Pennsylvania minus three weeks

Another week, another Pennsylvania countdown thread. I owe Andrew Bolt a link, so see here for a revealing view of the Gallup poll trend as the Reverend Jeremiah Wright affair fades from view.

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.

1,141 comments on “Pennsylvania minus three weeks”

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  1. 1039
    Greensborough Growler

    Nup, not stated as a ‘fact’, just a bit of irony in watching Hillary Clinton, of all people, telling the folks of factoryville that Obama is an “elitist” (whatever that’s supposed to mean).

    So, she’s “puttin’ the nigga down”, and it’s only funny if you’ve got a sense of humour.

    Meanwhile, she’s out there dog whistling her hardest to not vote for the black guy, and that’s to people who, on the whole, would find it challenging (to say the least) to vote for the black guy.

    Layers of irony, or what?

  2. #1046
    Greensborough Growler

    Ron’s a great contributor here. Always prepared to argue his corner, reads and listens to what others contribute and (certainly a rarity here), is prepared to acknowledge if he has misunderstood or made an error.

    I think Ron may have the potential to be a great contributor – but for the moment his comments don’t have substance or credibility. Ron is a little too keen on playing with individual comments and playing these into bigger things that the rest of the community see as just noise. If Ron moved away from constant justification of his own opinion and towards a more reasoned opinion backed by sources – then – perhaps – Ron would be more engaging.

    But aside from this I still believe that Ron is a closet Obama supporter.

  3. Up here in Qld, for some reason a toasted sandwich is called a ‘jaffle’. Don’t know why – it just is.

    So Jen….if Hillary is toast, I’m thinking that after this nonsense Bill and Hill are a jaffle.

  4. Ron

    I’m gonna have to smack you again. Pancho’s arguments are not demonstratively false. That implies that they are illogical, which they are not. Surprisingly enough, your argument is the illogical one.

    You are arguing that great orators have no substance etc. To make this conclusion logically, you have to demonstrate why this is the case. Appealing to previous examples, or lack of examples is not a rational argument. As an example, if every great orator in the past could be shown to have been a genocidal maniac, it does NOT follow that the next great orator will be a genocidal maniac. 😀

  5. How those ‘fiscally conservative’ Americans run their country (and its wars):

    The Pentagon’s $1 Trillion Problem

    …For the first three quarters of 2007, $1.1 trillion in Army accounting entries hadn’t been properly reviewed and substantiated, according to the Department of Defense’s inspector general.

    Whoever wins in Nov might have to pass the hat around as his/her first act as Prez!

  6. Jen 1058

    Yeah i’m worried i may have caught that from you ‘Obamabots’. I used to be such a good ol’ boy. I mean, hell, i’m a rugby league fan….. will i lose that too? Will they find out and not let me in at the gates?

    Perhaps if i stop putting milk in my coffee it will just clear up?

    : )

  7. Ron,

    There seem to be a lot of PB’s studying the Torah of Ron. Some say they don’t understand or that you are wrong. Yet, they keep on searching for the truth that is in your posts.

    I notice that some are struggling in their studies and want to give up. I urge them to continue their efforts towards Hillaric enlightenment.

    Rapturous bliss to follow.

  8. Both Kirribilli and William are correct about Randy Newman’s lyrics. Mr. Newman lived in New Orleans (The Deep South) from his early days and was musically and sociologically “made” in The Big Easy.

    “I was born right here, November ’43
    My dad was a captain in the army
    Fighting the Germans in Sicily.
    My poor little momma

    Didn’t know a soul in L.A.
    So we went down to the Union Station and made our getaway.
    Got on the Dixie Flyer bound for New Orleans
    Across the state of Texas to the land of dreams.”

    (Like a lot of great satire Newman’s words scythe both ways. Years ago I was lured to the album by the stunning guitar of Mark Knopfler but soon after, Newman’s lyrics began to work their nuanced magic.)

    Rednecks by Randy Newman.

    “Last night I saw Lester Maddox* on a TV show
    With some smart-ass New York Jew
    And the Jew laughed at Lester Maddox
    And the audience laughed at Lester Maddox too
    Well, he may be a fool but he’s our fool
    If they think they’re better than him they’re wrong
    So I went to the park and I took some paper along
    And that’s where I made this song

    We talk real funny down here
    We drink too much and we laugh too loud
    We’re too dumb to make it in no Northern town
    And we’re keepin’ the niggers down

    We got no-necked oilmen from Texas
    And good ol’ boys from Tennessee
    And colleges men from LSU**
    Went in dumb – come out dumb too
    Hustlin’ ’round Atlanta in their alligator shoes
    Gettin’ drunk every weekend at the barbecues
    And they’re keepin’ the niggers down

    We’re rednecks, rednecks
    And we don’t know our ass from a hole in the ground
    We’re rednecks, we’re rednecks
    And we’re keeping the niggers down

    Now your northern nigger’s a Negro
    You see he’s got his dignity
    Down here we’re too ignorant to realize
    That the North has set the nigger free

    Yes he’s free to be put in a cage
    In Harlem in New York City
    And he’s free to be put in a cage in the South-Side of Chicago
    And the West-Side
    And he’s free to be put in a cage in Hough in Cleveland
    And he’s free to be put in a cage in East St. Louis
    And he’s free to be put in a cage in Fillmore in San Francisco
    And he’s free to be put in a cage in Roxbury in Boston
    They’re gatherin’ ’em up from miles around
    Keepin’ the niggers down



    ** Louisiana State Uni

  9. And in some good news for Hillary fans –

    The Hillary Deathwatch has seen her stage a comeback. She’s now risen to 14.2%.

    Mind you, they still conclude:

    If this flap revives Clinton’s candidacy—which took a beating last week after her husband’s Bosnia resurrection—it will only be for the short term. The election fundamentals still weigh heavily against her—a mathematical fact that makes Obama’s screw-up, however damaging in the long run, little more than a speed bump on the road to the nomination.

    – which is basically what PA Governor Rendell said at my 1045 post above.

  10. 1061
    Yoho ho-
    to avoid the Elitist virus, you need to be an Aussie Rules follower for a start. And definitely NOT soccer, with all those poncy Europeans with their fancy poofy hair dos.
    And then you have to only eat red meat (preferably road kill), and have a bumper sticker that says ‘
    “I Hunt, I Vote”, or “Do the Bush A Favour – Doze a Greenie”.
    You must watch only commercial current affairs cos the ABC and SBS are only for elitist snobs, and never, never say you like Kerry O’Brien.
    And, if you get all that sorted then you can run for POTUS as no one could accuse you of being elitist.
    And lastly, never drink espresso coffeee, partiularly lattes.

  11. Ok…..I don’t like AFL, rarely eat red meat, think Red Kerry is the best that ever read an autocue – PLUS I have several uni degrees, enjoy a flat white in a good cafe, prefer wine to beer, read ‘The Monthly’ and have a fondness for oratory.

    Guess I’m sunk

  12. 1064
    Enemy Combatant

    Thanks for digging up the lyrics Ecky, (and hey, you know a song’s good when you can pretty much remember the chorus! LOL)

    But you’re right, there’s much deeper irony than poking fun at some “smart-ass New York Jew”, it’s a diatribe against the ignorance and racism of the South, just as I remembered it, and the racism of segregation and ghettos across the entire country.

    Never short on irony, that Newman, or short people…

  13. Ed Kilgour again:

    It’s interesting to compare the reaction to the scratchy audio of Obama’s original comments to those made in the summer of 2004 by Howard Dean: “I am tired of coming to the South and fighting elections on guns, God and gays. We’re going to fight this election on our turf, which is going to be jobs, education and health care.”

    Yes, Dean got challenged on Fox News for this comment, but although it arguably expressed contempt for the legitimacy of cultural issues a lot more clearly than anything said this year by Obama, it didn’t produce that much reaction.

  14. But what about my working class background Jen? And my one-time homelessness? Doesn’t that count??? Was I not allowed to be upwardly mobile? Should I have just accepted my place in the world???

    ok….I’ll scratch running for POTUS off my to-do list.

  15. FG,

    “But what about my working class background Jen? And my one-time homelessness? Doesn’t that count???”


  16. Jen ,
    I agree with one of your statements absolutely , but not the other.
    Unlike others here , I always acknowledge the agreement to an oponents argument rather than pretend they did not make it as if ego will be hurt.

    you said
    ‘there is a dearth of current world leaders who are admirable. And possibly none of them are great Orators.’ I agree with the first statement , not the second.

    Pancho and Yo ho ho know where I’m going , so are too scared to list all the current leaders who are great Orators for fear of being seen wrong.
    Because you asked , I will pay you the courtesy you deserve in trying to explain

    Lets see Mugabe , our Iranian friend , Chavez and so on. WE may not think they are great Orators but their peoples do (did). To suggest they are not great Orators is a typical Western superiority arrogance clouded by the fact they are so evil. Evil people are also great Orators , witness Hitler one of the best.
    Their great Oratory ( Chavez etc) was one of the powerful tools of their success to gain power & avoid scrutiny & accountability

    All great political Orators have this ‘unfair’ (for the people) advantage.
    Mandela had this notional unfair advantage also , but the difference being Mandela had a political & personal history which supported his great Oratory message. Obama has no such Mandela history. But Obama also does have this notional advantage of all great Orators which makes accoutability & scrutiny difficult because of the power of the great Oatory. The result is strong Obama
    supporters ‘believe’ him on ALL issues no matter what arises. Obamabotic.

    I am not saying Obama is either a Chavez or a Mandella. What I am saying is for anyone who is NOT a committed Obama supporter assessing him like all great Orators is very difficult. Therefore one has to more carefully watch their words & their actions more so than the ‘dry’ speaking politicans. I am also suggesting committed Obama supporters could take a step back & criticise him when he is wrong.

    In Friscogate , Obama did NOT insult a few ‘redknecks. He insulted working class peoples in the mid west. That is alot of working class peoples. He was wrong. In his next speech at Terre Haute , all he had to say is he was referring to a minority rather than the mid west working class peoples OR all of those particular insulting stereotyping words he used were ill chosen.

    Intead he used his undoubted great Oratory skills to camoflage his errors resulting in his core supporters still thinking nothing was wrong. Sorry , at Frisco he was & badly . You guys could have admitted he was so wrong and still been Obama supporters. If you really believe I’m an Obama hater then my blog is of no consequence

  17. A picture is worth a thousand words. If Obama wins the Dem nomination, and if Obama loses the election in November. This SNOB poster of Obama will become as iconic as the famous Che poster.

    The big difference is the Che poster symbolises a romantic change through revolution. The obama poster symbolises change through arrogance and elistism.

    From artistic point of view, both posters are a picture of thousand words. Compare and judge it yourself.

    Obama Snob poster:

    Che Revolutionary Poster:

  18. Ron,
    thank you for your response.

    Clearly you have risen above our station due to some socialist nonsense about educating the masses. And now look what’s happened – elitism everywere.

  19. Finns –
    if you can’t see that the Snob poster is a twist on the Che poster then I think your Irony Alert antenna needs servicing.
    It’s a spoof!

  20. Ron

    I think Diogenes put it well at 1059.

    Ability at Oratorship does not equate with homocidal tendencies. Democratic countries have had great leaders who were also great orators. Seeing as you want a couple, i’ll chuck out JFK, Churchill, Whitlam and Keating for you.

    I think the fact that Whitlam and Keating were both great orators but electorally less successful sort of puts the ‘unfair advantage’ thing to rest.

  21. This one’s my favourite Che picture.

    Ferny- Just quietly, are you a Nietzschean too? His stuff about supermen and the herd make a lot of sense to me….

  22. Ouch!

    “That McCain’s political resurrection owed as much to the weakness of the Republican field—not to mention blind shithouse luck—as to his talent and grit makes it no less remarkable. Yet for all the hosannas being sung to him these days, and for all the waves of fear and trembling rippling through the Democratic masses, the truth is that McCain is a candidate of pronounced and glaring weaknesses. A candidate whose capacity to raise enough money to beat back the tidal wave of Democratic moola is seriously in doubt. A candidate unwilling or unable to animate the GOP base. A candidate whose operation has never recovered from the turmoil of last summer, still skeletal and ragtag and technologically antediluvian. (“Fund-raising on the Web? You don’t say. You can raise money through those tubes?”) Whose cadre of confidantes contains so many lobbyists that the Straight Talk Express often has the vibe of a rolling K Street clubhouse. Whose awkward positioning issues-wise was captured brilliantly by Pat Buchanan: “The jobs are never coming back, the illegals are never going home, but we’re going to have a lot more wars.” A candidate one senior moment—or one balky teleprompter—away from being transformed from a grizzled warrior into Grandpa Simpson. A candidate, that is, who poses an existential question for Democrats: If you can’t beat a guy like this in a year like this, with a vastly unpopular Republican war still ongoing and a Republican recession looming, what precisely is the point of you?”

  23. 1083

    Dio: All I can remember of my dusty old copy of Nietzsche is that he said “God is dead”. In fact, the story goes that he was a bit of a graffitist who used to scrawl “God is dead – signed Nietzsche” in public places. When he died, some wag scratched on his headstone – “Nietzsche is dead – signed God.”

  24. Oh and Dio – the Nazis use of his ‘supermen’ ideas tended to make me wary of him (though I’m told he never used the plural, but only the singular ‘superman’). I’m certainly not a nihilist in his mould.

  25. If Donna Brazile is saying this: (Al Gore’s 2000 campaign manager and an undeclared super delegate, is worried) “With the Wright controversy still lingering and now Obama’s unartful comments,” she told CNN, “it will paint the picture of Obama as being ‘out of sync.'”

    Obama is in trouble, whichever ways you Obamaphiles like to deny or spin it. There is more:

    [Obama’s Flaws Multiply – Barack Obama’s San Francisco-Democrat comment last week – about how alienated working-class voters “cling to guns or religion” – is already famous. But the fact that his aides tell reporters he is privately bewildered that anybody took offense is even more remarkable. Democrats have been worrying about defending Mr. Obama’s highly liberal voting record in a general election. Now they need to fret that he makes too many mistakes, from ignoring the Rev. Wright time bomb until the videotapes blew up in front of him, to his careless condescension towards salt-of-the-earth Democrats.]

    Da man is arrogant and ‘out of sync’.

  26. Yo ho ho & Diogenes

    What you & Diogenes are somewhat implying is I’ve said all great Orators are genocidal
    That is not true. Please quote me ?

    You & Diogenes are also defintively saying I’m saying “all” great Orators
    That is not true. Please quote me ?
    (I simply said ‘most’ great Orators are flowery puff but no substance)

    I’ve never sought an apolgy here and I stress I do not want one now but in future its reasonable to request you quote me accurately and then disagree with me.

    The substance of the point I was making about great Orators is that whilst they mostly disappoint & I think they do , that in addition political great Orators like Obama have a notional advantage over ‘dry’ speaking politicans regarding accountbility & scrutiny
    (which I tried very hard to explain this distinction in my #1078 blog to Jen)

  27. Finns- They are not salt-of-the-earth Democrats. They are not “middle America”. They are slack-jawed yokel rusted-on redneck Repugs who think Bush’s greatest mistake in office has been NOT to nuclear carpet-bombing the whole Middle East.

    Ferny- The Nazis totally misunderstood Nietzsche. He was in no was an anti-Semite, although his sister was hence his distorted legacy. He argued that humankind has progressed because of great men (or women) who achieved or thought things that shifted paradigms, such as Plato, Alexander the Great, Newton etc. These were “supermen”. The “herd” were the vast majority of people who filled all the gaps in and created the society which allowed the elite to create ideas in peace.

  28. I’m actually quite pleased with the tack the Billary campaign is taking. They are shredding themselves of any legitimacy within the Democratic Party. They are the ultimate All or Nothing couple.It is the White House or nothing for them.
    In the end …it will be nothing.

    Obama WILL be the candidate. He has already won that. Math doesn’t lie.
    It is just that the Dem Party, in its usual insipidness, can’t bring it to a close….yet.

    In a normal year, i might be worried that the superficial damage Billary are doing to Obama would count against him in the General election. But not this year.

    For all the reasons mentioned at the bottom of Ferny’s post @ 1084, this is a year the Dems CAN”T lose.

    So in the end we will get an Obama Presidency, a backlash against Billary that will exorcise them and the bulk of their shit surrogates, and most importantly…a chance of a new style of politics that has a real chance of change because of its non reliance on Pac and lobby money.

  29. 1088 Ron

    You said “I simply said ‘most’ great Orators are flowery puff but no substance”.

    Apart from this being a patronising stereotype, which you seem to object to vehemently if Obama uses a stereotype, you have in no way furthered your argument that Obama is flowery puff but no substance. By conceding that your stereotype is not always true, you have demonstrated that Obama can be a great Orator and still have substance.

    I do agree with your last paragraph though. Perhaps you misspoke earlier.

  30. Diogenes #1094 ,

    drivel. You disingenuosly avoid the fact you misquoted me as I highlighted in my #1088.

    Now you try and camoflage your misquoting , by further misquoting me alleging
    “your (Ron’s) argument that Obama is flowery puff but no substance.”

    This is also false. I never said any such thing. please quote me

    The question of integrity & honesty springs to mind

  31. Hey Ron, thought I’d just go over this in case its me that has it jumbled.

    You wrote @959 that

    “History is full of great Orators , most full of flowery puff but no substance”

    I responded @ 961 with a few of recent history’s notable orators

    ah-hem…a handful off the top of my head: Winston Churchill, FDR, Jawaharul Nehru, JFK, Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela.

    You continue @966 that you said ‘most’, and what about current leaders?, which was not your original point, and not what I was responding to. I state this @967. You then say @972

    “Well Pancho , I repeat my question , look at today 2008 at the Leaders around the world”

    Me @973

    Ron, that was not your original question. You made a false statement about the historical worth of oratory, which I responded to.

    @982 you write


    History is full of great Orators , most full of flowery puff but no substance’
    not false , true.

    I asked you to list the current World leaders who are great Orators & you didn’t
    because they support my point.

    You lay out the false ongoing premise in two sentences. While I responded to your historical question, you then ask for current leaders. Current does not equal historical.

    @983 you write

    And Pancho , the great Orator Ronald Reagan , a 2 term POTUS.

    Here we diverge further. I respond @984

    Ron, you are confusing ‘great oratory’ with the moral positions of individuals. In many senses Reagan was a great orator, as were other morally compromised or complicated figures.

    You write @1043

    Pancho , you wrote alot of words to defend your simplistic views on reat Orators
    but disingenuously avoided answering my questionthat would have exposed you

    Why , because your argument would have been shown as demonstatively false.
    I repeat the question , name all the great Orators who are current World Leaders

    And it goes on and on and on. If I can repeat my original point again – oratory is not worthless, and this is historically proven. Snippy and circular arguments are pretty boring, as are the straw men you have “demonstatively” demolished me with. I’m afraid I can’t even provide you with lists of anywhere near the 200 or so world leaders at present – humbly, I must admit that I only speak English – let alone examples of their speeches and my takes of them. I can tell you that in the recent history with which I am familiar there are many fine and powerful speakers who have accomplished much. I have listed a few.

    It is pretty clear that powerful oratory is a worthwhile skill for a leader. Put it this way – all else being equal, would a leader prefer these skills or not? And why?

  32. Finns @1095

    are you bagging out your Girl??
    I knew you’d see sense in the end. Besides a dolphin is a must for the sychronised swimming squad.

  33. 1096 Ron

    So let me get this right. You don’t like great Orators as they have a “terrible record” and “most are full of puff”. I’m wondering if this is a vile stereotyping, because you don’t like Obama’s “vile stereotyping”.

    Obama is a great Orator. But you are not saying that Obama is “full of puff”. So this really makes me wonder why the f*ck you are whinging about “great Orators” if it does not apply to Obama.

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