January 21, 2008
In the Washington Post yesterday, Paul Starr argued that it's really difficult to determine whether Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama would fare better in a general election. Ezra Klein made the same point, as did Kevin Drum. I find this maddening. Look, it's obviously true that any guess about general election viability is speculative. You're predicting a future event, and you could be wrong. I think the New England Patriots would have a better chance of beating the New York Giants than would the Detroit Lions, but I can't be sure. That said, the available data here is not very ambiguous.
Where Hillary And Republicans Agree
January 21, 2008
David Leonhardt has yet another solid piece in today's New York Times, taking a look at Hillary Clinton's economic worldview. The bottom line is that despite her centrist reputation, she's not as big a believer in free markets as her husband is. It's worth reading the whole thing, but an especially interesting part is where she explains her view of why income inequality has increased over the past three decades.
Peeling Back The Curtain On Hillary's Nevada Win
January 20, 2008
The Las Vegas Sun has an interesting piece (posted here on The Politico) about the highly-effective Clinton organization in Nevada. I suggested in my latest piece that the Obama campaign had the larger organization there. It sounds like the Clinton campaign noticed the same thing a little over a month ago and really re-doubled its efforts: If you want to know how Sen. Hillary Clinton won a convincing victory in Saturday’s Nevada caucus, look back to a meeting Dec. 15 at William E. Orr Middle School in Las Vegas.
Hillary's Ok Day
January 19, 2008
Hillary Clinton will gladly take her win today in Nevada. But she had far more to lose than Barack Obama did. Obama's overwhelming African-American support in South Carolina makes the state a firewall for him, and thus there was little chance that he would go into February 5 gimpy from having lost two states in a row. Not so for Hillary, who, with a defeat today and another (probable) one next Saturday, would have faced another round of talk that her campaign was in crisis. Hillary's win today is also mitigated by the fact that people don't seem to know quite how to feel about Nevada.
Nevada (early) Post-caucus Roundup
January 19, 2008
Key statistic: Hillary Clinton picked up 64 percent of the Latino vote. Ben Smith thinks that the Hillary camp's talk of voter suppression helped turnout non-union workers in the casinos.
For Once, I Defend Hillary
January 18, 2008
I assume that Hillary Clinton meant no offense to Martin Luther King, Jr. when she said -- justifiably -- that his spiritual and cultural achievements needed to be concretized in law, and that it was Lyndon Johnson to whom credit belongs for realizing the struggle into institutions and policy. Of course, she said it in shorthand which left her vulnerable. But that is certainly what she meant, and it is historically and constitutionally correct. Only the paranoid or the truly cynical would ascribe to her a racism that has never been a part of her life.
How Experienced Is Hillary?
January 18, 2008
Hollywood super-agent Ari Gold Emanuel has a few questions about Hillary Clinton's "35 years of experience making change": Well, Senator Clinton, I'm confused. I've done the math. You're 60, which means that 35 years ago you were 25. And I Googled your name, looking for all the change you were making as a 25 year old and, frankly, I'm not finding much. You were going to Yale Law School at the time -- which I'm sure was a personally transformative experience, but it's hardly the kind of change that should count on one's Presidential Training Experience resume, is it?
Is That Hillary Clinton Talking? Or Grover Norquist?
January 17, 2008
Barack Obama has taken a lot of grief for appropriating right-wing talking points. And rightly so. Consider health care. When he has argued against "forcing" people to buy insurance, as Hillary Clinton and John Edwards have proposed to do, he undermined the case for an individual mandate -- something virtually every expert agrees is necessary to achieve truly universal coverage. But look who's talking like a conservative now.
Speaking Of Endorsements
January 16, 2008
I know a few bloggers have questioned the value of an endorsement that takes shots at the candidate being endorsed, as the Las Vegas Review Journal does in its Obama endorsement today. But I still think it could help him. If for no other reason than that it completely lays into Hillary. It's like a widely-circulated piece of negative mail that is in no way traceable to your campaign. Here's how the editorial begins: As state Democrats prepare to hold their Saturday caucuses, cynical Republicans might well encourage them to choose Sen.
Breaking News: Clinton Surrogates Show No Class
January 14, 2008
Given that cable news and the internet are abuzz with talk of Robert Johnson's despicable allusions to Obama's teenage drug use, I was curious to see what Clinton surrogates would be saying about the matter. And, sure enough, Chris Matthews had Sheila Jackson Lee, an African-American Congresswoman from Texas, on to talk about the campaign (she's a big Clinton supporter). Anyway, Matthews asked her what she thought about the comments. She conspiculously did not even try to address the question, instead blathering on about Hillary's heart.