Power and Politics - I am Not the Yellow Peril

The life and times of an Asian American activist who tells all the truth (and dishes news and analysis) but with a leftwards slant.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Primary impressions

Long lines and bad weather, Maryland polls extended their hours so that people could cast their votes. Obama's 3 to 1 in DC, and 60-40 in virginia and Maryland. Snow across the region, and people don't know how to drive in snow or rain, so bad traffic meaning long lines.

DC was a goner for Obama, with visibility events every single day and even on every corner, every Metro stop and old white hippies, young black students, and everybody in between cheering on Obama. Cross sections of America, of our communities, joining together in victory, unison and hope.

Obama won big, across the board in urban and rural areas, as well as with Latino (53-47) and APIA districts in suburban Northern Virginia, and in working class areas. The mo is shifting, and HARD. I don't know that a majority of Latino voters know about the Patti Solis Doyle stepdown, but this has to have the Clinton camp worried. Also, her deputy campaign manager left - Mike Henry had been under fire for his memo to NOT play in Iowa, but he was right. If Clinton was going to rejigger the machine, she should have done it after Iowa, and she should have done it more decisively (including kicking Mark Penn out.)

Here's the best news of the night for the general election:
With 92 percent reporting in Virginia, Obama is now 102,000 votes ahead of all Republicans combined.

You know, I wouldn't be surprised if Clinton was having a hard time competing because usually you model your voter universe around likely voters - a stable number of tried and true voters. This consistency usually makes it much easier to run the numbers, but the Obama factor brings in an unknowable number of new voters so that you don't know what your opponent's voter universe is, or how big the yield will be. This is an uneasy position to be in. Because you can still target your base of unlikely voters (white women) and you can model what you anticipate Obama's turnout, and try to cut into that base, but when only half the population generally turns out to vote, having a whole other say 25% turnout is CRAZY-MAKING.

CNN says Obama now has more delegates.

Hillary looks TERRIBLE at her speech. And her voice is really scratchy.

"There's a saying in Texas, all hat and no cattle."

"I would require that congress not get a raise until we raise the minimum wage!"

Universal healthcare, the plan that members of Congress, our staffs and federal employees get.

Obama's speech - new political majority. Nice, he's introducing the idea of a $4000/year college credit that you can only get by giving back with public service - "we invest in you, you invest in America." Nicely played to a largely college audience.

Huckabee's speech - he looks a little phased, but not really. Less jolly, more sombre than normal. "We're still working to give voters a choice. All the people who have not yet had an election have as much choice and right to vote as those who have already in the frontloaded race."

I think it's a good tihng that Huckabee is still in the race - it gives the religious conservatives a strong contrast to McCain and if Huckabee doesn't get it, it ruins their hopes and deflates tem even more.

John McCain's post Potomac Primary sweep is a very dour speech - talking about hope and teamwork. He's on the offensive against Obama right now, casting himself as the voice and embodiment of experience and knowledge.

Also he's not even talking about small government, he's talking medium sized government. His supporters must be so bewildered.

I made the offhand mention that McCain is Colonel Tye from Battlestar Galactica which caused a friend to gleefully say, "That's right, he's a cylon! . . . No wait, he's not as noble as Tye."

"I don;t seek the presidency with the personal hubris that history has anointed me in its hour of need" - OUCH! "I'm running to serve America and to champion the ideas that help every America generation make a stronger country and a stronger world."

"Hope, my friends, is a powerful thing. I can attest to that better than many, for I have seen men's hopes tested in hard and cruel ways that few will ever experience. And I stood astonished at the resilience of their hope in the darkest of hours because it did not reside in an exaggerated belief in their individual strength, but in the support of their comrades, and their faith in their country. My hope for our country resides in my faith in the American character, the character which proudly defends the right to think and do for ourselves, but perceives self-interest in accord with a kinship of ideals, which, when called upon, Americans will defend with their very lives.

To encourage a country with only rhetoric rather than sound and proven ideas that trust in the strength and courage of free people is not a promise of hope. It is a platitude.

When I was a young man, I thought glory was the highest ambition, and that all glory was self-glory. My parents tried to teach me otherwise, as did the Naval Academy. But I didn't understand the lesson until later in life, when I confronted challenges I never expected to face."

Now he gets back to the Republican talking points, but they are less pointed:

"For a government that takes and spent less of your money . . .

provides strong and capable defense"

"I won't confine myself only to the comfort of only speaking to those who will speak to me"

"And my friends, I promise you I am fired up and ready to yield."

McCain was much more gracious and genteel this time around, less sneering, which can only be to his benefit. but one look at the tv screen is sufficient contrast - McCain has no energy, his supporters who are all older white people have no energy. compare that with Obama's supporters. We are the future!

Looking forward to Wisconsin, it's culturally a mix of Illinois, Iowa, and Minnesota. The economic populism is strong, and the people and party are not quite as progressive as Minnesota, nor as open to candidates of color. But Madison has the only out lesbian in Congress, Tammy Baldwin, and Rep. Gwen Moore is a new progressive fighter from Milwaukee. (Baldwin is for Hillary, Moore for Obama.) Wisconsin is a pretty white state - African Americans make up 6%, Latinos 5%, and APAs 2%. These are also mostly concentrated around Congressional districts in Milwaukee and Madison.

The other thing that was prominent was if you overlay the states that McCain has won with the states that Obama has won, they're pretty much the same states - mostly the big Demographic states. And THAT means VERY well for the general matchup, because there's NO WAY New Yorkers, Californians, Washington State, New England (with exception of New Hampshire) or Illinois residents are going to vote for McCain over Obama. Plus Obama has won more states than McCain, and a wider range of states.

Lol, Clinton's surrogate Paul Begala said that "you know, the writers are back, so people will be paying less attention" and thus the calendar is beneficial. Although I have to say, whether it's because of the writers' strike or enthusiasm for Obama or what, people have been more informed this time around than ever before.

Donna Brazile - "People are flocking to Obama because they hear something they are thirsting for."

Ok, back to the celebration-
OH SMACK - eleanor holmes norton on colbert Report, and she's not playing the straight woman or the angry black woman - she's really happy and funny and light hearted. Cute!

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