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Clinton Cocktail Hour: My baby just cares for me

SUSA has Hillary winning handily in IN tomorrow but there is still much consternation about North Carolina. SUSA has her trailing by 5, and really, that’s not bad. In a state where Obama was supposed to blow her out of the water, it looks like the extra scheduled events helped tremendously. Obama, oddly, had only one closed door meeting today in NC. Anyone care to speculate what that’s all about? Chris Matthews covered Bill Clinton;s numerous campaign stops in North Carolina today, as did David Shuster. He does his stump speech for her on some person’s porch. No big arena or theater. Just a porch and some neighbors, times 11, all across the state. Garychapelhill says his last stop tonight is Raleigh and his partner will be there. I can’t wait for the update later tonight.

In the meantime, welcome to the Clinton Cocktail Party. This is the time of day where we celebrate a healthy campaign season with our friends and soon-to-be friends. The bar is to the left of the door. Rico is glad to be back bartending on a regular basis. Tonight, his featured cocktail is the Carolina with plenty of champagne. But you can order anything you like.

North Carolina has an embarrassment of riches when it comes to musicians. It’s pretty amazing actually. Among the best are John Coltrane, Thelonius Monk and Tory Amos. Our musician tonight is the feisty Nina Simone. Born in North Carolina in the era of segregation, she was a gifted pianist. When she was a teenager, she gave a recital for her town. Her parents sat in the front row until they were asked to move to the back to accomodate a white couple. She refused to play unless they were moved back. That’s pretty gutsy for a kid and she never lost that spirit, being an activist in the civil rights movement all her life. Here she is doing an unusual take on one of her signature songs.

We love guests and want to keep the bar fights to a minimum. So please consider checking your discouraging words with Florence our lovely check room attendant. The waiters will be circulating shortly with spicy shrimp on creamy grits, mini corndogs and pickled okra. Please drink responsibly and tip your wait staff generously.


I am coining a new term today.
Mitchellism: The tendency of the media to see American politics through its own eyes and to over value its impact on the voting public.

This tendency has been noted before by other bloggers who have referred to the Washington DC press corps and pundits as The Villagers, that self-selected authority of knowledge of what the voters will or will not tolerate. High-Brodersim is another variation and is the belief that the root of the problem in American politics is too much partisanship and if the Democrats would just sell out all of their beliefs and try to meet Republicans half way, there wouldn’t be any more fights and there would be unity and much rejoicing and we could all buy the world a Coke. Barack Obama is a disciple of High Broderism.

But Andrea Mitchell is the high priestess of cluelessly arrogant Mitchellism. This was brought home to me this morning when she snippily and half mockingly told Howard Wolfson that the gas tax idea was DOA in Congress, it would never get passed and anyway, the NYTimes had already weighed in on this issue and concluded that Hillary was insincere for even proposing it.

Wolfson deftly put her in her place by saying something like, (paraphrasing heavily) “A politician makes a proposal, it goes in front of the public, their representatives hash it out, public opinion gets shaped one way or another and things get voted on. It’s called Democracy, Andrea. You should look it up sometime.”

Ohh, SNAP! He told her. You should have heard it. It was a thing of beauty. Of course, it doesn’t fit with Andrea’s worldview where the responsibility of the media is to tell people what to think and how to vote. But I have noticed a curious thing happening this primary season. I don’t think the voters trust the media much these days. Just think about what happened in PA. Nearly every paper in the state endorsed Obama. And Hillary won by 10. Oh and then there was Massachusetts. Same thing. Obama, Obama, Obama! Voters said, “ehhhhh, not so much”. In fact, the media has relentlessly fluffed Obama. He literally can do nothing wrong. His campaign is crack, his family is beautiful, his every pronouncement stirring and inspirational. Yet, the voters stupidly go for Clinton over and over again.

Remember back in November and December of 2000? The media went all Chicken Little on us and told us the country would fall apart if Gore didn’t concede? And remember how the Weapons of Mass Destruction would rain down upon us in 45 minutes if we didn’t go into Iraq right now, RIGHT NOW, I SAY, and disarm Hussein? And how did both of those scenarios go? So, now, the media is starting to rev up the noise about how Clinton threatens the party and the country if she challenges the DNC at the convention (or before) on the resolution of the FL and MI delegations. I think Lincoln wisely remarked on fooling all of the people all of the time. There is a limit to how much of this stuff you can get away with and it has been reached. One of the most beneficial things that can come out of this protracted primary season is that we may finally be able to retire people like Andrea Mitchell, David Broder, Cokie Roberts and the other Villagers. Nobody’s listening to them anymore anyway.

Monday: The Homestretch

Today is going to be frantic. Hillary has added two new events in North Carolina. She’s probably got one of those Hermione Granger hourglass thingies where she can squeeze two lives into the same hour. What’s really spooky is meeting yourself at the airport.

What does it say about the state of the race in NC that she is adding events there? Obama is doing the same, by the way. To this semi-amateur politician (I *did* win a school board election. /snark), it sounds like there are numbers that show it really close. Maybe she can’t win it but she can shave enough points off of his lead so that his aura of invincibility is severely quashed,leaving WKJM and the OFB weak in the knees. Oh, zealots will always manage to tell themselves a new fantasy and regroup. The problem is, there may not be a sufficient supply of true believers in the other remaining primary states. The OFB may start to look like a bunch of left wingnuts pretty soon. I mean to the rest of the country. They’ve looked like that for awhile to us.

And here is where Obama may have made a fatal mistake: The Gas Tax. I don’t know who’s been giving Clinton advice lately but this was pretty, fricking brilliant. WE know that any gas tax holiday would be short term, made up with taxes on excess profits and those taxes could be structured to take the incentive out of manipulating the markets. The benefit to consumers would be small but not insignificant. And out comes Obama with an ad that essentially tells consumers to suck it up because Clinton is pandering to them. Then he offers them a tax cut. Bwahahahahah! I swear, Obama and his fanbase have no clue. They want so desperately to jettison the working class. They think they can win without them. We’ll see. One thing I know for sure: undecideds make up their minds based on the last thing they heard as they walk into that voting booth and Hillary always has a killer ad on the last day.

In other news, the Shrill One recaps recent efforts by the Fed’s Ben Bernanke to head off a financial meltdown in Success Breeds Failure. The problem is that in doing so, he gave the financial institutions in question enough strength to resist further reforms. It’s sort of like alcoholic co-dependence. If we could only figure out a way of isolating the institution in question and limit the damage to it and no one else…

This piece on NPR this morning about Mazdar City in the United Arab Emirates is very exciting. The UAE is partnering with MIT to design a city in the desert without a carbon footprint. Yeah, imagine that. Instead of spending billions of dollars to seize the oil fields, They’re planning on investing in a city that’s totally green.

The Nuclear Option: Count the Votes

Today at Huffington Post, Thomas Edsall reports that if Hillary campaign staffers are discussing the possibility of going “nuclear” by convincing her supporters in on the Rules and Bylaws Committee to force the DNC to seat the Florida and Michigan Delegates. While the warlike imagery is a little offputting, it sounds to me as if Edsall is acting as a stalking horse for the Clinton Campaign. Continue reading