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High Pressure Sales, and a Cooling Off Period

The good-looking, smooth-talking stranger stood at your door, asking only a moment of your time. Later on, you stood there telling your Significant Other how you canceled a bunch of accounts, transferred a bunch of assets, and signed the both of you up for a Lifetime Subscription to … well … you’re not sure what it was, precisely, are you?

It’s unbelievable … totally NEW … this guy says it will help us sleep better … clean up our streets … lower the electric bill … keep the kids in college, and out of trouble … safeguard our retirement … listen, it’s an integrated, all-purpose, um … no, you can’t measure it by some old-fashioned yardstick … no, I can’t explain it any better, you’d have to hear that from HIM … he inspired me … REALLY … just look at these goosebumps … yeah, we have to move NOW … it’s a ground-floor opportunity … our Defining Moment … just talk to the neighbors, willya? … everybody‘s buying in!

Well, “everybody” isn’t buying in, but a lot of people who should know better bought in the heat of the moment. You might be one of them. It’s nothing to be ashamed of — statutory Cooling Off Periods apply to certain sales transactions for good reason.

On the calendar, Montana and South Dakota lie ahead (furnishing valuable Primary data points in the wide open spaces of Caucus country), as well as Puerto Rico (which pols and pundits ignore at their peril) … and then June, and July, and August before the nomination becomes irrevocable. Now is the time for convention delegates to breathe deep, slow down, cool off, and review the value proposition they either signed onto or are being pressured to sign.

Now, before we join the Esau Generation and trade our political birthrights for a mess of potshots at Washington DC and the Old Rules of Politics, I’ll suggest a few things to mull over while it still matters.

This series [tagged “Nomination C.O.P.”] is aimed primarily at delegates themselves — pledged, automatic and add-on — regardless of commitment status. The stakes are enormous, and you CAN change your mind if you review how we got here and it doesn’t feel right.

Submitted for your consideration:

  • That Obama has reached the “presumptive” precipice on the strength of a Pig in a Poke — the promise of New Rules — without revealing the Rules, or telling us how he knows they might work, or suggesting what his fallback plan is in case some adversary (or some contrary ally) goes ahead and plays by the Old Rules.
  • That a New Kinda Politics is the oldest come-on in the Old Kinda Politics; that Rule #1 of the Old Rules is that there ain’t no New Rules.
  • That one night in midseason, some bunch of jokers erected new goalposts on the 40 yard line, asserting that a majority of Pledged Delegates determine the nomination. Voters, reporters, pundits and even superdelegates gullibly proceeded to play on as if these were the New Rules of Politics.
  • That every time media focus should logically have turned to examining who Obama is, what he thinks, and what he might do as Candidate or President, a media furor (immigrant drivers licenses, “race baiting”, Bosnia, gas tax holidays) erupted with Hillary Clinton as the focus, and that as a consequence, Obama remains very much the unexamined candidate.
  • That major media have always despised The Clintons, and (in concert with traditional media critics and Democratic netroots) have repeatedly vaulted onto the playing surface to inflict flagrant fouls against Hillary, and to deflect attention from flagrant fouls committed by Team Obama; that Obama will enjoy no such protection in the arena with McCain, whom the media love every bit as much; and that his thin-skinned reaction to a level playing field will be like unto that of a YMCA recreational swimmer suddenly cast adrift in the Bering Straits.
  • That Obama is an inferior bet to win the White House (though some Dem’s may be willing to concede that prize in trade for money, volunteers and turnout in down-ballot races); and that despite running a course boobytrapped at key turns by the same media barons who picked our POTUS in every cycle in memory except 1992 and 1996, Hillary remains a strong favorite to beat McCain.
  • That Obama’s entire pledged delegate advantage is an artifact of Caucus Effects, which we can diagnose and adjust; that so is any arguable Obama advantage in the popular vote margin; and that his superdelegate advantage results from an illusion of momentum produced by these first two effects.
  • That Obama and Clinton are anything but similar in policy orientation; that Hillary, her advisers and allies are inclined to activist, interventionist government, home and abroad, while Obama, his advisers and some allies are inclined to see intervention as a vice in both spheres; that Obama and his crew place naive trust in markets and are naively pessimistic as to the progressive virtues of politics.
  • That Obama has not tipped his hand as to the price of Unity; that we know not who must concede how much, or of what, to quell the dread demons of Faction; that we know not his plan, nor how it will work, not that it will work; that we know not what he intends in case it doesn’t.
  • That America is at several urgent pragmatic crossroads that have seeming little to do with Obama’s Defining Moment; that conspicuous conservative failure has generated a rare opportunity cycle for straightforward progressive partisan politics; and that there’s no telling when such an opportunity might come our way again.
  • That if Obama loses in November, two profoundly disappointed young generations will form lifelong aversions to idealistic engagement in politics, and will be less receptive to future true progressives who try to rally the common people to the common good.
  • That if Obama wins in November, he must necessarily dash the expectation of many constituencies even under best case, i.e., “trifecta”, conditions. (See the Price of Unity.)
  • That if Obama wins in November, under worst case conditions (more likely than best case), he saves the GOP’s burning bacon, sets us up 2010 for another Gingrich Revolution, and stacks the 2012 redistricting deck against us.
  • That Obama is ill-prepared to be President; that he lacks appreciate of the demands of the office; that he lacks a governing philosophy, other than a general reluctance to get involved, to make decisions, or to say “no”; that this portends chaos in the pre-inaugural transition effort, followed by a regime marked by courtly gamesmanship under his nose while the sands of opportunity run through the hourglass.
  • That observers have been too distracted playing Gotcha with Hillary to figure out where Obama stands on almost anything, but that such attention is inevitable. [For example, such worthies as Marc Ambinder, ABC’s Rick Klein, and Frank James at the Trib have just recently begun trying to decode his position on meeting with foreign adversaries, even though this played a key role in his mid-2007 effort to pose himself on one side of a bright line (“will meet”) and place Clinton jointly with Bush on the opposite (“won’t meet”) side.]

Other considerations that may come to our attention as the C.O.P. runs by, but these will do for starters … won’t they?

71 Responses

  1. …”trade our political birthrights for a mess of potshot”… Haw, good one.

    But what’s wrong with pot? Or shots, for that matter?

    OK, back to the thread. LOVE the cooling off period frame. Let me go propagate that immediately….

  2. I am getting so angry at the relentless “working class voters will change their mind”.

    Oh don’t listen to us.

    Sure, we’re screaming how totally unsatisfactory Obama is. But we don’t really need to be listened to or nuthin’, experts say.

    Heck, why do we even still bother with pretending to have elections? Just get “experts” to decide what we really want.

    From CNN:
    Those voters have overwhelmingly backed Clinton in previous contests, but they’re not a lost cause for Obama, experts say.

    Experts? As in, people with college degrees and therefore qualified to interpret us “low information” voters?

    In order for him to win their support in the general election, he needs Clinton in his corner, he needs to convince them that he can help alleviate their economic woes, and he needs to connect with them on a personal level, according to the experts.

    But despite those numbers, support for Clinton is not necessarily Obama’s loss in a general election, said Mark Peffley, a professor of political science at the University of Kentucky.

    “I think what voters say now as a justification … for being committed to a candidate is not going to be their sentiment during the general election,” he said.

    Sure. Clinton’ll bring them around. Cuz that’s what women are good for, eh?

    ARRRGGGHHHH!

  3. Hey Lambert, I love that parrot that replaced Axelrod.

  4. heh. Good one ronk!

  5. That’s funny.

    Obama needs to “connect with them on a personal level, according to the experts?”

    Yeah, right. Obama is gonna connect with working class people? And if wishes were horses, beggars would ride.

  6. well, I guess they’re experts on how we *really* think. cause we’re stupid hillbillies and have no idea of what we’re thinking. or maybe we just don’t think at all.

    we’ve been dissed for our evil thoughts from here to sunday, but now it turns out that we don’t really think at all. experts do that stuff for us.

  7. I just made the rounds to some of the other news blogs and McCain, I got to tell you, looks really, really bad. He is making huge gaffes, one right after the other, and now they are looking at some of Hagee’s other rants where he says that God wanted the Holocaust to happen to rid the world of Jews. Talk about a Rev. Wright albatross. Then Holy Joe Lieberman is practically suggesting that the Dems are worthless and you have a ready made tutti fruitti cake.

    Who’s left are Bob Barr (don’t even want to go there) and Cynthia McKinney (when she isn’t slapping Hill police around). That leaves us with the remaining Dem candidate.
    Hillary could beat this mob hands down. However, if McCain begins to look more and more like Walter Brennan, and Obama is the nom, what are the chances?

  8. I want you to read this, so, please…indulge me. Lin Farley is an investigate journalist over at SavagePolitics…Obama will NEVER help any in the working class. Read what he signed, read what Hillary wouldn’t sign. If you already read it, I don’t mean to bore you, but please…I don’t have to work, so I am not one of the quadrujillions that are, and that this law is going to screw so badly. Just read this, okay? And send it as far and wide as you can, Lin is a newspaper journalist of the old school. Here it is:

    Off Savage Politics.com—- it’s called Follow the Money, but here is the $$$ in the piece…this matters to every american who has a job right now. I am going to keep talking about this for Hillary’s sake. This is ammo for her if she plans to change how we do business in this country. She needs to run ads about this, NOW. Right NOW.

    Here is the biggest hardest thing to swallow, from Lin’s piece.

    “…On February 10, 2005, Obama voted in favor of the passage of the misnamed Class Action Fairness Act of 2005 which seriously hampers the rights of ordinary citizens to challenge corporations. Senators Biden, Boxer, Byrd, Clinton, Corzine, Durbin, Feingold, Kerry Leah, Reid and 16 other democrats voted against it.

    So did 14 state attorneys general, including Lisa Madigan of Obama’s home state of Illinois. She called it a “corporate giveaway.” The Senate also received a desperate plea from more than 40 civil rights and labor organizations, including the NAACP, Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, Human Rights Campaign, American Civil Liberties Union, Center for Justice and Democracy, Legal Momentum (formerly NOW Legal Defense Fund) and Alliance for Justice. SOURCE

    They wrote:

    “Under the Act citizens are denied the right to use their own state courts to bring class actions against corporations that violate state wage and hour and state civil rights laws, even where that corporation has hundreds of employees in that state. Moving these state law cases into federal court will delay and likely deny justice for working men and women and victims of discrimination. The federal courts are already overburdened. Additionally, federal courts are less likely to certify classes or provide relief for violations of state law”

    The bill which will seriously impair labor, consumer and civil rights involved five years of pressure from 100 corporations, 475 lobbyists, and tens of millions of corporate dollars to buy influence. It also involved the active participation of the Wall Street firms now funding the Obama campaign. The Civil Justice Reform Group, a business alliance comprising general counsels from Fortune 100 firms, was instrumental in drafting the class action bill, according to Public Citizen which also said in a 2003 report that Mayer-Brown partners and employees gave close to $100,000 [$92,817] to the Obama campaign by December 31, 2007. Mayer-Brown, hired by the US Chamber of Commerce, spent $16 million in 2003 lobbying the government on class action reform.

    According to a comprehensive report form the nonprofit group, United for A Fair Economy, over the past eight years the total loss of wealth for people of color is between $164 million and $213 billion for sub-prime loans, the greatest loss of wealth for people of color in modern history…”

    Let’s get out the truth, okay? About a Repub in Dem’s clothing. That is what O is. Truly.

  9. RonK? That cooling off period is exactly why I’m so convinced that Hillary’s going to win.

    Also:

    That’s funny.

    Obama needs to “connect with them on a personal level, according to the experts?”

    (laughing deeply) Oh, my — BostonBoomer, you are so right: “If wishes were horses….”

    He CAN’T do it. That’s the point of these so-called “elitest” candidates — they CAN’T relate to regular people. It’s just not what they do.

    But Obama has an extra talent: He can’t stop himself from laughing at voters and mocking competing candidates. He’s gotten away with it because Hillary’s so gracious. But, with McCain? I’m really looking forward to this summer.

  10. I just visited the Kansas Democrats website and used their contact us form to ask if they could send me the names and contact information for the Kansas Delegates to the Rules committee. I have no idea if that information is publically available. But, I thought I’d give it a shot.

  11. Bob Barr could seriously split the republican vote. I listened to a right wing talk radio show the other day and they like him a whole lot.

    I like Cynthia McKinney. she’s gotten a bad rap because she came out against W when many of us were thinking what she was saying, but were either afraid or didn’t have the platform to say it. now that he’s been discredited, her status ought to go up, she should actually be a hero, but that won’t happen..

    in my dreams…..here’s what I’d like……the Clintons say %((&#( the democratic party and move themselves, their influence and their fundraising skills to the Green Party. Cynthia agrees to the VP slot and Hillary runs for president backed by a party that hasn’t lost its way or its values.

    they win, and the rest is history.

  12. Well, in this case the “experts” are right. Many working class voters will come home.

    Some right away.

    Some after 12, 16, 20 or 28 years, like some Reagan Democrats did.

    And some will take longer.

    Any few percent of them can shift the balance of power, nationwide, for a generation or longer.

  13. Waaay OT, but I am PISSED. I got a “Registered” survey from the DNC in the mail, asking my opinion on the upcoming election. The bastards must know I’m a Hillary supporter because my packet included a nice letter from her, outlining why she’s staying in the race. The survey itself was infuriating. Those smarmy sumbitches actually had the nerve to ask whether I’m afraid of repuglican voter suppression in the GE.

    “Q12: How concerned are you that Republican voter schemes will disenfranchise Democrats and impact the outcome of the presidential race?”

    I scratched out “Republican” and wrote “Democratic” above it. At the bottom there’s a space for voter comments and I wrote in:

    “The DNC’s actions this year have been disgraceful. I plan to change my affiliation to INDEPENDENT because I cannot be a member of a party that disenfranchises its own voters in two states. Brazile, Dean and the rest need to be fired before I could consider rejoining the Party. You’ve suppressed the primary votes to favor Obama over Clinton. This is disgusting and UNDEMOCRATIC. Shame on all of you!”

    On the back where they shill for donations I wrote: “NO DONATIONS TO THE UNDEMOCRATIC DNC!”

    I am so f^@&ing angry right now. They can cram their g@ddamn party up their asses for all I care.

    Sorry for the rant, ya’ll. I’m actually glad they sent the damned thing so I could blast ’em and tell ’em I quit their flaky party for good.

  14. That Obama will change the electoral map by making Red States competitive and bringing in a new group of voters.

    Reality: Obama would have a tough time keeping the States John Kerry (that loser) won in 2004. Currently he loses NH, MI, and probably PA.

    As for new voters, which one are they? Doesn’t he truly have the Dukakis Coalition with a higher AA turnout? OK in addition to a higher “youth” turnout.
    (Btw Dukakis won WV)

  15. If Obama loses even 10% of Hillary’s supporters, He’ll get Dukakis like numbers in November.

    He will not win the red states that are giving him the delegate lead. He will not win the big swing states either. He may lose some blue states too.

  16. Another great post – Ronkseattle rocks! And Lambert/Corrente, you guys have set the Obama Glossary to a new level, thank you & hope to donate to you soon (gotta get paid first!)

    The will of the people cannot be ignored!

  17. I post this here all the time. I think y’all don’t take it seriously, but please at least promise to think about it. these are the 10 key values of the Green Party:

    Grassroots Democracy

    Social Justice

    Ecological Wisdom

    Non-violence

    Decentralization

    Community-based Economics

    Feminism

    Diversity

    Responsibility

    Future Focus

    what’s not to like???? we have to end this stranglehold of the 2 party system. the fact that we poo-poo 3rd parties is exactly what has allowed the democrats to take us for granted. no more, for me anyway. yes I can!!!

  18. Mister’s talking to his best friend on the phone and just now he’s asking, “WHAT is the Change you’re hoping for? What do you mean?” I wonder what they’re talking about? Oh, now “Let me tell you why Obama’s not going to change anything”

    So, I guessed right.

  19. Xeno, what state do you live in?

  20. kiki, I agree, but will the hardcore Green members go for Hillary?

    She’s defintely the most progressive in terms of environmental/energy policy, so I would see why not.

  21. katiebird: If Mister manages to get an answer, please let us know what it is. Most of us have been asking what this “change” is going to look like, like plaid, paisley, dark blue, etc., and have never been offered an answer other than “go to his site”.

  22. the Clintons are very party loyal, but I wonder what they say in the privacy of their home, in light of how the party has treated them.

    they really ought to be appreciated. they’re the best and the brightest in the recent history of the democratic party.

    they could give any 3rd party the boost to become a major player. I really think they should consider it.

  23. kiki: I wholly agree.

  24. I still think either of our people should win.
    But Hillary would have a greater margin, and a larger mandate. And she actually has the knowledge to govern.
    Obama has no qualifications and just put his name on everyone else’s work. He’s supported by a crowd of dingbats, and there’s no one he can tap for vp who could help him govern.
    He got this far by nonstop dirty politics; his campaign has now brought every republican tactic into the democratic party, from race baiting, to false accusations and character assasignation, to the blatant stealing of FL’s votes. Actually, they’re worse than the repubs because they do age and gender baiting and are also stealing MI. It’s a nightmare.

  25. Oh, Pat — He’s not given the poor guy a chance, “he’s not vetted. Hillary’s vetted: we know all about her” and “YOU don’t have health insurance, of all people, you have to support her. She wants to cover everyone”

  26. SM, the hardcore green members would be crazy to not go for Hillary. she would raise the party’s profile in an unimaginable way. and she fits with all their values.

  27. kiki, I honestly believe that she isn’t dwelling on that stuff at all. For one thing there isn’t time to dwell on party loyality right now — it would be a serious distraction. I think she’s floating above the bad stuff.

  28. Alot of undecided voters in South Dakota today. Predictably. The general public has about a half a nano-second attention and polls come and go. I’d like to see Hillary challenge O. on his ignoring her, make the case stronger for his stealing the nomination. Voters want to believe in her candidacy.

    Start a fund to sue some media for character assassination.
    Anyone else here in CA.?

  29. kiki, others — The subject of this thread is Obama. Who is he? What will happen if the Democrats sell the homestead and move to his compound? Is there cause for Buyer’s Remorse?

    And party-loyal Democratic delegates are the prime intended audience.

  30. Katiebird: “I think she’s floating above the bad stuff.”

    Katiebird, my favorite word from the Hillary Blogger conference call:

    “Impervious.”

  31. It still amazes me that other people do not view Hillary and her accomplishments as we do . Even on that video from FL today she mentioned how she had worked to make certain that voter discrimination was outlawed. What, if anything, can Obama rightly claim as an accomplishment other than those where his name was attached to legislation that was crafted by somebody else?

    She is so far above him in so many areas that it’s like comparing apples to oranges.

  32. Katie, you could be right. I just think it’s got to hurt that the party you give so much to is so awful to you in return. I have honestly thought that in the privacy of their home, when they can grab a minute, the Clintons have got to think WTF? she could be enjoying phenomenal success as an attorney but has chosen to dedicate her life to public service. a little appreciation would go a long way. they’re not getting it with the organization they’ve aligned with and have done so much for. it just kind of pisses me off.

  33. melsdiego: Unfortunately, the media has the right to say anything they want about candidates – as FOX News recently argued, that includes the right to lie.

    But having the right to do something doesn’t make what you do right.

  34. When Pelosi started to yap about Senator Clinton quitting, I wrote to Hillary’s campaign to suggest they tell her to politely “shut up”. Two days later, Pelosi backed down (publically, that is).

  35. Ronk: Of course there is going to be buyer’s remorse – but they don’t see it yet. The DNC wants him SOOOOO bad that they are going against “the will of the people” just to have him as a candidate.

    They are damaging the Democratic moral idea of “the will of the people” – if they go and move to the Obama compound, Democrats will no longer have that “moral” advantage over Republicans.

    They sold themselves to Obama. I spit on every single one of them!

  36. SM: I live in Maryland. Though the primary went heavily for Obama, I’m happy to say that many of our SDs are pledge to Hillary so far. I’ve going to vote down ticket, but if Obama is the nominee I plan to write-in Hillary. Maryland not only allows write-ins, but every ballot has a place for write-ins in every category.

    I also told the DNC that I will NEVER vote for Obama under any circumstances. He can try to win without me.

  37. If the DNC does not qualify the FL and MI voters there will be hell to pay. Come election time and with the GOP. Imagine them touting this out every night along with Rev. Wright and Ayres. Throw in the disgusted like us and it will be party night every night at Fox! The flag pin, not placing his hand over his heart for the Natl Anthem, Michele, Rezko, the list goes on. They could probably send McCain on a Carnival Cruise until November because he won’t need to say much.

  38. Ronk, sorry….went OT. 😦

    I plead frustration!

    let me respond to this: That if Obama loses in November, two profoundly disappointed young generations will form lifelong aversions to idealistic engagement in politics, and will be less receptive to future true progressives who try to rally the common people to the common good.

    I cut my political teeth, as a young teen, working for Gene McCarthy. that hurt. I was at in Ocean City, MD, on vacation with my family, and sat on the beach and cried for hours after watching the convention. it didn’t cause a lifelong aversion. quite the contrary – I went on to earn a BA and masters degree in politic science because that experience taught me how interesting and actually fun it could be to be involved. yes, you can lose and it hurts, but you climb back into the saddle and ride again. hopefully these young people will learn to diversify and not put all their eggs in a presidential basket.

    I’ve sometimes wondered if all the hype about presidential elections is meant to distract us from the local elections which probably have a lot more day to day effect on our lives.

  39. ronK,

    That Obama’s entire pledged delegate advantage is an artifact of Caucus Effects, which we can diagnose and adjust; that so is any arguable Obama advantage in the popular vote margin; and that his superdelegate advantage results from an illusion of momentum produced by these first two effects.

    It’s also an artifact of his shenanigans — removing his name from the Michigan ballot and refusing revotes for Florida and Michigan. If not for the successs of those manoeuvres, It would have been obvious to the world that Hillary and Obama were essentially tied.

    I do believe there will be some buyers remorse. And I think we can help it along.

    I think we Hillary Supporters should flood our Super Delegates. Ask them specifically what in Obama’s history gives him the qualifications to be president. Ask them how they feel about the General Peek business. And The finger.

    Ask about any of the flood of outrageous events that have happened this year.

    They won’t answer us. At least my elected representatives don’t answer. But if they start hearing from ALL of us??

    Oh, we can GIVE them some buyers remorse.

    Speaking only for myself, I believe this is true.

  40. myiq2xu:
    frustrating….but the consolation prize is that people who compromize truth are miserable and forgetable when history has it’s say.

    I don’t “get” the caucus voting. Why aren’t the numbers available?

  41. melsdiego: They can’t count the votes from the caucuses because quite a few were held in barns and someone keeps counting the cows heads along with the people so they have to do it all over again. Take time.

  42. I wrote to Senator Clinton’s campaign last week to tell her that I thought she should tell the DNC that not counting Michigan and Florida sets a terrible example for budding democracies (eg. Iraq) and makes us look like a third world nation. She’s listening to us because she is an energizer bunny over this subject. Really has her Irish up over it. Good!

    I had to laugh to see Nancy Pelosi sitting with the corrupt Malaki government last week. Why would she DO that? They must think we are so stupid!

  43. Ronk, at TalkLeft in the comments there’s a discussion about polls and how Obama’s behind McCain in more and more states.

    My question, would delegates and Super Delegates feel pressure from polls of their constituents? How far would Obama have to fall to trigger some remorse?

    And what might make Obama’s showing in the polls shift?

  44. we are so stupid. or we have been. going forward, we have to rectify that.

  45. Although I have been way too busy to do more than lurk for some time now, I can’t resist adding a comment here regarding Bob Barr. By an odd coincidence I happen to be staying at the hotel in Denver which is currently hosting the Libertarian Party convention (which I think starts tomorrow when I fly home to Boston). I was just in the bar having a late night snack and some lovely bourbon and had an interesting chat about political history with 3 Libertarian fellows, who expect Bob Barr to end up with the nomination (out of a field of about 15 potential contenders). Naturally they were encouraging me to vote for Barr… talking up Barr at the bar… LOL… I told them I was a long time “unaffiliated” and it was entirely possible I could end up voting Libertarian as a protest vote. When I asked then how many were at the convention they said about 1,000 folks. Considering the big astrology convention that was here prior and had about 1,500 people I think the Libertarian Party has a ways to go yet. Really quite hilarious!

  46. kiki, why?

  47. Pat Johnson,

    LOL…I felt so ridiculous telling Texas voters how to vote first in the PRIMARY and then go BACK, as if voting wasn’t enough….go BACK for the caucus!

    I could almost hear them rolling their eyes.

  48. I don’t know what I can say about what he’d do in office. I do think throughout the primary season if you track everything they’ve accused Hillary of doing, that is exactly what they are doing.

    I’ve been really baffled as to what he is talking about as far as meeting with Iranian leaders and those of other countries without preconditions. It went from a simple “yes, I would” in a debate last summer, to a detailed speech not long after digging in his heels it seemed on this very point, to.. now have his advisors clarify What Obama Really Meant, because it won’t fly in the general election? First he agreed that he would, in that YouTube debate, and afterward (per Ambinder), and then..

    Axelrod accused Hillary Clinton, who had questioned Obama’s approach, of making a distinction without a difference.

    Ambinder didn’t mention Obama’s speech last summer on foreign policy which I guess is the first time this term “preparation” came up instead of “preconditions..”
    http://www.cfr.org/publication/13974/
    I will do the careful preparation needed, and let these countries know where America stands.

    What does this mean? Is it a distinction without a difference like Axelrod says and if so, why is Obama talking like it’s a significant difference in which Clinton is on the Bush/Cheney side?

  49. 1. Back at ya on “cooling off period”. I like that one.

    2. The Obama Parrot!! Listen to him parrot Obama talking points!

  50. As far as caucus shenanigans go, Pacific John wrote an extremely detailed diary at myDD on what happened in Texas.

    We saw stolen precincts where Obama organizers fabricated counts, made false entries on sign-in sheets, suppressed delegate counts, and suppressed caucus voters. We saw patterns such as missing electronic access code sheets and precinct packets taken before the legal time, like elsewhere in the state. Obama volunteers illegally took convention materials state-wide, with attempts as early as 6:30 am. Some of this was presented in a press release from Clinton Campaign Counsel Lyn Utrecht, but I witnessed worse than what she disclosed.

  51. Katie, I was responding to Melsdiego, who said the democratic party must think we’re stupid. I do think we have let them take us for granted, and that can be interpreted as stupid 🙂

    oy, I’m flying to Cleveland for a non-political (maybe) fun weekend with friends at 7 am (groan)…better get some sleep. y’all keep fighting the good fight!

  52. Xeno: Maryland not only allows write-ins, but every ballot has a place for write-ins in every category.

    Hillary would have to file a Certificate of Candidacy for the GE in Annapolis.

  53. Apologies for the massively long comment, moderators, feel free to cut/edit as you see fit..

    Sep 17, 2007 [Warning – link to big orange blog]

    “If the Democratic party means anything, it means standing with labor.” He’s sounding like a preacher today and can’t speak for more than one minute without being interrupted by cheers.

    “I’m tired to playing defense. The SEIU is tired of playing defense, Andy Stern is tired of playing defense. We’re ready to play offense for the living wage, we’re ready to play offense for secure retirements. We’re ready to play offense for some universal health care.”

    [..]

    When I saw him on Friday, Senator Obama promised to pass universal health care by the end of his first term. He made that same promise today to those at the SEIU. They were so excited for him their chants went well into the introduction of Governor Richardson, whose presentation followed.”

    December 24, 2007

    But now Mr. Obama has lashed out at Mr. Edwards because two 527s — independent groups that are allowed to support candidates, but are legally forbidden from coordinating directly with their campaigns — are running ads on his rival’s behalf. They are, Mr. Obama says, representative of the kind of “special interests” that “have too much influence in Washington.”

    The thing, though, is that both of these 527s represent union groups — in the case of the larger group, local branches of the S.E.I.U. who consider Mr. Edwards the strongest candidate on health reform.

    February 4, 2008

    Barack Obama said at the Jan. 31 debate in Los Angeles that his health care plan has “about 95 percent” in common with Democratic rival Hillary Clinton’s. Nevertheless, his campaign sent out a piece of direct mail that lacks a good amount of context and could mislead those who are not familiar with Clinton’s plan. The mail piece drew an angry protest from the Clinton campaign, which compared it to the well-known “Harry and Louise” TV spots by the Health Insurance Association of America that attacked the 1993 Clinton health care plan.

    February 15, 2008

    Barack Obama won the Service Employees International Union endorsement today, but he said union endorsements do not mean that he can stop working.

    “I don’t think that unions are monolithic or all powerful,” Obama told reporters at a press conference in Milwaukee, “But I think they are extraordinary in the Democratic party and they represent working people.”

    [..]

    “I’ve been a 100% supporter of union organizing and getting more people engaged in the union movement,” Obama said. “Our economic agenda is one that is targeting people who are squarely in the middle class or are trying to get into the middle class.”

    [..]

    “Don’t be fooled by this talk about speeches versus solutions. It’s true I give a good speech. What can I do? Nothing wrong with that.”

    February 23, 2008

    Barack Obama today suggested that a passionate denunciation Hillary Clinton delivered this morning assailing his campaign for “Karl Rove” tactics may have been just so much performance art for the cameras.

    Clinton blasted the Obama campaign for flyers sent to Ohio voters arguing mandates to purchase insurance contained in her health care plan would “punish” people who cannot afford health insurance, as well as another Obama flyer that highlighted past praise for NAFTA, a trade deal that is anathema to many in the state.

  54. I do think throughout the primary season if you track everything they’ve accused Hillary of doing, that is exactly what they are doing.

    I’ve noticed that too.

    Remind anyone of a different “puppet” presidential candidate?

  55. A few comments on missing data:

    1. Where are the caucus popular votes? Why are there only estimates?

    2. I remember comments at the time about abusive caucus behavior by — surprise — the OFB. Are there any affidavits, and when would be the time to bring them forward?

    3. I keep hearing about Obama’s small donations, but does the data come from anywhere other than the Obama campaign? Not to be paranoid, but IIRC, the FEC reporting requirement is $250, which in an imperfect world would enable a gigantic money laundering scheme for contributions under that amount….

    Finally, the SDs are going to need more than reason to change their minds. They’re going to need a reason to change their minds — a narrative hook. The word we want to hear is “implosion.”

  56. Love the “cooling down” suggestions. However, I think most of these SD’s have been drinking the $$$ kool-aid for too long.

    I honestly don’t see them turning the ship short of a tidal wave, something revealed that’s so hideous or outrageous that even the most ardent Obamabots come out of their fugue.

    Is it me, or does this whole thing have an Orwellian edge to it? A complete unknown, a man who cannot point to any real accomplishments, who flip-flops on vague policy statements [even now] comes onto the scene and with one or two rousing speeches is pointed in the direction of the White House. Meanwhile, supporters sing and faint and drop to their knees.

    If I didn’t know better, I’d suspect some sort of psychedelic’s been sprayed in the air. We seem to be losing our minds in this country.

    Scary and depressing.

  57. I met some of the founders of the WomenCount PAC this evening.

    http://www.womencountpac.com/Site/Welcome.html

    This is from their new Web site, which is being enhanced as we speak.

    THEY REALLY WANT TO PLACE A NEW AD IN THE NY TIMES NEXT WEEK and need to raise the money to do so fast. I contributed, my mother contributed, and I urge you to contribute. The new ad spoke to me. I heard that Hillary was extremely moved by the NOT SO FAST ad.

    “WomenCount PAC was created to ensure that the 51 percent of American citizens who are women have their values and votes counted in the political process.

    Our “Not So Fast” ad first ran in USA Today on Friday, May 16th. Since then, response to our effort from both the media and voters has been overwhelming. For more information, contact us at ….”

  58. If wishes were the Unity Pony, we would all have to watch where we walked.

  59. article.nationalreview.com/?q=MjQ4NjU0OGYyMmZkYWNlMTgyYzQxZmRjOGJiNDg2ZDc#more

    May 21, 2008 6:30 AM

    Hillary: The Al Gore of 2008
    Winner of the popular vote, loser of the election.
    By Byron York

    There have been four quarters in the Democratic presidential nomination battle. We’re late in the fourth quarter now, and when it’s over, Hillary Clinton will likely have won three of the quarters — and won the most votes overall — but lost the game.

    . . . . .

    The prospect that a Democratic candidate might win the popular vote but lose the nomination does not seem as troubling. Party leaders and their allies in the press are not only not angry and bitter, they don’t even seem unhappy that the primary season might produce a nominee who lost the popular vote.

    Why the change? It’s not clear. Certainly party elites view Obama as the fresher and more attractive candidate. But contests in which the winner of the most votes doesn’t get the prize produce lasting after-effects, and in the months ahead, Democrats may be in for more than they know.

  60. katiebird@12:05 AM

    “My question, would delegates and Super Delegates feel pressure from polls of their constituents? How far would Obama have to fall to trigger some remorse?”

    How often do you hear someone admitting to making a mistake? Buyer’s remorse is real, I think it’s much more common to throw good money after bad. We’re seeing, and will continue to see, the political version of that. People have a strong need to convince themselves that they make good decisions. The understanding that they’ve screwed up and need to change course seems to come awfully hard to most.

  61. Just got this in my email this morning.

    Ha Ha Ha the Obamabots know they can’t win this election without Hillary supporters. But notice that they still can’t resist, sticking knives into Clinton even as they say they are calling for Unity.

    The only way i would ever vote for Obama is if Hillary is on the top of the ticket and He is VP.

    “Obama – Ask Hillary First!

    Air American:

    The issue at hand for the Democratic Party for winning in ‘08 is not losing to McCain but losing to a divided Democratic party. The first thing Obama should do if nominated is put Hillary on the ticket. Will the Republicans have a field day with her on the ticket? Yes! Is their some bad blood in the water due to some negative campaign strategies on the part of the Clintons? Probably. Can Hillary be a tough fighter able to play tough allowing Obama to stay higher above the fray? Yes!

    Howard Dean said a few months ago that the loser will be the most important person in the Democratic presidential run this year. Hillary’s legacy in this 08 election could place her as the healer and bring together a united Democratic party. As a winning ticket they also move this country closer to healing the racial and misogynist undertones that still have roots.

    Can you picture Denver with Hillary’s delegates close to half of all delegates demanding that she be included on the ticket? To some it’s a crusade. If Hillary was the one out ahead – by just a little over half – wouldn’t Obama supporters want the same?

    Obama’s offer and Hillary’s acceptance of an Obama/Clinton ticket hold the healing and the power to move this country in the direction of the real change in Washington that Obama talks about. First he must bring the Democrats back together again.

    Obama – ask Hillary first. And if she should say no, the offer would still have a unifying affect.

    –Thom Hartmann

    I love this quote:
    “Is their some bad blood in the water due to some negative campaign strategies on the part of the Clintons?”
    I wrote them back with a big F*** You!

  62. I’m a Floridian. I’ve lived my entire voting life in this state. I’ve been a registered Democrat all my life. I’m changing to the Green Party tomorrow and mailing my old registration card to the DNC, attn Dean & Brazile.

    While I firmly believe that Michigan primary votes should be counted as well as Florida’s, I also think the cases to do so are different. Florida’s state legislature is controlled by Republicans. Our governor is a Republican. It was our state Republican controlled legislature that approved the EARLY primary. If the state Democratic Party had opted out of the early primary, would the DNC have paid for a second primary? Would they have staffed the precincts? I DON’T THINK SO! Can someone tell me what choice Florida Democrats – elected or voters – had in this Shakespearean tragedy? Either we participate and don’t have our votes counted or we don’t vote and don’t get counted. Gee, that’s certainly fair. I just don’t understand why I haven’t heard this discussed by ANYONE when discussing counting Florida’s primary votes. Maybe I am as dumb as the Obamabots say I am.

  63. Will there be an election in 2012 if BHO wins in the autumn? If he follows the modus operandi of those other mass rally charlatans whom we know from history, this will be the last presidential election in the US for a long long time.

  64. Also, one of my pet peeves is people aking questions and them answering them themselves.

    Will I vote against Obama? Yes.
    Will I vote against down ticket Dems who endorsed him? Yes.
    Will I continue to register as a Democrat? No.

    Ugh, I hate that. If someone starts talking to you like that, you know they are a patronizing, condescending, elitist snob.

  65. Sorry to keep parsing the Tom Hartman email from above, but I can’t resist. The email has so many nuggets of BAD Obamabot politics in it.

    This is something I totally expect from Obama camp:

    “Can Hillary be a tough fighter able to play tough allowing Obama to stay higher above the fray? Yes! ”

    Now they want Hillary to take the VP slot, and esentially do Obama’s campaigning for them. She has to do the fighting, while he stays “above the fray”. Give me an F’ing break. Now she not only has to train him. She has to do his work too? Sound familiar women?

    If they hand the nomination over to this guy, Clinton should not take the VP slot even if they beg her.

  66. I don’t think the Democratic Party so much thinks the voters are stupid as they think that good, loyal liberals will vote for Obama if he is the nominee because they will vote for any schmuck with a “D” after his/her name.

    I’ve heard Howard Fineman say on television that the Democrats in congress don’t pay much attention to the voters because they “know” that libs have no place else to go. They also “believe” that we libs have learned our “lesson” about voting for 3rd. Party candidate because of the Nader debacle in FL.

    Speaking of which, Thom Hartman, gasbag extraordinaire voted for Nader.

    The list of people whom I respect and am willing to listen to shortens on an almost daily basis. But like someone further up thread said about Hartman, “I lost interest in listening to a man enjoying the sound of his own voice for 3 hrs a day”.

    I cannot and will not listen to Air Obama. Ever. I am the kind of person that doesn’t forgive or forget. So if Air Obama and the Obamacrats over at MSNBC think I’ll be listening or watching anytime soon they’ll need to re-think that notion. I’d bet there are a whole lot of people that have changed their reading, listening, and watching habits during this primary. We learned, if nothing else, that the left is just as nasty, insulting, mindlessly hero-worshiping as the right.

    Hell at least they at least wanted a guy they could have a beer with. Our Lefty Wingnuts aka Obamacrats, are just hoping for a change. (Like that isn’t about the oldest promise in politics. Everybody is always gonna change the world and everybody is gonna change Washington. Blah, blah, blah.)

    Oh and all you Democrats that were elected in 2006 to end the war, how’s that coming along? Anything at all you’ve done to earn your salaries and terrific health care plans lately?

  67. Please, ending the war is off the table, just like impeachment (which St. Obama called a foolish idea) and congressional hearings! Haven’t you noticed all the SWLs (Strongly Worded Letters) the Democrats have been sending out to Bushies who use Congress’s subpoenas like a bunch of cheap toilet paper, laugh at requests for documents, and howl like hyenas as the silly antics of those silly people on the Hill with their ‘hearings’ and all…The Democrats could do something about this, you say? But no, they can’t, they are keeping their powder dry! To use on Supreme Court nominees or — or something! Get with the program kenoshaMarge!!

  68. I’m a road warrior and was working out of state in Texas during their primary and two step. Many of my Texas friends were Hillary fans and they told me that noone checked their voter registration card and didn’t monitor them when they signed in. They could have written additional names and done all kinds of mischief if they had wanted to. It was utter chaos there in the caucuses there. And I’ve seen a youtube video made by a Hillary supporter that showed that the conventions were also handled fraudently. It seems like the thug mentality was out in force and winning to say it politely. And me I was sitting there in Texas thinking to myself how well run our Michigan elections were handled and how they wouldn’t even be counted. (sigh).

  69. RonK, Like minds yesterday. I posted a couple of pieces about Obama’s inability to relate to just folk, nor provide capable answers, suggesting that his “early investors” could still get out. It popped into my head that his slick schtick resembled “The Music Man” comin’ to town–I can fix whatever ails ya, and you and you and you. Obama’s brand stands in stark contrast to the substantial programs and attention to detail that roll seemingly easily out of Hillary’s brain whenever she speaks about any issue. Although she’s been talking all along, she’s becoming more eloquent and vociferous now.

    http://ladyboomernyc.wordpress.com

  70. Mawm: Funny post! Sounds like the old Donald Rumsfeld press conferences.

  71. […] You DON’T have to do this, but if you DO sign on tonight, remember … as a vulnerable target of high-pressure sales tactics, remember: you are still entitled to a Nomination Cooling Off Period. […]

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