Posts Tagged ‘Clinton’
It would seem unthinkable unless there was a huge scandal that has yet to come out about Obama; calling a reporter sweetie is not one. Reminds me of when I said “Sorry love” to a rival female candidate during last years local elections. She lived in the local ward I was contesting, though she was standing at the county level. I had padlocked my bicycle to her railings which she took umbrage at. My apology caused her to reveal who she was, and make the comment that it was because I was a liberal and that she was Labour that she would not allow me to safeguard my bike. And that I was not her love – it is very much a regional address (like “my flower” or “me duck”) that is not meant to be degrading but I accepted the rebuke with good humour and campaigned the harder for it.
The only scandal I can think of that may have rocked my political career involving my bike is that in racing to the ballot box in my own ward, the British National Party candidate looked after my bike so I could vote in time. Whether having a racist politician look after your bike while you voted would not make you a credible candidate I am not sure. It was telling that they were the only candidates staying there to the close of the polls and that they were very presentable in ways that their policies are not.
So does Obama have anything worse than that in his closet that could yet make the super delegates turn to Clinton? Realistically that is the only hope that Clinton has of winning the nomination. The other is that Clinton can convince that come the election in November she can get the vote out better than Obama – to this her 67% to 26% win over Obama in West Virgina. Super delegates are coming out for Obama, and Clinton may try to claim she is the biggest swinger in town (or at least in turning Swing States that the Democrats would not otherwise win).
As I have pointed out before in my weblog, under the old nomination rules where winner takes all Clinton would be the winner. That must hurt seeing as she advocated the change in the rules.
Meanwhile another prediction comes true – that Edwards would support Obama. I based that on how his supporters refused to greet Clinton. I honestly think that Edwards leaving it till this late to declare his support will make his chances of the Vice Presidency more likely – it also may help Obama in November to reach out to those that voted for Clinton. Justin Webb disagrees that it benefits Obama, but makes Clinton’s case that Obama is a sinking ship not a credible one. I think Webb does not recognise the fact that Edwards will get the Democrats that Obama may not.
The wheels have not come of the Obama campaign, and no scandal seems to be on the horizon – the only ones seem to be past associates that Obama has distanced himself from, a wacko pastor and a crooked businessman. Short of finding out that Obama used to visit Neverland during school breaks his nomination seems assured and not the fairytale that Bill Clinton once called it.
Senator Obama won 56% of the vote in North Carolina, while Senator Clinton won 51% of the vote in Indiana.
There are now six primaries left – but polls report that half of Clintons supporters will not support Obama if he is the chosen nominee. Party activists should be alarmed – because while it matters doing the best for your candidate, and making sure candidates are properly tested (Gordon Brown never was with lack luster rivals that there was no need for an election as he gathered enough support from MPs not to need a ballot).
Obama has too much of a lead for the Primaries left to effect the result. He will win the majority of delegates and the popular vote. What will matter is how the Super delegates vote. Hilary is still loaning millions of dollars to keep her campaign going.
In Britain we refer to those with power over these things as the men in grey. These were the ones that told Thatcher to stand down for the good of the party. Howard Dean continues publicly to ask for one of them to stand aside, and Prospect reports that Ted Kennedy had approached Clinton to become Senate Leader is she did so (Ted also supports Obama). It seems publicly there is enough to suggest that behind the scenes much has been made to make this happen – I would suggest by trying to dry up funds for the Clinton campaign. Yet she does have a following and a personal fortune to use.
Yet this is about the candidates to be the most powerful person on earth. Who will appoint supreme court judges that will impact on government and social policy for a generation. To make negotiations and decisions on the national stage. It really matters – and Christian fundamentalism impacting science and the separation of church and state is at stake. The need for a robust Democrat candidate that can stand up for these things is necessary – to their credit I think Obama and Clinton would.
The problem is this divisiveness is breaking the Democratic Party, and allowing McCain a shot at the White House. The irony is that the Democrats having two strong candidates may ruin their chances. McCain is no Bush, and he is a better candidate than George W Bush. The latter won two terms as President.
Eddie Tabash made the comment to me that the Democratic machine has the ability to squander millions on a candidate that stands no chance of winning. It would be an irony if two potentially winning candidates loose because of the nomination process. A winner takes all Primary process so an outright winner is chosen without the need for Super Delegates would stop this situation. Ironically for Clinton, who supported the current system, she would be ahead under that system. The rules of the game choose the winner – thus does the electoral system matter.
Well Hilary seems to be still floating in the race winning Pennsylvania quite comfortably by about 55% of the vote. However, I am unimpressed with her campaign so far because it seems negative, and playing to the politics of fear.
For that last part, I would cite her kitchen advert:
Considering most people in the Democratic party feel it was wrong to send troops to Iraq (and she did not at the time but now thinks it was) the message seems rather hypocritical. I am also rather annoyed at her comments that she negotiated peace in Northern Ireland. Her comments about sniper fire in are laughable, unless there really has been an occasion she has come under sniper fire (which the records suggest not).
I also got the feeling watching the video that, in terms of what the message was getting at, I would say John McCain. If these are the issues that will dominate the Presidential Campaign after the nomination, then the Republicans will be more then happy.
It is very well for the Democrats to say that whoever is their nominee the party will be behind them 100%. But the real election result will not depend just on activists but also on voters. And if Clinton and Obama are effective in questioning the others performance in the eyes of their voters on issues where McCain is the front runner of the three – come polling day I can well believe figures that suggest anything from a 1/6 to 1/5 switch if their Democrat nominee is not the candidate for McCain.
That adds up to what I already consider a difficult position for Obama – who still has the strongest chance for the Democrats winning not least because he is not Clinton. Hard to accept but you need to win Republican voters for Bush last time to win. McCain on the other hand is the sort of person the Right will back for fear of the Democrats and hope to control later, while independents will warm to his integrity, bipartisanship and the fact that he has been a critic of Bush.
Every vote could well matter in this election, let alone the nomination. If the super delegates do not go with the candidate with the most normal delegates then the legitimacy of their candidate will be a sticking point.
It really is a situation that social justice liberals should be alarmed about. Because if Romney or Huckabee become the McCain running mate, then a Republican victory could turn into a nightmare if McCain dies in office. And the replacement of Lord Justice Roberts on the Supreme Court is unlikely to be someone that approves the separation of church and state or a woman’s right to choose.
Do not underestimate a political party’s ability to throw away millions in a campaign and for a candidate that will not win but which the party approves of. What matters is power – and most people recognize that in opposition you do not have the influence that equates with power to change society for the betterment of the people. The delusion of the party hack, caught up in a discussion amongst themselves in the Clinton and Obama race, must not be allowed to endanger the liberties that allow reason, science and freedom to flourish.
Senator Clinton may still be trailing in terms of delegates 1391 to Senator Obama’s tally of 1477. But her wins in Ohio and Texas yesterday means that she is still in the running.
[EDIT: FOX NEWS readers for current politics blogs follow this link here]
The rest of the race for the Democrats looks like this:
Meanwhile Senator McCain went over the target number of delegates and Huckabee dually withdrew leaving McCain as the Presidential nominee for the Republican Party. Lunch today at the White House may see the seal of approval from President Bush – but it is doubtful we will see him on the campaign trial.
Much is being made that a prolonged negative campaign between Obama and Clinton could leave McCain sitting pretty as he has the opportunity to act as a statesman – and separate himself from President Bush. As a political maverick and someone that is known to be independent that should not prove difficult.
The proportional way in which a State’s delegates are allocated has meant in the close Democratic race there is no knock out blow. A winner takes all allocation may give a more resounding margin to one person. McCain can concentrate on raising funds for the White House campaign. Meanwhile the Democratic candidates will be chasing funds for the Primary at least into May.
Obama may have had hope that winning both states may have seen Clinton bow out. His campaign has learnt from earlier on not to build up such expectations. The key thing will be to recognise that the honeymoon is over and that the scrutiny from media and Clinton will be intense, and in all probability very negative. He won Vermont and is still ahead – it is about shifting gear to keep that margin lead to cross 2025 first.
16 states, 1,391 delegates
- Arizona, Arkansas, California, Florida, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas.
24 states, 1,477 delegates
2,025 delegates needed for nomination. Source AP (includes all kinds of delegates)
Ohio and Texas will show if Clinton can turn the tide next week as Obama seems to have the momentum now to the nomination. However, before this is all over it seems we shall have moments like Clinton poking fun at Obama’s oratory:
Probably more statesman like ways to make the point. Then a picture of Obama turned up when he was in Kenya two years ago. Reading Obama’s book The Audacity of Hope he mentions that someone suggested after 9/11 that his name was too similar to Osama Bin Laden to have an effective political career. A Clinton volunteer was sacked for suggesting Obama was a Muslim. Mind you seeing as there are plenty of pictures of Clinton and Bush being dressed in traditional garb overseas what anyone thinks the photo will do to the poll results is beyond rational discourse. I imagine it comes from the same thought process that produced Obama’s childhood essay on wanting to be President.
It is not as if Obama is acting like Machiavelli, who would retire to the country and dress in a Toga like times of the Roman Republic.
Much is being made of the Latino vote in Texas and their traditional support for the Clintons. But if Obama wins in Texas then it may be time for Clinton to call it a day. However, if anyone was prepared to fight to the bitter end and try and persuade the super delegates to swing it their way then Senator Clinton may go on.
McCain is the clear front runner for the Republicans, with the number of delegates so far more than twice that of Romney and more than Romney and Huckabee combined. The real issue is can the Republican Party unite behind someone who is not a hard conservative, but stands the best chance of winning the White House for the Republicans.
Huckabee looks set for a chance at the White House – all be it as Vice President. The states he has won shows that evangelical Christians have stayed faithful to him perhaps more for his up beat style which is at odds to Romney’s more personal attack approach. For McCain such a running mate may well help to unite the party, with perhaps some party members doing what his 96 year old mother suggested holding their noses but crucially privately.
With the Democrats it seems that postal ballots done before the Obama bandwagon really started an impressive show helped Clinton take California – which is a winner takes all delegates, and due to its size has many delegates. However, because most States for the Democrats send delegates proportional to the vote the total delegates thus far only gives Clinton a slight edge. The question is will Obama be able to use the excitement about himself and the vision thing to win over natural Clinton supporters or will Clinton’s well known brand and popular and well known issue stance for Democrats see her through as the Democratic candidate of experience.
The danger of fractious in fighting seems more a danger for the Democrats than the Republicans. While the Media have been good at finding hard right Conservatives disappointed as they drink their pints, McCain having a clear mandate may see them off (at least till the President is chosen). The Democrats by contrast in a sharp knife edge race have already shown teeth into each other that makes the Republicans seem cordial, and with different parts of the party campaigning against each other the question is whether the party can reunite.
The religious wing of the Republicans attacking McCain could actually help him – not least because it is clear water between him and Bush. Mind you, despite them not liking him I find on the atheist side when chatting to Americans that any Republican candidate cannot get passed the Iraq war – and McCain’s support of the surge. Let alone a baptist and a Mormon. I am with Hitchens’ view that McCain is the right person but if Romney or Huckabee got it then either Clinton or Obama would be better.
So the race goes on. Huckabee will continue not because he can be President but because by helping McCain his political career will be helped. As vice President to an elderly President there is a chance for a spring board. That of course assumes that the Republicans win the Presidency. That is not assured but if the Primaries point to one thing: their best shot at it is with McCain.
On the Democrat side, unless Obama can start showing that his policies are different from Clinton and that he is the best candidate- not just the best speaker – than I think Clinton will win by a nose. I have stated my concern at the related dynasties that have effected American politics (Bush Sr 8 years, Mr Clinton 8 years, Bush Jr 8 years, Mrs Clinton???). So far Obama has made a lot of noise and excitement, but he needs to provide the meat to the table about how he is going to change America not just with hope but with the nitty gritty of public policy that makes people change from Clinton’s well known policy stance.
ADDITION 7 February 2008
Romney has suspended his campaign. He will still be on the ballot and will still have his delegates. In a race that McCain looked like winning this seems the rational move – it saves him money but also gives him a chance should he wish to make McCain pledge for stances he supports in return for his delegates. It could also avoid in fighting making Romney a more possible running mate.
Huckabee must see the danger that this is the move Romney is making. The fact that Romney talked up the big similarity between himself and McCain shows that he is indicating support for McCain. Huckabee must decide whether he stands a better chance to take on McCain to win (doubtful) or whether to stay in the race to make his chance as a running mate more viable. Or pledge loyalty to McCain and try to be the running mate.
Either way Romney appreciated the danger of conservative in fighting. If he can make himself a peace maker then it may not just be the Republican Party that may be thankful but a certain Republican elected nominee for President McCain. The ball is now in Huckabee’s court. Be interesting to see his play.
Well the Giants came back to win the Super Bowl in a way Rudy Giuliani could only have envied. On that note the USA enters Super Tuesday which may tell us more about who is the Republican candidate then it does about the Democratic candidate. I should point out it is not Tuesday in the USA when I write this, but I am still on Super Bowl time from having watched it. Those final two passes by Manning will stay in my mind for a long time.
In term of the party nominees, it seems McCain is getting the sort of momentum that the Giants used to win. The idea that he is the Conservative in the Republican race but has the most appeal to non conservative parts of the electorate seems to be getting him support in the polls. I think his statesmanship is also an edge over Romney. As to Huckabee’s claim that Romney get out of the race for him to beat McCain – in your dreams, and if both of you defeat each other the only thing is whether Huckabee could be a running mate to the other two – that is possible.
With regards the Democrats it would be a brave person to stake who will win between Obama and Clinton. The only way I can answer that is to say that it would seem perplexing for a Republic to have George Bush Senior eight years in office, Mr Clinton eight years, George Bush Junior eight years and then followed by Mrs Clinton. In a nation of 300 million people this kind of politics is against the idea of opportunity, freedom and hard work. For this, let alone the issues, would I hope that Obama wins the Democratic nomination.
Which then means for me the perfect showdown is McCain and Obama (McCain I predict; Obama is what I hope but too close to call at this stage). Who would be the best President of the USA for the world?
To this end Obama has the oratory and the vision. He does however have youth on his side and a wealth of political experience yet to accumulate. McCain has that in spades, and a personal history that typifies the American spirit in a way that would make an American proud rather than shameful. His commitment to getting rid of pork barrel politics of long standing and ability to work across the floor marks him as the person I would most like to see as President.
Which if my experience at the AAI conference in Washington DC may put me at odds with secularist activists in America that seemed to be largely Democratic in nature. I can only say that I am impressed with McCain as a statesman, as a politician working beyond partisan lines, as a man of personal courage, and one that can get people working together rather than dividing it. One that does not show personal hostility but calm reflection of the facts.
When in a debate he said that he accepted evolution but saw the hand of god in the Grand Canyon I could live with that. Because I do not think McCain would be against science, or allow religious interest groups to impede it – his conservatism would seem against that type of orthodoxy. I think he has the character that Obama with more years could develop.
I accept that if Obama won the nomination he could still convince me he should get the job. But on this side of the pond I have heard of McCain for far longer. He struck me as the sort of Republican I would have hoped George W Bush would have been. That he can work across party lines, to make a better decision making process. Be a leader that understands what needs to be done rather than thinks he knows best.