Tuesday :: Feb 5, 2008

Super Tuesday Prognostications

by Jeff Dinelli

Friend and Fan of The Left Coaster Paul Bua checks in this morning:

Yesterday's Washington Post covered Dan Balz’s Q & A on Super Tuesday:

1. Will either race end today?
2. What constitutes victory?
3. What states bear watching?
4. Where will Edwards’ Voters go?
5. Can Obama win Latino votes?
6. Will women continue to be Clinton’s secret weapon?
7. Can McCain win conservatives and pro-Bush Republicans?
8. Which Democrat is positioned for a long campaign after today?

Pay attention to: States and delegates….put more focus on states for the Republicans and delegates for the Democrats. While the delegate count officially matters, the state results could count more politically, and be the central tension of the night.

The “Spin War” – Results before and after California (which won’t be known until the wee hours)… Since Democrats allocate proportionately, it is possible to lose a state and still get a majority of the delegates. Both Obama and Clinton campaigns will start claiming state victories as soon as they can, knowing that the delegate fight will probably last through later primaries this month in Maryland, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin, and Ohio and Texas on March 4 – where the Clinton camp feels most confident (as long as they can counter Obama momentum through Feb and shape the ongoing debate)…….

States to watch for Dems: California, Massachusetts, New York, Missouri, Arizona and New Mexico.

Wins in California and Massachusetts for Obama would really sting Hillary’s campaign and momentum, as they have provided essential strength and organization for years to both Clintons. It would also demonstrate the power of Kennedy/Kerry’s Obama endorsements….

If Obama comes close in either NY or NJ the media will start asking tough questions about Hillary’s electability….

Reading Republican tea-leaves:

1. Frank Luntz on Bill Maher eagerly endorsing an Obama nomination…and the blog response on Democratic Underground:

MADem (1000+ posts)
Sat Feb-02-08 11:25 AM
Response to Original message

2. Frank Luntz, fatter and more Republican than ever!!

America is POST-PARTISAN? How far is his head wedged up his ass? Look at this board--America is HYPER partisan, within their own parties and without.

He is doing a helluva job of selling the GOP's choice for the Democratic nomination, though. Of course, those smooth, smarmy sales jobs have always been his strong suit.

Buchanan, on MSNBC 2/4/08: “The GOP will tear Obama to shreds…..He’s the freshest meat on the political chopping block since 1972 George McGovern….”

3. Rob Novak’s gleeful 2/4/08 Wash Post piece entitled “Democratic Stalemate”:

“The nation’s two major political parties have reverted to form after appearing to have exchanged identities. A year ago, Democrats seemed to be emulating Republican practice in settling for an early anointed candidate, Clinton, while the divided GOP field resembled historical Democratic practice in the absence of an incumbent president. Now Republican, who traditionally abhor competition, are ready to crown Sen. John McCain as their nominees tomorrow. Democrats will still be battling…”

4. Roland S. Martin’s insipid “endorsement” of divide and conquer politics among Dems: “Commentary: Forget an Obama-Clinton or Clinton-Obama ticket”…..

Please note: these pieces are indications that the GOP is very happy to watch Hillary and Obama fight it out. If the delegate count stays even, the argument for a Clinton/Obama ticket gets stronger and stronger to win the White House…..

The Case for Disunity

Susan Dunn tackles Obama head on regarding the problems with “unity” and “transformative change”….

“When tumult is absent, when everyone in a state is tranquil, Machiavelli wrote ‘we can be sure that it is not a republic.’ Out of unity, Obama believes, change will somehow emerge. But only insignificant or incremental changes can come out of the compromises that are reached through consensus. Transformational change, on the other hand, is the produce of conflict and polarization.”

Hillary, Hillary, Hillary…..

1. Erica Jong tackles Bill Kristol head on in her piece “Hillary vs. the Patriarchy”

2. Edwards supporters…take note !!! The principal policy division between Hillary and Obama involves health care, namely the viability of UNIVERSAL HEALTH COVERAGE – a key progressive goal …. Paul Krugman analyzes economic analyses and political realities and asserts that a Hillary administration can achieve this, while to Obama it would be a non-starter….

3. Think anti-Clinton hatred is rational?? Stanley Fish disagrees in “All You Need is Hate”…..

4.Damned either way: the Iraq vote…..I’m really bothered by the manipulation of Hillary’s vote by Obama. No matter how Hillary voted, she was going to be crucified over it.

The Clinton campaign needs to neutralize this issue once and for all. She was the sitting junior Senator from the state that had experienced the 9/11 terrorist attack…If she voted against a sitting “popular” President at the time she would have been skewered as anti-terrorist and weak on national security.
If she voted for it (despite her policy evolution over time and as the country’s mood toward the Iraq mess changed) she would lose the “moral argument” about being anti-war from the beginning.

Then there’s the Obama triangulation: he wasn’t there to vote for the war, he was against it, yet voted for every financial authorization of the war…yet the perception is that he is the “anti war candidate”……

If you’re on the fence over voting on this issue, consider the situation and how each approached the range of issues involved. Remember this has always been “Bush’s War” from Day 1…..

5.The issue of “Clinton fatigue” --- refer back to Susan Dunn’s article link. Who are the fighters/winners in the Democratic Party??

Indians and Gambling in California….

While the presidential contest is the big story Tuesday, Californians have several referenda on the ballots concerning expanding the state gambling industry.

Please read this LA TIMES article: “Stakes are high on 4 tribal casino pacts”…

While this issue has been presented as a “state revenue enhancer”, the piece makes clear that its an expansion of the gambling industry (without consideration of the social costs)…….

Off to the Super Tuesday war trenches…….fight the good fight, and may the best candidate win … when the dust settles……let’s keep focus on the goal: taking the White House, and building working majorities for a successful Democratic Agenda…..

Jeff Dinelli :: 8:16 AM :: Comments (20) :: Digg It!