Monday, April 28, 2008

Columnist: "No Debate about it: Clinton's a Bully"

This from columnist, Michael Goodwin:

Debates about debates are common in campaigns, but that is no ordinary invitation Hillary Clinton is extending to Barack Obama. It's a gang-girl taunt when she tells a big rally she will go anywhere, anytime for a throwdown.

She offers to do it without a moderator, just the two of them asking and answering questions. Stripped of her gauzy spin that it could be like Lincoln-Douglas, she's really challenging him to a bareknuckle punchout. On TV.

It's what a schoolyard tough would do: Knock on a rival's door and dare him to come out and fight on the street. Right here, right now. No rules, just a slugfest, you and me.

She does it because she needs to bloody Obama to win. And because she knows she can kick his butt in a debate.

Obama says no to her because he thinks he can win the nomination without facing her. He also knows she can kick his butt one on one.

This much they agree on: She's tougher than he is. So she wins the debate on debates by demanding one that he ducks.

Welcome to yet another defining moment in the Long March toward the Democratic nomination. He's soft and wounded and she's nasty and desperate.

She's even talking about "obliterating" Iran to prove how tough she is. And she calls Dick Cheney Darth Vader!

[...]Although her fierce attacks on Obama are pushing her negative ratings into the danger zone even among Democrats, she has little choice. The delegate math is against her and time is running out. A loss in Indiana, where she should win, could finish her next week. A blowout by him in North Carolina, where he is favored, could also end it.

In fact, she could lose the nomination even if she keeps winning primaries and pulls out a narrow win in the total popular vote. That's because Obama is quietly closing in on a majority of delegates.

According to Real Clear Politics, Obama now has 1,727 total delegates to Clinton's 1,592. There are about 400 pledged delegates available in the remaining contests, with 187 up for grabs May 6.

Assume Clinton and Obama split the 400, adding 200 each to their totals. He would then have 1,927 - just 98 short of the 2,025 needed for the nomination. She would have 1,792, or 233 from a majority.

With about 300 uncommitted superdelegates left to pick the winner, Clinton would need almost 80% of them to get a majority, while Obama would need only 33%.

Bill Kristol: Hillary Clinton not Getting Respect from Press

William Kristol is one of the leaders of the neocons. He would like us to believe that his kind words for Hillary are sincere. What he won't tell you is that he and his boy, McCain, want to drag out the democratic primaries indefinitely. They would love to see her win but know that won't happen:

I normally don’t claim to speak for other members of the vast right-wing conspiracy. After all, we’re each nefarious in our own, individual way. Indeed, we often disagree with one another.

But I do think I can speak for most of my fellow right-wingers when I say this: We once looked forward with unambivalent glee to the fall of the house of Clinton. Many of us still do. But we also see the liberal media failing to give Hillary Clinton the respect she deserves [just like the kind of respect she would get during any potential general election]. So, since we conservatives believe in giving credit where credit is due [unless your running against a Republican], it falls to us to praise Hillary.

The fact is Hillary Clinton has turned out to be an impressive candidate. She has consistently defeated Barack Obama when her back was to the wall — first in New Hampshire, then in several big primaries on Super Tuesday, on March 4 in Ohio and Texas, and then last week in Pennsylvania, where she was outspent by almost 3 to 1, yet won handily.

She is, of course, still behind in the race, and Obama will most likely be the nominee. His team has run the better campaign. In particular, it realized how important the caucus states could be: Obama’s delegate lead depends on his caucus victories.

But Hillary may well be the better candidate. After all, for all the talk of Obama’s extraordinary ability to draw voters to the polls, Clinton has defeated him in the big states, including California, Texas, New York, Pennsylvania and Ohio. Obama won his home state of Illinois, but she won Florida, where both were on the ballot but didn’t campaign.

Furthermore, if you add up the votes in all the primaries and caucuses — excluding Michigan (where only Hillary was on the ballot), and imputing the likely actual totals in the four caucus states, where only percentages were reported — Clinton now trails in overall votes by only about 300,000, or about 1 percent of the total. By the end of the nominating contest, she may well be ahead on this benchmark — one not entirely to be scorned in a democracy.

Hillary has achieved this despite much disparagement of her candidacy by liberal commentators, and in the face of the media’s crush on Obama. Even those who started out being well disposed to Clinton have moved toward Obama, if only out of concern that the prolonged race is damaging Democratic prospects in the fall.