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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.

83 Responses

  1. I think the Obama balloon has popped. I just can’t imagine what would bring new undecided voters to an Obama commitment today. I’m also wondering what brings regular voters to the voting booth for him. By that I mean that typical voters don’t vote in the Primary. Excited voters do.

    Does Obama still excite his supporters enough to get them to the polls?

    Maybe the process (a tied election season) is enough for some.

    But, I’m remembering the Dean Scream and how quickly Dean’s bubble deflated at that. And as mad as I am at Dean today, I’ve gotta say that I think The Wright Issue (and all it represents) is more significant than The Scream.

    Also, I keep thinking about all those folks who’ve been to see President Clinton — those events have GOT to be bringing small town voters to Hillary. And she’s won a lot of states on the strength of the small towns.

  2. katiebird: Different sites today are saying he is regaining momentum in the polls. Nationally they are saying he has 50 to her 38 and that he is rebounding from last week. Perplexing.

  3. Well, Insider Advatgae shows 45% HRC, 48% BO in NC, however they say she is losing steam in IN. They have her leading but losing steam. They will release the poll later today. 😦

  4. My hope: she wins IN by more than she loses NC by.

    @Melanie: The only poll to trust is SUSA.

  5. Pat and Melanie, I’m going to be like Kathy at TalkLeft and not listen to any polls I don’t like. 🙂

    Plus, I just don’t see what would be making that happen. What has she done to lose momentum and what has he done to bring them back?

    Do the polls say?

  6. @Pat Johnson: The only reason I could think of any late surge for Obama is the media going into hyper drive spin mode for him/against her.

  7. Melanie: Obama is getting by on voters’ sense (I should say “poll respondents’ sense”) that they don’t want any ugliness, and since Obama’s supporters have threatened ugliness without precedent if his god-given right to be the nominee is stolen from him, they’re just throwing up their hands and giving in. This is very understandable and I can’t say that I blame them for being conflict-averse–and make no mistake, a viable Clinton candidacy going into the Convention will mean big-time conflict. But it’s depressing to see that kind of dynamic in a democracy: vote for my guy and nobody gets hurt.

  8. I’m really really hoping that hillary clinton win. It’ll be great if her energy policy create a new industry, new technology – biofuel and green. If America does not lead in this area, I doubt any other country has enough clout to go against the big oil corporations. So. Please, please elect her. And if or should I say, when elected =), please please succeed!!

  9. They are pointing at the fact that he has overcome the Rev. Wright business through his “honesty” of pulling away from him. It is unbelievable.

  10. Rich in PA — I think this is the answer to the why the exit poll number always seem to be exaggerated for Obama. Some people (not me) are afraid to say that they voted for Hillary (especially among the black community), because they don’t want retaliation. Then, the pundits can’t figure out why the poll numbers don’t match with the actual vote.
    The democratic party nor our country should allow itself to be held hostage by threats of violence from anyone whether it’s a terrorist group or the supporters of a presidential candidate. As soon as we roll over and play dead to people like that, our country and everything we hold dear is doomed.

  11. They seem to think that he has managed to put Rev Wright behind him and citing his “leadership ability” in the wake of that decision. I am getting very bad vibes from this.

  12. Pat, they said Wright was a net positive before PA.

  13. Katiebird,

    I think it’s all downhill for Obama from now on. I can’t understand why everyone is so worried. Maybe I’m in denial, but I don’t see how Hillary could be losing steam in Indiana.

    Evan Bayh is the most powerful politician in the state and he controls the party apparatus there, so she will have a lot of help getting out the vote. Only a few Democratic leaders in the state have come out for Obama and one of them, Joe Andrew, doesn’t even live in IN and his superdelegate vote is from MD. If Hillary and Bill thought they were losing steam in IN, they would be staying there today.

    I have also heard that Obama’s people are not doing as much canvassing as Clinton’s in IN. My mom has gotten calls for Hillary but nothing from Barack’s people.

  14. I too have been looking at poll results and I was getting depressed. Then I remember the news before PA–she only lead by 5%, she was in a dead-heat, etc. She can’t lose IN. You cannot tell me that people in IN or NC are unaffected by Rev. Wright, and people in IN know a lot about dirty Chicago politics. For all the talk about the professoriat in NC, there are many, many more secretaries, food service workers, maintenance workers, etc at universities. And a Gallup poll done recently shows Hillary is now one point ahead among 18-29 year olds! I found this today, buried in headlines about the Messiah’s popularity, so I blogged it. You can see it on Facebook too. New Hillary groups all the time now! She will win tomorrow.

  15. Something shifted within the last 2 days and I don’t quite know how to determine what led to it. I don’t buy into conspiracy theories but I think that deals are being secured, promises are being made, threats are being issued, to help him attain the nomination. I say this because the will of the voter does not seem to have any bearing on the outcome. It is the supers who will make the final determination in the end and those are the people whom they can get to. Without FL and MI added into the equation, the popular vote is all but discounted. Should this happen it will open a wide breech in the party that will not be healed by November. His supporters and their lack of civility has driven me far outside the sphere. It will be pretty difficult to vote for someone who is undeserving in the end.

  16. Pat,

    Who is saying that Obama has put Wright behind him? No way. Did you see the front page of the NY Post yesterday? And that story about Wright stealing a church member’s wife after counseling both of them has been all over cable TV. There is also the story in Newsweek about Oprah leaving Wright’s church because of his rantings. No matter what Obama says about Wright now, regular people know that Obama stayed in the church for 20 years and donated big bucks and Rev. Wright was “like family” to him.

  17. The pollsters always adjust the percentages of who they poll so that Obama is better off in the last couple days. It’s been like this for EVERY single election so far this year. It makes it seems like Obama is gaining, but he’s not. It’s only the polls adjusting, not the situation on the ground.

  18. Pat,

    Why would the supers be pushing a candidate who cannot win the general election? I don’t buy it. Yes, they will decide and they will risk forfeiting their political careers if they back a loser. If Obama loses, supedelegates will have to answer to the voters. If Hillary wins the nomination over their opposition, they will pay a heavy price in influence.

    I advise you to relax, take some deep breaths and send positive energy to Hillary. None of us can control what will happen, but personally, I believe in the power of positive thinking. We need to project an aura of confidence about Hillary’s chances. Don’t get me wrong. I believe that she is on the upswing and he is down for the count. That is my honest perception as a longtime political junkie.

  19. Riverdaughter wrote: “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.”


    As James Carville said, “If she gave him one of her cojones, they’d both have two.”

  20. Interesting “review” of Obama’s and Clinton’s performances on “Meet the Potatohead” and “This Week with George Staphylococcus,” respectively:

    The TV Watch
    Clinton Steals One Show, While Obama Endures Another

    Published: May 5, 2008
    Senator Barack Obama sat hunched on Sunday across the desk from Tim Russert on “Meet The Press” on NBC and wearily endured question after question about his relationship with the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr.

    Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton stood up from her armchair on Sunday to tower over George Stephanopoulos on “This Week” on ABC and merrily took on all critics, even the king of the Clinton-bashers, the talk-radio host Rush Limbaugh.

    “He’s always had a crush on me,” Mrs. Clinton said with a sly smile.

    Talk shows, even the more serious news programs, are never really about talk; they are about image and demeanor. Together, “Meet the Press” and its rival “This Week with George Stephanopoulos” provided an arresting tableau of the reversal of fortunes in the Democratic race. Mrs. Clinton was forceful, confident and at times even frisky as she easily deflected questions from Mr. Stephanopoulos and members of a town-hall-style meeting in Indianapolis. Mr. Obama, usually the one to see the humor in politics, instead looked grave and dispirited.

    The anchors, on the other hand, did not reverse roles: as usual, Mr. Russert came out ahead in that Sunday talk-show contest. Mrs. Clinton gave ABC a more vivid and dynamic show, but it came at Mr. Stephanopoulos’s expense. Mrs. Clinton seemed to relish the opportunity to undercut him, a former adviser to her husband, with needling jokes and alpha-candidate body blocks.


    Television interviews provide snapshots, not full portraits, but that does not make them any less telling. Mr. Obama revealed that he was not impervious to pressure, while Mrs. Clinton once again proved that it takes more than a village to make her sweat.


  21. litigatormom: Thanks for pasting in that commentary. I flicked the channel to MTP yesterday and noticed how Obama was hunched over. Admittedly, I did not stick around long enough to listen to him. But what a visual contrast to Hillary, who stood up to answer audience questions (funny how George finally stood, too!). Her Limbaugh crack was brilliant.

    I heard she’s going to do Top 10 on Letterman tonight.

  22. Letterman? Ooooo, noooo, I have to get up at 5 am tomorrow morning! But I can do it — by 6:30 am I will be sleeping in the back of a limo for a two hour drive to Hartford.

    Won’t be home tomorrow night until after the polls close. {{pins and needles}}

  23. Litigatormom,

    What a great writeup of the the two Sunday shows. I haven’t had the stomach to watch Obama yet, but I thought Hillary did well. Their recent demeanors do tell the tale. Hillary is feel good and doing well; Barack is on the downhill slide.

  24. I just reread my post and realized how much like “Debbie Downer” I sound like. I am taking the day out of the house and getting away from this for awhile. I think I have become so invested in the outcome that I am beginning to argue the “what ifs’ a little too much. The suspense is killing me!

  25. ” …it takes more than a village to make her sweat. ” I love that. Now there’s a bumper sticker.

    I agree w/ whoever said earlier that there’s some behind the scenes deals being made but I think they’re in Our Girl’s favor. Obama looks defeated, Michelle looks and sounds angry, Hillary looks confident but not cocky and Bill and Chelsea are wowing the locals. I think everything is moving in the right direction.

    About Michelle, she has this odd and disconcerting mannerism when she speaks and it’s hard to put into words but it comes across as though she’s ready for a fight. It’s kind of a snuf and a smirk – sounds petty, I know, but body language speaks volumes. I’ve commented on some of Hillary’s “bad” body language before.
    I’m cautiously optimistic.

  26. I wanted to find confirmation about Letterman so that you wouldn’t stay up in vain. It was in a Hillgram:

    HILLARY ON LETTERMAN MONDAY! Hillary will be appearing on “The Late Show with David Letterman” on Monday, May 5 to deliver the Top 10 list. Tune in to your local CBS affiliate at 11:30 p.m. ET/10:30 p.m. CT

    She’s bound to be way funnier than the “lead balloon.” Great way to top off the IN and NC campaigning, too.

  27. {{Pat}} I totally understand. But, I just don’t see how tomorrow could be bad for her. It’s like the exact opposite of how things felt leading into November 2004.

  28. Lambert has a post up on this Obama speech:

    …and when people lose their jobs, when the plant closes, you don’t just lose your job, you lose your health care and your pension, and more than that you lose your sense of who you are and your place in your community. Your sense of dignity.

    You can lose your job and still have your dignity and sense of identity, can’t you? Is this another “bitter” remark? What is wrong with this guy? As commenter Paul Lukasiak puts it,

    Obama leaned everything he knows about working class people in a college sociology class.

  29. The OFB may start to look like a bunch of left wingnuts pretty soon.

    They already do.

  30. Pat,

    I hope I wasn’t too hard on you! I was trying to give you a pep talk. I understand where you’re coming from. If Hillary were to lose IN, I would be devastated. But I just don’t think it’s gonna happen. Buy yourself a little present today, have some comfort food, and generally be nice to Pat. Everything is going to work out in the end. Have a nice day.

  31. @Melanie: Awesome! Let’s hope she keeps it to single digits in NC.

  32. bostonboomer: Absolutely not!! All of us who see this blog as our home are full of emotion in this race. I had read earlier that he was gaining again and she was down. We on this blog had such a shared sense of euphoria the last few days that it just lowered my mood. I am taking the day to do a few fun things with friends who can always be counted on to elevate the tone so it should be fun. And a planned visit to the Christmas Tree Shop is always upbeat.

    I am just one of those who needs an immediate fix and waiting until Tuesday is nerve wracking. Thanks for the pep talk. I believe that is why we visit this blog.

  33. I haven’t figured out why Obama allowed the gas tax issue to dominate the issue portion of NC and Ind. It’s too innocuous. It’s as though he picked the only issue that can’t really excite anyone. Meanwhile, since discussing that is too boring for most, the Wright story is a great deal juicier and continues to dominate.

    Today’s NYTIMES points out that Hillary looked fiesty and like she was having fun on her appearance Sunday, while Obama looked overly serious, dour and in low spirits.

    Perhaps the polls in NC are why. She’s nipping at his heels, and 8 percent still say they haven’t decided in the latest poll. That means……potential break in late deciders may make the difference.

    And we all know how well she does in closing.

  34. “The democratic party nor our country should allow itself to be held hostage by threats of violence from anyone”

    Lucina, you are seriously suggesting that people are lying to pollsters because they are afraid that black people are going to come beat them up if they say they voted for Hillary? Ok….

    “The pollsters always adjust the percentages of who they poll so that Obama is better off in the last couple days.”

    Pollsters are striving for accuracy. Whoever can be more accurate more often by default becomes the “better” pole. I have a difficult time accepting that independent polls are sacrificing accuracy at their own expensive simply to give a candidate a small bump. I’m not saying they do not adjust numbers based on historical differences between predictions/outcomes but I doubt it is for the sake of any candidate.

    “And here is where Obama may have made a fatal mistake: The Gas Tax.”

    The language on this site has become exaggerated. Mistake? Debatable. Fatal mistake… yeah right. This is against the backdrop of him gaining a tiny bit in Indiana.

    Maybe, just maybe people are agreeing with Obama for calling the gas tax holiday on what it is. Pointless, distracting, and arguably counter-productive. To be honest this whole thing reminds me of (from what I have read) Jimmy Carter when he told America to lower their expectations, to suck it up, and to quit using so much gasoline. Its a crummy message but I think it is more or less the right one. I would prefer to see a discussion about extending unemployment benefits because I’m sure both HRC/BO could come up with good ideas in that department. Economists have shown many times that extending unemployment benefits gets more mileage per dollar and it could help many people suffering the most from our “economic slowdown.”

    I don’t know how this went down among Clinton fans but I got really turned off when Clinton could not produce a name of one economist in support of her gas tax holiday and then turned around and accused economist of being elite and out of touch with America. It just struck me as incredibly anti-intellectual which seems like one of the biggest problems we have today: our policy makers should be listening to experts because they themselves are not experts.

    Anyway, I think we all know that he has not made any “fatal” mistakes. BO will likely win NC and HRC will likely win Indiana and the primary season will march on. Brace yourself for Tuesday settling next to nothing.

  35. Ok, Ryan, but his spreadsheet predicted he would win IN by 7 points.

  36. Melanie, I’m not sure what you’re getting at. That outcome has seemed very unlikely for some time now.

  37. AnninCA: The clinton campaign now knows its enemy. Whether the short-term Gas Tax-Excess Profits tax combination could be replaced with something more effective is debatable. That’s what Democracy is for. But HRC’s campaign knows that the Obama supporters know what’s best for all of us and that is that people are consuming too much gas. So if you make it more affordable, they will never learn to conserve. Now, this argument has its merits. The problem is that working people who need to drive in order to make a living and are paying at the wazoo for food and gas don’t need some snotty DINK in Philadelphia to tell them to take mass transit in East Jabip, NC. The burden of reducing consumption falls most heavily on them and they can’t fricking afford it anymore. So, the Obamaphiles, just like the Greek heros of old, succumb to hubris and slit their own throats by not honoring the gods- the working class. And now, they are going to get burned by it.
    They’ll keep doing this on other things as well. For example: I suppose those stupid hicks didn’t save enough for retirement next. Well, if we restructure social security, we can force them to save money. See how it works? It’s baiting at its best and Obama’s camp walks right into it.

  38. Along with SUSA, Suffolk U. has Clinton up 6 in Indiana.

    Harold Ford Jr. on Morning Joe said he had a feeling one of the candidates would win both states. Joe asked him if he thought Clinton would win both, but Ford demurred and said Barack is toughening up in Indiana. Couple this with Carville’s comments, and its got me thinking.

  39. Ryan, I am getting it from Obama. He put out a spreadsheet a while back predicting results for the remaining states.

  40. RD—- this is a really important article off of NO Quarter. For the rest of this election, monitioring this? In the elec out here, not one piece of Hillary material was avail. It was like the town was taken over by guess who? I tried calling for yard signs, anything–none. There was an office but not for the Dem Party, only him. Now I know why. I big, big super wanted him to win in this area. Also, I was told by a group of local Dems that he had all that stuff avail for free to hand out—like this pic below the link.



  41. What does it have you thinking, WS?

  42. Ryan: That has to be the most clueless answer I have seen on this site. Pay people more in unemployment so they won’t use more gas to get to work? Are you nuts? Some people actually LIKE to work. They do things they find enjoyable. And getting s steady paycheck with the possibility of advancement is vastly preferable to staying home and collecting money for not driving to work. What are we supposed to do? Tell people in the prime of their working years to take a cut in pay, indefinitely, so they will stop consuming so much? Maybe they should eat their children as well and decrease the surplus population too. You Obama supporters really have no clue. I have no idea what is going to happen tomorrow but I hope you get your asses handed to you and your rosy predictions. You deserve to be put in time out for a couple of decades until you grow up.

  43. Melanie, well Carville raised expectations for Hillary in IN and NC in his Newsweek interview. Now, Harold Ford Jr., a Clintonista, says he has a feeling one candidate will win both states on Tuesday. I was just thinking if there’s a possibility she can actually win NC. Why would Clinton loyalists raise expectations when they’re usually good at the expectations game?

  44. riverdaughter: !!

    “Pay people more in unemployment so they won’t use more gas to get to work? Are you nuts?”

    Yes, Yes some of them are. Because fighting a temporary gas tax holiday like it’s an idea from the devil just doesn’t make sense at a time when you can SEE the price of gas rising every time you drive by a gas station.

  45. vbonnaire: I don’t think it is any secret that Obama has more money than God. he can afford to paper the town with those obnoxious O’s. Clinton, on the other hand, operates on a shoestring budget. There is no waste. There is a budget and they stick to it religiously. Part of this is because I think that is just the way they operate going back to before SuperTuesday. Tehy are not spendthrifts. And part of it is because *after* super Tuesday, the Obama Haka was so intense that fundraising was way off for her. That was the intention of the haka: to dry up funding and volunteers for her by making Obama look like the eventual nominee. That’s why *we’re* here. We are the counter haka.
    But getting back to signs. Signs in PA didn’t come into the campaign office until the weekend before the election. We had a lot of voters ask for one but we didn’t have any to give. You may see a bunch sprout up like mushrooms in the next 24 hours. But even if they don’t, don’t be too stressed. The voters are trusting themselves this election season. Endorsements don’t help. Newspapers don’t help. Clueless media fluffing of Obama isn’t helping (too much). Voters are seeking answers and really thinking like they never have before. Just do phone or live canvassing and you will be astonished. Voters know much more than we have given them credit for, I am heartened by how much Americans are engaging and learning and thinking things through. We have underestimated them. So, put your trust in them. Even the undecideds will make an informed decision in the end, lawn signs or not.

  46. “So if you make it more affordable, they will never learn to conserve.”

    This is where I disagree. I think that eliminating the gas tax will only momentarily lower the price after which point, the remaining 90% of the holiday, the price will rebound due to the higher demand. My point is that the 18 cents price is significant; its just too bad there is no way to actually lower the price of gasoline by 18 cents for much more than a week or two. I kind of feel like a “Washington can never ever know best” argument is being invoked here. I just see the holiday plan as impotent. Neither beneficial or harmful so I think it is a waste of time to focus on it when there is already expert consensus. I wouldn’t come down so hard against it if there was even a modicum of debate regarding the feasibility/utility of the plan.

    Melanie, I guess his spreadsheet was wrong. It is close enough though that I suppose we could see some moderately surprising results even if they resolve little.

  47. @WS: I wish Carville had never said Clinton had to win NC b/c it would allow any success she has there (a single digit loss would be huge for her) to be spun by the media into the sign of the apocalypse for her.

    Why the hell did he do that?

  48. He didn’t say she had to, he said if she did it would be a game changer basically.

  49. The CBS/NYT poll is painfully guffaw inducing.

    I was LMBAO reading the internals. I think the number everyone was touting with Obama up by 8 was for the Dems who have already voted. You have to go all the wasy to page 5 to find out that among all Dems, it’s 46/45. Funny they didn’t give out what it is among Dems who have yet to cast a ballot.

    The breakdown was so funny I was looking for the result among Dems who are left handed, maybe that could put Obama up by 15.
    The strange thing was that even in that poll Hillary still does better against McCain.

    That poll was so ridiculous that the NY Times itself didn’t even bother with it.

    On the other USAToday/Gallup gives us this:

    Poll: Flap over pastor hurts Obama

    Barack Obama’s national standing has been significantly damaged by the controversy over his former pastor, a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll finds, raising questions for some voters about the Illinois senator’s values, credibility and electability.
    The erosion of support among Democrats and independents raises the stakes in Tuesday’s Indiana and North Carolina primaries, which represent a chance for Obama to reassert his claim to a Democratic nomination that seems nearly in his grasp. A defeat in Indiana and a close finish in North Carolina, where he’s favored, could fuel unease about his ability to win in November. Such results also could help propel Hillary Rodham Clinton’s uphill campaign all the way to the Democratic convention in August.

    In the USA TODAY survey, taken Thursday through Saturday, Clinton leads Obama among Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents by 7 percentage points, the first time in three months she has been ahead. Two weeks ago, before the controversy over comments by Jeremiah Wright reignited, Obama led by 10 points.

    In February, Democrats and Democratic leaners by 33 points said Obama had a better shot at beating Republican John McCain in November. Clinton is now seen as the stronger candidate by 5 points.

  50. Carville’s comments could be a slip of the tongue, but then Harold Ford’s comments in Morning Joe came up. I would love to see their internal numbers. We’ll find out tomorrow!

  51. @Melanie: Whew! I read a comment at TL that reported Carville said she had to win NC. If she won NC that definitely would be a tremendous game changer (even Clinton mentioned that in a Times article), but if Clinton pulls out a double digit IN win and a single digit NC loss, it’ll be big as she heads down the stretch.

  52. WS – Clinton’s internals have her down by just 2% with 7% undecided. That is why Obama is making a rush trip back to NC today. He had not planned to return but had to throw out his schedule yesterday to get back here.

    Hillary has two events in NC today and the last I heard Bill has 11 or 12. Hillary joked this past Friday that Bill will go wherever two or more people have gathered. It got a good laugh.

    We are very “up” here in NC.

  53. Don’t forget there was one poll the end of the week showing Hillary ahead by two in NC–within the margin of error, but still…

    I have a really good feeling about tomorrow. I’m sorry some folks are worried, but we will know the outcome soon.

    No one can convince me that Hillary will lose Indiana though. It’s just not going to happen. Dream on, Ryan…

  54. Dee, That’s great news! Did you hear that from the horses mouth, or published reports? OMG, I’m so excited. Bill is making 11 stops today in NC. That has to have an effect.

  55. Ryan said: “Lucin[d]a, you are seriously suggesting that people are lying to pollsters because they are afraid that black people are going to come beat them up if they say they voted for Hillary? Ok…”

    I didn’t say any such thing. It’s Rev. Sharpton and Donna Brazile who have said that “there would be ‘blood’ and ‘riots’ if Obama is not the nominee.
    But I can tell you as a matter of fact, that in canvassing I’ve done for Hillary, black voters who support Hillary have said it in whispers and asked me not to tell anyone, because they don’t won’t to hear the tongue-lashing they’d get from friends or family. White voters are the same way. A lot of them will whisper their support, because they have close ties with the black community, and they don’t want to advertise their support for Hillary. You don’t live in my area of the country, so you probably wouldn’t understand what I’m talking about.

  56. Ryan: What part of this scenario do you not get? It’s supposed to be a temporary fix to help people who can’t afford to drive to work or feed their kids. Until you come up with a solution to help these struggling families, don’t moralize about how the companies will drive up prices. An excess profits tax, which was imposed on companies in WWII could go a long way towards discouraging oil companies from hiking prices. Also, with the Bushies out of the WH in Jan 2009, the market mainipulation is going to stop because we’re not going to let them get away with it anymore. The prices of gas will fall and we’ll have some breathing room to enact some real green policies. But if you think that the working class consumer isn’t paying attention to who gets screwed with these high prices, you aren’t paying attention. Thank you for confirming all we have previously thought about Obama supporters.

  57. Personally I don’t care for the lifting of the gas tax. Why should government, which has things to do with that money (even if we don’t agree with them at present), take the fall, if only temporarily?

    I think “excess profits” (however you want to measure them) shouldn’t be taxes; they should be escrowed, and not released back to the oil companies until they agree to spend them on alternative energy research and/or carbon sequestration research. We need to set things up, institutionally, so that the only path to continued profitability for oil companies runs through energy that isn’t oil. That way, their success would be the success of humankind, which (to put it mildly) is not currently the case.

  58. WS: The numbers probably show that Clinton has come back from 20 points back. But that is no guarantee of a win. Anything could happen in the next 24 hours. It’s nice to know that Clinton’s campaign is retooled and revved up. But Obama has more money and he’s poisoned the AA vote. We’ll see. They’re going to be working their hearts out today. Let’s think positive thots.

  59. Clinton’s internals have her down by just 2% with 7% undecided. That is why Obama is making a rush trip back to NC today. He had not planned to return but had to throw out his schedule yesterday to get back here.

    As New Hampshire was the first to demonstrate, Clinton has been taking a high proportion of the undecideds.

  60. Rich, the policy is a minor irritant, but great politics. I fully endorse the politics.

  61. riverdaughter: One of the consoling things about both Indiana and North Carolina is the staff we have on the ground there. Ace Smith got us both California and Texas, and he is leading the campaign in North Carolina. Our wins in California and Texas both relied in part on the excellent ground game that Smith put together in the early voting; let’s hope a substantial portion of the 26% of North Carolinian Democrats who voted early voted for Hillary. In Indiana, we also are fortunate with the campaign’s leadership. Robbie Mook won us our only caucus victory, in North Carolina. Mook, who brought Ohio home for Hillary, is leading the fight in Indiana.

  62. Ryan said:

    “Whoever can be more accurate more often by default becomes the “better” pole.”

    Now here I thought he was talking about politics, and he gets all philosophical on us. How can we all become a better pole? What kind of pole should we strive to be? flag pole? telephone pole? hmmm……..

    (Sorry Ryan, I know it was just a typo, and I do it all the time, I just couldn’t resist)

  63. Lets hope those internals for NC are right and the undecideds go to her like they usually do.

    I’m crossing my fingers for NC, but I expect her to just keep it close there.

  64. Ryan, buddy, SUSA has been by far the most accurate this primary season. TalkLeft’s BTD has been the shit in calling pollsters on their grabassing, and a lot of it has been grabassing.

    As far as the gas tax stuff, it’s politics—a bit of defense for the fall so Sen. Clinton can counter any GOP attacks of, “Evil Dems can’t even help you temporarily with your money troubles.”

    Politically, good. Policy—I’ll go with Paul Krugman: pointless in terms of economics. And it’s great that Sen. Clinton upped the political game by adding on the windfall profits tax on oil companies—Bush is going to veto the whole thing, so she’s turned the tables.

    As I recall, in Sen. Clinton’s long-term energy plan, Rich in PA, revenue generated from windfall profits taxes on excessive profits on oil companies and cutting the oil industry tax breaks pay for alternative/green energy intitiatives. And that includes a $10,000 rebate/money-back thing to people buying hybrid vehicles—that’s how the Japanese government got people to buy hybrids.

  65. Why in the hell isn’t SUSA NC out? What is taking so long?

  66. To clarify about Harold Ford, I do think he was referring more to NC than to Indiana. Joe thought he was referring to Clinton and NC.

  67. A new SurveyUSA poll in Indiana finds Sen. Hillary Clinton leading Sen. Barack Obama, 54% to 42%.

    Key finding: “In 4 tracking polls over the past 5 weeks, Clinton has never polled lower than 52%, Obama has never polled higher than 43%.”

  68. Melanie: I just saw you already had posted this. Apologies.

  69. No problem, DC. I just wish they would post their NC already.

  70. From a writer to TPM:

    I think if you read the polling results of the various Indiana polls carefully, they are not as variable and contradictory as they might first appear. Nearly every poll in the last week has put Obama’s number within one or two points of 43%. On the other hand, Clinton’s numbers have varied much more dramatically in the 42-54% range. That variation tends to correlate negatively with the number of undecideds. So it would seem that what’s going on is both candidates have solid bases of support in the low 40s, but when you start pushing less firm voters, they go overwhelmingly for Clinton (an indication that Zogby himself has also acknowledged). This still isn’t very good news for Obama, but it does mean that pushing his supporters out and changing a few minds gives him a decent shot at keeping Indiana close.

    I want to make a totally separate point. I agree with your posts from about a month ago about how irrational it is for a Democratic voter supporting the losing primary candidate to defect to McCain in November, since Clinton and Obama are so close on the issues compared to McCain. But I have to say, as someone who was marching in New Hampshire in 1991 for Bill Clinton, who ran the campus Democrats for his ’92 campaign, who interned in his White House, who argued against impeachment at every turn, who even defended the pardons, who has been an enormous and unwavering admirer, and who has been disgusted with his own parents for their seemingly irrational hatred of Hillary Clinton, there is something about the way she has run this campaign. From having people on her campaign raise Obama’s drug use, to her jumping on the bandwagon for every right-wing cheap shot, to her new populist, “got no truck with economists” stance, its been craven. More craven than I could possibly imagine.

    If somehow against all odds she got nominated, I’d vote for her, but I’d do so utterly unconvinced that the quality of her leadership wouldn’t bring about disastrous results no less than the disastrous results that McCain’s wrongheaded policies and own cravenness would bring about. Yes, her policy positions would be much better than McCain’s. But if she’s this divisive, this self-preserving, this craven, I think the results can still be horrible, even with policy positions that are much closer to mine. At this point I feel like it would be the hardest vote for a Democrat I’d ever cast.

    Now, I’m a Democratic fundraiser. And as detailed above, a very long time Clinton supporter. If I’m this repulsed, if it seems this craven to me, and I’m this pessimistic about her leadership, can I be alone? That doesn’t even factor in the breach with younger voters, netroots activists, and African-American voters a Clinton nomination would bring about at this point.

    Had to get that off my chest.

  71. I am repulsed by Obama’s character attacking Hillary for well over a year. Throwing things like the Gerth 20 years meme at her. Asking reporters to go after Bill’s sex life. Calling her “divisive” another word for bitch. So, I really could care.

  72. The problem for Big O is he is a fad candidate. His whole campaign is based on his personality and being new and exciting. Momentum is essential.

    A candidate like that cannot survive a losing streak like Hillary went through in February. That’s why losing Ohio and Texas stung, and losing PA was devastating. If he loses both NC and Indiana, he’s finished. Even a narrow victory in NC will hurt if he loses Indy.

    BTW – Remember a couple weeks ago when the OFB were bragging that Big O would make up the ground he lost in PA when NC voted? His 20 pt. lead there has evaporated.

  73. Don: I can only imagine your disgust at her cravenness. It must tear at you terribly. And if I put that much weight behind all the supposed “race baiting” and dismissive comments she has had about economists, I too would be fretting and clutching my pearls.
    Fortunately for me, I don’t believe a word of the race baiting $%#% and think that economists are frequently wrong as right. That is why they call it the dismal science I believe.
    But please, do not feel obligated to stay here when you should be in search of your smelling salts. We will not be offended.

  74. This morning on Good Morning Joe, Axelrod mentioned Obama’s better plan than the obvious gas tax pandering, which would give $1,000.00 back to taxpayers; to which Joe replied something about using the social security funds for this plan and wondered if voters would approve. Unfortunately I was not really watching closely, so can someone please confirm? If that is the case, someone needs to highlight this while his ad (plan) is still running and drawing attention – – in the light of transparancy, of course..

  75. Holy Hemiola! (courtesy of RD)

    Today Bob Somerby is the Shrillest he’s ever been. I think he couldn’t take it anymore and decided to set up residence in Shrillville.

    What he does with Gail Collins and Richard Cohen today should be illegal; It’s the equivalent of seal clubbing.

    You have to read this:

    BASED ON AN OLDE PRESS CORPS BALLAD: If you’re the type who likes to believe that our discourse lies in human hands, this was a very bad weekend to read the Post and the Times. We may examine more of the rubble in the next few days, but let’s start with a (familiar) paragraph by the well-scripted noble, Lady Collins. Late in her Saturday column, she warbled the following song, thus expressing a story-line these dullards can recite in their sleep. You can tell that Obama is finer than Clinton because of that flag-burning bill!
    ( … )
    Barack Obama believes in high principle. Sorry, but Hillary Clinton doesn’t! Indeed, Clinton is willing to do and say anything, much like Vile Candidate Gore before her. To get elected, “she’s prepared to do whatever” Indeed, apparently unlike Obama, Clinton is willing to “endors[e] any number of meaningless-to-ridiculous ideas,” Collins says. Collins’ example? Cue the snoring! “See: her bill to make it illegal to desecrate an American flag.”

    Clinton wanted to make it illegal to burn an American flag! As noted, these life-forms know how to type that one up in any type of weather. As we’ll see, they’ve typed it, and typed it, and typed it again; they know this particular novel so well they could just keep typing it as their owners work on their programming. Indeed, they all seem to know this pleasing tale.
    ( … )
    An anti-harridan had been “pandering” with that flag-burning thing. Cohen knew it; the New York Times knew it–and Collins knew it again this past weekend. And Cohen, just like Lady Collins, knew the rest of this new classic script. You just can’t fool a life-form like Cohen. He drew the invidious distinction about Clinton/Obama just as Collins would:( … )
    And then, one week later: Alas, poor Cohen! Yes, he has had to do this sort of thing in the past–but it’s gruesome every time it happens. Seven days after defining Clinton/Obama, the gentleman typed a minor correction. Good God! He’d done it again! This appeared in his next column:

    COHEN (2/12/08): My Feb. 5 column was critical of Hillary Clinton for supporting a bill to make flag burning illegal. I have since learned from a reader that Barack Obama also supported that bill.

    That’s right, dumb-ass! Clinton supported the flag-burning bill. And Obama supported it too!

    But then, more than half the senate’s Democrats supported that bill, in June 2006. It was brought to the floor by Dick Durbin, Obama’s biggest senate supporter. Everyone understands the politics of these bills–everyone but Cohen and Collins, that is. Because they’re two of the world’s biggest androids, they keep singing the same tired songs


    Isn’t Bob Somerby the greatest?

  76. MA Blue .. do you know where the article is that made a big deal of this issues is .. I just got home , I will try to find it in earlier posts .. thanks if you are still around ..

  77. O.k. … I found it … it was all stuff from Feb. it appears … I thought it was more recent ..

  78. Hey guys, check out this interesting analysis by Marc Ambinder at the Atlantic Monthly. I like what he’s saying, maybe he’s on to something.

    This real cool spreadsheet helps make the point. Let’s be generous and give Clinton 17% of the black vote and 63% of the white vote. Let’s then assume that black voters make up 35% of the electorate. Obama wins by 8 points. What’s a scenario where Clinton wins? Let’s award her 65% of the white vote and 18 percent of the black vote, and let’s assume that black turnout dips to about 29% of the electorate. Clinton wins here by a half a point.


  79. garychapelhill, haha I can’t believe I made that typo. I usually plug stuff into word but I’m at school and just relying on the Firefox spell check alone.

    I feel like I must not be clearly articulating what I mean to say here. What I am trying to say is say you have a tax rebate compared to extended unemployment benefits. The unemployment benefit is going to provide more economic stimulus per dollar paid out by the government. I probably was not being clear about this; I did not mean to compare extended unemployment benefits to the gas tax holiday. I was comparing them to the recent tax rebates. I admit that I do not understand this concept very well and am probably explaining it poorly but that was somewhat beside the point. The economy continues to lose jobs and many people are likely having a very difficult time finding work. The current ideology seems to be “tax cut good” and I do not necessarily agree. Nobody is focusing on this.

    I can’t really imagine anyway to simply mandate lower gas prices. I think you hit on one, reducing market speculation that creates bubbles. I’ve heard the idea tossed around right now that gasoline trading for about $20 above what it “should” be trading at. I do not really know whether to believe we are being jerked around or not, so to speak. I read an article the other day that Mexican oil output fell more than expected and efforts to increase it have been unsuccessful.

    By in large I do not think that the sharp upward trend of the last couple years is the result of manipulation. Oil production has more or less remained constant while China and India’s economies are ratcheting up demand. I really do look forward to investing more in alternative energy in the near future, although that is a long term solution.

    I agree with Ohio’s summary of the gas tax holiday issue. I guess I am just placing more emphasis on the economic side of the equation. I swear I’m not trying to piss everybody off. Also, I’m not a giant poll person, SUSA being the best seems to be the consensus around here; noted.

  80. Try again. Hit “Submit comment” by accident (and hit esc!)

    At Cheetoland, top of front page by Kos
    05:48 PM PDT

    North Carolina (Winner: Obama)
    17 percent reporting
    Obama 63% – Clinton 35%

    Indiana [no “winner”]
    57 percent reporting
    Obama 35 % – Clinton 54%

    At North Carolina State Board of Elections
    8:44 PM EST
    Obama 58.91% – Clinton 39.21%
    (It’s 56-41.8 as I post.)

    Hot , top of rec list, “NC Tracking Results Diary”:
    “I’ll update as fast as I can.”
    Obama 64.13% – Clinton 35.87%

    Go figure. 🙂

  81. Hot diary at Kos just updated
    NC 60-40

    NC State Bd of Elections
    55-43 (rounded off)

    And I’m the world’s slowest typist.

    I stopped watching TV almost 30 years ago. Now I’m going to stop busting Kos. I know the game. Why bother.

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