Obamomentum

Damn, the man swept. By big margins, too. The Clintons have to be twitchy right about now.

But what’s really weird is that at the moment, it’s looking like Huckabee might sweep, too. The conservative wing of the GOP is saluting McCain with their middle fingers, looks like. Wheee!

This is your place to comment on tonight’s wacky events.

74 thoughts on “Obamomentum

  1. My wife and I attended our first caucus here in WA state today and I could tell right away that Obama had way more support. The turn out was totally crazy, there wasn’t near enough room inside or for parking. Turned out to be quite an event. Obama may pull this thing out all the way.

  2. All I hope is that Huckabee doesn’t sweep.

    Funny line about conservatives, from Ed Gorman’s Blood Moon: “It’s frustrating being a conservative these days – you always have to sit next to some lunatic who wants creationism taught in public schools or something like that.” Tolliver to Payne, p. 124

  3. I still don’t get the whole Huckabee thing. The guy’s a zealot who openly states that should he be elected, pretty much his first order of business will be to do what he can to violate his oath of office.

  4. Too bad the election wasn’t decided by who had the most cotton/corn/potato farming voters…you could pretty much send the woman home to divorce Bill in time for summer on the Vineyard.

  5. I’m really surprised. I thought for sure Hillary would do better in Washington than she appears to have done.

    Even with these wins for the Huckster, I don’t think he can do much more than be a pain in McCain’s ass for a few more months. After tonight, the part of the conservative host that’s not wacked out on goofballs for Jesus will realize their choices are bad or worse and start backing McCain with a zeal unmatched thus far.

  6. Actually, Huckabee has a clear victory only in Kansas so far. And remember that Kansas has constant fights over teaching evolution or “creationism” in school, so liking Huckabee is sort of expected. In Lousiana, it looks too close to call so far.

    On the other side, GO OBAMA!!

  7. The democratic delegate totals are all but meaningless. 40% of delegates to the democratic convention are the “superdelegates,” power brokers of the old “smoke filled room” variety, not elected. So unless Obama manages to get about 85% of the elected delegates, the superdelegates can (and probably will) overrule the people and go for the connected insider, Hillary. It is a system developed to allow for a semblance of primary election, while keeping the old power structure firmly in control.

  8. WA state republicans have been pretty far right for a long time now. Though their last gubernatorial candidate wasn’t too extreme mostly the party here puts up far right candidates. There’s a reason they don’t win much – I mean, 20+% for Ron Paul?

    And, while I like Obama, caucuses aren’t representative of much – they’re the people who are motivated enough to come out, which may or may not map to the people who will finally vote. But the Obama win doesn’t surprise me – the Dems here are pretty liberal and he packed Key Arena yesterday. The place seats 18000 and there were a LOT of people turned away after the Arena filled up.

  9. Meh. The Hill is fading. The superdelegates know that. They’re going to be all about whose going to get their party in the White House (and hand out the goodies when that happens.)

    Let’s face it. Hillary is the last polarizing candidate in the race (the howling and gnashing of teeth of the 33 percenters over McCain doesn’t really count.) If Obama even has the scent of whup ass on him, the supers will dump Hillary like a woman married to a guy who cheats on her with fat chicks…

    Um…

    Bad simile?

    Anyway, the Potomac Primary (MD, DC, VA) will be telling, but March 4 will really tell you who the Democratic nominee is.

    And a vote for Huckabee is a vote for John McCain.

    Or a thumbs up on The Colbert Report…

    Hmm…

  10. Huckabee could upset McCain. Most Republican contests are winner take all. A few wins, and Huckabee, as the outsider candidate, might be able to stick it in McCain’s eye.

    I voted for Huckabee in the Arizona primary. I did so as Thompson was out and I wanted to help to impress upon McCain that he needs the Republican conservative base, and modify his behavior accordingly. I hope we conservatives don’t overdo the “teach McCain a lesson” voting strategy.

  11. CNN has Huckabee leading in LA by 2292 votes with 3% to go as I write this. The only counties with votes still coming in are:
    Caddo (at 85%, at current #s McCain will pick up 219 extra votes)
    East Baton Rouge (85%, McCain, pick up 600 extra votes)
    Orleans (89%, McCain, pick up 234 votes)
    Those are using CNN”s county-by-county votes. So it looks like Huckabee will hold on in LA, barely, but it’s very close.

  12. I was at the WA dem caucus today, and my precinct delegates were 7 to 1 for Obama over Clinton. Of the 7 undecided voters, we swayed 5 over to Obama, but even the 2 undecideds left didn’t go for Clinton. It seems most undecides *want* to go for Obama, but need someone to convince them it’s the right thing to believe in him. No Obama or Clinton people were swayed in my precinct to jump ship.

    One can only hope that if Obama continues to sway so many of the populace, that Clinton will do the right thing and quit rather than try to win via the super delegates. I don’t know that she HAS the right thing IN her (based on the attempts by her campaign to disenfranchise Obama-leaning organizations in various states, and her numerous outright lies about Obama), but ya never know.

    My dream team:

    Obama – President
    Edwards – VP
    Richardson – Secretary of State
    Gore – Secretary of the Interior
    McCain – Secretary of Defense
    Paul – Secretary of the Treasury (or Chairman of the Fed)
    Lawrence Lessig – Attorney General
    Hillary Clinton – Secretary of Health and Human Services
    Richard Clarke – Secretary of Homeland Security or Director of National Intelligence
    Richard Dawkins – whatever science advisor role is availble

    That would be a team to get things done.

  13. I caucused in WA today for the second time; the turnout was huge, and there was a far more positive and optimistic feel to the room than in 2004. There were 21 of us from my precinct, and we went for Obama, 20-1.

    As disorganized and chaotic as the caucus process was (seven or so precincts met at one elementary school, and there were no clearly visible signs about where members of each precinct should go; there was no good way for people to learn which precinct they belonged to; and precinct captains seemed just as clueless as the rest of us about the rules and procedures), I secretly love it. It’s so hands-on! Much more fun than an absentee ballot.

  14. Thel – so you had 21 people – how many delegates did you wind up with (or was that the delegate count)?

  15. No, Huckabee can’t upset McCain. The remaining states won’t go hard enough for a Jesus candidate, he’s too far behind, and he’s not getting a sweep for today anyway. WA is McCain’s, and Lousiana may be. Huckleberry’s building up points for the Jesus wing to use at the convention when the platform is voted on.

    Kansas county GOP parties are mostly controlled by the religious right via the larger ranting evangelical churches, but Kansas GOP voters are mostly moderates. The local parties push through far-right fire-breathers in the primaries. That wins some local seats, especially when the Dems run liberals against them. But when it comes to state-wide votes, the Dems run moderates against the far-righters and the GOP moderates cross the line in droves to vote for them. Why KS has a Dem Guv and atty general who won by 2 to 1 margins.

    The Dems may be headed for a nasty fight.

  16. I caucused for the first time today in WA, and it was incredible. The place was packed, and my estimates were generally 2:1 rfor Obama. My caucus place wound up with 10 precincts or so, representing maybe 15k people (total population). The 120 people in my precinct got to elect 12 delegates to the state convention. It was interesting to see the direct representation that was going on. Overall, there were at least 1000 people there. Some of the old timers were telling us of caucuses where 3 people would show up.

    Given the turnout, it was pretty chaotic, they outgrew their PA system, and it was quite confusing. But that’s a good problem to have.

  17. Well, all I can say is that if Huckabee wins the nomination there will be a sweep for anyone other than him in the general. I’m not interested in a president who believes that ours is a Christian nation.

  18. I like the thoughts behind Tumbleweed’s dream team, with Ron Paul driving the money changers out of the Temple of the Treasury (or Fed)
    Lawrence Lessig as an Attorney General who actually believes in the Constitution, and “gets” the internet;
    Richard Clarke for knowing what needs to be done to actually make us safer from Terr’ists.

    Bill Richardson was actually my first choice in the Democratic primary, if the issue is competence as proven on the job, and a good CV. Granted, Richardson said some things I found repulsive about his not understanding the biology behind some gay issues, and granted that George Herbert Walker Bush had a good CV for the White House. Also, I am biased slightly for Richardson having been born in Pasadena, California, one of the places that I’ve lived for many years (during Caltech studenthood, and while working at JPL years later, and before my wife and I bought our home in Altadena, uphill at the border of the Angeles National Forrest).

    I agree with Gail’s being “not interested in a president who believes that ours is a Christian nation.”

    Remember Friday, November 14, 2003 Posted: 6:56 AM EST (1156 GMT)

    MONTGOMERY, Alabama (CNN) — Alabama’s judicial ethics panel removed Chief Justice Roy Moore from office Thursday for defying a federal judge’s order to move a Ten Commandments monument from the state Supreme Court building.

    Moore’s case has become a magnet for religious conservatives around the country.

    Only one in five Americans approved of the federal court order to remove the monument, according to an August poll from CNN-USA Today-Gallup.

    The poll found 77 percent of the 1,009 Americans interviewed disapproved of Thompson’s order to remove the monument.

    Moore and his supporters contend the Ten Commandments are the foundation of the U.S. legal system and that forbidding the acknowledgment of the Judeo-Christian God violates the First Amendment’s guarantee of free exercise of religion.

    I can’t find the op-ed or editorial from a decade ago which says that it’s discriminatory to followers of Voodoun to assert that America is a Judeo-Christian nation, and we should say Judeo-Vudeo-Christian… But the point is made, in a less funny way by:

    http://www.abovetopsecret.com/forum/thread16099/pg1

    posted on 28-8-2003 @ 09:19 AM

    That was Judge Moore, who declared that there was a higher law than the US law. Now, while you might think this was dandy — suppose Moore had been Muslim and declared there are higher (Muslim) laws than the US law.

    Quite frankly, Biblical law isn’t fair to a lot of people (“thou shalt not suffer a witch to live…”)

    The First Amendment:
    Congress shall make
    no law respecting the
    establishment of religion.

    _that’s pretty clear now,isn’t it_

    Yes, and it ALSO means that “you can’t set any religion’s laws or principles above that of the laws of the United States.” Moore wanted to run his court under Biblical law — so to keep “separation of church and state” we either have to have courts run under the various Muslim laws (including Shiara, which says you stone to death any woman you THINK has committed adultery) and courts running under Buddhist laws and courts running under Satanist laws (everyone wants to change venues to the Satanist courts!) and courts running under Wiccan laws and Druidic laws and Nordic laws and Voodoo laws… and so on and so forth.

    “Religion” doesn’t mean “mainstream Christianity.”

  19. So unless Obama manages to get about 85% of the elected delegates, the superdelegates can (and probably will) overrule the people and go for the connected insider, Hillary.

    Don’t be so sure. In my state, I know that at least three of the superdelegates (John Kerry, Ted Kennedy and Deval Patrick) have already endorsed Obama, even though most of the elected delegates are going to Clinton. Some of the Representatives are probably safe Clinton voters, but there are definitely differences of opinion.

    Given the level of interest in this primary combined with the general belief that Obama’s more electable, if the superdelegates backed Clinton over a clear primary/caucus victory by Obama, it would be a disaster that would tear the party apart for years to come. The Democratic Party up to now has been sufficiently adept at shooting itself in the head that that could happen, but I think the realization that it could ruin everything has gotten into the heads of at least some of the party leadership.

  20. stevem @11

    I voted for Huckabee in the Arizona primary. I did so as Thompson was out and I wanted to help to impress upon McCain that he needs the Republican conservative base, and modify his behavior accordingly. I hope we conservatives don’t overdo the “teach McCain a lesson” voting strategy.

    What I don’t get is how anyone can perceive Huckabee as more conservative than McCain. In fact, I’m not sure that there is even a consistent definition for Conservatism among Republicans or Conservatives.

    I recently wrote a post trying to work through this.

    Huckabee’s record does not recommend him as a small government fiscal conservative. Nor does his record suggest a protect American borders security conservative. From what I can see, his only cred is as a bible-toting social conservative.

    Now I personally find social conservatism the least attractive aspect of the Republican Party, but I will tolerate it when the other aspects are represented in a candidate.

    But I just don’t see how a big-government bible-thumping social conservative who was all about making sure illegal aliens got to suck their share of the public teat and calls for a national ban on smoking can be called a conservative.

    He’s a bible-toting, evagelical populist at best; Left Winger at worse.

    McCain on the other hand is a consistent deficit hawk. He’s a consistent pork-buster and has never directed any pork to his state. He voted for all the Justices Bush nominated. His original criticism for the Bush tax-cuts was that it should be accomanied by budget cuts as well. And they should have. That’s the position of a small government conservative.

    What the hell make Huckabee a choice for a conservative?

    Tully @16

    WA is McCain’s, and Lousiana may be. Huckleberry’s building up points for the Jesus wing to use at the convention when the platform is voted on.

    LA is nobody’s. Neither got 50% of the vote so the delegates are uncommitted.

    The Dems may be headed for a nasty fight.

    I think that at this point, they can’t help but nominate a McGovern. They just don’t know it.

  21. I totally don’t understand this obsession both parties have with a clear nominee months before the conventions. For weeks I’ve listened to pundits wailing that having the nomination decided at the convention would be catastrophic. Each time I hear that, I feel a little more strongly that the opposite is true.

    Think about it. Each election cycle the conventions get thrown together and the news networks run their “does anyone care?” stories, since in most cases all of the major points had been decided weeks before. The only issue addressed at the convention is a running mate, and that can be leaked in advance too. In ’04 the networks barely broadcast the nominees’ speeches. The nominating votes are spread over, what, two or three days so that the nominee’s home state can throw him over the top, etc. In short, it’s usually scripted to the last.

    Now, imagine a convention in which there is genuine tension, swarming with media giving it real coverage and seeking to draw folks in. The country might even learn part of the process, especially if three or four votes are needed. Plus, it’s free press time for the nominee.

    To comment on particular candidates, Huckabee has every reason to stay in. It doesn’t seem like he can win, but then, you don’t expect to win the world series if you’re down three games to none, do you?

    Obama? Of all candidates he seems the most at ease with the state of delegates and other candidates. Why? My impression is that he’s in no rush. Clinton has this one chance to be president. He gives the impression that he WILL be president – if not now, then in 4 or 8 years.

  22. Robrobb

    I totally don’t understand this obsession both parties have with a clear nominee months before the conventions.

    It’s a matter of money. There is only so much money out there that people can afford to donate to a campaign. A longer, hotly contested primary season means the candidates have to spend and raise more money, leaving less money to be raised for the general. And this has already been a longer primary season than any other.

    All of the money McCain raises now can be saved and used in the general, while Democrats still need to tap their base to get through primaries. And then do it again for the general.

    Then there is the campaigning. McCain now now concentrate on building the coalition he needs to win the general. This point for the Democrats likely will not happen until late in August: less than 3 months before the election. McCain has 10 months. Every appearance he makes from now on will be geared towards winning support for the general election.

    Also, the message for the primary and the general has to be different: especially for Democrats. McCain gets to hone his general election message machine while the Democrats have to continue to sound a message that woos the base. The longer they do that, the harder it will be to convince people the general election message is real.

    Then there is the contentiousness. The more the Democratic candidates fight among themselves, the more Republican commercials they generate.

    To comment on particular candidates, Huckabee has every reason to stay in. It doesn’t seem like he can win, but then, you don’t expect to win the world series if you’re down three games to none, do you?

    Huckabee has been mathematically eliminated. McCain only needs 367 delegates to win the nomination, Huckabee needs 1000. All of the remaining primaries allocate delegates proportionally meaning that McCain only needs less than 35% of the remaining vote to win.

  23. Jonathan Vos Post

    Um, you do realize that Sharia courts are not a monolithic entity, right? Not all Sharia courts, or even a majority of them stone anyone to death.

  24. If Obama’s momentum carries through the next few states I suspect we’ll see the superdelegates start to jump on the bandwagon. They see the huge turnouts for Obama (not just at rallies, but in the actual voting — Washington state had nearly twice as many Democrats caucusing yesterday than the record-setting 100,000 they had in 2004), and I’m sure most of them would rather build on that enthusiasm than kill it by overruling the voters.

  25. Frank, just listen to people like Sean Hannity for one day. They all consider McCain to be a liberal pretending to be a conservative. One, he does not support an anti-gay marriage amendment to the constitution. Two, he has not pledged to try to overturn Roe vs Wade. etc etc. They go on like this for hours.

  26. Josh Jasper: I don’t think that was the point JVP was making. A judge’s religious beliefs should not outweigh the law…

  27. I haven’t made up my mind on squat yet, but this opinion piece sums up my feeling on Obama right now. You see, I choose to wait for people to stop drinking the Kool-Aid and get down to brass-tacks and talk some substance…which to be fair…no one is doing at the moment:

    Obama needs to move beyond the rhetoric
    By JACK ULDRICH

    [General Gau, I excised your cut and paste of a newspaper article and posted a link to the article in question instead. Cutting and pasting entire articles is a copyright violation, and I try to avoid those when possible. — JS]

  28. John H @25

    If Obama’s momentum carries through the next few states I suspect we’ll see the superdelegates start to jump on the bandwagon.

    Except that the Superdelegate system was designed after the 1972 election specifically to prevent a candidate who was popular but unelectable (as judged by the seasoned political operatives) from getting the nomination. To have them blindly follow the popular vote would be to invalidate the system and agrue for its abolishment.

    Cynic @26

    Frank, just listen to people like Sean Hannity for one day. They all consider McCain to be a liberal pretending to be a conservative. One, he does not support an anti-gay marriage amendment to the constitution. Two, he has not pledged to try to overturn Roe vs Wade. etc etc. They go on like this for hours.

    Oh I am aware of this. And it is precisely these arguments I attempt to deconstruct in my post. You see, to people like me, being against an anti-gay marriage amendment and refusing to interfere with the operation of the Supreme Court (with the exception of appointing justices) is a plus to this voter.

    Combining this with a dedication to winning the war against Islamists, while at the same time being very sensitive to veterans; being totally dedicated to eliminating earmarks; and stemming the growth of government, I say, what’s not to like?

    Yes, McCain-Feingold is an abomination. But everyone makes miscalculations.

  29. “You see, I choose to wait for people to stop drinking the Kool-Aid and get down to brass-tacks and talk some substance…which to be fair…no one is doing at the moment:”

    Substance in a political campaign? You do realize these are politicians were talking about, right? Waiting for a politician to talk substance is a lot like waiting for Haley’s Comet. There’s a lot of build-up and anticipation followed by a collective groan of disappointment when the masses come to the realization that they’re just looking at a bloated mass of gas and dust that’s wondering aimlessly through space.

  30. General, that’s a very poignant and well written article, but in previous speeches Obama has hit some of those “my theoretical administration can’t do these things alone” notes. Yes, he’s still leaving out lots of details — all the candidates are — but I suspect those might come out once the campaigning for the general election begins.

    Also, Obama is a profoundly tech-savvy candidate, and he may be making the assumption that people can go to his website and read all the specifics of his platform. (Which, granted, is also lighter on details than I’d like, but contains more specifics than what’s generally delivered from a podium.)

    This is definitely my biggest concern with Obama. He really does need to start talking specifics or more and more people are going to wonder if there are any specifics there. But I also would not discount his ability to inspire, nor his apparent ability to admit to errors and correct them. These may not be as important as a solid, well-reasoned platform, but they’re not insignificant.

    Think how GW Bush’s administration might have been different if the man had the ability to say, “You know what, we did screw up here, now let’s fix it.”

  31. This was Nebraska’s – and my – first caucus, and the turnout was incredible. I got there early (or so I thought) and I was glad I did, since the parking lot was overflowing already. And the lines stretched clear across the room. But people kept coming at that rate for another hour, anyway.

    Even better, the line to register as a Democrat – registering for the first time or switching registration – also stretched across the room. Although it moved slower, of course, it stayed that long for maybe an hour and a half, with new people constantly arriving. This was all Barack Obama’s doing.

    In my precinct, Clinton supporters couldn’t beat the 15% threshold, so we went entirely for Obama. Note that we were almost all white, evenly split between men and women, and of all ages (a lot of young people, but far from everyone). EVERY Obama supporter seemed to be wildly enthusiastic. It was quite an experience.

    Here in Nebraska, we’re used to being a minority. Democrats CAN get elected to public office, but it’s not easy. But it seemed like all of us at the caucus knew Republicans who were planning to vote for Obama over McCain, with some of them even donating money to Obama. His cross-over appeal is remarkable. The Democrats would be shooting themselves in the foot if they chose Clinton, instead. It’s just that simple.

  32. I accept as friendly amendment #27 John H: “Josh Jasper: I don’t think that was the point JVP was making. A judge’s religious beliefs should not outweigh the law…”

    I am, by the way, not in any way anti-Islam. I have read two translations of the Koran (there being no consensus English translation, nor do I know any Arabic). I have been working for years to understand the Islamic contributions to Math and Science that were never mentioned in my education through Grad school. I’d never even heard of the Islamic Newton, 11th century Arab scientist Alhazen, the first to correctly describe the mathematical Physics of magnifying lenses, who then saw another solution, designed and built the world’s first parabolic mirrors. One of the greatest minds of a millennium, and I never heard his name once in primary or secondary school. I await the Islamic world’s definitive renunciation of the monsters and criminals who hijacked one of the great religions and cultures. Nor do I want us to anoint Ayatollah Huckabee, who may be a personable bass-guitar strummer, but is a good fit to Robert A. Heinlein’s Nehemiah Scudder who ruled the United States (“If This Goes On”) “after democracy failed” (“Starship Troopers”).

    “With their inflexibility, grudge-holding and eagerness to evict heretics rather than seek converts, too many of conservatism’s leaders sound like the custodians of a dwindling religious denomination or a politically correct English department at a fading liberal-arts college.”
    The Republican Reformation
    By ROSS DOUTHAT
    The New York Times
    Published: February 10, 2008]

  33. Frank @21: He’s a bible-toting, evagelical populist at best

    That’s EXACTLY what he is. He could change parties tomorrow, govern exactly the same in Arkansas as he has, no one could tell the diff and he’d get the same results at the polls.

    LA is nobody’s. Neither got 50% of the vote so the delegates are uncommitted.

    Yep–and the primary would have only awarded 20 out of 43 delegates anyway. The other 23 delegates of LA would still be officially unpledged, as those 20 will be, and will be chosen at the state convention. They stay unpledged so as to be able to sway the platform at the national convention. Same reason losing candidates often stay in longer than you would think they should–each delegate is a poker chip for the convention, and the prize is a share of the goodies (if their candidate wins the general) and sway in writing the national party platform.

    In WA it’s complicated as well. The caucuses select delegates to the convention, but those delegates aren’t officially pledged, and the other half of the national delegates are picked in the state primary on the 19th. Yep, they have both caucuses and primaries!

    Anyone still suffering from the delusion that presidents are picked by popular vote at ANY level in the process need remedial civics lessons.

    I managed to attend both caucuses in my area (one as an observer, not a voter).

  34. Cynic,

    Where is your source for “40% of delegates to the democratic convention are the ‘superdelegates,'”? This PDF from the Democratic Party website pretty clearly backs up the Wikipedia superdelegate entry stating the percentage of superdelegates at approximately one fifth of total delegates. Your post is factually careless and undermines your credibility.

    CNN is reporting that there are 354 superdelegates pledged in the Democratic race right now, leaving 442 up for grabs. Even assuming Clinton maintains her current average, this will result in a 200 superdelegate advantage – or 5% total. Many superdelegates will follow their base, so I cannot see superdelegates (for the most part Democratic Governors, House & Senate members) voting Clinton if their state or district votes Obama.

    I think the toss up nature of the Democratic nomination plays to the advantage of the eventual Democratic nominee. The split between Obama and Clinton means the Republicans cannot mount an effect attack campaign. The Republican Party is trying to win an election as we slide into recession, which bodes very poorly for the party in power. Republicans are most effective nationally when painting Democrats into ideological corners with straw men (Swift Boat Veterans for Truth) and false caricatures which force the Democrats to play defense. They cannot tailor their message or set up their sliming surrogates, and the longer this is delayed the better for Democrats.

    Republicans have become what Democrats were in 1980 – shrill and filled with litmus tests that turn off normal people. Listen to Sean Hannity for awhile? People have, and apparently conservatives disagree by resoundingly dismissing Hannity, Coulter, Limbaugh, etc… and their hatred of John McCain.

    In the end I think John McCain will be our next president. America is both sexist and racist and will default to a white man if given the opportunity. There will be a lot of analysis which skates this essential sexism and racism of our country; which will apologize for and excuse American voters for selecting a white man basically for being a white man. I will (very happily) come back and apologize in this forum if proven wrong .

  35. Huckabee’s success is just exposing the fact that McCain would have gotten destroyed in a two man race, whether against Romney or Huckabee. I’m continually amazed how Democrats think McCain can win the general election without the support of the conservative base. The “base” doesn’t just dislike McCain; they despise him. I get the sense that few here listen to much conservative talk radio or visits sites like Freerepublic, but there is noone more hated in the GOP than McCain. Democrats keep disingenuosly accusing him of being conservative, yet on MANY major issues he has stabbed his conservative colleagues in the back in order to impress the media and the Democratic party.

    Democrats will keep dismissing conservatives as nutcases, and say they’ll get in line to keep Hillary out of office, but it is not going to happen. I think by the time the general election rolls around, there will be a movement in full force to either stay home or vote for the Democrat so the GOP can rebuild from the ashes.

    What you seen on MSNBC and CNN isn’t the full story. The blowback being built up against McCain is going to easily put a Democrat in the white house. Republicans can’t win with just so-called moderates and independents. It simply won’t happen, especially in a race like this one where Democrats are so enthusiastic. No matter how superior you feel to conservatives and no matter how much you’d like to dismiss them, without them McCain is dead in the water. Even on immigration McCain is running to the left of Hillary, and that is an issue that was either first or second for most conservatives. Huckabee, Paul, and Romney split the border security vote because Huckabee and Paul both signed the NumbersUSA “no amnesty” pledge, while Romney got the endorsement of Tancredo and Bay Buchanan, etc. On taxes, McCain voted against the Bush tax cuts twice, and even as weak as Huckabee is on that issue he wins it with his fair tax proposal. On global warming conservatives think McCain-Lieberman will end up increasing the cost of gasoline by fifty cents a gallon. Then on judges, there is the gang of 14, and on and on. Like a previous poster said, talk radio hosts like Hannity go on for hours about bad McCain is. But that is just the tip of the iceburg on talk radio. The second tier of talk radio like Doug McIntyre, John and Ken out of LA, and others are even harder on McCain, and they have a lot of listeners who vote.

  36. Go Obama!
    It does not surprise me that Chuckabee got Kansas. Can you spell “Intelligent Design”? And McCain is back pedalling as fast as he can to smooze the ultra conservatives, he’s bound to run into himself in a back to the future type scenario.

  37. I hope to god we do not elect a guy with the middle name of Osama, my god does anyone check this guy out. Has everyone forgotten all those Americans that died thanks to that son of a bitch! Do not get me wrong I know he is more than likely no relation, but come on! I am I the only one freaked out by that?
    And it is about time a woman was elected, and let’s face facts Hilary was the master mind behind the greatest economy in US history. I mean do you really think that woman chasing husband of hers was doing anything but that? But thanks to George that over one trillion dollar budget surplus was gone in just his first three months in office and our economy cannot take someone with no brains or experience getting into office. Plus any one that vagina promoting rich bitch promotes has got to have alternative agendas. I think if he does get elected the white minorities will get more of the shaft than we already do? That’s right I said minority! I have every right to feel that way not only am I white I am Irish and paralyzed from the chest down and really need Hilary’s health care reforms! Lets face it people those of us that are white middle class and disabled or not have less opportunities in this country than any other so called minority ever has. I mean have you even done a grant search, 99% of federal government grants for individuals, require that you are Hispanic, African American, female or other foreign nationality, less the one percent are for everybody!
    Sorry if I got off topic but I am just trying to point out that if it’s that hard for us middle class white families now how much harder to you think it will be if he is elected? So let all of those bleeding heart liberals keep cheering for mister perfect African American. But let us hope that common sense will prevail and Hillary will get elected so those of that are in desperate need of roll in showers and ramps to even get into our homes can be given a small glimpse of hope. Just so you understand where I am coming from I have been washing my hair in my bathroom sink for two years because the agency that helps people like me lost their funding too a minority agency that provides housing for migrant workers. So my wheelchair is eleven years old, my vehicle lift has been broken for three months so I am stuck at home unable too even go to church with my wife and four children. I cannot get funding for home modifications or to fix my lift or replace my power chair which is falling apart, I only have one wooden ramp to get in and out of my home through the kitchen so if we have a fire in the kitchen I am screwed. My kids keep asking me when I will be able to take them to the movies or anywhere for that matter; I have no answer for them. So when you think about getting all warm and fuzzy inside about mister Obama, think instead about miss Clintons awesome health care reforms that would provide people like me with a chance at a more normal existence. Or for that matter at least a happy one, I cry on a daily basis every time my twin eight year old sons ask me when they can have another father son day, or when my two year old boy, girl twins ask if daddy is coming with us. My wife always has to step in and say not much longer daddy will be able to go with us soon, but she really does no know if or when I will. I know it is hard top understand how I feel unless you have a family member that is disabled but at least try to understand how frustrating it is to see your chance a better healthcare slipping away for perhaps another four years when you have already waited eight.
    I also want you to know I have several African American friends and I have told them these very same things and that they agree with me one some of it. I also would add the fact that all of them are voting for Hillary! They like me do not feel Obama has enough leadership experience let alone life experience, to lead our country, Jasper thinks he should be Hillary’s vice president and get more knowledge then run again after that. Well that’s all for now thank you for listening, Stephen.

  38. I would appreciate a conservative reader respond to Stephen explaining why their tax dollars should not be used to help him.

  39. Frank at 21-

    I didn’t vote for Huckabee because I wanted him to win. I voted Huckabee to scare McCain straight. I suspect more than a few of Huckabee votes in Kansas and elsewhere are actually anti-McCain votes. Even though we know McCain is going to win the nomination. Between now and then, he needs to wake up and smell the coffee.

    McCain is a conservative, but he’s of the fair weather variety. He frequently seems to be playing up to the media and his ‘friends’ in the Democratic party, as opposed to listening to the people back home.

  40. I read Stephens first sentence, and couldn’t read any more, if someone swallows whatever they hear without doing even the slightest fact-checking…. blech. Barack Hussien Obama. Hussien is as common a name as jack or george.

  41. Stephen @ 38. Whoa. Take a chill pill and find some paragraph breaks. Also, FYI, Obama’s middle name is “Hussein”, not “Osama”, though how someone’s middle name is relevant to their ability I’m not quite sure…

    Anyhow, I’ll echo a couple of the above comments saying that a strong Democratic fight most of the way to the convention isn’t necessarily a bad thing for the Democrats. What’s a better narrative to present – two strong candidates that most Democrats like to some degree but can’t really decide between, or the Huckster and the social conservative wing of the Republican party railing against their nominee all the way to the convention? Also, a strong Democratic contest is likely to result in more overall media attention on the Democrats. Sure, expense may be an issue to some extent, but Hilary and Obama both already have seriously massive fundraising leads over McCain.

    This analysis only applies, of course, if Bill and Hillary and Obama (mostly Bill and Hillary) can control their egos enough to stop things getting back down into the gutter – vicious personal attacks can and will damage the Democratic nominee in the general election.

  42. NPR did a story on a poll in Utah (my homestate )
    Clinton vs McCain: McCain wins by a landslide with 71%
    Obama vs McCain: McCain wins 55% to 45%, a surprisingly slim margin in GOP Utah
    Clinton vs Huckabee: Huckabee wins convincingly 59% to 41%
    Obama vs Huckabee: Obama wins 58% to 42%
    “Put McCain and Huckabee on the same ticket and put them against Obama and, well, it’s plausible that Obama would win. but in an Obama/Huckabee presidential race, 59% would vote Obama”
    website link goes to npr story

  43. Folks, Stephen Hinchey is obviously as ignorant as a squirrel regarding Obama, and names therein; ignore him on this subject and continue on with your normal reasoned discourse as if he never posted that nonsense.

  44. Wow. Troll much, Stephan?

    Obama’s had more time in elective office than Hillary has.

    As for the superdelegates issue: I think they’re likely to go for Obama if he continues this kind of momentum. It’s not like he’s not electable, and I doubt they’d consider him to be unelectable or otherwise a problem. I would assume most of the ones supporting Hillary are doing so as a sort of default position; when the time comes that they actually have to think about it, I’m sure a lot of them will be willing to abandon her for him, if the polls continue to look the way they do (ie, Hillary tying McCain while Obama trounces him.)

  45. Hussien is as common a name as jack or george.

    Indeed. Voting against Obama b/c of his middle name makes about as much sense as voting against John McCain simply b/c he has the same first name as John Kerry. Or vice versa.

  46. It’s a pity that Obama is perceived as long on hope and shiny and short on policy, because he actually does have some pretty well thought-out, concrete, and substantiative plans for enacting change. The problem is, it’s all hidden away in a PDF linked off his main issues page. And it’s 60 pages long. No casual voter is going to download, open, and read through that (even if they really should).

    Clinton’s website, on the other hand, suffers from the opposite problem. It’s all there on the website, but the coverage of the issues is profoundly uneven. One section will have eight or ten different links explaining stuff in detail, and then another one will be a few paragraphs with some handwaving. Neither website is perfect, but it feels Obama’s site was thought about a lot more. And it’s pretty. Oh god is it pretty.

    Re: superdelegates, it is my big fear that Clinton will call in debts accumulated over many years despite the overwhelming popular support for Obama, especially in Washington. I will be deeply unhappy if this is the case.

  47. What do you guys think of an Obama/Jim Webb ticket? If Webb is at all interested, that is. I think this would serve a better purpose than putting Hillary as his running mate since it could draw some potential votes from folks who just really dislike McCain but would otherwise vote Republican. I think it would absolutely steamroll McCain/Huckabee or McCain/Lieberman or whatever it ends up being. Not that I’m assuming Obama gets the nod. I think Hillary would also benefit from someone like Webb as the VP. Reaching across the aisle and all that…

  48. a strong Democratic fight most of the way to the convention isn’t necessarily a bad thing for the Democrats

    Indeed, it’s not. What would be a bad thing is a fight AT the convention. A brokered convention is bad news.

    Obama’s had more time in elective office than Hillary has.

    *I* have more time in elective office than Hillary, but that doesn’t make me more politically experienced than HRC (or Obama). The level at which one serves makes a difference. Obama’s time in state-level office isn’t all that relevant to the presidency. (MY state senator is about as bright as a box of rocks…and that may be insulting to mineral-Americans. He’s now running for Congress.) Time serving in Springfield isn’t the same as time serving in Washington. Clinton has four years more of federal-level elected service than Obama, and fifteen years of insider Washington experience total. Obama has less than three years of insider Washington experience.

  49. John: Sorry about not using a hyperlink. Since I didn’t see a hyperlink option I went with the blatant cut/paste. I’ll be better next time!

    Obama needs to move beyond the rhetoric

    http://www.startribune.com/opinion/commentary/15450646.html

    My point here is that the independent voter is pretty saavy (albeit a mixed up lot) and if they don’t like Obama, I wouldn’t count your eggs just yet. He has to start spouting his actual plan. People aren’t going to visit his web site…..they want to hear/taste/smell the plan. Take ‘er for a test drive. Kick the tires. He has to start talking shop. Independants are not lemmings and will not follow just because the libs want them to. Just my own two cents.

    Tumbleweed: The issue I have with your cabinet selection is: Hillary Clinton – Secretary of Health and Human Services. I work in the health care industry. While no one has “the answer” just yet I can tell you Hillary’s plan has a snowball’s chance. No one liked it then, no one will now.

    McCain has also spouted crossing party lines for VP/cabinet with Lieberman being tossed into the VP mix. In any event, whether it is a Rep or Dem in the White House….I’d love to see some of that bipartisan type administration being touted right now. That would be a good thing

  50. OMG! What was Hillary’s middle name before she married? it wasn’t ADOLF was it?

    Hillary ADOLF Rodham?

    Do you remember what ADOLF DID? DON’T FORGET IT!

  51. Patrick:

    Which Adolf? The one one who founded Coors Brewing, or the one who founded Paramount Pictures? C’mon, man, details matter.

  52. General G – the thing about McCain and crossing party lines is that if he’d accepted Kerry’s offer of the VP slot, he’d be in the White House right now.

  53. I’m surprised there’s not more blatant racism in this race – I mean, with a Black-Irish guy like O’Bama running, you’d think it’d be all mick-this and mick-that, but I haven’t seen any of that. Very heartening to see.

  54. Egg-cellent point TW. But then for those firmly esconced in the McCain camp it could be argued it proves how smart the man is for not hitching up with Kerry! ;)

    In any event, I’d like to see a bipartisan cabinet with whomever is elected. One were the best possible choice is not tied to 1) party line, 2) endorsement favors, and 3) the “old boys” network.

    I recall a ABC story in which Obama said he’d consider putting Republicans in his cabinet and even bandied about names like Sens. Dick Lugar (R-Ind) and Chuck Hagel (R-Neb) and even the Terminator himself — Arnold Schwarzenegger.

    This is the type of president that we need. Someone who’ll consider the whole population in finding the talent we need to move this country forward. Not just half of it.

    On the flip, the conservatives can argue that Obama sure must have worked to find the three most liberal Republicans in the country, in an effort to appear “bipartisan” to all of you. So while the gesture is appreciated, fault can still be found.

    General Gau signing out….and still thoroughly undecided.

  55. John, as our resident Ohio’ian, how do you think Obama will do there? What’s the word on main street?

  56. I am officially sick of the Obamarama. Sure he’s great. But he’s not the Messiah. C’mon, guys, stop salivating. It’s unhealthy.

  57. David A:

    No clue whatsoever. People seem to think Clinton is going to do well here, but I can’t say one way or another. Of course, I live in a county that went 70% for Bush in 2004, so it’s possibly not a huge topic of conversation here.

    KWF:

    Don’t worry. We know he’s just a man.

  58. For those in the DC area, Obama is coming to the University of Maryland tomorrow at 12:30 for a rally. I’m a little peeved that I can’t make it but for those of you who have the luxery of taking time off from work, go check it out.

  59. King WF –

    It’s not that we think he’s a God or something. Like Scalzi said, we realize he’s just a man.

    But I think we’re all just so damned happy to find someone that doesn’t sound like he spent the last 30 years of his life sniffing methane straight from the source of the collective DC asshole, that we’re reacting like a starving man discovering a pack of Wheatabix alongside the road: We know that normally it would just be plain shredded wheat, but after weeks of starvation it’s OMG-I’M-GONNA-CRY GOOD!!!

    I think all that salivating, messianic burbling is just the sound of a starving population shoving Wheatabix down their throats with wild abandon. Don’t worry, once we put him in office, we fully expect him to perform to spec.

  60. Frank @ 29: Except that the Superdelegate system was designed after the 1972 election specifically to prevent a candidate who was popular but unelectable (as judged by the seasoned political operatives) from getting the nomination. To have them blindly follow the popular vote would be to invalidate the system and agrue for its abolishment.

    I don’t think anyone in the Democratic party (with the exception of Hillary fanatics) would say Obama is unelectable — in recent head-to-head polls Obama beats McCain in all but one poll, while McCain beats Hillary in all but two polls.

  61. “I know the pundits, and I know what they say: The math doesn’t work out,” Huckabee said Saturday morning at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington. “Well, I didn’t major in math; I majored in miracles. And I still believe in those, too.”

    Well, Hucksterbee, the first novel that I remember reading to completion was Rocketship Galileo, by Robert A. Heinlein. I liked the film adaptation, on which today he would be called a Producer and Director of Special Effects and Executive Consultant, about which wikipedia comments:

    “Destination Moon is a 1950 American science fiction feature film instigated and produced independently by George Pal. Pal commissioned a script by James O’Hanlon and Rip Van Ronkel, which was thence directed by Irving Pichel. The movie was filmed in Technicolor and was distributed in the USA by Eagle-Lion Classics. Destination Moon was the first major science-fiction film dealing seriously with the prospect, problems and technology of space travel produced in the United States, and won the Academy Award for Best Special Effects in the name of the effects director, (Lee Zavitz). The noted science-fiction writer Robert A. Heinlein contributed significantly to the script and invented many of the special effects. He also published, about the same time as the release of the film, ‘Destination Moon’, a short story of the same name that was based on the screenplay.”

    My point being that Robert A. Heinlein seduced me into becoming a Mathematician and a Scientist, and in working 20 years for the actual Space Program that he bootstrapped into existence. And I told him so. And a passage that haunted me in Rocketship Galileo is where the teenagers say that they know essentially all the Math they need, including Calculus, and the autobiographical father-figure lists the major areas of Mathematics that they still need to learn, and better start doing their homework right now, on the way to the Moon.

    So, thank God, and his avatar Heinlein, that I got my double B.S. in Mathematics (including Infinitary Logic) and English Lit (especially Poetry) from Caltech, 1973, and my M.S. in Computer & Information Science (specializing in Artificial Intelligence and Cybernetics), U.Mass/Amherst, 1975, and my PhD Dissertation (never voted either as approved nor rejected) in “Molecular Cybernetics” (now called “Nanotechnology” and “Artificial Life”), Umass/Amherst, 1977, and did Computers plus Applied Math for Boeing, Burroughs, European Space Agency, Federal Aviation Administration, Ford, General Motors, Hughes, JPL, Lear Astronics, NASA, Systems Development Corporation, U.S. Army, U.S. Navy, U.S. Air Force, Venture Technologies, Yamaha; and was Adjunct Professor of Mathematics, and Adjunct Professor of Astronomy.

    Because, where I stand, and would swear on a stack o’ bibles in court as an Expert Witness, God is a Mathematician (see the Blake etching of Him with compass, doing Geometry), and even his Miracles are subject to (as C.S. Lewis argued, for aesthetic reasons) subject to the Laws of Mathematics and Logic.

    Because I may have two B.S. degrees. but you take the cake for B.S. in general, however you pluck those bass guitar strings (cf. Pythagorus, Mathematics of Musical harmony), what you say is anti-intellectual B.S. that strikes at the very foundations of civilization itself.

    And it does, I grant you, make you the true inheritor of Emperor Bush II in his first presidential campaign brushing off rational objections that you can’t simultaneously balance the budget, massively cut taxes, and massively increase the military, as Fuzzy Math.”

    You fuzzy-headed glib theocratic demogogue, against whom I hope that every thinking adult American man and woman votes, and votes twice if necessary.

  62. To have them blindly follow the popular vote would be to invalidate the system and agrue for its abolishment.

    I think, generally, people don’t give a rat’s behind about such considerations as the integrity of a convoluted and arbitrary system invented nearly 40 years ago.

    Just because it exists doesn’t mean anyone is truly invested in it.

  63. “We know he’s just a man.”

    Thanks, John. Now every time I see Obama I’m going to have “Don’t Know How to Love Him” from Jesus Christ Superstar going through my head. Thanks a lot.

  64. BTW – The Chicken Dance was not an editorial comment on any of the above discussion or the candidates. It was just the most obnoxious song I could think of.

  65. I’m sorry, did you say something? I was busy listening to a mix tape comprised entirely of “Barbie Girl,” “Achy Breaky Heart,” and “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Aa” played in sequential order for 90 minutes.

  66. I think, generally, people don’t give a rat’s behind about such considerations as the integrity of a convoluted and arbitrary system invented nearly 40 years ago.

    Please note the I am NOT saying the same thing will happen NOW but I do have to add some historical perspective here.

    Prior to 1968 the Democratic party had ‘super-delegates,’ but the 68 convention in Chicago (Maybe you heard about the riots in history class?) spooked the Dems so much they then appointed a commission to recommend what to do in the future. George McGovern headed up the commission and it recommended they do away with the super-delegates and put more emphasis on primaries and caucuses, which they did. In 72 McGovern swept the primary popular vote and was the Democratic candidate.

    He was creamed in the Presidential election against, of all people, Nixon. McGovern lost his home state of South Dakota and everything else except DC and Massachusetts. He lost the electoral vote 17 to 520.

    So the super-delegates were put back in.

    I’m sorry to bore everyone with, you know, actual historical events and all but I do get tired of ignorance. I suppose just as every generation thinks it invented sex, every generation is SURE that they will get it exactly right this time.

    As I said I am NOT saying the same thing will happen this time but I don’t like the idea that history is irrelevant and may be ignored.

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