Ending The Nomination Campaign

by: Chris Bowers

Tue Mar 25, 2008 at 13:10

A consensus seems to be forming that Hillary Clinton has only a very slim chance to win the nomination. Recent articles in The New York Times and The Politico are examples of this. Further, the consensus is not only that Clinton has a very small chance, but that what chance she does have requires creating a civil war in the Democratic Party by using superdelegates to overturn the popular vote, deny the nomination to the candidate with the most grassroots support in the history of the party, and cancel out the first African-American nominee, even though African-Americans are the most loyal Democratic voting group of all. In other words, Clinton's only longshot hope is to win the nomination while creating an intra-Democratic civil war that could drive a wedge down the coalition for years.

While I agree with this perspective, I also think it would be bad for Clinton to drop out when she holds an average lead of 16% in the upcoming, major primary of Pennsylvania. Momentum in the general election is often determined by momentum in the primary campaign, and as such it is essential that Obama is not seen as "backing in" to the nomination. For example, in 1984, Mondale lost eight of the last nine primaries, including California, providing him with serious negative momentum for the general election. Also, in our own primary campaign, we have regularly seen the candidate with momentum in Democratic primaries perform better against McCain in the general election. Over the summer, when she was rising in Democratic polls, Clinton performed best against Republicans in general election matchups. During February, when Obama was on a huge roll, he performed about 5% better than Clinton against McCain. Now that no one seems to have clear momentum in the nomination campaign, the two candidates perform about the same against McCain. Clinton needs to exit only after an Obama victory, and when there are no remaining possibilities of future big wins for Clinton.

Between now and June 4th, there are four chances for Obama to earn the sort of victory that would knock Clinton out of the campaign, and provide him with the momentum he needs for the general election. In the extended entry, I provide a quick look at all four:

Chris Bowers :: Ending The Nomination Campaign
  1. April 22nd, Pennsylvania: An Obama victory in Pennsylvania would be a huge upset, given that Clinton currently leads by an average of 16% in the state. It would also shoot down every single argument the Clinton campaign has put forth on the electability front. Pennsylvania is a big state, a swing state, a blue state, a state with a large number of working class white voters, and a state with very few independents. An Obama win here would end the campaign, and the articles pointing out that Clinton has only a small chance to win the nomination would turn into articles stating that she has no chance whatsoever. However, Clinton starts out way ahead in Pennsylvania, and it is also one of the demographically favorable states for Clinton in the entire country. A victory for Obama here is very unlikely.

  2. May 6th, Indiana and North Carolina: May 6th is shaping up to actually be much more important than April 22nd. For one thing, more pledged delegates are at stake in Indiana and North Carolina (187) than in Pennsylvania (158). Secondly, while Pennsylvania looks like a blowout, current expectations are for both May 6th states to be reasonably close. Third, May 6th is the first date when Obama can reach 1,627 pledged delegates, or 50% + 1 of pledged delegates. Right now, he needs 173.5 pledged delegates to reach 1,627, or 49.7% of the 349 to be determined between April 22 and May 6. Fourth, after May 6th, only 217 pledged delegates will remain, effectively making it the last major primary day in the nomination campaign.

    If Obama sweeps Indiana and North Carolina, while hitting 1,627 on the same day, the campaign is over. Accomplishing both goals means that Clinton will have made up absolutely no delegate ground from March 4th through May 6th, and that her final option will including winning the support of more than 70% of the remaining superdelegates. A sweep on May 6th plus hitting 1,627 would be game, set and match. The latest North Carolina poll shows Obama with a commanding lead.

  3. May 20th, Kentucky and Oregon: May 20th is the latest possible date that Obama will reach 1,627 pledged delegates. If he has failed to reach 1,627 by this point, that means he has not done well in preceding primaries. However, if he wins Oregon and reaches 1,627 on May 20th, there is an outside chance that could end the campaign.

  4. June, reaching 2,024: If the campaign has not ended after all the voting is completed on June 3rd, then the last remaining option for Obama to knock Clinton out of the campaign will be to reach 2,024 at some point in June. To do so will give him control of the credentials committee, and the majority of the non-disputed delegates on the floor of the convention. In other words, he will have secured the nomination whether or not Clinton drops out. Even a worst-case scenario for Obama at this point only requires about 40% of the undecided superdelegates to support him in order to reach 2,024 by the end of June. This would not be the ideal circumstance, and Obama would probably start out behind McCain in the general election, but reaching 2,024 does give Obama the nomination.

Of all these scenarios, #2 is clearly the top option. An absolutely slam dunk scenario for Obama to clinch the nomination on May 7th would be to put up a decent showing in Pennsylvania, sweep Indiana and North Carolina, reach 1,627 pledged delegates on May 6th, and at least draw even with Clinton in superdelegates by May 6th. If he can pull off all four, be will become the presumptive nominee in just six weeks time. Further, he will do so without stumbling across the finish line, or backing into the nomination. As such, while it is still a good idea to keep organizing hard in post May 6th states, the key is end the nomination campaign on the night of May 6th. This requires netting about 40 supers, and drawing even among pledged delegates in the April 22nd to May 6th period. It also probably requires continued pressure on the narrative that Clinton has only a narrow path to the nomination. Whatever strategy can best pull all of this off is the strategy we need to implement as Democrats right away.  

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Evening the expectations (4.00 / 2)
I think that a major impetus of the stories you cite is to give a more realistic appraisal of Clinton's chances of winning the nomination so that her supporters do not feel  cheated.  It also provides a much-needed reality check for some voters in PA-NC-IN who might think about their votes in light of the long-term prospects of the party.  And potential donors who might consider the prospects for their investment in her future.  (Considering that she's padding her totals with contributions that can only be used in the general, which presumably she will return).  And of course superdelegates, who will continue to trickle in for Obama. And to provide a backdrop for coverage of the campaign, especially of her claims.  I don't think it is to encourage her to drop out yet.  May 7 is fine.  I can stand 6 more weeks of this.  

But my energies and money are going toward Congress.

John McCain--He's not who you think he is.

One possible but less favorable scenario (4.00 / 1)
Considering that Hillary Clinton's ONLY rationale for staying the race is the SDs, her campaign has been taking great pains for week now to advertise that SDs are legitimate part of the process, that there is nothing wrong with them picking the winner (or rather in her mind, overturning the winner), that they are just as legitimate and maybe smarter judges than the pledged delegates and voters and yada yada.

In other words, she set the groundwork for a SD move to kill her candidacy outside of actual votes without her being able to complain. If they are just as legitimate as elected delegates, as her campaign has claimed for months, then there is a perfectly legitimate scenario in which a move of enough SDs to Obama (enough to make her nomination ridiculously impossible) could force her out, at least in the  media zeitgeist (they are close enough to that point as it is).

So while I understand Obama would be better off with a clear electoral victory, I personally would be more than satisfied if, say, he pulled even in SDs by the time PA comes around and the media starts clearly treating this race as impossible for Clinton to win. It would be less clean but let's be honest here, this race won't be won in a clean, clear and optimal manner anyway.

And if Obama loses any of the remaining big states, that loss would be close enough in time that the perception may be negative. The last election/loss was a month ago. That has faded long enough in the minds of electors that if he cinched the nomination now, I don't think there would be a perception it goes against any kind of Clinton momentum ala Mondale.

I know it sounds like a pipe dream now but I am fairly certain that the new consensus about how the primary is hurting the party (see endorsement poll here), on how McCain has surged past both candidates and on how Obama is clearly going to be the nominee may convince a large number of superdelegates to step in.
And Hillary unwittingly gave them the rationale to do so outside of the electoral calendar you describe above.

Not to to toot my own horn (0.00 / 0)
But after that "Pastor Wright would not have been my pastor" remark, I think my scenario just got a teensy bit higher chance of becoming true. I really don't see Pelosi/Reid standing up for this

[ Parent ]
Pelosi/Reid (4.00 / 1)
I don't know about that. One of the frustrating things about the Wright episode is that I haven't seen major Democrats standing up and defending Obama. Hell, Huckabee did more than any Democrat I noticed.

Clinton should at least have the decency to keep her mouth shut. I said elsewhere in the thread that I don't really believe she's trying to sabotage Obama so she can run in 2012, but it does seem that she's going all out for her tiny chance of being the nominee, even if it's greatly increasing the chances that McCain will be president.

[ Parent ]
I've sort of given up (0.00 / 0)
on the super delegates doing the right thing. I'll be perfectly happy for them to endorse Obama in droves or even trickles but for now it's rather inexplicably, given all the recent bad news for HRC, drought-like.

[ Parent ]
Sigh... W.Va. on May 13... (0.00 / 0)
So you're telling me that W.Va. on May 13, even in this draw-out nomination battle, doesn't really matter all that much? (Sigh.)

Oh, wait, we may not be end the war, but we're still a battle along the way. We'll be part of the margin that matters in scenarios #3 and #4.

Also, the likely tightening of the race here -- after more Obama campaign visits and/or his media advertising starts in W.Va. -- would also contribute to an "Obama's got momentum" narrative.

They call me Clem, Clem Guttata. Come visit wild, wonderful West Virginia Blue

Can't see that one (4.00 / 1)
Obama polls worse in Appalachia than just about everywhere else. I don't think he wins there unless it's clear the campaign is absolutely over.

Forgotten Countries - a foreign policy-focused blog

[ Parent ]
I agree Clinton will win W.Va. (0.00 / 0)
I just don't expect her to pick up nearly as many delegates as the recent polling percentages project out to. That's what I meant by a tightening showing movement for Obama.

They call me Clem, Clem Guttata. Come visit wild, wonderful West Virginia Blue

[ Parent ]
Cornered Animal (4.00 / 1)
One thing no one has really discussed is, assuming Obama meets one of the above scenarios and guarantees victory, what will Clinton do when faced with certain defeat?  It seems like there are three paths: (1) actively support Obama in the general (2) be relatively quiet/neutral or (3)try to throw Obama under the bus.  The first option would clearly go a long way in healing the wounds opened up during the primary, but it seems more and more unlikely as this continues to get ugly.  The third option scares me the most - she could poison pill his campaign and then make another run in 2012.  I'm not trying to say she would do that, only that its an option that terrifies me.


If you plan on running again (0.00 / 0)
You don't throw anyone under the bus, especially not the Party nominee, who has more supporters than you.

You suck it up and compaign for the good of the Party, then collect your chits in 2012.

Only of she planned pn harassing Obama from the Senate and not running again would she not campaign for him.

John McCain--He's not who you think he is.

[ Parent ]
Tell that to Ronald Reagan, 1976 convention. (0.00 / 0)
That's the scenario I foresee.

[ Parent ]
Re: Cornered Animal (4.00 / 1)
I've had your fear myself, but let's not get carried away with our paranoia. When you think it through, how exactly is Clinton going to torpedo Obama's campaign while keeping her hands clean? If he loses because of something she's done, then she has no realistic chance of being the nominee in 2012 either.

[ Parent ]
She'll throw him under the bus (0.00 / 0)
for sure. She's not going to quit. She's going to the convention with her delegates to make the case that Obama's unelectable. She and her supporters have convinced themselves that Obama is unelectable so all they need is to convince the super delegates who, as we all know, can change their minds as many times as they want up until the final vote.

[ Parent ]
If If If (4.00 / 2)
If she had not beat him by 3 in NH it might have been over. If she had not beat him by 3 in TX it might have been over.  And if like you say, he wins in IN and NC it might be over. But what if he only wins NC? HRC has proven herself as capable and willing  to throw very dirty mud on Obama and benefit herself as a result.  Why would you believe she will stop now?

This thing has to come to end sooner rather than later....this is what Richardson is calling for and hopefully one or two other super delegates will start echoing those calls. If we let this go until June we will lose in November.

I'm so tired (1.00 / 4)
I'm getting tired of thing, Hillary is throwing dirt, Hilary is throwing the Kitchen sink etc...

But of course, Obama can do no wrong right? When he says she's unthrustworthy, he's not throwing dirt, of course not. When he throws his grandmother under the bus it's fine. Yes you obamabots, he did throw his grandmother under the bus: Maibe she's racist, so ask yourself, if you had (have) a racist elderly grandmother, would you say it in a public speech in front of millions of americans? That would be nice for her going to the grocery store afterward. And he knows he did something wrong because he tried to back down, poorely I must say remember? "Typical white person"? Now that's great, we are about to get ourself a total political NOOB for the general.

[ Parent ]
did you happen to notice (4.00 / 1)
that today she brought up Rev. Wright???? She is incapable of rising above the fray--it is not in the Clintons DNA.

[ Parent ]
Limbaugh talking points (4.00 / 5)
Please try to come up with something a little less retarded if you want to trash Obama. I don't know where you've been living, but welcome to America. White women of Obama's grandmother's age were raised to fear black men. It's called racism. It exists. Obama was able to make this point while making clear that he would never disown his grandmother who loved him and sacrificed for him. And you really think you can turn that into a negative without exposing yourself as an obtuse asshole? Please tune back in to Limbaugh and see if you can come back with anything slightly less ridiculous.


[ Parent ]
Ok maibe it's about lack of undersatanding (0.00 / 0)

What you call trash, I call pointing out inconvenient facts. And you didn't respond to my question, if (as you seem to imply) your grandma is kinda racist, would you, or would you not be willing to say it in front of million of viewer on national TV. Just asking.

[ Parent ]
calling out my grandmother (4.00 / 1)
I am not likely to be in front of millions of viewers on national TV. Regardless, I saw the speech in it's entirety. It was an amazing speech. Part of the point of the speech was that we need to talk honestly about race and racism without demonizing people. He spoke honestly about the racism that is out there and is common by using his grandmother whom he loves as an example. The point was: Rev. Wright is a good person; my grandmother is a good person; you don't reject people for something they say even if you disagree with it. If I could recall any specific things my grandmother had said that were relevant to a national speech I was making, I think I would probably mention it if it helped make a point. I never met my grandfather on my dad's side, but from everything I've heard, he was a terrible racist.

What I find interesting is that certain people are outraged that Obama would criticize the words of his white grandmother while being outraged that he doesn't go far beyond criticism of the words of Wright that he disagrees with and denounce and reject Wright completely. What's the justification for the double standard?

I am assuming that you are such a fervent Hillary supporter pissed at Obama mainly because he is denying her the presidency that it is clouding your judgement, and you are really looking for reasons to criticize him. Seriously, I watched that speech, and this "What a dick for throwing his white grandmother under the bus" idea never came anywhere close to popping into my mind. Now it seems to be a talking point that's out there. I just think it's bizarre and kind of pathetic.


[ Parent ]
You don't want to answer and that's your right (0.00 / 0)

My question was about "If" and "wound you".

you are not likely to be in front of millions of viewers on national TV, that may be true... but what if you were?

But I understand that you don't want to answer and that is your right.

The speech was good, or so i heard. I have said it before, I don't believe in speeches especially not political one made out of POLITICAL necessities. I believe in unscripted interviews.

[ Parent ]
I guess you missed this: (4.00 / 1)
If I could recall any specific things my grandmother had said that were relevant to a national speech I was making, I think I would probably mention it if it helped make a point.

That is the answer to your question.

The speech was good, or so i heard.

So you didn't actually hear the speech? Do you worry that demonizing an excerpt of a speech that you didn't hear could lead you to make an ass of yourself?


[ Parent ]
Whose grandparents weren't racist by (4.00 / 2)
today's standards? I loved my paternal grandfather dearly but I also clearly remember hearing him on numerous occasions use racist epithets, which made me wince. It didn't make me love him less; it did make me think about my values at a young age.

I once wrote a novel (alas, never published) in which I addressed this issue. Gee, I guess I threw my grandfather under the bus. Maybe I should have kept it all inside, huh? Like this society's been doing for decades, even centuries.

Hmm. Imagine that: Obama's brave, straight talk on race strikes home with a lot of people.

[ Parent ]
actually (4.00 / 1)
Obama said his grandmother said things that would make him
"cringe."  I don't think he called her a racist. He also said he loved her.

Anyway, the argument is beside the point. The point is, we're all racist at times.  It's part of our DNA. That's what human creatures are -- just like other creatures -- we feel safer with members of our own kind and in our own neighborhoods.

However, because we are thinking creatures, we have the capacity to overcome our latent racism by speaking and acting differently towards each other. I have watched this kind of transformation in my own household when a member of my family began dating and then married and then had children with an African-American muslim (my family is white Roman-Catholic).

Talk about watching stereotypes break down: I witnessed people to whom FAMILY and blood is like a sacred oath change their behavior and attitudes about race simply because one of their own invited a new race into the family.   Love conquers all.

However, the transformation wasn't instantaneous and isn't really complete. ... Over the years and even today every now and then, someone -- an uncle, an older cousin, even my mom -- might say something cringe-worthy. My own friends say similar things. I sometimes point it out -- like a speck of food in someone's teeth -- delicately. Would I confess on TV that my mom or friends or even myself has said things considered racist, or sexist, or homophobic? Absolutely. To deny such a thing is ludicrous.

And that's the point. We are all human, imperfect beings, and yet we love each other despite those imperfections. By addressing the thoughts or actions that are hurtful we begin to improve our relationships, and find a more perfect union. And that was the whole point.  

[ Parent ]
Oh and by the way (0.00 / 0)

This "asshole" almost got his ass kicked in a Oregonian bar in the run-up to the Irak war, so don't lecture me about the Limbaugh crowd. In truth you kind of sound like them.

[ Parent ]
However (0.00 / 0)
I think it's the perception is that the Obama campaign is 'responding' to whatever the Hillary campaign is throwing at them.  Hillary is the attacker (has to be, she's behind).  Hence the 'kitchen sink' meme.

Obama also seems to be handling the 'controversial surrogates' better also.  Where necessary, he draws a line, fires the offender or renounces the support.  Clinton is protecting the surrogates and doing little to rein them in.  This perception is damaging the Clinton campaign.

Being the defender gives Obama strength and credibility in this portion of the campaign, and more passes by the MSM.  

[ Parent ]
Yes (0.00 / 0)
Yet another opportunity for Obama to put this thing away.

I want him to win in PA. I know the odds are against it but you only get so many chances to knock your opponent out. And, frankly, I'm tired of this shit.

[ Parent ]
turned off (0.00 / 0)
Frankly if they don't count MI/FL and let them revote or something to actually represent their choice, all faith in the Democratic party is crashing at this point.

I was seriously disgusted by that announcement that this organization, called the DNC could even punish two entire states, could chastise an elected governor.  But at that time I thought it also wouldn't matter.  Then, the more I read on super delegates, additional delegates, caucuses and the rest of it...

well, it makes election 2000, Johnson's "stuffed with votes for him,  missing ballot box" in Texas and the dead people who voted in Chicago in 1960 look like child's play.

I'm sorry it really disgusts me to no end.  It's not even a pretense of democracy and to me the real races are the primaries because of the two party lock on the system.

So, that's me, I have such a bad taste and unless they do re-votes in MI/FL as primaries, it's not going away.

Absolutely Hillary should stay in, I find these calls to drop out also disgusting, more examples of a completely rigged game.  


The Economic Populist

Um... (4.00 / 5)
"well, it makes election 2000, Johnson's "stuffed with votes for him,  missing ballot box" in Texas and the dead people who voted in Chicago in 1960 look like child's play."

Now that is a gross exaggeration.

Does the Democratic have a right to enforce it's rules or not?

[ Parent ]
yes (0.00 / 0)
i think enforcing rules shouldn't be a bad thing.

if the DNC wilts now, expect future contests to be rigged with some of the same shit we saw in FL and MI. The thought of some front-running candidate to the business and party elite being able to craft an entire primary calendar to their liking would  be child's play to dead people voting.

[ Parent ]
no they don't (4.00 / 1)
They had no right from day one.  No way the DNC overrides what a state wants to do about their primaries the right to vote.

Sorry, I thought this was bogus from day 1 and I think the entire thing, being dictated by the DNC subverts the people's right to vote.  I don't care about the current status, from day 1 this is despicable.  


The Economic Populist

[ Parent ]
You are wrong (4.00 / 4)
Courts have repeatedly found that in nomination battles, political parties supercede state laws in determining the nominee. It has been tested and upheld in court on numerous occasions over the past twenty-five years.

[ Parent ]
Court doesn't make right (4.00 / 1)
Come on, courts are just an extension of our savage pretense to civilization. A court ruling isn't a geometrical proof. So Robert is not wrong, he's just outgunned.

In this case, there is no mention of political parties in the constitution, the law of our land, while there is extensive deference to state power in that same constitution. The state governments are not just some county transit authority that can be kicked about when they don't line up behind the party bosses. These are sovereign political entities, some of which pre-date the union itself. (I'll forego the discussion of states' rights except to say that it was also decided by force.) Compared to a state, a political party is a far more minor, well, party to the operations of our democracy, being simply a way in which we voluntarily organize ourselves, similiar to a religious affiliation, a club, a labor union or a fraternity. Their involvement in our political process is one of tradition only. As such they rank nowhere near the power and stature of the states.

However, the people, as voters, deserve even more deference than the states. So on the ground in this current situation, it would be offensive to accredit these crazy lopsided contests where several major candidates didn't compete or weren't even offered as options to the voters. (Especially when it would give us the far worse of two potential nominees.) There is no excuse for the arcane rules of a private organization to arbitrarily sort and decide the relative voting powers of the several states. I'm only willing to let them get away with it again this time because there are bigger dragons to slay first.

Obama and Edwards stupidly volunteered not to compete in the primaries of Michigan and Florida, in compliance with the DNC. Imagine if they had refused to compete in those contests because the Southern Baptist Convention said not to, or because the Elk's Lodge discouraged it, or because the Teamsters refused to sanction the results -- crazy, right? Why are we disenfranchising two giant states just to please a private organization? I guess because if we didn't we'd be disenfranchising people who wanted to vote for Obama. What a twisted clusterfuck.


[ Parent ]
The primary is not the general (0.00 / 0)
Imagine if they had refused to compete in those contests because the Southern Baptist Convention said not to, or because the Elk's Lodge discouraged it, or because the Teamsters refused to sanction the results -- crazy, right?

Not so crazy, if the the contest was to determine the head of the Southern Baptist Convention, or the Elk's Lodge, or the Teamsters.

This primary process is to determine the Democratic Party's candidate for president, so it seems obvious that the Democratic Party should have control of that process.

Are people who don't register as Democrats being "disenfranchised" in states that have closed primaries?

[ Parent ]
Why are the states paying for the elections then? (4.00 / 1)
Well as far as I know none of the states pay millions of dollars to hold elections on behalf of the Southern Baptists, the Elks or the Teamsters. So why do the states invest so much money in the party primary system? Why are the two political parties privileged above and beyond any other private organizations? And why are so much of their ostensibly private party operations closely intertwined with our public electoral system?

The answer is that our election law and our courts have done a lousy job of defining the role of parties and of marking the distinciton between them and the public sphere. This flows from a conflation of our particular democratic traditions with our actual electoral laws.

The same basic problem -- tradition confused with law -- is behind the insane practice of two-party presidential debates.


[ Parent ]
Courts (0.00 / 0)
let me see....now what court stole the 2000 election?

That doesn't make this right.  I'm sorry I think this is so rigged the people are not getting a clear voice.


The Economic Populist

[ Parent ]
Then you don't believe in a "party" at all... (4.00 / 2)
If the party has no right to enforce it's rules, then you don't believe in a party system at all.  We may not think they're the best rules in the world, but those are the ones that are setup, and we have to work within the system to change them.  If the DNC has no right to enforce it's rules, then we shouldn't even have a primary to determine who the party's nominee should be... it'd just be total chaos as all the states try and vie for significance.  It should just be a party-less system and every person for him/herself.

Maybe that's what you believe.  The vast majority of us do not.

[ Parent ]
This tone deaf defense (0.00 / 0)
of a very dumb argument -- essentially, that rules shouldn't exist in a nominating process -- does not become you and it pushes to the side the strong argument that she can make here, which is, in a nutshell, that kicking this can toward the convention is a big risk vis-a-vis the general.

[ Parent ]
given all the crappy things the Dem party has capitulated on the past year (4.00 / 3)
its the mess around FI/MI that's going to undermine your faith the Dem party?  There have been much bigger offenses my friend.

Michael Bloomberg, prince of corporate welfare

[ Parent ]
You do agree though (4.00 / 2)
that there needs to be rules around when States can hold their primaries, right? This process went long enough .... without direction (and enforcement) by the DNC it would be just a matter of time before States moved primaries into December or November.

[ Parent ]
You've Got To Be Kidding. (0.00 / 0)
So when the organization tasked with creating and enforcing the rules of the Democratic party's primary system chooses to enforce those rule it's worse than outright voter fraud?


[ Parent ]
States should not control the schedule (0.00 / 0)
Primaries are not in the Constitution and are not an invention of the states. They are the creation of the parties and as such, the parties have every right to define and control them.  State parties may challenge the national org but they face exactly this sort of response.

If the DNC should have to accede to the state party decisions, all 50 states could decide to hold their primary on the same day. How many candidates could even enter such a campaign, where they have to fund 50 primary campaigns all at once? That's ludicrous, as only heavily financed contenders could even consider entering.

The schedules must allow time for reasonable campaigning to occur.

There's no doubt the system requires serious reform but that should never occur midway through the primaries. I like the idea of having just 4 primary dates, each spaced 4 weeks apart, with a massive state (CA, TX, NY, FL) in each and 2 big states (IL, PA, OH, MI, NC, NJ, GA, VA) in each, with 12-13 states overall in each. But that's just me.

The point is, the states should have no control over the schedule, as the parties own the process.

Ultimately, I'd rather see both major parties disappear entirely, but that's another issue for another day.

[ Parent ]
Isn't option #1 the most favorable? (0.00 / 0)
Just a nitpick, but shouldn't option #1 be the most favorable option, even if it's the least likely?

Hillary just brought up Wright in Penn (4.00 / 1)
What a LOSER she is!


CALLING AL GORE....please come and save us from these megalomaniacs!

hehehe, you said "Al Gore". (0.00 / 0)

Michael Bloomberg, prince of corporate welfare

[ Parent ]
North Carolina close? (4.00 / 2)

I don't think that NC will be close.  Did you see today's NC poll?


Nonetheless, I do like the idea of Obama scoring a knockout to end this battle.  However, the more Clinton makes the negative case against Obama the more she works towards electing St. John.  The sooner the knockout blow the better.

Tired of Seeing Hillary Clinton Vilified (4.00 / 1)
You can dress up the language, but you can't hide the disdain the left hemisphere has for Hillary Clinton. And who cares, really, whether any of the accusations you make are true?

I am a disgusted LIBERAL voter with many years of activism in Democratic Party politics and on LIBERAL goals. I spent 20 years in Washington, D.C. -- 8 of them during the Clinton adminstration -- and I have to say, the Hillary Clinton you portray (she doesn't care about the Party, she'll do anything to get elected, she's no feminist, she's a war hawk, she's self-absorbed) are parallel opposites of the woman I know and the work she engaged in -- quite often behind the scenes -- to move progressive goals and policies forward.

The "left" in all of your dressed-up intellectualism and so-called concern for progressive/liberal values, has just completely turned me off recently. You mimic the right-wing in your characterizations of Clinton and any of her experience, you patronize her and her supporters, and you absolutely fail to look unflinchingly and honestly at Barack Obama.

I just cannot support Barack Obama. I have done tons of research into this man and believe that it is he who is doing the most damage to the Democratic Party and to the Clintons. His campaign has been involved in race-baiting and smears almost from the beginning, all the while acting as though he is above the fray. His campaign is ACTIVELY working to erase Bill Clinton's image as "the first Black president" in the minds of voters. And this is just the beginning.

Frankly, that the LIBERAL wing of the Democratic Party has bought his rhetoric hook, line and sinker, just astounds me to the point that I wonder, often, where are your heads?

And now, you put out this so-called "tepid" feeler about whether to endorse him prior to Pennsylvania -- as if there is any serious question of what you will do.

I'm truly sorry that the LIBERAL Democratic Party I was active in for so long, and that accomplished so many good things for so many years, has degenerated into a megaphone for this egomaniac: Barack Obama.

this kind of argument is not compelling (4.00 / 1)
you are unlikely to sway those you are on the fence. If you believe in HRC and the work she has done, then I think you would do better to focus on those things and make the case for why you think the characterization of her is off base.

Turning around and making the same kinds of characterization of Obama, which you find offensive about those of HRC, will simply strike people as just candidate partisanship. Its not persuasive, just as blanket characterizations of Hillary without specific examples are not.

Also, I think you have magically caps locked your L I B E R and A keys. You might want to check into that and see if you keyboard needs some un-sticking.

Michael Bloomberg, prince of corporate welfare

[ Parent ]
black and white (0.00 / 0)
You have a wacky, binary view of reality.  Hillary is all good, and Obama is all bad.  That's just plain stupid.  

Amazingly, you think Hillary isn't an egomaniac?  They are ALL egomaniacs.  JFK, FDR, McCain, ML King.... you cannot be a leader without a big ego.

If you want childishness, stick to Mydd.com

Or are you a troll?  

[ Parent ]
Funny you should mention all of that (4.00 / 5)
Let's take a good, long, hard look at the record.  Here are my favorites from the Clinton campaign this far, a veritable greatest hits of baseless personal attacks, fear mongering, hypocrisy, triangulation and generally undermining the Democratic Party and criticizing its supporters.

Tax Returns

When given the opportunity to respond to Senator Obama's request that she release the Clinton tax returns, the campaign did so.  Or artfully declined.  Right?  I mean, there's really no way Howard Wolfson analogized Barack Obama and Ken Starr.  That would be ridiculous.  Hillary's never demanded one of her rivals release their tax returns, I'm sure (and would never say it was 'frankly disturbing' that he wouldn't).


Ah, more classic hypocrisy.  Nothing quite like pointing out the splinter in another's eye (especially if it's not even there), while ignoring the plank in your own.

Democratic Leadership Council

Yes, the vanguard of the left.  Leading the Democratic Party towards a progressive nirvana.  Hillary Clinton, she must think so, considering that she's the one who's going to stand up to Republicans.  She'd never use a diluted version of one to write a bad debate line for her, or be one of their prominent leaders and advocates.  Oh, and Obama? He was never within a mile of the DLC, and forcefully demanded that they remove his name from their website.

Public Relations Strategy

Barack Obama: you could choose to imply that he's not capable of defending the nation/letting your kids die, or you could choose to, you know, make him a little blacker and scarier. Or, even better, you could do both.  I'm pretty sure that's what the Clinton campaign did? Judges are indicating that yes, that's correct.

States That Matter

Not all fifty, as it were.  A bunch don't count at all.   It turns out Obama can only win a couple of states, and if they fit in a certain profile? Kind of like, most of them?


Hillary Clinton: Barack Obama will raise your taxes by one trillion dollars.  An oldie but goodie - another Democrat who will take all of your money!

Barack Obama's personal background

"denounce" AND "reject" Farrakhan.  One isn't good enough - how many discussions has Hannity had on Fox News trying to connect Obama to Farrakhan?

"[nothing upon which to base accusations that Obama is a Muslim] as far as I know." As far as she knows? The period at the end of that sentence can only truthfully come after "Barack Obama is not a Muslim," not any kind of suspect qualifier like "as far as I know."

Voting Rights

The Clinton campaign: college students who live in Iowa, are registered to vote in Iowa, pay taxes in Iowa, shouldn't be able to vote in Iowa.  Nothing quite so Republican as outright voter suppression.

Young Americans

Hillary Clinton (at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, no less): they don't know what real work is. I'm sure young people have no idea what hard work is, especially since the real value of the minimum wage is less than half of what it was in 1968 (I'm sure the costs of education are half as much too, right?) Not.

The cost of a college education has grown in price 47% above inflation in just the last 15 years (53% in a private university), not to mention debts far more crushing than any ever experienced before - if used for eventual retirement savings, the costs of paying down student debt could yield $2 million when they turn 65.  I'm guessing Hillary's proclamation of young people not knowing anything about hard work is especially applicable if you're one of the 2 million kids who don't attend college every year simply because it's not affordable.


Buffenbarger, Shaheen, Johnson, Ferraro.
Enough said.

Civil Liberties

As a senator, Hillary Clinton co-sponsored a measure that would criminalize flag burning, despite its blatant unconstitutionalty.  This is really just quite a ridiculous pander.  There aren't really any other words to describe it, especially since I respect Hillary Clinton enough to know that in her heart of hearts, she can't be in favor of this, which in a way makes it that much worse.

Thoughts on John McCain

As all of you have probably seen:

Again, enough said.

We cannot and should not tolerate this any more.  Our country and our party deserve better - not a candidate who is doing everything in her power to destroy our chances of recapturing the White House in the futile hope of a non-existent chance at winning the nomination.  For all of your declarations to the contrary, Hillary Clinton has been far more damaging to her Democratic opponents and the Democratic Party in this campaign than Barack Obama.

[ Parent ]
Haha! (0.00 / 0)
   Chris, when will you stop letting your statistics demonize Hillary?!  They're so mean.

John McCain lets lobbyists shape his economic policy

[ Parent ]
I agree (0.00 / 0)

But it isn't only about Obama's doing.
Basically has been running against:
1) The Conservative Crowd
They hate her, it's kind of their job. You generally find those folks walking around saying that he is less polarizing and will be able to "work with the republicans".

2) The Barak obama's crowd
I guess one way of seeing it is that they are "in love with the concept" and are willing to brush aside anything contradicting "the concept". They actually claim that he is more liberal: while if you look at his PROGRAM, it's the oposite, giving the specific hasn't been effective in the past so you forgive me if I don't this time.

The more time passes, the more indistinguishable those groups become from each other. On discussion forums, I have seen liberal activists turning into some weird libertarian advocating that people should be free de chose health insurance or not. Push them a little more and they might tell you that health is a matter of personal responsability.

My worst fear is that in a matchup against the old man, Obama's base would shring... a LOT.

[ Parent ]
Your worst fear? (0.00 / 0)
You are aware that there is such a thing as general election polling, right?

There's actually no need to rely on unsubstantiated worst fears/blatant and fairly ineffective scaremongering. The numbers are there, and it turns out you don't have much to worry about.

Forgotten Countries - a foreign policy-focused blog

[ Parent ]
polls polls polls (0.00 / 0)
Obama has not been doing that well in National polls lately (He is behind McCain), he was doing bettter last month, maibe he will do better next month. Who is to say?

There is no poll that is going to tell us wether all those pundits and "journalist" from the MSM will remain with obama after they have slain their favorith Dragon.

And I have read so much rage against Clinton in the Blogosphere, it makes me wonder how many people hate cinton more than they like Obama.

[ Parent ]
"the first Black president" (0.00 / 0)
His campaign is ACTIVELY working to erase Bill Clinton's image as "the first Black president" in the minds of voters. And this is just the beginning.

I find this complaint highly amusing.

I would think the first actual black president would necessarily erase the notion of the first artificial black president.

I mean, what do you want Obama to do, hold up a picture of Bill Clinton in blackface and say that he's following in the footsteps of a giant?

[ Parent ]
You'd be about the last person I would ... (0.00 / 0)
...argue with on such matters, Chris, but there is a downside to what you propose.

What if Obama does poorly in Pennsylvania, and then loses those close races or just squeaks by all the way up through May 6? Then you have precisely that 1984 scenario "providing him with serious negative momentum for the general election."  From that perspective, the best we could hope for right now is for John Edwards and Al Gore to endorse Obama in a week or so, and for Clinton to say that she's not willing to risk tearing the party apart on what is, at best, a longshot for the nomination.  

I agree completely, tho 6 weeks is a long time. (0.00 / 0)

I think, it is time, to end this campaign. It is part of our job to end this campaign. It is part of our duty as progressives, to end this campaign.

Progressives and superdelegates, Democrats and liberals, office holders and celebrities, writers and wonks must come together to say, not just to the Clinton Campaign but to the American people. Obama has won, and deserves to have won.

Continuing this ugly pointless fight harms America. Hillary will not become the party nominee. And pretending that she has a chance only encourages the Clinton campaign in their America damaging delusion.

If you want to help, Richardson is your model, Bill Richardson is the hero, who has despite personal pain has told his close friend, I can not support you. This is the model for ending this.

You can also volunteer to push Obama over the top, you can offer to campaign for him, you can call her campaign and let them know, you should call Hiillary Clinton on the number she gave you. I mean no disrespect to a fine Democrat, but it is time to stop.


The government has a defect: it's potentially democratic. Corporations have no defect: they're pure tyrannies. -Chomsky

so what you're implying (0.00 / 0)
is that unless Hillary quits, Obama can't win?  

[ Parent ]
momentum ? (0.00 / 0)

No matter how the last few primaries play out, I think a good case can be made that Obama has all the momentum, especially when we consider the state of things when the race started.

If I were a superdelegate, I'd be inclined to look at Obama's performance in the context of where things stood at the beginning of the race. Hillary Clinton had an astonishing array of structural and tactical advantages:

$100 million in the bank, 96 committed superdelegates in her pocket, a husband who is the most visible and influential figure in the Democratic Party, hundreds of friends and allies in the party hierarchy, major name recognition after two terms as First Lady, and a compliant media that had basically crowned her as the next President.  Plus, she is a Senator from New York, the media hub of the nation and one of the two largest and most critical states.

Given all that as a starting point, it was an incredible act of courage bordering on audacity for Obama to get into the race at all, much less surpass HRC the way he has.

What has happened over the course of the past few months is that Obama has done so well that he has managed to turn the dynamic around 180 degrees, which works against him to some extent.  Hillary is now perceived as the scrappy challenger gamely trying to make a fight of it against the Inevitable One.  I think there is great value in looking back in time for some perspective, and when we do it becomes apparent just how remarkable Obama's feat really is.

My comments are being deleted almost faster than I write them (4.00 / 1)


I try to express my opinion clearely and never use harsh language, although it's true that I support hillary.

Hum, let's see how long this one last.

Only one (0.00 / 0)
Only one of your comments disappeared and it wasn't deleted, it was troll rated.  Not sure how the system works, but I can still see it.  And yea, it probably deserved it, though I didn't personally troll rate it.

[ Parent ]
I take it back (0.00 / 0)
I just went back and re-read the offending comment and change my mind; it is ugly but not troll worthy.

BTW, being honest about his grandmother was perfectly fine and clearly said with love.  Sorry you can't see that.

[ Parent ]
Now i learned something today (4.00 / 1)
A quick search on wiki taught me about the troll rating system. I won't criticize the system bacause I think it has its merits, it's efficient and decentralized. One of the side effect may be that it enforces homogeneity of comments, but no system is perfect.

thank you for your response, I do have respect for people capable of changing their mind, even if it is a small increment from troll to "ugly".

[ Parent ]
No Problem (0.00 / 0)
I've written the occasionally "ugly" comment myself, from time to time.

I can't wait until this is all, really over and everyone is complaining that president Obama isn't progressive enough because the newly enacted healthcare reform doesn't cover non-veteran homeless people.

[ Parent ]
From a diary of mine written on February 6 (0.00 / 0)
on another site:

Right now, I think that when people write the history of this race, they will decide that the 134 delegate North Carolina primary on May 6 was the critical one.  If that race is fought to a draw, they should come into Denver roughly even.

Obama's best chance to win is that he wears well on people the more they see him.  He'll have a lot more time to concentrate on each race starting Feb. 13, and that will be what gives him the edge, if anything does.

That was written before Obama's incredible streak of February wins had fully taken form; now Obama wins in any scenario not involving a massive Wright-inspired or Spitzeresque meltdown.

Hillary will withdraw on June 4, and will argue that she has given Obama the vetting he needed to be prepared for the general election.  And Obama will smile and pretend that that was indeed her motivation once it became clear he was going to win.  And we shall all sing kumbaya.

I speak only for myself, not for those voices in the next room that won't leave me alone.

Chris, it has to end on May 6, are we are screwed. (0.00 / 0)
First, a point that I think is plainly obvious.  Hillary is going to take this to the convention no matter how far behind she is, no matter how well or badly Obama does in the remaining primaries.  And she will inflict damage on Obama all the way, in order to keep attention on her campaign and to keep alive their stated hope that somehow Obama will implode at the last minute and the superdelegates will reward them by all switching to her side and giving her 100% Mi+FL.  No matter how remote the possibility, they will play this, because even if it fails, it does tee them up for 2012.

Sounds far fetched?  Remember 2012.  This is what Ronald Reagan did to Gerald Ford.  He badly damaged Ford.  Ford almost made a comeback, but he lost to Gerald Ford.  Ronald Reagan had the pleasure of a floor battle with Gerald Ford at the convention (famous in my mind for that picture of Rockefeller flipping the bird at the dais.)  Lots of rah-rah-rah, people making impassioned speeches for Reagan, floor demonstrations, etc.  The Clintons would LOVE this.  

So it must be prevented, if we are going to take 2008 seriously.

We (the Democratic Party) have to get superdelegates teed up before the May 6 primary to announce for Obama if/when he wins North Carolina.  I think many of them must be ready to do it; they are just waiting for the signal that it's time to end this thing.  And if May 6 is not the signal, then we are going to drag this out to Puerto Rico.  The Clintons have a talent for making each and every upcoming primary THE BIG ONE, and then moving the goalpost once it is reached and shown to be insufficient.

I would much rather win PA, but it's not going to happen.  We need to keep expectations real (Clinton blow-out) for PA.

We should have stepped in and stopped this sooner.  Mississippi should have been the end of it.  As it is, the longer this runs, the more it hurts us.  And, please, nobody bother us with the stupid theory that a long campaign season is good for the Democrats.  It's not.  We may well blow what should be a watershed moment like 1932.

Consensus among whom? (0.00 / 0)
Chris, Kos, Josh Marshall Matt Stoller, Matthew Yglesias, Ben Smith, Kevin Drum, and the Huffington Post.

Well, I guess she should just quit already.

Oh, and (0.00 / 0)
Jonathan Chait. How could i forget him. And David Brooks too.

Nice use of the passive voice there, Chris. A consensus "seems to be forming." Gee, all by itself?  Why don't you just come out and say it: a bunch of male lefty bloggers think Hillary should drop out.  

[ Parent ]

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