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Born at the Crest of the Empire

Saturday, March 15, 2008

How will the superdelegates vote?

The NYTimes has a "sense of the superdelegates" piece that reflects the idea that the superdelegates are leaning towards the Obama "don't overturn" argument.

This is particularly funny to me because, just last Sunday, the WaPo had a similar "sense of the superdelegates" piece that seemed very friendly to the Clinton argument.

I'm broadly suspicious of all of these as who the reporters talk to shapes their "sense."

Related: Nancy Pelosi on "This Week" tomorrow comes down strongly on the pledged delegate (Obama) side.
"If the votes of the superdelegates overturn what's happened in the elections, it would be harmful to the Democratic party," Pelosi said in an interview taped Friday for broadcast Sunday on ABC's "This Week."....

In her interview, Pelosi also said that even if one candidate winds up with a larger share of the popular vote than the delegate leader, the candidate who has more delegates should prevail.

"It's a delegate race," she said. "The way the system works is that the delegates choose the nominee."

Pelosi's opinion matters more than most as she has been nominated by Howard Dean as the likely Convention chair, and because of her prominent position (as the top elected Dem official?)

Also, ABC's Jake Tapper asks Hillary Clinton how she would explain to the voters if the superdelegates overturned the pledged delegates.

Obama picks up 7 Edwards delegates in Iowa (+ 3 in California)

(AP) Iowa finally held their county conventions and half (7) of the Edwards delegates went to Obama. (None to Clinton, although one remains uncommitted. 7 stayed with Edwards.)

Same article, California finalized their counts from Feb. 5 and it came out Clinton +2 and Obama +5.

So, Obama ends up +10 pledged delegates on a day without a primary being held. Wow.

Later: WaPo has it Obama +9 Iowa delegates, per state officials.

Later Still: Chuck Todd, Obama +9, Clinton -1.

(It must be that Iowa black vote, right?)

Picture of the Day

They are definitely not subtle in their signage.

(Sen. Barack Obama speaks at news conference on March 12 in Chicago, Illinois. (AFP/Tasos Katopodis))

As yet unsaid

From a pretty crappy AP article on race/gender in the Dem primary,
All told, voter surveys suggest that Clinton ends up with more votes because she's a woman than Obama nets because he's black.

McCain's precarious Iraq stance

In a rather interesting post covering yesterday's WaPo story where Gen. Petraeus complains loudly about a lack of political progress in Iraq, Juan Cole points out,
It is worthwhile mentioning that what Gen. Petraeus said about the lack of political progress is the opposite of what John McCain has been saying.

Interesting. Particularly because McCain has been saying this,
Republican presidential candidate John McCain said Friday he fears that anti-American extremists might attempt spectacular attacks in Iraq to try to tilt the U.S. election against him.

So, good news in Iraq, good for McCain, and bad news in Iraq should be disregarded because "extremists" are trying to undermine him. Wow. He is George Bush.

UPDATE: Richard in the comments had this (no link, but it sounds credible):
Here is a direct quote from the Multi National Force-Iraq:

"Today's Washington Post inaccurately characterized the discussions General Petraeus and their reporters had yesterday. During the one-hour interview General Petraeus never intimated or stated that Iraqi leaders have "failed to take advantage of a reduction in violence to make adequate progress toward resolving their political differences."

The Washington Post has been asked to make a correction on this statement and we are awaiting their decision."


I know the primary voters rejected him, but would Mitt Romney have been a better candidate?

Friday, March 14, 2008

Clinton backers demand DNC refund if Florida doesn't count.

Are they demanding a return from the Florida Democratic party? No. This is obviously a ploy for leverage.
Reflecting how tense the situation has become, influential fund-raisers for Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton have stepped up their behind-the-scenes pressure on national party leaders to resolve the matter, with some even threatening to withhold their donations to the Democratic National Committee unless it seats the delegates from the two states or holds new primaries there.

Of course, it did get them coverage of their "outrage" in the NYTimes.

Notice who we're talking about here, two very rich, very connected Clinton backers, ("It's all so unfair.....") two guys who just happen to end up connected with a NYTimes reporter, and not even a "name" reporter, but a junior desperate for a story?

This is a manufactured. Watch how it's covered.

(Later: Where's the chanting mob, "Let us vote, let us vote...?")

Picture of the Day - 2

This is the pilot on our economic plane.

(President George W. Bush speaks on the economy to the Economic Club of New York at the New York Hilton in New York. (AFP/Saul Loeb))


Everyone's talking about superdelegates after this Bloomberg article this morning talking about Obama closing the gap among "superdelegates who are members of Congress or governors."

Superdelegates mean alot in a horserace analysis, but as these commitments are not binding in any way (really endorsements,) at this point they are more about creating and shaping perception.
Current per NBC: Superdelegates: Clinton leads 253-217

Since Super Tuesday, Obama is +47, Clinton is -7.
Since March 4, Obama is +6, Clinton is -1 (Spitzer).

(My bet is that one of these candidates eventually withdraws and the superdelegates vote as a unanimous bloc to "reunite the party.")


President Bush in a videoconference yesterday talking about the soldiers in Afghanistan,
“I must say, I’m a little envious,” Bush said. “If I were slightly younger and not employed here, I think it would be a fantastic experience to be on the front lines of helping this young democracy succeed.”

“It must be exciting for you … in some ways romantic, in some ways, you know, confronting danger. You’re really making history, and thanks,” Bush said.

Picture of the Day

(Sen. Barack Obama walks down the stairs on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, March 13, 2008.(AP Photo/Alex Brandon))

Stalling tactics

Sometimes I get caught up in my own biases and emotions and lose a bit of analysis. I want to float this as a theory. Any feedback would be appreciated.

Maybe, just maybe, the whole electability, Ferraro, threshold, "big state" dustups coming from the Clinton side aren't so much about winning in August as simply vamping to try and keep the balls in the air right now.

It is inarguable that Obama leads delegates, states, and popular vote, and looks prohibitively likely to finish well ahead in pledged delegates and states. (The Clinton camp has a shot at popular vote, but even that is a pretty be a tight pull.)

In the face of these mathematical realities, the Clinton camp must be freaking out. The two game ending scenarios they face are either a narrative of inevitability or a sudden flow of superdelegates to Obama. (I would argue that if he were to even the superdelegate count before Pa, that might end it.)

So, maybe all this noise, all this campaign chaff, is not intended to win in August, but simply to keep the waters muddied enough to keep the topic off the math and to keep the superdelegates somewhat frozen in place.

I've been treating these arguments and controversies as literal when in fact they might just be stalling tactics to try and keep the campaign going for another day, to wait and hope that Obama makes some huge mistake.

Without "controversy," all that TV time might be filled with the mathematical analysis of inevitability.

Just a thought. Feedback?

(PS. Sorry for so many analysis pieces lately, I'm just not seeing as much stuff that's factual and feels "linkworthy.")

Petraeus previews his congressional testimony

Gen. Petraeus is scheduled to return to Congress next month for a second assessment of "the surge." He begins to lay the groundwork in a WaPo interview.
Iraqi leaders have failed to take advantage of a reduction in violence to make adequate progress toward resolving their political differences, Gen. David H. Petraeus, the top U.S. commander in Iraq, said Thursday.....

While violence has declined dramatically since late 2006, when thousands of Iraqis were being killed each month, U.S. military data show that attacks on U.S. troops and Iraqi civilians have leveled off or risen slightly in the early part of 2008. "I don't see an enormous uptick projected right now,"....

Petraeus also said the United States would temporarily freeze further reductions in its troop presence to allow for a "period of consolidation and evaluation after reducing our ground combat forces by over a quarter." He said he would discuss the length and timing of what the military terms an "operational pause" during his testimony.

And, I would like to point out again that Adm. Fallon's sudden departure, effective Mar. 31, removes him from having to be involved in these Congressional hearings/reporting.

(Notable as Fallon apparently left over disagreements with Petraeus on Iraq.)

Thursday, March 13, 2008


How many prostitutes are currently protecting the identities of their political johns?

Picture of the Day - 2

(Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton takes a slice of pizza during a lunch stop Revello's Cafe Pizzeria in Old Forge, Penn., on Monday, March 10, 2008.
(AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster))

Dear Mark Penn, just because you say it, doesn't mean it's true.

Funny thing. All the polling in Pennsylvania says Mark Penn's "big state" declarations today are garbage.

I love it when someone else does the work to prove my points.

Florida. Only in Florida.

Check this out. Regarding the "mail in" revote: Florida law would not allow authentification of the signatures.
Florida law prohibits election officials from authenticating votes cast in the Democratic Party's proposed do-over primary by mail, state officials said Thursday, a potentially fatal blow to the increasingly embattled plan.

Even the Florida Dem party head who wrote the memo outlining the mail in scenario says this mail in vote is likely not to happen.

And, here's another "50-50" solution as it's being floated around. Michigan's delegates would be split evenly 50-50, and Florida's delegates would be halved meaning Clinton gets the same ratio as the existing vote but it would net her only +19 pledged delegates.

(On the other hand, all of the superdelegates in these states would suddenly come into play, and, per Chuck Todd, Clinton might pick up 20 of them. (Are they halved too?))

Later: Chuck Todd says a Michigan primary revote may be moving forward, but also floats the idea of a fixed 52-48 result being accepted.

On to the "big state"/electability spin

Allright, we're entering the next spin front as the Clinton campaign tries to claim that Obama (for whatever reason is convenient today) is unelectable.
On the Clinton call earlier, Mark Penn said, "We believe that [the Pennsylvania primary result] will show that Hillary is ready to win, and that Sen. Obama really can’t win the general election."

The short answer is this. Where's the national polling comparing Obama vs. McCain and Clinton vs. McCain which quantitatively shows an electability advantage for Clinton? Virtually all of these comparison polls over the last month and a half show them even or Obama with a slight electability advantage.

Next, to the "big state" argument, that Obama can't win based upon the general election map because somehow winning and losing primaries equates to general election results.

First, the obvious bat down from NBC: The primary vs. general election fallacy. (Like California and New York are not going to vote Democratic.)

Digging a little deeper, we have some actual data to look at. SUSA did some electoral college state by state polling (it's the only survey we have,) and it showed Obama and Clinton both beating McCain by just about the same margins.

(Kos (an inveterate Obama shill at this point) broke down the SUSA numbers to make the argument that Obama is equally competitive in the big states, and more competitive in the close states.)

Look. I understand the Clinton camp trying to sell the unelectability of Obama as it's really the only argument they have before the superdelegates, but the data I've come across doesn't really bear the unelectability argument out.

If there's a counter unelectability argument out there that's actually backed by some sort of coherent data (not cherry picked - one polling firm here, another one there,) I'd be really curious to see it.

(And, FirstRead has a couple of good paragraphs on the NBC poll.)


I always find the Olberman "special comments" tiresome, self indulgent, and generally pointless.

Picture of the Day

Fallon stepped down over Iraq, not Iran

A second wave of examination finds that Adm. Fallon stepped down over disagreements on Iraq, not Iran. (Ignatius, AP, Kaplan) The premise is that Fallon disagreed with Petraeus' on troop levels like the recent decision to extend "the surge."

(Officially, Fallon was Petraeus' commander, but Bush listening to Petraeus' around Fallon isn't flattering for either Fallon or the administration.)

Moving against the Mahdi

We're beginning to see signs that the US and Iraqis are beginning a process of going after "Shia militias south of Baghdad." I read that to mean that the US is now shifting to go after (renegade?) elements of the Mahdi army.

(Reuters) "U.S. soldiers and Iraqi militants exchanged fire after a rocket attack from a Shi'ite Mehdi Army militia stronghold on a U.S. base southeast of Baghdad, Iraqi police said on Thursday."

(NYTimes) "Iraqi Troops May Move to Reclaim Basra’s Port" (Backed by the US, of course.)

This is also notable after Sadr's recent comments that he was "stepping back" from the political removing his protective cover, and restrictions, from those Mahdi who want to fight the US.

I would argue this is why "the surge" was extended. (and maybe part of why Fallon left?)

Just something to keep an eye on.

Florida's mail in revote

The Florida Dem Party chairwoman put out a memo outlining the basics for a mail in revote scheduled to finish June 3.

I don't know about anyone else, but this "mail in" plan sounds like a pretty bad idea to me with cheating, or at least dubious actions, by supporters on both sides extremely likely.

For example, imagine someone with a registered Democrats list going through a nursing home and getting questionably competent individuals to sign.

Or imagine someone going door to door with a registered Dem list applying "pressure" and not leaving until the "mail in" ballot is in hand. Maybe the preacher, or maybe gangsters for all we know.

Not to mention the easy and untraceable fraud of signing other people's names.

I'm not against the idea of a revote, but this just sounds like a really bad mechanism to me.

(And what are the "50 regional voting offices to help "disadvantaged communities?"" Is that a bargaining chip to Obama?)

Wednesday, March 12, 2008


No one ever makes comments predicated on the white half of Obama's ancestry.

Picture of the Day - 2

(Sen. Barack Obama accompanied by military leaders from the U.S. armed forces,gestures during a news conference in Chicago, Wednesday, March 12, 2008. Citing his judgment and ability to lead, admirals and generals from the United States Army, Navy and Air Force that together have served under the last nine Commanders-in-Chief today announced their endorsement of Obama for president. (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green))


(McClatchy) "U.S. authorities in Baghdad have received five severed fingers belonging to four Americans and an Austrian (contractors) who were taken hostage more than a year ago in Iraq, officials here said today."

It's interesting that this article doesn't mention any demands. You have to figure that if they're being kept alive, and fingers are being sent, there are demands.

Meanwhile, the Bush administration tries to hide a military report showing no connection between Saddam Hussein and Al Qaeda.

Political bits

(WSJBlog) The AFL-CIO is coming out hard after McCain with a $53 million campaign.

(AP) They will also have "union protesters follow GOP presidential nominee-in-waiting John McCain around the country to demand explanations on his positions on economic and labor issues."

(HuffPo) Olberman is going to do a "Special Comment" against/about Hillary Clinton. (Judging from some of his comments over the last few days, I'm assuming it's going to be "stop trashing Obama, stop using race when you can't win.")

(CNN) "Indiana voters elected the second Muslim congressman in U.S. history Tuesday." (Rep. Steve King (R - Crazytown) is gonna plotz.)

And, I blogged but forgot about this, (TPM) Clinton is hosting a meeting of her top fundraisers today. (To be a fly on that wall...)

Picture of the Day

(Supporters' shadows are cast on a wall against the campaign logo of Democratic presidential candidate Senator Barack Obama as they listen to him speak at a rally in Selma, Texas February 29, 2008. (REUTERS/Jessica Rinaldi))

Using Ferraro to set the topic

Like I said last night, I'm not willing to go all the way to grand Clinton conspiracy on the Ferraro comments, but, clearly, as little as they're doing to repudiate Ferraro, they don't mind this being the topic of discussion. Here's my guess as to why.

Yesterday, the Obama campaign put forth a pretty scathing memo challenging Clinton's claims of foreign policy "experience" hitting her claims point by point on Northern Ireland, Bosnia, Kosovo, Rwanda, China.

Today, McClatchy has a piece echoing that memo, "Clinton's foreign experience is more limited than she says," but what other media is leading with questions on Clinton's "experience?"

The experience claim is the very core of the Clinton argument to voters, and if it is dented, dinged, or otherwise damaged, her primary positional advantage would be gone, so, taking some blowback over Ferraro's racial comments is well worth the cost if keeping this garbage on the air floods out the far more damaging challenge to her "experience."

(The Nobel Peace Prize winner for N. Ireland has called her claims "a wee bit silly," and even Sinbad is going after her about her claims on Bosnia.)

The Clinton camp wants "experience" to be the topic as it is currently perceived. They don't want a real discussion of it. They want the issue frozen as it is, so they're extending Ferraro as the media topic.

But six weeks is a long time, and if the "experience" story has any legs, they're going to have to throw out a lot of stuff to maintain the distraction. But for now, it's working.

(Later: Ferraro was on ABC and CBS this morning saying the same stuff. Make note that the Clinton camp isn't even asking her to step back from the media.)


Apparently, there's a history from Ferraro, (from 1988)
And former representative Geraldine A. Ferraro (D-N.Y.) said Wednesday that because of his "radical" views, "if Jesse Jackson were not black, he wouldn't be in the race."

Chuck Todd and those pesky numbers

The point that Obama's Wyoming and Mississippi wins have erased Clinton's delegate gains from Mar. 4 is beginning to creep into the narrative.

But, here's something almost as important that's not yet getting the coverage, "By winning by almost 100,000 votes in Mississippi yesterday, Obama increased his popular vote lead over Clinton to approximately 700,000."

Popular vote is the best remaining argument for Clinton before the superdelegates, so that's a number to begin to watch.

More Boeing stink on McCain

It was bad enough yesterday when we found out that one of McCain's top campaign officials was lobbying against Boeing while working on his campaign, but today we have the addition of McCain himself writing letters that benefited EADS in the DoD's evaluation process.

Still nothing wrong in it, but it sounds pretty bad, and with the significance and money involved, you can't imagine that Boeing is just going to let this go.

(And once again we have McCain with close ties to a lobbyist writing letters to the lobbyist's client's benefit. McCain response.)

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Screw you, Florida

There comes a point where you just gotta say, "we tried."
Florida's House Democratic delegation said in an issued statement Tuesday night they oppose a re-vote in Florida of any kind, including one done by mail.

I think it's on Florida at this point. If it doesn't happen now, it's their fault.

Picture of the Day - 2

(Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton is illuminated through the crowd during a campaign stop at Revello's Cafe Pizzeria in Old Forge, Pa., Monday, March 10, 2008. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster))

Ferraro unhinged

I'm too tired to really analyze but here are the links for Ferraro's comments that are getting so much play.
"Any time anybody does anything that in any way pulls this campaign down and says let's address reality and the problems we're facing in this world, you're accused of being racist, so you have to shut up," Ferraro said. "Racism works in two different directions. I really think they're attacking me because I'm white. How's that?"

Then she goes on FoxNews and continues.

I think that "shut up" advice might not be too bad an idea.

(Since the Clinton campaign is creating only minimal distance, not firing her or very visibly repudiating all this, do we gather that they, at the very least, want this out there?)

McCain is going to be apologizing forever

In a campaign where he already finds himself apologizing a couple times a week for the statements of his supporters,
Sen. John McCain’s election planners are preparing to unveil a radically decentralized campaign structure over the next few months.

Instead of funneling authority through a few central figures at campaign headquarters in Arlington, VA, plans call for it to be dispersed to up to ten “regional campaign managers.”

I guess that will allow some deniability, but I can't imagine that ten different message centers aren't going to get him caught up in it at some point.

Adm. William Fallon resigns, suddenly

I'm assuming Adm. William Fallon is resigning over this dustup from a week ago, but it's still pretty sudden and surprising. (Also WaPo)

He's out a very quick March 31.

(Note that Fallon won't have to answer/participate when Petraeus presents his next "report" to Congress.)

Picture of the Day

That's new.

(At a campaign event at Scranton High School in Scranton, Pennsylvania, March 10, 2008. (REUTERS/Tim Shaffer))

Political bits

(FirstRead) Turnout in Mississippi is expected to be low?

(BostonGlobe) "Blacks are expected to constitute more than half of Democratic voters."

(ThePage) The Obama campaign releases a memo going full force at Clinton's claims of foreign policy experience from her time as first lady, picking apart Clinton's specific claims, N. Ireland, Bosnia, Kosovo, Rwanda, and China. (Too big to excerpt, but it's pretty pointed and it's the first official campaign attack on this front.)

(AP) The tanker deal is going to smell bad for McCain. He killed the original "lease" deal with Boeing because it was a ripoff (it was,) but now we find out that three of his top campaign officials all lobbied on behalf of EADS against Boeing in the rebid. (Tom Loeffler lobbied for EADS while serving as McCain's national finance chairman!!!)

(Politico) Two more superdelegates for Obama yesterday.

(Kos) Kos does the math (that I attempted) and finds that Obama picked up 13 delegates before Mississippi in this week of "huge wins" for Clinton. (And you thought I was shilling.)

(NYTimes) Obama's name comes up in the Rezco trial. (Once again, nothing solid, but it smells bad.)

(CQ) The Republicans don't even register a challenger for Mark Pryor's Arkansas Senate seat?

Check out this headline from the NYTimes, "Obama Rejects Idea of Back Seat on Ticket." (Painting Clinton's VP tactic with "back seat on the bus?")

And, (Bloomberg) Obama's Secret Service codename: "Renegade."

Gulf War syndrome firmly linked to chemical exposure

And it only took 17 years.

So we ask again, is Condi Rice worthless?

How is it that just about a week after Condi Rice goes to the middle east, they then send Dick Cheney to go back and talk to the same people on the same agenda?

Or are Olmert and Abbas just a side trip from the trips to Saudi over oil prices and Turkey over the PKK?

Monday, March 10, 2008

Picture of the Day - 2

I really feel for this woman. She's just had the worst day of her life, and then she has to go stand next to the man on national TV.

Unlike alot of these photos, she looks like she just heard about it today.

(Eliot Spitzer addresses the media with his wife Silda Wall Spitzer at his office in New York, March 10, 2008. (Shannon Stapleton/Reuters))

Quick Response

According to Fresh Intelligence at Radar Magazine (trashy but generally accurate,) the Clinton campaign has already scrubbed Elliot Spitzer from the website. (Timestamped 4:20 Eastern.)

Quote of the Day

As all the crap falls down about Elliot Spitzer being "caught on a federal wiretap arranging to meet with a high-priced prostitute at a Washington hotel," a reporter on the Clinton plane was overheard to say.
"There goes another superdelegate."

Picture of the Day

How effective has the Clinton media machine been if Obama (the current leader in votes, states, and delegates) has to come out to say that he's not running for Vice President? Wow.

(And don't miss this wonderful moment from The Hill.)

(Photo: Columbus, Miss., Monday, March 10, 2008.(AP Photo/Kristen Hines))


The WSJ has a piece on the NSA monitoring domestic communications.
The National Security Agency, once confined to foreign surveillance, has been building essentially the same system.

The central role the NSA has come to occupy in domestic intelligence gathering has never been publicly disclosed. But an inquiry reveals that its efforts have evolved to reach more broadly into data about people's communications, travel and finances in the U.S. than the domestic surveillance programs brought to light since the 2001 terrorist attacks.....

According to current and former intelligence officials, the spy agency now monitors huge volumes of records of domestic emails and Internet searches as well as bank transfers, credit-card transactions, travel and telephone records. The NSA receives this so-called "transactional" data from other agencies or private companies, and its sophisticated software programs analyze the various transactions for suspicious patterns. Then they spit out leads to be explored by counterterrorism programs across the U.S. government, such as the NSA's own Terrorist Surveillance Program, formed to intercept phone calls and emails between the U.S. and overseas without a judge's approval when a link to al Qaeda is suspected.

In other words, typing the wrong email subject, booking the wrong ticket, running the wrong internet search could get you transferred to any other surveillance program. All computers, all without a warrant.

Political bits

(WSJ) In Mississippi, "(Obama) holds an even stronger advantage, 66%-31%, among registered Democrats in the state, while Sen. Clinton leads by 13 points among independents and Republicans..... men in the state favor Sen. Obama by seven points, and women favor him by a 37-point margin." (Backwards from everywhere else in the country.)

(TPM) Is Clinton hinting that she's going to try an flip some of Obama's pledged delegates? (I don't think so, but maybe.)

(FirstRead) Chuck Todd makes the very good point that the Clinton camp has no taken over the narrative. (First paragraph.)

In the same post, Todd also makes the point that Clinton's goal in Florida and Michigan may be the superdelegates more than the pledged delegates,
Clinton will win a LARGE chunk of those supers (53), because she stuck by the two states in their feud with the DNC. In fact, Clinton could net more superdelegates out of Florida and Michigan than she nets pledged delegates if she wins both states.

(NYTimes) You know how Bush had the pioneer, ranger, etc. fundraising categories?

Well, in John McCain's campaign, those "who bring in $100,000 Trailblazers, those who bring in $250,000 Innovators, and those who bring in half a million dollars co-chairmen of the campaign." (So for half a million dollars you can buy a co-chairmanship. That's class.)

(Cilizza) Maggie Williams, "The Clinton campaign painted the Wyoming results as a better-than-expected showing for the New York senator. "We are thrilled with this near split in delegates and are grateful to the people of Wyoming for their support." (Suddenly they're talking delegates again.)

(Politico) The "Bush team", Rove, Mehlman, Bartlett, are signing on with McCain in unofficial roles. (Deniability and separation from Bush.)

(CNN) In an email to supporters Huckabee's motives become clear. He's trying to transition from candidate into job.

Obama Accuses Clinton of Deception

Well, it looks like Bill Bradley was singing out of the songbook, not just out on his own yesterday. From the WaPo today.
Eager to shift the narrative after a difficult week, Sen. Barack Obama's campaign sharply criticized the tactics of his rival, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, charging her campaign with attempting "to deceive the American people just so that they can win this election."

Here's somebody reprinting the campaign "memo" that this came from. This "deceive the American people" line officially comes in relation/response to the Clinton's attempts to shift Obama's Iraq war position, but it's clearly intended to be more broad.

Overall, this deception/lying angle is an interesting line of attack. You would think that the Clinton camp would explode at this, but if they do, much like the recent "experience" charges, they open themselves up to a media examination of if and where they have (ever?) lied.

Tactically, this is pretty smart dirty attacking, but it's definitely a fine line for the Obama folks to tread.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

The NYTimes tears into Clinton

Adam Nagourney writes a story on the chaos inside the Clinton campaign, but frames it very clearly as the fault of the candidate, repeatedly painting her as unable to manage people and run her own campaign with the clear implication towards an inability to run the White House.

Frankly, this is pretty harsh to be labeled a "news" story.

Picture of the Day - 2

I ran across this while cleaning out the picture file today.

(Democratic presidential hopeful, Rep. Dennis Kucinich delivers remarks at the 18th annual protest of the school at Fort Benning that trains Latin American soldiers, Sunday Nov. 18, 2007. (AP Photo/Rob Carr))

Tinfoil hat

I've often wondered about this,
A vast array of pharmaceuticals — including antibiotics, anti-convulsants, mood stabilizers and sex hormones — have been found in the drinking water supplies of at least 41 million Americans, an Associated Press investigation shows....

How do the drugs get into the water?

People take pills. Their bodies absorb some of the medication, but the rest of it passes through and is flushed down the toilet.

What are the effects on developing fetuses of trace amounts of birth control pills, testosterone treatments, or the multiple widely prescribed brain chemistry changers?

We don't know.... but we'll find out.

Clinton's dream (and a Clinton supporter challenge)

For the second day in a row, the WaPo frontpages a Clinton friendly article, this one reporting that superdelegates are staying on the fence after the Mar. 4 result.

Frankly, superdelegates saying they're waiting to commit is not really that surprising. The real surprise is in the quotes. Each quote is from a different super. All on the record.
"You're going to see a lot of delegates remaining uncommitted," said Rep. Mike Doyle (Pa.), who has not endorsed either candidate. "There's a sense that this is going to Denver not resolved."....

"If the pledged-delegate total is within 100 votes or whatever, I don't think there's a great deal of significance in that," said Bradbury, who also represents other secretaries of state as a superdelegate.

He added: "I just believe that the determining factor for superdelegates shouldn't be, 'Well, 49 percent voted for Hillary and 51 percent voted for Obama, and that decides it for us.' Sorry, but that's not how it works."

"If superdelegates were just intended to automatically vote for the preference someone else expressed, there wouldn't be any purpose," he said....

"I do not feel bound by the popular vote; otherwise there would be no reason to have superdelegates, just to rubber-stamp" the outcomes of primaries and caucuses....

Who would make the best president? "It's a judgment based on my knowledge of the two candidates," he said. "It's an intuitive thing, a feel thing, based on all the things that make Obama who he is and Hillary who she is. It's mysterious."

So, here's your challenge, Clinton supporters. Make a convincing general election electability argument for Hillary Clinton assuming the superdelegates overturn an Obama pledged delegate lead at a contentious convention on August 26, just two months and a week before the election.

Can she win Ohio or Missouri or Michigan in the general if, for example, 10% of the Dems who voted for Obama are still so angry they don't show up? (10% is an uneducated guess. Feel free to move that number.)

Just imagine what that acceptance speech would be like.....

Picture of the Day

(An Obama supporter holds up a sign during Democratic Sen. Hilliary Clinton's address at the Jefferson Jackson Hamer Day Dinner in Canton, Miss., Thursday, March 6, 2008. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis))

Bill Bradley trashes the Clinton's

On the record, Obama backer (and surrogate?) former Senator and presidential candidate Bill Bradley says some nasty, nasty things about the Clinton's in the British press.
Former senator Bill Bradley, who is a leading supporter of Obama and ran for president in 2000, accused the Clintons of “lying” in pursuit of victory.

“The bigger the lie, the better the chance they think they’ve got. That’s been their whole approach,” he said. “She’s going to lose a whole generation of people who got involved in politics believing it could be something different.”

Bradley believes that Clinton will stop at nothing to tear down Obama even if it boosts John McCain, who was confirmed last week as the Republican nominee: “The Clintons do not do long-term planning. They’re total tacticians and right now their focus is on Obama, not McCain.”

Across the line in my book, but does the Clinton campaign really want to complain about this?

Do they really want to face several days of examination over whether the Clinton's have ever lied? (You know?)

Is this an Obama trap or is Bradly just speaking out of school?