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Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Re: None Taken!

posted by on April 15 at 11:13 AM


My point yesterday wasn’t that Obama doesn’t have the nomination locked up.

My point was, he does. And the “cling” gaffe makes me nervous about that.

Re: Harrisburg Democrats. I’m more nervous about Republicans and Independents than I am about Democrats in one of PA’s biggest (4th biggest) towns.

Re: Statewide polls. They’re showing an uptick for Hillary. Obama has been gaining for two weeks. Then suddenly there’s an uptick for Hillary (two points is a big deal these days)? I’d say there has been some sort of effect.

Also, the real gauge will be a poll after Hillary’s “bitter” ads play out. It’s not the statement and the columnists, it’s the ads…especially the GOP ones to come.

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Not to mention that Bill Kristol has Josh's back on this. Has that man ever been known to be wrong about anything?

Posted by elenchos | April 15, 2008 11:17 AM

This "gaffe" is meaningless. It probably has little or no effect in Pennsylvania, and by the time the general election rolls around it will be forgotten. McCain is going to have trouble with ads like this:

Posted by Andrew | April 15, 2008 11:20 AM
Posted by Josh Feit | April 15, 2008 11:31 AM


Surely you mean Feit has Bill Kristol's back on this, ja?! And what a great back to cum all over! Kristol is TEH FLAWLESS.

Posted by Mr. Poe | April 15, 2008 11:31 AM
Posted by Josh Feit | April 15, 2008 11:32 AM

The quote is too complicated to be remembered in November, and it isn't even on videotape for use in attack ads.

I said it hadn't had much of an effect, and that's true. Hillary's slight uptick hasn't returned her anywhere near her lead of just two weeks ago.

You concern for what Rs think is very noble, but you really have no idea. Both Clinton and Obama would have been tagged as elitists--Clinton as the beneficiary of an undemocratic dynasty, no less.

Posted by annie | April 15, 2008 11:35 AM

The entire uptick in that "poll of polls" is probably attributable to a single poll (ARG) that showed an unusually large lead for Clinton. So far it appears to be an outlier.

And yes, Bill Kristol is about the best negative indicator you'll find in this world.

Posted by tsm | April 15, 2008 11:43 AM

Can someone post the quotes that McCain made regarding;

1. The US 100 year occupation in Iraq

2. That he does not know anything about the economy.

Posted by Ruby Flipper | April 15, 2008 11:44 AM
The quote is too complicated to be remembered in November, and it isn't even on videotape for use in attack ads.

Although that's true, isn't it a little sad that everything the majority of voters remember when they walk in the booth are single major headlines and video footage?

Posted by Mr. Poe | April 15, 2008 11:47 AM

Of course, if Clinton had gracefully conceded as soon as there was no mathematical possibility that she could pass Obama in the delgate count (weeks ago), Obama would not have had to be explaining at a fundraiser why he was having to work so hard for votes in Pennsylvania . . . .

Posted by just sayin' | April 15, 2008 11:53 AM

You show an amazing lack of awareness of the possible dangers facing Obama between now and November. If the real quote was "too complicated," the media will just make up a "simplified" version to hang around Obama's neck if they want to (the fact it isn't on video will actually help them in this regard), and put it in quotation marks and everything. Remember how "took the initiative in creating the internet" became "invented the internet"?

Posted by David | April 15, 2008 12:16 PM

A two-point uptick is noise, Josh. Clinton needs a 20-point uptick.

Posted by Fnarf | April 15, 2008 12:17 PM

@11: "Obama says people in small towns are 'bitter' and 'cling to guns'"--not especially effective. Most people don't live in small towns, half of those who live in small towns will shrug it off, and half of the rest would've voted R anyway. We'll see.

Posted by annie | April 15, 2008 12:25 PM

The "uptick" polls you're referring to is from CNN's "poll of polls". I don't see anywhere on the page where they talk about which polls they're using and what their methodology is, but only one of the polls used was taken after the "cling" statement, so I don't see how you can use that to claim that it's hurt Obama. Annie pointed you to TPM, which has 3 polls taken after the "cling" comment. One shows no change, one has Hillary gaining 2, one has Obama gaining 2. Drop it already.

Posted by sleestak | April 15, 2008 12:36 PM

Hillary has *FAR* more baggage going into a general election than Obama could ever have, the effect of this bitter comment has been wildly exagerrated by sensationalist journalists (Josh).

Posted by Todd | April 15, 2008 12:54 PM

Oh yeah, and Josh is an idiot.

Posted by Todd | April 15, 2008 12:57 PM
Posted by Todd | April 15, 2008 1:15 PM

this country is pitiful.

Posted by max solomon | April 15, 2008 1:55 PM

@13 (and @15):
The (mis)quotation itself isn't the problem (though an interested party could probably come up with a more damaging gloss on the quote than yours) -- it doesn't occur in a vacuum. The problem is the press corps' practice of constructing "scripts," on exactly such foundations, around the candidates.

People won't forget about this quote if it's repeated regularly for the next 7 months as just one of many supposed examples of Obama's "liberal elitism," or whatever "narrative" the press corps decides to work up this time. The internet misquote -- repeated for over a year by cable news talking heads, op-ed columnists, etc. -- became just another example of, and shorthand for, what a "pathological liar" Gore supposedly was.

Forget about Hilary! It should be a matter of some concern to Obama supporters that the people who "decide" whether or not (and in what way) the average American remembers this quote 7 months from now are the same people who, just yesterday, gave McCain a standing ovation and brought him his coffee just the way he likes it and a box of his favorite doughnuts.

Posted by David | April 15, 2008 2:19 PM

It's still super-early: if the Republicans beat Obama with this pillow for the next six months, it will be in shreds by November. The dangers are what is as yet unseen, or the accumulation of little things that allow the press to paint Obama as a fire-breathing radical (see today's flap on Obama's 'socialist' dad). The best way to stop McCain right now is to stop Clinton.

Posted by Grant Cogswell | April 15, 2008 3:20 PM

Obama supporters seem to be deliberately obtuse at this point.

EVERY presidential election the Democrats have lost since about 1968 was lost because the candidate was/was painted as an out of touch elitist/cultural liberal.

The Archie Bunker law 'n' order America first Dogpatcher Reagan Democrats swing voters don't like those type of folks.


To not recognize Obama is doing everything he can to facilitate this image, to argue that obtusely "oh that quote is too long it won't be a factor," to argue suddenly that "[b]oth Clinton and Obama would have been tagged as elitists"--when the ENTIRE argument in favor of Obama previously was HE IS SIGNIFICANTLY DIFERENT AND MAGICALLY WILL RISE ABOVE PAST POLITICAL PARTISAN DEFINITIONS -- is not just wrong and nonsensical. It appears also to be obtuse. In that stubborn, you-are-attacking-my-dude-so-I'm-going-to-fight-you-on-every-point kind of way.

Or perhaps it's just disengenuous.

The other theory, that Obama supporters are just dumb, is not one I personally would believe.

You've got a candidate who sat for 20 years in a pew listening to a preacher hate America. The candidate's wife said America is bleak and mean. The candidate himself was "obviously bullshitting" on some prior things, as Josh stated.

And he now says voters cling to religion and guns -- insluting millions of voters -- including the very swing Democrats whose defection is ALWAYS the reason we lose presidential elections when we lose.

Kerry; Gore; Dukakis; Mondale; McGovern; Humphrey: Stevenson. How examples of loser elitists do you need to recognize "um, yes indeedy this could be a big problem"?


BTW: Where is Obama's circle of long time friends? He does not seem to have any.

Why not?

Everyone he hangs with long term seems to be a political problem who has to be explained away like:
--the two former weather underground types who are his buddies who still do not repent from bombing the pentagon in the 1960s;
--Rev. Wright
--"America-is-bleak-and-mean" Michelle?
Doesn't he have any long time friends or associates who are, ahem, just normal??

Who the vast majority of middle Americans would like, or admire?

Posted by unPC | April 15, 2008 5:30 PM

hey annie at #6 - how about radio ads in those small towns and other rust belt areas?

how about the email campaigns and for that matter regular mail.

and TV with a nice still of Obama at Harvard with a voice over maybe throw in a little contrast with Rev Wright - "he says you cling to your religion because you're angry, why do you think he believes in a man that damns America?

annie the Clintons have been sooooo easy on him. the republicans and the 527s will not be. don't expect big national campaigns. they will target that remark.

Posted by McG | April 15, 2008 5:56 PM

Josh Feit wrote:

Re: Harrisburg Democrats. Im more nervous about Republicans and Independents than I am about Democrats in one of PAs biggest (4th biggest) towns.

SurveyUSA polled Harrisburg adults, including Republicans and independents. The results:

Among Democrats, 51% agree [with Obama's statement]; among independents, 57% agree.

Even 32% of Republicans agreed with Obama's statements and 40% of gun owners.

Posted by Ned Ludd | April 15, 2008 6:24 PM

I love this fucked up country, but sometimes I wish we could just break apart.

Posted by Deacon Seattle | April 15, 2008 8:03 PM

Don't let the door hit you on your ass on the way out.

Posted by Scorpion | April 15, 2008 9:20 PM

Clinton needs a 24 point uptick. In every state. Not just Pennsylvania which looks like it's ending up about where most of us who've lived there thought it would - a minor 4-6 point edge for Clinton.

Won't happen.

She needs to stop carrying water for the McCain/Bush 08 campaign ...

Posted by Will in Seattle | April 16, 2008 12:12 AM

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