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30 January 2008

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lina

Hillary Clinton's Potemkin victory party in Florida brings the concept of shameless to a new level.

"Like many I wish the Democratic Party could have found a way to let the votes of the people of Michigan and Florida be counted. Unfortunately the rules were the rules, all the candidates agreed to them, and - for the most part - have stuck by them.

So what exactly is Hillary doing by going to Florida to declare victory, pushing her way into whatever is the big Republican story tonight? Somehow given the events of the last few weeks this move just feels wrongly timed. Too many questions are being raised about the Clinton's integrity, their willingness to do whatever it takes to win, even sacrificing long held values and beliefs in the process.

Having worked on the New Hampshire primary and in the War Room in 1992 for the Clintons, I was present at the creation of the famous "rapid response" campaign style and fierce fighting spirit of the Clinton era. In the very first meeting of the War Room James Carville warned us "that if you don't like to eat sh-- everyday you shouldn't be in politics." So I understand as well as anyone that this is a tough game, not for the faint of heart.

But there is a line in politics where tough and determined becomes craven and narcissistic, where advocacy becomes spin, and where integrity and principle are lost. I am concerned that this Florida gambit by the Clinton campaign is once again putting two of my political heroes too close - or perhaps over - that line. So that even if they win this incredible battle with Barack Obama they will end up doing so in a way that will make it hard for them to bring the Party back together, and to lead the nation to a new and better day."

[Hillary and Florida
by Simon Rosenberg on Tue, 01/29/2008 - 6:58am. 2008]

We're that much closer to a President McCain.

lina

"Exit polls in Florida showed voters who made up their minds within the past month favored Obama, while those who decided more than a month ago favored Clinton."

[LESLEY CLARK - McClatchy Newspapers - Jan. 29, 2008]

Connie

My 83 year old Mother who is a staunch Republican told me that McCain is too old last night. If people are happy being in Iraq indefinitely, they should vote for McCain.

JohnS

Simon Rosenberg is outraged because Ms Clinton acknowledged the huge primary vote turnout by Democrats in Florida (despite the circumstances) and had the audacity to declare victory when she whomped Obama? I guess Rosenberg thinks it would have been smarter for her to pretend Florida never happened and go on to Super Tuesday on the heels of the whomping she got at the hands of Obama in SC . And who says Democratic consultants aren't brilliant!

Jim Schmidt

The Florida Democrats had nothing to do with the primary date. The Florida Legislature, controlled by Republicans, determined the time to attract early attention and revenue from the campaigns. The National Democratic party enforced their previous agreements and the Florida democratic party was, through no fault of their own, held to accounts. This represents less a confusion then a political contest between states seeking early recognition and the perogative of a national political party to determine how their nominees are selected.

see:

"Seeking an Edge, Florida Changes Its Primary Date"
New York Times, May 4, 2007 by ABBY GOODNOUGH

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/04/us/politics/04florida.html

As to the effects, I think the Florida vote reflects national polls that are consistently showing that Hillary has a head start on the nomination and, as we end the retail phase of the campaign, a distinct advantage in name recognition (the Billary effect), organization and marketing. For two opinions of the Florida effect see:

"Did Hillary Clinton really win in Florida?"
Salon, 1/30/2008 By Walter Shapiro

http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2008/01/30/hillary/

and

"Will Florida victory matter for Clinton?"
Miami Herald, 1/29/2008 by Leslie Clark

http://www.miamiherald.com/campaign08/story/398700.html

Super Tuesday favors the Clinton nomination. The RCP average shows Clinton leads Obama nationally by an average of 9.7%.

see:

"Democratic Presidential Election"
RealClearPolitics.com

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2008/president/us/democratic_presidential_nomination-191.html

In general, the polls show steady support for Hillary and increasing support for Obama. These polls do not show the Edward's withdrawal effect and the Teddy effect, but my guess is that the Edward's demographic will favor Hillary if his supporters continue to vote. Obama's upward trend may reflect an increase of newer voters and independents.

Obama as VP. Never say never, but this appears unlikely unless something interesting happens in the convention. I suspect she will not feel any need to compromise with her rival and her rival appears to hold grudges, so don't expect much movement there either.

Tom S

Will Rodgers is credited with the quote about the Democrats. Mr. Dooley spoke in dialect.

lina

Sen. Obama, speaking 1/30/08 in Denver:

"It’s time for new leadership that understands that the way to win a debate with John McCain is not by nominating someone who agreed with him on voting for the war in Iraq; who agreed with him by voting to give George Bush the benefit of the doubt on Iran; who agrees with him in embracing the Bush-Cheney policy of not talking to leaders we don’t like; and who actually differed with him by arguing for exceptions for torture before changing positions when the politics of the moment changed.

We need to offer the American people a clear contrast on national security, and when I am the nominee of the Democratic Party, that’s exactly what I will do. Talking tough and tallying up your years in Washington is no substitute for judgment, and courage, and clear plans. It’s not enough to say you’ll be ready from Day One – you have to be right from Day One."

And from the Gallup organization:

PRINCETON, NJ -- Barack Obama has now cut the gap with Hillary Clinton to 6 percentage points among Democrats nationally in the Gallup Poll Daily tracking three-day average, and interviewing conducted Tuesday night shows the gap between the two candidates is within a few points. Obama's position has been strengthening on a day-by-day basis. As recently as Jan. 18-20, Clinton led Obama by 20 points. Today's Gallup Poll Daily tracking is based on interviews conducted Jan. 27-29, all after Obama's overwhelming victory in South Carolina on Saturday.

Mark K Logan

"Perhaps there is someone else out there."

I'm thinking Newt. As you mentioned, Thompson is uninspiring. Huckabee
doesn't believe in evolution. Nobody else springs to mind right off.

Mo

C'mon. How can you give credence to the size of the win when the choice was between a known candidate, who therefore did not need to campaign so much, versus an unknown one who seems to be able to change a lot of peoples minds when he can campaign. Im not saying she wouldn't have won but you can give any credence to the margin, surely?

jon

I think the story for the Democrats in Florida is the aggregate size of the turnout, for an election that has no numerical effect on the convention to come.

It's obvious that Clinton had her supporters out shaking the trees, even though no Democratic candidates were supposed to campaign there. As a victory, it's pretty hollow.

I'm disappointed that there was no official primary for the Democrats. But blame for this can be placed squarely on the Democratic Party and politicians of Florida. They are the ones who set their primary earlier than the date the national party had stipulated as the earliest time, and they did this after the national dates were set. I have to think that Florida's politicians were aware of the potential implications of their actions. The same applies for Michigan.

The results of the primary are interesting. But because it wasn't fully contested, any meaning sought in the results are highly questionable.

I suppose that Florida Democrats could still schedule another primary before the convention - even though that may not be permitted by the Secretary of State.

Floridians can still participate in the nominating process by giving to candidates, working for the primary elections in other states in various ways, and participating in the convention. Ultimately, it's the vote in the general election that truly matters.

But the overriding issue of the validity of state primaries is for the authority of the national party and the equal application of their internal governance standards. It's not as if Florida was voiceless when the discussion of primary dates was being decided. It's a democracy, and sometimes your point of view loses. Having been unable to sway the majority, the minority has the obligation to abide by the majority decision. You don't have to like it, but you are expected to abide by the decisions made. Decisions have their consequences, and Florida's 210 convention delegates should not be permitted to vote at the convention.

PR

Have a good trip.

Nancy Kimberlin

My 84 year old mother once told me she was a yellow dog Democrat, saying she would vote for a yellow dog if it ran as a Democrat. I have to say I agree with her, I will vote for any Democrat that runs. Anyone but McCain who is too old and thinks singing bomb bomb bomb bomb Iran is cleaver. Anyone but Romney, who thinks his personal fortune can buy him the presidency.

sbj

John McCain/Lindsey Graham.

To me that seems the most likely GOP ticket.

jamzo

let's watch the money

i think the most interesting thing about the primary elections is mc cain and money

his campaign was broke and he took a line of credit at the end of 2007 his situatio9n was 3 million on hand and $4.5 million in debts

his campaign claims it raised more than $7 million since the beginning of the year

let's watch how much money will he attracts now

charlottemom

I believe the FL democratic party gamed this delegate issue with Hillary's knowledge.

These delegates should be represented in some fashion at the convention and not be held hostage to the machinations of party politics. THe FL democratic straw poll was intended as a stop to any Obama surge after SC and a way for the establishment candidate (clinton) to garner a technical advantage going into the convention. The problem is Obama is catching up to fast and too much.
As far as Clinton picking up the most votes, I think these democrats with vote D regardless. This should be extremely troubling to the Republicans more than Obama. I'm a registered Republican and will vote Paul in the Repub primary (as a protest vote) and then leave this Whig-like party to vote for the new albeit uncertain candidate -- Obama.

William R. Cumming

Anytime Americans can vote on something or someone that is a good sign. Florida counts just not in the smoke filled rooms. This is going to be interesting. Personally, I don't believe any of the top four candidates can go much over 40% of the total vote. There may be a Bloomberg semi bi-partisan effort yet. Question is could he beat Ross Perot's historic third-party high water mark? He could certainly swing the result in significant ways. Perot gave us Clinton and Nader gave us Bush, so what will Bloomberg provide. This game is a long way from being over. It looks like the VP candidate job is going to be more important than ever? By the way could Bill Clinton legally be the VP candidate?

arbogast

In a million years, it will not be Obama on the Clinton ticket.

Who needs Illinois?

And they don't like each other.

No, James Webb is out there, and I would say both of them should think long and hard about him.

W. Patrick Lang

Lesly

This is politics not bean bag. Everyone in the country knows that she beat all those people in Florida.

I caution you not to insult me on my blog. Insult me somewhere else. pl

Andy

I don't much like Clinton, but I can't say I blame her for her actions regarding the Michigan and Florida primaries. I lay the blame squarely at the feet of the National Democratic Party which I think unjustly gave the people of those State's a sort of collective punishment for not following the party line.

If the delegate counts are close enough at the convention that including Florida or Michigan will determine the winner, then we're gonna see bad, bad things, ISTM.

And Lesly, assuming the Democrats will win easily is a sure way to ensure they lose, especially if McCain is the candidate.

Mark Gaughan

Obama - Webb

DaveGood

This is off topic.....

I am reading reports that starting on Friday undersea internet cables to the middle east have been severed.

Four reported so far.

Israel, the Lebanon and Jordan are still connected, Saudi Arabia says they have managed to repair their connection.

Limited services are reported to be back up in some other states, such as Quatar.

What the hell is going on?

Considering these cable are laid in trenches cut into the ocean bed then covered over, only entities with deep sea submersibles can do this.

Are these reports correct?

And if so, who is trying to isolate large volatile chunks of this planet from anyone without satellite comms, and why?

DaveGood

Daja Jone

Dave Good:
"Ships did not cut internet cables: Egypt

Global Research, February 3, 2008
ABC

Email this article to a friend Print this article

Ships are not responsible for damaging undersea internet cables in the Mediterranean, Egypt's Government says.

Two cables were damaged earlier this week in the Mediterranean sea and another off the coast of Dubai, causing widespread disruption to internet and international telephone services in Egypt, Gulf Arab states and South Asia.

A fourth cable linking Qatar to the United Arab Emirates was damaged on Sunday causing yet more disruptions, telecommunication provider Qtel said.

Egypt's transport ministry said footage recorded by onshore video cameras of the location of the cables showed no maritime traffic in the area when the cables were damaged.

"The ministry's maritime transport committee reviewed footage covering the period of 12 hours before and 12 hours after the cables were cut and no ships sailed the area," a statement said.

"The area is also marked on maps as a no-go zone and it is therefore ruled out that the damage to the cables was caused by ships."

Earlier reports said that the damage had been caused by ships that had been diverted off their usual route because of bad weather.

A repair ship is expected to begin work to fix the two Mediterranean cables on Tuesday."
There has been a lot of speculation on the net on exactly what cut the cables, including the theory that they were cut by submarines (I wont speculate as to whos subs). This only confirms that, plus that 3-4 cables were cut almost simultaneously.
The only remaining question is why?
Dana J

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