Hillary Clinton's Magical Logic Machine

The Clinton campaign: Where bad spin goes to die.

Senator Evan Bayh of Indiana, who backs Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton for president, proposed another gauge Sunday by which superdelegates might judge whether to support Mrs. Clinton or Senator Barack Obama.

He suggested that they consider the electoral votes of the states that each of them has won.

“So who carried the states with the most Electoral College votes is an important factor to consider because ultimately, that’s how we choose the president of the United States,” Mr. Bayh said on CNN’s “Late Edition.”

His candidate, you'll recall, is a die-hard supporter of the Electoral College. Um...

Senator-elect Hillary Rodham Clinton began a victory tour of upstate New York Friday by calling for elimination of the Electoral College.

At an airport news conference, the first lady said she would support legislation seeking a constitutional amendment providing for the direct election of the president.

To be fair, Clinton was arguing that at a point when it was politically advantageous. Now, arguing for the Electoral College as the no-frills determinent of success is politically advantageous. It's the latest phony argument to Trojan Horse over the real case against Obama: that he can't win the election because the country is mostly white and Obama's lost his race transcending Infinity Gem.

If Clinton cudgels Obama and takes the nomination, why does she think she can still win this thing? Is she counting on John McCain to be revealed as a member of a radical black church? We probably would have found that out by now.

The New York senator said the panel should be led by financial experts such as Robert Rubin, who was treasury secretary in her husband's administration, and former Federal Reserve chairmen Alan Greenspan and Paul Volcker.

UPDATE: This is less inconsistent, but still pretty silly. Clinton today:

Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton called on President Bush on Monday to appoint "an emergency working group on foreclosures" to recommend new ways to confront the nation's housing finance troubles.

The New York senator said the panel should be led by financial experts such as Robert Rubin, who was treasury secretary in her husband's administration, and former Federal Reserve chairmen Alan Greenspan and Paul Volcker.

That would be this Robert Rubin:

The company of errant, if lavishly compensated, navigators includes none other than Rubin himself. Last fall, the former Treasury secretary confessed to Fortune magazine that until the mortgage storms broke over his head in the summer of 2007, he was unfamiliar with the kinds of complex mortgage structures with which Citi's own balance sheet was packed. Almost certainly, the gulf between competence and compensation on Wall Street has never been wider.

If Clinton was forming a committee on winning baseball games, I assume she'd appoint Bill Buckner.

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  • TallDave||

    Wait, are you saying the Clintons are political opportunists?

  • Episiarch||

    Obama's lost his race transcending Infinity Gem

    Not according to some of his admirers.

  • ||

    The spin here is disingenuous, of course, but it's not hypocritical. She can support the elimination of the Electoral College at the same time as she argues that she will perform better in the College in the '08 election.

  • ||

    This would be like hiring Mike Brown to consult the government on disaster management.

    Man, wouldn't that be nuts?

    ...Wait...WHAT?!?

  • ||

    If Clinton cudgels Obama and takes the nomination, why does she think she can still win this thing?

    I think the thinking is, that by now even the most inbred of the neocon 'base' is becoming disillusioned with endless war and a failing economy (apparently, we need to stop trading and give more people more money) that the Democrats can't possibly lose another election.

  • ||

    Is it just me that sees Hillary getting uglier and uglier whenever things don't go her way? She was not an attractive person to begin with (I'm NOT referring to physical beauty), now the #$@*& woman just disgusts me.

    Does anybody reading this forum think that Ms. Clinton will concede gracefully?

    Anyone?

  • ||

    Even taking Clinton's electoral college/primary argument at face value it makes absolutely no sense if you think about it for about three seconds. It's not like the people who voted for Clinton in California and New York are all going to jump ship to McCain in the general if Obama's the nominee.

    Some pundit was on CNN (I think; it was on TV while I was waiting at the bank) this morning going through a list of states where John Kerry won the primary handily then got his ass kicked by Bush in the general.

  • ||

    She's getting worse and worse at campaigning. A couple more desperate reaches and she'll be endangering her political future altogether. Amazing that people ever voted for her for any office. Even Bill sounds stupid these days.

  • joe||

    J sub D,

    I'm confident she will behave gracefully once she concedes, but with ungraciously hang in there, screwing her party by whacking at Obama, long past the time when an exit would be timely.

  • ||

    "Does anybody reading this forum think that Ms. Clinton will concede gracefully?

    Anyone?"

    I'm hoping she'll eventually be shamed into conceding, but she won't do it gracefully. That way she'll hopefully engender enough ill will that we won't have to see her in 2012 or 2016.

    Just wishful thinking, I know....

  • ||

    Some pundit was on CNN (I think; it was on TV while I was waiting at the bank) this morning going through a list of states where John Kerry won the primary handily then got his ass kicked by Bush in the general.

    The most obvious one is Iowa, where the Democratic ticket that included the TOP TWO finishers in the caucus lost to Bush anyway. And then Kerry locked up the nomination on a series of Tuesdays in states that went for Bush - Virginia, Ohio, Texas, etc.

  • highnumber||

    I've been predicting that Clinton will drop out sooner than anyone expects (to be fair to me, that will be any time before the general election), but I am certain that her concession will be very graceful. She is a pro.

  • ||

    Wasn't Greenspan (along with Bill Clinton) one of the ones who encouraged subprime loans? If he helped cause the problem, he might not be the best person to try to fix it.

  • Episiarch||

    I'm confident she will behave gracefully once she concedes, but with ungraciously hang in there, screwing her party by whacking at Obama, long past the time when an exit would be timely.

    Part of the reason she feels she can get away with this is that she considers her NY Senatorial seat as a done deal, and to a certain degree she's right.

    If she really felt that continuing this could end her political future she would stop, or at least not hang in way too long, but she's not worried.

  • ||

    At an airport news conference, the first lady said she would support legislation seeking a constitutional amendment providing for the direct election of the president.

    I had no idea she was of this opinion. She must be stopped.

  • joe||

    Wasn't Greenspan (along with Bill Clinton) one of the ones who encouraged subprime loans?

    He encouraged people to take out ARMS in testimony to Congress - at a time that fixed rate mortgages were at record lows.

    The "sub-prime" problem isn't actually a sub-prime problem. Most of the homes in foreclosure weren't bought with sub-prime loans.

  • Matt||

    Buckner joke was absolutely go&@^^#& uncalled for. You some kinda closet Mets fan or something?

  • joe||

    Happy thoughts, Matt.

    Dave Roberts. Josh Beckett. Papelbon hitting 100 mph in October.

  • ||

    Bill Buckner, a 22 year major leaguer, and a five time MVP vote getter, could wipe the floor with your sniveling hide.

    Besides, Calvin Schiraldi lost that series.

  • ||

    The more these two statist piranhas tear each other apart, the happier I am. Now, if we could only do something about McCain...

  • Episiarch||

    McCain will start self-destructing once the Dem nomination is done. Just you wait, and have the popcorn ready.

  • ||

    If Clinton was forming a committee on winning baseball games, I assume she'd appoint Bill Buckner.

    I assume she'd appoint Dave Weigel, since the gentleman knows nothing about baseball. Any real baseball fan knows Buckner - a career .289 hitter and for did not lose Game 6. Most of the blame for the loss should go to Roger Clemens who lifted himself for a blister. Then Stanley and Schiraldi, and then McNamara for not lifting Buckner for a defensive replacement. Buckner was not the goat. It's time to drop this trope, and make Clemens the goat he always should have been.

  • Jerry||

    There were only a few occasions where I could get Mousetrap to work without having to intervene at some point. I had totally forgot about that game for 10 years until now.

  • ||

    You mean that the Democratic Nominee is going to be "selected" by party bosses and not elected? I am shocked!! The fact that Florida is a part of this mess confirms that God has a sense of humor.

    The TNR has a very good article on the realities facing the Democratic Party going into the summer and the paralels to the 1980 Kennedy Carter slugfest. It is a very good read.

    http://www.tnr.com/politics/story.html?id=44aed783-8357-4491-8589-ee15290e6e96

  • ||

    Vanya,

    I don't see how you make Clemmons the goat. He gave the Red Sox a quality start. It is not like he walked out in the second inning. If your bullpen can't hold a lead late in a game, it is not the starter's fault. Also, in Buckner's defense on the play, he was always a good defensive first baseman and the ball in question was bounding down the line until it just stopped and rolled under his glove. If you didn't know any better you would say God really does hate the Red Sox.

  • Taktix®||

    The fact that Florida is a part of this mess confirms that God has a sense of humor.

    I don't get why everyone is getting so down on Florida's part of this mess. How could a person call them self a libertarian yet not acknowledge a state party flipping the bird to a centrally-planned national authority, get slighted, then watch the national party come crawling back when it became apparent that they were needed.

    Every state should follow this example...

  • ||

    I swear, I was absolutely certain that the Dems could win this year if they ran Lucifer himself against Jesus Christ (who we all know is a Republican - isn't he?). But, then I also thought they'd end up recruiting Al Gore for the job.

    I don't know if it's the length of the primary season, or what, but after they way Hillary and Obama have bloodied eachother I'm pretty much resigned to seeing President McCain sworn in in January.

    Not that I really care given the field that's left.

  • ||

    They wouldn't have even made it to the series without Bill Buckner.

  • ||

    Isaac B.,

    The state of the race now, when McCain has been running his general election campaign while Hillary and Obama are engaged in an ugly primary fight, probably isn't an accurate depiction of what it will look like when the Democratic nominee has had several months to run their own general election campaign.

  • ||

    "I don't get why everyone is getting so down on Florida's part of this mess. How could a person call them self a libertarian yet not acknowledge a state party flipping the bird to a centrally-planned national authority, get slighted, then watch the national party come crawling back when it became apparent that they were needed."

    I am not down on Florida. Good for them for flipping the bird to Iowa and New Hampshire. I think it is a bunch of crap that their votes are not going to count. Fuck the DNC and the RNC for that matter, states should be able to have their primaries whenever they want to. They could have the 2012 primary in spring of 2009 for all I care. But the fact that the Dems are now going to basically disenfranchise the Democratic voters of Florida over an action taken by a Republican governor and legilsature is just too rich for words.

  • Taktix® (in an Edward costume)||

    I don't know if it's the length of the primary season, or what, but after they way Hillary and Obama have bloodied eachother I'm pretty much resigned to seeing President McCain sworn in in January.

    No worries Issac, "reason" magazine will be putting out articles arguing why McCain is the libertarian's choice.

    And fuck you all...

  • ||

    HRC will hang in if (when, actually) she wins Penna. but if Obama wins, she will end it gracefully. And then start working to hand the victory to McCain. If Obama loses in November, then she can try again in 2012. If Obama wins, then she will never be president unless Obama really screws things up, which
    Sen. Clinton might help to ensure. I can totally see her bowing out gracefully while engineering a deal where she replaces Reid as Sen. Majority Leader, a position where she can help McCain fail or pick up the pieces of an Obama presidency.

  • ||

    People tend to forget that Ms. Clinton has won ALL the populous states (N.Y., CA.,TX., FLA. MI etc.) Even the Democratic Party's leaders got to see that!

  • ||

    Creech,

    She is probably going to win Penn. The issue is does she win it big or does Obama make it competetive. If she wins big, I don't know who wins the nomination. If Obama is competetive and then wins Indiana and North Carolina, Hillary is probably done and bows out under pressure. But if she wins big in Pennsylvania and wins one of the other two, then she has a legit claim to the nomination. At that point where would have Obama won other than states like Wyoming that will never go Democratic anyway and states with African American turnout?

    I think Obama post right is like French Army after Borodino; someone who just won another tactical victory but is mortally wounded. I wouldn't count Hillary out.

  • ||

    Vanya:

    Your goat is:

    McNamara for not lifting Buckner for a defensive replacement

    Buckner had been struggling with his knees the whole series (hell, most of the season). As I recall, up to game 6, the Sox lost every game that Buckner finished, and won every game that he didn't. McNamara was always too slow to make changes during the game, and with Buckner it turned out to be fatal.

    an accurate depiction of what it will look like when the Democratic nominee has had several months to run their own general election campaign.

    Unless Hillary drops early, the Dem nominee won't get to start the general election campaign until after their convention at the end of August. That leaves two months for a general campaign.

  • ||

    Hillary Clinton is right on the nose. Abolish the electoral college.

  • ||

    It's highly unlikely to go all the way to the convention.

    Even so, two months ago was January 24. Think of all that's happened in the presidential campaigh since the South Carolina primary.

  • Brandybuck||

    We should go back to the old way, and have Congress select the president, with second place becoming vice president.

  • ||

    I agree with you Joe, it will probably end in June. Surely the Superdeligates will beat one of the candidates into submission. That said, if Hillary wins Pennsylvania by say 15 points and then wins Indiana, I don't who exactly they will be beating into submission. Also, if it is her, her supporters are going to have a legitimate gripe.

  • ||

    John,

    The Superdelegates have been moving in Obama's direction for quite some time. Since Super Tuesday, he has gnetted about 44 and she has lost about 4 or 5.

    The only way they come out for Clinton at this point is if Obama suffers an epic collapse, and even after the past week and a half, we're just not seeing that.

  • ||

    But Joe, seriously, if she wins Pennsylvania by double digits and then wins Indiana and has a close lose in North Carolina, how to the Super Delegates explain to her supporters that their candidate lost? Also, I am not sure how Florida and Michigan play into this. I think that kind of sucks for Hillary that she could win all of the big states and then have a bunch of party insiders pick somoene else. Granted, there is a lot of karma going on there considering her and Bill's past, but it still sucks.

  • ||

    "reason" magazine will be putting out articles arguing why McCain is the libertarian's choice.

    Uh, you misspelled "Dondero."

  • joe||

    John,

    I think you need to tweak your number a bit. Hillary had a 20-point lead in Pennsylvania coming out of the Mississippie/Wyoming contests. I think she's need a margin in that territory for people to really get nervous. If "a double-digit win" means 10 or 11 points, it does nothing for her. IIRC, a 10 point win would mean about a 100,000 vote margin. Obama currently leads by 700,000 votes, not even counting his wins in caucus states that only provide delegate counts.

    Indiana has long been a toss-up. She's need to win there by more than a few points for people to get nervous.

    Obama should win North Carolina. If she even ties him there, it's a win for her.

    I'd put the over/unders at PA: 15 Clinton, IN: pick 'em, NC 3 Obama.

    I think that kind of sucks for Hillary that she could win all of the big states and then have a bunch of party insiders pick somoene else. Why? What makes one big state more important than three small ones? BTW, he won Georgia, Missouri, Virginia, and Illinois. They are about even in "big states."

  • ||

    "reason" magazine will be putting out articles arguing why McCain is the libertarian's choice."

    That will never happnen. Reason will instead tell you how Obama or Hillary is the Libertarian's choice. Reason could never endorse McCain. I don't care if Lenin himself ran. If they ever did, Matt Welch would not longer have anything to write about.

    Joe,

    Maybe so, but I am thinking a lot of Hillary supporters are not going to buy that logic. Also, politics is like sports in that you are only as good as your last game. If Hillary wins Pennsylvania by say 12 points she will look pretty good the next day. Even a 9-7 team looks good the Monday after a win and every team looks bad after a loss.

  • ||

    This is a completely biased article against Senator Clinotn again. It is very sad, because she is our last best greatest hope for the Democratic party to win the Presidency in November. There is no way that this Country is going to vote for Barack Obama. He has been running on a lot of hot air, and it has been leaking out for quite a while now. We need and want someone with Experience and integrity that can run our country on Day 1. I see Obama as a slick smooth talking opportunist, just another empty suit, with very poor judgement it seems. But than I am just another typical white person who wants a leader who is honest, qualified with integrity that loves our country, and does not want God to Damn any of it.

  • joe||

    Oh, of course not, John. "A lot Hillary voters" will be digruntled if she doesn't get the nod, just like a lot of Obama voters would be if he doesn't. It's a very tight race.

    If Hillary wins Pennsylvania by say 12 points she will look pretty good the next day. It certainly works that way in the media. Remember when Barack Obama won 11 states he was obviously going to win, and it showed his incredible momentum, and then Hillary Clinton won two states she was obviously going to win, and it showed that she's stopped his momentum? The truth is, there probably was no significant change in "momentum" during that entire period, but the media needed story.

    The thing is, I don't think Superdelegates think like that.

    We need and want someone with Experience and integrity that can run our country on Day 1. You know, like Hillary Clinton.

  • ||

    Joe meet Diann. Diann meet Joe. Now let's talk about that whole Democratic Nomination thing.

  • ||

    "This is a completely biased article against Senator Clinotn again."

    It's terribly unfortunate for her, but in this case reality is completely biased against Clinton. A three year old should be able to see through her argument here.

    "...who wants a leader who is honest, qualified with integrity..."

    And so you're supporting Clinton because...?

  • ||

    "...she is our last best greatest hope..."

    I thought that was Obi-Wan Kenobe.

    A lot of folks complain about the hero worship and cult of personality around Obama. There are more than a few people (such as Diann here) who seem to have the same issue with Clinton.

  • ||

    If Hillary gets the nomination, it will only be through a very ugly backroom deal. That could be fun.

  • ||

    If Hillary was going to lock up Superdelegates with a back-room deal, don't you think she would have done so back when she was the prohibitive favorite?

    There's a reason she started out the primary season with so many superdelegates on her side. The uncommitted Superdelegates at this point are, by definition, the people who didn't jump on the Clinton bandwagon for political gain.

  • ||

    The uncommitted Superdelegates at this point are, by definition, the people who didn't jump on the Clinton bandwagon waited to cut a deal later in order to jump on a bandwagon for more political gain.

    C'mon, joe, do you really think the uncommitted superdelegates are a bunch of idealists? The fact that they haven't picked anyone yet shows that they are more calculating and pragmatic, not less.

  • ||

    "Momentum" in politics (and sports) is like Darwinism in social policy: a concept that's extremely useful in science but completely fictitious in other areas of human endeavor.

    If a football team comes back to take a six-point lead with 1:00 to go in the fourth quarter, they are said to have "the momentum". But, if the other team manages to score a touchdown in the closing seconds, they are said to have won because they took back the "momentum". Funny, I thought Occam's razor would indicate it was because they scored points...but in any case, it's clear that having the "momentum" doesn't mean much, since it magically transfers to your opponent whenever they score points or do something else that indirectly helps to score points.

  • joe||

    I think they're a bunch of party people who want to assure a Democratic victory, RC. But nice false choice there.

    Given how the race looked for a solid year, the idea that staying uncommitted was a crafty strategy makes no sense. It looked like a blowout, so they thought they'd stay uncommitted until their votes didn't matter? Huh wuzza?

  • ||

    "If a football team comes back to take a six-point lead with 1:00 to go in the fourth quarter, they are said to have "the momentum". But, if the other team manages to score a touchdown in the closing seconds, they are said to have won because they took back the "momentum". Funny, I thought Occam's razor would indicate it was because they scored points...but in any case, it's clear that having the "momentum" doesn't mean much, since it magically transfers to your opponent whenever they score points or do something else that indirectly helps to score points."

    Momentum is perception. For example, say a football team plays a game and can't run the football but passes pretty well and also doesn't stop the other team from running the ball but manages a couple of turnovers. The game is close and they get the ball down two with a couple of minutes to go and drive down and set up a 30 yard field goal in the waning seconds to win. Now, if the kicker kicks the field goal, all you hear about the next day is how wonderful the team's passing offense is and how opportunistic the defense is. If the kicker doinks it off the upright, all you hear the next day is how the team can't stop the run and its running game stinks. Basically, the team played the same game in both cases. But everyone loves a winner so they look at the bright side. In politics this is true not even by analogy. If Hillary wins Penn, she looks like a winner and it is more likly people will vote for her.

  • ||

    John,

    Regarding Borodino, it was not a mortal wound, it was inconclusive. If Napoleon had exited Russia in September or if he had better fortune with the weather in October then he would have left Russia in a far better position than he did.

  • alan||

    "If a football team comes back to take a six-point lead with 1:00 to go in the fourth quarter, they are said to have "the momentum". But, if the other team manages to score a touchdown in the closing seconds, they are said to have won because they took back the "momentum". Funny, I thought Occam's razor would indicate it was because they scored points...but in any case, it's clear that having the "momentum" doesn't mean much, since it magically transfers to your opponent whenever they score points or do something else that indirectly helps to score points."

    Momentum in reference to human action is a gauge of the psychological condition of the contesting parties, in other words the morale. Morale is real, momentum is real and so is the placebo effect.

    For an example, my Tarheels momentumed the hell out of the Razorbacks yesterday.

    I have a feeling though the twain between we empiricist and ye positivist will never meet.

  • ||

    I think they're a bunch of party people who want to assure a Democratic victory, RC.

    I think this is the same thing as my "calculating and pragmatic."

    So, joe, do you think any of these hold-out supers are asking for any kind of consideration in return for their commitment?

  • ||

    who wants a leader who is honest

    See, I'll be polite, because I was going to mock this. But I see you want to support a candidate who was always against the delegate system and who has more experience ducking sniper fire than anyone else.

  • ||

    If Hillary was going to lock up Superdelegates with a back-room deal, don't you think she would have done so back when she was the prohibitive favorite?

    Probably, but she failed and so now has to go after Obama's pledged delegates, more than likely. If this goes to the convention, it will be very interesting.

    In the end, you're probably right--this gets settled before the convention, and probably before the Puerto Rico primary.

  • ||

    RC,

    I think this is the same thing as my "calculating and pragmatic." Actually, you were pretty clear that you weren't talking about them helping the party and doing what they thought was best for it, but about trying to get political patronage in exchange for their vote.

    You know, like you did right here: So, joe, do you think any of these hold-out supers are asking for any kind of consideration in return for their commitment?

    Any? "Any?" Are there "any" holdouts looking to trade their support for "any kind of consideration?"

    Yes, RC, I think there is some number of uncommitted superdelegates who are hoping to so trade their support. I think that the portion of the remaining uncommitted superdelegates thinking along those lines is small than among those who backed Clinton six months ago, when she was the prohibitive frontrunner.

  • ||

    Obama is our Savior and Messiah! Obama and Reverend Wright are RIGHT, God D*** america. Your "typical white person" is, as Barak says, a racist who will vote for clinton in these so called "elections". Now is the time to rally around Barak and Michelle and make them proud by appointing him President now. Democracy is really an euro centric tradition, let us recognize the value inheirent in the African Tribal system and institute Obama as our permanent leader! He can immediately apologize to our Muslim brothers for an arrogant, slave mentality thinking america. The chickens have come home to roost evil america. News Flash america - Obama is correct - all you "typical white people" are racists!

  • ||

    For someone who "knows" so much about the man, you'd think you could spell his name right. "Barack".

  • ||

    Going after the wife.

    Class act.

    Ah, Africa.

    From what I've seen, the correlation between people who think Obama is a racist and people who themselves have racial issues that can be seen from orbit is just about 1:1.

  • ||

    Momentum in reference to human action is a gauge of the psychological condition of the contesting parties, in other words the morale. Morale is real, momentum is real and so is the placebo effect.

    Wouldn't that mean that the two contesting parties could both have "momentum" at the same time, though? I mean, by that definition, if Hillary's people and Obama's people each think that their candidate has "momentum", doesn't that make it true ipso facto? Yet when pundits use the term, it's clear that only one competitor can have "the momentum" at any given time.

    I don't think this is a positivist v. empiricist thing. It's a matter of that definition not matching the actual use of the term. "Momentum" in this sense is just a nebulous concept invented to shoehorn a murky and massively complex series of mostly meaningless and contradictory events into a simple cause-and-effect narrative.

  • ||

    Oh joy!!! Frabjous day!!!
    "The" libertarian web site is debating who is more libertarian John McCain, Obama or Clinton.
    I am gagging at the desperate nature of our hopes. How about hoping for something possible and tangible? And a whole lot more libertarian!!
    Do we or do we not still have a libertarian/Constitutional Republican who is still running for President?
    We do.
    Now just pray that client #8 is John McCain or some such equally devastating announcement to derail our Vietnam war hero and propogandist!!
    And then Ron Paul is still being talked about because he is still accumulating delegates ala Lincoln. If we can get by the first ballot without a winner at the GOP convention, then things get interesting again for freedom in America.

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