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Sunday, January 20, 2008


Going Exactly To Plan

Hillary Clinton has won in Nevada and John McCain has won South Carolina; it's going down exactly as I predicted after New Hampshire. Any serious look at the polls will tell you how the final acts of this drama will end...Hillary will lose South Carolina next week, but then run the table on February 5th. Barring some enormous race-changing fuckup on her part -- Hillary Clinton is the Democratic nominee for President. Huzzah!

It's slightly less certain that McCain will be the Republican nominee, but the South Carolina win is huge for him...it essentially ends Huckabee's narrative, leaving only the enormous finances of Mitt Romney as an obstacle in the race. It proves McCain can win in the South. It proves the establishment is coalescing.

So I'm not giving up on Obama (praying for a miracle), but I'm moving on to the next major problem for Democrats: Clinton vs. McCain.

In almost every national poll, she loses to him. Sure, there's time for her to turn it around...but there are many obstacles McCain brings to a head-to-head matchup. She'll find it impossible to play her "experience" card against a man with much more impressive credentials. She's not as good off the cuff as he is, in debates or on late night TV. And most importantly, independents *like* McCain. They do not like Hillary, and in the purple states, they never have. (My guess? The media will have it positioned as "The War Hero versus the Shrew" by July.)

So here's my question: how do we get our girl into the winners' circle? Does she play dirty, as she unquestionably has in the primaries, or does she take the high road and try to co-opt the "change" mantle she's wanted so desperately? How does she distinguish herself to the far-left base of the party, who see her as a pro-war centrist not unlike McCain himself? How does she make those independents who carry long grudges understand that she didn't let Monica (and Bill) off the hook? How does she convince men to vote for her...especially against the high Q rating of McCain?

I'm looking for real ideas here in the comments. I want to start figuring out how she wins this thing...because we HAVE to win this thing.

P.S. -- Here's an idea. Perhaps she could hire some of those robocallers she went after Obama with in Nevada. Seemed to work wonders there, along with suppressing the vote. Okay, I promise, that's my last bitchy comment, I swear.

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Blogger The Slabber said...

I am not sure this is a "real idea," but it's a real issue: are people going to consider that John McCain was born in August 1936 -- if my math is correct, he's 71 now, and will be 72 if inaugurated. Given his medical status, he may drop dead a year or two into office -- and I'm not trying to me mean here -- or wind up with Alzheimer's. For someone like this, age genuinely IS an issue (and the older you get, the stronger this fact becomes). As for Hillary -- why do so many very smart politicos seem to think that Edwards is the most electable Democrat and will likely get the nomination? This is an undercurrent that just won't die. And, hey, I'll say it again -- we might just wind up looking down the solid-gold barrel of a Bloomberg. (Stranger things have happened in our history.)

1/20/08, 2:38 AM  
Blogger Jill said...

What makes you so sure the Democrats WANT to win? I'm not kidding by asking this question. If you look at every Democratic campaign dating back to 1980, with the exception of Bill Clinton's two races, every Democratic race has brought us weak-ass candidates who don't seem to want the job. In 1984 the hackocracy decided to nominate Walter Mondale over Gary Hart (who in that year had an insurgent campaign not much different from Howard Dean's in 2004) -- and then Mondale ran a campaign that seemed designed to lose. In 1988, after Gary Hart's stupidity, they nominated Michael Dukakis -- arguably one of the worst nominees in history. Smart guy, terrible candidate. Then after the Clinton interregnum, we had John Kerry, windsurfing and pretending he's a hunter and turning the other cheek when they told lies about him.

Then look at Congressional Democrats since taking over Congress -- more weakness.

The Democratic Party has become more comfortable with being a minority party that can complain and never get anything done.

Hillary Clinton may be a Clinton, but she comes to this nomination (assuming she gets it) with so many steamer trunks of baggage she makes what Madeleine Astor brought aboard the Titanic look like a backpack.

If this race is Hillary Clinton vs. John McCain, we lose.


Just as we always do.

1/20/08, 9:57 AM  
Blogger qta said...

In all fairness... McCain wins against all 3 leading Dems. at this point. But all 3 Dems. win against everyone else. It is not just Hillary who would have a problem against McCain. Obama and Edwards share the same problem.

McCain was always going to be the biggest challenge to the Dems.

But these races are not over!

McCain vs. Romney
Obama vs. Clinton

It could still go either way... for both major parties. Edwards could make Obama the winner as Obama and Clinton continue to split the delegates.

And then there is Bloomberg... the 2 ton elephant in the room.

This race is far from over.

What is important here is that we, all of us, come together and support the Dem. candidate when the time comes. Because He or She is going to need all the help that she or he can get.

1/20/08, 11:41 AM  
Blogger Roxie Smith Lindemann said...

Um, didn't New Hampshire teach us that maybe we shouldn't make too much of polls? Those head-to-head polls mean nothing at this point. If Clinton gets the nom, I am absolutely convinced that a tidal wave of support will break in her favor over the prospect of electing the first woman president. McCain looks older every second. By November, he will look like a corpse, having been done in by all the bitter right-wingers (DeLay, Norquist, Limbaugh) who hate his guts. Clinton-Obama will grind McCain-Huckabee into the DIRT, and George W. Bush will slink back to Texas to face the oblivion he so richly deserves.

1/20/08, 10:54 PM  
Blogger ModFab said...

QTA, I'm not sure it answers my question about strategy to say "McCain would be a problem for anyone." Although technically the primaries are not over, I'm moving forward...and I'm looking for a winning strategy.

Personally, I think Hillary's going to have to play both sides of the fence...prove both her ability and her femininity, which is a tough thing to do. (Ask any female CEO.) But I see dancing with Ellen Degeneres in her future...and perhaps baking with Martha Stewart. And she better have a recipe ready.

Roxie: What makes you think Obama is a VP candidate? I don't see any way the Clinton campaign could consider him for the 2nd spot at this point...she and Bill have trashed his reputation and belittled his experience. If she were to name him V.P., then she's open HERSELF up to criticism: the media would grill her on why she partnered with a person she ripped as being way too inexperienced for the job?

It's a nice dream, but she can't pick Obama at this point. (And this is assuming he would want the job, too. My guess is he'll lose gracefully, support her campaign...and plan for 2012 if Hillary loses or 2016 if she doesn't.)

1/20/08, 11:58 PM  
Blogger Roxie Smith Lindemann said...

Clinton-Obama may be just a dream, but people have a way of forgiving and forgetting the stuff that gets said and done in the heat of a primary battle by both sides. (Obama hasn't been Mr. Nice Guy vis-a-vis the Clintons lately either.) My hope is that Feb. 5 will more or less settle things and that all the Dems will then hold hands, sing a rousing chorus of "Kumbaya," and get focused on how to smash the Republicans once and for all in November.

Perhaps on MLK Day, it's important for all of us to indulge in a bit of dreaming, eh?

1/21/08, 9:57 AM  
Blogger FleshPresser said...

OK... no one else has said it, but I will. Here's my strategy. If Clinton takes the nomination, my strategy will be to seek a solid third party candidate, and I don't care if I am viewed to throw my vote away in the process.

I will NOT "fall in line" and support another Kerry-esque candidate in 2008.

Look... I LIKE Hillary Clinton. I like Bill Clinton. I like peanut butter. But NONE of the above are going to win in a general election.

It has nothing to do with Hillary being a woman (although there will be a significant number of people who will probably have that in thier heads)... it's because she's a CLINTON, he's not running, and peanut butter is an inanimate object.

Jill is absolutely right - she simply comes with FAR too much baggage to win in a general election.

The two major parties in this country DEPEND on everyone blindly falling into step and eating whatever is being served, regardless of what was actually ordered.

I will NOT be biting this year.

And if people want to bait me by calling me an Unloyal Democrat, or a Cause of the Democrats' Failure, or a Misogynist, then so be it - I'm confident enough in my own beliefs to know what my own personal truth is without having anyone else label me.

If Clinton and McCain become the eventual nominees, I see this as one of the most ripe election years in our lifetime for an independant third party candidate to make a successful run at the White House.

Sorry to spoil all the Dreaming, but this is one Democrat who is not going to fall in line quietly.

Obama will NOT be asked (nor should he be) to run as a VP - and I'm getting a little sick of the whole subversion going on in this campaign.

Barack Obama has more experience in politics than Abraham Lincoln did when he took the Oath of Office, and ole Abe seemed to turn out OK.

"yes, but Tim... we live in a different age, where we are in danger, and Americans' very lives are on the line."

It seems to be that America faced plenty of danger in the 1860s, as well.

Clinton would make a fine President, were she electable. But Obama, like Lincoln, has the potential to be transformative.

Given the opportunity, I'll cast my vote for the potential EVERY DAY. If you HONESTLY see Hillary in that light, then PLEASE vote for her. But if you don't, and you still vote for her, then shame on you.

Of course, I vote in Pennsylvania, which means my primary voice is heard as nothing more than a fart in the proverbial wind.

All of this is what leads me to my inevitable strategy, and at the end of the day, I'll be able to sleep at the end of the day... AND be able to say I told you so when Democrats embrace the same old strategies, expect different results, and then whine and moan when they don't come to fruition.

Remember back in 2004, when Democrats jumped up and down saying that ANYONE could beat George Bush.... just look at his horrible performance... look at how low his numbers are.... look at what an IDIOT he is... there's no WAY he could be re-elected!

And then... poof!

yes, but Tim... George Bush isn't running in 2008...

The hell he isn't. This is going to be a strogner year for Republicans than anyone gives them credit for, because at the end of the day, they can still vote for their cultural conservatism, while claiming that they're voting for change as well.... in the physical form of another President... a Republican one. GOPers held their noses and re-elected Bush in 2004.... I doubt they'll have the same problem in 2008.

Given that, if you want to take your chances with someone the Republican party is licking their chops to run against, then by all means, PLEASE vote for Hillary.


1/21/08, 8:32 PM  
Blogger ModFab said...

Nice post, Tim. Are you thinking Bloomberg is your candidate? It's an interesting option...he's a centrist Democrat in practice, and not the worst guy in the world. Certainly preferable to McCain. My concern is essentially the same as Hillary's...that he can't win.

1/21/08, 10:40 PM  
Blogger FleshPresser said...

Yeah... honestly, I haven't looked closely enough at what a Bloomberg campaign would look like, and so I'm indifferent/doubtful about supporting someone like him at this point. I had been following Unity '08 for a while -


But they seem to have floundered from their initial enthusiasm.

But trust me... if Hillary and McCain become the candidates, the third party candidate will present him/herself...

1/22/08, 12:36 PM  

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