Thursday, February 28, 2008

Quotes From Around Yon Blogosphere

Liberal smarties and sophisticates are having fun mocking John McCain , but assuming he gets the nomination, he will a formidable candidate. He may look like a grumpy old man -- specifically, as my friend Kathleen Geier joked, the grumpy old man who yells at kids to get off his lawn -- or the nutty old uncle who rags on everyone at Thanksgiving before passing out in front of the football game. But that's another way of saying McCain is a familiar, indeed family, character. It does not require an imaginative stretch to get John McCain. How many voters know someone like Barack Obama?


For weeks, the Barack Obama campaign has warned that Hillary Clinton would try to use her ties to the Democratic establishment to muscle 'super delegates' into backing her presidential bid, overriding a popular vote majority and Obama's plurality of pledged delegates elected in primaries and caucuses.

Now, however, as Obama has gained steadily in the polls, the Clinton campaign has reversed field. Top Clinton aides are pleading with uncommitted super delegates to hold off making any commitments, fearful that any commitments they make would be to back Obama, not Clinton.


If the Paul movement can persevere and cohere—neither of which is certain—it can go beyond a cult of personality and be a beginning rather than an ending. The challenge that awaits the thousands of activists who have been inspired by Dr. Paul isn't to run and register under a new third party as the number of dedicated constitutionalists in Congress is reduced to zero. It is expanding the ranks of Ron Paul Republicans—and small-government supporters of all stripes—in a hostile political climate. That takes more than one man. It requires a real movement.


Hillary Clinton can’t turn on her own charm and wit because she can't get beyond what she sees as the deep injustice of Barack Obama not waiting his turn.


In the first Democratic primary debate ten months ago, Hillary Clinton didn't have to charge that Barack Obama wasn't ready to be president on day one. He did the work for her. He was halting, mumbling and tentative. The only confidence he instilled was in Clinton. Nineteen debates later, he's improved so much that if he's not ready to be president on day one, you could imagine he might get there after a little study. At what may be the last debate of the Democratic primary, Obama was commanding, at ease and magnanimous. Clinton needed him to stumble and he didn't. He won the night.

How a candidate performs in a debate only tells us a little about how they would perform as president, but that's not the way Clinton aides told us we should view these debates. During the tough February slog, while Clinton was losing electoral contests to Obama, her aides promised that in one-on-one sessions, voters would see how she towered over her puny rival. It didn't happen. Clinton didn't have a bad evening in Cleveland Tuesday night; it's just that she didn't scratch Obama and the moderators didn't much either.


After about two weeks of confusing reports about whether he was really switching his endorsement from Hillary Clinton to Barack Obama, Congressman John Lewis (D-GA) has made it official.

"Something's happening in America, something some of us did not see coming," Lewis told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "Barack Obama has tapped into something that is extraordinary."

Lewis' defection to Obama is definitely a hit to Hillary Clinton's strategy of using a super-delegate advantage to secure the nomination, as the civil rights leader's switch could end up being a big green light for other Hillary supporters to follow him.


Speaking on "Squawk Box" this morning, [billionaire Sam] Zell attributed much of the current economic troubles to fear-mongering and politicking by Democratic presidential contenders Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama.

"Obviously what we have going on is an attempt to create a self-fulfilling prophecy," said Zell, chairman of Equity Investments Group and owner of the Chicago Cubs, Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times and other companies. "We have two Democratic candidates who are vying with each other to describe the economic situation worse.

"The reality is that if you live on Wall Street and you're in the credit markets the world couldn't be worse. If you're a farmer and you're getting $25 for your wheat, you're having a great time. If you're a CEO and you've got a balance sheet that's bullet-proof, you're in a great position. This whole thing is way out of control, way out of hand."


I have a new rule, which I consider in the nature of an absolute: In presidential election years, it is never too early for a drink.

Cartoon by Tony Auth/The Philadelphia Inquirer

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