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Hillary Clinton, the Electoral College Map & the Democrat’s Dilemma

bringiton's picture

Polls last week confirmed the weak showing of Barak Obama in a couple of key states that will be crucial in winning November’s general election. They also showed that Hillary Clinton has maintained an Electoral College advantage over John McCain, while other polls show Clinton dominating McCain in overall voter preference.

With the flawed Democratic primary likely resulting in Obama leading Clinton in the primary race for pledged delegates but not by enough to win outright, the nomination decision will fall to a small group of leaders; Howard Dean, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid. What should they do?

The Quinnipiac polls did bring some clearly good news for Democrats. Both candidates lead McCain in Pennsylvania; Clinton has a commanding advantage, 50% – 37%, while Obama’s margin is smaller but still slightly positive at 46% – 40%. In two other big states, however, the news is more sobering for Obama and his supporters. He trails McCain in Florida by four points, 45% – 41%, and is behind in Ohio by the same margin at 44% – 40%. These standings continue a McCain dominance that has existed for some time.

In sharp contrast, it is Clinton who leads McCain by substantially larger margins in both Florida and Ohio, up seven points at 48% – 41% in both states. Her strength in these three major Electoral College states would seem to bode well for an eventual victory in the fall. But if Obama is made the Democratic candidate, can he overcome these early deficits or will he be forced to try and cobble together an Electoral College majority in some unprecedented way?

The three dominant Party leaders, Dean, Pelosi and Reid, face a difficult choice. Should they throw their weight behind Obama, whose numerous primary victories in Republican states gave him his delegate lead but are unlikely to translate into Electoral College votes? Or should they give the nomination to Clinton, who will win the primary popular vote and may have an Electoral College advantage in the presidential election? What is the purpose of a primary, anyway, and on what information should the Democratic power brokers base their decision?

I have no interest in moral victories. Sometimes I have to settle for that, but it isn’t what I want. Since I see almost no difference in policy or competence between the two Democratic candidates, with Clinton having slight but non-crucial advantages, my only basis for advocacy is the answer to one question: Who has the best chance of winning in November? That, too, should be the only question on the minds of the Dean, Pelosi and Reid Triumvirate. There is no value to second place in presidential politics; winning is everything, and the loser be damned.

What indicators should the Triumvirate be looking at? Does a lead in pledged delegates built upon manipulated caucuses in states that will never support the nominee in a general election constitute enough of a justification? Surely not. The whole point of having a nominee, and contesting in the general election, is to win. A nominee who cannot win enough Electoral votes will lose, and basing the selection of that nominee on his popularity among voters in states he cannot carry is foolishness. The only characteristic that matters is the ability to carry enough states to win a total of at least 270 electoral votes; states that provide no Electoral votes are of no value for winning the White House.

One argument advanced by Obama’s supporters, and surely an issue that will weigh on the Triumvirate’s minds, is the general perception of the candidates; who has the ineffable quality of “voter approval” and who carries the burden of “disapproval”? Throughout this campaign, the MSM have consistently hammered on Clinton as being “controversial” and “divisive”, constantly referring to old, disproven, false allegations from her husband’s presidency as though the voters could not either tell the difference between Hillary and Bill or recognize that no matter how often a lie is repeated it is still a lie. Obama’s supporters have gleefully repeated the refrain, damning Hillary as unelectable because she is supposedly the one with the highest disapproval ratings.

But this claim is untrue (and repeating it now is plainly a lie). Early in the campaign, before voters got to know Obama, he was given generally higher approval marks than Clinton. But for many weeks now, upon full and careful reflection, the voters have decided that there really isn’t much difference in the acceptability of either Democrat. Here are Rasmussen snapshot numbers from a couple of days ago; the standings have been unchanged for a month:

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The approve/disapprove numbers are identical; half the voters approve of each candidate, and half disapprove. Neither Obama nor Clinton can claim an advantage based on voter approval ratings. (Good news for Democrats, voters are equally divided about McCain.) This measure is of no use whatsoever in projecting results in November; the Triumverate will have to ignore the falsehoods being spewed by the MSM and look elsewhere for guidance.

What about the national polls? Are the voters more decisive when they are asked to compare one candidate at a time directly against John McCain? With the caveat that national polls in May might not be wholly reliable predictors of the national mood in November, and remembering that the Presidential election is determined by Electoral College votes and not by the total popular vote, this measure could still be something that the Triumvirate would consider.

The most recent Gallup head-to-head polling does show a definite, statistically significant difference in voter preference. As shown below, Hillary Clinton has again opened a substantive although narrow lead over John McCain. While her margin of preference has ebbed and flowed, she has maintained a numerical lead over McCain since very early in the month and for much of that time Clinton’s advantage has been statistically meaningful.

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(Survey Methods: The latest general election results are based on combined data from May 20-24, 2008. For results based on this sample of 4,423 registered voters, the maximum margin of sampling error is ±2 percentage points.)

In contrast, Obama has been in a statistical dead heat with McCain for the entire month on May. While the numbers have swung slightly one way or another, the margins are too small for any meaning to be imputed. Obama’s supporters cannot claim any advantage for their candidate from these data.

Will the Triumvirate give these polls any weight? If they do, the advantage is clearly to Clinton. But these are national polls, and while they might be considered an indicator of how the general election popular vote could go, they do not help any with an assessment of the only metric that matters: The Electoral College. For that Pelosi, Dean and Reid will have to trek through each state, poll by poll and with a view to both historical trends and their own political sense of where things stand today, and make a best-guess estimation of how voters will feel in the fall and how those feelings will determine their state’s outcome.

This is a glorious, wonderful, complex and astounding nation we live in. Let’s take that stroll with them and see where it leads, shall we?

[Of the 50 states and DC, there are many where the outcome is almost certainly predictable. Barring a catastrophe, states like Massachusetts and California will again go for the Democrat while Utah and Alabama will belong to the Republican. I have listed those “solid” states in an Appendix below, along with some discussion where my assignments may vary from the opinions of others or the early polling. Forecasting is an art, not a science, and I am certainly open to discussion around my decisions; challenges resting on sound numbers or a plausible rationale will be warmly received; those with any lesser basis, not so much.]

There are 15 states where the contest is close enough that they can be fairly considered to be in play for either party. It is in these states that the election will be decided, and the electability data here is what the Democratic Party should use in choosing their candidate. Whoever loses the Electoral majority in these states will become a footnote to history. Whoever dominates this group of states will be the next President of the United States.

[Color coding is conventional; blues for the Democrats, reds for McCain, and gray for Too Close To Call.]

The Far West

Washington State went Democratic in the last five consecutive cycles, and Kerry won by seven points. While Obama has the larger lead, with both Democrats leading Washington should go Democratic again for either candidate.

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Oregon also has voted Democratic for five presidents in a row, and Kerry took the state by 5%. With Both Democrats leading, Oregon should be a win for either of them and join with Washington and California for a solid Democratic swath.

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The Mountain West

Nevada was solidly Republican until 1992, when it swung to Clinton and stayed there for 1996. It swung back again to the Republicans for the last two elections, although Bush won in 2004 by only 3%. Although there was some early talk from the Obama camp that they could take Nevada, McCain is winning the polls; this has to be put down as a loss if Obama is the nominee. Clinton, however, did very well in the last poll, leading McCain, but was solidly behind in the previous assessment. The best that can be done for her is to call it a tie.

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New Mexico is another Mountain State that had been steadfastly Republican for some while, but went to Clinton in 1992 and stayed Democratic through 2000. Bush won in 2004 by just 1%, and both Clinton and Obama have strong current margins even when the surveys are averaged. New Mexico could be won by either Democrat.

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Even though Colorado has voted Republican in 9 out of the last 10 cycles, and went to Bush in 2004 by 5%, this is one state where the Obama “transformative” politics appear to be taking hold. McCain has been behind Obama consistently, and currently trails by 6 points. Clinton, in contrast, has trailed McCain and is currently 3 points behind. Put Colorado in the win column for Obama, but mark it as a loss for Clinton.

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The Heartland

Missouri is definitely a “swing” state, having gone back and forth between the parties and voted with the eventual winner in each of the last 10 presidential elections. While Bush won by a solid 7% in 2004, the sagging Republican Party reputation definitely opens the state for a Democrat – If that Democrat’s name is Clinton. While she is holding her won against McCain, keeping Missouri as a tossup, Obama has consistently trailed. The slight positive shift for both Democrats seen here may be real, or not; regardless, Obama still trails.

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Iowa is an absolute tossup. Republican through 1984, Iowa went Democratic four presidential elections in a row until going to Bush in 2004 by 50% – 49%. Current polls show 13% - 14% undecided, with differences between the candidates less than the margin of error. No one can claim Iowa today.

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The South

The nightmare for Democrats that is Florida could well continue in 2008. If McCain chooses Charlie Crist as VP, that could tip the state unalterably for the Republicans. But that’s a big if; McCain is doing well against Obama as it is, and may decide to look elsewhere for a running mate. Clinton leads McCain solidly, and for now the state belongs to her.

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Virginia is supposed by some to be in play this year because Mark Warner’s popularity will energize the Democrats and depress Republican turnout, but the polls don’t reflect any diminishment of voter enthusiasm for Republican presidential candidates. Bush won in 2004 by 8 points, and McCain is leading both Democrats by solid margins; that latest Survey USA result is just a fluke. Building a presidential victory strategy around Virginia – or any Old South state – would be a big miscalculation for either Democratic candidate.

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The Upper Midwest

Minnesota has gone Democratic eight consecutive times, and both candidates are leading McCain by increasingly larger margins. Some believe that the Republican convention will have a positive effect and bring the state into play, but Minnesotans are a practical people and Republicans are lousy tippers; exposure to the Convention delegates will alienate more people than are converted.

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Wisconsin has gone Democratic eight consecutive times, but by progressively smaller margins; Kerry won in 2004 by only 0.4%. Polls, however, show McCain ahead against both Obama and Clinton. Uff Da.

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Michigan was solidly Republican through the 70’s and 80’s, then went Democratic for Clinton and has stayed that way but not by much; a 3% win in 2004 for Kerry. Tough economic times should make this a Democratic pick-up, but the polls at this time are even; call it a tossup.

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Greater Appalachia

That might be an inappropriate term for these two states, but it is the regional influence that dominates much of their national political character. Clinton won the primary convincingly and dominated in other Appalachian states; she carries PA easily in the general. Obama’s struggles with the “clinging bitter” demographic may limit him here, but he still leads McCain. Either Democrat should take the state.

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Obama is struggling in Ohio, a state he probably needs to carry in the general. One survey has him up by an astounding 9 points, and that’s the only thing that forces the state to be called a tossup; he loses the other three recent polls. Clinton, in contrast, leads McCain consistently and Ohio should be a pickup for her. This is a state that Democratic leaders should look at carefully as an indicator for how the candidates might do nationwide; Ohio has sided with the winner of ten presidential elections in a row.

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New England

Each of the three candidates can find a poll in New Hampshire to encourage them; the numbers are all over the place. Early on, this was considered a strong possibility for McCain in an otherwise solidly Democratic area, but lately the polls have favored both Democrats. At this time, there is no clear favorite – a tossup.

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Winning the “Battleground”

The relative strengths and weaknesses of Obama and Clinton become apparent very quickly through this analysis. Clinton is able to hold the Democratic coalition of the Far West, the Rust Belt and New England that won for Bill in 1992 and 1996 and nearly worked for Gore and Kerry. Combined with the 172 solidly Democratic Electoral votes from Appendix I, Hillary’s “battleground” state victories bring her to 273 – enough to win. If she splits the Tied votes by picking up New Hampshire and Michigan, a distinct possibility, her Electoral College total jumps to 294 – a decisive victory.

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For Obama, the picture is far less certain. Adding the 63 votes from these “battleground” states to the 172 from securely Democratic states leaves him at 235, while McCain adds 66 votes to his 189 secure Republican votes for a total of 255. For McCain, either Michigan or Ohio will put him over the top and both are plausible, Ohio especially. For Obama, down by 20, it is a much greater challenge; he has to win the big ones. The combination of Ohio and Michigan is crucial; if Obama does not take both, he loses the election.

It’s The Electoral College Map

This is not to say that Obama is incapable of winning the general election. He does, however, face a difficult time against McCain. For the Republicans, this matchup is as good as it was going to get for this cycle; some Party strategists are insisting that McCain can not only beat Obama, he can win big. This may be false bravado, but the Electoral map leaves enough uncertainty that the possibility cannot be entirely discounted.

Present circumstances are not what early predictors of a Democratic blowout envisioned. Many analysts continue to generalize that the troubles associated with Bush will drag down McCain, but are hard-pressed to lay out a specific combination of states that ensures an Obama victory.

McCain will be a formidable candidate regardless of which Democrat he faces. His fabricated persona is an obvious fraud but so were those of Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush. McCain combines a façade of self-deprecating casual charm reminiscent of Reagan with a public service resume vastly more robust than either the feeble-minded “Great Communicator” or marble-mouthed GeeDubbya. Those assets combined with a supportive, often fawning MSM match up with Obama in ways that the Democrat will find difficult to counter, especially while he is scrambling to build up his own support.

Other Electoral College analyses come to conclusions similar to that above. Writing at TalkLeft, William Arnone exhaustively reviews 17 states he considers up for grabs, from a variety of angles, and concludes that compared to Obama:

Sen. Clinton stands the better chance of winning the general election in November as the Democratic Presidential nominee.

Darryl Holman at Hominid Views whips up some statistical magic from his own analysis of the polls and runs a 10,000 iteration Monte Carlo analysis suggesting that Obama has about one chance in three (32.7%) of winning against McCain. Holman puts the most likely outcome at 262 Electoral votes for Obama and 276 for McCain, and offers this weighted cartographic demonstration:

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For Clinton, Holman’s analysis is decidedly brighter. He projects 313 electoral votes for her with just 225 for McCain, and places the probability of her winning at 99.9%. He is, I think, overly optimistic with some states, particularly Arkansas, but even with that adjustment she still cleans McCain’s clock.

Shystee has enthusiastically endorsed the work done at Electoral-Vote.com where the current (in my view somewhat rosy) hear-to-head analysis also shows Clinton with the dominant position.

The General Election Strategy

Obama’s campaign built their primary delegate advantage of an aggressive ground game and a 50-state strategy that ran up substantial gains from state he cannot win in the general election. As Jerome Anderson at MyDD asked early last February,

Obama's General Election Strategy Is... ?
I really don't know, do you?

Apparently, the answer is still emerging - three months later. Let us all hope that if he is the nominee he will have figured it out before November 4.

With Hillary Clinton, the plan has been clear all along. David Sparks, of the McCormack School of Policy Studies at U Mass, says this:

In Clinton, the superdelegates have a candidate who fits their recent mold and the last two elections have been very close. This year is a bad year for Republicans. Just a slight shift from the Gore?Kerry level would give her the victory.

Sounds like a reasonable plan, eminently workable, and the current status of polls and Electoral College projections bears that out. Hillary Clinton’s coalition of voters appears able to give her at least 273 Electoral votes, and plausibly as many as 294

The Obama approach, however, is radically different in some as-yet undefined way:

In Obama, they have a new model candidate and the potential for a coalition of voter groups and states which break from the Gore?Kerry model.

The key word there is “potential”. Also glossed over in this characterization is that the model being broken away from is also that of Bill Clinton, who quite recently won two terms with it. It is the model of FDR and Truman, who won five consecutive terms with it. To give full historical credit, it is the model of Andrew Jackson who used it to transform American political philosophy from one of privileged inheritance to one of equalitarian populism. Seems a lot to “break” from, just for some undefined “potential” alternative.

What is missing from the claims for a new coalition being made by the likes of Donna Brazille is anything concrete and discussable. If they are so certain that this coalition exists, where are the voter registration lists that support the claims? Where are the polls showing Obama pulling together a new assemblage of states? Colorado is a dandy pickup, but where are the others? What coalition of new states will make up for the loss of Ohio or Michigan or Florida – or all three?

It is true that the American electorate 2008 is not exactly the same as it was in FDR’s time, or even a decade ago. The shifting from an economy driven primarily by industry to one driven by intellectual property and financial services will require a different approach to political coalition building, as will the increasing proportion of non-European minorities. If the Democratic Party wants do be relevant, it will have to sort out how to talk to and organize this new set of interests.

What isn’t so clear is just how to go about doing that. As Sean Wilentz discusses here, the current Obama plan seems to be an initial undoing of the older majority which will in some as yet indescribable way lead to the formation of the new coalition. Wilentz finds that approach problematic, and it does violate the First Rule of Rock Climbing:

”Never let go of what you have hold of, until you get a hold on something new.”

Paul Lukasiak has exhaustively documented the shortcomings in Obama’s strategy, the long list of “old model” constituencies who prefer Clinton and may have a difficult time voting for him instead. How many of these disaffected Democratic voters will come over to Obama in the general election, and what is the strategy to gain their confidence? Hopefully the superdelegates who are backing Obama have a good idea about how to do that. Many people would feel more confident in Obama’s chances if that plan were shared.

In Summary

Hillary Clinton will finish the primary season with the most popular votes, and is the choice of Democratic primary voters in almost all of the key states needed to win in November. According to current polls, Clinton is leading by a considerable margin in the “battleground” states over McCain and is projected by multiple analysts to win the Electoral College vote. Additionally, she has held a statistically significant lead over McCain in head-to-head national polling.

Barak Obama will finish the primary season with a lead in pledged delegates, a lead amassed largely on the strength of his performance in states he cannot carry in November. According to current polls, Obama is slightly trailing McCain in the “battleground” states and is projected by multiple analysts to either narrowly win or narrowly lose the Electoral College vote. In head-to-head-national polling, Obama has no apparent preference advantage over McCain.

The Democratic Party has a difficult dilemma. Should they choose the more experienced, more popular, more electable candidate or the less experienced but charismatic candidate with a decidedly uncertain path to Electoral College victory? Sounds like a really tough decision, doesn’t it? What to do, what to do?

In a few weeks, maybe less, we’ll know what the Leaders have decided they want to do. Come the end of August we’ll know if the presumptive nominee has been successful in healing the Party. (Watch the polls in the “battleground” states; if Obama is the “presumptive” he will need to pass McCain in both Michigan and Ohio or the delegates may have to reconsider the odds.) Come November we’ll know if the actual nominee was the right choice for the general election. After that, the consequences of their decision will fall directly on the shoulders – and the careers – of Howard Dean, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid. Now would be a good time to remind them of that, and what you plan to do about it if they make the wrong decision.

Email:

Howard Dean

Nancy Pelosi

Harry Reid

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Appendix I: Probable solid states, and their (Electoral votes).

Democratic: HI (4), CA (55), IL (21), NY (31), MD (10), DE (3), NJ (15), DC (3), CT (7), RI (4), MA (12), VT (3), Me (4); Total = 172.

Republican: AK (3), AZ (10), UT (5), ID (4), Mt (3), WY (3), ND (3), SD (3), NE (5), KS (6), OK (7), TX (34), AR (6), LA (9), MS (6), AL (9), GA (15), SC (8), NC (15), TN (11), KY (8), IN (11), WV (5); Total = 189.

My not-always-conventional decisions:

New Jersey has been assigned as a possible pickup for McCain based on the results of one poll back in IIRC February; NJ will vote Democratic, period.

The Obama camp, along with some analysts parroting them, have raised a lot of noise about making inroads in the Mountain West and the Great Plains; some have even suggested that McCain is vulnerable to Obama in his home state. This is what happens when you mainline KoolAid – you see pretty colors everywhere. Obama does have a slight lead in the Colorado polls, but he is far behind elsewhere and will remain so; if he holds on to CO, that will be miracle enough.

West Virginia voted for Bill Clinton twice, but Hillary is not Bill. While she leads McCain in polls, I am not convinced that “Clinton magic” will in the end overcome rampant sexism and macho war-hero worship. In my estimation WV goes to the Republicans; if Clinton is the nominee and pulls off a win here, it will only add to her margin of victory; the good news for her, and for Democrats, is that she doesn’t need to. Obama loses this state in a landslide.

Arkansas was won handily by Clinton in the primary, and she leads against McCain in the polls. However, she will lose the state in November as would Obama. Mike Huckabee lives there; he will pound away, day in and day out, building up his credibility as a combination Political Player and religious authority for his own purposes and tearing down the Democratic candidate as a part of it. When someone mentioned a while back to Pat Buchanan that Clinton had a chance in AR he burst out laughing, and stared slapping his desk; he’s correct. I’m putting it in the Republican bin; if I’m wrong and Clinton picks it up, so much the better. Obama win in Arkansas? Not happening, not in a month of Sundays.

The Obama camp has also floated claims about winning in the Old South, in the states of the former Confederacy. As a means of boosting voter registration and donations, that sort of talk is fine; as an electoral strategy it is a fairy tale fantasy. With the possible exception of Missouri for Clinton, neither a black nor a woman will win any of the Old South this cycle and that’s just a cold, hard fact. Voter registration drives are a wonderful long-term strategy that will pay definite short-term benefits in shifting the political tenor at the local, state and US House levels, but they will not affect Presidential Electoral calculations for at least another decade, perhaps not for a generation. This election is being held in five months.

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Caro's picture
Submitted by Caro on

... have as their main objective to put a Democrat in the White House next January.

I believe that your assumption is wrong.

The Party leaders only care about feathering their own nests, and whether a Democrat becomes president is way low on the priority list.

Carolyn Kay
MakeThemAccountable.com

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

as someone here said earlier, it's a "nice to have", but not at all essential.

What's even more sad is that the GOP feels the same way now--they're fine with obstructing and regrouping for a few years before escalating the cycle of crimes and horrors yet again--from Nixon to Reagan to Dubya to ...

herb the verb's picture
Submitted by herb the verb on

Not so fast on that one. He will have to work very hard to win here. Don't judge the state by the ridiculous caucus results (for either McCain OR Obama).

-----------------------------

Good night and good riddance!

Aeryl's picture
Submitted by Aeryl on

We've had women governors, so the misogyny dodge doesn't work, and it is also a state with more registered Dems than Reps.

Bill Clinton for First Dude!!!

BDBlue's picture
Submitted by BDBlue on

The SDs have made up their minds, only they're too weak to say so publicly and are hoping Hillary will drop out so they don't have to. In fact, I suspect that many are angry at her for even putting them into this position. Why won't the stupid bitch just quit so we can capitulate? While I normally don't believe anything reporters say, this to me sounds true. The Democratic Party is doing what they always do, look for the path of least resistance. That's Obama. He may be weaker, he might lose, but to pick Hillary would require them to go against the media narrative. They don't do that. They will be rolled by Obama just as they've been rolled by Bush. In fact, using the same tactics. I realize that was what was always going to happen - the media was again going to win. The Democratic Party and its "leaders" can't be anyone other than who they are - weak and craven and desperate for Tim Russert's approval.

Nothing would give me more joy than to be wrong, but I don't think I'm going to be. The interesting thing will be if Obama craters over the summer. Are they so weak they abandon him? Or are they too weak to even do that and instead will embrace the noble loss?

Or maybe the Democrats will get lucky and, as in 1976, the structural forces will so in their favor even a junior Senator with almost no record and who lost every large primary election except his home state can win.

Either way, once it's official, I'm re-registering as an unaffiliated voter. Maybe then Pelosi, Read and Dean will care about my vote and money again. I can be part of some new coalition instead of us old reliable folks who can be tossed under the bus.

Aeryl's picture
Submitted by Aeryl on

He talks to, are the "elected officials" the local party leaders are also part of that undecided, and I can guarantee that he isn't talking to them, they are outside the village, and don't exist.

Bill Clinton for First Dude!!!

herb the verb's picture
Submitted by herb the verb on

Regarding weak, pathetic, craven, etc..

"As you know, you go to war the election with the army party you have, not the army party you might want or wish to have at a later time."

-----------------------------

Good night and good riddance!

BDBlue's picture
Submitted by BDBlue on

But I still think it's instructive that our elected party leaders aren't paying attention anymore. I'd dispute it, if it didn't sound exactly like them. Expecting them to look at voting trends and polling data or to exercise any judgement independent of the Village? I realize now that was always something they weren't capable of doing. They haven't done that in years. Why would they start now?

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

You should have seen the first draft.

As you've also discovered, the pile of information just gets larger and larger, and the "short version" can't begin to carry the import of what's happening.

On the other hand, if it isn't a sound bite it won't make the news cycle. So, like your extraordinary work, here it is for the record should anyone care to look.

To all you doomsayers and - dare I say it - weak sisters, it is a long time until the end of August. If as it appears Obama will get enough SDs to be the "presumptive" nominee, he will still need to convince the American people. Thusfar, he has failed to do that - Clinton's fault, to be sure.

He will not have Hillary's pantsuit to hide behind through the summer. If his poll numbers don't pick up, there will be some rethinking before the convention - and none of the delegates are restricted, they can change their minds at will.

Submitted by lambert on

Just wrote them all detailed and courteous notes.

Readers, go thou and do likewise.

[x] Any (D) in the general. [ ] ?????. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

BDBlue's picture
Submitted by BDBlue on

Is only weak when it comes to what I think the Democratic Party will do in the next couple of weeks. I still believe there's a 20% chance Obama implodes over the summer. Whether the party would have the courage to ditch him, I'm unsure, since sometimes being proven wrong only makes people invested in the decision to dig further, faster.

But, to be clear, I have not given up on Clinton being the nominee. I've merely given up on party officials doing anything other than going with the path of least resistance.

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

"No, Gastone, I insist; you first!"

Carolyn, Amber and to some extent BDBlue posit that the Democratic Party leadership is for a variety of reasons uninterested or incapable of actually pursuing a win in November. I disagree. There is a difference between ineptitude and lack of desire.

If nest-feathering is the goal, it is hard to see how that would be better done under an opposition administration. Certainly, the last time we had a long run of Democrats in charge the corruption reached then-record levels; they do know the advantage exists and how to use it.

And while it seems plausable to relatively sane people that no one would want to have the responsibility for cleaning up the Huge Mess that is George Bush's legacy, very few people running for President are entirely sane. They are in the grip of a compulsion, an overwhelming desire, and like new lovers they see only the upside possibilities and none of the downside potential. They all want it, or they wouldn't run.

If as Aeryl suggests, neither Rs nor Ds want this particular presidential cycle, wouldn't we expect to see a considerable amount of money headed to Raplh Nader or Bob Barr? Why not hand the hot potato to someone entirely inept? If the object is to step aside and let someone else be the fall guy, who better than one of those two?

No, each of the parties wants the office, and the power, and each of the individuals wants the glory. Or so I think. Perhaps it is my limitation; I just don't have the mental flexibility to wrap my mind around these reverse-double-back-flip-with-a-twist scenarios. Linear logic is challenge enough for me.

Aeryl's picture
Submitted by Aeryl on

If as Aeryl suggests, neither Rs nor Ds want this particular presidential cycle,

Not to nitpick, but when did I suggest that?

I don't know if they're incompetent or not, I think it more likely that they are so ensconsed in their Village bubble, they really don't see how this election is going to go down. Or they really believe that a Dem CAN'T lose in November, and are happy to jump with Obama, to line their pockets.

Bill Clinton for First Dude!!!

Submitted by Paul_Lukasiak on

If nest-feathering is the goal, it is hard to see how that would be better done under an opposition administration. Certainly, the last time we had a long run of Democrats in charge the corruption reached then-record levels; they do know the advantage exists and how to use it.

Obama has no agenda -- so if he wins Pelosi and Reid get to set the agenda for the party in Congress. If Obama loses, Pelosi and Reid still get to seet the Democratic agenda in Congress. However, if Clinton wins, Pelosi and Reid have to deal with getting the President's agenda passed.

The problem with Pelosi and Reid's strategy is that its not unlikely that with Obama as the nominee, a whole lot of congressional candidates will be in deep trouble because their opponents can campaign against the "Obama-Wright-CandidateX agenda."

Pelosi and Reid apparently don't think that the GOP can regain control of Congress this year -- but they're wrong -- Obama could take a lot of "Democrats" down with him.

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

and most of our Senators are all in safe lifetime seats, and want to keep the committee power (what they're actually doing with it, god knows...)

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

the money and lobby power and influence peddling is--both parties know that--and lobbying has only grown since we took it back in 06.

the WH is only good for crony contracts and that sort of money/influence.

BDBlue's picture
Submitted by BDBlue on

To be clear, it's not that I think the very top leaders (Reid, Pelosi and Dean) don't care about winning in the fall. Their jobs probably depend on winning in the fall. But I think other Democratic party leaders (e.g., SDs) care more about their own priorities or simply take winning for granted (because. you know, Democrats are so good at winning). And I think the Big Three are too weak and inept to fight the tide or lead. Even if they worry about Obama, they will not do anything to stop him. Indeed, I'm putting a post together now showing how Obama and the party have already dug themselves a hole by refusing to lead. They have done nothing to hold the Democratic coalition together and now they talk about stepping in and uniting the party. Well, perhaps if they had lead all along, the party wouldn't need quite so uniting. But to lead is to take risks and the Democratic Party doesn't take risks these days.

elixir's picture
Submitted by elixir on

theory work in this application? The Dems get in 1/20/09 and have dibs on the WH until 1/20/13 thereby granting another Dem an advantage at such time. The key is to find a candidate clueless enough to run for this position.....

I love this job!

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

Dear BDBlue; I do hope we can all hold on to some small shreds of humor as we make our way through this emotional minefield. We shall need every scrap.

The other day I started to write something that included the term "dark humor" and edited myself out of fear of being misunderstood and accused of racism. In the end I threw out the whole thought, and went on to something else entirely. Shameful, sinking to that level of timidity.

We have become so terribly sensitive, past all reason. I now discover that being a gentleman is the same as being a white slaver except for not having to carry a whip - who knew? It has spread everywhere; on another site I - as gently as was possible - took apart a sloppy scientific argument and got accused of suppressing dissent - by multiple people. Silly me, I thought exposing error was a good thing.

Sometimes I fear the world has gone mad. Other times I recognize it is I who am growing old and feeble. A hundred thousand years of human flailing; we'll make it through the next little while intact and better for it, if we can just keep our sense of humor.

BDBlue's picture
Submitted by BDBlue on

Is this the weak sister thing? Because I did think that was funny, it's why I referred to myself as one in the title of my comment. If I wasn't clear about that, my apologies.

While I've had some lapses recently, I am trying very hard to keep my sense of humor. As I said yesterday, I laughed when I read Pelosi's comment about stepping in. Because that's what you do for a farce. You laugh.

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

yes, humor. Pleased you could see it and smile and give it back - Sister. We may disagree, but you are not my adversary nor am I in any way displeased with you. No "apology" needed, none at all. :-)

We had better find some humor, because this is all likely to get much worse before it gets any better.

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

I would feel a whole lot better if I thought that anyone was working the system with that amount of foresight and subtlety. I doubt it. A week is a long time in politics; four years is an eternity. No one knows what will be happening then. Falling back, regrouping and keeping your own hopes alive is not the same as setting up a patsy in hopes that one Democrat's failure will pave the way to the White House for yet another Democrat. Seems an unlikely gamble to me.

BDBlue's picture
Submitted by BDBlue on

at all the A-list bloggers when the media turns on Obama and they proclaim how very, very unfair it is. Stamp. Stamp. Stamp. Why won't they leave him alone? It's so, sniff, unfair. Heh.

I'm going to still critique the media because that's the most important thing, but I think I'll focus on McCain and the Bush Administration. The Obama folks have made it pretty clear they don't need middle-aged women like me, so let them handle it.

So no worries here, BIO. I don't see you or anyone willing to engage in reality-based debate for progressive causes as my adversary. I'm a lawyer, I like mixing it up.

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

Why bother, actually? So little influence, just control over nearly $3 trillion in expenditures, all the contracts, all the regulatory agencies, trivial really. Not.

When the Thief-in-Chief is from the same gang as the thieves running Congress, everyone makes off with more money. All of the thievery machinery runs more smoothly, nobody asks too many questions, no embarassing hearings. The thievery continues even with adversity, but under a lot more strain. Of course the Party wants to control both branches.

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

any of the contracts that have all been carefully crafted to extend years past Dubya? Congress has to be involved if he's even gonna try--he can't cancel any on his own.

he's not even gonna clean out the people they installed everywhere--in career jobs, not just political ones.

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

Could be, but IIRC that didn't turn out well last time and both Reid and Pelosi are old enough to remember. Still, hope springs eternal and maybe they do think they can play Obama like a puppet.

Big risks, however, don't you think? Is the calculation really that this is a can't-lose year? I thought that was 2004's theory? Or maybe it was the 2000 theory, I can't keep them straight anymore, which Republican candidate is so weak they'll be a pushover.

Putting up the weaker D candidate is a big gamble, no question. It does also suggest that perhaps they think they're better off risking four years - maybe eight - of McCain than dealing with the Clintons ever again. But I just don't see the justification for that line of thinking.

Also a big risk that the kid might grow a spine and actually have his own agenda; perhaps they think that babysitting him with Daschel will keep him happy, a nice bright shiny articulate new face to parade around while the grownups make all the decisions. Could even work, but again a huge risk he will decide to actually be the president. And then there's Michelle, and what she wants, but maybe they just feed her the same drugs they give Laura; watch eyes and the wooden smile, always a giveaway.

Running these options through as game theory doesn't support the scenario, at least with my probability weightings. But this is the Democratic Party; cold hard logic is so seldom in evidence. I think the plans are less convoluted, although not neccessarily any more likely to succeed. I think they truly do see this election as a once in a generation opportunity for a sustained realignment, and Hillary as an more of an obstacle than a help. Not that I agree, but I believe it is what they think.

I'm not so hardened as some about Harry and Nancy, and perhaps that is foolish; I don't know. I genuinely like both of them, as human beings, and while I disagree with them on specific issues and bemoan their missteps, I don't think they are vile or awful people - just flawed, like me. The difference being that, thankfully, my errors don't make the news.

Soon the primary frenzy will end, or at least slow, and there will be time for more measured, more reflective chewing over of the political cud instead of all this projectile vomitus that's currently flying around. We'll have a couple of months to garden and ease the winter's ache out of our bones; time to step away from the horserace and tackle some of the structurally deeper problems.

That will keep CD happier, which truly is my main goal in life. (I'm a sucker for sassy lesbians with flower gardens; what can I say?)

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

even if he had an agenda, how will it be paid for--realistically?

the world doesn't let Dems deficit spend like they let the GOP do it.

Submitted by Paul_Lukasiak on

Big risks, however, don’t you think? Is the calculation really that this is a can’t-lose year? I thought that was 2004’s theory? Or maybe it was the 2000 theory, I can’t keep them straight anymore, which Republican candidate is so weak they’ll be a pushover.

when the deal was being negotiated for their support, Obama didn't look to be as big a risk as he is now -- even when it was obvious to me that he was far from a sure thing, it never occurred to me that he'd be bad enough to drag the party down with him. But as we've seen over the last three months, he is that bad.

I'd bet that once the deal was sealed, Pelosi played a big role in getting congresscritters to go with Obama... and she can't very well turn around and leave all those people hanging at this point. So she has to follow through....

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

There are no real locks for Obama outside of IL, for sure, but I think MN is very likely to end up in the Democratic column. Between the asshattery of Pawlenty and bridges falling down and the general decline there in everyone's optimism, I just don't see Four More Years as a winning appeal. I do think that all of my DFL friends will, on reflection, suck it up and reject McCain; not that they will all vote for Obama, exactly, but the net effect will be the same.

I hear you, herb, I'm not happy either, but it is a choice between dying of gangreen or amputating the leg; neither are good options, but one is worse than the other. Minnesotans are a practical people, almost all of the time; they'll do what needs doing.

BDBlue's picture
Submitted by BDBlue on

I think they truly do see this election as a once in a generation opportunity for a sustained realignment, and Hillary as an more of an obstacle than a help.

I agree they think this, but there's only one reason why they could and that's the media. As you, BIO, and Paul have pointed out, if they were paying attention to votes and exit polls, they'd be worried and at least question this belief. Other than broad claims from the Obama campaign and the media on his behalf, there seems little reason to believe he can bring about some huge realignment. He's lost more primaries than he's won in the last couple of months even as he's outspent Clinton by a mile and been declared to be the inevitable nominee. Other than the press, why would anyone think that he holds some secret key to a guaranteed once in a lifetime majority? He couldn't even lose Pennsylvania by single digits.

This is one reason why Democrats lose elections they should win - they listen to Tim Russert and Chris Matthews and the rest of them. That's how Gore ended up with Lieberman and distancing rather than using Bill. Hell, that's why they nominated John Kerry - he was a war hero and the pundits said they needed to a Democrat who could look tough on national defense.

This year, they've decided Obama will bring out entire new groups of voters that will let them ditch those unreliable white working class voters. Who needs Ohio when you can carry Colorado? Nevermind that Obama's "new" voters haven't been enough to win the democratic primary in any large state, they'll still be sufficient to realign the country.

What pisses me off most is that I'm probably going to owe my best friend money. When this entire campaign started, I said any of the Democrats would be fine and any would definitely win. She said the Dems would find a way to lose it. Let's see, alienate Florida and Michigan voters and their 44 EVs? Check. But hey, at least Iowa and New Hampshire are happy. Sit silently in the face of misogyny and alienate women? Check. Defend statements calling working class folks bitter and clinging to prejudices by saying those statements are essentially right, thereby angering the working class in a bad economic year? Check.

It's as though they've gone systematically down the winning coalitions from 1992, 1996 and 2006 and tried to figure out how to piss off key groups of voters. Even by Democratic Party standards, it's been amazing. I knew they were inept, but even I thought they knew that insulting voters was not a good way to win them over.

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

and if they would only have faith in our strengths--domestic policy and bread-and-butter and rights/opportunity--we'd win in a walk this time.

BDBlue's picture
Submitted by BDBlue on

and why don't they? The media.

So instead of using tried and true methods, they search for some Holy Grail that exists only in the Chris Matthewses' fevered minds. Last time it was a candidate who would be perceived as "tough" on foreign policy because he was a war hero and thus unassailable (as if that exists in this political climate). This time it's someone who can change politics and bring people together. Whatever that means.

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

Aeryl, I surely don't know what the deal is there, you'd think the state would fall all over a Democrat - any Democrat - but no. For Clinton there may have beeen a chance, but I don't actually think it will work with this opponent. McCain will play the military card all day long, and Wounded War Hero Chest Full Of Medals will IMNSHO beat the pantsuit off of her.

She just can't pull at enough heartstrings, plus she's an ousider; from up North, you know, New York City, bird-like head cock, askance look, tsk tsk tsk. Of all the primaries so far, KY was I think one of if not the lowest % increase in new voter registration for Dems, less than one percent. Decent primary turnout overall, 45% of Dems or something like that, but in the general? Don't think she can do it.

Obama, however, is a real problem. Ds have high hopes for unseating Mitch McConnell, gonna be a big money push for that one, and Hillary might have helped with it even if she couldn't carry the state herself. Obama will be a huge drag, so what to do? Bit of a strategic obstacle when your Senatorial candidate can't be seen with your Presidential candidate for fear of the damage. McConnell is already trotting around attacks on the "Obama-Lunsford agenda" and all the rest of the Rs will do the same. Pity, that.

Expect you'll be seeing a lot of Bill Clinton.

Aeryl's picture
Submitted by Aeryl on

At least about Lunsford-McConnell NMW the nominee is. We idjits in KY do what we usually do, choose Republican Lite to go against a Republican. It never works, but of course we did it again.

Bill Clinton for First Dude!!!

BDBlue's picture
Submitted by BDBlue on

Democrats do it because of the media. Because of the framing that has been used for the last 20 years. Instead of fighting it, we cave into it. Look at Obama, he's parroted almost every point the GOP has made about Dems for the last 20 years and the party leaders are making him head of the party. Because the media keeps telling us how much better and more electable Republicans are. And we believe them!

Davidson's picture
Submitted by Davidson on

Oh, how pitiful. The whole time I kept looking for some conspiracy theory that would make sense of all this madness and the answer was looking at me straight in the face: they're dumb as hell.

The Party can't be saved. The "leadership" is a corporate-bought fraud, run by misogynistic bigots and arrogant dipshits.

herb the verb's picture
Submitted by herb the verb on

Disagree about Minnesota BIO. Yes, when given good candidates Minnesotans will vote Democrat, but the current DFL is the DNC mini-me. Seemingly capable of pulling massive defeat out of any certain victory.

Remember we elected Jesse Ventura(!) here over Roger Moe (lousy campaigner but highly-respected politician) and Norm Coleman (lousy politician but very effective campaigner).

Now in a year when Coleman should be crushed the best we can come up with is Al Franken who is proving more inept a neophyte politician than a neophyte radio host. Don't get me wrong, I like the guy and will vote for him but he is almost certain to lose, in this against widely-perceived Bush rubberstamper Norm Coleman. Jesse is likely going to run for senate, I DO NOT count him out! He is more cunning than people give him credit for and knows he is (again) going into a race with two very weak opponents. He can also brag he is the only politician in Minnesota to beat Norm Coleman in a race!

The only glimmer for Obama is that Minnesotans just love to split tickets.

Pawlenty isn't as hated as you make out, most people are pretty ambivalent, and due to poor DFL framing, the bridge is not a partisan issue (unbelievably!).

Frankly, this would not be a cakewalk for Clinton here either, Minnesota will be deep purple in November, if not red.

-----------------------------

Good night and good riddance!

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

it will be that much harder for the Dems to build that new Electoral College victory with Obama. Clinton could afford to lose it if she picked up Michigan.

Pawlenty isn't despised yet? Give him time, give him time.

I heard about Ventura, hell why not. He'll make mincemeat out of Franken, and mock Norm until he cries. Good theater, if nothing else.

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

but who knows what it was worth. I heard rather, she was concerned after SuperTuesday about holding her covey back so she'd have more clout at the end. They've trickled out, but from looking out for themselves rather than from her direction.

My guy stepped out a week ago for Obama, quietly, informed the people in the district but there was no announcement from the Obama camp and that's what my guy wanted. Said he got a good deal for the district - that is his job - and didn't like how he was treated by the Clinton people, felt taken for granted and that he wouldn't get anything much from her. Politics, politics. He's a damn nice guy, and wicked smart, so...maybe I'm being too grim, but it sure does look scary.

I don't think this has so much slipped away from them as it is that they convinced themselves a couple of months ago that this is the right move - even though his weaknesses were evident then. Once the mindset starts to take hold, evidence to the contrary gets rationalized away and any scrap of confirmation is blown up all out of proportion. Humans are strange creatures.

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

I have no answers.

Not a clue what Obama is planning. Don't think he knows, actually; don't thing they've thought that far ahead. Normally I would be terrified but compared to what McCain actually does have planned the Obama Vacuum is strangely comforting.

Government contracts roll over all the time, and 90% are controlled by the Executive. The government has all the power, they can cancell at any time and you have little recourse (sue and you will never get another one). Congress appropriates the money and tries to set some bounds, but as a practical matter the Executive can do whatever they want with the money.

Don't know what anyone is going to do about Iraq, not quite so simple as packing up and moving out, at least not in short order. There will be a bloodbath as a result, and it will take some work to prepare the American people to accept that. The choice there is having them kill each other a lot over a short time period or have them kill each other a lot over a longer time period. Grim.

Worse news is Afghanistan, which absolutely none of them will talk about because it may turn out worse than Iraq after all the neglect, and with far graver consequences. Al Qaeda was never anything in Iraq, but they are still in Afghanistan and are growing in strength along the border. If we leave, they will storm back in and take over again, more ruthless than before. If we stay, it will require 100,000 troops for essentially forever to hold them at bay. To crush them would take 500,000 troops and an invasion of Pakistan. Another lovely Bush legacy.

Where will the money come from? Thee and me, dear amber, and our children's children's children. Price of Empire. Or, we can pull out of Afghanistan and wait for the next 9/11 which will come as sure as springtime. Grim.

Cleaning out the deadwood? I should hope, but curing eight years of virulent infestation will take a while. Were it me I'd do it quickly, more pain up front but better in a year or two. Doesn't seem to be Obama's style, or Daschel's.

I'm not hoping for much from this administration, actually. If they can slow the decline, that will be good. If they can bring most of it to a halt in four years, that would be awesome, great work. Actual positive, forward progress? Take a miracle, near enough.

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

Agency and Dept contracts just like that--he can certainly direct the awarding of them in many ways when they're open or expired, but cancelling ongoing contracts that are being fulfilled (even if badly) and are necessary, isn't as easy--and given the many many "loyal Bushies" placed in important career positions in every Agency and Dept who will still be there, i see enormous pushback against any action that takes money from a GOP funder or crony. They didn't set it all up simply to lose contracts at a Democratic President's say-so.

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

http://www.rawstory.com/news/2006/Report...

and they specifically created DHS to have control of multiple formerly separate independent Depts/Agencies (and their contracting/funding), for just one glaring example.

and this is relevant too- Pentagon Auditor: I Can't Do All This Auditing! -- http://www.washingtonindependent.com/vie...

I'm looking for a list of big contracts and their expiration dates--the new 10-year Iraq one is not unique, i'm sure. (if such a list exists)

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

That requirement is in every single Federal contract, required by law. If you sign the contract you agree to this term. What it means is that the government can cancel - "terminate" is the term of law - the contract at any time, for no reason.

The only consequence to the government would be if the contract contained some cancellation penalty clause, but those can only be for just compensation if the government imposed specific encumbering requirements. Say, for instance, you were required to buy some specialty equipment or the like and compensation for the cost of the required equipment had been spread out over the life of the contract. Typically then, the government would pay it off lump-sum.

Here's a discussion of a GAO study on contract cancellation terms and costs.

The President certainly can, by Executive Order if need be, cancel any and all federal contracts. But "can" and "will" are two different things. As we've seen with Bush, the Executive has broad powers; whether or not a Democratic President would wield those powers for good remains to be seen.

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

is this one right? -- http://law.freeadvice.com/government_law...

"... The Termination for Convenience clause grants the Government contracting officer an extremely broad right to terminate the contractor's performance without the Government being liable for breach-of-contract damages. ..."

I'm surprised by this--and wonder if Obama would have the nerve--absent evidence of crime or wrongdoing or overcharging or whatever.

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

wonder about Congressional oversight and its role, if contracts can simply be dissolved like that.

BDBlue's picture
Submitted by BDBlue on

As we saw with Bill Clinton, the Democrats are way more eager to reign in a Democrat than they are a Republican. Democrats are never more willing to use their power and prerogatives than against another Democrat. Against a Republican? Well, that wouldn't be very bipartisan of them, would it? Hell, they've already announced Hillary's gas tax holiday was dead on arrival (something they almost never do with GOP plans) and said that the nation isn't ready for comprehensive healthcare reform. And the Democratic nominee hasn't even won yet.

No, I predict we're in for Bill Clinton's first term. Obama will try to do something progressive. I don't expect a lot, but he will try to do something. The media will scream bloody murder. The Democrats in Congress will scramble to show how bipartisan they can be and undermine the new President. Then, of course, when they lose the Senate in 2010, it will be Obama's fault, not any of the good Democrats in Congress. Just as it was Bill Clinton's fault that Tom Foley, who was Speaker of the House and had been in Congress for decades, lost in 1994. Never mind the House post office scandal or other scandals related to a party that had grown complacent and corrupt in 40 years of being the majority. Nope, Clinton single handedly brought down people who had served their constituents for decades in eighteen months.

I can't tell you how excited I am about the potential return of Sam Nunn. It seems like only yesterday he was throwing temper tantrums on the Hill after not being named SecDef.

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

Wait, let me think...I'm sure it was here a minute ago.

Lemme look around...no, not in here....no, no; not under there...I dunno, seems like there should be some.

Huh. Apparently we're out of that. Must be on backorder.

BDBlue's picture
Submitted by BDBlue on

Congressional oversight will return the moment there's someone in the White House with a (D) after his or her name. The Whitewater Hearings started in both Houses while the Democrats still controlled Congress. In May 1993 there was the "travelgate" crap. And about a week into Clinton's tenure, Obama supporter Sam Nunn helped Republicans knee-cap and weaken him over gays in the military.

Never forget, Congressional Democrats are a weak lot. For the same reasons they are now backing Obama, they will turn on him - they take the path of least resistance, love to suck up to the media, and fear nothing more than being accused of being "partisan" except possibly being accused of being liberal. Obama may be their darling now, but if he's elected by January 21 they will all be moving to show him how powerful they are and how much he needs to be catering to them.

Aeryl's picture
Submitted by Aeryl on

Repubs follow their leadership in lockstep, Dems....not so much. IIRC, a lot of Congressional Dems lost their seats in 94. I imagine many of them were replaced.

My rep is fairly progressive, despite being a former Republican(like 20 yrs ago), he supports HR 676, and he also supports Obama. He was ignored by Emmanuel in 06, an ally of the Clintons, so he's not looking to do them any favors. He supports more oversight, Here's how Republicans look at him for supporting Article 1.

Good guy, we need more like him. But hopefully there's enough in there, to prevent another Presidential kneecapping, unless it's called for.

Bill Clinton for First Dude!!!

BDBlue's picture
Submitted by BDBlue on

Think the Republicans disgraced themselves permanently with not giving it to Bush (and didn't help Bush in the long run, he'd go down better in history if they'd had reigned him in some).

But Whitewater? Travelgate? The Democrats were all too willing to jump onto fake GOP scandals to keep their media masters happy. I have no reason to doubt they'll do it again.