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Gifts from Pittsburgh

Today, the mayor of Pittsburgh, my hometown, endorsed Hillary Clinton.  It’s a great fit.  In honor of the occasion, I thought I’d dig up another gift from Pittsburgh, Gene Kelly, who demonstrated with energy and grace how to live through stormy days:

Now, go play while I do some work.

Edwards-Obama (non)Endorsement watch

Well, it’s after 1:00 EST and still no endorsement. It’s gotta be soon, at least hit the evening news in order to whisper that certain sweet nothing into the ears of the undecided former Edwardians and swing a few working stiffs Obama’s way. Hmmm, We’ll see.

In the meatime, I thought I’d follow up on the idea that states that have a threshhold value of African-American voters have been favorable to Obama but those where the AA population has been diluted go to Hillary or are very close:

State Primaries (to Date) %African-American Winner
Delaware 21.51 Obama
Maryland 30.12 Obama
Virginia 20.65 Obama
South Carolina 29.68 Obama
New Jersey 15.19 Clinton
New York 15.80 Clinton
California 6.1 Clinton
Massachusetts 7.58 Clinton

(Connecticut 10.8 Obama 51%, Clinton 47%; Missouri 11.07%, Obama 49.2%, Clinton 48.0% In both of these states, Edwards captured 2% of the vote.)

This list is not exhaustive, I’m just highlighting the trend. Connecticut is a weird, quirky state. I canvassed there for Lamont and would often find public housing projects cheek by jowl to upper middle class houses. It’s got inner city neighborhoods as well as a well marbled suburban landscape. It’s fiercely independent and I found many African-Americans who were absolutely devoted to Joe Lieberman. That state was going to be a toughy because of the very high number of independent voters. Yes, Obama won it but not by much. (O-51%, C-47%) It has an semi-open primary and unaffiliated voters can re-register days before the primary to declare a party at the polls. We can’t rule out that there were a bunch of Independents and Republicans who decided to make their presence known by voting for Obama.

Now, here are the states that remain:

State % African-Americans Latest poll trends

Wisconsin 6.48 Obama small lead
Ohio 12.66 Clinton large lead
Texas 12.09 Clinton small lead
Pennsylvania 11.20 Clinton large lead

Now, a lot of readers are going to think this is being racist. It is not. In order for a campaign to win, it has to be able to “count the votes” and know who is solidly on their side and who is persuadable so all of the GOTV resources can be targeted to those voters. This is why it was so critical for Obama to alienate the African American vote from Clinton. African -Americans might well have voted for Clinton in large numbers had Obama not entered the race. Bill Clinton is a well respected figure in the African-American community (or was before David Axelrod got involved). For Obama, the whole campaign has been one of perception and turning it into reality. So, I guess he’s got that “just think it’s true and it will materialize” thing going for him. He saw the political landscape and knew that there would be a frontloading of heavily African-American states upon which he could count to propel the sense of unstoppable momentum. And how many of us associate Delaware, Maryland and Virginia as states with large African-American population? Unless you live on the east coast, you might not know that so it looks like an huge win. And it is. He got a lot of the rest of the population to vote for him but the demographic that puts him over the top is the African-American one. He couldn’t do that in New Jersey even though he wasted a lot of money here because we just don’t reach his AA threshhold. AND, like California, we have a growing number of Asians who love Clinton.

So, coming up, Obama is going ot have problems. He can only get so many of the young and single-issue voters (like Matt Stoller who pushed the button for Obama just because Hillary voted for the IWR. So, universal healthcare is significantly less important to Matt than holding one person accountable for the war and letting the other *non-voting* candidate get all the credit for being against it without having lifted a pinky to stopping it, but I digress). Obama has to turn out every single African-American voter in the remaining states and that number is finite and likely not going to convert it for him.

His game now is to continue the perception that he is wildly popular and unstoppable. He used all of his “time-out” endorsements on SuperTuesday and can now only appeal to Edwards and Gore. It doesn’t look like Edwards is going to endorse. And as I mentioned yesterday, Obama needs working class stiffs in the rust belt states coming up. The Edwards supporters were not these people. Edwards supporters were traditional liberals ala Paul Krugman who might well have already gone to Hillary’s column. The persuadable undecideds that are left are low-info voters who will make their minds up in front of the machines based on the last voice they heard.

Obama will probably win in WI but it is going to be close, I think. There’s only so much positive thinking you can do to overcome the vote count.

Add another data point.  As this post by Big Tent Democrat demonstrates, Obama spent well over a million buckaroos in Florida in an attempt to win the primary he claims should count, but only if it doesn’t count (if you get my drift).  African-Americans make up ~16% of the population there.  Hard to say if overt campaigning on Obama’s part would have gotten him the win but it’s not for lack of trying with bundles of cash.  BTW, as I suspected, Hillary has been winning these states on a budget.  Maybe that’s because she blew a lot of it on Iowa and NH but you gotta hand it to her, where she has won, it wasn’t by being a spendthrift.  Hmmmm, maybe it’s her message..,

They’re onto something

NOW-NY released a blistering response to Ted Kennedy’s endorsement of Barack Obama. Just go read it and after you’ve cooled your eyeballs down, come back.

The day the Equal Rights Amendment died, I was sitting at The Point in Pittsburgh at a rally with my precious 5 month old little girl on my back. I thought it was just a minor setback. Jeez, we women are so used to minor setbacks that it becomes almost routine, a part of our lives, the background noise.

But when a high profile liberal senator, member of a presidential dynasty, swoops in to plant defeat in the jaws of a woman’s victory, I get a tad PO’d. If you weren’t born female, you won’t identify with this sensation. But trust me, we know when the guys have gotten together to pow-wow without us and have decided that the prize is too high for us.

It’s too risky.

Our time will come later.

It’s much better for a totally green candidate with waaaaay less experience do the heavy lifting because he has a penis, after all and other men respect that. By golly, that outty of dynamic vascularized tissue just trumps everything, doesn’t it?

Now, many people will point to Caroline Kennedy by his side and say that it’s not a gender issue. But Caroline Kennedy’s father was president. She has a bit of a different take on this whole thing than we do and she was only 6 when he died so her childhood memory is all she has to go on. As for Ted, the possibility that he could live his brothers’ dreams vicariously through Barack is just too irresistable.

Let’s face it: Hillary is more qualified and a harder worker and she just got passed over for promotion. We’ve been here before.

No wonder NOW is on fire.