Tuesday, February 19, 2008
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McCain vs. Obama.... oh, right, and Clinton too
John McCain went right after Barack Obama in his victory speech tonight. A few thoughts:
1) Matthew Yglesias beat me to the punch on this point -- it's a bit strange for McCain to critique Obama for saying the U.S. should unilaterally use force against terrorists in Pakistan on the same day the Washington Post reports that the U.S. is using unilateral force against terrorists in Pakistan.POSTSCRIPT: Mickey Kaus relates a possible anti-momentum theory that could help Clinton:
Hillary does best when Democratic voters sense she's about to get brutally knocked out of the race, as in New Hampshire. That prospect taps a well of residual sympathy for a woman who has devoted her life to politics, etc. But when Hillary is triumphant she seems arrogant and unbearable, and voters feel free to express those perceptions at the polls. It follows that Hillary will do better in the crucial states of Ohio and Texas if she loses in Wisconsin and has her back to the wall.The problem with this logic is that.... if it were true, she would have actually won Wisconsin. Clinton's back was already against the wall after eight straight losses, and there had been a week for these losses to sink into the electorate. The cable nets delighted in discussing her massive losses in the Potomac primaries. That combined with more favorable demographics should have pushed her to victory in the Badger state -- and yet it didn't.
ANOTHER POSTSCRIPT: Jamal Simmons observes the eerie similarities between the 2008 campaign and the fictional 2006 campaign that played out on The West Wing. My only quibble -- Hillary Clinton isn't Abby Bartlett -- she's John Hoynes.
LAST POSTSCRIPT: Worst... surrogate... ever:The most painful part is the background derisive laughter you can hear at the tail end of the clip. posted by Dan on 02.19.08 at 11:40 PM
Kaus proffering a grumpy "not so fast..." contrarian caveat?? Say it ain't so!posted by: Phil K on 02.19.08 at 11:40 PM [permalink]
It is a never ending miracle that the American people continue to elect 'likability' over 'experience' in almost every national election, Nixon's landslide the major exception. Mrs. Clinton's candidacy is in deep trouble: running simultaneously as a candidate of 'change' even as she campaigns stressing her 35 years of experience. If she loses Texas, what can she do but limp into the convention? If she loses both Texas and Ohio, she's toast, thanks to Bill after New Hampshire.posted by: a Duoist on 02.19.08 at 11:40 PM [permalink]
Kaus's quote is hilarious: "Hillary does best when Democratic voters sense she's about to get brutally knocked out of the race, as in New Hampshire."
Um...wasn't NH the only time so far she was (maybe) about to get brutally knocked out of the race and then "did best"? I mean, in CA, MA, NY, and NJ she actually seriously underperformed. So...his support for "Hillary does best" is one example? I'm all for countering conventional wisdom, but this is content free hypothesizing.posted by: ed on 02.19.08 at 11:40 PM [permalink]
I wouldn't be too hard on Rep. Watson. There aren't many people who could have answered Matthew's question. Besides, if we're really entering the hope-filled age of transformative politics what a candidate has done in the past shouldn't matter.posted by: Zathras on 02.19.08 at 11:40 PM [permalink]
Anyone running against McCain will plaster the airwaves with pictures of him with Bush. No words needed.posted by: Lord on 02.19.08 at 11:40 PM [permalink]
"Anyone running against McCain will plaster the airwaves with pictures of him with Bush. No words needed."
Hopefully there are enough intelligent people out there who realize McCain is no Bush and won't let those ads influence their vote.posted by: Dan on 02.19.08 at 11:40 PM [permalink]
McCain differs in style from Bush, but not in substance. He might be more competent, but that would be a gamble. McCain can't even pretend to be a change candidate.
Funny comments. Supposing that because a few individuals dislike President Bush so much they believe everyone else does. For the record, I wish there had never been an amendment against a third term. I'd vote for GWB all over again if I could. Obama is an empty suit, Clinton is an empty pantsuit. McCain is all right with me. I know you don't care, but I do. I hope President McCain continues the "cowboy unilateralist" doctrine perfected by GWB. Mark my words, in the future we will all thank God that GWB had the cajones to act the way he did. You don't like my ideas, I don't care. I am a historian, which means I have something most commenters here don't--perspective.posted by: Useless Sam Grant on 02.19.08 at 11:40 PM [permalink]
The right hate Hillary, but not as much as the left hate Bush.
I believe you are right though, that the Republicans fail to see this. They seem quite content with a 30% approval rating. I guess they assume the rest just don't know him.
Well Obama can talk about going into Pakistan .
1 ) The US was already doing
2) Which made put pressure on Musharif and made him look bad.
Tell me what was he thinking when he made such a comment. Maybe it was that he didn't know or perhaps wasn't interested enough in the subject to find out.
That was real smart wasn't it?
Useless Sam Grant:
Joe Klein's Conscience,
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