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Monday, March 24, 2008

Dem Match = Death March?

posted by on March 24 at 12:00 PM

I haven’t finished reading this New Republic piece yet, but the gist is clear: The longer the Democratic nomination race drags on, the worse the party’s chances of winning the White House in November.

With this in mind, and with Hillary Clinton having only a very long (and some would say mythical) shot at winning the nomination anyway, I’m searching for local Clinton supporters—preferably local Hillary Clinton delegates—who feel like it’s time to end this and are now switching their support to Obama.

If you fit this description, please shoot me an email with SWITCHER in the subject line and a brief account of your rationale for switching and/or a brief description of the straw that broke the camel’s back.


RSS icon Comments



Posted by Fuck Obama | March 24, 2008 12:05 PM

Not that I'm planning to change my vote, but are pledged delegates even allowed to switch before the first ballot?

Posted by josh | March 24, 2008 12:10 PM

Trailing in the popular vote, delegates and money raised. There is no way she can win, but she'll keep fighting until John McCain is in the White House.

Posted by Jeff | March 24, 2008 12:12 PM

I'm guessing you won't be getting a switcher e-mail from ECB any time soon :P

Posted by Gomez | March 24, 2008 12:20 PM

To follow up Jeff @3...

It's hard to imagine a scenario in which Hillary wins the nomination, but she can still mortally wound Obama so that McCain will have no trouble taking him down. Then after four years of a disastrous McCain presidency, Hillary will have a clear path to the White House in 2012.

Go, Hills!

Posted by cressona | March 24, 2008 12:21 PM

Something to consider here is the congitive bias known as the choice-supportive bias. This is a well-studied departure from rationality where, when people have made a decision - even one they didn't feel that strongly about at the time - they tend to feel more strongly positive about their choice after a decision is reached. That seems to be an accurate description of what has happened here with the Clinton/Obama situation. All of us should recognize this bias in ourselves and refuse to demonize the other side (and the other candidate) after recognizing it. Most of us probably didn't have that strong of feelings at the beginning - our feelings strengthened during the long primary battle, once we had made our tentative decision. It would be great if we could recognize this cognitive bias and refuse to be controlled by it.

Posted by Sister Y | March 24, 2008 12:22 PM

I won't be sending an email. And I reject the premise that this is hurting our chances in the fall. Yes there was Carter/Kennedy in 1980, but Reagan/Bush was in 1980 also- anyone remember "voodoo economics"? Reagan did just fine. There will be plenty of time for Obama and/or Clinton to take on McCain after June.

Obama is a state senator with a gift for oratory, who stumbled into a Senate seat against one of the biggest morons in the Republican party. I will support him if and when he seals the nomination, and not a minute sooner.

Posted by Big Sven | March 24, 2008 12:22 PM

Well, if she bails out now and supports Obama and he wins, she may be looking at 8 years before she gets her birthright. If she does enough damage to Obama that McCain wins, she'd only have to wait 4 years for another chance at getting what is rightfully hers.

Why in the world would she drop out?

Posted by also | March 24, 2008 12:24 PM

...unless Clinton does something really sleezy. And although I regret her "experience" remark, and Bill's comments in SC, they don't rise to the level of "really sleezy" for me.

Posted by Big Sven | March 24, 2008 12:25 PM

I think the longer the primary goes, the better for the Dems. Once HRC is no longer around for the press corps to vent their hatred on, they'll turn on Obama. The longer Obama gets a free pass, the better his chances in the general.

Posted by David | March 24, 2008 12:27 PM

Everyday until we have a nominee is a good day for John McCain. And if we loose this election (in the middle of an unpopular war, in a recession after years of the incumbent party openly criminal) I would suggest the Democratic Party go the way of the Whigs.

Posted by Andrew | March 24, 2008 12:29 PM

Every day until June will be another day in which the news will be filled with Obama being attacked for his pastor, Clinton being attacked for the Bosnian sniper quote, and McCain attacked in no way whatsoever. (Replace "pastor" and "Bosnian sniper quote" with whatever new crap gets hurled.)


And no, McCain being ignored is not good news - not if it's being buried by negative news about Dem candidates.

Posted by tsm | March 24, 2008 12:34 PM

There is not going to be an intelligent dialog about the nation's future between McCain and our nominee. If you think this is a silly pissing match over nonsense, just wait. This nomination fight is our last chance to talk about policy before the whole thing devolves into shitty campaign commercials and hysterical flacks making our ears bleed.

Hang in there, Hils!

Posted by elenchos | March 24, 2008 12:36 PM

It's a shame how low the Clinton campaign will go into the mud and the slime, when America needs better.

But, what can we expect from the only campaign to earn 4 Pinocchio noses from the Washington Post?

Yes, the ONLY one.

Posted by Will in Seattle | March 24, 2008 12:49 PM

I agree with 10 and 13. Let's say H-dawg had dropped out a month ago. We would have never had O-street's speech about race. (Which I thought was pretty frickin awesome, and I'm a die hard H-dawg supporter.)

Remember, O-street does better when he's a challenger as opposed to a front runner. At this time in 2004, Kerry was ahead in the polls. It's hard to be a front runner for months because the media turns on you. The ideal situation, IMO is if O-street is about 5 points behind McCain in August. Then he can come from behind and clobber McCain.

Posted by arduous | March 24, 2008 12:51 PM

Really, I think it's greatly to Obama's advantage to build himself up in the public eye while running against HRC rather than McCain for as long as possible.

The press corps has a longstanding, well-documented puppy-love crush on McCain and if Obama were out there shouting "Hagee!", like the article claims he should be doing, the media would be on him for "going negative" and falling to "politics as usual," etc. The more time he gets to spend contrasting himself with an already unpopular figure, as opposed to a (however unjustifiably) popular one, the better for him.

(Media prescriptions for what candidates ought to be doing, like TNR's, NEVER mention the way those doings will be filtered through the media, of course.)

Posted by David | March 24, 2008 12:54 PM

@8, 4 years is potentially plenty of time for a McCain presidency to damage the country with reactionary judicial appointments and never ending war in Iraq and possibly more war elsewere. If Hillary drags this on and helps bring about a disasterous republican presidency, what democrat in their right mind would support her in 2012?

Posted by neo-realist | March 24, 2008 12:55 PM

Why would Hilary drop out, when she's clearly going to win? The entire premise of this post is flawed. History shows that primary elections rarely impact general elections. There is absolutely no reason for anyone to switch their vote away from Hilary, unless it is on idealogical grounds. This whole meme is hysterical and makes the Obama camp come as desperate. Talk about sense of entitlement!

Posted by fluteprof | March 24, 2008 12:56 PM

If the dems succede to snatch defea from the jaws of victory this year i shall not vote for them agin...and yes...I'll be willing to put up with up to 15 years of republican domination if it mens the death of a bankrupt sad excuse of a party...the democras have been adrift since 1968 and other then carter that time period has been dominated y republicans or republican lite...we need a true progressive party...if the democrats fail in 08 they dont deserve your vote....another, dimand in the rough third party a a party waiting to be created deserves your vote

Posted by linus | March 24, 2008 1:00 PM

Fluteprof, perhaps you can explain to the rest of the world how a candidate trailing in delegates, popular vote and money is going to "win."

This should be good.

Posted by Jeff | March 24, 2008 1:02 PM

What 20 said. Particularly considering Pelosi came out and said that barring something HUGE she thinks it would be destructive to the party for the superdelegates to go for the candidate trailing in the popular vote and delegate count. I know Clinton supporters are still hoping for a miracle in August, but ...

Posted by Beguine | March 24, 2008 1:08 PM

It's GREAT that the Republicans will have to divide their attacks until August 25. People need to take a step back and breathe.

Posted by chicagogaydude | March 24, 2008 1:09 PM

The more crap like this I read, the more I'm tempted to oppose Obama actively -- after the nomination (whichever way it goes), and for the rest of his career.

Posted by RonK, Seattle | March 24, 2008 1:10 PM


The Clintons are too smart to punch a nun on MSNBC. What level of sleaze are you waiting for? She's had so many little lies and problems with her campaign that (to me) it amounts to a huge collection of little sleazes:

-Dodging sniper fire with Sinbad
-SCHIP exaggerations
-Exaggeration of White House experience
-"As far as I know", Obama not a Muslim
-Tax returns
-Negotiating peace in Ireland
-"McCain and I" have experience
-"Obama Can't Win The General Election"
-"Irrelevant" states
-Richardson's irrelevance
-The Kitchen Sink
-3 AM
-Needs a superdelegate coup
-Bleeding superdelegates anyway
-Michigan and Florida hijinks
-Las Vegas hijinks
-The Iraq vote
-Not reading the NIE
-Never congratulating O's victories
-"Always asked the first question"
-The martyr vibe in general
-"Get Obama a pillow"
-Dual presidency concerns
-"Lobbyists are people"
-PAC money
-Disorganized, poorly-planned campaign
-Various scandals
-Denounce AND reject
-Calling Vegas/Texas a "win"
-"Change you can Xerox"

I don't generally hold subordinates' or associates' opinions to be the same as their bosses (Ferraro, Wright, Power, etc), and all of that list - written off the top of my head - doesn't even acknowledge how good a candidate Obama is. It's just a rote list of the sleaze that has turned people away from Clinton.

Yet her supporters dig in further. I don't understand it.

Posted by Steve | March 24, 2008 1:11 PM

I'd love to see a strong 3rd party splinter our of the democratic party, but it isn't going to happen. This country and this culture is, for whatever reason, wedded to the 2-party standard. The only way this is going to change is if we change the way we vote, so that we can rank candidates on a ballot instead of just choosing one. the only way *that* is going to happen is through an initiative. We're going nowhere without it.

Posted by Reform | March 24, 2008 1:14 PM

I'm a Hillary Clinton delegate, and although I still feel that in my estimation she would make the best president, I've come to feel that she should drop out now. If she wins the nomination, the Democratic party will be so divided that it's just hard to imagine her winning against McCain. However, I also feel I have some responsibility to those who voted for me to represent their opinion. My understanding is that delegates are not supposed to switch their vote unless there is a very compelling reason to do so.

Posted by PJ | March 24, 2008 1:37 PM

PJ @26 has a good point -- I agreed to be an alternate Obama delegate to represent the people in our room that wanted someone to speak for them (or raise their hand for them) in the next several rounds of primaries starting the weekend after next. I'd feel weird about changing my candidate after agreeing to do that for others...

Posted by Peter F | March 24, 2008 1:47 PM

pledged delegates shouldn't switch. they are there by the votes of the people and those votes should be respected. additionally, it isn't necessary for pledged delegates to switch. the supers can end this thing any time they want to.

Posted by some dude | March 24, 2008 1:59 PM

26 and 27 express what's "cute" about the caucus system at this first level. Once it's beyond this level, it's an entirely political process where ethical concerns about representing the people who elected you take a back seat to politically expedient calculations revolving around looking out for #1 and how you can raise your status in the party.

Posted by yar | March 24, 2008 2:00 PM

Technically, you can't switch on signing in - but you can switch after the first caucus results if you're pledged. This allows Edwards supporters to massively back Obama, and Clinton supporters to back Nader.

Posted by Will in Seattle | March 24, 2008 2:12 PM

The psyche of the country is wounded right now. Dazed, exhausted, Bush/Cheney-toxic; in need of a break; but a break now (with the dems declaring their candidate). On the subliminal level, McCain touring and being photographed abroad conveys a busy presidential stance -- like he's too busy with "real" issues to worry about the kids back home fighting in the sandbox. He's congealing a potent image around some just-released bad numbers (the majority of Americans now believe the 'surge' in Iraq is working.) Clinton had better get her ass and conscience in line and get the fuck out of the race so Obama can do his thing and start acting presidential too. It's all about showbiz folks -- operative word being 'show.'

Posted by David K. | March 24, 2008 2:12 PM

wow to all of you out there who are actually advocating that hrc stick in there just to destroy obama and get her chance. much like the clinton campaign, you can't see the forrest for the trees. 4 years of mccain means more wars and more supreme court justices that will be step down and be replaced by young, ultra-conservative justices that will far out last the 4 years of his presidency. it is unbelievable to me that you guys can't see that, then again, the clinton m.o. is "all about me, who cares about you?"

i'm not advocating that delegates switch, but get real guys... it is NO ONE'S "birthright" to be president. regardless of what g.w. has done to us, this is not a monarchy.

Posted by alm | March 24, 2008 2:24 PM

Clinton is behind by every measure imaginable, except for sense of entitlement.

Completely agreed. Obama's accurate vilification of extreme partisanship isn't only aimed at Repugs.

Posted by AMB | March 24, 2008 2:59 PM

I don't believe this "bad for the dems" stuff at all. If anything I think it's the opposite. A few months ago I kept hearing how lucky the Dems were that they had 2 amazing choices that were making it difficult, while the R's were all boring. If all of these folks who think Hillary is ruining the Dems still talked about this, we'd be in an even better place. Still, I barely hear a peep about John McCain. And although I know most of America is sick to death of hearing about this race, Hils and Obama are all anyone talks about.

Posted by um | March 24, 2008 3:03 PM

heh heh heh.

Posted by McCain/Crist '08! | March 24, 2008 3:44 PM

Ummm...ever hear of Rev. Wright? Nope, he's done. He should drop out ASAP to spare us all this divisive in-fighting.

Posted by fluteprof | March 24, 2008 3:58 PM


Your sense of righteous victimhood is exquisite. Do you really think your candidate's shit doesn't stink? I could make the same kind of list you did- just this weekend...

another Obama supporter, former Iowa Democratic Party chairman Gordon Fischer, complained that Bill Clinton was hurting the Democratic Party and leaving "a stain on his legacy much worse, much deeper, than the one on Monica's blue dress."

See how it works? Politics is a rough game, and the race for the Presidency the roughest. Perhaps you should take up Chess or Worlds of Warcraft if this is too much for you.

Posted by Big Sven | March 24, 2008 4:10 PM

At this point, I just wish HRC would get the nomination so she can be crushed by McCain in November and we will never have to hear from her or her sleazebag husband and advisors ever again.

Posted by dem | March 24, 2008 4:34 PM

I'm suffering from primary fatigue. At this point, I want Obama to just be crowned because if he's not, his supporters will be insufferable - more so than they are now. Maybe he'll win and maybe he'll be a good president and if both those things are true I'll feel very relieved.

If he doesn't win, then my fears about him being able to fight and win will have been justified (it's all on him if he loses) and we get President McCain and my preferred candidate can attempt to win the nomination again when she feels it's time.

At the very least, all the candidates from the two main political parties are a step up from the current occupant. Not ideal, but a step above.

To quote a commenter from a few days ago, this all feels like it should be a lot more fun and exciting than it's turned out to be and I'm just ready for it to be over.

Posted by Donolectic | March 24, 2008 5:22 PM

Donolectic, don't give up. Supporting the candidate you believe in isn't hurting anyone. The other guys just want you to believe that so that you'll cave in. They're pissed because the "Obama Wave" has thus far only swamped caucuses. Support who you believe in- it'll all work out in the end. Obama or Clinton will kick McCain's ass in the fall. The Republicans are running an old & tired candidate to promote old & tired ideas.

Posted by Big Sven | March 24, 2008 5:47 PM

If the reverse were happening, all the slog comments would be telling Obama to fight to the death. And he would be. It doesn't make sense for either of them to bow out at this point. When one of them hits the magic number, that's when someone should bow out.

Posted by arduous | March 24, 2008 5:57 PM

Sorry to break it to you fainting O kids. HRC actually outpolls him in important swing states that we need to win. True story.

Posted by ektachrome | March 24, 2008 6:51 PM


Did you miss the sentence at the bottom of my post saying I don't generally hold subordinates' or associates' opinions to be the same as their bosses?

That definitely applies to people whose only relation to the candidates is that of "supporter."

That list was of things that the Clintons have done that I find objectionable in the race, not random people who support them.

Posted by Steve | March 24, 2008 10:17 PM

Steve - you forgot Hillary taking cookies from the do not touch jar.

And the biggie - - - - - -

She was Not a virgin on her wedding night. Of course, neither was he.

You are silly, get back to your bean counting, politics is too organic for your take on life.

Mc Cain is just on the edge of death. Slow, halting, memory loss - less fire than my granny had at 86. Does he get hardons anymore? My office just voted one in ten maybe.

He better not schedule any debates with anyone. I fear the attack on Iran with nukes before the election to prop him up.

Hillary has EVERY right to campaign her guts out. Obama folks are seemingly wimpy quitters. Fuck em.

I have pledged to neither of them, but, will work my fat ass to the bone against Mc Cain once the nomination process ends with an anointed leader....

In a media world, how does a lot of media not help? The show is on the road, keeping it interesting to the world wide audience seems cool and a good strategy to me.

Go Obbie - Go H. C. - Go to hell Mc War Death.


Posted by Adam | March 25, 2008 10:11 AM

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