McCain has relatively little money compared to the RNC. Bush does not want to raise money for anyone if they intend to tarnish his "legacy". Therefore, the GOP realizes this is the occupational hazard; if they jettison Bush as many Democrats did to Bill Clinton in 2000, Bush intends to make these Republicans pay.
Moreover, if you realize that Bush won in '04 in strict sense by tearing down Kerry...it makes perfect sense that the coordinated Repubican strategy will be to run against Obama harder than Obama tries to run against Bush or McCain. This might seem impossible, but remember that in '04 this is precisely the strategy that worked: as the incumbent deflect your own weaknesses by concentrating on your opponent's.
The protracted race between Clinton and Obama ensured that the RNC especially would hold the dogs at bay until they could tailor the message to the eventual nominee. I fully expect that the Republicnas will continue to look unprepared to balance this "third term" idea all while accepting its the price to pay for withering attacks on Obama and the rest of the Democrats running for office.
This has been overlooked generally. I looked on my own and found that most state convention which will acutally pledge the caucus delegates will be a little after the primary calendar finishes the first week of June. However, since we know who the conventions are going to vote for in advance, the only way that gets turned around is if there's some major power play (which would come from Clinton's side given Obama's caucus dominance) or if the superdelegates magically broke uniformly to one candidate or the other.
I'd only to this point that the resason it's a problem has nothing to do with J.Ro suggests. Actually, it's because the Dems sought to hold their convention very late in the summer so as to take advantage of the campaign finance laws that trigger on September 1. In the good old days (2000) both parties put their conventions in the summer. But because of a scheduling trick with the Summer Olympics, the Republicans decided to put their Covention in September as a way to respond to a "dirty trick" by McAullife.
The bottom line is that the parties ought not to game the system like this so much because in the end you can see how little good this is going to do anyone. All three candidates now are going to be raising money like theirs no tomorrow until the end of August. That reality does none of them good...given that McCain won't have much idea who is the nominee and Obama and Clinton will have less options during the final stretch.
Acutally I'd argue that both are equally difficult, if I can be so specious. I understand your reservations about Obama's version but remember we've already done this before. In the 1980s states began to mandate auto insurance. Yet if you look at Australia, they include liability coverage in the cost of registration. I think that's a superior way, but yet by having the mandate for private coverage I never hear anyone arguing for the Australian system even though I'm sure it would save everyone money.
The economy is taking a beating. Wall Street is looking for new money. Insurance companies love to take their money to Wall Street. If we have more insured people, or have government using more private insurers to cover more people...it's good news for the rowhouses.
Some of what you say Jerome is a little disturbing, because it seems to fly in the face of the hard lesson of 2004...that Democrats using electability as their lodestar is not a way to pick a president. So I have to disagree and say there is a fundamental difference between the Obama camp and Clinton camp. Now I'm not going to argue Obama is Dean 2.0 but I think there are three things which Dems have to reconcile.
1. The War. The fact is, both candidates have nakedly political reasons for their positions on the conflict. Even Obama supporters can't deny that the biggest recipient of ethanol subsidies is one of Illinois's most successful companies. Nevertheless, I think the Democrats can't run anyone who did vote for the war for national office. I think Clinton, Biden, etc...all the War Democrats are done politically. This is because the nexus between the current economic problems (where Dems do well) and Iraq can't be overstated by Clinton. McCain will say, "so you are voting against Iraq after you voted for it" and that will be the end.
2. The "mandate" issue. While it's been debated endlessly I think it reveals a little bit about why Obama has done so well in the West and Clinton has done well other states. Clinton has the mandate in her plan because she wants the big insurers (and Wall Street) on her side. (After all, if everyone has to buy health insurance that's a lot of money for those firms to play with on the Street). Obama isn't an angel, but I think he realizes that if the Fed's offer insurance but don't make it mandatory it's less likely to result in gouging. I also think there's a latent race issue which isn't being discussed.
3. Openess. The Clintons are an established political dynasty. They are bringing the same old people back to Washington, even if it's the third best people for the job. And this even assumes some of the old guys like McAuliffe come back at all. (I know everyone wants to see Rahm Emanuel as Speaker of the House). Obama on the other hand I think simply has a deeper bench to play with and offers more diversity (not just racially) in his team, but I could be wrong.
And truth be told Jerome, with so few states in play left there's nothing left to do but watch and let the superdelegates decide.
Even though most of us have picked a dog in the hunt, I think it's still possible to be objective about this.
This isn't about Pennsylvania...this about money. What Clinton is hoping to do is convince her donor base that they can last longer than Obama's fun-bus of young stary eyed volunteeers, novelty Republicans, MoveOn types, recovering Deaniacs, blacks, and the rest of the party that isn't a single issue voter on race, abortion, Israel, and the like.
Jerome's characterization of 3 Acts is misleading. What this campaign has been from the beginning is Obama finding a weakness in Clinton's strategy and her changing the rules to eliminate that. This isn't the product of some conspiracy...it's the system at work. Politicians always try to extend their viable lifespan beyond the movement on which they are borne.
For that reason, realize, this is just getting started. Even if Obama ran out of money and Hillary won every single delegate from here on out, there's a spot for him in the Green Party with Nader running independent. And speaking of Nader, I don't think Bill Maher and Michael Moore and going to beg him not to run if Clinton is the nominee. Meanwhile, John McCain is salivating at the thought of a disaffected black base should Clinton be the nominee. Remember, McCain does very well with veterans groups and could provide the GOP with a huge linkage there because too many whites in the US underestimate the role of African-Americans in the armed forces.
Nothing against the Keystone State, but I have a feeling it's going to get undue hype solely because it's between the major media centres of New York and Washington on Amtrak....nothing more.
My understanding is that both states could hold another primary after the date (February 5) and it would count. And given how the calendar worked out, it would have made more sense to do so.
I think Clinton has changed her tune because of which states she has won. She thinks Michigan and Florida are friendly territory. However unless Obama runs out of money, the only real difference is that local TV stations will make more money than they did last time.
I'd be more concerned on the Obama side if Clinton tries to usurp delegates selected in caucus states that are not considered pledged yet because the state convention has yet to occur. Many of thse state conventions occur after nearly all the caucuses and primaries are complete, but a couple months before the national convention.
We knew somebody would put these guys back in business...and I'm not referring to Jerome.
First and foremost, NAFTA is a dirty word in Ohio and the Rust Belt, but the treaty has many beneficiaries in Texas. The way the comment was made, it allowed Clinton the ability to split the baby on Obama as far as trade goes. Very effective politics, but she's from the home state of Wal-mart and her allegiances probably haven't changed much.
Race...while it's true that race was definitely a factor in the Butternut parts of Ohio (and maybe elsewhere) this isn't a new story. Obama probably lost Massachusetts due his race (and the struggles of Deval Patrick) and Pennsylvania posits the same dilemma, along with do-overs in Michigan and Florida. It's sad to see the Clinton campaign seemingly abandon the black base that treated them so well in the 90s...but I guess c'est la vie.
Make no mistake, John McCain is thrilled. If there's one person he can count on the Republican base hating more than himself, it's Hillary Rodham Clinton.
So far no one has mentioned the impact of future dates having only a handful (if that) of states going. Obama has the advantage here in campaign style. But I do believe that Hillary will likely counter by assembling more and more superdelegates. Her patronage is far more attractive I think for certain superdels. And unless she runs out of money to compete on the ground within a week or so...Obama will have to broker a deal or two to win at the Convention.
True, Dean hates this idea...but at some point the party has to take responsibility for its own rules.
I agree with the fear...but not the explanation that Republicans are coming to their senses. It's more that John McCain almost ran a general election campaign through the primaries. At first, Huckabee and Romney and Giuliani appeared to roll over him. But in time, I think McCain continues to get elevated because base in the GOP is so fractured that a guy who isn't really an issues candidate....namely McCain.... does a good job of filling in as Bush's "heir apparent".
By contrast, this isn't working on the Democratic side for Obama because it's a two-person race, as opposed to the Republican free-for-all.
Still I agree that Democrats do not want a McCain-Clinton contest. There's no way for Hillary to run to the right of McCain on the war. And as a result, to win she has to try and make economic issues in the general everything. But in the states where that message is most receptive population and representation in the Electoral College is declining. By simply going to the West and South again, the GOP likely wins a squeaker in '08. Obama wouldn't be able to avoid the close race...but by be able to hammer McCain on the war...he might be able to make inroads in key states.
Funny line, but realistically...the Clintons let the rest of the Dem establishment wake up after 2000 and 2004 and make people wonder...but it's really not sure. The field has to be clear for Hillary and 2008 looked like the golden opportunity. If she doesn't win, I expect everyone to start pointing figures the day after the election...if not sooner.