Court Of Impeachment And War Crimes: Hillary and Obama...It Just Keeps Going...The Race About Race...Now!

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Friday, April 25, 2008

Hillary and Obama...It Just Keeps Going...The Race About Race...Now!

Hillary, Obama: It Just Goes On, And On And On………

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Barack Obama faltered in the Pennsylvania primary largely because not enough blue-collar white Democratic voters supported him. But this problem is nothing new for the Democratic front-runner, whose impressive overall success in the long nomination battle has been accompanied all year by a nagging difficulty in consistently attracting white votes.

The question that could be on the minds of the party insiders who, as so-called superdelegates, may decide the nomination in Denver is whether Obama’s weakness with white voters could endure and spell trouble in November if he is the nominee.

White voters’ reluctance to support the first black frontrunner in the history of presidential politics predates Obama’s controversial remarks about “bitter” small-town voters clinging to religion and guns. It even was evident before the mid-March firestorm over the racial rhetoric of his former pastor, Jeremiah Wright.

Including Pennsylvania, 31 states have now held Democratic primaries or caucuses where exit polls provide a racial breakdown of support.

In 24 of those states, Hillary Rodham Clinton has won a majority of white voters. Obama carried the majority of white support in only seven.

In Pennsylvania, 63 percent of white voters backed Clinton, to 37 percent for Obama.

“He’s obviously plateaued among white voters,” said Bethany Albertson, a political science professor at the University of Washington who has studied racial voting patterns in the campaign. “It may be that the more realistic an Obama candidacy looks, the more voters are stopping and thinking about electability, implicitly hearing the message that a black candidate can’t win.”

Post-racial candidate

Asked Wednesday about Obama’s difficulty attracting white votes, campaign spokesman Bill Burton didn’t directly address the issue. “There’s no doubt that Hillary Clinton came into this campaign with certain formidable advantages with some voters,” he wrote in an e-mail, noting that Obama “has won more states, more votes and more delegates than her.”

Ever since he launched his campaign, Obama has sought to portray himself as a “post-racial” candidate, and racial issues were nowhere near the heart of his message and policy agenda, at least not until the controversy began over the remarks of his former pastor.

To be sure, exit polls could just as easily be interpreted as showing Clinton losing the black Democratic vote heavily to Obama. She got just 10 percent of black votes Tuesday, comparable to her showing in many contests.

But few doubt that in November black voters will overwhelmingly support any Democratic nominee.

How white general election voters might respond to a black nominee is less certain, particularly in light of white Democrats’ tepid response to Obama so far.

A poll conducted by the Associated Press earlier this month showed that 8 percent of whites said they would be uncomfortable voting for a black presidential candidate.

A separate poll published last month by the Pew Center for the People and the Press dissected Obama’s strengths and weaknesses among the nation’s white voters.

It concluded that while Obama’s personal image is more favorable than Clinton’s among Democrats, “certain social beliefs and attitudes among older, white, working-class Democratic voters are associated with his lower levels of support among this group.”

The poll found that white voters who say equal rights for minorities have been pushed too far are twice as likely as those who disagree to have an unfavorable view of Obama; similarly, those who disapprove of interracial dating are nearly four times as likely to have an unfavorable view of Obama.

The South a factor

Back in February, during Obama’s 11-state victory streak, he often attracted support from 40 percent or more of white voters who described themselves as Democrats. He did even better among whites who described themselves as political independents. His high-water mark occurred Feb. 19 in Wisconsin, where he won 54 percent of the overall white vote.

But starting in Ohio and Texas on March 4, Obama’s support among whites slipped below 40 percent and reached a low of 23 percent on March 11 in Mississippi.

James Gibson, a political science professor at Washington University in St. Louis, said Obama’s apparent weakness among white voters can be traced to both the racial politics of the South and to Republicans who have crossed over to vote in Democratic primaries.

“When you look at the Southern states, he’s not getting white votes there,’’ Gibson said.

In fact, a recent analysis by the Chicago Tribune showed that in the 10 former Confederate states that have voted, Obama has trailed Clinton among white voters by an average of 29 percentage points. He won a majority of the white vote in one of the 10, but that was Virginia, where the heavily populated environs of Washington, D.C., alter the cultural mix.

Even in a Midwestern state like Ohio, expected to be a decisive battleground in November, Clinton, while winning everywhere outside the large metro areas, racked up her biggest majorities — often above 70 percent of the vote — in southern and eastern counties near the state’s borders with Kentucky and West Virginia.

Republicans back Clinton

Meanwhile, in Democratic primaries that allowed Republicans and independents to vote, Republicans have disproportionately backed Clinton. “Obviously, white Republicans haven’t been voting for Obama, so that’s suppressing his totals among whites,” Gibson said.

Steve Smith, a colleague of Gibson’s at Washington University, said it makes sense that the Obama-Clinton contest has polarized voters by race and gender. “In a race where the candidates’ policy differences are minuscule, it creates the exact circumstance where [voters’] race and gender biases trip up both candidates,” he said.

But those differences could well fade away in November, Smith said: “When one of them is running against a Republican, the party [identification] is going to trump race or sex for Democratic voters.”

Hillary Must Be Hounded Out Of The Race
Posted by Nicholas Joseph on 04.24.2008

It is not easy to embrace change and a new direction when the entrenched power structures insist that the conditions are only temporary.

Few political observers believe that an upset victory by Barack Obama in Pennsylvania would have put an end to this nonsensical political season. The likes of Hillary Clinton, with her abhorrent ambition to grab power at any cost, will not voluntarily bow out gracefully in the interest of party and country. She must be hounded out of the race. She is hell-bent on tearing the Democratic Party apart and giving McCain a head start for the November general election. Her obligatory win in Pennsylvania can only assist in the blood-letting. Unfortunately, in the name of democracy, she will lay claim to her God-given right to fight on. Despotic minds don't give up power or any slim chance to acquire it.

So, let us try to make some sense from this undefined win. By any measure, Pennsylvania was never a state that favored Obama. When Obama started his earnest campaign in the state, Hillary already had a 20 percent lead. He was trailing and playing catch-up from the beginning. To add insult to injury, Clinton aligned with the right-wing media in a conspiracy, dubbed a debate, which caught Obama off guard. At the pre-election debate he appeared annoyed and detached from the real trickery that was in progress. He was literally ambushed by ABC's Charlie Gibson and George Stephanopoulos. They set out, as in Julius Caesar's senate, to inflict the treacherous knife wounds, and hopefully, make Obama unelectable, while Hillary, a member of the Party, availed herself of Brutus' knife to deliver the "unkindest cut of all." But fellow Americans are you aware that Brutus was a Republican? Isn't this an interesting coincidence, especially considering my most recent article where I accused Hillary Rodham Clinton of behaving like a Republican, dressed in Democrat sheep's clothing?....................


Clinton Wins Pennsylvania By 10 Points

Media reports are assessing Sen. Hillary Clinton's 55%-45% margin of victory in the Pennsylvania Democratic primary as sufficient to allow her to continue her campaign, but most also focus on the challenges that her campaign faces in actually securing the nomination. The Los Angeles Times, for example, reports that "mathematically, with just nine contests left, it appears virtually impossible for Clinton to overtake Obama in the popular vote and among pledged delegates -- those chosen in primaries and caucuses." In an analysis, the AP says this morning "Clinton should savor the moment.

Soon enough, she must face the reality of time and money running out on her once-invincible campaign." In an analysis, the Chicago Tribune reports, "Despite another high-profile defeat, Obama still has numbers on his side." The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette says that while Clinton's "margin was clear, and would be considered a near landslide in an ordinary election, it seemed to have fallen short of the overwhelming blow-out she needed to dramatically reduce the delegate gap between her and Mr. Obama." Long Island Newsday reports that Clinton's campaign "will wake Wednesday to the reality that the win probably only changed the fundamentals of the race around the margins -- barely trimming Obama's delegate lead and cutting about 100,000-plus off his 700,000-vote popular vote margin."

Bloomberg News says, "Even with the victory," Clinton "faces a steep climb in her quest for the nomination. Because the Democratic Party apportions delegates based on the popular vote, she's not likely to erode much of Obama's lead." The AP says Clinton's win last night seemed to have little effect on the race for convention delegates, as "a preliminary tabulation showed her gaining at least 52 national convention delegates to 46 for Obama, with 60 still to be awarded. That left Obama with 1,694.5 delegates, and Clinton with 1,561.5, according to the AP tally." The Hill reports, "When the dust settles from Pennsylvania, Obama will no doubt continue to hold a delegate lead, a popular vote lead and an overwhelming money lead."

The race now moves on to North Carolina and Indiana, which hold their primaries on May 6. Obama is heavily favored in North Carolina, where the Democratic primary electorate is heavily black, but Indiana is a serious battleground. In fact, Indiana may be decisive, the New York Times reports on its front page this morning, as it poses "another make-or-break challenge for Mrs. Clinton, according to several of her advisers, who said that they would urge her to quit the race if she lost that state." In an analysis, the Financial Times says Indiana "suddenly looms large."

Clinton Says Win Shows "Tide Is Turning" McClatchy reports that addressing supporters in Philadelphia, the former first lady said, "Some counted me out and said to drop out. ... But the American people don't quit. And they deserve a president who doesn't quit, either. ... You listened and today you chose. ... Because of you, the tide is turning." And "noting that Obama outspent her 3-1 in the state, Clinton made a direct appeal for contributions to shore up her cash-starved campaign."

Obama Struggling To "Close The Deal"

While much of the media is focused on Hillary Clinton's inability to win the nomination despite her double-digit Pennsylvania win, a second theme emerging this morning is questions about Barack Obama's ability to put her away. In an analysis, the AP reports, "Why can't Barack Obama close the deal? It's a question Hillary Rodham Clinton and her surrogates raised through the last days of the caustic Pennsylvania primary contest. And unfortunately for Obama -- who lost to the former first lady by a 10-point margin Tuesday night -- it's a question that bears repeating." In his The Politico column, Roger Simon writes that Obama's inability to "close the deal" validates Clinton's argument that Obama "does not have 'what it takes' to be president and lead the nation in crisis." The Philadelphia Inquirer says that while Obama remains "in a much stronger position" to take the nomination, yesterday's results "had a disturbingly familiar feel to them, raising anew questions about his ability to close the deal with voters."

A front-page Washington Post story says Obama's defeat in Pennsylvania "raised anew questions about his ability to win the big industrial states that will be critical to the Democrats' hopes of winning back the White House in November." In the coming days, Clinton's camp will try to play on those doubts with uncommitted superdelegates -- who have been moving toward Obama over the past two months -- urging them to remain neutral until the primaries are over." A second front-page story in the Washington Post describes Obama as "unable once again to score a knockout," and says the Illinois senator "is likely to make his new negative tone even more negative."

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Battle Seen As Taking Toll On Democrats' Chances

A third theme in this morning's coverage of the Pennsylvania primary is the negative impact the extended primary is having on the Democrats' chances of taking the White House in November. The New York Times says the party "may prove to have been the real loser in the Pennsylvania primary on Tuesday." While her margin of victory was "enough" to go on, Democrats "increasingly believe" the ongoing primary battle "is undermining their effort to unify the party and prepare for the general election against" Sen. John McCain. In an analysis, McClatchy says that Clinton's win "means that the Democratic Party's eventual nominee will be badly bruised and could have a tough time rallying the party in the fall. Clinton on Tuesday once again failed to do well among young and African-American voters, who are growing increasingly alienated from" her.

The Washington Times runs a similar story under the headline "Democratic Prizefight Might Knock Out Party," in which it remarks on exit polling showing "an alarming chasm between the two Democrats -- with only half of Clinton voters saying they would back Mr. Obama should he win the nomination. One-quarter of Clinton voters would back Mr. McCain while 19 percent said they would stay home in November entirely." Of Obama supporters, "67 percent said they would support Mrs. Clinton if she earns the party nod, 17 percent would back the Republican senator and 12 percent would not vote." The Washington Post reports that "there are signs in the Pennsylvania exit poll that the prolonged battle for the Democratic nomination may have negative consequences for the party," as does the Wall Street Journal.

However, not all observers see the battle as harming the Democrats. In his Wall Street Journal column, Gerald F. Seib writes that though "nervous Democrats" will balk at the suggestion, the long Democratic race will make the ultimate winner "a better candidate, and just maybe a better president if he/she wins in November. Toughness and resilience are important attributes, and that is what a long campaign instills in a candidate. So just maybe this prolonged fight is good for the Democrats."

Clinton Camp Rakes In Cash After Win

With the media in recent days speculating that Sen. Hillary Clinton's campaign's dire cash situation (it began the month with $9 million in cash and $10 million in debt) would potentially cripple her campaign going forward, her win yesterday seems to have put those concerns to rest. Bloomberg News reports that Clinton "parlayed her" Pennsylvania win "into a pitch for funds, and her campaign said she raised $2.5 million in the hours after the polls closed. ... Clinton spokesman Mo Elleithee said the money came in less than three hours after voting ended. He called it 'our best fundraising night ever.'" In a story headlined "Hillary Clinton Begs For Cash Post-Win," the New York Daily News reports, "A beaming Hillary Clinton declared victory Tuesday night, and immediately begged her supporters to shovel cash into her campaign's depleted war chest. 'We can only keep winning if we keep competing,' insisted Clinton, who then plugged her Web site and urged viewers to make a donation during a speech from a Philadelphia hotel."

Bill Clinton In Race Card Blowup

The New York Times reports, "Wagging his finger once again," former President Bill Clinton "chided a reporter on Tuesday for what he deemed a misinterpretation of his remarks during a radio interview in which he said the Obama campaign 'played the race card on me.'" Clinton "confronted the issue of race again on Monday when he was asked by an interviewer for WHYY radio in Philadelphia about his remarks earlier this year on the results of the South Carolina Democratic primary," in which he "likened the victory of Senator Barack Obama to that of the Rev. Jesse Jackson in 1998," and WHYY reporter Susan Phillips "asked him whether he would still make that comparison or whether it had been a mistake, prompting Mr. Clinton to reply: 'No, I think that they played the race card on me. We now know, from memos from the campaign and everything, that they planned to do it [all] along.'" Clinton was "caught, at the end of the interview when he apparently thought he was off the microphone, saying, 'I don't think I should take any' - he then used an expletive - 'from anybody on that, do you?'"

The Philadelphia Daily News adds, "Asked yesterday by Mike Memoli, of NBC and the National Journal, what he'd meant by accusing the Obama campaign of playing the race card, Clinton responded: 'No, no, no. That's not what I said. You always follow me around and play these little games and I'm not going to play your games today.' Clinton then accused Memoli of trying to 'get another cheap story to divert the American people.'" The Boston Globe reports that "Obama was incredulous when reporters asked him about the former president's comments. 'I have no idea what he meant,' he said. 'These were words that came out of his mouth.'"

McCain Touts Benefits Of Trade In Youngstown

On the same day President Bush defended NAFTA during a press conference with the leaders of Mexico and Canada, the Wall Street Journal reports Sen. John McCain "brought his economic message to this battleground state" of Ohio, and "didn't back away from his support for free trade but added a heavy dose of compassion in a quest to win voters here." However, McCain's "softer tone didn't change" his "stance on some issues unpopular in these parts. He reiterated his support for NAFTA and his aversion to restraining overseas trade." The Los Angeles Times adds that when McCain "went to Michigan on the eve of its January primary and told voters that the state's lost jobs were not coming back, many political experts thought he had made a huge mistake. Particularly after he was trounced by Mitt Romney, who pledged to rebuild the state's auto industry." But McCain delivered a "similar economic message" yesterday in Youngstown.

McClatchy says McCain used "his own recent political fortunes - a dramatic fade followed by an unexpected comeback to secure the Republican presidential nomination - to illustrate that depressed Rust Belt cities such as Youngstown can rebound." But to "preach the virtues of free trade in such a place is risky even for a candidate who prides himself on 'straight talk.'" Similarly, the AP says McCain "made a risky argument."

McCain Sounds Off On Dangerous China Toy Imports Bloomberg News reports that McCain "vowed that as president, he would halt toy imports from China if life- threatening safety defects are found. 'I have to tell you, if I were president of the United States, the next toy that came into this country from China that endangered the lives of our children, it would be the last toy that came into the United States,'" McCain said in his Youngstown speech.

McCain Putting New York In Play?

The New York Post reports this morning that a Siena College poll shows Sen. John McCain competitive with both Sens. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama in New York, a state that has been reliably "blue" in recent elections. The poll shows Clinton leading McCain 46%-42% and Obama topping him 45%-40%. The New York Daily News adds that McCain "is within the poll's 4-point error margin against both Democrats. 'New York is looking more 'purple' than 'blue' these days, since neither Clinton nor Obama gets 50% of the vote against McCain,' said Steven Greenberg, the Siena poll spokesman."

It's your call, Hillary - Los Angeles Times

Hillary Clinton: Destroying Democratic Party

FORGET DELEGATES AND the popular vote for the Democratic presidential nomination. The most important thing Hillary Clinton gained by winning the Pennsylvania primary yesterday was a better argument--indeed, a much better argument.

Chances are, Clinton will trail Obama in the delegate count when the primaries end on June 3, as she does now. And while she may cut into his lead in the popular vote in the Democratic contests, she's not likely to exceed his vote total. So the only way she can capture the nomination is by convincing roughly 300 uncommitted super-delegates that Obama cannot defeat Republican John McCain in November but she can.

This isn't an easy case to make, especially with the super-delegates who will provide the margin of victory for whoever captures the 2,025 delegates needed to win the Democratic nomination. And at the moment, they appear strongly inclined to back Obama if he leads in delegates when the primary season is finished.

But after Pennsylvania, Clinton's argument that she's a stronger opponent against McCain will be impossible to ignore or dismiss. And it's not just because Clinton was outspent by nearly 3 to 1 by Obama and got tougher coverage from the media, yet trounced him by a substantial margin in a state that the Democratic presidential nominee must win in November.

The key was how she won in Pennsylvania. She clobbered him among the voting blocs that are critical to a Democratic victory: union households, women, Catholics, working class and downscale voters, and those who didn't attend college.

The Democratic nominee who doesn't win a solid majority of these voting groups is all but certain to lose in November.

In fact, she ran stronger among these voters than she had in Ohio, another state where she topped Obama. Ohio, too, is a must win state for the Democratic nominee in November.

And there was a telling number from the exit poll of voters. Nearly one-third of Clinton voters said they wouldn't vote for Obama if he's the nominee. Now, it's likely many of these voters will change their minds. But a sizeable number may remain alienated from the nominee and vote for McCain. A smaller percentage of Obama voters said they wouldn't vote for Clinton if she wins the presidential nomination.

Clinton, of course, will stress this point. She'll emphasize how important the Democratic groups she won are to the party's coalition. And she will point to her pickup of around 200,000 more popular votes than Obama in Pennsylvania--an impressive margin.

If the votes in the Michigan and Florida primaries are included, Clinton actually is ahead of Obama in popular votes. For now anyway, the Democratic National Committee has ruled that the Michigan and Florida votes won't be counted because the states voted too early.

Her argument boils down to this: I can hold the traditionally Democratic voters critical to winning the general election and he can't, and thus I can defeat McCain and he can't. Sure, he's ahead in delegates, but he won many of them months ago, before the halo over his campaign was knocked off.

n the Democratic debate last week, she said "yes, yes, yes" when asked if she thinks Obama can defeat McCain. But, in private, she and her allies make the opposite argument: Obama can't win.

Before Pennsylvania, Clinton made the same argument, but her case was weaker. Now it's not only stronger, but it's changed the political environment. Clinton is no longer a hopeless underdog. Yes, she's still an underdog, but one with an argument and a prayer.

Fred Barnes is executive editor of THE WEEKLY STANDARD.

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