The Domino Theory And The Politics of Hoopla

Barack Obama and his acolytes have concocted a new Domino Theory which is just as harebrained as the Vietnam era Domino Theory. Obama supporters parade and trumpet this crackpot theory with all the sublety of a hoochie-koochie dancer in a traveling carnival.

The original Domino Theory, which President Dwight Eisenhower postulated, declared that American Cold War interventions around the world were necessary because nations were like dominoes: You have a row of dominoes set up, you knock over the first one, and what will happen to the last one is the certainty that it will go over very quickly.

Eisenhower thought neighboring nation-states would fall one after the other to Communism – if the first domino (Vietnam) fell. We now have, Barack Obama’s very own narcissistic Domino Theory.

Obama’s Domino Theory is that, during the primary, states will fall like dominoes in worship of him if Iowans give him a caucus win on January 3, 2008.

Obama’s Domino Theory, bought wholesale by the gullible and the self-interested Big Media and Big Blogs, has been repeatedly circulated by David Plouffe, Obama’s campaign manager, to Big Media outlets such as Politico:

In a new, public memo, Obama campaign manager David Plouffe makes the case for Obama’s strategy: A win based on organization and the hunger for change in Iowa, followed by a roll through the rest of the early states.

The memo had one interesting claim, of South Carolina: “We believe South Carolina is now a very competitive two-way race, with Edwards, who won this contest in 2004, in a very distant third.”

You can also tell from the memo one way in which this race hasn’t changed from Day One: Experience is still Obama’s central challenge. Plouffe quotes Obama’s line that he he “may not have the experience that Washington likes, but he has the experience that America needs,” and stresses his “20 years in public service.”

To effectuate Obama’s Domino Theory requires a minimal Obama presence in some states and concentration of forces on Iowa. After Iowa, victories in New Hampshire and all the early primary states will fall into his lap. Obama supporters, bereft of hope after months of bad poll news, have embraced this Domino Theory like corrupt Saigon Colonels embraced Eisenhower’s discredited theory.

Obama’s Domino Theory fails for the same reason Eisenhower’s Domino Theory was flawed. Both did not take into account the stability of neighboring states and the strength of the opposition which will resist public relations hoopla. Both theories also did not take into account a realistic assessment of the “hearts and minds” of the citizenry. For Obama’s Domino Theory to have validity, post-Iowa primary/caucus states would have to be lukewarm for Hillary and Hillary supporters would have to be lukewarm in their support as well.

There is plenty of long-term, scientific and anecdotal evidence which demonstrates Hillary’s frontrunner status (nationwide and in individual early primary states) and strong support, particularly from her base – women.

Not only is Hillary receiving strong support from her affinity group – women, but yesterday we got this bit of news which demonstrates strong Hillary support in what Michelle Obama presumes will be Obama’s vote:

Six weeks out from the first round of presidential voting, Hillary Rodham Clinton gets better reviews than Barack Obama among African-American voters, a crucial voting bloc in Democratic politics, a new poll shows.

The survey of 750 African-Americans, conducted from Oct. 5 to Nov. 2, and released Tuesday found that the senator from New York was rated favorably by 83 percent of respondents, while 10 percent perceived her negatively.

Obama, meanwhile, garnered favorable ratings from 74 percent of blacks, with 10 percent viewing him negatively. [snip]

For Obama, the poll provides one more indication of just how steep a climb remains for his campaign to overtake Clinton.

Obama has mounted possibly the most viable presidential run by a black candidate ever.

But Obama’s symbolic status has not so far won black voters to favor his campaign.

In contrast, Clinton’s status as the first woman to have a feasible chance at winning the presidency has won Democratic women overwhelmingly to her candidacy and largely explains her lead in the race.

The expectation that Obama would win African-Americans has led the campaign to flatly predict, as Obama pollster Cornell Belcher did to Politico this summer, that they would win the Jan. 19 South Carolina primary.

The state is 29 percent African-American, but the Democratic primary electorate is at least half black.

The Palmetto State was expected to play a pivotal role in the Democratic nomination fight, allowing Obama to halt momentum Clinton may gain after Iowa and New Hampshire, two states that are overwhelmingly white.

In South Carolina, Obama aims to siphon off some of Clinton’s core supporters — women — making African-American women key players in the Palmetto contest.

“If Obama was really going to challenge Hillary, I have always thought he was really going to have to challenge her among women, not just black women but even white women,” said David Bositis, senior research associate at The Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, which conducted the poll.

Obama plans to tour the early primary states with Oprah Winfrey in early December.

Notably, they are spending the most time in South Carolina.

But the campaign will also stop off in New Hampshire and Iowa.

Obama currently is locked in a head-to-head race with Clinton in the Hawkeye state. [snip]

Nine in ten black voters supported Al Gore and John Kerry in the previous two general elections.

Oprah is not going to sell Obama like she does books. If celebrities sold candidates, Barbra Streisand would be touring with Hillary right now. Hillary is and will maintain her lead with women voters. Hillary support with African-American voters appears equally strong. Obama, how is he doing?

My colleague Carrie Budoff Brown e-mails over the explanation from South Carolina State Rep. Harold Mitchell, who reiterated at an endorsement event with black ministers today that he was switching his support from Obama to Clinton:

“I got caught up in the hoopla,” Mitchell said of Obama.

The “hoopla”. He got caught up in the hoopla. The transitory effects of a flimflam show versus the steady support of a long time friend can be measured in this “hoopla” statement.

Is Representative Mitchell alone in his support of Hillary?

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton picked up endorsements from dozens of Upstate black ministers Tuesday morning.

Five dozen ministers lined up with Clinton as she spoke in Spartanburg Tuesday morning.

Spartanburg Representative Harold Mitchell organized the session. He says the group thinks Clinton is the best candidate to address issues like health care, jobs and other issues.

Clinton told the crowd of about 450 people she will work on health care, education, and improving the nation’s image around the world.

She says she would send representatives around the world to let countries know the era of cowboy diplomacy is over.

Hopkins Senator Darrell Jackson says similar announcements will be made in the Midlands and Lowcountry.

Reverend Timothy Brown, also of South Carolina, isn’t concerned about the “hoopla”. Reverend Brown is against false prophets:

Nearly half of South Carolina’s Democratic primary voters are black, and ministers can play a huge role in shaping the political direction of their congregations. More than 60 ministers gathered with Clinton on a stage at a hotel and her campaign said 88 were in the room where the endorsements were announced.

Clinton, in a wide-ranging speech to a crowd of more than 450, touched on her plans to expand health care, better public education and improve the image of the U.S. She said she would send emissaries around the globe – and mentioned former Secretary of State Colin Powell as “someone I know very well” – to send a message the era of “cowboy diplomacy is over.” [snip]

The Rev. Timothy Brown, of Cleveland Chapel in Spartanburg, said Clinton will get government to a “better plateau.” He also referenced Obama, a first-term senator who wrote a book called “The Audacity of Hope.”

We need to look for a leader that is ready to lead right now,” Brown said. “We don’t need to be filling our heads with hopes and dreams.”

Also Tuesday, Clinton’s campaign released her proposal to combat the spread of HIV and AIDS, which in part focuses on fighting the spread of the illness in minority communities. Clinton would double the HIV/AIDS research budget at the National Institutes of Health to $5.2 billion annually and spend at least $50 billion within five years around the globe, according to an e-mail from her campaign. [snip]

The endorsements from the South Carolina ministers came as Clinton tries to widen what one recent poll showed was as much as a 10 percentage point lead in the state over Obama, an Illinois senator.

“This is just the beginning,” said state Sen. Darrell Jackson, a Columbia minister working for Clinton. Similar announcements are in the works in other regions of the state, he said.

Another state senator, Harold Mitchell, told CBS News chief White House correspondent Jim Axelrod that his heart had him backing Obama early on, but he switched to Clinton last month.

We’ve got to get away from these emotional feelings,” Mitchell said. “If you put that aside and look at the candidates… it’s a no-brainer.” [snip]

Don Fowler, a former Democratic National Committee chairman, said courting the pulpit is key for the black vote here.

“The church and individual members play an extremely important role in black politics,” Fowlers said in an interview last month.

“There’s very stiff, intense competition for the hearts and minds of the African-American clergy,” he said. “Collectively, they have huge influence.”

Hillary is increasing her lead in a state where Michelle Obama is practically living in. Hillary visited supporters in Spartanburg as well as Aiken, South Carolina yesterday:

New York Senator Hillary Clinton drew a large crowd of at least a thousand people on her presidential campaign stop. It was a very energetic crowd. On Tuesday, Senator Clinton telling them her experience in Washington at the White House and in the Senate, is what makes her the best choice for the next US President.

“It’s sort of a once in a lifetime opportunity to see her speak,” says Sandy Vogus.

She wasn’t alone. This man standing right by her side.

“Have an opportunity to meet someone I think in my belief is going to be the next President of the United States,” says Robert Lans. [snip]

“I think her plan to reestablish our stature on the world scene again. Very rational, reasonable. And I’d love to see her win,” says Van Lunans.

Hillary also appeared in Bennettsville, South Carolina:

Democratic White House hopeful Hillary Clinton said she will cut minority dropout rates in half during the next decade by spending $1 billion to identify at-risk children, get teachers into high-need areas and through early childhood education programs.

The New York senator told a group of educators at a middle school in this early voting state, which is plagued by high dropout rates, that she wanted to address the “crisis of untapped potential” that comes from students leaving school.

“A lot of our children are going to be fine. They’ve got families backing them up. They’ve got great schools and communities in their corner. But a lot of our kids need some extra mentoring and support in order to make it,” Clinton told The Associated Press in an interview after discussing her plan. “I want to start in the preschool years to give disadvantaged kids a chance to get the same benefits of readiness that we take for granted with our own kids.”

“They leave school before they have the skills that are going to give them a chance for a good job and a good standard of living and in the global economy we can’t afford that,” she said. “And the costs associated with someone who drops out of school are extraordinary because they’re eight times more likely to end up in jail or prison.” [snip]

“I’ve been to large endorsement meetings, but this was significant,” Clinton said in the interview. After the meeting, more than a dozen other pastors signed on, Clinton said. “So it’s mushrooming. So it’s not just a static number. People are hearing about it and coming on board. And that is a real vote of confidence that I appreciate,” she said.

At a later stop in front of a crowd of about 1,400, Clinton talked about health care, ending the war in Iraq and her qualifications to be the next president.

While Hillary was garnering kudos and support from African-Americans, Obama was getting brickbats from another of his increasingly unhappy supporters:

Jesse Jackson, writing in the Chicago Sun-Times today about the presidential candidates, manages not to mention the name of the candidate he’s nominally endorsed, Barack Obama.

He does have this to say:

The Democratic candidates — with the exception of John Edwards, who opened his campaign in New Orleans’ Ninth Ward and has made addressing poverty central to his campaign — have virtually ignored the plight of African Americans in this country. The catastrophic crisis that engulfs the African-American community goes without mention. No urban agenda is given priority. When thousands of African Americans marched in protest in Jena, La., not one candidate showed up.

Though his son cut a radio ad for Obama in South Carolina that cast the candidate as Jackson’s heir, a piece like this suggests that there’s just a bit of friction there.

Of course, Hillary spent the entire day (not to mention the past 35 years) addressing the needs of African-Americans specifically. Be that as it may, the Chicago Sun-Times column was not the first time Reverend Jesse Jackson has expressed unhappiness with Obama. On September 19, Jackson blasted Obama on the Jena 6 issue in an interview with the influential The State newspaper in the vitally important to Obama, South Carolina. Hillary had spoken on the Jena 6 issue earlier in the month while addressing the NAACP convention in South Carolina.

For all the Big Media/Big Blog hoopla about ‘Hillary Sinking – Obama Surging’ the facts on the ground remain the same. Hillary is still doing exceptionally well nationally and in just about every state other than Iowa.

The race in Iowa remain tight. And we intend to win Iowa.

Obama’s Domino Theory is as flawed as Eisenhower’s.

Hillary’s support is strong and is not going to dissolve. Not only does Hillary have strong support among all of the Democratic base groups, the Democratic establishment and elected officials can see Hillary’s strengths and Obama’s many weaknesses. Obama should tend to his own dominoes, like Jesse Jackson, which appear ready to fall.


117 thoughts on “The Domino Theory And The Politics of Hoopla

  1. Now these people ar arguing Brazil doesn’t support Obama. It’s as thought they’ve never heard of a publically nuetral surrogate.

  2. mj — like I said yesterday, I don’t specifically know who she supports, but it doesn’t make any sense for her to push hard one way or the other. Fundamentally, her business is DC — with associates spread over multiple campaigns, the “neutral” stance is the smart business move.

  3. It looks to me Edwards has picked up a bit steam in NH, which is good news.

    I certainly hope he’s not going to withdraw after losing Iowa…

    If the race in NH remains among Hillary, Obama, Edwards and Richardson after IA caucuses, Hillary will win no matter what happens in Iowa. A win in NH will make her almost unstoppable. The following two races in NV and MI are almost a given if she wins NH, which then will lead to a win in SC.

  4. If Huckabee pulls out an upset in Iowa, which looks more likely everyday, Hillary’s chance in NH will improve further. The reason is simple, right now Romney is favored to win NH, but if Huckabee deals a death blow to him in Iowa, independents will be more interested in participating a competitive GOP race, which leaves democratic primary with hardcore dems. Hillary definitely has an edge among those voters in NH.

    The independents are wild card, they can play spoilers for both parties.

  5. btw,

    i’ll try to have a bit more conversations with those Iowans tonight on line, and will report back … Should be interesting.

  6. We’ve been here before — remember the Gallup poll that essentially had a tied race nationally?

    I don’t mind all of the Oprah hoopla and the publicity surrounding Obama’s increasing hubris. Right now, the most important folks in IA are the large number of undecideds (this includes the pushed leaners in WashPo/ABC) and if the past is any indication, they don’t go for celebrity candidates. If they land up breaking for the more ‘statesmenlike’ choices like Biden, Richardson, it’s a win for us.

  7. We need to keep driving this point home.

    “Voters will have to decide whether Senator Obama, who served in the Illinois State Senate just three years ago and would have less experience than any President since World War II, has the strength and experience to be the next president. “

  8. Funny how this isn’t getting much play:

    Ofcourse, everyone reading this site knows full well that this is only another example of Obama’s long-standing practice of running a dirty campaign – replete with lies, slinging mud, and doing ANYTHING to anyone whom he sees to stand in his way.

    The truth about Obama conflicts with the rosy narrative Big Media settled on without examination in January, and now, because of sheer incompetence, once Big Media has decided on how to report a story they just keep reporting it that way despite any amount of information that contradicts their story-line.

  9. aNewDeal, the MSM is going out of its way to portray Obama as a gentle little lamb. They will readily jumped on anything Hillary says, while giving Obama a pass.

    It’s really quite frustrating.

  10. LOL ADMIN,

    This has to be one of your greatest lines to dati le “Obama supporters parade and trumpet this crackpot theory with all the sublety of a hoochie-koochie dancer in a traveling carnival.”

    I just love this website!!!!

  11. NewsTrack/Entertainment/2007/11/27/

    Hillary a fan of ‘Dancing with the Stars’

    ..Clinton, a New York Democratic senator, told TV Guide she also likes HGTV makeover shows, “Grey’s Anatomy” and “American Idol,” but revealed her all-time favorite is “The Ed Sullivan Show,” The Drudge Report said.

    🙂 LOL

  12. i agree with 1938, that your picture of obama as a carnaval act is good…

    i would add that, obama is somewhat dangerous as a cult figure.
    if my child was becoming indoctrinated by the obama movement, i would have a reason to fear. rather than resembling a candidate for president, he seems to think he has a mission. like jim jones..

    oh he is more like o’ vader…
    and hillary is the force… 🙂

  13. hi all, if anyone reading this is going to be at the debates/forums this weekend, please ask all the candidates whether or not they believe in the scientific method and whether or not they think evolution is valid enough to teach in our schools. this is very important…..the gop candidates were asked this and i think all the dems need to be asked as well. i am running into a lot of obama supporters who believe in intelligent design rather than evolution, which is totally absolutely ridiculous, among democrats…

  14. Sorry, I just can’t quote Wonkette! this time, but do go read what she writes about Obama’s comments about Iowans. The title below says it all.

  15. This is NOT an endorsement in any way of Rush Limbaugh, but he has the funniest Breck Girl pic of JE … good for a chuckle.

  16. It’s awfully quiet on the political front today. Is is because the MSM doesn’t want any stories interfering with the Republican debate tonight?

  17. I love that the Clinton campaign continues to hammer home the fact that Obama’s health plan leaves 15 million Americans uninsured. Lather. Rinse. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat…

  18. Yup, Berkeley Vox. It is all over her site now. It is on hillaryhub, factshub, newsroom. She is doing a fullcourt press on Obama on healthcare. He picked a wrong issue (SS) to go at her and it backfired.

  19. LOL, ADMIN. I passed a old schoolbus on the road the other day only it was painted up with all kinda colors and somebody had written “circus bus” on it. Your words today made me laugh cause it made me wonder if some other entourages were ridin’ around here. Only I’m nowhere near Iowa.

    Thanks, though, for the excellent information about the African American ministers who are returning to Hillary’s camp, or declaring them in Hillary’s camp for the first time. Anybody who doesn’t believe that Hillary is the candidate for all the people needs to go to a TEAMHILLARY training.

    The endorsement of First Lady Lynch is wonderful news, and what a great video. A true tribute to the Hillary we know–those of us who’ve known her since the early days.

  20. Also, this:

    Limiting Premium Payments to a Percentage of Income: This credit will ensure that
    securing quality health care is never a crushing burden for any working family. This
    guarantee will be achieved through a premium affordability tax credit that ensures that
    health premiums never rise above a certain percentage of family income. The tax credit will
    be indexed over time, and designed to maintain consumer price consciousness in
    choosing health plans, even for those who reach the percentage of income limit.

    He doesn’t have that.

  21. Yep so glad for hillary…she needs to do full court and put him right in the basket the wrong basket.
    Since Cnn and everyone else wants the truth and this is a critcal issue for Americans which Americans want Health Care.,and Out of those 15 million I would rather not be one of them.wrong issue to taunt her with just like Social Security..she knows her stuff..freakin Smart.Im glad the differences she is pointing out and she needs some press now..

    (An Off-Broadway Comedy)
    CAST . . . . .
    Trojan Horse: Senator Barack Obama (aka Barry)
    Stage Mother: Oprah Winfrey (in sequim gown)
    Mudslingers: Michelle, Burton, Breckboy, et. al.
    Media Whores: Matthews, Pumpkin Head, GSC
    Script: Ripublican Playbook (Atwater’s Ghost)
    Co-Directors: Oprah, Axelrod, Lake (neocon)
    Co-Producers: Turd Blossom, Rezko, Il Lobbyists

  23. Heavens to Betsy – there is all sorts of booing and applause at the Ripublican debate. Tim Russert must be clucking in disgust. The finger bowl set is having the vapors.

  24. Mj…yep i think he is to winning so far..Huckabee .get rid of the irs..there is alott of audits going on so he might just creep up there

  25. admin, the audience wants the troops home to,as mccain got booed,then they applause him,does this mean that they are messed up on like the conservative issues and so forth…

  26. Tancredo’s video was all about Hillary and now McCain’s is all about Hillary. It’s always good to see Hillary.

  27. yeah there getting boring they go backwards instread of future especially mccain..this debate is stupid…its all about backwards nothing forward …we wont move anywhere with these * republicans in a office all stays the same.

    mj i hope she gets them idiots…overtuning roe vs.wade…

  28. I cannot watch this Ripublican debate without thinking how out of touch they are with the country and the world.

    I am deeply troubled that six of them would take a pledge to neocon Grover Norquist not to raise taxes, when the problem we are facing today is excessive debt. Needs do not go away.

    I am equally troubled that they want to shrink the size of government, but expand the use of private contractors. If US goverment soldiers get 30k ,and Blackwater soldiers make 100k, the problem becomes obvious.

    They have nothing to sell the American People in a time of seismic economic change, except for more of the hair of the dog that bit them, and if you press them, they always fall back on Reagan.

    They are truly the party of George W. Bush, with the obvious exception of Ron Paul.

  29. You’re right WB, they are way out of touch. I guess it’s “good” to watch them every once in a while just to remember who they are…they have not changed. Did the environment even get mentioned? I didn’t hear all of the questions… There were some enlightenin’ exchanges. The person who “worries” me the most up there is Romney. THe ones that worry me the least are the ones who are at least somewhat authentic. Romney comes across as a double talkin’ phoney.

    On another topic, I like the new version of the Trojan Horse, wb. I can’t wait to see the folks jumpin’ outta the horse! I’ll help ya sell tickets. And it gave me a much needed laugh.

  30. Angus Reid Global Monitor : Polls & Research
    Democrats 2008: Hillary 47%, Obama 18%
    November 28, 2007
    (Angus Reid Global Monitor) – Hillary Rodham Clinton remains the frontrunner in the race for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination in the United States, according to a poll by YouGov/Polimetrix released by The Economist. 47 per cent of respondents would vote for the New York senator in a 2008 primary.

    Illinois senator Barack Obama is second with 18 per cent, followed by former North Carolina senator John Edwards with 16 per cent. Support is lower for Delaware senator Joe Biden, New Mexico governor Bill Richardson, Ohio congressman Dennis Kucinich, and Connecticut senator Chris Dodd.

    Polling Data

    If the 2008 Democratic presidential primary or caucus in your state were being held today, for which of the following candidates would you vote?

    Nov. 20 Nov. 13 Nov. 6

    Hillary Rodham Clinton 47% 45% 43%

    Barack Obama 18% 23% 24%

    John Edwards 16% 15% 15%

    Joe Biden 4% 2% 2%

    Bill Richardson 3% 5% 4%

    Dennis Kucinich 2% — —

    Chris Dodd 1% — 1%

    Mike Gravel — 1% —

    Other 1% 1% 1%

    Would not vote 1% 1% 1%

    None of these 1% 1% —

    Not sure 8% 6% 7%

    Source: YouGov/Polimetrix / The Economist
    Methodology: Online interviews with 343 likely Democratic primary voters, conducted on Nov. 19 and Nov. 20, 2007. No margin of error was provided.

  31. Per Salon:

    Iowa roundup: A pox on the polls
    Since this is National Leftovers Weekend, I am taking advantage of a last lull in the campaign calendar (until buyer’s remorse sets in come early February, when we have presumptive nominees in both parties) to sweep the cutting-room floor after my recent reporting trip to Iowa:

    I am planning to etch this phrase over the screen on my new laptop computer: “Remember, despite the evidence to the contrary, somebody has to win the Republican nomination.”

    The rise of Mike Huckabee in Iowa, even though it may prove evanescent, offers a cautionary lesson to reporters (myself included) about the dangers of overhyping the importance of fundraising prowess. Through the end of September, Huckabee had collected only $2.3 million, mostly from small change found under sofa cushions in his office. Mitt Romney, in contrast, had raked in $62.8 million and has the capacity to lend himself, say, an additional $25 million for the final push. Yet the two former governors appear to be running neck-and-neck in Iowa.

    It is within the realm of possibility that the victors in the first two GOP contests could be the major candidates with the smallest current bank accounts — Huckabee in Iowa and the once free-spending, but now impoverished John McCain in New Hampshire. While by then Huckabee and McCain may be reduced to traveling by pogo stick rather than chartered jet, both candidates have the sense of humor and the knack for candor needed to dominate the post-New Hampshire news coverage or, as it is known in campaign lingo, the “free media.” And, in presidential politics, positive news stories about intriguing candidates winning upset victories usually trump 30-second television ads.

    I remain a major-league skeptic about Iowa polling for a simple reason: No one knows exactly who will attend the Jan. 3 caucuses, which are being held this close to the holidays for the first time in history. An adroit pollster may paint an accurate portrait of sentiments of the larger universe of Iowa Democratic (or Republican) voters, but miss completely in guessing which of these voters will make the commitment to turn out on a cold Thursday night (there is no absentee voting at a caucus) to put their thumbs on the scale of presidential politics.

    Every time I read an Iowa poll — such as the overhyped ABC News/Washington Post survey that vaulted Barack Obama into the lead — I think of voters like the petite 75-year-old woman wearing a dark blue dress whom I met at a Hillary Clinton rally Monday night in Tama. The woman in blue, who did not want her name used, talked about how she has been scrupulously studying the candidates and the issues to become an informed voter. But when I inquired whether she intended to caucus for Hillary, her chosen favorite, the Tama woman asked in a puzzled voice, “Where would I go to do that?” My guess is that she will not leave her home on the night of Jan. 3. But the Clinton campaign — which recently put together an amusing online instructional video about how “being married is hard … but caucusing is easy” — may be well organized enough to lure her to participate for the first time in her life.

    But if you were a pollster, would you count her as a likely caucusgoer in an Iowa survey? A strong argument against including her stems from her ignorance about caucus procedures and her lack of prior caucus activity. But this is a year when three Democratic campaigns in Iowa (Clinton, Obama and John Edwards) appear to have the organizational muscle to turn out marginal voters like the woman in blue from Tama — and a poll that excludes too many of these possible first-time caucusgoers could be as inaccurate as a survey that includes too many nonparticipants.

    Card counting has become my favorite nonscientific method to try to gauge whether the Iowans who come out to hear a candidate are window shoppers or committed partisans. To give away my patented trade secret, all I do is stand by an exit at the conclusion of a candidate’s speech and calculate what percentage of the crowd fills out caucus cards pledging their troth on Jan. 3.

    At Excelsior Middle School in Marion last Sunday, Karen Wohlleben, a staffer from Obama’s nearby Cedar Rapids office, called out hopefully, “You need to get a caucus card signed?” Even though Obama had just spoken to more than 500 Iowa Democrats, Wohlleben’s cheerful sales pitch fell flat. By my reckoning, only 21 of the 192 exiting adults who walked by Wohlleben filled out a caucus card or gave a convincing indication that they had already signed up with the campaign. In contrast, Hillary Clinton generated about a 40 percent caucus card rate the next night in Tama.

    Is this crude, seat-of-the-pants method the Rosetta Stone for interpreting the caucuses? Of course not. But neither is slavishly overreacting to every gyration in the Iowa polls. Six weeks before the 2004 Iowa caucuses, the respected Pew Research Center released a poll of likely caucusgoers that featured Howard Dean leading with 29 percent and Dick Gephardt second with 21 percent. John Kerry was limping along in third place with 18 percent, while John Edwards came in at a woeful 5 percent. The final 2004 caucus results: Kerry 38 percent, Edwards 32 percent, Dean 18 percent, Gephardt 11 percent.

    The 2008 Iowa caucuses — in case you have not grasped the moral — are now six weeks (minus two days) away.

  32. I again had some conversation with a handful Iowans tonight. It’s a very limited sample, but I really don’t get the impression Obama is standing really as high as the polls are saying. Many are still undecided, but none is particularly impressed with Obama. They surprinsgly mentioned Edwards a couple of times.

  33. The race in Iowa is so fluid. I have a strange feeling that in the final weeks this race may actually come down between Edwards and Clinton…

  34. What was the comment by Anderson Cooper and the others about one of the questioners being part of a Hillary gay/lesbian group? It sounded like an attempt to smear Hillary. Cooper was startled by it..

  35. admin,

    cnn is saying that the gay general from santa rosa ca, who asked about gays in the army, actually is an zone advisor, (whatever that is) to clinton, and that they need to investigate and see if he was a plant…
    so that will be tomorrows story out of the debate.

  36. Oh my gosh, one of the undecided voters said she probably would vote for Edwards! Another person didn’t seem convinced that any could beat Hillary. That was unexpected….

  37. CJ, are you kidding? That is too funny. CBS officially cancelled the debate tonight. Maybe now it will be back on. Weird.

    AmericanGal, darn it, we missed that undecided voter who likes Dems.

    United12, Loony tunes Bill Bennett said he was getting emails saying the man who asked the gays in the military question was on Hillary GLBT steering group, but it has not been confirmed. Have you heard it was confirmed?

    MP that poll is interesting. It shows Hillary going up and up – to 47%

    Kostner, that article from Salon is also very informative. Your conversations are interesting anecdotes and jibe with the Salon article.

    Hillary gets beaten up by everyone in sight and she keeps on ticking. She is our pink energizer bunny.

  38. admin:

    It still won’t be back on. That is because the NYtimes article you posted said that even if the scriptwriters strike ended there was a possibility of some other writers strike looming.

  39. mp — the MOE on that poll is 5.4%

    kostner — one week before the caucuses, Dean was still in the poll lead.


    drinks on me k?

    by the way, when the gay guy asked about gays serving openly, i wanted someone to say: ‘OH NO,. REPUBLICANS ONLY BELIEVE IN BEING GAY WHEN THEY DONT TELL AND DONT ASK…


  41. I kinda doubt if the guy was an actual plant but just thinking about it makes me laugh. What a stroke of genius to have a Hillary supporter shake everyone up at the Republican debate–of course, it will be twisted into some evil plot by the MSM.

  42. I’m just amazed how many people among gay community don’t even know Obama’s anti-gay tricks. Just talked to an Iowan who had good impression of Obama. I then linked him the article of Obama’s anti-gay trick in SC. He then immediately told me Obama’s name was forever off his list. Unfortunately this guy won’t be able to caucus due to scheduling conflict.

    National media are trying everything possible to hide Obama’s dirt.

  43. This is what this guy told me:

    I won’t be because of
    scheduling but I read the article you
    sent me and it definately changed my
    view on Obama- he is definately not on
    my list now

  44. Two new InsiderAdvantage/Majority Opinion statewide surveys of registered Republicans in Iowa and Florida (conducted 11/28) finds:

    Among 1,035 Republicans in Iowa, 32% believe former Gov. Mike Huckabee won tonight’s Republican debate; former Gov. Mitt Romney gets 16%, former Mayor Rudy Giuliani 12%, Sen. John McCain 10%, former Sen. Fred Thompson 7%, Rep. Ron Paul 6%.
    Among 341 Republicans in Florida, 44% believe Huckabee won the debate; Giuliani gets 18%, Romney 13%, McCain 10%, Thompson 5%.
    All other candidates receive less than five percent each.
    More on InsiderAdvantage’s methodology for their Florida survey can be found here.

  45. Koster, we are obviously going to need a list of every gay bar, restaurant, theater group, social group, work associations, Pride organizations, straight/gay alliances in High Schools, GLBT groups on college campuses, political organization, church group, online forum, anything in anyway gay related in Iowa.

    If your information is accurate that the McClurkin story is not well known in the gay community, that will have to be remedied. Maybe it is time for a road trip for gay activists from other states to clue in Iowa brothers and sisters.

  46. kostner, this article is really good:

    (remove spaces)
    http:// direland. typepad. com/ direland/ 2007/11/ obamas-anti-gay. html

    Obama also had Mary Mary on that tour who has publicly compared Gays to Muderers and Prostitutes.

  47. Well, I guess MSNBC should’ve vetted their questioners a little bit better, then, right? How do we know that they didn’t select him in an effort to set up the Clinton campaign yet again? Besides, it is a question that should be asked…it doesn’t matter who the questioner is? If they don’t feel comfortable asking it now they best get used to it by the general election. I believe that one reason Oprah is campaigning for Obama has to do in part for the SC gospel crap. There’s a school of thought that sees Oprah as pretty homophobic and heterosexist and I think there’s some merit to that argument.

  48. Kostner, here is a good article:

    http : // direland . typepad . com / direland / 2007/ 11 / obamas-anti-gay . html

    Did you know Mary Mary was in that “faith” tour and she has publicly compared gays to murderers and prostitutes?

    I can’t believe MSM largely sucessfully suceeded in covering this up with Obama’s usual shit.

  49. Dodd submitted his own question. Even if this guy supports Hill, so? I don’t think she asked him to submit that question, but he’s entitled to participate.

  50. Blazing Saddle

    416 E. 5th St.

    Des Moines, Iowa 50309 [ view map ]

    (515) 246-1299

    Club Basix

    3916 1st Ave.

    Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52402 [ view map ]

    (319) 363-3194

    These are the 8 gay bars I found in Iowa? I hope it helps!

    Frat House
    508 Clifton
    Des Moines, Iowa 50315 [ view map ]
    (515) 284-1074

    112 SE 4th St.
    Des Moines, Iowa 50309 [ view map ]
    (515) 243-3965

    Iowa City – Studio 13
    13 South Linn Street
    Iowa City, Iowa 52242 [ view map ]
    (319) 3387145

    Jones Street Station
    412 Jones Street
    Sioux City, Iowa 51104 [ view map ]
    (712) 258-6922

    822 W. 2nd St
    Davenport, Iowa 52803 [ view map ]
    (563) 324-9675

  51. thats alott for gay bars..omg they all should cacus for hillary get some signs in there there msj lol..give em the story on bo.

  52. HEY, since there are phone numbers here…can we just call those gay clubs/bars? lol I kinda don’t want to go…considering I’m a 17-year-old guy and all =-X

  53. So the gay guy who asked about gays in the military supports Hill and got his question through, what’s the controversy.

  54. You know, mj, there shouldnt be any controversy. He was speaking from his own life experience and expertise. He sure didn’t need anybody to write a question for him (I am not suggestin’ that somebody wrote it for him…I am sure he wrote it himself). This is an issue that democrats have spoken to and voters are entitled to know how ripugs feel. They also had questioners who clearly had biases in favor of certain candidates like mr. no taxes.

  55. I’m sure everyone who sends a YouTube question supports somebody.

    But, that won’t stop the Georgetown Social Club from making this into a big scandal against Hillary…vastly outstripping the importance of hiring a mob-connected lackey as Police Commissioner of NYC.

  56. cj, mj, the page 2008 Primary Calendar on the left hand column has a list of all the debates coming up as well as the up to date primary calendar.

  57. I am trying, but a lot of people don’t know still about the Mcclurkin thing here in IC and Studio 13 is huge. We have a high, if not the highest, gay population in Iowa here in IC.

  58. That’s quite a few gay bars for little Iowa. If they get all their patrons and friends out to caucus they can really change things.

  59. it’s not just mcClurkin. Obama had Mary Mary…a duo known well for their comparisons of gays to Murderers and Prostitutes.

  60. celiff,

    Many of these people are not politically active. If MSM does not report this story, how do you expect them to know it? It’s just amazing that I can turn a few Iowans immediately against Obama by just linking some articles…

  61. I suspect if those Iowa farmers have caught up Obama’s slur against them, they will also immediately write him off the list.

  62. HWC, I wouldn’t worry about that. Unlike the Edwards plant at the Clinton event(come on, she was an Edwards or Obama supporter), they will ask this guy, an I am sure he’ll say he did this on his own. It seems pretty normal, as you say they all support someone, and the guy was a gay general, it was an extremely appropriate question. I thought tonight I should have submitted a question about women’s rights, now would I have been considered a plant?

  63. admin i see em now be in those bars ,or when they came out,if i lived there im older lol..and a woman..or get one of them to do some talking in them and cacus for hillary that would really really big a big help to her…..there isnt nothing wrong about that,im sure they dont know about mcclurkin..and gay guys are nice…i have cousin one in the family he as normal as could be except he likes men..oh well to eachs own.

  64. Celiff, is there a way to speak with management to get them information? Also, informative leaflets should be posted on any bulletin boards available for community events.

    BTW, bars are great for leafleting and organzing at all hours. Bars are even good to have leafletters at during Christmas and Obviously New Years celebrations. The social atmosphere in bars is also good for getting information out and getting whole groups signing up on caucus cards. There should be an organized group to visit all the gay bars in Iowa on a near nightly basis.

  65. Imagine if some gay Iowans went to Oprah’s events for Obama and asked her to comment on McClurkin and her silence and Obama’s silence.

  66. That is true. Our office in Iowa City has by-far the most gay guys working in it than any other candidate. We have at least 5. We also have a supporter on the GLBTAU exec board and she is so nice. I will check into that tomorrow, and I am going to ask some people at home in Davenport to do the same (; Hopefully we get a good surrogate to come to town and help us boost support. I heard through the Hillary grapevine that she may be coming to the area soon (:

  67. admin,

    I would love to hear their answers to some serious questions, but I doubt there will be a question and answer period – especially with the great and powerful Oprah!

  68. Obama wants good publicity from the Oprah tour. He will have to make Oprah available to the press fanclub in order to keep them happy. If not, there will be less coverage of Oprah from the glum press corps and Obama does not want that.

  69. Mollyrichards: Thanks for the plug, but I don’t think the production will survive much longer.

    In any event, here is Barry’s patter song when Stage Mother berates him on the question of experience:

    Now landsmen all whoever you may be
    If you want to rise to the top of the tree
    If your soul isn’t fettered to an office stool
    Be careful to be guided by this golden rule:

    Stick close to your desk and never go to sea
    And you all may be Rulers of the Queen’s Navy

    (courtesy of Gilbert & Sullivan)

  70. I am very impressed with the work we are doing in Iowa as reported in todays diaries. We are working hard to get the message out.

    The Salon article puts the caucus system in perspective. Polling is uncertain, and voter turn-out is more challenging. I assume we have a good mail ballot strategy in place for those who do not caucus.


  71. I just realized, as I have started to explain caucuses to NV voters, that it is an absolutely inappropriate system.

    In a small town where you can virtually close down for a couple of hours while you vote and barter and take care of town business before you go on your way, it could work.

    But in a large city, it is discriminatory to some workers, students, travelers, the elderly and the disabled.

    Here in NV, I just found out,

    1. employers do not have to give you any time off to vote — as they do in the GE.
    2. absentee voting is disallowed.
    3. there is about a 30 min window to show up. If you miss that, you cannot participate.

    Good news: you can register at the caucus
    OTOH, I don’t know how much checking they can do to see if you’re out of state or otherwise unentitled.

    Other good news — it’s on a Saturday
    Bad news — Saturday is a busy day in a tourist city.

    I’m looking for a few good politicians who will fix this and many other election problems, like having to register months in adance, and of course, counting the votes properly.

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