Bill Clinton to Campaign for Obama in Florida

Mark Halperin today reports that the former President will campaign on behalf of Barack Obama on September 29.

A couple thoughts. First, someone said to me at the convention, and it sounded quite apt -- particularly by that Wednesday night -- that the Clintons are masters of managing expectations. The speeches by both Bill and Hillary Clinton at the Democratic National Convention seemed so much more important, meaningful, memorable and effective because the media obsessed over whether the speeches would be sufficiently supportive (which they were, and then some). Bill Clinton campaigning on behalf of the Obama-Biden ticket is bigger news because of the speculation over if, when and where he would do so. There is no doubt that the Florida event will be huge.

Second, the choice of Florida was not accidental. As I noted earlier this week, there is real reason to believe that Florida is more on the map today than it had previously been -- perhaps even since the outset of the general election. In short, the pick of Sarah Palin throws a serious wrench into Republican efforts to woo Jewish voters, who make up an important bloc within the Florida electorate, and the race overall in the state has tightened to the point that the McCain campaign has now abandoned its strategy of not advertising in the state. Having the former President, who is popular in the state -- he carried it in 1996, and narrowly lost it in 1992 -- campaign in Florida could provide Obama with just the extra boost he needs to get an edge.

Tags: Bill Clinton, FL-Pres, Florida, White House 2008 (all tags)

Comments

43 Comments

Halperin is pissed off

as hell at McCain; O'Reilly also had Obama's back (sort of at least) against the "controversy" tonight.  We'll have to see how the numbers work tomorrow.  Obama may have miscalculated, if this was planned, and his female support may further weaken.  Or best case scenario, his female advantage remains unchanged, and there is a white male backlash just as there was in the primaries against false racism charges.

It looks like the game plan will be the Clintons taking Florida, Biden taking on the Rust Belt and Obama taking on the Southwest/Iowa/Virginia.

by Blazers Edge 2008-09-10 05:12PM | 0 recs
Re: Bill Clinton to Campaign for Obama

Bill is great, he can present the choices and be folksy.  he's such a great guy.  I'm sure this is the first time he's been asked, he's not going to push himself on the campaign.  wonder what went on at their luncheon.  

by anna shane 2008-09-10 05:15PM | 0 recs
It hasnt't happened yet

It's tomorrow; is Big Dog really the popular one down in FL?  I thought that was HRC, wasn't there some sort of older Cuban backlash that was reported earlier this year against that Obama adviser regarding the Gonzales controversy years ago?

by Blazers Edge 2008-09-10 05:18PM | 0 recs
Re: Bill Clinton to Campaign for Obama

Send the Big Dog to SW Virginia and SE Ohio when he's done in Florida!!!

by Eric11 2008-09-10 06:22PM | 0 recs
Re: Bill Clinton to Campaign for Obama

and everywhere, he's sooo cool.  

by anna shane 2008-09-10 07:20PM | 0 recs
Yes, make McCain sweat over FL

Even if he does not make it in the end; it is time to make McCain spread his resources.

by ann0nymous 2008-09-10 05:20PM | 0 recs
Re: Yes, make McCain sweat over FL

He hasn't spent a dime there. I don't think he is sweating it. If things are too close for comfort he has Obama saying he would meet with Fidel without preconditions.

In my view however McCain should try to lock this one up early because Obama COULD still make inroads into Florida.

On a side note, isn't it a little odd that Obama refused to count Florida (costing Hillary the nomination) and now is sending Hillary to lock in up in the general election so he can become President? Interesting how these things play out in the end.

by Wiseprince 2008-09-10 06:17PM | 0 recs
Re: Yes, make McCain sweat over FL

Actually, McCain has started ads in florida this week.

http://www.miamiherald.com/news/politics /campaign-2008/story/677890.html

by benh57 2008-09-10 07:22PM | 0 recs
Re: Bill Clinton to Campaign for Obama in Florida

My 81 year old Jewish mother was quite the Clinton supporter, didn't know if she would vote on the presidency, is now sending me scads of e-mails about Palin's positions on everything from converting Jews to Israel to choice to banning books.

So, yep, McCain's going to have some trouble in Florida.

But I'd like to see President Clinton in Ohio, too.

by politicsmatters 2008-09-10 05:27PM | 0 recs
That's where they are dispatching

the other Clinton on Sunday apparently.

by Blazers Edge 2008-09-10 05:28PM | 0 recs
when Ed Koch says Palin is scary

and the Clintons campaign in Florida, I believe Obama has an opening in that state he never would have had without Palin on the GOP ticket.

by desmoinesdem 2008-09-10 05:42PM | 0 recs
Re: when Ed Koch says Palin is scary

We'll see, Florida seems more in play than it did a week ago.  

However, we have to do a better job in the Tampa area and that entire corridor than we did in 2004.  Kerry's performance there was just pitiful.  If Obama can run even there, or win by a 1-2 points, he's got a chance.  

It's the economy stupid.  

by Eric11 2008-09-10 06:24PM | 0 recs
here in Tampa the Clintons are a mixed bag

And I totally agree we have to do better.  The Democrats in Tampa LOVE the Clintons.  But we have loads of moderates - indys and a lot of moderate repubs.  And they do not like the Clintons for whatever reason.    I think around Orlando it is similar.  remember that the primary was only dems, no indys.

And that's the issue - the Clintons can motivate the base in FL and I think Hillary in particular can even motivate indys in South Florida.  But they will only hurt Obama with that key middle group in the rest of the state.  I wouldn't like to see either of them north of Lake Okeechobee in the last 2-3 weeks before the election.

by edparrot 2008-09-11 12:44PM | 0 recs
Re: when Ed Koch says Palin is scary

I think the effect of Jewish voters is seriously overestimated.  And yes, lots of Jews don't like evangelicals, and everything you guys say is true.

But let's look at some real numbers.  There's this notion that Florida is some super-Jewy place, but in 2004, a whopping 5% of the voters were Jewish.  80% of those voted for Kerry.  That means a whopping 1% of Florida voters represent Jewish Republican votes that we can try to pick off.

Now, let's make some super-generous assumptions.  Let's say that without Palin, Obama was going to do a little worse than Kerry, say 75% of the Jewish vote.  And let's say that with Palin, he instead gets 85%.  Now this is a totally ridiculous scenario - it means that the Palin pick would alienate a full 40% of McCain's Jewish voters, and there's no way that will happen.  But even in this fantasy scenario, we're still talking about a swing of 0.5% in the FL popular vote.

Now, 0.5% isn't zero.  It sure would have made the difference in 2000, as we all know!  But I don't think anyone can say, two months out from election day, that FL would have been out of play without Palin but now it's in play due to the Jewish vote.  If it's close enough where 0.5% could make a difference - and I remind everyone again, Palin's effect on the Jewish vote will not be anywhere near 0.5% of the overall popular vote - then it would have been close enough without Palin.

At the end of the day, and I might be giving away my own political power by admitting this, but minor swings in the Jewish vote are still just a drop in the bucket.  Despite the best efforts of desmoinesdem and myself to increase the tribe, there still ain't enough of us!

by Steve M 2008-09-10 06:28PM | 0 recs
Obama was lower than that

He wasn't at 75% from the numbers that Singer cited a month ago; he had kept himself in it by staying competitive with Cubans, at least that's my understanding.

So, it could be a 20% jump in Jewish support, which would come out to a full 1% according to your numbers?  It may not be just Jews either, senior citizens and older Cubans perhaps?

by Blazers Edge 2008-09-10 06:30PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama was lower than that

I'm talking specifically about Palin's effect on Jewish voters, which I don't see as significant in the big picture even though it's real.

The notion that the selection of Palin could somehow swing the vote of 1 out of every 5 Jews from R to D just seems nutty to me.  I dunno, I could be wrong.

by Steve M 2008-09-10 06:42PM | 0 recs
Re: when Ed Koch says Palin is scary

How many votes decided Florida in 2000?

by lojasmo 2008-09-10 07:04PM | 0 recs
Re: when Ed Koch says Palin is scary

Maybe if you had read my post.

by Steve M 2008-09-10 07:19PM | 0 recs
I think Palin will not go over well with seniors

Of course Jews are especially repelled by her, but I remember reading in 1996 that seniors were the group most likely to be concerned about Dole's age.

Now you have an old candidate with a history of cancer who has picked a completely unqualified running mate.  

I see an opening for Obama to make some inroads with Florida seniors who may be concerned about Palin's inability to step in if McCain's health goes south.

by desmoinesdem 2008-09-10 07:10PM | 0 recs
Re: I think Palin

Maybe it's like how women are the most likely to be offended by people making judgments about Palin's parenting decisions, but also the most likely to make those judgments themselves!  This is why I always said there's no point in going after McCain's age - to the extent it makes a difference to people, they're already taking it into account with or without you.

But again, I'm not disputing that FL may be in play because of the Palin pick - I'm just making the point that the Jewish factor is overhyped.

By the way, I saw a funny interview with Michael Chabon, author of The Yiddish Policemen's Union.

Q: Do you think Barack Obama has placated whatever fears elderly Jews have of him?

A: Huh, I don't know, can elderly Jews actually be placated? The Israeli government, as you know, has squandered billions of shekels to date on one ill-starred placation program after another, with results that have been uniformly disappointing, leading it to issue the famous finding: You just can't alter a kocker.

by Steve M 2008-09-10 07:24PM | 0 recs
A couple of things

Thanks for the very specific analysis with numbers.  With Obama looking at a swing of 4-8 points after the Palin pick, there simply is no way that the Jewish vote could account for much of it.  Even if you assume that his support was more like 65% before the pick, which I do not think is what an average of polls would have shown.

However, I DO think the Palin pick could alienate 40% of the voters who were inclined towards McCain.    Not the hawks who are right of Likud, but there is a definite subset of the Jewish vote (some in my extended family) who would be Democratic except that their perception of positions on Israel makes them think repubs are the way to go generally.  These are people whom - aside from Israel - would likely be Democrats, say Lieberman ten years ago.  Because their position is grounded on their cultural/religious identity - and this group is more that way than most Jews I know - Palin may totally change their minds.  If they have to choose between "protecting Israel" or rejecting a VP who is seen to be anti-semitic, many will choose the latter.

Obviously this is oversimplification, but I do think this choice will shed whatever hope McCain had of appealing to moderate Jews.

by edparrot 2008-09-11 01:11PM | 0 recs
Bill Clinton

the only real example of a true Democratic party leader in the last 20 years.

Many new to Dem party politics should learn from his example, his leadership.

by Betsy McCall 2008-09-10 05:29PM | 0 recs
Re: Bill Clinton

Ahem.  Howard Dean has done a pretty good job.

by lojasmo 2008-09-10 05:49PM | 0 recs
Re: Bill Clinton

Of selling out democracy.

by dtaylor2 2008-09-10 06:15PM | 0 recs
Re: Bill Clinton

Ah, a purist I see.

Well Republicans aren't purists.  That's why they seem to win these Presidential things every 4 years.  

by Eric11 2008-09-10 06:26PM | 0 recs
Re: Bill Clinton

A fan of pure bullshit.

by lojasmo 2008-09-10 07:05PM | 0 recs
Dean has been a huge disappointment

I was a big supporter of Deans, but am deeply disappointed in his utter incompetence in this race.

The entire Obama debacle is his responsibility.  Dumb idea, running women voters away from the Dem party and relying on college kids to make up the difference.

Big risk, one that didn't need to be taken (how about keeping both constituencies in the party, Howard?)  

Dean's names will be in textbooks as having the shortest, most unpopular term as head of the Dem Party.  Its hard to imagine anyone worse than Terry Mac, but Dean has done it.

by Betsy McCall 2008-09-11 01:18PM | 0 recs
Re: Bill Clinton to Campaign for Obama in Florida

Bill Clinton is awesome. No one does a better job at framing the issues like he does. I hope he will put this election into perspective because Obama has been struggling with framing the issues.

by Steve24 2008-09-10 05:49PM | 0 recs
Re: Bill Clinton to Campaign for Obama in Florida

Awesome now, racist in the primaries. I really can't stand all the sudden love for the Clintons on this site. I remember during the primaries, I still remember the hate

by Wiseprince 2008-09-10 06:19PM | 0 recs
"Sudden Love"?

What are you talking about?  This site was like Clinton HQ during the primaries, the same way DailyKos was an Obama site once Edwards dropped out.  There's nothing sudden about it.  The fact is that most former Clinton supporters here have put the primaries behind them to work towards getting Obama elected, but that doesn't mean they don't still love the Clintons.

by edparrot 2008-09-11 01:14PM | 0 recs
Re: The Realness

Virgina is in play because the military is AFRAID of Palin guys.  They don't look at her as a possible Commander In Chief.  They know McCain is 72 and can die of a stroke.  They cant imagine saluting her.  Truthfully thats why Obama is leading McCain when it comes to fundraising overseas by military servicemen .

by nzubechukwu 2008-09-10 05:59PM | 0 recs
The surveyusa poll shows

the opposite; in that poll, McCain is pulling away in the military VA region but Obama is pulling away in Northern Va.  In the Cnn/time poll, the opposite is occuring as Obama is gaining in the military region while McCain is keeping it close in Northern Va.  It depens on who you believe; either way, Obama is down in Virginia as the numbers are the numbers.  Polls that show the same thing aren't lying; perhaps a Repub endorsement would help Obama in VA?

by Blazers Edge 2008-09-10 06:05PM | 0 recs
Re: Johnny Blaze

Blazers Edge Warner is up by 20.  Obama is behind by 5.  Warner NEEDS TO DO MORE in south west VA.  He must do his best to tamp down on rural white fears of Obama.  This shit is simple math guys.  Obama has two chances guys. First MAXIMIZE new registration turnout.  Maximize 35 and under turnout.  And ultimately ride Warner's coattails to Pennsylvania Ave.

by nzubechukwu 2008-09-10 06:12PM | 0 recs
Heh heh

I was thinking about a person such as Powell or Hagel but I think past loyalty to McCain may prevent that; if only we had screwed around with their election in Florida, we could have had Romney and laughed our way to the White House.

It's 50-50 at this point; whoever wins I expect will win by 1.5% at most.

by Blazers Edge 2008-09-10 06:12PM | 0 recs
Re: You see where honesty gets us?

I'm not beginning to think that.  I'm saying we need to do that, like yesterday.  

You don't argue facts during a campaign.  You do what it takes to win.  Once elected, then you can get dogmatic.  Listen, the American people don't listen to ding dong.  We have to just accept it, move on, and fight like heck.  

by Eric11 2008-09-10 06:29PM | 0 recs
Rafter, where you and I will

diverge regarding McCain is the issue of matchups.  McCain, as others such as lori have indicated, is weak for a Republican in rural areas.  The problem though with the matchup against Obama is that rural America also represents Obama's achilles heel.  So, we are unable to take advantage of McCain's greatest weakeness, which happens to be Obama's greatest weakness.

McCain is a tough matchup for Obama; in no way is Obama a weak candidate, that's bs, it's just the way that some pitchers have a tough time with certain batters (e.g. Mariano Rivera v. Edgar Martinez).  I'm really not trying to rehash primary fights like some of the folks here (Obama and Clinton folks alike) but I think you go too far with assessment of McCain's strengths; I get the sense that you are preemptively trying to make an excuse when Obama hasn't even lost yet, it's still 50-50.

by Blazers Edge 2008-09-10 06:35PM | 0 recs
Re: The surveyusa poll shows

still, obama's only down 2 points (well within the MOE) during palinmania (all unqualified veeps are half off, no money down!  we'll even throw in a wacky waving arm inflatable tubewoman!) unless it gets worse, obama will hopefully pull it off.

by Doug Tuttle 2008-09-10 10:19PM | 0 recs
would be interesting to compare crossabs

and party ID, etc - I bet that would answer the discrepancy in where each of them gained and lost.  Then we could argue about who did a better job of sampling the voters.  Regardless, it appears that Virgina is still essentially tied within the MoE, as it has been for a while now

by edparrot 2008-09-11 01:17PM | 0 recs
23,000?

23,000 in Fairfax?  In our neck of the woods?  So I guess the McCain campaign likes big rallies and teleprompter read speeches now?

by Blazers Edge 2008-09-10 06:19PM | 0 recs
Re: Bill Clinton to Campaign for Obama in Florida

Florida was always in play. I was posting that early in the year when Obama supporters were trying to claim that Hillary's demographic advantage over Obama in Florida was meaningless, because neither one had a chance vs. McCain in Florida.

Believe it or not, the foundational numbers are more significant than early state polls. Florida is always in swing state territory, roughly 20% liberal and 34% conservative. That's a classic swing state resume, albeit maybe 1 or 2 percent red leaning at base instinct.

LOL. I love the way the tide blows and recency is all we care about. Some new state polling suggests Florida may be more manageable than Ohio. I saw Nate Silver suddenly slant in that direction.

Flawed approach. Everything tends to drift back to the beginning. Ohio in 2006 was 20% liberal, 32% conservative. Florida in the same year was 20% liberal, 34% conservative. That may look slight but it's very revealing. If you chart this stuff, the higher that conservative number gets to 35%, the Republicans are significantly more likely to win the state. Ohio is more likely than Florida. There's a reason McCain considered avoiding Florida but he always knew he'd have to campaign heavily in Ohio.

by Gary Kilbride 2008-09-10 06:34PM | 0 recs
Re: Bill Clinton to Campaign for Obama in Florida

I think so much of this is purely speculation prior to the debates.  I don't really recall how far behind Kerry was going into the debates, but I remember the debates helped him enough to keep it close.  If it's a dead heat heading into the debates, a good performance could really help Obama.  In terms of the visuals, a younger, more energetic Obama who gave solid, direct but small easily digested answers would help undecided actually visualize him being President.  I really think Obama could benefit from it.

As for Florida, the Republicans have really shot themselves in the foot with all of this immigration bullshit.  Obama will take back the few % points of African-Americans that Bush peeled away in 2004, and will take a higher % of the Hispanic community.  And this Christo-fascist bullshit that Palin's church friends have been spewing, combined with a couple of visits by the Big Dog will take back the votes that Lieberman might have peeled away.

by stingray1965 2008-09-10 06:35PM | 0 recs
Re: Bill Clinton to Campaign for Obama in Florida

Gary, what would it take for Obama to carry Florida?  What type of turnout models would he need?

by nzubechukwu 2008-09-10 06:41PM | 0 recs
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by usedmeat 2008-09-10 07:26PM | 0 recs

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