Hillary Clinton

How the GOP Lost 2016 In One Day

The GOP lost the 2016 presidential election in a single day. Here's how:

1. Marco Rubio voted against renewing the Violence Against Women Act.

2. On the same day, he delivered an incoherent speech that recycled Mitt Romney talking points. The speech even made the insane claims that Obama is anti-business and has borrowed more cash than Bush. The speech was clearly not written by Rubio. It even mentioned "Solyndra."

3. In that same speech, Rubio made a bizarre lunge for a bottle of water and chugged it on camera. 

Triple fail. 

Folks, I don't like the Democratic party, either. But Hillary has a red carpet to the Oval Office in 2016. She would have to bite off the heads of kittens to blow this one.

Obama's No-Nonsense National Security Team

If there was any doubt that Barry was going to hand-over national security to friends of self-interested folks, we give you this rather stunning announcement:

Even more stunning: the major announcement on Monday was not Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State, but General Jim Jones as his National Security Advisor. Having a retired 4-star marine general replace what has recently been a job for scholars (see Condoleezza Rice, Sauel Berger, W. Anthony Lake) marks a bold move by Barack Obama that nearly no one saw coming. At the very least, Jones' dominant, methodical personality will ensure that Hillary Clinton's diplomatic work is synchronized with the NSA and the Secretary of Defense. I don't think there was any serious worry that Clinton would be a freelancer, but the selection of Jones draws clear lines that Clinton cannot stray outside.

Obama has built himself what appears to be a very strong, smart, no-nonsense defense management team. While we cannot be certain, I cannot imagine the general shoe shopping on Madison Avenue or Secretary Clinton attending a Broadway show in August or any month. They know they have to run an air-tight operation, since it seems it would take much less than a drowning city to bring an Obama administration down.

Hillary Clinton: No Way. No How. No McCain.

I am honored to be here tonight. A proud mother. A proud Democrat. A proud American. And a proud supporter of Barack Obama.

My friends, it is time to take back the country we love.

Whether you voted for me, or voted for Barack, the time is now to unite as a single party with a single purpose. We are on the same team, and none of us can sit on the sidelines.

This is a fight for the future. And it's a fight we must win.

I haven't spent the past 35 years in the trenches advocating for children, campaigning for universal health care, helping parents balance work and family, and fighting for women's rights at home and around the world ... to see another Republican in the White House squander the promise of our country and the hopes of our people.

And you haven't worked so hard over the last 18 months, or endured the last eight years, to suffer through more failed leadership.

No way. No how. No McCain.

Barack Obama is my candidate. And he must be our president.

Tonight we need to remember what a presidential election is really about. When the polls have closed, and the ads are finally off the air, it comes down to you — the American people, your lives, and your children's futures.

For me, it's been a privilege to meet you in your homes, your workplaces, and your communities. Your stories reminded me everyday that America's greatness is bound up in the lives of the American people — your hard work, your devotion to duty, your love for your children, and your determination to keep going, often in the face of enormous obstacles.

You taught me so much, you made me laugh, and ... you even made me cry. You allowed me to become part of your lives. And you became part of mine.

I will always remember the single mom who had adopted two kids with autism, didn't have health insurance and discovered she had cancer. But she greeted me with her bald head painted with my name on it and asked me to fight for health care.

I will always remember the young man in a Marine Corps T-shirt who waited months for medical care and said to me: "Take care of my buddies; a lot of them are still over there ... and then will you please help take care of me?"

I will always remember the boy who told me his mom worked for the minimum wage and that her employer had cut her hours. He said he just didn't know what his family was going to do.

I will always be grateful to everyone from all fifty states, Puerto Rico and the territories, who joined our campaign on behalf of all those people left out and left behind by the Bush Administration.

To my supporters, my champions — my sisterhood of the traveling pantsuits — from the bottom of my heart: Thank you.

You never gave in. You never gave up. And together we made history.

Along the way, America lost two great Democratic champions who would have been here with us tonight. One of our finest young leaders, Arkansas Democratic Party Chair, Bill Gwatney, who believed with all his heart that America and the South could be and should be Democratic from top to bottom.

And Congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs Jones, a dear friend to many of us, a loving mother and courageous leader who never gave up her quest to make America fairer and smarter, stronger and better. Steadfast in her beliefs, a fighter of uncommon grace, she was an inspiration to me and to us all.

Our heart goes out to Stephanie's son, Mervyn, Jr., and Bill's wife, Rebecca, who traveled to Denver to join us at our convention.

Bill and Stephanie knew that after eight years of George Bush, people are hurting at home, and our standing has eroded around the world. We have a lot of work ahead.

Jobs lost, houses gone, falling wages, rising prices. The Supreme Court in a right-wing headlock and our government in partisan gridlock. The biggest deficit in our nation's history. Money borrowed from the Chinese to buy oil from the Saudis.

Putin and Georgia, Iraq and Iran.

I ran for president to renew the promise of America. To rebuild the middle class and sustain the American Dream, to provide the opportunity to work hard and have that work rewarded, to save for college, a home and retirement, to afford the gas and groceries and still have a little left over each month.

To promote a clean energy economy that will create millions of green collar jobs.

To create a health care system that is universal, high quality, and affordable so that parents no longer have to choose between care for themselves or their children or be stuck in dead end jobs simply to keep their insurance.

To create a world class education system and make college affordable again.

To fight for an America defined by deep and meaningful equality — from civil rights to labor rights, from women's rights to gay rights, from ending discrimination to promoting unionization to providing help for the most important job there is: caring for our families. To help every child live up to his or her God-given potential.

To make America once again a nation of immigrants and a nation of laws.

To bring fiscal sanity back to Washington and make our government an instrument of the public good, not of private plunder.

To restore America's standing in the world, to end the war in Iraq, bring our troops home and honor their service by caring for our veterans.

And to join with our allies to confront our shared challenges, from poverty and genocide to terrorism and global warming.

Most of all, I ran to stand up for all those who have been invisible to their government for eight long years.

Those are the reasons I ran for president. Those are the reasons I support Barack Obama. And those are the reasons you should too.

I want you to ask yourselves: Were you in this campaign just for me? Or were you in it for that young Marine and others like him? Were you in it for that mom struggling with cancer while raising her kids? Were you in it for that boy and his mom surviving on the minimum wage? Were you in it for all the people in this country who feel invisible?

We need leaders once again who can tap into that special blend of American confidence and optimism that has enabled generations before us to meet our toughest challenges. Leaders who can help us show ourselves and the world that with our ingenuity, creativity, and innovative spirit, there are no limits to what is possible in America.

This won't be easy. Progress never is. But it will be impossible if we don't fight to put a Democrat in the White House.

We need to elect Barack Obama because we need a President who understands that America can't compete in a global economy by padding the pockets of energy speculators, while ignoring the workers whose jobs have been shipped overseas. We need a president who understands that we can't solve the problems of global warming by giving windfall profits to the oil companies while ignoring opportunities to invest in new technologies that will build a green economy.

We need a President who understands that the genius of America has always depended on the strength and vitality of the middle class.

Barack Obama began his career fighting for workers displaced by the global economy. He built his campaign on a fundamental belief that change in this country must start from the ground up, not the top down. He knows government must be about "We the people" not "We the favored few."

And when Barack Obama is in the White House, he'll revitalize our economy, defend the working people of America, and meet the global challenges of our time. Democrats know how to do this. As I recall, President Clinton and the Democrats did it before. And President Obama and the Democrats will do it again.

He'll transform our energy agenda by creating millions of green jobs and building a new, clean energy future. He'll make sure that middle class families get the tax relief they deserve. And I can't wait to watch Barack Obama sign a health care plan into law that covers every single American.

Barack Obama will end the war in Iraq responsibly and bring our troops home _a first step to repairing our alliances around the world.

And he will have with him a terrific partner in Michelle Obama. Anyone who saw Michelle's speech last night knows she will be a great first lady for America.

Americans are also fortunate that Joe Biden will be at Barack Obama's side. He is a strong leader and a good man. He understands both the economic stresses here at home and the strategic challenges abroad. He is pragmatic, tough, and wise. And, of course, Joe will be supported by his wonderful wife, Jill.

They will be a great team for our country.

Now, John McCain is my colleague and my friend.

He has served our country with honor and courage.

But we don't need four more years ... of the last eight years.

More economic stagnation ... and less affordable health care.

More high gas prices ... and less alternative energy.

More jobs getting shipped overseas ... and fewer jobs created here.

More skyrocketing debt ... home foreclosures ... and mounting bills that are crushing our middle class families.

More war ... less diplomacy.

More of a government where the privileged come first ... and everyone else comes last.

John McCain says the economy is fundamentally sound. John McCain doesn't think that 47 million people without health insurance is a crisis. John McCain wants to privatize Social Security. And in 2008, he still thinks it's OK when women don't earn equal pay for equal work.

With an agenda like that, it makes sense that George Bush and John McCain will be together next week in the Twin Cities. Because these days they're awfully hard to tell apart.

America is still around after 232 years because we have risen to the challenge of every new time, changing to be faithful to our values of equal opportunity for all and the common good.

And I know what that can mean for every man, woman, and child in America. I'm a United States senator because in 1848 a group of courageous women and a few brave men gathered in Seneca Falls, New York, many traveling for days and nights, to participate in the first convention on women's rights in our history.

And so dawned a struggle for the right to vote that would last 72 years, handed down by mother to daughter to granddaughter — and a few sons and grandsons along the way.

These women and men looked into their daughters' eyes, imagined a fairer and freer world, and found the strength to fight. To rally and picket. To endure ridicule and harassment. To brave violence and jail.

And after so many decades — 88 years ago on this very day — the 19th amendment guaranteeing women the right to vote would be forever enshrined in our Constitution.

My mother was born before women could vote. But in this election my daughter got to vote for her mother for president.

This is the story of America. Of women and men who defy the odds and never give up.

How do we give this country back to them?

By following the example of a brave New Yorker, a woman who risked her life to shepherd slaves along the Underground Railroad.

And on that path to freedom, Harriet Tubman had one piece of advice.

If you hear the dogs, keep going.

If you see the torches in the woods, keep going.

If they're shouting after you, keep going.

Don't ever stop. Keep going.

If you want a taste of freedom, keep going.

Even in the darkest of moments, ordinary Americans have found the faith to keep going.

I've seen it in you. I've seen it in our teachers and firefighters, nurses and police officers, small business owners and union workers, the men and women of our military — you always keep going.

We are Americans. We're not big on quitting.

But remember, before we can keep going, we have to get going by electing Barack Obama president.

We don't have a moment to lose or a vote to spare.

Nothing less than the fate of our nation and the future of our children hang in the balance.

I want you to think about your children and grandchildren come election day. And think about the choices your parents and grandparents made that had such a big impact on your life and on the life of our nation.

We've got to ensure that the choice we make in this election honors the sacrifices of all who came before us, and will fill the lives of our children with possibility and hope.

That is our duty, to build that bright future, and to teach our children that in America there is no chasm too deep, no barrier too great — and no ceiling too high — for all who work hard, never back down, always keep going, have faith in God, in our country, and in each other.

Thank you so much. God bless America and Godspeed to you all.

The PUMA Secret

The PUMA (Party Unity My Ass) crowd's secret is out. They are not Hillary Clinton supporters. They are not even Democrats. They are Wingnuts, who have planted themselves into the coverage of the DNC, and who have spread debunked falsehoods about Senator Obama.

This video finally proves it, as he was 'punk'd' by representatives of JustSayNoDeal.com. The Democrats need to counter-attack this kind of ratfucking:

Michael Saitzman in today's Huffington Post: PUMAs Give Cougars a Bad Name

Have you heard about a nutter named Chrissie Atkins? She's one of those scorned loons that call themselves "PUMAs." PUMA, for the blissfully uninitiated stands for -- and I'm not making this up -- "Party Unity My Ass." Chris Matthews took on this Chrissie Atkins sack-of-dung yesterday in the crowd outside the convention center when she claimed to have a 17-page report from a congressional investigator that says that Barack Obama "went to a madrasa" and is a "registered Muslim."

I'm not even sure what part of that is my favorite. The 17-page report? Wow, 17 pages. Single spaced? Somebody's been burning the midnight oil. No, maybe my favorite part is the "congressional investigator." When Matthews pressed this crooked tooth trashbag for a name, she said she wouldn't tell him. When he asked again she said he should have his ears cleaned out so he could hear her better -- "I'm not telling you!" She huffed this out while panting and seething as if she just caught her husband in bed with her sister (or his sister). Of course when Matthews pressed her again she finally said that the author of the report was a "former congressional investigator," though she still wouldn't or couldn't furnish a name.

Actually, the part that made me laugh out loud ("lol" for you stay-at-home Pumas) was the "registered muslim." After the laughter died down, I found myself thinking about how organized these Muslims are. Not like us Jews. I couldn't get registered if I had a Torah around my neck. Then I tried to picture the registration office -- the DMV -- the Department of Muslim Verification, I would imagine.

Obviously Obama is not a Muslim. But even if he was...am I the only one deeply uncomfortable with the fact that the word "Muslim" has become synonymous with "monster" among the PUMA set and so many others? Yes, radical Muslims who fly planes into buildings are monsters of the most heinous variety. That's a given. But were the Japanese-Americans who were thrown in American internment camps and stripped of their U.S. citizenship the same as the Japanese pilots who flew their planes into the ships at Pearl Harbor?

I wonder what the PUMAs would have said about Senator Daniel Inouye, winner of the Bronze Star, the Purple Heart and the Medal of Honor for his heroism in WWII? Would they have praised him as a war hero? Or would they have gone on national television and claimed to have a 17-page report, written by an un-nameable and alleged former congressional investigator, proving that Senator Inouye is a registered Jap?

In [Fair] Elections, There Is No Such Thing As 'Cutting In Line'

Just one more thing before Senator Clinton hands leadership to Senator Obama tonight:

He didn't cut in line. There is no such thing in a free and fair election. In job promotions, it exists. In chairing a congressional committee, it exists. In presidential appointments, it exists. But in a fair election, there is no such thing.

Take 1960 for example. John F. Kennedy seemed to come out of nowhere and defeat Lyndon B. Johnson for the Democratic nomination. LBJ had been a member of Congress since Kennedy was 19 years old. He was the Senate Majority Leader at the time of the election. LBJ represented the Democratic establishment, while Kennedy represented a new generation, promising modest change and a new direction for the nation in the Cold War era. His appeal ultimately prevailed. Then, as we know, he had to defeat another establishment candidate, sitting Vice President Richard M. Nixon. For similar reasons, he won by a nose.

Now did he cut in-line before two future US presidents? Does history record it that way?

I think not.

We can accuse Obama of being cocky. We can call him a rock star. Some can call him an asshole. But he did not cut in line. There is no such thing in a democratic and fair election.

Relax Obama Supporters - The Torch Will Be Passed

It's how politics works. And we are seeing a shifting of gears and the rise of a new leader for the Democratic party.

The past few days may have been worrying for Obama supporters. On Saturday, Harold Ickies threatened to take Hillary Clinton's case to the DNC Credentials Committee at the end of this month, to appeal the 'hijacking' of four of her delegate votes. On Sunday, both Ickies and Clinton campaign chair Terry McAuliffe, hinted that Senator Clinton would not be congratulating Senator Obama on Tuesday night. This morning, Senator Clinton said that the nomination race is not over until it is over, and that "her political obituary is yet to be written."

Well, she is correct about that last point. See, her political obituary would be written if she didn't get behind Barack Obama in the general election. And that's not even an issue. It's not because Obama will extort her support. It's not because the rabid Obama supporters will scream and yell. It's because Clinton will follow the standard political playbook for the Democratic party. But I'm getting ahead of myself. Let's take a brief look at the nightmare scenario that we've heard from Obama supporters.

Senator Clinton has long argued that Senator Obama is not as electable as she is. That could be interpreted to mean that if the Democrats nominated Obama, he would have a greater chance of being upset by John McCain than Hillary would. Taken further, it could mean that if Obama were nominated, then Hillary would be in a position to say, "I told you so," if Obama lost in November. And taken even further, it could mean what many ordinary Democratic voters have recently speculated - that Senator Clinton wants Obama to lose in November, so she can stage a run in 2012. This topic was debated back in March by several bloggers and pundits.

The argument goes like this. Hillary reluctantly endorses Obama and campaigns for him, but she secretly (or not so secretly) hopes he loses to John McCain. Then Hillary can stage a successful 2012 campaign for a nation weary of 12 years of Republican rule, high gas prices, and the occupation of Iraq in its 10th year.

There is a huge problem with this argument. It assumes many things that have little or no chance of happening:

1. It assumes that Democrats will be just as receptive to a Hillary campaign in 2012 as they were in 2008.

2. It assumes that there will be no other up-and-coming Democrat who would want to defeat John McCain, should McCain win this November. After all, Obama wasn't on the radar in early 2006. Ariana Huffington foresaw a Gore vs. Clinton 2008 nomination race, and wrote about it in October 2005 and January 2006. Barack who?

3. And most important, it assumes that there would be no blame assigned to Clinton in the event of an Obama loss.

That sinks the argument. Think about what Clinton has said since her 11-state losing streak (which essentially killed her campaign). She said that McCain was qualified to be president, and in the same breath refused to give Obama the same pat on the fanny. She floated the talking point that Obama was doomed to lose, like Gore and Kerry, because he is an elitist. She made sure to use the word "hard working" before the word "white" in describing the demographic in which she defeated Obama in the Appalachian states. Never mind that the core of the Democratic base nationwide consists of liberals and African Americans. She suggested that Obama give-up and become her running mate as VP after he had won 11 contests in a row. And let su not forget the unforgivable assassination remarks. Hillary and her campaign managers have said too many negative things about Obama to be spared any blame if he loses in November. That's not a threat from this or any Obama supporter. That's not a threat from Mr. Obama. That's just the way politics works in the Democratic party.

Bill Clinton has been the de-facto leader of the Democratic party since winning the nomination in 1992. He filled a power vacuum that was left when Gary Hart dropped out of the 1988 nomination race. He remained the leader of the party through 2008. And it seems that tomorrow, June 3rd, Bill Clinton will lose that title. He seemed to understand that possibility today when he spoke in Milbank, South Dakota.

Naturally, the Clintons don't want to lose their leadership position in this great party. People in power do whatever they can to keep it while they are still playing within the rules. In this case, there are no term limits. The unwritten rule is that the next major Democrat to win the nomination and subsequently the presidency will become the leader of the party. Obama is poised to replace Clinton in that role. In fact you could argue that the party belongs to Obama beginning Tuesday.

Losing their leadership position is painful enough. But they would be throwing everything away if they set-up Obama to lose to John McCain, an old, uninspiring, ignorant man who by most accounts is too angry, too conservative, and too much like George W. Bush to beat a Democrat in November. Hillary Clinton would be putting her senate seat and political legacy at risk if she left Obama twisting in the wind.

And so, despite some threats, tough words, and pleas for more time, the transition from the Clintons to Obama is already in-play. The Clinton campaign has begun to tell its staffers to stand-down, as Senator Clinton is preparing a primetime speech in New York City to be delivered Tuesday night.

Meanwhile, Senator Obama is telling his supporters that he is looking forward to working with Hillary on the campaign trail. She might need a vacation and some private time. But she will campaign for Obama. The second place finisher in a nomination race doesn't have a choice. Obama and Clinton supporters who think that she has options need to settle down, and give it time. Give it time, and soon all of us will jump on the team and come on in for the big win.

Aw shit, I quoted Michael Herr again! I often do that.

Drifty On Clinton's Slow Death Scene: Let It Play Out

Another beautifully written, and wonderfully entertaining post by Driftglass. When does he not disappoint?

The end was ordained...

...Or, rather, I stopped letting myself being baited into fights that were now meaningless. Like arguing over some trivial debt at a funeral, or shrieking on and on about the feng shui of the chairs in a burning house, the ridiculousness of it suddenly lifted me up and out of myself. And after that, regardless of the size and throw-weight of the ragebombs being fired in my direction, they no longer affected me. The words being shrieked at me with such calculated venom and the constantly furious person out of whom they flew began to feel surreal, preposterous and very far away.

Can Bill Clinton Smooth Things Over?

According to a Times-UK article, the Obama camp is looking to Bill Clinton to heal the wounds inflicted in this divisive primary race. I liked this re-use of the 'give permission' talking point, which was previously used to criticize Hillary (see my previous post below).

“If anybody can put their arms around the party and say we need to be together, it is Bill Clinton,” a senior Obama aide said.

“He’s brilliant, he has got heart and he cares deeply about the country. It’s tricky because of his position as Hillary’s spouse, but his involvement is very important to us.

“Bill Clinton will give permission to Hillary supporters to come into our camp and become one party. He is critical to this effort.”

I only wish. What I do know is that Hillary is so bitter and angry, that I don't expect her to be at the Denver convention unless Bill makes peace with the Obama camp. It could happen. In fact, it might be the only way Obama can win the support of Hillary's voters. It's frustrating, but the key to Obama's November victory is making sure a majority of Hillary's supporters vote for him. A few months ago, I assumed that was guaranteed. But it is clear that a large percentage of Hillary's supporters have no desire to vote for Obama in November. Those in the red states might switch their vote to McCain.

What we need in the Democratic party is unity. Obama can't win without those who voted for Clinton in the primary. Obama has a delicate task of seduction ahead of him this summer.

Senator Clinton's Inexcusable RFK Remark

Surely all of us know by know what happened Friday afternoon. Hillary Clinton repeated a comment she made in March regarding how anything could happen in the month of June that would remove Obama from the Democratic nomination contest. The example she used then and yesterday was the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy in June 1968. She made the comment during a private interview with the Argus Leader newspaper in Sioux Falls, North Dakota.

I let the comment go when I first read it at CNN/Time in March, assuming that she would quickly regret it. Also, I assumed that she would quickly realize the incredible implications of such a remark. It is unthinkable that a Democratic candidate for President of the United States would publicly comment that a possible route to the nomination would be the death (or murder!) of her opponent. It's the kind of comment that suggests that Clinton has spent a little time thinking or wondering about it. I dare not say she fantasized or hoped for it. She has not and will not.

We live in a nation that enjoys a high degree of freedom of expression. Surely, Hillary Clinton has the right to talk about RFK's assassination, and how it derailed a charismatic, star candidate, who looked poised to win the nomination and excite the nation. She herself is in a desperate, must-win situation. She must somehow derail a similar candidate, who has more momentum, more campaign cash, and more votes than RFK ever did, in a 50-state primary system (which didn't exist in 1968).

However, presidential candidates do not have the luxury of being able to say whatever they want in public. And the potential assassination of an American political candidate or elected official is one of them. Imagine if a Senator or Congressman had made such a comment about George W. Bush. She or he could have said, "He's in the final days of his second term. He's probably home free. But anything can happen between now and January 20th. He wouldn't be the first president to assume he was going to live-out his tenure. Lincoln was assassinated early in his second term. So was McKinley. We could have a late second-term event. It's not impossible." I would assume that hypothetical politician would be censured for such a remark.

There are certain topics that American politicians cannot touch. One of them is the assassination of a rival or colleague. It just cannot be touched, ever.

But why is that? After all, Hillary Clinton was only repeating a historical fact. Hillary was only stating the truth. And the truth is that the only way she can win the Democratic nomination is if Obama becomes seriously ill, dies, or quits the race. That's the truth. And besides, she was talking about RFK, not Obama. Right?

Wrong. It's all about context. Clinton was being asked why she was being hounded by party insiders and Obama supporters to quit the race. She was asked why people are trying to push her out. Her response was that it made no sense, especially when other races were not resolved at this point on the calendar. She raised two examples. First, she said that her husband didn't secure the nomination in 1992 until the California primary in June. (Her interviewer seemed to verify that answer, but it is in fact inaccurate. While Jerry Brown did not drop-out of the race until June, Bill Clinton secured the 1992 Democratic nomination in April.) Second, she brought up the 1968 race, which was just heating-up in June when New York Senator Bobby Kennedy won California.

And she could have said just that, and it would have been fine. But no. She said something else:

We all remember Bobby Kennedy was assassinated in June in California.

When I first saw this, I froze as soon as the words "Bobby Kennedy" left her mouth. I thought, 'where on earth is she going with this?' I still don't know. She had nothing to gain by mentioning it. And I don't think she was trying to impress the interviewer with her knowledge of 20th Century US history.

I will say again, she wasn't openly expressing a wish to see Obama die. I do think she is wishing Obama to quit or otherwise go away. But the way it came out. Why? Why, when there are so many other historic examples to draw from? The 1984 Democratic nomination was very close. The 1988 race wasn't settled until July 4th, when Jackson and Dukhakis brokered a deal to make nice. The 1976 race was extremely close as well. Why 1968? Why 'assassination'? Why?

She said something no American politician should ever talk about, unless it is a remembrance, an anniversary, or a part of a history lecture. Surely there will be members of Congress who will mark the 40th anniversary of Robert Kennedy's death with a few words on the Senate or House floor. But in the context of a political race, the mentioning of an assassination as an example of how the race can dramatically change late in the calendar, is completely unacceptable. This is because political assassination is one of this nation's darkest and most traumatic legacies (along with the Civil War, reconstruction, racism, and our involvement in Vietnam). Speaking about an American assassination as if it were a possibility to level a political contest is totally beyond the pale. It has no place in our national discourse, particularly among the candidates involved in the political race in question. And that's because any of the three candidates in the race could themselves become a victim of an assassin's bullet. It's a possibility we don't treat lightly and don't talk about in public. Rational Americans don't wish it on even their most hated politicians or political enemies. Most Americans don't even think about it.

And yet, there was Hillary Clinton, speculating why she was being pressured to leave the race. And in her verbal thoughts, she mentioned the assassination of RFK as an example of why she should remain in this race. Because, who knows, something awful could happen to Senator Obama. It was a cold, brutal, and utterly disgusting moment. It is right here:

And then there is Keith Olbermann's passionate, and very angry response less than 5 hours later. Perhaps this was a bit too harsh. But I trust Keith to be a rational man. And as this Saturday rolled on, I found myself becoming just as angry as Keith did Friday night. Here's Keith telling his viewers, "This, Senator, is TOO MUCH."

Asked if her continuing fight for the nomination against Senator Obama hurts the Democratic party, Sen. Hillary Clinton replied, "I don't. Because again, I've been around long enough. You know, my husband did not wrap up the nomination in 1992 until he won the California primary somewhere in the middle of June, right? We all remember Bobby Kennedy was assassinated in June in California. You know, I just don't understand it. You know, there's lots of speculation about why it is. “

The comments were recorded and we showed them to you earlier and they are online as we speak.

She actually said those words.

Those words, Senator?

You actually invoked the nightmare of political assassination.

You actually invoked the specter of an inspirational leader, at the seeming moment of triumph, for himself and a battered nation yearning to breathe free, silenced forever.

You actually used the word "assassination" in the middle of a campaign with a loud undertone of racial hatred - and gender hatred - and political hatred.

You actually used the word "assassination" in a time when there is a fear, unspoken but vivid and terrible, that our again-troubled land and fractured political landscape might target a black man running for president.

Or a white man.

Or a white woman!

You actually used those words, in this America, Senator, while running against an African-American against whom the death threats started the moment he declared his campaign?

You actually used those words, in this America, Senator, while running to break your "greatest glass ceiling" and claiming there are people who would do anything to stop you?


Senator - never mind the implications of using the word "assassination" in any connection to Senator Obama...

What about you?

You cannot say this!

The references, said her spokesperson, were not, in any way, weighted.

The allusions, said Mo Uh-leathee, are, "...historical examples of the nominating process going well into the summer and any reading into it beyond that would be inaccurate and outrageous."

I'm sorry.

There is no inaccuracy.

Not for a moment does any rational person believe Senator Clinton is actually hoping for the worst of all political calamities.

Yet the outrage belongs, not to Senator Clinton or her supporters, but to every other American.

Firstly, she has previously bordered on the remarks she made today...

Then swerved back from them and the awful skid they represented.

She said, in an off-camera interview with Time on March 6, "Primary contests used to last a lot longer. We all remember the great tragedy of Bobby Kennedy being assassinated in June in L.A. My husband didn't wrap up the nomination in 1992 until June, also in California. Having a primary contest go through June is nothing particularly unusual. We will see how it unfolds as we go forward over the next three to four months."

In retrospect, we failed her when we did not call her out, for that remark, dry and only disturbing, in a magazine's pages. But somebody obviously warned her of the danger of that rhetoric:

After the Indiana primary, on May 7, she told supporters at a Washington hotel:

"Sometimes you gotta calm people down a little bit. But if you look at successful presidential campaigns, my husband did not get the nomination until June of 1992. I remember tragically when Senator Kennedy won California near the end of that process."

And at Shepherdstown, West Virginia, on the same day, she referenced it again:

"You know, I remember very well what happened in the California primary in 1968 as, you know, Senator Kennedy won that primary."

On March 6th she had said "assassinated."

By May 7 she had avoided it. Today... she went back to an awful well. There is no good time to recall the awful events of June 5th, 1968, of Senator Bobby Kennedy, happy and alive - perhaps, for the first time since his own brother's death in Dallas in 1963... Galvanized to try to lead this nation back from one of its darkest eras... Only to fall victim to the same surge that took that brother, and Martin Luther King... There is no good time to recall this. But certainly to invoke it, two weeks before the exact 40th anniversary of the assassination, is an insensitive and heartless thing.

And certainly to invoke it, three days after the awful diagnosis, and heart-breaking prognosis, for Senator Ted Kennedy, is just as insensitive, and just as heartless. And both actions, open a door wide into the soul of somebody who seeks the highest office in this country, and through that door shows something not merely troubling, but frightening. And politically inexplicable.

What, Senator, do you suppose would happen if you withdrew from the campaign, and Senator Obama formally became the presumptive nominee, and then suddenly left the scene? It doesn't even have to be the “dark curse upon the land” you mentioned today, Senator. Nor even an issue of health. He could simply change his mind... Or there could unfold that perfect-storm scandal your people have often referenced, even predicted. Maybe he could get a better offer from some other, wiser, country. What happens then, Senator? You are not allowed back into the race? Your delegates and your support vanish? The Democrats don't run anybody for President?

What happens, of course, is what happened when the Democrats' vice presidential choice, Senator Thomas Eagleton of Missouri, had to withdraw from the ticket, in 1972 after it proved he had not been forthcoming about previous mental health treatments. George McGovern simply got another vice president.

Senator, as late as the late summer of 1864 the Republicans were talking about having a second convention, to withdraw Abraham Lincoln's re-nomination and choose somebody else because until Sherman took Atlanta in September it looked like Lincoln was going to lose to George McClellan.

You could theoretically suspend your campaign, Senator.

There's plenty of time and plenty of historical precedent, Senator, in case you want to come back in, if something bad should happen to Senator Obama. Nothing serious, mind you.

It's just like you said, "We all remember Bobby Kennedy was assassinated in June in California."

Since those awful words in Sioux Falls, and after the condescending, buck-passing statement from her spokesperson, Senator Clinton has made something akin to an apology, without any evident recognition of the true trauma she has inflicted.

"I was discussing the Democratic primary history, and in the course of that discussion mentioned the campaigns both my husband and Senator Kennedy waged California in June in 1992 and 1968," she said in Brandon, South Dakota. "I was referencing those to make the point that we have had nomination primary contests that go into June. That's a historic fact.

"The Kennedys have been much on my mind the last days because of Senator Kennedy. I regret that if my referencing that moment of trauma for our entire nation, particularly for the Kennedy family was in any way offensive, I certainly had no intention of that whatsoever."

"My view is that we have to look to the past and to our leaders who have inspired us and give us a lot to live up to and I'm honored to hold Senator Kennedy's seat in the United States Senate in the state of New York and have the highest regard for the entire Kennedy family. Thanks. Not a word about the inappropriateness of referencing assassination.

Not a word about the inappropriateness of implying - whether it was intended or not - that she was hanging around waiting for somebody to try something terrible.

Not a word about Senator Obama.

Not a word about Senator McCain.

Not: I'm sorry...

Not: I apologize...

Not: I blew it...

Not: please forgive me.

God knows, Senator, in this campaign, this nation has had to forgive you, early and often...

And despite your now traditional position of the offended victim, the nation has forgiven you.

We have forgiven you your insistence that there have been widespread calls for you to end your campaign, when such calls had been few. We have forgiven you your misspeaking about Martin Luther King's relative importance to the Civil Rights movement.

We have forgiven you your misspeaking about your under-fire landing in Bosnia.

We have forgiven you insisting Michigan's vote wouldn't count and then claiming those who would not count it were Un-Democratic.

We have forgiven you pledging to not campaign in Florida and thus disenfranchise voters there, and then claim those who stuck to those rules were as wrong as those who defended slavery or denied women the vote.

We have forgiven you the photos of Osama Bin Laden in an anti-Obama ad...

We have forgiven you fawning over the fairness of Fox News while they were still calling you a murderer.

We have forgiven you accepting Richard Mellon Scaife's endorsement and then laughing as you described his "deathbed conversion."

We have forgiven you quoting the electoral predictions of Boss Karl Rove.

We have forgiven you the 3 a.m. Phone Call commercial.

We have forgiven you President Clinton's disparaging comparison of the Obama candidacy to Jesse Jackson's.

We have forgiven you Geraldine Ferraro's national radio interview suggesting Obama would not still be in the race had he been a white man.

We have forgiven you the dozen changing metrics and the endless self-contradictions of your insistence that your nomination is mathematically probable rather than a statistical impossibility.

We have forgiven you your declaration of some primary states as counting and some as not.

We have forgiven you exploiting Jeremiah Wright in front of the editorial board of the lunatic-fringe Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

We have forgiven you exploiting William Ayers in front of the debate on ABC.

We have forgiven you for boasting of your "support among working, hard-working Americans, white Americans"...

We have even forgiven you repeatedly praising Senator McCain at Senator Obama's expense, and your own expense, and the Democratic ticket's expense.

But Senator, we cannot forgive you this.

"You know, my husband did not wrap up the nomination in 1992 until he won the California primary somewhere in the middle of June, right? We all remember Bobby Kennedy was assassinated in June in California."

We cannot forgive you this -- not because it is crass and low and unfeeling and brutal.

This is unforgivable, because this nation's deepest shame, its most enduring horror, its most terrifying legacy, is political assassination.





Martin Luther King.

Robert Kennedy.

And, but for the grace of the universe or the luck of the draw, Reagan, Ford, Truman, Nixon, Andrew Jackson, both Roosevelts, even George Wallace.

The politics of this nation is steeped enough in blood, Senator Clinton, you cannot and must not invoke that imagery! Anywhere! At any time!

And to not appreciate, immediately - to still not appreciate tonight - just what you have done... is to reveal an incomprehension of the America you seek to lead.

This, Senator, is too much.

Because a senator - a politician - a person - who can let hang in mid-air the prospect that she might just be sticking around in part, just in case the other guy gets shot - has no business being, and no capacity to be, the President of the United States.

Good night and good luck.

© 2008 MSNBC Interactive

URL: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/24797758/

Did Clinton Give Her Appalachian Supporters A 'Permission Slip' To Act On Racial Prejudice?

This is not a question to be asked lightly. Hillary Clinton's campaign has done nothing remotely close to George H.W. Bush's Willie Horton ad of 1988. Her campaign has not explicitly said that a vote for Obama will result in the rapes of white women or hordes black hoodlums in our streets. But if we examine what her campaign did say explicitly, then we can draw the conclusion that racist impulses in Appalachian voters were, shall we say, encouraged. And that is not a charge to throw around lightly, either.

Let me try to explain.

I was openly wondering why there was such a difference in results between Kansas and Kentucky. Kansas was a big victory for Obama. Kentucky was a landslide victory for Clinton. Both states are over 90% working-class caucasian. Both states are in the heartland (Kansas more so). Both states are predominantly Christian, specifically Protestant. Both states are almost assured to vote for John McCain this fall. But both states have independent voters, who have tended to favor Obama in the primaries. So what happened? My girl chimed in: "There's a big difference between Kansas and Kentucky."

Indeed there is. What is it with Appalachia? I found two great posts from Driftglass and LowerManhattanite. Both are outstanding, even if Drifty is a little bitter. But he has history on his side. The inherent racism of white Appalachia is well-documented, and it is a shameful history. It is the birthplace and legacy of Jim Crow.

Enter Senator Hillay Clinton's campaign into West Virginia and Kentucky. For months (since March, I believe) Clinton, her advisors, spokespeople and campaigners have been making the argument that Senator Clinton is more electable against John McCain in the general election. The reasons for this argument seem clear. Clinton is a major brand name. Middle America hardly knows Obama. Clinton is a more conservative Democrat, known for taking a stand against violence in video games, a stand for the war in Iraq, and a brief stand against flag burning. More electable, sure. But when the campaign entered West Virginia and Kentucky, the 'more electable' argument underwent a subtle transformation. Analysts can point to a single Clinton quote in Kentucky back on May 7th:

"I have a much broader base to build a winning coalition on," she said in an interview with USA TODAY. As evidence, Clinton cited an Associated Press article "that found how Sen. Obama's support among working, hard-working Americans, white Americans, is weakening again, and how whites in both states who had not completed college were supporting me."

Clinton only said "white Americans" once, but it was enough to plant the theme that she was on the side of "hard-working", white voters, while Obama, somehow, was not. Essays and books have been written that decode the use of "working" or "hard-working" in addition to the word "white people" or "white Americans." It implies a lot in just a few words. White people work hard. People who don't look like them presumably don't work hard. Cenk Uygur explains further:
The second way they gave their voters permission to be racists is by using thinly veiled code words like, "I'm looking out for people like you." The very thin veil on these code words was lifted when Senator Clinton flat out said she was looking out for "hard working white Americans." And presumably Obama wasn't. And why is that? You don't have to be a rocket scientist to understand the implication that he wasn't looking out for people like them because he wasn't one of them.

So, when the voter in Kentucky stepped into that booth, he didn't necessarily think, "I'm going to vote against Barack Obama because he is black and I'm racist." He thought, "Hillary Clinton is looking out for people like me. Obama cares more about his own people. And besides which he's going to lose in the general election because who would elect a black guy as president?"

This is the art of encoding and decoding in communication. It was subtle and effective, not blatant and egregious. Clinton's campaign didn't run a TV ad darkening Obama's face (a-la OJ Simpson on various TV networks) or try to make white voters frightened of Obama. It was more of an arm around their shoulder - a reminder that Clinton can be trusted because she connects with poor and working-class white people who don't have college degrees (Obama's support among college-educated whites is very strong, by the way). It was almost as if Clinton's campaign was saying, "Look, we know Obama's support among blacks is very strong. They side with him because of his race. It's OK for you to vote with Clinton because she is white. They are doing it, so we can do it too. And since we are the majority in this country (the silent majority, perhaps, like Reagan's supporters), we know we can override their votes and beat their candidate. It's white people like you who will decide this election."

Ampersand, over at Atlas Blog, compiled an excellent sampling of how the Clinton quote was interpreted, and it is clear that it worked as intended. Elrod has a similar summary of how "hard-working" plus "white" made her comment a classic, southern 'dog-whistle' moment. We coffee-drinking, urban, liberal intellectuals aren't making this up. Clinton delivered a specific, encoded message to the white voters of Kentucky on May 7th. She gave them a green light to vote against the black man on the basis of racial prejudice.

That's a much different message coming from a Clinton, a member of a family that might not have enjoyed two terms in the White House if it wasn't for a solid base of support among African Americans. Listen to the Clinton quote again, straight from Clinton's teleconference with USA Today. Note how she makes sure to say "hard-working." It seems to be a carefully-chosen word by her campaign.

One of the problems I perceive with this tactic is that black Americans are not voting for Obama solely because he is black. The driving force behind Obama is his charisma, the promise of dramatic change, and the fact that he is slightly more liberal than Clinton and against the occupation of Iraq. Those qualities have attracted more votes than Clinton nationwide. But Clinton's strategists and managers must have thought that they had an opportunity to exploit a large population of people who deep down, don't want to see a black man become president. They tapped into it, and it has worked in Pennsylvania, Indiana, West Virginia, and Kentucky.

To her credit, Clinton later told CNN/Time that she regretted that remark. But that was after she had won Kentucky.

Cenk Uygur and E.J. Escow explain this conclusion, that Clinton gave voters in West Virginia and Kentucky permission to vote on their racial prejudices.

Keith Olbermann and Dana Milbank discuss the Clinton quote the week it happened.

Hillary's Embellishment / Obama's Home Run

I just have one question: Why did Hillary repeat her embellishment on her 1996 Bosnia trip, even when small newspapers were onto the inaccuracies in her story? Frank Rich of the NY Times asked that question over the past weekend (registration required).

No, actually, I have a far better question: Why didn't she simply point to her travels as senator in her argument that she is the most experienced candidate. She did go to Iraq, correct? Why not mention her trips to Iraq? It's dangerous, right? This speech (below) was one of her best on the senate floor.

Meanwhile, looking back at what Barry did two weeks ago, I can now say with confidence that his speech was a home run. He freaking knocked one out of the park with this March 18th speech.

Say hello to your next president. It's about time we had a progressive with a brain.

What Rahm Emanuel Could Learn From His Brother, Ari

Ari is a straight shooter and pulls no punches. Rahm is brilliant, speaks well, and is a leader in the House. But he doesn't use his talents to attack agressively. Ari, on the other hand, knows how to attack. How else can he be a Hollywood agent?

Ari Emanuel: What Hillary Really Learned in the White House

I don't agree with him that Hillary is a natural, clever liar. But I admire his bold attack.

Barack Delivers A Smackdown. Excessive? Maybe. Deserved? Yes.

Hillary Clinton's campaign released a fear-mongering TV ad yesterday, sharply attacking Obama's lack of foreign policy experience:

Here is Barack Obama's devastating response. Like double-barrel devastating.

"We’ve seen these ads before. They’re the kind that play on peoples’ fears to scare up votes.

"Well it won’t work this time. Because the question is not about picking up the phone. The question is – what kind of judgment will you make when you answer? We’ve had a red phone moment. It was the decision to invade Iraq. And Senator Clinton gave the wrong answer. George Bush gave the wrong answer. John McCain gave the wrong answer.

"But I stood up and said that a war in Iraq would cost us thousands of lives and billions of dollars. I said that it would distract us from the real threat we face – and that we should take the fight to al Qaeda in Afghanistan. That’s the judgment I made on the most important foreign policy decision of our generation, and that’s the kind of judgment I’ll show when I answer that phone in the White House as President of the United States – the judgment to keep us safe, to go after our real enemies, and to provide the men and women who wear the uniform of the United States with the equipment they need when we do send them into battle, and the respect and care they have earned when they come home. And I’ll never see the threat of terrorism as a way to scare up votes, because it’s a threat that should rally this country around our common enemies. That’s the judgment we need at 3am. And that’s the judgment that I am running for President to provide."

Game. Set. Match. That was one hell of a response. The politics of fear have to end (until they inevitably come back again)

That's All Folks

From Marc Cooper in today's Huffington Post:

And after repeatedly ignoring pleas from moderator Brian Williams to curtail her health care harangue, after extending and re-extending her remarks, Clinton then portrayed herself as a hapless victim of media bias by comparing Williams' questioning to a satirical sketch that aired over the weekend. "Well, could I just point out that in the last several debates, I seem to get the first question all the time? And I don't mind," she said with a grimace. "You know, I'll be happy to field them but I do find it curious. And if anybody saw Saturday Night Live, maybe we should ask Barack if he's comfortable and needs another pillow."


Or was that a car crash?

Either way, time to bring in the mop-up crews. It's over.

In fairness to Senator Clinton, the panel at last night's debate (Tim Russert and Brian Williams) was almost hostile to her. They interrupted her quite a bit, and that brought on her sarcasm and bitterness in return. Tim Russert was also unfair to Obama. I also think that since the health care issue has been talked to death -as critical as it is- it was time to focus on key differences between the two candidates and for Clinton to re-phrase her case for why she should be elected. It didn't turn-out the way it should have. The gatekeepers and agenda-setters did the driving in this debate. Clinton and Obama could only hang-on and react for 2 hours.

Obama Looking To Sweep Texas, Ohio, Vermont, And Rhode Island

It's game over for Senator Clinton. We have a clear front-runner. Chadwick Matlin at Slate.com:

After tens of thousands of handshakes, thousands of stump speeches, and hundreds of meet-and-greets, Democrats are tired. They want one candidate—and that candidate is going to be Barack Obama.

We don’t have to look any further than Texas and Ohio to see the exhaustion firsthand. Rasmussen polls had him down by 16 points in Texas eight days ago (post-Potomac, pre-Wisconsin). Now he trails by only three points. The newest Washington Post/ABC News poll shows that Texans like Clinton more than Obama on the issues that matter most—health care and the economy. Yet he’s in a statistical tie with her overall. Why? Because 47 percent of the state’s Democrats believe he has the best chance of getting elected president in November—thirty-six percent say that’s the case for Clinton. In Ohio, there’s an even larger disparity between whom Ohioans favor—Clinton—and whom they think can win in November-Obama.

Three Reasons Hillary Didn't Win My Vote

1. She never explained why she should be my president, aside from the fact that she was an excellent first lady who lived in the White House for 8 years. I remember a born-again peanut farmer from Georgia who explained why he was running in the aftermath of a national disgrace. We have a similar situation and Hillary could have done the same.

2. She spoke of having 35 years of experience. While her career got off to an amazing start, the last decade has not impressed me. Clinton isn't as pro-active or courageous as some of her colleagues in the Senate. When I think about my favorite senators in office, I list names like Barbara Boxer, Russ Feingold, Ted Kennedy, Robert Byrd, Sheldon Whitehouse, Patrick Leahy, Chuck Hagel (R), Carl Levin, Daniel Inouye, Chris Dodd, and Bob Menendez. Hillary is not one of them. To paraphrase David Mamet, she's white bread.

We have to keep in mind that it is a mix of legal and political experience. She is not saying that she has been preparing to be President for 35 years. In fact, I think the idea of becoming president only occurred to her in 1999 when her husband was impeached. (Barack probably decided to run after Gore conceded in 2000. He had to hope that Kerry would lose so he would get his chance.)

Senator Clinton's career is nothing to scoff at. She is a graduate of Yale Law School. During her time as a doctorate student, she volunteered at a hospital, worked on child abuse cases, advocated for migrant workers, and became involved in a new 'child rights' movement which gave children more power in the courtroom to fight for what's theirs. She even declined Bill Clinton's first marriage proposal. She was liberal, ambitious, and had characteristics I greatly admire. She was the breadwinner in the family from 1977-1992, earning and investing more than Bill did. She was the leader in that family, which might explain her impulse to defend Bill and restore her family name through her own election to the Presidency. All well and good. Her US Senate seat was supposed to springboard her into the white house. But her conservative track record in the Senate has done nothing to impress me. Yes, I think it would be good for the Clinton family to get a shot back at the Bushes. I can root for a little revenge. But do the Clinton's need this victory? Do they need to hit back, Corleone style? Why should I root for a family that went into the White House slightly more affluent than me, and came out as millionaires and heroes?

3. Most important is Senator Clinton's refusal to admit that she made a mistake by voting AYE on Joint Resolution 114, the authorization to invade Iraq. All she has to do is admit she made a mistake, and she has my vote. Really. That's all she has to do. I want a woman in the White House in my lifetime. Hillary is not perfect, but she's a fine choice for that historic role. What a shame she won't admit her mistake.

21 Democratic senators, including the late Paul Wellstone, voted against the Iraq use-of-force resolution. Every Democratic senator I list above as my favorites voted against it, except those who weren't in office at the time (Menendez and Whitehouse). Hillary could have stood with them. She refused. What leadership is that? Would JFK call that a profile in courage? I think not.

Now I know the most Clinton or Obama can ever give me is two or three moderate Supreme Court justices. But I think Clinton gives me an extra special nothing on the side.

As for Obama...I didn't ask or even want him to run. I didn't ask for a movie star smile. I didn't ask for a deep, strong voice. I didn't ask for an athletic, black president of a white, overweight country. But the more I think about it, the more I realize it would make me happy to see Obama take the helm. And after all, if only selfish people run for that office, I want a selfish reason to see them win. I haven't felt good about my country since......since.....President Clinton was acquitted by the Seante? Wow. That was February 12th, 1999. I remembered what Alexander Hamilton said 200 years ago. He said, "Here, Sir, the People govern." On that day, the People won.

What might an Obama victory do? It might make me feel good about the USA for 50 days. So this is what we've come to - incredibly low expectations for our country. I have many other reasons to smile in my life. Life is good! But when it comes to my country, this has been a most depressed decade. We've been losing, people. Losing a lot.

What would Lincoln say? Where's the freedom in a culture now dominated by fear (and celebrity news)?

Sure, I know, I shouldn't think this way. This is irrational. I should shut-up and order that chicken caesar salad and vodka drink with a twist. But I don't want a caesar salad. I don't want another vodka drink right now. I want to try a rye. I want a president with a Muslim name just to make the wingnuts shit themselves for four years (can you imagine what Ann and Pam would do? Kill themselves, I hope). I want to see Barack Hussein Obama be the president to bag Osama bin Laden. It could happen. I want Obama to be the political equivalent of my Red Sox. I want to see him win. Why not him? Why the hell not?

Hillary didn't explain why she should be president. Neither did Obama. But since life is unfair, one of them had to lose my vote. They both have huge egos. They are both insane to want this job. They both refuse to reverse any of the serious changes Bush brought to this country (Homeland Security, the imprisonment of Lindh and Padilla, The Patriot Act, the spread of torture and domestic spying). But Hillary's vote for Joint Res 114 was the tie-breaker. Game over. We have a winner, who won by screwing-up less.

The Fascinating Splits Between Clinton And Obama

Photos ripped from the New York Times.

Many many articles have been written about this. Here is just my brief rundown, with some references.

Obama does much better with young voters, aged 18-35. Now I don't know if they know him any better than I do, but they have taken to him much faster than I did. Was it Facebook? Was it his rock star appeal? I don't know. But his energy resonates with the young.

Clinton does very well with Asian and Hispanic voters. Why? Her campaign establishes relationships the old fashioned way - by meeting with local Asian and Hispanic politicians and community boards and answering their questions straight. Obama's camp didn't do this. Also, as Jeff Chang writes, it is a fact that Asian and Hispanic Democrats tend to be more conservative than white and black democrats. It could be a variety of factors, including religion (Hispanics tend to be active Catholics, many Korean-Americans are active Protestants, etc.). Chang calls more conservative Democratic candidates (like Clinton) "emergents," while more liberal, progressive candidates (like Obama) are labelled "insurgents."

Clinton also dominates among female voters over 40 years old. While Obama does exceptionally well among white males, many of whom consider themselves independents.

Clinton has shown an ability to lock-down union endorsements early and swiftly. She has built mainstream support the old fashioned way. She also likes small discussion groups a lot. While they don't create excitement like Obama's rallies, they seem to have made her a more sincere candidate. She still hasn't given me a reason to vote for her, but for others, she has answered their questions and has won their support.

Obama does extremely well in more rural ('red') states. He has won Alaska, Kansas, Utah, and Alabama, among others. His next big test is Texas. If he wins that, he is looking good for the nomination. But there is a large amount of Mexican-Americans in Texas. So it is a real test.

But at the same time, Obama does very well among white, college educated progressive voters. It's quite a feat - to appeal to both the rural working class and the wealthy voters with master's degrees. The Connecticut victory is a huge breakthrough. We knew that Obama would do well in cities like New Haven, Hartford, and Bridgeport, where there are large black populations. But he also got scores of votes in Old Saybrook, Darien, Norwalk, and Stratford. Back in August, when my aunt and uncle in Stratford told me they were voting for Obama, I knew he would win Connecticut. The near-defeat of Lieberman by Ned Lamont in 2006 was also a hint that Connecticut had more progressives than it did in decades past. David Chen of the NY Times writes about this today.

Compare Obama's win in Connecticut to Clinton's sound victory in New Jersey. You would think that Obama would also win New Jersey because of its large black population and diverse working-class towns. But no. The wealthy classes in Hoboken (which includes Governor Corzine) went for Hillary. While Princeton, Trenton, Atlantic City, and Newark were wins for Obama, Hillary carried the solid New Jersey middle class, i.e. two income families, espcially whites, Hispanics, and Asians.

But get this - Obama won three rather different counties in New Jersey. He won Hunterdon, a very rural area of villages in the northwest corner of the state. He won Atlantic county, which includes Atlantic City. And he won Essex county, which includes Newark, Orange, and the wealthy suburb of Montclair, where 60% of the inhabitants are white and earn more than $40K each. (It's also the home of Yogi Berra...had to mention that). Even if we assume Clinton won Montclair, Obama was showing signs of winning New Jersey over. But Connecticut opened-up to him much faster and with more enthusiasm. Interesting differences for two wealthy states that have large populations of older Democrats, young college students, working class families, and black and latino urban residents. The NY Times has an excellent story today adressing the differences in the New Jersey and Connecticut results.

And Timothy Egan in the NY Times made a similar observation in examining the Colorado reslts, where Obma won big:

Overall, Obama won some big, general election swing states: Colorado, Missouri, Minnesota, and a tie in New Mexico, where they may still be counting votes from the 2004 election. All will be crucial in deciding the next president.

His victory in Colorado, by a 2-1 margin, defied most predictions. Four times as many Democrats turned out as were expected, typical of the passion level elsewhere. In Anchorage, Alaska, for example, traffic was backed for nearly a mile from people trying to get into a middle school to become part of an Obama avalanche.

But back to Colorado. Obama won the liberal enclaves, as expected, but then he nearly ran the table in the western part of the state – ranch and mining country — and he did it with more than Ralph Lauren Democrats. In booming, energy-rich Garfield County, for instance, Obama beat Clinton 72 percent to 27 percent...

...Now broaden the picture and look at the vote among white males, traditionally the hardest sell for a Democrat. While losing California, Obama won white men in the Golden State, 55 to 35, according to exit polls, and white men in New Mexico, 59-38.
Looking ahead to Saturday, when Washington State, Nebraska, and Louisiana hold contests, Obama should add another three states to the 13 he won on Tuesday. They’re all caucus states, each with distinct advantages for Obama.

So back to my neck of the woods. Connecticut's population is less than half of New Jersey's, and it is more white-collar. New Jersy is more working class overall, but has a bigger, more diverse middle class, and has bigger cities. It was a fascinating vote split.

Expect Obama to sweep the three caucuses on Saturday. And then he and his people can focus on Ohio while at the same time try to be competitive in Texas.