Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Dems Are Beginning to Believe They Can't Beat John McCain [UPDATED]

How do I know that?

Because they're already getting desperate.


UPDATE
Here's the Democrat problem: I think Hillary's going to win BIG today in Pennsylvania. I wouldn't be shocked to see a 15-20 point victory. Although she'll probably lose in North Carolina, Hillary will nevertheless be going into the convention only slightly behind in delegates but with ALL the momentum.

Hillary's also the Dem candidate who matches up best against John McCain, especially with key groups like older voters, Hispanics, and blue-collar whites in the Midwest. Obama, on the other hand, is Adlai Stevenson to McCain's Ike - the left-liberal candidate of the intellectual class vs. the moderately conservative tried and trusted war hero. Against Obama in key Midwest swing states, McCain will likely win Missouri and Ohio and possibly Pennsylvania (unless Obama puts Casey Jr. on his ticket) and Michigan.

But the Democrats know they're stuck with Obama. There's no way they can take the nomination away from him and give it to Hillary and have their coalition survive in the long term. So, they'll nominate him even if it means sending someone against McCain who is less likely to beat him than the other candidate.

And, so, they're already showing signs of desperation. They're throwing everything they can at McCain in hopes that either something sticks or that they'll finally cross the line to such an extent that McCain will allow his famous temper to get the best of him.

The Dems are gonna get real ugly real fast. Desperation is never pretty.


UPDATE #2
Ed Morrisey dismisses the Obama-Stevenson comparison (a comparison first posited by E.J. Dionne):
... Stevenson had been governor of Illinois for a four-year term, as well as having worked in various executive-branch posts. Between 1952 and his second run in 1956, Stevenson had also traveled the world and had extensive talks with world leaders, while writing travelogues for Life.

In comparison, Obama appears even more callow. He has not traveled widely, as Stevenson (and Hillary Clinton and John McCain did). He has no executive experience at all. Obama has all of three years in Congress, completely undistinguished, following a forgettable seven-year stint in the Illinois state senate where his most notable accomplishment was dodging tough issues by voting “present”...

***
Dionne writes that “fighters usually beat professors”. Substance usually prevails over superficiality, too. If the Democrats don’t learn that in time for the nomination, then they’ll likely learn it in the general election, when it becomes apparent that not only is Obama no JFK, he’s not even a Stevenson.
Yeah, but the Dems are pretty much stuck with him at this point.



UPDATE #3
Larry Kudlow writes at The Corner on National Review Online:
Bob Novak, the highly distinguished veteran columnist and author, told the American Spectator New York dinner group last night that John McCain will defeat Barack Obama in November’s election, although the Democrats will enhance their majorities in both the Senate and the House. Novak, who has covered elections for fifty years, speculated that McCain will pick former Ohio congressman Rob Portman (who also was President Bush’s special trade representative and OMB director) as his running mate, while Obama could choose former Sen. Sam Nunn as his.

On Portman, Novak said he’s young, will pass the conservative spell check, and can stand up in a debate. Our speaker also told us that the GOP has stumbled into the exact right candidate this year in McCain. Regarding McCain’s tax-cut proposals, Novak thinks they are real, and that cutting the corporate tax rate, as McCain has proposed, should be much more important to observers than the candidate’s occasional corporate and Wall Street bashing.

Novak also believes Obama’s gaffes about bitter small-town people who cling to guns and religion will be an absolute killer in the general election. So will the Jeremiah Wright business, and more generally Obama’s extreme, across-the-board, liberal-left positions...

UPDATE #4 (23 April)
Like I said, desperation is ugly.

Go ahead, lefties. Make an issue out of McCain's disability pension from the Navy. I want to see wet-behind-his-big-ass-ears Obama tell the American people why John McCain - who spent years being tortured in a POW camp to such an extent that he can't raise his arms above his head or even put on his own shirt without assistance - doesn't deserve his disability pay.

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7 Comments:

At 4/22/2008 12:05 PM, Anonymous lwestin said...

For a look at how 'professors' do, check Stephane Dion's record as leader of the Liberals (official opposition) in Canada.



http://www.canada.com/calgaryherald/news/story.html?id=15715b4a-ac9a-42c3-b53a-b9d961ca519a

 
At 4/22/2008 12:07 PM, OpenID discalcedyooper said...

I think Hillary wins in the 10-12% range. I think NC will make it abundantly clear that Obama is the nominee.

As to November, I don't think much of this matters. Much of the analysis depends of portraying McCain as a good Democrat and basically the same as Hillary. While there is a lot of truth to that assertion, I don't think McCain will be able to run as that candidate. As an example, I don't see evangelicals in western Michigan pulling the lever for McCain over Obama supposing they would have pulled the lever Hillary otherwise. I think much of the religious right will be staying home in November, and I don't blame them. McCain still hasn't sewn up his base and he is getting a false confidence from a heavy Democratic crossover versus a weaker Republican crossover. Given that he will be actively opposed once the nomination is decided on the Democratic side, I have difficulty seeing how he can maintain that crossover edge. My 2 cents.

 
At 4/22/2008 12:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr. Dion and Mr. Obama are cut from the same cloth, both are clowns and both are Mamma's Boys and voters do not like this foolishness.

OHIO JOE

 
At 4/22/2008 1:28 PM, Blogger Darwin said...

I'd predict that Hillary will win tonight, but by 10% or less. She'll continue to show strongly through the rest of the primaries, and maybe will have had more votes cast for her than for Obama, but there's no way she can catch up at this point in pledged delegates and the superdelegates will be afraid to overturn the people, so Obama will be selected at the convention.

In the end, I think McCain will win by a pretty decent margin, for the simple reason that once again the Democrats have picked someone because they thought he would appeal as being something he actually wasn't.

Kerry was supposed to appeal to everyone as a war hero who would have more foreign policy wisdom than Bush. And no one ever really believed it.

Obama is supposed to care about protectionism, and be an aisle crosser, and be a post-racial candidate, except that he clearly doesn't believe in protectionism, is highly partisan, and engages in exactly the same interest group politics that have dominated the Democratic party for thirty years.

In the end, people won't be fooled.

 
At 4/22/2008 3:24 PM, Blogger Tito said...

Before anyone starts crowing we should continue to watch and not interfere in watching the Democratic Party implode.

 
At 4/22/2008 5:14 PM, Anonymous Victor said...

the superdelegates will be afraid to overturn the people

I would absolutely agree with this -- in fact it'd be a no-brainer -- if "the superdelegates" were a singular noun that acted in collective unison (or perhaps more realistically, we were talking about a legislative chamber, with whips, party discipline, an institutional leadership with carrots to wield, etc.)

But the more I think about it, the less sure I am that this is true, particularly as the pledged-delegate count gets closer. The superdelegates are individual free agents, and Hillary doesn't need to persuade them of the collective wisdom of overturning the people's will ... she need only persuade some number discerning as individuals that she's the better candidate.

Let's assume that 2001 were the number of delegates needed (just to let us deal with round numbers) and Obama led going into the convention 2000-1500. Then the superdelegates would need to break 501-0 for Hillary -- and clearly, no way. But, to take it to the other extreme, suppose Obama were to be leading 1751-1749. Now Hillary need only get 3 more superdelegates on her side, and that'd be quite feasible just from the natural course of events, even without the effort on her part that would surely be coming in such a case.

And even if all the superdelegates were to agree (HOW? on WHAT binding institutional basis?) to go with the winner of their state or congressional district or whatever ... a 1751-1749 delegate split would be close enough that the vagaries of chance could yield a 3-vote edge the other way in a group of 501 people (both of these hypothetical counts are statistical ties).

Keep in mind that no superdelegate (until we get to Wyoming I guess) would actually have to BE the 2001st vote, to individually decide "I will overturn the will of the people" or "I will be the person to take victory away from the black guy." Vote-counting is not even physics when you're dealing in much smaller legislatures, where there's all those things I mentioned above. It's practically impossible in a secret-ballot mass-election. So, no ... the Clintons can choose to lobby the superdelegates to act as individuals, right to the convention, plausibly win that way if it's close enough going in, without needing to persuade any individual to take some massive "Cross the Rubicon" moment of existential choice.

Let me steal a point my ex-colleague Bill Sammon made about the 2000 presidential race in Florida about why the networks calling Florida early for Gore mattered. When that call was made, the polls hadn't closed in Florida's Central-time Panhandle region, which was overwhelmingly Republican. This inevitably depressed turnout some, and some number-crunchers said it likely cost Bush 5,000 votes. Had Bush gained that extra 5,000 margin, the psychology of Gore in the days after the state-mandated recount changes. Now Gore is no longer at a margin of 900+ votes, but of almost 6,000. I'm not defending all the crap that Gore did, but a margin of 900 votes is effectively a statistical tie that could be erased legitimately, based on contesting the sorts of things that happen in every election and affect 100 votes here, a few dozen votes there, etc., but that usually don't matter. A 6,000 vote margin is a different call -- it may require outright theft. And remember that Ohio was considered nail-bitingly close in 2004, but Bush's gap was more than 100,000, even on election night, and Kerry conceded the next day, rightly sensing that the outcome would not be affected.

POINT BEING to analogize with Florida 2000 and Ohio 2004 -- will the pledged-delegate gap Hillary will face be of the 900-, the 6,000- or the 100,000-quality. Or to match with the psychology and outcomes, "you bet she'll fight, based on precedent, and she might win," "too close to call, based on absent precedent" and "she'll probably give in, based on reality."

 
At 4/22/2008 6:13 PM, Blogger Donald R. McClarey said...

The Bride of Bill will do well enough, probably 9-12%, that mutterings will begin among some of the superdelegates. They realize that if they nominate a candidate who can't take Pennsylvania in the Fall they can start planning for 2012. Another factor for political professionals to ponder is that Obama has outspent Clinton by more than two to one in Pennsylvania. Obama will not enjoy this type of money advantage in the Fall, and this may also indicate that in big states Obama may have a ceiling of support that mony just won't raise. Then Clinton has to hope that Obama makes another gaffe on the scale of bittergate, or that something as unsettling as Rev. Wright comes tumbling out from his past. If this occurs, and considering how snakebit the Obama campaign has been recently, I woudn't bet against either eventuality, then superdelegates may start flowing to Clinton as they come to the conclusion that Obama is almost a sure loser against McCain.

 

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