Saturday, November 17, 2007
David Yepsen (Yes- even Yepsen is coming around...)
That's Why the Lady is a Champ DMR
"Give Thursday's debate to Hillary Clinton...John Edwards should have stayed home."
Clinton Sparkles Guardian
Barack Obama had one his more embarrasing moments of the campaign by seeming unable to answer clearly a question on-get this- drivers' licenses for illegal immigrants.
The best exchange of the night was when Campbell Brown accused Clinton of "playing the gender card." Clinton fought back with:
"They're not attacking me because I'm a woman. They're attacking me because I'm ahead."
Great line from the person who still must be considered the Democratic frontrunner.
Sunday, October 21, 2007
New Hampshire: With former Gov. Jeanne Shaheen in the race, this is definately our second best pickup opportunity. She is leading Sen. John Sununu by double digits in most polls. This is not a good situation for an incumbent. Sununu was never a particularly good fit for New Hampshire, and I was somewhat surprised when he defeated Shaheen in 2002. That year was a disaster for Democrats and it is doubtful he would have won any other time. Since '02, John Kerry won NH, which turned out to presage a romp for Dems in the Granite state in 2006. Both GOP congressmen were defeated by relatively unknown Democrats. There were shifts in the state legislature, too. Point is: Sununu's state has gone blue on him, and he's likely toast.
New Mexico: If Bill Richardson loses the presidential nomination, a virtual certainty, he will have a choice to make. He can file to run for the vacancy created by the retirement of scandal-plagued longtime Sen. Pete Domenici or return to Sante Fe and wait on a call for a possible VP run. If he runs for Senate, this is a Dem pickup. If not, it's even at best. Both Cong. Heather Wilson and Cong. Steven Pearce are running for the GOP nod. The picture on the Dem side is less clear.
Nebraska: If Bob Kerry runs to reclaim his old seat, this will be a clash of titans between he and Agriculture Sec. Johanns. If Kerry declines to run, this seat will likely remain in the GOP column.
Colorado: Sen. Allard is retiring. The Democrat running, Cong. Mark Udall, is a slight favorite, and a victory by him would give Colorado two Democratic Senators for the first time Ben Nighthorse Campbell changed parties. Cong. Bob Shaffer is a conservative Republican who is a little behind Udall now. While this race is far from a done deal, having the Democratic convention in his backyard is not good news for Shaffer. If 2008 is a blue wave, Shaffer will likely be a casualty. For now, though, the outcome of this race is not certain.
Oregon: GOP Sen. Gordon Smith isn't the most conservative Republican in the Senate, but he is still an odd choice for Oregon. It's not too late for the DSCC to recruit a top-tier challenger, because currently announced Dem Jeff Merkely isn't of the ilk that will oust a two term Senator. This will be a lost opportunity if there is not an emergency recruitment intervention.
Minnesota: MN is the rare state that gave Democrats a better margin in 2004 than in 2000. Norm Coleman, the incumbent Republican, is an Iraq war supporter who won in 2002 because Sen. Wellstone was killed in an airplane crash and his funeral was offensive to a lot of swing voters. It was an aggressively partisan service, and Coleman narrowly bested emergency fill in former VP Walter Mondale. Mike Ceresi and Al Franken (yes, that Al Franken) are running better than expected campaigns, but I think that there must be better candidates in Minnesota who could take on Coleman. But, hey, on the other hand, this is the state that elected Jesse Venture. Maybe Franken would be a good fit...
Maine: If Cong. Tom Allen can successfully make this race about Iraq and George Bush, he will beat Susan Collins in a repeat of last year's Rhode Island race. Maine is a pretty blue state, but Collins in popular. Even though she pledged to serve only two terms, she will walk to a third term if Allen can't tie her to the war and the President.
Alaska: Ted Stevens is old and crooked. His house in Alaska was raided recently by the FBI. He used to be almost automatically reelected, but the dynamic has changed for this race. If Stevens runs, this will be a very competitive race. Democrat Ethan Berkowitz seems to be a stellar candidate. If Stevens retires, that actually helps the GOP keep the seat.
Louisiana: Bobby Jindal was elected governor tonight, avoiding a runoff and winning in what, pre-Katrina, were Democratic areas (Orleans parish e.g.). Mary Landrieu is in trouble. This could be our one loss in Senate races in 2008. It's not Landrieu's fault: she has been a decent Senator. The demographics of Louisiana changed in one week. As substantial out-migration due to the hurricane took place, so went a large portion of Landrieu's base. She can still pull it out- her GOP challenger, John Kennedy, was a Democrat until a few months ago. But this will be a tough race.
It's a good map for Democrats. However, we need some recruitment help in Oregon and Minnesota. Tom Allen must start now to tie Susan Collins to the war. Large amounts of money need to be budgeted by the DSCC for Colorado and Louisiana particularly. We are mostly playing offense, and that's a good indicator. We could realistically be looking at a 5 or 6 seat pickup.
The Friday Line - Senate race ranking from Cilizza at the Washington Post- 10/19/07
Much as I am not a Gordon fan, the truth is that unlike his teammate in the 48 car, Gordon oozes natural instinct and talent behind the wheel of a stockcar. He is destined to be one of the greats in the annals of NASCAR. Whether or not those of us who routinely root against him like it or not is irrelevant.
Fighting words: "Well, it's a situation and I normally would keep my mouth shut on this, but I just have a hard time doing it today. You can have your father buy your ride and write DEI a big check, but you can't buy talent."
--Tony Stewart on Paul Menard. (He's right...except for the normally keeping his mouth shut part...)
Tony Raines (?), Jamie McMurray, Jeff Gordon, Carl Edwards, and Kurt Busch were the top five in final practice at Martinsville.
The Subway 500 starts at 1 p.m. Eastern.
Saturday, October 20, 2007
Democrats should not generally be discouraged. As recent as a few weeks ago, Jindal was forecast to win by much more. And the fact that Democrats nearly forced a runoff with this incredibly popular Congressman in post-Katrina Louisiana is a big deal.
Sen. Landrieu should be somewhat concerned. A 60% win by Jindal would have been cause for panic among Landrieu's camp. This is not the panic zone, but the demographic shift in Louisiana as a result of Katrina is writ large in these results. Jindal even narrowly won Orleans parish.
Live, Interactive Results Map
Trivia: In fact, maybe we should not be too discouraged by Jindal's victory. Since LA elections take place in odd-numbered years, they are frequently looked at as harbingers for the next year's general election. Here's some of the track record since LA became a competitve state:
1987: Democrat Roemer wins; 1988: Republican Bush elected President
1995: Republican Foster wins; 1996: Democrat Clinton reelected
2003: Democrat Babineaux-Blanco wins; Republican Bush reelected
The Story Today is Huckabee (David Brody / CBN) - The Evangelical propoganda machine is out in full force for Huckabee. This is an example.
More from MyDD
UPDATE: (4:00 pm) Huckabee wins FRC's straw poll with 51%.
An interesting observation from the article:
When Obama's top fundraisers gathered for a national finance committee meeting in Iowa at the beginning of October, “The elephant in the room was, ‘What are we going to do, the polls, the polls, the polls,’” said one donor who was there, adding that Obama and his aides soothed the crowd with a focus on Iowa.
Iowa- where Obama is running second, at best.
Obama's top donors are very nervous about Hillary Clinton's upward movement in the polls. Recently, Obama has either plateaued or been frozen.
My picks, if I must. I won't be watching...
24 - Gordon
48 - Johnson
5 - Kyle Busch
2 - Kurt Busch
07 - Bowyer
8 - Earnhardt
20 - Stewart
11 - Hamlin
29 - Harvick
19 - Sadler
Thursday, October 18, 2007
Cook Political Link
Also today, a new poll out from the Washington Post showing a 30+ point lead for Warner over both of his prospective GOP rivals, former Gov. Jim Gilmore and Cong. Tom Davis
Live stream from CNN
Update: Looks like they will fall a few votes short of override at this point... (63% in favor of override right now, 2/3 required)
Update: Override fails. Not entirely unexpected, but an amazing show of party unity by the Democrats...only one votes against override, and two were absent. Also, in excess of 40 Republicans voted to override. Kudos to them.
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
Iowa - Likely Dem Caucusgoers
Clinton leads even among younger voters in the poll, a deathknell to Obama's Iowa prospects if it plays out on caucus night.
Strategic Vision- a GOP outfit:
No internals immediately available.
That is four Iowa polls with Clinton in the lead with at least a five point spread on her rivals. Too close for comfort, but encouraging nonetheless.
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
Monday, October 15, 2007
Time: Clinton Edges Obama In Cash on Hand
Sunday, October 14, 2007
Ryan Newman ran the quickest lap of the Bank of America 500 last night while leading with three laps to go, and then promptly hit the wall on the backstrait. In the heartbreak of the season for those of us who root for the 12 team, we are left to ask:
What happened? Apparently he blew a tire...damn the luck.
Jeff Gordon, who was essentially completely out of gas, sputtered across the finish line for his 81st career victory. Is anyone who is not a Hendrick fan even paying attention anymore? I am about ready to chalk this season up to a total loss and start to get ready for the Daytona 500, hoping for better results.
On the Republican side, the race is much closer and up-for-grabs.
Saturday, October 13, 2007
Sen. Clinton has already been endorsed by Governor Mike Beebe. Neither John Kerry nor Al Gore won any southern states in their general election contests against George W. Bush. Sen. Clinton's popularity in Arkansas is another reason for Democrats to choose her to be our nominee: she would be the prohibitive favorite to win our six electoral votes. Arkansas is not a powerhouse in presidential elections, normally. But given the closeness of the last two elections, these six votes are important. It would also be a great victory for a Democrat to win some southern states. If Hillary is the nominee, Arkansas should be blue again. I think that she would also be very competitive in other southern states: Virginia, Florida, and Tennessee immediately come to mind.
Rasmussen (from 8/17): Clinton beats all GOP nominees in AR by a large margin.
DG300 Results from NASCAR.com
Friday, October 12, 2007
48 - Johnson
24 - Gordon
20 - Stewart
31 - Burton
12 - Newman
2 - Kurt Busch
1 - Truex
99 - Edwards
17 - Kenseth
That's my top 10...Casey Mears won his first Cup race in May in the Coke 600 at Lowe's. No reason to think he won't repeat.
Bill Clinton: His tireless advocacy and his Academy Award-winning film have inspired countless people around the world to join the fight against climate change. I am thrilled by this well-deserved recognition and am grateful to the Nobel Committee for awarding the Peace Prize to him and to those doing ground-breaking work at the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
Hillary Clinton: "There isn't anybody who deserves it more, for the work he's done for the last... 20 years or more on behalf of sounding the alarms in the world concerning global warming. "
Barack Obama: "By having the courage to challenge the skeptics in Washington and lead on the climate crisis facing our planet, Al Gore has advanced the cause of peace and richly deserves this reward."
John Edwards: "Congratulations to Al Gore. The Nobel Peace Prize rewards three decades of Vice President Gore's prescient and compelling -- and often lonely -- advocacy for the future of the Earth."
Joe Lieberman, Gore's 2000 running mate taking a rare opportunity to still sound like a Democrat: "Congratulations to Al Gore. The Nobel Peace Prize rewards three decades of Vice President Gore's prescient and compelling -- and often lonely -- advocacy for the future of the Earth."
President Bush (through spokesman): "[The President is] happy for Vice President Gore, happy for the International Panel on Climate Change scientists, who also shared the Peace Prize. Obviously it's an important recognition and we're sure the Vice President is thrilled."
Just for fun...
Rush Limbaugh had this tacky comment: "The Nobel committee rendered themselves a pure, 100 percent joke."
He is such a gracious man. Ha- anything that upsets him is wonderful news.
Congratulations to Vice-President Gore. He has shown himself to be a statesman in his crusade against climate change. He has made his nation proud.
“From a catastrophically flawed, unrealistically optimistic war plan, to the
administration’s latest surge strategy, this administration has failed to employ
and synchronize the political, economic and military power,” Sanchez said.
Stars and Stripes news
Statements like these, from military brass, might finally get the Republicans in Congress to join Democrats in ending this quagmire.
Thursday, October 11, 2007
This eye-popping lead is continuing to be seen in myriad state polls, as well. From Quinnipiac yesterday: Hillary +27 in Pennsylvania, +34 in Florida, +28 in Ohio. She also leads the potential GOP nominees in each state. Again, directing our attention to the "Hillary is not electable" myth, she beats each of them in all three states. The other Democrats do not fare as well.
Tuesday, October 9, 2007
Summary of Results Florida (follow link above for detailed results):
Clinton defeats Guiliani
Guiliani defeats Obama
Guiliani defeats Edwards
Clinton defeats Thompson
Thompson defeats Obama
Edwards defeats Thompson
Clinton defeats Romney
Romney defeats Obama
Edwards defeats Romney.
This electability argument is interesting. At first blush, it is easy to be compelled by the "Hillary-is-so-disliked-and-most-men-will-never-vote-for-her-and-she-could-never-win" mantra. The only problem with this tired framework is that it just isn't so. It is fine to be motivated by electability. I, too, was disheartened to see two great potential Presidents- Gore and Kerry- go down to defeat to a lackluster Republican candidate. But, if we are going to use electability as our paradigm for choosing a nominee (again, perfectly valid in my view) we should at least know the facts. The election is a long way off and a great deal could happen, but right now, based on the only evidence we have (polling) Hillary Clinton wins the electability debate hands down. There are some good reasons to believe that Edwards and Obama would underperform their already lackluster polling numbers in swing states.
The electoral college is the whole enchilada in presidential politics. If the Democrat loses NY (for example) in any given election, it is more or less a definate loss. Competitivness in Florida is icing on the cake at this point, but it is an electoral vote rich cake.
Post on Guiliani and Northeast
Sunday, October 7, 2007
Standings - One thing is clear, unless Lowe's and Martinsville shake things up a bit, the champion will be either Johnson, Gordon, Bowyer, or Stewart. Ho-hum.
As I have noted before, Hillary Clinton's campaign is in a really good position: If she wins Iowa, it is all but over for her leading rivals. A strong showing, short of a win in Iowa, and her campaign can come barrelling into New Hampshire and February 5th still as the favorite for the nomination. A good hand to hold, to be sure.
Friday, October 5, 2007
And then the knee-jerk Anti-Clintonites is the fourth estate start to chime in. It really is rediculous. A few examples:
On Drudge tonight, this headline: NYT SATURDAY: HILLARY HAS $$, BUT OBAMA HAS THE CROWDS IN IOWA... Thank you, New York Times, for running a story that everyone has heard over and over again. Why now? Interesting timing, to be sure.
I made the mistake of tuning into Hardball on MSNBC the other night, a practice I engage in only when in need of a splitting headache from Chris Matthews' incessant and obnoxious yelling. (Seriously, I think that he either has a hearing problem or some nervous disorder dealing with the volume of his voice.) Following are examples of some of the very impartial analysis from Matthews, the moderator:
*"If Hillary sits on her lead and doesn‘t say anything and simply has a smart operation, smug and smart, can she get blown away here?" Hmm..."smug" is always a word I choose when in need of a non-loaded and completely impartial adjective when on camera as a moderator.
*"Let me ask you about Hillary Clinton. She went on the Sunday talk shows, all five of them, made no news in five appearances." Speaking of smug...Actually, she did go on all five talk shows and made a lot of news...and received rave reviews. An inconvenient fact...
It did not help that David Yepsen was Matthews' guest. He is the Des Moines Register political pundit who is allegedly the go-to guy regarding Iowa politics. He was full of little gems like those of Matthews detailed above, but they aren't surprising or worth noting. Yepsen lost his credibility as an informed observer of the Iowa political scene when he began to carry Obama's water blatantly every time a camera is pointed at him. He looked discheveled and distracted on Wednesday night. I think his crush on Obama is starting to get to him.
Hardball transcript 10/3/07
And some of the Hillary critics are returning to the old electability saw, and as pre-refuted in this earlier post, have resorted to half-truths and distortions to make their case. In this piece on Real Clear Politics, Steven Stark (who?) penned this missive yesterday. It's title: Edwards, Not Hillary, is Dems' Best Chance. This is truly wonderful journalism. My favorite excerpt:
Clinton's problem is that, according to some polls, Rudy Giuliani is currently running even or only slightly behind her in New Jersey, Missouri, Ohio, and Pennsylvania - up-for-grabs states Clinton has to sweep in order to win. Given his current showing, it's likely Giuliani will win some of those contests in November 2008 and deny Clinton a majority.
Well written. It's also utter crap. Missouri hasn't voted for a Democrat since 1996, and is not a must-win for Dems. Ohio is the biggest swing state in the country. New Jersey and Pennsylvania are more and more blue all the time.
What Stark doesn't say is what I outlined in my post on the Northeast: Hillary is of ahead or even with Guiliani in the Northeast, but Obama and Edwards are well behind. People who twist facts to support a thesis are abhorrent.
The media should be impartial and truthful. I am amazed at the lengths media outlets will go to in order to change a narrative. That's the job of political operatives, not "reporters."
Thursday, October 4, 2007
"The truth is that right after 9/11 I had a pin...Shortly after 9/11, particularly because as we're talking about the Iraq war, that became a substitute for I think true patriotism, which is speaking out on issues that are of importance to our national security."
These are the sorts of statements that should disqualify Obama as a nominee. How do you think that this is going to play in the "flyover" states? What will the Republican filth machine have to say about this if Obama wins the nomination? Every week, these dumb statements give the Republicans more fodder. And don't think that they're not paying attention, in case Hillary falters. It won't be pretty. He's just not ready...
Full Breitbart article
Post from 8/14: Barack Obama Must Be Defeated
A Minnesota judge today dismissed Craig's petition to withdraw his plea. This would have been the trigger that he earloer cited for his resignation.
Idaho Statesman - Hometown coverage
1. 24 - Gordon to win- I saw Jeff Gordon win at Talladega in April. He's good there, sadly. It was a flip for me between Gordon, Johnson, and Stewart, as those three have the COT figured out.
2. 48 - Johnson - Winner in spring '06 and has a good average finish at Dega. See above re: COT.
3. 2 - Kurt Busch - not thought of as a great superspeedway racer, but his avg finish at this track is enviable. (10.2 with many, many top 10s)
4. 20 - Stewart - has won at Daytona several times. Strangely, never at Talladega. He could very well break that streak this Sunday.
5. 29 - Harvick - already won the Daytona 500 and finishes well at Talladega usually.
6. 8 - Earnhardt - once the undisputed master of the Alabama track, he has not won in a while here. However, he is a force to contend with whenever NASCAR comes to Dega.
7. 1 - Truex - had a sting of bad luck at superspeedways in his early races. His last two starts have been much better and he should be in the top ten.
8. 12 - Newman - has a 19.8 avg finish at T'dega but that statistic is skewed because of freshman and sophomore non-starter efforts. He has multiple recent top tens at Dega and Daytona.
And for the superspeedways-only picks:
9. 6 - Ragan - In three superspeedway starts, he has distinguished himself. He is the leading Roush car right now at Daytona and here.
10. 38 - Gilliland - I have never put him in a top 10 before but his 9.5 avg finish at Talladega is the best of all active drivers. His pole in the Daytona wasn't bad either... RYR engines at these tracks are a well-known powerhouse.
Wednesday, October 3, 2007
However, there is a certain peril presented to the Democratic party if Guiliani is ultimately the GOP nominee. It is simple: certain states that are reliably blue will be in play if he is the GOP nominee and Hillary Clinton is not the Democratic nominee. Guiliani, a New Yorker, cuts into the Democratic base in New York / New England in a way that, for example, Mitt Romney from Massachusetts does not appear to do. If he were to be nominated, the electoral map and the strategy that the Democratic nominee would have to employ would be radically different from any recent election.
Look at New York. I believe strongly that in a head-to-head matchup, Hillary Clinton would win the home state she shares with Guiliani. All of the one year out (roughly) polling supports this. As evidence, I offer Quinnipac's NY poll released today. That poll asked the central question that I am exploring here. Answer: she beats Guiliani in NY by 11 points. Obama would tie Rudy. Edwards would lose NY to Guiliani. A Democrat cannot, by any reasonable calculus, win the Presidency having lost New York. Hillary Clinton is the only Democrat who can win NY against Republican Guiliani. (Also, see SUSA on this point. Recent poll, Clinton 22 points over Guiliani in New York. This survey is another example of Hillary winning New York against Rudy, while Obama and Edwards lose to him.) The 31 electoral votes that NY brings to the Democrats should not be lightly treated by those who would support another Democratic candidate.
New England, generally, follows the same trend as New York in this Clinton vs. Guiliani scenario. Massachusetts, the most populus state in the New England region, is not competitive if Romney is the Republican nominee. In spite of his one-term stint as governor of that commonweath, Romney loses handily to all potential Democratic nominees. (Example: yesterday's SUSA poll of MA likely voters. Obama vs. Romney: Obama wins handily, as do Clinton and Edwards.) But if Guiliani were the GOP nominee, the numbers change a bit. According to SUSA (the most recent polling data from MA), Clinton beats Guiliani by 24 points, which is roughly the norm for a Democratic presidential nominee in MA. With Edwards and Obama, a race against Guiliani are too close for comfort. The Obama and Edwards leads are not large enough to put Massachusetts' 12 crucial electoral votes in their pocket and move onto more traditional battlegrounds. Interestingly, this is a point where Guiliani's memo was correct. He is not competitive in Massachusetts against Hillary Clinton. He is competitive against the other two.
Connecticut offers the same scenario. Clinton and Guiliani are competitive-ish, but Clinton would probably win. Obama and Edwards would probably lose. Rhode Island is probably much the same, though polling is scarce. Polling data for a general election is equally scant in upper New England, but assuming that the same conundrum faces Democrats other than Hillary Clinton, the seven electoral votes held by those two states are electoral votes that I would like to see remain in the Democratic column. New Hampshire is an anomoly in the region. NH voted for Bill Clinton twice, Bush in 2000 and Kerry in 2004. It is a close purple state that both Republican and Democratic candidates are going to have to spend money to win, no matter who the nominees are.
The 61 electoral votes that New York and the New England states (excepting NH) reliably offer to the Democrats are crucial. Without them, neither Gore nor Kerry would have been close to the Presidency. We should consider the impact of a possible Guiliani nomination on these votes, and what we can do to keep them in our column.
The outcome of elections is often a function of resources. New York and Boston are incredibly expensive media markets. The less money a candidate has to spend there, the more they can spend (and get greater bang for their buck) in places like Denver and Cincinatti and Sarasota. Hillary would have the luxury of spending the money elsewhere, playing offense in previously red states, and winning some of them. The other Dems would have to play massive defense in the expensive Northeast markets, and would likely lose some or most of these states in the end. This would be a disaster.
President Bush's cruel and strange veto of the SCHIP bill today illustrates the immediate importance of a Democratic president. It amuses me that so many Democrats are concerned about electability, which is valid, but then use that point as an warrant for nominating Obama or Edwards. That line of argumentation flies in the face of reason or current facts on the ground. Regardless of whom the Republicans choose, I believe that Sen. Clinton is the best choice because of her principles, demonstrated leadership, proven record of winning by beating the Republican filth machine, and her electability. If someone other than Guiliani is nominated, maybe another Democratic candidate could win. It would be closer and messy. Hillary would be the best choice in that circumstance, as well. But, if Guiliani is the Republicans' standard bearer, only the Senator from New York can win that competition. Democrats who are concerned with electability should with that consideration very carefully when casting their primary ballots.
NH looks great, Iowa looks better now for her than it has in months. Three months is a long time in politics, but it speaks volumes that as the year has progressed, her lead has expanded. Also note that for the first time, her poll result is a majority of respondents, not a plurality. Being over 50% is a huge deal in a multi-candidate field. This result, coupled with Clinton's victory in the third quarter fundraising battle, is great news for the Senator's campaign.
ABC - POLL: Clinton Advances, Strong in Base; Giuliani’s Lead has Less Oomph
The Fix (WaPo) analysis
Wash Post link
Tuesday, October 2, 2007
Totals, early reporting:
Clinton - 27M
Obama - 19M
Edwards - 7M (though a lot of this is useless, since he is taking matching funds, and is capped.)
Richardson - 5M
The GOP candidates have yet to release totals, but it is clear that the Democratic candidates are far outraising the Republicans.
Saturday, September 29, 2007
Friday, September 28, 2007
Thursday, September 27, 2007
- 2- Kurt Busch
That's my top 10. We'll see what happens...
LINK to the poll
Clinton is at:
+6 over Guiliani
+13 over Thompson
+7 over McCain
It is worth noting that Obama does not garner numbers nearly as strong as these. Edwards is not polled.
WaPo: Obama Pulls Punches
New Republic: Edwards More Agressive
Time (Halperin): Win Goes to Edwards
Yepsen (Des Moines Register) : Not Hillary's Best Debate
Perhaps the silliest commentary of the debate came from preeminent Iowa political pundit and noted Clinton critic David Yepsen, linked above. The key quote of the Yepsen piece:
While the evening couldn't have been pleasant for Clinton, it opened a necessary
discussion Democrats must have: If they don't probe her weaknesses, the
What a rediculous statement. Of course Democrats, being in the middle of a primary battle, are considering the relative weakenesses and strengths of all candidates. This assumes that frontrunner Clinton has more weaknesses than the other candidates (patently false). David Yepsen aside, Democrats and the broader spectrum of Americans seem to be concluding that she is a better potential President than not only her rivals in the Democratic party, but also better than leading Republicans. Note her margin in polling averages over leading GOP candidates, which has been increasing in recent months.
Hillary did fine. She had the memorable moment of the evening (she'll "talk to [President Clinton] later..."), and the instapolls after the debate, whatever they're worth, indicated that she won. Everyone did basically well. The loser of the debate was probably Obama, because he basically conceded the ground of challenging Hillary Clinton to John Edwards. Obama can have all the money in the world, but if he doesn't make a move soon (probably no later than Halloween) he will be the best funded also-ran in American history. Which is fine with me.
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Bayh is a former Indiana governor and a two-term Senator from that deep red state. Figured to be on her VP short list when the time comes to formulate one, he would possibly bring his home state into play, and would help in Ohio, Kentucky, and West Virginia. Sen. Bayh has appeal and gravitas. He is John Edwards with actual substance. He and Clinton are clearly comfortable with one another.
While it is true that it has been 47 years since two Senators on the same ticket have won, I have for a long time believed that Evan Bayh would be a great running mate for Hillary Clinton. His endorsement was the first step.
Home town coverage: Indianapolis Star
"I hope and expect some day I'll be voting for Evan Bayh for President of the United States."
- President Bill Clinton
Thursday, September 20, 2007
In any event, the following are my picks for the race:
12- Newman - win (Here's hopin...)
1 - Truex
99 - Edwards
48 - Johnson
31 - Burton
5 - Kyle Busch
11 - Hamlin
17 - Kenseth
24 - Gordon
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
Hillary's proposal is as follows:
- If you have health care insurance and are pleased with it, keep it.
- Provide affordable options for those who are not insured or are dissatisfied with their current coverage.
- Require portability.
The plan has the added benefit of having no element that should cause "Harry and Louise" to revisit the apoplexy of 1993. This isn't 1993, and Hillary learned from the mistakes that she made that year. E.J. Dionne has a piece on that point in today's WP.
The $110 billion a year sticker price might seem steep, but it's a bargain. The cost of treating the uninsured will evaporate.
A few points of perspective on the cost of the plan:
- In FY 2006, the US spent nearly $600 billion on Medicare and Medicaid, costs which would almost certainly go down (Medicaid especially) post-implementation of the Clinton plan.
- We have spend an average of $100 billion on the Iraq war each year that it continues.
This is a good idea. It is going to take Presidential leadership to get it done. It is an affordable, common-sense plan to extend access to health care to all Americans. I have become a cheerleader for Senator Clinton lately, and the "big ideas" candidacy that she is running is part of the reason why. This is a person who is ready to lead, and knows what she wants to do.
Small business reacts well to plan - WSJ
Franklin Pierce College poll: Hillary at 36%, double her nearest rival.
Rasmussen: 40%- more than double Obama's 17%, and more than Obama and Edwards combined.
The New Hampshire primary is of pivotal importance- it may be her firewall against a loss to Edwards in Iowa. Although, Sen. Clinton's numbers in Iowa are improving dramatically.
So much for those who said she wasn't electable...Democrats seem eager to nominate her.
Saturday, September 15, 2007
What most Americans don't know is the extent of the respect that Sen. Clinton has garnered among military brass in her years on the Senate Armed Services Commttee. Joe Klein had a piece in Time months ago (5/10/07) with this telling quote:
"I once asked a well-known general if there were any Democrats running for President who understood the way military leaders think, and he said, 'You mean, aside from Hillary?' "
This challenges conventional wisdom. Anyone who thinks that this is not an asset in a post- 9/11 general election campaign is wrong. Oh, and then there is the whole thing about being commander-in-cheif being a huge partof the President's job description.
I make this point to say that this is a unique period that says more, probably, about the nation's electorate than about either Bush or Clinton. Schizophrenia? Fatigue? Bad alternatives? Whatever the reason, I think that this note of trivia couples with the uncertainty of the times will be something that historians study closely in the coming decades.
I believe strongly that Bill Clinton was a superb President who gambled his legacy and lost over a galactically stupid failure of personal judgement. Distant history will be kinder to him than contemporaneous accounting. Whether this issue was getting profligate spending under control, stewarding America into the uncertainties of a post-Cold War framework, or tackling domestic issues such as welfare reform and crime, Clinton was able to build consensus and lead.
Bush has failed on many fronts. His domestic agenda, seven years into his Presidency, seems to consist almost entirely of cutting taxes for the wealthy and marginalizing gay people. The short shrift given to the global war on terror, along with the failure at every stage in Iraq is a legacy that he will carry through history.
It is interesting when contemporaries write about the two. In his new autobiography, the Republican Greenspan refers to Clinton as a "soulmate" and says that the controversial Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993 (the one that got us 80% of the way to a surplus without a single GOP vote in either House of Congress) was "an act of political courage." Bush, on the other hand, was a disappointment and a frustration to the venerated former Fed Chair.
On Bush, Greenspan says, "My biggest frustration remained the president's unwillingness to wield his veto against out-of-control spending...Not exercising the veto power became a hallmark of the Bush presidency. . . . To my mind, Bush's collaborate-don't-confront approach was a major mistake." Also, on the surplus that Bush squandered with the tax cut for the wealthy, Greenspan says "Little value was placed on rigorous economic policy debate or the weighing of long-term consequences."
It is an interesting period of history, but in the long judgement of history, it's not even going to be close.
LINK to WP article on Greenspan book
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
CNN - national primary- Clinton 46%, Obama 23%, Edwards 16%
CBS/NYT - roughly the same numbers.
The LA Times is out with new polls in the early three states (IA, NH, SC) which show Clinton climbing. RCP link (LATimes is subscription only).
If Hillary! can pull out a win in Iowa, it's over for the rest of them. If she finished second but wins NH and SC, it's over for the rest of them then too. It's hard to envision a scenario in which she loses this nomination.
Monday, September 10, 2007
Rothenberg via RCP
Current school of thought, along with my own thoughts on Dems' Senate prospects for 2008:
- Virginia- Switching Warners, switching parties
- Colorado- Allard is retiring, and Udall is the heavy favorite
- New Hampshire- Assuming former Gov. Shaheen runs, she will easily defeat Sen. Sununu
- Nebraska- If former Sen. Kerrey runs, he is the favorite by far
- Minnesota- If Dems can nominate someone other than Al Franken...Coleman loses.
- Maine- The war is unpopular and could carry Sen. Susan Collins out.
- Oregon- No top tier challenger to Gordon Smith and he is still behind.
Possible GOP Pickups
- Louisiana- Sen. Landrieu would be a victim of changing demographics post-Katrina, but still no top notch challenger has emerged.
- South Dakota- If Sen. Tim Johnson, who had a stroke last winter, runs he wins. If not, it will likely be Governor Rounds in a romp.
Sunday, September 9, 2007
Earnhardt nation is weeping. For a while, it looked like he might get in: Harvick and Busch were caught up in several incidents that threatened their chances for survival. Earnhardt was running strong. Then, thanks to DNFs, Busch was locked in. And then Harvick. The 8 car still looked capable of winning, until, with 6 laps to go....he blew a motor and finished 30th.
Busch a threat for Championship...The Charlotte Observer. Note: He finished 10th and would have been in the Chase anyway.
Thursday, September 6, 2007
12 - Newman
2 - Ku. Busch
1 - Truex
29 - Harvick
20 - Stewart
24 - Gordon
48 - Johnson
5 - KY Busch
11 - Hamlin
All the drama surrounding the Chase aside, this is a pretty solid but predictable list. I took a chance on little Reed Sorenson last weekend and got burned. It won't happen twice. I hate to see the 8 win, because his fans are obnoxious, and also the "what might have been" stories will be more than any thinking person can bear, but it is what it is.
By the way, if Harvick and Busch make it into the Chase with Junior on the outside, please see this post from July 30 by, well, me predicting exactly this. It is good to be clairvoyant.
Wednesday, September 5, 2007
NASCAR's power rankings out for the week: Busch on top.
Scenarios for Earnhardt to make Chase. Doesn't look pretty.
Tuesday, September 4, 2007
The effects of such a NASCAR powerhouse switching to the foreign manufacturer are unknown. A few questions yet to be answered:
- How do Tony Stewart and Danny Hamlin feel about this move?
- How will the legion #20 fans react? Will Tony lose fans? Toyota has not been well received by the NASCAR fan community.
- And the BIG question: Toyota has underperformed this year. Will Tony Stewart, Kyle Busch, and Denny Hamlin be able to make the cars go fast? Tony Stewart, for one, will not accept losing because of a bad car. He is likely to spontaneously combust if he gets as far as say, Indianapolis, next year without a win.
More reaction tomorrow...This is a very big deal in NASCAR.
From the "embarrassing demotions" dept, J.J. Yeley will race for Hall of Fame racing next year. What happens to Tony Raines? (Does it matter?)
The Earnhardt Domino effect continues:
Earhardt to Hendrick / Kyle Busch fired / Kyle Busch to Gibbs / J.J. Yeley fired / Yeley to HoF / Tony Raines fired...My guess is that that is the last domino. Raines is not exactly a hot free agent.
ARG is out with a new round of polling showing large Clinton leads in Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina. I want to believe these numbers, but ARG is notoriously wrong. The NH numbers particularly are out of line with all other contemporaneous polling.
Sen. Obama- the "experience is overrated" candidate- was subliminally insulting Hillary all Labor Day weekend in Iowa and New Hampshire. Change, change, change, bad foreign policy judgement- the typical and tired Obama mantle.
On the GOP side, Senator Thompson will miss the FOX News debate in NH tomorrow, but will officially enter the race on Thursday. The big question that the talking heads are debating is whether he missed his moment, by waiting so long to enter. And also whether it was wise to wear Gucci loafers to the Iowa State Fair. It was clearly August in terms of news cycles.
Now that Labor Day is behind us, the primaries are officially in full swing. Should be a very interesting autumn.
Monday, September 3, 2007
Earhardt is still in 13th place, with a Chase berth now exceedinly unlikely. Harvick fell to 12th place after a very mediocre performance. Though not mathematically eliminated, Junior is 128 points behind 12th with only Richmond left to get into the show. NASCAR wrap
This is not a good position for Earnhardt to be in: If Kurt Busch finished 36th or better at Richmond, he's in. If Harvick finishes 32nd or better, he's in. All of that regardless of what Earnhardt does.
ESPN.com Chase coverage.
Yates will keep the #38, after all. Doug Yates, courtesy of Jayski.com:
Yates not interested in giving Dale Jr. #38: Doug Yates confirmed his team has been approached by a representative of Hendrick Motorsports about securing the #38 for Dale Earnhardt Jr. next year, but if Yates gets his way, there will be no such transfer. Earnhardt recently was denied the opportunity to take the #8 from Dale Earnhardt Inc. to Hendrick and now is considering other number options. The #38 currently is being used by David Gilliland. "Dale Jr., since he can't have what he wants, he might want the 38," said Yates, president Yates/Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing. "They're asking for the 38, and the 38 and 88 are our numbers. It's almost a little strange. It's like somebody asking if they can take your girlfriend or your wife out. We feel we're going to have the 38 and 88 [next year]." While Yates said he is not interested in parting with the number, doesn't everything in the sport have a price tag? "That's my dad's side of it," Yates said, referring to his father, Robert Yates. "But for me, these are our numbers, and we're set with them."
Saturday, September 1, 2007
Friday, August 31, 2007
Complete Lineup for Sunday's Cup event: Here
Thursday, August 30, 2007
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
Monday, August 27, 2007
As John Edwards said about Karl Rove:
Goodbye, good riddance.
Hometown reaction - Idaho Statesman
Court papers here. (ABC)
Larry Craig wikipedia entry.
Powerline (right wing blog) entry...creative. HA!
Anti-homosexual rights press release from Craig last year. Also voted for DOMA and has been a constant antagonist for equal rights for gays.
Romney campaign fires Craig as co-chair.
I think we know why this man is smiling.
Seriously, I hate for anyone to go through pain or humiliation, but the hypocrisy is astounding.
Or not. But Penske is running well. Rodman @ NASCAR.com
Hendrick to buy 38 from Robert Yates Racing - combo of the 3 and the 8 - for Dale Jr.
Pre-Pocono, Dale Jr. claimed that he was "better" than Kurt Busch, better than Truex, and better than Newman- the guys he was competing against for the final berth in the Nextel Cup chase. Now he's talking about life not making the chase, almost a mathematical certainty. Pride goeth before the fall...
Sunday, August 26, 2007
1. Holding an early caucus in Nevada.
2. Holding the Democratic National Convention in Colorado.
These moves increase exposure for Democratic candidates in swing, purplish states. An early primary in Florida does the same thing. And, it is worth noting, Florida is ground zero in Presidential elections. Positive candidate exposure and early involvement of the electorate can only help in the fall campaign. To punish the state of Florida for holding an early primary is stupidity, proving that you can be right and ignorant at the same time.
Shame. I would argue that the utility of the New Hampshire primary and the Iowa caucuses has faded. In the age of the Internet, I can follow the campaign in depth myself and need not rely on the voters of two of the most homogeneous states in the country to do it for me. It is time for a new primary system. Florida need not be punished for wanting to have a voice in picking nominees. This is an outrage.