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May 14, 2008 in problems | 12 comments
Hillary Clinton’s candidacy, which has recently resorted to what Joe Klein calls a “paste-on populism”, has been reduced, even with her West Virginia victory, to a Monty Python sketch.
James Robertson on May 14, 2008 at 12:49 pm
Hmm. On the other hand, what does it say about the Obama campaign that he’s been getting pasted ever since Ohio and Texas? Indiana, where most Democratic voters are in the Chicago media market, was a big loss too. If Hillary’s campaign is dead, I’d say that Obama’s is limping badly.
Brenda Helverson on May 14, 2008 at 3:07 pm
Hillary needs to stay in the race because Obama is simply unelectable in many areas of the Country.
Think not? Then how can we explain the map attached to this post:
I am as strong a Democrat as they come, but I have serious reservations about voting for someone who has no record and no apparent qualifications to be President.
Doc Searls on May 14, 2008 at 3:36 pm
James, I feel like I must be your troll, at least in respect to Obama. I didn’t even mention the dude in this post and I got a rise out of you.
FWIW, I think they’re all limping. Whoever gets across the finish line first in November will be on all fours. Let’s just hope his or her back isn’t broken.
James Robertson on May 14, 2008 at 3:42 pm
Oh, I was just making a point. I think the primary process has made Hillary a better candidate, and made Obama a worse one (or exposed weaknesses; it’s hard to say which).
If the Democratic party were more rational, they would nominate Hillary – I think she would beat McCain fairly easily. Obama could actually limit the otherwise strong gains the Democrats will likely make down ticket, IMHO.
Doc Searls on May 14, 2008 at 3:56 pm
Brenda, McCain’s going to take those places anyway. There are other stats showing that large numbers of people wouldn’t vote for a woman, either.
Obama has a record. It’s not much of one. But it’s there. He also has a message that has stayed pretty consistent. He’s a flawed character, but no more so than Hillary or McCain. As for his qualifications… What are anybody’s? Hillary and McCain have both appealed to people’s fears of the unknown. So did Bush, and look what it got us. wtf were *his* qualifications?
Lately I’ve been looking down the list of issues and positions for each candidate, especially in two areas that I care about: public infrastructure and the Internet. (I hate the term “broadband policy”, because it’s so telco-ish, but it’ll do in this context.) Here’s what Obama says:
As our society becomes more mobile and interconnected, the need for 21st-century transportation networks has never been greater. However, too many of our nation’s railways, highways, bridges, airports, and neighborhood streets are slowly decaying due to lack of investment and strategic long-term planning. Barack Obama believes that America’s long-term competitiveness depends on the stability of our critical infrastructure. As president, Obama will make strengthening our transportation systems, including our roads and bridges, a top priority.
He also has This policy piece (.pdf)
Here’s what Hillary says:
Here’s what McCain says:
Does that difference qualify Obama? Well, it don’t hurt.
When I look at the Clinton and McCain sites, I see pandering and posturing all over the place.
When I look at the Obama site, I see a guy who doesn’t stand for the status quo, who wants to bridge partisan divides. I like that. Is there pandering and posturing? Yeah, some. But I get that the guy is tired of many of the same things I’m tired of. That gives me a small measure of hope. Not much, but some.
I get none from either of the other two. Best I can say is that any of them will be better than Bush. And will have a much harder job because of the damage done over the last eight years.
Brenda Helverson on May 14, 2008 at 7:40 pm
Good points, Doc. But remember Obama as he is now. By the time that the Republicans are through with him, even his own Mother wouldn’t recognize him.
Harl Delos on May 14, 2008 at 11:45 pm
Well, Ms. Helverson, if you’re looking for someone who has experience as president, the only ones alive who aren’t constitutionally barred from running again are Jimmy Carter and George H. W. Bush.
If you’re looking for other executive experience, their presidential campaigns are the biggest organizations any of the big three has ever run.
Senator McCain ran out of money at a critical time, and had to be bailed out by his wife’s credit cards and corporate jet.
Senator Clinton has repeatedly run out of money at a critical time, and she’s loaned her campaign more money than she’s made in her entire life, and yet her best hope for getting the nomination lies in one of her snipers missing her as she races off the runway, and accidentally killing Senator Obama. She talks of 35 years experience, although few people ever noticed her efforts for the first half of those 35 years, and she’s spent the second half of those 35 years getting universal health care passed. Although she hasn’t quite accomplished that yet.
Senator Obama, on the other hand, has a remarkably well-running campaign. His success has mostly come about because his organization has been registering people who’ve not voted in the past, not because he’s offered bribes to people who have already decided to vote for a dishonest party hack rather than someone who threatens the status quo.
It sounds like he hasn’t had your vote – and that he doesn’t need it. The Democratic party, however, needs to start pursuing a 50-state policy for its long-term health. If you tell people that West Virginia citizens are important, but people in Wyoming and Nebraska and two dozen other red states don’t matter, it’s a sure thing that those red states are going to remain red.
James Robertson on May 15, 2008 at 9:52 am
“When I look at the Obama site, I see a guy who doesn’t stand for the status quo, who wants to bridge partisan divides.”
That’s not possible. How do you even do that? What Obama (or anyone) really means by that is this:
“Give up your foolish beliefs, and get on board with mine. We’ll both move into my desired future together”
Partisan is not a bad word. Thinking it is is a large part of the problem, IMHO.
Charles Lee on May 15, 2008 at 11:24 pm
Obama said “Just watch how my campaign will be managed.” in answer to someone questioning his leadership abilities. I was impressed, it’s an open honest statement and challenge, running a successful campaign for political office takes leadership.
Charles Lee on May 15, 2008 at 11:37 pm
Before I close, let me share two specific things he said at the time — early 2007 — on the topic of whether he’s ready.
We asked him directly, how concerned should we be that you haven’t had meaningful experience as an executive — as a manager and leader of people?
He said, watch how I run my campaign — you’ll see my leadership skills in action.
Tom O'Brien on May 16, 2008 at 12:13 pm
More like the Black Knight really (it’s but a flesh wound . . .)
Random Acts of Linkage #61 : Subversive Influence on May 17, 2008 at 7:16 am
[…] And what a great photo on the subject. Evidently she hasn’t gotten the memo yet… Doc observes she’s basically down to a certain Monty Python […]
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The Rise of Partisanship, visualized: bit.ly/1buCViE Brilliant. HT @matthewblumberg @berkmancenter
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