With only 28 days left until the Iowa caucuses it’s time to take the Merry-Go-Round and review some items of news and provide helpful hints on how to cope with the thrill packed month ahead.
While Iowans get to vote on January 3, 2008, absentee voting in New Hampshire begins next week. In the big February 5 states with absentee voting, such as California, absentee voting starts on January 5. So get ready to vote where ever you are.
Many Hillary supporters are new to the rough punches of presidential politics. Many Hillary supporters are getting themselves sick as they watch Big Media follow Tim Russert’s lead and attack Hillary while placing Obama on all the news magazine covers, pumping up Obama efforts like fluffers in the porn industry, making silly exaggerations of Hillary weakness, and of course talking magic at the mere mention of Oprah.
If you find yourself getting sick or in a constant state of outrage, take a walk. Calm down. Unplug the computer. Unplug the TV. If you find that taking a walk and unplugging the computer and TV merely adds to your anxiety because you feel disconnected and helpless, then try exercise. When watching Chris Matthews a treadmill or NordicTrack is necessary. Jumping jacks or push ups also help when watching haters like Matthews. You’ll discover that you are exercising at a heightened pace when watching these know-nothings. The only danger to this therapy is you might become musclebound.
Also don’t overreact when you hear “bad” news. Usually what you are hearing is gross exaggerations and outright spin. Read the source material not what the “reporter” says about the source material.
Remember Big Blogs are echo chambers. They influence very few. The only ones who read Big Blogs seriously are “reporters” who use comments on the Big Blogs to push a narrative the “reporters” want to push. If you see five “diaries” on the same Hillary Hate topic on DailyKooks, realize Kooks need to entertain themselves. Don’t feel overwhelmed and helpless. Instead of DailyKooks, take a walk to your nearest Chock Full O’Nuts vendor.
For a good laugh, Hillary Hater extraordinaire Dick Morris is usually reliable. For instance, Dick Morris’ latest article reaffirms his belief that Hillary has the Democratic nomination locked up. Morris thinks Hillary will lose Iowa and New Hampshire but will still get the nomination. We agree Hillary will get the nomination but have to chuckle at Morris’ attempt to convince the Hillary Team that losing Iowa and New Hampshire should be a goal.
There is only one way for Hillary to shift the focus onto Obama or John Edwards: lose. By losing in Iowa and New Hampshire, she makes the key question not her veracity but Obama’s or Edwards’s ability to win. Democrats are going to be reluctant to nominate someone they know so little about as Obama and will wonder if the nation is ready for an African-American candidate (it is) or for a man who has been senator for 104 weeks before running for president (it’s not). They will also wonder about nominating Edwards, who lost twice in 2004. When the question becomes viability, not credibility, Hillary is in a league of her own with her ability to bring new female voters to the polls. [snip]
But recover they both likely will. Remember how Gary Hart beat Mondale in New Hampshire in 1984 and Mondale came back to win? And how Paul Tsongas beat Clinton there in 1992 and Clinton eventually won? And how McCain defeated Bush in New Hampshire in 2000 but how Bush came back to win? Different year. New candidates. Same deal.
Play a game with yourself. Compare the genuine come-from-behind Huckabee campaign with Obama’s campaign. Huckabee from nowhere is now leading the Ripublicans in Iowa and nationally. Obama? Tight race in Iowa but way behind nationally and pretty much everywhere else. Check the polls on the right hand column of this website. Find and compare how many states Hillary is at or over 50% and how many states Obama is at or over 50%. [Hint: Obama 0]
Check our smart comments section for accurate poll analysis. The past few days there have been many polls. Several polls from Iowa and several from New Hampshire. The Obama campaign is still spinning that they will win Iowa then snowball into New Hampshire, then snowball into South Carolina (they always leave out Nevada and Michigan) then snowball the February 5 states then snowball some more. The Obama campaign loves snowballs. They should read Dick Morris and find out snowballs melt.
As we suggested, read the recent polls in the right hand column. Look at the numbers. Read the analysis. Hillary is doing well in most of the recent Iowa polls and in all of the New Hampshire polls. And remember, only in Iowa and New Hampshire where Hillary is being savaged by Ripublican ads and Democratic attacks are her numbers anywhere near soft. In Obama’s must win state of South Carolina Hillary is in the high 40s (45% on December 3). Florida has Hillary at 53%. Hillary at 43% in Pennsylvania (Obama 15%, Edwards in single digits). Pretty much the same thing in Ohio. A Florida type blowout in California for Hillary.
The latest unhappy, negative poll for Hillary once again is an ABC News/Washington post poll. This time the poll is from New Hampshire. This one shows Hillary at 35%, Obama at 29%, Edwards at 17%. (Marist poll of New Hampshire has Hillary at 37%, Obama at 24%, Edwards at 18% and Richardson at 8%). While this poll is much different than others which show Hillary stronger, even this poll has good Hillary news.
The ABC/WP New Hampshire poll questioned a very high number of Independents. Looks like the Democrats, which are the big group to vote in New Hampshire were undersampled. Some Big Media analysis of this “bad” Hillary poll:
The latest ABC News/Washington Post poll in New Hampshire shows Sen. Hillary Clinton leading the Democratic presidential race with 35% support, followed by Sen. Barack Obama at 29%, John Edwards at 17% and Gov. Bill Richardson at 10%.
Key finding: “Clinton’s lead in New Hampshire inches up in lower-turnout scenarios, suggesting her support is more reliable. Moreover, among those who’ve definitely decided on their candidate, she leads Obama by a wide 43% to 28%; and among the most enthusiastic likely voters she leads him by 45% to 24%.
Lynn Sweet of the Chicago Sun-Times provides some fun history on some of the staffers helping Hillary this year; it’s almost laugh out loud funny:
Obama’s present votes were used against him when he ran for U.S. Senate in the 2004 Democratic Illinois primary, in one of the few negative hits aimed at him in that contest.
The 2004 Illinois senate candidate who publicly pushed the present vote issue the hardest was Blair Hull. Clinton’s deputy campaign manager is Mike Henry, who managed Hull’s Illinois campaign. [snip]
Henry, back in 2004, when he was working for Hull, orchestrated a series of mailings to Illinois voters which referenced the Obama present votes on abortion with a picture of a duck and “He ducked” in the headline. The mailings came out just before the March, 2004 Illinois primary so they would be hard to rebut. By the time the mailings came out, Mo Elleithee, a one-time Hull campaign spokesman –had already left the Hull campaign. I mention this because Elleithee is now Clinton’s chief Iowa spokesman. [snip]
Hull had a series of mailings on the “ducked” vote micro-targeting to several audiences and another candidate, Cook County Treasurer Maria Pappas is quoted as bringing it up at least once. By and large, the Illinois reporters covering the 2004 senate race never played up the Obama present votes.
Why would the Clinton campaign think it can stick?
*Hull used it late in the race—days before the vote–when he was already sinking because the allegations of spousal abuse had surfaced. Hull was already out of contention.
*Hull was the wrong messenger…think spousal abuse.
*Clinton brought it out a month before the Jan. 3 Iowa caucus. And she will have more validators to repeat the message.
*The races—2004 and 2008 are fundamentally different.
We also are very happy that Hillary Challenged Wall Street on the Housing Crisis yesterday. Good going.
A Christmas Miracle (almost) occurred yesterday when Paul Krugman took a New York Times reporter, the reprehensible Katharine Q. “Kit” Seelye, to the woodshed. Rarely does one Big Media type criticize another Big Media type. Daily Howler will probably be howling in laughter today. “Kit” has done some of the worse reporting in our elections and it appears nothing has changed. Krugman yesterday called her “fact checking” nonsense out.
I have a lot of problems with this Kit Seelye piece. It’s kind of weird that the usual “both sides may have a point” reporting gave way to a clear declaration that one side is right — precisely on an issue where many, many health experts believe that Obama is wrong, and that mandates are both feasible and essential. Much better coverage of the issue, I’m sorry to say, in the Murdoch news.
But this takes the cake:
Joseph Antos, a health policy expert at the American Enterprise Institute, a nonpartisan group.
Is it really possible for a veteran reporter to believe that AEI is nonpartisan? Not even a qualifier, like “right-leaning” or “free-market-oriented”?
Clinton has received strong support from major unions representing more than 4 million working families nationwide. Her endorsements include the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union; International Associations of Machinists and Aerospace Workers; Transportation Communications Union; National Association of Letter Carriers; International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers; American Federation of Teachers; the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees; Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers; and the Amalgamated Transit Union.
Did we mention Bobby Kennedy, Jr. and Jacqueline Jackson, wife of the Reverend Jesse Jackson – also endorsed Hillary?
Clinton leads the Democratic race here with 27%, followed closely by Barack Obama of Illinois at 24% and John Edwards of North Carolina with 21%. There has been very little movement in the Democratic race here since last month, as the front–runners essentially stood still and two lower–tier candidates – Senator Joe Biden of Delaware and Congressman Dennis Kucinich of Ohio – gained two points each.
Since last month, however, Clinton was able to solidify her standing among some likely caucus–goers by increasing the number of people who said she would be their second choice. This is a critical factor in the Democratic caucus in Iowa. In the caucuses, a first round of “balloting” is conducted, and those candidates who do not win at least 15% support are ruled “unviable” and supporters are directed to a second choice among those who remained “viable” before a second round of “balloting” is conducted.
Last month, Obama and Edwards were much more preferred as a second choice among those candidates who appear to be unviable under Democratic caucus rules. Clinton appears to be gaining ground among those who might consider experience to be an important factor in choosing a nominee – she wins the lion’s share of support among those who make Biden their first choice, and she does well among those who would first choose New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson.
And Taylor Marsch comments on the ugly attacks Hillary is facing from Ripublicans – this time in Iowa. Ripublicans have been running advertisments against Hillary, aided and abetted by Obama/Edwards in New Hampshire. The latest ugliness is now in Iowa.
There is so much hate email hitting Iowans and other primary voters you wouldn’t even believe it. Most people don’t come into contact with what’s being directed at Hillary, which I’ve confirmed, emails that are so much worse than what are hitting other candidates. I offer this post to give people a clue at just how vile the hate email is towards Clinton. It surpasses anything I’ve seen targeting other Democrats. …Also remember he’s not the only one targeting Clinton.
We also hope you did not miss our December 4 Hillary Headline (always on the right hand side column of this Big Pink site). So much for Obama’s South Carolina dreams:
“But Clinton has a higher approval rating among blacks nationwide than does Obama, according to a poll released a few days ago by the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies. That suggests it’s possible Obama could win in Iowa and New Hampshire only to see his bid for the Democratic presidential nomination run aground when voters go to the polls in states with sizeable black populations — such as South Carolina, Mississippi, Georgia, Florida, Michigan, Alabama and New York.
In the Joint Center poll, conducted for AARP, Clinton had a 83 percent favorable rating among blacks. Just 9.7 percent of blacks viewed her unfavorably. Obama had a favorable rating of 74.4 percent, and was rated “unfavorable” by 10.1 percent of blacks likely to vote in the presidential primaries, according to the Washington-based think tank.
While these findings may surprise a lot of people outside the political mainstream, they were well known to the Obama camp even before the Joint Center’s findings were published. For weeks now, Obama and a tight circle of his supporters have been trying to figure out how to win over black voters, who ought to be his core constituency. Instead of giving Obama the kind of backing they gave Jesse Jackson in his two attempts to win the Democratic presidential nomination, many black voters are casting their lot with Clinton. Clinton’s backers say those voters believe she’s the best Democrat for the job.
Oprah has a job on her hands.
Finally, one last suggestion. For the very frustrated, keep a big jar near your computer and TV. Whenever you hear something from Big Media or Big Blogs that makes your blood boil drop a few dollars into the jar. Then donate the contents to Hillary’s campaign. If you’re a student or poor put coins in the jar.
But the absolutely best therapy against Hillary Haters and frustration is ACTION. Texan4Hillary (A.K.A. Art) is taking action as are many others. Like Hillary, Art is Texas Tough.
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Texan4Hillary (A.K.A. – Art) sent in this Report From Texas.
On November 28th a great small dollar fundraising event was hosted by Hillary’s National Co-Chair Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee. The maximum number of folks attended – over 500! The attendees represented the Democratic Party. A large number of young and older women came. Many African-Americans, Hispanics, Asian-Americans, members of the GLBT community, Christians and non-Chrisitians, and even some children attended. It was not a crowd of elites but the real core of America – the middle class.
Hillary’s speech was touching. She discussed the Iraq War and our need to begin prudently removing our troops from that country. Hillary went in depth into her healthcare policy, stating her’s is universal healthcare . Not one American will be left out. No one can fall through the cracks. You can choose another plan if you do not like yours or keep your current plan. Tax credits would be used to sharply reduce what you pay in premiums. If you do not join a plan and have no insurance, then when you go to the emergency room for care you would be auto-enrolled into a Medicare like plan.
Better yet, government plans would compete against private insurance. Drugs prices would be controlled. Medical records would be all put into a national electronic database, saving time and money for the medical system and for us.
She also discussed education. Hillary said it was time to restore neighborhood schools. “A child’s first school is like a family for him or her.” Those schools need to be fortified and be made as safe as possible. We need less state tests and more teaching.
Hillary was calm and confident. This is something we Hillary supporters are used to and value as a virtue. She, as usual, treated everyone there as they should be – equals and with dignity. It did not matter if you donated 2,000 dollars or nothing you were the same. No one was excluded.
Hillary always treats her volunteers with upmost love and respect. After the main event she had us brought into another room to meet her! I have done extrodinary amounts of work for Hillary over the months from organizing Team Hillary across Houston to making sure folks are informed about Hillary and her opponents. Jackson Lee and Hillary recognized me for that. Hillary gave me a hug and I got a picture taken with her. She told me how much I am valued to her effort and that I’m her “new friend.”
I am so proud to be included in this effort by Congresswoman Jackson Lee -one Hillary’s most important allies. Jackson Lee has fought tirelessley for progressive ideals. When Republicans pulled another round of electoral shenanigans in Ohio in 2004 she, Senator Boxer, and a small group of Congresspersons courageously contested the results. Congresswoman Lee has been important to the voting system reform movement – and is pushing for legislation to end caging, making paper trails mandatory, and ensuring the entire process is secure.
Folks like RFK Jr., Jackson Lee, McGovern, civil rights icon John Lewis and gay rights champion Barney Frank would not dare endorse and work hard for someone who does not uphold progressive values. They would not support a candidate with America at such a perilious moment who did not have the skills and experience to win.
We cannot afford to lose the White House, especially to cheap smear tactics. Only One candidate has that essential experience in how to sucessfully fight the GOP machine and beat the conservatives – One. I am proud to stand with Hillary and these many fighters for justice in Congress and around America. We need change, and only Hillary, who has both the poltical and governmental experience, can win the presidency and enact the reforms we so badly need. You can want change, but actualizing it is a far different beast.