As if there was ever any cry for candidates such as Jesse Jackson or Gary Hart to "drop out for the sake of the party." It's either ignorance of history or a slap in the face to Hillary to suggest that she should have dropped out. This was the tightest primary contest ever. I realize that some Obama folks in their religious frenzy wanted to shut her down but that's their problem, not hers.
Obama's problem with Hillary voters aren't the 52 percent like me that are voting for Obama. And it's not the 21 percent that say they're voting for McCain. Democrats generally vote Democratic at only about 90 percent, no matter who the nominee is, and no matter who the candidate is you have to expect some defections.
It's the remainder who aren't sure what they're going to do that is key. If they stay home or vote for McCain, Obama is screwed, no matter how many speeches of soaring rhetoric he delivers.
Telling those people to "get over it" or otherwise expressing incredulity that they can't see how wonderful Obama is will not get them on board. Nor, in many cases, will all the rational "But this will happen if McCain is elected" arguments. (If no one has noticed, you rarely succeed in changing positions adopted on an emotional basis with a rational argument.) These people have a dislike, distrust, or even contempt in their gut for Obama. Doesn't mean their votes aren't winnable. And if anyone thinks their votes won't make a difference and can be cavalierly ignored, they're badly mistaken.
Bluntly, I think Obama is a crappy candidate; last candidate I disliked this much was Michael Dukakis. I'd prefer Biden in his place to Obama. And, absent Hillary, I think Biden, along with Clark, were the best choices if the alternatives were a bunch of insipid political pygmies like Bayh, Sibelius, or Kaine. (Kaine's great for Virginia, for the national stage not so much.)
I'm committed to voting for Obama I don't have to be enthusiastic or happy about it and some of his supporters are putting me into the "voting for Obama but pissed off about it" mode. And I don't think I'm the only one.
Imho, neither Obama nor McCain has been running a good campaign for the past month but McCain's has been better. Obama's campaign has been, for lack of a better word, light and ineffectual. McCain has done a better job at defining him than vice-versa.
Obama is overly focused on the issues when he should be focused on McCain. McCain has this image of being a moderate, a maverick, and a straight talker. All three are demonstrably false but the narrative comprises the core of his appeal. Amazingly, Obama appears to be giving him a complete pass.
I never did believe that the New! Improved! Politics was anything else than the Old Politics with a good marketing campaign.
And contrary to those within the Obama echosphere, I always thought the election would be close, within one or two states either way.
But Obama is Wondrous and must not be doubted. Feh.
I'm still hoping that most voters will decide that Obama has the chops for the job late, like Reagan in 1980. But that's a fingers-crossed proposition when electing a Democrat this year should be a slam dunk.
DMD, I thought of you immediately when I heard the story break. Damn, it's tough. As much as I admire Bill Clinton, I still have a sense of betrayal about Monica and wonder if I'd have the guts to chew him out in passing if I ever had five minutes with him alone.
I find it hard to understand myself but if you look at the exit polls, a significant percentage of people make up their minds in the last week and last three days before the election. That percentage is generally greater than the margin of victory.
So campaigns spend more and more money to convince fewer and fewer people as time goes on. And, paradoxically, many elections are decided by the least politically engaged, least informed, and least partisan. Go figure.
Afghanistan and Iraq are two completely kettles of fish and one of the reasons the Bush administration deserves to be thoroughly damned is that invading Iraq beggared the resources that could have been used Afghanistan.
Aside from harboring irrefutable enemies of the United States that planned & executed the 9/11 attacks, Afghanistan was a far better choice for building a pro-Western anti-Islamist state. The Afghanis were thoroughly sick of the Taliban and were eager or at least open to working with us.
Instead, we gave the military part of the equation a half-assed amount of attention and screwed the pooch on the political, economic, and cultural parts of the equation...that sounds kinda familiar.