Monday, February 25, 2008

Quotes From Around Yon Blogosphere

I still maintain that the Clintons (if she can squeak by in the next two primaries) will use every means to find a way to challenge, seat, or sway delegates to win the nomination, regardless of the aggregate popular vote or ongoing delegate count. While that may not work, I still think she will try if she wins Texas; and if she wins the last three states, it will work.

McCain's a hero. I don't know many people who mistake him for a saint.

You have the right to remain silent about your opponent. Anything you say can and will be held against one of you in the court of public opinion. You have the right to hire consultants who proffer bad strategies. If you cannot afford to take that advice, ignore it. The voters will provide you with their concerns free of charge.

SurveyUSA did an interesting experiment, running Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama against John McCain in Alabama and California. The answers? Shockingly obvious: McCain crushes both (Hillary by 20%, Barack by 24%) Democrats in Alabama, while both crush him in California. To add another layer of symmetry, Clinton does 4 points better in losing in Alabama. And Obama does 4 points better in winning California.


Wow. Obama talks about being fired-up, but Hillary walks the walk! Who said women aren't allowed to get angry in public? Once again, feminist trailblazer Hillary Rodham Clinton breaks the rules! Go Hillary!!


John Roberts, Samuel Alito and US fatalities in Iraq head the list of what might have been avoided if America's crusader had stayed off the ballot in 2000 and not provided George W. Bush with the margins he needed to win the White House.

Now here he is again, on Meet the Press, puffing away at the importance of third-party candidates in pushing Democrats and Republicans toward ideological purity, pooh-poohing the complaint that he gave us a President who has tilted the Supreme Court away from what Nader's admirers believe and into a war that he and they deplore.

In declaring his candidacy yet again, Nader, who will be 74 this week, is in a dead heat with Ann Coulter for becoming this year's foremost example of Reverse Attention Deficit Disorder, the compulsive need to preen for TV cameras at any cost.


The Clinton campaign has paid Mark Penn $3.8 million, given his polling firm another $8 million, and they still have $2 million in unpaid debts to various Mark Penn fronts, including the consultancy run by his wife. That's extraordinary. I would've given her tone deaf messaging advice better suited to the political atmosphere of the early 90s for a mere $1.5 million.

Did these military geniuses really think Obama was suggesting this guys platoon was cut in half, with first and second squad sent to Afghanistan, and third and fourth sent to Iraq? Because if that is the case, these folks have clearly OD'd on Cheeto dust and are dumber than I even thought they were.


Barack Obama has raised hopes for a Democratic victory in November by winning primarily in states that normally vote Republican. He argues that this shows he can redraw the Electoral College map in the general election and force Republicans onto the defensive in normally safe areas of the country. However, Hillary Clinton has an argument by reflexion that she can safeguard the Democratic strongholds better -- and that Obama's red-state strength could be overrated.

. . . It's possible. Hillary could claim that she could hold the blue states more effectively, but with her out of the picture, nothing indicates that Obama wouldn't do well.


[Obama' is] riding a wave of euphoria. She needs to puncture it. The way you puncture euphoria is reality, or to be more blunt, fear. I recommend to Senator Clinton the politics of fear.


The incessant populism on display in the Democratic campaign is starting to get annoying. In particular, Michelle Obama’s latest statement cuts too close too home:

"We don't need a world full of corporate attorneys and hedge-fund managers," she told a crowd in a Baptist church in Cheraw, S.C., last month. "But see, that’s the only way you can pay back your educational debt!"

Personally, I think corporate attorneys make the world a better place (really), which is why I’ve devoted the last 20 years to teaching them.

I’m especially annoyed by that crack because Ms Obama herself used to be a corporate lawyer.


Obama's cut-and-paste job does respond to the complaint that he is without substance. But it’s hard to mix poetry and prose and come up with an appealing product.

After the Super Tuesday primaries in the U.S., there was a lot of discussion that various big-name endorsements seem to have not made much difference. Most notably, despite being endorsed by Governor Patrick and Senators Kennedy and Kerry, Barack Obama got beaten heavily in Massachusetts. But what struck me at the time, and what seems to have been confirmed by subsequent contests, is that (at least in Democratic primaries) mayoral endorsements seem to make an enormous difference in the campaign. Not only does the candidate with the most endorsements seem to routinely win, they seem to outperform their poll numbers.

Michael Crowley says an alleged lack of patriotism will be the main line of argument against Barack Obama. I agree. I would only add that I've heard the term "post-American" tossed around a lot. On the low road, Obama's black and foreign. On the middle road, he's unpatriotic. And on the high-road he's one of those post-American tranzies. Which is, of course, a fancy way of saying he's black and foreign. And thus the loop is closed.


The president who came to office with the most glittering array of experiences had served 10 years in the House of Representatives, then became minister to Russia, then served 10 years in the Senate, then four years as secretary of state (during a war that enlarged the nation by 33 percent), then was minister to Britain. Then, in 1856, James Buchanan was elected president and in just one term secured a strong claim to being ranked as America’s worst president. Abraham Lincoln, the inexperienced former one-term congressman, had an easy act to follow.


Cartoon by Tony Auth/The Philadelphia Inquirer

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