Memo to Obama and Clinton supporters

I don't have a dog in this primary anymore. My candidate, John Edwards, is out of the race. I would vote for and do GOTV for either Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama in the general. I see major drawbacks to both of them as candidates and potential presidents, but I also think either of them have a realistic chance to beat John McCain and run a good administration.

This diary contains some friendly advice for supporters of both candidates going forward.

First, for the Obama supporters: your candidate had a great night in some respects, but face some facts. After a week or more of almost entirely favorable media coverage for Obama, Clinton got something like a million more votes yesterday. [UPDATE: I didn't check the latest returns this morning--turns out Obama was much closer in the overall popular vote than I realized.] She crushed him among some key demographics, like women and Latinos in California.

You can talk all you want about how Obama won more states, won more delegates, and has more money to spend in the coming weeks. But does it look good for supporters of the guy who supposedly stands for empowering people to dismiss a popular vote advantage for the other side? Do you want to crow about how Obama can win this nomination on delegates while losing the popular vote?

Also, stop putting so much stock in endorsements, whether they be from celebrities or well-respected politicians. People who are not already on the Obama bandwagon don't care.

Obama lost Massachusetts and California by clear margins. So much for the Kennedy family endorsements and Oprah's stamp of approval.

Speaking for myself, it wouldn't matter if Al Gore and John Edwards endorsed Obama tomorrow (though I don't know why Edwards would endorse the candidate who keeps mocking him in his stump speech and demagoguing on universal health care plans).

In addition, if you are trying to persuade voters in upcoming states to back Obama, don't bother sending them that "Yes We Can" video. That's great if you want to fire up Obama supporters, but for people who aren't already sold on him, that video just makes him look like the celebrity, media-hype candidate.

Tell your undecided friends and relatives about Obama's concrete plans for the economy, environment, and so on. If they aren't already committed to him, rhetoric about how amazing and inspiring he is probably won't do the trick now. They are probably wondering what this guy stands for and what he would do if elected.

Finally, to repeat a couple of points JedReport made in this diary that every Obama supporter should read, quit bashing Paul Krugman and praising David Brooks just because of their views about your candidate.

Now, some free advice for Clinton supporters. Your candidate had some great wins yesterday in the face of a media onslaught, but Obama beat her 2-1 or 3-1 in a bunch of states. Some of those states are almost certain to go red in November, but others are states we need to hold, like Minnesota, or should be able to compete for, like Colorado.

True, the absolute number of voters and delegates in those states may be small, but it speaks to how many committed Democrats do not want Hillary at the top of the ticket.

Recognize this reality and explain to your undecided friends and relatives in states that have not voted why Hillary would not be a drag on the ticket.

Also, and this only applies to a small but vocal minority among Clinton supporters, don't try to dismiss Obama as the candidate who lacks broad appeal and can only win by getting 80 percent of the black vote.

First of all, he has now won a bunch of states with minimal African-American populations. Second, a vote is a vote. Third, if Hillary wins the nomination, mending fences with black voters will need to be a big priority for the Clintons. You should be trying to set a more gracious tone right now.

If I were a Clinton supporter, I would talk more about Hillary's specific proposals and commitment to Democratic values, and less about how she has so much more experience than Obama. A lot of people, like me, think both candidates have enough experience to be president (even if she is more experienced). If they have doubts about Obama, it's probably because he seems to shy away from identifying as a Democrat and plays up a post-partisan, "inspirer-in-chief" image.

Hillary can bring progressives to her side if they become convinced that her administration won't make too many compromises with conservatives on economic, social and environmental policies. A lot of us remember feeling so frustrated that Bill Clinton didn't go to the mat on some key issues during the 1990s. Hillary needs to persuade undecideds, especially Edwards supporters, that she will not compromise too much.

One reason why I am not an "anybody but Hillary" voter is that I've read persuasive diaries about her achievements and her plans for the future. Make diaries like this one and this one your model. Taunting the other side as an empty suit puffed up by the media isn't going to bring over a lot of undecided voters.

One final word of advice to hotheads on both sides. You lose credibility if you swear not to vote for the other candidate in the general election. Unless you are thrilled about the prospect of two or three more Alitos on the Supreme Court, don't make dumb threats about staying home or voting for McCain.

Whoever you are, you probably didn't spend more hours than I did this past year volunteering for your candidate. If I can suck it up and support our nominee in the general, so can you.

That's all I've got for now. Thank you for reading.

Tags: 2008 elections, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, president, Primaries (all tags)

Comments

163 Comments

Re: Memo to Obama and Clinton supporters

Great comment.

Really.

by ChrisR 2008-02-06 04:57AM | 0 recs
Re: Memo to Obama and Clinton supporters

Albeit with many shortcomings.

"If I were a Clinton supporter, I would talk more about Hillary's specific proposals and commitment to Democratic values, and less about how she has so much more experience than Obama."

Did this diarist actually look into Hillary's voting record on foreign policy, and delve into her specific rhetoric about the Middle East, Iraq and Iran, in particular? She is a foreign policy hawk whose foreigh policy cannot be separated from AIPAC's agenda. Commitment to Democratic values? Like her silence about Israel's occupation/colonization of the Palestinians and their lands, and Israel's yearly killing of 4-600 Palestinians, most of whom are civilians including children? How about the starvation of Gaza Palestinians over the past year? Has she spoken up in any way that did not condone all of it? Does this demonstrate democratic values or is it just appeal to AIPAC PAC election money?

Don't underestimate the Clinton's ability to do whatever it takes to gain power, to steal Republican positions, to take on hawkish foreign policy initiatives for the sake of campaign funding.

by shergald 2008-02-06 05:52AM | 0 recs
Re: Memo to Obama and Clinton supporters

Like Obama is running for altruistic reasons? Really? I'm consistently amazed at the fact that not once have I seen an Obama supporter question either Obama's motives or track record. What makes him think he's more qualified than a John Conyers or a Russ Feingold to run for President? Face it, he's just as opportunistic as anyone else - Hillary included -that's running for President today.

What I see in Obama is the flip side of Mario Cuomo. Remember him? He gave a speech at the 1984 Democratic convention that brought the house down and made a lot of people hunger for his candidacy for the President. He became the Obama of his day for many of us, only he was considered even more viable than Obama at the time due to years of experience as Governor of NY state.

Unlike Obama, Cuomo never saw himself as the leader of a movement, and when he took himself out of the running before the NH primary in '92, he extinguished the hope of more than a few supporters.

So let's stop with questioning Hillary's motives for running, as Obama's looks even worse when subjected to scrutiny.

by SoCalHillMan 2008-02-06 07:20AM | 0 recs
Re: Memo to Obama and Clinton supporters

"What makes him think he's more qualified than a John Conyers or a Russ Feingold to run for President?"

He's not. Only they are not running.

Cuomo was the last openly liberal-socialist Democrat in the tradition of FDR and Kennedy-Johnson. As for Obama, given that he is rated as the most liberal senator in the Senate, I would have to say, that is enough for me to suggest that he will carry on, in whatever way he can, with a liberal agenda. No he is running today as more of a DLC candidate, although one far to the left of Hillary.

Imagine a Democrat (Hillary) criticizing another Democrat (Obama), virtually scolding him, for being for single payer universal health care in the past. Cuomo must have chucked up his lunch on hearing that one. Shows you where Bill and Hillary are coming from: the past, the same old Republican Lite that Bill introduced in the 90s, triangulation, stealing the Republican platform, essentially becoming a Republican. Wonder why Bill's staff left him after his first term?

by shergald 2008-02-06 08:30AM | 0 recs
Re: Memo to Obama and Clinton supporters

I'm still wondering how Obama can even be considered far more liberal than Hillary when (a) there is only 1 vote where they differ when both voted, (b) his skipping of key votes and (c) his reluctance to defend Democrats whereas Hillary is front and center when it comes to standing up for values Progressives like to ascribe Obama as being the defender of. All you have to do is check who defended Move-On among their peers, and I see Hillary on our side and Obama MIA.

That must be some really strong Kool-Aid they give out to Obama supporters to believe that spin.

by SoCalHillMan 2008-02-06 10:34AM | 0 recs
Re: Memo to Obama and Clinton supporters

Agree... here's something most of us forgot


Senate Approves Resolution Denouncing MoveOn.org Ad
Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York and Senator Christopher J. Dodd of Connecticut, both Democratic candidates for president, voted against the resolution, which passed 72 to 25.

But curiously absent from the vote was Senator Barack Obama of Illinois, also a Democratic candidate for president, who had canceled a campaign appearance in South Carolina so he could be in Washington for votes.

Mr. Obama issued a statement calling the resolution, put forward by Senator John Cornyn, Republican of Texas, "a stunt." Mr. Obama said, "By not casting a vote, I registered my protest against these empty politics."

Mr. Obama had voted minutes earlier in favor of an extremely similar resolution proposed by Senator Barbara Boxer, Democrat of California.

Ms. Boxer's proposal, which failed, called for the Senate to "strongly condemn all attacks on the honor, integrity and patriotism" of anyone in the United States armed forces. It did not name MoveOn.org, but criticized the ad that appeared in The Times. Mr. Dodd and Mrs. Clinton also voted in favor of Ms. Boxer's proposal.


and moveon endorses Obama, that's what the liberals have come to now

by devil 2008-02-06 11:03AM | 0 recs
Post this elsewhere concerning....

the Hillary-Obama comparison.

The Voting Records: here you are! (none / 0)

Ten Reasons Not to Vote for Hillary Clinton
by fromtheleft, Daily Kos
Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 11:15:15 AM PST

Can you tell us just where Obama was on this legislation and positions?

Hillary Clinton voted for Bush's Iraq war

Hillary Clinton for Bush's USA Patriot Act

Hillary Clinton voted to reauthorize Bush's USA Patriot Act

Hillary Clinton opposed the international treaty to ban land mines

Hillary Clinton is one of the Senate's most outspoken critics of the United Nations

Hillary Clinton voted against the Feinstein-Leahy amendment restricting U.S. exports of cluster bombs to countries that use them against civilian-populated areas

Hillary Clinton is one of the most prominent critics of the International Court of Justice for its landmark 2004 advisory ruling that the Fourth Geneva Conventions on the Laws of War is legally binding on all signatory nations

Hillary Clinton supported Israel's massive military assault on the civilian infrastructure of Lebanon and the Gaza Strip which took the lives of over 1,000 civilians, half of whom were children

Hillary Clinton opposes the complete repeal of DOMA (the Defense of Marriage Act)

Hillary Clinton couldn't be bothered to read the NIE before casting her pro-Iraq war vote

Hillary Clinton's positions on all of this legislation is virtually identical to AIPAC's, a primary constituent of the Israel Lobby. Do you want American foreign policy run by the Israel Lobby as it would be in a Clinton administration?

Obama has made some effort to assauge AIPAC, but he is not trusted by organizations that are part of the Israel Lobby. I don't see Obama coming on as a foreign policy hawk. Hillary is a different story.

Still, which of those legislative actions did Obama vote for in concert with Hillary? I don't know but I'd like to.

by shergald 2008-02-06 11:07AM | 0 recs
Re: Post this elsewhere concerning....

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe all those votes were cast before Obama was in the Senate.

Also: I'm willing to cut Obama some slack on certain votes much as I've cut for Hillary PRIMARILY because both candidates need to position themselves a certain way for the general electorate that a John Edwards or John Kerry - AKA "the White guys" - wouldn't and shouldn't get a pass on.

Affirmative action? Hell, yes, which is why it's still necessary in this day and age.

by SoCalHillMan 2008-02-06 12:57PM | 0 recs
Re: Post this elsewhere concerning....

You may be correct about the chronology, which then gives Obama a pass.

STILL, there is no question that Hillary's votes tell us where she is coming from. She is a foreign policy hawk and as far as anyone can tell, will continue the Bush War on Terrorism, a concocted war that is now stimulating a lot of defense spending on carriers, submarines, and new fangled airplanes, to fight an enemy that lacks a navy and airforce and any technology beyond RPGs in Afganistan.

Kerry was not incorrect when he said this so-called war was really a police action that should involve all of our (ex-) friends around the world.

by shergald 2008-02-07 02:52AM | 0 recs
Re: Memo to Obama and Clinton supporters

PS:  I am an Obama supporter and I want this to go on till PA.

Here's why:

We haven't had the press do a full-out "Where's Obama's Specifics" storyline.  Not yet.

We need him to go through one -- and prevail -- in order for him to be a strong Nov. candidate.

And, honestly, what's wrong with a month or two months of free media for two strong Democratic candidates -- the strongest two candidates I've seen and that includes 1992 -- when the only attention McCain's going to get is kissing up to everyone who's job title is either "Reverend" or "talk show host."

This is great for the Democratic Party.

by ChrisR 2008-02-06 04:59AM | 0 recs
Re: Memo to Obama and Clinton supporters

Yeah, I think that's right.  The only way this hurts the Dems is if things get really desperate or if one of them has a major sleep-deprivation-induced gaffe along the way.  This is free media for both candidates plus there will be a renewed sense of interest by the general population once the Democratic nominee is selected.  If we know McCain is the nominee right now, that gives the Dems and their affiliates that much more time to begin chipping away at his "maverick" status.

by the mollusk 2008-02-06 05:32AM | 0 recs
Re: Memo to Obama and Clinton supporters

Yep, this is what I wrote in a diary a few weeks ago. I want Obama to beat Hillary so badly, but at the same time I want Hillary to test Obama big time. Obama should not shrink away from tough questions.

And Hillary supporters need to stop implying how a black vote is somehow less legitimate than a white vote.

by Pravin 2008-02-06 05:57AM | 0 recs
Re: Memo to Obama and Clinton supporters

When did Hillary supporters imply this?  

This is what I don't get about Obama supporters - large unfounded claims.  When did the Clinton's imply black votes were lesser?  

by findthesource 2008-02-06 06:19AM | 0 recs
Re: Memo to Obama and Clinton supporters

she didn't.

what her campaign said -- explicitly (and bill clinton implied in december) -- was that the only important thing about obama was his race.

in other words, they are saying it's good that he's black, but that he's nothing more than black.

that's an insult to him.

look up ron fournier's article about how clinton won south carolina and you'll read the clinton campaign on the record on this topic. also watch bill clinton's charlie rose interview to listen to him talk about it.

by jedreport 2008-02-06 07:53AM | 0 recs
Re: Memo to Obama and Clinton supporters

"water on hen" is that humor? what does the name mean?

by inexile 2008-02-06 09:05AM | 0 recs
Re: Memo to Obama and Clinton supporters

I have seen a few comments where there were some backhanded comments on how Obama only won because he got 80% of the  black vote in this state or whatever.

by Pravin 2008-02-06 08:42AM | 0 recs
Re: Memo to Obama and Clinton supporters

And I've seen plenty of comments about how Clinton "only" won because of the Latino vote. Are Obama supporters implying that the Latino vote is somehow less legitimate than a white or a black vote?

by LakersFan 2008-02-06 10:34AM | 0 recs
Re: Memo to Obama and Clinton supporters

plenty of comments?? Plenty???

by Pravin 2008-02-07 05:55AM | 0 recs
Vote legitimacy vs election analysis

I have yet to see a thread analyzing Obama's electability in any state that didn't make a reference to his race, implying at a minimum that some people would vote for him and some against on that basis alone. Otherwise why bring it up at all? That Obama supporters can freely discuss the effect of race on upcoming races as a matter of 'identity politics' while any suggestion by Clinton that he won certain states because of his race makes Clinton a racist  is trying to have the argument both ways.

Lets take a theoretical. Suppose we divided all South Carolina voters evenly by age. If the numeric result was that the younger half split 5 to 1 for Obama while the older half split 1 to 4 for him with the numeric result about 52-48% Obama, would me pointing that out as a possible explanation of the results make me an ageist?

I don't think so, you get equivalent analyses all the time on the political shows. Nobody had to like either Clinton, but for God's sake can we stop playing Clinton Rules? The attacks on Hillary and Bill were terribly unfair right from the beginning. It was bad enough that Newt and fellow amphibians felt enable to cough up the slime at each and every opportunity, it is terrible that large portions of self-described Progressive Democrats simply bought into what in pretty much all cases was substance free attacks. The old rule of 'Where there is smoke, there is fire' doesn't apply when your Republican opposition is running around with torches and accelerants.

by Bruce Webb 2008-02-06 01:53PM | 0 recs
Re: Memo to Obama and Clinton supporters

If this goes to PA then McCain wins the presidency.

Clinton currently has many older voters and if there is not enough time to move them to Obama you won't win PA or FL (to say nothing of the whole FL fiasco).

by kristoph 2008-02-06 01:25PM | 0 recs
Re: Memo to Obama and Clinton supporters

This is terrible for the Democratic Party.  Now we're all pissed off, and McCain is going to start running a GE campaign.

This is a good post, desmoinesdem.  I am so sick of the spin; realistically, neither of them did outstanding last night.  It speaks to their political skill that they have both survived past Super Tuesday, but the longer this continues with a clear Republican front runner, the more it hurts us.

by ejintx 2008-02-06 05:04AM | 0 recs
Re: Memo to Obama and Clinton supporters

I don't buy the line that "we're all pissed off", I would urge you not to let the blogosphere dictate reality.  The blogosphere is obviously important, but it tends to bring out the worst in some folks.  The general populace is not nearly as vociferous or idealogical.

by the mollusk 2008-02-06 05:33AM | 0 recs
Re: Memo to Obama and Clinton supporters

and neither are some "bloggers" offline, especially the more anonymous ones.

by jedreport 2008-02-06 07:54AM | 0 recs
Re: Memo to Obama and Clinton supporters

because really, who is the mollusk after all??

by the mollusk 2008-02-06 08:04AM | 0 recs
Re: Memo to Obama and Clinton supporters

The 2/5 poll asked if the voters would vote for the other Democratic candidate. About 70% said they would vote for either.

If that happens neither Clinton or Obama can win.

by kristoph 2008-02-06 01:27PM | 0 recs
Re: Memo to Obama and Clinton supporters

I believe the poll said 70% would be "satisfied" if the other candidate won.  That's a floor, but I'm sure there would be quite a few nose-holders.

by Steve M 2008-02-06 01:51PM | 0 recs
Re: Memo to Obama and Clinton supporters

yeah, I read that poll as a floor as well - although I'm not sure how that compares to past elections.  But the bottom line is that as long as this doesn't end up in court or there isn't something very ugly and destructive between now and the election, I think the Democrats will be extremely united.

by the mollusk 2008-02-07 05:45AM | 0 recs
Re: Memo to Obama and Clinton supporters

That's patently ridiculous.  First of all, we're not "all pissed off".  With a few exceptions, Obama and Clinton have been very gracious and cordial to each other, especially compared to the animosity we're seeing on the Republican side.  The public perception of the Democratic race is that we have two great candidates, and it's a close race because they both have lots of support.  That's fantastic for the Democratic party.

Also, there's no reason Clinton and Obama can't both start running a national campaign against McCain, especially since they spend far more time talking about the Republicans than each other.  We'll have two high-profile candidates both talking about what a disaster McCain would be for the country.  Yes, McCain can start running now as the nominee, but we can also start targeting him exclusively - his desire to be in Iraq for 100 years, to "bomb, bomb, bomb Iran", and his support of virtually every Bush policy.

by schroeder 2008-02-06 09:27AM | 0 recs
Re: Memo to Obama and Clinton supporters

I don't think either of the candidates can afford to attack the Republicans when they still need to contend with each other,

by ejintx 2008-02-06 01:06PM | 0 recs
Re: Memo to Obama and Clinton supporters

30% of voters said they would not vote for the other candidate

by kristoph 2008-02-06 01:28PM | 0 recs
Re: Memo to Obama and Clinton supporters

Where did you hear that?  And that's what people say now - faced between the stark choice between someone who wants us in Iraq fo 100 years, and someone who's timetable was slightly different than your chosen candidate's... between someone who'll let health insurance costs to keep skyrocketing vs. someone who's path to universal health care was slightly different than the one you wanted... someone who's been up Bush's ass for the past 8 years vs. someone who's at a slightly different point on the left side of the spectrum than the person you wanted...

30% my ass.  Nobody who cares about where this country is going is going to vote Republican just because they're slighted their candidate didn't get the nomination.  There's too much at stake, and everyone knows it.

by schroeder 2008-02-06 04:33PM | 0 recs
Re: Memo to Obama and Clinton supporters

Good diary.

Fences are going to have to mended no matter who the nominee is.

by Ga6thDem 2008-02-06 05:17AM | 0 recs
Re: Memo to Obama and Clinton supporters

Well, I agree with some of what you say. I certainly agree about the "yes, we can" video. As far as spinning last night's results, well that is to be expected by any campaign. As an Edwards supporter, I'm sure you know the difficulty of eating into someone else's support. Clinton has held strong national leads throughout the campaign, and super Tuesday was always going to be a challenge for the Obama campaign. To do as well as we did (even if some expected us to do better on the days leading up to it) deserves some celebration.

Regarding the Kennedy endorsements, I don't think they can be dismissed that easily. In another comment I posted this pollster.com graph illustrating the spike in support in Mass following those endorsements.

It's significant. Maybe it had nothing to do with Teddy, but the surge certainly prevented a much larger delegate take by Clinton in the state.

But, in general, I think Obama has gotten all the help he is going to get from endorsements. They were nice votes of confidence, which may have diminished the perception that Obama isn't qualified. At this point, though, Obama needs to sell the merits of his vision and his policies directly. That is, he has to make the case for why they are good policies and why his political style is most effective in making them law (see the hilzoy link below for an argument in favor of Obama's political style).

It deserves to be said that Obama does have plenty of substance, as this post by hilzoy does a nice job of highlighting. However, it's pretty aggravating to constantly hear Obama dismissed as vacuous no matter how many times we demonstrate the contrary. He was pretty wonky in the last debate, he's given numerous policy speeches over the past year, and his site lays out his policies in detail. Yet, the detractors remain convinced that he's just some smooth-talker (indeed, Clinton suggests this in her stump speeches).

I personally don't care so much about the Krugman stuff. If I think he is wrong, I will say so. I don't ever plan to speak favorably about David Brooks, however.

by DPW 2008-02-06 05:19AM | 0 recs
Re: Memo to Obama and Clinton supporters

The graph didn't post. Here it is:

by DPW 2008-02-06 05:21AM | 0 recs
Re: Memo to Obama and Clinton supporters

Wow! That's not a spike...that's a rocket launch. Time is on Obama's side now. Hillary needed to stop him cold and she didn't do it. Viva la delegates!

by JoeCoaster 2008-02-06 05:35AM | 0 recs
Re: Memo to Obama and Clinton supporters

Did you entirely miss the point of this post?

by kristoph 2008-02-06 01:28PM | 0 recs
Re: Memo to Obama and Clinton supporters

It's not so much that Obama himself has no substance, he's obviously a super-smart guy.  It's that the whole message of hope and change and building a movement doesn't seem to have a whole lot of substance, to those who aren't on board already.

Hillary wins votes by coming across as a practical problem-solver.  As this diary suggests, if you talk to people about the fact that Obama also has wonky ways to solve their problems, you'll have a better chance of winning them over.  If the movement-building rhetoric had appeal to them, they'd have joined by now.

by Steve M 2008-02-06 05:37AM | 0 recs
Re: Memo to Obama and Clinton supporters

I actually agree with you regarding the "hope" and "change" rhetoric. The "movement" rhetoric, I think, does contain some substance, but Obama needs to articulate it a little better. I think that message is connected to Obama's message that participation from a broader and more engaged public, coupled with greater transparency in government, will yield a more fair, responsive, productive, and efficacious government. I think he has tied it together nicely at times, but too often he just recites the buzz words without further explanation.

In a larger sense, though, I think people exagerrate the extent to which Hillary and Edwards have presented themselves as more oriented toward specific solutions. I've seen Obama speak in person and on television numerous times, and in town halls and stump speeches, he actually speaks specifically about key issues and his proposed solutions, along with some past accomplishment of which he's proud. Moreover, many of his ads are issue oriented and mention specific accomplishments in the past. However, it seems like Obama's inspirational packaging obscures his specificity and accomplishments.

I suppose he could drop the packaging, but I'm convinced that this kind of branding and marketing penetrates voters' minds more than policy. I watch some of those call-in shows on c-span occasionally, and I'm constantly amazed at how often supporters regurgitate the buzzwords and messenging of their candidate. Hillary will be "ready on day one"; Edwards will "take on the insurance companies and entrenched interests"; and Obama will "bring the country together" and bring "change." Even last night on CNN, they were interviewing a really smart Hillary supporter in California. Yet, even she couldn't help herself. She used at least 3 examples of language straight from Hillary's stump speech. "Ready on day one," "action over words," "35 years of experience." No one mentions mandates, that's for sure. So, although it's important to demonstrate one's policy depth, appreciation of the issues, and past accomplishments, ultimately it doesn't seem to me that voters are paying as much attention to those details as they are paying to style and other non-substantive characteristics.

And, I don't particularly have a problem with that. I think most voters appreciate the limits of their expertise. What they are looking for are more superficial indications of important, deeper qualities (like judgment, competence, management skills, trustworthiness, integrity, ability to cooperate constructively, inter alia). I think one of the great things about Obama's presentation is how it conveys substantial imagination, which enhances a variety of skills important to leadership. He seems open to a wider range of strategies and solutions (even if his policies don't clearly reflect such imagination in all areas).

But, I know that's not enough. He needs to associate those superficial indications with a clearer vision of what his proposed leadership would look like in action. He did this better in IA and NH, when there were better opportunities to communicate that kind of detail. At this stage of the campaign, opportunities to make that case are more limited.

It's worth noting, though, that the other candidates haven't really done things all that differently. As much credit as Edwards received for policy specifics, his speeches at town halls, etc., were just as heavy on rhetoric and memorable messaging as Obama--although very different rhetoric. He doesn't go into painful detail on any policy. What he does do is constantly remind the voters of his style of politics (i.e., he's a fighter). Hillary has been more specific, but she is just as interested in vague messaging as the others. Mark Penn's job, to be sure, is crafting micro-messaging for distinct groups of people. We hear about him far more than her policy advisors.

I guess what I'm saying is that Obama's most distinguishing feature is his inspirational communication skills, and this feature is so unique and compelling that it distracts from Obama's efforts to demonstrate substance and a concrete plan of action. Those just aren't the things that make him newsworthy.

by DPW 2008-02-06 07:30AM | 0 recs
Re: Memo to Obama and Clinton supporters

I think desmoinesdem is not so much suggesting a change in Obama's messaging, as a change in how his supporters advocate for him.

I've always talked about wanting to see more express criticism of Republican ideology from Obama, more politics of contrast, but it's strictly a statement of what I'm looking to see, not a suggestion for how he ought to run a winning campaign.  Obviously he doesn't need any advice from me.

I continue to think the "movement" thing is just branding but maybe that's because I'm not a believer.  I discussed some of this in my recent "Two Visions of Government" diary.

by Steve M 2008-02-06 08:31AM | 0 recs
Re: Memo to Obama and Clinton supporters


No, every candidate comes up with policy papers and can talk about them.  Subordinating him/herself to an agenda, manifesting the commitment to them, is something different.

Obama can't seem to do it because his primary commitment is just to proclaim a different manner of doing things.  Getting into specifics would be to admit that it's the same sausage factory, the same interests, and the same arguments, without being able to ensure quality.  The overall impression it generates is one of significant denial, of standoffishness, which ain't real leadership.  Which seems consistent with the rest of his image well enough.

by killjoy 2008-02-06 09:09AM | 0 recs
Re: Memo to Obama and Clinton supporters

Even though I have gone on record in the past as deciding to never vote for Hillary because of my lifelong opposition to trends where a couple of families dominate a country's politics and her lack of contrition or recognition of the error of her ways during the Iraq war, I will support her should she win the nomination because she is definitely much more qualified than the Republicans.

I live in a state (GA) where the Republicans are  going to win. So I do not feel pressure yet to break my 3 year long vow to never vote for her. Maybe I can do one of those vote trading things with another person from another state where Hillary will need a vote. Heh. We will see where things lie in a few months at the state level. But I will definitely support her and may even volunteer if it comes to that point where we need all the bodies to beat McCain.

by Pravin 2008-02-06 05:24AM | 0 recs
every vote counts

We want to win the nationwide popular vote, which means we also need votes in states that will certainly go for McCain.

by desmoinesdem 2008-02-06 05:56AM | 0 recs
Re: every vote counts

I dont love hillary THAT much. heh. To change where the "Center" lies in framing issues, we need to win many more local elections. Bush winning the popular vote in 2004 did not change anyone's minds about who is right or wrong. Same with Gore in 2000 though that was overshadowed by the Electoral College controversy. They need to get rid of this ridiculous system.

by Pravin 2008-02-06 06:00AM | 0 recs
Re: Memo to Obama and Clinton supporters

I'm not sure how Clinton supporters are supposed to make the case that she won't hurt the ticket anywhere.  She certainly going to bring out a lot of women voters, which is a boon to Democrats everywhere, but the primary to date hasn't given us much indication that she intends to compete everywhere.  If she's going to abandon a whole bunch of states early on the way that Kerry did, that's going to be painful for us.

by Steve M 2008-02-06 05:33AM | 0 recs
Re: Memo to Obama and Clinton supporters

Living in the polarized country we do, I think that probably either candidate will abandon certain states. I don't see Obama trying to win GA because he's down 30 pts right now against McCain so why should he spend the money here? Hillary does better but is it money well spent?

by Ga6thDem 2008-02-06 05:38AM | 0 recs
Re: Memo to Obama and Clinton supporters

Obviously Obama won't spend zillions of dollars trying to win places like Georgia, but he has a better grassroots organization that will generate excitement for him even in the red states.  Kerry couldn't go certain places in 2004 because he did nothing (and maybe he couldn't) to overcome his caricature as an aloof Northeastern liberal.

Hillary suffers from a caricature due to her history and I really feel it is important for her to work to overcome that, and not to run a scared swing-state campaign the way Kerry did.

by Steve M 2008-02-06 05:54AM | 0 recs
Re: Memo to Obama and Clinton supporters

Here's the thing:
The GOP hasn't done their work on Obama yet. He has the same aloof liberal problem that Kerry did but that's not the story line that the GOP is going to use.

I do think it is important for Hillary to undo that caricature as much as it is important for Obama to define himself which he hasn't done. Allowing the GOP to define you is not a positive in my book. Hence, I see his rhetoric about hope and unity as a negative. You have to define yourself in concrete terms as Hillary is attempting to do and Obama is not.

by Ga6thDem 2008-02-06 06:00AM | 0 recs
Re: Memo to Obama and Clinton supporters

I think that a legitimate case may be made.

Hillary Clinton won in total vote over all candidates (McCain included) in Florida even when all the Democrats probably did not come out to vote. Yesterday, she won with Democrats in Tennessee, Oklahoma and Arkansas (all red states) decisively over Senator Obama. She lost in five red state caucus states because fired up Obama supporters came out to support him, but we cannot be sure that they represent the feeling of even a majority of the Democratic voters in those states who did not get the chance to vote in a primary. Senator Obama won in Alabama and Georgia with a signficant African American vote which is likely to come back to Senator Clinton in the general election if she is the Democratic nominee.  

Senator Clinton will be able to bring at least Arkansas, Ohio, and Florida into the Democratic column in November which I am not sure Senator Obama would be able to do. You also underestimate the women's vote and Hispanic vote and their impact on a general election race because those are groups that I believe Republicans won in recent past elections.

by gradysdad 2008-02-06 06:11AM | 0 recs
1.7 million Floridians showed up to vote

Two and a half time the number that voted in the primary in 2004. Its pretty hard to look at that number and conclude 'Democrats probably did not come out to vote'. What could you possibly base that on?

And the Republican share of the Hispanic vote dropped to 29% from 44% in the 2006 election.
http://www.usatoday.com/news/politicsele ctions/vote2006/2006-11-09-hispanics_x.h tm

Women voted for a Democratic Congress with a 55% share.
http://www.cnn.com/ELECTION/2006/pages/r esults/states/US/H/00/epolls.0.html

Don't quit your day job for a life of political analysis. On matters like these data is a lot more important, and freely available, than beliefs.

by Bruce Webb 2008-02-06 02:14PM | 0 recs
Re: 1.7 million Floridians showed up to vote

The post started out with "I think".  Why do you have to be so rude to the poster?

by kasjogren 2008-02-07 07:15AM | 0 recs
Re: Memo to Obama and Clinton supporters

Excellent diary, as always from you.

Honestly, one only wishes that Hillary would break with her husband's failed policies-based upon a complete, and self-serving, misreading of American history in the late 20th century-and be her own person.  That's what being feminist is all about, isn't it?

That includes her husband's advisors as well.

by demjim 2008-02-06 05:37AM | 0 recs
Re: Memo to Obama and Clinton supporters

My only major concern about Clinton is how she fires up the Republicans.  I have a very conservative family and they are frankly unimpressed by any of the Republican candidates.  But if you mention Hillary Clinton, it's like Ronald Reagan appeared to them bathed in white light.  They become 20 years younger and get all animated.  The worst they can say about Obama is "I wish he had more of the same values as me."

Yesterday I spent some time in the car and listened to Rush Limbaugh for a while just out of curiosity.  He of course devoted much wind to bashing McCain.  The Republicans are in shambles and their former idealogical bases (such as Limbaugh) are becoming emasculated in this campaign.  

This is a win-win for the Democrats.  But the only way I see putting Humpty Dumpty back together again is to nominate Hillary Clinton.  She could still win and I think she'd make a great President (as would Obama), but there would be renewed interest and vigor on the Right.

by the mollusk 2008-02-06 05:40AM | 0 recs
Re: Memo to Obama and Clinton supporters
I'm tired of hearing this argument because it has no basis in reality. Yes, they hate Hillary Clinton but this is also before Obama has been turned into the Muslim Manchurian
Candidate by the GOP. Don't think that they won't hate him as much by the time the election comes around. They don't need much time. Obama has failed to define himself and the GOP will do it for him just like they did with Kerry.
by Ga6thDem 2008-02-06 05:50AM | 0 recs
Re: Memo to Obama and Clinton supporters

Very true!!!  I am also worried Obama will get eaten alive......

by findthesource 2008-02-06 06:27AM | 0 recs
Re: Memo to Obama and Clinton supporters

I think it is true, so there.  Neither of us are talking in specifics.  But I do get a sense that this is basically what the GOP has been waiting for since 1999 (and maybe before).  This is not to say that Hillary positively could not win.  McCain is a largely untested quantity, but the prospect of Hillary Clinton being Commander in Chief is anathema to really everything the GOP has been built on since 1994.

I think Obama is just a little harder to vilify precisely because people don't know that much about him.  People basically wanted to believe that Kerry was a liar and a weenie, that's why they fell for it.  He also didn't help himself with his speaking style or his tortured logic on the Iraq War.

by the mollusk 2008-02-06 07:38AM | 0 recs
Re: Memo to Obama and Clinton supporters

Actually being an unknown candidate makes it easier to defined by the opposition. Example: Kerry, Dukakis.

Bill Clinton defined himself in 1992 for the most part. The GOP ran the same anti Clinton campaign in 1996 that they are planning to run now.

Obama has the same Iraq problem that Kerry had. And Obama comes off as bumbling in the debates. I fail to see why the same rhetoric won't work with Obama that it did with Kerry. They both come off as college professors. The only difference is that Obama can give a better speech which probably won't count for much in the end.

by Ga6thDem 2008-02-06 08:17AM | 0 recs
Re: Memo to Obama and Clinton supporters

I don't see how Obama and Kerry have the same Iraq problem.  Kerry voted for authorization Obama opposed it from the start.  I know I'm in the minority here, but I see voting against authorization but FOR funding as being a much more consistent position (i.e. now that we're there....) rather than voting against it before you were for it or whatever.

I agree that Obama isn't the best debater, but he's not bad.  Plus after seeing how Kerry destroyed Bush in the debates but still lost, I'm not sure that debating skills are really the ticket to the Presidency.

Also, I wouldn't underestimate the power of a great speech.  Did you see the cutaway from McCain's speech to Obama's last night on CNN?  They just weren't even in the same league.  You could almost see McCain checking off boxes as he spoke and the crowd just gave pained smiles and polite claps.  This was McCain's night and that's the best he could do?

by the mollusk 2008-02-06 11:29AM | 0 recs
Re: Memo to Obama and Clinton supporters

Hmm, it seems Obama was against the war before he was for it. And he has also voted against funding. And he has said not voting for funding was "playing chicken with the troops."  He's flip flopped all over the place on that.

Fortunately, the war is not going to be an issue in the general. No one sees that as a big issue, even the Dem primary voters.

It's not just Obama's debating skills that are bad. When he has been asked to explain his votes in the IL senate, he just rambles and sounds confused like he doesn't remember what he did or said. And pushing to wrong button on votes is something that the GOP will have a great time with.

by Ga6thDem 2008-02-06 11:42AM | 0 recs
Re: Memo to Obama and Clinton supporters

Yeah, it doesn't take much to get wingnuts to hate someone with a passion; it's really what they do best (and maybe the only thing they do well).  And of course, the fact that Obama is black will make it even easier than usual for a lot of them -- a lot of the older ones are dyed-in-the-wool racists who still think Martin Luther King was a pinko commie-symp enemy of America.

by Alex 2008-02-06 07:47AM | 0 recs
Re: Memo to Obama and Clinton supporters

exactly, and they will vote for Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama as soon as they would vote for Fidel Castro.  We won't win their vote period.  But there is a segment of the Republican voting coalition which is more open-minded.  These are the ones we will need to win next fall.  The question is who can do that the best.

by the mollusk 2008-02-06 01:26PM | 0 recs
Re: Memo to Obama and Clinton supporters

I don't entirely buy into that line of reasoning. Voting requires active participants. People who are not enthusiastic tend to just stay home. Plus, Clinton will get support of some Republican women.

by LakersFan 2008-02-06 05:59AM | 0 recs
Re: Memo to Obama and Clinton supporters

But my point is that these people are enthusiastically anti-Clinton.  Any apathy they may (do) have about a McCain presidency is more than offset by a gutteral (sp?) hatred of Hillary Clinton.

by the mollusk 2008-02-06 01:28PM | 0 recs
Re: Memo to Obama and Clinton supporters

Don't you think that these same people will have the gutteral hatred of Obama? I mean he voted to leave open records of sexual abuse victims. Don't you think that'll turn a lot of potential voters off? IMO, that's more toxic than Hillary hatred.

by Ga6thDem 2008-02-06 02:15PM | 0 recs
Re: Memo to Obama and Clinton supporters

And my point is that women will cross party lines to vote for a woman. (But they probably won't admit it to their friends or family.)

by LakersFan 2008-02-06 03:56PM | 0 recs
you said it

all right here...

"You can talk all you want about how Obama won more states, won more delegates, and has more money to spend in the coming weeks."

That is all he needed coming out of Tuesday...the rest was just gravy. He has a clear path to the nomination now.

After all the spin it really just comes down to delegates. Nothing else matters.

by JoeCoaster 2008-02-06 05:40AM | 0 recs
if you think it's good for Obama

or for the Democratic Party to potentially nominate him even if Hillary wins more votes, I couldn't disagree more.

by desmoinesdem 2008-02-06 06:10AM | 0 recs
Re: if you think it's good for Obama

The super delegate was established after the 72 Dem convention. The purpose was to prevent another McGovern like candidate from getting the nomination.  The party hacks were given to power to prevent a "radical" candidate.

This nomination process needs a major overhaul. any suggestions?

I fear if one candidate gets more popular votes and the other gets more delegates a brawl may occur, just like the 2000 GE.

The internet has replaced the barroom and the kitchen table for political discussion. We are just being passionate about our candidate. I guess better diaries than fists.

The volume does need to be toned down. nice diary.

by Safe at Home 2008-02-06 06:44AM | 0 recs
Re: if you think it's good for Obama

I don't think it will be that big a deal if he wins the most delegates but Hillary has a slight lead in total vote count. What is the alternative? This is the system .... it's about delegates. Somebody has to win, just because it's close the rules should change? That's not possible.

Democrats will see it as a fair fight that Obama won. The margin of victory won't matter.

Now if Hillary tries to fight it to the bitter end...recounts, court cases... then the Party is doomed.

by JoeCoaster 2008-02-06 07:48AM | 0 recs
Re: if you think it's good for Obama

What if neither has enough going to the convention under that scenario? what should the uncommitted delegates do?

by Safe at Home 2008-02-06 08:39AM | 0 recs
Re: if you think it's good for Obama

I believe that latest vote totals show almost a dead heat between the two.

by the mollusk 2008-02-06 11:31AM | 0 recs
Re: Memo to Obama and Clinton supporters

Once again, DMD, you are passionate as you are wise.  As with you, I'm as worried about our party's ability to pick itself up after such a spirited primary season.  

On to more local things, I talked to Ed Fallon last week, and we discussed a larger strategy for reaching out to the netroots.  Your name came up in that discussion.  We should talk sometime about getting people on these sites to rally around Ed.

by IowaCubs 2008-02-06 05:45AM | 0 recs
after the Mark Pera and Donna Edwards campaigns

are over, there will be more space to talk about IA-03 on the national blogs. I plan to post regularly about the Fallon-Boswell race here on the weekends, and I know the guys at Open Left will be following it closely.

by desmoinesdem 2008-02-06 02:48PM | 0 recs
Re: Memo to Obama and Clinton supporters

I will point out that while criticizing him is probably a waste of time, Krugman has gone a little wild lately--even Drum can't quite figure out why he seems intractably anti-Obama. And Drum is as boringly moderate as they come.

by MNPundit 2008-02-06 05:52AM | 0 recs
Re: Memo to Obama and Clinton supporters

You answer your question. Drum is boringly moderate, when he looks at Obama's policies he sees that they are boringly moderate, so he can't understand how anyone would get worked up about a core Democratic issue like universal health care.

by souvarine 2008-02-06 06:20AM | 0 recs
Re: This is self-refuting

Whaaat? You're telling me HRC isn't into the incremental centrism she's pushed as a Senator this past decade?

Because that's what Drum's into.

by MNPundit 2008-02-06 08:34AM | 0 recs
Dog whistling

Obama has every right to listen to his thoroughly centrist economic team and explain why his plan ultimately works better than an individual mandate. But openly attacking Hillary on that with a mailer showing worried Harry and Louise clone types us hitting below the belt. That flier is using dishonest scare tactics that deliberately evoke past dishonest attacks by the Right noise machine from 1994 and is just wrong. Younger voters might think this is funny and cutting edge. Older progressives including Krugman don't find this line of attack funny at all.
http://blogs.usatoday.com/onpolitics/200 8/02/obama-criticize.html

Obama when he does bother to get specific always echoes elements of the plans constructed by Health Advisor Cutler and Social Security advisor Liebman. These are not good plans, Liebman's LMS plan is in fact thoroughly terrible for workers. Krugman (and me) is alarmed because we see this dog whistling in the actual policy context being pushed in the background by Team Obama. If Obama wants to change Krugman's tone maybe Obama should stop sending Republican-lite economic messages apparently drawn from a Republican-lite team.

by Bruce Webb 2008-02-06 02:32PM | 0 recs
Re: Memo to Obama and Clinton supporters

Thanks. Edwards was my man too...you clearly articulate all I've been thinking over the past week or so and certainly what was going through my head when I voted here in Calif. yesterday.  I will be passing this along to my buddies in both camps.  You're such as asset to the party.  

by lori j 2008-02-06 05:55AM | 0 recs
Re: Memo to Obama and Clinton supporters

I think you're missing the point of endorsements.  The two of them didn't start from the same position.  Clinton had a huge lead right from the start.  Obama's game has been making up ground - he was 20-30% behind Nationally and in most states.  The Kennedy endorsements, while not winning him Mass. was crucial in closing the National gap and him winning a number of the States.  Each endorsement means something different to each candidate.  When Kennedy, Kerry, Leahy all endorse Obama, Clinton has a harder time making experience a big factor.  

And think for a second, the big story out of California is how she won Hispanics and Asians.  He won the White Vote.  An African-American candidate just won the White vote in the largest state of the Union.  A little less than a year ago the must muttered phrase about the Obama candidacy was White America will not vote for him.  He has won Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Utah, North Dakota, Idaho, Alaska...

You may not get the Yes We Can video, but there are thousands who do.  It's not just about issues and plans which will never get passed 100% as is.  Not everyone takes a wonk's view of the Presidency.  Inspiration, unity, idealism are all things people of this country want and need.  So I would say to Obama supporters, don't change, keep rolling up your sleeves and working and calling and passing along that video.  We started from scratch and tied the Clinton machine on the day that was supposed to end it all.  We have more money, more footsoldiers, and a message which is more encompassing.  As Barack said last night - Let's get to work.

by Piuma 2008-02-06 05:55AM | 0 recs
Re: Memo to Obama and Clinton supporters

He didn't win the white vote in CA.  I just checked 5 minutes ago.

by Steve M 2008-02-06 06:06AM | 0 recs
Re: Memo to Obama and Clinton supporters

Great diary; great advice. Thanks.

by spoko 2008-02-06 05:57AM | 0 recs
Re: Memo to Obama and Clinton supporters

Great Comment. I like it

by BlueSea 2008-02-06 06:15AM | 0 recs
Re: Memo to Obama and Clinton supporters

Clinton won more big states.

by BlueSea 2008-02-06 06:18AM | 0 recs
Re: Memo to Obama and Clinton supporters

Which says something when she needs to win those states against John McCain!!!  She'll get Florida against John McCain too!

by findthesource 2008-02-06 06:32AM | 0 recs
Re: Memo to Obama and Clinton supporters

The republican's control the machinery in Florida with Gov. Crist and Jeb Bush. The republican's will win Fl.

The states that will be battle ground states are OH and PA. wE HAVE A GOOD CHANCE, BUT mCcain
will be our toughest opponent.

My concern is IA, WI. MN and MO which McCain can win.

Right now we have a split party and the question is how do we put the party back together.

If both candidates go into the convention with not a enough delegates to win the nomination the fight over MI and FL could tear the party apart.

If Clinton prevails in getting these delegates seated, I could see Obama's delegates bolt the convention  

Bottom line their has to be some very delicate compromises to eleviate all concerns.

by BDM 2008-02-06 07:23AM | 0 recs
not after the 2000 census

Now Gore states plus NH would not get us to 270. We still need one more.

by desmoinesdem 2008-02-06 07:56AM | 0 recs
Re: not after the 2000 census

Hillary's appeal to Hispanics would probably bring Nevada and New Mexico. And make Colorado competitive. Maybe even Texas. What I noticed here in CA is that Hispanics were fired up about Hillary.

Obama appeals to upper middle class liberals, college students and AA's. In some states this is enough of a coalition to win. But in others it is not workable.

As a gay man, I do not see him as inspiring. Rather, he reminds me of someone who has a PHD in something like anthropology talking about how to solve all the problems in the world. And is perfectly willing to throw people under the bus for the slightest advantage.

by DaleA 2008-02-06 06:56PM | 0 recs
Re: Memo to Obama and Clinton supporters

After a week or more of almost entirely favorable media coverage for Obama, Clinton got something like a million more votes yesterday.

Implicit in this comment is that the MSM does not like Hillary Clinton.  The MSM will not start liking Clinton if she wins the nomination and the MSM loves McCain.  The media's dislike of Clinton is one of her biggest weaknesses in a general election match against McCain.  This weakness is under-appreciated even by Obama supporters and one of the main reasons I think Hillary Clinton only has about a 25% chance of beating McCain in a general election.

While we can debate whether we should choose candidates based on whether the chattering classes like them, the last two presidential campaigns show how difficult it was for candidate when the MSM favors the Republican in the race.    Glenn Greenwald has done some amazing work on reporters are strongly biases by their personal feelings and relationship with a candidate.  With Hillary Clinton as the nominee, I fear the press will latch on to false reporting like the bogus claim that Al Gore said "I invented the Internet" and repeat it over and over till most of America believes it to be true.

Hillary Clinton supporters frequently note the pro-Obama media bias so I think there is little disagreement that the press doesn't like her.  The question is can she overcome a much more pronounced pro-McCain media bias?

But does it look good for supporters of the guy who supposedly stands for empowering people to dismiss a popular vote advantage for the other side?

A Democrat winning in November is crucial for the future of the country and the popular vote does not matter.  It does not matter in the primaries and 2000 gives an all too vivid illustration how it does not matter in the general election.  Elections are won and lost by their rules and in this country the rules don't care about the popular vote.

by Monkey In Chief 2008-02-06 06:20AM | 0 recs
Re: Memo to Obama and Clinton supporters

Do you think Obama can overcome a barrage of negative press? I think Hillary can and has shown she can beat the press narrative whereas Obama seems to have a glass jaw.

What evidence do you have that once the Rezko trial starts and the tapes are being played that press coverage will remain positive? The GOP has a way of forcing the press to do negative coverage on Dems.

by Ga6thDem 2008-02-06 06:26AM | 0 recs
Re: Memo to Obama and Clinton supporters

Greenwald says it better than I ever could:


the traveling press corps endlessly imposes its own narrative on the election, thereby completely excluding from all coverage plainly credible candidates they dislike (such as Edwards) while breathlessly touting the prospects of the candidates of whom they are enamored. Their predictions (i.e., preferences and love affairs) so plainly drive their press coverage.

My point is not whether Obama will get negative coverage as I'm sure he will.  The MSM strongly dislikes Hillary Clinton just as they disliked Al Gore and John Kerry and we will see much more negative coverage of Clinton than Obama in a general election.

Hillary Clinton can not have it both ways.  This site as well as DKos is full Hillary supporters who say the press is unfair to her and been pro-Obama.  My point is that bias exists and will continue in the general election if Clinton is the nominee and be serious problem for a Clinton candidacy.   Media favoritism is particular severe problem running against McCain because he is a darling of reporters.

by Monkey In Chief 2008-02-06 09:22AM | 0 recs
Re: Memo to Obama and Clinton supporters

According to one of the magazines that's about to change. They are going to start examining Obama's record. The NYT did it the other day.

Here's the problem:
You're relying on a fickle media to help your candidate. A candidate who can fight that narrative is a better candidate. The press built Obama up and they can take him down.

by Ga6thDem 2008-02-06 09:55AM | 0 recs
Missing the point

"The MSM strongly dislikes Hillary Clinton just as they disliked Al Gore and John Kerry and we will see much more negative coverage of Clinton than Obama in a general election."

The MSM did not particularly dislike either Gore or Kerry until they became the nominee. The MSM takes it talking points from the Republican spin machine. It was only after those two gentlemen became our parity's nominee for President, and the GOP attacked them, that the media followed suit. Right now, the GOP machine is saying nothing about Obama, keeping its powder dry should he win the nomination. If he does, look for all the "happy talk" about Obama in the MSM to stop as the GOP goes on the attack and the media falls in line lock-step.

You're right that the MSM already hates Hillary. Again, that is because they take their cues from the GOP and the GOP hates her for many reasons (eg, her husband defeated them twice in national elections, and once in the Senate against their trumped-up charges, and that she is a strong, intelligent women and they are misogynists). But she has shown that she can take their abuse and fight back. It was AFTER years of attacks on her by the VRWC and their shills in the media that she drove alleged tough guy Rudy Giuliani from the field and became Senator. She has won over even the Republican voters in upstate New York and done so, again, even though the hate and vitriol directed her way by the GOP machine has not slowed down. Right now, she has fought Obama to at least a standstill despite the entirely uncritical free ride, not to say adulation, he has recieved in the press, and the negative coverage she has received.

Obama, on the other hand, has shown no such ability to fight back, and there is no reason to think that the "media favoritism" he has received so far will continue if he wins the nomination. If anything, he and his supporters have shown themselves to be somewhat brittle, reacting to any criticism at all as if it were lese majestie. This may have worked so far, because Obama has recieved kidd glove treatment by the media, and yes, despite the hysteria of some of his supporters, by the Clintons too. But when the Republicans attack they will not be bound by the tenets of "PC," as the Clintons and all Democrats are. The Obama camp crying "racism" at every criticism, and wrapping themselves in the mantle of Dr. King, will not deter the GOP. And, Obama will find that his current friends in the media will not be so kind once his opponent is their, as you correctly put it, "darling" McCain, rather than their hated Hillary.

by freemansfarm 2008-02-06 12:38PM | 0 recs
Re: Missing the point

The media trashed Gore for months and months before he won the nomination.  Your narrative is incorrect.

by Steve M 2008-02-06 12:57PM | 0 recs
Re: Missing the point

Looking at the sources, I see that you have a point about the timing of the attacks on Gore. But the larger issue remains unchanged. The mainstream media only began crucifying Gore when the GOP started slinging mud at him. Before the Republicans went after Gore, the media was more or less neutral on him. In 1999/early 2000, the GOP decided that Gore was likely to be the nominee and started attacking him. But, if someone else, say Bill Bradley, had won the nomination, do you doubt for one second the Republicans would have gone after him in the same way, and that the media would have followed along in the same way?

Similarly, if Obama were to get the nomination, the GOP would create negative memes for him too. And the media will highlight them, fail to investigate them fairly, fail to question the sources of them, fail to note that the Republican candidate has similar issues, and so on.

The main point is not when, precisely, the attacks begin. The point is that every Democratic standard bearer is going to have to face them.

by freemansfarm 2008-02-06 01:38PM | 0 recs
Re: Missing the point

I certainly agree with you that Obama will not get to continue his media honeymoon in the GE.

by Steve M 2008-02-06 01:53PM | 0 recs
Re: Missing the point

But wasn't it fairly obvious that Gore would be the nominee? I think they were just getting warmed up for the GE.

by LakersFan 2008-02-06 04:00PM | 0 recs
Re: Missing the point

They pumped up Bradley and trashed Gore exactly the way they've done it in this year's primary.  The unexpected event was that Obama turned out to have a fighting chance.

by Steve M 2008-02-06 05:08PM | 0 recs
Re: Missing the point

Implicit in your argument is that the media will treat all Democratic nominees the same and that their poor coverage of Gore and Kerry had nothing to do with personal dislike of the candidates.  This anecdote from the campaign trail illustrates how little professional detachment the press has:

From Politico


Hillary stepped onto the parked press bus in Indianola for about 90 seconds to deliver bagels and coffee, and I'm not sure what this says about Clinton and the press -- the chill, I think, comes from both sides -- but it was a strange moment. She expressed her sympathies that we're away from our families and "significant others," tried a joke at the expense of her press secretary, and paused. Nobody even shouted a question, whether because of the surprise, the assumption that she wouldn't actually answer, or the sheer desire to end the encounter.

One reporter compared the awkwardness to running unexpectedly into an ex-girlfriend.

I challenge you find any evidence that MSM is as personally uncomfortable around Obama as HRC.  This discomfort does impact campaign coverage.

by Monkey In Chief 2008-02-06 03:09PM | 0 recs
Not necessary

There is no need for me to go looking for anything. The Republicans will smear Obama if he wins the nomination, the MSM will follow in lock step. This has been the pattern with every Democratic candidate at least as far back as Mike Dukakis. Dukakis thought he was doing fine. He had won the nomination. He was ahead in the polls. And the press seemed to like him. Once he got "Willie Hortoned" by the GOP the press turned on him overnight. At one of the debates, a member had the gall to ask that, as an opponent of the death penalty, what he would feel if his wife was raped. This totally uncalled for and unanticapted question caught him off guard, and he was made to look a wimp, a fool and a bad husband.

The media may love Obama now. They may be very "comfortable" with him. Come general election time, though, the media will attack our candidate along whatever lines the GOP indicates. And our candidate should be ready for it and experienced in shoving it right back in their faces.

by freemansfarm 2008-02-06 03:56PM | 0 recs
Rezko is going to hurt

The GOP attack line is obvious from here: "Just another Chicago pol" with the implication of corruption.

The house deal with Rezko was just dumb, dumb, dumb. A fact that Obama admits today by calling it 'boneheaded'. If Rezko wasn't  under indictment Obama maybe could rescue the deal by buying the Rezko's out, but how do you justify cutting a $500,000 check to a guy probably going to federal prison?

Obama's only choice is to keep his head down and insist nothing wrong was done, but even a sympathetic analysis of the transaction doesn't save it, from a real estate perspective the deal simply stinks. It you get the full use of a $2.7 million property for $1.7 million out of your pocket plus $500,000 in an effective subsidy by a long time controversial supporter the oppo reseach people will make a point of bringing it up.

In November of 2006 Obama laid out a reasonable explanation of the sequence of events in I believe the Tribune. I would advise Obama supporters to brush up on that defense and be prepared to back it. Just don't try it on your friends in real estate, they will likely start laughing at you, at a minimum Obama got some really crappy advice from his agent and lawyer

by Bruce Webb 2008-02-06 02:48PM | 0 recs
Re: Rezko is going to hurt

Hey Bruce, haven't seen you around in a while.

Anyway, Lisa Myers did a report for NBC news on the Rezko deal and here a picture is worth a thousand words. It's obvious that Rezko's wife bought the yard so that Obama could afford the house. The answers he put in the Tribune do nothing to help on this account. He's calling the yard "an adjacent lot" in the Tribune. You can only access the "adjacent lot" through the Obama's property. The GOP will have a field day with this and also his votes while in the IL senate. Voting to keep records of sexual abuse victims open is not a winning agenda in the general election. Pushing the wrong button is another one. The thought of him being the nominee just makes me cringe. It's Dukakis all over again.

by Ga6thDem 2008-02-06 03:00PM | 0 recs
Re: Rezko is going to hurt

Yes, and this will go on for a long time. Rezko is just the first target. There are a long line of Illinois pols to come after Rezko. Obama might be among them.

by DaleA 2008-02-06 07:07PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama is immune to negative press

He's not immune. IMO, he's a ticking time bomb waiting to explode when the negative barrage starts to come in. This same thing has been said about candidate after candidate and in the end it's never true. It was said about Dean. It was said about Hart and I could go on.

Many swing voters are already buying into the negative image of Obama being put forth. His negatives are similar to Hillarys.

by Ga6thDem 2008-02-07 06:17PM | 0 recs
Re: The media is/are irrelevant

Your confidence that this election is in the bag is without any evidence and unfortunately misplaced.  The national polls already show McCain leading in either a Clinton or Obama match up.  Either candidate as the nominee will have a tough fight.

The media successfully portrayed Gore as serial liar and Bush as a charismatic leader in 2000 both of which could not be further from the truth.  Their power to distort the image and narrative of a candidate is immense.  Dismissing this power after seeing the the entire Bush presidency is utterly naive.

by Monkey In Chief 2008-02-06 09:27AM | 0 recs
my only commment

is the more people see Obama the better he does.

Hillary reminds me  in many but not all ways as a kerry, mondale type in the general.

Obama is actually  more like Bill on the campaign than hillary

by TarHeel 2008-02-06 06:22AM | 0 recs
Re: my only commment

Actually Obama is more like Kerry. Why do you think Kerry endorsed him?

by Ga6thDem 2008-02-06 06:27AM | 0 recs
Re: my only commment

I know, he draws huge crowds and inspires new voters to engage in the process just like John Kerry...wait...

by HSTruman 2008-02-06 06:33AM | 0 recs
Re: my only commment

Yeah, Kerry drew huge crowds and did win the youth vote. It's not a winning coalition though as you saw in 2004. Kerry had a problem with hispanic votes and soccer moms which is the same problem that Obama has. Asians too.

by Ga6thDem 2008-02-06 06:37AM | 0 recs
Re: my only commment

Well, I was being sarcastic, since I think it's sort of funny to compare a stiff like Kerry (decent man, but terrible candidate) with someone like Obama.  Kerry increased the youth vote because people wanted to vote against GWB.  Obama is driving record turnout because people are excited to vote for him.  14,000 people in Idaho.  Over 10,000 people in Kansas.  Obama may not win, but he aint like Kerry.  

by HSTruman 2008-02-06 06:46AM | 0 recs
Who is driving turnout?

Obama supporters are trying to take full credit for record turnouts but that doesn't seem to translate to actual votes in states holding primaries. Now Obama is crushing the caucus states where enthusiasm is key and I suspect that is the direct result of new young participants. But where is the evidence in the primary states?

Florida turned out 2 1/2 times the number of Democrats than turned out in 2004. If that huge turnout in a non-binding primary was really the result of Obama injecting new energy and new participation why didn't more people vote for him?

Because a strategy that relies on getting new voters out only to have them turn around and vote for someone else could use some tweaking.
http://www.futuremajority.com/ Youth turnout was up sharply in California but broke by 4 points to Hillary. A youth based strategy that doesn't get the majority of the demographic should be kind of worrying to Obamaphiles.

by Bruce Webb 2008-02-06 03:03PM | 0 recs
Re: Who is driving turnout?

The 29% Latino turnout in CA is a number that should grab everyone's attention.

by Steve M 2008-02-06 03:37PM | 0 recs
Re: Who is driving turnout?

Asian turnout was up also. Hillary got 72%. Which I find very impressive.

by DaleA 2008-02-06 07:10PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama is not like anybody anyone has ever seen

Wow this is mean.  I feel that you're a passionate progressive and this is admirable, but really... you need a hug.

by IowaCubs 2008-02-06 07:03AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama is not like anybody anyone has ever seen

A rough but honest assessment.

Take a look at the demographics that tend to support Obama, in particular the white vote.  Hint - it's the people that are more well off financially.  I admire many things about Obama, but he is not good on the issue of poverty. He is not pushing universal health care.  

Although I currently am fortunate to be comfortable financially, I spent many years at the edge of poverty and I remember well what it's like to have to have a tooth pulled rather than repaired because I couldn't afford it.  And I remember well what it's like to not have health insurance because I couldn't afford it on temp worker wages.

Although Obama is very "inspiring" I'm too old now to be moved simply by that.  I've seen and heard alot of inspiring speeches in my time, and most of them meant nothing past the moment of enthusiasm.

"Hope" doesn't sell to people like me, but I've always been in the minority in that.  SO I expect Obama will probably end up with the nomination because US voters have rarely (if ever) elected a president based on competence to govern.

One thing that has really surprised me is how strongly the progressive blogosphere has touted the importance of productive partisanship and not using the Repug talking points.  Yet Obama practically gets a free pass on this behavior, and on his Reagan love and his high minded post-partisan rhetoric. I am not surprised that Kos bought the Reagan talk as Kos was a Reaganite himself.  But the other major progressive blogs are just as biased towards Obama and cut him alot of slack only because they're become "believers" too. Why is it that different standards are applied to Obama?

And please look at his record in his various senate committe assignments. This guy has been coasting in congress compared to Hillary's efforts. But that's just an unglamorous detail. I expect someone will try and glad it up though, as that's what "fans" do.

Yes, it's a fascinating and strange election.

 

by dragoneyes 2008-02-06 08:23AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama is not like anybody anyone has ever seen

Yeah, but white guilt?  Come on.  This is nonsense.  I'm lower income and white and

support Obama because of this.

It's equally as silly to say that Latinos won't vote for a black candidate, or that Hillary's support comes only from lower income people (which was the mantra the puntits were spinning last night).

by IowaCubs 2008-02-06 10:12AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama is not like anybody anyone has ever seen

Clearly you are responding to the original commentor of this thread and not me as you didn't take me to task for anything I said.  If you have a problem with the white guilt statement, take it to 'ge0rge' as that's probably my least favorite part of his comment and not the one that motivated me to comment.

by dragoneyes 2008-02-06 10:44AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama is not like anybody anyone has ever seen

Yeah... wrong "reply to."  Cheers for the correction.

by IowaCubs 2008-02-06 11:27AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama is not like anybody anyone has ever seen

Before my time, but when I see Obama the comparison that pops into my mind is: Harald Stassen.

by DaleA 2008-02-06 07:15PM | 0 recs
Re: Memo to Obama and Clinton supporters

great diary, kudos

by CalDem 2008-02-06 06:33AM | 0 recs
Re: Memo to Obama and Clinton supporters

lol...yes Barack won in many states 2-1 with a turnout of what like 2K? 50k?

Big deal!

by 1986dude 2008-02-06 06:36AM | 0 recs
Re: Memo to Obama and Clinton supporters

He worked hard in those states.  If Clinton campaigners and volunteers worked in those states too she may have swept them.......

by findthesource 2008-02-06 06:40AM | 0 recs
Re: Memo to Obama and Clinton supporters

I must have forgot that those  states don't count even though their total delegates will allow Obama to match -- and possibly exceed -- the delegates that Clinton won.  It's really strange that they would have so many delegates when they don't even matter at all...

by HSTruman 2008-02-06 06:47AM | 0 recs
Re: Memo to Obama and Clinton supporters

... agreed.  This is the United States of CALIFORNIA.  Screw the rest of the country.

by IowaCubs 2008-02-06 07:05AM | 0 recs
Re: Memo to Obama and Clinton supporters

Excuse me? It seems your little teeny heterogeneous state thinks that it's supposed to decide the nominee for the rest of us. No thank you.

And guess what? If it's the United States of any state, that state is California. Our population and economy dwarf all other states.

by LakersFan 2008-02-06 10:47AM | 0 recs
See your point about Iowa's influence...

I agree that it's a shame to discount your state in a primary scenario.  I like the idea of a national rolling primary that would single out a few congressional districts in each state, which would change year to year.  This would allow for states like California and Texas and Iowa to be on the same playing field, but offer a diverse audience of voters.  A qualified candidate like Richardson, for example, could compete in such a contest even through retail politicking, and the overinfluence of my state could be diminished.

I think that it would be severely expensive to include the state of California as a whole in a national Primary, which is why the national parties have kept Iowa and others early and punished larger states like Michigan and Florida.

$100 Million would be a nice place to start for a regional primary that would include California.  Howver, if 10 or so congressional districts were reandomly drawn in a national primary including one or two from CA.  Iowa and New Hampshire could play a leading role here, offering give up it's first caucus status as long as one of it's five CD's were included as a permanant member.  

by IowaCubs 2008-02-06 11:37AM | 0 recs
Re: See your point about Iowa's influence...

Are you trying to make primary campaigns even more expensive? No thanks. California will continue to vote as a big behemoth. Why should we try to minimize our own influence? We're already severely underrepresented in Congress. We made a smart move by moving up our primary so our many voices can be heard.

by LakersFan 2008-02-06 11:47AM | 0 recs
Re: See your point about Iowa's influence...

Maybe it's time you break off into smaller states to increase your number of senators.

I don't think there's a reasonable solution to this.  Perhaps California could be involved in a regional primary that is first in the nation once money is driven out of politics.  I cringe at the thought of $100 million that someone like Richardson or Biden would have to spend just to compete there.

by IowaCubs 2008-02-07 05:30AM | 0 recs
Re: See your point about Iowa's influence...

Why should we break into smaller states and erode our own influence? You sure have a lot of "solutions" that are all aimed at reducing the voice of 12% of our nation's population. And since we're more representative of the diversity in this country (and the Democratic party), it's absurd for us to wait in the wings letting small states that don't even vote Dem in the GE pick our nominee.

I'm so glad we were part of Super Tuesday. This was the first time in my life that my primary vote mattered. California is done with letting the rest of the country decide the nominee.

by LakersFan 2008-02-07 09:31AM | 0 recs
Re: See your point about Iowa's influence...

My wife and I are supporters of the State of Jefferson.  Let my people go!

by Steve M 2008-02-07 09:36AM | 0 recs
Re: See your point about Iowa's influence...

Wow. Looks like a survivalist's utopia.

I'm in favor of creating a new country -- Canifornico. It would stretch from B.C. (British Columbia to B.C. (Baja California). We'll take the whole west coast and starve the U.S. of all goods from Asia!

by LakersFan 2008-02-07 10:10AM | 0 recs
Re: See your point about Iowa's influence...

Bajajajaja!  Y'all need to build a NAFTA superhighway while you're at it.

by Steve M 2008-02-07 10:32AM | 0 recs
Re: See your point about Iowa's influence...

I5 already runs all the way through Canifornico, so we just need to rename Canada's Hwy 99 and Mexico's Hwy 1 and we're set!

We'll be a huge tourist mecca, we'll keep all of that "run-away" TV/movie production in our country, we'll be staunchly pro-choice, and have great environmental protections. We grow tons of food (and other items) here, so I don't think we'll need many goods imported from the U.S. What's not to love about Canifornico?

by LakersFan 2008-02-07 10:58AM | 0 recs
Re: See your point about Iowa's influence...

Earthquakes? :)

by Steve M 2008-02-07 11:08AM | 0 recs
Re: See your point about Iowa's influence...
Earthquakes are fun!
They remind us that the earth is alive and it might just kick us in the ass every once in a while to remind us how insignificant we are.
by LakersFan 2008-02-07 11:21AM | 0 recs
Re: Memo to Obama and Clinton supporters

Wonderful diary.  Desmoinedem, it was wonderful how you gave objvective analysis of both.  I will vote for either Clinton or Obama in general election.  It's about the party, not about egos and personalities.

That's my great concern, do the massive Obama supporters love Obama, or do they love the party? I'm worried about that.  

If she becomes nominee, I think she has great chance for CA, FL, NY......she just really needs women to come out!  Especially those who often don't think about voting at all......Where is a female version of Puff Daddy's 'vote or die' when you need it (LOL).

by findthesource 2008-02-06 06:39AM | 0 recs
Thanks -- good diary!

After all the hoopla of the past two weeks, thanks for the reality check. While I'm a Hillary supporter, we've got to work together to defeat the Republicans this fall.

by CyberDiva 2008-02-06 06:41AM | 0 recs
On the red state blue state thing

All the states are all blue states in the primary.  The fact is a Democrat wins in Idaho or Colorado, Oklahome,or Utah, or Tennessee, or South Carolina every four years in the primaries or caucuses.

Also as for the big scores in these smaller contests, that is a function I think of Clinton not having as much cash as Obama and of being forced to focus on MA, NJ, CA, among others.

With the latino vote you'd think Clinton could have done much better in NM or CO .. but she didnt have the time or the cash to focus as much there.  

The Clinton were pretty muched forced to spend a huge amount of time and resources on Cali.

by dpANDREWS 2008-02-06 06:49AM | 0 recs
Re: On the red state blue state thing

BO is close in NM due to Ted Kennedy Endorsement and campaign there. Ted is huge in NM, MN, CT and DE not in his home state - Go figure . Maybe they know him better. BO won CO as it was a caucus state

by indus 2008-02-06 11:57AM | 0 recs
much needed sanity

Thanks for a helpful, thoughtful diary.

Just one little correction- I think Sen. Obama has won the popular vote for Feb. 5th.  I'm not sure where you get this:  "Clinton got something like a million more votes yesterday."  It's still close enough to make it a virtual tie however.

I don't see that anywhere.

by Satya 2008-02-06 07:07AM | 0 recs
Re: much needed sanity

We don't see the popular vote in the Caucus States so it's impossible to see the real vote total.

by Piuma 2008-02-06 07:39AM | 0 recs
that is only part of the story

Actually, to make it worse the caucus states hold different types of caucuses and report their data differently.  Check the voter totals in all caucus states at the NY Times page for example.

The bottomline with regards to this diary however is that Clinton ahead by one million appears to be a total fiction.

I'm open to looking at numbers if someone would just post them.

by Satya 2008-02-06 07:51AM | 0 recs
Re: much needed sanity

The best figure I have seen says that in Primary states Clinton won 7,250,270 votes Tuesday, while Obama won 7,043,455.

http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2008/0 2/07/delegates/

as Obama did better in caucus states it is probably even close.

So it was nothing close to a million vote edge.

by jschiffer3 2008-02-07 05:27AM | 0 recs
Re: Memo to Obama and Clinton supporters

One important point. Although I myself have worried that Obama did a lot worse among voters(due to sweeps of exclusive caucuses), but recent figures suggest the popular vote was nearly a tie. Considering how far behind he was recently(and I was quite worried about how he would do) wining the delegate count and losing popular vote barely isn't that bad and probably counts as winning.

by rtaycher1987 2008-02-06 07:54AM | 0 recs
Re: Memo to Obama and Clinton supporters

Losing the popular vote,besides beating expectations Obama is likly to win the delegate vote which really matters, popular vote gives some legitimacy but as I think that we won't care about the actual pop vote by the time it's released wining states is more important to legitimacy(note that while obama can claim more clinton can claim bigger).

by rtaycher1987 2008-02-06 11:02AM | 0 recs
Re: Memo to Obama and Clinton supporters

Like demoinesdem, I no longer have a dog in this fight either, although I will vote for someone in the NC primary in May and will vote for the Democratic nominee in November. I'd add to her good advice that each of the remaining candidates' supporters stop pretending that their candidate is proposing a meaningful and substantive difference in the way they are proposing to solve problems in Washington DC. While Clinton backers like to talk about their candidate's "practical, experienced approach to how things work" and Obama backers like to crow about his power to "transcend differences", they are all ignoring that behind each of these so-called "visionary" approaches is the language of compromise. What I'd like to see is a strong demonstration from at least one of these candidates about what they are absolutely unwilling to compromise about. Oh sure, they both speak about not willing to "compromise" our health care, our access to employment and education, etc. But these are easy arguments to make  to a Democratic audience. Instead, how about showing an unwillingness to compromise with something that actually imposes a risk to your campaign. For Clinton, this could be standing up to the military -industrial complex by calling for reductions in defense and homeland security spending. For Obama, this could be calling for stricter regulations of the financial or the pharmaceutical industries or by calling for quicker implementations of global warming policies. Until at least one candidate is willing to draw a line that risks something significant to his or her personal campaign, all this nitpicking over the specifics of their policies is pointless because there is no evidence that there will be an uncompromising will to implement them.

by jeffbinnc 2008-02-06 07:55AM | 0 recs
Re: Memo to Obama and Clinton supporters

"In addition, if you are trying to persuade voters in upcoming states to back Obama, don't bother sending them that "Yes We Can" video. That's great if you want to fire up Obama supporters, but for people who aren't already sold on him, that video just makes him look like the celebrity, media-hype candidate."

I voted for Obama yesterday, and I agree with this. Except it did not ever fire me up. It embarrassed me.

by jschiffer3 2008-02-06 08:15AM | 0 recs
Re: Memo to Obama and Clinton supporters

It is the Republican party that will melt and is melting...
There is danger for our Party however...
Florida and Michigan...
The thing that makes the most sense is to compromise and have them
simply do it again..last.

Prior to that it becomes money. It appears that Clinton is reaching her ceiling while Obama is not.
(See January 08)Obama had the money here in Colorado and Clinton did not. It appears that both candidates will bring about the restoration of our nation.
 Fundamental questions.
Of the two, which has been the most responsible for record Dem turnout? Which candidate would bring about the highest turnout in November benefiting other Dems? Given the nation's desire to move out of the Cheney/Rove/Bush years does it even matter?

Either way, fundamental changes will be made for future Primaries. Either way there will be a President from the Democratic Party.
Our Candidate will run on the Democratic Platform.
That will be our direction.

by nogo war 2008-02-06 08:30AM | 0 recs
Re: Memo to Obama and Clinton supporters
Trust me on this..
The biggest voices regarding thousands in the streets here in Denver next Aug. will NOT be about the economy.
by nogo war 2008-02-06 08:54AM | 0 recs
Kennedy Endorsement was GOLD
Its weird that days before the endorseemnt Hillary was the presumptive winner, inevitable it was said. A few endorsemnts later - Obama is the winner, the front runner, with momentum and crazy enthusiastic supporters and donors. Hours later really, 46? 70? hours. But Hill didn't loose all the races, so Ted's endorsement was useless? Desmoinesdem I really like your posts but this statement the endorsement wasn't useful is just crap. Crap. look at the posts, the stats the polling, the surge, it started with the endorsement, winning mass isnt what the endorsement was for. Kennedy isnt by any stretch of the imagination just a Senator from Mass. He is a by god historical figure and direct link to two of America's icon's and a damn fine liberal too. Oh and he voted against the war. Kennedy didnt win California for Obama, his endorsement is worthless. As soon as you read it, it's, well, funny.
by inexile 2008-02-06 09:20AM | 0 recs
Re: Memo to Obama and Clinton supporters

Excellent diary, thank you.  My candidate (JRE) is also not in this race so I was faced yesterday with voting for someone I didn't whole heartedly support.  

There are a couple of things we all need to be aware of however.  It looks like a very real possibility that we are heading into our convention with no clear cut choice for our nominee.  This brings up the specter of a candidate being chosen by the "super-delegates".

My concern is probably moot if the "super-delegates" fall in line behind the candidate  who has the clear delegate and popular vote lead lead going into the convention.  But what happens to our party if:

1.  Obama goes into the convention leading in the committed delegate and popular vote counts and the "super-delegates" fall in line behind Clinton and hand her the nomination.  We know Obama has brought in and energized a whole new generation of Democratic voters, will they stay engaged in a process new to them that in effect disregarded their voices?

2.  Either candidate goes into the convention with the popular vote lead but not the delegate lead and the "super-delegates" fall in line behind the delegate leader.  Will this cause the bitter memories of 2000 to surface and damage the psyche of our party going into the 2008 GE?

3.  Conversely, either candidate goes into the convention with the delegate lead but not the popular vote lead and the "super-delegates" fall in line behind the popular vote leader.  Will we again risk alienating a large population of our party because after playing by the rules, the rules were seemingly changed for the delegate leading candidate?

At one point in this primary season I supported the idea of a brokered convention, because I really wanted the nomination to go to Gore.   Now I truly believe as a party we risk entirely too much if we do not have a clear and chosen nominee, perhaps even "ticket" going into the convention.  

If this becomes a battle of "super-delegates at the expense of the voters, which I fear it is rapidly becoming, I think our party may suffer damage beyond repair going forward. We'll probably end up losing the White House because of the bitter feelings caused by or to one faction or the other.  

I think it is imperative for our party to unify behind a candidate or "ticket" BEFORE the convention begins.  A floor fight or brokered convention will only bring disaster regardless of who is the nominee.

That being said, I have faith that we will come together and coalesce behind one candidate or "ticket" prior to the convention.

by Its Like Herding Cats 2008-02-06 09:34AM | 0 recs
Re: Memo to Obama and Clinton supporters

Great diary- although it's hard to control the emotions.

by reasonwarrior 2008-02-06 10:43AM | 0 recs
Re: Memo to Obama and Clinton supporters
Seems that most people didn't get what this post was about.
It's about coming together as a party and playing nice.
  1. obama supporters and clinton supporters are probably not going to change their minds now.  so stop fighting and trashing each candidate.  its not good for party unity in the end.
  2. if you are a strong supporter, go after the undecideds.  when doing this, don't trash the opponent, but rather highlight the achievements of the candidate you support.
  3. if we stick to these two rules, we won't devide the party and when the nominee is finally chosen, we will not have pissed off the losing side so much so that they won't vote for our nominee.
*at the end of the day, both candidates are great, better than any republican.  lets make sure that no matter who wins the nomination, that we all put our differences aside and vote for the nominee with a smile.
by Scope441 2008-02-06 11:33AM | 0 recs
Bingo!

I would only add that I don't mind if people don't feel up to smiling about it, as long as they drag their butts out to vote for our nominee.

by desmoinesdem 2008-02-06 12:16PM | 0 recs
Re: Memo to Obama and Clinton supporters

I just want to thank you for an excellent diary!  I hope both candidates take heed.

by Radiowalla 2008-02-06 12:33PM | 0 recs
Re: Memo to Obama and Clinton supporters

wow!  a prophet without honor on the Big Orange, and over here you're top of the rec list! i commented over there, but i wanted to add congratulations for your spot of honor here.

gee, the same reasonable discussion in two places. on site A it scrolls away to oblivion, and on site B.... people read it. amazing!

by campskunk 2008-02-06 01:38PM | 0 recs
that's the story of my blogging life

If it weren't for MyDD, I probably wouldn't have bothered writing any diaries in the past year or two. A few times in 2005 or 2006 I put effort into writing diaries at DKos, and it was depressing to see them scroll down the screen with only a handful of comments.

Then I realized that if I cross-posted the same diary here, people would actually read it, and often it would make the rec list.

by desmoinesdem 2008-02-06 04:03PM | 0 recs
Re: Memo to Obama and Clinton supporters

I agree with you on many points. I too want unity. But the progressives face a serious dilemma. For 8 years we have been screaming about the unjust Republican regimes. Our voices ran Rove and Gonzo out of town. Our voices that have reduced Fox noise, Billo and Rush to laughingstocks. And it was our voices that gave rise to the success to Air America and Keith O. (his Special Comments are especially good)

We are taking a stand for what is good right and just. We screamed at the voter suppression tactics in FL in 2000. We scream when the White House personnel don't show up when they are issued subpeonas. (Dont try that one in your real life)

IF WE DONT HAVE RULES/LAWS AND ABIDE BY THEM, WHAT GOOD ARE THEY?

IF THE RULES/LAW ARE NOT ABIDED, WHAT DOES THAT DO FOR FAIRNESS/JUSTICE?

We have seen tactics by the Hillary campaign that are breathtaking in its Rovian likeness. We've seen lawsuits in NV to suppress caucuses. The rules were set, everyone had agree to them.

again I ask you -
IF THE RULES/LAWS ARE NOT ABIDED, WHAT DOES THAT DO FOR FAIRNESS/JUSTICE?

Hillary intends to make MI and FL delegates vote for her. These states knew exactly what the consequences would be if they tried to primary early. They did anyway. The DNC exacted its punishment to strip those states of their delegates and all the candidates agreed.

again I ask you -
IF THE RULES/LAWS ARE NOT ABIDED, WHAT DOES THAT DO FOR FAIRNESS/JUSTICE?

Lets not forget that we dems are supposed to be pushing back against lies and distortions. We are supposed to be upholding the rights for all.

I wont even go into lies to women's rights groups in IA, or the false mail on the eve of NH. or the race baiting. Or her husband/attack dog Bill.

Will I hold my nose strongly and vote for her in the GE? I really don't know at this point. I think maybe if she, hubby and minions clean up their act, I will, if only for the supreme court sake (lifetime appointments there).

Many many people are disgusted with the ways of Washington. With the republican deciet, war mongering, hypocritcal sexcapades our country has been reduced to an image of the fat roman empire before the fall.

The way Hillary has run her campaign is the complete opposite of what the democratic party stands for. If we learned anything from our screaming for the last 8 years, is that we have to stand up for what's right and just.

This is Obama's message, millions of people calling for change.

I will be heartbroken, as will most dems who saw a light break through the clouds, hoping for sunshine, only to be covered by darkness once more.

I think many, many Obama supporters just wont vote at all, because nothing they do will matter anymore. Lying politicians hold our government hostage and there will be no getting out.

Will I vote for Hillary? Will I toss my ideals and progressive principles away?

Yes, if only for the Supreme Court. I wont say I wont feel dirty afterward.

by mageduley 2008-02-06 03:11PM | 0 recs
Re: Memo to Obama and Clinton supporters

Obama played to lose. He voluntarily took his name off the MI ballot. The GOP in FL decided the primary date. Why should the voters be penalized for the mistakes of the DNC.

Nominate Obama and automatically lose the general election. Take your choice.

by Ga6thDem 2008-02-06 03:21PM | 0 recs
Re: Memo to Obama and Clinton supporters

So the rules that require the MI/FL decision to be made by the credentials committee at the convention are equally important to you, right?

I swear I haven't seen such passion for the "rule of law" since the Bush 2000 campaign in Florida.

by Steve M 2008-02-06 03:35PM | 0 recs
Re: Memo to Obama and Clinton supporters

I like both candidates. I refuse to build one up by putting the other one down. I do wonder, however, why Obama would want to surround himself with the tired old men of the Democratic party like Kerry and Kennedy. They sure don't look like change or like a turning to a new page. And Kennedy in particular brings back some unpleasant memories that would best be forgotten. He is part of that bridge back to the last century.

by Susannnah 2008-02-06 04:32PM | 0 recs
Re: Memo to Obama and Clinton supporters

On votes concerning Iraq Senator Obama has only one vote different from Hillary that is on the approval of General Casey.  I couldn't bring myself to vote for a Democratic Congressional member with any enthusiasm (in fact the thought turned my stomach). So I flipped a coin.  I will say if Hillary wins PA, OH, and TX Obama has to decide if he wants to be VP or go back to the Senate.

by orionwest 2008-02-06 05:47PM | 0 recs
Good diary

by Korha 2008-02-06 08:59PM | 0 recs
Apropos of nothing

Would it kill anyone to come up with a witty or least new comment line? It really assists tracking comments if everyone doesnt take the lazy man's ' Re:' route.

by Bruce Webb 2008-02-06 09:10PM | 0 recs
Re: Memo to Obama and Clinton supporters

Good comments.  I would add to Senator Obama's supporters:

1.  How can you support anyone who, on January 7th - the day after New Hampshire - had surrogates on all news networks calling all New Hampshire caucasions racists (Hardball with Cris Matthews, Situation Room, NBC Nighly News, Fox News Channel).  This was the first injection of racial politics into the primary season, and made me wonder how he can unite all people if he apparently mistrusts and possibly dislikes caucasians.

2.  Please go back a few years and examine the Presidency of Jimmy Carter to understand what realy happens to "outsiders' and "reformers" when they obtain the White House without adequate congressional experience.  Many Congressional Representatives and Seantors enter the Congress from middle-class backgrounds, almost all exit as multi-millionares.  They won't give that up for fancy speechifying.

I remain undecided, but I do consider these issues as extremely important in my decision-making process.

by Tinker 2008-02-07 02:09AM | 0 recs

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