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January 27, 2008

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Clarice

I'm sending your piece to Bill, because no matter what this fercocked* poll shows I want him to stay IN.
* Can you find a better example of a meaningless poll question--that is one which is so ambiguous it tells us nada?

Rick Ballard

Clarice,

The correct interpretation of the results to the question is that 76% of RW supporters think that Bubba's presence is important while 94% of BHO supporters think his presence is important.

Therefore, it can be said with assurance that Bubba's continued presence in the campaign is important to the overwhelming majority of Democrats, regardless of which candidate they support.

Send that interpretation to Bubba - he'll tape it to his mirror.

sbw

Ah did not [waggle, waggle] have a negative effect on the votes for that woman -- Hillary Clinton!

Clarice

Thanks for clearing that up, Rick.
Now I'm putting on my five cent per psych analysis hat:The more critical people are of Bill, the more outrageous and enraged he will become.

(JMH--on your point that McCain is a loser against Obama--Rasmussen's latest national poll suggests other voters share your view:"Romney is now seen as the most electable Republican candidate—76% believe he would be at least somewhat likely to win the White House if nominated. Sixty-eight percent (68%) say the same about McCain. Earlier in the week, both men were viewed as at least somewhat likely to win by 69%"

Rick Ballard

"The more critical people are of Bill, the more outrageous and enraged he will become."

Probably true. I've been watching the shade of that light bulb he follows around and it continues to get more red as well as increasing in wattage. 'Course that might just mean he's switched to 140 proof.

Porchlight

I don't know that it's going to matter. Bill's been stumping for Hill all along. She lost IA, won NH, won NV, lost SC (MI doesn't really count). It could be that her wins and losses have more to do with the varying demographics in each state than with Bill, whose presence has been a constant factor.

I think what we're seeing is the media's fear that Bill is negatively affecting her campaign. The Clintons themselves may conclude otherwise.

And really, even if Hill wanted him to get off the trail and crawl into a cave for the rest of the primary, would he agree to do it? Maybe his getting to be out there gladhanding and speechifying is part of their little bargain.

Clarice

porchlight--He needs to be up there on center stage and getting the adulation of the crowd as much as you need oxygen. He is not moving out of the limelight.

Other Tom

"I think Wild Bill was a disaster but this poll is not the proof of it."

That pretty much nails what I've concluded, although TM's statement is a tad more succinct. Because Bill's "importance" tells you nothing about whether he reinforced or changed a prior inclination, we are left completely in the dark. And in any event, the respondents were all SC voters. Around the country, I think he hurt her (and himself) big-time.

Concerning the Rasmussen item, keep in mind that polls showing what voters believe about a candidate's chances against an opponent are one remove, at least, from polls pitting the candidates head-to-head and asking for a choice. I have yet to see a single head-to-head poll showing Romney even competitive with either Hillary or Obama, but I've seen several showing McCain narrowly beating either one of them.

Other Tom

Add this from Powerline:

"With hindsight, it seems clear that Bill did his wife no favors by playing the heavy in South Carolina. It will be interesting to see whether he backs off between now and mega-Tuesday."

Clarice

Rick, He needs constant proof that the crowds love him. Criticism is always perceived as unfair and unwarranted. He will keep pushing buttons of everyone in the hope that no matter what he does he is loved. That is his lifelong pattern. It has always worked for him before.
Here's Florence King in 1993:
"as long as Clinton is campaigning he can reassure himself that people like him, but when the campaign stops, so does the reassurance. Esconced at last in the White House, but painfully aware that fifty-seven percent of the electorate had voted for somebody else, he needed another kissy-fit right away. Did we like him, really like him? He had to find out somehow, and so he set out to test our love.
It took Jimmy Carter a couple of years to make people wonder if he had a screw loose, but Clinton took only a week.His headlong plunge into the issue of gays in the military was described by the media as 'puzzling','baffling','reckless,''obsessive', and 'self-destructive.'Next he tackled the defiticit issue by floating the idea of cuts in Social Security, which Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan called a 'death wish.' Then he risked a national panic by attempting to lift the ban on immigrants infected with the AIDS virus, which the Senate defeated. And now he's threatening , via his supine relationship with Sin Tax Hillary, to force forty-five million smokers into nicotine-withdrawal fits to see if they love him enough not to storm the White House and stick his head on a pike."

Other Tom

And this from Bob Moser at The Nation, quoted by Tom Bevan at RCP:

"After Saturday's primary, this Tar Heel can do nothing but offer a big, deep bow to the Democrats of South Carolina. Not because I was particularly rooting for Barack Obama over John Edwards--but because of these fine folks' rejection of the Clintons' gutter politics. The majority of white Democrats, in a state where the Democratic Party was so long the organized mob enforcing Jim Crow, repelled the Clinton campaign's unspeakably vile attempt to paint Barack Obama as some kind of coke-dealing, slumlord-pimping cousin of Al Sharpton--and their equally vile assumption that Deep South whites, whether they're Democratic or Republican, can be manipulated by coded racial divisiveness in 2008 the way they were in 1968. Or, to add a bit more vileness to the mix, their assumption that they could make South Carolina blacks believe that one of their own would be 'unelectable' by definition."

If we're going to lose this thing in November, I for one will at least take solace in what I think is an irreversible sea change in many Democrats' views of the horrid duo.

Porchlight

Clarice, that's great. Even better is that King sussed this out in 1993 - with so much Clintonian b.s. still to come. Glad the Democrats are finally waking up, or rather, admitting what they've known all along.

Clarice

It is a comfort, isn't it,OT? The See No Evil crowd sure looks stupider than ever.

Clarice

porchlight, She is a genius. And SHE spelled deficit right--and I mistyped it, of course.

Cecil Turner

While you're nit-picking the CW, might want to mention Karen Tumulty's Obama's Rout Rejiggers the Race, which also focuses on the niggardly contributions of our "first black president." And while only a niggler could blame Bill's reputation as a blackguard rather than Obama's (Jesse) Jacksonian charm, the future looks dark for Hillary.

Ridiculous? Or subliminal?

Porchlight

She is a genius. I really need to read Confessions of a Failed Southern Lady. A friend lent it to me ten years ago (!) and it's still sitting on my shelf, unopened.

MikeS

Criticism of Bill Clinton, as a nasty, or vicious, or ineffective campaigner, don't really float my boat. What interests me is that some Democrats and some leftish media personalities are accusing Bill of lying about something other than sex.

This excites me because, if the left acknowledges that Bill Clinton is a liar, the next questions are, "what else has he lied about? How has the country been affected by his lies in the past?"

Ralph L

Porchlight, it's time to learn about the delicate Upton Womb!

JM Hanes

Pissing off the media may ultimately hurt Hillary more than anything Bill might (not!) have done for her in S.C. -- it just may not make a difference soon enough to change the outcomes on super Tuesday for Obama. When you have a country that's roughly split between left and right, the media's 10% share of the vote is pivotal. I've begun to think that's really the sector to watch. I was sorry to see them writing off Giuliani way back in New Hampshire.

BTW, has anybody noticed that when the N.Y.Times puts its editorial neck on the line lately, public opinion starts shifting the other way? I'd attempt to do a correlation if I could stand to go back and read their collected opinions. They finally came out for full scale retreat from Iraq, just before the surge started to erode public interest altogether, and it's my impression that their timing has been similarly off ever since. Now that they've endorsed Clinton & McCain, I'm optimistically looking for their numbers to start heading south. There's their anti-Giuliani screed, and then there's the 35% of the Florida results that will be made up of absentee & early voting. Where that 35% will go is anybody's guess, depending on precisely when in the evolving narrative those ballots were cast.

I'm sorry that the relative importance of early showings in Iowa/NH/SC seems to have been confirmed in this election cycle. Regardless of how folks feel about Giuliani himself, I believe the kind of campaign he has tried to run, using the primaries themselves to help (re)build a national constituency, is a long term strategy of considerable merit. That clearly hasn't been happening on the Republican side; Obama's giving it a shot on the other side, but it's an uphill fight.

Porchlight

Ralph L, after googling "Upton Womb," I went and got the book down from the shelf. I'm ready!

Rick Ballard

"Ridiculous? Or subliminal?"

Cecil,

Not to be a niggler about detail but an examination of the order of questions in the CNN exit polling for Michigan and South Caroling tends to support the subliminal aspect. In MI, where BHO was not on the ballot, RW's bright day was only darkened by her dingy performance among a certain group whose preferences were segregated by CNN to the bottom of the third page.

In contrast, on RW's darkest day to date, CNN brought those heretofore ignored preferences straight to the front of the bus. Perhaps they were simply trying to redress their niggardly treatment in Michigan of what has been a highlight of Dem politics for forty years but I believe that some small case might be made that their action constitutes the casting of a bright white light upon a situation that they had previously tried to hide in a dark corner.

JM Hanes

Clarice:

We may also be seeing the beginning of a media shift now that the consensus sees McCain as the front runner. A couple of folks at the MSM fringes actually reported that his slam on Romney for supposedly wanting to set a withdrawal date was demonstrably wrong. They also noted his shameless exploitation of the troops when he was looking for cover instead of apologizing for the "mistake." As far as I'm concerned, that's the real John McCain.

If folks think George Bush had a hard time admitting mistakes, they ain't seen nothing yet. John McCain has a hard time recognizing mistakes unless someone whacks him with a frying pan -- just to get his attention long enough to tell him what he needs to say. I don't think he's humble, I don't think he's unusually honest, and I don't think he's observant or perceptive. He may be "true to himself," I just don't think that's a plus. John McCain's problem is that he can't rise above being John McCain.

Ann

You guys will love this:

Re: "Dishonest" [Mark Steyn]
Rich, the other day I found myself thinking of that line of Bush's from the 2000 campaign, where he said of McCain something like you can't claim the high horse and then take the low road. And everyone mocked Bush for mangling his metaphors or misquoting "Loch Lomond" or whatever. But with hindsight it seems to get to the essence of the McCain style.

Personally I find the idea of running explicitly as a "man of honor" rather unseemly, and more than a little reminiscent of Emerson's line that "the louder he proclaimed his honor, the faster we counted the spoons" - the spoons in this case being campaign finance, illegal immigration, global warming, Big Pharma demonization, etc.

But, that aside, there's something extraordinarily petty about the High Horseman's jibes at both Romney and Rummy. Rumsfeld's tenure at Defense is for the historians now, but I know this: he was an unusually far-sighted thinker for a Cabinet official, and his instant strategic clarity by lunchtime of September 11th was critical to this nation's response. The reductive notion peddled by the Senator - that everything that's gone wrong in Iraq is Rumsfeld's fault and everything that's gone right is McCain's - is not only false but weirdly obsessive.

Jane

I don't think he's humble, I don't think he's unusually honest, and I don't think he's observant or perceptive. He may be "true to himself," I just don't think that's a plus. John McCain's problem is that he can't rise above being John McCain.

I just think he is old.

arrowhead

Compare John McCain to President Reagan at the same age. Quite a difference. Whatever drives McCain, his behavior cannot be attributed to his advanced years.

John McCain is a bitter, mean-spirited man with the same sense of entitlement exhibited by the RW. This aspect of his personality was apparent long before the campaign of 2000.

JM Hanes

I do too Jane. Unfortunately, I think it exacerbates his flaws and it really worries me.

Clarice

Oh, good grief. I'm in total agreement with jmh and Jane again. People will talk.

Jane

Unfortunately, I think it exacerbates his flaws and it really worries me.

Me too particularly the more I see him.

Larry

Hear hear to what Steyn says about Rumsfeld! We owe Rummy much for long and dedicated public service. History will vindicate him.

Voted early (FL) for Fred. :( And agin that damned property tax amendment-way too little and too late.

BTW, Charlie's name is Crist, not Christ and he's a stealth lib, like Bush 41. We're missing JEB already, the best of the Bushes.

Bill Peschel

It also could be the case that Bill's presence acts as a distraction from issues that really matter to voters, like health care and the economy and the Democrats' disasterous opposition to Iraq?

Brainster

On the electability issue, at least on a national basis, polls have fairly consistently shown McCain as the candidate who matches up best against any of the leading Dems.

Now, you can explain that as simply reflecting name recognition, but the CNN poll from about a week ago, asked people whom they would not vote for under any circumstances. Mitt won that hands down with 62% of the respondents insisting they'd never vote for him.

If you look at InTrade, you can see that reflected in the prices for the various contracts. McCain is at 54.1 to win the nomination, while Romney's at 34.1. But if you look at the contracts at actually winning the presidency, McCain's at 20.7 and Romney's at 11.3. Working the numbers out reveals that the traders see McCain has having about a 38% chance of winning the general if he gets the nomination, while Romney's estimated to have a 33.1% chance.

vnjagvet

A lot of water will pass under the bridge between now and election day. Just sayin'.

I still have a prejudice against Senators as presidential candidates.

Nothing in this election cycle changes my prejudice.

All things being equal, I hope I am able to use my prejudice as a deciding factor in November.

Not that there should be anything wrong with that.

Rick Ballard

Vnjagvet,

If you charted two data points at six months apart with 0 being the first point and 11.3 the second the trend line would be rather impressive. A nice example of the point you made can be found by reading these Florida polling results from the bottom up.

Romney can win in November against either Obama or Clinton. He's a pro - and he doesn't even slow down for bad bumps.

JM Hanes

Brainster:

I wouldn't explain that as a function of name recognition at all. I'd say it has far more to do with the almost universally good press that McCain has generally received for years, and the universally bad press Mitt Romney has garnered since he (recently) emerged to compete with McCain on the national stage -- neither of which either of them particularly merit. McCain has assiduously courted reporters for decades, Romney has not. I think voter opinion will reflect that coverage until something different is staring them in the face. At the moment, they're only beginning to pay attention, and we've got a long way to go.

I don't think McCain's reaction to the kind of attacks he is going to face from Democrats -- and the sudden scarcity of formerly sympathetic press on which his very success as a maverick has actually been based -- is going to pretty, and I think his electability ratings will plummet.

vnjagvet

That dam* fickle press again. You never know who might incur their rath.

Clarice

Me, too, jmh. I only hope that happens before he wins the nomination.

JM Hanes

Clarice: "People will talk." Not to worry! I intend to surprise everyone by walking off with Steyn while y'all are wrestling for him in the mud.

JM Hanes

PeterUK:

Headlines, of course, aren't known for accuracy. The timing here is breathtakingly cynical. Ted Kennedy is actually stepping on Caroline's endorsement with his own in order to hitch a ride on the non plus ultra of coattails.

Jane

Don't you dare JMH!

Ann

NRO is reporting that Hillary has found a Kennedy to support her
...Kathleen Kennedy Townsend.

PeterUK

Bring on the mud!

Clarice

Well, Kathleen found a very racist campaign against Steele and lost. (Of course, it was mysterious adies who did the dirty work--not kathleen.)

Clarice

Kathleen may owe the Clintons who undoubtedly helped her in that campaign.

Rick Ballard

How much weight does the endorsement of a pathetic loser carry?

vnjagvet

Romney Steele 2008.

What's wrong with that?

Ann

I had forgotten how nasty the campaign against Steele was and wasn't there another Senior NY Senator involved in prying into Steele's credit rating with his SS #. And then there was the reporting of someone throwing Oreo cookies at him.

Romney Steele 2008 (I like it alot!)

Rick Ballard

Vnjagvet,

Nothing wrong with it if the Red Witch and Bubba finish off BHO. If BHO wins it would be tactically useless.

I think the Red Witch is going to turn BHO into a toad before she's done with him so a strong Catholic who happens to be black would make a nice pairing with Mitt.

It would be fun to see Mitt float the rumor - the Dems would make Linda Blair look like an amateur at head spinning.

richard mcenroe

In all fairness to Bill, he has yet to demand Obama sing De Camptown Races or O Dem Golden Slippers at the Convention...

Clarice

I am very fond of Steele. Ann, Schumer;s aide was involved.

Ann

Clarice,

It is funny how the JOM ladies agree on fine men.

If you get a chance visit Michelle Malkin. She has a post up of Hillary "Standing Up for Her Man" that you will love.

I posted it on another thread. I am so dizzy I don't know where to post what anymore :{

Jane

Romney Steele 2008.

Hey! That was my idea. (Don't tell me I didn't post it) Sheesh!

Clarice

I mentioned Steele days ago. I know I did. Don't ask me where. TM is on a posting binge.

Ann

OH NO YOU DI'N'T. It was my idea months ago!!!

Clarice

MUD WRESTLE!

Topsecretk9

Again - I agree that Wild Bill was a disaster but I don't see how these numbers can be made to sing that song.

I think what we are seeing is an admission from the press that the Clintons were/are a disaster and the press does not want to go there again.

Back in 92 there were so many Clinton-Kennedy-Camelot comparisons (think young Clinton in the rose garden and the torch passed on analogies - gag).

After their press love affair and he was elected then what? Scandal after scandal after undeniable womanizing scandal and the press were strong armed by Clinton surrogates and struggling with their own previous incurious but devoted support. They were burned, but were willing to take the burn for the democrat Clintons.

So when Bush who the Media hates came along the media gets to redeem their soul. They get to be the CURIOUS and ANTAGONISTIC press and recover the self-importance they imagine they have.

And now the hammer is back, the woman that strong-armed them, pissed on them and took them for granted, betrayed their principles on ALL levels, engages in the kind of business in her law firm they would have made their life's work to uncover had it been a republican - suppressed, spun, abused, lied to....and she's expecting , demanding that they anoint her and line up to be abused again?

Obama must be looking like a refreshing "orange" to them, at this point.

bgates

Roger Simon mentioned a while back he once pitched a low-concept script ("black James Bond") as a Wesley Snipes vehicle. I think if that movie had been made, "Romney Steele" would have been the perfect name for the lead character.

boris

Okay, Remington Steele ...

As a campaign movie with Pierce Bosnan and Wesley Snipes running for POTUS and VPOTUS. Pierce would be the clever and charming frontman with Wesley as a Rovian/Cheney role working all the nefarious plots behind the scenes.

Patrick R. Sullivan

Dennis Miller this morning: 'If Bill Clinton were any more low rent, he'd be a spring break destination.'

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