04/17/2008 - 5:33am
During the debate Wednesday night, both Hillary and Barack committed to drawing down troops in Iraq at a rate of one to two brigades per month without regard for what is happening on the ground! This strikes me as being a) a blatant lie, or b) confirmation that neither is fit for the presidency.

I'm inclined to give them enough credit to say the answer is a), but of course b) is pretty compelling too.

Which do you think?
04/16/2008 - 1:49pm
There's good news for Hillary in the new ABC News/Washington Post poll - she's getting remarkably less popular all the time.
Among all Americans, 58 percent now say she's not honest and not trustworthy, 16 points higher than in a precampaign poll two years ago. Obama beats her head-to-head on this attribute by a 23-point margin.

The number of Americans who see Clinton unfavorably overall has risen to a record high in ABC/Post polling, 54 percent -- up 14 points since January. Obama's unfavorable score has reached a new high as well, up 9 points, but to a lower 39 percent.

Why is this good news for Hillary? Because this is all she has left. She must try to do some real damage to Barack - to knock him off his pedestal. A couple of weeks ago, she might have played it cool on Barack's "Bitter" statement and let the story play itself out so she wouldn't offend Super Delegates, etc. But now there's only one election that matters - Pennsylvania on Tuesday. Either Hillary gets him good or its over. The good news for Hill is she's playing her hand, a weak one, as best she can.
04/16/2008 - 1:39pm
Its very interesting to look at Barack's woeful numbers in Florida and compare them to Hillary's. Clinton, as you will recall, has been working to get Florida democrats a voice in the nominating process, as the state has been penalized by the DNC for having its vote too early.

The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey in Florida shows McCain attracting 53% of the vote while Obama earns 38%. Last month, amidst talk of a possible Florida revote, Obama had closed to within single digits of McCain. In February, however, Obama trailed McCain by sixteen points.

If McCain is matched against Hillary Clinton, the race is a toss-up—Clinton 45% McCain 44%.

A scary thing for democrats to see Barack doing so poorly in a critical swing state like Florida, I'm sure. But its a state with an unusual demographic makeup, one that is shorter than most on Barack's base.
04/16/2008 - 4:51am
The LA Times has a new poll out that shows Hillary with a 5 point lead in Pennsylvania, but losing in Indiana. Hillary's electoral argument is based on winning these two states handily. The Times is arguing that 5 points doesn't cut it, and if this is the result on Tuesday, then Hillary is over.
With three crucial Democratic primaries looming, Hillary Rodham Clinton may not be headed toward the blockbuster victories she needs to jump-start her presidential bid -- even in Pennsylvania, the state that was supposed to be her ace in the hole, a new Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg poll has found.
The losing in Indiana portion of the Times poll seems questionable. The Quinnipiac numbers from the weekend tracking poll show Hillary up by 16 points.

The close race in Pennsylvania is partially confirmed by a Zogby poll released today which shows Hill's lead at just 4%, but this poll concluded on Thursday, a moment before Barack's San Francisco Treat came out of the oven. Quinnipiac has her up by six in Pennsylvania - these numbers were collected over the weekend while the aroma from San Fran was wafting through the state.

Truth be told, it remains to be seen whether Barack can contain the damage and continue to chip away at Clinton, or if Hillary might overplay her hand and look silly and unappealing with her zealous attacks on Barack.

Up to this controversy, Hillary has been afraid to come after Obama as aggressively as she is now doing. Will she be penalized for being too tough on the Messiah?
04/15/2008 - 9:16pm
Okay. Rassmussen is in, showing Hillary having grown her lead from 5 to 9 points over the past week.

Quinnipiac shows her up 6, same as last week, which is also good news for the Clintons as it stops a slide.

And the American Research Group results show Hill's lead having grown to 20 points, which I'm inclined to ignore.

Gallup, meanwhile, shows Barack with his biggest lead over Hillary nationally - 11 points.

Whichever trend you choose to trust, its plain to see that Hillary has benefited from Barack's San Francisco treat. Whether that trend continues or not remains to be seen, but with 7 days to go before Pennsylvania votes, Barack remains on the defensive.
04/15/2008 - 5:07pm
One of the fun things about monitoring the Obama campaign is that since he's practicing a new kind of politics, everything he does becomes a template for how our political system will operate going forward. That means we have to watch carefully to see how the new will differ from the old. How is the politics of hope, unity and transparency different from the evil sort of politics practiced by the bad politicians of today?

Traditionally, politicians who are guaranteed to win an election don't risk messing it up by taking part in democracy - they refuse to schedule debates. And those who are newcomers, or trying to crack the foundation of support that their opponent might possess, are always eager for the opportunity to go one-on-one.
Certainly one thing we can expect from Barack's new kind of politics is access.

So with Barack scheduled to win North Carolina handily, will Barack do the old kind of evil politics and duck debates with Hillary, or will he show his commitment to access and transparency and take part in debates?

Yup. You guessed it. Hope goes out the window when the politics of change meets a twenty point lead:

"In a telephone interview with the Observer to discuss his economic plan, Obama doubted whether a proposed April 27 debate at Raleigh's RBC Center would fit with his schedule."

The more things change...

04/15/2008 - 3:27pm
A new poll from Pennsylvania shows Hillary stopping her slide, holding onto a 6 point lead over Barack. These numbers are more realistic, I fear, than the 20 point lead noted in a post from yesterday.

One of the most intriguing numbers inside the new Quinnipiac poll reveals that Hillary leads amongst white democrats by a twenty point margin, 57 to 37. Is this because white democrats don't like blacks? Knee jerk liberals, locked into race based thinking, will certainly be pleased to see their worst fears about Americans confirmed. And they may be correct... at least partially.

Bill and Hill have been much criticized for their moments of trying to colorize Barack. Certainly its an abhorrent tactic, but it may have been more effective than many expected.

And its not as if Barack hasn't done his part. This racial divide results significantly from Barack's coddling of racists, most specifically his friendship with Pastor Jeremiah Wright and his long loyalty to Wright's church.

But these numbers, which include a 96-4 preference for Barack amongst black democrats, surely point to a flawed candidacy and a flawed party. They show the damage done by the longtime democratic tactic of "celebrating" superficial differences rather than pursuing unity.

Or perhaps the basic human desire to be part of a group, and the power of that affiliation, is so deeply linked to our instinct toward self-preservation that it can't be altered by the denial of the PC movement.

Either way, democrats are so fixated on racial, gender and other superficial differences that finding consensus seems beyond them.

How quickly Barack's candidacy has morphed from "transcendent" on the issue of race into a quagmire of division.

04/15/2008 - 1:33pm
How is it possible that Congressman Geoff Davis of Kentucky could be so relaxed and color blind as to refer to Barack Obama as "that boy?" It seems to me quite plausible that he views Barack as a peer, and as is so common in the south and in guy talk, he used the term without thinking twice. Otherwise, the guy's a moron.

"I’m gonna tell you something. That boy’s finger does not need to be on the button,” Davis said, according to an audio recording of the event that was obtained by The Hill. The lawmaker told the crowd that he participated in “closed, highly classified national security simulations” with Obama.

On the other hand, Davis made his remarks at a GOP fundraiser in Lexington, Kentucky. Barack made his condescending remarks at a fundraiser in San Francisco. Perhaps fundraisers are the place to go to express one's bitterness these days.

I'm disappointed that Davis didn't use the Obama apology technique. Instead of sending a slobbering grovel to Barack (
“my poor choice of words is regrettable and was in no way meant to impugn you or your integrity. I offer my sincere apology to you and ask for your forgiveness") he could have said, "I wish I had made my point more eloquently, but the larger observation I was articulating is true - Barack would make a lousy commander in chief."

Davis was referring to his experience with Barack at some sort of nuclear response exercise in which he viewed Barack as indecisive and spineless. This is from ABC News:

According to a Lexington Herald-Leader blog item, Rep. Geoff Davis, R-Ky., said Saturday that he had recently participated in a "highly classified, national security simulation" with Obama, and said that exercise showed that Obama can't be trusted to make difficult decisions.

"I'm going to tell you something: That boy's finger does not need to be on the button," Davis said. "He could not make a decision in that simulation that related to a nuclear threat to this country."

Davis went on to call Barack a snake oil salesman who is unqualified to be president. Tough to argue with that.

04/15/2008 - 1:23pm
Is it possible that the leadership in the democratic party is starting to have an appropriate level of fear over Barack as the nominee? Could it be that Hillary's argument to super delegates that he would not hold up to the scrutiny of a general election are penetrating the consciousness? Or maybe they've seen the cartoon or Barack standing in front of the mirror with John Kerry's image filling the glass?

A great question is raised by Miles Mogulescu at Huffinton Post: where is the party support for Barack? If they could argue for Bill Clinton that lying under oath about sex is an appropriate and legitimate form of perjury, they could easily argue that being elitist and condescending is okay in San Francisco on behalf of their presumptive nominee. What is going on?
04/15/2008 - 1:12pm
The weekend numbers from Gallup show no drop in support for Obama, who maintains a 10 point lead over Hillary for the democratic nomination. He has a two point lead over McCain in a head to head match-up, a statistical tie.

While the battle now is in Pennsylvania, and the results there could significantly affect the national polls in either direction, it is interesting to note the lack of impact on the rest of the country. Is it election fatigue, or has the story just not penetrated, or does the lack of video thus-far reduce the impact of Obama's gaff. Or are the Pennsylvania numbers below way out of wack?
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