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Appreciating Obama’s Humiliating Defeat in West Virginia

With 65% or more of the vote, Hillary Clinton did very nearly as well in West Virginia as McCain – with 76% – did.  Well, he had more opposition. So, I guess I should also say that it took 3 or more Republicans (Huckabee, Ron Paul, Romney & Other) to do as well as the Democrat’s “Presumptive Nominee”, Senator Obama who got just over 25% of the vote.  (giggle) I guess I’m just a cheap laugh.

If you saw any of the cable coverage, you already know that this election was totally and completely meaningless.  Obama’s delegate lead is so commanding, he’s won so many states and amassed so much money — it’s almost absurd that they had to waste money counting the votes! 

Obama lost every single county in West Virginia. (Photo by hlr)

Her speech was one of the best ever:

. . . Now, in a campaign, it can be easy to get lost in the political spin and the polls or the punditry, but we must never lose sight of what really counts, of why all of us care so much about who wins and who loses in our political system. An enormous decision falls on the shoulders of Democratic voters in these final contests and those Democrats empowered to vote at our convention. And tonight, in light of our overwhelming victory here in West Virginia, I want to send a message to everyone still making up their mind.

I am in this race because I believe I am the strongest candidate – the strongest candidate to lead our party in November of 2008 and the strongest president to lead our nation starting in January of 2009. I can win this nomination if you decide I should, and I can lead this party to victory in the general election if you lead me to victory now.

The choice falls to all of you, and I don’t envy you. I deeply admire Senator Obama, but I believe our case, a case West Virginia has helped to make, our case is stronger. Together, we have won millions and millions of votes – by the time tonight is over, probably 17 million, close to it. We’ve won them in states that we must be prepared and ready to win in November – Pennsylvania and Ohio, Arkansas and New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, Nevada, Michigan, Florida, and now West Virginia. It is a fact that no Democrat has won the White House since 1916 without winning West Virginia.

The bottom line is this – the White House is one in the swing states and I am winning the swing states. And we have done it by standing up for the deepest principles of our party with a vision for an America that rewards hard work again, that values the middle class and helps to make it stronger.

With your help, I am ready to go head-to-head with John McCain to put our vision for America up against the one he shares with President Bush. Now, I believe our party is strong enough for this challenge. I am strong enough for it. You know I never give up. I’ll keep coming back, and I’ll stand with you as long as you stand with me.

Together, we will draw the stark distinctions that will determine the future direction of our nation, the difference between ending the war in Iraq responsibly or continuing it indefinitely, between health care for everyone and more uninsured Americans, between standing up for the middle-class families that you represent or standing up for the corporate special interests.

So, I ask you, Democrats, to choose who you believe will make the strongest candidate in the fall and who is ready to execute the office of the presidency of the United States.

People ask me all the time, why am I in this race. Well, I’m in it because of the people that I have worked for my entire life and the people I meet along the campaign trail, people who need someone who fights for them because they’re fighting so hard every single day, the people who drive for miles to show their support, who come with the home-made sign, who raise money by skipping those dinners out, who have stood fast and stood strong. I’m in this race for the millions of Americans who know that we can do better in our country, for the nurse on her second shift, for the worker on the line, for the waitress on her feet, for the small business owner, the farmer, the teacher, the coal miner, the trucker, the soldier, the veteran, the college student.

All of the hardworking men and women who defy the odds to build a better life for themselves and their children. You will never be counted out, and I won’t either. You will never quit, and I won’t, either.

The question is, why do so many people keep voting? Why did 64% of Democrats say in a recent poll they wanted this race to continue? Because in the face of the pundits and the naysayers, they know what is at stake. They know that we have two wars, an economy in crisis on the brink of a recession, $9 trillion of debt, oil prices shooting through the roof, gas prices and grocery prices hurting people who desperately are looking for a way to just keep going day to day. They know they need a champion. They need someone who’s going to never stop fighting for health care that covers everyone, no exceptions, for an economy that lifts everyone up, for good jobs that won’t be shipped overseas, for college affordability, for all that you can do to own a home and then to keep it.

This election is fundamentally about whether or not the American dream remains alive and well, for our children and our grandchildren. This is the core of my life and my political beliefs: that we owe so much to future generations, that we do not want to see that dream recede, that we know people have to work hard, and we expect you to do just that and to take responsibility, but at the very least, you should have a President who is on your side again.

And I believe that this campaign has been good for the Democratic Party and good for our country. People are discussing and debating issues. They are turning out in record numbers to register and to vote. There is an excitement about politics that is the lifeblood of our democracy.

For me, this election isn’t about who’s in or who’s out or who’s up or who’s down. It’s about the common threads that tie us together – rich and poor, young and old, black and white, Latino and Asian, Democrats, Republicans, and Independents. We are united by common values. We all want a better world for our children, and we want the best for our country. And we are committed to putting a Democrat back in the White House.

And our nominee – our nominee will be stronger for having campaigned long and hard, building enthusiasm and excitement, hearing your stories and answering your questions. And I will work my heart out for the nominee of the Democratic Party to make sure we have a Democratic President. . . .

My Friends, I loved this speech. But, why (oh why) is Hillary required to pledge her support to the eventual Democratic nominee in every single speech? Is Obama required to do this as well? If so, I’ve never, ever noticed.

We had fun tonight, but remember that Obama likes to through those elbows out.  And he’s got an itchy cheek.  He’s not a good loser so after this humiating defeat tonight in West Virginia, things might get rough.  I think we should enjoy that too. 

Sweet Dreams, Confluencians. This is an Open Thread.

49 Responses

  1. Oh . what a wonderful way to go to bed!
    Sweet Dreams indeed.
    I hate to pimp, but my friend Gretchen, who has taken her ‘ART’ car to several states in support of Hillary, will be on the … uh oh, Daily Show on Thursday, YIKES!!. …but she is brave and can handle it…
    …more importantly, Terry Mcauliffe spent some time with her and her cool car today in WVA.


    Gretchen is thrilled that she has been able to be such a wonderful advocate for Hillary and has helped in so many states.
    Yeah Hillary!!!! yeah!! us!

  2. I missed cocktail hour. I’m getting back to my “trailer trash” roots and having me a beer.

    One thing is for sure. This was humiliating for Obama, the de facto nominee. 26 percent? Edwards hasn’t campaigned in months and got 7. What kinda de facto nominee only gets a quarter of the vote in ANY two person election?

  3. I’m a bit of a youngin’ so I have to ask, has anything like this ever been seen before?

    Has there ever been a primary where one candidate is beatified while one faces negativity from the media and her own party establishment the likes of which i’ve never seen, he has much, much more money than her, and you can count the number of Democratic primary states he’s won one one hand? it seems like he’s had more advantages than any other candidate has ever had before, and his performance has just been pathetic. Nobody’s ever been fawned on this much, nobody’s ever been demonized this much, nobody’s ever had states disenfranchised for him, there have never been so many caucuses…and she just retook the popular vote lead.

    If he can’t win with all of these unprescedented advantages, what would it take, an Act of God?

  4. If he can’t win with all of these unprescedented advantages, what would it take, an Act of God?

    Funny you should ask that. I think that’s what a lot of his fans are expecting.

  5. LOL Yes, despite Obama’s inability to attract actual voters, if we prove our faith by nominating him anyway, his father will reward us by raining down registered voters on election day, it’s like jacob and isaac.

  6. Absolutely right about the actual primaries, Gavche; my husband and I went to our caucus (in Washington State) and we felt intimidated by the Obama supporters who were practically frothing – one of the young men in particular was haranguing the crowd and calling the military “babykillers” — and this is a town which would shut down without the military. Very eerie and uncomfortable – the uncommitted attendees had the worst pressure, and they both went for Obama — which wound up losing Hillary one delegate according to the formuia; so it was 6 to 3 instead of 5 to 4. Sorry for being anonymous, but I *still* feel uncomfortable about this even weeks afterward. I believe the secret ballot should be required for primaries, just as it is for actual elections – Obama has *not* “won the popular vote” – he has not won *elections*, or even the vast majority of the primaries, he has won caucuses – there is a HUGE difference and his rabid supporters are one reason why.

    Note: I did post most of the preceding at another blog, but the blogger had exactly one comment on her “bullying at caucuses” post, so I wanted to share this with a wider audience. Glad to find you all here! Yes, we also were run off of Kos, and I can’t even listen to Air America most of the time – Thom Hartmann and ocasionally (yikes) Mike Molloy are the only ones not wailing about the Evil B-word (Hillary) every day, in every hour of their shows. Ed Shultz and Randi Rhodes are just appalling, and I used to like Ed’s coverage of the Bush Follies, local political races, biodiesel cars, etc. What a circular firing squad this is turning out to be!

  7. Yes, an Act of God, but maybe not Reverend Wright’s version.

  8. Wow! As soon as I think it’s over, she has me believing again. This woman has become everything Obama was supposed to be: transformational and inspiring. Truly extraordinary. I feel proud for having voted for her on Super Tuesday.

    Spare her some money, everyone. She needs it. We can’t afford to not have her in this race.

    Oh, and I definitely agree that Obama and the media will be throwing especially nasty elbows tomorrow. False charges of racism, Tonya Harding-like behavior, etc. Hell, I’ll even put some money that some superdelegate will come out of the woodwork to denounce Clinton.

  9. What has been so absolutely liberating for me tonight, is tonight proved Obama is unelectable. Electable Democratic candidates don’t lose WV by 41 points AFTER being annointed the nominee. He peaked in February and he’s never getting his mojo back, despite whatever happens in Oregon.

    So, Todd Beeton has a ridiculous post up at MyDD were he argues Hill’s speech was a speech for VP. I am just having so much fun over there letting them in on the numbers and how they add up to defeat for Obama should he become the nominee.

  10. Wondering if any of my coworkers will bet me some ca$h money on the odds of one of Obama’s people making a regrettable “clinging to guns and religion” type remark about West Virginia in the next few days. Keep an eye out everybody.

  11. Hillary gets 9 extra delegates margin out of WV.

  12. Losing by 41 pts is a massive repudiation of the “presumptive nominee.”

    Or more accurately, the “presumptuous” nominee.

  13. I dont know, Edwards really campaigned hard in WV. In 2004.

  14. (Shoot, I spent so much time catching up on the cocktail thread, I missed out on actually joining in. I bet Rico’s closed up shop by now.)

    It’s astounding that Edwards finished closer to Obama (21 points) than Obama did to Clinton (41 points).

    Ha! I didn’t even realize that, thanks for pointing it out. I hope the SDs are noticing this. They must be. i admit, I was a bit worried earlier today that Obama had something up his sleeve–I’ve been skittish since Indiana. But Hillary wiped the floor with him. If this were any other Democratic primary, it would be over by now and the unprepared, underqualified, inexperienced, stuttering newcomer would have had his hat handed to him and slunk back to the Senate by now to get some actual experience.

    Ah, well, never mind. As long as the voters keep making it clear that we want Hillary, she’ll stay in the race, and we just have to have faith that she’ll present a strong, compelling argument to the SDs and the Rules committee. Donna Brazile can mirk and sneer all she likes, I’m sure there have to be some Party bigshots who actually want to win in November.

  15. “It’s astounding that Edwards finished closer to Obama (21 points) than Obama did to Clinton (41 points).”

    Well, actually, I finished closer to Obama (26 points) than Obama did to Clinton.

  16. Okay, one last thing before I finally haul myself off to bed:

    How delicious is it that he outspent her 2:1 and yet she beat him more than 2.5:1? He campaigned quietly (and dishonestly, if it’s true that his campaign called voters and told them they didn’t need to vote because it was all over), but he did campaign. And he lost. Humiliatingly.

    And now I’m off to have schadenfreude-licious dreams.

  17. In mydd and other websites they were trying to imply that Hillary’s victory speech was also somehow a speech for being included as a VP. I so hope it is not true. Hillary has a real shot at winning the nomination especially if FL & MI are counted. I hope Hillary settles for nothing but the best and in case she looses the nomination I feel she should stake her claim for 2012.

  18. This may be a bit off topic, but I wonder where The Precious is REALLY getting all his money. If he’s really getting it all from small-scale Net solicitations, then David Vitter’s soiled diapers smell like freshly-baked cinnamon rolls. 😉

  19. I think we need to stop calling him nominee or presumptive nominee. Let the press do that. He just lost a very important election. As I read here last night, if he’s so unstoppable, why can’t he win? This week is the week to write to the SDs and get them on board. There are electoral maps out there that show how it’s likely to play out in November. Send them the two versions. Pictures are worth a 1000 words! I was low on cash, but I sent her $1.00 for every point by which she beat him. She’s such a fighter!

    I am mad at the newspapers this a.m. for making it seem as if somehow by getting 95% of white to vote for her, there is a “white vote.” There isn’t. That is fiction. In this election there has been a “black vote” but white people have voted both ways. Just because a person is white doesn’t mean the vote was based on a racial decision.

  20. From: State of West Virginia
    To: US Media and the Democratic Party
    Subject: Re: The ‘Presumptive’ Nominee

    Please return to sender. Also, please take me off your list. Thanks — WV.

  21. The morning talk thus far is “how is he going to win w/out WV?”, “she’s stronger now than one month ago”

    I love how these pundits can keep saying “white, rural, not college educated…” and expect it won’t come back to hurt them. So these folks can insult this demographic but we can’t say black? Amazing.

    Minka on Mornin’ Joe was infering that HRC winning this demographic is racist and Pat Buchanan barked right back, Barack Obama winning 92% of the black vote is racist too.

  22. Even the county that is home to West Virginia University went for Hillary in a landslide. The magnitude of Hillary’s victory in West Virginia is notable in that Monongalia County, where WVU is, was relatively close:

    Hillary 55
    Obama 38
    Edwards 6

    My dear Mingo County, where I have logged more time over more years than I care to recount, went:

    Hillary 88
    Obama 8
    Edwards 4

    Our presumptive nominee got his head handed to him. People will spin it that West Virginia was Hillary’s demographic, and that is true. That is true because representatives of Hillary’s demographic lives in all 50 states. We’re in big trouble, but the party continues to walk untroubled toward the cliff. I am sure Obama’s campaign has saved up a bunch of superdelegate endorsements to trot out today, tomorrow, and the next day. It’s their way you know. “Don’t look at that; look at this.”

  23. The NY Times is using that STUPID States Won number on their page.

    There are AT LEAST two things we’ve got to do:

    Count Total Counties Won == I’m pretty sure she TOTALLY blows him out of the water in this meaningless metric

    Count Population of States Won

    Count Electorial vote of States Won

    These numbers should then be memorized and blasted from rooftop to rooftop.

    Including any of us on Clinton Conference Calls should point it out.

    Look how powerfully effective it was when BTD asked about the 2209 number on a Conference Call. We ALL new about that number for months. But until it was brought up on that call it was invisible.

    What do you think?


  24. chimera, I totally agree — and I won’t do it again. Not even in jest.

    Irony is dead, anyway.

  25. hlr — thank you SO MUCH for this photo. You took this yourself, right? Was it wonderful to see her?

  26. The Fayetteville Observer said that Clinton’s victory was “symbolic”. She rated two paragraphs and the rest of the story was all about Obama’s speech and how he’s going to start focusing on the general election. He’s going to Florida next week to campaign and try to get those disenfranchised voters back on his side. I’m sorry. I’m laughing so hard that I can’t type anymore.
    Go, Hillary, go!!!

  27. elixir, “The morning talk thus far is “how is he going to win w/out WV?”, “she’s stronger now than one month ago”

    Wow. I think he’s on his way to toast.

  28. Yeah, she stomped him alright. If this didn’t show those idiots who head the party what will happen in Nov. if he’s the nominee then nothing will.

  29. Lucinda, I remember when Dean did a national ad buy in November or December of 2003. And look what happened to him.

    If Obama REALLY wants to win, he’s got to show that he can come from behind and win one of these upcoming Hillary states.

    He’s got the dough. What’s his problem?

    Oh, yeah. The more people see him, the less they like him. While all over the country, people are falling in love with Hillary.

  30. DCDemocrat — I get shivers thinking about how she won EVERY SINGLE COUNTY — it’s an impossible situation for Obama. Just wait until Kentucky and this REALLY sinks in.

  31. Ivory Bill Woodpecker, on May 14th, 2008 at 5:26 am Said:
    This may be a bit off topic, but I wonder where The Precious is REALLY getting all his money. If he’s really getting it all from small-scale Net solicitations, then David Vitter’s soiled diapers smell like freshly-baked cinnamon rolls.

    I didn’t know until recently that contributions under $200 do not have to be made public. I think there is a huge potential there for a campaign to funnel illegal money through <$200 amounts.

    I have no evidence, but I have smelled something fishy with his fundraising since the beginning. If you look at his fundraising statistics he has set records with $200 level they are about the same. All of his advantage comes from small donations.

  32. sorry should have been:

    I have no evidence, but I have smelled something fishy with his fundraising since the beginning. If you look at his fundraising statistics he has set records with $200 contributions, Clinton and he are about the same. All of his advantage comes from small donations.

  33. It’s time to get on the phones for Hillary in Oregon.

  34. These comments are screwed up. It is removing parts of what I wrote after submitting.

    Does anyone else have this problem?

  35. KB, don’t forget count DEMOCRATIC votes won. She is leading the vote among self-identified, rank and file Democrats. The last time the Dems picked a nominee that the majority of rank and file Democrats didn’t vote for was McGovern.

  36. O wait I used the < sign so the system thought I was typing html

  37. katiebird: The Obama camp is spinning as hard as it can, but the data I think are indisputable. When we look at demographic data, the people who made Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, and George W. Bush, president, the people who looked the other way in 1976, 1992, and 1996, are going to make John McCain president if we nominate Barack Obama. It’s just gonna happen.

  38. Mawm, if you want the greater-than and less-than symbols to always show use the codes (I hope this works):

    < = Less Than
    > = Greater Than

  39. Dang — it didn’t.

    it’s this (take out the spaces)

    Less than = & l t ;

    Greater Than = & g t ;

    HTML symbols always start with an ampersand and end with a semicolon.

  40. WS, (nodding)

    Yep — Democrats voted.

    OK. That should be fairly easy to add because I know it’s been tallied in every exit poll.

  41. Mawm, the Chicago/Daily connection makes just about anything possible. Doesn’t it?

  42. Another HUMILIATING DEFEAT for Obama. She really blew him out of the water on this one. Ahhh, how lovely it is to wake up to the words “40 point spread.” Repeat: 40 points. And in all demographics!

    I just read the text of Hillary’s speech, and to me it sounds like she was addressing both the voters and the SDs — and making the case for her to be the nominee, not the VP. As Katiebird pointed out last night, Hillary hammered in the legitimate number of 2209, and she mentioned the role WV has played historically in electing presidents.

    On that topic, there is an interesting post at RezkoWatch about how important the Coal Triangle States (WV, PA, OH) are for winning a GE:
    Hillary is 3 for 3.

    Re Katiebird’s comment at 8:15: “The more people see him, the less they like him. While all over the country, people are falling in love with Hillary.” How ironic that a few months ago, the pundits were saying that the the more people saw of Obama, the more they liked him. Ha!

  43. This states won bee-ess needs to be shot down. Take an election that I remember well; Jimmy Carter over Gerald Ford in 1976. Carter carried only 23 states plus DC compared to Ford with 27 states and won 50.1% to 48% of the popular vote. Ford carried more states and lost the election. Total states means diddly.

    Reagan vs Mondale in 1984 where Reagan won 49 states and had 58.8% of the popular vote and Mondale won 1 state and DC with 40.6% of the popular vote. In that case it wasn’t so much a matter of the number of states, although that was humiliating but a good old fashioned trouncing. Such as Hillary Clinton handed to Barack Obama in West Virginia last night.

    I repeat, number of states in both the primary and general mean diddly. And the NYT is simply proving once again that it is both dishonest and thinks we are all stupid.

  44. Sue Donym,

    Yeah, I work with the radio on and it is just astounding to hear the level of vitriol in Ed Schultz CDS isn’t it? I now listen to Air America just because its so outlandishly Orwellian !

    Interestingly, early on, right after Randi Rhodes voted for Hillary in NYC, she briefly one time said the Schultz was being paid by the DNC to trash Clinton, and that she was too pure to do paid shilling.

    Then all of Air America went that route, yet nobody mentions that comment of hers, and of course they don’t allow Clinton supporters on the air now…

    My own tinfoil theory though is you know how pro ethanol Ed is (maybe has a lot of money invested), and Obama’s clean energy plan is overly reliant on ethanol, and 2 of his energy advisors Daschle and Bob Dole are ethanol lobbyists.

  45. Can A black man really rule America? Will many whites not just vote for the bush clone the republicans are putting forward?

    Andrew (My Blog)

  46. kenoshaMarge

    Total states means diddly.

    So true. It is certain big swing states that have the electoral college votes you need, like WV, Ohio, PA, FL… .

    And some swing states actually do NOT matter in getting enough electoral college votes to win the GE, like OR with its 3 votes.

    Lets look every day at the electoral college vote picture, it might change in the next few days as this win sinks in…

    Yeah, he’s still losing to McCain by more than 50,

  47. http://www.electoral-vote.com/evp2008/Clinton/Maps/May12.html

    my mistakey, WV 5 ev and Oregon 7 ev votes are almost equally irrelevant, but she would beat McCain both places for 12 ev votes, while Obama would only get the 7 ev votes from Oregon.

  48. erazed,

    Of course a Black guy could be president. That is not the issue. What a creepy thing to say.

  49. My favorite fake-headline:

    from myiq2xu at Corrente,
    “Obama Wins Second Place In WV, Hillary Finishes Next To Last!”

    Second Favorite? NPR this morning, “Barack Obama increased his delegate lead today picking up 2 more superdelegates. Hillary Clinton did pretty well last night, winning West Virginia by 2-1”

    So there.

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