Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Random Observations About Democrats

1. Obama’s victory in SC was impressive. He not only (overwhelmingly) carried the black vote, but the young vote. And he got a significant amount of the white vote generally.

2. Hillary carried the white women, but Edwards carried the white men. Edwards only came in third because he got virtually black vote at all, while Hillary got nearly 20%.

3. So it’s almost clear that the Democrats are about race (Obama), class (Edwards), and gender (Clinton). Well, almost clear: Edwards SC voters were especially affluent. Poor John was the candidate of the rich, white, male who believe that America is not ready for a black or woman president.

4. We can say that the Democratic race tightened a bit as a result of this result. Obama will probably do well throughout the South on Feb. 5, and so he could afford to sustain relatively narrow losses elsewhere.

5. Is a tight race in the interest of the Republicans? Well, probably not. It increases the chance of a Hillary-Obama ticket (which she doesn’t really want but might get stuck with, especially if he has lots of delegates at the convention). That ticket, in the astute judgment of Joe Carter, would be unbeatable. I suspect Bill Clinton shares that judgment.

6. The case for McCain is, most of all, that he would be the strongest candidate against Cinton(s). Would he really be a good choice against Obama?

7. I agree that Obama’s alleged promise to make Edwards attorney general is especially troubling. Great defense lawyers who turn prosecutor are especially tough. Our prisons might end up fuller than ever, and our definition of criminality might change.

Discussions - 6 Comments

I don't see how this "increases the chances of a Hillary/Obama ticket." They already hate one another, their respective campaign staffs despise one another, and if Hillary has to battle for the nomination beyond Super Tuesday, the level of detestation will only intensify.

What do you think Obama's wife thinks about Clinton, and the Clintons. Do you have any idea how angry they are with the Clintons?

Hillary will either reach out to an Hispanic, or she'll reach out to an aging grandee of the Democrat foreign policy establishment. But she isn't about to "balance" her ticket with a guy who is about as inexperienced as she is. That would be to provide too tempting a target for the Republican candidate.

If Obama gets it, he's hardly likely to reach out to a competitor he's described as a sentry for the status quo.

Many assumed that it would be a Hillary/Obama ticket. They did so long before the campaign season began in earnest, and what they're exhibiting now is an inability to allow present events to interrupt a political screenplay they've already written.

In many ways, politics is like war. And as you should never paint a picture of your enemy in a battle, you should also never paint a picture of a political campaign.

Observe the Romney campaign for instance. His original idea was to win Iowa, use that bounce to take New Hampshire, and then use that combined bounce to ride to a victory in Michigan, and follow that up with a victory in South Carolina. It didn't work out that way did it? If he had stuck to his original idea, he would have already left the race. But he changed tactics on the fly, gutted out a Michigan victory, and now he's in a very good position to win the nomination. And he's in that position because of tactical adjustments, clever opportunism and by virtue of not allowing previous plans to prevent achievement of long-term goals.

This is a perfect opportunity for all political pundits, and quasi-pundits to reassess the race, and to consider whether their previous opinions are likely to pan out. And yes, that is advice I need to take myself.

Hillary doesn't admit to being inexperienced. And if Obama is made VP he can safely be forgotten after the campaign.

The idea of Edwards as AG is frightening. Never mind. The thought of any of them in power makes me queasy.

As I have been picturing an Obama presidency, I see him, maybe wrongly, let me know, as a rather weak president. If Republicans take the legislative branch back, that might be ok, although government by legislature seems messy. If Obama brought a lot of strong characters into his Cabinet, he might see him pushed around by them. None of these pictures in my head is particularly appealing. The delegate count is still in Hillary's favor, but the momentum of the moment seems to be in Obama's favor coming into Super Tuesday.


Wouldn't someone like to say something really hopeful about the next five years or so? I am not a political scientist and probably all wrong, which would even be good news to me.

What do you all think the odds are that Obama is likely to accept an offer of VP from the Clintons . . . I have no firm opinion on the matter but I do know what I would think of him if he did take it. Let me be clear, I agree with virtually nothing that man says. However, I do respect his campaign and his appeal to the voters. But if he takes an offer from the Clintons I think I'm inclined to say that I lose that respect for him. I think his appeal will be reduced, immediately by 50%. He'll still be a big help to Hillary who has virtually no appeal (she has support, but not appeal) . . . but he'll hurt himself by taking it. I think he would be very foolish to do it and I think Dan is very astute in remarking that his wife (who seems, in many ways, even more sharp than Obama) probably wouldn't stand for it. I think they need to go for broke against the Clintons and, if they lose, they will live to fight another day with Obama as a kind of Democrat maverick in opposition to the Clintons. Of course, he won't be a Democrat John McCain, exactly . . . because his policy positions won't be a huge variation on the Clinton theme. But a Clinton presidency will have to grapple with realities that the base of her party is not going to like. In opposition, Obama has a shot of comfortable disregard for reality and grandiose talk that appeals to the large chunk of that party also not grounded in reality. He has a shot at another 4-8 years of blissful disentanglement in hard politics that keeps his mystical appeal alive.

That is, maybe, some good news. The kind of unity that might really help the Democrats has been shot with this ugliness. Obama as VP would make him very uninspiring and bargain basement.

Would Hillary take the VP spot if offered? I feel giddy thinking about a public offer like that. Supposing Obama wins big on Super Tuesday and offers Hillary the VP spot in his admin. as a public act of party unification and reconciliation.... My mind reels. Oh, how cheery!

Oh, Kate. You're just indulging in a fantasy about the "great girl" slipping on a banana. It is a rather sweet fantasy in its way. But then you'd have to wake up in the morning and realize that we're facing a Dem ticket with Obama at the top of it. I don't like that part of the fantasy as well as the first part. (But I'd still enjoy watching the first part . . . almost as much fun as the Obama snub at the SOTU speech tonight).

I would rather see Obama at the top of the ticket. Maybe it is fantasy, I confess to being capable of that, but I can't see either Dem. candidate winning against (almost) any Republican left running. The negatives of both - Hillary and Bill together getting to stink for the Dems like a pair of mackerel left out too long and the dream of Obama fading with the consciousness that there is something a bit thin there - will mean any credible Republican who doesn't positively blow up will take the independent fence-sitters.

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