Post-Pennsylvania Narratives

Last night on MSNBC Rachel Maddow made an interesting observation: every time Hillary Clinton wins a primary, the narrative in the media becomes about counting down to the next "make or break" contest as though a loss for her would in fact end the campaign. Clinton keeps winning "when she needs to", of course, so the theory hasn't really been tested but Maddow I think quite rightly called this phenomenon the primary election equivalent of the Friedman unit. "2 more weeks...6 more weeks...2 more weeks." Adam Nagourney in today's NYTimes is a perfect example:

Even with her comfortable victory on Tuesday, Mrs. Clinton still faces significant, though certainly not insurmountable, hurdles to securing the nomination, and it remains possible that her candidacy could come to an end in as little as two weeks, when Indiana and North Carolina vote.

Maddow's point, of course, is that this is a ridiculous assertion and the media needs to stop falling for it; no matter what happens on May 6th, this. primary. will. continue. Hillary Clinton signaled as much with the timing of a couple upcoming fundraisers. From Ben Smith:

My colleague Ken Vogel notes that Clinton has planned two fundraisers -- one with Hillary, Chelsea, and Dorothy; one with the Arkansas delegation -- for the day after Indiana and North Carolina.

Another media narrative that gets propagated every time Clinton wins another primary is how bad the continued race is for the Democratic Party. Again, Nagourney, whose article, I should point out, is linked on the frontpage of Huffington Post with the alarmist headline: "And The Winner Is: John McCain," provides a case study:

For better or worse -- and many Democrats fear it is for worse -- the race goes on.

Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton defeated Senator Barack Obama in Pennsylvania on Tuesday by enough of a margin to continue a battle that Democrats increasingly believe is undermining their effort to unify the party and prepare for the general election against Senator John McCain.

I must give credit though, MSNBC's post-primary coverage today has given much air time to the opposing view. The heads of both the North Carolina and Indiana Democratic Parties were interviewed separately but essentially said the same thing: the energy and the boosts in registration and operations on the ground that the extended primary is affording their states will be good for the Democrat in November. And I just caught Matt Stoller on MSNBC as well, essentially re-iterating the spirit of his "Democrats Are Going To Be Fine" post from last night:

ANCHOR: Do you think Pennsylvania even matters?

STOLLER: Yeah, we have a huge registration advantage in Pennsylvania, activists are excited, voters voted, it was really good for Democrats. Democracy is a good thing. Now I think both candidates, Obama and Clinton, are leading McCain in Pennsylvania, so it's good.

What Matt is referring to here is this morning's Rasmussen Reports story "While Campaigning for Primary, both Democrats Gain Ground on McCain":

While Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton continue to compete against each other in Pennsylvania's Presidential Primary, both Democrats have opened a lead over John McCain in the Keystone State.

The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey in Pennsylvania finds Obama leading McCain 47% to 39% and Clinton with a 47% to 38% advantage. That's a significant change from a month ago when McCain was essentially even with both Democrats.

It's no accident that the talking heads who've been most ardently pushing the "Democrats in disarray" narrative have been rightwing pundits who have an interest in projecting their opposing party as weak. It would be nice if such a pillar of the liberal blogosphere as HuffPo didn't join the fun.

Update [2008-4-23 14:12:15 by Todd Beeton]:Along these same lines, Bill Daley, Obama's National Co-Chair, made a good point a few minutes ago on MSNBC:

But this is a tough process and as Senator Obama has said he's introducing himself, he is still new to the American people and so in a strange way this process may be very good for him in that he is able to go to parts of this country and make the case as a new fresh face on the American scene that he can make a difference.

Tags: 2008 Presidential election, Hillary Clinton, John McCain, Matt Stoller, Pennsylvania Primary, Rachel Maddow (all tags)

Comments

124 Comments

"Why Can't Hillary Close The Deal?"

Congrats to team Clinton on putting a  Rovian talking point in play, so much like "turning the corned in Iraq" or "the President is reducing the deficit." The corporate press is singing in harmony.

by bernardpliers 2008-04-23 11:12AM | 0 recs
Re: "Why Can't Hillary Close The Deal?"

Huh?  The term "Rovian" is losing all meaning thanks to comments like this one.

Everything done by the other guy's candidate is always "Rovian," it seems.

by Steve M 2008-04-23 11:22AM | 0 recs
Re: "Why Can't Hillary Close The Deal?"

Well it has to hide the obvious weakness of the politician distributing the message, and it should be picked up as a chorus by the corporate media in a single news cycle, where Republican pundits repeat it solemnly in Very Serious tones.

So what's your standard?

by bernardpliers 2008-04-23 11:49AM | 0 recs
Re: Post-Pennsylvania Narratives

Todd,

Can you please make some corrections?

1. Clinton didn't raise $10 million. Terry M. said she is "on track" to do so, whatever that means.
See http://tpmelectioncentral.talkingpointsm emo.com/2008/04/hillary_on_track_to_rais e_10_m.php

2. Clinton didn't win by 10 points. Her lead is about 9.2%.

Thanks in advance!

by politicsmatters 2008-04-23 11:14AM | 0 recs
Re: Post-Pennsylvania Narratives

actually no, 9.2 vs. 10?

what the hell is the difference besides spin, its such a STUPID thing to argue over!

she won by 10 no she only won by 9.2039239022034393

who cares, she won, let them have their win, time to move on to the next state.

can we please stop fighting over 8/10ths of a damn percent

by TruthMatters 2008-04-23 11:22AM | 0 recs
Re: Post-Pennsylvania Narratives

I thought "truth matters" to you.  If so, give the correct number.  We all know that while it's a small difference, it is a difference.  So why not be accurate?

by politicsmatters 2008-04-23 11:24AM | 0 recs
Re: Post-Pennsylvania Narratives

because its NOT a matter of being accurate its a matter of spin,

we would NEVER call 54.6 vs. 45.4 a 9.2 win we WOULD round it rightly so to 10%

are there ANY other decimal wins out there? no we round.

this is about spin, Obama supporters want to be able to go "SEE! IT WASN'T DOUBLE DIGITS!"

its a spin argument and such a waste of time, there is not a single super who thinks differently between 9.2 and 10, so it should be dropped and we move on.

I mean honestly, what was the EXACT margin of texas and Ohio? you'd have to look it up because we rounded

Ohio was by 10, not 10.something, not 9.something it was 10

just like PA.

by TruthMatters 2008-04-23 11:28AM | 0 recs
Re: Post-Pennsylvania Narratives

You must have had a different kind of math teacher than I did.

If you subtract one number from another and the difference is 9.2 and you round that to the nearest whole number, the answer is 9.  It is not 10.

I did just ok with graduate level statistics courses but I did very well with fourth (or was it third or fifth?) grade math when you learn how to round numbers to the nearest whole number.

by politicsmatters 2008-04-23 11:34AM | 0 recs
Re: Post-Pennsylvania Narratives

you don't round the difference

the vots were

54.6 vs. 54.3

how do you think the media would round these numbers?
ok so what the media calls it 9.2 then what?

you want to argue she didn't win by double digits and that doesn't help obama, its a dumb waste of time arguement.

54.6 vs. 45.3 rounds to 55 vs. 45
but I guess thats just me.

by TruthMatters 2008-04-23 11:37AM | 0 recs
Re: Post-Pennsylvania Narratives

Imagine that you are in middle school and you get this math problem.  I say middle school to be generous because my son is in the first year middle school and he did problems like this at least two years ago.

MATH PROBLEM:
Here are two numbers. Take the difference and round to the nearest whole number.

You don't start by rounding the individual numbers to the nearest whole number.  If you do that, you get the wrong answer.

The issue relevant to the PA primary is WHAT WAS THE MARGIN? The margin is the difference between the numbers. One can report the result in various ways, going out to one or more decimal points or rounding to the nearest whole number.  As with the math problem above, you do this by subtracting the numbers. If rounding to the nearest whole number, you then round to the nearest whole number.

by politicsmatters 2008-04-23 11:45AM | 0 recs
Re: Post-Pennsylvania Narratives

Well when you do your taxes you round up each number before yo add or subtract anything and that is also the standard usually used in polls and election results.

by RedstateLib 2008-04-23 11:51AM | 0 recs
Re: Post-Pennsylvania Narratives

I don't know where you get the idea that one always rounds up because that is NOT the standard.  I have PhD level training in statistics and in public opinion analysis.

In reporting data in news stories, you report to the nearest whole number.  You do this because it is more accurate.

And I've never rounded up tax data - I just use the actual numbers.  

by politicsmatters 2008-04-23 12:07PM | 0 recs
Re: Post-Pennsylvania Narratives

Now I understand why some are having problems with the delegate math.  It's slightly more complicated that figuring out the margin based on the nearest whole number!

Innumeracy abounds.

by politicsmatters 2008-04-23 12:10PM | 0 recs
by politicsmatters 2008-04-23 12:34PM | 0 recs
by politicsmatters 2008-04-23 01:16PM | 0 recs
That is incorrect.

Let's look at sales tax as an example of what improper rounding can do:

Let's say you are selling items that have a price of .02 each, the sales taxes is 10%, so each item has sales tax of .002.  You sell 10,000 of these items with in invoice total of $200.  The sales tax on that is obviously $20.00.

If you rounded each item up to the nearest penny on the invoice then each line would have .01 sales tax.  If each item was on it's own line the sales tax would be $100.00.  If they were grouped, two per line it would be $50.00.

If you rounded each item down to the nearest penny on the invoice then each line would have 0 sales tax.  The total sales tax would be 0.

My point, if I have one, is that when talking percentages, rounding is only accurately done on the total.  And then, it's .5 is up, below that is down.

by GFORD 2008-04-24 06:25AM | 0 recs
Re: Post-Pennsylvania Narratives

This is simply a lie.  You never round both numbers first and then take the difference - not if you are serious about numbers.

by RickD 2008-04-23 11:48AM | 0 recs
Re: Post-Pennsylvania Narratives

in polling we do.

they only have room for 2 numbers on the screen or at the least they are in the habit of only reporting two numbers and rounding off the decimal thus when the results are

54.6 vs. 45.3 the media is not going to report 54.6 to 45.3 they will just say 55 to 45.

by TruthMatters 2008-04-23 11:55AM | 0 recs
Re: Post-Pennsylvania Narratives

"In polling we do"

Not really!!!  

by politicsmatters 2008-04-23 12:08PM | 0 recs
Re: Post-Pennsylvania Narratives

then name 1 other win that wasn't a whole number

you can't tell me THIS is the first time we have a decimal in the spread.

without looking it up  I want you to give me an actual spread WITH the decimal added.

but obviously I won't know if you did look it up or not, but the second you look it up, YOU know I am right

and thats enough for me.

by TruthMatters 2008-04-23 12:28PM | 0 recs
Re: Post-Pennsylvania Narratives

Results are sometimes reported with the decimals, but that's not even the point here.

We're talking about the margin in the nearest whole number.

If we use the Clinton and Obama vote percentages as reported by the NYT http://politics.nytimes.com/election-gui de/2008/results/states/PA.html the margin was 9.4

9.4 is closer to 9 than it is to 10.  Right?

by politicsmatters 2008-04-23 12:37PM | 0 recs
Re: Post-Pennsylvania Narratives

what was the spread in Wisconsin? it wasn't Just 17% what was the decimal?

what about Ohio it wasn't just 10%
Mississippi? Maine?

no one knows the decimal for a single win, but THIS win this win you want us to go down to the decimal?

like I said its a waste of time, because as anyone can see we don't know the decimals for a single race of the past 44, so why the 45th one, you want to argue the decimal is so important that I don't get.

but like I said without looking it up can you quote a single race, besides this one, quote me the actual results to the tenth place, without looking it up?

if not why not?

by TruthMatters 2008-04-23 12:42PM | 0 recs
Re: Post-Pennsylvania Narratives

No, no one wants to "go down" to the decimal, although, I can't see why that would be a problem.

What most people would prefer is the accurate answer to the question, "What is the margin between the candidates, to the nearest whole number?"

by politicsmatters 2008-04-23 12:52PM | 0 recs
Re: Post-Pennsylvania Narratives

yes 9.4 is closer to 9 but now round this for me then

54.6 vs. 45.3 what do you get?

by TruthMatters 2008-04-23 12:43PM | 0 recs
Re: Post-Pennsylvania Narratives

I really don't know why you're asking me to do 4th grade math, but here goes.

You subtract 45.3 from 54.6 and the result is 9.3.  If you want to round that to the nearest whole number, the answer is 9.

by politicsmatters 2008-04-23 12:51PM | 0 recs
Re: Post-Pennsylvania Narratives

no I did not ask you to subtract you know I am right this is why we are playing this game

round these two numbers, not add not subtract, not devide, heck I don't even need the log of them just round

54.6 and 45.3 and what do you get, 55 vs. 45.

its all about WHERE you choose to round, and as I said give me the spread of ANY previous race from the top of your head.

I bet you don't know a single decimal.

until you give me a spread of another race WITH the decimal and you can honestly say you didn't need to look it up, I am done with this discussion, there is no point to it. you can say 9.3

the rest of the world will say 10, and everyone is still right.

by TruthMatters 2008-04-23 12:55PM | 0 recs
Re: Post-Pennsylvania Narratives

Every other result was reported to the nearest whole number.

by politicsmatters 2008-04-23 01:03PM | 0 recs
Re: Post-Pennsylvania Narratives

They MAY say 10 but that's because that's what they heard last night. It doesn't make it accurate.

What's accurate is 9 if one is rounding to the nearest whole number.

Doesn't Truth Matter to you?

by politicsmatters 2008-04-23 01:04PM | 0 recs
Re: Post-Pennsylvania Narratives

Here's a more familiar way of solving the problem:

     54.6
     -45.3
______
       9.3

Remember that when you subtract the 5 from the 4 in the ones column, you have to cross out the 5 in "54," replace it was a 4 and then use the 1 so you can subtract 5 from 14, yielding a 9 in the ones column.

And if you want to round 9.3 to the nearest whole number, you'll compare 9.3 to the two closest whole numbers, 9 and 19.

9.3 is .3 from 9
9.3 is .7 from 10.

Since .3 is less than .7, 9 is the closest whole number.

Got it?

by politicsmatters 2008-04-23 01:02PM | 0 recs
Re: Post-Pennsylvania Narratives

the point is when getting the spread we only subtract WHOLE numbers.

you are subtracting decimals, it makes a difference

and that is why you cant name a single spread before PA with the decimal.

like I said she won by 9 who cares, you only want it to play a spin war with. THAT is why I say its a waste of time.

by TruthMatters 2008-04-23 01:12PM | 0 recs
Re: Post-Pennsylvania Narratives

In the real world, the one where there are actual numbers of people who vote and little kids learn how to do basic math, was her margin closer to 9 or 10?

by politicsmatters 2008-04-23 01:14PM | 0 recs
Re: Post-Pennsylvania Narratives

I understand what you are trying to argue, but you only want to apply it to Hillary.

Obama won Idaho 79.53% to 17.22%.  By your calculation, we round his barely-above-79-and-a-half to 80 and we round hers down to 17.  80-17= 63%.  But if you do math like normal people, you subtract it and get 79.53-17.22 = 62.31 which rounds down to 62.  So let's be consistent.  Which would you call it?  63 or 62?

By the way, here are the most up-to-date numbers in Pennsylvania:  54.57 for Hillary, 45.43 for Obama.  

By your crazy calculations, she rounds up to 55 and he rounds down to 45 just to make your "Oh, she really got 10%" work.  But no one in the world would look at those numbers and say she won by 10%.  She won by 9.14%.  That's 9.  Sorry.  You fail.

by ProgressiveDL 2008-04-23 01:40PM | 0 recs
Re: Post-Pennsylvania Narratives

No offense, but 9.2 never rounds to 10.  It rounds to 9 if anything.

by ProgressiveDL 2008-04-23 01:29PM | 0 recs
Re: Post-Pennsylvania Narratives

its when we are choosing to round

54.6 vs. 45.3 would always be reported as 55 to 45.

by TruthMatters 2008-04-23 01:34PM | 0 recs
Re: Post-Pennsylvania Narratives

I get it, trust me.  You just want to round at the wrong place.  There is a right and a wrong place in math.

So let's do an experiment here.  Let's say she got 50.51% in some election.  And he got 49.49%.  By your weird calculations, she rounds up to 51 and he rounds down to 49, so you can say she won by 2%.  Do you see why your rounding is wrong?  If he actually loses by 1.02% and you are calling it 2%, that means you are wrong.  There is no if, and, or but about it.  Math has right and wrong answers, and in this case, 2% would be wrong.

Having said that, if you want to say "Ok, 9% is still a big loss" that is fine.  And honestly, that makes a lot more sense and is likely to get your point across a lot better than doing math incorrectly just so you can say she won by 10% (which she clearly did not).

by ProgressiveDL 2008-04-23 01:43PM | 0 recs
Re: Post-Pennsylvania Narratives

Agree. But in general, Todd's point is well taken.
Take a look at this CNN article.

http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/04/23/p rimary.analysis/index.html

Another conspicuously missing story is the fact that Texas delegates actually broke for Obama and
in fact that "large state that he can't do well in" ... he won, delegate wise.

IMHO both are gaining ground and Hillary will make a great VP.  But she didn't win by a big enough margin to change the narrative whereas Obama has won by Gigantic margins in some states.

Media are heatseekers. They loved those big wins down south.

Seems to me one more is coming up..

by Trey Rentz 2008-04-23 11:22AM | 0 recs
Re: Post-Pennsylvania Narratives

Here's the thing.  In the general election, Texas is not going to allow die-hard Obama supporters to vote twice.

Hillary won the Texas primary by more than 100,000 votes.  Citing Obama's success in the screwed-up Texas delegate system as evidence that he can do better than Hillary in big states is just six kinds of crazy.

There's not going to be any caucuses in November, let alone any funky primary-caucus hybrids.  Whoever gets the most votes in a state will win the electors.

by Steve M 2008-04-23 11:26AM | 0 recs
Re: Post-Pennsylvania Narratives

As crazy as saying the more liberal candidate won't win the general election in Massachusetts because Hillary won there over him?

by ProgressiveDL 2008-04-23 01:44PM | 0 recs
Re: Post-Pennsylvania Narratives

That's not the point.  If Obama loses by a significant amount, like 10 pts in OH, then it is reasonable to assume that John McCain would have to win fewer voters to overtake Obama in OH, and he'd potentially have that additional 10pts to overcome beyond beating Obama to beat Hillary. Same in PA, and 100,000 votes in Texas(caucuses don't exist in the general election). Now, I agree that MA, NY, IL, MD would be states that either democratic candidate would win over McCain.  But, with a heavy hispanic population, would CA be in play, given McCain's stand on immigration and Obama's poor showing among hispanics?  Certainly FL would be harder for Obama to capture. OH, PA, IA, MO, NM, NV, CO all could be in play as possible "Purple" States. With NM, NV & CO having large hispanic populations, they may go McCain's way.  OH and PA obviously would be easier for Clinton to capture than Obama... might make the difference!

by PracticalMagic 2008-04-23 06:00PM | 0 recs
Re: Post-Pennsylvania Narratives

While you may be right about most of those stats (particularly Florida), I still don't get that logic in Ohio.  Just because Democrats like Hillary more than Obama does not mean they like McCain more than Obama too.

There were about 2.2 million voters in the Ohio Democratic primary this year.  1.2 million for Hillary, 980,000 for Obama and about 40,000 for Edwards.  There is no way, at this point, to reliably know how many of those 2.2 million will vote for McCain or sit home.  I know there are general election projection polls, but that's a long way away and we still don't have an official nominee.

I'm willing to concede that Hillary inspires more passion among Democrats in Ohio (and presumably a higher Democratic turnout for her than Obama in the general), but I also believe Obama would do much better than Hillary among Independents and Republicans.  

I see Obama as being very able to take Ohio if he does his work there.  I see Florida as very very difficult for him.  California goes for any Democrat, IMO, as do NY and MA.  

And I am totally unconvinced that a Democrat (either one) can win Texas, but I am hoping Obama can peel off at least a couple "true red" states.  We'll see.

by ProgressiveDL 2008-04-23 06:25PM | 0 recs
Re: Post-Pennsylvania Narratives

I don't agree with all of this analysis, as I do think that we're missing an opportunity to define John McCain right now, but there certainly are counterveiling positives.    

As an aside, I would note that the PA GE poll cited here really undercuts the idea that there's a correlation between winning a primary and the loser of the primary's ability to nonetheless prevail in the General.  In other words, it's almost as if Senator Obama can win "the big states" after all.  Who knew!  

by HSTruman 2008-04-23 11:16AM | 0 recs
Re: Post-Pennsylvania Narratives

Todd you are on fire recently.

Best Blogger leading up to PA and dead on analysis today, thank you.

by zane 2008-04-23 11:18AM | 0 recs
Johhny McSame's strength is an illusion

He is the GOP sacrificial lamb. The plan is to blame the mess on the next Dem candidate, hope that the people are stupid enough to fall for that, and try to get back the House, Senate, & WH.

by heresjohnny 2008-04-23 11:19AM | 0 recs
Re: Johhny McSame's strength is an illusion

Wasn't that the Democrats' plan with Bill Clinton?

by randym77 2008-04-23 02:56PM | 0 recs
Re: Post-Pennsylvania Narratives

Maddow is right up to a point.  But while it's easy to say "the race would continue even if Hillary had lost PA," the statement is untestable and I happen to disagree with it.  The primaries that have been played up as "must-win" situations for Hillary were, in fact, must-win situations, but it doesn't follow from that that if she does win then now it's Obama who must give up.

If you're down 3-0 in a best-of-7 series, the next 3 games are must-win for you, but even if you win them all you haven't done anything except force game 7.

The argument that the race will inevitably continue just because Hillary has fundraisers scheduled is ludicrous and I'm a little disappointed to see it advanced as a serious point.  John Edwards had all sorts of events scheduled right up until the moment he cancelled them all and dropped out.

I don't know if Indiana really merits "must-win" status but a number of these contests truly have been must-wins.  There's little doubt that if Obama had won PA people would have very little interest in seeing the race continue.

by Steve M 2008-04-23 11:21AM | 0 recs
Re: Post-Pennsylvania Narratives

I agree with this 100%

we have already had her supporters say, if she lost PA, they would pressure her to drop out.

would she probably not, but when your top aides are calling for you to drop out you won't last much longer.

Ohio, texas, NH, PA were must wins, simply because enough people said it.

just like Indiana will become a must win

by TruthMatters 2008-04-23 11:24AM | 0 recs
The issue is...

The Clinton camp has consistantly been able to define what the "must wins" are based on her liklihood of winning.

I could say "Wisconsin is a must-win!" but there's nothing tying her to that.  

She knows her demographics, she knows where she's strong, and she's been able to define the race over and over.

That's an excellent skill, but it doesn't change the fact that she needed to be competitive in those 11 races in February that she lost so as to not be in a huge hole now.

by Dracomicron 2008-04-23 12:53PM | 0 recs
Re: The issue is...

"The Clinton camp has consistantly been able to define what the "must wins" are"

That is why they are a super good team of politicans.  Especially since they dumped Penn.

by gil44 2008-04-23 01:43PM | 0 recs
I've gotten a chuckle out of it.

When the Clinton team pushes a new goalpost, Obama looks, shrugs, and rolls up his sleeves.

I know it sounds odd, but quite honestly I think Clinton is playing into his hand; this primary is what the 50-state strategy is all about.  I get the impression that he'd be campaigning for each primary in turn even if he had no opposition.

Maybe he'd have Axelrod set up dummy opposition in each state so that people would have a choice.  And by "dummy," I mean a felt puppet of McCain with vampire fangs and a cape.

"Blah!  I vant to suck your Social Security!"

by Dracomicron 2008-04-23 01:47PM | 0 recs
Re: Post-Pennsylvania Narratives

Of course part of the reason why she scheduled the fundraisers to send the signal that she will continue past IN and NC, right?

by politicsmatters 2008-04-23 11:25AM | 0 recs
Re: Post-Pennsylvania Narratives

Yes, exactly, but it's strictly about the message.  I think my John Edwards example is on point.

You can look at any candidate who has dropped out of this race, in either party, and the unifying factor is that every one of them had future events scheduled at the time they dropped out... even though they surely knew dropping out was a possibility.  If you stop scheduling events, vultures begin to circle.

by Steve M 2008-04-23 11:28AM | 0 recs
Re: Post-Pennsylvania Narratives

Another benefit to the extended primary season is the GOP & McCain will haven't difficulty staining our candidate.  It took month's to create a negative image Gore and Kerry that the media needed to repeat over and over again until it sets the voters mind an 'image'.  The GOP is losing out on this.  Dems however (Hello DNC/Dean, DCCC, DSCC, 527s) can start now advertising blitzes to ruin McCain's image with truth.  It may have begun, but I haven't noticed.  Dems have plenty of extra months to create whatever narrative we want since it does not depend upon which candidate goes to the GE.

by oc 2008-04-23 11:21AM | 0 recs
Re: Post-Pennsylvania Narratives

yep. meanwhile the DNC and a few other organizations are already taking potshots at walnuts.

by Trey Rentz 2008-04-23 11:23AM | 0 recs
Re: Post-Pennsylvania Narratives

I happen to think the extended primary is a good thing for the party.  Infrastructure is being created where none existed before, and party registration is off the charts.  If all this was so horrible, turnout and registrations would be down with each succeeding event, fueled by disaffection with the process.  We are being beautifully positioned (at least downticket) for huge gains in November.

by jarhead5536 2008-04-23 11:24AM | 0 recs
Well, yeah...

...as long as HRC and Obama both act as if they are running against McCain instead of each other.  Why not use this opportunity to soften up the eventual opponent instead of irritate millions of people whom you will need on your side in the GE?

by KTinOhio 2008-04-23 11:32AM | 0 recs
Agreed from this Obama supporter

As much as I'd love to see this race end right now, with Obama as the nominee, I do think the extended race has done wonders for party building. Has it also exposed major demographic rifts within the party? Sure. But unless the candidates explicitly appeal to those rifts in divisive ways, then the coalition will come back together again just fine. Keep arguing about the recession, Iraq, health care, etc. and we will do great. But arguing about race, elitism, and patriotism will kill the Democratic Party. That's the only thing that has angered me about the extended primary.

by elrod 2008-04-23 11:29AM | 0 recs
Re: Post-Pennsylvania Narratives

I disagree that this is good for the party.  If the primary was being run in a clean way, without the Osama Bin Laden ads and dispersions on each other's character, then I would agree with you... but, the longer this goes on, the bloodier our candidates get, and the more entrenched and yes, "bitter" our candidates' supporters will be when the other is declared the winner.

The longer it goes on, the uglier and dirtier it gets... it's not a good thing at all...

by LordMike 2008-04-23 11:29AM | 0 recs
Re: Post-Pennsylvania Narratives

And that's why I thought the hyperventilating over Axelrod's comments about white working class voters going Republican was so stupid.

by elrod 2008-04-23 11:37AM | 0 recs
Re: Post-Pennsylvania Narratives

Apparently, though, you're fine with hyperventilating over "Osama bin Laden ads."  Good God.

by Steve M 2008-04-23 11:56AM | 0 recs
Re: Post-Pennsylvania Narratives

You do see how this is opposite to my point, do you? Right wing rethugs run ads that appeal to fear and so include pictures of Osama bin Laden to drum up votes. When Democrats do it, they are parroting GOP tactics.

Noting that white working class voters have historically voted Republican is not parroting GOP talking points. But insinuating that it is an elitist remark to make such an observation is, in fact, a GOP ploy right out of the Joe Scarborough school.

by elrod 2008-04-23 12:12PM | 0 recs
Re: Post-Pennsylvania Narratives

In fact, I think it's ridiculous to suggest that a brief video clip of Osama bin Laden in an ad equates to GOP-style fearmongering.  A half second of video, and suddenly the entire Obamasphere is going nuts like it's Robert Gibbs all over again.

by Steve M 2008-04-23 12:20PM | 0 recs
Re: Post-Pennsylvania Narratives

So, if not to drive fear, exactly what was the point of including Osama bin Laden in that video?

by tysonpublic 2008-04-23 12:37PM | 0 recs
Re: Post-Pennsylvania Narratives

To remind us of why we're going to nuke Iran!

Wait...

by bernardpliers 2008-04-23 01:05PM | 0 recs
Re: Post-Pennsylvania Narratives

Come now, be honest.  bin Laden was in it only for a second, but that entire ad was about fear.

by ChrisKaty 2008-04-23 12:43PM | 0 recs
Re: Post-Pennsylvania Narratives

Attaining voting age in '85 I can recall that the Democrats have always had a problem in picking a presumptive nominee. And debates were always fierce and many times negative. But by the convention we would always have a nominee.

It seems though that the GOP always selected their nominee much earlier and relatively unbloodied. If the Dem. Candidate was strong they would win in the general. If not they lost which was most of the time (Mondale, Dukakis).

But the same storyline always came out that the Dems were indecisive and very petty. The GOP would use the primary honed ammunition and the Dems always started out on the defense. So this is nothing new.

I agree the difference here is that the field organization is amazing and although on the outside the party seems in "disarray" the thruth is we are more organized on the local level and nationally via the web that ever. Way beyond the GOP wildest dreams. That is why the GOP has had to steal the last two Pres. Elections.

But please stop giving Ammunition to the GOP.

by txexspeedy 2008-04-23 11:30AM | 0 recs
Re: Post-Pennsylvania Narratives

I have been of two minds as to whether or not the extended primary is a good thing for the party as a whole. Obviously the energy and work that is going into the Dem race is setting up infrastructure that will come into play in Nov, but all the same the fact that the race has turned so negative fights against what should be Dem Ascendant narrative and instead presents the party as a squabbling, disfunctional organization. Not exactly the message we want to be sending to nervous voters. If somehow the campaign can wrap up without the eventual winner (most likely Obama) being mortally wounded it will have been worth it. But that's a big if...

by wasder 2008-04-23 11:31AM | 0 recs
Stop spinning and start winning.

Seriously, it is very sad that I had to watch Fox News to get the results of PA first.

by gotalife 2008-04-23 11:38AM | 0 recs
Re: Stop spinning and start winning.

?

"Start winning" really?  Obama is ahead in every metric.  You guys are hilarious.  

by proseandpromise 2008-04-23 12:57PM | 0 recs
Re: Post-Pennsylvania Narratives

Ross Douthat had an interesting article on McCain's peak in polling. Basically, he worries that McCain's numbers in GE match-up polls haven't climbed higher, given the present climate. Here's the thrust of it:

But by all rights, this ought to be a peak time for McCain's numbers - not the peak, necessarily, but certainly a high point. His right-wing critics are making nice with him, his favorable ratings are sky-high, and his opponents are too busy driving each other's negative ratings upward to spend any time (or money, more importantly) putting a dent in his halo. Moreoever, the Democrats' intra-party tensions are bound to diminish once the party picks a nominee: At least some of the Hillary supporters who tell pollsters that they'd vote for McCain over Obama may actually follow through on that pledge, but a lot of today's McCainocrats will come home to the Democratic fold when all is said and done.

Yet even with all this going for him, McCain's poll numbers are bumping up against the same 45 percent ceiling that they've been hitting since December. If the election were held today - a pretty good day for McCain, all things considered - he'd probably lose to Obama, and might lose to Clinton as well.

http://thecurrent.theatlantic.com/archiv es/2008/04/mccain.php

All that being said, if the negativity and emphasis on nonsubstantive matters continues, put me in the camp that wants this nomination process over. However, if the candidates can run  more positive substantive campaigns, then I'm perfectly content to let this play out until June.

by DPW 2008-04-23 11:39AM | 0 recs
Re: Post-Pennsylvania Narratives

MyDD has done a nice job with it's "front page" diaries today.  It's refreshing to dispel some of these media machinations.

I can support whichever candidate wins a fair contest.  But some of these pundits I will never support again.

by bobbank 2008-04-23 11:43AM | 0 recs
Yeah, despite all the handwringing about exit poll

... numbers that show Hill backers or Obama backers claiming they will not vote for the other candidate in a general, I think the active participation is a net plus for Dems.

First, many of those voters who now claim they will never vote for one candidate or the other, will, in fact, vote for the Dem once everyone gets a good, long look at McCain.

Second, despite the fact that the media narrative is that McCain is "getting a free ride," he also is unable to garner even the slightest headlines. He has been locked out of the picture by the Democratic contest.

Frankly, I think the Democrats could nominate Daffy Duck this year and beat McCain. He is a weak candidate in a very, very bad year for Republicans. The economy is not getting beter before November and neither is Iraq. And McCain will wear those like lead weights around his neck.

Obama or Clinton will thump the living hell out of him in the general. And the more states that participate, the higher the the number of registered Dems all across the country. (And the better we'll do in local, state, House and Senate elections, too.)

by Bob Johnson 2008-04-23 11:47AM | 0 recs
Re: Yeah, despite all the handwringing about exit

McCain is very unattractive to the hardcore Repubs. But have you ever truly gauge his popularity among the moderate Republicans and some rank-and-file Dems? The man can win by pulling these two groups together, and he knows it.

by Zeitgeist9000 2008-04-23 12:39PM | 0 recs
He won't do it.

The economy will kill him. This is Bush's economy and McCain was part and parcel of it.

by Bob Johnson 2008-04-23 12:55PM | 0 recs
Re: Post-Pennsylvania Narratives

The reason PA was a "must win" for Clinton is that early polling in the state had her up by 20 points.  If she had blown such a huge lead, it would have crippled any credibility her campaign had remaining.

The points about the extended campaign hurting Democrats are spot on.  The situation where an extended campaign would hurt one party is where the party in question is blowing all its cash on the primary, while the other party is sitting on a pile of untapped cash.  The situation in 2008 is quite different - McCain is practically broke while both Democratic candidates have significantly outraised him, and either would likely still have a significant advantage in the Fall.

by RickD 2008-04-23 11:52AM | 0 recs
Re: Post-Pennsylvania Narratives

I agree with your analysis up to a certain point.  Yes, the voter registration is good.  Yes, the increased attention on the party is good.  But, no these two things do NOT necessarily outweigh the negatives of this race continuing.  Maybe if Clinton (and yes, more recently Barack) were not slinging mud like their lives depended on it.  

Right now, I just don't see a positive end-game in sight that is keeping Hillary in the race. Prove me wrong, but it seems as if this is her best-case scenario:  She forces an Obama error so damaging that he is forced to withdraw by the Superdelegates.  The party could very well implode, with alienated black and youth voters leaving in droves.  Even if they stick around, the greatest new Democratic political star of the century would be completely destroyed.

The other situation would be, we continue on our current course:  She keeps throwing the self-proclaimed "kitchen sink" at Obama.  He gets the nomination, but his approval rating amongst voters he has less success with (the elderly, working class, white males) takes a beating from her attacks.  The election cycle starts out framed in Hillary's terms, national security, who will keep you safe at 3 AM etc.  

How does any of this help the Democrats regain the White House in the fall?

by belicheat 2008-04-23 11:56AM | 0 recs
Re: Post-Pennsylvania Narratives

Excellent analysis.  Agree completely.  

There's no path for Clinton to the nomination that doesn't involve something horrible happening to the Democratic Party.  And the longer she stays in, the harder it's going to be to unify the party later.

by ChrisKaty 2008-04-23 11:59AM | 0 recs
Re: Post-Pennsylvania Narratives

well, I have no problem with her staying in. I do have a problem with the campaigns of both going hard negative (hers being more damaging because she hasn't a great chance of winning this primary). Doing so has larger ramifications for Democrats.

right now, the general mood is very anti-GOP. That mood can easily be disrupted with stupid crap like we've seen since the day after the Texas debate. And it has from what I've witnessed.

by alex100 2008-04-23 12:21PM | 0 recs
Re: Post-Pennsylvania Narratives
So I take it you have no substantive response to the very real question I asked? You know, the one regarding the end of the race? Our future as a party? The White House in 2008? Oh, right, flame war. Sorry for taking you off topic.
by belicheat 2008-04-23 01:45PM | 0 recs
CONFLICTING Post-Pennsylvania Narratives

I just freakin' love the contradiction in the HRC narratives:

1. No matter what happens this. primary. will. continue.

2. Obama can't get Hillary to leave the race, therefore he is unelectable and he is the one who should leave the race.

I didn't think I could hate this country more than I did after the 2004 election, but I'm really starting to get to the point where I hate 3/4 of it instead of 1/2 of it.

I guess I'm an elitist.

by alvernon 2008-04-23 12:06PM | 0 recs
Re: CONFLICTING Post-Pennsylvania Narratives

And apparently a nasty, vindictive, stupid elitist at that, i.e., perfect Obama material.

by Jim J 2008-04-23 12:13PM | 0 recs
Re: CONFLICTING Post-Pennsylvania Narratives

you're being sarcastic right?

by alex100 2008-04-23 12:15PM | 0 recs
Re: CONFLICTING Post-Pennsylvania Narratives

There is a definite self-fulfillment/refutement about Hillary supporters' arguments.  We can't be united with Obama supporters, therefore, Obama is not a uniter.  Obama is not a uniter, therefore, we will not get behind Obama in Nov.  We will not get behind Obama in Nov., therefore we will not unite with Obama.  Obama is, therefore, not a uniter.........

It's awfully close to "We love Hillary, nanananana" sometimes.  

Now, that is maybe just a vocal minority of Clinton supporters, but there are several here, and they have all but taken over TalkLeft.

by proseandpromise 2008-04-23 01:01PM | 0 recs
Re: Post-Pennsylvania Narratives

i'm at a loss right now. The front page diarists have yet to discuss pledged delegates won/lost. Unless I've missed it.

isn't delegates what a primary is all about, once the votes are counted of course?

while this is primarily a Clinton fan-fest site, I'll be damned if we dumb down the debate once in the GE. I implore that any rose-tinted glasses get tossed out and that the progressive and liberal community look at things more objectively and broadly.

by alex100 2008-04-23 12:14PM | 0 recs
Re: Post-Pennsylvania Narratives

This is not purely a delegates game (race). This is about the psychology of who is better suited to take on John McCain. I mean if this were truly about delegates, then the onus would be on Hillary to drop out now. Instead, the Clinton campaign raises $10 million in half a day and the opposition waxes mathematical about delegate allocation, apportionment, and other such rarefied calculations which don't accurately reflect the popular will.

by Zeitgeist9000 2008-04-23 12:36PM | 0 recs
Re: Post-Pennsylvania Narratives

They haven't raised that much.  Terry M. said that they are "on track" to raises that much.  

It's PREDICTING it will raise that much.

http://thepage.time.com/2008/04/23/clint on-camp-says-its-on-track-to-raise-10-mi l-in-24-hours-after-win/

by politicsmatters 2008-04-23 12:39PM | 0 recs
Re: Post-Pennsylvania Narratives

Conflicts with everything else I understood so I'll continue to believe they've already raised that much.

by Zeitgeist9000 2008-04-23 12:41PM | 0 recs
Re: Post-Pennsylvania Narratives

Just like you continued to believe the Clinton would win by 20 points?

by ChrisKaty 2008-04-23 02:08PM | 0 recs
Re: Post-Pennsylvania Narratives

Look, the candidate with the most delegates will win the nomination. There's no way around that fact.

The majority of those delegates are selected through primaries and caucuses. Electability arguments can't change the results from contests already conducted. The remaining superdelegates can make up their mind using a number of factors - pledged delegate counts, popular vote totals, results from their state or congressional district, pressure from outside interest groups, electability arguments from the candidates... The list goes on.

But in the end, it's the delegates that count.

by kjblair2 2008-04-23 01:01PM | 0 recs
Re: Post-Pennsylvania Narratives

Yes, the candidate who gets to the winning threshold  prevails.... We'll see who gets there.

I think that's what we should be agreed on: whoever reaches the winning threshold prevails, not the person with the greater number of pledged delegates but less than the amount required to win.

by Zeitgeist9000 2008-04-23 01:41PM | 0 recs
Re: Post-Pennsylvania Narratives

But the person with the most pledged delegates has a much easier shot at getting to the threshold. Clinton's path to the nomination is much harder than Obama's. And winning PA with the margin she did actually made it harder for her to win since a bunch of delegates were taken off the table without making much of a dent in Obama's lead. And he'll make that up on May 6th.

by kjblair2 2008-04-23 04:43PM | 0 recs
Re: Post-Pennsylvania Narratives

delegates are what wins primaries. everything else is purely opinion. and spin.

so maybe you answered my question through your vague response. This site isn't necessarily attuned to things that aren't rosy for Hillary (unless Singer is doing the writing), therefore important facts such as delegate allocation are ignored at the expense of...

by alex100 2008-04-23 01:12PM | 0 recs
I just posted a delegate diary

Check it out :)

by Dracomicron 2008-04-23 12:57PM | 0 recs
Re: Post-Pennsylvania Narratives
Hillary began as an old style Washington-Establishment-Candidate, propelled by the Clinton-Machine.
After early failures, with big donors tapped out, forced retooling of her campaign.....
Hillary has emerged as a feisty People's-Candidate, FightingForYou, raising millions on the Internet.
Resilience, thy name is Hillary.
by CLK 2008-04-23 12:27PM | 0 recs
Re: Post-Pennsylvania Narratives

...like a weed that just keeps growing back?  :P  I'm just being snarky here, but there are definitely a lot of ways to interpret Hillary's metamorphesus.  I think her love for booze and guns this past week or two might be a good microcosm of what we've seen in the primary.  Hillary becomes what is most suitable.  This has allowed her to say "Obama is a great candidate" and "Obama is not qualified" in the same few weeks.  It lets her say "screw em" about Reagan dems in the 90s and act like she's one of "em" now.  

Obama does some of this too - mostly on positions, not on character, but he does some too.  So, anyway, there are a lot of ways to interpret this transformation that you see so positively.

by proseandpromise 2008-04-23 01:06PM | 0 recs
Hillary, the weed.......
Yeah, like a weed.
Weeds survive, potted plants die off.
by CLK 2008-04-23 01:46PM | 0 recs
Guam!

Prepare to become relevant!

by pinche tejano 2008-04-23 12:33PM | 0 recs
And Bill Daley isn't

old politics as usual.  Do you know about the Daley family?  

by Xanthe 2008-04-23 12:36PM | 0 recs
Relevance?

Just because Obama has some machine backers doesn't mean that he's a machine candidate.

by Dracomicron 2008-04-23 12:58PM | 0 recs
What gives you that idea?

I mean, he won DC handily, but there's more than just "establishment" there.

Clinton is the one that started the race with 160 superdelegates in her pocket.

by Dracomicron 2008-04-23 02:08PM | 0 recs
Re: Relevance?
That is what is hysterical.  The blogosphere has been b*tching and moaning about the Washington Insiders and wanting change.  But it is the Washington Insiders, the Kerrys and Kennedys, Deans etc who are pushing Obama.  I would bet a lot of money that these people, like David Broder, always felt like that poor "white trash" (quoting Randi of course)like Bill from Arkansas had no right to the WH.  Their arrogant, looking their nose down at people, has come out again.  A lot of people from PA are people like me....well educated but our roots are in immigrants, coal mine workers, factory workers.  We do not come from money like the Kennedys and Kerrys
A lot of us were equally supportive of Edwards because he too came from working class, understood and supported working class, union workers.  We never wanted a messiah.  I know Senator Obama was not from a rich family, but it is clear who his supporters are....
by Jjc2008 2008-04-23 02:13PM | 0 recs
Re: Post-Pennsylvania Narratives
I do not believe Huffington Post is a liberal blog.  It is overwhelmingly sexist and male in its choice of bloggers.  The amount of close minded rhetoric on the site is reminiscent of the Bush years.
Arianna herself used to be a right wing pundit.  She plays fast and friendly with David Geffin who harbors a personal grudge against the Clintons.
When personal grudges are involved, when a former right winger is leading the pack, that site could never, for me, be viewed as liberal.  
To me it is a HATE site when it comes to 50% of the democratic party.
by Jjc2008 2008-04-23 12:44PM | 0 recs
What?

Was it a hate site when Ariana smuggled a reporter in to an Obama fundraiser to record him saying that small town folks are bitter?

Not every anti-Clinton story is biased against Clinton.  Not every pro-Clinton story is biased for Clinton (especially if it's written by Fox or Scaife).

I would postulate that, if you don't want bad things to be said about you, don't be caught doing or saying ridiculous shit.

by Dracomicron 2008-04-23 01:00PM | 0 recs
I've decided to change the narrative

we should choose our nominee based on land-mass won.  One vote One acre.  It is very much an American tradition to be one with the land - shouldn't the land have a say in who our nominee.  Of course, this favors my candidate, but I'm really objective.  I'll even conceded that Florida should count, but not the everglades since that is not really land.

I've considered coast-line - a vote a mile - but really think that does not provide an accurate measure of where voters are.

by CardBoard 2008-04-23 12:48PM | 0 recs
I approve

See my thread on Calvinball.

by Dracomicron 2008-04-23 01:01PM | 0 recs
Re: I've decided to change the narrative

Woo, everyone to Alaska, quick!

by ProgressiveDL 2008-04-23 01:51PM | 0 recs
Re: Post-Pennsylvania Narratives

Maddow said, but Democrats don't go negative (her meaning was, Democrats are above such things).  And Pat Buchanan said, but they should.  Let's see, how many presidential elections have Democrats won in the past 28 years?  We had a brilliant, politically gifted candidate named Bill Clinton who won a couple.  But the record has been dismal otherwise.

How is continuing the democratic process in a primary going to have any impact whatsoever on whether or not some unflattering information about a candidate will be brought to the fore?  Republicans are quite capable of digging up and using negatives to their own advantage.  So this argument that the primary continuing is doing "damage" is nonsensical.

And where are all the good political observers?  Such a dearth of them last night.  They've been replaced by partisans with little or no political know-how (like the former sportscaster).  I want experience.  I want someone who knows elections, who knows politics.  Who can transcend what horse they are backing for just a moment and tell the truth.

by Larissa 2008-04-23 12:50PM | 0 recs
Re: Post-Pennsylvania Narratives

Bill Clinton was a fine politician. But let's remember that he never got a majority of the vote in his presidential races. In fact, lots of political observers think he very well might have lost in 1992 were not Perot a candidate.  

by politicsmatters 2008-04-23 12:54PM | 0 recs
Re: Post-Pennsylvania Narratives

"In fact, lots of political observers think he very well might have lost in 1992 were not Perot a candidate."

I researched this a couple of years ago.  Assuming every state's Perot voters behaved the same way, and all of them would have chosen between Bush and Clinton instead of choosing another third-party candidate or staying home, 66% of them would have had to have support Bush to swing the election.  (That was the required margin in Iowa, which would have been the state to put Bush over the top.)  And it wouldn't have happened because Perot was anathema to most Republicans.  He was pro-choice and pro-gun control, he was against NAFTA, and his economic plans were very different from those proposed by the GOP.

by KTinOhio 2008-04-23 01:22PM | 0 recs
Re: Post-Pennsylvania Narratives

It has been a very long time since our Party made so many State Parties...and State Dems feel important..(yeah..yeah..I know MI and FL)

I love the smell of Irony on a warm spring afternoon in Colorado. The turf battle between the DLC and Howard Dean is well known. What Dean brought in was a move away from the mindset of concentrating on only what we might win. He brought in...every District...every State. The Campaigns of Clinton/Obama are making this happen.

Clearly Obama has led the way in raising big money outside the usual route. It appears, in the last 24 hours, Sen. Clinton is doing the same. We, as a Party, are setting the groundwork that is ripping the mysto our-party-belongs-only-to-the-big -money folks...from their greedy hands.

McCain is NOT the scary guy our party must fear...
In the alleged hotbed of Pa..having Won the nomination..his numbers were weak.

Our Party has a biracial candidate and a woman candidate. All the Republicans can provide is a 72 year old male who is not that much further ahead in intelligence than Bush.

Take...just ...a ...step...back.
This IS special.

The difference between US and Them?
Our Party is capable of improvisation...
They are not....

tap yer toes and smile...(can U imigine Young Republicans doing something THIS cool?)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dkYZ6rbPU 2M

by nogo war 2008-04-23 12:52PM | 0 recs
Re: Post-Pennsylvania Narratives

I'm hoping that since we've always had the nomination decided early, and then usually lost, that having the primary continue all the through the process will result in a win. ?

by dmc2 2008-04-23 01:00PM | 0 recs
I would like to point out

Stephen Colbert had an auditorium booked in South Carolina as of October.

Hillary Clinton would be fundraising even if she dropped out.  She's perfectly allowed to, and the lady has bills to pay.

by Dracomicron 2008-04-23 01:03PM | 0 recs
Re: Post-Pennsylvania Narratives

As long as the hatred stays mostly on the blogs we should be okay, providing of course, we can stop focusing on idiotic things lapel pins.

by MNPundit 2008-04-23 01:05PM | 0 recs
Re: Post-Pennsylvania Narratives

Ok so Clinton is only losing by about 140 delegates now.

Ok, Clinton canot possible catch Obama's popular lead or pledged deleghate count.

Now what?  Now Clinton's own supporters are tiring of her:

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/23/opinio n/23wed1.html?ex=1366603200&en=25460 e9924d12741&ei=5124&partner=perm alink&exprod=permalink

by jv 2008-04-23 01:08PM | 0 recs
Re: Post-Pennsylvania Narratives

so, from what i've gathered around the net, Hillary will have between a 9-14 pledged delegate win coming out of PA.

pretty lousy if that's true.

by alex100 2008-04-23 01:18PM | 0 recs
Re: Post-Pennsylvania Narratives

From dictionary.com:

Narrative is the general term (for a story long or short; of past, present, or future; factual or imagined; told for any purpose; and with or without much detail).

In other words, only fools accept narratives at face value.

by Liberal Avenger 2008-04-23 01:20PM | 0 recs
Exposing a Fundamentally Dishonest argument

Yesterday's Hillary victory brought her closer to losing this nomination. The pool of available delegates shrunk by 158 with a probable net gain of 12 delegate.  Her "double digit" victory currently 9.2% is unlikely to sway  superdelegates to overturn the results of the various primaries and caucuses. Even including tainted election results does not make her contention that caucus voters do not count true. I was at a caucus and we voted. Not in Texas because I now live in Minnesota.

It is this nonsensical selective vote math manipulation that bolsters the Clinton "dishonesty" argument. It should not be perpetuated, especially since people that frequent these sites are aware of the facts and know the truth. Using "cooked numbers" (like including Fl, Mi while excluding caucus states).  The supers are not fooled and neither are we. When Hillary won yesterday with 9.2%  her campaigns futile effort to regain ground on delegates and popular vote was seriously undermined.

In a state where demographics overwhelming favored her she did not break 10%. She needed to get a HIGH double digit victory she failed. Now she needs to get ~70% of the remaining delegates to have a viable chance of having the supers overturn the results of the past 4 months. The supers and the party has shown no inclination to do it otherwise.  Thats what the giant spin machine is doing right now. Its trying to change the dynamics to give HRC a chance. That may fool the average voter in the main street but its not going to fool  the political junkies that frequent this site.

This was always a delegate hunt. Manipulating popular vote totals to try to "convince" the supers to overturn the results strikes me as fundamentally dishonest. Am I really that naive?

by KosTexasliberal 2008-04-23 01:24PM | 0 recs
And Obama gets his second super of the day:

Obama Picks Up Nebraska Superdelegate

Nebraska Democratic Party Associate Chair Audra Ostergard picks the Land of Lincolner.

"There are compelling arguments for supporting both candidates, but my decision came down to what's best for our country and for Nebraska."

by Bob Johnson 2008-04-23 01:28PM | 0 recs
Re: Post-Pennsylvania Narratives
But this is a tough process and as Senator Obama has said he's introducing himself, he is still new to the American people and so in a strange way this process may be very good for him in that he is able to go to parts of this country and make the case as a new fresh face on the American scene that he can make a difference.
Could someone tell Markos and some of the other whining chorus that even their candidate sees the advantages to this hard-fought primary? Or would that interfere with all the fun they're having slamming Hillary?
by sarany 2008-04-23 01:29PM | 0 recs
It should be a good thing.

If both Hillary and Obama were out there explaining why they are better than McCain, it would be a great thing.  They would be double-teaming McCain.

But that's not what is happening is it?  Hillary spends next to no time talking about McCain and when she does it's often to compare him favorably against Obama.  That does not help the Democratic party.

So instead of McCain being double-teamed by two top Democratic candidates, we have Obama being double-teamed by the Republicans and Hillary.  And yet he is still winning.

Hopefully, Hillary will get the message and start comparing both candidates favorably against McCain from now on as Obama does.

by GFORD 2008-04-24 06:33AM | 0 recs
Re: It should be a good thing.

It was OBAMA who said that both he and Hillary would be better than GWBush, AND SO IS MCCAIN.

This was just a few days ago, less than a week.

If you're going to talk about candidate errors on McCain, don't leave that horrendous error by Obama out.

by sarany 2008-04-25 04:46AM | 0 recs
Re: Post-Pennsylvania Narratives

I think that it is obvious that Obama had nothing to lose by spending the money that he did (which was 2.3-1 over Clinton, not the 4-1 that they have been claiming) and the purpose of it was two-fold, 1) to try and cut the margin against Clinton to under 10% which he did succeed in doing and 2)to introduce himself to Pennsylvania which is an importantstate for any Democrat running in the fall. And the Rasmussen polls show that Obama turned a McCain lead into a 8% advantage!

It is great to finally see a Democrat campaign being run efficiently and smartly, raising money and spending it wisely. And a campaign that recognizes that running well in the red and purple states will affect down ballot races and that will help the next democratic president pass their agenda.

by tiger547 2008-04-23 01:52PM | 0 recs
Re: Post-Pennsylvania Narratives

"no matter what happens on May 6th, this race will continue".

Wha?  Why?  If Hillary loses both Indiana and NC how can she continue?  There are no big states left.  She'd have to probably get 80-90% of the vote.

If she loses both races and continues, would you prefer the nickname Hillabee or Huckary?

by chewie5656 2008-04-23 01:58PM | 0 recs
Re: Post-Pennsylvania Narratives

Actually, the narrative following a big Obama defeat is merely that he has "more work to do" on the way to his inevitable victory.  This guy has a political life that is almost as charmed as Bush's.

by Bob H 2008-04-23 02:39PM | 0 recs
Re: Post-Pennsylvania Narratives

I trying to get the Clinton Spin 11 wins in a row by  Obama Ancient history.  One victory in a row by Clinton shifts the Momentum

All Obama needs now is to sweep two and it's over.  If she wins Indiana there will be more bruising and but Obama will still be Champ.

Let's Face it the Clinton team ran a lousy campaign you had no plan for February 12 and it cost you badly.  

by jproctor 2008-04-23 07:48PM | 0 recs

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