When it comes to arguments over how superdelegates should make up their minds about the Democratic nomination, the Clinton campaign has very little claim to the moral high ground, largely because their arguments have constantly shifted to fit their ever-changing political circumstances. Now I think this pattern is proving to be a major political liability, at least here in Michigan. For weeks and weeks, the Clinton campaign insisted that it wanted to seat the state's delegation based on the results from the tainted January primary. It was an absurd, virtually indefensible argument.
Barack Obama's great speeches have generally taken place in the same sorts of settings. His keynote address at the 2004 Democratic convention, his victory speeches after South Carolina, Wisconsin, and the Potomac primaries--Obama gave all of the addresses before large, boisterous audiences. The speeches had a certain raw power, which Obama drew from the assembled crowds. They were memorable, yes, but as much for how Obama spoke as for what Obama said. Not today. This was a different, more unsettled political moment. And so Obama decided to give a different, more unconventional sort of speech.
When John McCain wants to sound like Teddy Roosevelt, he bashes the corporations that run U.S. health care with a vim and vigor that even a modern- day progressive could admire. He has railed against the tyranny of the HMOs who hold their customers "hostage." In January, during a Republican debate--a Republican debate!--he complained about the "power of the pharmaceutical companies." And, on more than one occasion, he has backed this rhetoric with action.
As Isaac notes below, Geraldine Ferraro was on national television the morning, defending her controversial comments about Barack Obama and race. Given that Hillary Clinton has officially disavowed Ferraro's statements, not once but twice, you may be wondering why Ferraro is still speaking for the campaign. It turns out that, officially, she isn't--at least according to Clinton campaign spokesman Phil Singer, who told me that Ferraro is speaking "on her own." Still, the Clinton campaign has not asked Ferraro to sever her affiliation with the campaign. (Ferraro is a member of the campaign's fi
As I write this, MSNBC is peeking in live at a Barack Obama rally in Mississippi. They're apparently hoping he'll speak to this "dream ticket" question--i.e., what he thinks about Hillary Clinton's suggestion that they run together, presumably with Obama as the vice presidential candidate. It's the topic that the talking heads on MSNBC--like the talking heads everywhere else--have been discussing for the last hour or so. So far, Obama isn't obliging.
Via the Detroit Free Press, Michigan Democrats are still trying to figure out how they'd finance a new vote, which they figure would cost around $10 million. But if they do find the money, here's how it would probably work, according to state party chairman Mark Brewer: Brewer said if there were a do-over, it most likely would be a party-run primary, but one in which he'd have to plan for a huge turnout.
The Clinton campaign is in high dudgeon, calling for Samantha Power to resign her post as an advisor to Barack Obama. For those who haven't read or heard about this saga yet, it seems Power gave an interview with the Scotsman, a Scottish newspaper, in which she referred to Hillary Clinton as a "monster." Via TalkingPointsMemo.com, here is what Representative Nina Lowey, a top Clinton surrogate, said on this morning's campaign conference call: Personal attacks are not the way to convince voters that you're capable of being president of the United States.
It's a near-certainty that neither Hillary Clinton nor Barack Obama will finish the primaries and caucuses with the majority of committed delegates necessary to capture the nomination. It's also a near-certainty that, no matter how well Clinton does in the remaining contests, Obama will have more committed delegates than she will once the primaries and caucuses are done.
It seems pretty apparent that the Hillary Clinton campaign's "kitchen sink" strategy -- that is, throwing everything but the kitchen sink at Barack Obama -- is working. It's not the only reason Clinton stopped Obama's political momentum and won the critical Ohio and Texas primaries on Tuesday. But surely it's one of them. So it's hardly surprising that Obama and his advisers have decided to hit back. On Wednesday, Obama made clear that he would be responding to Clinton attacks more forcefully in the future -- and asking her to answer the same sorts of quesitons that she has been putting to
In a just-released statement, Pennsylvania Governor and Clinton campaign surrogate Ed Rendell argues that Clinton's win last night was impressive because, among other things, Obama was "benefitting from outside political funds." By this, I assume, Rendell means the support of pro-Obama unions like the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) -- along with Powerpac.org, a new independent group that helped him in California. According to this New York Times report, Powerpac spent $150,000 on mailers for Obama in Texas. Well, sure. But it's not like Clinton hasn't had the same sort of adva