An Excellent Point

On top of the hacktacular garbage that Tom pointed out coming from some Hillary supporters, Hilzoy makes a great point:

When I read this, I dissolved in giggles after the first sentence. It was that part about the Texas delegate selection rules “creating a new obstacle for her” that got me. In what sense are the Texas rules a “new obstacle?” Were they only recently passed? Not as far as I can tell — here, for instance, is a pdf about them from August 2007, which should have given the Clinton campaign ample time to get up to speed. While I was having fun thinking of possible analogies — would I describe the existence of the Pacific Ocean as “creating a new obstacle” for my plan to walk from Baltimore to Beijing?

If you are running your campaign on the double-edged sword of inevitability and competence, you should plan on focusing on at least one of the two. Just something to keep in mind the next time Hillary tells you she is ready to lead on day one and Obama is not.

*** Update ***

Ouch:

So let me get this straight: The Clinton campaign basically decided to bank almost everything on Texas (along with Ohio), without botheing to do due diligence on the delegate apportoinment procedures there? If she does wind up winning the White House, who’s the lucky aide who gets to troop into the Oval Office and deliver the shocking news to her that we’ve got troops in Iraq.






47 replies
  1. 1
    rob! says:

    my mother, who has voted republican her whole life(up until 2004, at least) prays every night that Obama will win this.

    if he wins Texas–yet another of Clinton’s “firewalls”–it’s over.

    i’m not a prayin’ man, but…

  2. 2
    Zifnab says:

    CDS! CDS!

    That said, I was sitting in a hospital waiting room on Friday and I had a conversation with a middle-aged Hispanic guy who insisted he’d vote for McCain over Obama, but Clinton over McCain. That left me scratching my head. He was anti-war, but otherwise conservative. He just liked Clinton’s experience over Obama’s newbishness.

    If this is the sort of “experience” Clinton brings to the table, I wonder if I could get that guy to reconsider. I mean, seriously, didn’t she get to stand on the ground floor of a winning bid for Democratic Nomination some 16 years back? Is her memory really that foggy? You’d think all that experience would count for something.

    But, as Obama likes to point out – no one had more experience than Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld.

  3. 3
    cmoreNC says:

    What will be painfully fascinating (as in, painful to watch but you can’t help yourself being absorbed in rapt attention) is what will happen if Hillary does technically WIN the popular vote in both Ohio and Texas, but by small margins.

    Example:
    OHIO: 53-47% (a clear, but much smaller margin that she had three weeks out when campaigning seriously started)
    TEXAS: 51%-49% (yeah, its a win, but a rather narrow one in a “firewall” state, and Obama may actually come away with more delegates from Texas.

    As far as pledged delegates, let’s say Hillary’s “successful” Tuesday nets her a total gain from both states of 10-20 delegates toward closing the margin.

    QUESTION: How will the Clinton campaign react to a “narrow” win such as this? [Which IMHO is the currently most likely scenario]

  4. 4
    dslak says:

    Zifnab, I had a similar experience talking to a Latino voter the other day. I countered the “experience” argument with an argument from policy, i.e., he admitted that despite McCain’s experience over Obama, he far preferred Obama’s policy positions. Still, should Obama win the nomination, this man said he would vote for Hillary.

    Some people truly astound me, and I pre-emptively admit that this kind of asshattery is not peculiar to Hillary supporters.

  5. 5

    As I said over at ObWi, Clinton’s only real saving grace for me has been her perceived competence, and now that’s being challenged. My primary vote has already been cast (and I hope it stays ignored, now), but if I were still in the market, I’d seriously be in the Magical Unity Pony camp now.

  6. 6
    dslak says:

    Oopsie! Read

    this man said he would vote for Hillary

    as “this man said he would vote for McCain.”

  7. 7
    cleek says:

    How will the Clinton campaign react to a “narrow” win such as this?

    by whining about the unfair and undemocratic rules, i bet.

    hell, the whole primary process is fucked-up. but the time to complain about the way it works, and to try to fix it, was before it started. complaining that rules you agreed to abide by are unfair only once they make it hard for you to win is pathetic, and doesn’t come across as very “presidential” (unless your presidential ideal is GWB).

  8. 8
    Punchy says:

    if he wins Texas—yet another of Clinton’s “firewalls”—it’s over

    He wont.

  9. 9
    dslak says:

    Obama doesn’t need to win Texas to win. Hillary does, and she has to win it big.

  10. 10
    The Other Steve says:

    As I said over at ObWi, Clinton’s only real saving grace for me has been her perceived competence, and now that’s being challenged.

    Her campaign has been terribly incompetent. I really am amazed.

  11. 11
    Jen says:

    QUESTION: How will the Clinton campaign react to a “narrow” win such as this?

    By pretending like it’s a huge victory in states that “matter”, while continuing to press their agenda of superdelegates and ghost delegates to thwart the will of the voters…?

  12. 12
    The Other Steve says:

    By pretending like it’s a huge victory in states that “matter”, while continuing to press their agenda of superdelegates and ghost delegates to thwart the will of the voters…?

    Maybe they will call up the hordes of Zombie Delegates?

    With Zombies and Ghosts, they have to win!

  13. 13
    Zifnab says:

    Her campaign has been terribly incompetent. I really am amazed.

    Mark Penn? Incompetent? Le g’asp!

  14. 14
    cmoreNC says:

    dslak Says:

    Obama doesn’t need to win Texas to win. Hillary does, and she has to win it big.

    I understand this is the practical meaning of such an outcome.

    What I was addressing is: what will the Clinton camp’s reaction be to e.g. a narrow Texas win? How far, for how long (and in what ways) will they try to use it to exert pressure to claim that she (winner of big states popular vote) has now proved herself more entitled to the votes of superdelegates?

    In short, I fear the Clinton camp will take even a narrow popular vote win from Texas (even if the delegates are evenly split) as a signal to fight even harder and nastier, all the way to the convention.

  15. 15
    Dennis - SGMM says:

    President Hillary would discover that the 130,000 troops deployed in Iraq presents a new obstacle to bringing them home.

    President Hillary would discover that having a busted treasury, a broken economy and piss-poor congressional leadership (Along with likely minority status) presents a new obstacle to her health care plan.

    Candidate Clinton, having spent all of her money on the Super Tuesday inevitability strategy had no fall back plan. Having a plan is great, we’ve seen what happens when a president doesn’t have one. Having a plan that fails to allow for contingencies results in the same sort of debacle as the original Hillarycare. It just doesn’t seem to occur to Hillary that reality may not appreciate her plans as much as she does.

  16. 16
    Jay C says:

    What TOS said @ 12:11 –

    AFAICT, the smell of desperation emanating from the Clinton campaign is slowly-but-surely being overwhelmed by the reek of decomposition. Rather than redouble their efforts to, y’know, actually try to persuade Democratic primary voters (or random blogsurfers) that Sen. Clinton is the better choice for the nomination, her supporters (and sadly, her national campaign managers as well) seem to be devoting most of their time and energy into spin-doctoring and goalpost-shifting. And with a new (lame) excuse after every loss or poor showing. It’s not as if every candidate in the race hasn’t had to deal with the same conditions of election timing and selection rules. Basically, Hillary Clinton’s campaign has dug itself into a hole: and then spent most of its time whining about the lack of a level playing field.

  17. 17
    Svensker says:

    Hilzoy “dissolved in giggles”? Excuse, but giggling is something little girls do, so it’s obvious that Hilzoy is not-so-subtly trying to connect the mature and accomplished Hillary with “little girl”. (Taps foot) How long will we be subjected to the constant drum beat of sexism coming from the Obama camp?

    (Oh wait. Did I say “drum beat” and “Obama” in the same sentence? ^Yes! OMG! Racism! Yaaarrrgghhh!)

  18. 18
    John S. says:

    What I was addressing is: what will the Clinton camp’s reaction be to e.g. a narrow Texas win?

    Well, since she’s running a Republican campaign lately, you can assume the reaction will be identical. No matter what happens on Tuesday, March 4th…

    It will be good news for Hillary.

  19. 19
    Larry Craig says:

    Taps foot

    Yes, Svensker?

    Oh. A girl.

  20. 20

    Mark Penn? Incompetent? Le g’asp!

    I am so stealing this…

  21. 21
    Zifnab says:

    Well, since she’s running a Republican campaign lately, you can assume the reaction will be identical. No matter what happens on Tuesday, March 4th…

    It will be good news for Hillary.

    March 5th, 2008: “Hillary Clinton is proud to announce that she has clinched a full third of the delegates from the state of Texas, catapulting her back into a race many had written off as finished. Although trailing in a few major cities – San Antonio, Houston, Dallas, Ft. Worth, Lubbock, El Paso, and Dime Box (yes, that’s a real Texas city) – Hillary continues to assert her dominance as the de facto choice for Democratic nominee. The newly self-reannointed ‘Comeback Kid’ had this to say on the morning after votes had been tallied, ‘John Edwards, eat my dust!’ In other news, John Edwards is expected to throw his support behind Barack Obama this afternoon, which could seriously hurt hopes for the young Senator of Illinios as he continues to eek by with a mere double digit lead in national polls and triple digit lead in delegates.”

  22. 22
    The Other Steve says:

    It’s not as if every candidate in the race hasn’t had to deal with the same conditions of election timing and selection rules. Basically, Hillary Clinton’s campaign has dug itself into a hole: and then spent most of its time whining about the lack of a level playing field.

    I could understand this if she was 4 years old. When you start out playing whiffle ball, they focus more on the act of hitting the ball and catching, and less on the rules by which you win the game.

    But when you get to the Major Leagues, you don’t get far by complaining about how unfair it is to have to play against a team which is better prepared then you are.

    I don’t know if this is fair, but Hillary embodies a whole attitude, that you don’t become better by working hard against competition. You level the playing field by kneecapping the opposition.

    I think it would be good for America if she lost the nomination.

  23. 23
    jimbo says:

    John Cole, the troll. Is there any other way to explain the hate you bring to the discussion?

    I have a question that is only being touched on. Serious questions are being raised about Obama’s relations with Rezbo (sp?), and implications of criminality. Deny these as you will, but they exist. What happens, assuming Obama’s winning the Democratic nomination for president, when bush’s department of justice indicts him two weeks before the presidential election? The repuglie’s base of operation is putrid at best, and this explains why especially putrid repugly pundits express like for Obama. I expect this comment will be dismissed with all the venom we see expressed for Hillary, but I think the idea deserves exploration.

  24. 24
    John S. says:

    March 5th, 2008: “Hillary Clinton is proud to announce…

    LOL, spot on.

  25. 25
    John S. says:

    What happens, assuming Obama’s winning the Democratic nomination for president, when bush’s department of justice indicts him two weeks before the presidential election?

    Why, has Hillary been lobbying for this?

  26. 26
    tBone says:

    Serious questions are being raised about Obama’s relations with Rezbo (sp?), and implications of criminality.

    Ah, the “some say” school of character assassination. How much did Rove charge you Hillshills for his playbook, anyway?

  27. 27

    Look, jimbo, Hillary ran on two things: competence and inevitability. Inevitability is now a thing of the past, but she’s still clinging to competence.

    Except, um, oops — her advisers don’t trun out to have been competent, either. A massive high-risk operation with no contingency plans? Where have I heard about that before? From somebody really, really smart, who had a bunch of good ideas? Somehow, instead of magical unity ponies, I’m having this vision of a few, heartrendingly thin ponies wandering along the banks of the Euphrates…

  28. 28
    Larry Craig says:

    Jimbo, my enlightened thoughts

    Seriously, you’re going to launch one of the Proven Losers of Talking Points (Rezko) and not even learn how to SPELL IT?

    And if anyone is keeping tabs at home on your “Damn Fool Hillary Comments Earn Barack Obama $5”, that’s $5. I figure we should tally up at the end of the day.

  29. 29
    Jen says:

    Dang. I forgot to take off my Larry Craig sockpuppet. That were me.

  30. 30
    Jen says:

    John Cole, the troll.

    And JC only CONCERN-trolls. Who regular-trolls their own blog?

  31. 31
    gypsy howell says:

    It rather undermines any confidence I might have had about what her team would do in the general election to combat the devious election tricks the republicans are going to pull, if they can’t even figure this shit out.

  32. 32
    Zifnab says:

    Serious questions are being raised about Obama’s relations with Rezbo (sp?), and implications of criminality. Deny these as you will, but they exist. What happens, assuming Obama’s winning the Democratic nomination for president, when bush’s department of justice indicts him two weeks before the presidential election?

    I will answer your question with another question:

    What happens when Bush’s DoJ reopens the investigation into White Water. Or the death of Vince Foster. Or the longstanding investigation into how the Clintons maliciously abused their Christmas Card sending privileges. Or Hillary Clinton lesbian rape allegations? What then, Jimbo? What then?

  33. 33
    dslak says:

    What are ya gonna do when Obamamania runs wild over you?!?!

  34. 34

    Dang. I forgot to take off my Larry Craig sockpuppet. That were me.

    And a very funny you, I would add.

    Bloomberg has a little more on this Rezko “scandal”:

    The couple who sold Barack Obama his Chicago home said the Illinois senator’s $1.65 million bid “was the best offer” and they didn’t cut their asking price because a campaign donor bought their adjacent land, according to e- mails between Obama’s presidential campaign and the seller.

    Read the article and its pretty apparent the sellers want to be left alone, but confirm that they got a fair price for the place.

    Anyone know what Brittney’s up to today? Did you hear about Lindsay …. *yawn

    When you vote in your primary or caucus don’t forget to thank Hillary for the Iraq War!

  35. 35

    […] As I was writing this post, I took a break and checked the comments to a previous post, and found this: […]

  36. 36
    Zifnab says:

    Serious questions are being raised about Obama’s relations with Rezbo (sp?), and implications of criminality. Deny these as you will, but they exist. What happens, assuming Obama’s winning the Democratic nomination for president, when bush’s department of justice indicts him two weeks before the presidential election?

    Obama could, of course, always reply with the facts.

    What makes you think Hillary will be able to handle a Swift Boat raid any better than Obama? If her reaction to Texas is any indication – screaming, whiny fits over getting caught flat-footed on readily available information – then my money is still on Obama in the general.

  37. 37
    Z says:

    OK Jimbo, look at the Magical Unity Pony! Look! Shiny, huh? That’s it… come closer! You know you want to get aboard the MUP!

  38. 38
    Pb says:

    jimbo,

    You’re totally right, actually the Rezko story just broke wide open today:

    The couple who sold Barack Obama his Chicago home said the Illinois senator’s $1.65 million bid “was the best offer” and they didn’t cut their asking price because a campaign donor bought their adjacent land

    In the meantime, surely there’s nothing else that could come out about Hillary Clinton now, right?

    Er. Yeah. So. Ah. Given your concerns. I guess you’ll be voting for Obama, then?

  39. 39
    ThymeZone says:

    Dang. I forgot to take off my Larry Craig sockpuppet.

    Dude. Don’t you want to do Jenny Craig? At least keep the gender spoof consistent.

    God, for some decent spoof around here.

  40. 40
    Dr. Squid says:

    In other words, Texas rules are rather a lot like – GASP!!! – the national rules, where DC gets more delegates than Nevada, even though it has 1/3 the registered voters.

    Incompetence, thy name is Mark Penn.

  41. 41
    hilzoy says:

    “Hilzoy “dissolved in giggles”? Excuse, but giggling is something little girls do, so it’s obvious that Hilzoy is not-so-subtly trying to connect the mature and accomplished Hillary with “little girl”…”

    Just a little rhetorical trope of mine, being a woman in her late 40s who for some unfathomable reason has never been found giggly, except by her friends. Strangers never seem to expect me to be giggly at all.

    It’s like the time when a bunch of us were getting a group photo ready for our college yearbook. We had noticed that a number of similar photos included nicknames for the people in the photo — nicknames like Scooter and such, which we all found very funny. So we thought: we must have nicknames too! and set about choosing them. A good friend of mine, who was at the time about 50 lbs. overweight, was “Bambi”. I was “Cuddles.”

  42. 42
    hilzoy says:

    PS: I did know you were kidding.

  43. 43
    eric says:

    Hilzoy “dissolved in giggles”? Excuse, but giggling is something little girls do, so it’s obvious that Hilzoy is not-so-subtly trying to connect the mature and accomplished Hillary with “little girl”. (Taps foot) How long will we be subjected to the constant drum beat of sexism coming from the Obama camp?

    Is this serious? My whole bullshit-ometer needs recalibration after all of the recent sexism/racism bullshit.

  44. 44
    eric says:

    oh look right above my last post. im a retard.

  45. 45
    Gus says:

    I’m starting to watch the Democratic contest with awe. Coming into this year, I thought there was no way the Democrats were going to lose. They were united by loathing of the way the Republicans have run the country into the ground. Only today’s party could snatch defeat from the jaws of victory like they’re poised to do.

  46. 46
    Tim says:

    “Only today’s party could snatch defeat from the jaws of victory like they’re poised to do.”

    Naaaw, we’ve been able to do that for generations!

  47. 47
    hilzoy says:

    Gus: don’t worry. We’ll be fine.

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