Thursday, March 13, 2008


What Clinton is doing

It's called "framing."

The point is, Clinton desperately wants us to believe, black people vote for Barack Obama, and white people vote for Hillary Clinton.

That's the entire point of all of this. From Bill Clinton's comments in South Carolina to the Ferraro misery.

Repeat after me: black people vote for Barack Obama. White people vote for Hillary Clinton.

Easy as pie! And it has worked: Time gets it! "Obama Win Defined by Race" The article, naturally, makes no mention of Wyoming.

Way to go, Hillary (and Bill)!

You must be so proud.

Update: Geraldine Ferraro in 2006:
“I think it’s more realistic for a woman than it is for an African-American,” said Ms. Ferraro. “There is a certain amount of racism that exists in the United States — whether it’s conscious or not it’s true.”

But I thought she was shocked SHOCKED that anyone would accuse her of pandering to racists.

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Friday, March 07, 2008


Bill Clinton says: Vote for Obama!

So does 3 a.m. girl...

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PLEASE shut up about the "national popular vote"

(Note: This is cross-posted as a DailyKos diary.)

I've become deeply concerned about folks like Kos, Jonathan Alter, and others who are talking about Obama's lead in the so-called "National popular vote."

This is a FALSE METRIC that has nothing to do with anything. It compares apples and oranges. It severely undercounts Obama's support in key states. And it needs to stop.

There was a diary on this issue yesterday by bbrown8370, and on her/his advice, I'm elaborating on it below the break.
You must enter an Intro for your Diary Entry between 300 and 1150 characters long.

I've become deeply concerned about folks like Kos, Jonathan Alter, and others who are talking about Obama's lead in the so-called "National popular vote." This is a FALSE METRIC that has nothing to do with anything. It compares apples and oranges. It severely undercounts Obama's support in key states. And it needs to stop. There was a diary on this issue yesterday by bbrown8370, and on her/his advice, I'm elaborating on it below the break.

Based on sites such as the "US Election Atlas" and Real Clear Politics, reporters are looking at the raw numbers and saying that Obama has a lead of approximately 600,000 votes, not counting Florida or Michigan. But of course, this conflates many different things: primaries with caucuses, open primaries with closed primaries, states where multiple candidates were in the race vs. states with just two candidates. This is so arbitrary as to be at best laughable and at worst, dangerous. It's a meme that needs to be stopped.

If for no other reason, people should stop using this term because it is yet another example of moving the goalposts to benefit Clinton's campaign. Why? Because the so-called "national popular vote" vastly undercounts Obama's support, specifically from those states with caucuses.

How did Kos come up with this 600,000 "vote" lead by Obama in this "national primary vote"? If you go by the numbers at, among the primary states (not counting Michigan, where Obama garnered 0 votes and where Clinton herself said the vote didn't count), Obama has a thin lead of less than 100,000 votes. Take out Florida, and his lead blossoms to closer to 400,000 votes. Then add in the caucus states, and there's the other 200,000. But of course, by their nature, caucuses involve a far smaller percentage of voters than do primaries.

Let's look at the numbers.

The 11 caucus states (AK, CO, ID, KS, MN, ND, IA, NV, NE, WA, ME) have been won by Obama by an average of 67%-31%, and have netted him a grand total of a 200,000 "vote" advantage according to these aggregate calculators. These 11 states have over 30,000,000 people according to the latest census figures.

Meanwhile, take Ohio (OH). Clinton won 54%-44%, and it has a population of 11.5 million, or about 40% of the 11 caucus states. Yet her victory there netted her 230,000 "votes." So Clinton's win, by a considerably smaller margin among a significantly smaller populace, nets her a 30,000 vote lead!

By my rough estimate, caucus states are underrepresented in these so-called "national primary vote" figures by between 2-1 to 3-1 -- or something in the order of 300,000 votes.

Using this metric, his ACTUAL "national popular vote" lead is nearly 1,000,000 votes! That's something close to a mandate, and impossible to make up in the remaining states (even if you include Florida and Michigan). Just like in the pledged delegate count (you remember that, right? The system we developed to help gauge support for candidates?), Clinton can't make up the difference.

But of course, these figures are themselves inappropriate to use, because the campaigns haven't been working toward anything other than garnering delegates from day one. I can guarantee that Obama's campaign, and Clinton's, would have done things differently if it were a race for this mythical "primary vote."

And this diary doesn't even get to the apples vs. oranges question of open primaries vs. closed primaries (why do you count some states' independents and republicans, but not others) or early states (with Edwards in the race) vs. late states (with just these two).

The point is - I can't repeat this enough - there is no such thing as a "national popular vote"! Using the term is counterproductive and yet one more example of moving the goalposts ... changing the rules mid-game ... Calvinball.

Please, Kos and everyone, stop using this metric. NOW!

Wednesday, March 05, 2008


Where we go from here, Obama fans

(Note: I originally posted this at Facebook, so this is a cross-post.)

As disappointing as last night was to those of us who were hoping that Obama's miraculous ride would continue unmolested for the next 8 years+, let us remember that there's no such thing as a free ride. Obama - and we - will have to earn what we want to see.

For those urging Barack to go negative on Hillary Clinton, I say that he HAS and will CONTINUE to go negative - in attacking her RECORD. That is not only "politics" - it's making sure people have all the information they need to make a rational, informed choice. What he cannot do is get sucked into the dirty tricks, fear mongering, or politics of personal destruction. The NAFTA memo was an attempt at "gotcha" politics that was WEAK, at best. The "I'll take him at his word that he's not a Muslim" was pathetic. That's the best she's got? I'm good with that.

But we do need to start thinking more strategically, Obama fans, and use those tools we have at our disposal to make sure yesterday was the beginning of the end for the Clinton campaign. Here are my recommendations:

1) STAY POSITIVE. Yes, politics is emotional and we're allowed moments of disappointment. But one of the great things about Obama is that he's a rational person, and level-headed, and cool. We need to be that, too. Even if this election goes to the convention, we will win *if* we are more disciplined, more strategic, and more positive. And if we remained disciplined, strategic, and positive, I have little doubt we will win in November.

2) Get more involved. I personally have taken a long time to do much of anything. I was frankly burned out. But today I'm going to commit to being a DONOR and a VOLUNTEER for the Obama campaign. I urge you to do the same.

3) Wyoming Saturday. Mississippi Tuesday. Pennsylvania in April. Indiana and North Carolina May 6. Plus there's West Virginia, Kentucky, Oregon, Montana, South Dakota, and Puerto Rico. Then there are possible re-votes in Florida and Michigan. Obama needs good showings in most of these states - at least six (preferably eight) wins, and close to tied delegates in any loss. DO NOT WRITE PENNSYLVANIA OFF AS A CLINTON WIN YET!!!

What can you do to make this happen? Assuming this goes to Indiana, I pledge to make a trip there to help out in April. Anyone want to come with?

4) Superdelegates. Barack's website has a tool allowing you to tell your story" to a superdelegate". I suggest going one better. Make personal contact with a superdelegate that you have a connection to - whether committed or not. I will be contacting Carol Ronen (my former state senator, currently listed as uncommitted). I will explain to her why I think that Obama is the best candidate for this state, party and nation. I will not make threats or be negative. I will THANK her for taking her responsibility seriously and for supporting this party that I belong to and trust. I will urge her to declare for her home-state Senator, Barack Obama. 2008 Democratic Convention Watch has a list of pledged and unpledged delegates. Time to lobby, friends.

Okay, that's it. I am hoping for the best and preparing to work to help achieve it. I hope you'll join me!


Monday, March 03, 2008


The Final Countdown

I'm for Obama.

On Tuesday, March 4, he's got four primary contests - Texas, Rhode Island, Ohio, and Vermont. I'm hoping he wins all four of them, basically putting to rest questions about whether his nomination is certain or merely almost certain. I find it hard to blame Clinton for wanting to continue, even with a 20% chance (randomly picked number) of winning. After all, she's been working towards this for a decade - why give up when you're so close? I don't even really blame her from being so darn negative. Unlike some Obama supporters, I don't believe Clinton's attacks hurt the party, or the candidate, all that much. I think Obama is remarkably resilient, and assuming he does get the nod, I don't doubt that Clinton's backers will jump on the bandwagon. I also trust Clinton not to try to improperly seat delagates from vanity elections in Florida or Michigan, which would tear the party apart. Oh, I also think the country is ready to united behind a leader with true vision, charisma, and smarts - i.e., a landslide in November.

Since you were wondering, here are my top 10 reasons for supporting the guy in the primary, besides the whole Chicago thing:

10. Obama is solid - and in tune with the rest of the country - on most issues. He can articulate these without being boring or sounding condescending. And, of course, his stance on the war has been correct from the beginning.

9. He's a Democrat through and through, but is not averse to working with political opponents, even those who have previously vilified him - I mean, he doesn't really make enemies over the long-haul, even those who are jealous of him (see Bobby Rush). When he says that Democrats don't have a monopoly on being right - well, frankly , that's flat-out true. And a good sign for someone who's willing to work across the aisle.

8. I met him in a completely unguarded moment and had the "audacity" to introduce myself, when he was in anti-politician mode, and he was cool. (I was a dork.)

7. His campaign *has* been positive. Being positive doesn't mean not attacking other candidates. You can point out your good votes and contrast them with their bad votes. In fact, you must. But you shouldn't stoop to tearing them down as people. Barack hasn't doen that. I feel like Hillary has been on the verge of doing that.

6. On the rare occasion that things haven't gone well for him, he hasn't whined. Ever. As a whiner at heart, I find that refreshing.

5. I think he's mean so much more for down-ticket races than Clinton possibly could. The first Clinton helped make possible the worst of the GOP Congresses. I think a lot of senatorial and gubenatorial candidates, particularly in red states, would *love* to run with Obama - not so much Clinton.

4. Bush/Clinton/Bush was bad enough. I don't want the history books to read /Clinton after that. This ain't Dynasty.

3. He's a rational thinker. We need that right now.

2. He's an excellent campaigner. He has come from behind to be the favorite. If he wins, it will be one of the most significant upsets in modern political history, but right now he's thought of as the "front runner." And whether in the lead or behind, he just doesn't have major hiccups. His organization is tight and well run. He has an excellent ground game. He believes in the 50-state strategy. And he's done little to alienate his fellow Dems, unlike his primary opponent. Like I said before, he's the only possibility of winning in November with anything resembling a true mandate, which is what the Dems could use right now.

1. If not for him, this blog wouldn't have a name.

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