Big September

In our treacly introduction to September we wrote “The excuses from other candidates and their supporters as to why their campaigns have failed are laid bare. No longer can the claim be made that election season is too far away and that polls are irrelevant.”

September has lived up to what we expected.

The Gallup Poll organization has a good summary of the current state of the Hillary Clinton for President campaign:

Since August, Sen. Hillary Clinton has consistently led the 2008 Democratic presidential field by a better than 20-point margin over Sen. Barack Obama. With a lead of that size — and unless the race were highly polarized, which it is not — it’s logical that she would also dominate the race among most major Democratic subgroups. And she does.

In the four Gallup presidential election surveys conducted in August and September, Clinton has led Obama by an average of 22 points — 47% to 25%, respectively. Former Sen. John Edwards holds third place with about half of Obama’s level of support, while no other candidate is favored by more than 3% of Democrats and independents who lean Democratic.

According to the aggregated data from the four most recent surveys, Clinton holds a commanding lead among nearly every major subgroup of potential Democratic primary voters. (This includes all adults who consider themselves Democrats as well as independents who lean to the Democratic party.)

Clinton is most widely favored for the nomination by women, whites, seniors, core Democrats, the non-college educated, those living in low- and middle-income households, self-described conservatives, and residents of the East and West. However, she also leads Obama by smaller but still double-digit margins among most of the natural counterparts to these groups, including men, blacks, young adults, independents, college graduates, self-described moderates and liberals, and residents of the South and Midwest. The table at the end of this report provides the figures for these findings.

As was the case earlier this year, upper-income Democrats represent one of Clinton’s few weak links. Among those living in households with an annual income of $75,000 or more, she leads Obama by only seven points at 37% vs. 30%. This may help explain Obama’s competitiveness with Clinton in fundraising — even though he has not been competitive with her in national Democratic nomination preference polls.

Nearly 4 in 10 blacks favor Obama for the nomination, compared with fewer than one-quarter of whites (38% vs. 22%). However, blacks’ support for Obama does not come at the expense of their support for Clinton. In fact, blacks are more likely than whites to support Clinton. Rather, blacks steer their support to the top two candidates, giving less support to the lower-ranked candidates –particularly Edwards.

Big Media again missed the boat as to the latest John Edwards mess. Big Blogs did not do a good job either.

Let’s help Big Media/Blogs. The big disaster for Edwards in this announcement is that it cements his remarkable ability to highlight the hypocrisy charge that is constantly leveled at his head-spinning changes in positions. On Iraq, hedgefunds, big houses, lobbyists/trial lawyers and now campaign finance John Edwards opens himself to the hypocrisy charge. If Edwards had accepted matching public funds and explained it as a financial necessity for his campaign the story would be a minor story read only by us campaign geeks.

However, typical for Edwards, he moralizes about about his flip-flop in now accepting public funds and in the process opens himself to the hypocrisy charge. John Edwards is not fooling anyone. His fundraising will soon be a matter of public disclosure. When his limp fundraising figures are exposed, the moral highground will turn into a hangman’s scaffold.

But the Big Story in this Edwards slapstick farce is the Labor connection. Recall, Edwards was supposed to be the candidate with Big Labor support. Towards that end, instead of raising campaign funds and building an organization, Edwards spent endless hours on picket lines and charming union workers and Big Labor Big Wigs. Edwards had a campaign strategy based not on having an effective organization and competent campaign staff (hiring Trippi was a clue that the Edwards campaign was more about publicity than competence) but rather the Edwards campaign strategy was ‘Let the Unions do it for us.’

Why did Edwards decide to take the money and run? Because Edwards realized that his Big Labor endorsement strategy had failed. Recall, the latest Big Labor endorsement event. SEIU decided they would maybe decide on an endorsement in October – AFTER the third quarter fundraising reports come out. When SEIU sees the actual Edwards numbers they will not endorse him.

Hillary Clinton knows that Labor and unions want a partner who brings strength to the partnership, not dependence. Labor and unions do not want to someone to leech on their efforts.

Here is the New York Times article from September 25, 2007:

John Edwards was obviously hoping to get some good news out of Chicago this week. First, he was hoping that the executive board of the Service Employees International Union, which met in Chicago on Monday, would endorse him.

Mr. Edwards has lobbied the S.E.I.U. hard, but the S.E.I.U.’s executive board — whose endorsement is especially coveted because it is such a large and politically active union — punted on Monday just as it did when it met in Washington last Wednesday.
And with the S.E.I.U. deciding not to endorse anyone this week, that pretty much rules out that Change to Win, the rival labor federation to the A.F.L.-C.I.O., will vote to endorse anyone when it holds its biannual convention in Chicago today.

If several things fell into place, there was a good chance that Mr. Edwards could have won Change to Win’s endorsement, but since the S.E.I.U., with 1.9 million members, did not endorse, that makes it all but impossible for Mr. Edwards or any other candidate to secure the super-majority needed to win Change to Win’s backing.

Change to Win represents more than 5 million union members and in addition to the service employees, it includes the Teamsters, the carpenters, the laborers, the food and commercial workers, the farm workers and Unite Here.

The carpenters have endorsed Mr. Edwards, and he was hoping to already have the endorsement of Unite Here, which represents apparel, hotel, restaurant and laundry workers. But United Here’s endorsement has been delayed because its giant Las Vegas union local was not yet ready to endorse anyone.

Last Wednesday, S.E.I.U. officials said they were not ready to endorse anyone because, having heard lots about the candidates’ policies, they wanted to hear their strategies on how they would win in November 2008.

So in Chicago on Monday, the campaign managers of the three leading Democratic candidates spoke to the S.E.I.U.’s board to explain how their candidate would win, but the campaign managers evidently could not seal the deal.

After Monday’s meetings, S.E.I.U. officials said they decided not to endorse at this time because the 60-plus members of its board wanted to go back to their local unions to get a better gauge of rank-and-file sentiment. S.E.I.U. officials are no doubt mindful that and that Mr. Edwards is a distant third in polls of Democrats and that many S.E.I.U. members — many are women and blacks — favor Hillary Clinton, just like other Democrats.

One S.E.I.U. board member said that a majority of board members favored Mr. Edwards, (who has been very outspoken on behalf of universal health coverage, one of the S.E.I.U.’s main goals) but those members, taken together, do not come from locals representing 60 percent of the union’s membership—the threshold required for the board to make an endorsement.

It often appears that the thing that will most help Mr. Edwards secure more union endorsements is not for him to march on a union picket line for the umpteenth time, but for him to get a 5 or 10 percentage point bump in nationwide polls. Many union leaders are wary of endorsing candidate who will flame out the way Howard Dean and Dick Gephardt did in the 2004 primaries, notwithstanding the union endorsements they had.

The Washington Post with typical reaction of this latest Edwards calamity:

In a sign of potentially serious trouble for his campaign, former Sen. John Edwards has decided to sign onto the public financing system for the presidential primaries, accepting government funds in exchange for sharp limits on his spending.

Edwards presented the decision, announced Thursday, as a challenge to his Democratic rivals to value substantive ideas over fundraising prowess. “This campaign should not be a fundraising contest,” he said on CNN.

But with the end of the third quarter approaching this Sunday, the sharp reversal by Edwards suggested his candidacy is facing steep challenges in keeping apace with Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton and Sen. Barack Obama, the two Democratic leaders in fundraising in the 2008 race.

By accepting public financing, Edwards will be able to receive up to $250 in matching funds for each person who donates to his campaign. In return, he will face severe limits on his spending, both during the early primaries, and if he wins those, in the months leading up to the general election.

Under the public financing system, Edwards will be allowed to spend just $817,800 in New Hampshire during the primary race. In Iowa, the limit is just under $1.5 million. In both states, even after the primaries are over, Edwards cannot exceed those limits until the Democratic convention – months after a head-to-head contest with the Republican nominee is expected to begin.

Joe Trippi, who managed the presidential campaign of former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean in 2004 and is a senior adviser to Edwards this time, conceded as much in a 2003 interview with the Washington Post.

“This campaign believes that any Democratic campaign that opted into the matching-funds system has given up on the general election,” Trippi said in December of 2003. “There is absolutely no way you can sustain the hits that are going to come from now until August with a $45 million limit.”

His campaign moved aggressively to cast his decision as a moral imperative. “You shouldn’t be able to buy your way into the White House – you should have to earn the votes of the American people with bold vision and ideas,” said Edwards’ campaign manager Congressman David Bonior. “This is the most expensive presidential campaign in history, by far. And the simple fact is that the influence of money in politics – and the focus on raising money in this election – has gotten out of control. It’s time to get back to focusing on the issues that matter to the American people. That’s why John Edwards has decided to play by the rules that were designed to ensure fairness in the election process by capping his campaign spending and seeking public financing.”

In September Edwards was not alone in his delusions and hypocrisies:

Former Dick Gephardt presidential campaign adviser Moses Mercado hasn’t even joined the Barack Obama presidential campaign team and already he’s making waves.

Mercado, a veteran field man who organized Gephardt’s primary operations in Arizona and New Mexico, and later John Kerry’s general election operations there, confirmed he is finalizing plans to serve as a senior adviser to the Obama campaign.

The waves are being generated by Mercado’s other line of work — as a lobbyist with Ogilvy Government Relations who is registered to represent several dozen big-name clients, including the National Rifle Association, the Carlyle Group, the Blackstone Group, Monsanto, Pfizer Inc., United Health Group, Sempra Energy and Constellation Energy.

His resume seems to contradict one of Obama’s central themes on the campaign trail — that as an outsider he can fend of the powerful business interests that he has argued have contributed to the income gap between rich and poor and has frustrated attempts to address issues such as high prescription drug costs and global warming.

In a speech he gave in New Hampshire back in June, Obama singled out the role of lobbyists in the process. As the Chicago Tribune reported at the time, Obama “sought to make the case that the culture of influence in Washington affects the pocketbooks of Americans in myriad ways, from drug prices to student-loan interest rates — both of which, he argued, are inflated through industry manipulation of public policy.”

The story went on to quote Obama, saying: “What’s most outrageous is not the morally offensive conduct on behalf of these lobbyists and legislators, but the morally offensive laws and decisions that get made as a result.”

The above is hypocrisy, below is delusion:

Sen. Barack Obama’s campaign manager said this week that a “hidden vote” by young caucusgoers that doesn’t show up in public opinion polls will push him ahead in Iowa’s Democratic caucus race.

“… Polls consistently underrepresent in Iowa, and elsewhere, the strength” of Obama’s support, David Plouffe wrote in a memo to supporters on Saturday – the same day an article in The Des Moines Register outlined how Obama’s support has not significantly grown since he announced his candidacy in February.

But that is a strategy that has not worked in the past.

Former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean’s 2004 campaign heavily courted young, first-time caucusgoers, but the candidate finished in third place.

The reality is, (Obama’s) support is what I would consider light,” said Ann Selzer, president of Selzer & Co., the Des Moines opinion research company that conducts the Iowa Poll for the Register.

“It is heavy with younger people, and it is heavy with people who are registered independent. In the past, we have found them less likely to show up and be a part of this.”

Plouffe said pollsters often skip young voters because they are more mobile, which means they are less likely to be at home in the early evening, when most polls are conducted.

“So all of these state and national surveys have and will continue to underrepresent Barack’s core support – in effect, his hidden vote in each of these pivotal early states,” Plouffe wrote in the memo.

Although it’s possible that young voters could be underrepresented, a study from the Pew Research Center suggests it’s unlikely. The independent research group’s report shows little evidence that cell phone-only users produce inaccurate opinion polls.

Michelle Obama told a crowd in Davenport this week that winning in Iowa is essential to her husband’s campaign, the Quad City Times reported.

“Iowa will make the difference,” Michelle Obama said. “If Barack doesn’t win Iowa, it’s just a dream, but if we win Iowa, then we can move the world as it should be. And we need your help in making that happen so join me.”

Meanwhile in no bull New York a reporter for the New York Observer catches the lack of life for the Obama campaign:

At the Clinton Global Initiative yesterday, I ran into Hillary Clinton fund-raiser and aspiring Bloomberg successor John Catsimatidis. When I told him I was on my way to an event for Barack Obama, Catsimatidis said, “Is he still running?”


47 thoughts on “Big September

  1. Edwards has had a horrible day among big bloggers. myDD frontpager basically denounced his unilateral disarmment as unacceptable. Kos declares today Edwards is no longer a viable option for him personally.

    P.R. disaster. Both Edwards and his wife are not bright. They need to go back to their big mansion and have a happy life.

  2. I’m a little bit concerned about Edwards’ potential fizzle in Iowa will cause some uncertainly there. I want Obama to finish third there to kill his chance for good.

  3. Pro-Edwards mantra on Iran/Kyl-Lieberman is ‘Edwards learned his lesson’ in Iraq. But this is Edwards last January at the Israeli Conference at Herzliyah:

    ” . . . what is going on in Iraq. This will make the American people reticent toward going for Iran. But I think the American people are smart . . . if they trust their president . . . Americans can be educated to come along with what needs to be done with Iran.”

    Obviously, the American people aren’t ‘reticent’ about aggressive diplomacy on Iran, so Edwards means another pre-emptive strike. That ‘educated to come along’ language is amazing. In front of Israeli hawks, Edwards claimed that as President, he could ‘educate’ Americans on the need for
    pre-emptive war against Iran in spite of the lessons learned in Iraq. More Edwards:

    “Let me reiterate – ALL options must remain on the table . . . The war in Lebanon had Iranian fingerprints all over it . . . Hezbollah is an instrument of the Iranian government . . . Iranian rockets allowed Hezbollah to attack and wage war against Israel.”

    Not the song Edwards sings to MoveOn, is it?

    Edwards at Herzliya

  4. Canaan, Edwards will say anything at any time. How much of his hypocrisy does he think the Ripublicans will overlook if he could ever get the nomination for any public office?

    And as you point out, instead of merely flip-flopping on his own statements, Edwards compounds the flip-flop by pretending to be holier than thou. Edwards attacked Hillary at the debate as not having learned the lessons he did from the Iraq vote; meanwhile this Iran flip-flop shows the same hypocrisy as his campaign finance flip-flop/hypocrisy.

  5. Yes, there is hypocrisy and delusion all around. I am particularly amused at Obama ridiculous republican propaganda-informed revisionist history of the health care battle in 1994.

    Let’s see, this guy tells us how great reagan is, and how he is going to work together to get both sides of the aisle to produce change, and how it was our Hillary to blame because she tried to get health care for every american? What about blaming the health care industry that spent hundreds of millions of dollars to stop the 94 plan?

    Im just wondering if he is a Republican, or is it that he will say anything to win? What a phony crook! Release those billing records Obama so we can see how your ENTIRE CAREER has been a sham!

  6. Did you guys see the Rasmussen poll I posted on the previous thread. It shows Hillary actually leading Rudy by 2 in Tennessee.

  7. Admin., if I were one of those people who believed that the kingdom of God would be at hand when the last lobbyist was chased out of Washington DC with a pitchfork, and that transparency alone was not the cure, then I might warm up to the rhetorical thrusts of Obama against lobbyists.

    But when I discovered that in Obamaland we can use words to mean anything we want them to mean, such that Springfield lobbyists are ok because they are not Washington DC lobbyists, and Washington lawfirms that do lobbying activity are also ok because they are lawyers and now the Mercado exception in the inner sanctum of his campaign, I might begin to feel that I had been deceived.

    And then I might begin to consider a candidate who had treated me like an adult, told me that there are lobbyists in the world, they serve a useful function, but we do need to move toward public financing in an orderly way. I would feel that that candidate had been truthful with me about it, and the pledge she made could be trusted.

  8. Wbboei,
    for Obama, lobbyists are only good if the lobbyist lobbys for Obama – this type of thinking is what the dictionary defines as “unprincipled”.

    Another outrage from the debate is how Obama used a Ripublican talking point to discuss Social Security. Obama said young people do not think Social Security will be there for them. As DailyHowler points out young people have been lied to by Ripublicans about the viability of Social Security so that these same Ripublicans can employ young people to destroy that hated Social Security program which the great Democratic President Franklin Delano Roosevelt blessed this nation with.

    Tennessee looks good as do Texas and Alabama. Things will probably change.

  9. I agree Edwards and his wife aren’t smart. I’ve always thought Edwards was a little slow on the uptake – proves you don’t have to be very intelligent to get rich. That campain is done. Obama’s hopefully soon.

  10. Politico has Edwards campaign guy Joe Tripping saying this:

    “Rolling Stone resurrects another one:

    He told me earlier this year (prior to signing onto the Edwards campaign) that opting for the limits of public financing would leave any nominee “flat broke like Mike Dukakis — getting the living shit kicked out of him all summer long.”

    AND this:

    One part of the memo I didn’t mention, and which is worth clarifying: Bonior says Edwards is willing to opt out of public funding in the general election.

    This is the opposite of what Edwards, in the interview above announcing his decision, appeared to be saying, and it’s a more complicated stance to explain.

    But Bonior gives it his all:

    What happens in the general election?

    Make no mistake – we are taking a principled stand on this issue. John Edwards believes the best thing and the right thing would be to operate the campaign under the public financing rules for the entire presidential campaign. But he also understands that almost none of the

    Four Republican candidates share this commitment. Accordingly, we will continue to raise money for the general election so we will be ready to compete against the Republican nominee.

    Once we win the nomination, John will challenge the Republican nominee to join him in accepting public financing. Quite frankly, it’s a fight we’d welcome. If they refuse, we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it and make the decision at that time about whether to accept public financing. But you can be sure that we will run a campaign that is aggressive, adequately funded, and successful.

    AND this:

    garbled an item earlier today on the role spending caps, some say, played in preventing John Kerry from going on air to respond to the attacks from the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth.

    Kerry had accepted public financing for the general election, not the primary; the attacks came post-convention, but long before the general election, and he was holding his resources for the general.

    A former senior official from that campaign has this view:

    Because we were capped, we had to manage our resources carefully. But we were uncapped in the primaries – had we been under a cap, Kerry would have been broke coming off Super Tuesday, and instead of a three week window of darkness, it would have been a five month window and it would have been a blowout.

    That is what Edwards faces.


    First Read destroys the Edwards campaign:

    *** Match game: Edwards has struggled to remain in the so-called top tier of Democratic candidates ever since Clinton and Obama both doubled and then tripled Edwards fundraising over the last 9 months. Well, that struggle became even greater yesterday with the campaign’s decision to accept matching funds. While the campaign is desperately spinning that this decision means they’ll have $20 million to spend at the start of the year, it means the campaign has no long-term strategy. They are going for a quick knockout blow.

    *** Knock down, drag out: But Clinton and Obama both will have the resources to drag out this contest if necessary. Edwards has foreclosed that option because accepting matching funds means accepting a fundraising and spending limit that the campaign will likely reach by the end of January. It’s exactly what happened to him in ’04. He ended up having to pick and choose where to play after the early states. This decision will make it easer to dismiss Edwards as a first-tier candidate, particularly when both Clinton and Obama triple his fundraising… again Sunday.

  12. admin,

    It is now very obvious Edwards is finished even before the game gets started. I’m a bit concerned about his fizzle will cause lots of uncertainty in Iowa. Edwards has the potential to become another Gephardt. It’s very uncertain where his disgruntled backers will caucus for in a bloody cold evening.

  13. Kostner, the concern is warranted. However, this is where a strong organization and smart leadership come in and save the day. If Edwards were fading and Obama growing stronger we would worry. But not only is Edwards effectively out, but Obama is fading too.

    Hillary is the only one growing stronger.

  14. Rich Edwards accepts a helping hand from the federal govt…..

    But “POOR EDWARDS” wants to be bailed out by the unions, 527 and unions and the DNC from mar-aug 2008……as the dem nominee…

    I would not trust this guy to make my economic decisions…..even the McCain “campaign finance champion” would frame this change differently….

  15. In 2003 when John Kerry was way behind Dean in New Hampshre and needed cash to finance his Iowa operation – Kerry mortgaged his house to get the money. Kerry was confident he would win.

    Why didnt’ Edwards mortgage his house?

  16. admin, thanks for pointing that out, it is of invaluable importance to analyzise spin and propaganda in our national discourse and stop it where we can.

    Nothing so much disgusts me as a PINO like Obama who perpetuates this Republican propaganda.

    Being a trusting person by nature, I would like to give Obama the benefit of the doubt on this one and assume gross incompetence to be the cause for Obama repeating Republican propoganda on Social Security.

    Unfortunatly, we know all too well the true nature of Obama – that of a phony crooked political hack who will sacrifice his own party and the cause of progress to leech more power from the people.

    Does this sound harsh? Well, I believe, as Edmund Burke said, “To speak of vicous crimes in moderate language is treason to virture,” and the truth is an ugly thing for Obama. The harsh part is that the national media has been asleep on this guy for over 8 months now because his true nature conflicts with the story they bought and sold straight out of his autobiography.

  17. guys, i hear hillary will raise between $18 million to $20 million for the 3rd quarter. anybody hear the same thing or somthing else?

  18. Jeanne Cummings of POLITICO was just on ‘Washington Week in Review’ claiming that Obama is drawing “HUGE crowds”.

    (her emphasis, not mine)

  19. Joe Friday, Obama has been drawing “huge” crowds for months, with little to show for it. The MSM can say what they want.

  20. CNN reports that Barack Obama’s campaign will take in $18-19 million for the quarter, and Hillary Clinton’s campaign will have raised $17-20 million. If true, this means that they are about tied, or Hillary might even have out-raised Obama after two quarters in which he beat her in the money race.

  21. Edwards must have gotten word, he’s not going to get the endorsements he thought he would. That was the trigger for the matching funds call. His last hope was the debate. Although he was better, he didn’t have the opportunity as Hillary did, to stand up to Russert.

    They can all say what they want in the ‘he said, she said’ debate…but…The test was:
    “CAN SHE STAND UP” under intimidating pressure? She passed the test with flying colors. Whatever ‘if comes” Edwards had, will all go to Hillary now.

    Obama’s funds will all be drying up shortly. Neither of them has run the well organized and progressive campaign run by the Clintons. Their stratgey has highlighted the deficiences in BO’s and JE’s campaign to the point of a choice of Prime Rib, Grade A Beef or Chicken.

    Mrs. S.

  22. Obama has NOT been drawing huge crowds. He drummed up the NYC rally because he knew that his stump speech references to 20,000 in Atlanta (the GA Tech campus) and Austin (the UTexas campus) from last spring were getting a little long in the tooth. So, he promotes the rally on NYU’s campus for a month and gets himself a fresh photo op with about the same size crowd that a wet T-Shirt contest at NYU would draw in Washington Square. Meanwhile he’s getting killed in NH (a crowd of hundreds the day after the Hill ‘n Bill Show drew 4,500 in Concord and 5,000 an hour away in Portsmouth.

    Obama was interviewed on CNN tonight. He looks worn out and down in the dumps to me. I think he knows he’s done and is just going through the motions.

    Kostner: I understand your concern about Edwards tanking. Having him collapse early is not good for Hillary. Better to keep splitting the “anybody but Hillary” vote. On the other hand, Edwards was probably a bigger threat to ride an “electability” pitch than Obama, so having him turn to burned toast has its own benefits.

    My one remaining concern with this race is just how negative will Edwards and Obama go towards the end. Will they be desperate enough to morph Hillary into Osama bin Laden? Desperate enough to superimpose mushroom clouds and a map of Iran? Desperate enough to run Monica ads? You know that Gibbs and Axelrod will push hard for that in December. It just depends whether Obama is willing to put his future in the Democratic Party on the line like that. I don’t think he has the balls to do it.

    And, while I’m thinking out loud….Bill spent some quality time with both Al Gore and Michael Bloomberg this week at the Clinton Global Initiative. Bloomberg was supposed to argue the opposite side in a global warming/business debate with Clinton that was televised by BBC World TV. Instead, Bloomberg and Clinton spent the show singing a two-part harmony about how green initiatives are GOOD for business. Sound familiar? What would a Gore or Bloomberg endorsement of Hillary do to the race?

  23. admin,

    Is this Edwards’ Macaca moment? He sounded extremely arrogant, ignorant and insensitive while making such comments:

    “We start with the president of the United States saying to America, ‘we cannot build enough prisons to solve this problem. And the idea that we can keep incarcerating and keep incarcerating — pretty soon we’re not going to have a young African-American male population in America. They’re all going to be in prison or dead. One of the two.”

    The video is down up on the youtube. I’ll provide the link to you .

  24. This is Obama’s crowds “secret”:

    OBAMA UPDATE….Barack Obama held a rally in New York City last night and wanted to make sure everyone knew it was big:

    His staff had a scissors lift (a.k.a. a cherry-picker) and was taking photographers — and, by the end of the evening, print reporters as well — up in it to get crowd shots.

  25. hwc,

    After Russert lobbed his ugly attack at Hillary and she used her backhand to lob it right back at him to win the match, even Venus and Serena Williams wouldn’t go up against Hillary. Roger Federer would’t dare go up against Hillary either. All three of them simultaneously wouldn’t beat Hillary. We need to keep alert, but it looks like Hillary can take care of herself pretty well.

    The danger as you point out is the desperate attacks from the likes of Gibbs and that ilk. The job of Hillary supporter is to make sure we run interference for Hillary. We need to show as much as possible the dirty deeds done by Gibbs and friends in the past. When they try their dirty tricks again, and they will, the case on Gibbs will already have been made.

    When Gibbs & Co. tried their anonymous memo tricks they were exposed. We need to keep reminding everyone of what they are capable of and let Gibbs & Co. know we will react to their dirty tricks, and not necessarily in polite terms. Same thing with Russert and Matthews.

    The idea is not to whine about their tricks but to take a page from Hillary and lob the attacks right back at their lobbyist hiring in private hypocrite candidate.

    You are right, Obama knows he is beaten. That still will not stop his campaign from getting dirty. Below is the Obama quote about a previous campaign he knew he had lost and how he pretended to still have a snowball’s chance in hell of winning as well as the ugly Gibbs morph ad:

    “Less than halfway into the campaign, I knew in my bones that I was going to lose. Each morning from that point forward I awoke with a vague sense of dread, realizing that I would have to spend the day smiling and shaking hands and pretending that everything was going according to plan.”

  26. On the other hand, the staging of the Obama rally was abysmal. All the video had the candidate standing alone on a huge stage with no backdrop, no message signs, no American flag, nothing.

    The really good campaigns set up these events so all the press video of the candidate tells a story. I have seen no evidence that Axelrod knows how to run a big league campaign. Obama seems to be running a governor’s race in a Presidential election — still photo TV ads, etc. It’s really puzzling given the amount of money he has.

  27. hwc,

    you’re right, the size of his crowd is greatly exaggerated. It’s said the park is permitted to accomodate 5,000 people, and politico is reporting its only slightly extended beyond the circle. AP estimates to be around thousands. Definitely not 24,000 they were advertising. His crowd is getting smaller and smaller.

  28. kostner-yikes. that clip of edwards a killer. he better that one doesnt get out in the msm or he is in real trouble


    (AP) – Barack Obama may be the first sitting member of the Congressional Black Caucus to run for president in more than 30 years yet rival Hillary Rodham Clinton has the edge in endorsements among the group. With the backing of California Rep. Diane Watson this week, the Clinton campaign counts 13 supporters in the 43-member group to Obama’s 12.

  30. texan,

    foxnews is already piling on this. The other outlets have not picked up. I heard many black blogs are buzzed with this clip. Edwards has no prayer, his support among minority group is almost zero. If the race comes down between Clinton and Edwards in early Feb, Hillary will likely win by a landslide. I’m a bit worried about his viability in Iowa. We need him to stay in Iowa to block Obama.

  31. i could be wrong but i cannot hear anything damning on the edwards video.i have to listen to it again. something about no more african american males left after being in prison?

  32. admin,

    A latest Newsweek Iowa poll has just come out. Mixed bag for Hillary. My fear of an Edward fizzle is quite justified based on this poll:

    Among all voters:
    Clinton 31
    Obama 25
    Edwards 21

    Among likely voters:
    Obama 28
    Clinton 24
    Edwards 22

    Based on 1st/2nd choice total:
    Obama 52
    Clinton 44
    Edwards 41

    This poll shows a potential Edwards meltdown in Iowa. It will cause lots of uncerntainty there.

  33. One of the greatest myths of the modern age is that the charter members of MSM, who delight in putting candidates on the horns of dilemmas, legitimatizing slanderous remarks and generally carrying on like a the Duke of Torquemada, all for the sake of Neilsen rating, etc. could withstand the same withering attacks if the tables were turned. We get a sense of the answer to that question when we learn from Tim Russert that he sweated bullets when he was on the witness stand in the Scooter Libbey case, and his own credibility was called into question, which merely goes to show he is human. Fortunately for him, and for the country, his version of the events was accepted by the jury. But, it would be a good thing if he had the charity and humility to remember for a change how it felt to be on the other end of the barrel–it would make him better at his trade.

    With Tim there’s hope; with Matthews its hopeless. Despite his Tip O’Neil roots, you can count on him to jump to the Republican side, because as the comedic alcoholic of the old Jackie Gleason show used to say ” why stop now?”

  34. There is an article in the New York Times which seeks to interpet Hillary’s robust and fun laugh.

    Now MSM has settled on the term “cackel”. So I went to the dictionary for a precise definition, and here is what it says: “to utter a shrill unbroken cry as of a hen”. So there is a nice code word for you.

    Maybe its just me, but I find the laugh engaging, and I want to laugh right along with her, and listen to what she says next.

    And if you put it in context, you often find that the subtext is I understand where you are coming from, am wise enough not to walk into your little trap, and I am not standing here for your entertainment, or to give you a cheap headline, but to help the American People find a way out of the mess which George Bush has put him in.

  35. wbboei, “cackle” is also a term associated with witches. This is how desperate and sad the opposition has become, they are now using a candidate laugh to push a narrative. Gail Collins has an embarrasing column today as well in the New York Times.

  36. Yes Admin. you are right about that unfortunately.

    Fortunately, there are signs of an epiphany among some of Hillary’s former opponents. In this mornings HuffPost, there is an article by John Baltz entitled: “On Race, Betrayal and My Growing Appreciation of Hillary Clinton”. The closing paragraph says this:

    “Some months ago, I wrote of a run-in I had with
    Hillary Clinton at an LA fundraiser. I watched her on the compulsively entertaining and strangely marvelous Joe Scarborough last week and found her to be stirring. And then she laughed on FOX like Redford in ‘The Candidate’, and I liked her even more. The real person is showing up and she’s been running circles around the other would be nominees. . .”

    It would appear that we are not the only ones who appreciate that great laugh of hers. . .

  37. kostner, I read that at

    BTW, that Iowa poll IS a mixed bag. A 10-point swing between voters and likely voters seems big to me. I think the silver lining is that it’s hard to pinpoint likely voters this far in advance; likely voters are a much smaller group by definition. I believe this is Newsweek’s first Iowa poll.

    Hillary needs to finish no worse than second in Iowa, but finishing behind Edwards is preferable to finishing behind Obama.

  38. Kostner we posted the Iowa poll.

    Remember, Obama has been spending lots more in Iowa than Hillary, is from a border state, and has more than double the amount of offices opened in Iowa. Therefore Obama’s supposed small lead is hardly surprising and it is restricted to the smaller pool of “likely” voters.

    In other words Hillary has a bigger pool of supporters who are much more committed to her than other candidates’ supporters are committed to them.

    Also, keep in mind that after the Clinton lead among registered voters, the poll falls apart because the margin of error goes up to 7% when only Democrats likely to vote are included.

    Edwards is falling apart. But we knew that back in December 2006.

    Our bottom line is that Hillary has the wider and deeper support from voters that historically turn out on caucus night. Also, Edwards must win Iowa just to limp into Nevada and Obama’s campaign has made Iowa their must win state too. For Hillary, Iowa is just the starting gate.

  39. admin, Thank you for the Iowa update, especially the MOE among likely voters. I didn’t realize Obama had twice the number of offices there. But then again, she’s running a national campaign and he isn’t.

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