I thought I was a political junkie. When I was a kid, I used to collect presidential campaign memorabilia. I watched the Iran Contra hearings when I was a teenager. My favorite movie is “All the President’s Men.” Ladies and gentlemen, I have had it with the never ending contest for the Democratic presidential nomination.
When I heard that Hillary Clinton won Indiana and that Barack Obama won North Carolina, I wanted to scream. Now, I understand what it feels like to be water-boarded. Can’t we decide this with a flip of a coin or an alligator wrestling contest.
Let’s briefly review the history of the campaign.
First, Hillary Clinton was going to get crowned the nominee. When that didn’t happen, the pundits questioned whether Bill Clinton was helping or hurting his wife’s campaign. Then the media swooned over every utterance from Barack Obama until the Jeremiah Wright video was played endlessly on YouTube. Feisty Hillary then stole the show in Pennsylvania and told people who wanted her to quit to buzz off. Along the way, people learned about important stuff such as flag lapel pins.
Confused? You aren’t alone.
My home state of Pennsylvania is turning into the political equivalent of the Shoot Out at the OK Corral. Lots of ink has been spilled, video shot and cyberspace occupied with talk of the importance of the Keystone state and tonight’s debate televised on ABC.
A couple of observations:
- Moderators Charlie GIbson and George Stephanopoulos tried mightily to zing Obama on every ridiculous controversy from the “bitter” remark to his lack of enthusiasm for wearing flag lapel pins. Obama generally handled himself well.
- Hillary Clinton continues to whine about everything. Her remarks about her grandfather the factory worker were a bit much. I doubt that she changed the minds of many Pennsylvania voters with her attempts to smear Obama.
- Neither candidate was particularly convincing about Iraq. Will Hillary Clinton really pull out of Iraq if the generals on the ground tell her that the results would be disastrous?
- Are either of them really not interested in being vice president?
- I still don’t understand Clinton’s explanation for “misremembering” about being under gun fire in Bosnia. How can you forget something like that?
Obama won the debate and may squeak out a victory in
Vendors beware: Hillary Clinton is behind in her bills. The situation, as Politico.com notes is pretty serious.
A pair of Ohio companies owed more than $25,000 by Clinton for staging events for her campaign are warning others in the tight-knit event production community — and anyone else who will listen — to get their cash upfront when doing business with her. Her campaign, say representatives of the two companies, has stopped returning phone calls and e-mails seeking payment of outstanding invoices. One even got no response from a certified letter.
Shafting vendors is about as low you can get. How can Hillary ask people to make her CEO of the country when she can’t even manage the finances of her own campaign?
Vendors will probably have to wait months to get paid from the Clintons. Maybe they’ll have time to pay their bills when she drops out of the presidential race and before she runs for governor of New York.
Meanwhile, the Barack Obama fund-raising machine continues to roll over Clinton raising $40 million in March, more than twice as much as the New York senator.
Hillary Clinton’s lead in Pennsylvania over Barack Obama is shrinking.
The latest poll from Rasmussen Reports shows Clinton leading Obama by a mere five percentage points 47 percent to 42 percent. A week ago, she lead by 10 points and a month ago she was ahead by 15 points.
This is unbelievable. Clinton has the support of Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell and Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter. The state’s large blue collar base supposedly makes it Clinton country. What happened? Did Obama’s bus tour and horrible bowling charm the voters of my home state? Apparently so.
“If Obama is able to pull off an upset in the Keystone State, it would effectively end the race for the Democratic Presidential Nomination.
Tensions clearly remain in the contest. If Obama is nominated, just 56% of Clinton supporters say they are likely to vote for him against John McCain. Forty percent (40%) of Clinton voters in Pennsylvania say they are not likely to vote for Obama.
On the other hand, if Clinton is nominated, just 67% of Obama supporters say they are likely to vote for her against McCain. Twenty-nine percent (29%) are not.
Just 21% of Pennsylvania’s Primary Voters say that Clinton should drop out of the race while 18% would like Obama to leave. Those figures are similar to results from a recent national survey. Fifty-one percent (51%) in Pennsylvania say it’s very likely the contest will not be resolved until the convention in Denver. That figure includes 61% of Clinton voters and 38% of those who support Obama. Overall, another 33% say a convention decision is Somewhat Likely.
If Clinton loses Pennsylvania, the party is over. Then again, she may be laying the groundwork for running for governor of New York. Those Clintons are crafty that way.
In the coming weeks, Hillary Clinton needs to figure out how to get out of the race while the getting is good. She simply cannot win unless the party’s super delegates ignore the will of the people in a mass political suicide. Last week Politico, argued that she has “virtually” no chance of winning and chastised the media for hyping the political horse race and not the political reality.
“Journalists have become partners with the Clinton campaign in pretending that the contest is closer than it really is. Most coverage breathlessly portrays the race as a down-to-the-wire sprint between two well-matched candidates, one only slightly better situated than the other to win in August at the national convention in Denver.
New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, whose endorsement of Barack Obama was a slap in the face to his longtime political mentors the Clintons, became the latest party bigwig to state the obvious that the New York senator is on a Quixotic quest for the presidency even if she wins the Pennsylvania primary. The likeable Richardson even took a few shots at Clinton in an appearance on “Fox News Sunday.”
The problem with the Clintons is that it’s always about them first. By the way, it’s a pity that Richardson’s campaign failed to catch on with the public. On paper, he was the most qualified of any of the Democratic presidential candidates. I would have voted for him.
Hillary Clinton has been coyly hinting that she might be interested in joining forces with Barack Obama, proving that she knows which way the wind blows.
The former first lady has been gaining ground since winning the closely watched contests in Texas and Ohio. She is in good shape to win the next big battleground in Pennsylvania where the state’s Gov. Ed Rendell and Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter are supporting her. A poll from
bears this out.
The survey found that Clinton has erased the once-commanding lead that Obama held in most national polls following his 11 straight victories in February’s primaries and caucuses. Obama is the favored nominee among 45 percent of Democrats, compared with 44 percent for Clinton, according to the poll, which was based on telephone interviews with 1,215 registered voters March 5-6.
Of course, polls aren’t worth much a bucket of warm spit in this election. Time and time again, they’ve shown that people either lie to pollsters or that the survey takers ask the wrong questions at the wrong time. People seem to like both Clinton and Obama for different reasons at different times. That sort of changing feeling is difficult to measure.
Democrats are deeply divided. Republicans are divided too but they have managed to coalesce around John McCain. But continuing to battle one another, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama only benefit the Republicans. It’s time for them to put their egos in neutral and do what’s best for the party and join forces.
Hillary Clinton’s campaign isn’t over yet. She won the primaries in Ohio and Rhode Island. Texas remains too close to call.
Many pundits, including me, considered the New York senator’s campaign to be on life support. She will live to fight another day.
“A victory in Texas or Ohio would offer a hefty trove of delegates and a crucial psychological boost for Mrs. Clinton’s campaign, which has struggled to regroup from Mr. Obama’s recent spate of victories,” according to The New York Times.
Maybe her recent appearances on “Saturday Night Live” and “The Daily Show” helped make the New York senator more human. Regardless, the math doesn’t work well in her favor. As Newsweek’s Jonathan Alter notes, she could win the next 16 contests and still trail Obama in pledged delegates.
The race’s next big battleground is my home state of Pennsylvania where Gov. Ed Rendell is a big Clinton supporter as is Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter. Still it ain’t over till the fat lady in Texas sings.