U.S. Rep. Allen Boyd, a leader of the conservative Blue Dog caucus in Congress, said Wednesday he will vote for Sen. Barack Obama but shied away from endorsing his party's candidate for president.
Boyd said he can't support Sen. John McCain because he considers his GOP platform a continuation of President Bush's economic policies. Boyd, a Monticello Democrat elected to Congress in 1996, called Obama "a great candidate" with a good chance of winning nationally and carrying Florida's 27 electoral votes.
"I have never endorsed a candidate in a presidential race and I won't now," Boyd said. "I've got a race of my own and I'll stay focused on that. That's my job, to represent the interests of my folks."
Looks like he managed to contain his enthusiasm.
In other news, another Florida congressman, Tim Mahoney, attempted to avoid being tied to Obama by voicing his intention to skip the convention in Denver. A Georgia congressman, asked if Obama was better qualified for the presidency than McCain, said....
Since clinching the nomination last week, Obama has run into reluctance among congressional Democrats.
Rep. David Boren, the only Democratic congressman from Oklahoma, said Tuesday the Illinois senator does not have a record of bipartisan work in Congress. Rep. Tim Mahoney, D-Fla., a first-term member targeted by Republicans in a GOP-leaning district, said he will remain an uncommitted superdelegate but might not attend the Democratic National Convention in Denver.
Georgia Rep. Jim Marshall refused to say whether he considers Obama better qualified than McCain.
The long arm of the archbishop caught up with Father Michael Pfleger today. Jake Tapper has the story:
Francis Cardinal George, the Archbishop of Chicago, just issued the following statement about controversial Obama friend Father Michael Pfleger:
"To put recent events in some perspective, I have asked Father Michael Pfleger, Pastor of St. Sabina's Parish, to step back from his obligations there and take leave for a couple of weeks from his pastoral duties, effective today. Fr. Pfleger does not believe this to be the right step at this time. While respecting his disagreement, I have nevertheless asked him to use this opportunity to reflect on his recent statements and actions in the light of the Church's regulations for all Catholic priests. I hope that this period will also be a time away from the public spotlight and for rest and attention to family concerns.
"I hope also that the life of St. Sabina's parish may continue in uninterrupted fashion. Fr. William Vanecko, Pastor of St. Kilian's parish, will be temporary administrator of St. Sabina's and will assure the full complement of ministerial services during this period. I ask the members of St. Sabina's parish to cooperate with him and to keep him and Fr. Pfleger in their prayers. They are in mine."
Hmm. Sounds like an offer the good father can't refuse. The archbishop knows he's popular with his congregants, but...
In a new national poll, Hillary pulled ahead of Obama, 47% to 40%, in polling conducted over the past five days. This is a ten point swing from Ipsos' April 23-27 poll. In a result guaranteed to make EVERYONE happy, the poll also shows both Democratic candidates beating McCain ;-)
Clinton (47%) Overtakes Obama (40%) Nationally On Eve of Indiana And North Carolina Primaries
Poll Shows Clinton Campaign Picking Up Steam With Democrats Nationally
May 5, 2008
Washington, DC - The latest Ipsos poll conducted over the weekend shows that on the eve of the Indiana and North Carolina primaries, Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton has taken over the lead in popular support from Democrats nationally. Among Democratic supporters across the country, 47% say that if the 2008 Democratic presidential primary or caucus was being held in their state today, they would choose Clinton, while 40% would vote for Barack Obama.
These results are in contrast to a poll conducted by Ipsos from April 23rd to April 27th and released last week which showed that Obama had a forty-six percent to forty-three percent lead over Clinton on this same question. Democratic support for Clinton remains highest from women (51%), who have a high-school education or less (58%), and very low income respondents (57% among those with an annual household income of $25,000 or less).
Americans were also asked for whom they would vote in a Presidential contest between Hillary Clinton and Republican candidate John McCain, and between Barack Obama and McCain. The good news for Democrats is that in either case the Democratic contender would have a slight edge on McCain. In a Presidential contest between Clinton and McCain, Clinton would garner 47% of the popular vote, with McCain picking up 42% of the vote. Should Barack Obama go up against McCain in November, 46% of Americans say they would vote for Obama compared to 42% who would vote for McCain.
Harold Ickes puts together the evidence of the sea change we're seeing in the polls, and presents it to the superdelegates for their consideration as they watch the polls in North Carolina and Indiana (and the national polls) swing Hillary's way. Not since New Hampshire have we seen so much late movement in voters' preferences. Don't expect superdelegates to start jumping this week, but after next Tuesday...
The evidence for the Electoral College implications are obvious. Superdelegates want to win in Novemer; their loyalty to the party is first and foremost in their minds (or should be). No candidate is a good candidate if s/he puts us at a disadvantage in November. Losing candidates don't get the chance to use the office they tried for to improve the lives of the American people, and the presidency is the most powerful office. We have seen what happens when it's in the wrong hands.
See, I want our party to win in November. It's been a long damn time. Because of my job, I take vacations in the off-season so I can cover for people with families for the regular holiday times (summer and the holidays). I end up in weird places at weird times. In November 1992, I was up in Vermont ski country, after the leaves and before the snow, and practically had the whole place to myself. As the results rolled in and they called state after state, and finally the election, we watched in amazement. We built a big fire and stayed up all night and danced around it and laughed like crazy people. The twelve years of Reagan-Bush One were finally over. We had survived.
I want to feel like that again.
Date: Thursday, May 1, 2008, 1:00 PM
To: Automatic Delegates
From: Harold Ickes
Date: May 1, 2008
RE: HRC Strongest v. McCain
A spate of new public polls out this week confirms what we have been arguing for some time: Hillary Clinton is the strongest candidate to beat John McCain in November.
The data shows that Clinton not only outperforms Obama in head-to-head matchups, but is also stronger in the all important subcategories that serve as bellwethers for a candidate's overall strength.
In addition, new data out today in three swing states vital to Democratic prospects in November show Clinton beating McCain.
Joe Klein sees trouble - BIG trouble - in Rev Wright's latest foray into celebrity status. In his column today, Joe opines:
And furthermore, I've been to dozens and dozens of African-American church services over the years, including the investiture of one of my friends as an AME minister two years ago, and I have very rarely, if ever, heard the kind of rants that are part of Reverend Wright's canon. Yes, as many have pointed out, Martin Luther King Jr. gave some angry, angry sermons--especially about the obscenity of the war in Vietnam--but for Wright to say the attacks on him are an attack on the black church is to offer a straitened and solipsistic view of that grand institution. Black liberation theology is not the black church.
And worse, Wright's purpose now seems quite clear: to aggrandize himself--the guy is going to be a go-to mainstream media source for racial extremist spew, the next iteration of Al Sharpton--and destroy Barack Obama.
Joe's right: Rev. Wright is not representative of the black church, and to claim that recent criticism of his words are attacks on the black church in general is a little... egotistical? Self-aggrandizing? Something like that.
Well, Keith Olbermann is getting frustrated. He huffed and puffed and special commented - and nothing. Hillary just kept on campaigning. She came on his show and had her way with him. Then, she beat his network's anointed candidate, Barack Obama, by 10 points in Pennsylvania. Oh, it was ugly.
So what's a commentator to do? Well, Keith has given up on the political process entirely as a way of ending Hillary's candidacy, and has proposed a new approach during his on-air discussion with Howard Fineman. Have a look.
Here's the quote:
"Yeah, somebody who can take her into a room and only he comes out."
Hillary's campaign just put out a statement which shows the direction the campaign's going with the Pennsylvania win.
To: Interested Parties
From: The Clinton Campaign
Date: April 23, 2008
RE: The Tide Is Turning
The voters in Pennsylvania have spoken. America is listening. And the tide is turning.
By providing fresh evidence that Hillary is the candidate best positioned to beat John McCain in the fall, the Pennsylvania primary is a turning point in the nominating contest.
Despite making an unprecedented financial investment in his Pennsylvania campaign, including millions on negative ads in the closing days of the race, Sen. Obama again failed to win a state that will be vital to a Democratic victory in November and spurred new questions about his ability to beat John McCain. No candidate has ever had more resources or enjoyed the kind of momentum that Sen. Obama had in Pennsylvania.
With concerns about the economy paramount, voters decided that Sen. Clinton was the candidate they trusted most to deal with job loss, the housing crisis and health care.
And with both candidates under the microscope at the same time for the first time, Hillary took more than a few punches and came out stronger while Sen. Obama emerged weaker as voters learned more about him. The exit polls clearly show that Sen. Clinton gained strength in the final days when the campaign was most engaged.
The Pennsylvania primary was the high water mark of the Obama campaign - they threw everything they had at Hillary, and when the smoke cleared, the coalition which had formed the basis of the marked the Democratic Party since the days of Jefferson and Jackson held firm. America's place in history is largely attributable to its workforce, which has taken some hits lately, but still has the strength to come through when it counts. Blue-collar workers and their families responded to Hillary's common sense approach to fixing the problems created by the Bush years.
We have seen Obama's best shot. That's all he's got.
Barack Obama spent the majority of his public appearances since Wednesday's debate talking about how tough it was, and how unfair the questions were, what a great job he did, how little it bothers him, etc. Personally, I think his focus on rehashing the debate sends exactly the opposite message, because obviously it DID bother him. A lot. He looked extremely uncomfortable during the debate, and all this Monday morning quarterbacking doesn't exactly inspire confidence in his claim that the debate was no biggie.
In contrast, Hillary's take on the debate is that it goes with the territory. People who want a job like this one need to be ready for the pressure. REAL pressure, not George Stephanopolous chewing on your ankle. Mark Halperin has her comments on a Philadelphia morning TV show when she was asked about this
Q: Obviously, the war in Iraq is one of so many issues that you dealt with at the debate Wednesday night. I want to get your thoughts on this, we talked about it yesterday, its on the front of so many papers, I'll show you this one, it's the Philadelphia Tribune, it says `viewers upset with ABC debate', it's got Barack Obama's picture right there on the right. Yesterday he was saying for 40 minutes or so it was all about who said what and who did this, and you really didn't get to the key issues until almost the second hour of the debate. What did you think about the debate on Wednesday night?
HRC: We were both asked some pretty tough questions and that's part of what happens in a debate and in a campaign. And I know he spent all day yesterday complaining about the hard questions he was asked. Being asked tough questions in a debate is nothing like the pressures you face inside the White House. In fact, when the going gets tough, you just can't walk away because we're going to have some very tough decisions that we have to make. I think we need a president who can take whatever comes your way. You have to stand strong; you have to fight for the American people - because it will not be easy to stand up against the special interests.
Q: So you were fine with the debate, did you see any problem with it?
HRC: Well, can I say that I've been through, what 23 of these debates? And as I recall, I was asked some pretty tough questions in nearly every one of them. That goes with the territory, having been inside the White House, I know the pressures inside the White House, I know how hard it is every single day. When the going gets tough you can't run away. And it's going to be tough going to deal with these hard problems; getting out of Iraq in the right way, turning the economy around, getting universal health care, ending our dependence on foreign oil. The special interests are going to be a lot tougher than 90 minutes of questions from two journalists and we need a president who is going to be up there fighting everyday for the American people and not complain about how much pressure there is, and how hard the questions are.
Well, I got bits and pieces of the debate in between RL stuff, but I SWEAR I heard Barack Obama claim that the only reason his campaign has raised Bosnia was because they were asked about it. I guess if he meant "was asked once and then talked about it nonstop with no further encouragement", he would be right, but I don't think that was what he meant. He was clearly trying to imply that his campaign didn't raise the issue spontaneously, being a good clean issues-focused campaign and all.
Obama campaign memo: 'Clinton's fantastic invention of a sniper-raked landing is only one in a growing list of instances in which she has exaggerated her role as first lady.' "'Clinton's fantastic invention of a sniper-raked landing is only one in a growing list of instances in which she has exaggerated her role as first lady, particularly with respect to domestic policy,' a scorching campaign memo said in one of the harshest broadsides to date."[New York Post, 3/27/08]
Obama campaign memo: 'Unfortunately, Clinton's fantastic invention of a sniper-raked landing is only one in a growing list of instances where she has exaggerated her role as First Lady, particularly with respect to domestic policy.' [Obama campaign memo, 3/26/08]
Obama campaign memo: `Senator Clinton's claims about her visit to Tuzla, Bosnia - and the footage disproving her account - have created quite a stir. And with good reason.' Senator Clinton's claims about her visit to Tuzla, Bosnia--and the footage disproving her account--have created quite a stir. And with good reason. As the Associated press wrote yesterday: "What makes Clinton's situation unique--and the Bosnia embellishments so damaging--is the fact that the New York senator has built her candidacy on the illusion of experience. Any attack on her credentials is a potential Achilles heel."[Obama campaign memo, 3/26/08]
Obama campaign memo: 'The claims Senator Clinton makes turn out to be little more than stories.' "The refrain that Senator Clinton 'has the experience to lead on Day One' has been repeated endlessly since she entered the race. On closer inspection, the claims Senator Clinton makes turn out to be little more than stories. With the next primary less than a month away, it's time for Senator Clinton to finally face the 'vetting' she's so fond of discussing. Badly trailing in delegates, votes, and states won, she's going to need more than a new script to win the nomination. But if she wants to regain the trust of the American people, it would be a good place to start."[Obama campaign memo, 3/26/08]
Well, interesting things indeed went on in the dead of night as delegate candidates are being evaluated by the Obama campaign in California to see if they're worthy of inclusion as prospective delegates to Denver. Marcy Winograd over at the blog we do not name or link to said...
By dusk on Wednesday, the California Obama campaign had purged almost all progressive anti-war activists from its delegate candidate lists. Names of candidates, people who had filed to run to represent Obama at the August Democratic Party National Convention, disappeared, not one by one, but hundreds at a time, from the Party web site listing the eligibles. The list of Obama delegate hopefuls in one northern California congressional district went from a robust 100 to an anemic 23, while in southern California, the list in Congressman Waxman's district almost slipped out of sight, plunging from a high of 91 candidates to 17. Gone were strong women with independent political bases.
Marcy went on to state that the remaining candidates appeared to be mostly "bundlers and their girlfriends".