Hillary Clinton Won't Be President: Semi-Official This Time

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I typically try and hold off on the pronouncements of one candidate's campaign being kaput or another candidate obviously surging to an unstoppable victory, but it's pretty clear now that Hillary Clinton won't be president. The Obama campaign points out that Clinton needs Ohio and Texas landslides to gain a delegate advantage; the Clinton campaign, on a media call today, refused to call the states "must-win." They argued only that they were "critical, critical states."

Why are they pessimistic? Let's take Ohio, a state similar to Wisconsin in some ways (Midwestern, NAFTA-skeptic, largely suburban and rural) and dissimilar in some others (more black voters, more ethnic whites and Catholics). The Clinton campaign spun that Wisconsin was never going to be an easy win because of crossover voting (Republicans and independents can choose any primary) and same-day voter registration. Democrats were only 62 percent of voters in the Democratic primary.

Ohio's got to be better, right? Not much better. There is no same-day registration, but there is crossover voting. In 2004 about 72 percent of Democratic primary voters were Democrats. What would happen if the three kinds of Ohio voters cast their ballots in the same proportion that Wisconsin voters did? Obama would win with 56 percent of the vote—almost as big as his Wisconsin win.

That won't happen, but it illustrates the difficulty of Team Clinton fighting yet another primary with non-Democrat Obamacans crossing over to sandbag them. They need to win Democratic voters in a landslide. But now that the Clintons are losing, the ornery labor unions—who have never fully forgiven Bill Clinton for his New Democratic feints on trade—have lost their fear. They're going for Obama, driving the final nails into Clintonism. You can see how afraid Clinton is with her current campaign (bolstered by 527s) in Ohio. She sounds like arch-populist Sherrod Brown, or like an even less relatable John Edwards. I don't like what this says about the party, but it's the party she's gotten those precious 35 years of experience in.

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  1. Don’t lose hope. The Democratic Party could always choose to reinstate the Florida and Michigan delegates if it would help Hilary win!

  2. *Hillary

  3. “Don’t lose hope. The Democratic Party could always choose to reinstate the Florida and Michigan delegates if it would help Hilary win!”

    Not true.

  4. It’ll be Giuliani vs Clinton in November 2008. Count on it.

    *I was just kidding about the unemployment. We pundits never lose our jobs for being spectacularly wrong.

  5. It’ll be Giuliani vs Clinton in November 2008. Count on it.

    The hated DC cocktail party circuit heard me predict a Rudy-Obama race for most of 2007. So maybe I should have my hours cut in half…

  6. “It’ll be Giuliani vs Clinton in November 2008. Count on it.”

    Not that anyone will care, but several months ago I predicted they would be the two candidates because that’s the two the media wanted. I stand corrected.

    However, over on the National Review website, there is a good piece on the possibility of the Dems nominating Al Gore.

    http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=MWQxY2Q2ZWRmZGRkMDYwNzU1ZWQxMGU4YzY5ODY1YTQ=.

  7. So…is Clinton better than Obama on trade? (Or at least on trade agreements?)

  8. No, no, Clinton is popular with the Democrats. And experienced. At something. For 35 long, experience-filled years.

    Mea culpa: I drastically overestimated the chances of Richardson, and I failed to predict that Warner would strangely withdraw. If we didn’t live in Bizarro World, either one of those would’ve handedly defeated Clinton and/or Obama. But, alas, Bizarro World it is.

    I, for one, welcome our Manchurian Indochinese Candidate overlord. The war will have less effect on his candidacy than we libertarians and other generally anti-war folk expect. You can thank the uncertain economy for that. In the end, Obama’s complete lack of experience will screw him. Unless McCain gives us a really good demonstration of his wackiness–then all bets are off. I still predict Penn & Teller in a weird twisting–nay, mangling–of fate.

  9. Pro Lib, do you have a profile at policelink.com?

  10. No, that must be another “Pro Libertate”. Or an impostor.

  11. Now that the “Hillary Clinton Owns the Democratic Party” shtick is dead, let’s do an autopsy on it.

    This was always a canard thrown out by the Right, as it served many purposes. First, it bashed the Democratic Party, making it look as top-down, corrupt, elitist, and undemocratic as the Republicans.

    Second, it valided their paranoid style of politics. It isn’t possible that a nominee could really be chosen because he or she appealed to more of the public; there has to be some dark hand controlling things behind the scenes. And the name “Clinton” has been making the lunatic fringe imagine all sort of dark things for 16 years now.

    Third, it was a way of demeaning Hillary herself. Oh, she didn’t win the nomination on her own merits; she just had it handed to her.

  12. Third, it was a way of demeaning Hillary herself. Oh, she didn’t win the nomination on her own merits; she just had it handed to her.

    There’s nothing wrong with demeaning Hillary Clinton. She’s a bad, bad girl (and not in a good way). I must admit, though, that I have a personal reason for hating her, unlike most Hillary haters.

  13. The Real Bill,

    Dish! Dish!

  14. Well, I guess the Democrats have dodged the bullet this time. Hillary was the only person who could possibly lose to McCain after that “100 years in Iraq” remark.

    -jcr

  15. I have a personal reason for hating her, unlike most Hillary haters.

    Wanting to keep my money isn’t a personal reason?

    -jcr

  16. OTOH it would be ironic if Hillary steals the Donkey convention, and the democrats have to shut up about Florida chads.

  17. Now that the “Hillary Clinton Owns the Democratic Party” shtick is dead, let’s do an autopsy on it.

    This was always a canard thrown out by the Right, as it served many purposes. First, it bashed the Democratic Party, making it look as top-down, corrupt, elitist, and undemocratic as the Republicans.

    What size straw hat does your straw man wear joe?

    Any celebrating of Hillary’s demise by anyone to her right on the political spectrum should be very short lived.

  18. First, it bashed the Democratic Party, making it look as top-down, corrupt, elitist, and undemocratic as the Republicans.

    Uh, joe, the power of the superdelegates in your primary system is at least as undemocratic as any winner-take-all primary on the GOP side. They could still hand this thing to Hill, so you shouldn’t speak too soon.

  19. I predict…Hillary will drop out very soon.

  20. Chris Potter,

    I guess we’ll see how those Superdelegates vote, won’t we?

    I’m going to speak right now: the automatic delegates will not elect Hillary Clinton if Barack Obama is leading going into the convention. Nor will they elect Obama if Hillary is leading.

    Mark it down. I certainly intend to.

    A lot of people want very much to believe certain things about the Democratic Party. I’m having a really, really fun primary season.

  21. First, it bashed the Democratic Party, making it look as top-down, corrupt, elitist, and undemocratic as the Republicans.

    Of course, that’s not to say that the Dems and the Reps aren’t equally top-down, corrupt, elitist, and undemocratic.

  22. Real Bill,

    We all have reasons for wanting to bash people. We shouldn’t let that distort our perception of reality.

  23. Of course, that’s not to say that the Dems and the Reps aren’t equally top-down, corrupt, elitist, and undemocratic.

    The candidate that the Repblican Establishment decided was Next in Line has won every nomination since Nixon. Ford in 76. The second-place candidate from 76, RWR, in 80. His VP in 88. Bob Dole in 96. GHW Bush in 2000. The second-place candidate from 2000, McCain, in 08.

    Meanwhile…George McGovern? Jimmy Carter? OK, Mondale. Then, Dukakis? Clinton? OK, Gore. Then Kerry (half credit).

    No, that is not the same things. Being the establishment candidate is decisive for the Republicans, and not for the Democrats. If Bill and Hillary were Republicans, she really would have been a shoo-in for the nomination. But they’re Democrats, and she’s going to lose.

  24. No, joe, that can’t be true!

    If it was, it would make the Democrat Party look good.

    Ergo, it must be false.

    You are teh partisan.

  25. When Hillary was First Lady, she spoke at my graduation. Her cronies somehow scammed the bookstore and got their hands on most of the tickets to the graduation. Many families, including mine, were unable to see their children graduate. My mother was understandably upset, so she wrote a letter to Hillary. Instead of writing a letter of apology, she had her people contact the president of the school to make a big stink. Her people got my name wrong–morons!–so the university president claimed that I wasn’t a student. Thus, there was no apology, she didn’t admit that her people did anything wrong, and she implied that my mother was crazy.

    Political ideologues are scum.

  26. Joe-

    I thought the American people (including your party) would go for big name recognition over anything else. There was certainly basis for this belief. The Bushes, Schwarzenegger in California, Jessee Ventura in Minesotta, and yes the Kennedy’s in your party, should i go on? Hell you could go back to the Adamses from the 1800s.

    And yes, I still think Hillary will try to steal it.

  27. I get regular e-mails from this spectacularly insane guy who wants me to do an expose about how President Bush, in retaliation for something-or-other, bribes local waiters to spit in the guy’s food. According to today’s e-mail update (sent to Hillary and CC’d to me), the reason Obama’s getting the nomination is because of a Republican plot to keep the best Democratic candidate out of the running.

    Not saying it’s true or anything; I just thought it might help the discussion.

  28. w00t!

  29. Now that the “Hillary Clinton Owns the Democratic Party” shtick is dead, let’s do an autopsy on it.

    This was always a canard thrown out by the Right, as it served many purposes.

    Not quite. It partly comes from the internal battles being waged in the Democratic party.

    It just happens that the core GOP holds this as a central theory with Hillary because (surprise) they’re partisans, and it fulfills their general legacy hatred of the Clintons.

    Obama has successfully persuaded some SuperD’s to switch. However, the entire concept Superdelegates is very undemocratic in spirit and as such, feeds into GOP conspiracy theories.

  30. I wouldn’t put anything past Ohio. As I told my wife ( she is from Ohio): Ohio will be the one place to vote for Hillary in the primaries and (insert any terrible Republican here) in the general.

  31. A lot of people want very much to believe certain things about the Democratic Party. I’m having a really, really fun primary season.

    Jesus, joe, you talk like it’s the Christmas season or something. This shit is never fun, no matter who’s winning. It’s painful to the core. Primary season is like choosing which dentist you’re going to get your root canal from.

  32. Cesar,

    Name recognition certainly is a big deal. Those early polls were insane – Hillary 60, Edwards 13. It was reasonable to think that the compressed primary schedule would make name recognition just that much more important. But I guess it wasn’t compressed THAT much.

    Paul,

    The Republicans have unpledged, unelected delegates, too. Just not as many. From a Democracy perspective, I can see giving a vote to high elected officials – the original idea was for presidents, ex-presidents, DNC Chairs, ex-DNC chairs, and legislative leaders a vote, but it’s grown since then. I think it’s a sound idea, but the ratios are out of whack. There are too many of them. I don’t think the automatic delegates are going to behave in an undemocratic manner, but we shouldn’t have to wonder.

  33. I guess I owe you an apology, Cesar.

    See, all of those times you wrote “Face it, joe, Hillary Clinton owns your party,” I misinterpreted it. I thought you were making a statement about her having control of the party, and being able to direct party operatives to swing races for her through devious means, not just having high name recognition.

    My bad.

  34. Joe-

    You’re half right. When I said that I meant a combination of the two. It a’int over yet, either.

    BTW has anyone else seen the NYT story that broke today about a possible affair McCain had with a lobbyist? I’m surprised theres not a post about that here.

  35. Chris Potter:

    Uh, joe, the power of the superdelegates in your primary system is at least as undemocratic as any winner-take-all primary on the GOP side.

    joe:

    I guess we’ll see how those Superdelegates vote, won’t we?

    Notice how joe doesn’t address the crux of the argument, which relates to the sheer existence of superdelegates. How they vote is irrelevant to Chris Potter’s criticism.

  36. Notice how joe doesn’t address the crux of the argument,which relates to the sheer existence of superdelegates – x,y

    joe | February 20, 2008, 7:42pm | #

    …From a Democracy perspective, I can see giving a vote to high elected officials – the original idea was for presidents, ex-presidents, DNC Chairs, ex-DNC chairs, and legislative leaders a vote, but it’s grown since then. I think it’s a sound idea, but the ratios are out of whack. There are too many of them. I don’t think the automatic delegates are going to behave in an undemocratic manner, but we shouldn’t have to wonder.

    Wah wah wah waaaaaaaaaaahhhhh…

  37. And remember, kids…

    if you don’t support a huge, multi-hundred-billion dollar government project to impose democracy, you don’t support democracy.

    That’s the libertarian way, right, corning?

  38. dude, I said all this shit last week. Get a real job!

    “why-gull” be biting my rhymes

  39. Whoa whoa whoa. The “won’t be President” proclamations are reserved for Ron Paul. In fact, after a whole year, the supplies are running low, so be careful.

  40. Super Dave Osborne won’t be president.

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