A United States of America

by twit

Democratic presidential candidate, Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., bottom right, at a rally in St. Louis, Mo., Saturday, Oct. 18, 2008. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

Associated Press

via McClatchy on October 18, 2008:

ST. LOUIS, Mo. — Democrat Barack Obama drew his largest U.S. crowd to date on Saturday – an estimated 100,000 people who came to hear him speak at the Gateway Arch — as he campaigned in battleground Missouri just 17 days ahead of the election. […]

Saturday evening, a crowd estimated at more than 75,000 thronged the Liberty Memorial near downtown Kansas City for another Obama rally.

via McClatchy on October 18, 2008:

Thursday’s first day of early voting drew record numbers across North Carolina, election officials said, as more than 100,000 people turned out.

[…] Across the state, Democrats showed the most first-day enthusiasm. Of the nearly 114,000 first-day voters, 64 percent were Democrats, 21 percent Republicans and 15 percent unaffiliateds

but wait, there’s more…

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wait, what? … what? …what? …what?

by twit

this spins me right around, like a record player:

My colleague Jeffrey Ressner was at Hillary’s fundraiser last night at the Wilshire Theater in Los Angeles, and captured the audio (.wma) of a really jarring scene: A woman dragged out in handcuffs, screaming that she was the only black supporter of Hillary there. (She wasn’t.)

what?

Clinton herself had some fairly strong stuff to say, particularly on Florida and Michigan: “If we don’t figure out Michigan and Florida, our candidate will lack the legitimacy that we want,” she told the crowd.

what?

“I was among the very first to speak out against the Taliban. . .I was invited by the Taliban to visit [but I declined,]” she said. “Some days I may think I want to wear a burqua, but I don’t want to do that. . . “

what?

At the end of the event, the music played to usher people out, but Hillary stopped the music and implored the crowd to donate. “I need your help. I’m being outspent,” she said.

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Florida and Michigan are spoiled little brats

by lestro

Right off the bat, it is important to mention that I am not a fan of Florida. Most years I find myself rooting for hurricanes as they take aim on what Homer Simpson once called ‘America’s wang.’ I have nothing against Michigan, however.

This year, Florida and Michigan are acting like spoiled children who purposefully broke a toy and want a new one.

Late last year those two states voted to move their primaries ahead of every other state in an attempt to boost their own importance. It wasn’t enough that both play important roles in the fall, they wanted to be first.

The parties, looking at the already front-loaded schedule and the lateness of the attempt to leapfrog over everyone else, made the right decision and told the states that it would not be allowed and there would be consequences for their actions.

But Michigan and Florida threw a big ole tantrum and then not only took their balls and went home, they threw their balls onto the roof, moving their primaries to the front of the line, sticking their tongues out at the national parties and daring them to do something.

Now they want a new ball.

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Brewster’s Millions II: The Michigan Democratic Primary

by lestro

Back before he got all twitchy, Richard Pryor (arguably the greatest stand-up of all time, though my vote is still with Carlin) did a movie called Brewster’s Millions in which Pryor’s character, a hack of a minor league pitcher for the Hackensack Bulls is promised $300 million if he can spend $1 million a day for 30 days without actually owning anything at the end.

It’s not The Toy, but it is still a very funny movie and John Candy is hysterical as Spike, Pryor’s best friend and catcher.

Brewster, in a flash of genius, decides the best way to spend his money is on a political campaign for mayor, back when $30 million was enough to run for mayor of New York. However, instead of running for himself, he encourages voters to select “None of the Above” instead of either of the major candidates.

The movement takes off, however, and Brewster is actually in danger of winning the election, causing him to pull out, though not before spending gobs of money on parties and advertising, of course.

Yesterday there was a similar happening in the Michigan Democratic primary.

Because of the top-heavy primary season this year, several states tried to claw their way to the front of the pack in an attempt to heighten their own importance, Michigan among them. The Democratic Party, however, was having none of that and punished the Great Lakes State by stripping them of their delegates this year.

Essentially, the Dems took their ball and went home.

But that didn’t stop Michigan from hosting their primary early anyway.

Because it didn’t matter, several candidates decided not to campaign there, leaving only Hillary Clinton, Dennis Kucinich, Chris Dodd and Mike Gravel on the ticket.

When all ballots were counted, Clinton was named winner with 55 percent of the vote. Forty percent of Michigan democratic primary voters voted “uncommitted,” or essentially “none of the above.” And since Clinton is the only one “above,” one has to wonder about the level of dislike toward her to get voters to come out to the ballot simply to cast an anti-Hillary vote.

According to exit polls, 79 percent of voters in the Dem primary are registered Democrats while 18 percent were independents. Of the registered Democrats, 60 percent pulled the lever for Hillary while 36 percent went for “uncommitted.” Hillary also only got 37 percent of the independents with a majority – 51 percent – going “uncommitted.”

This does not bode well for the Clinton campaign or the Democrats. Within the party establishment, Hillary always tops the polls. However, among independents and Republicans, her negative ratings are very high, which says to me that the people currently voting for Hillary in the primaries are about the only ones who will vote for her in the general election.

And when half of her own party takes Monty Brewster’s advice and clicks “none of the above” it is difficult to imagine her winning the White House.

Democrats need to address these numbers, as uncomfortable as they may be, and decide exactly what “electable” means before the 21-state Primary Bonanza on Feb. 5 as many of those primaries are closed, meaning only Dems get to vote in the Primary (The Iowa Caucuses, New Hampshire Primary and Michigan Primary are all Open, meaning anyone can vote).

If the party establishment stands their ground and ignores that elephant in the room, they may end up watching an elephant storm to the presidency for a third consecutive term…