Post-Pennsylvania thoughts

Call it a rationalization all you want, but why is it that when Clinton loses major ground in a state over the month leading up to the vote, but still ends up winning a state she was expected to win, is it considered a huge turnaround in the momentum? Yet if you’re Barack Obama, and you win a state you were expected to win, it’s just “Well, that’s an Obama stronghold. Of course he’s going to win.” If anything, the change in Pennsylvania showed the momentum continuing for Obama. Obama lost the vote, but Clinton lost half of her lead. Why isn’t that more obvious to people who are paid to realize this stuff?

The talking heads tonight were discussing how she can take this newfound momentum and transform that into wins in Indiana, Kentucky, Montana … but not North Carolina. North Carolina is Obama country.


I do not understand the mentality behind “Republicans will use Reverend Wright against Obama … Republicans will use ‘bitter’ against Obama … Republicans will use Ayers against Obama …” as a pro-Clinton argument. It presupposes that there is nothing for the Republicans to use against Clinton. When was Hillary Clinton ever vetted on a national stage before? If she was already so thoroughly vetted like she and the media she is (reported as fact in an AP News story today), how was her reversal on NAFTA new to people? How was it surprising how much money the Clintons were making when that came out a few weeks ago?

Not to mention that this idea basically translates to this: We need to nominate the candidate we like the least, because that way the Republicans won’t be able to make anyone like that candidate less. If we actually like the candidate we nominate, there’s a chance the Republicans might attack them.


There was an AP story today that mentioned something I have never yet seen in any news coverage of this race, and I was glad to finally see it.
“If he does not win (Pennsylvania) after having outspent us, it will once again raise serious questions among voters and superdelegates whether or not Senator Obama can win the big swing states that any Democrat would have to win in November,” Clinton spokesman Howard Wolfson said Monday.

But that assumes that Obama would lose those states in November.

It also assumes that Clinton, conversely, would win swing states in the fall that she lost to Obama in the primaries, such as Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri and Wisconsin.

She makes the argument that she wins the big states that Democrats need in the fall. Obviously, the people who voted for her in those states do not equal enough to win those states on their own. So in order for that argument to mean anything, one needs to make the following assumptions:

1. That people who voted for Obama in the states she won will vote for her
2. That people who voted for Obama in the states HE won will vote for her

If you’re willing to make those assumptions — that the voters of the other candidate will automatically choose the Democrat over McCain — then her whole argument is invalid, because if you’re willing to make those assumptions, you obviously go with Obama because he won more states, he won more delegates, he won the popular vote, he polls better nationally and he has fewer negatives.

The only way her argument holds any water is if you’re willing to assume that every Obama voter will vote for her in November, but not the other way around.


Something very interesting about the Pennsylvania exit polls was that Obama did best among voters who considered themselves liberal and conservative. Clinton fared best among voters who considered themselves moderate. Of course, she can make the claim that liberal voters would choose her over McCain, but I think it’s a tougher sell to claim that self-described conservative voters would choose her over McCain.

CNN is now asking the question: Is Obama shaping up to be another Dukakis?

This coming after the Huffington Post actually examined the debates, exposing the fallacy in the idea that ONLY NOW did debate moderators get tough on Obama.

At this point, how can anyone keep claiming that the media is somehow treating Obama with kid gloves, and that Clinton is receiving unfairly harsh treatment? Do people still actually believe that?

0 Responses to Post-Pennsylvania thoughts

  1. j says:


    I’ll add that I though H.H. touched on some interesting points in this weeks New Yorker. Notably that Clinton isn’t as “tested” and hasn’t been subjected to all the possible scrutiny that can be aimed at her. Largely because Obama and the other democrats are wary of bringing up anything to do with her husband’s role in a Hillary administration, or the many scandals and questionable acts of the first Clinton Admin. I supposed this is because despite his recent effort, Bill remains popular among democrats (I find it interesting that such a legacy-obsessed president- who IMO owes a lot of his legacy to being succeded by such a terrible pres- would do so much damage to his legacy and popularity in the name of getting his wife elected.)
    In a general election, McCain would have no trouble unearthing the well-worn scandals and dishonesties of the first Clinton admin. or of attacking Bill.

    I also love how Hilary frames this election about being about “experience”, I may work against Obama, but if it were true, she’d just be setting herself up for a massive defeat by McCain, who absolutely trumps her on the experience front.

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