Noam Scheiber
Senior Editor

A Unified Theory Of The Clinton Campaign
January 08, 2008

So not only is Hillaryland talking up its February 5th strategy, it's now also trying to invoke the fear of terrorism. This leads me to a mathematical formula I developed recently (knew those math courses would eventually pay off): As Hillary's strategy (call it H) approaches Giuliani's strategy (call it R), Hillary's chances of winning the nomination (call them C) approach 0.   Or, mathematically: as H --> R, C --> 0.   You heard it here first.   --Noam Scheiber 

Early Scuttlebutt On Independents
January 08, 2008

Just heard Tucker Carlson say on MSNBC that the McCain people think independents are breaking almost 50-50 Obama/McCain. (Slightly more to Obama, but not much more.) I'm a little skeptical. But if true--and, even if it is, remember it's still pretty early in the day--that would be great news for McCain, and slightly below expectations for Obama, though probably not enough of a drop-off to really hurt him. Also, keep in mind that if turnout among independents surges well beyond expecations, even splitting them 50-50 with McCain will yield Obama a huge absolute number of votes.

Exit Poll Cold-shower
January 08, 2008

If, like us, you're just biding your time until the first exit polls leak this afternoon, then you should probably read this excellent Mark Blumenthal post now. Mark explains why we're not likely to get exit polls until just before the voting ends this evening, and how you should think about them when we do. --Noam Scheiber

Obama Works The Phones ... In Kenya
January 08, 2008

Joe Klein has a great scoop over at Swampland: On January 1, two days before the Iowa caucuses, Obama left a message for Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. According to Robert Gibbs, Obama's Communications Director, Rice called back "as we were driving from Sioux City to Council Bluffs on January 1. They talked about the situation and Rice asked Obama to tape a Voice of America message calling for calm." Obama taped the message on January 2, after a rally in Davenport, Iowa.

Hillary's Valedictory Speech
January 08, 2008

Manchester, New Hampshire Many of us in the press now refer to Hillary as the candidate of prose and Obama as the candidate of poetry (after her line on Sunday that "you campaign in poetry, but you govern in prose."). But, boy, did that ever be come apparent here last night. It looked like there were a couple thousand people packed into the cavernous indoor-tennis complex we were in. I'd guess most of them were expecting the candidate of prose to break into a little verse for her last big event before the voting starts.

Mitt Romney: Senator-killer Killer
January 08, 2008

I can't dispute what Jason is seeing with his own eyes, but, like my Republican idol Mitt Romney, I wish we could have a discussion about issues and not about personal attacks... Seriously, I think Jason is right--Romney is probably going to lose today, and that will most likely be it for his campaign.

Hillary Chokes Back Tears, Wins (my) Respect
January 07, 2008

Ben Smith has a poignant nugget from the campaign trail this morning--it involves Hillary on the verge of tears at an event in Portsmouth. Ben writes: The question was inoccuous: "As a woman I know it’s hard to get out of the house and get ready," asked Marianne Pernold, a local freelance photographer. "Who does your hair?" Clinton began by talking about her hair -- she has some help -- but moved to talk more generally about the campaign. "It’s not easy, it’s not easy, and I couldn’t do it if i just didn’t passionately belive it was the right thing to do," she said.

Will Registered Democrats Save Hillary?
January 07, 2008

Like a lot of other bloggers, I strongly recommend Tom Edsall's HuffPo piece about where Clinton goes from here if she loses tomorrow. One especially interesting nugget: Like Mondale in 1984, Clinton is configuring her campaign to win in states where independents cannot vote. "Clinton got killed among independents and those few Republicans who crossed over," an Iowa operative noted about last Thursday's caucuses.

Watching Obama Close...
January 07, 2008

Salem, New Hampshire I've probably attended over two dozen Obama events since November (Mike and I basically divided up Hillary and Obama, and I drew Obama.) Yesterday afternoon was the best I've seen him, with the possible exception of his victory speech Thursday night. He was concise, funny, uplifting, very energetic. He modulated his voice unusually well, even for someone with a naturally good delivery. If I had to explain it, I'd say there were two things going on. One was that Obama can clearly smell victory. I've written before about his reputation as a closer.

Tonight's Gop Debate--capping A Lousy Weekend For Mccain
January 07, 2008

If you read one thing about the Republican race and the GOP debates this weekend, read Joe Klein's post about John McCain. Klein argues that it was basically a "lost weekend" for the straight-talker: The polls still have John McCain comfortably ahead of Mitt Romney in the New Hampshire primary, but I don't believe them. For one thing, McCain has just dragged himself through two of his worst debate performances ever.

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