If this is true, then the Clintons are promising more of the same triangulation of the 1990s:
"[Hillary] and John McCain are very close. They always laugh that if they wind up being the nominees of their parties, it would be the most civilized election in American history and probably put the voters to sleep," Bill Clinton said.
Excuse me Mr. President, but if that is the case, I see no reason not to nominate the unity schtick candidate who can actually get good press for his unity schtick.
If Hillary is not going to fight for Dem values against a John McCain candidacy, then what is the logic of nominating her?
Yes, this is an old refrain from me, but E.J. writes it today:
Obama's not particularly original insight was a central premise of Bill Clinton's 1992 campaign. Clinton argued over and over that Democrats could not win without new ideas of their own. To reread Clinton's "New Covenant" speeches from back then is to be reminded of how electrifying it was to hear a politician who was willing to break new ground.
That's why the Clintons' assault on Obama is so depressing. In many ways, Obama is running the 2008 version of the 1992 Clinton campaign. You have the feeling that if Bill Clinton did not have another candidate in this contest, he'd be advising Obama and cheering him on.
Of course the problem here is it is 2008, not 1992. As I have written, I believe Bill Clinton would NOT be running his 1992 campaign today. Indeed, when Obama argues against a return to the 90s, in my view, he is arguing against himself as it is his political style that is the return to Bill Clinton's 1992 campaign. The politics of today demand a politics of contrast from Fighting Democrats. It is ironic that it is the Clintons, taking their lead from John Edwards, who are not the ones reliving the 90s. It is ironic that it is Barack Obama who is reliving 1992.
In Monday's South Carolina debate, John McCain and who could beat him was a big topic. Both John Edwards and Barack Obama argued they could beat John McCain and Hillary Clinton could not. Sorry Barack, the polls do not support you:
The interesting finding here is Obama simply does not have the type of solid support with DEMOCRATS that Clinton does. And he runs no better with Independents against McCain than does Clinton.
The moral of the story? The Kumbaya Unity schtick is a BAD general election strategy. There is no reason for it. Obama needs to jettison it NOW. It hurts him in the primaries. And would hurt him in a general election against McCain.
Let's go inside the numbers on the flip.
Sorry to ask this in a diary but I figure someone here will know.
Q: If a South Carolina voter voted in the Republican primary yesterday, can they vote again in the Democratic primary next Saturday, January 26?
I assume the answer is no. Does anyone know for sure?
I hope we all can see now how horribly undemocratic the Iowa Caucus system (used today in Nevada) is. Frankly it is so undemocratic that it makes a mockery of the histrionic hue and cry we are seeing in some precincts.
Barack Obama and his supporters spent a week, rightly in my opinion, decrying attempts to change the rules at the last moment for the Nevada caucus. But he makes a mockery of that complaint when he celebrates the most outrageous form of voter disenfranchisement - the delegate awarding system. Chris Cilizza explains:
The disparity between the raw vote total and the delegate apportionment is centered on the fact that Obama beat Clinton in the state's sparsely-populated northern reaches and more rural areas -- a statewide showing that left him with a narrow delegate victory if not a popular majority.
In simpler English, the votes in the more populous regions of Nevada were given LESS WEIGHT than votes in less populated regions. In case someone needs a history lesson, this was the issue in the famous "one person, one vote" case - Baker v. Carr, which led to Gray v. Sanders, still the most important voting rights case that I can remember.
So for all the sanctimonious ranting you read tonight, understand this very important point - a clear majority of Nevada voters voted for Hillary Clinton in the Democratic caucuses. Only reliance on a sytem that systematically dilutes and de facto disenfranchises voters keeps this result from being fully reflected in the delegate count. Any sincere person who is concerned about voters' rights would decry such a system, not celebrate it in an attempt to spin a political result.
Barack Obama may have won the most delegates in Saturday's Nevada Caucus, even though Hillary Clinton bested his statewide turnout by about six points.
. . . Barack Obama released an official statement celebrating a delegate victory . . .
So Obama is trumpeting LOSING by 6 points while spending the week crying about voter disenfranchisement? The Democratic voters of Nevada clearly chose Clinton and Obama is celebrating that the intent of the voters may be thwarted by these atrocious caucus rules?
This is pathetic, insulting and ridiculous. Shame on the Obama campaign for this.
TPM's Greg Sargent has this video of Obama comparing his ability to make a transformational change to that which Ronald Reagan accomplished in 1980:
I will not take the easy political cheap shot here and take on Obama's point. Greg describes it well:
Obama is also making an argument about the readiness of the electorate for change, comparing today's desire for a new direction with the electorate's mood in 1980. In this context, Obama is presenting himself as a potentially transformational figure in opposition to Hillary, who, Obama has been arguing, is unequipped to tap into the public's mood due to her coming of age in the sixties and her involvement in the political battles of the 1990s.
Obama simply misunderstands how Reagan achieved that transformational change - to the detriment of the country I must add - he ran a partisan, ideological divisive campaign that excoriated Democratic values and trumpeted GOP values. He also race baited.
Obama is running a post-partisan, nonideological campaign that is bereft of defenses of Democratic values and ideas. He is running an anti-Reagan campaign. His argument is simply ahistorical. It is precisely BECAUSE he refuses to try and make this a transformational campaign, a campaign to fight for Dem values, to persuade the country that the Dems are right, that his campaign is a promise unfulfilled.
Because he put the Democratic Party first. In really laying the race brouhaha to rest, Senator Obama went beyond what was politically expedient for his campaign - which was to of course appear to disclaim any desire for the dispute - to go above and beyond that. He expressly and emphatically cleared the Clinton campaign of engaging in racial politics AND he took some responsibility for the controversy. He was the biggest person in the room - for the benefit of the Democratic Party. No Obama for Obama, as I have often accused him of, this was Obama for the Democratic Party. Some examples:
SEN. OBAMA: Well, I think Hillary said it well. . . . Now, race has always been an issue in our politics and in this country, but one of the premises of my campaign and, I think, of the Democratic Party -- and I know that John and Hillary have always been committed to racial equality -- is that we can't solve these challenges unless we can come together as a people and we're not resorting to the same -- or falling into the same traps of division that we have in the past.
Here's post that will make all candidates' supporters angry. I am disappointed with all the candidates in the race now. For years now I have advocated a politics of contrast and Fighting Dems fighting for the Common Good.
At first blush, I fully expected to support John Edwards who made these concepts a centerpiece of his campaign. He move the debate back to Democratic values and helped push the other candidates towards this vision. But there were some substantive problems that I had with Edwards, on trade and immigration, that made support of him difficult for me. Later, with his unfair attacks on Hillary Clinton and his alliance with Barack Obama, despite his very real difference of view on theories of change, made rejecting Edwards quite easy for me.
Of course Senator Dick Durbin, a fine man and politician, is doing the work of the Obama campaign when he says:
I'm really troubled by his questioning the sincerity of Barack Obama's opposition to the war in Iraq . . .
Durbin, a staunch Obama supporter had no qualms apparently when Obama was accusing Clinton and DURBIN (and McCaskill, Nelson et al) of fomenting war with Iran when they voted for the Kyl-Lieberman Amendment:
Barack Obama is the ONLY major candidate for president to oppose both the Iraq War from the very start and the Senate amendment that raises the risk of war with Iran," the front of the Obama mailer stated. The back is printed with the line, "While other Democrats voted for the Kyl-Lieberman Amendment, Barack Obama opposed another Bush foreign policy fiasco."
What did Durbin say about that? Nothing of course. This is all politics. More . . .
Oh by the way, Obama did not oppose Kyl-Lieberman, he was not even there to debate on it or vote on it. But he felt comfortable accusing Durbin and Clinton and others Dems of fomenting war with Iran. For the record, I believe voting for Kyl-Lieberman was a mistake. I also believe NOT voting against it or being there to debate it, as Obama did, was also a mistake.