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Speaker: Two Ticks

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  • Neil Morrison,

    Obama just gets that that cynicism is real and 'change' is more than a bumper sticker slogan.

    the real change will be from a Republican admistration to a Democrat one. Whether that's Obama or Clinton is on the level of hard vs soft pineapple lumps.

    Obama's "change" branding is as cynicall as any strategy of the other candidates. As Katha Pollitt says of Obama -

    Somehow he has made himself a great big humongous hope object. People can project on him what they want him to be.

    It may not be fair, but then, that's show business.

    Since Nov 2006 • 932 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    the real change will be from a Republican admistration to a Democrat one. Whether that's Obama or Clinton is on the level of hard vs soft pineapple lumps.

    Any son of a bitch will do, as long as s/he's our son of a bitch? Let's just agree to disagree on that one, at least until we see where they stand on (say) trade policy and the precise make up of the next Congress. Distinctions there might me a little more important than confectionery preferences.

    I actually agree with Pollitt on one point: Senator Obama's record is as open to rigorous scrutiny as Senator Clinton's. What a shame, then, she squandered the opportunity over the last year pushing a spectacularly obnoxious 'inevitability' meme (one, needless to add, the media was fully complicit with); and if she wants to stand on her experience, perhaps she could stop claiming credit for her husband's administration.

    As Helen Clark used to be fond of saying, when you're in a hole the first thing to do is stop digging. If Clinton finds herself tagged as the status quo, establishment candidate could it be possible that its a trap of her own making?

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    And finally, Neil, I have to wonder whether Pollitt gets it when she writes drivel like this:

    Obama, the black candidate who never mentions his race, gets to smile his mile-wide smile and be a rock star. [Emphasis added]

    Did an alleged progressive writer on a left-wing magazine just go where I think she went? Very odd coming from someone who has, shall we say, had little patience with Clinton getting scolded for 'faux feminism' from the left, and nasty innuendo about her sexuality from the right. Anyone who wants to defend Clinton or discredit Obama should stick to the substantive policy matters and avoid the boggy politics of ethnic and gender 'authenticity'.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    There are various politicians whose speeches have been remixed into dance records: Lange, Kennedy and Martin Luther King, maybe others.

    When I heard Obama's speech following the primaries, I thought he was similarly remixable. You couldn't remix Huckabee into anything.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Neil Morrison,

    In a recent TV debate Edwards and Obama decided to gang up on Hillary, apparently she's the "status quo" or something. Edwards did the dirty work while Obama looked more than a little pleased.

    Katha Pollitt's take on Edwards.

    Since Nov 2006 • 932 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    Something I read just now:

    The most telling laugh line in Obama's stump speech is his description of the dreadful charge his opponents make against him. "Obama's talking about hope again," the candidate says, mimicking his foes. Then his tenor drops to a low, conspiratorial pitch: "He's a hope monger."

    Maybe one of those striking writers is donating labour to Obama? That line is perfect.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3122 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    In a recent TV debate Edwards and Obama decided to gang up on Hillary, apparently she's the "status quo" or something. Edwards did the dirty work while Obama looked more than a little pleased.

    Oh, hell, Neil. Bill should have taken Ann Coulter's favorite fagoot and Barak Osama out to the lobby for a good Mallard-ing. where do these patriarchal arseholes get off actually disagreeing with a candidate for their party's presidential nomination in a freaking public debate? Have they no decency!.

    And frankly, Neil, I can't really muster any sympathy for the faux outrage from either direction over Blubgate. Sorry, but who exactly has been presenting themselves as 'ready to be President from Day One' and 'the only one who can resist the right wing attack machine' as opposed to the charming but lightweight junior Senator from Illinois?

    I think it's fair comment that the modern American campaign season is a pretty fucked up way for any human being to live for weeks and months on end -- and who likes losing? But if Pollitt really thinks Clinton is subject to a misogynistic double standard, I'd like to remind her that losing your temper is a 'feeling' as well. Don't recall Guiliani or McCain getting much sympathy when they lost their shit under pressure on the campaign trail back in Y2K. Nor do I expect a sudden outbreak of chivalry from Democrats if either man wins the GOP nomination.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Don Christie,

    This is an interesting video. I suspect all campaigns try to be controlling of the media but still, a sympathetic journalist from a sympathetic newspaper not being given the red carpet is a bit bizarre.

    Regards Obama's speech delivery. It is great and I suspect influenced as much by his African roots as by MLK type preachers (who themselves are influenced by African roots).

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1645 posts Report Reply

  • Neil Morrison,

    ...much sympathy when they lost their shit under pressure on...

    it wasn't so much a matter of sympathy for HRC, she's a big girl in a rough game she freely chooses to be part of, but rather what it said about Edwards.

    The drama of the primaries looks to continue. With 11% of votes counted HRC is in the lead (probalbly due to early counting of smaller communities more likley to vote HRC). And McCain looks unbeatable.

    Since Nov 2006 • 932 posts Report Reply

  • Don Christie,

    I like Obama as well, but I also agree with the article Neil linked to about the treatment of Clinton. For example the term "cackle" crops up all over the place (try Youtube). The implication is that she is a witch. This is similar to some of the personal attacks on Helen Clark. She supposedly "cackles".

    I do think the Dems have run a pretty clean campaign against each other so far. Most mudslinging seems to have come from "other sources" such as Drudge whose interests are not exactly dispassionate.

    From TFA.

    Hillary Clinton, long criticized as cold, shows a bit of feeling and is attacked as overly emotional. It's the latest installment of the ongoing double bind in which if she wears a black pantsuit she's too masculine and if she wears a pink shell she's too feminine; if she's serious she's humorless and if she laughs she "cackles." (George Bush has a horrible heh-heh-heh laugh, Schroeder reminded me. But who, besides Jon Stewart, makes anything of it? ) When Hillary was First Lady she was attacked for being too involved in business of state; now, when she claims "experience" we're reminded that First Ladies are basically trivial.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1645 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler,

    Hillary Clinton, long criticized as cold, shows a bit of feeling and is attacked as overly emotional.

    I thought it was genuine and nice to see, but still wasn't a big fan of it.

    If Obama gets the democratic nomination the country will go backward ... seriously?

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 3202 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    The drama of the primaries looks to continue. With 11% of votes counted HRC is in the lead (probalbly due to early counting of smaller communities more likley to vote HRC). And McCain looks unbeatable.

    Well, I don't actually think it says anything more about Edwards than Democrats who felt rather queasy about Elizabeth Edwards' cancer being used as a campaign tool.

    In the end, as I said, the primary process is surreal -- I couldn't handle it because I actually need to sleep 4-6 hours a night, eat regularly and well, and don't function well in large crowds. But I feel precisely zero sympathy for people who choose it, then bleat about how hard done by they are. And it's loathsome to play the gender card in Clinton's defense.

    And while I'm rather pleased nobody is getting their coronation tonight (and hope the Clinton campaign gets off the pity pot and resists the temptation to gas up the swift boats), I do hope the folks calling the result with 11% of precincts aren't going to live to regret it. You'd think Fox would have learned their lesson... Still, as the old Chinese curse goes, its going to be very interesting times indeed until Super-Size Me Tuesday.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Don Christie,

    And it's loathsome to play the gender card in Clinton's defense.

    Who did that?

    If Obama gets the democratic nomination the country will go backward ... seriously?

    Not very inspirational, is it?

    But criticising that statement is very different from saying "she cackles, witch". Pointing out that Obama's campaign is run by a lobbyist also fair game.

    From AP "Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton won New Hampshire's Democratic primary Tuesday night in a startling upset, defeating Sen. Barack Obama and resurrecting her bid for White House."

    I must say I am surprised at the result but like Craig pleased that the process continues. I like hearing about these two, and McCain.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1645 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    I do think the Dems have run a pretty clean campaign against each other so far. Most mudslinging seems to have come from "other sources" such as Drudge whose interests are not exactly dispassionate.

    Oh come on, Don. Can we return from Fantasy Island for a moment, and acknowledge that Democrats are no strangers to gutter politics when needs must. Or are Talking Points Memo and the Huffington Post now tool of the vast right wing misogynsitic conspiracy?

    This is interesting. The Huffington Post had a blockbuster scoop today reporting that top independent expenditure groups backing Hillary are thinking of creating a massive anti-Obama "527 committee" to go after the Illinois Senator.

    But two major players in this world are already moving rapidly to disavow any involvement in any such effort.

    I'm sorry, but if you think Clinton and her campaign aren't going to do whatever it takes to win the nomination I'd respectfully suggest your naivety is charming, but not particularly in tune with reality.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Don Christie,

    Sigh, Craig - as with Ralston's "Labour nuke", come back to us when this actually materialises.

    Not saying it won't happen, just commenting on events so far. And we are not that far away from the end of the primaries now.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1645 posts Report Reply

  • Neil Morrison,

    I'm happy there's still a race on. every one's had some humble pie now. But those polls? Obama apparently had such a massive lead. But HRC showed a consistent lead right thru the voting.

    The Guardian is reporting a higher vote for HRC among woman amongst other factors. Maybe Obama won't be so keen on Edwards embrace.

    Since Nov 2006 • 932 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Sigh, Craig - as with Ralston's "Labour nuke", come back to us when this actually materialises.

    OK, Don, Bill Ralston just made it up. Talking Points Memo - a blog I'd characterise as highly partisan but pretty wingnut-lite and hardly kneejerk anti-Hillary - is running a baseless smear. Give me a call when you've rejoined the reality based community where Matt Drudge and the Exclusive Brethren aren't responsible for everything act of campaign ugliness in the world.

    But I think we can both agree that if the Huffington Post has convinced everyone that a 'swift boat'-style smear campaign isn't worth the risk , then they've done political discourse a great service.

    Obama apparently had such a massive lead. But HRC showed a consistent lead right thru the voting.

    Well, Neil, I'm not entirely convinced there's the data to support it but it seems fair to ask whether the Bradley Effect:

    The term Bradley effect or Wilder effect refers to a phenomenon which has led to inaccurate voter opinion polls in some American political campaigns between a white candidate and a non-white candidate.Specifically, there have been instances in which statistically significant numbers of white voters tell pollsters in advance of an election that they are either genuinely undecided, or likely to vote for the non-white candidate, but those voters exhibit a different behavior when actually casting their ballots. White voters who said that they were undecided break in statistically large numbers toward the white candidate, and many of the white voters who said that they were likely to vote for the black candidate ultimately cast their ballot for the white candidate. This reluctance to give accurate polling answers has sometimes extended to post-election exit polls as well.

    Researchers who have studied the issue theorize that some white voters give inaccurate responses to polling questions because of a fear that they might appear to others to be racially prejudiced. Some research has suggested that the race of the pollster conducting the interview may factor into that concern. At least one prominent researcher has suggested that with regard to pre-election polls, the discrepancy can be traced in part by the polls' failure to account for general conservative political leanings among late-deciding voters.

    I'm not really convinced that this was the case in New Hampshire, and it might have had more to do with the Clinton campaign getting out the base doing a better job of identifying and turning out their supporters. Retail Politics 101.

    There's also another factor that might have been important in NH: Independents - who make a pretty large chunk of primary turnout in NH - decided McCain needed their help more than Obama. And while I'm no fan of Clinton, I can't say it's a total loss if Mitt Romney's strategy to gain momentum going into Super-Size Me Tuesday by sweeping Iowa and NH is in tatters. It's going to take the GOP a long time to learn that you can't build a governing majority by pandering to the TheoCon rump with no hint of shame, but this is a start.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    And to bring things full circle, how weird is the American primary system?

    Well, if I've read this and this correctly (which I wouldn't bet my immortal soul on), Obama lost by two points and still walks away with a (bare) majority of NH's delegates because he's pledged three of their five superdelegates.

    I think I'll come back and look at this the next time I want to bitch about how freaky MMP and the Sainte-Laguë formula is. American electoral calculus has a feral charm - like a pack of wolves.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Neil Morrison,

    But I think we can both agree that if the Huffington Post has convinced everyone that a 'swift boat'-style smear campaign isn't worth the risk , then they've done political discourse a great service.

    HP print a lot of lies about HRC which are immediately deinied by those concerned but it's all for the good because printing those lies means that those lies won't happen.

    And that's what HRC has been getting for quite some time from the liberal media. It's no wonder a lot of people in NH took exception to that sort of thing.

    Since Nov 2006 • 932 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    HP print a lot of lies about HRC which are immediately deinied by those concerned

    Or it could be a truth that everyone concerned quite wisely wanted to back away from as quickly as decently possible - I don't know for sure. And I make no apologies for saying that's a very good thing. If the Clinton and Obama camps want to go at each other, they should do so directly and be accountable for it, rather than hiding behind proxies.

    Do you really think Talking Points Memo is some kind of Clinton-hating bearpit? Iif we were talking about the Daily Kos I might agree. But from what I've seen, I'd type TPM as clearly partisan toward the Democrats but with a good spread of views. And that even includes a few posts by people who don't think the sun doesn't shine when Senator Clinton clenches her buttocks. Frankly, Neil, its glib and more than a little arrogant to dismiss any criticism as the inevitable result of right-wing misogyny.

    Anyway, good on her. Not the outcome I'd have preferred, but no matter how thin the margin you'd have to have a heart of stone not to congratulate her. And as I said up-thread, its pretty healthy IMO that nobody got their coronation tonight. While the primary process is absurd, the more we see of all the candidates - and the more substantive scruinty you can wring out of the manfactured photo ops - the better.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Neil Morrison,

    Do you really think Talking Points Memo is some kind of Clinton-hating bearpit?

    i wouldn't put it quite so strongly but, yes I do. The same for The Nation apart from a few exceptions. In general the liberal (mostly white, male, middleclass) pundocracy has been anti-Hillary. They have all been almost uniformly repeating the mantra that she is unelectable, she's too divisive etc for the past few years despite the fact that she's been riding high in public opinion polls. When Obama came along all of sudden there was someone to project their fantasies on.

    I think that has changed recently with places like Daily Kos becoming more measured and the more rabid anti-Hillary writers on The Nation pulling their heads in.

    That said, i think the Dems will have the luxury of having their cake and eating it too. I think the Reps will be out of power for awhile this time round. 8 years of HRC as pres with Obama as VP then 8 years of him as Pres. If he would make a good pres now he'll make a great one after 8 years as VP. Sound good.

    Since Nov 2006 • 932 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    In general the liberal (mostly white, male, middleclass) pundocracy has been anti-Hillary. They have all been almost uniformly repeating the mantra that she is unelectable, she's too divisive etc for the past few years despite the fact that she's been riding high in public opinion polls.

    Neil: I'm sure that's the spin Clinton supporters want to get out there and I understand the politics of it. But I'll respectfully agree to disagree on whether it has much basis in reality. If anything, I think the media deserves criticism for buying into the line of Clinton's 'inevitability' until a few weeks ago. If anyone has been getting an utterly undeserved free ride from the media for far too long, HRC is the beneficiary rather than the victim of a slavering pack of Obamaniacs.

    And to be blunt WTF makes Clinton so special that she's beyond criticism from the left or within the Democratic Party (which isn't always the same thing)? Perhaps its a flaw in my personality, but the only thing that irritates me more than the taste of poll-driven fruitcake is politicians (and their supporters) with engorged senses of entitlement.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Don Christie,

    And to be blunt WTF makes Clinton so special that she's beyond criticism from the left or within the Democratic Party

    Craig, she isn't beyond criticism, it's the type of criticism that is being objected to. I think there is a point about that. We saw it with Thatcher and now Clark and Clinton.

    Anyway, my main objection to Clinton is that surely in a country of 300million the USA can do better than continually handing the presidency to the same friggin families. If Neil's prediction is correct then that country will have been ruled by two families for 32 years.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1645 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Anyway, my main objection to Clinton is that surely in a country of 300million the USA can do better than continually handing the presidency to the same friggin families

    I agree with you to the extent that there's always something queasy-making about any democracy coming to resemble a Ruritanian fiefdom, but you can ovestate matters. These chaps may have been cousins, but I suspect there are a few people on both sides of the aisle who would rate them both a damn sight higher than any of the candidates currently hoping to follow them into the White House.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • WH,

    http://commentisfree.guardian.co.uk/michael_tomasky/2008/01/the_clinton_rebellion.html

    Clinton and Obama are both good candidates IMO, but in the many dozens of articles and opinion pieces I have read on the race for the Democratic nomination, I have very seldom read discussions of the policy differences between the leading candidates. Just shite about Clinton´s inevitability or her divisiveness, and references to the "fearsome Clinton political machine", or her alleged coldness. I guess it is just easier to write. Man from hope, new type of politics, not like those other washington types blah blah blah.

    Iin 2000, people said that Gore, who won the majority vote, lacked charisma, invented the internet and that Bush was the better man to invite round for "a beer". Fuck that, I say.

    Its good to see McCain take out NH, he´s the only Republican any Democrat could want to win.

    Since Nov 2006 • 785 posts Report Reply

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