Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: The Universal Intercept

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  • Neil Morrison,

    Graeme, have you had a look at the Delegate Selection Rules that TalkLeft link to?

    It makes interesting reading. No wonder there's a bit of debate over Florida.

    ...it would also be interesting to see some stats on Dems who turned out to vote this year only because there was a candidate who was perceived (rightly or wrongly) as outside of the party orthodoxy.

    The Dems have had a massive turn out and Obama has been a major part of that. It's hard in this sort of debate not to sound a bit churlish about one or other of the candidates.

    Since Nov 2006 • 932 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    And Jeff Griendfield has an interesting answer to the question "what does the primary tell us about Clinton and Obama's likely electoral strengths (and weaknesses) as the nominee: On the evidence of recent history, not much at alll.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11867 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    I think the point may have been that although Obama is leading in the popular vote, he's not leading among Democrats. He's leading once independents and Republicans who can vote in some contests are taken into account.

    If the Dems were determining this, Clinton would likely be winning.

    If you're basing that on exit polls, then Jeff Greenberg has a useful caveat in the Slate piece I linked to:

    Moreover, exit poll results from primaries don't always tell us what we think they tell us. Consider the much-sought-after independent voter. Independents are permitted to participate in primaries and caucuses in such competitive states as Ohio, Wisconsin, Iowa, and New Hampshire. But exit polls simply ask respondents to identify themselves, so a registered Democrat or Republican who considers herself an independent thinker might tell an exit pollster she's "independent." In addition, even those voters who don't formally register with a party often have strong leanings one way or the other; the number of genuine "swing" voters is comparatively small.

    And the NYTime's politics blog, the Caucus, has a useful reality check on the so-called 'Limbaugh Effect':

    On Wednesday’s show, after Mrs. Clinton won in Texas and Ohio, Mr. Limbaugh proclaimed victory. However, there is little to suggest that he successfully drove enough Republicans to vote strategically to impact the outcome.

    “There’s just not a lot of evidence, when you start looking at the data, that there’s a lot of this sort of behavior in presidential primaries,” said Michael McDonald, an associate professor at George Mason University who studies voter turnout.

    Mr. Obama actually won among Texas Republicans, who made up nearly twice as much of the voters in the Democratic primary as they did in 2004, at 9 percent, and 53 percent of them went for Mr. Obama, according to voter surveys by Edison/Mitofsky. In Ohio, where Republicans participated at similarly increased rates in the Democratic contest, Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Obama both received 49 percent of the G.O.P. vote.

    Mrs. Clinton won the Ohio primary 54.3 percent to Mr. Obama’s 44 percent, and she took the Texas vote with 50.9 percent to 47.4 percent.

    The Republican vote was “definitely not determinative of whether or not Clinton won those states,” said Professor McDonald. He added that the effect of Republican voters could have added “maybe a percentage point or two” to Mrs. Clinton’s total.

    Of the states with open or semi-open primaries, Mr. Obama has generally won among Republicans handily. Only in Alabama, on Feb. 5, did Mrs. Clinton win among Republicans, who made up 5 percent of the voters, by a margin of 52 to 45 percent – but Mr. Obama won the primary there overall. Ultimately, Mr. Obama’s success with Republicans tends to correlate with his fortunes among other groups.

    The voter polls do not give many clues about voters’ motivation, so it is difficult to determine exactly why Republicans voted for either Mrs. Clinton or Mr. Obama. Even though, by March 4, the Republican presidential race was all but decided, there were down-ballot races in both Ohio and Texas, giving Republicans other reasons to vote in their own primaries.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11867 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Craig, I just can't fathom the degree of hostility that Obama supporters have for HRC. On the basis of policy - where there are very slight differences between them - I can't see the justification.

    Neil: And I don't get the pissy sense of entitlement that exists among Clinton supporters -- it's sexist' and 'Republican dirty tricks' to hold her to account for her own voting record, to test her own claims of superior 'experience' and 'judgement'. She wants to take credit for her husband's presidency, but God help you if you mention the utter botch she made of healthcare reform, 'ending welfare as we know it', DOMA and 'don't ask, don't tell'. We can (and should) go through Obama's associates with a fine-tooth comb, but when the same is done to Hillary 'I've been vetted' Clinton then you get compared to Kenneth Starr.

    Pardon me, but I'm not quite ready to strike up a chorus of 'Poor, Poor Pitiful Me' for Clinton.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11867 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    If the Dems were determining this, Clinton would likely be winning.

    Yeah. There's an interesting debate over that, given most democrats/republicans are going to vote for their own candidate in the general. It will be independents that by and large decide most presidential elections in America, in those battle-ground states.

    Whether that means it makes sense for the democratic primaries to be open to them... who knows.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6162 posts Report Reply

  • Richard Llewellyn,

    Plus, are you sure it was Bill'O? Not Limbaugh? Taking such a partisan position doesn't really seem like Bill'O

    Doh! - you are correct.

    Mt Albert • Since Nov 2006 • 399 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    It will be independents that by and large decide most presidential elections in America, in those battle-ground states.

    I don't know, Kyle. It seems to me that McCain has his own 'Limbaugh Effect' to deal with -- because there's no guarantee the Dittoheads and Ann-droids are going to hold their noses and vote for him, as opposed to just staying home. The hard-right sure didn't bother turning out for GHB in '92, while the economy (and his infamous "no new taxes" pledge coming back to haunt him) alienated fiscal conservatives and social moderates in the party.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11867 posts Report Reply

  • 3410,

    "... as far as I know."

    I don't support Clinton, but this one's been blown out of all proportion. Here's the full text:

    Steve Kroft: “You don't believe that Senator Obama's a Muslim?” Steve Kroft asked Sen. Clinton.

    Hillary Clinton: “Of course not. I mean, that, you know, there is no basis for that. I take him on the basis of what he says. And, you know, there isn't any reason to doubt that,” she replied.

    SK: “You said you'd take Senator Obama at his word that he's not a Muslim. You don't believe that he's a Muslim and... or imply, right?,” Kroft said.

    HRC: “No. No, there is nothing to... to base that on. As far as I know,”

    To my mind, it's drawing a pretty long bow to consider that any kind of smear.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    Yawn... They'll still be an American politician whoever wins.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4422 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    I don't know, Kyle. It seems to me that McCain has his own 'Limbaugh Effect' to deal with -- because there's no guarantee the Dittoheads and Ann-droids are going to hold their noses and vote for him, as opposed to just staying home. The hard-right sure didn't bother turning out for GHB in '92, while the economy (and his infamous "no new taxes" pledge coming back to haunt him) alienated fiscal conservatives and social moderates in the party.

    Yes, hence my 'by and large'. There will be a small number of people who jump from one to the other - probably some women might jump to vote dem if Hilary is the candidate, probably some African Americans if Obama. Possibly some Dems will vote for McCain if they... I dunno. Like him for whatever.

    But the numbers will still be small. A couple of percent at most. If it's 1/3 democrats, 1/3 republicans, and 1/3 independents, then it's that middle third that still decides it.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6162 posts Report Reply

  • Neil Morrison,

    Obama wins Mississippi. 11% 0f voters were Republican - they broke 3 to 1 for Clinton. They're leaving it a bit late to start taking Limbaugh's advice.

    Since Nov 2006 • 932 posts Report Reply

  • tussock,

    Steve Kroft: “You don't believe that Senator Obama's a Muslim?”

    tussock: “I find the whole notion of questioning people's religion to be insulting, but the Senator has made unequivocal public statements regarding his Christian faith and I'm not here to call him a liar.”

    Steve Kroft: “You'd take Senator Obama at his word that he's not a Muslim. You don't believe that he's a Muslim and... or imply, right?”

    tussock: “What are you trying to say, Steve?”

    Since Nov 2006 • 366 posts Report Reply

  • Judi Lapsley Miller,

    Russell said

    They're probably not deals for your mum, but for communications-happy households they're a welcome innovation.

    WTF? I thought we were past this sort of stereotyping these days. Bad Russell! Go sit on the naughty step and have a long think about what you've said. Time starts now...

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 99 posts Report Reply

  • Judi Lapsley Miller,

    Doh! Wrong thread...

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 99 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Tussock:

    I'd have been slightly terser in you in Clinton's position: "What a fucking stupid question, Steve, and one I won't dignify with an answer. But I'd just like to add that I'm proud to represent one of the most diverse cities on Earth."

    And Ferraro isn't only a race-baiting douche bag she's a passive-agressive bully turned victim, just to add insult to injury.

    I am stepping down from your finance committee so I can speak for myself and you can continue to speak for yourself about what is at stake in this campaign.

    The Obama campaign is attacking me to hurt you. I won't let that happen.

    Thank you for everything you have done and continue to do to make this a better world for my children and grandchildren.

    Jeebus...

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11867 posts Report Reply

  • Neil Morrison,

    In her clumsy fashion Ferraro is saying many people are supporting Obama because of the symbolism - the US finally overcomes the past by electing a black President. This view is put forward by Michael Tomasky who in criticising Ferraro makes her point more clearly -

    ...I am here to say that yes, the fact that Barack Obama is a black man is an important factor on his behalf. There is no earthly reason that it should not be. This country has a history on the question of race with which you may be familiar. The idea that we might elect a black president would indeed in my mind help redeem that hideous legacy, and it would change our present in a million small ways that would benefit the whole society. He'd be an incredible role model for young black men, and, assuming he was even a reasonably successful president, a better role model for old white men who didn't believe an African-American could do the job.

    Which is all fine and one could say exactly the same thing about Clinton and woman. Why race should trump gender here I don't know but apparently it does:

    His election would also - far, far more than the election of another war-mongering white man, and yes, even considerably more than the election of a woman - send an unimaginably powerful message to the rest of the world, where most of the people are darker than most Americans are by this shade or that.

    That's far more than a woman coming from an Obama supporter. What would be the reaction if a Clinton supporter said far more than a black man. (And Tomasky overlooks the fact that there are slightly more woman in the world what ever their colour).

    Since Nov 2006 • 932 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    That's far more than a woman coming from an Obama supporter. What would be the reaction if a Clinton supporter said far more than a black man.

    That's nonsense, clearly the election of Obama would send a very strong message on the world stage, particularly to countries whose populations are of arabic, and african heritage.

    Electing Clinton wouldn't send the same message because she's a white woman, but it would send a very strong message to women domestically, and to an extent around the world.

    You're criticising Tomasky for accurate analysis. If a Clinton supporter said 'far more than a black man' they'd just be wrong.

    No country is defined by gender, lots of countries are defined by race. When was the last time the US invaded a country full of white folks? Germany?

    Since Nov 2006 • 6162 posts Report Reply

  • Neil Morrison,

    vYou're criticising Tomasky for accurate analysis.

    But it's just his opinion, it's not analysis. Why wouldn't the election of a woman send as strong a signal? I keep on thinking that the biggest signal is electing a Democrat of whatever gender or race. It will be the policies of the next POTUS that will have an impact on the rest of the world, not their race or gender and their foreign polices are pretty much the same.

    But since some Obama supporters are putting forward the argment that his race is more signifcant than her gender then I'd like to see some evidence. And maybe they could stop claiming that it's the Clinton camp who are enjected race into the process.

    Since Nov 2006 • 932 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Kyle, you're missing the point. Many observers have pointed out that Ferraro dismissed as 'sexism' any suggest that she wouldn't have been on the Democratic ticket in '84 if she had a penis between her legs instead of a vagina.

    And to be perfectly gender balanced, I'm also shaking my head at lbrain fart from Clinton chief campaign strategist Mark Penn.

    God, I've got to agree with NBC host/commentator Keith Olbermann -- who is neither a tool of the VRWC or a Hill-hating Obamaniac -- in this brutally frank on-air commentary. This is the kind of campaigning you'd expect some far-right Southern Republican to be running in the general.

    This is beyond 'scorched earth', and into Cathargo delenda est territory.. Her and her campaign have certainly given the McCain camp and the far-right enough soundbites to last all the way through to November, so she better win the nomination. Not least for the sake of her own reputation.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11867 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    But it's just his opinion, it's not analysis.

    In politics, analysis is opinion. Unless someone has done some polling of world leaders as to who they think is going to send a stronger message to the world, it's all just opinion, but it sounded like accurate analysis to me.

    Why wouldn't the election of a woman send as strong a signal?

    Because America has a perception problem in the world, that they invade Muslim countries that have lots of oil to spread democracy and save the local population, but don't give a shit about poor Africans dying in whatever Civil War is wracking that continent at the moment.

    Whether or not Obama will at all change that in any way, who knows. But he has ties both to Africa, and to Islam, through his father and the places he's lived in the world. And he's obviously not white.

    And you can define countries reasonably accurately by race/ethnicity, but you can't by gender. Lots of countries have 90% of their population of a particular colour, but every country has something reasonably close to 49/51 gender split. Race can mean things to specific countries as part of their identity in a way that gender can't.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6162 posts Report Reply

  • Neil Morrison,

    In politics, analysis is opinion.

    Yes but it's not a fact therefore I can disagree. Do you have any evidence that a Pres Obama being black would be better for the world than a Pres Clinton being female? I'd certainly scoff if Clinton supporters made such a claim for her.

    Race can mean things to specific countries as part of their identity in a way that gender can't.

    But then might not gender transcend those national boundaries?

    Since Nov 2006 • 932 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Kyle, you're missing the point. Many observers have pointed out that Ferraro dismissed as 'sexism' any suggest that she wouldn't have been on the Democratic ticket in '84 if she had a penis between her legs instead of a vagina.

    No I don't think I am missing the point. This isn't one side saying 'boys are better', and the other side saying 'girls are better'.

    This is one side saying 'gender', and the other side saying 'race'. Sometimes race is important, and gender isn't, and sometimes the opposite is true.

    If Obama was to walk into a feminist lobby group, his race wouldn't matter much. If Clinton was to walk into the same group, her gender clearly would.

    I'm sure there are lots of people in the world that will think it's great if Clinton is the first women US president. I think lots of people will think it's great if Obama is the first non-white US president.

    But if you're going to talk about foreign affairs you're talking about countries, and countries can be (broadly) defined by race, they can't be broadly defined by gender. There will be countries in Africa that will be very interested in seeing Obama getting elected, even if it makes no practical difference between him and Clinton. Image matters.

    Partially because no country is 90% women, partially because most world leaders are male, and partially because of who she is and who she's married to, there won't be so much interest from countries in having Clinton get elected.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6162 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    This is beyond 'scorched earth', and into Cathargo delenda est territory.. Her and her campaign have certainly given the McCain camp and the far-right enough soundbites to last all the way through to November, so she better win the nomination. Not least for the sake of her own reputation.

    If the netroots mean anything, Clinton is destroying a little more of that reputation every day she carries this on. All the major Dem activist blogs are increasingly furious with the kitchensink stuff from her camp. Even if she did manage to pull off a nomination without winning the pledged delegates, she'd have destroyed all the goodwill and motivation in the base.

    And according to Nancy Pelosi, Clinton also wrecked any chance of the "dream ticket".

    Clinton needs to stop, now.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18715 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Yes but it's not a fact therefore I can disagree. Do you have any evidence that a Pres Obama being black would be better for the world than a Pres Clinton being female? I'd certainly scoff if Clinton supporters made such a claim for her.

    You were poking at someone claiming that it sent a 'powerful message'. You can't then demand evidence that it would be better - the message would be in the perception, the reality is another issue completely. That's clearly what Tomasky was saying.

    It's not about whether it would make the world a better place (who knows after all). The election of Obama, with his dark skin, would be viewed very strongly in lots of countries around the world.

    But then might not gender transcend those national boundaries?

    Gender does transcend national boundaries. But countries don't. And it is countries that are the major players in the world stage.

    There's no big player in the international stage made up of, or representing womens interests. The closest you can get is female leaders of countries made up of roughly equal numbers of men and women.

    There's lots of big players on the international stage who overwhelmingly represent the interests of non-whites, because their countries are overwhelmingly non-white.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6162 posts Report Reply

  • Neil Morrison,

    "If the netroots mean anything.."

    Do you mean dailykos? There's always been a strong anti-Clinton faction out there but there are pro-Clinton sites (or at least not so partisan) too such as TalkLeft.

    she'd have destroyed all the goodwill and motivation in the base.

    Do you mean Obama supporters? Of course if their candidate doesn't win they won't be pleased. But how come it's Hillary the destroyer?

    the message would be in the perception, the reality is another issue completely.

    but Toamsky is also making the claim that there would be that perception. I'd just like som evidence.

    Gender does transcend national boundaries. But countries don't. And it is countries that are the major players in the world stage.

    But you could agrue that someone that could transcend national boundaries might do more good than some one who reinforces them.

    Since Nov 2006 • 932 posts Report Reply

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