Double-talking jive, get the money motherfucker ’cause I got no more patience

by lestro

Well this is it, eh? June 3, the day of the last primaries. Obama has already won the delegate race for the nomination and we have finally reached the end of the road, right?

Very few people – including the Clinton Campaign – ever saw it going this far, but all things considered, it has been a very good primary season and when it comes down to the come down, Hillary may have actually helped Obama.

Thanks to her, he has already faced many of the bullshit character attacks, half-truths, whisper campaigns and the racism one would expect from a Republican candidate. Yet he has continued to gain popularity.

But while the campaign for the nomination has essentially been over since February, today has to be the end, right? After today she has no reason to keep going and will have to admit she lost, right?

Hell, even Bubba admitted it yesterday.

But, nope, not Hillary. Even after Obama secures the nomination tonight, Hillary will refuse to let go, clinging tenaciously to the possibility that the party Gray Beards will overturn the will of party voters and give her the nomination despite that fact that she is unlikable and unable to draw people to her campaign:

Hillary Rodham Clinton will acknowledge Tuesday night that Barack Obama has the delegates to secure the Democratic nomination, campaign sources told the Associated Press.

After the report, her campaign promptly issued a statement saying, “Senator Clinton will not concede the nomination this evening.”

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I think Hillary may be hitting the sauce

by lestro

Hillary’s been out of this thing for a while now, but they continue forth as if it is neck and neck and she’s got a shot at this thing. However, the complete disconnect may be explained by this photo published recently by the New York Times.

Ah, sweet bourbon.

It also explains recent statements by Harold Ickes at the DNC’s rules committee meeting this past weekend. During his rant on why all the votes from an unfair election – an election that broke the rules he helped write – should count now that his candidate’s campaign has stalled, Ickes said he didn’t believe the committee had the “gall and chutzpah to substitute our judgment for 600,000 voters.”

Of course, for his candidate to win, he has to convince the superdelegates to do exactly that: use their judgement to subvert the will of party voters around the country and choose his candidate as the standard bearer for the establishment.

It would be great to be Ickes’ kids. Imagine, being able to break rules and change your story at will with no repercussions.

But Ickes also did a little foreshadowing on the next step in the Clinton’s campaign, saying – as supporters chanted “Denver! Denver!” like rowdy pledges at a frat party – the candidate reserved her right to take this to the credentials committee.

I am not sure what the credentials committee is or what they do, but this is their move: keep their flailing campaign alive by taking it from committee to committee, arguing every little point and continuing to kneecap the party candidate while raising the specter of assassination all for her own personal glory.

She must be drunk.

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Letter to Obama: Fuck these idiots. Go it alone.

by lestro

Sen. Obama –

I recognize that you have secured an insurmountable lead in the pledged delegate count and continue to pull closer in super delegates, but frankly, it is ridiculous it has taken this much time to decide the Democratic Party nomination and even more ridiculous that the super delegates are still squabbling over the best candidate.

The people have spoken and even the pundits have started talking about what anyone with open eyes could see for months.

If the Democratic Party Establishment ignores their own rules and the major in-rush of new voters yearning for something new, something different, then fuck these idiots; Go it alone.

You can win a three-way race between these candidates. Encourage and support Democratic candidates in their races around the country (though there is nothing wrong with supporting a Republican worthy of support), but run on your own. The Red Dawn Generation will follow.

If the Establishment picks the Establishment Candidate, they are obviously no longer the party we need running things.

Go it alone.

Your supporters are fervent. Most of them have been waiting their whole lives to see a candidate who looks like them and understands their world view. For too long we have had to choose between our grandparents and our parents telling us what to do and I am fed up with it. It is time for someone who looks and thinks like us.

And it’s a testament to the good work of the Baby Boomers and the fact that their old ways of thinking are no longer necessary that a white guy from Upstate New York can say that about a black guy from Chicago.

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Hillary “penis-snatcher” Clinton

by twit

what?

Read this and tell me the same damn thing isn’t happening to the Democratic Party:

“I’m tempted to say it’s one huge joke,” Oleko said.

But when you try to tell the victims that their penises are still there, they tell you that it’s become tiny or that they’ve become impotent. To that I tell them, ‘How do you know if you haven’t gone home and tried it’,” he said.

Over at the DNC, Obama needs 100 superdelegates to step forward and the nomination battle is over.

since the primaries will have lifted Obama over 1,900 delegates (elected and super), he’ll only need about 100 more, out of about 300 uncommitted superdelegates.

Yet some otherworldy force convinces them that they are impotent.

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The “Gotcha” Debate

by lestro

For the 21st time this primary season, the Democratic party candidates gathered for another “debate,” this time in Philadelphia and in advance of next week’s Pennsylvania primary, another in a long line of firewall states for Hillary Clinton.

As Charlie Gibson put it, it was round 15 of a scheduled 10 round bout.

And really, it wasn’t much of a debate, as everything has already been covered and on policy matters and goals, there is very little difference between the two remaining democrats.

Instead, much of the debate, if it can really be called that, consisted of the moderators, one of whom owes his career to a Clinton, asking questions of questionable importance about non-issues and bullshit. It’s no wonder Obama labeled it the “Gotcha Debate.”

Part of the problem, of course, was that neither moderator really seemed up to the task and each had trouble coming up with anything new to ask – though Stephanopoulos did find a new attack on Obama, something about an Obama supporter who used to be a member of the Weather Underground, a domestic “terror” organization (for lack of better term) that died off soon after the end of the Vietnam War.

Even Gibson, who is usually very good, stumbled, and right off the bat. The first question was about the possibility of a joint ticket and Gibson quoted the Constitution, which says that the second-place finisher in the presidential election would be vice-president.

“If it was good enough in colonial times, why not in these times?” he asked.

Never mind the fact that the Constitution was amended to change that in 1804 because they realized how silly that was soon after the two-party system developed or that this is a primary, not a general election…

Both candidates performed as expected, with Clinton taking shot after shot at her Democratic opponent and Obama trying to remain above it while repeating his message of trying to change the whole politics as usual thing.

So the debate really became one of style with Hillary having the opportunity to show off her Wonky side, very effectively answering direct policy questions (most of which she answered first, leaving Obama, who agrees with her on many of them, trying to agree with her while saying something different) and Obama showing his vision and attempt to move past the politics as usual.

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Hillary gets it wrong again

by lestro

So the big headline yesterday was “Clinton says Obama wants to stop votes” or something to that effect. According to the AP, Sen. Clinton in a series of interviews today told primary voters that Sen. Obama doesn’t want their votes to count:

“My take on it is a lot of Senator Obama‘s supporters want to end this race because they don’t want people to keep voting,” she told CBS affiliate KTVQ in Billings, Mont. “That’s just the opposite of what I believe. We want people to vote. I want the people of Montana to vote, don’t you?”

Montana holds its primary June 3. The New York senator made similar comments in interviews with stations in Indiana and North Carolina, which hold primaries May 6.

Funny thing is, just two days before, he said almost exactly the opposite and it was all over the damn place:

“My attitude is that Senator Clinton can run as long as she wants,” Mr. Obama, of Illinois, said at a news conference in a high school gymnasium here. “Her name is on the ballot. She is a fierce and formidable opponent, and she obviously believes she would make the best nominee and the best president.”

While it is true many of his supporters have recently reminded Hillary that math is certainly not in her favor and have recently urged her to stop her attacks on the likely Democratic candidate and give up her Quixotic Candidacy for the good of the party, Sen. Obama has not been one of them. Others have also urged the superdelegates to get real (despite threats from the Clinton mafia) and coalesce behind Obama since he will almost undoubtedly finish the primaries with more elected delegates.

Clinton, on the other hand, is getting her advice elsewhere.

Officially, however the campaign has not said such a thing and publicly supported Clinton’s right to continue running. Why should they? They have three times the money, all the momentum and he’s ahead by a comfortable enough margin that he was able to vacation in the Virgin Islands last week.

The AP story also offers this:

“I don’t even keep track of it, I can’t even tell you that figure,” Clinton said when asked by Pittsburgh CBS affiliate KDKA how many superdelegates had endorsed her in recent weeks.

Which is total bullshit, as the next sentence points out:

As she spoke, her husband, former President Clinton, was in Oregon, lobbying uncommitted superdelegates.

But, just to recap, Clinton is not doing well in that race, even losing a longtime friend who owes his entire political career to the Clintons. In thast respect, James Carville’s metaphor was apt, Richardson’s endorsement of Obama really is a Judas-like move if you’re a Clinton disciple.

But really, i suppose some Democrats could say the same thing about a candidate who continues to not only campaign but attack – sometimes viciously – the party’s best hope in nearly a decade to reclaim the White House. (***UPDATE BELOW!***)

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superdelegate de ja vu

by twit

Hooray! Pelosi tells the big-time Clinton donors that the Democratic nomination is not for sale.

Which really is stating the obvious, but these are big-time Clinton supporters we’re talking about…

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has reaffirmed her position that superdelegates should not “overturn the will of the voters” in the face of criticism from top donors to Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.).

but will somebody send a nasty letter to the Washington superdelegates, please…

Look, it’s already started, just add an address:

“The Speaker believes it would do great harm to the Democratic Party if superdelegates are perceived to overturn the will of the voters,” Pelosi spokesman Brendan Daly said in a statement late Wednesday.

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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Why I can’t vote for Hillary

by twit

It has come to this. The zen-like realization, thanks to several insightful comments, that a side effect of mercilessly blogging about Hillary Clinton is that it feels impossible to vote for her, if she somehow manages to secure the nomination of the Democratic Party.

Recently, there has been “NAFTAgate,” with the Clinton campaign alleging that the Obama campaign assured Canada that his anti-NAFTA rhetoric was not sincere. It became the issue in the Ohio primary and NAFTA is expected to strongly influence the upcoming Pennsylvania contest. However, now we learn that it was actually the Clinton campaign reassuring the Canadian government that she stands by her earlier support of NAFTA, and she’s simply putting on a show for the voters.

This isn’t the first time that the Clinton campaign has been caught saying something when it was politically expedient, then completely changing course when it suited the constituency of the moment. For example, there is what happened in Florida, with all candidates agreeing to not campaign in the state, due to the early primary scheduled in violation of Democratic Party rules. The agreement to not campaign in the state didn’t stop Hillary, though.

It isn’t just the impossibility of trying to figure out what Hillary Clinton stands for. The behavior of her campaign makes it increasingly clear that the only consistent position she will take is whatever she thinks you want to hear. There’s an implied insult to the intelligence of the American people, as if we can’t watch television or work the internet well enough to see that she is playing fast and loose with her message by tailoring it so closely to the daily needs of the campaign.

Hillary’s campaign has been divisive, focusing on various demographic groups, including attempts to play women against men with her ludicrous assertion that it is her gender that has cost her the presumption that she would be the Democratic nominee. Nothing says ‘elect me’ like ‘I can’t win,’ but that apparently means little to a campaign making an appeal to specific demographic groups.

I also see the conduct of her campaign as a distinct warning about how her administration, if ever elected, would behave, not to mention how painful it would be to experience the meltdowns and infighting during the campaign for the general election. Clinton campaign insiders repeatedly run to the press en masse as they wage their wars against themselves.

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Super Tuesday II: Electric Boogaloo

by lestro

Super Tuesday II: Electric Boogaloo was quite an evening for Hillary Clinton. She won – rather convincingly – in Ohio, eked out a primary victory in Texas and rolled in Rhode Island.

Her campaign really has been on the upswing lately. She has been able to raise more money than before (though not as much as her rival) and finally stopped his winning streak at 12. Vermont, the first to report last night, went for Obama. After that it was all Hillary…

These recent wins certainly do change the Democratic primary map. A quick glance makes it really look like a horse race, with Clinton taking many of the big prizes like New York, California, New Jersey, Ohio and Texas. However, the map includes Michigan and Florida in the Clinton column, which is unfair considering the delegates from those states will not [and should not] count at the Democratic Convention because the states held their primaries in violation of party rules. Clinton won both states, although in Michigan, hers was the only name on the ballot and all of the candidates agreed not to campaign in Florida, making their contest one of name recognition more than anything…

It makes a compelling case for her candidacy when you ignore the larger issues and facts, like the idea that the math does not work in Hillary’s favor unless she goes BIG in every remaining primary.

But even just looking at the states won, it doesn’t really look good for Clinton either. For example, last time around, the Dems won New York, Cali and New Jersey but lost the presidency. Why? Because though they are big, important states, lots of little ones stacked up to beat them.

Part of the Clinton argument is that because she won the big states, the party elders should give her the nomination. It’s a dubious suggestion at best, but let’s look a little deeper.

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a friendly reminder: Hillary can’t win

by twit

from Newsweek and the department of ‘math is tough,’ with emphasis added:

Hillary Clinton may be poised for a big night tonight, with wins in Ohio, Texas and Rhode Island. Clinton aides say this will be the beginning of her comeback against Barack Obama. There’s only one problem with this analysis: they can’t count.

https://i0.wp.com/images.starpulse.com/Photos/Previews/Wizard-of-Oz-w24.jpg

I’m no good at math either, but with the help of Slate’s Delegate Calculator I’ve scoped out the rest of the primaries, and even if you assume huge Hillary wins from here on out, the numbers don’t look good for Clinton. In order to show how deep a hole she’s in, I’ve given her the benefit of the doubt every week for the rest of the primaries.

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Hillary’s big tent

by lestro

No, not her pant suit.

Jesus, you’re horrible. Stop it. That’s just mean and there’s no place for it in intelligent political discussion.

This week the Clinton Campaign launched a new Web site called Delegate Hub to address “The facts and myths about the race for delegates.” It functions mainly as blog to collect articles and clips about the superdelegates that present issues in a Clinton-favorable light.

Here’s the intro statement:

As more voters make their choice for the Democratic nomination, there is growing interest in the facts and myths about the race to reach 2208 delegate votes – the number required for a candidate to secure the nomination with Florida and Michigan included. The Obama campaign is claiming, without precedent or justification, that automatic delegates (commonly referred to as “super delegates”) should switch to Sen. Obama en masse based on arbitrary metrics, with the aim of tilting the delegate balance in his favor. The fact is: no automatic delegate is required to cast a vote on the basis of anything other than his or her best judgment about who is the most qualified to be president.

Did you catch that part about Michigan and Florida? Those are the states whose delegates that Clinton agreed should not count, until she realized she was getting beat pretty much everywhere except the states where her opponent agreed to not campaign in.

One of the first links on the new site is a Slate column in which Christopher Beam reports on some “number crunching” that shows Hillary has actually received 52 percent of the vote among people who identify as Democrats. The post gives some good reasons about why the numbers are a bit hinky, but despite that concludes “Clinton’s lead is still large enough to be significant.”

However, it’s the closing paragraph that disturbs me a little:

It helps you understand why the party gives so much power to its 796 superdelegates. If they didn’t, independents and Republicans could essentially hijack their election. It also makes you wonder whether Clinton should start citing this number, if she maintains her lead through the convention in August. Even if Obama leads in the popular vote and among pledged delegates, it might disturb party gray beards to learn that the nominee has essentially been chosen by outsiders.

While in many ways that is understandable, it is hard to imagine that the Clinton Campaign is actually pushing a message of exclusion. Essentially they say that unless you are a party member, they don’t want you there. The Democratic Party as invite-only.

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The superdelegates need to “get real” with the Clinton campaign

by lestro

And once again, the Clinton campaign has revamped its message.

After failing to get much traction by accusing her opponent of plagiarism (lifting two lines from a national campaign co-chair and long time friend and used in response to the Hillary’s fadeaway shots on Obama’s powerful oratory), the Hillary campaign is trying out some new material, according to CNN:

As Barack Obama solidifies his lead, Hillary Clinton is shaking things up with a revamped message and sharper digs at her party’s front man…

“It is time to get real,” Clinton said, “to get real about how we actually win this election… It is time to move from good words to good works — from sound bites to sound solutions.”

As it increasingly looks as though neither candidate will get the requisite delegates necessary to lock up the nomination through primaries and caucuses, the focus in this race has turned to the superdelegates, the 795 party insiders and muckity-mucks who get to be delegates fro whomever they choose.

As (mostly) high-ranking party members, however, one would expect that the superdelegates would not only vote their conscience, but also have to think about what is best for the party and which candidate has the best chance of securing the White House for the Democrats.

And with that in mind, it is time for the delegates to take Mrs. Clinton’s advice and “get real” with each of the campaigns.

The first thing to remember is that if one candidate has more elected delegates, more popular vote and more states won, but party members select the other candidate, they will destroy the Democratic Party. After all, why should rank and file members of any political party stay with a group that overrides their votes and feelings?

There would be no viable explanation for such a move and it would turn off all of those voters who thought they could believe in the Dems to listen to their collective voices.

And smart money says it would lead to a landslide for John McCain.

But beyond all that, these two candidates have similar positions and neither has any real executive experience (despite what Hillary may tell us) so one of the best ways judge these matters is to look at the administration of their campaigns.

And by that measure, the choice is obvious: The Obama campaign has been run much, much better.

It didn’t always seem that way, but after the events of the past few weeks there can be no doubt.

The first real mistake the Clinton campaign made was underestimating their opponent and the general desire for change in the country, and not just a figurehead change, but a real, honest-to-god change of perspective and vision.

In failing to recognize that, the Clinton camp decided to run a fairly traditional Democratic campaign, focusing on a few early contests and then targeting the Big States, all of which she won.

But failing to learn the lessons of the 2000 and 2004 presidential elections, the Clintons mostly ignored what is commonly referred to as “flyover country,” barely, if ever, visiting states that Democrats do not tend to do well in and, just like Al Gore and John Kerry before her, failing to recognize that you don’t need to win NY and Cali to win.

So, while Hillary was stumping around a few select places, Obama set up organizations in every state and drummed up support in every corner of the country, even in Idaho, where he set attendance records at an arena in Boise. Acknowledging the turnout, he opened with the line “they told me there were no Democrats in Idaho,” at which the 15,000 or so in attendance exploded into applause.

We know whose strategy proved better.

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Once you vote black you’ll never go back?

by lestro

With two pretty evenly-matched candidates, the Democratic race seems to hinge, for a lot of people, on the idea of “electability,” the mirage that even though you like one candidate, you can’t vote for them because the other candidate is more likely to win.

It’s what killed the spark and energy of Howard Dean, favoring the middle-of-the-road blandness of John Kerry. And now it has many voters picking Clinton over Obama.

There are many ways electabilty is measured, but one of the most fun ways is money and if that is any indication, the most electable candidate, by a long shot, is Obama.

This is from today’s NYT piece about Washington being the “contest du jour”:

“On Friday morning, Mrs. Clinton’s advisers fought back against impressions that the campaign was short on cash…”

That’s a pretty Clintonian spin on things and not entirely accurate.

I mean, it’s not the impression that the campaign is short of cash. It WAS short of cash, which is why the candidate had to loan herself $5 MILLION.

Campaigns that are not short of cash do not have to take out loans. and even if they did collect $10 million so far in February, that’s really only $5 million because they have to payback the Clintons, right?

Beyond that, $5 million is more than half as much as the Huckabee campaign has spent in total. Hillary has spent more than $100 million to try and convince us she’s the candidate, and the only people who are listening seem to be the same Democratic Party Establishment Elites and Old Guard that make up the 49 percent of democratic primary voters.

And if that’s a problem now, it’s going to be a real bitch in the general election.

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