a terrific race" hushing booing from audience.
"We rallied people of every age and race and background to the
cause." "Whether they were inspired for the first time, or the
first time in a long time, we registered a record number of voters."
Long speech, usual stuff, YES WE CAN! Lobbyists are bad, politicians
make promises and then go back to Washington and forget those
promises and it's politics as usual. "Now is our turn to follow
in the footsteps of all those generations who sacrificed and
struggled to affect our improbable union...If we're willing to
believe in what's possible again...we will change this country,
we will change the world, that's our task, let's get to work,
votes / % / delegates
1,258,278 / 55% / 81*
1,042,573 / 45% / 69
votes / % / delegates
91,211 / 11% / 0
585,448 / 73% / 74*
128,188 / 16%/ 0
* Projected Winner
08 April 2008
Don't Mess With Us!
Anti-Tibet Liberals Are Idiots!
by Alan Smithee
We don't mean their cause.
We mean that they should have gotten themselves at least one
commie-hating anti-red chicom yellow peril spouting right wing
radio host or senator or something and focused on that angle.
Then they might've had Dick Cheney marching in front of their
Ok, perhaps they don't want Dick Cheney marching in
front of their parade. How about Governor Schwarzeneggar?
Anyhow, they might've attracted a very broad segment of anti-oppression
Americans from Tibet supporters to unabashed Chicom haters to Free
the Kurds (hey what about the poor Kurds?!)
Hatred of oppression by totalitarian bullies is one place where left and
right wingers intersect. It's sad to see the opportunity missed and
watch this become another "oh those annoying liberals" issue.
06 April 2008
The USS Condoleeza Rice Not a joke photo
Condoleeza Rice Wants the Republican VP Spot?
by Alan Smithee
According to ABC news (see link below) Condoleeza Rice is
"actively courting the Vice Presidential nomination".
Granted she's been serving as Secretary of State since 2005 and
was Bush's National Security Advisor before that, 2001-2005. She
also served in Bush's father's administration as
Soviet and East European Affairs Advisor. In between the two
Bush administrations she was a professor of political science at
Stanford University and also served as Provost there, and was
an assistant and associate professor at Stanford previously.
She's obviously an enormously intelligent and highly educated
person and a very accomplished person professionally. Even her
musical (she's a pianist) credentials are impressive, see
her wikipedia page.
We just have one problem.
As National Security Advisor and in particular for the past three years as
Secretary of State she sucked!
What has she accomplished? Under her watch as National Security
Advisor we had the 9/11 attacks. Ok, perhaps it's unfair to
lay those at her feet but there were a lot of lapses in national
security surrounding that attack which have yet to be answered for. For
example, former CIA director George Tenet claimed in testimony that
he tried to warn Rice about impending Al Qaeda activity two months
before the 9/11 attacks. Rice said she had no recollection of any
such meeting. That leaves something to be desired no matter what
More specifically, as Secretary of State, what has she accomplished? Secretary
of State is head of the State Department which acts primarily as our
diplomatic corps, ambassadors to other countries, that sort of thing.
In the past several years the world has largely come to dislike and distrust
(and, in more than a few cases, stronger words) the United States.
Ok, that's vague and hard to measure. Here's something easier to
measure. Bush has repeatedly, from just before the invasion of
Iraq, tried to get military involvement from other nations. The
"coalition of the willing", as the Bush administration has referred
to our "multi-national coalition in Iraq" has been a bad joke consisting
of nations like Poland and Peru (and England of course.)
Nothing against Poland or Peru but
it's not exactly the same as getting one of the G5 countries like
France or Italy or, heaven forfend, some Arab countries which may've
given us a few troops who could actually speak arabic!
Granted some of that failure has to be laid at the feet of Colin
Powell who would probably blame others in the administration if
he felt like responding at all. But Secty Rice has been in the
position for a few years now and hasn't done anything of note
in this regard. And it's not for lack of trying.
Secretary Rice was an outspoken supporter of the Iraq invasion and
subsequent war. Just before the invasion she wrote an editorial
in the New York Times asserting that Iraq was lying about not
having weapons of mass destruction. She is much more than just a
casual by-stander in the Iraq war debacle. In her famous January
10th, 2003 statement on Wolf Blitzer's CNN show, just a few weeks
before the US invasion of Iraq, Rice said:
The problem here is that there will always be some uncertainty about how
quickly he [ed. Saddam Hussein]
can acquire nuclear weapons. But we don't want the smoking gun to be
a mushroom cloud.
Now, there are two possibilities. Either she honestly believed
Iraq was an imminent threat, in which case she was very seriously
wrong (we went to war over such beliefs!), or she was shilling
for the Bush administration.
Neither choice is very palatable in a person seeking to be
one heartbeat away from president.
Another stated goal of the Bush administration is to accomplish
something in the Israeli/Palestinian (and surrounding areas) conflict.
Every few months we're told Secty Rice has flown to that region
to try to open some doors, but nothing of note has happened.
Need we say anything about the recent experiences between the US
and Iran? Last week, when our side lost the battle in Basra, an
Iranian general was involved in the other side. We can't even keep
the Iranians from helping to kill our troops.
And what about immigration? You might think if the US was so
concerned with millions of immigrants coming across the US/Mexican
border we might see some work with the Mexican government to
address this problem. Instead, we're building a fence. We can
understand a fence between Israel and the Palestinian Authority,
there's open hostility between those two entities, but you
might expect the US and Mexico to be a little more cooperative.
Relations with China would also be under Secretary Rice's purview,
so if you're not ecstatic about our relations with China...
Granted John McCain hasn't commented on Secretary Rice's ambitions
but we just can't see why he would want the foremost symbol of
the failures of the Bush administration as a running mate.
And, yes, she really did have a Chevron oil super-tanker named
for her. She headed Chevron's committee on public policy immediately
before becoming National Security Advisor in 2001. Perhaps her
real goal is to get an aircraft carrier named after herself?
Ok, now we've been treated to the Clintons' tax returns for several
years after loud calls for them primarily from Obama supporters. And
of course this has led to media scrutiny and suspicious
comments in the press mostly about items which some reporter just
isn't completely clear on. Not that there's anything wrong (so far),
just that some item here or there isn't understood by the public
at all, and some reporter (or they can feign ignorance), so now they
can proceed to make stories out of these unknowns like amateur IRS auditors
with Gallup families.
But where are John McCain's tax returns?
Oh, right, now I remember,
this race ultimately isn't about Clinton v. Obama, it's
about the democratic party v. the republican party. barring
some third-party miracle. And that means the democratic
nominee v. John McCain.
Idiots, the democrats just swift-boated themselves. Karl Rove
and other republican operatives must be laughing their asses off.
03 April 2008
Chris Matthews Full of Shit! Film At 11!
by Alan Smithee
In the first place, every single day on his "Hardball" show he
says at least once in regards to the democratic primary how
Thomas Jefferson said that democracy requires that if a candidate
wins by even ONE vote then we must accept the outcome. He always
says this as a scold aimed at the Clinton campaign. Every damned
day, over and over (I know: Change the channel!)
How about this Jefferson quote:
Advertisements contain the only truths to be relied on in a newspaper.
Jefferson didn't have the opportunity to watch Hardball but perhaps
we can infer its application. Or this quote:
Speeches that are measured by the hour will die with the hour.
Here is the entire quote Matthews is referring to, it is from
a letter sent by Jefferson to Baron von Humboldt in 1817:
The first principle of republicanism is that the
lex majoris partis is the fundamental law of
every society of individuals of equal rights; to
consider the will of the society enounced by the
majority of a single vote, as sacred as if unanimous,
is the first of all lessons in importance, yet the
last which is thoroughly learnt. This law once
disregarded, there is no other but that of force,
which ends necessarily in military despotism.
Which is essentially what Matthews is saying. However, one
embedded use of this quote is in "The Standard Code of Parliamentary
Procedure", Alice F. Sturgis, and goes on to say:
One exception to the principle of requiring only a majority
vote is when the vote restricts the right of full and free
discussion, as with a motion to limit debate or to close
debate. These motions require a two-thirds vote.
An interesting comment though not catastrophic to Matthews'
However, what is catastrophic is Matthews' repeated unspoken
assumption that the nomination for the democratic presidential
candidate is decided by a simple majority vote.
That is simply untrue, and Matthews knows this even if he does
usually manage to have a shill nearby to agree with the "spirit"
of what he's saying, generally some Obama fanatic (e.g., Michelle
The democratic party nomination process requires a candidate
obtain a majority of the delegates to win the nomination, not
a simple majority. This is a very common election procedure
and is even defined carefully in the above Sturgis reference.
A majority of the delegates in this democratic nomination
election is 2,024.
That is, it is not enough for one candidate to have simply
more delegates than the other candidate(s). They must have
at least 2,024 delegates.
And if no candidate obtains 2,024 delegates then the
Here is the quote from that wikipedia page:
Once the first ballot has been held, and no candidate has a majority of
delegate votes, the convention is then considered brokered,
and the nomination
is decided through political horse-trading and further ballots
Put simply, if neither candidate has the required 2,024 delegates
then, except for its memory, the entire vote is procedurally
discarded and a new process takes effect to pick a nominee.
Those are the rules no matter how many times Matthews quotes
Thomas Jefferson's completely irrelevant (to this contest) comment.
Now, what is the likelihood of a brokered convention as described?
This brings up another bugaboo of Matthews. He claims, repeatedly,
and again usually with an Obama shill nearby to nod agreement, that
it is some sort of violation or rewrite of the rules to seat
Michigan and Florida's delegates.
Unfortunately for Matthews' willful ignorance there are written procedures
within the democratic party to re-seat those delegates at the
convention or even before. This is why Howard Dean (chairman,
DNC) and others have been considering allowing Michigan and Florida
to re-vote. It's one of the ways for the delegates to get re-seated
according to the rules.
There are also procedures for seating the Michigan and Florida
delegates at the convention. The Chair of the Credentials committee
can present this for a vote on the floor, debate proceeds, and
a vote taken. If the majority votes for Michigan and/or Florida
to be re-seated then they are re-seated.
Are you listening Matthew fans? There is a procedure already in
place to re-seat the Michigan and Florida delegates! It's NOT cheating.
Of the very, very few who have bothered to look into this rather
than just shooting off with their mouths some have said that this
is moot anyhow because the procedure requires a majority of
the sitting delegates to vote to reinstate Michigan and Florida and
if Hillary Clinton doesn't have a majority going in then it's unlikely
a majority made up of Obama delegates will vote to seat Michigan
That's pure horsepucky, or wild speculation at best. Florida, in
particular, was unseated because of the action of their Republican
legislature and Republican governor who moved the state's primary
back in violation of the DNC rules. That might garner some
sympathy to let them vote even among seated delegates who aren't
guaranteed that the make-up of the unseated delegates is entirely
to their liking. The issue will be one of fair play, something
Matthews often accuses Clinton of being less than interested in.
That is, the four thousand some-odd delegates aren't likely to
act ruthlessly and exclude Michigan and Florida from voting
should the convention become brokered. Candidates might act
in a selfish manner, but thousands (or hundreds) of delegates
aren't likely to be swayed by such Machiavellian impulses.
Granted that's speculation on our part, and just like those
claiming to know that the delegates won't vote to seat Florida
and Michigan, we don't really know, and they don't really know,
so let's move on.
The point is that there is an established procedure to re-seat
the Florida and Michigan delegates. There is nothing underhanded
about this despite Matthews' protestations and dissembling.
Why is this important? Because, and this is where Matthews get even
his own point of view completely wrong, if you don't seat the
Florida and Michigan delegates then a brokered convention is more
likely. Florida has 211 delegates at stake, Michigan 157 for a total
of 368 delegates or nearly 10% of the total delegates.
But let's do some math. Assume
CNN is correct and the delegate
and super-delegate count right now is Obama 1,626, Clinton 1,486.
So what's left if we go to the bitter end, without Michigan and Florida?
Indiana, North Carolina
85 + 134 = 219
60 + 65 = 125
Montana, South Dakota
25 + 23 = 48
Plus there are 2 (two) unassigned super-delegates yet to be assigned,
so let's call it 692 remaining delegates to be voted for. Note that these
include super-delegates which may not be beholden to their state's
For starters let's assume the two candidates split these evenly,
346 each. That would give 1,972 delegates and Clinton 1,832.
If that's the result then neither candidate has won the nomination.
Period. Not "Obama is a little ahead so let's give it to him."
SORRY, THOSE AREN'T THE RULES!
You need 2,024 delegates or else the convention
is brokered and other procedures come into play. For example, someone
like Al Gore or Joe Biden or John Edwards could get nominated from the
floor and win the nomination...POOF!
Or a "dark horse candidate"
could arise, someone we're not even thinking about. In fact, that's
exactly where the term "dark horse candidate" comes from in this context."
"A dark horse candidate is one who is nominated unexpectedly,
having been discussed or considered as a likely choice...The expression was
soon applied to James K. Polk, a relatively unknown Tennessee Democrat who won
the Democratic Party's 1844 presidential nomination over a host of better-known
candidates. Polk won the nomination on the eighth ballot, and went on to win
the 1844 presidential election."
The article proceeds to name several more dark horse candidates in
US presidential races. It's not even all that rare. Lincoln was
a dark horse, as were Hayes, Pierce, Garfield, Harding, and two
unsuccessful candidates John W. Davis and Wendell Wilkie. So six
of our presidents out of 43 were dark horses or about 14% and
the vast majority went on to become president.
Let's try one more scenario. In order to win a candidate needs
2,024 delegates. The current leader, Obama, has 1,626 so needs
2,024 - 1,626 which is 398 more delegates. There are
692 remaining to be voted on, so Obama needs 57.5% of the remaining
delegates. Hillary has 1,486 so needs 2,024 - 1,486 or 538 more
delegates, about 77.7%.
Now here's where people get tricky. They ignore the Obama number
above and say look! Hillary needs over 75% (or "nearly 80%" if
they really want to be shrill) of the remaining delegates to win!
How likely is that?!
Well, by the same token Obama needs nearly 60% of the remaining
delegates to win the nomination, how likely is that?!
Granted it's much more likely that Obama will get 60% of the remaining
delegates than Hillary will get nearly 80% of them.
But the most likely outcome, based on the race thus far,
is that they come much closer to splitting the remaining
delegates so neither gets the required 2,024 and we get
a brokered convention.
But the point is that the thus far uncounted delegates from Michigan
and Florida are very important to settling this nomination process if
it doesn't get settled before the convention. They're important to
Obama as well as Clinton even if some pundits are guessing they give
Clinton an edge. But without them it's likely there simply aren't
enough delegate votes to give either candidate the required 2,024.
Let's finish our arithmetic exercise. Add the 368 Michigan and
Florida delegates to the 692 thus far undecided and we get
1,060 more delegates at stake. Split them evenly, 530 each
for Obama and Clinton. That would give Obama 2,156 delegates
and Clinton 2,016 AND OBAMA WOULD WIN FAIR AND SQUARE!.
Ok, that makes the big assumption that the remaining 1,060 delegates,
including Florida and Michigan, goes 50/50, but it does leave
a margin of 132 votes for Obama. That is, even if he wins 132 less
than 50% of the remaining delegates, including Florida and Michigan,
he still wins. Or, put another way, Obama would only need about 37.5%
(398) of those delegates. Those aren't bad odds.
As to Chris Matthews, we lost interest in exposing his
heavily biased spin about half-way through this article. But
he should be ashamed of himself. Or, better, he should realize
he's not getting away with it. Not so long as we are here for you, dear
02 April 2008
McCain/Clinton Ticket A Hoax!
by Alan Smithee
We're sorry, we were sleep-deprived.
01 April 2008
McCain Taps Hillary for Republican VP Slot! Hillary Accepts!
by Alan Smithee
In a stunning end to the Hillary/Obama nomination contest Hillary
Clinton has been tapped by John McCain as his vice-presidential
running mate. Terry McAuliffe, chairman of the Hillary Clinton
for President committee, has told press sources that Senator
Clinton has accepted and will hold a press conference at noon
Barack Obama's campaign has scheduled a response which will be aired
on the three major networks at 9PM eastern time.
McCain is said to be flying to the Washington, DC to meet with
President Bush and will also make a formal announcement introducing
the McCain/Clinton ticket shortly after Clinton's press conference.
"This is a startling development" said former candidate John Edwards,
"nobody saw this coming or going!" Senator Joe Lieberman told
press sources that he knew negotiations were under way between
McCain and Clinton but was surprised at how quickly both candidates
came to a decision. Lieberman also announced he would be formally
announcing a switch to the republican party in the next few days.
Senator Ted Kennedy told a Boston Globe reporter that he was just
glad the democratic presidential nomination race was over. Kennedy
expressed good wishes for the McCain/Clinton ticket
but predicted that Barack Obama would ultimately win the White House
in the upcoming election.
Rush Limbaugh prepared a short statement replacing the usual
evening and morning ad spots for his show expressing dismay
and reiterating his disgust with McCain. "As far as I am
concerned the republican party no longer exists" said
Limbaugh and vowed to work for a new conservative party to
replace the republican party.
Ralph Nader, who announced his intention to run as a third-party
candidate in February, told reporters he was confused by the
move but reiterated his belief that his run would not take
votes from either Barack Obama or the McCain/Clinton ticket.
Some speculated this was because Nader expected no votes in
Former President Bill Clinton headed home to Chappaqua, New York and refused
comment as he boarded a taxi to the airport. Some who saw the
president leave his hotel thought he looked agitated and
may not be happy with his wife's decision. Chelsea Clinton was
also unavailable for comment. A spokesperson for Chelsea Clinton issued a
cryptic message saying only that Chelsea was returning to Manhattan to
ponder her options.
Contacts within the Obama campaign
speculated that a vice-presidential candidate would
be chosen "very shortly, possibly before the end of the week" and
that Senator Obama was looking forward to a vigorous and
very public presidential campaign debate.
In other news, scientists have announced the successful,
of a razorback hog and bald eagle hybrid a few months ago. The hybrid
animal is said to be capable of rudimentary flight.
29 March 2008
I'm hep and down with Obama just like you kids!
Why All The Calls For Hillary to Quit?
by Alan Smithee
There are several forces motivating the growing clamor for
Hillary to throw in the towel and let Obama be the democratic
Human nature is one factor. Human beings generally like closure. They
may enjoy a good contest (consider sports), but at some point they
enjoy the catharsis of an outcome. Have you ever sat through a
tied baseball game which goes to 12, 14, or more innings? It doesn't
happen often, but for a while it's interesting and then it can get
tedious and boring.
On April 18, 1981 the Pawtucket Red Sox and the Rochester Red
Wings (triple-a league) finally suspended a game in the 32nd inning
at 4AM. There were 19 fans left in the seats.
Another important motivation, particularly from Obama supporters, is
that the Pennsylvania primary is looming on April 22nd. It's likely
Hillary will do very well in Pennsylvania which can change the
momentum in favor of Hillary or at least give her a strong public
reason to push on. So simple strategy says to raise the hue
and cry for her to quit before Pennsylvania or risk a newly
energized Clinton campaign.
Of course, there is the simple appeal to reason that Obama is
ahead in the race, the race is costing a lot of money, the
democratic party is losing time getting their national campaign
against McCain started, so let's just move on.
That argument is often
fortified by the claim that if you do the math on the delegates
and likely outcomes in the remaining primaries Hillary just can't win.
The numbers would require her to win over 70% (or thereabouts)
of the delegates in each remaining primary contest and that's
extremely unlikely to happen. So, coupled with the previous
argument (let's move on to the national campaign) Hillary should
see the writing on the wall and drop out.
Unfortunate for that argument is that if you do the
math Obama is very unlikely to win also if "winning" means attaining
the 2,024 delegates required to claim the democratic party nomination.
Many have pushed forward a narrative claiming this isn't important,
that if we go to the end and Obama is ahead then the party must
give the nomination to Obama, anything else would be
"violating the will of the people" or similar. So let's just
project this outcome and call it done now.
The Clinton camp says not so fast. The rules don't say that whoever
has the most delegates wins. That's pure invention. The rules say
that you must get 2,024 delegates or else other nomination processes
go into play. It's like a boxing match where it ends if one boxer
gets knocked unconscious. But boxing matches are usually limited to 15
rounds. If neither boxer is knocked out after 15 rounds then they
use another method to pick the winner which is a points system to
decide who fought the better fight.
So it's really get 2,024 delegates or
we move onto other procedures for picking a nominee.
Not simple majority vote.
Chris Matthews on MSNBC keeps pushing this
maudlin and grandiose idea about how Thomas Jefferson said that
critical to democracy is the idea that if you win or lose by even just
one vote then you accept the outcome.
It's a very nice platitude,
sort of, we're not sure, actually, we have our doubts, it would
take another long article to argue the point.
But those aren't the
rules for this democratic primary process. The rules are
either one candidate attains 2,024 delegates or we proceed to
other procedures to pick a candidate. And Chris Matthews knows
this, so why the hypocrisy, Chris?
Continuing that thought we hear a lot of baying from the talking heads and
other media calling for Hillary to throw in the towel. We believe
there are a few less than completely relevant reasons for this also
and it significantly adds to the apparent volume.
Let's start easy. Many of the reasons outlined above
operate on the people in charge of producing the media, they're
just people and have their opinions and are also subject to
human urges such as a desire for closure. Fair enough.
Also, among the democrats in the media, one senses that quite a few
of them personally favor Barack Obama. There's nothing wrong with
that. Again, they're human beings and not machines and if they
have a strong preference it will tend to come through in their
round tables and talking heads and opinion segments.
But we sense other motivations.
Traditional media, particularly
television news and political commentary,
is struggling for their economic lives against
the internet and other new media, even video games. There
are just so many hours in a day.
The key demographic for television advertisers is young people,
typically outlined as 16-24 though often extended to 30 years old.
Obviously the youngest of these can't even vote but that doesn't
mean they can't watch these news shows. Remember, the point here is
the commercials, not the show's content.
Of these viewers who have any interest in the Obama v. Clinton
contest (that is, not republicans or apathetics) polling tells
us that Obama is very, very popular among them.
This affects the old boomer farts who dominate
television media in a few different ways.
First, the base their advertisers want (and
hence, where their bread is buttered) are these young Obama
supporters. A good way to keep them watching is to give voice
to their point of view (e.g., Hillary should quit already!)
Second, for these aging media stars the fountain
of youth is to appear young and hip and "with it". That means
Obama, not Clinton. Clinton looks a lot like them and for media
personalities in a youth culture that's like staring down into
But not us, dear readers, we don't stare down into graves simply because
we fear what might look back!
24 March 2008
by Alan Smithee
Two thoughts from a recent "Real Time with Bill Maher", heavily
paraphrased by us:
1. When the financial markets, in particular Bear Stearns, gets into
trouble boy the federal government is fast to show up with
$200B there to shore them up, funding JP Morgan
to buy out Bear Stearns, injecting liquidity into the banking system,
proposing vast bailouts of bad mortgage portfolios.
But when Katrina destroyed much of New Orleans
the fed seemed to put its hands in its pockets, shrug, and say "what
do you expect us to do???"
2. On a related note, republican administrations and high-finance
types shudder at any suggestions of "socializing" profits,
such as corporate taxes to balance the federal deficit,
financing universal health care,
rebuilding crumbling infrastructure or emergency disaster relief.
socializing losses such as spreading the damage of
billions in bad investments and sinking high-risk mortgage portfolios, etc.,
out to the taxpayers,
now that's just about a sacred rite!
21 March 2008
NM Governor Bill Richardson Endorses Barack Obama!
John McCain and John Hagee
by Alan Smithee
Bill Richardson endorses Obama
This development must surely scotch the rumors that
Gov Richardson is on Hillary's VP short list! Maybe
he just moved to Obama's VP short list? He'd certainly
make a good VP candidate, and VP.
John McCain and John Hagee
John Hagee is a bit of a religious nut case with a large ministry
following which to us is more disturbing than anything John Hagee
Hagee is rather anti-Catholic and anti-Islam. Mostly his views
can be reduced to "my religion (Protestantism) is the correct
one and therefore all the others are crap." Except he does give a pass to
Jews (whew! I'm sure they are all relieved every last one of them)
because of passages in Romans which basically say the Jews
are in Christ's waiting room or something like that.
Hagee endorsed McCain. When questioned about this McCain "condemned"
Hagee's anti-whatever beliefs but wouldn't repudiate his endorsement
saying that he doesn't have to agree with every single thing
an endorser believes. We suppose Hillary could say that about
Eliot Spitzer though we'd be willing to wager serious cash that
But the interesting part is how many Obama supporters have now
lept on this and claimed it is a direct parallel of the
Jeremiah Wright matter. If John McCain can just shrug off
Hagee's beliefs, and not even repudiate his endorsement, why
did Obama get so much grief about Jeremiah Wright? Is this
an example of racism, or unfair play anyhow?
No it is not.
Jeremiah Wright was the pastor of Obama's own church. He has been
Obama's pastor for almost twenty years. Jeremiah Wright performed
Obama's wedding ceremony. A sermon of Jeremiah Wright's was
the inspiration for the title of Obama's book "The Audacity
of Hope". And so on.
From what we can tell McCain doesn't even really know Hagee, though
clearly he knows a lot about him. McCain's campaign sought Hagee's
endorsement. His ministry can be seen and heard in nearly 100 million
homes on 160 TV stations and 50 radio stations. We can see why
he came up though we can also see why many wish he hadn't.
But any parallel with Obama's Jeremiah Wright problem is ridiculous.
And if you don't think it's really silly season Chris Matthews just
accused Hagee of being anti-semitic even though despite his
anti-Catholic and anti-Islamic views Hagee seems to be ok
with Jews and in particular Israel, his ministry has sent millions
of dollars to Israel. Some of Hagee's rationalization of his
anti-Catholicism is an accusation that the Catholics fostered
anti-semitism for hundreds of years which is no doubt
true enough though we're not sure his beloved Protestantism gets a clean
bill of health on this point either.
About the only thing we can find from Hagee which has been suggested
as anti-semitic is that the Jews were partially responsible for
their persecution over the years because they were "disobedient"
Then again Hagee says New Orleans brought Katrina on themselves
because they were disobedient of god. No explanation why the
French Quarter got a pass. Hagee just seems to be one of those
nuts who tells people who get cancer or lose a child in a car
wreck that it's their own fault for not having more faith in god.
Hagee's anti-Catholicism is pretty clear, however.
Any accusation of Hagee being anti-semitic
does seem rather scattershot. Chris Matthews is being foolish
and inflammatory but it's all become yellow journalism. All except
us, dear reader!
Is this a tempest in a teapot or what? What's in your passport file
that's so interesting? The worst we've heard is that there is
information in there which someone could use to "steal your identity"
(a scary term for "get credit cards and other loans in your name and
cause you a big headache".)
Steal your identity? Does that mean your social security number is
in your passport file? It probably is, and that's probably all
they mean. Such is the non-stop volume amplification of what
passes for journalism these days.
We agree that your passport file should be private, but we have
no doubt that doesn't include privacy from the FBI, Dept of Homeland
Security, the IRS, the US State Dept, probably anyone doing a
security clearance check on you and probably various services
which do background checks on potential employees, etc etc etc.
Hey look, he's been to France! That makes him a potentially
disgruntled employee over the slop we serve in our cafeteria!
But we agree that the contents of your passport file should be private.
Except when it's not. Which is probably
"usually" in this current climate of fighting everyone because
surely if we fight everyone then sooner or later we'll get a
And what does our passport file contain anyhow? All we got from
this entire kerfuffle was a newly piqued curiosity about what the
hub-bub was about, bub.
And have a Good Friday.
20 March 2008
Florida State Flag Detail
Something You Need To Know About The Florida Democratic Primary Kerfuffle
by Alan Smithee
As you no doubt know the Florida democratic primary isn't likely to
be counted because it was moved back too early in violation of
Democratic primary rules.
What is rarely mentioned is that the primary was moved by vote
of the Florida legislature when both houses passed House Bill 537,
and the bill was subsequently signed by the governor.
The Florida legislature at the time (and today) is dominated by
republican legislators, and the governor Charlie Crist both
then and now is a republican.
So the republicans managed to screw the democrats out of getting
their primary votes counted.
Unless we're missing something this seems a little crazy.
36 million people in the United States claim Irish ancestry
(more on St Patrick's day!) At least 23 of the 43 US
presidents had at least some
Irish ancestry (from the Wikipedia's
George Washington 1st President
Andrew Jackson, 7th President 1829-37
James Knox Polk, 11th President 1845-49
James Buchanan, 15th President 1857-61
Andrew Johnson, 17th president 1865-69
Ulysses S. Grant, 18th President 1869-77
Chester Alan Arthur, 21st President 1881-85
Grover Cleveland, 22nd and 24th President 1885-89, 1893-97
Benjamin Harrison, 23rd President 1889-93
William McKinley, 25th President 1897-1901
Theodore Roosevelt, 26th president 1901-09
William Howard Taft, 27th President 1909-13
Woodrow Wilson, 28th President 1913-21
Warren G. Harding, 29th President 1921-23
Harry S. Truman, 33rd President 1945-53
John F. Kennedy, 35th President 1961-63
Lyndon B. Johnson, 36th President 1963-69
Richard M. Nixon, 37th President 1969-74
Jimmy Carter, 39th President 1977-81
Ronald Reagan, 40th President 1981-89
George H. W. Bush, 41st President 1989-93
Bill Clinton, 42nd President 1993-2001 (his mother's maiden name was
George W. Bush, 43rd President 2001-2009
14 March 2008
Barack Obama Has A Problem: Jeremiah Wright
by Alan Smithee
Barack Obama's problem isn't just distancing himself from
Rev. Jeremiah Wright's intemperate bile. You can't undo the fact that
Obama has been a member of Wright's church for over 20 years,
or that the title of Obama's book "The Audacity of Hope" comes
from a Jeremiah Wright sermon. Just asking Wright to resign
from Obama's campaign or disavowing Wright's comments now that
they showed up in the news on video doesn't quite do it. It's not like he
was some political functionary someone gave a job to, like, say, Geraldine
Ferraro who shot off her mouth embarrasingly.
This is much
Obama's real problem here is not only substance, it's style.
If you view those YouTube videos of Wright's preaching what you
see is a holy roller preacher shouting fire and brimstone and
most of all hate. Most of us don't need a preacher to hear this
sort of crap, we can just take some unsavory buddies out for
drinks and bring up politics and we'll get an earful.
To many americans, certainly not all, this isn't their idea of how
a president gets religion. Outside of the holy rollers, and similar,
americans tend towards orderly and respectful reverance in their
churches. "All now turn to page 137 in their hymnal..." and that
sort of thing.
So that leads to the question of whether this could be labelled a racially
charged observation? Is this a shot at "black" religion?
We don't know. We don't think so.
There are plenty of white (and other) fire
and brimstone preachers, poisonous snake handlers, charismatic
churches with people falling down and shouting in tongues,
faith healers, even hate mongerers, all that.
Many are in churches which are by far predominately white.
The message won't be exactly the same, but the tone will
That aside, Barack Obama has a problem of style. He spent 20 years
listening to Rev Jeramiah Wright sermonizing. He needs to explain
what he saw in those sermons, not try to disavow them now that
they've become politically inconvenient.
Here is an article Obama wrote for the Huffington Post in response:
One-line summary: Yes I was a member of that church for
20 years and was close to Rev Jeremiah Wright but I swear he never,
ever spoke like this, I'm shocked, shocked!
Our reaction: Bullshit.
And anyone who thinks otherwise is, in our humble but correct
13 March 2008
Know Your Representatives!
by Alan Smithee
Rep. Steve King (R-IA)
Every member of the house of representatives will also be up for
election on 11 November 2008. Let's meet them!
Representative Steve King (not to be confused with horror-meister
Stephen King) is the republican congressman from the
5th congressional district of Iowa which covers approximately the
western 1/3 of the state including Sioux City and Council Bluffs.
We found a choice bit of wisdom from Rep. King to help you better
understand your elected representatives:
Republican Rep. Steve King of Iowa regularly accuses illegal immigrants of
committing sex crimes against "eight little girls" a day as part of "a
slow-motion terrorist attack."
Wall Street Journal, 06 September 2006
The deadline to register for the district's 2008 election is tomorrow,
14 March. Thus far democrat, Vietnam veteran, and former
is the only registered challenger
(other than King) though
E. Joyce Schulte,
educator and former hospital chaplain,
(lost twice to King previously in 2004 and 2006) is expected to enter the race.
Let's see, Geraldine Ferraro (who? Mondale's female VP running mate in 1984)
makes a brainless remark suggesting
that Obama's race may've helped him in his campaign and she's publicly
skewered (not that she doesn't deserve it, why doesn't she reserve
her bile for republicans?)
But Bush sings to a laughing, applauding audience about "Brownie",
the guy who screwed up the Katrina response, and "Scooter" Libby
being "free of the prosecutor" (try it, it sort of rhymes), who
he pardoned, and this isn't a disaster for the republicans?
The biggest question for our time is: Why isn't George W. Bush in jail???
Today is also Mississippi's republican primary but McCain is basically
the only candidate. He'll pick up another 36 delegates.
20:19: MSNBC projects Obama the winner in Mississippi.
20:31: CNN projects Obama the winner in Mississippi (still
no voting results available.)
There are a total of 33 delegates at stake. Polling suggests that
Barack Obama will win the primary with about 60% of the vote. Polling
closes at 8PM EST.
08 March 2008
Wyoming Democrats Caucus on International Women's Day
Guam Republicans Caucus
by Alan Smithee
17:24 With 87% of the Wyoming caucus voting in we'll project Barack
Obama the winner. 7 more delegates for Obama.
WY 12 100%
Wyoming Governor (1925-1927)
Nelli Tayloe Ross
Today is International Women's Day. Coincidentally, today is
also the Wyoming democratic caucus. When Wyoming was a territory
they granted women the vote in 1869, a first, and in 1924 elected the first
US woman governor
Tayloe Ross (served 1925-1927.) She
later became the first female director of the US Mint under FDR. Governor
Ross passed away in 1977 at the age of 101, well within the
lifetime of many reading this.
There are about 59,000 registered democrats in Wyoming out of
a total state population of slightly less than 500,000, about the same
as the number of residents of New York City's
apartment complex (pop. 55,000.)
Not exactly a
stronghold of democratic support. Wyoming has 12 democratic delegates.
7 of them are at
stake today which isn't going to change this race one way or the other.
The remaining 5 will be allocated May 24 at Wyoming's democratic
convention. The current count is Obama 1,520 delegates and super-delegates,
and Clinton 1,424, a difference of less than 100 delegates.
Barack Obama has done well in caucuses and most expect he'll
win this Wyoming contest despite the state's feminist heritage.
Guam Republicans Caucus
Guam republicans caucus today. Their caucus was originally scheduled for
16 February. John McCain already has enough delegates to clinch
the republican nomination so the contest has little meaning to that
Ron Paul Smells the Coffee
In other news Ron Paul has
ended his bid for the republican presidential nomination and
will focus on his upcoming bid to retain his Texas congressional
04 March 2008
TSUNAMI TSUESDAY TSWO!
by Alan Smithee
02:13 EST The big story from these 3/4 primary results is
that Hillary Clinton has now taken the big, populous states: New York,
California, Ohio, Texas, New Jersey. Obama's largest states are
Illinois, Georgia, and Minnesota. She'll probably win Pennsylvania,
another big state, and if Florida and Michigan somehow get counted
or vote again they're also likely Clinton wins.This could be
important in the general election in November. If neither Obama
nor Clinton win a clear majority going into the convention then
the super-delegates will have to consider issues like winnability
against McCain as a reason to swing their vote to settle the race.
00:56 EST CNN has projected Hillary Clinton the winner of
the Texas primary in a very close race. With over 2.3 million
votes counted the two candidates are separated by only 81,000
00:35 EST It looks like a big, big night for Hillary Clinton. She's
won Ohio and Rhode Island. Obama won Vermont. With 66% of the
primary vote in it looks like Clinton might win Texas, it's going to
be very close. Out of 2,185,871 votes counted thus far they
are separated by only 52,365 votes (quick! calculate each candidate's
votes! Or see the table below.) Even if they split Texas evenly
it looks like Clinton has swept the big state of Ohio nearly 60/40
giving her 46 of Ohio's delegates to Obama's 24. Vermont (Obama)
and Rhode Island (Clinton) practically cancel each other out with
a net gain of one delegate for Clinton between the two states.
FLASH! 21:00 EST:
McCain wraps it up! He's now got over 1,200 delegates, 1,191 were needed
to win. Reportedly Huckabee has called McCain to arrange a formal
concession. McCain will be at the White House tomorrow to make a
public declaration with George Bush at his side. Next we wait for
McCain to name a running mate.
21:10 EST Huckabee is about to make a concession
speech for the cameras. Wow, if this guy made it to president
you'd have to brew the coffee to make to the end of his State of
the Union speeches! A little long-winded there Mike!
OH 228 100%
OH 31 100%
RI 33 98%
RI 20 98%
TX 228 99%
TX 140 100%
TX Votes Separating Clinton/Obama
TX Dem Cauc. 36%
VT 23 99%
VT 17 99%
* Projected winner.
04 March 2008
by Alan Smithee
Programming note: Full 3/4 Primary Coverage will begin about 8PM
or whenever the first results start coming in or the spirit moves us,
polls in Vermont close first at 7PM so perhaps 7PM.
The media is being pretty riduculous about the meaning of today's
democratic primaries in Texas, Ohio, oh yeah and Rhode Island and Vermont
also. They make it sound like it's an all or nothing contest which it
certainly is not.
Going into today Obama has 1,184 pledged delegates and 194
superdelegate for a total of 1,378. Hillary has 1,031 pledged
and 238 superdelegates, total 1,269. That means Obama is ahead
by about 100 delegates. 2,025 are needed to win.
Texas has 228 delegates with 126 tied to today's primary, 67 tied to today's
caucuses (Texas has both a primary and caucus), plus 12 super-delegates.
Ohio has 162 delegates, 141 tied to today's primary and 21 superdelegates.
Vermont has 23 delegates, 15 tied to today's primary voting, 8 superdelegates.
Poor little Rhode Island, smallest of the 48 (hmm, that lyric doesn't work
anymore) has 33 delegates (more than Vermont! Go RI!) with 21 tied to
today's primary and 12 super.
So there are 370 delegates at stake today in voting and the Texas
caucus, plus 53 superdelegates, 423 total.
If Obama were to win all of them he'd have 1,801 which would be pretty
close to victory (2,025), but not quite there. Hillary would have 1,692
if somehow she were to win 100% of the delegates and superdelegates
up for grabs today.
But that's not going to happen! More likely one candidate will grab
between 175 and 250 and the other will grab between 180 and 225, more
or less, that is slightly more or less than the 423 up for grabs because
the delegates are awarded roughly proportional to each candidates
Let's use the typical business plan strategy of trying optimistic, average,
pessimistic analyses. 60% is 254, 40% is 169:
Granted this says that in all cases tried above (60/40 and 50/50)
Obama comes out ahead, but not by much. Even in the most optimistic
case for Obama he ends up with 1,632 delegates, 194 ahead of
Clinton but still 393 away from clinching the nomination.
In the most optimistic scenario for Clinton Obama ends up only
24 delegates ahead. There are other scenarios possible of course.
After today the next big state is Pennsylvania on April 22 with
188 delegates at stake (158 regular, 38 super.) Still not enough
for either candidate to clinch the nomination under any of the
above scenarios. Note: 12 PA superdelegates have already committed
to Clinton, and 3 to Obama, 23 remain uncommitted as of 3/4/2008.
Current polling shows Clinton holding a double-digit lead over
Obama in PA, but April 22 is a long way off.
Our conclusion is that today's primary isn't likely to be decisive
unless we see an incredible sweep, like 70/30 or 80/20, across the
all states for one candidate which is highly unlikely.
Our prediction: The two democratic candidates will slog on.
So why does the media say this is "make-or-break-do-or-die" (CNN),
Chris Matthews just opened Hardball with "today is judgment day
for Senator Clinton!" and proceeded to talk about whether Hillary
staying in the race helps or hurts the democratic party, etc.
Answer: To make it all sound like a horse race, like it's really
important to keep watching, don't touch that dial!
So we suggest: Stay with the-election.com! We're not a bunch of
emotionally manipulative suck-ups! We just calls 'em likes we
Oh yeah, what about today's republican primary between McCain
and Huckabee? YAWN! DOUBLE-YAWN! The only interesting thing
at this point is that it's theoretically possible for McCain
to wrap it up today, though not likely.
"Interns have the chance to be an essential part of a working congressional
office," said Craig. "They participate in the legislative process as well as
ensure that constituent services run smoothly. For those interested in
politics, it is an incredible opportunity to get a behind-the-scenes look at
how our government functions while serving the people of Idaho."
No word yet on whether that "working congressional office" also provides
shared rest room facilities or what, exactly, that "behind-the-scenes"
look is referring to, perhaps via the official congressional glory-hole.
29 February 2008
The Economic Problems Bought and Paid for by the Republicans
by Alan Smithee
What's the cause of the current economic mess? The cause were
the huge deficits run up by the republican administration and
What caused the deficits? Spending more while cutting taxes.
But wasn't that a necessary result of the war? Some of the highest
estimates of the cost of the wars (Iraq and Afghanistan) are about
one trillion dollars.
The republicans ran up about four and a half trillion dollars in
new debt. The huge deficits are not accounted for by the wars.
So how do the huge republican deficits affect the economy negatively?
In order to run a deficit the government has to borrow. The way
the government borrows is by selling treasury bonds and notes ("treasuries"),
just like the savings bonds you might be familiar with,
trillions of dollars of treasuries must be sold on the open market.
In order to sell such a massive amount of treasuries the government
had to make them more attractive to buyers by increasing the
interest rate the treasuries paid. This is why the interest rates
kept going up over the past several years, to entice buyers to
buy our debt (treasuries.)
Interest rates increased faster than most people expected. Lending
rates are all closely tied together whether they're the government
selling its treasuries (debt) or credit cards or mortages, it's
all one big market which varies by risk and other factors. But
current lending rates tend to not be lower than whatever the
federal government is asking for since they're the lowest risk
possible (they've never defaulted on treasuries.)
This trapped a lot
of people who had bought homes with adjustable rate mortgages (ARMs).
The rates are tied to the same federal interest rates used to sell
treasuries. When rates went up faster than expected then many people
found their monthly payments going up faster than they could handle
so defaults increased rapidly.
Defaults (late payers) became
foreclosures which flooded the housing market with homes which
had to be sold by banks and other lending companies who seized
This in turn depressed home prices (more homes trying to be sold)
which put more and more troubled home owners and in particular
their lenders in trouble. Banks didn't want to negotiate a
mortgage if the value of the home securing that mortgage was
dropping below the amount owed. They wanted you out so they
could sell that house before it went down further.
More foreclosures, more
homes on the market, prices go down further, vicious spiral.
Besides this effect on the housing market when the federal government
sells trillions of dollars in treasuries to cover their deficits
they compete for credit dollars with other parts of the economy. Investors
who invest in underwriting credit, such as treasuries, tend to be
very conservative and there's nothing more conservative than
United States treasuries.
For example when you borrow money for a mortgage that money comes
from someplace. It's a little complicated, but basically there are
investors who buy pools of mortgages so they can get the interest
home owners (really home "owers") are paying. But why buy mortgages
when treasuries are paying better and better interest rates?
This is true of many credit markets where money is loaned by selling
the loans to investors. Student loans are in trouble
right now because credit has dried up. Most businesses thrive on
credit, for example to buy inventory to put in their store. They
don't pay cash, they borrow the money for the products you see
on the shelves. Manufacturers borrow to buy raw materials,
steel or plastic for example. Farmers borrow to plant their crops
and to harvest them hoping the final net proceeds of their crop will pay for
those loans plus a little profit.
Another problem is that people who buy "debt", such as the
people who underwrite mortgages, also buy
insurance on that debt in case something goes terribly wrong.
That "insurance" also dried up because of the fear that the
problems in the housing markets (and its rippling effects) might
make it impossible for those insurers to meet their insurance
obligations and they would just go bankrupt.
One recent and dramatic casualty was when The Port of New York
tried to sell some debt they needed to raise at an auction (the
normal way to sell it) and because
no insurers would step forward on this very high
quality debt The Port of New York had to pay 20% interest
on the new debt! That's the sort of interest deadbeats pay
on questionable credit cards, not what a major government
(ok, quasi-government for PoNY) organization pays for some debt.
Many republicans both in the White House and Congress kept saying
that the huge deficits were no problem and that cutting taxes
while running up huge debts would straighten itself out somehow.
People tend to be gullible to such promises because no one seemed
to be able to articulate what exactly might happen as a result
of all this debt. No one was really sure, in the past we'd never
created this much debt and it did manage to work itself out though
we did see similar effects when the previous Bush and Reagan administration
also ran up huge deficits. Credit became unavailable and the economy
went into serious slow down. Remember Bush Sr's loss to Bill Clinton
on the slogan "It's the Economy, Stupid!"? That was similar to
what is happening today, huge deficit spending in the early 1990s
eventually caused a recession.
Jokes were made about the government defaulting,
the US government has never defaulted on its debt, there must be
some way to resolve all this so why worry?
Conversely, when Bill Clinton and the democratic congress
balanced the budget and brought down deficit spending to zero,
even ran a surplus, the economy boomed. Remember how well the
economy did in the late 1990s? It was no accident. It was the
result of Bill Clinton's policy to eliminate the deficit which
now the republicans have increased more than any other time
in US history.
Well, here we are and we're seeing exactly how the deficits come due, they
come due by crashing the credit markets which are the lifeblood
of the US economy.
The current approach by the government to try to get out of the
mess we're in has been for the fed to reduce interest rates.
Won't that fix the problem? If rising interest rates caused the
problem won't lowering interest rates help?
Not really. The fundamental problem is that we borrowed trillions of
dollars and need to borrow trillions more unless this behavior is
stopped. You can't really put the toothpaste back into the tube.
Lowering interest rates while continuing to borrow
also has the effect of devaluing the dollar.
This is why oil and food have been getting more expensive, the dollar
is becoming worth less and less so you have to pay more and more
dollars for goods and services. The dollars has fallen about 30%
in the past few years. That means if you put $20,000 away in a
your dresser (didn't get any investment return) a few years ago then
today it's only worth $14,000 in buying power.
Your home is losing value, any cash you've saved is losing value unless
you're getting very good returns and those returns have to be
discounted by the devaluation, energy, food, and everything else
is getting more expensive.
Do you still believe those republican tax cuts were a good deal?
Do you still believe republicans when they tell you they're the
party of fiscal responsibility?
A republican will try to dismiss all of the above as just "liberal"
propaganda because they have no other response.
The simple facts are that the republicans
really screwed up, they have nothing to say in their defense, and
now we're all paying the price.
Representative John Boehner is the leader of the republicans in the
House of Representatives. Recently he was on Wolf Blitzer's Sunday
Wolf asked Boehner about how the republicans are going to explain
the huge deficit and fiscal mess the republicans got us into to the voters?
Boehner replied: Wolf, this election is about the future, not the past.
No cheating, drunken, gambling, good for nothing spouse has ever
said it better when caught: C'mon honey, let's not dwell on the past...
The sad thing is we believe that's the best answer republicans
can come up with, c'mon voters, let's forget about the past...
28 February 2008
Another Potential First for Obama
by Alan Smithee
If Barack Obama is elected president he'll be the first president
born into a United States with 50 states. Obama was born 4 August 1961,
Hawaii was admitted to the union as the 50th state on 21 August 1959. The
other likely candidates (Clinton, McCain, or Huckabee) were all born
in a US with 48 states.
Further, Obama was born in Hawaii, that 50th state.
Ok, it's not earth-shaking but it is another potential first in this election.
26 February 2008
We Can't Go On Meeting Like This! The Democratic Debate
by Alan Smithee
Hillary Clinton opens emphasizing there are differences between her and
Obama, on health care, etc.
Brian Williams asks Clinton about the tribal dress photo. Clinton
says as far as she knows it wasn't anyone from her campaign and
if it is she'll ask them to leave the campaign.
Obama brushes by the photo flap and digs right into health care. Obama
agrees there are differences between their two plans. Obama says Clinton's
plan is mandatory, you have to purchase health insurance. But if it has
some sort of hardship opt-out then it also doesn't cover everyone just
as she claims about his plan.
Clinton responds that everyone has to be in the health care system
or else the insurance companies will cherry-pick, sell health insurance
to those who are healthy and not to those who aren't. She says
Obama's mailing is almost as if the health insurance companies and
republicans wrote it. She "stakes out a claim" for universal health
Obama responds that he does stand for universal health care. He says
experts agree that anyone who wants health care can get it under his
plan. He says his approach saves more money than Clinton's. We don't
know how Senator Clinton's plan will cover those who can't afford
it. He then seems to ascribe details of Massachusetts' health care
plan to Senator Clinton.
Again Senator Clinton defends, says Obama's plan would be like
if FDR said let's make social security voluntary. Again asserts
we have to have everyone in the health care system otherwise we
won't get effective preventative medicine.
Obama again. Claims Senator Clinton's plan penalizes some parents.
Says medicare part B is voluntary but people choose to purchase it
because it's a good deal. So voluntary can work.
Clinton again. Many of the 20% who are uninsured can afford insurance
but don't buy it because they're young and think they're immortal. Obama's
plan says that when they come into the hospital sick or injured then
they should be forced to buy insurance.
Brian Williams moves on to NAFTA.
Clinton opens by complaining that she's always asked the question
first, why is that? Makes a reference to a Saturday Night Live skit
where they ask Barack if he's comfortable, needs another pillow?
On NAFTA she says that she has opposed NAFTA, wasn't a policy maker
in the (Bill Clinton) administration, but since she became a senator
she has stood against it. We need to fix NAFTA, she'll take a tough
position on that.
Obama responds that it's inaccurate for her to say she's always been
against NAFTA. That in her (senate campaign) she said NAFTA has been
good for New York and good for the country. Obama says it hasn't been
good for many, cites his state (Illinois.) Says the net costs of these
agreements can be devastating and if president will make sure that
the contracts are adhered to, and if that happens he believes Ohio will
be back on the path to growth.
Tim Russert tells Clinton she did say NAFTA was good for NY and good
for the country. In 1996 she said it was proving its worth. In 2000
she said it was pretty good. Al Gore said if we don't like NAFTA
we can be out of it in six months. Senator Clinton, if president would you get
us out of NAFTA in six months?
Senator Clinton says we can renegotiate NAFTA. Parts of it have been
good for New York, Texas. Russert badgers. Clinton says he doesn't
have a complete record, she's voted to toughen trade restrictions.
It has worked in some parts of the country, it hasn't worked in Ohio,
it hasn't worked in some parts of upstate NY.
Russert: Let me button this up, we'll opt out of NAFTA in six months?
Clinton: Doesn't agree, says it can be renegotiated.
Russert passes question to Obama. Obama says he basically agrees with
senator Clinton, we need to tighten up the restrictions. NAFTA and
other trade deals can be good for the US. Wants to be an advocate on
behalf of workers.
Russert: (Someone) says it hasn't been trade agreements, it's been lack of
patents and other problems.
Obama responds that policy has been weighted towards the multi-nationals,
towards corporations. We need green jobs, windmills, alternative fuels,
making buildings more energy efficient. All sorts of things to make
the economy more competitive.
Russert holds up Clinton economic blueprint, says it says you've
pledged five million jobs. But in Buffalo you pledged 300,000 new
jobs but in fact they lost 30,000 jobs. You said you were too exuberant,
are you too exuberant now?
No, Tim, in 2000 I thought Al Gore was going to be president. Proceeds
with "green collar job" training, green jobs. Uses Germany as an example
which has invested in solar and created several hundred thousand new
jobs. At least five million jobs can be created in the next ten years.
Brian Williams on foreign policy. Clinton has compared your (Obama's)
experience to Bush's experience in 2000. What's your reaction?
Obama said that he was very clear why he was against the Iraq war
from the beginning, that it's caused anti-american sentiment, strengthened
Al Qaeda, we have to target terrorists in northern Pakistan. He believes
his judgment has been sound on issues which matter.
Passes question about Obama inexperience to Clinton. Cites her own
experience. In 2002 he gave a good speech against the war, but since
he's come to congress he's voted the same as her, so where's the
difference? Last summer he basically threatened to bomb Pakistan which
she doesn't think was a wise approach. He's said he would meet with
some of the world's worst dictators without preconditions about what
we plan to get out of those meetings. She believes she'll do better.
Obama responds that his objection to the war wasn't just a speech, it
was part of a senate campaign. He thought the war was a big blunder,
that we've driven the bus into the ditch. She facilitated and enabled
Bush to make bad decisions. He says he never suggested bombing Pakistan,
only that if Pakistan won't strike against our enemies there we should
do it, and we (the Bush administration) recently have and took out the
number three of Al Qaeda. Emphasizes that he can have a stronger debate
with John McCain.
Russert poses the possibility that if we announce that we're getting
out of Iraq in a year what if the Iraqi government says then get out
Obama responds that if they ask us to leave we have to leave, they're
a sovereign nation as George Bush keeps reminding us. Iraq is distracting
us from Afghanistan, we're spending money in Iraq we could better be
Russert passes same question to Clinton. She gives basically the same
Russert now posits what if we leave and Al Qaeda resurges? Will we go
Clinton says these are a lot of hypotheticals. Russert asserts these
are not hypotheticals, these are realities. Clinton disagrees, these
are hypotheticals. Russert sputters meaninglessly from time to time
as Clinton tries to answer. She wants to coordinate with NATO on
Afghanistan, to stabilize Afghanistan, get the Iraqi government to
take responsibility for their country.
Russert passes the same question about going back into Iraq to Obama.
Obama talks about Afghanistan, that we shouldn't have permanent troops
in Iraq. He reserves the right as president to look out for American
interests and if Al Qaeda were forming a base in Iraq then we'll have
to protect our interests.
Clinton tries to respond but Williams pleads that he has to go to
break. Something about Stickley chairs :-)
Back, Brian Williams, much hooting and hollering and cheering in the
background, candidates come back in.
Williams refers to hyperbole on the campaign trail, switches to a
video of Clinton making a sarcastic speech about the heavens opening
and we'll know what to do. Williams said that was supposed to be
Obama so passes the question to Obama.
Obama says he gives senator Clinton points for humor, Clinton laughs
out loud. Obama talks about his track record with getting welfare
for poor in his district, helped soldiers in Walter Reade hospital
who had to pay for meals and phone calls, etc. Tells story about how
he was in Cincinnatti with four women who did everything they were
supposed to but never imagined how they're having to dip into
retirement to pay for health care, kids' college, all kinds of sad stuff,
aging parents, disabled children, no one has been listening to these people.
Williams passes question to Clinton, what was that video about (the
She was "having a little fun", it's hard to have fun on the campaign trail.
Turns to health care, credit card companies, college affordability, wants
to get money back to working people, talks about $55 billion she
can get back from various special interests and invest in the middle
class, they feel like they're invisible.
When it came time to vote on Dick Cheney's energy bill she voted no,
Obama voted yes, when it came time to cap credit card interest rates
at 30% which was too high but a cap she voted yes but Obama voted no.
"I believe that I am a fighter".
Switch to Obama video of Obama saying Clinton selectively picks
from her experience. Obama says Clinton picks from her time as
first lady, uses the term "co-president".
He doesn't begrudge that. But she can't take credit
for the good things that happened while on issues like NAFTA say
that behind the scenes I was disagreeing. On the caps on credit
cards Obama says he objected to the whole bill. We have to
mobilize the American people. We have to go after the special
interests, (quoting Clinton) you can't just wave a wand and make them go away.
Russert asks you said last year
if you were the nominee you would opt for public financing.
McCain has challenged you to opt for public financing, will you?
Obama answers that he's not yet the nominee, when he is the nominee
he'd be happy to sit down with McCain and figure out a way to
make that fair for all parties. We have raised 90% of our donations
from small donors, $50, $100. Russert: So you might opt out of
public financing? Obama: When the time comes I'll sit down with
Russert asks Clinton about releasing her tax returns. Why won't
you release your tax return and your husband's tax return so
the American people can see who is funding your campaign? Clinton
answers that the American people are funding her campaign. Russert
presses if she'll release them before the Tuesday primary. Clinton
says no time before Tuesday but she will.
Russert to Obama. Louis Farrakhan supports Obama, do you accept
his support? Obama says Farrakhan is anti-semitic, he can't censor
him, but it's not support he's sought. Russert: Do you reject
his support? Obama: I've rejected his support. Russert quotes
Farrakhan as saying Judaism is a gutter religion. Obama rejects
his comments. Russert points out that the title of his book, "The
Audacity of Hope" comes from a Reverend Jeremiah Wright sermon,
Jeremiah Wright has supported Farrakhan, went to Libya with
Farrakhan. If he were seen to be supporting Farrakhan his
Jewish support would dry up like a snowball in hell.
Obama asserts he has had strong support from the Jewish community,
that he wouldn't be here if it wasn't for Jewish support for
the civil rights movement. He's spoken out about anti-semitism
in the African-American community.
Clinton wants to interject that when she ran for the senate in
New York she was supported by the New York Independence
Party but she rejected their support
because their leader, Lenore Fulani, had made anti-semitic remarks,
even though she thought it might
hurt her politically. Russert: Are you saying Obama isn't
rejecting...? Hillary: I just think it has to be stronger,
rejecting is stronger than denouncing.
Obama: I don't see the difference between denouncing or
rejecting, if Clinton thinks rejecting is stronger than
denouncing then I reject AND denounce.
Brian Williams: The National Journal rates your voting record as more
liberal than Ted Kennedy, how can you run on a record more liberal
than Ted Kennedy's? Obama responds that the ratings are silly and
cites some things he's supported like independent investigation of
ethical violations of senators. The National Journal said this was
a liberal position. Obama doesn't think ethics is a "liberal" issue.
Why do I (Obama) get so much support from independents? Because
the old labels of liberal versus conservative don't make sense
Tim Russert: There's an election in Russia on Monday for the man to replace
Putin, what does Clinton think of the replacement of Putin. Clinton
says we know that he's a hand-picked successor, hand-picked by
Putin. This is a clever but transparent way for Putin to hold onto
power. She has been very critical of the Bush administration for
what she perceives as an incoherent policy on Russia. We need
a more realistic policy towards Russia. Technically meetings
will be with the man who replaces Putin the power will be with
Obama responds to the same question, says he basically agrees with
Clinton. Bush said he looked into Putin's eyes and said this is
someone he can do business with. Obama doesn't think that sent
the right message. Russert asks what if Putin's replacement says
he's going to re-take Kosovo etc.? Obama responds that we work
with the international community on the problem. We recognize
Kosovo as an independent sovereign nation as has Britain.
Russert: Any votes you'd like to take back? Clinton: My 2002 vote
to authorize war in Iraq, knowing what I know now I would not
have voted that way. But the election has to be about the future,
not the past. We could talk about Darfur, the Middle-East and
Israel's security, an entire program on what we will inherit
from George Bush. My experience has prepared me to deal with
these issues. Russert: To be clear you'd like to have your
vote back? Clinton: Yes, I've said that many times.
Obama, same question? The Terry Schiavo matter, I wish I had
stood on the floor of the senate and stopped that vote, it
was a question of inaction. There's still a lot of fight
in this, senator Clinton has campaigned magnificently. There's
a vanity aspect to politics, but when you spend as much time
as senator Clinton and me have spent campaigning, you find
that people's desires are modest, they don't want a lot, they
don't want the government to solve all their problems. But
I hope the democrats can restore hope to this government.
Brian Williams: What is the fundamental question that you
believe senator Clinton must answer in order to prove her
worthiness. Obama responds I have to say she would be worthy
as a nominee, there's no doubt that she's qualified, I think
I'm more qualified or I wouldn't be running. McCain has tethered
himself to the policies of George Bush. I don't think senator
Clinton has to answer a question as to whether she is capable
of being president. I think I am capable of bringing this country
together in a unique way, I have a track record from the days
when I moved to Chicago as a community organizer etc, I have a
unique bias. Those are qualities that I bring to this race, and
I hope those are qualities the people of Texas, Vermont, Ohio,
will think will make me a better president.
Same to Clinton: It has been an honor, it's been a campaign
that has been history making, I'm proud to be the first woman
running to be president, that will be a challenge to the way
things have been done, either one of us will make history. Who
can actually change the country? I believe my experience over
thirty-five years gives me an understanding and an insight
into making the changes we all want to see. Health insurance,
I want to help give the people of this country the chance that
they need to have. We need a fighter back in the white house,
the wealthy and well-connected have had someone in the white
24 February 2008
McCain (71) No Longer Oldest Candidate!
by Alan Smithee
Ralph Nader (74 this Wednesday, 2/27) threw his hat into
the 2008 presidential ring today.
Obama v. Clinton: Showdown in Austin
by Alan Smithee
Each candidate opens with the usual idealistic platitudes. Hillary
sounds stronger and more confident than in the recent past. Obama
is his usual optimistic self.
First question from Jorge Ramos (Univsion) is to Hillary,
will you meet with Raul
Castro now that Fidel has stepped down? Hillary dodges the third
rail and says not until and unless the usual grab bag of complaints
about Cuba (political prisoners etc) is being resolved.
Campbell Brown pushes Barack Obama on the same subject, Obama
basically makes the same statement. Brown counters that he's
supported normalization with Cuba previously. Obama says yes
but not until there's some sort of progress on human rights.
Hillary responds agreeing that we should speak to our adversaries
such as Iran, even those with whom we don't have diplomatic relations.
She would get back to "very vigorous diplomacy" (as opposed to the
Bush administration.) The era of arrogance of the Bush administration
Obama responds underscoring how the Bush administration has done so
much damage to our international relations, how the damage has to
John King asks about the economy, raise the minimum wage? trade deals?
As specifically as you can how would President Obama be different than
a President Clinton? Stop giving tax breaks to companies shipping jobs
overseas, stop the Bush tax cuts to the wealthy, international trade is ok but
with strong labor and safety standards, no toys with lead paint on them.
Invest in alternative energy. No real distinction, suggests perhaps how
we'd each approach getting a similar agenda implemented is a difference.
Hillary responds with much the same platitudes, how this is all
the democratic agenda. Again with the lead paint. Immediately
she'd take steps on the foreclosure crisis, moratorium on foreclosures,
single mom and postal workers hoodwinked into unfair mortgages! If
adjustable rate mortgages keep going up MILLIONS of Americans will
be homeless! Invest in our infrastructure, green stuff, end
George Bush's War On Science (big applause)!
Jorge Ramos again, would you (Clinton) consider stopping raids
on undocumented immigrants until there's comprehensive immigration
reform. Hillary says yes, children are being left in the US with
no one take care of them because of these raids and that's not
American. Deport them if they're criminals, but otherwise provide
a path to immigration.
Campbell Brown asks if Obama agrees. Obama says that the tone of
the immigration debate in Washington has promulgated hate crimes.
Crack down on employers who hire undocumented workers, safety. Fix
the legal immigration system, there's a huge backlog, it places unfair
legal expenses and delays on immigrants. Bush promised a new relationship
with Mexico but he's dropped the ball, Obama says he'll change that.
John King asks about the border fence. Senator Clinton, you voted
for construction of that fence. Clinton points out that both her
and Senator Obama voted for that construction. She tells an
anecdote about how when she was at Univ Texas, Brownsville recently
that under the current Bush plan part of the campus would be
cut off! The Bush administration has gone off the deep end. She
would have a review with the people who live along the border.
John King presses, do you mean you think your vote was wrong?
Again, Bush's approach makes no sense, eminent domain filings,
use technology and personnel better.
Campbell Brown passes the question to Obama. The Bush administration
is "not real good at listening, that's not what they do well." He
says Clinton and him pretty closely agree on this issue. Comprehensive
reform is important but can't deal with this issue unless we deal
with the influx of undocumented immigrants. Also, pass the (?) act
to protect children of immigrants who have been born here and raised
Jorge Ramos asks Clinton whether this nation could possibly become
a bilingual nation? Clinton says that english should be our common,
unifying language. She's against making english the "official" language.
She encourages people to become bilingual.
Obama also thinks everyone learning english is important, and every
student should learn a second language. Launches into a general
comment on education, studying foreign languages is an example of
this. There wasn't a lot of meat on that bone.
John King tries to get a little contention going, aims some
quotes from Clinton at her which she's used in her stump speeches
which were critical of Obama. Clinton says her and Obama have a
lot in common, she's not taking the bait. Whoops, she strikes anyhow,
how a supporter was on TV the other night (reference to a senator
on Chris Matthew's Hardball Tuesday night) and when asked what are
Senator Obama's accomplishments he couldn't list any.
Campbell Brown passes it to Obama. Lists some accomplishments,
says the implication that the 20 million people who voted for
him are delusional, the newspapers who endorsed him, all have
been duped?! Clinton is visibly laughing. The endless bickering has to stop.
Senator Clinton and I share the same visions, I'm running for
president to stop (various suffering) and so are the people behind
Campbell Brown pushes on. Accusations from the Clinton campaign that
he plagiarized from Governor Deval Patrick and others. Obama says
the notion that he plagiarized from someone (Patrick) who is one
of his co-chairs who suggested he use the line is silly, we're getting
into silly season in politics. How do we make health care, college
affordable? A $4,000 tuition credit in exchange for national service.
Bring an end to this war in Iraq, bring the troops home, and invest
that money here at home. Senator Clinton has a fine record, so do I,
we shouldn't be spending time tearing each other down, we should be
spending time lifting each other up.
Campbell Brown asks Clinton whether it's silly season? She says
if your campaign is about words then your words should count. Obama
mutters in disapproval. Hillary says look at the videos on Youtube,
it's disturbing. She fires a few more, she wants universal health
care, he doesn't, she wants a moratorium on foreclosures, he
doesn't support that. There are differences.
Obama responds: We both want universal health care. 95% of our
health care plans are similar. Goes over his health care plan.
We have a philosophic difference. Senator Clinton wants to force
everyone to purchase it, he believes everyone wants it, they just
can't afford it, so make it affordable. He recognizes there are
arguments for a mandate, let's debate those points. She deserves
credit for her attempts at health care in 1993. We have to
change how politics are happening in Washington or else four
years from now we'll be debating health insurance again.
Jorge Ramos, do you believe that you are the only candidate
fit to be commander-in-chief? Hillary Clinton insists on
going back to health care. She doesn't believe voluntary will
work. If it's not universal then the health insurers and others
will nibble it to death. Obama wants to respond! In Massachusetts
where health care is mandated people who can't afford health insurance
are being fined for not buying it! Clinton jumps in! Senator Obama
would fine parents for not insuring their children, if they show
up at the hospital sick maybe then we'll fine them. We would not
have social security or medicare if it were voluntary. Obama
responds that that mother (she made reference to a mother who
can't afford an operation for her child) will be able to get
the operation. He insists that it's the parents' responsibility
to make sure their children have health insurance.
Jorge Ramos again, Senator Clinton are you suggesting Obama is not
ready, not qualified, to be commander-in-chief? Hillary lists
qualifications, served on Armed Services committee, Homeland Security
something or other (commission?) Lists some current events (elections
in Pakistan, our embassy burned in Kosovo.) She would be working
with Serbian security forces to secure our embassy there. She
feels she has the experience to inherit those problems we are
inheriting from George Bush.
Obama responds that he wouldn't be running if he didn't believe he
was prepared for the job. He'll do better than Bush. He'll use
our military wisely, he showed better judgement than Clinton
about going to war in Iraq. Lists various examples he believes
were indicators of his good judgement.
John King, question on supporting the surge. Some say Iraq
is better today, are they better off because of the surge.
Clinton responds that the purpose of the surge was to give
the Iraqi government time and opportunity to make decisions (?),
but they haven't done that. Reiterates that if president she
would begin to withdraw troops within 60 days and the
Iraqi government will have to make those decisions. It should
be up to the Iraqis.
Campbell Brown throws the same question to Obama. Says the surge
is a tactical victory tacked onto a huge strategic blunder. He'll
be in a better position to argue the point with John McCain. Our
entire aid to Latin America in a year is about the same as we
spend on Iraq in a week. McCain would have our troops over there
for 100 years, McCain says he doesn't really understand the
John King says both candidates were critical of secrecy in this
administration. Claims that Obama snuck earmarks into legislation,
will he own up to it? Obama says they have owned up for it. Wants
a google-like access to the federal budget so anyone can check
any spending like no-bid Halliburton contracts.
King throws the same question to Clinton. Says McCain has never
and will never ask for an earmark. Does John McCain have a better
record on this? Clinton says no because he supported the Bush
tax cuts, the new Bush budget has a $400 billion deficit, we
borrow money from the Chinese to buy oil from the Saudis, she'll
stop that and get the budget back onto control as it was when
Bush came into office.
John Ramos asks what if the superdelegates over ride the popular
vote? Clinton says there is a process, it will work itself out,
and we will have a nominee. Obama responds that he believes in
the will of the voters, it's important that voters believe that
the government listens to them. The american people are tired
of politics dominated by the powerful.
Campbell Brown asks what was the moment that has tested you the
most in crisis? Obama says it's the trajectory of his life,
his father leaving, periods he made mistakes and his life went
off course, and getting his life back on track. Working as a community
organizer, a civil rights attorney. He's determined that the american
people get a govt worthy of their decency.
Campbell Brown passes the same question to Clinton. She comments
that she's had some tribulations in life herself! Tells an anecdote
about being with injured troops, couldn't walk, faces disfigured,
the problems she's had in life are nothing compared to what these
people go through every day of their life. Ends on a warm note
with Barack Obama, our family, our friends, etc.
19 February 2008
Hawaii Democratic Caucuses, Washington State Republican Caucuses,
Wisconsin Democratic and Republican Primaries
by Alan Smithee
Yawn! Ok, Wisconsin could be sort of interesting to see if
we can read any momentum change for Clinton or Obama. Wisconsin
polls close at 9PM EST.
21:37 and CNN projects Obama and McCain the winners in Wisconsin.
HI 20 100%
WA 6 57%
WI 92 100%
WI 40 100%
19 February 2008
Cindy McCain v. Michelle Obama
by Alan Smithee
The media is all a-twitter over a comment Michelle Obama made
"For the First Time in My Adult Lifetime, I'm Really Proud of My Country"
Cindy McCain, world's oldest trophy wife (why does she dress just
like a trophy wife with the harsh bottle bleach hair and form-fitting
patent leather short jackets), shot back this morning with:
"I am proud of my country. I don't know about you? If you heard those words
earlier, I am very proud of my country"
Well, for starters, if we take them both at their words they both
said the same thing more or less that they're both currently
proud of their country.
But that's not what the foofraw is all about. Michelle Obama seemed
to be saying that in the past she was not proud of her country, but
now she is. And Cindy McCain seems to be saying she has always been
proud of her country.
Cindy McCain is 54 years old so let's limit ourselves to events in
her lifetime for analysis.
Was she proud of her country when we had black and white bathrooms and
other segregated facilities, something which only ended around 1964?
Was she proud of her country the day Nixon resigned in disgrace in
1974, and the events which led up to that? Is she proud of how
we've treated Native Americans? Given her husband's opinion, which
we assume she supports, was she proud of her country when the United
States Supreme Court gave women the right to choose abortion? Is
she proud that George W. Bush has the lowest rating of any president
in modern US history?
We suspect, to some extent, that Michelle Obama's words were
borne of a life of growing up in poverty, as a black woman in
a country where she (ok, she was born in 1964, her parents if
they travelled down south)
couldn't even use the bathroom of her
choice, and the many other trials and
tribulations of growing up black, and female, and poor in America
must have confronted her with.
And now, with her husband within striking distance of the nomination
for president and her chance to be first lady, and all the changes
that implies we can understand why she said what she said.
Our suggestion is for the pundits to unwrap themselves from those
flags and get their collective heads out of their asses and admit
once and for all what it must have been like to grow up black,
poor, and a woman, and the injustices we the people
inflicted on people like Michelle Obama, and what a powerful
healing this experience must be as we show, once and for all,
that we no longer stop her children from going to the local
public school or stop her from using bathrooms, hotels, etc.,
and instead have come to the polls and cast millions of ballots
for Barack Obama. What a proud day it is indeed!
19 February 2008
The Horror...The Horror...
by Alan Smithee
The idea that "pledged" democratic delegates are, well, pledged, committed,
obliged to vote for a particular candidate is A MYTH.
Clinton can poach Obama's delegates, and Obama can poach Clinton's
Richmond, VA mayor Doug Wilder has gone so far as to say that there
rioting in the streets to rival the 1968 democratic convention
if this comes down to poaching. His implication is if Clinton wins
it by poaching.
Well, for those of you too young to remember the rioting at the
1968 democratic convention was over the Vietnam war, not the
democratic party's interpretation of Robert's rules of order.
If the poaching starts both sides will do it, they'll have to. And
once there are credible accusations of poaching on both sides the
moral outrage will be blunted.
Besides, let's say Hillary pulls off the nomination by poaching
delegates, presumably in a very close race. What are the Obama
supporters going to do, vote for John McCain? Oh perhaps one
will, maybe even two, (three?), but let's be honest, they're
going to pick themselves up, dust themselves off, and pull
the levers for Hillary.
Suddenly we're seeing Barack Obama's name alongside that of Deval
Patrick, the current governor of Massachusetts. The main reason,
striking all the excuses, is that Gov. Patrick is African-American,
and Gov. Patrick won his office recently, in 2006.
So maybe Gov. Patrick has the magic formula for blacks to win
major elections. Importantly, Massachusetts may be a fairly
liberal (read: non-racist) kind of place, though some would
dispute that, but it doesn't have a very large black population.
As of 2005 only about 363,000 of over 5,000,000 people were
"black or African-American" (can you be just one?), about 7%
We'd be the first to agree that Gov. Patrick is an attractive,
intelligent, well-spoken man. As residents of Massachusetts
we watched his 2006 race for governor closely. But the reasons
for his success were probably not as germaine to Barack Obama's
upcoming challenges as some might have you believe.
Gov. Patrick's predecessor was Mitt Romney. Romney didn't run
for re-election, so his Lieutenant Governor Kerry Healey threw
her hat in the ring as the republican nominee for governor. There
we have another parallel, Patrick ran against a woman!
But we still think the comparisons are weak.
Some states, such as New York, have upstate/downstate rivalries
in statewide elections. Massachusetts has something like this,
you can see statewide elections as contests between Boston and
the rest of the state. Boston tends to lean democrat, the rest
of the state is where the republicans are found, outside of
Massachusetts has another important fault line which is often
characterized as the Boston Brahmins (old WASP wealth) versus
those Irish-Catholic upstarts. Ok, if you don't like the
Irish-Catholic characterization call it the old wealth versus
the working class. But politically the latter are mostly Irish-Catholics
going back over 100 years.
In 2002 Mitt Romney ran against, and beat, former state treasurer
Shannon O'Brien. Again, a woman!
But do you see the obvious pattern? Mitt Romney beat Shannon
O'Brien. Deval Patrick beat Kerry Healey. In both cases
the Irish-Catholic candidate lost.
If you don't follow Massachusetts state politics take us at our
word or start following. That is the proper insight into those
elections. Think Kennedys, John Michael Curley, etc.
You're sputtering, we can hear you, Deval Patrick is hardly
a Boston Brahmin, what are you talking about? Boston Brahmins
are wealthy WASPS, and we all know what that "W" stands for,
it stands for *white*.
You're still missing the point. Patrick's not Irish-Catholic, his
opponent was. Consider that Deval Patrick wasn't some sort of
black power street activist, he's a Harvard law school graduate,
was an assistant attorney general under president Clinton, and
went on to serve as executive vice president and general counsel of
Texaco and later executive vice president, general counsel, and
corporate secretary of The Coca Cola company.
Forget Deval Patrick's race, this is the sort of resume most any
Brahmin mucky-muck can get behind. Brahmins don't often run their
own for office, sometimes they do, but the pay is too low
and it's too much like real work.
In that sense Barack Obama is a lot like Deval Patrick, but
least of all by the racial history they might share. Both
even share a history in Chicago (Patrick was born there,
Obama spent much of his adult life there.)
We continue to be astounded at the apparent mind-numbing affect
of race on political analysis. It's there, but it often
distracts people from the more important story.
Are the Democrats Blowing It (Again)?
by Alan Smithee
One pattern which we've seen over the years is that the democrat
tribe gets together, mostly agrees on what's important and what
their principles are, and who their favorite people are, and
from that pick a presidential candidate.
The problem is that the nominee is too often someone core democrats like,
but not anyone with a chance of winning. Dukakis comes to mind.
Although quite a few years ago McGovern and almost every other
front-runner in the 1972 nomination race come to mind (Eugene
McCarthy anyone?) To a great extent Bill Clinton in 1992 was
a fluke along these same lines. Few stood for nomination in that year
because GHW Bush seemed like such a shoo-in. Bill Clinton charmed
the democratic party and managed to charm much of the rest of the
country. In retrospect Bill Clinton does seem to be more a story
of Bill Clinton's extraordinariness and not really a story
about how well democrats can pick a candidate. And the recession
of 1991-1992 didn't hurt either.
That brings us to the current democratic nomination race. Has
the democratic party fallen in love with "Obama The Image" and
forgotten that, ultimately, it's not Hillary he has to beat. It's
McCain he has to beat.
Admittedly this election thus far seems like it might be an
easy sweep for the democrats simply because of the animus
the polity has towards Bush and his republicans. That McCain
seems more and more to just be "George W. Bush The Sequel"
seems to seal that, as well as the incredible timing of the
recession or near-recession or whatever it is. But it's likely
that unemployment will be rising sharply this summer just as
the election gets into full gear.
But these things can change, fast.
McCain vs. Obama is going
to be, to a great extent, a battle of who you want as your
authority figure. For many people John McCain would seem to
have an edge; he's older, more experienced, etc.
Hillary, on the other hand, probably isn't as vulnerable as Obama
to this authority figure approach. She's older, she was first lady
a hundred years ago, we all know that. About the only attack the
McCain campaign can use is whether or not being first lady counts
as "experience." But she's a two-term Senator also.
McCain could paint himself into a corner which would drive a lot
of women, regardless of political leaning, to Hillary if he characterizes
her as "inexperienced" for being the first wife and ignores her
own very really accomplishments in the senate. McCain had better realize
that this is the kind of stereotyping women fight every day. That is,
that any role as a wife or mother somehow invalidates other life
But we don't see the downside for McCain with Obama. Obama simply is young
and less experienced. We don't think this will harken to some
sort of anti-black stereotype he can exploit, assuming
McCain doesn't call him "boy" or something stupid like that. Besides,
anything short of real racism which offends whites doesn't
stand to gain votes for Obama as a slight against women might
for Hillary. Only about 10% of the US population is black, slightly
over 50% are women.
The point is the democrats had better think more in terms of
who can win the upcoming election and less in terms of who
might be their favorite democrat.
14 February 2008
Romney To Endorse McCain
by Alan Smithee
First things first: Happy Valentine's Day! St. Valentine's day,
named after at least two saints named Valentine, was mentioned
by Geoffrey Chaucer in his 1382 (yes, over six hundred years ago)
poem Parlement of Foules:
For this was on seynt Volantynys day
Whan euery bryd comyth there to chese [choose] his make [mate]
It's probably reasonable to speculate that Romney is interested in
running as McCain's vice president. On the plus side it could
play well with some republicans. On the negative side
perhaps McCain would prefer some relative unknown, and why
choose a running mate who has proven his views don't play
all that well with his audience?
It's been said that the republican party's polity these days
consists of three distinct parts: The religious right, national
security types, and traditional conservatives.
right tend to be concerned with a narrow range of issues, primarily
abortion and some general interest in injecting religion and
their notion of morality (e.g., the gay marriage issue) into
The national security crowd were who Rudy Giuliani
tried to appeal to while he mostly ignored or even flouted the other two
Their issues are 9/11, terrorism, a strong defense, and increasingly
immigration and the secure border issue.
The traditional conservatives tend to focus on federal fiscal
responsibility, balancing the budget by cutting spending, cutting
taxes, shrinking government in general, some notion that we
should turn back the clock on constitutional matters and adhere
more strongly to the founders' original intent as they interpret
it, and some amount of overlap with the other two groups.
Of course many people straddle more than one of these categories
but the question is which stress will sway them to a candidate and
which of these issues will they actually make themselves heard on.
For example, campaign donations, putting their money where their
McCain is an odd choice considering the above. For the religious right
he's not particularly one to gaze into the horizon and wax rhapsodically
about being moved by his faith as Huckabee or Romney will, though
he's never particularly offended them as Giuliani did with is
For the security republicans McCain is seen as soft on immigration
though probably very strong on terrorism and defense in general
if you don't try to characterize illegal immigration as a defense
matter. And, for the more generous in nature, McCain's strong
defense views can probably lead some to conclude that his
rogueish views on immigration are at least nor borne out of
some sort of soft-heartedness for immigrants (we suspect
they have more to do with the value of cheap labor in his
home state of Arizona.)
Traditional conservatives seem to have had all sorts of problems
with McCain's record as the constant excoriations of Rush Limbaugh
and others seem to voice. Ann Coulter said she'd work for Hillary
over McCain though maybe that's just her shock media style which
is speaking. McCain opposed the Bush tax cuts (though one could argue that
his concern was the yawning deficit), and his avoidance of rhetoric
which places any limits on what the federal government should
dabble in such as the McCain-Feingold bill limiting
campaign contributions or supporting federal regulation on
cable TV bundling.
So what might Romney bring to that party (so to speak)?
Romney sort of appeals to some members of the religious right,
but others have problems voting for a Mormon. He's rock-solid
on national security issues and says what most want to hear
though McCain does fine on defense without Romney.
Immigration remains a slippery
matter because no one seems to be very clear about what they
think must be done except for Huckabee who just mouths
platitudes like send them all home. Romney's strong business
background would probably appeal to traditional conservatives
and could counter-balance McCain's lack of experience in
the private sector. Has McCain ever had a job in the private/business
sector? Even as a grocery bag boy or delivering newspapers as
a kid? Probably not.
On the private sector McCain reminds us of that awkward scene in
1992 when the senior George Bush stopped by a Wal-Mart for
a photo opp, brought a package of tube socks to the check-out,
and remarked to the press how amazing the technology of scanning
a barcode was, as if he'd never seen anything like it. The rest
of us had seen barcode scanning at cash registers for over a decade
so concluded candidate Bush had simply never been in a grocery or
department store before. One suspects McCain had better be careful
not to repeat that sort of embarrassment given his work history.
Republicans don't tend to be in a majority in the electorate
in this country, so in order for republicans to win they
have to appeal to independents and some democrats in large
numbers. Romney probably would increase a ticket's appeal
to business-minded independents and some democrats. About
the only hope either of them have to draw from democrats
is to pound on defense and morality issues such as abortion.
Some democrats find McCain's run-ins with conservatives
appealing, or at least make him less forbidding. But Romney
brings little to democrats except perhaps on immigration
issues for some.
All that said, and we admit we rambled but it is Valentine's
Day and our minds may be elsewhere, we doubt Romney is a likely
vice-presidential short-lister for McCain but could see the
logic if he were.
12 Febuary 2008
The Beltway Blowout!
by Alan Smithee
Obama and McCain sweep District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia.
Obama picks up 57 delegates, Clinton 27, McCain, in the winner take
all republican primaries, picked up 73.
Chesapeake Tuesday? The Potomac Primary? THE BELTWAY BLOWOUT!
8PM EST and Obama is already the projected winner by both CNN and MSNBC
in Virgina. Huckabee and McCain are neck and neck in Old Dominion (that's
a nickname for Virginia, ok? learn something!)
Kweisi Mfume former congressman (D-MD) is on MSNBC with Keith
Olbermann. He just called his preferred candidate ``Oback Barama''. Oh
well. He is also a former president of the NAACP so maybe that's
why Olbermann keeps badgering him about why the NAACP is lobbying
to seat the Florida (and Michigan?) delegates. He keeps telling
Olbermann to ask the NAACP, specifically their current chairman
But how come it
seems like the only reason networks bring on a black commentator
from outside (other than a journalist) is to ask him or her
about racial issues in the election? Do you think whites this? Do
you think blacks this? Do you think white women this? Do you think
black women that? And on and on. I'm sure an intelligent guy like
Mfume has something else to offer other than trying to divine
the groupthink of all blacks in the United States for MSNBC's
A judge has ordered Maryland polls to stay open an extra 90 minutes,
until 9:30PM, because of bad weather. That's really going to cut into
Jericho's return to CBS.
8:30PM CNN and MSNBC have both projected McCain the winner in Virginia.
They're both projecting Obama wins DC on exit polls alone, no results
There are 34 democratic delegates from Maine, 24 decided in
this caucus and 10 super-delegates.
* Indicates presumed winner.
10 February 2008
Feb 09 Wrap-up:
Huckabee Takes Kansas and Louisiana,
McCain Takes Washington state,
Obama Sweeps Louisiana, Nebraska, Washington state, and Virgin Islands.
by Alan Smithee
The Washington republican caucus was interesting in how close
the three remaining candidates ended. McCain 26%, Huckabee 24%,
and Paul 21%. This was a very strong showing for Ron Paul, one
wonders who he takes votes from? We won't even hazard a guess.
Obama did very well in all four democratic contests, 70/30
in Nebraska and Washington, 60/40 in Louisiana, and 90/10
in the Virgin Islands.
Overall we don't think a lot can be concluded from these
results, for either party, other than to note that McCain
being all but crowned the republican nominee apparent hasn't
hurt Huckabee's continuing quest. Huckabee handily took
Kansas, won a squeaker in Louisiana, and lost a squeaker in
Washington. The voters haven't given up on Huckabee, yet.
The score so far: Clinton 1,108 delegates, Obama 1,049 in the
democratic contest (2,025 needed to win.)
On the republican side McCain 714, Huckabee 217, and Ron Paul 16
(1,191 to win.)
As to those out: John Edwards hangs onto 26 democratic delegates, and
Mitt Romney 286 republican delegates.
Louisiana republican primary is winner-take-all only if a
candidate receives 50% or more of the vote. Otherwise the
delegates are uncommitted until the 16 Feb state convention.
Only the 20 at-large of the 47 delegates were
at stake in the 09 Feb primary vote.
For an explanation of the Washington republican delegate
The Green Papers.
09 February 2008
Huckabee takes Kansas...
by Alan Smithee
Mike Huckabee won the 36 Kansas delegates handily in
their republican caucuses today with 11,627
votes (60%) versus McCain's 4,587 (24%), Ron Paul 2,182 (11%),
Romney 653 (3%) and 84 uncommitted.
20:45 CNN projects Obama takes Washington and Nebraska caucuses.
Washington: 16,430 Obama, 7,700 Clinton, 175 uncommitted with 75% of
the vote counted. Nebraska: 18,557 Obama, 8,914 Clinton, 14 uncommitted,
with 85% counted. Both states went roughly 70/30 in favor of Obama. No
numbers from Louisiana for either party yet.
21:38 Louisiana: Obama 3,646, Clinton 3,298, McCain 1,586, Huckabee
1,164, Romney 880, Paul 186 with 1% counted.
08 February 2008
Super-Tuesday Redux: Number Crunching!
by Alan Smithee
We put all the numbers from Super-Tuesday into a spreadsheet (below)
from states where both parties had a primary contest.
We included all reported candidates even if they
had dropped out, such as Edwards, Giuliani, Thompson, and Richardson
because we were more interested in turn-out than per candidate
The first thing which struck us was that a total of 14,321,767 democrats
voted, while only 8,517,805 republicans voted. That's roughly
5:3, only about 60% as many republicans as democrats voted.
Looking at the big states, California had almost a 2:1 turnout
with 4,037,284 democrats voting against 2,275,429 republicans.
New York was even more dramatic, 1,721,262 versus 602,747
republicans, nearly 3:1.
How about some favorite son states? In Massachusetts, where
Romney was governor 2003-2007, 1,244,133 democrats voted, 496,171
republicans or well over twice the number of democrats, over
John McCain's home state of Arizona fared better for republicans with more
republicans voting than democrats, 467,762 republicans versus
390,016 democrats. In Huckabee's Arkansas
there were 294,633 democrats voting and 215,950 republicans,
or about 35% more democrats.
What's interesting about Arkansas is that it's
considered a solid red (republican) state. Yet democrats
voting far outweighed republicans. Arizona is also
generally considered a red state and more republicans
voted, but nothing like the disproportionate democrat numbers in
other states. About the only state republicans swamped democrats
was Utah and with Romney receiving 90% of that republican vote
we'll have to consider Utah an "outlier" (although it is
included in the overall numbers we reported.)
Obama's home state of Illinois had 2,003,800 democrats voting
and 885,009 republicans, a more than (much more than) 2:1 margin.
Other interesting data points are Colorado where democrats turned
out 2:1 to republicans (119,184 vs. 55,845). Connecticut and
New Jersey were no surprise with roughly 2:1 turnout of democrats
over republicans. Minnesota democrats outnumbered their republicans
by 3:1 (212,079 vs. 61,953.)
In Georgia voter turnout of the two parties was close, 1,046,485
democrats and 954,462. Still somewhat surprising for a southern
red state. North Dakota democrats outnumbered republicans 2:1
(18,856 vs. 9,743.) Even Oklahoma showed a similar bias
towards democratic turnout (401,230 vs. 329,843), as did
Tennessee (614,096 vs. 547,614.) Both Oklahoma and Tennesee are
generally considered solid red states. Little Delaware was
unsurprising with democrats outnumber Republicans roughly
2:1 (95,979 vs. 50,062.)
What can we read into all this? It's hard to say. It might
be just what it says: More democrats turned out on super-Tuesday
than republicans, and nothing more. It might say that the
contests between democrats drew more voters out than the
republican contests perhaps because of more passion for
each democratic candidate, or even better organizing to
get out the vote by democratic candidates.
Or maybe we're seeing a follow-through from the 2006 election
which put the democrats back into control of both houses of
congress, a voter tilt towards identifying themselves as
democrats. If I were in charge of worrying about the November
general election for republicans I'd be just that: Worried.