Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Williams on Campaign '08

Here's Mike Williams' letter today - - -

Results from last night’s primaries are in: Obama won Montana 57% to 41%; Clinton took South Dakota 55% to 45%. Obama claimed the Dem nomination, while Clinton stayed in the fight. On the Republican side, Romney won Montana with McCain coming in third. You reckon McCain still has a problem with the GOP base?

Obama also has some challenges:

On the night that Barack Obama clinched his party's nomination, one-third of Hillary Clinton's supporters in Montana and South Dakota said they would not vote for the presumptive Democratic nominee.

Exit polls from both states demonstrate that Obama inherits a fractured coalition after the longest primary race in modern history. Demographic divisions dug by class, race, gender and political philosophy haunted Obama until his last contests, effectively forcing the Illinois senator to limp across the finish line Tuesday night.

The cappuccino versus coffee Democratic divide between upper class and working voters continued….
Live by identity politics, die by identity politics.

As for Clinton, Ed Morrissey asks:

What really kept Hillary from winning the nomination? I’d say it was a combination of Clinton fatigue, Bill’s almost deliberately bad performance on the stump, and a media that has favored Barack Obama every step of the way….
The Clintons themselves are clearly unhappy with the MSM. As for Obama, Power Line’s Paul Mirengoff channels Bill Bennett:
[T]he Democratic party is about to nominate a far left candidate in the tradition of George McGovern, albeit without McGovern’s military and political record.

The Democratic party is about to nominate a far-left candidate in the tradition of Michael Dukakis, albeit without Dukakis’s executive experience as governor.

The Democratic party is about to nominate a far left candidate in the tradition of John Kerry, albeit without Kerry’s record of years of service in the Senate.

The Democratic party is about to nominate an unvetted candidate in the tradition of Jimmy Carter, albeit without Jimmy Carter’s religious integrity. . .

Back to Ed Morrissey, who notes:
Obama has not yet won the nomination. The superdelegates by rule can change their minds at any time before they cast their votes. Obama is still hundreds shy in pledged delegates, which means Obama will win the nomination if and only if the public declarations of the superdelegates do not change between now and Denver.

It’s unlikely that enough would do so to give Hillary the nomination, but it is a possibility.

With that caveat, Obama’s nomination does demonstrate the openness of the American system. The irony of this, of course, is that Obama’s own associates don’t believe that America transcends race and allows for success for people of color.

To listen to Jeremiah Wright, Obama’s friend and pastor of 20 years, is to hear how America is a place that conspires against black people and plots their genocide. Father Michael Pfleger, a man to whom Obama directed taxpayer funds while in the Illinois legislature, believes America to be so racist that he called this nation “the greatest sin against God”.

In watching and reading some of the reaction, many reveled in Obama’s nomination for the same reason. They want to feel good about America rather than have an experienced nominee. In fact, they not only want to feel good about America, they want to feel good about themselves.

They wanted to be part of that historical moment, and that was their first priority — and that’s not limited to Obama supporters, either. The lament one hears most about Hillary’s collapse has nothing to do with policy, experience, or expertise, but that she didn’t get to be the one who makes history….

They want to feel good about America rather than have an experienced nominee.

John Hood at the NRO gets the last word for today:

We’re stuck with these two mediocrities [Obama and McCain] for the rest of the year. What’s more, we’re also going to be subjected to hundreds of mainstream-media mediocrities endlessly recycling the same trite observations, then revising the observations, then rediscovering the original observations, ad nauseatium.

The 2008 primaries offer many interesting twists and turns, but it’s not hard in retrospect to boil the outcome down to several key points:

The candidate field was weak. The Democrats ending up barely picking a freshman senator over a former first lady with just over seven years in elected office.

The Republicans picked a longtime politician, yes, but someone with virtually no executive experience and tepid support among key constituencies in his party. John Edwards, Bill Richardson, Rudy Giuliani, Mitt Romney, Mike Huckabee, Fred Thompson, and other experienced politicians washed out.

They all talked like hotshots, but they couldn’t even defeat a paper-thin Obama and an aged, underfinanced McCain.

· Edwards lost because he is a white male. Giuliani lost because he is a social liberal. Romney and Huckabee canceled each other out, paving the way for McCain’s improbable recovery. Thompson left Law & Order at just the right time, before it truly went stale.

· Obama clinched the nomination on May 6 in North Carolina and Indiana, not in Montana a month later. That’s when he arrested Clinton’s post-Super Tuesday momentum and demonstrated overwhelming organizational and fundraising prowess. He’s not a particularly impressive thinker or leader, but he is a serviceable vessel.

· Gasoline is about to exceed $4 a gallon in most of the country. Anyone who believes that isn’t the single most important number in American politics is fooling himself.

· Even as they recognize the continued progress in Iraq and Afghanistan, swing voters will not necessarily reward McCain’s steadfastness or question Obama’s judgment. They are capable of believing that America should win the wars it starts and that Bush started, and McCain supported, the wrong war. I don’t agree with them, but it’s hardly a contradiction.

I fear that the next several months are going to seem interminable, with gaffes and trivialities substituting for real debate about America’s future in a dangerous and turbulent world. The only thing I am reasonably confident of is that Americans are going to elect a transitional figure in November, not a transformational one. That’s good news. Although they each have some virtues, Obama and McCain are far from the best that America can do.


Anonymous said...

"Two mediocre candidates" is about the way I call it. But McCain is head and shoulders above Mr. Obama in all respects, so I don't have a problem with supporting the GOP nominee. I believe as people take a closer look at Mr. Obama's very leftwing record (I can't call him a liberal because I believe the term is misused today--a true liberal would reject out of hand what today's "liberals" espouse), they will conclude 1) he has absolutely no experience which qualifies him to be president, 2) he has not explained why, if he disagrees with the likes of Wright, Ayers, and Pfleger, he has maintained a close association with them for two decades, and 3)what would his supreme court nominees look like (shudder). As the electorate begins to focus on the real Barack Obama, I believe the support he now enjoys will fade and in the end the only people supporting him will be die-hard Black racists, arch leftwing reactionaries, and the hopelessly naive. The wheels will come off before the general election.
Tarheel Hawkeye

Anonymous said...

John, The Chicago Tribune has accumulated a huge Obama file, it is readily available information: No one cares?

Gone are the days that a Dan Rather producer would spend five years researching if GWB completed his military physicals. The current MSM ignores their own fact-finding articles.

The Obama-Rezko connection:
Tribune reporter David Jackson presents a comprehensive look at the relationship between Sen. Obama and Rezko…..

(Well done, easy to select topics),0,4929416.flash

Anonymous said...

Definitely off topic, but---Has the world gone mad?

Sarasota, FL ( -- After an avalanche of phone calls and emails from pro-life advocates locally and across the country, Habitat for Humanity in Sarasota, Florida has disassociated itself with a proposed Planned Parenthood abortion center.

Florida-based Planned Parenthood tried to use a Habitat for Humanity cover to overcome hurdles to building a new abortion business.

Anonymous said...

Bloggers from Montana and South Dakota wrote that Obama ran countless radio ads stating he was firmly against any kind of gun control, the last few days before the primary.

He didn’t give the written media time to research, and report on his voting record.

Chicogo Sun Times: “Obama gained a reputation for skipping tough votes. The most famous example was a key gun-control vote that he missed while he was vacationing in Hawaii.

The Chicago Tribune blasted him as "gutless." One Chicago pol says that "the myth developed that when there was a tough vote, he was gone."(Conveniently, his votes never appeared on the record as pro, or con, that might haunt him later.)