The headline over there now is "CNN Poll Clinton Or Obama Would Beat Any Republican". Which is true, but hoo, boy, is it misleading. He's still trying to prop up Bernie, errr, Mitt. At the jump, we get some details, but of course some are missing.
We can see that Hillary would beat McCain by 2 points, and Obama would beat him by 1. But where's the rest of the story? Obama would beat Huckabee by 19, and Clinton would best the Huckster by 14. But where's the rest of the story? Well, here's part of it:
Would Definitely Vote Against That Candidate in November
Wow! Romney's clearly unelectable; that's a simply stunning number. To be honest with you, I'm flabbergasted that Mitt has managed to rub so many people the wrong way. I've been very critical of Romney, but if he were the nominee I'd vote for him without hesitation. And Guiliani at 55%? It's clear that the Democrats are preferred this season over Republicans, as I have been saying all year.
But where's the rest of the story? Well, you really have to scroll down a long way to see the other matchups:
Obama 59% Romney 37%
Clinton 58% Romney 40%
Now who's electable? This poll doesn't hold a lot of good news for Republicans, clearly. But at least they seem on the verge of nominating the man with the best chance.
He's starting to look like the New England Patriots: Unstoppable.
He is deeply respected by his colleagues in both parties, despite the fact that, as he jokes, he has never sought the “Miss Congeniality” title. No one is as likely as he to fight, expose and defeat waste, fraud or corruption.
Experience, certainly. Integrity, even more so. But John McCain’s most conspicuous virtue is courage. He is a brave and tough man who unlike some candidates has no need to bluster, but is able to speak with humility and generosity to those with whom he disagrees. A McCain presidency would do much to restore confidence in American leadership, at home and abroad.
There is of course the extraordinary physical and moral courage that he displayed as a prisoner of war in Vietnam, where he withstood nightmarish torture for years rather than let his country or his comrades down. But he also possesses the kind of political fortitude that keeps him from giving up on any worthwhile quest. He evinces a wisdom born in pain, a confidence earned in many battles. When others despair, John McCain knows he has seen worse, and keeps striding forward.
After declining to take a Breathalyzer, Masella says, Blumenthal failed a field sobriety test. Blumenthal was handcuffed, booked, had his fingerprints taken and was held for four hours--standard operating procedure in such arrests in New Hampshire--before posting bail and being released. (He will be arraigned later this month.) Because the car was moving at excessive speeds, Blumenthal was given the more serious charge of “aggravated” DWI--which carries a mandatory sentence of at least three days behind bars. “He’s charged with a serious crime,” says Nashua Police Capt. Peter Segal, who will oversee the case as it moves toward a court date.
In the span of a few short weeks, Senator John McCain has defied the experts and gone from nowhere to front-runner status, "The Rocket" as Time puts it:
Poll: New Hampshire win rockets McCain to front-runner status
John McCain's victory in Tuesday's New Hampshire primary appears to be paying off.
The senator from Arizona is the front-runner in the battle for the Republican presidential nomination, according to the first national poll taken after the New Hampshire primary.
The campaign quickly issued a statement denying that Senator McCain's campaign was on steroids.
As I mentioned in an email to some friends, the national poll is a lagging indicator; up until today it showed Mike Huckabee in the lead, based on his Iowa win. And yet I don't think any responsible political analyst was projecting a Mike Huckabee nomination, because we all knew that Huckabee's win in New Hampshire really benefited nobody more than John McCain, and indeed, his shares in the electronic markets jumped the most after Iowa, not those of Huckabee. And they were already the highest priced shares on the Republican side, as I reported with some glee at the time.
But McCain's win in New Hampshire, and his steadily improving position have resulted in a sudden demand for McCain Preferred over the last month:
Compare that to Mitt Romney's performance since the New Year:
Ouch. The former CEO of Bain Capital would dump that stock like a hot potato!
And skiers could probably navigate down Giuliani's slope:
A slight bump from Iowa, and then a steady decline again. This isn't over by any means; the Kos Kidz are talking about voting for Mitt Romney.
What the heck? Pathetic Joe Scarborough, in one of the most insipid pieces of analysis since at least last Monday, claims that Fred Thompson's digs at Mike Huckabee last night were just intended to help John McCain:
JOE SCARBOROUGH: Last night it was so painfully obvious that Fred Thompson went to John McCain yesterday morning [affecting deep Thompsonesque voice] "if I can stay awake through this debate, I'll attack Huckabee for you."
Given that everybody in the world knew that Thompson was making his last stand in South Carolina where he knew Mike Huckabee is his rival for the voters in the Palmetto State, it should have been obvious that Thompson was going to try to score some points off the Huckster. And by all accounts he did.
Is it too late for Fred? Judging by the Luntz focus group who gave Fred an overwhelming victory in the debate it may be premature to say he is too far behind and doesn’t have enough time to rally.
So Scarborough's attack has to be seen as an attempt to ding at least two campaigns, those of Thompson and McCain, and possibly to sew some discord between the McCain and Huckabee folks. Anybody know whom Scarborough's backing? I haven't watched his show since it was Scarborough Country, and even then it was a last recourse if Flava of Love wasn't on.
I like Fred, I really do. And for Scarborough to imply that Thompson is deceiving all his fans in order to help John McCain is disgusting. I know people who are working for Fred, giving of their time to help a man they believe in. Joe Scarborough is saying it's all a game on them.
If John Edwards stays in the race, he might, in the end, become nothing other than the Southern white man who stood in the way of the black man. And for that, he would deserve a lifetime of liberal condemnation.
Well, you can imagine how John Edwards' many friends in the Libbysphere took that one. Jane Smiley:
When I read Lawrence O'Donnell's post calling John Edwards a "loser" and threatening a lifetime of infamy if he doesn't get out of the race, I immediately went to O'Donnell's bio to see his party affiliation. I was sure it would say "R" -- but it didn't. It didn't say anything.
Let me get this straight. Jane Smiley doesn't know what party affiliation Lawrence O'Donnell has, and she's opining on politics on the HuffPo?
However, I am fairly sure in my own mind that Karl Rove paid him to write that post. Look at it this way: O'Donnell attacks the only candidate in the race with explicitly progressive policy positions, and the only candidate in the race who hasn't accepted corporate money, and the only candidate in the race who understands how corporations are poisoning American politics and American life with their unrestrained power and influence.
2. Edwards has pretty much single handedly driven the populist, anti-poverty message this campaign, which both Clinton and Obama have been heavily appropriating of late. Just as Bill Richardson made a valuable contribution with his "no residual forces in Iraq" promise in the debate, so too has Edwards dragged everyone kicking and screaming onto the "dangers of corporate America" turf. That has value, and that value is ongoing unless you want to boil the slog to November down to simple horserace politics.
Translation: He's attacking my guy!
Look, it's simple. O'Donnell's right. The Breck Girl hasn't got a prayer of winning in this election. His economic populism isn't even selling with liberals. Edwards got 17% of the vote in New Hampshire, less than half of what Hillary and Obama each received.
That's not to say that the "Creepy Liar" isn't wrong too. The assumption that Edwards' supporters would automatically shift over to Obama is far from assured. It's certainly plausible that Obama and Edwards are both getting the "Stop Hillary" vote, but it's hardly racist for Edwards to stay in the race; it's just self-delusional.
One of my favorite bits from 2006 was watching the frenzy with which the kook bloggers on the left, like Kos and the simpering Jane Hamsher from Firedoglake, dedicating their time and resources, not to helping Democrats, but to trying to defeat one Democrat in particular, Joe Lieberman. That Lieberman was a solid liberal didn't matter to them; he had gone against the base on the issue of the war in Iraq, and therefore he was a DINO, a Democrat In Name Only.
It was hilarious to watch. Remember the remixed Ned Lamont/Mentos commercial, with all the uber-lib bloggers crowding in to Ned's living room urging him to deliver them from the guy who only six years before had been the nominee of the party for Vice President?
Indeed, there is a long-standing debate among liberals and leftists as to how to get the Democrats back into the permanent majority status they largely had between 1932 and 1968. The Left argues that they need to go with economic populism (i.e., soak the rich), that by moving rightwards they have dispirited the activists who would otherwise be rallying to the party and carrying, say, John Edwards to victory, instead of watching another Botoxicated Brahmin leading the party off yet another cliff.
It's an appealing argument to the Left for obvious reasons. And it's the painless solution to all the liberals problems. They don't have to abandon the dream of socialism, they have to embrace it. Oh, sure, they may need to "frame" it better through focus groups, but it's a lot funner than actually getting serious and abandoning the politics of envy.
There's just one problem. It doesn't work. One of the oddities of liberalism is that because they have no respect for their elders (that's conservatism), is that each generation must learn the same lessons over and over again. "Let's nominate a real liberal and we'll win this time." Well, it didn't work in 1948 (Wallace), it didn't work in 1972 (McGovern), it didn't work in 1988 (Dukakis). So in 1992 the Democrats finally decided to go for a moderate with Bill Clinton. Yes, I know you all probably think Clinton was every bit as liberal as those other guys, but he wasn't. He fiddled with tax rates, but didn't raise them anywhere near the punitive levels that existed prior to Reagan. He did try to socialize medicine, but that's been in the Democrats' platform since 1948 or so.
But you know how it is, you get a little success you get cocky. In 2000, the Democrats nominated the liberal Gore over the moderate Bradley. In 2004, they went with the perceived "electable" candidate, but it was still a liberal from Massachusetts; really the electable guy was probably Joe Lieberman or Evan Bayh. But they were completely unacceptable to the base as DINOs and so they did not get the brass ring but the raspberry. Lieberman was essentially booted out of the party.
So, after watching all this with some amused detachment, I came to the 2006 election and saw my party get crunched. If 2008 proves to hold a recession (and it is starting to look quite possible) Republicans could be in deep trouble.
And what do I see? A base that is disgruntled with the frontrunner for the party's nomination. That calls him a RINO, that talks about how he ought to be drummed out of the party for his apostasy on a few issues. Hugh Hewitt is Kos with a little better sense of humor, Laura Ingraham is Jane Hamsher without the simper.
A new FOX News South Carolina Republican presidential primary poll shows McCain is now the front-runner with 25 percent, followed by Iowa caucus winner Huckabee at 18 percent and Romney at 17 percent. The results for all three top candidates are within the survey’s margin of sampling error.
Fred Thompson, who is from the neighboring state of Tennessee, captures the support of 9 percent, while Rudy Giuliani and Ron Paul both receive 5 percent.
Mitt Romney is going off the air in South Carolina, at least through next week’s Michigan primary. And he may not contest the Palmetto State at all.
Decisions about where to shift staff are still being made, but after tonight’s Myrtle Beach debate, the former Massachusetts governor almost certainly won’t be back in the state until after Michigan's contest next Tuesday.
Fred Thompson’s campaign is once again at a critical juncture and again I am showing my support for the candidate of my choice by organizing a Blogburst in hopes that we can raise the funds necessary for Fred’s campaign to be competitive.
I like Fred a lot; heck I like all of the Republican candidates a lot. And having been there myself I admire the folks who push on for their candidate when everybody else has given him up for dead.
Every American should feel a debt of gratitude to Gen. Petraeus and the great American troops fighting under him for us. This gratitude is due not simply for the extraordinary progress they have accomplished in Iraq, but for what they have taught us about ourselves.
If the mismanagement of the Iraq war from 2003 to 2006 exposed our government's capacity for incompetence, Gen. Petraeus' leadership this past year, and the conduct of the troops under his command, have reminded us of our capacity for the wisdom, the courage and the leadership that has always rallied our nation to greatness.
As Americans, we have repeatedly done what others said was impossible. Gen. Petraeus and his troops are doing that again in Iraq today.
The war for Iraq is not over. The gains we have made can be lost. But thanks to the courage of our troops, the skill and intellect of their battlefield commander, and the steadfastness of our commander in chief, we have at last begun to see the contours of what must remain our objective in this long, hard and absolutely necessary war -- victory.
Remember in late 2003 when Al Gore, the loser of the previous election, endorsed Howard Dean? Well, John Kerry, the loser of the previous election, has endorsed Barack Obama.
Kerry is flying to South Carolina for an event to be held shortly after 11 a.m. in Charleston, the sources said. Obama is holding a "Rally for Change" at the College of Charleston ahead of the Democrats' South Carolina primary on Jan. 26.
Is it just me, or is this "change" mantra already getting ancient?
They can go with one of the other candidates or, upon reflection, decide that perhaps McCain isn't that unacceptable after all — especially given polling data suggesting he might be a stronger candidate in November than many of his competitors would be.
Realistically, Romney's in a world of hurt. After Hillary's astonishing Tuesday, it's hard to count anybody out, but Michigan is clearly his last chance. Fred Thompson is a wonderful fellow, but does anybody really think that a candidate who got 1/6th of Ron Paul's support in New Hampshire is viable? Huckabee? He's got Reagan's charm, certainly, but not Reagan's fiscal conservatism. Reagan also hit the perfect timing, with 1980 a definite "throw the Dems out" year.
The race is essentially down to where the McCain campaign wanted it to be all along: McCain versus Giuliani.
Hugh Hewitt claimed last night that the Romney campaign could continue even if they fail to win in Michigan. Looks like Romney himself doesn't agree:
Up on television in Florida and South Carolina through yesterday, Mitt Romney is not running any television ads in those states now, according to a Republican with knowledge of the traffic purchases in the state.
Romney's campaign hasn't booked any television time in those states, either.
Romney's an astute businessman, and he knows that one of the cardinal rules of investing is "Don't throw good money after bad."
Obviously everybody congratulated him on his victory last night. Surprisingly, he did not show any irrational exuberance to use Alan Greenspan's term from several years ago. He's the same guy the day after a big win as he was in July, when he was down in the polls.
He started out by expressing his satisfaction with the win, and stated that he was as nonplussed as the rest of us at Hillary's startling comeback. I couldn't help thinking that while Hillary becomes the story, her resurgence may help the Senator in the long run, because it ensures that the base will hold if she can win the nomination.
Erick Erickson of Red State asked him whether there would be an investigation into how a piece of pork barrel spending managed to get back into the appropriations bill, noting that Senator Tom Coburn is leading the charge on that issue. Senator McCain indicated that if need be, he would issue an executive order requiring an investigation if he becomes president.
Ed Morrissey crowned him the frontrunner, and asked if he had given any thought to a running mate. Senator McCain replied that it was too early, but that while he's perfect in every way (joking of course) that he would look for a candidate who has strengths where he has weaknesses, specifically mentioning Phil Gramm as a man who could help him reform the tax code.
Dan Nowicki of the Arizona Republic asked about fund-raising: How was the money coming in, both in amounts and technique. Senator McCain expressed satisfaction with the dollar amounts and although he did not have any specifics he said the campaign could get Dan that information.
No surprise, the senator did have some peas for us all, mentioning briefly a potential rise in the CAFE standards, climate change issues and the need for some retraining of auto workers whose jobs will not be coming back. Although I'm not in complete agreement there, you gotta commend a guy who won't lie about his positions or soft-peddle the issues where he may not be in complete harmony with the base. The Straight Talk Express rolls on!
I did not get a chance to ask my question, which was whether the campaign was doing any outreach to the talk show hosts to see if they could tone down the negativity.
I would like to add here that I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to participate in these phone calls. It is a humbling experience to think that I am given a chance to talk to the man who very much looks to me like the next president of the United States. Thanks, Pat Hynes!
Some Romney fans are claiming that McCain won by appealing to independents and that's the only reason why he won New Hampshire. I haven't seen the polling data, but it doesn't matter. Many folks who would register Republican if there were closed primaries register Independent so they can vote in either primary. And anyway, does Mitt really want us to believe that he can't draw independents?
And although the talk show hosts were selling that the independents swung to the Republican side, that's not borne out in the numbers. The Democrats got almost 280,000 votes on their side; the Republicans pulled 230,000. This in a state where registered Republicans outnumber Democrats; it's pretty obvious the Democrats got a lot of independents voting in their primary.
A lot of people with influence like Fred Thompson and Duncan Hunter. I like them too. But Thompson got 1/6 the number of votes that Ron Paul did, and Hunter got less than half the number Thompson got. They are wonderful men who have served their country well, and far more deserving than the buffoon Paul, but not remotely competitive in this election.
Yes, I'm thrilled that my guy won. But boy, this process has taught me a lesson I will never forget. You cannot lead people somewhere they don't want to go.
Senator McCain learned that with the immigration bill. I learned that when I threw my support behind him and found nobody lining up behind me. And the knuckleheads on the radio (Hugh Hewitt and a couple of local yokels named JD Hayworth and Joe Anncarlo) had better start learning it.
I spent most of the day on the road, and being a news junkie I listened to the talk radio stations. It really wasn't that bad during the day when everybody was still upbeat, telling us all about how the latest polls showed the Republican race was a dead heat. I could stand Hewitt telling us how if Mitt came back to win or lose by a point or two he could soldier on. I didn't buy it, but you know, put a happy face on and try not to depress turnout by admitting that your guy's toast.
But after the results were in, even though I wanted to hear the concession speeches I found my self changing channels compulsively as I heard host after host ragging on the New Hampshire voters. "You guys said immigration was the biggest issue, and Mitty changed his position on immigration just to suit you, how could you turn around and support McCain?"
In fact, the classiest thing said all night came from Romney himself, when he called for a round of applause for the senator. It was a deft touch and although there were a few scattered boos, he got most of the folks to clap.
McCain's victory speech was tremendous. I'll find a YouTube clip of it and put it up as soon as possible. It was soaring and moving and contained not a bitter word for anybody. I only pray that he's giving a speech like that the last night of the convention.
And then, of course, the knuckleheads got back on the air and started panning it. Look, I've been interested in politics since 1968, and I've seen what happens many times. I feel like I've got my finger on the pulse of the body politic. In 1996, Steve Forbes, who I supported, carpet-bombed my home state of Arizona with negative ads about Bob Dole. It worked; Forbes won the state, one of his only victories.
But come time for the general election it boomeranged. Arizona had voted Republican in every election since 1952, making it the only state with that distinction. But in 1996, with GOP turnout depressed by the negative ads from months earlier, Bill Clinton took my home state.
You want to see the fundamental differences between John McCain and Mitt Romney? Look at how they chose to end their campaigns here in New Hampshire. Crafting his final argument, Romney, the technocrat, came up with an itemized to-do list for his administration. McCain, the warrior, promised never to surrender in the war on terror and to pursue America’s enemies to the gates of hell.
So how does McCain beat Obama? Obama has his weak spots, and over ten months we can expect some to come out. Look for GOP ads of Bill Clinton telling Charlie Rose that Obama is untested and not ready to run the country. This has the virtue of being true. Obama is three years removed from the Illinois State Senate, and half the time he has been in the US Senate he has been running for President. A case can be made that US Senators and House members who run for President should resign their seats. That is what Bob Dole did, very honorably I think, in 1996.
On national security and foreign policy issues, Obama is a novice, and already has made some telling mistakes during the campaign, including his support for pre-emptive action in our ally Pakistan, the very thing he opposed in Iraq, and his misstatement in the debate Saturday night on why the violence was down in Anbar Province in Iraq. Obama said the violence has ebbed in Anbar because of reconciliation between Sunni and American Forces once Iraqis read the results of the 2006 congressional races in America. In fact, what happened is that Iraqi Sunni insurgents turned on foreign Al Qaeda fighters. No less an authority on the subject than Osama Bin Laden has decried the Sunni insurgents for their treacherous behavior.
Obama has made it his signature issue that he was right on the Iraq War by opposing it from the start. But if he were President, he would need to follow-through on his pledge to end the war. And if he is in against McCain in the fall campaign, there is a huge opening for McCain to talk directly to the American people about our mission and how to wind it down with dignity and honor, and with success. That success has come from the Bush Administration's belatedly rejecting the Rumsfeld light footprint approach and accepting McCain's call for troop reinforcements ("the surge") to re-establish security, the precondition for a political solution.
Exactly. Obama's ridiculous lack of foreign policy experience is his clear Achilles heel.
Rasmussen notes that McCain is the prohibitive favorite to win the New Hampshire primary tomorrow in their prediction markets.
Whatever the results in New Hampshire, the impact will be measured first by the Rasmussen Markets. Within 45 minutes of the Iowa caucus, the markets had already signaled that John McCain was one of the big winners. By Sunday morning McCain was seen as the most likely Republican nominee with a slight advantage over Giuliani. Current market data shows McCain with a 84.2% chance of winning the nomination (they mean primary) and Giuliani with a 0.2% chance.
Mitt Romney, a dominant favorite in New Hampshire just weeks ago, said Sunday that a "close second" to Arizona Sen. John McCain would be a significant feat on Tuesday.
The almost frantic downsizing of expectations for the former Massachusetts governor came as the candidate and his staff are publicly and privately preparing to explain away what would be a disheartening loss and shift to a last-ditch strategy predicated on his ability to outlast and outspend his rivals, according to sources inside the campaign.
When they tell you they're hoping for a close second, you know that's the best they're expecting, despite the brave face.
They're also engaging in dirty tricks:
Jeez, folks, that's so mean-spirited. And here I thought that maybe John McCain ought to offer Romney a position in his administration; maybe Postmaster General or something similar.
He's actually favored by 80% of the dough at InTrade. Despite the courage shown by Mitt's many defenders, he did not land the punch he needed last night; InTrade's Romney shares fell by 5 points today. We applaud him for a good fight, and look forward to seeing him again on the national stage. He's a fine man, just not the right man for this time.
To me, the stunning thing I see at InTrade is that Hillary has continued to lose ground all weekend. She was still above 50% after Iowa, but she's sagged at near free-fall speed; right now she's at 34.0. I'm somewhat amused, considering that Barack's got that ridiculous real estate deal sitting out there that nobody's talking about right now.
In a more fundamental sense, American democracy has been derailed throughout the Bush-Cheney regime. The dominant commitment of the administration has been a murderous, illegal, nonsensical war against Iraq. That irresponsible venture has killed almost 4,000 Americans, left many times that number mentally or physically crippled, claimed the lives of an estimated 600,000 Iraqis (according to a careful October 2006 study from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health) and laid waste their country. The financial cost to the United States is now $250 million a day and is expected to exceed a total of $1 trillion, most of which we have borrowed from the Chinese and others as our national debt has now climbed above $9 trillion -- by far the highest in our national history.
All of this has been done without the declaration of war from Congress that the Constitution clearly requires, in defiance of the U.N. Charter and in violation of international law. This reckless disregard for life and property, as well as constitutional law, has been accompanied by the abuse of prisoners, including systematic torture, in direct violation of the Geneva Conventions of 1949.
Those who do not learn from history are condemned to repeat it.
One student thought the phrase “we accept all persons” should be broadened to cover animals. Another worried that the word “delineation” was alienating because “it means drawing lines, and don’t we object to lines?” The only sentence everyone seemed to support wholeheartedly was the final one: “Power to the People!”
And get this bit:
At the second national convention, attended by about 200 members, the students spent a day discussing how not to oppress one another. They split into caucuses based on gender, class, race and sexual orientation.
Let me guess; the male, upper-middle class, white straights had the big ballroom, while the female, poor, black lesbians could have fit into a phone booth?
The article points out:
The epilogue also includes a drawing of Pat Korte, with shaggy hair and big, alarmed eyes. Jessica Rapchik, 19, was the S.D.S. co-founder with Mr. Korte. She says she was surprised that her role goes unmentioned in the book. The omission, she says, points to “larger problems in our society — men being sought out as voices of authority.”