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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.

62 Responses

  1. Passion fruit mojito, if you please, Rico.

  2. What a curious thing: Obama wasting time to be in North Carolina and have only one closed door meeting. It’s not like he’s sashaying to Tuesday with crushing leads anywhere. Maybe the poor fellow is just exhausted. I bet he needs a vacation. There’s a ranch in Crawford for bedraggled weary guys like him.

    Rico, I don’t drink. Pour me a Diet Coke. Hmmm. Make it a double.

  3. Elizabeth Kolbert has a decent piece in the New Yorker

    The candidate who is ahead—or who is perceived to be—receives more press coverage. He collects more contributions and endorsements, and these generate still more media attention, which brings in more money, more votes, and so on. Meanwhile, his opponents find that they cannot pay their staffs, or afford to hire a bus, or attract more than a clutch of peevish reporters to their news conferences. Hoping to make it onto the short list for Vice-President, the laggards throw their support to the front-runner, and the contest comes to an abrupt, if not necessarily satisfying, close.

    Hillary Clinton is perhaps the first candidate in primary history to run this process in reverse. The longer the race has gone on, the lower the odds have become that she will finish the season leading either in the popular vote or in elected delegates. (After her victory in Pennsylvania last month, Slate calculated that she would still need eighty per cent “of every remaining vote” to catch up with Barack Obama in pledged delegates, and this week’s contests in Indiana and North Carolina seem unlikely to alter that math substantially.) Clinton’s once commanding lead among superdelegates has shrunk by three-quarters. At various points, her campaign has been on the verge of going broke. Nevertheless, rather than growing weaker, she seems to have become more formidable. How is this possible? And, perhaps more to the point, how can it possibly end?

    This goes to something I find rather intriguing: Where does Hilary get her votes from? As of now, more than 15 mio valid votes have been cast with her name.

    Hillary Clinton is the candidate most savaged by the press in the history, some times I actually believe you get access to public platform or any type of medium in order to smear the hell out of her.
    In “liberal” talk radio, she gets destroyed non-stop. In RW talk radio, it’s almost as bad. In the written press, it’s the same story.
    As for TV, I am actually trying to put my hands on the MessNBC business plan, because the summary must contain something about savaging Hillary Clinton. CNN and Fox has the same MO but to a lesser degree.
    We were fooled into working hard to create a progressive movement. It turned out to be another post of CDS.

    On the other hand, her opponent Obama is the most positively covered candidate in the history. He has pretty much all media actively working for him. He can’t do any wrong. Everything he does is historic. He gets lauded for blowing his nose. Every “intellectual” writes about his greatness.
    Now he has all the money and lots of endorsements.

    How come he can’t beat her?

    Obama needed to win OH or TX to end the contest and get rid of this woman nobody can stand. But he got humiliated.
    He needed to win PA to end the whole thing. But he suffered another humiliation.

  4. Rico, I’ll take what river daughter is having. In fact, I’ll take two.


    He’s talking about the magic number, how many more delegates Obama needs to win, and he says that the number to clinch the nomination is 2025!!!! That means that Olbermann is assuming the permanent disenfranchisement of all FLA and MI delegates.

    Nice one, Keith?

  6. dont forget bill monroe and warren haynes

  7. BTW, Rico, I really need my mojito now.

  8. Donna Brazile wanted to send me some Nina Simone when I told her Hill was not a racist and she knew that.

  9. Riverdaughter,

    I was just about to post a few comments with some more pics, but you beat me to the punch. Is there anyway I can post it underneath the cocktail hour post? If not I’ll save it for later

  10. Chuck Todd’s question for tomorrow:

    How much of what Clinton won in PA will she lose in NC?

    Olbermann asks Todd eagerly, “How many of the uncommitted SDs are really uncommitted, and how many are just waiting for the coast to clear?” How many Obama supporters are afraid to come out for him now, is that what you’re asking, Keith?

  11. What on earth is wrong with these people? How do they figure in their pea brained little minds that winning a few caucuses is anywhere near as important as winning(in most cases winning BIG) all the big electoral states?

  12. gary: How about this, I’ll bump you up to editor and you can add to the end of this post. Or if you prefer to have a separate post, go ahead and don’t worry about mine. Yours is more important.

  13. I wish I had some pictures of my Chelsea morning (and afternoon, and evening) to post from yesterday…RD gave me posting privileges, and I feel bad for never using them!!

    But I was a driver in her caravan (motorcade, convoy, whatever-term of 3 cars you prefer) as we went through NC yesterday…starting from my hometown of Fayetteville (pentecostal church) to Lumberton (Lumbee Tribe Pow-Wow) to Clinton (event at a gazebo at a bed n’ breakfast) and finally to Raleigh (to local pizza joint, GLBT event mostly).

    It was a great time. Got to meet lots of great Clinton supporters, got to dance in a pow-wow (only in a campaign!), got to watch people’s faces when we walked into a Friendly’s in Lumberton to get ice cream to go (I love watching the facial expression of ‘Is that…no…wait…it’s…that’s her!’), got to meet the wonderful Erika Alexander again (and get ANOTHER picture with her!), and it was just great.

    Chelsea is just a wonderful surrogate, answering any questions that are thrown at her, showing great patience, connecting with folks, maintaining her humor…just great. I know the President was doing his 9-town tour today (he’s probably still at it as I type!).

    Michelle Obama was in Fayetteville today. I talked to one fellow vet who went, who is an Obama supporter. He said it went well, but (and I may be wrong) I think that was a closed meeting as well. She was talking with military families, and then went to downtown Fayetteville. Oh well (I checked my negativity…so nothing else to say on that!).

    I don’t know how I feel about NC tomorrow. I think both states results will have the pundits chattering Wed. morning about things like “can’t close the deal” and “this is going until June.” We know we have 2/3 of the remaining states for us definitely, and will put up a good fight in the others.

    Fun! …and I always love the bands that play during cocktail hour…

  14. how bout I post it then direct everyone to the bar in the comments? I feel like it might take me a while to figure out the editing bit.

  15. I have to have a Carolina, in honor of my middle child Caroline. I hope that the drink is as strong and sweet as she is.

    I am very confident, Hillary never disappoints. I think that NC women will come home to Hillary. Democratic and Independent women will be more than 52%. She will win, but if she doesn’t Obama still has a lot of explaining to do (I will not try to spell it the way Ricky Ricardo would have spelled it, I may insult Rico (not a good thing)

  16. Ok, I was just watching this red thumb report on Hillaryspeaksforme. I had not seen any of the BO Wright press conference stuff because I’ve made it a personal rule not to listen to BO at this point. My Lord, what a phony. How can anyone take him seriously? I don’t really care about Wright, but to come out and say oh these things are so objectionable, that he has obviously heard for years…just sad.

  17. isaac: you’re right. I love Bill Monroe and bluegrass. But it’s not something that everyone appreciates. As I was saying, there is a LOT of musical talent from North Carolina. Is it something in the water?

  18. gary: Whatever works for you. 🙂

  19. So, no speculation on why Obama has done no public appearances today in a state he is expected to win but not by much? That doesn’t seem weird to anyone?

  20. Bill Monroe was born in KY. He spent a lot of years in Indiana too. I used to play bluegrass mandolin myself, so I’m a fan.

  21. Hey, I don’t care what his politics are, Harold Ford is damn fine looking. Rico, I’ll have another.

  22. BB and Isaac: I;m a ricky skaggs fan. Love that high lonesome sound.

  23. Sure it seems weird, but I don’t know anything to say, I have definitely noticed it seems weird.

    I could use a nice glass of wine, by the way.

  24. RD – I think it’s a purposeful strategy, though don’t ask me to explain it. I’ve been told it’s also purposeful that there are hardly any Obama signs in NC (I’ve seen 5, maybe 6 in all of my mini-travels in the state). Um…I don’t “get” it myself, though. Maybe it’s too elite for me…:)

  25. Riverdaughter,

    I’m mystified. I can’t imagine why Obama didn’t hit the campaign trail hard today. I heard he’s running a very negative ad against Hillary, but TV ads don’t replace the personal touch. Maybe a superdelegate took him into a room and gave him the facts of life? Just a fantasy, never mind. What do you think is going on?

  26. I’m betting he’s running low on cash.

  27. I’m trying to verify the one event thing. I know for certain that is what they said on the news. From what I can tell it was a closed door event at a factory in durham, from the AP,

    —“I want your vote,” Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama said during a visit to a Durham factory. “I want it badly.”—

    sounds a little desperate, doesn’t it? here’s the link:


  28. As far as the Obama meeting, who knows? It is curious that he didn’t campaign today. On TL a poster was saying that Obama’s support was softening with AA’s in IN and that’s why he bought ads in the Chicago media market.

    I’ve long thought that the party elders needed to sit Obama down and have a loong talk with him about his associations. Maybe someone in the party now cares about how his stuff is damaging the party. One can always hope right?

  29. Sorry to say, Harold Ford just got married last week. Rico, I will have a blueberry martini if you please. I have a question I would like to ask The One:

    If elected, who will be your picks for cabinet posts and other top level positions within your administration? Judging by the mess that will be left behind by Dagwood and Company, who would you consider to be the right choices to assist you in the “hope” and “change” revolution you promised? Seasoned and experienced people, the same ones you have been running against? Or people like Deval Patrick whose inexperience in the role of governor of MA has many of us here crying buyer’s remorse? Just curious to see how you, with little or no experience, plan on solving these issues.

  30. Maybe his fundraising is down. I honestly don’t know a thing and sure wish I did. I thought it was weird as well that they were selling those DVDs of The Historic Speech of a month ago on his website for about $30? Why go to the trouble?

  31. it was an invitation only town hall meeting in RTP. sorry if my reporting was little off, but it was his only event according to them…they now have the video up, go to the link above and look for the one on one with obama. watch the 4th video too, i found the differences between the two campaigns telling

  32. I really do not understand the level of ‘internal’ polls that the campaign has , how much better are they that the stuff we see. I don’t understand why the big media outlets can not get polls as exact. Assuming that the campaigns know more than we do, Obama’s actions can not be seen as positive for his campaign. No public events the day before 2 critical primaries is bizarre. Note also that Hillary is in NC. She must feel very comfortable about Inidana. For Hillary, winning NC or coming close is dessert, there is no way that she would neglect her needed win in Indiana to flirt with NC. Hilliary knows that she has won Indiana— Obama may know that he has lost (even if by winning a narrow victory) NC. Since WV and Kentucky are also sure losers, Obama cannot really go out to Oregon now. I guess all he can do is make more money!!

  33. actually, much of the newscast is available there if you want to see it

  34. I didn’t see the first video, must have been from earlier than the 6pm broadcast….guess he went to a cafe too….

  35. She’s in Indiana tonight,has been there since late this afternoon.

  36. Melanie,

    Do you know where in Indiana she is tonight?

  37. Um, all over. I think Indianapolis right now. Where is BO tonight?

  38. that last video is what I saw…difference between bill and MO is amazing. I joked earlier that Clinton made 10 stops today..turns out he really did!!

  39. they didn’t post the interview with Hillary, or at least not on that page.

  40. Slate has this map, but I don’t know how accurate it is. Today I see they have Hillary in Merrillville, New Albany, then Evansville, IN. The first is in the northwest of the state, the other two in the south near Kentucky. Obama is listed here as Durham NC this afternoon, then Indianapolis this evening. What’s too bad is that they didn’t bother to do a spouse tracker, I’d like to see where Bill is.


  41. Here in Boston, I have to agree with Pat Johnson’s comment about Deval. I was such a big supporter during his race, but have been so disappointed at the way he has governed. He doesn’t seem to realize that he should be working with the Democratic legislature for the benefit of the state. He thinks he can govern by press conference and email to supporters. It doesn’t work that way.

    Now that I have heard the same pablum coming out of Obama’s mouth I am totally disillusioned. Needless to say, I’d rather a real person, with real solutions rather than an off the shelf candidate with no experience, no ideas and no grace.

    By the way, even if you snicker, Rico, I’ll have a sauvigan blanc.

  42. Hmm, well he must be confident about NC then. Wouldn’t he have cmpaigned hard there today if he were worried?

  43. Yeah, Deval has management issues. But I still like him personally. He’s passionate about civil rights and I like that. He could learn to govern. He’s quite smart. He just hasn’t yet. But the Governor has limited power, it’s not like being President. He still has time.

  44. Margarita, rocks, salt.

    No special reason, just seems like it would go well with train smoke.

  45. Gary- thanks for the great posts! All your hard work will pay off tomorrow. I was phoning NC earlier- lots of positively voting for Hillary and some who have already cast their votes for her!
    Riverdaughter- thanks for the sanctuary here.
    Rico, may I please have a Seabreeze?
    Everbody got your candles lit???

  46. Melanie,

    I think that’s the point. Obama doesn’t like to do things that are hard. They promised he would be done with this months ago, I think he’s getting a little cranky too, check out the video, he doesn’t look nearly as enthusiastic as Hillary

  47. Ok, gary, true. Rico, can I have another mojito? And, you can just leave that try of appitizers, thanks.

  48. I think that Obama has Stevie Wonder in Indy tonight. I don’t think that it is something that you can change at the last minute. My hope is that they thought they would have NC by now , but Obama is on to Indy whether or not if is the best campaign stop. They may wish that they were closing the deal on NC, but I must admit that I see things through ‘Hillary’ colored glasses.

  49. NC peasant report– Bill Clinton’s front porch politicking is building a huge well of good will for him and his wife. It may not translate into a win tomorrow, tho it will be much closer than first imagined, and it bodes well for Chelsa’s future run and Hillary’s continued run. Remember anything less than a 20 point Obama victory is a Clinton win.

  50. Talkleft has the candidates’ and spouses’ schedules posted here


    Here’s Bill’s

    Bill Clinton:

    7:30 a.m., Rally in Elizabeth City, NC.
    9:15 a.m., Rally in New Bern, NC.
    11:15 a.m., Rally in Jacksonville, NC.
    1:30 p.m., Rally in Smithfield, NC.
    3 p.m., Rally in Zebulon, NC.
    4:30 p.m., Rally in Louisburg, NC.
    6 p.m., Rally in Henderson, NC.
    8 p.m., Rally in Roxboro, NC.
    10 p.m., Rally in Raleigh, NC.

    BO is up north in Gary, but then it says he’s going back down to Indianapolis, and then Evansville, which should be Hillary territory. Hillary is down south and she ends in Evansville too. Evansville is way down south near the Ohio river which divides IN and KY.

    I really think BO will only carry Gary and maybe Indianapolis, but maybe he thinks he has a shot at Evansville. According to Wikipedia, it’s about 11% black, higher than the state as a whole. Evansville is the third largest city in IN, but that’s not saying much. There are no really big cities. Ohio has several cities bigger than Indianapolis.

    I still think all of southern IN should be Hillary territory–lots of “Hillbillies” down there. Sorry–my sister lives in Bloomington and that’s the word she uses. Indiana attracts a lot of really poor people from KY and TN who move up to get jobs.

  51. Hola borrachos y borrachas… I do not get to post as often as I used to but wanted to thank all of you for making this site the wonderful refuge it has been and continues to be. Muchas gracias y buenas noches.

  52. RonK,

    LOL! Train smoke. I’ve never heard the expression “strong as train smoke” before. I like it though. NC has a colorful governor. Of course in IN, we have labor leaders who think Hillary has “testicular fortitude.” I like that one too.

  53. boomer — I suspect Easley made it up on the spot as train traffic threatened to disrupt their rally … but it’s a keeper, isn’t it?

  54. Yep. I just love sayings like that.

  55. churl: The peasants have spoken!

  56. Oh no! Call the press!

    The Shrill One gets shriller:

    Is Obama misrepresenting what I said?

    I don’t have a link to the ad itself, but apparently there’s an Obama ad citing something I said about McCain’s gas tax holiday as a way to attack Hillary Clinton.

    I did not say that the Clinton proposal would increase oil industry profits. If the ad implies that I did, it should be retracted.

    The Clinton proposal is financed by an excess profits tax. At worst, it sends money in a circle. In practice, it would probably reduce oil industry profits at least slightly, since the rise in the pre-tax price of gasoline probably wouldn’t wipe out all of the tax cut.

    I was very clear when I wrote about the Clinton proposal that while I didn’t think it was good policy, it was not the same as McCain’s, and relatively harmless. If the Obama people are suggesting otherwise, they’re being deliberately dishonest.

  57. Update from raleigh:

    Bill Clinton is still not there. John said Dolores Huerta is speaking to the crowd. It sounded pretty festive. I’ll keep everyone up to date

  58. or at least she is there….I just assumed she was speaking : )

  59. Harold Ford Jr. on Obama and Indiana: http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/washington/2008/04/what-must-obama.html

    Am I the only one who thinks Harold isn’t exactly out to help Obama’s campaign? Something tells me Harry wouldn’t be the least bit discontented by a Hillary sweeping victory tomorrow. But that’s just my wee observation.

  60. Just read Harold Ford Jr’s recent comments/predictions for Obama in Indiana.

    Am I the only one who suspects Harold’s not exactly out to help the BO campaign? Methinks Harry wouldn’t be the least bit discontented by a Hillary sweep.

  61. Methinks that Harold might be setting himself up to be Hillary’s VP (right down the recent marriage). I’m not overly fond of his politics but it might be a way to reach out to the AA community. (However, I have no idea how folks within the AA community would perceive that reach.)

    (Funny. When male candidates picked a VP based on geography or religion -as had been done – it’s solid politics. If Hillary or (shudder) Obama make a choice to reach across race or gender lines it will likely get seen as pandering.)

    Anyway, I’m getting ahead of the narrative. Back to crossing every finger and toe.

    Barkeep a gingerale with a cherry on top and keep pouring. It’s going to be a long watch through Tuesday evening.

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