Florida Democratic primary – let’s try it again

Florida’s Republican Governor Charlie Crist told Wolf Blitzer that he would support a move to hold another Florida Democratic primary. Another shot at the “brass ring” would seemingly benefit for Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton; however, it would be a further boost to the high-flying campaign of Senator Barack Obama.

WASHINGTON (CNN) — Florida’s Republican governor, Charlie Crist, tells me he’s ready to let the Democrats hold another primary in his state if necessary to allow Florida delegates have a say at the Democratic Convention in Denver at the end of the summer. Right now, the Democratic National Committee has prohibited Florida from seating those delegates because the state moved up its primary against party rules. (The same is true for the Democrats in Michigan.)

But now, Crist says he would be ready to let the state organize another round of voting for the Democrats if that’s what they want and need. That is significant because state primaries are paid for by the taxpayers; state caucuses, which had been suggested by some Democrats as a compromise solution that would allow the state’s delegates to be seated, are paid for by the parties.

Obama would not only benefit from another clear primary victory, but this campaign would be a boost in the general election. Obama would have a chance to showcase his inspiring rhetoric and present his plans as President of the United States as Florida will be a key state in the battle for the White House.

The whole question of seating the Florida and Michigan delegates, of course, would become moot if Hillary Clinton were to drop out of the race. But if she does well Tuesday in Rhode Island, Vermont, Ohio and Texas, the race will continue to Pennsylvania on April 22 and maybe even longer – perhaps all the way to the convention in Denver.

Again, if Obama sweeps “Junior Super Tuesday” on March 4th, he will become the presumptive Democratic nominee. Reading on Walden Bookstore.

Hillary Clinton makes desperate attacks to save campaign from unraveling

Hillary Clinton blasted Barack Obama by comparing him to George H. Bush. Claiming that Obama is like an “untested Bush in 2000.”

“So, fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me,” Clinton said while her loyal ally, Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland, also tried to draw a contrast between Clinton and Obama by saying, “She just knows more. She knows more.”

The attacks on Obama are a sign of desperation on the part of the Clinton campaign and are not unique. The attacks bear no weight because similar attacks were lodged against Bill Clinton in the 1992 campaign against George H.W. Bush. And similar charges lodged against Reagan in 1980. And against Carter in 1976. And against JFK in 1960.

And with apologies to Strunk and White’s book, The Elements of Style: etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.

And so it goes. Reading on Walden Bookstore.

Hillary Clinton risking the Clinton legacy with attacks

Hillary Clinton continues to attack Barack Obama. The attacks are hurting the Clinton campaign, which is seriously wounded. The attacks also serve to tarnish the “Clinton legacy,” which Bill Clinton has spent the last seven years effectively resurrecting.

What is bothersome about the attacks is that they are dripping with sarcasm.

“I could stand up here and say ‘Let’s just get everybody together, let’s get unified, the sky will open, the light will come down, celestial choirs will be singing and everyone will know we should do the right thing and the world will be perfect,’ ” she said Sunday while campaigning in Providence, Rhode Island. Rhode Island and Vermont also hold contests next Tuesday, but only have 36 delegates up for grabs.

The sarcasm doesn’t hurt Obama and diminishes Clinton’s candidacy. Reading on Walden Bookstore.

New York Times explains Hillary Clinton’s unraveling

I want to thank lapis who posted on the Daily Kos and alerted me to this Frank Rich piece in the NYT called “The Audacity of Hopelessness.” Rich blames much of the campaign failures on chief strategist, Mark Penn.

That’s why she has been losing battle after battle by double digits in every corner of the country ever since. And no matter how much bad stuff happened, she kept to the Bush playbook, stubbornly clinging to her own Rumsfeld, her chief strategist, Mark Penn. Like his prototype, Mr. Penn is bigger on loyalty and arrogance than strategic brilliance. But he’s actually not even all that loyal. Mr. Penn, whose operation has billed several million dollars in fees to the Clinton campaign so far, has never given up his day job as chief executive of the public relations behemoth Burson-Marsteller. His top client there, Microsoft, is simultaneously engaged in a demanding campaign of its own to acquire Yahoo.

There was a huge gap between the campaigns, explains Rich, in their work ethic.

The gap in hard work between the two campaigns was clear well before Feb. 5. Mrs. Clinton threw as much as $25 million at the Iowa caucuses without ever matching Mr. Obama’s organizational strength. In South Carolina, where last fall she was up 20 percentage points in the polls, she relied on top-down endorsements and the patina of inevitability, while the Obama campaign built a landslide-winning organization from scratch at the grass roots. In Kansas, three paid Obama organizers had the field to themselves for three months; ultimately Obama staff members outnumbered Clinton staff members there 18 to 3.

He even questions Clinton’s competency as a leader, citing a “disheveled campaign” and comparing it to her “botched” healthcare task force.

This is the candidate who keeps telling us she’s so competent that she’ll be ready to govern from Day 1. Mrs. Clinton may be right that Mr. Obama has a thin résumé, but her disheveled campaign keeps reminding us that the biggest item on her thicker résumé is the health care task force that was as botched as her presidential bid.

In summary, Frank Rich’s piece simply states in graphic fashion that Barack Obama ran a better campaign than Hillary Clinton.

Barack Obama’s remarkable rise comes as no surprise to me, having watched this brilliant politician rise from the ashes of a crushing defeat in a Congressional race in 2000, where he couldn’t do anything right. Since that time, has done nothing wrong. And that success is not accidental. Reading on Walden Bookstore

James Carville speaks the truth, you just gotta love him

James Carville predicts that if Hillary Clinton does not win Texas or Ohio, she will not be the Democratic Party’s nominee.

(CNN) — He hinted at a similar sentiment earlier this week on CNN, but James Carville – a supporter of Hillary Clinton’s White House run — was decidedly more blunt Wednesday on the impact a loss in Texas or Ohio would have on her presidential bid.

“Make no mistake,” Bill Clinton’s former chief strategist told the Orlando Sentinel. “If she loses either Texas or Ohio, this thing is done.”

Just another ominous sign of the continuing erosion of the Clinton campaign. Reading on Walden Bookstore.

Even Newt likes Obama

I have not been worried before that Barack Obama would get the Democratic nomination. I have believed it from the beginning. The first time my wife and I met him in 2000, she said to me, “He’s going to be President of the United States.” Wow. “You read my mind,” I told her. I have believed this ever since that day in 2000, with few moments of doubt.

But now I am worried.

Newt Gingrich is now speaking highly of Barack Obama.

Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich said today that last year he would have picked Sen. Hillary Clinton to win the Democratic presidential nomination, but now he’s not so sure, calling Sen. Barack Obama a “phenomenon” and comparing him to John F. Kennedy.

“I am surprised how she underperformed and how well Senator Obama is doing,” Gingrich said on “Good Morning America.” “I think Senator Obama is slowly and steadily pulling away. The difference in fundraising capability is getting wider. They had 16,000 people in Boise turn out for Senator Obama Saturday. That’s an unheard-of kind of turnout.”

“I think he’s becoming an unusual phenomena in American politics, almost harkening back to John F. Kennedy,” Gingrich continued. “I think he’s going to be very formidable for Clinton to stop.”

Newt, say it ain’t so. Don’t jinx my guy. This is same Newt Gingrich that put out a contract on America for the 1994 Congressional elections. As a Democratic, I say this with a lump in my throat: Newt was good. That election changed history and brought the Republicans back as a player on the national scene.

But in the late 1990’s, he negated all that success when he tried to overthrow a sitting President through the impeachment process. The House voted to impeach the President, but what Newt should have known, the Senate would not, could not convict. Unless there is an overriding reason, a political party will not turn on its own.

The happy ending is that the House Republicans suffered a resounding defeat in the 1998 mid-term elections, which was interrupted as a sign the American people vehemently opposed the impeachment of the President in the House and and the party bosses blamed Newt (whom they were never comfortable with anyway). Gingrichhas been trying to rehabiltate himself since that time by trying to appear to be a “statesman.”

And this same person is now saying nice things about Obama, comparing him to JFK. And I can’t disagree with what he’s saying. He is obviously trying to appeal to a Democratic audience. But why. Should I be worried or accept the compliment? Reading on Walden Bookstore.

South Carolina Analysis by Daily Kos

This great analysis by georgia10 of the Daily Kos showing what a truly remarkable victory this was by Barack Obama. John Presta.

More Numbers

Sat Jan 26, 2008 at 09:29:04 PM PST

Almost final results:

99% of precincts reporting

Barack Obama 295,091 54%
Hillary Clinton 141,128 27%
John Edwards 93,552 19%
Dennis Kucinich 551 0%

And some other numbers:

  • Total 2008 South Carolina Primary Turnout

    Democratic: about 530,322
    Republican: about 446,000

  • Obama received more votes than all Democrats in the 2004 South Carolina Democratic Primary (292,383)
  • Obama received more votes in this primary than George W. Bush received in 2000 when he beat John McCain (Bush won 293,652 votes)
  • Obama has won more votes than McCain and Huckabee won in South Carolina–combined.
  • Republican turnout in the 2000 South Carolina GOP primary was about 573,000 (the state’s record). This appears to make this primary the second highest turnout in South Carolina history. In other words, Democrats are likely going to finish about 40,000 shy of what the GOP was ever able to crank out in a state where Republicans outnumber Democrats by a wide margin.

Clintons’ Frustration Shines Through

I couldn’t help but notice that the Clinton campaign uses the word “frustration” quite often. When Hillary says Rezko, what she really means is “frustration.” When Bill snaps at a reporter, what he really is saying is “frustration.”

The Free Dictionary defines “frustration as:

frustration – the feeling that accompanies an experience of being thwarted in attaining your goals

Oh, like when a Clinton feels clearly “entitled” to the most powerful job in the world and then an Obama comes along to snatch it from you. It means that the Clintons have been “thwarted in attaining their goals.” John Presta.

I repeat, The Clintons "Never Saw it Coming"

Jan Schakowsky, an Illinois Congress woman, visited the White House with a congressional delegation, prior to the 2004 United States Senate primary election. Making her way out, she passed President Bush and the president literally jumped back on seeing “Obama” button pinned to her chest. Guessing what the president was thinking, she told him, “Mr. President, it is Obama with a “b”. Still, the president did not get it. The congresswoman briefly explained to Bush who Obama was. “Well, I don’t know him”, the president responded. Jan Schakowsky paused for a moment and then said to the president, “You will.”

The same conversation could have occurred with former President Bill Clinton and she could have responded the same way, “You will.”

The essential problem in this campaign for the Clintons is that they never, ever dreamed what a formidable opponent Barack Obama was going to be. They felt so entitled to recapture the “throne,” that it was not even conceivable to them that they could in any way be challenged.

By anybody.

And I tell you, minus Barack Obama in this race, we would be discussing Hillary Clinton’s strategy going into the General Election. I was there with Barack Obama in 2000 when he lost and deeply felt the pain of losing. I don’t ever recall taking losing so hard. I was “down in the dumps.” Yes, I was only involved with the campaign for two weeks. Two very intense weeks where we ate, drank and slept this campaign. While he lost the Congressional District, we delivered the eastern part of the 19th Ward for Obama by an overwhelming vote. Prior to March 7, 2000, nobody in the Eastern part of the 19th Ward ever heard of Obama. We spread the word quickly. The grassroots effort spread with unbelievable speed. Yet, he still lost. We could not help believing that with the right amount of time and planning, there was nothing he could not achieve.

When he ran for the United States Senate in 2004 (he actually announced in January of 2003) we believed from the beginning he would be elected the junior Senator from Illinois. We had the time and energy to spread his message of “change.” And clearly, it wasn’t just us. There were dozens of groups forming all across Chicago. Not just African-Americans, but whites, Greeks, Hispanic, Indians. It was the United Nations behind Obama. In fact, African-Americans were a little slow to get on board for a variety of reasons. Once African-Americans got on board, he had 95% support there.

The minute he won the United States Senate Democratic primary on March 16, 2004, I quickly realized that he had just catapulted onto the national stage. At his victory celebration, the national media were there in droves. CNN, MSNBC, CNBC, Fox, ABC News, CBS News, NBC News. All the print guys and gals. All the radio guys and gals. All wanting to interview Obama.

That was the day, March 16, 2004, that the Clintons should have at least begin to “See it Coming.” And now I say to them, “You will.”

Today’s Observations – January 19, 2008

The case for Barack Obama:

Christopher Hitchens of Slate.com writes about Hillary’s “little white lie,” that her mother named her after Sir Edmund Hillary, even though Hillary Clinton was born in 1947 and Sir Hillary’s famous climb took place in 1953. Maybe not a “little white lie.” More of a “whopper” with extra cheese. “The story was self-evidently untrue, writes Hitchens, and doesn’t yield to fact-checking.

Senator Patrick Leahy endorses Obama for President. Compares Obama to JFK.

Colin Powell has kind things to say about Obama. Tavis Smiley tells him “You could have been Obama,” to which Powell replied “Politics wasn’t in my blood – it’s in Barack’s blood,”