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Liveblogging OH/RI/TX/VT

I am live-blogging the primaries over at my election blog. My prediction: the Hildebeast will not die. This is good for John McCain as the chances of more dirt getting dug up and thrown at the two Democrats is getting ever greater.

Also, the obvious ticket of a year ago: Clinton/Obama or even Obama/Clinton, looks somewhat hard to pull off now.

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16 comments to Liveblogging OH/RI/TX/VT

  • William H. Stoddard

    Rhode Island too close to call? That’s at least a small surprise, isn’t it, compared to what the polls were saying?

  • Not really. With polls still open until 2am, there’s no way anyone can honestly call a result. However, it’s true thatg Clinton was forecast to win in Rhode Island by at least 5% (RealClearPolitics average of nearly 10%)

  • a.sommer

    My prediction: the Hildebeast will not die.

    At this point, the only ones who want Hillary to go down are the Obama fans. Republicans would rather face someone with almost two decades of political baggage and a graveyard in their* closet than a relative newcomer with almost no track record, minimal baggage, and a super-sized serving of charisma.

    *yes, their. If Hillary gets the nomination, Bill will be an Issue. Possibly _The_ Issue.

  • michael farris

    “This is good for John McCain as the chances of more dirt getting dug up and thrown at the two Democrats is getting ever greater.”

    Uh …. with Clinton what mud could they mind that hasn’t shown up in the last 15 years?

    What are they going to do, accuse her of murder? (too late they’ve already done that).

    Clinton has the advantage that people who go on and on about how evil she is seem a little crazy and conspiracy-theory to the rest of the population. Yes, she has strong negatives but they’ll never get any worse.

    The big potential problem with a Clinton nomination is getting Obama on side. A big chunk of the young “yes we can” crowd will drop out regardless (assuming their attention could be held till November anyway), but a lot of the more reasonable Obama supporters would still vote for Clinton in November.

    The big potential problem with an Obama nomination is that he’s never really faced a hostile press or negative campaign before. And there’s growing evidence (to me) that he won’t handle it well. He’s gotten so far on charm that I think his back up strategies have atrophied.

    The big potential problem with McCain is that he’s real old and tied to the party of an unpopular, essentially incompetent president and doesn’t inspire much of anybody _besides_ swing voters. He’s not fire and brimstone enough for the base and he’s too republican for most democrats.

  • Jacob

    To tell the truth – I’m afraid of an Obama presidency. He’s a leftist extremist and an unknown quantity. With Hillary I’m less afraid, supposing we get more or less a repeat of Bill’s presidency.

    As to whom it would be easier to beat in November – I think it’s Obama, still I prefer to have Hillary as the Dem candidate, which is probably what will happen.

  • a.sommer

    Yes, she has strong negatives but they’ll never get any worse.

    Wanna bet?

    Every Republican who has been planning to run in 2008 started doing opposition research on Clinton as soon as they decided to run. That it hasn’t come out by now is because they’re saving it until after she’s the Democratic nominee.

  • Robert

    Got out of work this morning, did my patriotic duty and voted for Ron Paul, got breakfast, went to bed.

    Oh, in case anyone is wondering, Ron Paul won his congressional primary challenge in a landslide. Democrats aren’t fielding a candidate, so he’s in for two more years.

  • michael farris

    “Every Republican who has been planning to run in 2008 started doing opposition research on Clinton as soon as they decided to run. That it hasn’t come out by now is because they’re saving it until after she’s the Democratic nominee.”

    The problem is overkill. The US public has heard so much anti-Clintonian rightwing rhetoric that most people just don’t pay much attention to it anymore. The republicans are the party that cried “Hillary!” a few times too often. No one who’s not already convinced is liable to bite.

  • Michael is right.

    Jacob: Hillary is going to be much worse than Bill domestically, but maybe better on some foreign issues, like the “WOT”.

  • Nick M

    I reckon Obama can beat McCain.

    I don’t think Hilary can.

    Who is Obama? Who is McCain?

    Nobody really knows or cares too much but Hilary is known and hated. I can’t stick her and I’m English.

    Perhaps McCain wouldn’t be too bad. He flew a Skyhawk over ‘nam and that has to count for something. I am not holding a torch for him but… Well, maybe he would be a disaster but I just have a weakness for pilots and Heineman’s Hot-Rod was a piece of work.

    What is the major issue here? I see nuclear proliferation as the biggy. The Norks are a bust flush but Iran is still there and somebody had best have a plan for when Pakistan implodes and becomes a hard-line Islamic state. Would it be beyond comprehension for a joint Pak/US/UK military operation to secure the nukes in Pakistan and fly the fissile material out of the country? I only ask because if not then it is only a matter of time before Pakistan falls to the Islamists and a barge full of U-235 blows up in London. Imagine that and I’m not talking dirty bomb, I’m talking the real thing. Imagine parliament and the National Gallery destroyed. Imagine the Rokeby Venus burnt to a cinder. Imagine 200,000 dead.

    If that happened then what… Would the UK nuke Mecca? Well, would we? Have we informally told them that? Would that stop them? MAD only really works with rational players. The Sovs, for all their faults, were rational players of the game but one has to wonder about the Islamicists.

    This is what keeps me awake at night. What keeps me awake in the wee small hours is that even if this profound act of war was carried out the usual suspects would be saying we hope this doesn’t result in more islamophobia and that it was a Zionist plot anyway.

    Well, that’s the big question. Isn’t it? Who do you want in the White House when London gets nuked. It will happen if we carry on as we are. We are not really winning any Islamic friends and neither are we winning the war.

    If they take out London, would we have the balls to take out Mecca? If we did what would happen? Can Allah allow such a thing?

  • William H. Stoddard

    One of the ironies of this is that part of Clinton’s last minute push was exploiting an Obama staffer who was reassuring the Canadians about Obama’s position on NAFTA. Of course the business press has been saying for a while that Obama wouldn’t simply be tearing up NAFTA, despite his protectionist rhetoric; that he had to talk protectionism to get labor union votes. But having this apparently confirmed—and Obama’s explanations haven’t sounded like refutations; they’ve sounded like damage control—seems to have damaged his allure to the unionized workers in Ohio. I’m not sure he could have won Ohio anyway, but it would be ironic if he lost it by being seen as too pro-free trade!

  • Alice

    All the talk about “Hilary Victories” — just like the talk about “Obama Victories” — misses the point that Democrat primary voters are split almost 50/50. And it is a nasty split — the angry old feminists versus the rest, with an underlying element of good old-fashioned Democrat racism.

    The significance is that Democrat presidential candidates have been able to rely on extraordinary loyalty from their voters over the last quarter of a century. If their voters remain nastily split, and some simply do not go to the polls in November (as Republicans have been known to do), then the Democrat nomination may not mean much. And even a Democrat presidential win would probably have no coat-tails, leaving the unfortunate new president unable to get anything through Congress.

    A paralyzed political situation? Hey! I am feeling better already.

  • Paul Marks

    A Democrat President would not need coat-tails Alice – the Democrats already control the House and Senate.

    “But the Republicans have enough votes in the Senate to…”

    Do not count on it – many Republicans would cave (especially as the media would denounce them for holding up the agenda of the new President).

    Jacob.

    Hillary Clinton would (I guess) be as collectivist as Senator Obama – Bill Clinton looks half dead these days (he would not hold Hillary back).

    W.S.

    The Ohio vote was interesting – 11 points is too big to be just the NAFTA talk (which was not from Senator Obama anyway – the “he is only kidding” or whatever was from a staffer trying to keep the Canadians sweet). Senator Obama has been over rated by the polls again and again.

    Of course, on Ohio, the joke is that even if the rest of the world vanished the factories of Ohio would continue to close – there are much better places in the United States to have factories than in unionzed, high tax Ohio (although California is not one of these places).

    Although “your troubles are your own fault” might not go down well with the voters there.

  • Paul Marks

    As for John McCain:

    He made free trade speeches in Ohio.

    Just as he made anti ethenol subsidy speeches in Iowa and anti government “insurance” speeches in Florida.

    He can be an irritating son-of-a-bitch, but he does not give ground. He decided what he thinks is right and then sticks to it.

    He should carry on with what he sent in his victory speech – lower taxes (especially on business – in order to make manufacturing in the United States a better option), deregulation to reduce the cost of health care, and free trade.

    Trying to tie him to Bush or to the Republican leadership in House and Senate before the loss in 2006 will not work.

    Even the voters know that McCain and Bush have been rivals for years – and that McCain was hated by the Republican leadership in Congress.

  • Jacob

    He flew a Skyhawk over ‘nam and that has to count for something.

    What counts also is that he has an almost solid small-government voting record in his 20 years in the Senate.

    Paul

    Hillary Clinton would (I guess) be as collectivist as Senator Obama – Bill Clinton looks half dead these days (he would not hold Hillary back).

    Sure, Hillary is left of Bill, but Bill has healthy political instincts, and doesn’t take leftism too seriously. I suppose Hillary appreciates at least his political skills, as it was he who brought her where she is. He’ll be a moderating influence. But let’s hope we won’t need him…

  • Brian Capaloff

    To tell the truth – I’m afraid of an Obama presidency. He’s a leftist extremist

    Having been pointed in the direction of this blog by today’s Observer I thought I’d take a trip through it, especially bearing in mind my recollection that a former political rival from Kingston Poly was a contributer. I looked forward to reading amusing, albeit extreme and disagreeable debate, but if this quote is representative of some of the debate here ….. please! Leftist extremist!!!! Someone harking back to student days when anyone left of centre was a trot as far as the FCS was concerned and Tories were fascists! As ever, Kucinich was the most left wing Democrat candidate but even he I would hardly describe as a “leftist extremist”!