4/23/2008

The Pennsylvania Aftermath

Hillary Clinton won yesterday's Pennsylvania primary by 10 points. This margin of victory was healthy enough to allow Clinton to stave off calls for her to withdraw from the race and cede the nomination to rival Barack Obama. More importantly, surviving Pennsylvania allows her to compete in the upcoming primaries in Indiana and North Carolina on May 6.

Last month I wrote about how Clinton could emerge from the wilderness and salvage her chances at winning the nomination. (Check out Part 1 and Part 2 of "Anatomy of a Clinton Comeback.") In short, here are the five tips I offered:

1. Contain Bill Clinton.
2. Don't drop out, regardless of what happens in Ohio and Texas.
3. Stop complaining and fight.
4. Wait for Obama to implode.
5. Turn Iraq into an advantage.

How did she do?

Regarding Point 1, Bill Clinton has been considerably better behaved. He's made a few silly remarks, such as suggesting that Obama is the one who played the race card in South Carolina. But compared to how adversely he was impacting his wife's campaign before Super Tuesday, he has not been an obvious net negative. Check.

As for Point 2, she won Ohio convincingly and won a media victory in Texas even though Obama won more delegates. Winning these states lent credence to her argument that she's been able to win the big states. It also gave rise to whispers about why Obama couldn't close the deal and wrap up the nomination. Check.

Point 3 was a critical one. Since Junior Super Tuesday, she's been playing hardball by invoking Jeremiah Wright and echoing Harry Truman: "If you can't stand the heat, then get out of the kitchen." So she's been scrapping for rebounds and throwing a few elbows. Even better, Obama seems not to have taken this tip into consideration because he was the one who was whining after the last debate in Philadelphia and was diminished because of it. Check.

Point 4 has been quite generous to Clinton. March and April have given us "bitter," "God Damn America," whining about debate questions, accusations of elitism, effeminate bowling, and a weak debate performance. What's the scorecard against Clinton? Sniper fire. I'm sure that's a tradeoff she'd be willing to take. Check.

And as for Point 5, Iraq is not as big of an issue as it once was. Nobody was able to lay a glove on General David Petraeus at his recent Senate testimony and voters seem to realize that regardless of our feelings about our troop presence there, we will be in Iraq for a very, very long time. Being against the war from the very beginning doesn't seem as important anymore, especially now that we're five years into the conflict. Check.

Looks like Clinton is well on her way. So what about Obama?

The Pennsylvania primary is significant because in addition to being the first contest in about seven weeks, it is also the first contest that has taken place since several controversies and unforced errors sandbagged Obama. Here are some possible explanations for why he struggled in the Keystone State:

1. Perhaps he peaked too soon. When Obama was running up the score in February, he put the pledged delegate race out of reach and had all the momentum and campaign cash he could have asked for. But because he never made it to 2025 delegates, he could never definitively put her away. After Super Tuesday, the caucuses and primaries slowed to a trickle, thus placing an even greater spotlight on the bigger states that had yet to vote. Nobody cares that Obama won Vermont or Wyoming. But everybody knows that Clinton won Ohio. Obama may have won a lot more states than Clinton, but his lead in the popular vote is small and he lacks a truly convincing victory in a major blue state outside of Illinois.

Clinton has constantly reminded everyone that she has won New York, California, New Jersey, Ohio, and now Pennsylvania. In response, Obama correctly argues that John McCain is not going to win those states, but it does beg the question of why Obama is not doing so well among Democrats in Democratic states. Running up the score in places that no Democrat stands a chance of winning in November (places like Nebraska, Alabama, and North Dakota) doesn't mean anything. Being able to hold down New Jersey and Pennsylvania is a bit more meaningful.

So it would appear that even though the Obama train has left the station, it still has yet to reach its destination because it doesn't seem like the driver knows where to go or how to get there. The fact remains that Obama has not been able to deliver the knockout punch to Clinton. Ned Lamont made the same mistake after beating Joe Lieberman in the Connecticut Democratic primary race of 2006. Obama had the chance to turn out the lights on Clinton in New Hampshire, on Super Tuesday, in Ohio, and just now in Pennsylvania. Voters do seem to like Obama, but they don't quite like him enough to put him over the top yet. Could it be that voters are having second thoughts about him or that Obamamania has reached its peak and is fading?

2. Burnout. It is worth keeping in mind that no politician can sustain the momentum and enthusiasm Barack Obama has generated. Obama has certainly been able to capitalize on his wide appeal through his fundraising prowess and the diversity that characterizes his supporters. However, this presidential campaign has been going on for over a year now. About 80% of the states had already voted before Pennsylvania, so everyone should know who Obama is and what he stands for by now. The fact that Pennsylvania Democrats rejected him by such a significant margin suggests that either his act has worn thin among voters or that there are a lot of voters who simply have yet to warm up to him. And if they're not aboard the Obama train by now, will they ever be?

3. Jeremiah Wright is a very, very big deal. The Pennsylvania primary is the first electoral contest that has taken place since "God Damn America" entered our political dialogue. Obama gave a much anticipated speech on race in America last month which was supposed to bring this and other race-related controversies to a close. However, in my analysis of that speech, I argued:

"The biggest problem with Obama's speech is that it was a bit too cerebral for the voters who most needed to hear it. This is not to say that downscale Whites, for example, are unintelligent or bigoted. However, to appreciate the full value of Obama's speech, one needs to invest the time in sitting down and reading the entire transcript of the speech or watching it on YouTube. However, most voters, regardless of ideology, simply don't do that. Either they don't have regular access to the internet or they simply don't have the time because of their other responsibilities. Or perhaps they do have the time, but aren't interested enough in doing this research on their own. For better or worse, we live in a soundbyte political culture which explains why simple slogans like "cut and run" and "he was before it before he was against it" trump nuance and complexity every time."

"Of course, Obama was asking voters of all races to be honest with themselves about their own private apprehensions regarding their prejudices. That's fine. And voters who don't feel they need to have this discussion or engage in this introspection are essentially missing the point of the speech. However, politics is not about speeches, nor is it about how well people understand these speeches. It's about how they react to them. My sense is that blue-collar Whites probably did not (or will not) react favorably to this speech even though this is not necessarily their fault or Obama's fault. In these voters' minds, Obama may be well-spoken and inspirational. But when they listen to his pastor's words, they are offended and disturbed. And when they consider the fact that Obama has been closely associated with this pastor for 20 years, they will wonder exactly how much Obama and this pastor have in common."
Obama may complain about how Hillary Clinton is using Wright as a wedge issue, but her attacks on him are nothing compared to what the GOP will do in a general election campaign. (The North Carolina Republican Party is already causing mischief.) Wright remains controversial and in the minds of many voters, Black and White alike, Obama has not sufficiently addressed their concerns about his relationship with him. And it is quite possible that these reservations were expressed at the ballot box.

4. "Bitter" bit back. The whole "bitter" miniscandal provided yet another case study in how one can be totally right on the theoretical arguments and totally wrong on the gut-level politics. This is like Obama's self-induced controversy of not wearing a flag pin. It would have been tremendously easy for Obama to simply put on a flag pin even if he privately knew that wearing one was not required to truly be patriotic. However, he chose to argue against political common sense. Since then, he has been dogged by questions about his patriotism. This was an unforced error that has snowballed into something particularly debilitating for him, especially since it dovetails with accusations of snobbery to create an increasingly unattractive caricature of Obama as an unpatriotic Black liberal elitist.

The same scenario holds true for "bitter." In those much publicized remarks, intentionally or unintentionally, Obama disparaged churchgoers, gun owners, and rural voters in general. Not coincidentally, CNN's exit polls show that Obama lost to Clinton among (wait for it) churchgoers, gun owners, and rural voters. Correlation does not necessarily mean causation, but it's hard to write these results off as anything but rural voters' punishing Obama for stomping on their culture of religion and guns while implying that they are bigots in the process. Whether this punishment will be restricted to Pennsylvania or if it will have longer lasting implications remains to be seen, however.

5. Obama got off message and started whining. When I wrote about how Clinton could mount her comeback, I said that she should "stop complaining and fight." Clinton got angry at a debate last month in Ohio because she didn't like getting asked the first question all the time. She even criticized the moderators for not asking if "Obama wants another pillow." I thought this was a terrible move for Clinton at the time:
"This was a stunningly stupid thing for her to say because it only reinforced her negatives, reminded voters that she was losing, sounded petty instead of presidential, and wasted time that could have been better spent articulating her views on something that actually mattered to voters."

"When sharks smell blood, they attack. And that's what the media did after the debate. Her overall performance at the Cleveland debate was actually quite steady and commendable, but because of her whining, a lot of time was spent responding to that instead of lauding her grasp of policy."
To be sure, ABC did a lousy job in terms of moderating the debate. Obama has a legitimate beef about not being asked any policy questions for the first 45 minutes of the debate. However, his biggest mistake was complaining about it after the fact. As a result, he lost several precious news cycles that he could have used to sharpen his message and present his case to the voters. A four-point loss would have created far less damaging headlines than those originating from the ten-point loss he endured last night. Obama would have been better served by letting others complain about the media while he simply dusted himself off and got back on the trail. Whining about the bad questions took him off message at the time he most needed his message to get out. Oh, and the media will only get tougher on you once you actually make it into the White House. Just ask the current president. So Obama had better get used to it.

6. You can't win a battle if you don't fight. Obama is well known for his uplifting rhetoric and his political purity. The problem for Obama, however, as Pennsylvania showed, is that politics is not about honor and unity. It's about votes. And Hillary Clinton has been better at getting raw votes as of late. She may have high negatives, and she may be reinforcing these negatives by pursuing her "kitchen sink" strategy. But none of that matters because it's working. Obama may be the nice guy with the higher approval ratings, but that's not what it takes to win the nomination.

According to the CNN exit polls 67% of voters thought Obama was "honest and trustworthy" compared to 58% who felt the same about Clinton. 67% of voters thought Clinton attacked Obama unfairly while only 50% felt the same about Obama attacking Clinton. News flash to Obama: Being seen as the more honorable candidate doesn't mean so much if you lose the election. A reputation is useless without the votes to back it up.

Love her or hate her, Hillary Clinton can fight. And if she's willing to go to the mat for her own candidacy, it suggests to voters that she will be willing to go to the mat for America as President. Obama has done an awful job of defending and standing up for himself. He should be given credit for trying to take the high road and elevate our political dialogue, but nobody remembers who came in second. There are no consolation prizes when it comes to politics.

If Obama truly cannot take a hit and fight back, it's better for Democrats to find this out now than to find out in September against John McCain. Obama's going to have to be a bit more aggressive and direct because trying to campaign from 30,000 feet and avoid getting a few grass stains on your clothes isn't working.

7. The Democratic Party is truly divided into two camps and Clinton's camp is larger. Does Hillary Clinton represent the centrist wing of the party while Barack Obama represents the liberal wing? Remember, the Pennsylvania primary was closed to Republicans and independents. This could explain why the race has become so polarized, but this point alone deserves its own post.

In the end, Barack Obama is still the odds on favorite to win the nomination, but Hillary Clinton has successfully reframed the race in a way that says pledged delegates no longer matter. Her audience now is no longer the voters. It's the superdelegates, and neither candidate can win the nomination without them. And as the doubts about Obama pile up, Clinton's stock value will continue to rise. It appears that May 6 (Super Tuesday III) will be Obama's last chance to put Clinton away. Losing both North Carolina and Indiana would be absolutely disastrous to his campaign. And given how Obama appears to be stalled right now, this is not outside the realm of possibility.

28 comment(s):

Nikki said...

Enjoyed the analysis Anthony, any chance Michigan and Florida get a chance to add to the mix? :)N

notverybright said...

If she has "successfully reframed the race," it is only because the media (including bloggers) are airing, with barely a mention of delegate math, which is how this process operates, arguments that do not stand up to scrutiny.

namaste said...

excellent analysis, anthony. your research and meticulous writing and editing are to be commended.

as for obama, it looks like my college daughter had it right when she said obama's undoing will come at his own hands because of his arrogance. even if he becomes the democratic nominee, i don't see him garnering enough votes to beat mckain.

Brett said...

I wonder if we had a warning sign of some of Obama's fragility with the early-on fact that he was winning his primaries because of independents.

In any case, good post as usual, Anthony. How much of a role do you think "pre-existing sentiment" played in the Pennsylvania Primary? Clinton was pretty popular in Pennsylvania long before the primary (I remember the cable networks talking about it back before the Ohio Primary).

Schenck said...

"'This contest is essentially over,' Chris Matthews proclaims to Keith Olbermann. 'Barack Obama is going to win the most elected delegates.'

"He went on to say of the media, 'Trying to keep this game going, we've created the delusion that somehow this race is still open.'"

The unfortunate truth about those misinformed voters who do get their politics from 10-second blips on the news channels, who do not have the time/energy/etc. to thoroughly follow this race via the internet, is that they tend to believe the media... A media which has pandered to Senator Clinton's re-framing of the race as... well... still a race.

What's good for the party is all of these new registered voters and everyone has a voice blah blah blah... this is interesting. It reminds me of the "voting with heart vs. head" thing from a few months back. Those voters who are all excited about "being heard" and "democracy" brush to the side what is good for the party (um, having a nominee and focusing on McCain) because they feel empowered and important, and they are essentially voting for a candidate who mathematically can't win and giving McCain a free ride (which is not really their fault, I'm sure they would vote more informed if provided with the facts instead of "the facts").

Even with this new tier of "winning the popular vote," Hillary would need Michigan and Florida counted for her. Michigan, a state where Obama won zero votes. A state where Hillary ran a good, tough race against Uncommitted, coming out with a commanding 15-point win (55-40) against essentially nobody. Hillary needs 70% of the pledged delegates from here on out if she wants to take the lead (the real lead, not the fake one). If Obama wins Indiana & N.C., she'll need 85% on out. You're right, if Obama loses both Indiana and North Carolina he's got a problem (as does the whole party, at least more so than now), but I don't really see that happening. So where are we now?

Oh yea, we're exactly where we were after Super Tuesday, over two months ago. Except Obama has lengthened his lead and Hillary is still "making her case to the supers" (of why they shouldn't vote for the frontrunner). Hooray for us.

Thomas said...

I don't know why Hillary Clinton has to drop out as a favor to Barack Obama. He didn't do her any favors when he decided to run even though most people at the time thought it was her turn. Why hasn't it been at least a minor point in the political conversation going on out there that Barack Obama was the one who introduced tension and uncertainty into a race that was seen as a foregone conclusion?

Schenck said...

Woah, Thomas. This is a democracy, remember? But you're probably right. She should have run unopposed because it was her turn. All of the other candidates should have said, "You know, guys? Let's all stand back because it's really Hillary's turn to be president... but I call next!" Hey, if everyone thought it was "her turn," she would have this thing locked up by now. Obviously, this is not the case... Maybe there are a few people out there who don't think she'd make the best president... maybe over half of those who have voted so far. Is that you, Hillary?

I'm not suggesting she should drop out; I'm suggesting the electorate should wise up (with the help of the media BAH) and finish this thing so we can get on to the big one. What's that one mantra I like? Oh yea, (from here on out) a vote for Hillary is a vote for McCain.

Brett said...

Thomas-

There's no such thing as a "turn" for the Presidency, or even the nomination. That's the beauty of primaries; they tend to encourage participation of other ambitious fellows.

I agree that Hillary doesn't have to drop out, but it would be nice for us to find a candidate - weak candidate, strong candidate, but a candidate that we can then really start building an electoral machine for, ASAP.

As for Indiana, while it would be nice for one of the two to win its delegates, winning Indiana is hardly indicative of any toughness in the general election. Democrats haven't taken Indiana since Lyndon Johnson back in the 1960s.

Reginald Harrison Williams said...

Superb analysis, Palmer, but I must disagree with Hillary's ability to "comeback" and win this thing via superdelegates or even come close to winning the nomiation.

I still think that voters' intelligence will win out in the long run...even in November. Why? I think that all of the so-called criticism of Obama is media-created. The "bitter" remark? Reverend Wright? Elitism? They are news outlet's attempts to win ratings and get TV watchers. It stands as so prepostrous as to use these incidents to define a candidate's entire person. Honestly, these issues seem so relevant now, but I think voters will wise up and realize that these are political manuvers to brainwash them.

Here are some firmer ideas, I think. People continue to harp on the fact that Obama spent soooo much money in PA, but still loss by ten points. Many fail, however, to realize that he used those millions in good measure: he cut her lead from 20 points to 10 points. To cynics this may not seem like enough, but it is quite impressive. It's always impressive when a team is down by 20 points and makes a comeback even if they fall short. Sure he lost by 10, but in this race for proporational delegates, losing by 10 is waaaaaaaay better than losing by 20. Imagine what he could have done if the primary was not until May? I think Hillary may have won by only 5 or 8 points which is terrible for her campaign because she loses by winning.

Consider this: even if Hillary and Obama break even in all of the remaining states, Hillary still cannot win on pledged delegates. Sure she can whine about Florida and Michigan, but getting the nomination by trying to find loopholes in the rules will make her--in my opinion--look pretty weak compared to McCain in the fall.

Honestly, I think it is over for Hillary. She will lose NC. If she wins Indiana, it won't be nearly as large of a win as PA because of Obama's influence in the side of the state next to Illinois. She might win W VA and Kentucky, but I think se will lose Oregon. She will lose South Dakota, I think, albeit by a small margin.

One thing you said is dead-on: the Democratic party is in trouble. They will destroy this party if Obama ends up ahead of Hillary in delegates come June, and they pick her.

I think it's honestly over for Hillary. She should get out because it will take the type of miracle that only God can command if she does not win both NC and Indiana by double digits. After that, even if she wins the other states, there are just not enough votes unless she wins like 90% to 10%.

So I think it will be McCain beating Obama in the fall.

Brett said...

I think you are giving far too much credit to voters to "see through the fog". Personality attacks matter in elections. It wounded Dukakis and John Kerry, and it is especially potent among independents and "swing voters." These generally are not people who have studied the issues; contrary to public perception, most people who have studied the issues tend to be the most partisan (people like Anthony here are rare animals). The middle people tend to constitute a morass of ignorant voters who sway heavily on their perception of the candidate him/herself.

And if your candidate does not have something strong to draw away from that - Clinton had his program, and even Kerry almost slipped to victory because of a favorable environment and anti-Bush backlash - then he or she is going to be hurt by mudslinging.

Anthony Palmer said...

NVB,

The problem with "delegate math" is that voters don't care about it. Most voters don't even understand what this whole "delegate" thing is all about. They view this race as some sort of horserace in the sense that one person is up while the other one is down. Delegates (points) don't enter the equation for them. And because Clinton has won more of the bigger states as of late, there's the sense that she's gaining on Obama even though there's not enough racetrack (delegates) left for her to win. But there's also the possibility that she can drive up his negatives enough or that he will commit a fatal sin that will disqualify him from the race thus leaving her as the last horse standing.

Delegates may determine the nominee, but delegates are also above the heads of most voters. The media understand this too, which is why they are spending more ink talking about possible Clinton momentum. Remember, after Iowa, Obama had 16 delegates, Clinton had 15, and Edwards had 14. But nobody thought about the race that way. They just know Obama came in first while Clinton came in last. That's a more interesting storyline for the media to write about and easier for voters to digest than who got more delegates or how close/out of reach the delegate race is. It's too wonky for most people and is too abstract for them.

I'm not saying this is a good thing or a fair thing, but I think that's what the reality of the situation is.

Reginald Harrison Williams said...

I don't doubt that Obama will not be hurt by "mudslinging," but I must disagree: I think voters can "see through the fog" because of the visibility and uniqueness of all of these candidates (Clinton, McCain, and Obama).

We cannot go back to a more naive uninformed time for the electorate because of the Election of 2000. Since then, I think people of all creeds will not just see politics as a personality contest. I think they know that it is about the issues.

I'm far more inclinded in 2008 (more so in 2004) to believe that voters "can see through the fog." I think most voters are mindful enough to realize the dauntingly high stakes the next president will have to deal with. We need a unifier, someone who is going to embolden the nation and bring new voters into the process.

Mudslinging might win elections, but--as has been seen in 2000 and 2004--it divides a nation. Clinton, McCain, and Obama have slung lots of it.

I think Americans are tired of this politics. All would be mindful to not condone such actions by their actions.

R:)

Anthony Palmer said...

Namaste,

I don't necessarily think Obama is arrogant, but I do think he needs to show that he does not believe he is entitled to the nomination and should not have to campaign for it anymore. Clinton clearly wants to be President. I don't think Obama sends that same message. But then again, Obama's message is more about "us" than "him," but in order for "us" to turn the page, we need "him" to win first.

Thanks for the compliment, by the way.

-----

Brett,

I think PA was an easier state for Clinton because of the demographics. The Black population was generally concentrated in Phildaelphia and there are a lot of rural Democrats that presumably would have voted for John Edwards. And because of all the mill towns and steel towns and whatnot, that would suggest there are lots of blue collar voters there, voters that Obama has had trouble winning. Obama's good with young voters, wealthy voters, and educated voters. He now needs to work on the lunchbucket crowd, I think. They're the ones who McCain could do well with.

-----

Nikki,

Michigan and Florida's delegates will probably be seated, but not in a way that gives them the power to actually give one of the candidates the nomination. They already had their chance to get things right, but blew it. They shouldn't be rewarded for it, even though Florida wasn't the Democrats' fault.

-----

Schenck,

Your sentiments are probably echoed by millions of Democrats. Yeah, the Dems are seeing their registration rosters soar and it's forcing the Democrats to develop their GOTV operations in all 50 states. But a great GOTV operation is useless if the person you're supposed to vote for is all scuffed up and bloodied. I do believe, however, that Clinton will be history if she loses Indiana. She can survive if she loses NC, but Indiana is the next Ohio/Pennsylvania. Kentucky and West Virginia are easy layups for her. Fortunately for Obama, those contests occur AFTER Indiana and NC.

-----

RHW,

You're an educated voter. You and I and several of the readers here can see through the stupid or trivial stuff. That's why neither of us were for any of the remaining candidates last year, though that's not an insult to those who were. Unfortunately, as long as people are still talking about flag pins and cackles, I think you're giving voters more credit than they deserve.

Great comments everyone.

Thomas said...

I was being a little tongue in cheek, guys. I just don't get the argument of Obama's supporters saying Clinton's continued run for the nomination is just too divisive and is tearing the party apart. If that argument is so, would Obama's supporters have accepted that if Clinton was saying the exact same thing back in December-January when she was still the perceived front-runner? Probably not.

Schenck said...

thomas: You mean before anyone had voted?

I think the current extended interest in the Democratic primary is great, but the negative tone needs to come down a bit if we want to beat McCain. Here is an interview with George McGovern, Clinton supporter, calling for a more civil tone in the race and comparing the current battle to his presidential bid back in '72. (I think '72. Don't shoot me if that's wrong.)

Senator Clinton has every right to stay in the race until the final contest (and hopefully we won't have to wait too much longer after that for the nominee to be decided) but all the squabbling and "misspeaks" are very detrimental to the Dems. Who looks like the adult right now? John McCain (that's pretty sad).

Thomas said...

George McGovern ran in 1972,Schenck. I am reading Hunter S. Thompson's book about the 1972 race right now. My first taste of gonzo-ness. I like!

I think Bill Clinton was a rather important volunteer for McGovern in my home state of Texas during this race.

Reginald Harrison Williams said...

Here's a good unification ticket for 2012:

Anthony and Nikki (co-Presidents)
Thomas and brett (co-Veeps)

I'll be on board to knock on doors for this ticket!

R:)

Schenck said...

i'm running 3rd party with Gravel

Anthony Palmer said...

Heh. That's pretty funny. Have any of you guys thought about running for office someday? Seriously. You are all quite good at articulating your positions without being nasty or petty about it. And I think that's what a lot of voters are looking for--someone who treats them like adults and has a pragmatic view of politics.

By the way, I heard that Gravel was joining the Libertarian Party. I actually voted Libertarian in 2004 and may do so again this year.

Schenck said...

Palmer - I feel like I've posted this before, but have you seen Gravel's latest campaign video? I wish I could say something witty to sum it up... but words escape me...

Anyway, he's got my vote if Hillary somehow pulls off the nomination.

"And I think that's what a lot of voters are looking for--someone who treats them like adults and has a pragmatic view of politics." Wait... you're voting for Obama? :-)

Reginald Harrison Williams said...

No way, sir...lol.

I'd be a terrible politician...way too nice and acquiescing...lol.

I'd rather be Secretary of Ed or some other appointed office.

Thomas said...

I ran for school board in Houston in 2001. I ran based on my experience as a teacher and as a product of the Houston public school system. I spent about $1,000 on my campaign and received about 20% of the vote against the incumbent, Anthony.

But like Reginald, honestly, I would be a bad politician. I would have trouble telling people what they want to hear. That is, unless I agreed with the people already.

Btw, is the most popular post in the history of "The 7-10"?

Nikki said...

Hey I being nominated here and it looks like I am missing a party!! I would soooo go Co-Prez with Anthony...I'll say all the stupid stuff and he can talk me out of all the trouble LOL...I don't think I could ever run for office. My mouth runs amok way to much and too many things on my blog to "swiftboat" me. I would love to something in radio. Anthony should definately run!! Reginald you should be Secretary of Education...fun party for the political junkies! :)N

Nikki said...

see and I am too lazy to edit my own comments...:)N

Thomas said...

Reginald, I wouldn't mind being named to the Supreme Court. That is a cushy job if I ever saw one. And the cool thing is that can never get rid of you up once you are up there on that high bench.

Anthony Palmer said...

Schenck,

I saw that video. It was so depressing, but it was quite powerful as well. Lots of people derided Gravel as being a kook, but I thought some of his comments were actually quite insightful. If he had a bit more message discipline (and didn't make that crazy video of him throwing the rock in the lake), he might have had a chance.

Could I vote for Obama? I think I could. Actually, I could vote for any of the three candidates, or vote third party. I'm most likely to vote Libertarian though. I have strong disagreements with Obama on illegal immigration, I would like to move past the past the Bush-Clinton years (strike against Clinton), and I'm not a social conservative (strike against McCain).

Protest votes don't matter so much in South Carolina during presidential elections.

---

RHW,

I second the notion of you being a Secretary of Education. Maybe start off by replacing Jim Rex as SC Education Superintendent and you'll be well on your way.

---

Thomas,

In terms of hits, the most popular posts here are "Obama's Flag Flap" from last October and "Fish Fry Photos" from last May (Jim Clyburn's Fish Fry). In terms of comments, I think this particular post has generated the most comments, but there are several other ones with more than 15. I really appreciate all of you guys being such faithful readers of this blog and for being so civil with each other.

Brett said...

Two Co-Presidents and Two co-Vice Presidents? Apparently we've turned into the late Roman Empire :D. Just kidding! Seriously, though, if you don't get it, just look up "Diocletian" on wikipedia.

I've thought about being a politician, but I'm somewhat of a mediocre public speaker unless my remarks are already prepared and written out. I couldn't just give an off-the-cuff campaign speech.

Like you, Anthony, I could see conditions under which I could possibly vote for all three candidates, although I'll probably vote for the Democrat. McCain would be okay if combined with a strong democratic congress, in my opinion; he seems like much more of a compromiser than Bush and his enablers were.

Freadom said...

As usual I'm late to the party, but better late than never. I think that democrats are having second thoughts as to whether Obama can beat McCain in the general election. In fact, I wonder if the primaries were to start over, if -- knowing what we do now -- Clinton would have won in a landslide. While we can't go back in time, I think that Clinton has a chance to make a comeback, and I think Clinton would be foolish to drop out. In fact, we all know that Clinton will never admit defeat, she will only leave the race when forced out. And it's that will to win -- to gain power -- that might still land Clinton in the White House.

Copyright 2007-2008 by Anthony Palmer. This material may not be republished or redistributed in any manner without the expressed written permission of the author, nor may this material be cited elsewhere without proper attribution. All rights reserved. The 7-10 is syndicated by Newstex.