New Pew poll Obama +8%

In new Pew national poll Obama increases his lead from 3% to 8%. RCP which is basically a right wing site editorially calls this a "slight" increase!

Here's link /2008/07/pew_obama_8.html

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Clinton more powerful than ever.

I have to smile at all the Clinton haters who swarm here and at places like Kos, and amongst the media, busily dancing on her grave. Their latest crusade to find a hundred reasons why she shouldn't be the VP when with every day that passes it becomes clearer that this is going to be a necessity not a luxury. Their idea that the prolongation of dissidence in the party by her supporter is all going to take care of itself, and in any case we don't need them, is particularly quaint.  

After a year of hard campaigning in which Obama won the nomination by the narrowest of margins, it's surely inarguable that she has been elevated by the contest. She is more resonant, more consequential and a massively more potent force in US politics than she was when this race started. She is no longer dependant on Bill and has over half the democratic party voters and about 49% of all those who voted in the primaries in her camp. Even if he doesn't pick her for his vp, and wait for the row if picks another woman or a relative nonentity, she can return to a completely safe senate seat as indisputably the second person in the democratic party and if he loses, which believe me I sincerely hope doesn't happen, the first person in the democratic party and a shoo in for the nomination in 2012.


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No mention of the Johnson clanger.

I'm surprised no one is talking about this episode since a lot of the media and the Republicans are. It's not a national crisis as Dickerson says but it was a very dumb move on the part of Obama. This guy also seems to be the absolute antithesis of what Obama's most fervent supporters claim he stands for.

It will be fish wrap in a week or two but it does raise a few questions about his savvy just at this moment and perhaps represents the start of the process whereby the most dedicated Obama fans have a few illusions shattered as they come to terms with the realities of power.

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Who will the Hillary haters hate now.

Richard Cohen has an interesting piece on this theme in this morning's WAPO. Essentially he punctures the hyperpole surrounding her although there's some hypocrisy since he's thrown his share of brickbats. Basically there is cadre of Clinton haters in the Republican party and on the far left of the democratic party who have swallowed the daughter of satan story they've been fed by the media and right wing shills for years. Some like Matthews, Dowd, Noonan, Rich, and Robinson are suffering from Clinton mania (or maybe pandering to prejudices is just provides a mealticket) and that's just the more or less normal ones. Once you get of into the Goldbergs and Morris's it's deep medication time.

At yet at the end of it if you had to pick and trust a mother in law, sister, executive to run your company, babysitter, aunt, social counsellor, doctor, daughter, nurse, public official, lawyer, can you imagine anyone doing it more competently and sympathetically than Clinton. Certainly not Dowd, Rich, Noonan or Matthews. I'm afraid the attitudes to her that have been fostered by the media and swallowed hook line and sinker by so many, unfortunately too many democrats are a testament to one of our national weaknesses: gullibility. As for the veep controversy it's a no brainer to everyone other than Clinton haters and these self same deeply tainted journalists who make a handsome living pandering to their prejudices.

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Reality: he needs her more than she needs him.

Obama has won the democratic nomination. He's a fine candidate who deserves the support of all democrats. But the fact is he's won the nomination by the narrowest of margins. Even the last couple of results from SD and Montana were not exactly a blow out for him and highlighted a paradox. He's won the nomination but in the precise set of circumstances it's created he needs her more than she needs him. In the normal course of events in primary elections the losers who invariably are beaten by substantial margins usually just disappear back into their old jobs or situations and life goes on. That is simply not the case as things now stands. Basically if she want's the VP spot he's got to offer it to her or seriously jeopardize his chances in the general. All those of his supporters who say this is not a problem, that all the Clinton supporters will see the error of their ways and end up voting for him should remember 1968 when HHH lost largely because the Gene Macarthy supporters wouldn't touch him with a ten foot pole. I suspect few posters here remember that but it crippled the Democratic party.    

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George Packer: the elephant in Obama's room

Yesterday I published a diary that recognized that Obama is going to be the nominee but that it becomes more likely by the day that he will have to invite Clinton onto the ticket if he is not going to seriously jeopardize his chances in November. This produced the emotional reaction that's the norm from the Hillary haters and purists that it wasn't necessary, or likely, and in any case represented a deal with the devil.

Interesting then that George Packer in this weeks New Yorker visits this topic as a subsidiary theme on an article discussing the disintegration of conservatism. Here's the link. 05/26/080526fa_fact_packer

Packer, author of Asassins Gate, I consider one of the best journalists working out there today. The first two thirds of his piece details the parlous condition in which conservatism finds itself today. It's worth reading alone for the pleasure of watching the writhings of people like Frum, Lowry and Brooks as they try to rationalize the meltdown of a whole theory of politics and govt they have done so much to propagate. The last third of looks at Obama's predicament. He has won the nomination by a clever strategy of reconstituting the old McGovern coalition of upscale liberals, blacks and young voters and concentrating on states and caucuses where this bloc is most effective. Nevertheless, it has only enabled him to win the nomination by the narrowest of margins and has nowhere near the strength needed to carry him to victory in November.      

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Last night makes Obama/Clinton ticket virtually certain.

Last night turned out pretty much as expected except maybe Clinton's win was slightly bigger than anticipated. Ultimately Obama moved a step closer to the nomination and he is now clearly going to be the chosen one. He's a fine candidate and a worthy nominee. The problem for him however, is that the general election is not going to be decided in blue states like OR, it's going to be decided in purpleish to red states like KY. And he clearly has a problem with large chunks of traditional Democratic voters in these purpleish states. His supporters are going to deny this vehemently, of course, and there will be a host of dismissive comments attached to this diary but it's a reality that is not escaping the notice of the media and I'm sure superdelegates. Some of them, as for instance in today's WAPO, are floating various fantastical ideas to get around this dilemma. To his supporters I'd say, take off the partisan blinders for a moment and recognize this reality.    

Put most simply it means he's going to need her on the ticket to ensure victory in November. Without her he's probably not going to make it, or at the very least his chances are severely diminished. With her it becomes a shoo in.


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Republicans unravelling?

This morning I indulged in some schadenfreude surfing the opeds in places like the WSJ,letters to the editor at the WSJ, analysis in the NYT, WAPO etc, rantings on Redstate, etc. The Republicans are starting to come apart at the seams and the most amusing thing about the whole process is that they don't get it. I suppose this is what happens when a political party starts to implode. The blame game being played out is totally surreal. Basically most of conservative opeds blame the three successive Republican disasters in districts that have been gerrymandered for year to make them uber safe for conservatives on the fact that Republicans are not being conservative enough. According to the WSJ it has nothing to do with Bush, the Iraq war, the massive income shifts, the gradual collapse of a market based approach to healthcare and all the other right wing doctrinaire positions dear to their hearts. No it's all because the Republican minority in congress is married to earmarks and hasn't been obstructive enough. Perhaps the biggest laugh in the Journal is Karl Rove pontificating about a state of affairs of which he is personally one of the prime architects. No I take that back. Some of the letters from die hard Republicans which they always publish in large numbers contradicting each other, complaining about the drift to the center, are even more hilarious. On the net their counterparts at Redstate are even more extreme: attacking Boner and the leadership, ranting about socialist policies from Republican appeasers, demanding the start of a new war. Amazing stuff.        

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Obama's a bust; the spectre at the feast.

The penny is starting to drop with the left wing Punditocracy. The candidate they have been lauding to the skies for months while dumping on his opponent, isn't going to be able to pull it off in November. Hence these guys/gals, who to be fair are as desperate as any poster here to see a democrat in the white house, are facing the growing realization that their chosen candidate is going to be a bust in November. The great solid mass of the democratic party isn't buying him and hence becomes a floating vote. The Republicans are chortling with glee as they can't believe their luck. Hence the increasing hints of alarm that are starting to creep into their commentary of which the Dowd piece was a typical of several I've read recently. Of course she does the obligatory slagging off of Clinton, accusing her of being Nixonian and, even worse, an inelegant eater of Tostitos, surely a major crime amongst the white wine crowd. But a little worm of doubt is creeping into her beautiful scenario.          

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Why Clinton wins either way

Clinton's convincing win in PA last night has really given her the game in the long term. The ridiculous parsing going on here by the Obama supporters about whether she won by 9.4% or 10% is a totally clear demonstration of just how mixed up these folks are between the wood and the trees. Why has she won long term however the presidential nomination fight turns out?

Scenario 1: she gets the nomination and wins the presidency.

Scenario 2: she loses the nomination, Obama wins it but goes on to lose the general and if last night didn't prove this is what will surely happen I don't know what will. Nothing I suppose, it's like the Republican denial of reality in Iraq. Empirical evidence counts for nothing where deep seated prejudices are concerned. BUT. Despite losing the presidency the democrats win big in the house and senate perhaps pushing us to at or around the magic 60 seats. Who will be the undisputed leader of the democratic party?    

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