West Virginia minus one week

After yesterday’s North Carolina landslide and Indiana cliffhanger, most commentators have upgraded Barack Obama’s chances of securing the Democratic nomination from likely to (almost) certain. The next stage in the contest, assuming it gets that far, is next week’s primary for West Virginia, at which 28 delegates will be elected through a “modified” primary open to independents and registered Democrats.

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.

1,481 comments on “West Virginia minus one week”

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  1. Kos names his preferred VP candidates as Governor Bill Richardson of New Mexico (for the Latino vote) or Governor Katherine Sebelius of Kansas. His third choice is Governor Tim Caine of Virginia. He likes Governor Brian Schweitzer of Montana but wants him to continue his work of building the Democratic Party there. He also likes Senator Claire McCaskill of Missouri but her appointedment would mean the loss of a Senate seat. Governor Janet Napolitano of Arizona would be another strong candidate. Kos regards Senator Jim Webb of Virginia as “sort of maverick”. Ohio Governor Ted Strickland and Wes Clark would be good exc ept tht they have supported Hillary.

  2. so Mrs Calmpett (thanks for the acknowledgements HarryH, butplease feel free) still carries the torch for “real ” Americans- that would be the white working class, not blacks… like I said earlier- alley cat.
    The stake has been embedded, but the death throes will be protracted and ugly it appears. Silver bullet time.
    (Been interesting to see who is strating to pop up here again: clearly the US politics is getting a lot more interesting than ours, now that there is no conservative party left here.)

  3. 101

    Jen, you’ve been out of touch, in a media blackout zone!

    Did you not see that the rump called the coaliton pulled old Howie out of the formaldahyde and tried that classic old political technique of mouth to mouth (or other openings we shan’t mention on this ‘family’ blog)?

    There was Howie giving Horatio the kiss of life (death??) and Horatio squeaking back in his most sonorous falsetto what a jolly good chappy old Johnny was.

    Dead? Conservatives?

    Nah, they just smell that way! LOL

  4. Kirri-
    you must be kidding! Thank God I missed it – only so much delusional nonsense can be stomached in one day, and the Hillary crew are providing it in buckets.

  5. Ok, a few things

    1. HRC has lost (I thought I’d get that out of the way first)

    2. George McGovern was not from the NE (neither is Obama, btw) – he was from the very conservative state of South Dakota.

    3. There are several good Democratic VP candidates out there, but I think the best pick for Obama would be a white, male, moderate-conservative Governor of a swing state. I say this because this would be the perfect complement to Obama’s appeal without the risk of the Democrats running a double-minority ticket.

    People that spring to mind include Tim Kaine (Virginia), Tom Vilsack (former Gov. of Iowa) or Ed Rendell (Pennsylvania). I don’t think Governor Richardson would be ideal notwithstanding his great ability because of his minority status (I know I’m stereotyping, but it’s better to be safe than sorry…)

  6. Bill Richardson would be very very tempting as a VP. The main reason not to do so (perversely enough) would be if the Dems were confident that Obama could win New Mexico without him, and wanted to find a VP from the south-eastern states.

    Come to think of it, apart from any stigma as a one-time loser, why not pick John ‘crossing over’ Edwards? Too left-wing as a full package?

  7. Got to say the Obama/Edwards combination looks pretty appealing to me, although I really don’t know anything about some of the others mentioned, so they may be good candidates. I take it the ridiculoius notion of offering Hillary the VP has been put out to pasture, –
    just like she should be.

  8. Another point worth making re: ‘why doesn’t Hillary drop out?’ is that you don’t need to spend cash to win states that you’re already ahead in by 25-30 points (Kentucky and W Virginia), so she might figure that buys her a couple of weeks in the vain hope that Howard Dean can be rubber-hosed or another 6 Jeremiah Wrights come out of the woodwork in the meantime.

    The downside is that she has to keep paying her staff. If they are professionals.

  9. A while ago, Obama had a fundraiser with a bunch of Wall Street types and was asked why they should support him when he has no experience. They wanted to know how they could find out if he was able to run the counry or not. Obama replied that he will show them how he will run the country by the way he runs his campaign. On that call I think David Plouffe should be his VP.

  10. Yep, SimonH – too left wing as a double-act. I’m not sure Edwards carries as much weight in voterland as his reputation suggests.

  11. [People that spring to mind include Tim Kaine (Virginia), Tom Vilsack (former Gov. of Iowa) or Ed Rendell (Pennsylvania). I don’t think Governor Richardson would be ideal notwithstanding his great ability because of his minority status (I know I’m stereotyping, but it’s better to be safe than sorry…)]

    Swing Lowe

    I don’t know about everyone else, but my little knowledge of American politics doesn’t spread to these people. Can you give us a little outline?

  12. Simon H, I read on Kos that because Hil is a sure thing to win West V, it would not be a good look for the Obama Presidential nomineejto loose the next primary. It would undermine his campaign straight away. So I think that Hil will hang on at least for the primaries that she was expected to win.

    As for Hil for VP. Easy way for O to get POTUS but I think that Hil would undermine him at every turn. She’s saying now she’s a fighter, she won’t back down. Sure good when campaigning but it would be hell if you had to work with it every day.

  13. Tim Kaine has been Governor of Virginia since 2005. The description of this race from Wikipedia includes this excerpt:

    “While the previous Democratic Governor, Mark Warner was credited with doing especially well for a Democrat in rural areas of the commonwealth, Kaine’s win featured surprising triumphs in traditionally Republican exurbs like Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, Prince William County and Loudoun County in Northern Virginia as well as impressive showings in Democratic strongholds like Richmond and Norfolk.”

    He was an early supporter of Obama’s presidential bid and is term-limited (he can’t run again for Governor). He’s still quite popular in Virginia (a possible swing state), he’s white and he’s moderate (he needs to be to be a Democratic governor of Virginia).

    Rendell and Vilsack are weaker candidates – Rendell is a liberal former-mayor of Philadelphia and Vilsack previously endorsed Clinton (as well as having once congratulated Canada on moving from a 20 hour day to a 24 hour day).

    Richardson is probably the strongest candidate out there (Gov. of NM, former Ambassador to UN and Secretary of Energy), but his race (latino) and his close connections with the Clintons will probably count him out. If HRC had been the Democratic nominee, he probably would have been her running mate.

    As for John Edwards, please PLEASE don’t go there. He was weak as a running mate in 2004, he’s only ever won one election (1998 NC Senate) and he has no governorship experience.

  14. Obama could do worse than pick a woman as running mate, it would be consistent with his renewal, move forward theme. Don’t know enough about US politics to know which one though.

  15. I just have one very simple question to ask. If the SDs are so confident that Obama can win in November, they can come out now put an end to this tomorrow. yes, it is that simple. They fact they have not put an end to this means they are still have doubt about Obama in November. Come on SDs, just do it.

  16. EC# 63 Tunes & Al #66 Law precedents

    Not content with 10 to one majority to an ordinary layman , Obama’s supporters quoting famed Philosophers , the words of great Authors , Poets supreme , fabled Historians , Lorded humanitarian’s words tried & true, but now another discipline , Law…. the clothed silks to boot. And oh how I dread when yous later lob at me ‘medicine’ , and Diogenes the one.

    Law. Ferny lawyer & others eyes glint , a chance to strike down the barbarian finally. Al in jest , precedents are like an old car , don’t bring the same old car to Court , better a new one, or as my wife says when I quiver ‘precedent’ with baited breath , ‘that was yesterday…… today is new & now this is the precedent’. Now the year 1981 , with Reagans demolition of another ‘Democrat liberal’ by 49 States to 1 State to come in 84. A case flawed from inception the Democrat Wisconsin ‘liberals’ arguing Republicans who were non registered Democrats could vote in a Democrat primary to select delegates twho then pick a Democrat Nominee, & expecting the DNC or a Court to wear that. This time they’re all registered Democrats , all 2 .278 million so ‘rules’ , not for Repugs.
    My other thought (unchecked) is the fact that Repugs were argued to be part of a Democrat Primary ehich probably partly narrowed the 1981 case to the DNC rules themselves, whilst only registered democrats involved 2.278 million enables the case to be broadened to any ‘rules’ of any organizations vs Constitutional , personal rights ,& general member rights vs the DNC’s harsh penalties & exclusion generally and the 23 Super States non penalties , beit circumstances varied.Al my memory on the case has faded except at the time it was a lesson to never forget in how to write State political “member voting” Rules. But as you no doubt already knew Al ,sometimes such an intent legal challenge statement (& is it just a bluff) serves the purpose of ‘time’ and for Hillary ‘time’ is valuable. Bet some homework is made out of this Ron effort.

    Enemy Combatant #63:
    “Heavenly shades of night are falling……it’s twilight time”
    (William “call me Billy” Thorpe)

    After mutual kegs of chardonnay truce , specifically excluding the wicked name ‘Billy Thorpe’ , a breach & ‘heavenly shades….the opening lines “Hello darkness, my old friend,” but the last lines long forgotten “the twinking ron ray it t’was. Those closest are all that matter”.

    Billy Thorp , yes Billy and ‘heavenly shades’ and then I think of an apt Obama
    Thorpy tune , perhaps Billy’s first “Over the Rainbow’. To think of Billy Thorp still with unique beard at Yankee stadium smooth ecstasy singing ‘Over the
    Rainbow’ to the rapture 40,000 Obamaphiles with copycat beards, visualise smile

  17. Hey Ron, for what it’s worth, I don’t think you are the token ‘barbarian’. Just think you’re going a little nuts with the Hillary stuff. She’s lost, and scrambling about with race and elitism ain’t gonna change that. If McCain wins in November you’ll be able to give out an ‘I told you so’. But for the moment, you picked a loser. That’s all there is to it really.

    Finns, 90/10 since Super Tuesday and still falling. SDs are not even showing up to the meetings Hillary is demanding anymore. You’re gonna have to let go of that dream soon too.

    Also, I reckon it was a little underhanded posting your concession dance, claiming it wasn’t a concession, then stating that was all we’d get. I don’t think that is necessarily honouring the bet.

  18. #124 Amigo, that’s all you will get. However, if Hill unleashes her nuclear strategy and obliterate Iran and Obama, at the same time, then I will do another jig to the tune of:

    There is a house down in new orleans
    They call the risin sun
    And its been the ruin of many a poor boy
    And Obama, oh god, he’s one

  19. Thing is, the moment she steps out of line now, those SDs holding off because of some misplaced notion of loyalty (to someone who ain’t returning it to the party) will step in and call it for Obama. So she needs to ‘go nuclear’ without going nuclear. I can see a problem here…

  20. #11 – KR – [The Finnigans – So what are you doing with your other hand? (OK, don’t tell us, we’ve known for a very long time!)] – since u asked, this what i do with my other hand and it was for you.

  21. Happy thoughts, Finns, happy thoughts. Your bruised ego is making me think you actually believed that tripe you’ve been writing about Clinton having a hope in hell.

  22. Come the prez election proper, McCain will use national security not only as a big club to beat Obama over the head with, but the ‘big thang’ that differentiates both candidates.

    I know many here think that the Iraq war being a Republican war will be enough for Obama to insulate himself from the inevitable national security attack – and for Obamas base it will be, but Obamas base wont win him the election. For everyone else – the lunchbox brigade, the soccer moms, the hawkish blue collar voters it wont be enough because those folks dont think about national security like we do here.

    Just look at how effective Clintons 3:00am ad was – we all laughed, but it gave her votes.

    Obama needs a general as running mate, preferably white, preferably 4 Star.

    And you know, there’s one of them floating around.

  23. Maybe that’s what all those mentions of him were about the other night. He denies he told Hillary to withdraw but not that he was in contact. Maybe he has been approached and used the cover of NC to let her know? And he has been in the press a bit more of late.

  24. Possum @ 129,

    Are you talking about Wesley Clark? What has he been doing for the past 4 years?

    And are there any alternatives to Clark?

  25. SL – he’s been neckdeep in Democratic politics. He has his own lobby group and was very present during the last midterms.

  26. Possum,

    I think that ticks a lot of boxes there. He’s got a significant national security and military persona around him that could really settle the blue collar voters. If Obama could get him to defect from the HRC campaign (which would have to be handled very carefully and timed perfectly so as not to upset Clinton supporters) that would be a major coup. You’ve sold me Poss.

  27. #129 – [and for Obamas base it will be, but Obamas base wont win him the election] – Poss, you cannot be SERIOUS. Someone used to yell this at some tennis match “You cannot be SERIOUS”. We have been told repeatedly by the Obama experts here that he doesn’t need white working, middle class, women, hispanic, asian votes.

  28. I was thinking Wesley Clark a while ago but am a bit worried that a General might look too elitist in the current electoral climate. One thing that Obama has to do is stop being so reverential of McCain’s war service and start planting the seed about McCain being the Admiral’s son who went hotdogging in his jet and ended up in Uncle Ho’s hands, singing like a canary.

    Clark is a Rhodes scholar you know, too much edumacation. This bit from Wikipedia contrasts well with the surrender monkey though.

    “Clark was then given command of A Company, 1st Battalion, 16th Infantry of the 1st Infantry Division in January 1970. In February, only one month into his command, he was shot four times by a Viet Cong soldier with an AK-47. The wounded Clark shouted orders to his men, who counterattacked and defeated the Viet Cong force. Clark had injuries to his right shoulder, right hand, right hip, and right leg, and was sent to Valley Forge Army Hospital in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania to recuperate. He was awarded the Silver Star for his actions during the encounter.”

  29. Clarke’s problem is as TW points out – an elitist look for the nomination as a whole. He’s also more a northern Democrat than his Little Rock roots would ordinarily convey. But that’s probably an easier issue to manage than letting McCain pound Obama on national security with some Defense lightweight Governor in the role as Veep.

    If they got Clarke on board -national security as an issue could be pinched right from under the noses of the Republicans, changing the narrative from “no experience” that McCain would be trying to push onto the Dems, into the “Iraq is a Republican war” narrative. It allows all sorts of threads, from dealing with Iran to the high price of gasoline to all be used as baseball bat issues to pound the Republicans specifically (good for the Congress and Senate contests) and McCain generally.

    And choosing a Clintonite like Clarke would be a big step towards healing and unifying the broader party.

  30. He’s denied it publicly, but all sorts of sources were hinting. Something happened.

    Another couple of potentials not mentioned yet would be Joe Biden and Chuck Hagel. Each have their cons – Biden is a bigmouth and Hagel a Republican, but they are both white, respected, statesmanlike, and saleable on security.

  31. General Shinseki would be poetic irony! But not whitebread, alas.

    There’s been a long string of defections from the hardline Bush foreign policy fiasco so no shortage of reputable metal wearing dudes of the right ethnicity to choose from.

    With over 60% of Americans wanting the war to end, I’m not sure that McCain is going to find yet another re-run of ‘fight them over there’ is going to fly.

    Fool me once…

  32. Jen at 74

    How close are we to an SD’s trickle turning into an avalanche??

    Just looking at the rumours circulating (i.e. unconfirmed content), it appears that there is a plan with the Obama Campaign to build a block of about 30 or more super delegates to come out together. This makes sense since because of block of 33 would move Obama to the majority of the total number of pledged delegates – and that is a tripping point. In effect, once Obama reaches the majority there is an undeniable message that remaining undecided supers can give to their respective constituents – “he has majority, she cannot win, game over, my endorsement is an endorsement for the party”. According to news (mainly from non-US sources) this could happen in the next 48-72 hours.

  33. Thanks Catrina – i’ve got a feeling in my waters,as they say. Holding off too much longer is just totally destructive for the party, and if they do it as a block she can’t kneecap all of them at once.

  34. 145
    Robert Bollard

    Is that called a ‘tracking graph’? Coz her line just tracks his, but well below!

  35. Poss – Fallons is doing nothing at the moment. Not a declared democrat, but neither was Clark until 2003.

  36. ‘Bet some homework is made out of this Ron effort.’ Not really, just waiting for the…

    “Thinkskin Manifesto” please ron/Ron.

    Mr Bollard, the bus eh, on under & now magic…puff

    Poss H needs a general like a ‘whole’ in the head, female governor perhaps?

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