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Effective, Evocative but Enough?
Posted by: McQ on Wednesday, August 27, 2008

I think so.

Of course I'm talking about Hillary Clinton's speech. Some of the talking heads last night were of the opinion that it was a very "tepid" speech in terms of support for Obama. The thinking was that she didn't get personal enough about Obama. She didn't say things like she had gotten to know and respect Obama, or that he would make a great commander-in-chief, etc.

Well I don't think that was the purpose of the Clinton speech.

Her purpose was to state unequivocally that she supported Barack Obama's candidacy for president. And she did that effectively.
I'm here tonight as a proud mother, as a proud Democrat, as a proud senator from New York, a proud American, and a proud supporter of Barack Obama.

[...]

Barack Obama is my candidate, and he must be our president.

[...]

Those are the reasons I ran for president, and those are the reasons I support Barack Obama for president.

[...]

We need to elect Barack Obama, because we need a president who understands that America can't compete in the global economy by padding the pockets of energy speculators while ignoring the workers whose jobs have been shipped overseas.
I'm not sure what anyone else could have expected from Clinton, but it certainly sounds like a pretty clear endorsement of Obama. I'll leave to the "nuance brigade" to figure out what code she may have been using which apparently made this a "tepid" endorsement.

She got in a couple of good jabs at McCain as well - one that's likely to endure:
No way, no how, no McCain.
And one that was clever:
Now, with an agenda like that, it makes perfect sense that George Bush and John McCain will be together next week in the Twin Cities, because these days they're awfully hard to tell apart.
That, of course, is how the Democrats are trying to frame McCain and she played it well.

Look, you have to give the devil her due - she put on a heck of a show last night. But now, for all intents and purposes, she's done. And she's provided Republicans with a mountain of quotes to use against Obama in the primary season. But she played the "good trooper" last night, did her duty (and preserved her position within the party) and left the Democrats thinking "did we make the right choice, and did Obama"?

I like having that little cloud of doubt lingering over the convention center.
 
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Previous Comments to this Post 

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I think so.
I don’t.

She did a good job at offering indistinct plattitudes. Granted, that’s the majority of the democrat politics these days.... but look... Last polling data on the subject I saw is about a week old now, and it suggested that something like 50% of Clinton supoprters were now McCain supporters. If they’d not been convinced by what she said and did prior to last night, I doubt last night’s going to tip that scale, either.
 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitsblog.florack.us
"But now, for all intents and purposes, she’s done."
I don’t believe that for one second and I’m about ready to question the sanity of anyone who does.

She did not give that up for nothin’, Bruce. She’s got an angle somewhere, and the only question is how long before it becomes apparent.
 
Written By: Billy Beck
URL: http://www.two—four.net/weblog.php
Billy,

For all intents and purposes Hillary 2008 is over. It’s now about Hillary 2012. However, she will leave that up to hubby for now; expect more digs from Bill.
 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
"For all intents and purposes Hillary 2008 is over."
Rubbish.

Let’s get this explicitly straight: the presidential bid might be over — and I’ll believe that in November — but it is ridiculous to think she’s just going to go limping back to the Senate until ’12. She’s got way more juice in the game than that, and she won’t give up a drop of it for less than her market value to the cause, which she knows even if nobody else does.

It would be smart for people to start considering that Obama very well could be her very own little boy in the White House, for lots of reasons. For one obvious thing: once he gets there, he’ll be in over his head in an arena that she’s got wired by now.

In no way should anyone believe that she made her move last night without seeing every single angle.

She’s not "over". She’s just gotten through the end of the beginning. She is the single most driven politician in a whole generation at least. Anyone not accounting for this has nothing serious to say about her.
 
Written By: Billy Beck
URL: http://www.two—four.net/weblog.php
"It would be smart for people to start considering that Obama very well could be her very own little boy in the White House, for lots of reasons. For one obvious thing: once he gets there, he’ll be in over his head in an arena that she’s got wired by now."

The SNL writers have already parodied that angle:


http://rawstory.com/news/2008/SNL_spoofs_Hillarys_3AM_phone_call_0309.html
 
Written By: Ernest Brown
URL: http://
For all intents and purposes Hillary 2008 is over. It’s now about Hillary 2012.
I don’t want to give the impression that I’m still trying to salvage my prediction that Obama would not be the nominee at the convention. With two nights to go, it’s a certainty that I was wrong about that.

But way back even before Obama had "officially" gone over the top with superdelegate help, I told a friend on the phone that I would believe that Hillary was out of this when the polls opened on election day.

Why do I continue to entertain that? Because the Clintons are like the bogey man in Halloween. You think they’re down for good, then they’re at your back with a knife.

So, of post-convention moves on Obama I can offer but one precedent: Tom Eagleton.

Eagleton never told McGovern that he had had shock therapy. Someone in the media, I forget who, found out about the shock therapy. Eagleton was toast. Sargent Shriver took over the VP spot post-convention.

Could it have been Nixon operatives who passed the goods to whoever did the reporting? I don’t think I’ve ever heard that, and I think the excavation at the Nixon archeological dig has turned up a load of Nixon artifacts. But who knows.

But my point is that there is a precedent for icing a national cadidate post-convention. And we are talking about the Clintons and their unlimited ambitions.

Does Obama have a "shock therapy" item in his past that would destroy his candidacy?

I’d bet he does. Look at his posse.
 
Written By: Martin McPhillips
URL: http://newpaltzjournal.com
"In no way should anyone believe that she made her move last night without seeing every single angle."

She’s greasing the chutes for him. Obama’s his own worst enemy, and all HRC has to do is play the "good soldier" and let him hang himself the way Kerry did in ’04. Anyone who thought that she would be stroppy last night hadn’t been paying attention to her campaign debt and the reality of Obama’s identity politics Cleavon Little Defense (cf. Blazing Saddles) trumping of her pseudo-feminist run.
 
Written By: Ernest Brown
URL: http://
Hey Bithead,
.... but look... Last polling data on the subject I saw is about a week old now, and it suggested that something like 50% of Clinton supoprters were now McCain supporters.
50%!?!
That sounds a tad bit high to me. What poll did you see? Got any links?
 
Written By: PogueMahone
URL: http://
There are two other very recent examples that amplify the Eagleton precedent.

Neither is absolutely on point, but they’re in range.

One, of course, is the wipe-out of John Edwards. He’s become an instant non-person.

The other is the Eliot Spitzer wipe-out. He was no longer just a candidate, but a sitting governor. Spitzer was out like a light.

These latter two were sex take-outs, as compared to Eagleton’s shock therapy disqualifier, but they certainly do update and show the possibility of the "you’re out of there" post-convention event.

One thing that strikes me about the last couple of days is how aggressive the Clintons have been. Bill Clinton’s "candidate A, candidate B" thing, which I’ve both seen and then listened to the audio of, was a spectacular thrust. Not the minor incident I thought at first. It was one of those "the hand is quicker than the eye" Bill Clinton tricks.

That was amplified for me by Ed Rendell’s outbursts, first about the "embarrassing coverage" of Obama and his attack on MSNBC, then his comparison of Obama to Adlai Stevenson, something that older Democrats remember as a catastrophe. Obama himself might have needed someone to explain to him how nasty that shot was. Rendell, asked to clarify, made it even worse, by damning Obama again with praise so faint it couldn’t survive Rendell’s blank expression.

My conclusion is that this is not a Clinton huff. This is Clinton fury.

So, I think that something really could take shape post-convention. Last week someone suggested a procedural putsch at the convention itself. I said that a jolt was needed for that to happen. But a jolt going into or at the convention would have made a mess, wouldn’t it? Protesters going wild. Delegates fighting. But a jolt post-convention, a shock therapy jolt, throws the whole thing into the hands of party elders. And who rushes in to rally the Party in the wake of such a tragic turn of events?

Special humiliation would come to a candidate being forced to withdraw after being nominated, as Eagleton did. I sense that special humiliation is definitely what the Clintons would like for Obama. Is that last part far-fetched?

If all the Clintons intended was to spoil the convention, that seems like awfully small potatoes. If it’s meant to help Obama lose, it’s awfully obvious. But if it’s a signal to Obama that they’re going to put him down post-convention, it’s awfully Clinton.

Remember again that Bill Clinton is the guy who went from being fellated in the Oval Office toilet to becoming World Citizen One. Now Obama wants to take that away from him too.

Hey, it’s a scenario.



 
Written By: Martin McPhillips
URL: http://newpaltzjournal.com
Martin,

The Clintons have not forgot what the Eagleton situation wrought, i.e. "epic fail" in the ’72 election.

The ’08 nomination was a poison pill for them after Obama took the superdelegate lead. There is only one way that she could get the nom now and win, and I’ll leave it to everyone to nut that one out on their own.
 
Written By: Ernest Brown
URL: saturninretrograde.blogspot.com
That sounds a tad bit high to me.
Hmmm.
Actually caught it off 89/WLS a couple weeks ago while panning around. They come in up here at night. Of course they’re running Err America, so who knows?

In looking at the reports of today, the figure appears to be holding around 27%.
That’s still pretty substantial... if we assume for round numbers that half the Democrat voters went for Clinton and half for Obama, that means a 13.5% of Democrat voters are going to vote McCain. The way the last few elections have come out within a point or two of each other, I don’t think I have to explain the impact.

Come to think on it now, they may have been doing the same calc I just ran for you, that may be where the 50% came into play.

 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitsblog.florack.us
Actually caught it off 89/WLS a couple weeks ago while panning around.
Okay.
It sounds like you’re not so sure about that now. Before it was "Last polling data on the subject I saw is about a week old now" and that quickly went to you heard it on radio while panning around.

So there is no "polling data" that you "saw"?

Don’t worry though. I’m not disappointed.
I knew your 50% figure was ridiculous and I had no expectation that you had actual facts to back it up.

It’s all good.
 
Written By: PogueMahone
URL: http://
Ah. So, I"m supposed to ignore anything I don’t have hard copy of.
Right. Got it.

You know, Pogue, that’s the thing about stones. When you start tossing them about, the eventually come back.
 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitsblog.florack.us
By the way... in going back over the log tapes, (Part of the DX’ing hobby) apparently where my memory got fouled was on the statement that "around 50% of the party had been disenfranchiesd".

 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitsblog.florack.us
The Clintons have not forgot what the Eagleton situation wrought, i.e. "epic fail" in the ’72 election.
Yes, it would definitely be a high-risk venture. But the dynamics are different from ’72. Eagleton was McGovern’s choice, so McGovern had to live with the consequences going forward as the candidate. Doing an Eagleton on Obama means that Obama himself is gone, and the Democrats are rid of "McGovern," not just Eagleton, if I’ve said that clearly enough to make sense.

A true Eagletonization of Obama requires Obama to bow out of the race himself in humiliation, express contrition, and ask that his sin, whatever it is, not be held against the Party.

In steps Hillary, as corrupt as any politician in memory, as the remade heroine, the preference of as many Democrats as Obama, who will be "ready on Day One." She doesn’t miss a beat, grabs the wheel, and drives on as Obama becomes a non-person.

She’s still special: the first woman to run for president.

An extra flourish would be to immediately start a myth that this was all caused by dark right-wing forces, so that electing Hillary is seen as revenge for the ruination of Obama.

A friend described this scenario as "fanciful thinking," to which I would reply not if you look at the Spitzer and Edwards rub-outs as practice sessions.

Both were masterpieces of destruction.

It is indeed all very high risk, and very speculative. It would have to happen rather soon after the convention. The window for it would not stay open too long. But I’ve seen the Clintons pull off more difficult ventures.

 
Written By: Martin McPhillips
URL: http://newpaltzjournal.com
Ah. So, I"m supposed to ignore anything I don’t have hard copy of.
Right. Got it.
And I’m going to ignore anything you add when you claim to have seen polling data, then claim you heard it on the radio while panning around, then admit to having gotten it all wrong in the first place.

Right. Got it.

"Tossing" and "stones"!? With you, Bithead, it’s more like "fish" and "barrel".
 
Written By: PogueMahone
URL: http://
And I’m going to ignore anything you add when you claim to have seen polling data, then claim you heard it on the radio while panning around, then admit to having gotten it all wrong in the first place.
Unless of course you like the way it supports liberals.

And since I went back double checked and then corrected it, even going so far as to find the cause of the original error, and admitted it flatly, what the bleep do you want from me?

Come on Pogue... trust me on this if nothing else, you’re not that hard to see through. Anything for the cause.

 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitsblog.florack.us

 
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