Saturday, October 13, 2007

Clinton Opens Little Rock Office: First Step to Likely Arkansas Win

In a nod to her 12 years as First Lady of Arkansas, Sen. Clinton opened the first campaign office of any candidate in Arkansas on Thursday. A victory by Clinton in our Feb. 5 primary is not in doubt, as Sen. Clinton is remembered fondly by a vast majority of Arkansans. Her Little Rock roots, in particular, are deep. (Link: AP story)

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.

Jeff Burton Wins Busch Event at Charlotte

One of my picks for a top-10 finish in tonight's Cup race, Jeff Burton (wikipedia) won last night's Dollar General 300 at Lowe's Motor Speedway. In what I hope to be a harbinger of tonight's results, Jimmie Johnson finished 32nd. JB is one of the most cool-headed, classy, and brightest drivers in any NASCAR series, and I always root for him. Congratulations to Jeff Burton for his dominating win at Charlotte.

DG300 Results from

Friday, October 12, 2007

Charlotte picks

Winner: 24 - Mears

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.

Gore wins Nobel Peace Prize

Al Gore (wikipedia updated with Nobel entry) was today awared the Nobel Peace Prize for his brave work in raising awareness about global climate change. Vice-President Gore joined an elite group in winning the prize: earlier winners include Martin Luther King, Jimmy Carter, Mother Theresa, Linus Pauling, Nelson Mandela, and Lech Walesa. A copendium of the statements issued today congratulating the VP:

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.

Ex-Commander in Iraq: War is Nightmare

Words sure to shake up Washington: The war in a Iraq is a "nightmare with no end in sight." General Sanchez, who made these comments to military reporters today, commanded U.S. troops in Iraq from 2003 to 2004.


“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.

Yahoo! story
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

Newman is Polesitter for Lowe's Race

Ryan Newman put the #12 Alltel Dodge on the pole for Saturday night's Nextel Cup race in Charlotte.

This is his 42nd career pole in Nextel Cup, and his 7th at LMS.
Jimmie Johnson, a dominant yet somewhat prissy presence at Charlotte starts 2nd. Ho hum.

FOX News Poll: Clinton Up By 32

Confirmation of the ABC News poll from last week out today, from Opinion Dynamics / FOX:

Clinton 50
Obama 18
Edwards 11
Richardson 4

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

Electability: Clinton Ahead in Florida for General Election, Other Dems Fare Worse

So much for the electability argument. I posted a lengthy comment last week about the vitality of a Guiliani nomination in the Northeast. My thesis was that Clinton was the only Democrat, based on polling, that could retain the New York / New England Presidential base. Now, very similar numbers from Florida. These are SurveyUSA polls conducted 10/1. By far, Clinton is our most electable candidate in the Sunshine State.

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

Hillary Wins First Primary

Sen. Clinton has won Michigan's January 15th primary by default. The other candidates have pulled out to protest the date, and the Senator has elected to stay in.

Open Left- Chris Bowers

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Gordon Wins at Talladega

As I predicted, Jeff Gordon won at Talladega. The first COT race at a restrictor plate race was, surprisingly, a lot like the ones in the old car. Fairly dicey crashes bookended by long green flag runs. The last few laps were exciting: the Penske cars were there at the end. But for a lot of flailing around by the 20 car of Tony Stewart, it could have been Newman and Busch in the first and second slots instead of Gordon and Johnson.

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.

Des Moines Register: Clinton Leads in Iowa

Another bit of good polling news for candidate Clinton out today: the hometown Des Moines Register shows a substantial gain for her campaign since their last poll in May. Current numbers from DMR poll:

Clinton 29
Edwards 23
Obama 22

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.