Friday, May 9, 2008

Branding Obama

Check out the GOP's latest attempt at branding Obama.

It's a weird, and seemingly un-Republican ad. By un-Republican I mean that it is surprisingly about issues. I assumed they would focus on making Obama seem like an elitist. Or that they would hammer the fact that he's only been in the Senate for three-plus years. I'll be interested to hear what others think of the ad and how long the Republicans stick with the messaging. It doesn't seem like saying Obama needs to be asked questions is an effective way of bringing him down.

Negative McCain

One day after his wife laughably announced that he would not participate in negative campaigning, John McCain has repeated his claim that Hamas. In a speech he gave today, McCain said,

“It's very obvious to everyone that Senator Obama shares nothing of the values or goals of Hamas, which is a terrorist organization,” McCain said. “But it's also fact that a spokesperson from Hamas said that he approves of Obama's candidacy. I think that's of interest to the American people.”

That's of interest to the American people? The comment came a day after Cindy McCain said, "My husband is absolutely opposed to any negative campaigning at all." As I mentioned earlier, McCain is developing quite a pattern of denouncing negative campaigning one day while campaigning negatively the next.

If you still don't believe me, check out the run down Media Matters has on this issue.

Obama tops Clinton, again

News sources count superdelegates differently, but ABC News is now reporting that with the latest superdelegate defection from Clinton to Obama, the junior senator from Illinois has now passed Clinton in the superdelegate count. As ABC noted in its report, the news gives "him a new metric to tout in addition to his current commanding leads in pledged delegates, popular votes, states won, and money raised."

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Racial politics

So much for hoping Clinton would help unite the party. In an interview with USA Today Clinton "cited an Associated Press article 'that found how Sen. Obama's support among working, hard-working Americans, white Americans, is weakening again, and how whites in both states who had not completed college were supporting me.'" She then said, "There's a pattern emerging here." She used this information to claim she has "a much broader base to build a winning coalition on."

The broad base is white people. So if I understand this correctly, Clinton claims she has a better chance of winning because 60 percent of white people vote for her. She really thinks she is more electable because she wins the white vote?

The "broader base" discounts the 35 percent of the white vote Obama gets, plus the 90 percent of the black vote. Not to mention the huge turnout Obama has received from young people who have traditionally decided to sit at home.

According to USA Today, "Clinton rejected any idea that her emphasis on white voters could be interpreted as racially divisive." Of course she did.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Clinton's pal says it's time to quit

McGovern, who has supported Clinton in the past, said today that she should peace out.

It's over

Of all people, Pat Buchanan summed up the meaning of last night the best. He said that Clinton will get a lot of pressure to drop out now. There is no math that has her winning anymore. So why stay in the race? Polls show she will win West Virginia easily in one week. They also have her handily beating Obama in Kentucky on May 20. Assuming the math is correct and Obama has it locked up, and the polls are correct and Clinton will clobber him in West Virginia and Kentucky, then her only impact on the race now is to beat up on the Democratic nominee for president. There is nothing left for her to accomplish; nothing left for her to prove. The only left for her to do is to hurt the national party.

Read the right polls

I've heard a lot of talk from pundits in the last 12 hours about the exit polls showing that half of Clinton's supporters would vote for McCain over Obama in the general election. The talking heads say this spells big trouble for the Democrats and proves the party is divided. And while those numbers don't look good, my hunch is that they aren't reflective of the truth. My guess is that when Democrats are given the choice of McCain and Obama, they will flock en masse to Obama.

But what is more telling, I think, are the numbers from the Republican elections yesterday. John McCain, who has been the nominee for months now, won 73 percent of the vote in North Carolina and 77 percent in Indiana. Twelve percent of the voters in North Carolina, the ones who already know who the nominee is, decided to go out to the polls and cast their vote for Mike Huckabee. Similarly, 8 percent in the Tar Heel state voted for Ron Paul.

Now, I would guess that if Clinton dropped out today, she would still get substantial support in the upcoming states. But, and again, this is based mostly on hunches, I think it's noteworthy that about a quarter of Republicans are still voting against their nominee months after the contest has been decided. Certainly it's something that should be noted by the talking heads.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

It's the economists, stupid

The Clintons were for economists before they were against them. OK, it's not fair to pin Bill Clinton's ad in 1992 on Hillary Clinton in 2008, but ...


I have tried to stay out of the whole gas tax issue because it is so clearly a pander by Clinton that I didn't know what more I could say. But this morning I was watching Morning Joe and listening to Clinton-supporter Sen. Bob Menendez (NJ) talk about the plan. He was asked if he could name one economist who thought Clinton's proposal was a good idea. Here's what he said:

It left me speechless. He can't defend the plan. My guess is that off camera, Clinton and her staff are giggling about the trick they are trying to pull on the voters. The only thing more absurd than the gas tax holiday is that it might actually woo voters to her side.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Politics of Preschool

I just got back from the Maryland Film Festival and saw this funny short on opening night.