April 23, 2008

And Hillary gets her 10 point margin.

Did we not all agree that the game would be transformed if she hit that mark?

WaPo puts it this way:
Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton won the Pennsylvania presidential primary decisively on Tuesday night, running up a 10-percentage-point victory that bolstered her case for staying in the race for the Democratic nomination.

Sen. Barack Obama played down a defeat that did not substantially reduce his delegate lead....
The NYT front page displays the percentages as 54.7% and 45.3%, using decimals to deprive the feisty candidate of the 2-digit lead that means so much. The lead article, by Adam Nagourney, frames it this way:
For better or worse — and many Democrats fear it is for worse — the race goes on.

Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton defeated Senator Barack Obama in Pennsylvania on Tuesday by enough of a margin to continue a battle that Democrats increasingly believe is undermining their effort to unify the party and prepare for the general election against Senator John McCain.

Despite a huge investment of time and money by Mr. Obama and pressure on Mrs. Clinton by the party establishment to consider folding her campaign, she won her third big state in a row. Mrs. Clinton showed again that she is a tenacious campaigner with an ability to connect with the blue-collar voters Mr. Obama has found elusive and who could be critical to a Democratic victory in November.

Mrs. Clinton’s margin was probably not sufficient to fundamentally alter the dynamics of the race, which continued to favor an eventual victory for Mr. Obama. But it made clear that the contest will go on at least a few weeks, if not more. And it served to underline the concerns about Mr. Obama’s strengths as a general election candidate. Exit polls again highlighted the racial, economic, sex and values divisions within the party.
The news is not that she won big, but that it's bad that she won.

ADDED: Here's the Wall Street Journal editorial:
Just when Democrats think they might have a Presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton spoils the party. With her solid victory in Pennsylvania on Tuesday, the former first lady kept her campaign alive and underscored doubts about Barack Obama's November appeal.

First in bellwether Ohio, and now in another crucial swing state, the New York Senator has shown her tenacity. She and her husband are nothing if not relentless, and Mr. Obama can be forgiven if he wakes up at night thinking he's in one of those "Terminator" movies where the machine in the form of a human being just keeps coming. Nothing – not Bill Clinton's gaffes, not the Bosnian sniper-fire fantasy, not even being outspent 3-to-1 – has been able to stop her.
A summary of the demographics:
According to the exit polls, Mrs. Clinton walloped him among voters without a college degree, and by nearly 2-to-1 among high school grads. She won easily among middle-income voters, as well as across the central, northeast and southeast areas of the Keystone State that are home to culturally conservative union households. These voters may not have bought her shot-and-a-beer routine, but they clearly preferred her to Mr. Obama's "bitter" condescension. Perhaps ominously for Mr. Obama's November prospects, Mrs. Clinton crushed him among Catholics, who are the ultimate swing voters across the U.S.
Bottom line: "Mr. Obama still needs to show he can appeal to the non-liberal, non-wealthy American middle class."

The bitter NYT editorial is called "The Low Road to Victory." It's the way she won. She went negative.
The Pennsylvania campaign, which produced yet another inconclusive result on Tuesday, was even meaner, more vacuous, more desperate, and more filled with pandering than the mean, vacuous, desperate, pander-filled contests that preceded it....

On the eve of this crucial primary, Mrs. Clinton became the first Democratic candidate to wave the bloody shirt of 9/11. A Clinton television ad — torn right from Karl Rove’s playbook — evoked the 1929 stock market crash, Pearl Harbor, the Cuban missile crisis, the cold war and the 9/11 attacks, complete with video of Osama bin Laden. “If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen,” the narrator intoned.
Inconclusive? But it was a smashing victory! I guess it's "inconclusive" because the party's candidate is yet to be determined. And I fail to see the terrible negativity that ad, which was just a vivid reminder of the weightiness of the President's job and a tweak at Obama for his complaints about questions that are less fun than eating a waffle. A really negative ad would push some ugly factoid in our face — such as Obama's connection to Jeremiah Wright or William Ayers.

50 comments:

B said...

And this lead story is accompanied by the Times editorial "The Low Road to Victory", which can best be summarized as: Now we're desperate! STOP this negative campaign against Obama or else McCain might win. And we sure don't want that!

ballyfager said...

Was she not ahead by more than twenty points as recently as six weeks ago?

B said...

Oh and the Times also uses the Keith Olberman-coined term "bloody shirt of 9/11" in describing Hillary's hawkish commercial.

That's the level of thoughtfulness you get form the New York Times, folks. It's editors basically parrot the talking points of a far left low-rated cable TV commentator.

B said...

My favorite part about this time in the race is how it exposes some of the racism in the Democratic party:

Most of the turncoat stories of this campaign season have centered on black backers of Hillary Clinton, notably those prominent elected officials who have been hounded as race-traitors for trying to block the first African American to have a serious shot at the presidency.

Bissage said...

It’s astonishing how fast the Obama flacks have done their dirty work.

Already there’s a rumor spreading in Philadelphia to explain how Hillary won Pennsylvania.

Apparently, she used the CIA and Secret Service to suppress the Obama vote by flooding north and west Philly with super-potent crack.

Why anyone would believe such a thing is beyond me but here’s the LINK.

Besides, the truth is she got Governor Rendell to turn out the Hillary vote by pulling the State Cops off the motorcycle gangs so Whitey got more meth.

LINK.

EnigmatiCore said...

I don't think there is any question remaining that Hillary is the stronger of the two Democrats for the general election campaign versus John McCain.

It will be a real test now for the Superdelegates. Do they go with their heart and take the candidate who is significantly further to the left, which they would do if they are confident of victory regardless of who they take? Or do they go with the stronger candidate?

And how does the fact that the party's voters, in 2004, faced the same decision and went with who they thought was the stronger candidate rather than their true love, only to have it blow up in their faces because for some reason they thought Kerry was the stronger candidate?

Isn't it clear, Hillary is significantly stronger than Kerry was, and Obama is no stronger, and possibly weaker, than Dean was?

blake said...

Did anyone describe her as "plucky".

I think if I had weathered all that she had, I'd want to be described as "plucky".

Paco Wové said...

"Did we not all agree that the game would be transformed if she hit that mark?"

No we did not all agree!

Mortimer will probably offer to punch you in the mouth for that!!

bearbee said...

Apparently, she used the CIA and Secret Service to suppress the Obama vote by flooding north and west Philly with super-potent crack.

Tsk, tsk....so that is how she got Philadelphia Mayor Nutter to support her. Uhm, uhm, uhm...

Pogo said...

The Low Road to Victory?

Didn't the NYTimes endorse the Senator from New York?

Mortimer Brezny said...

Wow, this mouth-punching thing is becoming a meme. I didn't even mean it to be such a big deal.

Mortimer Brezny said...

Didn't the NYTimes endorse the Senator from New York?

She crossed the line!

Paco Wové said...

I didn't even mean it to be such a big deal.

You probably didn't intend your lying about Simon to be a big deal either, but what's said can't be unsaid.

tjl said...

"She crossed the line"

Yes, she crossed the line by daring to impugn the sanctity of Obama, whose unfinished waffles are holy relics worthy of preservation and auctioning on eBay.

Mortimer Brezny said...

You probably didn't intend your lying about Simon to be a big deal either, but what's said can't be unsaid.

I have never lied about Simon, but I bet you are a paleface cracker honkey!

MadisonMan said...

using decimals to deprive the feisty candidate of the 2-digit lead that means so much

Your innumeracy is showing. 54.7-45.3 is less than 10. The numbers deprive her of the 2-digit lead, not the headline writers.

Or are you saying an election that splits 50.1 to 49.9 should be declared a tie?

Anil Petra said...

Hillary is missing the rhetorical mark. She should start to say that yes, Obama *can* win in November, but she now believes that he probably *won't*.

The problem is not his potential, but that he's a talented politician at the very beginning of his career. And it now appears unlikely that he's ready to fulfill his potential.

howardl said...

According to the official results page (http://www.electionreturns.state.pa.us/) Wednesday morning, with 99.07% of precincts reporting Hillary has 54.3 and Barack has 45.7, which is a difference of 8.6. But I understand the argument that the NYTimes should round up anything above a 5 point victory to 10 points, and anything below 5 points should be reported as a tie. Ummm that is your point right??

Charles said...

Think about it. The Coen brothers' No Country for Old Men is turning out to be an eerily accurate template for Election '08.

Pastor_Jeff said...

A Clinton television ad — torn right from Karl Rove’s playbook — evoked the 1929 stock market crash, Pearl Harbor, the Cuban missile crisis, the cold war and the 9/11 attacks, complete with video of Osama bin Laden.

So even though we live in a very dangerous world, talking about the threat of global jihad and an enemy sworn to destroy western civilization is fear-mongering; but stirring up class warfare, resentment, and bitterness in a moderate recession is honest, helpful, and non-Rovian.

Oh, and LBJ might have something to say about whose playbook it was.

former law student said...

Inconclusive? But it was a smashing victory!

Captain Althouse, having sailed her sloop into the middle of the Internet under the flag of Cruel Neutrality, suddenly strikes that flag and runs up the skull and crossbones of the Jolly Hillary.

Paul said...

"So even though we live in a very dangerous world, talking about the threat of global jihad and an enemy sworn to destroy western civilization is fear-mongering; but stirring up class warfare, resentment, and bitterness in a moderate recession is honest, helpful, and non-Rovian."

You forgot catastrophic global warming.

But you have accurately summed up the true beliefs of the brainwashed left, who actually believe that things simply cannot get any worse than they have been since George Bush became president.

former law student said...

She should start to say that yes, Obama *can* win in November, but she now believes that he probably *won't*.

In a time of world crisis, neither a lawyer nor a housewife can meet the 3 am challenge like a brave military officer. All McCain has to do is remake her campaign commercials for the fall.

Paul said...

"In a time of world crisis, neither a lawyer nor a housewife can meet the 3 am challenge like a brave military officer. All McCain has to do is remake her campaign commercials for the fall."

From American Digest:

Election? The Danes ask, "Why bother?"

An item in my RSS feed that vanished on the site it came from:

‘We in Denmark cannot figure out why you are even bothering to hold an election.

On one side, you have a b*tch who is a lawyer, married to a lawyer, and a lawyer who is married to a b*tch who is a lawyer.

On the other side, you have a true war hero married to a woman with a huge chest who owns a beer distributorship.

Is there a contest here?’

Now that's funny.

And largely true.

Dewave said...

The hypocrisy and double standards on display by the media and Obamaniacs (but I repeat myself) are rather breathtaking.

The sense of entitlement is enormous: Obama is ahead NOW so why doesn't Clinton just DROP OUT? How dare she fight on and try to win against the chosen one?

Clinton has gained a lot of my grudging respect by being an absolutely tenacious fighter who refuses to be cowed into quitting by the relentless drumbeat of the media suggesting she 'can't win'. (Of course she can, superdelegates can vote for whomever she chooses)

What finally made me decide Obama was the weaker candidate by far was the shrill whines and complaints that went up after the ABC debate, when a rare few of the media showed some backbone and instead of swooning or fawning over Obama or telling him he sent tingles up their legs, actually settled down and asked him some tough questions, which he handled badly and his manic supporters suggested he shouldn't have to handle at all.

“If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen" sums it up pretty well.

At this point, I think Hillary would be a much tougher opponent for McCain in the fall than is Obama - if she comes from behind and wins this thing she'll have an amazing story and unimpeachable 'scrappy fighter' credentials, which is McCains greatest strength.

Obama is walking wounded. Sure maybe he'll lurch his way to victory in the primary, but his coalition is not right now big enough to carry the general.

former law student said...

Similarly Huckabee gained a lot of my grudging respect by being an absolutely tenacious fighter who refused to be cowed into quitting by the relentless drumbeat of the media suggesting he 'can't win'. Same for Ron Paul.

PatCA said...

Boo-hoo, NYT! If you can't stand the heat...

I wonder now what the Obamas think about as they lay awake in bed at night. I wonder what they think about the revulsion of so many people to the ravings of their "Pastor" and their associates like Ayers and Dohrn (America the monster), so many people whom they cannot fathom, people distant from their circle of comfort and cynicism, people they smirk at or pity in their politics and social discourse.

Do they get it yet; do they question anything?

Dave said...

At this point Obama reminds me of nothing more than "Hands of Stone" Duran putting his gloves over his face and saying "No mas. No mas." He looks and acts like a beaten (if not yet counted out) fighter. Seriously.

Evidently his strategy is to try to 'Rope-a-Dope' until the bell to end this fight. Will that serve him well against McCain?

He's got a glass jaw and it's been exposed. He's not Muhammad "The Greatest" Ali, he's glass-jawed pug Chuck Wepner.

SGT Ted said...

I love the impuation of the typical Clinton machine attacks as "Rovian" and "rightwing playbook". As if there wasn't a Clinton presidency and the oft used smearing of political enemies. Travelgate, illegally used FBI and DoD personnel files, "drag a hunnerd dolla bill thru a trailer park", bribes from Tyson foods, "No controlling legal authority", ad nauseum?

Gimmee a break.

SGT Ted said...

A Clinton television ad — torn right from Karl Rove’s playbook — evoked the 1929 stock market crash, Pearl Harbor, the Cuban missile crisis, the cold war and the 9/11 attacks, complete with video of Osama bin Laden. “If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen,”

I mean, you can't make this stuff up. Who was it that ran against GHWB braying about "the worst economy in 50 years", with campaign mailers that had pictures of 1930's soup-lines? Did Karl Rove come up with that for Hill-Billy back in 1992?

Original Mike said...

Mortimer will probably offer to punch you in the mouth for that!!

Or call her a racist dirtbag.

Original Mike said...

MM said: Your innumeracy is showing. 54.7-45.3 is less than 10. The numbers deprive her of the 2-digit lead, not the headline writers.

Personally, I have no doubt Ann's right that the NYT reported it this way for the reason she suggests.

memomachine said...

Hmmmm.

Obama's problem is that he simply doesn't have any character. Perhaps he's been given everything in life. Or perhaps he simply is lacking the necessary elements to derive character from.

But it's pretty clear from his associations, attitudes and choices that Obama simply is lacking character.

The clearest example comes from his own autobiography. His grandmother, the sole breadwinner of the family, asks Obama's grandfather for a ride to work. When that unemployed bum hits upon calling his wife a racist in order to successfully avoid having to actually do something that day, Obama believes him without any hesitation.

You'd think a man who has been raised, fed, clothed and loved by his grandmother would've at least given her the benefit of the doubt.

Obama? No character at all. And you can see it easily in how he only excels in highly regimented and formulaic situations. In situations where he has to extemporize, and thus rely on his character, he always comes up short.

McCain is going to slaughter him.

rightwingprof said...

Actually, Mellencamp lives in Brown County, about ten miles out of Bloomington.

franglosaxon said...

Hmmm. Can you or anyone else describe a scenario where Hillary can win the nomination? I have not seen a convincing one. Could this possibly be a factor in the tone of the articles you mention?

If she can't win, what is the point of her staying in? Any other candidate would have dropped out. Al Gore would Have dropped out of this race in her position. John Edwards. John Kerry. Howard Dean. All would have been pushed to drop out.

The reason she's still in is, her husband is the most powerful figure in the Democratic party; and her opponent is half black.

I've always maintained that in order to win the presidency, a black candidate would have to pass a much higher bar than normal. By any measure Obama has run the finest campaign in Democratic party history. But it's just barely going to get him there.

franglosaxon said...

P.S.: If you choose to carp about Ayers, Dohrn, Rezko, et. al., please don't try to give it some moral element, and pretend it's anything other than oppo research grasping for anything to tar Obama with. If you want to buy what the Republican hit squads are selling this time, go ahead. But don't pretend it's smart, moral, and don't complain after purchase (years more of incompetent governance).

PSPS: Althouse, why are you ashamed to admit you are a Republican? Why all the song and dance?

kcom said...

"You forgot catastrophic global warming."

Ain't that the truth. The same crowd going around agitating against the "politics of fear" in regards to Islamic extremism is generally the same crowd guilty of massive fearmongering in regards to global warming. They really have no shame. Why anyone would take them seriously I don't know.

Original Mike said...

Can you or anyone else describe a scenario where Hillary can win the nomination?

Superdelagates, off course (not saying it will happen, but that's the card she has to play). In that regard, if I were a superdelagate I'd be interested in seeing the popular vote broken down between the first and second halves of the primary season. Did she win the second half?

Pogo said...

pretend it's anything other than oppo research
Just imagine that first meeting in the Ayers-Dohrn living room:

Dohrn: Friends, I am pleased to introduce our next legislator from Illinois, Barack Obama.

Obama: Hello, and thanks for your support.

Ayers: As many of you know, I was a member of the Weathermen, a radical group that tried to overthrow the US government in the 60s and 70s. We set many bombs and killed a few people, including my girlfriend. I wish we had done more.

Dohrn: The US is still the monster. I still remember when Manson killed that pregnant girl. Man, Dig it! They killed those pigs, then they shoved a fork into a victim's stomach. Wild!

Ayers: I wish we had done more. Now I'm an academic at a University. I once said" ''Kill all the rich people. Break up their cars and apartments. Bring the revolution home, kill your parents, that's where it's really at," but I still took money from my rich father, who was an exec at Con ED.

Obama: That's cool. You know, my minister thinks we still live in the US of KKA.

Dohrn: Dig it! Wild!

Obama: He's building himself a $4M home, but you know the white people are the devil and says God Damn America and that the US government lied about inventing the HIV virus as a means of genocide against people of color.

Dohrn: Dig it! Wild!

Ayers: I wish we had done more. So, everyone, bring out your checkbooks for Mr. Obama, our next legislator!

Dohrn: And he should so totally use the fork salute. Wild!

amba said...

Clinton has gained a lot of my grudging respect by being an absolutely tenacious fighter who refuses to be cowed into quitting

Almost exactly what I wrote last night: "A certain reluctant admiration for Hillary's indestructibility and undeterrability creeps in. It's a little chilling -- part "Fatal Attraction," part Energizer bunny -- and, it's a quality you want in a president."

SGT Ted said...

Just keep slurping up that koolaid franglo. That you cannot imagine a scenario where Hillary! wins shows your inability to think this thru. Your impugning Obamas radical associations chickens coming home to roost to the rightwing confirms the above.
Well, that and the obligatory calling Althouse a Republican because she supports a different Democrat candidate than you do. Yea, that helps your arguement.

Rock on franglo!

vbspurs said...

" "A certain reluctant admiration for Hillary's indestructibility and undeterrability creeps in. It's a little chilling -- part "Fatal Attraction," part Energizer bunny -- and, it's a quality you want in a president."

Amba, this is brilliant!

I also like the dual lapin visual of Fatal Attraction/Energiser Bunny.

She just doesn't quit. She'll end up bloodied and drowned in the political bathtub...Jesus, Hill, you actually have to go back to work and possibly be in line for Attorney General/Supreme Court Justice one day.

QUIT NOW!

Cheers,
Victoria

franglosaxon said...

SGT Ted: Althouse supports McCain.

McCain is not, and will never be, held to the same standards as Obama for his "associations" (not to mention his whoring). It's all about a few hundred thousand people in Ohio who have no interest in politics whatsoever. The Republicans will try to convince them that Senator Obama of Illinois is a communist and a terrorist. Will they buy it? I feel like they won't, having gotten burned before.

I just wish Instapundit and Althouse would just hang little signs that say "John McCain Supporter!" on the top of their blogs and just shut up, already, about the primary process. Who cares anymore, when it all comes down to those 500,000 swing state voters in October. Give it a rest.

Ann Althouse said...

"Althouse supports McCain.... I just wish Instapundit and Althouse would just hang little signs that say "John McCain Supporter!" on the top of their blogs and just shut up, already, about the primary process."

If only your simple little world could be simpler... and smaller.

Nichevo said...

frang,

1) You are not as bright as you think. P.S. stands for Post Script, an addendum to a letter. Subsequent postscripts to the first are also post-, i.e Post Post Script = P.P.S., P.P.P.S., P.P.P.P.S., and so forth. In old style you would include the periods; nowadays PPS, PPPS, etc., is I believe accepted.

PSPS means nothing except "I am stupid or at least uneducated."

2) If it were a Republican blog, you wouldn't be here, so if you think it is, why don't you go away? I can't see what you gain from hanging around with such a pack of right-wing deviants.

3) Also, you would be doing me a favor personally. I am of course trying to bed the divine Ms. Althouse and I have no doubt your trolling is putting her in a bad mood, very un-erotic. Yes, do go away, there's a good chap.

4) Any whoring, drinking, etc., on the part of naval aviator and POW John McCain was well earned - I hope he enjoyed himself, poor lad - and a totally defused issue with the American public.

You will get NOWHERE with this except to slime yourself. I mean that in all sincerity. He was a SAILOR. I suppose next thing you'll tell us is that he swears?

Pogo said...

I am pretty sure I saw a picture of McCain smoking once.

*Shudder*

vbspurs said...


You will get NOWHERE with this except to slime yourself. I mean that in all sincerity. He was a SAILOR. I suppose next thing you'll tell us is that he swears?


I'm currently reading Faith of My Fathers, and I can confirm he swears.

So did his grandfather, and father before him, both 4-star Admirals.

His father was so prone to swearing, the men under him affectionately called him "Good Goddamn McCain".

Good. I'm tired of that video of Bush just giving his press secretary the finger.

Cheers,
Victoria

EnigmatiCore said...

"Can you or anyone else describe a scenario where Hillary can win the nomination?"

I think if she wins the popular vote in NC (which polls currently show she will not) then she will likely be the Democrats' nominee. At that point, he will (correctly) be seen as a fading candidate and will start losing Superdelegates at an alarming rate.

That is one scenario, albeit an unlikely one. There are others as well.

JM Hanes said...

The NYTimes outdoes itself in the kitchen sink department. They slam Hillary for bringing up 9/11 and then slam her for failing to address... terrorism! They offer a scathing condemnation of her mean, vacuous, desperate.... negativity. Anyone who would respond militarily to an attack on Israel isn't fit to be President in a dangerous world. Mrs. Clinton is the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy incarnate, sprung whole from the head of Karl Rove, spiteful Athena to Republican Zeus. How dare she demean the process by exploiting her opponent's relative youth and inexperience and exposing the vapid nature of this campaign when the Times endorsed her as more qualified ("for now") to be president than Obama? Viva nuance! Mrs. Clinton is clearly on the wrong side of the deplorable with-us-or-against us political divide.

blake said...

FLS--

You're really going to compare Huckabee and Paul to HRC? Really?

HRC can still win if the supers go her way. Huckabee couldn't a long time before he stopped campaigning (I believe) and Paul never could.

I will say this, though: They can continue to run to cause certain ideas to be taken serious in the party platform. I mean, if enough people back Paul, I guess you have to, I dunno, look at bringing back the gold standard or something. And maybe Huckabee reminds you you don't get anywhere without the pro-life/anti-choice crowd.

As has been pointed out, there's not much difference between HRC and BHO. Nor John Edwards, while he was in. If it were really about policy and not ego, I have to believe the Dems should've settled first. (You can probably rightly criticize the Rep losers for folding way too early.)