Who Mourns for Adonais?

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Rumors of an Obama meltdown, post-Jeremiah Wright, seem to be overstated. A North Carolina poll that showed Obama falling into a tie with Hillary Clinton, in the last large state he's been expected to win, shows him surging back ahead into a 21-point lead. But my favorite part of the poll is this:

If John Edwards endorsed Hillary Clinton, would it make you more likely or less likely to vote for Clinton, or would it not make a difference?

More likely to vote for Clinton—12 percent
Less likely to vote for Clinton—31 percent
No difference—57 percent

JRE's endless Hamlet act about who to endorse suddenly makes more sense. If, as rumored, he wants to support Clinton, he knows better than to give her a tar baby hug in his home state, where he's become a bit of a joke.

UPDATE: Kos notes that Ace Smith, maker of Clinton's primary wins in California and Texas, is headed to North Carolina to break Obama's back. Seems like a fool's errand to me. At least 30 percent of the voters will be black: Obama, winning that vote 8 to 1, will need only about 30 percent of the white vote to win it all. If North Carolina votes at all like the rest of the New South, Obama wins. (He scored about 50 percent of the white vote in Virginia and about 40 percent in Georgia, bottomed out in the 20s in the deeper South.) Clinton, knowing this, is using a press conference to say she wouldn't have stayed in Trinity United if SHE was Obama.

I'd bet on Obama anyway. The key to Clinton's Texas and California wins were the enormous mobilizations of Hispanic voters. In Texas, for example, Hispanics made up 24 percent of the vote in 2004 and 30 percent of the vote in 2008. North Carolina's only about 4 to 5 percent Hispanic, and the minority of them turn out to vote.

NEXT: If You Can't Beat 'Em, Regulate the Hell Out of 'Em

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  1. Whew, Obama had quite a scare with Hilary for a minute there. Scary as sniper fire.

  2. David,

    Your mockery and ridicule of John Edwards obviously arises from a need to mitigate your concealed chagrin over having supported the laughable candidacy of Ron Paul. Just admit you were duped and move on.

  3. Get out of my miiiiiiind!

  4. Dave, would it have hurt you so much to light a fire, and gather just a few laurel leaves?

  5. That’s crazy. I despise John Edwards but why do so many likely democratic voters despise him as well?? Is there any concrete reason (like a position) for it or is it just a rejection of his phony personality?

  6. Your mind is an open book, David. Not a very long one either.

  7. Dave Weigel | March 25, 2008, 2:21pm | #

    Get out of my miiiiiiind!

    ZING!

  8. He’s also recovered in the Rasmussen and Gallup daily polls.

    Once upon a time, RC Dean wrote, “One good thing about an Obama presidency is that it would shut up the ‘America is a racist nation’ crowd.”

    I replied that “there are a lot of “America is a racist nation’ crowds, and it would shut them all up.”

    RC didn’t quite get what I meant.

    This is what I meant, RC. The race-baiters on the right were just absolutely certain that they were going sink Barack Obama with a cut and paste video and some guilt by association arguments. Scary black guy! Scary black guy!

    Didn’t work. Do you know why it didn’t work?

    Because, while we’ve got problems in this country, it is not nearly as racist as those scumbags were assuming.

    God Bless America.

  9. I don’t think that the comment above is from the real David Weigel; the email address is wrong.

    BTW, anyone else reminded of the loud homophobia practiced by some latent/repressed homosexuals by Edward’s monomaniacal Ron Paul hate?

  10. Maybe Edwards can recommend a good hair stylist to Clinton. I wonder what Edwards pays for his haircuts?

  11. It’s really me, I just try to avoid posting my e-mail for fear of spam-harvesting.

  12. Hey Edward, your mind is a book too. I’m pretty sure I can get through it all in one dump.

  13. Dave,

    Do like I do. Sigh, I still get some spam, but at least I know it’s a human that found the email address.

  14. How could you tell if Obama was hurt or not? Clinton has shot herself in the foot so many times lately that Obama could be Client #8 and still maintain a lead. The real test of any non-criminal scandal will be whether it harms him in the general election.

    Did I say she shot herself in the foot? My mistake, it was them danged snipers.

  15. Good idea, Dave. You may be a simple-minded party-liner politically, but you’re pretty savvy about email.

  16. Sage, you’re are such a wit.

  17. Pro Lib,

    How could you tell if Obama was hurt or not?

    Because you can see it in the tracking polls. His numbers went down after the story broke, and started recovering the day after the Speech.

    Reliably and recognizeably, across muliple polls. They picked up something real.

  18. It’s really me, I just try to avoid posting my e-mail for fear of spam-harvesting.

    OK then.

    I thought your comeback was pretty funny.

  19. I suppose it’s possible that the trends just happened to coincide with the Wright story’s arc, but that story was a pretty big deal, and the correlation is too strong to ignore.

  20. Sage, you’re are such a wit.

    Huh. And you’re(sic) are such a troll. And not even a halfway good one.

  21. joe,

    We’ll see. I think it’s a liability during the general election, but it may be a minor one. If nothing else, the issue will die down considerably in the months between now and then.

    I wouldn’t put much stock in election polls. They are particularly unreliable during the primaries. Someone may vote favorably for one candidate today and for another candidate tomorrow. We definitely are a fickle species.

  22. Edward and Ron Paul sitting in a tree!

    Kay Eye Ess Ess Eye En Gee!

  23. This is what I meant, RC. The race-baiters on the right were just absolutely certain that they were going sink Barack Obama with a cut and paste video and some guilt by association arguments. Scary black guy! Scary black guy!
    Sure joe…if some of us don’t like Obama’s lefty ideals and think that his “preacher” is batshit crazy…we must be race-baiters.

  24. Lets see… Edwards 1) lost the nomination in 04 2) lost the veep race in 04 3) got crushed in 08…

    Maybe the dems look at him like the kiss of death. He’s like Al Gore but without a plausible excuse.

  25. Edwards, like Edward here, is so unpopular in NC he did not even contest his Senate seat as it was given he would lose if he did. Actually, no one has held on to that seat for more than one term in several election cycles.

    Dole–>Edwards–>Faircloth–>Sanford–>East(rip)

    Historically speaking, it may prove to be easy takings for the Democrats if the DNC cares to share the loot that is going towards getting the big prize.

  26. Forgot Broyhill in that line up, but it just goes to underline my point.

  27. Pro Libertate, the fact that this didn’t kill him outright is a big deal. This was supposed to win Hillary the nomination. The Fox people were talking about whether he had to drop out of the race.

    I wouldn’t put much stock in election polls. They are particularly unreliable during the primaries. They are most useful for seeing trends. The underlying numbers may have a high margin of error, but a robust trend line is usually reliable, since the same mistakes would be made with each sample’s data.

  28. Oh, Eric. I have no idea if you’re a race baiter.

    But if you don’t realize that this scandal was used for the purpose of race-baiting, then I don’t know what to tell you.

  29. That’s interesting, alan.

    Why do you think incubments have fared so poorly? That’s very unusual, especially for a Senate seat.

  30. Clinton is only up +10 in Rasmussen in PA too.

    If Obama wins PA, the Wright story will be gone for good because it will be obvious at least enough working class whites voted for him anyway.

  31. Jim Webb’s Senate seat here is “cursed” as well.

  32. It is difficult to pin point a single reason because often the election of a Senator goes against National Party trends, like when Faircloth won in 92 as a Republican candidate (note he was a life long Democrat up to ’91). Edwards won in ’98, that is explained by backlash to the impeachment scandal, and Clinton presiding over a prosperous and confident moment in American history. Also, many Republicans never grew to trust Faircloth.

    Edwards big screw up was failing to show up to vote for a very high percentage of the votes caste in the Senate (I would have to go back to check the actual numbers) making even
    Democratic partisans feel that they were not well represented by him.

  33. You can say it’s a fool’s errand – a very low chance of success – but what is she supposed to do? All of her options have a low probability of winning her the nomination.

    She’s heaving the ball from half court, because there’s only one second on the clock.

  34. I can’t speak for the state as a whole (I just moved here–but then again so has everybody else) but I am willing to go out on a limb and say Obama will win Durham something on the order of 65-35.

  35. It’s pretty clear that Fluffy the Trial Lawyer is just waiting for the winner to emerge, so that he can start begging for the veep position on the ticket.

    -jcr

  36. joe,

    Were the Rev. Wright tapes produced by the right-wing? From the timing, I assumed they came from the Clinton camp. The right wing play would be to sit on them until Obama had the nomination and then spring them.

    And overstating the racism of White America is really a liberal thing. I have heard from many Democrat friends that Obama cannot win the general election because anyone who isn’t a Democrat is a backwards, knuckle dragging, white sheet wearing racist.

  37. At least 30 percent of the voters will be black: Obama, winning that vote 8 to 1,

    Is anyone else reminded of Romney in Nevada? Assuming that the rest of the racial groups are voting for him in the 30-60% range (which I am admit to being unsure of, but am assuming from this article), shouldn’t this be the focus of the racism discussion? I’m not saying that it is racism, but isn’t it a better topic for discussion?

  38. No, it’s got to be the fake Dave. The real Dave would never have spelled Adonis incorrectly. Or was that the gansta spelling?

  39. Gimme Back My Dog,

    It’s getting so it’s tough to tell the difference, but I’ll note two things:

    1. the video came out the day after McCain got some bad press about Hagee and Parsley;

    2. the Clinton team was silent about them when they came out, but NOW she pipes up.

    The right wing play would be to sit on them until Obama had the nomination and then spring them. That’s just what they WANT you to think!!!!11!!!eleven 😉

    I dunno, maybe. My point was more about the people who’ve been flogging it, from some of our own commenters to righty media types.

    Heck, as far as I know, they footage we’ve been seeing over and over was put together by a nooz reporter just to be bombastic. I’m just talking about its reception.

    And I don’t doubt that there are people on the left who overstate the level of racism in this country.

  40. if you don’t realize that this scandal was used for the purpose of race-baiting, then I don’t know what to tell you.

    When all you have is a hammer…

    You really hate the Average Man in the Street that much, huh joe? You think we’re outraged over race and the “scary black people”.

    Get a grip.

  41. The real Dave would never have spelled Adonis incorrectly.

    Explanation: Here.

  42. The real Dave would never have spelled Adonis incorrectly.

    well, “Adonais” is the right spelling, at least WRT the Star Trek episode title.

  43. You really hate the Average Man in the Street that much, huh joe? You think we’re outraged over race and the “scary black people”.

    No, Randian, you’ve got it totally backwards.

    I didn’t think this was going to work. Certain people assumed a much higher level of racial gullibility among the general public than actually exists, and I’m gloating about how wrong they were.

  44. sixstring fails the Star Trek exam. You will not be accepted to Starfleet Academy, and will have to attend the Borg Institute of Technology instead.

    Additional points deducted for getting an Original Series question wrong.

  45. If Ron Paul endorsed Hillary Clinton, it would make me less likely to vote for her. If Mother Theresa endorsed Hillary Clinton, I’d be less likely to vote for her.

    In fact, I can’t think of an endorsement that wouldn’t make me less likely to vote for her.

    Oh, the sun rose in the east today, as such I’m less likely to vote for her.

  46. Whoa! Got my folklore/mythology gefungerated.

    You guys really watched that stuff? I really never saw the attraction.

  47. was that the gansta spelling?

    And, true to form, I prove joe’s law and out myself as a Non-Trekkie.

  48. joe – I just don’t believe that the progenitors of this whole thing are the malevolent racists you think they are, nor do I think that was the intent.

    You guys really watched that stuff?

    FUCK YES! What are you, kidding? That’s the one where Kirk seems to make it clear that the Federation is still Christian, after all.

  49. It comes from a Shelly poem called “Adonais”:

    * * *
    Who mourns for Adonais? Oh, come forth,
    Fond wretch! and know thyself and him aright.
    Clasp with thy panting soul the pendulous Earth;
    As from a centre, dart thy spirit’s light
    Beyond all worlds, until its spacious might
    Satiate the void circumference: then shrink
    Even to a point within our day and night;
    And keep thy heart light lest it make thee sink
    When hope has kindled hope, and lured thee to the brink.
    * * *

    There’s a lot more to this, but I didn’t want to overwhelm the blog.

  50. That’s the one where Kirk seems to make it clear that the Federation is still Christian, after all.

    Apollo: “I can give life or death. What else does mankind demand of its gods?”

    Kirk: “Mankind has no need for gods. We find the one quite adequate.”

  51. Sorry, Shelley.

  52. Episiarch,

    Could be Ahura Mazda.

  53. Right, the Keats eulogy. I had forgotten. I thought the reference was to that fella Aphrodite was all aflutter over.

  54. Pro, yes, it only refers to monotheism, not Christianity. I was merely springboarding off Randian’s comment.

  55. Apollo: “I can give life or death. What else does mankind demand of its gods?”

    Kirk: “Mankind has no need for gods. We find the one quite adequate.”

    Then, he throws his chair out of the Winner’s Circle, after blowing the category “Things That Are Blessed”.

  56. Holy shit, EJM. I am a fan of all of Shatner’s worst moments, movies, etc. and I didn’t know about that. AWESOME.

  57. We can now see the place Shatner went to when he yelled, “KHHHHAAAANNN!!” in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.

  58. I am a fan of all of Shatner’s worst moments, movies, etc. and I didn’t know about that.

    There’s a separate clip of him alone in the Winner’s Circle a few years earlier.

  59. This episode is problematic for me. My first problem is Barack goes to church. He’s a politician, so I might have to let that one pass. But, he subjects his kids to child abuse at the hands of some moron preacher who believes and teaches the congregation the government of the U.S. of KKKA knew about Pearl Harbor, invented AIDS to kill blacks, and brings crack into the cities to sell to black people. (Apparently, the white people smoking crack are getting their from some non-government source) These are some pretty ignorant beliefs. Reverend Wright is institutionalizing failure. That doesn’t seem like something Barack should have been embracing. Maybe given Barack’s privileged life, he felt this was just what he needed to compensate for his lack of street cred with the terminally ignorant. If only he could say so.

    I wasn’t gonna vote socialist anyway….

  60. Come on guys, no Dem candidate can afford to pass up John Edwards’ limitless talent, expertise, and experience. He’s a lock for Secretary of Primping.

  61. I wasn’t gonna vote socialist anyway….

    I think, for the people that actually care about Wright, thats probably the most common statement.

  62. I am just totally mystified by joe’s completely out-of-the-blue post at 2:30.

    Are you saying that the anti-black racists are one of the crowds saying that America is a racist nation? That they’re accusing themselves of racism?

    Are you saying that Obama’s election would shut up the anti-black racists? Why on earth would his election either (a) convince them not to be racists or (b) convince them to shut up about it?

    What does any of this have to do with the Breck Girl’s potential endorsement of Hillary?

    Are you trying to argue that, in a heavily black state like NC, we should be comforted that Obama’s polls have recovered based on his (a) refusal to repudiate his racially divisive pastor (b) justification of racially divisive rhetoric as the legitimate product of resentment and (c) moral equivocation? You find that a good thing? I don’t. It makes me wonder just how widespread support for nutters like Wright really is in the black community.

  63. Cesar | March 25, 2008, 6:12pm | #

    I wasn’t gonna vote socialist anyway….

    I think, for the people that actually care about Wright, thats probably the most common statement.

    Exactly. To determine if Wright is a problem, you have to determine if the videos of him actually change anybody’s vote in the general election eight months from now. If the videos surfaced a week before the election, maybe. But the people who still give a shit about him in eight months were probably mostly, or entirely, going to be voting for McCain no matter what.

  64. RC, hes come up in PA too.

  65. Joe, it’s not “guilt by association” if someone’s acknowledged spiritual mentor of decades is a raving, hate-filled loon. It’s also not “race-baiting” to expose a raving, hate-filled loon for what he is, even if he’s black.

    Obama’s “post-racial” mask no longer works for anyone who isn’t blinded by ideology. His chosen church was run by someone who’s the very antithesis of “post-racial.” Obama either believes the disgusting tenets of “black liberation theology,” or he does not. If he doesn’t, why belong to that church?

    I await the first reporter brave enough to ask him about the works of James Cone.

    Regardless of the polls of the moment, the Wright flap and his response (tossing Grandma under the bus, “typical white person”) is a gash below his waterline that he can’t repair or explain away. Sooner or later it will sink him. He’s just Jesse Jackson with better patter.

  66. I’m not sure about these electoral victories. If Obama beats HRC in a Democratic primary in a place like Virginia or NC I’m just not impressed. I mean, sure, in Virginia or NC African Americans are 18% of the population, which makes them like 40% of the Democratic voters in the state. So winning a Dem primary is a lock. But in a general election swinging all 18% of that vote leaves one still quite short. So I don’t see him winning any of those Southern states. Not a one…

  67. Papaya-

    No one who was voting for Obama before isn’t voting for him now. Sorry, the polls reflect that.

    No one’s going to give a flying shit about James Cone who I’m pretty sure is dead.

  68. MNG,
    Yeah, but winning states like Wisconsin and Iowa are pretty impressive. Using the same logic, Clinton winning Texas and California with her strength among Hispanics is hardly impressive. Especially since losing CA and winning TX are impossible for the Dem unless it’s a complete ass kicking.

    As for Wright, pretty much everyone who uses him as a reason to oppose Obama already opposes him. If Wright is the reason you change your vote, you’re a freaking moron.

    By the way, I love how people think the government creating AIDS, knowing about Pearl Harbor or the CIA selling crack is considered batshit crazy.

    The only one that’s really out there is the AIDS theory. However, considering the Tuskegee experiments happened in Wrights lifetime, it’s hardly way out there. There’s evindence the CIA trafficked cocaine as part of the Iran-Contra scandal, so there’s some truth to that. And the Pearl Harbor theory is one that’s held by a non-negligible amount of mainstream historians.

    I completely disagree with his theology and racist beliefs, but he’s no worse than the Falwells and Robertsons of the world. God damn America is as bad as we deserved 9-11 because of homosexuals and feminists. Wright’s a kook, but basically a black version of mainstream white kooks.

  69. The CIA did sell drugs in urban black neighborhoods. Hate to break it to you.

  70. RC Dean, I’ll explain it again, just for you. Because we’ve got history.

    I’m saying that the people flogging this story to try to knock out Obama were assuming they could light a racial panic among the the American people, and it failed.

    And it failed, because the American people aren’t, on the whole, the racist dupes the Obama-bashers assumed they were.

    The “America is a racist nation crowd” – there’s more than one of them, and one of them just got schooled.

  71. Racist beliefs?

    From HIllary Clinton’s former paster, a white Methodist who knows Jeremiah Wright a hell of a lot better than any of us:

    The Reverend Jeremiah Wright is an outstanding church leader whom I have heard speak a number of times. He has served for decades as a profound voice for justice and inclusion in our society. He has been a vocal critic of the racism, sexism and homophobia which still tarnish the American dream. To evaluate his dynamic ministry on the basis of two or three sound bites does a grave injustice to Dr. Wright, the members of his congregation, and the African-American church which has been the spiritual refuge of a people that has suffered from discrimination, disadvantage, and violence. Dr. Wright, a member of an integrated denomination, has been an agent of racial reconciliation while proclaiming perceptions and truths uncomfortable for some white people to hear. Those of us who are white Americans would do well to listen carefully to Dr. Wright rather than to use a few of his quotes to polarize.

    We’ve been lied to people. They edited together a few out of context statements to mislead us about a good man, and some people just won’t come out of the dark.

  72. MNG,

    Obama got more votes in the SC primary than McCain and Huckabee combined. Don’t count him out in the south.

  73. “We’ve been lied to people. They edited together a few out of context statements to mislead us about a good man, and some people just won’t come out of the dark.”

    I suppose that’s possible – I’d have to buy all Rev. Wright’s sermons to get the full context – and there are other things I would prefer to spend money on.

    The thing is, I kind of like Sen. Obama – insofar as I can like a Demopublican Congressman – and I wouldn’t want to think of the Senator as a backstabber who sold out a “good man” who was also a good friend, just to pick up a few white votes.

  74. Not that there’s anything wrong with white votes, just that I hope the Senator didn’t do anything dishonorable in order to get them.

    Don’t get me wrong, some of my best friends are white honky cracker devils.

  75. I have been thinking over the Wright/Obama thing.

    I have decided Obama is innocent. BO’s relationship to Wright is annoying, but I believe BO when he says that he disagrees with Wright on Wright’s insanities.

    If I can forgive BO, then anybody can. I am convinced he will beat HRC and take the Dem nomination. I think he will also win the presidency, but the margin will be very slim.

  76. But, he subjects his kids to child abuse at the hands of some moron preacher who believes and teaches the congregation the government of the U.S. of KKKA knew about Pearl Harbor, invented AIDS to kill blacks, and brings crack into the cities to sell to black people. (Apparently, the white people smoking crack are getting their from some non-government source) These are some pretty ignorant beliefs. Reverend Wright is institutionalizing failure. That doesn’t seem like something Barack should have been embracing. Maybe given Barack’s privileged life, he felt this was just what he needed to compensate for his lack of street cred with the terminally ignorant. If only he could say so.

    Having now read the thread, I have to agree with BBS’s quote above.

    For BO to subject his own kids to Wright’s propaganda seems to be terrible judgment.

  77. wayne,

    If you go onto You Tube, you can find Wright’s sermons.

    Don’t believe the hype. The man is not a hater or a racist. He’s just an over-the-top clergyman who believes some crazy sh*t about the government.

  78. Mad Max,

    How is “I love him like a member of my family, and understand where he’s coming from, even though I disagree with him” a stab in the back?

  79. So all you guys defending Obama, what were your thoughts on the Ron Paul contoversy? See any parallels?

  80. contrarian,
    The big difference is that Wright’s rants weren’t called the “Barack Obama Report” nor published in Obama’s name. Also, Paul wouldn’t even say who published that trash.

    Disclosure: I voted for Ron Paul after the Ron Paul controversy.

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