Monday, February 25, 2008


Today, Frank Rich agreed with our post of February 21st, "Hillary's Blunder From Day One"

OPINION February 24, 2008 Op-Ed Columnist: The Audacity of Hopelessness By FRANK RICH "The Clinton camp has been the slacker in this presidential race, and its candidate’s message, for all its purported high-mindedness, is self-immolating."

He goes on to point out that Obama has so far evidenced far and away the superior management skills

And here is another disturbing fact that has also so far gone under reported, ignored, or simply unnoticed. Perhaps in attempting to be balanced no one has noted the main determinant behind the trendline that has been moving in Barack Obama's direction since "Day 1".

The movement of support for Hillary to support for Obama has thus far followed a simple, straightforward information pyramid. A game of telephone.

In fact, it appears to be the only rule support for Obama has obeyed. His growing 'movement' has resisted confinement to the categories on which political bases are normally founded. So far, his appeal has had almost nothing to do with interest groups. Neither race, religion, economic strata, education, nor ethnicity has been relevant in determining where his core support lies

Only one factor has been a reliable predictor -- access to information.

Obama's support has increased obeying a simple metric, moving from those most informed (the college educated) to those less informed to those least informed. The only possible exception might have been his support among African-Americans that took a sudden jump just before and after the South Carolina primary. But Bill Clinton whacked the jungle drum exceedingly hard those days (under an assumption that has always proved true in the past, the more black support a black candidate has the more uneasy white support becomes). That may well account for the sudden dramatic shift to Obama in that community.

If you have any doubt check out the two new polls in Ohio just released today. (Linked below)There's been a big switch in just the last two weeks. At the top of the information totem pole. College-educated voters have gone from +5 for Hillary to +25 for Obama.** (again, see below)

That shift accounts for almost all the gain in the Quinnipiac survey in the last two weeks. And that corresponds to every other shift we've seen. If California's primary were help today Hillary Clinton would lose. Nationally, she's now trailing by a good margin. The Obama wave sweeps over each primary state as the primaries come into focus in each new information micropolis.

The point is this -- even if Hillary Clinton should somehow manage to outrun the information stream long-enough to capture the nomination she will be viewed, ultimately, fairly or not, as undeserving of the nomination. It isn't worth it at that price. Or, certainly, it shouldn't be.

**A Quinnipiac University Poll indicates Clinton's lead over her opponent has slipped to 51 percent to Obama's 40 percent. Less than two weeks before, Clinton was favored 55 percent to Obama's 34 percent. Ohio's primary will be held March 4.

The poll, which surveyed 1,853 registered Ohio voters from Feb. 18-23, shows a particular erosion of support for Clinton among college-educated voters, who favored the candidate 46 percent to Obama's 41 percent earlier in the month. That sector of voters now favors Obama 58 percent to Clinton's 33 percent.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Hillary's Blunder From Day 1 -- Running Obama's Campaign Pt. 5

The campaign sound-bite that Senator Clinton has offerred ad nauseum for her candidacy emphasizes her readiness "from Day One" -- ''Both Senator Obama and I would make history, but only one of us is ready on Day 1 to be commander in chief, ready to manage our economy, and ready to defeat the Republicans."

As sloganeering goes, it's sad. It draws attention to a deficit even as it trumpets her main asset. What about "Day Two," and Three, Four and Five..?

Not only is the claim modest, it seems to concede her learning-curve might not be as steep as her opponents'. Should a crisis arise sometime after the first weeks and months of the next President's inauguration, her edge is debateable. But even this claim has been called into question by the on-the-ground reality of the primary season.

Having watched her campaign flounder attempting to find a compelling rationale for her candidacy, or a consistent message, while squandering huge sums of money -- her husband had the temerity to suggest her campaign's under-performance this month was, in fact, over-achieving given it's been run on 'a shoestring' -- it's no longer fair to assume she has any edge over Senator Obama in competency. From Day 1, or otherwise.

In fact, the management of these rather massive political campaigns, both Republican and Democratic, are a very good measure of the candidates aptitudes for governance. They are the biggest executive operations any of them have ever managed. And if people are truly interested in judging their management skills, rather than making empty debating points, you have a pretty fair indication of what to expect.
"What has Barack Obama ever accomplished?"

Well, this campaign season, he and his staff have run a seamlessly efficient operation. Mere competence has triumphed over massive advantages in experience. McCain's campaign went broke, absolutely belly-up, dead in the water. It was the result of a management style that befits him, inattentive delegation to the nuts and bolts of the operation. His professed weakness, a disinterest in economics, reared it's head. It's a style much like George W. Bush's, without the dishonesty.
Hillary's campaign has been plagued by dissension. Not surprising. Conflict is her (and her husband's) metier. This battling and embattled style is further weakened by another design flaw, one that seems to flow from Hillary's own disposition. After all, it was she who blamed "a vast right wing conspiracy" for sabotaging her husband's administration. Consequently, she has surrounded herself, again, by an arrogant, closed circle unable or unwilling to learn from events.

The organization that has appeared most organized?

Judging by his campaign, this guy Obama should run for President.
A famous fighter, Oscar Bonavena, once said of experience, "Experience is like being given a comb after they have shaved your head."

Raw "experience" is over-rated as a crucible of character. Since every morning brings a new day, and each new day entirely new situations, "learning" from experience is a unique aptitude that shows up early, or not at all.
Hillary and John McCain haven't learnt much from their experiences.

IF YOU'RE LOOKING FOR THE SKINNY ON OBAMA'S CAMPAIGN STAFF, their bios and positions, scroll down to Running Obama's Campaign, Pt. 3

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

And the Nominees Are... Or, PUTIN ‘08

Who will it be, Obama or Hillary? The answer here. Lots of noise and a maze of speculative information plagues the public arena on who is “winning". There are hosts of news organizations whose websites show a variety of pledged and unpledged superdelegate counts. These usually combined with a host of uncertain and widely varying counts of the actual elected delegates.

So how will it be decided? No one is prepared to say for certain, except that no candidate will win enough delegates outright. One scenario being bruited about is that Al Gore and/or perhaps John Edwards and a coven of other party elders, Biden, Dodd, Richardson, will confer and somehow intervene. But the benign Big Brother solution seems wishful. Most likely, to this observer, the writing will eventually be on the wall.

This can only happen once a consensus evolves. And the Democratic delegate-selection debacle – a foray into true representative democracy – has kicked up too much dust to offer any clarity before the Pennsylvania primary. The candidate best able to garner un-electorally earned delegates (Hillary Clinton) will, most likely, find it in their interest to keep the writing from appearing on the wall even then. Given that Sen. Clinton and her husband are the “big dogs” in this fight, short of a knockout, they’ll use the confusion to try and force Sen. Obama to take the Vice Presidential slot and call it the best solution.

The alternative, which may well emerge, particularly if the blogosphere picks up the cry, is to rely on the one fairly stable and certain indication of support – the raw total vote count. See REAL CLEAR POLITICS

Florida’s vote can be included, maybe has to be included. But Michigan’s vote can’t reasonably be credited. This makes the large primaries in Ohio, Texas and Pennsylvance hugely important. Sizable pluralities for Hillary, no matter how the resultant delegate apportionments are reduced by savvy management of resources by the Obama campaign, will get her the raw vote lead and, almost certainly, the nomination.

Monday, February 18, 2008


What new painkiller is rightwing talk radio jockey Rush Limbaugh sucking on these days?

Today, he announced that, "You know what name would excite me for McCain’s Vice President… Bobby Jindal." Jindal, the India-born newly-installed Governor of Louisiana, has been at his job something like three months.
One can only conclude, since Rush is not a Clinton Kool Aid-drinker, he’s on some powerful drugs of his own. This after he spent weeks excoriating McCain as a poisonous traitor to the conservative Republican bedrock. Here he is announcing, no, declaring excitedly for a moderate, son of the third world who’s been Governor slightly longer than the lifespan of a mayfly. But, what the heck, if you can’t beat them, join them. Has the Obama bug become so powerful that, having stung the racialist religio-fascist Limbaugh, it has produced a case of candidate-envy so strong Limbama is lobbying Republicans to pick someone with even less experience, and a more exotically ‘diverse’ background?

He’ll take any kind of diversity, just so long as its not this Democrat Obama. Tomorrow, my money is that he’ll claim he was joking.

It's the anxiety of influence. Limbaugh's afraid he's about to not have any!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Clinton's Fake Shake-Up -- What Else Is New?

Hey, the Clinton change in campaign managers (from Patty Solis Doyle to Maggie Williams) is just another slick bit of marketing from the savviest campaign ever to seek a third term as President.

Why do it? And why do it now? Ah, yes. Timing. Tuesday Clinton will lose three more primaries in the "Potomac" region. She just lost Maine after losing Washington, Nebraska and Louisiana.

This change is touted as no change at all. And it isn't. Ms. Williams is just getting a new title and so is Ms. Solis. But it lays the predicate for suggesting, when Hillary wins Texas and Ohio, which she is expected to do, that some wondrous turnabout has occurred.

It doesn't hurt at this point to show her flagging supporters that 'change' is in the air. And she will need all the help she can get from the media by the time Texas and Ohio roll around.

It's making the most of a bad situation. This is the Clinton magic. That they constantly find themselves in 'bad situations' is of their own divisive doing.

What her campaign is most desperately in need of is a 'rationale' -- a reason to vote for her, a reason she's running. But, absent that, manipulating the atmospherics will have to do.

So far, the only 'real' event, the only primary that really varied from the predicted outcome, was New Hampshire. An event which may well have been inflected by Hillary's tears. They were real enough one supposes. But her reason for crying -- that she so desperately wants to do great things for our country -- was transparent baloney which even those moved to sympathy could see through.

What these Clintons might have been had they only been honest...