Pennsylvania minus four weeks

As Barack Obama weathers the Reverend Jeremiah Wright controversy, Hillary Clinton misspeaks. Compare and contrast …

Author: William Bowe

William Bowe is a Perth-based election analyst and occasional teacher of political science. His blog, The Poll Bludger, has existed in one form or another since 2004, and is one of the most heavily trafficked websites on Australian politics.

1,114 comments on “Pennsylvania minus four weeks”

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  1. 42 – Ron

    I disagree.

    [‘These savy attacks will include not merely the subtle ‘he is black’ but the subtle type messages he has & still is drawn to the racially divisive on his pastoral teachings despite his words to the contrary. Fear is a powerful political tactic.’]

    Since when have the Republicans been subtle? Their fearmongering has always been a blunt weapon and Obama has had lots of practice dealing with Hillary.
    My opinion is that in an environment where Iraq and the economy is crashing, Hope trumps Fear.

    [‘Concurrently these savy attacks but more overtly will include publicly demanding Obama answer all the questions his speech did not answer for example ONLY:
    what were the actual words in the controversail comments he now condemns. ‘]

    This is a valid point. However, I still don’t see this as doing any lasting damage. All candidates have their own wacky religious beliefs and leaders and none is wackier then the next.

    [‘All of these Pastorgate concurrently also will lead to demonstrating lack of judgement, commonsense like listening to a whacko and lack of values conviction’]

    The same applies to all candidates. I would argue that Hillary’s blatant lying in Bosnia far trumps Pastorgate in terms of judgment, commonsense and lack of values.

    [‘Do not expect any of the Obamabots to remotely accept the gross political errors Obama made & failed to adequately OR ’savy’ address in his speech’]

    I felt this issue was a media beat up. Obama’s speech whilst not perfect won him more fans then he lost and solidified his core constituency. I note the polls are rebounding in his favour after a short dip. Only the pedantic and the right wing are still digging through Obama’s speech line by line. Others have looked at the speech in context and the message of unity it presented.

    [‘Glen , your ‘howardism’ is sounding more sensible & ‘open’ than ‘Obamabotism’’]

    Glen is capable of good arguments and bad arguments. His particular argument presented a good overview of Hillary’s prospects which are not promising.

    However, your straw man repetitive arguments of yours are akin to those Anti-Rudd commentators who predicted each scandal would bring his downfall, and yet amazingly enough, never did.

  2. Ok, let’s try this in parts. Here’s part one:

    While the media is happy playing he said/she said and who’s pastor passes the patriot test, the train wreck which is the US economy is about to collide with the presidential election, in a big way. First up, the senate, in two committees, is going to haul Treasury and Fed honchos in and lay bare (ah, pun) the Wall Street bailouts, and secondly, Dodd and Obama’s idea to bailout the underwater mortgage holders is going to come up shortly.

    The focus of that fickle beast, the media, is going to get dragged off to the bottom line, and into the ugly cesspool of investment banking, and why the Fed has opened up the world’s biggest pawn shop down on Wall Street.

    Over the last few months, in case it’s skipped anyone’s attention while they were busily engaged watching clips of the Rev Wright on youtube, the financial house of cards, otherwise known as the US financial system, has fallen over in a very big way. Some heavyweights, like one time Reagan advisor and Harvard economics professor Martin Feldstein are calling it for the deepest recession since, well, the last really really big one.

  3. Part 2:

    So we’re in a for a show, as the Fed and Treasury get busy explaining why they are suddenly market players, and how come the greatest ‘free market’ in the universe, has virtually siezed up, and why they’ve taken the astonishing step of lending money to non-commercial banks.

    Think of it like this: the casinos are raking it in, money is cheap, these honchos see themselves as lords of the universe (and of course pay themselves accordingly), but suddenly, the music stops, one of their number gets seriously distressed, and the taxpayers are asked to prop them up. But they’re gamblers, the public screams. Yes, replies the Fed, but look how many people are dependent on them, we can’t let them all take a hit.

    And so, we now have the mighty US Fed, holding up the private gambling casinos (otherwise known as ‘investment banks’) with public money, who can come with their tacky plastic chips and exchange them for freshly minted dollar bills whenever they need ‘liquidity’ ie the taxpayer is stumping up for their ‘assets’ which no market in the world will touch with a barge pole.

  4. There is something seriously wrong with the ‘moderation’ filter if that post won’t get through!

    Who on earth could be offended by it?

  5. Ron

    thought you’d be in a much more jovial mood today……after all those darn racist Indians are getting a belting in the cricket.

  6. #27 Glen: Although I don’t agree with some parts of your post, it is nevertheless the most reasonable post I have ever read from you.

  7. I’m watching the markets too, Kirri, and I think the Bear Stearns shareholders who bought in at say, $120 last year might not think that $10 is too great a price.

    Though why exactly the Fed has bought about $30bn of securities from Bear Stearns (via JPM) escapes me.

    The reason you can’t let the gamblers go bankrupt is not that any one bank is too important, but that if one bank goes down, then there’s a real chance you lost two or three or the whole lot.

  8. [As Obi’s speech gained traction among its target audience, Hillary tempted the odds, got caught out, and has been seen to fail the “character” test. She is damaged goods. Her campaign is kaput.]

    Hillary is relying on the WORST outcome for an aspiring president, that is, a coup within the party in order to steal the nomination.

    Such a result, plus the ever-growing list of lies, would put Hillary in a terrible position for trying to win the presidency. Already she is not trusted by the majority of voters, and now it is becoming increasingly obvious that she is prepared to destroy her party for her own egomaniacal ambitions.

    It’s a Catch-22. The longer she clings, hoping for a coup, the more she trashes her reputation, which then makes it less likely for her to win the presidency if she gets the nomination.

    In other words, the longer Hillary clings, the less likely the Democrats can win with her as the presidential candidate.

  9. I have been asked a number of times would i support Obama if Obama is nominated. I said YES because basically i am not ANTI Obama. I am anti Repugs. Now I am going to ask the same question to you, the Obama supporters.

    Would you support Hillary if she is nominated? Just yes or no. No ifs or buts.

  10. @ 58 – hi Jen. Thanks for the linked article.

    My ‘Skater B’, ‘The Sicilian’ and ‘The Medication’ strategies all get a mention!
    Don’t tell me the opinion makers don’t read this site. …

    “But despite the evidence, Clinton still believes she can win the nomination by persuading enough superdelegates that Obama is unelectable. (Under the scenario above she would need 70% of the 355 undecided superdelegates to buy her argument.) That is an unrealistic dream, but that happens in presidential campaigns. After 2 years of 18-hour days, candidates and campaign operatives are never ready to concede the obvious. Heck, there was a point in late October 1984 when I thought that with a few more weeks Mondale could have beaten Reagan.

    To succeed at this delusion Clinton will need to ratchet up attacks on Obama. That will not alter the outcome, but it will have serious and negative consequences for the general election and for Clinton’s political future. There is little time or margin for error before the damage becomes irreparable. ”

    @ 60 Hi Asanque -[Pastor Flap hasn’t hurt Obama] -thanks for that article

    So much for Hillary’s [see above] supers strategy -it’s dead in the water:

    “Weathering the episode could strengthen his standing among the party leaders nationwide — the superdelegates — whose votes are likely to break the impasse.”

  11. Finn,

    My answer is No i wouldn’t support Billary.

    If America (and by extension, the World) needs another 4 or 8 years of trash like the Clintons or Republicans to finally wake up….well so be it.

  12. [Noocat LOL that’s like saying you’d support Rudd but if Swan was the leader you’d still back them LOL]

    That’s right, I would. That’s because it’s not only about who is leader, but also policy.

  13. KR – re 65 – use ‘lismore’ instead

    Finns – Would I support Hillary if she got the nom? …
    … …. …. …. mmm.

  14. Glen, is that an admittance that Hillary is the Swan of the Democratic Party?

    For the record GG, in a hypothetical Clinton v. McCain I would vote for Hillary. I’d be less inclined to do legwork for her though. This is probably the conclusion that most would Democrats would come to (both Clinton and Obama supporters), despite polling theatrics at the moment.

  15. [‘Would you support Hillary if she is nominated? Just yes or no. No ifs or buts.’]

    Not that I can vote in the US, but I wouldn’t vote Clinton or McCain in this case.

  16. New Clinton Lows

    “From NBC’s Chuck Todd
    As expected, one of the two major Democratic candidates saw a downturn in the latest NBC/WSJ poll, but it’s not the candidate that you think. Hillary Clinton is sporting the lowest personal ratings of the campaign. Moreover, her 37 percent positive rating is the lowest the NBC/WSJ poll has recorded since March 2001, two months after she was elected to the U.S. Senate from New York.”

  17. Finns-m are you taking into account that fact that it is not compulory to vote in the US. Would I be more inclined to stay home if Hillary won over Obama /
    Yes. Afraid so. I might get out at the last minute just to make sure that McCain didn’t get in,but it would be reluctantly. And like pancho there is no way I would campaign for her.
    so my answer is still yes, but with lots of qualifications and reservations. (And if she was way ahead in the polls against McCain, I probably wouldn’t bother voting at all.)

  18. Well actually it’s not, Clinton still has a chance to be a leader, Gillard will never be the ALP leader (being from the Left faction).

  19. 59
    Rates Analyst

    There’s more than a whiff of panic around the whole thing, JPM offering 5 times for Bear than what they did a few days ago makes you wonder how the hell they’re looking at things, and who was doing the arm twisting.

    With trillions of dollars of derivatives, the Fed was panicked into thinking they couldn’t let Bear fail, but have they really stopped the rot? The serious people don’t think so, and all the opening of the discount window to investment banks has done is make the scramble for treasuries even more frantic.

    I find it astonishing that Greenspan is not locked in stocks on Wall Street to be pelted with rotten fruit, and instead, is being consulted like some Delphic oracle about what the future holds! LOL

    Talk about mad! This guy’s done more to get them to this disaster than any other single individual, and he clearly refused to exercise any of the power he had to stop it.

    Meanwhile, the he said/she said show is diverting the punters, but as the foreclosure signs go up and job losses grow and the economy stalls, I think the whole Oprah presidential show will get a lot grittier.

  20. Finns – What Jen said. Anyway, Hillary had 5% chance of being the candidate BEFORE sniper-gate, so we won’t need to wrangle with our vicarious apathy in November, because we’ll be full of vicarious Obamathusiasm.

  21. Finns – the key word here is ‘vicarious’ – vicarious support; vicarious voting.
    Apart from the US citizens among us, of whom I suspect there are a couple.

  22. Ron @ 2
    My argument related to a counterpunch article. Basically the argument is that there is a double standard from some commentators about the Wright Church. The argument goes that the Catholic Church has had many pedophiles amongst it’s priests and has paid $2B to its victims. At the very highest levels, including the last and current popes, pedophilia has been tolerated and covered up (I certainly have never said any church preached pedophilia!!).

    There seems to be disproportionate criticism of Wright’s comments compared to the reaction to the Catholic Church. The calls for him being disowned, banned and for Obama to go to another Church logically should equally be applied to the Catholic Church, especially as its sins are much greater. If Obama should have left his Church, the Catholics should have left their Church.

    I think a lot of the criticism has therefore been hypocritical. One standard is being applied to a “black” Church and another applied to the Catholic Church (and others).

    I think it should be a case of not throwing the baby out with the bathwater, myself.

  23. Diogs-
    of course all of these issues wuld be resolved if people stopped going to church at all, and rationality and common sense prevailed.

  24. jen,

    Walter Mondale’s campaign manager showed his judgement best when he said,
    “there was a point in late October 1984 when I thought that with a few more weeks Mondale could have beaten Reagan”.

    Sheesh, what a source. However, it does highlight that the only successful Democrat Presidential campaigns since 1976 were run by the Clinton machine. That’s probably why they don’t need to write pap pieces to make a quid.


    Shanahan would be proud of you. The headline does not match the contents, small sample from partisans and with a largish MOE. Also comments like,

    “As reassuring as the poll is for Sen. Obama, Mr. Hart and Mr. McInturff agreed that it did indicate that a substantial number of voters question whether the first-term senator would be a safe choice, or whether more needs to be known about him. Mr. McInturff said some voters are wondering, “Do we know enough about this guy?”

    While the senator’s support among Democrats is little changed, he did slip among conservatives and Republican voters, groups that had shown some attraction to Sen. Obama’s message of changing partisan politics in Washington. “I think the survey does indicate that this has taken a little of the patina off Sen. Obama,” Mr. McInturff said.”

    tell us what about how Obama might play out in the General Election?

  25. GG,

    what don’t you get about the fact that the Obama Movement has thrashed the Clinton Machine?

    The Machine started in a near invincible position and The Movement has mowed it down.

  26. GG – First, I notice that you have lost one ‘e’?

    Second, numerous polls since Wright have shown lower numbers for independents than either Dems or Reps being concerned by the incident. To me this superficially indicates that Democratic Clinton supporters at this point are inclined to inflate the issue (when seen alongside polls claiming 29% of them will jump ship when Obama is the nominee), staunch Republicans’ eyes are lighting up at it, thinking they finally have something with which to attack Obama, but the less interested middle voters who will decide the election, and are the ones worth paying attention to, are shrugging their shoulders.

  27. Rev. Wright’s Italian Job (Hold the Garlic)

    The irrepressible Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr. is at it again, this time taking aim at Italians — expounding a two millenium grudge against the sons and daughters of Rome — and their (allegedly) breath-altering prediliction for scampi and pesto.

    From the Wright-written eulogy for scholar Asa Hilliard in the Dec. 2007 edition of the Trumpet magazine: “(Jesus’) enemies had their opinion about Him… The Italians for the most part looked down their garlic noses at the Galileans.”

    After calling Jesus’s crucifixion “a public lynching Italian style” executed in “Apartheid Rome,” he goes on to claim that white supremicists run the U.S. government.

    “The government runs everything from the White House to the schoolhouse, from the Capitol to the Klan, white supremacy is clearly in charge, but Asa, like Jesus, refused to be defined by an oppressive government because Asa got his identity from an Omnipotent God.”

    All this was written before his friend and former parishoner vaulted to the front of the Democratic pack — and before Obama denounced his previous comments on race, AIDS, etc.

  28. 81
    Maybe we’ll never see this tested but I think she could be elected leader. She has simply oozed confidence and competence for over 2 years now and would make an excellent PM IMO.

  29. HarryH,

    It was just a factual observation.

    The winner of this campaign is undecided unless you can point me to 2025 committed delegates. Can’t get round that one can you?

  30. Finns, after the last distortions were blown away on closer analysis, no-one will pay attention to such grabs until they are contextualised.

  31. Pancho,

    As I said, I think the survey is a crock. However, you can sometimes extract anecdotal info from even the most ordinary polls.

    I just don’t think the Wright saga has played out in the wider US community yet. I imagine a lot of voters won’t engage until closer to the election.

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