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Breaking the Obama Enigma Code

Rep. James Clyburn has been very vocal in the past couple of days about Bill Clinton’s remarks about Obama playing the race card.  Clyburn works up to a righteous indignation:

House Majority Whip James Clyburn, D-South Carolina, told CNN Friday that Bill Clinton’s comments on the “race card” before Pennsylvania’s April 22 primary upset him.

Clinton’s tone in a phone interview, said Clyburn, “caused people to say things to me [about Clinton] that I never thought I would hear.”

In that interview the former president said, among other things, that the Obama campaign “played the race card on me.”

After the phone interview but before he hung up, Clinton was recorded saying: “I don’t think I should take any s*** from anybody on that, do you?”…

Clyburn said he’s already noticing diminishing enthusiasm among younger voters, citing a difference in a visit to a college campus in January and a recent one.

“We have young people — African-Americans that are as enthusiastic about this party as they’ve been in the last 40 years, and we cannot tamp down that enthusiasm or we will not be successful in November if we do,” he said.

My Goodness!  He certainly sounds sincere.

A lot of us were sort of expecting this.  Yep, it’s a little less than 2 weeks before the next primary in a state with a large African-American population, North Carolina.  No use rolling it out before PA.  African-Americans don’t have the critical mass to put Obama over the top there.  In this case, it almost seems unnecessary because African-Americans have been consistently voting their race throughout the campaign season.  What makes Obama think he needs to poison the atmosphere between them and the Clintons now?  Maybe Clinton is just too effective on the stump and some of the weaker members just start to drift away from Obama.  Better to get their knickers in a twist over some alleged slur.  And there will be monitors from Obama’s campaign, carefully checking Clinton surrogates for phrases that can be tortured into sounding like a racist remark.

It’s a pattern, one that didn’t even take an ULTRA to solve.  But patterns can be deadly to those practicing the art of war.

Open Thread: Double Standard?

Geoff Garin has a piece in the Washington Post today about the double standard that makes everything Clinton says a negative against Obama but Obama can say anything about her with impunity. What do you think?

This is an open thread.

Super Surrogate Chelsea Clinton

Kiki posted this video of Chelsea answering questions at Duke University in the Open Thread last night. She’s actually answering just one question — about Hillary’s feminism. The range of Chelsea’s answer to this question is amazing (and she’s speaking without notes or pause). Take a look for yourself — but I can see why the anti-Clintonites are in a panic. We’re going to be hearing from Chelsea again:


Commenter Dee was actually at this forum and she’s shared her experience with us (See Inside):

Continue reading

Dear Obama Supporters: What does the Democratic Party stand for?

You are voting for Obama AND his party so, what is it about the Democratic party that you find so appealing? Do you believe in shared responsibility and shared risk? How about social justice? Are you a backer of keeping social security out of private hands? (If you want to see my definition, see my Credo in the tabs above.)

Just tell us what makes you a Democrat and what kind of Democrat Obama is. Parameters:

  1. You may not accuse the other candidate of NOT being a Democrat.
  2. You may not reference the other candidate’s positions.
  3. Rude or obnoxious comments will be deleted.

This is for Obama people only. Conflucians sit on your hands. There are always a few of you who start stonin’ before I give the whistle. Well, I’m not blowing any whistle. Just read and pay attention and don’t jump in. Go to the open thread.

David Plouffe: “Do not trust Senator Clinton.”

Of course the campaign manager’s full quote, winning mass media attention today, reads:

Fairly or not, the majority of voters don’t trust Senator Clinton.

But we all know the unrelenting message BO08 has been pushing since Day One:

DO NOT TRUST Senator Clinton.


This is so not right

Obama’s campaign and the DNC have made a deal to do joint fundraising?! I almost can’t believe it but it looks like they are deliberately ignoring the will of more than half of the voters and throwing all of their weight behind Obama.

Update: It’s even worse than it looks at first glance. The fundraising entity would enable big money donors to contribute up to $28,500 with the majority of that money going to the DNC. In other words, Oprah and her friends can get over that pesky $2300 rule and donate 10 times that amount to the DNC. But they’re going to want something for that money. There is no quid without a pro quo. The DNC is going to have to dance to their tune. This stinks big time.

Political Inumeracy

I realize that many people sat through math and science with the same enthusiasm they would have watching paint dry. But I hope the Obama campaign is not counting on that when they sent out this memo that I found through Jerome Armstrong at mydd.

The memo tries to make a case to the uncommitted superdelegates that Obama is more electable than Clinton by using a number of polls from SUSA, Rasmussen, Quinnipiac and others. Here’s the problem from my semi-well-honed BS detector based on many, many scientific presentations I’ve had to sit through:

  • While the polls may have been accurate at the time they were taken, we are at a different point in time now.
  • The memo conveniently leaves out any discussion of trends.
  • One of the *BIGGEST* no-no’s from an experimental point of view is that it mixes data from several sources  and time points without consistency to make its point. In order for the data to be valid, data has to be collected at the same time under the same conditions. Pollsters vary the questions they ask and their sampling techniques from one another and over time.

I would recommend that the Obama campaign either modify its data analysis to include only the most reliable polling data for both candidates over a period of time, preferably from the Iowa caucus to the present, or just stick to politics. This memo is rubbish.

If wishing won elections

Reclusive Leftist wonders why Obama is still the front-runner after his humiliating defeat in Pennsylvania last Tuesday:

It was thus that I learned about the realpolitik of nominating contests. A lot has changed in the process since 1968, and all to the good. More actual voting, fewer smoke-filled rooms. But what hasn’t changed is the purpose of the whole thing: to settle on the candidate with the best chance to win in the general election.

If I had a time machine and could go back to 1968 or 1972 to chew over a thought experiment with one of those old pros, the conversation might go like this: Continue reading

Friday: Happy Birthday, Katiebird!

Today is Kbird’s 20+ some_multiple birthday. Let’s give a round of applause to a wonderfully subversive blogger who has reached that magical age where she is now a threat to the dominant paradigm.

In the meantime, Anglachel comments on Paul Krugman’s latest column on why it is that Obama has “Every freakin’ advantage a candidate could hope for and the guy cannot win”. It takes me back to a post that Lambert made several months ago that was noted by Paul Krugman (I think we can all see that Paul Krugman is at the heart of this conspiracy now. And I live only 9 miles from Princeton. Coincidence? Cue the Theremin music.)

But seriously, as long as Obama remains a soft and amorphous candidate, some people are going to find him appealing as a Tofu Candidate. You can pour any sauce you like on him and he will take on that flavor. But pin him down and mold him into a real Democrat and poof!, he’s just another ground beef patty. There goes all of his appeal as a transformative figure. I think that’s what is about to happen. Voters are going to start asking him some hard questions and he’s going to have to declare and when THAT happens, he’s not going to be so cool with some constituency.

Well, whatever works.

Continue reading