Notes on the 08 primaries

January 28, 2008

First off, someone needs to stick a fork in Giuliani: He’s so done. I believe that fork will officially arrive in the form of tomorrow’s Florida primary results.

It doesn’t take a genius to figure that out, maybe. What about the harder questions? Who will the GOP nominee be? McCain is too centrist, too maverick, and frankly too old. Romney is too Mormon, too liberal and too Northeastern. My money’s on Huckabee for the nomination, but there will be no landslide.

Then there’s those Democrats. Although I haven’t decided on a candidate myself, no one is more thrilled than I am at Obama’s success in the primaries so far. If pressed, I’d have to say I hope for him to win the nomination, but I believe Hilary will. The nomination will be locked up on super Tuesday of next week. A brokered convention would be exciting, but I don’t think it’ll happen. Edwards–who is nearly as done as Rudy–will not tie up enough delegates to prevent Hilary from getting the nomination.


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  1. I am thinking the American public is more ready for a black president than a woman president. If I’m right, then if Hillary is nominated, I’m fearful that the republican nominee (whoever it may be) may be the ultimate winner. – what’s your thought….

  2. There will not be a Republican president. Hilary can win against any of them. So can Obama. National polling shows this clearly. Things could change after a knock-down drag-out general election campaign, but as it stands now there’s no reason to fear nominating either of our frontrunners.

    Just because Hilary incites the conservative wing of the GOP to fits of apoplexy, it doesn’t necessarily follow that it would cost her any votes.

  3. I am not so convinced that Hillary is invincible. If she wins the nomination the GOP is not going to run against her, they will campaign against Billary. I am not sure the nation wants good ol’ Willy Jeff back in the white house.

    I hope Edwards pulls out before super Tues. and swings the progressive vote to Obama. Unfortunately it does not look like he is going to.

  4. I don’t think anyone’s invincible. But to hear some people talk, she’s a virtual Titanic candidate. And that’s not true at all. She’s wildly popular among Democrats. She just also happens to be wildly unpopular with many conservatives. The two phenomena are conflated constantly in the media, and never in her favor.

    Bill? Shit, he’s not a negative, he’s a positive. (Current Obama dustup notwithstanding.) If he could run today, he’d put the smackdown on any other candidate running on both sides. Again, I think the fact that he’s wildly unpopular with a bitter core of conservatives doesn’t change the fact that he’s wildly popular in general.

  5. My fear is that McCain might actually pull it off and become the Republican nominee and face Clinton in the general. Then all bets would be off, because Clinton would bring out the “broken glass” Republicans, i.e., the Republicans that would crawl across broken glass to keep her out of the White House, and McCain would attract the independents who aren’t apt to vote for a woman. She’d energize what would otherwise be a fairly dispirited Republican Party to get out and vote. McCain’s admittedly a long shot, because a lot of Republicans really don’t like him, but he’s their best shot in the general.

    Plus, I’m afraid even if she is elected, it will be the 90s all over again; the asshole element of the right will expend every ounce of its energy ensuring that a Clinton presidency: a) is obstructed at every turn by the GOP in Congress, even if it’s obvious that the ideas are both good and popular, and b) is hounded unmercifully by the corporate media with the type of crap that cast such a net over Bill’s presidency and ground his second term to a near-standstill.

    I’ve liked Edwards all along, but I’m afraid he just doesn’t stand a chance. I’m with 3rd Way; I hope he swings his support to Obama, who I think represents our best chance for a fresh start (which I’d like to see as a campaign meme as much as change). Edwards should be a crusading Attorney General. That would be a great role for him.

  6. McCain won’t get the nomination. But if he did, I’d rather see him run against Clinton the Obama. Obama has no experience at anything much. Pretty stark contrast to someone like McCain.

    The right will go after president Clinton? You bet. And they’ll go after president Obama, too. I’m not kidding myself that the insane level of hatred leveled at Bill was unique to his presidency. I see the same thing lurking just below the surface in the Swiftboating of Kerry and the way Gore was made out to be some kind of pathological liar.

    It’s not about Clinton–either one of them. It’s the new way politics is done. Go for the jugular, no mercy. Sweep the leg, Johnny! That’s how the American right rolls today.

    Edwards as attorney general? Hmm…an appealing thought!

  7. I’m under no illusion that the right won’t try and sabotage a Democratic presidency, no matter whose it might be. I’m just saying I truly believe it would be a lot more vicious under a President Clinton than a President Obama, if for no other reason than their base already has a shrieking, unreasoning hatred of her. They’d have to learn to hate Obama. I’m sure the machine is up to the task of whipping up that froth of hate for Obama, but they’d be essentially starting from scratch. I also think they’d have a harder time “signing people up” so to speak, because I also believe that people are finally getting a little sick and tired of slash and burn politics. We’ll have to see about that, I suppose.

  8. Learn to hate Obama? C’mon. We’ve always been at war with Eastasia.

  9. Hillary still carries a %50 disapproval rating. No candidate with that high a disapproval rating ever won the nomination or election. She just got blown away in South Carolina. Since you don’t listen to the conservative talk shows – the general belief is that Hillary can be more easily defeated in the election than Obama, so the hope is she gets the nomination. Obama is smoother than Hillary and with today’s endorsement by the Kennedy clan, he may very well be the nominee.

    On the GOP side, they (Rush. Hannity, Levin, Belling) all seem to support Romney since he is the most conservative and supports positions in line with the show hosts. I say they “support” him by their lack of criticism as compared to the other candidates. The Mormon aspect is a wild card issue. McCain is more a Democrat than many Democrats and the belief is that he will try move the GOP from Reagan conservatism to a more liberal, Democrat type platform. Based on his voting record against Republican sponsored bills and his associations with major Democrats in sponsoring the McCain-Feingold and McCain-Kennedy bills, he has turned off many Republicans. Huckabee is also too liberal. Most are lamenting Fred Thompson’s dropping out. He was a true conservative, but seemed not to have the enthusiasm to really make a run at it.

    Many things can change by November, it’s still to early to believe that a Democrat has a lock on the White House in 2009. But then, the cheese heads believe the Packers are going to the Superbowl at the start of every NFL season. More like wishful thinking than reality based prediction.

  10. Hillary still carries a %50 disapproval rating.

    Among whom? Where is that stat coming from?

    She just got blown away in South Carolina.

    We’ll see who has more delegates under their column next Wednesday.

    the general belief is that Hillary can be more easily defeated in the election than Obama

    That may be so, but it’s all relative. It’s kind of like saying you’d rather face a firing squad armed with pistols than with AK-47s–you’re dead either way. And so is the Republican nominee, whoever he is.

    Rush. Hannity, Levin, Belling) all seem to support Romney

    But they don’t speak for the evangelical Christian wing of the GOP.

    McCain is more a Democrat than many Democrats

    That’s an exaggeration. He is a moderate with an independent streak. And it’s the latter that has him in hot water with the Republican leadership, not the former.

    Huckabee is also too liberal.

    Don’t discount the evangelicals who see a role for government in improving the lives of Americans. They may be against gay marriage, but they are in favor of things like health care for everyone.

    He was a true conservative

    Fred Thompson was a mirage from day one. I think he was playing a role. The role of Regan-esque father figure conservative. But his record didn’t indicate much of anything at all.

    Many things can change by November

    I got $100 that says a Democrat wins the presidency. Any takers?

  11. I will take you up on that bet. First set up a paypal account, then… just kidding.

    I see a very real possibility that Obama gets screwed out of the nomination by the Democrats asinine superdelegate system. So far Obama is leading if you look at the delegates won by election, but he is far behind when you take these “free agent” super delegates into account. I hate to say it, but to me it looks like the GOP has a better system for coming up with a nominee.

  12. I think the whole thing is crazier than a snake’s armpit. Everything from the primaries to the debates to the electoral college–the whole thing is just nuts.

    I have to work up a new blog post: 10 things I hate about the system. Or something.

  13. As much as I’d like to see Obama become our next president, I’d like to see Jeffrey Toobin’s prediction become reality – Hillary wins and nominates Barack Obama to the Supreme Court.

    That said, I don’t think there is any question that Obama would be the best choice on several levels. As to the experience question, he would surround himself with the best out there. Too much is made of this.

    I don’t think the last two guys had the market cornered in the experience category. Did they?

  14. On Wednesday I came to the sudden realization that I strongly favored Obama for the nomination. I still think odds are at least 60/40 Clinton, but I am hoping he’ll pull it out next Tuesday somehow.

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