Re: Irrational Optimism: A Continuing Series.

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Hmmm. Refreshing, but not entirely persuasive. At this point, I see no way that either camp doesn't consider it a stolen election. The Obama-ites, for obvious reasons if it comes down to superdelegates, her camp because it would take her pulling out and not pushing superdelegates which, after this momentum push, will be a big disappointment I think. So you end up with the party split and the losing side feeling hostile toward the wining side. And without as much time as one wants for that hostility to be assuaged before the general.


Posted by: Sybil Vane | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 7:42 AM
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This used to be my thinking; now I want it decided so that the media will pay attention to McCain and catch him being an asshole. Also, if the mud is all being slung within the Democratic arena the story can too easily be spun that we're the party with identity problems and the abject loathing purely social vs. purely fiscal vs. purely libertarian conservatives feel for one another gets forgotten.

That said, if it turned into an Obama/Clinton or Clinton/Obama ticket at the convention, seriously, I would love that. There are things I like and dislike about each of them and a combined ticket would leave almost all the things I like intact but cancel out a lot of the things I dislike. How awesome would it be to keep the media spotlight and then turn the story into "we don't even need Republicans to have a unity ticket?" Then we'd all get a pony made of ice cream.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 7:47 AM
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if it turned into an Obama/Clinton or Clinton/Obama ticket

Too much bad blood at this point, I suspect.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 7:50 AM
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Nah, not buying it. The fact is the Republicans have their nominee, and to the extent that they get to get behind McCain while Clinton and Obama still tear at each other, that helps McCain. This is especially true when one considers the many, many ways in which Hillary Clinton has, and will continue to, attack Obama in ways that align with McCain's own message. Attacks like this one are actually worse coming from a fellow Democrat than they are from McCain himself, and the longer the primary goes on, the weaker and bloodier the eventual nominee will be.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 7:50 AM
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That said, if it turned into an Obama/Clinton or Clinton/Obama ticket at the convention, seriously, I would love that.

Fuck no. I'm voting for Obama specifically because I don't want Clintons in the White House anymore. Really, do none of you people have respect for the notion that some people, no matter how rich and powerful, shouldn't be rewarded for repeatedly shitting on the world?


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 7:53 AM
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Counter-thesis (from the vantage point of genuine neutrality):

A hard-fought, extended primary campaign will strengthenprovide free talking points for the eventual DemocraticRepublican victor. Whatever attacks are made on them will have been rendered ineffective by their failure in the primaryremembered forever by the MSM, and won't be usablewill be wheeled out repeatedly for more damage in the general election. And being the focus of media coverage throughout the spring, while McCain is old news, will be a significant advantageleave all the negative shit fresh in peoples' memories in the general.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 7:57 AM
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There's a consideration the press isn't much touching on that I hear a bunch from my friends in states with relatively late primaries: Hey, this time my vote is actually going to matter.


Posted by: Bruce Baugh | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 7:57 AM
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Yeah, at this point I'd rather have the media fall out of love with McCain, which takes time so their precious little narrative can be shaped.

Plus, she's going to go for the Muslim/he's black. Undecideds voted on 'race matters.' And that's just ugly.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 7:57 AM
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I obviously buy this argument. I would be less convinced if Obama were a politician with a longer history in the spotlight, for which this would be emphasizing pre-existing storylines. I think, in this case, whatever damage the attacks due is more than made up for by the additional time in the spotlight for Obama to define himself.

Additionally, I was thinking that there is a corollary to this idea. At whatever point Obama supporters feel comfortable that he will win the nomination it's important to start praising Clinton as powerful figure and formidable candidate.

Build up this victory as much as possible. Make the storyline, "whatever doubts you may have had about Obama's experience, he's just beaten one of the best known and most well connected people on the American political scene."

Think about how much mileage Clinton has been able to get out of the idea that she's been tested and vetted by surviving attacks from the right wing. Start making those claims if you're an Obama supporter. Say that he's faced X Million dollars in advertising against him and his numbers just went up over the courts of the campaign.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 8:00 AM
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Competing Irrational Pessimism Thesis: HRC will win the nomination in a way that leaves a bad taste in the mouths of many Democrats. The Clinton machine, born out of a need to compete in a state that is rich in Southern Conservatives or rural voters, variously, will continue accept the terms of debate of those people, and largely ignore those Dems that feel slighted. HRC will pick Wes Clark as VP, thereby accepting for the Democrats that without the valorizing aura of military service, no Executive is competent. This will, of course, structurally benefit the Republicans. And, after twenty or twenty four years of Clinton dominance within the party, those SoCon/rural terms of debate will be the most important ones for most of the rest of my life, during which time the Democratic Party will end up fighting an ineffectual battle against the Southern Conservatives. Over time, Dems will accede to Federalism, and the loss of the beneficial intervention associated with the Federal government, in order to allow Blue/urban states to better protect themselves against a largely hostile federal government.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 8:02 AM
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8: She's been race-baiting him since South Carolina, and there were always those staffers that got fired after they got "caught" forwarding the "Obama is a secret Muslim" emails. This shouldn't have been a surprise.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 8:03 AM
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Really, do none of you people have respect for the notion that some people, no matter how rich and powerful, shouldn't be rewarded for repeatedly shitting on the world?

Hey, check this out: 5 comments and I'm already done reading the political thread.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 8:04 AM
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Jim Henley's points:

* In a very short campaign window, Hillary's name recognition and establishment support trump. (NH and some Super Tuesday states.)

* In a "honeymoon-length" campaign window, the Obama campaign has time to work its magic - the rousing speeches; the grass-roots mojo - and generate a peak of enthusiasm that pays off at the polls. (South Carolina; the Potomac Primary et al).

* In a "marriage-length" campaign window, the Obama campaign has time to work its magic, then the magic has time to work off. That may be what we saw in the interminable two weeks between Wisconsin/Hawaii and Texas/Ohio. In particular, Obama's failure to win Texas after at least a brief time even or leading in the polls, and his lopsided loss in Ohio, would scare me.

By November, America will have a chance to be heartily sick of both major-party contestants. So I want to know Obama has staying power. Pennsylvania should provide a great test of this. Let the yinzers and Iggles fans and hicks endure both candidates for six weeks. See if Obama's appeal endures. If it does, he's your guy. If not, and you're an organization Dem, you really have to be leery of giving him the nod. If he can't overcome Sekrit Muslim Communist Agent smears and pseudocontrarian jibes about cultism in the primary of the somewhat liberal party, how is he going to beat the same tactics in the general election?


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 8:04 AM
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One more thing to consider. The two attacks on Obama that people most worry will be echoed in the general are "lack of experience" and "not one of us."

I'm arguing that the primary campaign itself is an argument against the first of those attacks and I think the best response to the second attack is to keep him, personally, on the news. I think the more people see of him the harder it is to make the "not one of us" attack, and the best way to see more of him is for the primary to continue.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 8:05 AM
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12 gets it exactly right.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 8:06 AM
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4- That's absolutely right about that ad. Lines like that deprecating a fellow Democrat in direct favor of the opposition party's nominee will make an Obama nomination especially Pyrrhic.

Several weeks ago, I wrote that I couldn't imagine a scenario where McCain wins the general. I see a couple now. An Obama-Clinton ticket??


Posted by: asl | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 8:07 AM
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If he can't overcome Sekrit Muslim Communist Agent smears and pseudocontrarian jibes about cultism in the primary of the somewhat liberal party, how is he going to beat the same tactics in the general election?

This misses the point. These attacks have more wait, not less, coming from ostensibly friendly Democrats in the primary. The only purpose they serve is to provide John McCain with bipartisan cover for the worst smears he can come up with. See OFE's comment at 6.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 8:09 AM
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Henley also thinks that one's ability to win large states in the primary is somehow predictive of one's ability to win large states in the general, which is to say, Henley has no idea what the fuck he's talking about. I'm forgiving, because he's a libertarian, and can't be expected to pay attention to how politics works.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 8:10 AM
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Another optimistic possibility: Since the Republican nomination is a done deal, the independents in the remaining open-primary states will vote in the Democratic primary. And once you've voted for someone in the primary, you're more likely to vote for that candidate in the general.

Is the Pennsylvania primary open? Are there any other important swing state primaries coming up?


Posted by: zadfrack | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 8:15 AM
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one's ability to win large states in the primary is somehow predictive of one's ability to win large states in the general

Yeah, John Kerry won Ohio handily four years ago against Edwards. Fat lot of good it did him in the general.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 8:16 AM
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I could give a crap whether it's harmful to the candidates. I'm sick of it. Enough primaries! (stamps foot, pouts)

On the other hand the prospect of a general election campaign that's only three months is pretty cool.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 8:16 AM
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Sometimes I think that we should all just take a break from our groundless speculation about election results and wait for the actual election results. Unless we live in states that still have primaries coming, it's out of our hands. Why not take a walk in the park? Prepare a gourmet meal? Make love?

That said, I will continue groundlessly speculating for the foreseeable future. My call on this question: sure, it sucks that Clinton is using McCain-helping attacks against Obama, but doesn't it matter that in the general election, Obama will have the opportunity to, you know, attack McCain? The guy is a maniacal warmonger with no discernable interest in domestic policy -- surely we might consider it preferable to have a nominee who could forthrightly reject McCain's crazy warmongering agenda, even if that candidate is vulnerable to certain attacks as well.


Posted by: Adam Kotsko | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 8:19 AM
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20: There is some evidence that Bush stole the election in Ohio last year. But the fact that it was close enough to be stealable is a problem in itself.


Posted by: Adam Kotsko | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 8:21 AM
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surely we might consider it preferable to have a nominee who could forthrightly reject McCain's crazy warmongering agenda, even if that candidate is vulnerable to certain attacks as well.

I'd prefer a candidate who's ready to bomb Iraq at 3 AM.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 8:26 AM
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22 wins the thread.


Posted by: NCProsecutor | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 8:26 AM
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So, does Atrios's election coverage get meatier and more personal now that Pennsylvania's salient?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 8:32 AM
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My shorter recap from the other thread of OFE in 6:

Overall media presidential election narrative:
Dem primaries: Bugs in jar. Shake jar; make 'em fight! Not fighting? Shake jar harder, we want bug fight! Bartertown want bug fight!!
Repub primaries: Nice froggy, so sleek, such beautiful skin. Nice tongue. Soon we give you wounded bug to eat. Yum!


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 8:35 AM
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Any theory of the primary predicated on the idea that a Dem will hurt a Dem more than a Republican will is simply ignorant of the last 20 years of American political history. This primary has been absolute fucking pattycakes between HRC and BHO - calling what happened in SC "race-baiting" is like calling two drunks pushing each other in the chest a cage match.

A Republican who is a talk show regular has an organization called C.U.N.T. Actual state Republican parties throw around "Hussein." The leaked NAFTA memo came from McCain, not HRC.* The only way HRC's minor sins can give this sort of shit "cover" is if BHO's campaign tells everyone that Bill Clinton comparing BHO to Jesse Jackson is "race-baiting."

This is only just getting started, and it will get so much worse.

* I would add that I don't have a big problem with HRC exploiting its release - it's a completely legit policy issue, and one that doesn't promote any pre-existing rightwing narratives. But the hit - essentially enlisting a foreign gov't to ding BHO, however legitimately - was done by McCain, not the supposedly ruthless HRC.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 8:38 AM
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So, does Atrios's election coverage get meatier and more personal now that Pennsylvania's salient?

You mean meatier than "People choose different candidates/parties because of important political differences" and "I don't care who wins the Dem nomination and neither should you"? Probably not.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 8:39 AM
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Sigh. I miss John Edwards.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 8:39 AM
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The leaked NAFTA memo came from McCain, not HRC.

Really? Do you have a link for that?

The only way HRC's minor sins can give this sort of shit "cover" is if BHO's campaign tells everyone that Bill Clinton comparing BHO to Jesse Jackson is "race-baiting."

Or "shuck and jive." Or "I think he's not a Muslim." Or "maybe he dealt." Whatever. It's going to come in any case.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 8:42 AM
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30: I'd like to hear from him this week, I tell you what.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 8:44 AM
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Not at all convincing, but much more helpful than Kevin Drum's attempt.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 8:47 AM
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I think it's now past the point where continuing the fight is good for the party, particularly in that the Clinton campaign now has what they'll take as validation that going negative works. If Obama doesn't hit back the same way, he probably still wins but sets up the Republicans for "even Obama's own party recognizes that he's...." If he does, yuck. Does anyone really believe there isn't a shit ton of grubby stuff in Bill Clinton's business dealings over the last eight years?


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 8:50 AM
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I'm generally inclined to think that most people aren't really paying attention until the general election anyway, so this stuff matters less than we think it does, either in being helpful or harmful.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 8:53 AM
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the reason I'm not convinced: the media tends to decide how true a criticism of a candidate is not based on the merits but based on how many people are saying it how loudly. Having McCain & Clinton loudly repeating the same bullsh*t, while a large # of Democrats will not call it bullsh*t because it would involve saying bad things about the Clintons, is harmful during the general election if he's the nominee. If she's the nominee, I can't see a way for her to win without: (1) getting even nastier about Obama, and/or (2) seating MI/FL without a re-vote; and/or (3) the superdelegates massively overriding the pledged delegates, all of which would happen late & embitter a lot of Obama supporters.

Potential counter: it's early yet, because the process was so front loaded. Clinton hadn't wrapped up the nomination at this point in 1992--if we have a nominee in April instead of March, it's really not a big deal. That's still plenty of time, especially since they're doing the get-out-the-vote groundwork in many states now.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 8:54 AM
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2: That said, if it turned into an Obama/Clinton or Clinton/Obama ticket at the convention, seriously, I would love that.

Woohooo ! I'm already on board. If a third person agrees, then we have a trend and we can contact the NYT.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 8:56 AM
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There's also the Long March argument; the Long March was militarily a disaster for the Chinese Communists, but it did turn into the longest armed-propaganda exercise in the history of war, taking the revolution on the road across most of China. In a sense, it's also the outworking of the 51 state strategy; taking the politics to every damn school hall anywhere, before the general election even kicks off. Seizing the mind-share.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 8:56 AM
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I'm generally inclined to think that most people aren't really paying attention until the general election anyway, so this stuff matters less than we think it does, either in being helpful or harmful.

I disagree. It gets repeated so frequently that people think it is the truth.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 8:57 AM
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At this point, what the Democrats really need is a Cultural Revolution.


Posted by: Adam Kotsko | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 8:58 AM
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34: I find it fairly striking how many sleazy rumors just happen to get whispered & circulated about Obama right before the primaries, and seem to influence Democratic voters, and how that DOESN'T happen to Clinton. Not that I want him to go there, of course.

But, if she is going to make an attack on national security issues central, using similar arguments to McCain--well, there's no area in which he's better equipped to land tough, but fair, counterpunches that work against both candidates. So, good.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 8:59 AM
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At this point, what the Democrats really need is a Cultural Revolution.

Dude, we're going to get it! See #10: everyone out of the cities and back to the farms. Soft hands mean shot heads. Woo hoo!


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 9:00 AM
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This is now the second thread that's gone onto the Cultural Revolution (admittedly the other one was my fault). I'm going home.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 9:00 AM
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43: I wouldn't worry about it until the Democratic candidates start pushing for every household to do their own iron smelting.


Posted by: Adam Kotsko | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 9:01 AM
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Does anyone really believe there isn't a shit ton of grubby stuff in Bill Clinton's business dealings over the last eight years?

I can't vouch for the accuracy or respectability of the source, but according to this, the Clinton's net wealth went from just over 2 million dollars in 2003 to nearly 35 million dollars in 2006.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 9:04 AM
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Not at all convincing, but much more helpful than Kevin Drum's attempt.

Seriously. "This will be awesome for the Democrats, just like 1968." What is wrong with that man?


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 9:05 AM
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wealth s/b worth


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 9:05 AM
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I wouldn't worry about it until the Democratic candidates start pushing for every household to do their own iron smelting.

Well, it's only protectionism turned up to 11...


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 9:05 AM
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39: I'm still not seeing the damaging meme that is arising that would not otherwise.

Obama isn't ready for the 3 a.m. call? He better goddam well have an answer to that one, or I don't want him as the nominee. There has never been any doubt that the Republicans would be trying to pin that on him.

NAFTA? Well, Obama's guy fucked up. Still, I don't think free trade is a great political issue for the Republicans.

Race? People have figured out that Obama is black. Bill's argument was that this limits Obama's appeal. Conveniently, that gets to be tested when people actually vote.

No obvious risk to a continued campaign exists except one: It's a predictable fact that unpredictable stuff comes up. The more campaigning, the more chances there are to screw up, as Goolsbee demonstrated.

But I agree with LB's Pollyanna post in that I think there is a definite potential upside to ongoing national exposure for Obama.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 9:06 AM
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I still don't understand why Clinton remains in the race. It's just about mathematically impossible for her to catch Obama. And if she wins with superdelegates or by seating Michigan and Florida, I can't be the only one who won't vote, or will vote for McCain. I'm still mystified by this. This race has been over for weeks.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 9:09 AM
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McSame as Bush.

I still don't understand why Clinton remains in the race.

Enwhitlement.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 9:12 AM
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I still don't understand why Clinton remains in the race. It's just about mathematically impossible for her to catch Obama. And if she wins with superdelegates or by seating Michigan and Florida, I can't be the only one who won't vote, or will vote for McCain. I'm still mystified by this. This race has been over for weeks.

What are you talking about? It's win or go home. Of course she's staying. She might win, by whatever means necessary. A win is a win is a win, and an ugly win still counts. And if she loses, then she ends up in the same place as if she quits: a nice NY state sinecure and no future shot at President. There's no cost to her--distinct from the party, though the Clintons might not recognize that distinction--for staying.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 9:13 AM
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Yes, that's my point.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 9:14 AM
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Hey, the BBC is reporting that Bush endorsed McCain. Game over.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 9:14 AM
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49: But what you wouldn't have is so much Even other Democrats don't think yadda yadda whatever ammo. The kind of things that the fatuous buttwipes in the media will run with even more with the "bipartisan" cover.

Still the only one that has really crossed the line for me (and it really, really crossed the line) was the "Only John McCain and I have the experience, Barack has a speech." comment. Could you tee it up any higher for the Tim Russert and the Repubs?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 9:15 AM
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"Only John McCain and I have the experience, Barack has a speech." comment.

I'm pretty sure IOKIYAClintonite, so you can't really count that.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 9:17 AM
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50: It reminds me of Jonathan Schwarz's "iron law of institutions" -- given a choice between increasing their own power within the institution and increasing the power of the institution as a whole, people will almost always choose the former.


Posted by: Adam Kotsko | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 9:21 AM
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I still don't understand why Clinton remains in the race.

If their positions were reversed, would you understand why Obama stays in the race? I would. Not quitting while the race continues is pretty much SOP among politicians and other competitors. Hillary thinks she ought to be president. A big chunk of voters agree. We're a country with many democracy-like attributes. People will vote.

Me, what I don't understand is how someone can say this:

I can't be the only one who won't vote, or will vote for McCain.

But again, it's a democracy. Different people find different issues salient.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 9:31 AM
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If their positions were reversed, would you understand why Obama stays in the race?

If the positions were reversed, Obama would be lucky to get as much attention as Huckabee.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 9:34 AM
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I don't know if I agree in detail with Tim's analysis in #10, but it does seem to me that the choice here is basically between a future for the Democratic party (Obama), and not (Clinton). Not that Obama himself is the messiah, but it seems important to me that he is able to mobilize voters who previously didn't care much about the political process -- and vague (and potentially misleading) as the message of "hope" and "change" is, I think there's some possibility of it releasing some energies that will assert themselves over against even Obama himself. (I'm thinking of doing one of those "blog posts" about this topic, actually.)


Posted by: Adam Kotsko | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 9:37 AM
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59: You're fucking delusional.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 9:38 AM
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Me, what I don't understand is how someone can say this:

From Ogged's About page: "Ogged sometimes finds himself in agreement with the loony right, other times with the loony left. He will try, and fail repeatedly, not to split the difference."


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 9:38 AM
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You're fucking delusional.

Huh. I suspect he's right. If Hillary had had the Obama streak, would there still be a race?


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 9:39 AM
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Huh. I suspect he's right. If Hillary had had the Obama streak, would there still be a race?

After eleven victories in a row? I doubt it.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 9:40 AM
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60: Yes, judging from my kids and their friends a seedy Clinton win would be a big turnoff. And I could see it carrying on well past the election. (The circumstances were very different, but I do think Carter is an example of a president who really took any remaining air out of young Democrats in his day.)


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 9:42 AM
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59: Not sure if there's a productive conversation to be had here - really I just have a different perception than you on the media's treatment of Obama and Hillary, and such perceptions have a strong subjective component.

But I'll say this: There are a lot of reasons I favor Obama, but a key one is the fact that he's good at working the media, and the media doesn't hate him the way it does Hillary. That's not a dispositive factor for me, but it's not trivial.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 9:43 AM
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I don't think Obama would have hung on this long if he hadn't won Iowa. If he loses in Iowa, he doesn't get the boost of people saying either 'wow, historic!' or 'hey, white people voted for this guy!' or the money.

No way the DLC candidate wins 11 in a row and the interesting, charismatic, but ultimate runner-up doesn't run out of money or be told, nice show, see you in four.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 9:43 AM
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I'd vote for Clinton after a seedy win, but I might change my voter registration--decent odds I'll move to an open primary state before I have to change it back.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 9:47 AM
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Well I guess one man's delusion is another man's conventional wisdom. I think you guys are misunderestimating where the real narrative comes from. The DLC are fucking loser chumps. Bugs in jar, baby, bugs in a jar.

.. then again, I may be very wrong.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 9:47 AM
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Is the Pennsylvania primary open?

n'open


Posted by: cleek | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 9:49 AM
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If he'd lost that many in a row, the superdelegates would not do him the courtesy of waiting to see if he could hold his most demographically favorable states. And on the off chance that he did, if he didn't managed to make up any delegates in those states he'd be knocked out of the race.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 9:50 AM
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Heh.

I think one thing is clear this far into the Democratic primary race: Both Obama's and Clinton's supporters must now drop out of the race.

Hillary Clinton's supporters have gotten incredibly annoying, with their chants of "Yes She Can," and charges of cultism and their desperate yelps of schadenfreude every time Clinton looks like she might actually be "recapturing the lead" that she never had.

And Obama's supporters, yes, you too are incredibly annoying, with your accusations of Clintonian Republicanism and your whiny little cries about how you're going to take your ball and run home if your candidate doesn't win the primary.

Supporters of both candidates, please listen closely. For the good of the Party -- no, for the good of the Nation! -- the time has come for you to leave this race.

No more late nights in front of MSNBC. No more blogging. No more reading TPM. No more arguing at the watercooler, or at the happy hour after work at TGIF's.

Find a hobby.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 9:56 AM
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FWIW, Clinton on NPR news saying she'd consider a joint ticket. But she wants to head it.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 10:04 AM
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72 is an excellent suggestion.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 10:05 AM
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After eleven victories in a row? I doubt it.

You'd be hearing a lot more calls from pundits for Obama to drop out. Pundits always want the person in second place to drop out. But remember, Obama only took the delegate lead in the middle of that streak - IIRC, he was behind until Washington, which was #4 of the win streak.

So when, during the Streak, should HRC have dropped? As soon as she fell behind? Once she lost MD DC & VA, which no one expected her to win?

That said, I've already said a couple times that I've thought it's been over for a month. But it's not my call.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 10:07 AM
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65:That's the problem with counting on the youth vote. Fickle, flighty, over-emotional, unstable. The type who will cry & stamp their feet if they don't exactly get their way;go for Reagan as easily as Ted Kennedy;go for McCain if they can't have Obama. They demand politics be "pretty" asnd "fun" and "idealistic" and "fair". They will not be worth a damn in policy fights.

Freedom is a very long battle;they can be useful when they grow up. Meanwhile pat them on the head but don't let them sit at the grownups table.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 10:07 AM
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76: Fuck me. Sorry guys. .... must remember "don't poke the bear" ... "don't poke the bear"


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 10:10 AM
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Freedom is a very long battle

What the fuck would you know about it, magic dreamer?


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 10:10 AM
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31: I can't find a link; I thought I read it on TPM, but the search engine there says no. But I swear I saw it on some reputable blog on Sunday or so.

Anyway, the premise is that the Tory gov't in CA fed their conservative brethren in the McCain camp this memo, damaging to a Dem. And as I said, I though there was some actual reportage to that effect, but now who knows?

55: I hadn't seen "Only John McCain and I have the experience, Barack has a speech" before today. That fucking sucks.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 10:11 AM
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bob's not even trying to be subtle, kids.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 10:11 AM
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Freedom's just another word for nothing left but booze.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 10:12 AM
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80:Sure I am. It was an attempt to be funny, to take the minds of the Obammers off their devastating defeat and let them unite in attacking their usual and favorite enemy:

Older blue-collar Democrats.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 10:16 AM
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Two quotes from here, the first from Obama:

"Over the coming weeks we will join her in that argument. Was she negotiating treaties? Was she handling crisis? The answer is 'no.'"

A senior Obama adviser, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Obama's team will respond to Tuesday's results by going negative on Clinton -- raising questions about her tax records and the source of donations to the Clinton presidential library, among skeletons in the Clintons' past.

Goose and gander sauce or something like that.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 10:17 AM
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83:Why does Obama want to destroy the Democratic Party? Obama must withdraw.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 10:18 AM
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I like mcmanus the anarcho-syndicalist much better than mcmanus the Tim Russert clone.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 10:19 AM
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Older blue-collar Democrats

"Blue-collar," your pasty, white, shut-in ass. You're not even all that old. You're just a fifty-something schizophrenic with too much time on his hands.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 10:19 AM
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84: G! R! A-V-E-L! MIKE MIKE MIKE MIKE MIKE GRAVEL!


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 10:20 AM
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Does anyone know why Texas caucus reporting is still at 36%?


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 10:20 AM
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the Tory gov't in CA

Like, the Earl of San Bernardino County?


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 10:22 AM
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89 is very funny.


Posted by: Ari | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 10:25 AM
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And, hell, I still have hopes of a vicious brokered convention compromising on John Edwards. Only John Edwards can unite our fractured fractious party.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 10:26 AM
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Also 72. Thanks for that, Apo.


Posted by: Ari | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 10:26 AM
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You're just a fifty-something schizophrenic with too much time on his hands.

As opposed to all the twenty-something schizophrenics with too much time on their hands.

83 is really bad. Both sides have to avoid tearing each other down. I've always vaguely suspected Obama of being an opportunist. If he turns his back on his post-partisan politics to fling mud at Hillary, then that will be an indicator.


Posted by: PerfectlyGoddamnDelightful | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 10:29 AM
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72:I voted for John Edwards yesterday, so I guess I can stay in the race.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 10:32 AM
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87 to 91.

83 is really bad. Both sides have to avoid tearing each other down.

Agreed, but the Clinton camp has already made it clear they are going that route. What would you propose the Obama response be? Stay above it, like Kerry and the SwiftBoaters?


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 10:38 AM
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I've always vaguely suspected Obama of being an opportunist. If he turns his back on his post-partisan politics to fling mud at Hillary, then that will be an indicator.

Clinton says Obama might be a secret Muslim, and hey, it's just politics as usual. Obama says Clinton might not have the five-thousand years of awesome presidential experience she says she's got, and this is a clear and damning indictment of Obama's mud-slinging tactics.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 10:42 AM
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I have no problem with Obama going negative, but can I just say that I find the "release your taxes" thing to be the weakest fucking thing ever? Whether it's my side saying it or the other, I always just think, "That all the balls you got, Santa?"


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 10:44 AM
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I am OK with Obama in 83 as long as he does not explicitly or implicitly use the "John McCain and I" construction. Contrasting with yourself— OK. Bringing the Repub candidate into the mix in a positive way—not OK. And so far only Hillary has gone there.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 10:46 AM
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97: Really? I think it's a fair issue. And more than that, given Obama's long record on transperncy and other goo-goo issues, I think it's a big winner for him. In other words, I don't think he'll have to go negative to go negative with that one.


Posted by: Ari | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 10:48 AM
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I wish I had spelled transparency correctly. But I stand by the point.


Posted by: Ari | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 10:49 AM
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Agreed, but the Clinton camp has already made it clear they are going that route. What would you propose the Obama response be? Stay above it, like Kerry and the SwiftBoaters?

Yes. Part of this is that I don't see that Hillary is running a particularly dirty campaign. Raising doubts about his experience is annoying but within bounds, and there are plenty of tough but fair ways to respond.

The Kerry/Swiftboat analogy is off, because Kerry needed to go after the Swiftboaters, who telling outright slanderous lies about him, and debunk their lies. Hillary is not lying about Obama, hence nothing to debunk.

Both candidates need to value the party above their own campaigns. Obama in particular will have plenty of chances to run in the future.

He's run on elevating the tone of politics, let's see now if he was telling the truth. If he starts to sound like Rush et. al. on the Clintons, what will that say about him?


Posted by: PerfectlyGoddamnDelightful | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 10:51 AM
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83 does sound bad. Somewhat necessary, but bad. If Obama's campaign turns really vicious and dirty instead of just doing some pointing out of "Oh hey, remember these much shadier scandals among Clinton supporters, real estate deals, etc.? Glass houses, stones." My worst nightmare would be a sexist line of argument on a level with the Clinton's campaign insinuations about race and being Muslim, which would just turn me off to the whole deal.

Also, I'm thinking more about Megan's premise of slicing up the US in agreeable ways. How about we move Columbus, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Toledo and Dayton into a merged metropolis in central Illinois; move Detroit and Ann Arbor into eastern Iowa; and then create a semi-autonomous region out of Wisconsin, Illinois, Minnesota, and the eastern sections of Iowa and Missouri?


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 10:51 AM
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I always just think, "That all the balls you got, Santa?"

Awesome.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 10:52 AM
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Not sure I buy this, but it's sad (to me) that I find it at least believable on its face. Via Ackerman. Someone in the underlying story notes that the entire ad, not just Obama is darker, and that this is standard practice. If true, I assume that'll be the defense.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 10:53 AM
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Anyway, the premise is that the Tory gov't in CA fed their conservative brethren in the McCain camp this memo, damaging to a Dem. And as I said, I though there was some actual reportage to that effect, but now who knows?

This is certainly how it's being reported in Canada. The Liberals and NDP are accusing the Canadian Conservatives of leaking the memo in order to help McCain. The Canadian Tories are very cosy with the GOP, not so cosy with the Democrats. It's really far-fetched to assume that someone in Harper's govt was trying to help Clinton.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 10:53 AM
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Clinton says Obama might be a secret Muslim, and hey, it's just politics as usual.

Oh fucking give it up. She didn't fucking say it. If you mean the photo thing, then I look forward to you fully crediting every other thing Drudge says this year. If you mean the "as far as I know" thing, then it's just pathetic. Clinton said, about the "secret Muslim" charge, "Of course not... there is no basis for that... there isn't any reason to doubt [what he says]... No. No, there is nothing to base that on. As far as I know." Yes, she added a caveat at the end (how unusual for a politician!), after making 6 unequivocal denials.

Again, if you think this is Swift-Boating, then you really have no clue.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 10:53 AM
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He's run on elevating the tone of politics, let's see now if he was telling the truth. If he starts to sound like Rush et. al. on the Clintons, what will that say about him?

That he wants to win?

Again, if you think this is Swift-Boating, then you really have no clue.

You, on the other hand, are offended by the mocking of people who buy stand mixers. Different strokes.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 10:57 AM
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104: I spotted a headline on that, and thought, "haven't we been through this before?" Wasn't there some big deal about Condi being darker in a photo, or some such?

Pictures get modified for publication. It wasn't an anti-Semitic plot when Reuters published dark clouds over Beirut, and T'm strongly disinclined to view this as a plot, either.

I'm not saying it's impossible, or even implausible. But the innocent explanation has been used by my side against frothing rightwingers for 5 years now, and I'm not going to flip my position because, in this case, my opponent looks like the culprit.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 10:57 AM
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My worst nightmare would be a sexist line of argument on a level with the Clinton's campaign insinuations about race and being Muslim, which would just turn me off to the whole deal.

Why isn't the Clinton campaign's race-baiting already "your worst nightmare," then?

Anyway, I don't see anything in the link at 83 that suggests Obama's people will start working on lesbian rumors or anything. Mostly I see Obama talking about questioning Clinton's experience - which he should've been doing all along - and some other talk about bringing up dodgy Clinton fundraising, which is perfectly fair now that Clinton wants to make the whole primary about Rezko.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 10:58 AM
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I wasn't offended, Tim. I didn't think it was funny.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 10:58 AM
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OK, wait, I just saw that the HRC ad was a video, not a still. That's a LOT shadier.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 11:00 AM
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The Liberals and NDP are accusing the Canadian Conservatives of leaking the memo in order to help McCain.

But it's still interesting that the GOP would rather deploy information like this now instead of during the general election. They must think it's very worthwhile to weaken Obama now and hope to get Clinton in the general election rather than try to make hypocrisy charges stick in the general election.

Especially when they probably know that an anti-free-trade platform is not a big winner outside a handful of Democratic primaries.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 11:00 AM
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That he wants to win?

If all he wants is to win, then he's a selfish opportunist bastard who doesn't deserve to win. He should want his principles and policies to win. With Hillary as President and him in the Senate, there's a reasonable chance they would -- much better than they would if McCain was President.

It's pretty fucking entertaining watching how eager the Obama supporters are to morph into exactly what they say they are against...maybe it will help them understand the Clintons better.

A Democratic primary is different than the general.


Posted by: PerfectlyGoddamnDelightful | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 11:00 AM
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113: I'm sure if I go back in the archives I'll find you getting just this upset at the Clinton campaign for attacking Obama nonstop, in increasingly racist terms, over the last several months.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 11:02 AM
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He should want his principles and policies to win.

I think they offer The West Wing in a boxed set now.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 11:03 AM
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That's a LOT shadier.

To extend: from my understanding of video production, which is slight. But whereas I've done enough publishing and photoshopping in my life to feel quite confident that darkening* an image in a still is common and likely innocent, I don't believe the same to be true of video. I could be wrong about that, but my skepticism flips the other way.

* Upping the saturation, actually, which is pretty clearly what has happened in the vid in question


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 11:03 AM
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I don't think it's Swift Boating on either side. But there has been an oft-repeated argument that Obama needs to show he can respond to the inevitable GOP negative campaigning.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 11:04 AM
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, I don't believe the same to be true of video.

Apparently it's a standard tactic in campaign attack ads. Or so says the underlying Kos diary.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 11:05 AM
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114 doesn't seem to understand what 113 is saying. For 3 months, we've been hearing about how Obama is Good, unlike those wicked Clintons. When that's your argument, you lose the moment you get down in the muck.

Is this really so complicated?


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 11:06 AM
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113: Glad you're entertained, PGD. That's what we're here for, us monolithic Obamaniacs. And by the way, it's possible that he wants to win for perfectly good reasons: to mobilize parts of the electorate that otherwise will remain dormant, to close Gitmo, because he thinks he can win the general, etc.


Posted by: Ari | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 11:06 AM
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115, unlike most of SWPL, is funny.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 11:07 AM
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And if the Rezko nonsense is fair game, then so are the Clinton's tax returns.

how eager the Obama supporters are to morph

I'm an Edwards guy, not an Obama supporter. With Edwards out, I'm pretty much just pro-anybody-but-Clinton.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 11:07 AM
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PGD, is it safe to assume that your objection is to talk about financials, etc. not to the "you answered the phone at 3 am when exactly, with what security clearance" counterargument?


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 11:08 AM
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. For 3 months, we've been hearing about how Obama is Good, unlike those wicked Clintons.

I this is your mistake. Here, at least, it has been mostly that the Clintonite set/DLCers are bad in specific ways, with the history that shows the same, unlike Obama (and any number of other decent Democrats).


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 11:10 AM
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I've never seen a single "racist" attack from Hillary on Obama, or any evidence whatsoever of race-baiting from the Clinton campaign. My imagination is not as overheated as that of the typical Obama supporter, though.

115: that's fake-pragmatist, fake-worldly, fake-knowledgeable. Obama and Hillary are both essentially on the same side. They are arguing about who will be the most effective in reaching similar goals. If they collectively trash the ability of either to reach those goals then they both lose, and so do we. Certainly that is how we voters should be viewing it. I don't give a fuck whether Obama or Hillary gets to put President of the United States on their personal resume, I just care about the policies that end up being put in place.

If Obama can stay tough but within bounds -- like Hillary has -- then fine. If he does stuff that significantly weakens Hillary for the general, then he's a selfish asshole. Same goes for Hillary.


Posted by: PerfectlyGoddamnDelightful | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 11:10 AM
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Why isn't the Clinton campaign's race-baiting already "your worst nightmare," then?

Because I still think that Obama's likely to win. The Clinton campaign's dirtiness will hurt her and her husband's reputations, but ultimately the effects on the general election will be limited because the Republicans would have launched the same attacks anyway. A Democratic nominee who got that way through cheap fear tactics and bigotry is my real fear, though it's a worse possibility for Obama because I actually wanted something good from him. I've pretty much given up on Clinton long ago, as I've mentioned in countless other threads. She's just not getting my vote.

I agree that hitting harder on Clinton's supposed experience is a perfectly fine move, as is pointing out any scandals in her past in the same areas where she's accusing Obama of shady dealings.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 11:11 AM
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Here's the Clinton ad, so anyone who wants to argue about it can look at it first. I've been talking about it on ObWi.

I'm genuinely not sure if it's darkened. What it really looks like to me is that it's been desaturated to make him look unattractively grey, rather than darkened -- it goes from cold footage of him, to warm attractive footage of her. The color's definitely manipulated, I'm just not sure that it's darkened so as to be a subliminally racial message, rather than just washed out to be unattractive.

But if people tell me it's obviously racial, I won't argue.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 11:11 AM
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If all he wants is to win, then he's a selfish opportunist bastard who doesn't deserve to win. He should want his principles and policies to win. With Hillary as President and him in the Senate, there's a reasonable chance they would -- much better than they would if McCain was President.

With what needs changing changed, isn't this true of Clinton as well? She's more likely to get her policies across with herself in the Senate and Obama in the White House than with McCain as President (except her policies regarding Iraq, maybe).


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 11:11 AM
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But it's still interesting that the GOP would rather deploy information like this now instead of during the general election. They must think it's very worthwhile to weaken Obama now and hope to get Clinton in the general election rather than try to make hypocrisy charges stick in the general election.

But a hypocrisy charge in the general is pretty weak, whereas an "Obama is pro-NAFTA, but lying to you about it" charge is extremely potent in Ohio.

I don't know that the McCain campaign has a really strong preference for which Dem to run against; his best hope is that they do bloody each other, so that he can take on a weakened opponent. But I don't think it matters much - nothing that's happened to date has "weakened" either candidate for the general, and I don't think McCain can beat either of them.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 11:11 AM
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128: yes. That's why I ended 125 with "same goes for Hillary".

I'm just starting to get worried by the emerging dynamic between the two.


Posted by: PerfectlyGoddamnDelightful | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 11:13 AM
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124: That's wouldn't be my precis of the last 3 months of threads here. Part of it, maybe, but far from the whole.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 11:13 AM
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131: I count myself, Apo, stras (an Edwards supporter), and ogged (though the Shi'a do like their mysticism), at a minimum.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 11:17 AM
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Forget race--I'm having what a "Bluebeard's wife" problem where each incident makes me less inclined to give the benefit of the doubt about the previous dozen incidents but whatever, I'm obviously biased--how on earth is "release your tax returns" out of bounds while the Rezko stuff isn't?


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 11:19 AM
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I think I disagree with most of 125. There have been plenty of racist attacks on Obama by Clinton, and their stylistic differences matter. Vulcan analysis that they both have similar positions on issues c through n is pretty limited.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 11:20 AM
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I oppose the Clintons on content. If Obama thinks he can appeal to people by elevating the tone of politics, bully for him; I consider that a strategic move, not a morally compelling reason to vote for him.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 11:22 AM
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I've never seen a single "racist" attack from Hillary on Obama, or any evidence whatsoever of race-baiting from the Clinton campaign

One wonders at your standards of proof, and if they applied to the Bush 2000 campaign in South Carolina.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 11:26 AM
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For 3 months, we've been hearing about how Obama is Good, unlike those wicked Clintons. When that's your argument, you lose the moment you get down in the muck.

I don't dislike the Clintons because they use negative campaigning. I dislike the Clintons because they're conservatives and warmongers, and because their influence on the Democratic Party tilts the rest of the country furthering in a conservative, warmongering direction. I don't see how Obama becomes "Bad" by actually deciding to take a few swipes at them.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 11:31 AM
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I'm not convinced by the charges of racism aimed at the Clinton campaign either. I think WJC's remark about Jesse Jackson winning SC was completely on topic and legitimate. It's a state that has shown solid support for AA candidates in past elections; it isn't racist to note that when a reporter asks why Obama won the state.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 11:31 AM
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I think WJC's remark about Jesse Jackson winning SC was completely on topic and legitimate.

"Shuck and jive" mattered much more to me than the WJC Jesse Jackson thing, about which I'm studiously agnostic.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 11:33 AM
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There was "shucking and jiving." There were the numerous attempts to peddle the "Obama dealt drugs" meme, of which Robert Johnson's was only the most prominent. There were the various "muslim" and "madrassa" lines coming from Clinton surrogates and staffers.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 11:37 AM
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I honestly have no idea what people are talking about on this "racist" front. I read the papers, I've watched the debates, I've seen TV ads when my area was contested. Nada. It's possible I've just missed something. It's also possible that the campaign is becoming a hothouse where people are making mountains out of molehills by massively overinterpreting ordinary rhetoric. I can't say since I don't even know what people are referring to.

In terms of the fairness of attacks: this is a tricky issue. I agree that if she's going after Rezko he gets to go after her financing. But I think both should be avoiding tearing the other person down for the general, and ideally both should be spending time going after McCain. In this context, Hillary's claims that Obama is not ready for executive leadership are very potentially problematic. Even though they are in bounds for political rhetoric, they give McCain free reinforcement for what is going to be one of his basic messages. I'm not happy with that at all.

What worries me most on the net is this crazy, irrational, unjustified level of hatred for Hillary that seems to be brewing among some segments on the left. I'm not worried that Hillary supporters won't vote for Obama in the general, they will. But this nutty hostility to Hillary from the Obama-ites is something else. Hopefully I'm overinterpreting in my own way from following blogs too closely. But I just don't understand what's going on with this.


Posted by: PerfectlyGoddamnDelightful | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 11:39 AM
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I'm not worried that Hillary supporters won't vote for Obama in the general, they will.

Probably not the 20% of her Ohio voters who chose her on, in part, race. His (slightly smaller) race voters have nowhere else to go.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 11:41 AM
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But this nutty hostility to Hillary from the Obama-ites is something else

I think this has to do with where you're reading. Check out Talk Left or Taylor Marsh for nutty hostility to Obama. It's the way it goes in political campaigns: of course you're going to hate the one thing standing between your candidate and the office.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 11:42 AM
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140: the only thing that struck me as worthy of comment in any of those things was Hillary's nasty little statement that "If Obama says he's not Muslim, then I believe him". That was low and made me disappointed in her.

For some of the other stuff, we're getting toward that "niggardly" territory. I blame Obama supporters just as much for being way overeager to play the race card at every opportunity, which could weaken black turnout in the general.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 11:43 AM
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this crazy, irrational, unjustified level of hatred for Hillary

I don't hate her; as a person, I like her very much. Same with her husband. I just think she would be a) almost certain to lose in the general, and b) bad for the direction of the party and the country if she somehow managed to win.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 11:45 AM
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But I think both should be avoiding tearing the other person down for the general, and ideally both should be spending time going after McCain.

This horse has left the barn.

My own optimism is that when HRC loses to McCain, the Clinton era in American presidential politics will be over. That too is irrational, probably.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 11:48 AM
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was Hillary's nasty little statement that "If Obama says he's not Muslim, then I believe him".

If this is paraphrased from what I think it's paraphrased from, it sounded unexceptionable to me. She said unequivocally that of course he wasn't Muslim first, and then kept on talking, repeating herself, the way people do. It didn't sound like an attempt to inject doubt.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 11:48 AM
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My own optimism is that when HRC loses to McCain, the Clinton era in American presidential politics will be over. That too is irrational, probably.

If you're going to dream, dream big: physical exile for both of them.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 11:51 AM
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FYI, I voted for Obama, although it was a very close call.

I think what we're seeing now is whether he is vulnerable electorally as people get to know him better. I think it's dangerous to let the first flush of acquaintance with a candidate, before people form their views completely, determine the nomination. I don't know whether his fundamental otherness -- the name, the background, etc. -- is going to be an insurmountable barrier in the general. His momentum was stopped dead over the last week as soon as the press stopped going easy on him.

What I really care about is electability. Contrary to apo in 145, I don't think there will be a *major* difference in the direction of either the party or the country depending on which Dem is elected. Their platforms are quite similar and they are being pushed in similar directions by events. I trust his foreign policy instincts more than hers, but they are both so much better than McCain that I'm not too concerned.


Posted by: PerfectlyGoddamnDelightful | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 11:51 AM
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7 weeks more of this at a minimum? Fuck it all, I'm voting McCain/Nader.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 11:51 AM
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147: thanks. I didn't actually see the interview.


Posted by: PerfectlyGoddamnDelightful | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 11:52 AM
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147: Yeah, that seemed overblown too.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 11:52 AM
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Their platforms are quite similar

Cripes.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 11:53 AM
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132: I'm probably combining the anti-Clintonism from the Obama-ambivalents with the pro-Obamaism of the Obama fans.

At any rate, I still stand by my belief that a critical aspect of Obama's appeal is that he fights clean, is above the fray, represents positive values, etc. All of which may be squandered if he goes negative, and in a way that doesn't apply to HRC, who hasn't run on such an appeal.

"Everyone does it" isn't an adequate defense when you're claim has been "I'm not like everyone else."


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 11:55 AM
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Contrary to apo in 145

Racist.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 11:56 AM
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OT:
Speaking of dreams and inspiration, this is a cool video:

http://video.stumbleupon.com/#p=ithct48cqw


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 11:57 AM
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144, 147: See 106 for the verbatim quote (with ellipses). See here for more.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 11:58 AM
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Fuck it all, I'm voting McCain/Nader.

Huh. I've always seen you as more of a Natural Law Party kind of guy.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 11:58 AM
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It didn't sound like an attempt to inject doubt.

Agreed.

His momentum was stopped dead over the last week as soon as the press stopped going easy on him.

Not sure that's right. Golsbeegate was a real screw-up; other stuff I think he's defended well enough.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 11:59 AM
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154: yup.

155: I'm just calling a spade a spade.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 12:00 PM
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"Everyone does it" isn't an adequate defense when you're claim has been "I'm not like everyone else."

Oh, wank, wank. This is another way of saying "Obama talks about the politics of hope, so why is he talking about how I voted for the Iraq War?" It's bullshit. Candidates can and should contrast their records and platforms as much as they want. That's not "mud-slinging." Mud-slinging implies something untoward or below-the-belt - like, say, sending a photo of your black opponent in a turban to Matt Drudge in the hopes of getting white voters to think he's a scary Muslim.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 12:01 PM
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Goolsbee should be shown the door, IMO.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 12:01 PM
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Not sure that's right. Golsbeegate was a real screw-up; other stuff I think he's defended well enough.

A screw-up combined with a masterful hit by Michael Harper, who's clearly a better campaigner than anyone currently in this race. Good work, Evil Canada!


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 12:02 PM
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it sounded unexceptionable to me

This is a good example of why I get frustrated and end up defending HRC so much. Taking LB as an honest broker, HRC's statement on Obama the Secret Muslim was "unexceptionable." And yet, somehow, the Obama fans and Clinton foes* have taken exception, and added it to their list of dirty campaigning that proves she doesn't deserve their vote. It just pisses me off. I don't spend any time at anti-Obama sites, so I'm not exposed to the opposite (insofar as it may exist).

* Not all, of course.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 12:03 PM
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Goolsbee should be shown the door, IMO.

No. Campaign firings are never spun well; it always becomes "X in disarray."


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 12:03 PM
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I didn't object to the "as far as I know he's not Muslim" remark as delivered. From the transcript I thought it was borderline; but her tone of voice is "no, this is silly," there's no implied "...or IS HE Muslim?"

I do think her campaign surrogates & supporters are contributing to the anti-Muslim whisper campaign and she is making no effort to stop it. Compare her camp's reaction to the turban bullshit with McCain's reaction to the "Barack Hussein Obama" talk show host. Hillary's response to the turban photo was the equivalent of McCain going: "what's the problem? That's his middle name." Plus the staffers forwarding the emails in Iowa, plus the uptick in the smear emails right before democratic primaries, plus Kerrey's "I think it's FABULOUS that Barack Hussein Obama went to a secular Madrassa" line, plus another surrogate suggesting he might be a drug dealer, plus the Jesse Jackson thing, plus the "hip imaginary black friend" thing, plus Robert Johnson's Sidney Poitier/drug use stuff, plus the darkening of his face in the ad, plus "shuck and jive". No way in hell we would find this acceptable from a Republican in the general election.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 12:04 PM
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It would certainly strengthen Obama's progressive credentials not to have Goolsbee and Leibman hanging around.

The Goolsbee thing just sounds so obnoxious-economist -- of course I know the religion of free trade is always correct, this is just for the rubes, etc.

The sensible thing to say to Canadians was that the campaign was serious about enforcing labor and environmental agreements, but since Canada is actually better than the U.S. on those things there is nothing to worry about. I wonder if Goolsbee said something like this?


Posted by: PerfectlyGoddamnDelightful | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 12:04 PM
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Holy shit, 154: "your," not "you're."


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 12:05 PM
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Stephen Harper.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 12:06 PM
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I don't know if I get honest broker credit. I voted for Obama, and I want him to win, but I've consistently found myself defending Clinton on these things. Either they're all bullshit, or I'm biased, and I wouldn't be surprised to find that I had some bias going on. I like her. I'm voting against her for her hawkish politics, but I still like her.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 12:06 PM
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161: Dumbass, I'm talking about what PGD fears - actual mud-slinging from Obama, nothing that has happened yet.

And again, I admire your no doubt consistent trust in Drudge. He plainly rules your world.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 12:08 PM
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Candidates can and should contrast their records and platforms as much as they want. That's not "mud-slinging."

Indeed.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 12:08 PM
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170 to 164.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 12:09 PM
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The sensible thing to say to Canadians was that the campaign was serious about enforcing labor and environmental agreements, but since Canada is actually better than the U.S. on those things there is nothing to worry about. I wonder if Goolsbee said something like this?

Yes, apparently. I'm not kidding when I say that I think the Conservatives were behind it.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 12:09 PM
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McCain's reaction to the "Barack Hussein Obama" talk show host

Feh, that's McCain's schtick. The press and independents lap it up, but he knows damn well that he'll benefit from a billion dollars' worth of scurrilous attacks that he'll be seen as "above."


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 12:09 PM
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169 - Ha, yes. Michael Harper is a poet.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 12:10 PM
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plus the "hip imaginary black friend" thing

Forgot about that one. But you're right, it is the cumulative effect.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 12:12 PM
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164: You honestly can't imagine why people would take offense at that response? 60 Minutes is asking Hillary Clinton - Hillary Clinton, whose campaign staffers have repeatedly been caught forwarding emails and photos suggesting that Barack Obama is secretly a Muslim - if she thinks Obama is secretly a Muslim, and she says, basically: "No, I mean, I take him at his word, if he says so, as far as I know."

Imagine if the roles were reversed - if Obama's people had been repeatedly caught circulating the rumor that Clinton was a lesbian, and this was starting to break into the mainstream media, and Tim Russert asks Obama "Do you think Hillary Clinton is a lesbian?" and Obama, knowing that this rumor is out there and that his campaign is at least indirectly involved in spreading it around, responds not with a straightforward response of "No, of course not, that's a vicious and sexist rumor that's being spread to demean her and the people who are spreading it should be ashamed of themselves," but by saying hey, probably not, as far as he knows.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 12:15 PM
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177: The problem with the 'cumulative effect' is that it snowballs. If you start calling everything ambiguous against someone, then suddenly you get much more evidence that they're a bad guy.

"Shuck and jive", for example, establishes for me that Cuomo is a bit of a jerk, but it doesn't make sense to me as a plot rather than a gaffe; Clinton doesn't profit much from it. The Jesse Jackson stuff really doesn't seem objectionable to me. The uptick in smear emails before Democratic primaries would make sense even without Clinton involvement -- people forward them because he's a current topic. And so on.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 12:18 PM
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178: She was straightforward, repeatedly, first. And then she kept talking and repeating herself -- the 'as far as I know' sounded like verbal filler. Go listen to it. It really sounded harmless.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 12:19 PM
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175: I agree with you, and yet he was not the candidate who played fake-innocent about the "Obama's a Muslim stuff."

That said, a large majority of it is emanating from the right, but her supporters sometimes spread it too. As far as I can tell, Clinton has a "don't ask don't tell, but if you get caught & it's hurting us too much then we might fire you" attitude about this.

That seems to be acceptable to people from candidates they like & trust, and unacceptable from candidates they don't. We sure don't accept it from McCain--we don't even accept active, albeit halfhearted, attempts to distance himself from it.

I don't particularly like or trust Clinton because of her failures on individual rights & foreign policy; her obnoxious, false explanations of those failures & distortions of Obama's record on Iraq; her terrible advisors; her campaign's general inability to resist a cheap shot; and the whole Michigan/Florida business. I'm sure that's coloring my take on this. But actively liking her is also coloring other people's take.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 12:23 PM
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The problem with the 'cumulative effect' is that it snowballs. If you start calling everything ambiguous against someone, then suddenly you get much more evidence that they're a bad guy.

But this is always true on stuff like this. (As with most things.) The first woman doesn't get a promotion because her skills don't quite match, the second because she wasn't there for that one big project, etc. You want to hammer someone for reasons that people won't openly accept, you figure out where the sweet spot lines are for most people epistemically and work within them.

At the end, you're guessing about the various people, and we all come in with various biases. You could well be right, but I don't find "Cuomo gaffe" all that convincing.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 12:24 PM
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182 gets it right.

If there's smoke, there's probably fire.

If you are repeatedly told by biased observers that there is smoke, there's still no evidence that there's fire.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 12:26 PM
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who played fake-innocent

Again, this is your claim. I categorically reject that HRC was "playing fake-innocent." On the forwarded photo thing, the running analysis went, "Drudge says it, maybe not true; weak denial from HRC, likely true; HRC strongly denies it... probably true." The best evidence that HRC's campaign was involved was supposed to be the initial, weak-ass denials. When the campaign came out with a strong denial, that somehow didn't change what people were saying in the absence of such a denial. Hmm....


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 12:27 PM
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The last line of 183 doesn't seem to agree with 182. Is Ned confused, or am I?


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 12:28 PM
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"Fake innocent" is "gee, why would Obama object to this charming picture of in traditional guard? Is he anti-Somali? Shame on him!!!" It is exactly equivalent to "gee, but Hussein's his middle name. Is he ashamed of the name his own parents gave him? Shame on him for disrespecting his parents"


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 12:29 PM
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And 183 gets it right as well. It's not that the cumulative effect is absolutely illegitimate, it's just that it leaves you relying heavily on your priors.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 12:29 PM
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She was straightforward, repeatedly, first. And then she kept talking and repeating herself -- the 'as far as I know' sounded like verbal filler. Go listen to it. It really sounded harmless.

I have listened to it. It wasn't harmless, because it was incumbent on Clinton - whose campaign has been connected to this rumor any number of times now - to make it very clear and very firm that those rumors were smears. She had to know that question was coming at some point, precisely because her campaign had mixed it up over the Drudge photo, and she had to have had a response ready, and if that was her prepared response, it demonstrates an unwillingness to actually fully discredit the rumor on her part.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 12:32 PM
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"And 183 gets it right as well. It's not that the cumulative effect is absolutely illegitimate, it's just that it leaves you relying heavily on your priors. "

Right. It's not as if we'd find it unacceptable in the general election because we're neutral--we are all predisposed to distrust McCain.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 12:33 PM
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188: Eh, there's nothing useful to argue about. I would encourage anyone inclined to rely on Stras' take here to go find the clip and listen to it and form their own opinion; presumably you would say the same to anyone inclined to rely on me.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 12:36 PM
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Strasmangelo, your standards are way too high. Your standards for everyone. HRC allowed herself to partially be possessed by the desire to not entirely help her opponent out. Jim Henley said something stupid once, therefore everything he says now is the opposite of the truth.

An idea is not responsible for the people who believe in it.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 12:36 PM
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I dunno what it is with all of this clutching of pearls around here. For a campaign to last this long and involve this little nastiness between the candidates is quite remarkable.

Of course Obama should harp on Hillary's tax returns if he thinks that will win him votes. It's an entirely legitimate subject (even if I'm personally pretty unimpressed on it merits).

Of course Hillary is going to bring up Rezko, if that'll work. That matter has considerably less merit than tax returns, but please remember Whitewater (to take one mild example). It's entirely appropriate that Hillary would have a somewhat jaundiced view of politics and its relationship to beanbag.

Remember, the authors of Whitewater are still out there, waiting to pounce on Rezko and tax returns and whatever else presents itself. Political experts have a technical term for candidates who boohoo about ill treatment instead of seeking an effective response: "Kerry."

As in: you Obama and Clinton supporters should suck it up and quit being such a bunch of goddam Kerries.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 12:37 PM
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192: Is it "entirely appropriate" for the Clinton camp to peddle the "Obama as scary brown terrorist" rumor?


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 12:41 PM
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whose campaign has been connected to this rumor any number of times now

Actually, where would you put that number, stras? I'm getting one, two if you count Kerrey. But "any number" does sound more damning than "two," doesn't it?


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 12:42 PM
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3. The Iowa emails, Kerrey, the Drudge photo. (More if you count Clinton supporters spontaneously making the argument at caucuses but I don't think that's fair. Of course, an Obama supporter who hears that is going to remember & it will color their view of things.)

The 60 Minutes clip didn't change my perception of this one way or the other. She passed up an opportunity to lessen my distrust about this, but she didn't add to it either.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 12:46 PM
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I forget - what is the CW on the NC primary? I see that it's the only 100+ delegate primary left other than PA.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 12:47 PM
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"Shuck and jive", for example, establishes for me that Cuomo is a bit of a jerk, but it doesn't make sense to me as a plot rather than a gaffe; Clinton doesn't profit much from it.

If you follow that line of reasoning, you'll end up concluding that there's no reason for Hillary to arrange a child's pajamas in a commercial to highlight the letters "NIG."

All these things are tied together. ...


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 12:48 PM
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doesn't count.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 12:48 PM
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The Iowa emails

What's the story on this? Sounds vaguely familiar, but it was 2 months ago....


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 12:48 PM
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"Shuck and jive", for example, establishes for me that Cuomo is a bit of a jerk racist


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 12:51 PM
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We sure don't accept it from McCain

McCain is the guy who openly courted a genuinely vicious anti-Catholic bigot in an age where anti-Catholic bigotry is a ludicrous anachronism. An anti-Catholic bigot who is openly calling to bring about the destruction of Israel.

McCain is the guy who was filmed accepting, without complaint, someone's urging that he needed to (IIRC) "beat that bitch."

McCain gets a free pass, even from people on the left who should know better. Expect McCain people this fall to spend a lot of time talking about how he doesn't talk about "Hussein" and doesn't approve of comparisons between his opponent and Osama.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 12:53 PM
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196: Obama up by 4-14 points.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 12:57 PM
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If all he wants is to win, then he's a selfish opportunist bastard who doesn't deserve to win. He should want his principles and policies to win. With Hillary as President and him in the Senate ...

Because, of course, the exhibition of any personal ambition by Obama makes him a selfish opportunistic bastard who should withdraw from a race he is currently winning in favor of the Clintons, a couple who have each taken out dozens of separate patents on selfish opportunistic bastardry over the last two decades.


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 1:00 PM
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I liked Obama in the (otherwise typically annoying) WaPo story this morning:

[blockquote] Obama has resisted such entreaties [to attack]. "There's no reason why we would want to change our approach," Obama said yesterday.....

When reporters were pummeling him at the Monday news conference, Obama described his rival in the most banal of terms. "She is a hardworking candidate," he said." [/blockquote]

Stay above it, Barak.


Posted by: PerfectlyGoddamnDelightful | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 1:10 PM
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whoops, that didn't work too well


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 1:11 PM
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Golsbeegate was a real screw-up

So far I haven't seen anything to make me think that Goolsbee or the campaign screwed up. There's nothing objectionable about campaigns talking with governments as close to ours as Canada's, and Goolsbee could perfectly well have said things in such a conversation that would (a) be perfectly consistent with what Obama's said in public, and (b) be translated for Canadian purposes as "nothing major to worry about here." The problem isn't that the conversation occurred, it's that the Canadian government decided to burn Obama for it. Or at least that seems to be what we're seeing so far.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 1:15 PM
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reason why

I knew it! Obama's one "reason why is because" away from me going over to McCain in the general.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 1:43 PM
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It's not that the cumulative effect is absolutely illegitimate, it's just that it leaves you relying heavily on your priors.

I don't disagree, but you seem to be distinguishing this from some other set of circumstances which isn't so afflicted, and I don't know what that other set is. This is true of any number of Dem verities, from "the press is unfair to the Clintons" (or "the press loves McCain") onwards.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 1:56 PM
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So far I haven't seen anything to make me think that Goolsbee or the campaign screwed up

Hmm, the Kos diary makes it sound like the Canadians just plainly fucked Goolsbee, so maybe you're right.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 2:04 PM
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Nobody expects the Canadian inquisition! Seriously, who would have foreseen a Canadian sneak attack?


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 2:08 PM
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Why isn't the North Carolina primary being billed as important? More than a hundred delegates!


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 2:12 PM
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211: Anti-northern bias. Everyone paid attention to South Carolina.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 2:13 PM
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Probably because it's still three months away.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 2:14 PM
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Obama's one "reason why is because" away from me going over to McCain in the general.

I heard Clinton say "irregardless" once. I vote for Nader or no one!


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 2:15 PM
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209: this just goes to show, we can't trust foreigners & shouldn't talk to them.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 2:17 PM
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215: Especially if they're tricksy enough to learn our language; that's clearly done only in order to make us feel comfortable and lull us into a false sense of bonhomie.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 2:19 PM
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54-40 or fight!


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 2:44 PM
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David Greenburg tells us the answer on the history of withdrawing from campaigns. Short answer: Candidates don't withdraw until they damn well feel like it, and Hillary isn't staying in longer than is typical, historically.

I read Slate so you don't have to.



Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 2:50 PM
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Speaking of 54-40 or fight, I was following my usual pattern of hot-and-fancy nightlife last weekend and got back to the house at 2AM Saturday night from the lab, just in time to do some laundry.

And this show called "Da Vinci's Inquest" came on. I had never heard of it in my life. Apparently it is Canada's most acclaimed procedural legal drama, and some US networks are airing reruns of it at the highly-prized hour of 2AM Saturdays (I have never seen it at 2AM on week nights). I was pretty much captivated, but that may have just been because it is the equivalent of Law & Order except with the indie-rock appeal of being from an alternate universe. But it did seem to contain actors who look like real people and dialogue that sounds like it is being spoken by real people.

Also, the only person with a noticeably Canadian accent was Da Vinci himself.

Anyway, during the show there was both an ad for people to visit beautiful British Columbia, and an ad for that Arctic Cirlce vampire movie, 30 Days of Night.

Niche marketing to Canadiophiles? I had no idea.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 2:55 PM
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Obama's experience response:

Barack Obama raised questions about Hillary Clinton's candidacy today, arguing that it is time to look at her assertions on experience. "I have not seen any evidence that she is better equipped to handle a crisis," he said. "If the only criteria is longevity in Washington, then she's certainly not going to beat John McCain on that."

Obama said he is ready to challenge her argument that she has been vetted and tested, hoping to dispel questions about his own experience.

"One of the things that I hope people start asking is what exactly is this foreign experience that she's claiming? I know she talks about visiting 80 countries," Obama said. "It's not clear, was she negotiating treaties or agreements or was she handling crises during this period of time? My sense is the answer is no."


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 2:56 PM
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214: Comity!


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 3:02 PM
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"It's not clear, was she negotiating treaties or agreements or was she handling crises during this period of time? My sense is the answer is no."

Kudos to BHO on this line - avoiding any kind of demeaning, First Ladies are just window-dressing kind of insinuation.

To the extent that I credit her with superior experience, it's got (almost) nothing to do with foreign policy. She may have marginally more than BHO (some of her foreign trips were high-level, policy-oriented things), but markedly less than probably 50 Senators and Representatives.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 3:06 PM
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Let's hope he can do something similar with Rezko. He doesn't need to roll in the muck to get the message across that if sleazoid supporters are disqualifying, she's living in a Waterford castle in a quarry.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 03- 5-08 3:18 PM
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