Change We Can Believe In, Eh?

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Canada's CTV has been working a story on the Obama campaign that puts the lie to his heated anti-free trade rhetoric in Wisconsin and Ohio. Here's the channel's sum-up so far:

On Wednesday, CTV reported that a senior member of Obama's campaign called the Canadian government within the last month—saying that when Senator Obama talks about opting out of the free trade deal, the Canadian government shouldn't worry. The operative said it was just campaign rhetoric not to be taken seriously.

The Obama campaign told CTV late Thursday night that no message was passed to the Canadian government that suggests that Obama does not mean what he says about opting out of NAFTA if it is not renegotiated.

However, the Obama camp did not respond to repeated questions from CTV on reports that a conversation on this matter was held between Obama's senior economic adviser—Austin Goolsbee—and the Canadian Consulate General in Chicago. Earlier Thursday, the Obama campaign insisted that no conversations have taken place with any of its senior ranks and representatives of the Canadian government on the NAFTA issue.

On Thursday night, CTV spoke with Goolsbee, but he refused to say whether he had such a conversation with the Canadian government office in Chicago. He also said he has been told to direct any questions to the campaign headquarters.

Ed Morrissey has more, and points out that Goolsbee is far too influential, far too prominent in the Obama campaign's argument for economic credentials, to be brushed off. Certainly the story sounds true. As the Economist editorializes this week, Obama's economic rhetoric doesn't match what he's argued for until he became a presidential candidate. There is an undercurrent of bullshit here: Obama is winking at journalists and pundits outside the primary states, who know he's not going to walk into the White House and start shredding trade deals. He's simply pandered to the strengthening, post-Clintonite fair trade majority in the Democratic party. Polls, unsurprisingly, suggest that it's worked.

More from James Pethokoukis here.

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  1. Politician tells people lies to get elected.

    Details at 11.

  2. yeah.. this doesn’t really lower my opinion of obama as a potential president. then again, i wasn’t under the impression that he was running for jesus, so my view of him doesn’t have as far to fall as that of some people.

  3. It is, however, and interesting view of what he thinks of the people who will vote for him. However, in that he is again no different than any politician.

  4. Dang.

    I started out this election cycle with one absolute. Hillary was my last choice, the one I’d vote for anyone else instead of.

    Now she’s four from the bottom and still climbing.

    And I haven’t changed my opinion of her one bit.

    At least I did the Texas primary thing yesterday, so I’m done until local Republican runoffs.

  5. Can we have it both ways?

    Yes we can!

  6. My friend and I the other day came up with a great skit for MADTV. Have somebody impersonating Obama doing one of his Change! Yes We Can! speeches, with all his gestures, body language, and intonation, and the audience doing its thing.

    Except that what he’s saying are Kyle Reese’s lines from The Terminator. For example:

    “It can’t be reasoned with”

    “Yes we can”

    “it can’t be bargained with”

    “yes we can”

    “and it will not stop ever, until you are dead”

    “yes we can”

    OR:

    “he’ll reach down her throat and rip her fucking heart out”

    “yes we can”

    “that’s what he does”

    “yes we can”

    “that’s all he does”

    “yes we can”

    You get the idea.

  7. I find myself disappointed and relieved at the same time, thinking both better and worse of Obama. Oh well, still like the guy.

    Everytime someone brings up NAFTA and Canada, I get something of a disconnect, since most of the furor I’ve heard on it has to do with Mexico. So I’m always thinking of Clerks, The Animated SEries. “I got it from a store… in Canada. You wouldn’t have heard of it.” “Canadian goods available in the states for the first time!” “It’s rain. RAAAIIIN. Sure, try and kill it.”

  8. I must say that this behaviour smacks more of a christian than a muslim.

  9. According to one of the panelists on the Diane Rehm Show on NPR this morning, both Clinton and Obama have been doing this – informally telling higher-ups in the Hoserian government not to worry, that their NAFTA scrapping/renegotiation stuff was just vote-pandering.

  10. Everytime someone brings up NAFTA and Canada, I get something of a disconnect, since most of the furor I’ve heard on it has to do with Mexico.

    Few remember that shortly before NAFTA was the Bilateral Trade Agreement between Canada and the US. As I recall, it was still quite contentious, but considering the particulars of the whining over NAFTA, the thought that it was once controversial is kind of quaint.

  11. …both Clinton and Obama have been doing this…

    Yet somehow Obama has been more successful in letting the truth get out to his latte drinking core constituency.

  12. dudes, I’m still mortified from that Will.i.am video. I will never be able to think of Scarlett Johansson in a sexual way again after that. It would be like fucking a pretty pony. Sorry, a woman has to have a few cellular synapses going on upstairs before I can feel right about it.

    I would also like to see Obama do ‘the Sleeper Awakes’ speech from Dune. With his speaking style, that would be really cool.

  13. I heard some Ohioan on NPR this morning complaining that some candidate lied to him last time around about trade and labor issues. No kidding. What a dumbass.

    If I lived in the Rust Belt, I’d make it a point to vote for whichever candidate said, “I feel bad for you, but I’m not going to trash the economy for everyone else to protect your jobs. Free trade, biotch.” Better the truth than the usual lies.

  14. any thoughts on how this getting out before the ohio vote on tuesday will affect the election?

  15. since it seems to be getting coverage mostly in outlets such as Canadian TV and The Economist, I am guessing, not much, unless it gets picked up by Drudge or some Tough Questioner like Tim Russert asks Obama about it on Sunday morning. Also, the heat would have to be on one of them rather than both or neither, although Obama The Truthteller has more to lose.

  16. My guess? Not a whit. Get used to saying President Obama, neighbours

  17. My guess? Not a whit. Get used to saying President Obama, neighbours

    What the hell makes you so sure he’ll win the general?

  18. I don’t get the-Democrat-is-going-to-win-for-sure theory, either. I think the vast experience gulf is going to give McCain a win, to be honest. We tend to get practical like that in the general election. That’s why Bush the Younger was such a shock, but even he had been a governor. Not counting his years of experience being the son of a guy with years of experience, of course. My dad was an engineer, so I guess I can sit for the patent bar now.

  19. This Ohio thing is getting silly.

  20. Pro L,
    Your father drove trains?
    How cool is that???

  21. Pro

    Clinton was also inexperienced in 1992 and won, but that was the time in between the Cold War and 9/11, when foreign policy experience didn’t seem to matter as much.

    Add in the Swift Boaters and the fact that Republicans run much better campaigns than Democrats, and McCain has a good shot.

  22. I’m not sure what sickens me more. That the rust belt, angling for the handout, is such a powerful force to be reckoned with. Or that they honestly are disappointed that a politician would sweet talk them into votes. Or that this constituency widely crosses ideological and party lines. Hell, Ron Paul seems to appeal to these folks, too.

  23. Let’s see, elections with large gaps in experience…

    Gore vs. Bush

    Clinton vs. Bush

    Kennedy vs. Nixon

    Ford vs. Carter

    Hmm…

    Oh, and brotherben wins the thread.

  24. Joe, Dubya and Bill don’t count because it was after the Cold War and before 9/11.

    Carter barely won by getting lucky after Watergate.

    Just wait until the scary, “Bear-in-the-woods” type ads are run by McCain. Swing voters will eat it up.

  25. Republicans run much better campaigns than Democrats

    Not this time.

    Bob Shrum isn’t going to get within 1500 feet of Barack Obama.

  26. It isn’t “Post-9/11” anymore, Cesar.

    It’s “Post-Iraq.”

  27. Bob Shrum isn’t going to get within 1500 feet of Barack Obama.

    Now, thats a good point.

    It’s “Post-Iraq.”

    “My friends, the SURGE IS WORKING! Even Murtha admits it! PATREUS PATREUS PATREUS!”

  28. Beyond the NAFTA rhetoric, there is a much more fundamental untruth, that one particular candidate has a magic bag of tricks that can turn the economy around………food and fuel are way up…….people are drowning in mortgage and credit card debt; they will be spending less on other consumer goods, so we already are in, and will continue to be, in a recession, and no one can fix it. Real inflation is actually around 10% right now….

  29. I’m not saying Obama can’t win, btw. But it will come down to Ohio (again). Its not going to be some landslide re-aliagnment. He won’t get >300 electoral votes.

  30. “My friends, the SURGE IS WORKING! Even Murtha admits it! PATREUS PATREUS PATREUS!”

    Yeah, good luck with that.

    It sounds like something you might hear in one of those really safe markets in Baghdad. The ones that totally don’t get bombed or nuthin.

  31. “Barack HUSSEIN Obama wants to wave the white flag of surrender!”

    They’re going to make a kind of American Dolchsto?legende.

  32. Cesar,

    Realignment election. Virginia, Colorado, Ohio, New Mexico, and at least one totally unpredicted red state that leaves everyone scratching their heads.

    Coattails like we haven’t seen in our lifetimes.

    joe 2/28/08

  33. I’m not so sure it’ll be McCain, either. He has the odd ability to blow up publicly and hang himself under trivial circumstances. He’s not afraid of making enemies. In the past, he’s been able to brush off this sort of behavior. But the public, I think, will be less willing to look away the closer he is to the White House.

  34. It’s not a slam on McCain, either, but he’s up against a prodigy – a Reagan, a Kennedy – in a terrible year for his party.

  35. The “Hussein” thing can very easily be overplayed, too. I think it may already be on the verge, with middle of the road voters. In fact, if Obama plays his cards right, I think he can turn it around to his advantage, wearing his name as a badge of honor.

  36. I can make one prediction with almost 100% certainty. Some Republican 527 group is going to run an ad featuring Obama in that African garb then morphing it into a pic of Osama bin Laden.

  37. “Cesar | February 29, 2008, 5:40pm | #

    What the hell makes you so sure he’ll win the general?”

    Obama will win in the general for the same reason he’ll win the nomination-being right (about the Iraq war) trumps experience. McCain’s only issue is foreign policy/blowing shit up. He admits to not knowing much about the economy, for instance.

  38. Can someone please explain to me why Bob Shrum was hired by so many Presidential candidates–and still appears on tv like hes some great expert– even though every single one he worked for lost?

  39. My humble prediction is that Obama will sweep the Believers off their feet, driving Hillary to drink, and then buyer’s remorse will gradually set in, and we’ll all be stuck with McCain. Just a hunch.

  40. Canada’s CTV has been working a story on the Obama campaign that puts the lie to his heated anti-free trade rhetoric in Wisconsin and Ohio.

    Well, given that the guy stands a pretty good chance of getting elected president, isn’t this good news?

    A Democrat in the White House isn’t necessarily the end of the world where economic issues are concerned. After all, it was Carter that deregulated the airline and trucking industries, and appointed Volker to the Fed, initiating the tighter monetary policies that Reagan got the credit for (or the blame, depending upon your views). And we got NAFTA and welfare reform from Clinton, and even Greenspan speaks highly of his attention to economic matters. Ok, libertarians they ain’t, but what did we ever get from either Bush?

    I probably won’t vote for the guy, either, but considering the only other realistic alternative is McCain, who sounds like he wants to go charging off with his saber in one hand and his balls in the other in an attempt to democratize the mid-east like a George Bush on steroids, Obama isn’t the worst possible thing that could happen…..

    A good article today in the WSJ

  41. Oooohhh, are we bashing Bob Shrum now?

    Oh goodie!

    My favorite Bob Shrum story:

    “October 19, 2004
    Guest: Paul Glastris

    CASE AGAINST SHRUM #273… I’ve never understood why the Kerry campaign hasn’t made more of the candidate’s record in the Senate of holding tough, thankless, let-the-chips-fall-as-they-may investigations of the rich and powerful. Especially impressive was his pursuit of BCCI, the Arab-owned international bank which turned out to be a massive criminal enterprise that enabled terrorists, including Osama bin Laden, to finance their activities–until it was shut down, largely thanks to Kerry’s relentless efforts. The campaign’s weird refusal to talk about achievements like the BCCI hearings has allowed Bush to paint Kerry as a do-nothing legislator with no record of achievement during 20 years in the Senate.

    But now, thanks to Newsweek, we have an explanation for the Kerry campaign’s insane strategy. It seems that Bob Shrum thinks the American people are too stupid to understand what it means that Kerry shut down BCCI. “You can’t talk about that because people think you’re talking about the BBC,” Bob Shrum, Kerry’s top adviser, told one senior staffer. “Why were you investigating British TV?”

    Should we string up Shrum after Kerry loses, or beat the rush and do it now?”

    http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/archives/individual/2004_10/004955.php

  42. PG-

    “George W. Bush isn’t really that bad. In fact, hes pretty good on economic issues, doesn’t seem into nation building, and seems to have at least some small-government instincts.”–What I thought in 2000

  43. “Can someone please explain to me why Bob Shrum was hired by so many Presidential candidates–and still appears on tv like hes some great expert– even though every single one he worked for lost?”

    There aren’t too many Democratic consultants to win period and the ones who have probably cost more. Of course there is also the “learn from your mistakes” way to look at it which would make him a genius by now. Also Shrum gets more criticism than deserved, look at the garbage he has had to sell, it says more about Democratic Primary voters than it does about Shrum.

  44. Joe, be sure to clean your keyboard when you’re done.

  45. Perhaps I wasn’t clear. I meant that candidates without a minimum threshold of experience usually have trouble. Clinton was a multi-term governor, don’t forget. And that election was screwed up by Perot, anyway.

    joe,

    No way. Congress has wowed absolutely no one, and Obama isn’t Reagan.

  46. Obama’s more Jimmy Carter thank JFK or Reagan. A nice guy with a smile coming into the Presidency after an incredibly corrupt administration biases people towards “Washington insiders”.

  47. I’ll renew my gambling offers for anyone willing.

    Ohio? I’ll put up $25 for obama. Or if anyone’s thinking longer term, I’ll put $100 on him winning the presidency

  48. Gilmore-

    Would you be willing to bet Obama gets >300 EVs?

  49. I will never be able to think of Scarlett Johansson in a sexual way again after that. It would be like fucking a pretty pony.

    Put a bridle on her and I’ll mount up.

  50. Can someone please explain to me why Bob Shrum was hired by so many Presidential candidates–and still appears on tv like hes some great expert– even though every single one he worked for lost?

    Dependability?

  51. I recognize that Obama has some rhetorical firepower, but to be honest with you, I get a serious case of ADD when he speaks. Except for the antiwar message, I don’t really connect with him.

    He is a Ron Paul for touchy-feelies, and the general population of independents (myself included) and Republicans tends to be much less touchy-feely than Democrats. His appeal may put him over the necessary threshold, but it is no sure thing, and in election cycles, you never can tell how events play out.

    Surely, I am not the only one who remembers ’92 as a roller coaster ride from hell.

  52. I still stand by my statement that Republicans run better campaign than Democrats.

    In my lifetime, the only winning Democratic Presidential campaigns were conducted by James Carville (DNC centrist) and Dick Morris(!) (a Republican).

  53. The Obama campaign told CTV late Thursday night that no message was passed to the Canadian government that suggests that Obama does not mean what he says about opting out of NAFTA if it is not renegotiated.

    When they about going negative in politics, I didnt think they meant grammatically.

    I had to this several times to untangle the tripple negative, and now my head hurts.

  54. That has generally been the case, Cesar. Lee Atwater and Karl Rove were evil geniuses. Gotta give ’em their due.

    Maybe Obama is doing so well in this primary campaign because Hillary hired all the DC lifers.

  55. Draft Carville: Son of a Gun, We will have some Fun!

  56. That sentence shook the verbs right out of Kolohe.

  57. I don’t know why Hillary didn’t get Carville and Begala to come back. They did a good job in ’92, and I don’t see them turning her down.

  58. shecky | February 29, 2008, 6:03pm | #

    The “Hussein” thing can very easily be overplayed, too. I think it may already be on the verge, with middle of the road voters. In fact, if Obama plays his cards right, I think he can turn it around to his advantage, wearing his name as a badge of honor.

    Absolutely. Who did the flap about that guy Cunningham’s introduction of McCain help?

    As for jiu-jitsu, yesterday McCain thought he was really going to get his snide on about Obama, Iraq and al Qaeda. And then Obama won the news cycle with his comeback during a speech. Today, Hillary put out that “3AM Phone Call” ad. And then Obama won the news cycle with his comeback during a speech.

    He’s Muhammed Ali. He’s dancing.

  59. Whoever is running Obama’s campaign right now seems to be doing pretty well. The last thing he needs is some DC lifer who thinks he knows politicking better than the Natural, and doesn’t know who’s boss.

  60. Joe why is McCain still virtually tied with Obama in polls if hes doing so well?

    Whoever is running Obama’s campaign right now seems to be doing pretty well.

    David Axelrod runs his campaign, and hes not from Washington. Hes from Chicago though he ran Deval Patrick’s campaign as well.

  61. For once, I agree with Weigel.

    Note also that Obama is on record as supporting Bush’s SPP (spp.gov), aka “NAFTA on steroids”?

    So, while Obama says one thing to Ohioans, one of his reps allegedly says something quite different to Canada. And, then they issue conflicting “denials”/”no comment”s.

    And – no allegedly involved – he speaks in code to unknown persons, letting them know that he supports their NAFTA++ schemes.

    Regarding the Bush scheme that Obama supports, see this video. I recommend that highly, and it’s not even one of mine.

  62. I’ve been saying for a couple of months that I think Obama will end up being more like Bill Clinton than Hillary would.

    I still stand by my statement that Republicans run better campaign than Democrats.

    True enough, but I think it would be a mistake to underestimate the devastation Obama could (and will) do to McCain in a head to head debate.

    Personally, although the starry eyed Obamanation creeps me out, I’m hoping he pulls it off for the simple fact that he offers the surest ticket to ending the hemorrhaging of over a trillion bucks to the war in Iraq. As libertarians or conservatives, our focus ought, IMHO, to be on ending the most bloated, damaging, and unnecessary budget items first.

  63. Cesar,

    He’s not tied. Obama’s lead in various polls aggregates to about five points.

  64. Cesar,

    Pollingreport.com’s General Election page has 12 polls that were done in February. 2 of the polling outfits polled twice in the month.

    The average of those 14 separate polls (which includes Fox, and 2 LA Times polls that have Obama behind) is Obama +4.57.

  65. I sure hope that he means what he says about getting out of Iraq.

  66. Pottsy,

    As libertarians or conservatives, our focus ought, IMHO, to be on ending the most bloated, damaging, and unnecessary budget items first.

    Good point. November is still far away in election cycle time, and the only thing I am certain of is that I wont be voting for John McCain. I may sit it out, I may vote Obama, or I may be a real dick about it all, and vote Nader. I use to tell people that voting is a terrible and cruel thing to do to your fellow human beings, but I’ll likely be in a sadistic mood by November.

  67. One common statistical technique is to drop the outliers.

    So, if we drop the polls with the two highest (+10 and +12) and lowest (-1 and -2) leads for Obama, his average lead shrinks to 4.4%

  68. Rick Barton,

    I sure hope he means what he says about “not just changing the policy, but changing the mindset that got us into Iraq.”

    He appears to have a genuinely anti-imperialist philosophy of foreign policy. I hope he uses his skills to articulate such a vision as a conscious contrast to John McCain’s vision.

  69. Pottsy
    Personally, although the starry eyed Obamanation creeps me out, I’m hoping he pulls it off for the simple fact that he offers the surest ticket to ending the hemorrhaging of over a trillion bucks to the war in Iraq. As libertarians or conservatives, our focus ought, IMHO, to be on ending the most bloated, damaging, and unnecessary budget items first.

    Correction: Three Trillion Bucks

  70. To be honest, I’m personally discouraged from voting by the fact my state pulls jury duty list from voter registration list. I have been called to jury duty seven times. My brother who is several years older than me has been called twice, and my sister who is a decade my senior has been called once. I likely hit the jackpot because at different times I have been registered as a Democrat, Republican and an Independent, so I’m thinking my name was tripled billed.

    I’m not currently registered, and have not voted since 2000, and the last time I had jury duty was in 2002. In my case, why bother unless I really support a candidate.

  71. Cesar | February 29, 2008, 6:47pm | #

    Gilmore-

    Would you be willing to bet Obama gets >300 EVs?

    I said what my bets were. Either go small on Ohio, or make a call now for the whole big show. You people are such a pain in the ass to take money from.

  72. Click ‘n’ Learn | February 29, 2008, 7:12pm | #

    For once, I agree with Weigel.

    Wow. I bet that gave him a warm fuzzy.

    Has anything you’ve ever said here ever had any impact whatsoever on people’s opinions?

    And does that mean we just dont listen, or that you’re a total fucking idiot?

  73. Well, GILMORE, that’s because we’re, like, fiscally conservative, even though we’re, all, like, socially liberal.

  74. Obama is the emptiest of empty suits, the anti-Hillary, charisma without substance, a lifeline for a grasping, ignorant and desperate electorate that attempts to get by without political philosophy. It’s 1960 all over again without the mystique of Jack and the fashion sense of Jackie.

  75. Cesar | February 29, 2008, 7:07pm | #

    Joe why is McCain still virtually tied with Obama in polls if hes doing so well?

    Why wont you bet $100 on McCain winning if you think thats the case?

    eh? eh? C’mon. Show some backbone, Mr Chavez!

  76. joe | February 29, 2008, 7:53pm | #

    Well, GILMORE, that’s because we’re, like, fiscally conservative, even though we’re, all, like, socially liberal.

    That was actually kind of funny.

    Another way of putting it is that opinions are like…

  77. Rick Barton,

    I sure hope he means what he says about “not just changing the policy, but changing the mindset that got us into Iraq.”

    He appears to have a genuinely anti-imperialist philosophy of foreign policy. I hope he uses his skills to articulate such a vision as a conscious contrast to John McCain’s vision.

    Also a good point. To badly mangle Santayana, those who don’t understand the third world, are likely to repeat the sins of Imperialism.
    In this regard, Obama’s ties to Kenya and Indonesia I would hope serves to his advantage.

  78. If it wasn’t strictly verboten, alan, I would suggest looking at the experiences that European powers had playing this game in the 20th century.

    But of course, I’m talking nonsense.

    USA! USA! Wooooooooooo!!!!!!

  79. Socially liberal = we talk a lot of shit.

    Fiscally conservative = but we’re not going to put money on it.

  80. Why wont you bet $100 on McCain winning if you think thats the case?

    Because I think the election will be too close to call in Obama vs. McCain. It will all come down to some random purple state that one andidate will win 300 EVs.

  81. I meant to say, one candidate won’t win more than 300 EVs.

  82. “The ‘Hussein’ thing can very easily be overplayed, too. I think it may already be on the verge, with middle of the road voters. In fact, if Obama plays his cards right, I think he can turn it around to his advantage, wearing his name as a badge of honor.”

    How about this:

    “I’m Barack H. Obama – the guy with the same middle initial as Jesus!”

  83. ed,
    Obama is not an empty suit.

    More like an empty dashiki.

  84. So Obama says in public that he’s against free trade, while in fact he’s not (relatively speaking, of course). Big deal. Shouldn’t Reason be celebrating this, btw?

  85. joe | February 29, 2008, 8:02pm | #

    Socially liberal = we talk a lot of shit.

    Fiscally conservative = but we’re not going to put money on it.

    I got the joke the FIRST TIME joe.

    jeez…

  86. Cesar | February 29, 2008, 8:17pm | #

    I meant to say, one candidate won’t win more than 300 EVs.

    I understood your point, i just didnt want to change the terms of wager. Thats too funky a detail for me to address at the moment. Although I’m confident in the ultimate outcome.

    Unfortunately im going into equity research soon, and will need to get my due diligence and numeracy down to where I CAN make these kinds of gambles. Only, for other people’s money 🙂

  87. Wow, my mad html skillz cut off my main point.

    What I meant to say is.

  88. Ok, lets try again. More than 300 votes is a landslide. More than 400 votes is realignment.

    Even with all the states joe named, it would not be realignment.

  89. Best of all possible scenarios — Nader hires some ruthless old time GOPers to steal the election (He WON the electoral college, but he only got 4.3% of the vote!), and once in office he suddenly remembers his own libertarian roots.

  90. Obama has been completely treated with kid gloves. He just might get slaughtered in the general. First the Latinos very well might go McCain, racist dems to McCain, Jews to McCain in larger numbers than usual because they might have issues with Zbigniew and more importantly Lieberman will be paraded around every city suburb and he’ll get even more in the suburbs if Lieberman is the vice. I don’t think that is written off yet. Also Obama hasn’t won the primaries in swing states like Florida and and is likely to lose Ohio, and while he didn’t run in Florida, I don’t see that as a positive either. I think McCain puts PA up for grabs as well though that has made hard blue turn since their economy went to shit. This is McCain, not some boilerplate neocon. This is the Republican anti war candidate, he kept winning the anti war vote in the primaries.

  91. “I’m Barack H. Obama – the guy with the same middle initial as Jesus!”

    Who’s sane?

    Hussein!

  92. I know you got it the first time, GILMORE.

    I didn’t.

  93. Four hundred, Cesar?

    You sure you set that bar high enough?

  94. Yes joe, 400 is realignment.

    After all, Clinton got 300+ and he didn’t get a realignment. Even Carville said he just “picked” the Republican lock on the electoral college.

    If its 1932 or 1964 like you said it would be previously it shouldn’t be a problem for Obama to break that right? Right?

  95. joe is kind of hilarious today.

    I will be voting Obama from Canada, for Canada. (No, I did not move here for political reasons or health care.)

  96. When I ran for office in school, I told one thing to one group that could vote for me and the opposite to another group that could vote for me. I thought that to do otherwise would be just plain silly — that since I could say anything I wanted, my function was to tell them what they wanted to hear at the moment. And even if they found out what I said to the others, their vanity would cause more of them to believe I was telling them the truth and lying to the others. (I would tell each group explicitly that I was lying to the others too, if asked.)

    In all the years since, I’ve never seen any good evidence that that wasn’t true. And since all politics is a matter of opinion and there are no right or wrong answers, I recommend it to everyone.

  97. I forgot to mention that there are some voters whose paranoia exceeds their vanity, and think you’re always lying to them. Because that’s true regardless of what you say, it shouldn’t affect your behavior.

  98. Josh | February 29, 2008, 6:22pm | #

    Joe, be sure to clean your keyboard when you’re done.

    Josh wins the thread!

  99. Yes joe, 400 is realignment.

    Says who? I’ve never seen “realignment” defined strictly by electoral votes. Are you saying it won’t be a realignment if he wins 60% of the popular vote, but his support is geographically concentrated enough that he “only” gets 380 electoral votes? That’s absurd, Cesar.

  100. Oh, and 1964 wasn’t a realignment. The Democrats were the majority party before that, and were the majority party after that. The term “realignment” means that a party moves into majority-party status and stays there for several election cycles.

  101. Tell me how Obama gets to 380, then. Sure theres margin of error, but if he only gets a Bill Clinton type win thats not 1932 or 1980.

  102. If he gets 60% of the popular vote, then its realignment too. But seriously, thats not going to happen. That would be insane if that happened.

  103. If he only gets a Bill Clinton-type win – Bill got 49% in 1992 – it’s not a realignment. Absolutely.

    Oh, and I plucked the number 380 out of my bum, to counter your bum-plucked 400. Neither of those numbers mean anything.

    60%, yeah, that’s pretty unlikely, too. A ten- or twelve- point win, on the other hand, is not beyond the pale.

  104. I can see a scenario where Obama gets 60%. We’re going to have an eight-month general election campaign starting next week. If, four months into it, it looks like a lock for Obama, McCain’s money could dry up, undecideds could all to to the winning side, and it could turn into a rout.

    Probably not, though. There probably isn’t enough of a built-in advantage for Obama that he’d pull far enough ahead to wrap it up that early.

  105. If I were Obama, I would run a red-state strategy for the next four months – make McCain defend his own territory with a smaller warchest. Maybe he picks off some deep red states, and even if he doesn’t, it would drive McCain to the right while leaving him even more out-funded in the swing states.

  106. Lev Strauss | February 29, 2008, 9:33pm | #

    You want to put $100 on that??

    Someone, please!! Before you smell the coffee!

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