1. I could have been a Dem strategist - Josh Marshall is delivering today the explanation for Hillary's attempt to seat Michigan and Florida that I gave yesterday, to wit, it puts her likely win in Florida on the front page.
7:10 p.m. | It Takes Two In a chat with reporters today in Columbia, Bill Clinton was asked what it said about Mr. Obama that it “took two people to beat him,” a reference to Mr. Clinton’s running with his wife.
“That’s’ just bait, too,” Mr. Clinton said. “Jesse Jackson won South Carolina twice, in ‘84 and ‘88. And he ran a good campaign. Senator Obama’s run a good campaign here, he’s run a good campaign everywhere.”
This is being widely interpreted by TV pundits as further evidence that Mr. Clinton is trying to marginalize Mr. Obama’s win in South Carolina.
Let's have some benchmarking - here is the Times (from 1988) telling us about Mr. Jackson's experiences in South Carolina:
Party leaders said Mr. Jackson polled well in many predominantly white precincts. They estimated he won 5 percent to 10 percent of the white vote on Saturday, compared to almost none in 1984.
3. Bill Clinton was a net negative to his wife if we believe these exit polls [but see point 6 - Hillary does less badly among the folks who thought Bill was important]:
(CNN) — Bill Clinton's aggressive campaigning in South Carolina in the days leading up to the state's primary may have had a negative effect among South Carolina’s Democratic primary voters, CNN exit polls indicate.
Roughly 6 in 10 South Carolina Democratic primary voters said Bill Clinton's campaigning was important in how they ultimately decided to vote, and of those voters, 47 percent went for Barack Obama while only 38 percent went for Hillary Clinton. Fourteen percent of those voters voted for John Edwards
Meanwhile, the exit polls also indicate Obama easily beat Clinton among those voters who decided in the last three days — when news reports heavily covered the former president's heightened criticisms of Obama. Twenty percent of South Carolina Democrats made their decision in the last three days and 57 percent of them chose Obama, while only 18 percent picked Clinton.
He won't shut up simply because it is the right thing to do but maybe an appeal to his self-interest will be effective. KIDDING! Wild Bill will be more visible than ever, determined to prove he hasn't lost that old magic (even if he is losing every Times columnist). The nice thing about these endless campaigns is that eventually a person's real character emerges; that won't help the HillBillys.
BUT THEN AGAIN! Maybe Hillary re-launches her campaign with a "Hubby Souljah" moment. How many Americans would rise up and cheer if she just slapped the fool?
4. CNN exit polls. Obama got about 24% of the white vote and 80% of the black vote, which is a lot more diverse than Jackson. But is it diverse enough for the media to get off this "he's the black candidate" thing? Tricky - they (sorry, "they") want to feel good about backing a black while pretending his race has nothing to do with their support.
5. Should we start with the "Why were the polls so wrong" recriminations? The last Zogby had Obama with 41, Clinton with 26, and Edwards with 19, with 10% undecided.
The exit poll has Obama at 54, Clinton at 27, and Edwards at 18. So it looks like all the undecided went for Obama. One might have expected some unreconstructed whites and some angry blacks to have given a faux "undecided" answer, but it appears it was all Obama supporters laying in the weeds.
Can the pollsters deliver an "undecided" breakdown by race?
6. IT DEPENDS ON THE MEANING OF "IMPORTANT":
Re Wild Bill's impact, Hillary lost by less with the group that considered his campaigning to be important.
58% of respondents said Bill's campaigning was important; Hillary lost this group by 37-48.
But in the 42% who said his effort was not important, she lost by 13-62.
Last straw in wind - in the subset that said Bill was "very important" (26% of respondents) Hillary actually won, 46-43.