Why I am watching the CNN broadcast with a moderate level of enjoyment, besides the sparkling statesmanship and soaring rhetoric:
An hour ago Hillary had an 8% lead; now with about 85% of precincts reporting she has a 10% lead and the trend is going toward 12% in the next few minutes.
Heh. Chaos, you have to love it.
UPDATE: Blame it on white people.
More on that emerging theme, here.
Well, they do comprise about 65% of the electorate, so I guess you can blame most everything on them.
But much as I hate to be responsible for Democratic activists learning the right lessons about anything, I feel compelled to note that the reason Barack Obama got walloped in Pennsylvania likely has less to do with the fact he is black than with the fact that he is so comfortable among people who hate America.
UPDATE II: Looks like she is having trouble extending beyond a 200,000 vote lead. That’s a big lead, but with 94% reporting she really needs to step it up, dagnabit.
UPDATE III: Jeffrey Toobin on CNN just now: “This is the train wreck scenario.”
UPDATE IV: Oh, and also Exhibit 4. Ya think having a completely warped, elitist world view might have something to do with the thumping? Plenty of voters “cling” to religion, last I heard, some of them not in the least bit bitter.
UPDATE V: With 99% of precincts reporting, it looks like Clinton wins by 10%. Right now it’s actually about 9.8%. That’ll do – it’s a 214,000 vote advantage. A big part of the story when the “electability” question comes up will be the clobbering she put on Obama in so many Pennsylvania counties. She beat him soundly among church-goers and massively among Catholics. She should be in the race until August if she can just resist the urge to make up easily disprovable stories. A tall order, I grant you.
UPDATE VI: Did anyone notice Ron Paul got 16% of the vote in the Republican primary, to Huckabee’s 11%. (and McCain’s 72%). I guess Paul just peaked too darn late.
So all is NOT lost ….
But we must admit, there is an awful lot of voting left to be done and that Feb 5 mess is going to be a complete crap shoot. The candidates can’t give all those states anything like the quality time Iowa and New Hampshire just got, so there is going to be the real possibility that the top three Democrats (and top four or five Republicans, for that matter) each get some wins.
On the plus side, there are a lot of powerful media players who really want Hillary as the nominee, so last night’s victory will be played up as the second coming … maybe even the covers of Time and Newsweek adorning the supermarket check out displays in California, New York and Florida for a solid week. We can hope.
Of course, if John Edwards manages to win in South Carolina next week he’ll have the angry nutso wing of the party screaming his accolades right up until Feb 5 and then Hillary would be yesterday’s news … well, Edwards would probably not be a bad second choice since we’re not going to get Dennis Kucinich, right?
Listening to the Laura Ingraham show on the way into work: The interviewee – who I did not hear long enough to get an ID on – said she might actually drop out of the race after New Hampshire.
UPDATE: Oh, I guess this Drudge headline might have had something to do with that news, huh?
Hey, I’m a busy, busy man, far too busy to read the news …
And now she’s reportedly ducking media interviews. What this says to me is Obama is the Democratic candidate.
Good to know.
The men of Digital Camel are following this closely.
I respect their insight. Hillary is toast.
The upcoming contest will feature at least a triangle, and possibly a quadrangle. Obama will be one leg of it.
It’s 9:23 pm and even though there is a football game on, I am watching the Democrats’ debate, and I have not had anything to drink. So far. Let’s just see if this can work:
9:23 pm – First general topic is nuclear terrorism, what you would do about Pakistan, what you would do if you knew where Osama was, and what you would do about a nuclear attack on American soil.
None of the candidates said anything remotely insightful, or gave any reason for confidence, although they all said the right things and managed to talk quite a long time.
9:27 pm – Next question is … well, I missed it because I was typing the above … but Hillary is ragging on Obama changing his positions.
9:29 pm – Obama is in favor of universal health care, but would not penalize employers who don’t provide it. Obama has sort of an incoherence thing going on, a bit like Edwards. If you try to follow the thread of his argument too closely you get a headache.
9:31 pm – Hillary really is against Obama’s “changing positions.” She is sticking up for Edwards. Isn’t that nice.
9:33 pm – Obama is not taking these accusations lightly. He is countering them with schoolmarmish fervor.
9:37 pm – Richardson: “I’ve been in hostage negotiations that were more civil than this.”
9:38 pm – Me: I’ve watched Mentos commercials that were more substantive than this.
9:41 pm – Obama: People don’t thing the government is listening to them. That’s a good angle, succinctly noting what could very likely be a key campaign line to put a Democrat in the White House. Of course, a government that listens to you – were it possible, which it is not – might not necessarily be a good thing.
9:42 pm – Hillary: “Within 60 days” of taking office she will start withdrawing troops from Iraq.
9:44 pm – Richardson is most obnoxious, in terms of not shutting up, and Obama a close second. They must be hell on wheels at a dinner party.
9:47 pm – Obama: “Phased redeployment … to send the Iraqi government a clear signal to get their act together, conduct de-baathification.”
9:49 pm – Edwards: No political progress possible in Iraq until we pull out troops and stop putting in money. Will reduce troop level by 50,000 and end combat missions in his first year.
9:50 pm – Richardson: Goes him one better and will take all troops out of Iraq in first year.
9:51 pm – Hillary “We are in vigorous agreement about moving troops out of Iraq” … we have to “figure out what to do” about a number of other question such as civilian U.S. personnel, areas of the country where Iraqis don’t WANT our troops to leave.
For the first half of this debate, I think Hillary’s final comment sums up the overriding theme about what each of these individuals would bring to the office of the presidency: Basically, specific answers are difficult to pinpoint, but there is a whole lot of “figuring out what to do” that needs to be done, and these folks would all be better at it than George W. Bush has been.
9:58 pm – Hillary just gave a nice answer to Charlie Gibson’s question, what would she say to voters who like her resume, but who like Obama and Edwards more because they represent “change”: “That hurts my feelings!” Pretty funny.
But her best response re: being an agent of change is she’d be the first woman president. That brought very tepid applause.
10:01 pm – Obama said he was switching between the Republican debate and football. Good line. I just want to hug every one of them.
10:06 pm – Richardson is talking about being the only one with executive experience, Luckily the new moderator guy is not afraid to interrupt him. That’s got to be key to survival around the Richardson household.
10:08 pm – Richardson going on now about “figuring out what to do” on energy policy, all the things we “need to do.” Mercifully, he shut up voluntarily.
10:10 pm – Now Edwards lost track of what the question was. (Richardson had quite departed from it). I can relate.
10:11 pm – Oh good grief, Edwards is talking about his humble upbringing. … I think I have a bottle of wine nearby, please excuse me for a moment…
10:15 pm – Hillary was getting little love from the guys, so she is starting to smack heads. Edwards did not get his patient’s bill of rights passed. Obama had lobbyists on his staff, signed off on a pork-laden bill. “We have to translate talk into action and feeling into reality. I have a track record of doing that.”
10:17 pm – Charlie Gibson is pretty good: Notes that EVERYONE comes to Washington promising “change” but Washington resists changes. Hillary did not like that.
10:18 pm – Edwards railing against special interests and lobbyists. I wonder if that includes trial lawyers. Also railing against “those cocktail parties” (with lobbyists). He’s the extremely wealthy version of Mr Smith.
10:22 pm – Richardson: “This is the kind of bickering people are tired of.” He is going to have a mixed cabinet. “You got to bring people together.”
10:23 pm – Edwards disagrees: “You cannot nice these people to death.” But agrees we need to galvanize the American people in the battle.
So the idea is, we need to bring people together, to fight the people we call “special interests.” And probably a few other categories of people would also be on the chopping block, I imagine.
10:26 pm – Now they are on greenhouse gases, carbon taxes, auctions, “cap and trade”. This is the “bullsh-t” portion of the debate, and these folks can really roll with this subject matter. I mean, they are good.
This is where the drinking is really important.
10:29 pm – To make all the important stuff like energy reform happen, Hillary would increase taxes on families with income over $150,000. She doesn’t seem particularly reticent about this.
10:31 pm – Obama against globalization? Ok, let’s here some specifics….He has no answers for it though, except to give tax relief to working families. Ok. What about trade policy, Senator?
Ah well, no use getting my hopes up, they are Democrats.
10:35 pm – Richardson with another long list of things we have to do. Shut up, Bill.
Final question – things you wish you had not said in previous debates. Hillary don’t play that – she had her one “human” moment tonight I guess and is probably still a little lightheaded from it. Obama not answering either.
Well, that was interesting in the sense of a reminder of just how low the bar is to become president of this country.
UPDATE: Here is the link to Hillary’s “angry moment” when her bona fides as an “agent of changed” were challenged.
UPDATE II: Here is the complete transcript.