Selma

This article says it all:

EARLIER THIS week Hillary Clinton changed her schedule to include a visit to a church in Selma, Alabama this weekend. There were plenty of reasons for the last-minute adjustment. Selma is marking the 42nd anniversary of an historic civil-rights march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge, a march that was broken up by club-wielding state troopers. Leading Democrats, including Harry Reid, the Senate majority leader, and Nancy Pelosi, the House speaker, will be attending the event too. Still, it is hard to believe that Mrs Clinton was not influenced by the fact that Barack Obama is scheduled to make a speech at a black church in Selma. On March 4th the two senators will now give simultaneous speeches in churches that are no more than 300 yards apart.

Even though HRC supporters want you to believe otherwise, she wasn't planning to go to Selma, let alone bring Bill.

This set-piece battle for the black soul could hardly be for higher stakes. The black vote is vital in the Democratic primaries--blacks make up more than half the electorate in the key early primary state of South Carolina, and dominate among party workers there.

Does anyone believe that blacks will not support Obama in huge numbers?

Mr Obama is now leading Mrs Clinton among blacks by 44% to 33%. Fully 70% of blacks now have a favourable impression of Mr Obama. He is clearly succeeding in wooing this constituency--and Mrs Clinton is discovering that she cannot rely on her husband's memory to keep black America on her side.

And its not just blacks who like what they see.

Mr Obama is making inroads into a political base that the Clinton dynasty has spent more than a decade cultivating. And he poses a threat on other fronts: Mrs Clinton has always had problems with anti-war leftists, who are furious about her vote to authorise the Iraq war and disappointed that she has refused to renounce it. Mr Obama, by contrast, has an impeccable anti-war record.

The perception of inevitability is fading fast.

there are few more important advantages in the primary race than a sense of "inevitability". If you are the inevitable candidate, operatives clamour to be on your team, fund-raisers stuff your coffers with gold and waverers swallow their doubts. Lose that aura, and it all goes into reverse. Hard-knuckled Clinton operatives are still trying to prevent people from wavering or hedging their bets by hinting that "You are either with us or against us." But these threats are growing hollow.

Its not over by any means.

Mrs Clinton remains a formidable candidate--an experienced and intelligent politician, backed by a state-of-the-art political machine. Still Mrs Clinton's once-solid lead in the opinion polls is shrinking: the two Washington Post polls show her lead over Mr Obama halving from 24 points to 12 points in little more than a month. Her "unfavourable" ratings are worryingly high: the same poll gives her a favourability/unfavourability rating of 49/48 compared with 50/30 for Mr Obama. And some Clinton campaign people are beginning to fret that they may have backed the wrong candidate, and to talk of jumping ship. The days when Mrs Clinton could walk her way to the Democratic nomination have gone.

This is going to be quite a year.

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Al Gore's Image

In the wake of Al Gore's victory (okay, technically it was Davis Guggenheim's victory, but you get the idea) at the Oscars, I anticipated a wave of positive press about Gore's efforts to raise awareness of global warming.  What I didn't anticipate were the numerous comments from the press . . . about Gore's appearance, specifically, his weight.

The conventional wisdom seems to be that Gore cannot run for national office until he drops some pounds, as he did in 2000.  In addition to being shocked that this topic would even come up in the wake of the seriousness of An Inconvenient Truth, I was also struck by how those critics (and Democratic consultants, including, not surprisingly, Donna Brazile,) don't have a clue as to how people respond to image in politics.
Let's assume Gore jumps into the race (as I certainly hope he will.) If I were advising him (not that he needs to get into the habit of listening to advisers, as that's a big part of what did him in in '00,) I would tell him not to lose too much weight. Right now, Gore looks avuncular. And, for a Democratic presidential candidate, avuncular is a GOOD THING!!!! Remember how the Rove smear machine was able to portray Kerry and Edwards as effeminate sissies (all those stupid jokes about them being gay because they hugged so much) partially because of their physical presentations? Kerry was slim, overly well-groomed, and was caught on film windsurfing. (The fact that he was from the state that had just legalized gay marriage, and that the Democratic National Convention was held there, to boot, certainly didn't help matters as far as this image was concerned.) The meme of Edwards-the-prettyboy is still alive and well today-- major political web sites and news programs have made reference to the very popular YouTube video that shows Edwards scrutinizing over his hair before going on TV (and whoever posted it on YouTube accompanied it with the theme music "I Feel Pretty.") An overly-attractive, too-well-groomed candidate reinforces the right wing smear machine's portrayal of Democrats as weak, effeminate sissies.

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How I Unintentionally Hurt Hillary Clinton at DailyKos

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ANATOMY OF THE WEDGE VOTE ON FLAG BURNING

 The vote in the US Senate was so close that if Hillary had voted for the Flag Amendment, it would have passed. Hillary's "NO" vote prevented the Flag Burning Amendment from passing the US Senate. But, I didn't know that.

Cross-posted at http://francislholland.blogspot.com

I am a well-known supporter of Hillary Clinton's campaign for the US presidency.  http://www.dailykos.com/story/2006/4/22/ 94948/8215 Last June, before I was banned from participation at DailyKos, participants at DailyKos angrily challenged me about Hillary Clinton's position on flag burning.  In comments to my first diary at DailyKos, Hillary's critics vehemently alleged that Hillary had supported an Amendment to ban the burning of the American flag.  http://www.dailykos.com/story/2006/4/22/ 94948/8215 

Not knowing the truth at the time, I conceded this erroneous fact, while attempting to explain a position that Hillary had never actually taken.  I lacked an adequate understanding of her position and advocacy on the flag-burning issue.

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Top Five 2006 Ballot Measure Myths

Bumped--Chris

Every election season produces broad misconceptions in the pursuit of early answers to that age-old question: "what happened?" Many of these myths - some created intentionally by spin-meisters and others simply the product of hasty analysis - cement themselves very early in the media and public mind.

Ballot measures are ripe for this type of problem for a number of reasons. Most prominent among these are the following:

  • Spin - Unlike candidates, ballot measures embody a single issue - often an issue that engenders strong feelings on either side. The proponents and opponents will use any victory in pursuit of their long-term goals on the issue to draw larger meanings than the reality might suggest.

  • Meta-Story - Ballot measures are not simply issues or policies, but political campaigns. Each side of the political spectrum has begun to use the initiative process more strategically in multi-state capacities as part of larger political power-building potential. If an initiative is successful, especially in multiple states, analysts will use the apparent momentum to give the issue more power than it deserves. Conversely, pundits will also draw erroneous conclusions from a surprising failure.

  • Lag - The research and polling that shows how ballot initiatives may have worked more broadly to influence the election does not magically appear in the week following the election, when most of the zeitgeist heats up and then quickly congeals. The academic analysis of the post-election polling can take even longer to roll out. This unavoidable situation fosters the first two problems by creating an evidentiary vacuum that pundits and spinners are paid to fill.

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We've finally won back Congress!


We've finally won back Congress!       

We have finally won back Congress. The partying and celebrations of our victory are now in the past. There is much serious work in front of our Democratic majority. We mustn't take it for granted that our victory in 2006 has given any special caveat to us. I believe, this was the grievous mistake made on the part of Mr. Bush and his followers in Congress - they were not serving the best interests of the people and worst, they were repeatedly ignoring the popular will of the people.
Our Agenda for the New Year must deal with such important issues as the economic health of the nation and the well-being of our middle class.

  1. The Minimum Wage must be increased soley on it's own merits and without compromise to Mr. Bush's demanding further tax benefits for the most wealthy.
  2. A Federal Healthcare program must be passed to
open our healthcare to the 45 million Americans who have none. In addition, a better prescription program is needed that gives the Federal government the responsiblility to negotiate prescription prices directly with the pharmaceutical companies. This has been done at great savings, for many years by our neighbor to the north, Canada.
  1. Mr. Bush will be pushing his pet project of privatizing Social Security. Our people must resist this cavalier attempt by Mr. Bush to undermine a proven, effective program designed to helping the American worker in old age.
  2. Other important issues:
a. "Winding down" our military involvement in Iraq.
b. "Winding down" our political involvement in the Middle-East.
c. Re-evaluating our "free-trade" policies.
d. Re-evaluating our position with central and south America.
e. More dollars for our schools, to include federal scholarships and other assistance.
Of course, this listing merely scratches the surface of issues that have been sorely neglected since Mr. Bush took office in 2000. There are so many bad things inherent with Republican thinking and leadership. As someone like Will Rogers might have said about the Republicans in the 1920's and early '30s, "Did you know that the Republicans think they're better than anyone else. They're true elitists, they worship greed and lining their own pockets with money is all they care about. They love the old tale of Robin Hood and like to think of themselves as the new successor to Robin Hood. Only difference is they believe in robbing the poor in order to help the rich!"
Finally, when I say our Democratic party has a long road ahead of it, I simply mean that the eyes and ears of all Americans and of the world will be upon us to do much better for our Country and the world than just ordinary things. Remember,
our 2006 victory was more of a repudiation of Mr. Bush and not really a mandate to our party from the American people.        

We have finally won back Congress. The partying and celebrations of our victory are now in the past. There is much serious work in front of our Democratic majority. We mustn't take it for granted that our victory in 2006 has given any special caveat to us. I believe, this was the grievous mistake made on the part of Mr. Bush and his followers in Congress - they were not serving the best interests of the people and worst, they were repeatedly ignoring the popular will of the people.
Our Agenda for the New Year must deal with such important issues as the economic health of the nation and the well-being of our middle class.

  1. The Minimum Wage must be increased soley on it's own merits and without compromise to Mr. Bush's demanding further tax benefits for the most wealthy.
  2. A Federal Healthcare program must be passed to
open our healthcare to the 45 million Americans who have none. In addition, a better prescription program is needed that gives the Federal government the responsiblility to negotiate prescription prices directly with the pharmaceutical companies. This has been done at great savings, for many years by our neighbor to the north, Canada.
  1. Mr. Bush will be pushing his pet project of privatizing Social Security. Our people must resist this cavalier attempt by Mr. Bush to undermine a proven, effective program designed to helping the American worker in old age.
  2. Other important issues:
a. "Winding down" our military involvement in Iraq.
b. "Winding down" our political involvement in the Middle-East.
c. Re-evaluating our "free-trade" policies.
d. Re-evaluating our position with central and south America.
e. More dollars for our schools, to include federal scholarships and other assistance.
Of course, this listing merely scratches the surface of issues that have been sorely neglected since Mr. Bush took office in 2000. There are so many bad things inherent with Republican thinking and leadership. As someone like Will Rogers might have said about the Republicans in the 1920's and early '30s, "Did you know that the Republicans think they're better than anyone else. They're true elitists, they worship greed and lining their own pockets with money is all they care about. They love the old tale of Robin Hood and like to think of themselves as the new successor to Robin Hood. Only difference is they believe in robbing the poor in order to help the rich!"
Finally, when I say our Democratic party has a long road ahead of it, I simply mean that the eyes and ears of all Americans and of the world will be upon us to do much better for our Country and the world than just ordinary things. Remember,
our 2006 victory was more of a repudiation of Mr. Bush and not really a mandate to our party from the American people.

Poor Bens Journal     

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