Thursday, February 14, 2008

Welcome To The Jungle

You might have heard. We're having a primary here next week. I know, big surprise, huh?

By all accounts it's Obama's to lose, at least here, and Hillary has "gone negative". I'm at work and our IT department has cut us off from YouTube (due to bandwidth considerations) so I can't link to the ad but go poke around TPM or Yglesia's site, in fact let me do it for you. Here or here.

If that's a negative ad, I'm a cossack. What THAT is, is an attempt by the Clinton campaign to get some free airtime here in beer, brat n' cheddar paradise. Clinton is shedding campaign staffers faster than a Las Vegas stripper. She's writing herself 5 million dollar loans. People. Candidates do these things when they're in trouble.

Her best bet is to win Texas and Ohio. But, particularly according to Obama's folks, she'd have to CRUSH him in those states, given the Dem proportional allocation plan. Like 60-40 splits. There's a candidate who's gotten those splits, but it wasn't her. Even in California the margin was more like 55-45 and that was her best showing to date.

So, now what? She's got one hope: keep it close enough in pledged delegates that she can pick enough superdelegates up to take the nomination. Ideally without having to start a floor fight about seating Michigan and Florida...though she might try that if she's close in the pledged delegates and thinks enough supers would back her. Ideally, she is losing badly enough after Texas, Pennsylvania and Ohio that the "party elders" like Reid, Pelosi and Dean sit her down and explain that she needs to back down for the good of the party and not push for the supers to bail her out. Maybe a Senate Majority Leader nod from Reid when the time comes will put her over the edge into accepting defeat.

That doesn't look like it's going to happen, though these things have been known to change. Next best is for Obama to have enough of a lead that the supers would feel uncomfortable just ignoring it. I don't know what that number is. 100 or less is probably not enough. 300 or more would be more than enough. So I'll say 200.

Obama goes into Denver with a 200 pledged delegate lead, Hillary counts noses among the supers, comes up short and takes herself out, maybe with as little as a primetime speech but she might angle for the aforementioned Majority Leader position (and wouldn't THAT frost the Repubs ass...female Speaker, female Majority Leader, Black President and---let's assume he picks Richardson as a veep---a Hispanic THAT "Heritage Not Hate" Southern-cracker Repubs). That's second best.

Third best is Hillary goes into Denver with enough pledged delegates that the supers aren't obviously ignoring the electorate. Hillary gets the nod and heads into the general with maybe Obama as veep, or maybe not, maybe Obama turns on Illinois as a governor to position himself in 4 to 8 years.

Hillary as the nominee is third best because she energizes McCain's base and frees him to run to the middle, as opposed to catering to the flat-earth, all torture all the time-types on the lunatic fringe, which is what he'd have to do contra-Obama. Yes, I know Obama is ACTUALLY more reliably liberal than Hillary, except for Krugman's weird one-issue Universal Healthcare obsession. For the record, universal health care is important. Just not MORE IMPORTANT than our overseas image, our economic health and our environmental balance COMBINED. (Yes, Krugman's attacks are more widespread, but it started because Obama wasn't doing what Krugman wanted done on healthcare). But he isn't SEEN that way. In this, he IS Reaganesque. He can be on a wing and not SEEM to be on the wing.

Worst is if Hillary JUST ekes out enough delegates to seat Michigan and Florida through the argument that those two states are too important in the general election to dis at the convention. Which by the way, is utter bullshit. Michigan's econo-woes are too awful to go Repub and between the Crackers and Batistasitas...I mean Cuban-Americans...I think Florida goes R no matter what. So who gives a flying monkey whether they're seated...makes no difference in the end. Except. Except. *I* have given serious thought to sitting out the election if Hillary pulls that stunt. How many independants, blacks and young voters go to McCain or sit it out if Hillary pulls that stunt?

And that's always been the nasty smelly underside of Hillary's main strength. She'll do anything, and I mean ANYTHING to win the contest she's in AT THE MOMENT. Let the future take care of itself. If she does that, and then tanks in the general in a year when we should win in a walk, that's it. I'll vote in Republican primaries for the least bad option and sit out the generals. Because if we snatch defeat from the jaws of victory in this of all years, then the Democratic party needs to cease to exist, and be replaced with something worthwhile.

I don't think that happens though. I think option 2 is much more likely. I think Obama heads to Denver with enough of a lead that the Clinton's count noses and realize they've come up short. But there's always SOMEthing in the jungle waiting to chew your face off. So watch and wait.


Anonymous said...

I think option 2 is probably the most likely as well--but I also wouldn't put it past the Clintons to press further and to act in profoundly divisive ways. They are already discounting Obama's victories, decrying his base, etc... In any event, I don't think that November will be the cake walk that we've (that is to say sane people who want the world to be a better, less extremist place) been hoping for.

Julie Artz said...

Good job Wisconsin! I'm glad that the brat-eating antics of our former first-lady weren't enough to sway you guys from voting for Obama.

Matt & I are cautiously optimistic, hoping for Option 2 (we'd love Option 1, but it's almost too much to hope for!).

The only thing I'd add to Richardson as Veep is Gore as head of the EPA...My own personal political wet dream...

;) J