Presidential Campaign

Presidential Campaign

The Marathon Continues

Now that the Clintonian claw has reemerged from the grave, Barack Obama is heading into a long, grim slog. Barring the unforeseen, the NAFTA/Canadian government flap, the trial of Tony Rezko and the possibility that the "3AM" commercial actually may have worked continue to dog him as his momentum slows and the superdelegates remain silent.

Hillary's gamble of attack and charm offensive on comedy shows paid off, and despite her delegate deficit she has a good argument to make with superdelegates. After all, she has won the big states necessary to win in November, and Obama couldn't get close; she won them mostly by double digits. In my column this week, I wondered how the superdelegates will choose between the two coalitions Obama and Hillary command — his composed of younger voters, black voters and white males, while hers is made up of older voters, Latinos and white women. The process threatens to further divide an already starkly divided party.
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Dream Team or Scream Team?

Just about every conversation between political types these days includes the so-called "Dream Ticket.” They're talking, of course, about Clinton and Obama running together. While no one knows yet who would be No. 1 and No. 2, it doesn't matter. The mere thought of that arrangement causes many Democrats to have fantasies as intense as the kind you don't discuss in public, not even on “Oprah.”


The question, though, is would this "dream" end up being a nightmare? It could end up igniting a titanic battle between the top people in each candidate's organizations.
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Reports of Her Death Were Greatly Exaggerated

Buckle up and take another ride on the roller coaster.

Remember when they complained the primaries would end in January? Didn’t happen. Remember when they said it would all be over on Super Tuesday? Didn’t happen. And remember when they said it would be over last night? Didn’t happen again.

As it turned out, March 4 wasn’t the end of the Democratic primary, it was just a new beginning. And the famous “knock-out” punch Barack Obama planned to land on the jaw of Hillary Clinton glanced off, instead.
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The Party's Party is Not Over

"It's 3 a.m. and your children are safe and asleep, but there's a phone ... and it's ringing."


Someone answers and hears a screaming voice: "NOT SO FAST, Barack OBAMA!!!"


"Something is happening in the world."

It sure didn't happen for Obama on Tuesday. Hillary Clinton did so well that we're expecting Mark Penn to hold a conference call to announce that he and only he controlled every single aspect of the campaign.
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It's Going To Be A Bumpy Ride

After two months on this roller coaster I have concluded I may, like Bill Clinton, actually be working for free for the Clinton campaign. I am not alone; many members of the media are doing it. Before each primary we drink the Kool-Aid and agree that she is simultaneously 1) an underdog (and thus the onus is on Obama to win) and 2) not remotely finished after losing 11 contests in a row and being so far behind in delegates that even landslides couldn't get her back in front tonight.

Oh, Hillary cries foul about the media bias against her — that bias we all have that caused us to spend nearly a year talking about how disciplined and effective a campaign she was running and about how she couldn't be stopped. Sure, there have been a few near-death moments, but after she has lost 20-point leads in both Texas and Ohio, here we are once again: having strapped on our seatbelts for the spin she is taking us on tonight and tomorrow. What a ride it will be. Popular votes? Delegate counts? Superdelegate stability? Superdelegate slippage? Big states? Number of states? Coalitions of swing voters needed to win in November?
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Not a Hillary Fan

Armstrong Williams declares that he does not endorse either Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton, but does not want another Clinton in the White House.

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Clinton's Tough Campaign

So I guess Hillary Clinton is not going to go down without a fight.

Her “3 a.m.” ad, a combination of LBJ’s famous mushroom cloud, with a little bit of Willie Horton thrown in for good measure, has had an impact.

I wouldn’t be surprised if it propels her to victories in both Ohio and Texas.

Also having an impact is the Clinton whispering campaign about Obama’s religion. When a Republican talk radio host overuses Obama’s middle name in a rally for the Republican nominee, he gets chastised by Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.).
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Hillary Clinton and the 'Muslim Issue'

Hillary Clinton's equivocal comment on "60 Minutes" about whether Barack Obama is a Muslim was one of the most shameful moments I have ever heard from any leading Democrat, when asked about any other leading Democrat.

She couldn't just say no, and tell the truth.

A subject worth returning to, at a later date.
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Ohio and Texas Should Determine How Superdelegates Go

If Hillary wins either Ohio or Texas, or both, it will send a message to the superdelegates that they are morally justified in withholding their support from Obama. If she puts together other wins, it will send the message that it's OK to back Hillary even if she loses the overall count of elected delegates to Obama.

It doesn't really matter that much how many delegates each win on March 4. Obama will still have a lead among elected delegates no matter what, but that lead will be insufficient to offset a determined push by superdelegates. If Hillary wins a few primaries it will provide them with a perfect excuse to override the will of the voters — Obama didn't have staying power.
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What Happens on March 5?

Without resounding wins in both Texas and Ohio next week, it is mathematically impossible for Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) to come away with the nomination through the normal delegate process. That’s why her campaign is busily lobbying these so-called superdelegates with every promise her Big Government machine can produce. Such a move would essentially nullify the popular vote of over 10 million and counting party faithful, forcing Democrats to condone a process they have been criticizing for the past eight years.
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