The Montana/South Dakota Primary Thread: I Will Liveblog No More Forever

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As of this morning, there were 197 delegate votes left in the Democratic race. One hundred and sixty-six of them belong to superdelegates. Thirty-one will be parcelled out to the winners of South Dakota and Montana. As Marc Ambinder reminds us, there are more senators and congressmen who have yet to endorse (most from states Obama won) than delegates at stake in these two states. Nonetheless, Hillary Clinton is trying to end the race with a final humiliation for Obama, taking a popular vote victory in South Dakota, home of Obama turnout guru Steve Hildebrand, early Obama endorser Tom Daschle, and Clinton-to-Obama turncoat George McGovern. It's the political equivalent of Lucia Rijker sucker-punching Hilary Swank after the bell in Million Dollar Baby, except, you know, without all that crippling. So:

9 p.m.— South Dakota. The Democrats: An Obama loss here would be equally shocking and irrelevant to Obama's chances at defeating Clinton. But the conventional wisdom has shifted in the last 48 hours, having nothing to do with events and everything to do with a few polls. American Research Group (a pollster with a fairly rotten record this year) has predicted a 24-point Clinton win, with the state's demographics, the inability of independent voters to cross over, and the bitter, clingy older female vote buffering Clinton's weeks of campaigning. Obama made a tactical decision to spend more time campaigning in November swing states than these final primaries, counting on his media buys and (truly great) field team to turn out enough votes to win comfortably. He has nine field offices; she has six. He ignored his eastern South Dakota base in his final weekend push, campaigning in the west, suggesting that he understands where Clinton is trying to overcome that advantage. She's going to be in New York tonight, shrinking her campaign staff, hunkering down to become the Hubert Humphrey '72-esque candidate of desperation if something terrible happens to Obama.

Nonetheless, we might be heading for an excruciatingly long night of counting to see whether Obama gets eight delegates or seven delegates, all while dozens of supers are endorsing him. I think it'll end up Obama 52, Clinton 48, simply because Upper Midwest white Democrats have always supported him, and because his team understands South Dakota GOTV better than hers does. We'll know before polls close, from the early exits, whether I'm wrong. What proportion of Clinton voters would never vote for Obama? How old is the electorate? (If Obama does lose, it's the latest case of the candidate making a long-term tactical decision that's 50 IQ points smarter than the TV networks and their "look what color this state is!" maps. See also him sorta-ditching California for the small caucus states and going for the delegate win on Feb. 5.)

The Republicans: John McCain will fail to crack 80 percent again, as Romney, Huckabee, and Paul all remain on the ballot here.

10 p.m.—Montana. The Democrats: The clearest sign that Obama will romp home here was the vote that happened next door, in Idaho, two weeks ago. Obama had already won the state's delegates in the Feb. 5 caucus, but Idaho had Clinton, Obama, "none of the names shown," and an anonymous felon on the ballot for Democrats who came out to vote in the federal and state primaries. In a vacuum, with no campaigning, Obama beat Clinton by 18 points. That's a good barometer of what will happen in Montana, another state with no party registration (Obamacans and independents can cross over) and a liberal-leaning, populist Democratic base with its strongest support in small cities and college towns.

The Republicans: We could see Ron Paul's best vote percentage here. Thirty percent? It's possible. He got 25 percent of the caucus votes on Feb. 5, coming in second to Mitt Romney, winning Missoula, winning 11 counties overall. McCain, Paul and "no preference" are all on the ballot this time, so I wouldn't be shocked if McCain falls below 70 percent for the first time since March.

Something else I haven't heard many people talk about in the Democratic race: Not all of the remaining superdelegates will make a public endorsement. It's not in their interest to, because they'll be running for office (or even re-election) in places where Barack Obama will lose by a landslide, and they don't want to suffer from the connection any more than they have to.

This isn't unusual. In 2004, Rep. Stephanie Herseth-Sandlin of South Dakota was boxed in by her GOP opponent on whether she'd vote for John Kerry in the Electoral College. She said she wouldn't. Based on the NYT's survey of superdelegates I'd expect at least a dozen congressmen and senators to never go on the record. Since Clinton needs more than 90 percent of the remaining supers, that's basically the ball game.

6:01: Early exits from Fox News make it look like Obama's winning Montana: Most voters "would be satisfied" with him as the nominee, and Clinton's winning seniors by only 11 points. South Dakota looks closer, with late-deciders breaking roughly 3-2 for Clinton and slightly more saying Clinton "reflects their values." Voters are tied on who's more electable; Obama's tied with men and losing women. At the least, that late poll showing Clinton crushing Obama in South Dakota looks like garbage.

6:29: Weird. South Dakota Sen. Tim Johnson (a fairly early Obama endorser) says he'll switch his superdelegate vote to Clinton if she wins his state. This as… you know… Obama clinches the nomination.

7:01: MSNBC is running a silly "popular vote" chyron. Shouldn't somebody point out that all but three (Gravel, Kucinich, Biden) of the ex-candidates have endorsed Obama? If Clinton ties in these final states, she'll win 48 percent of the vote from primaries, Michigan included, compared to about 51 percent for Obama or people who endorsed Obama, and 1 percent for "uncommitted" or the also-rans.

7:08: In other news, the GOP's prize recruit in the Massachusetts Senate race—Jim Ogonowski, whose brother died on 9/11—failed to gather enough signatures to make the ballot. John Kerry will win re-election by at least 20 points. It was a huge, stupid mistake for the party to convince Ogonowski to make this race instead of a rematch for the House seat he almost won.

8:17: Anecdote time: The supermarket in my gentrifying D.C. neighborhood is sold out of champagne. Sexists!

8:30: Here's Obama's speech, in full, at Drudge's homestead.

We've certainly had our differences over the last sixteen months. But as someone who's shared a stage with her many times, I can tell you that what gets Hillary Clinton up in the morning—even in the face of tough odds—is exactly what sent her and Bill Clinton to sign up for their first campaign in Texas all those years ago; what sent her to work at the Children's Defense Fund and made her fight for health care as First Lady; what led her to the United States Senate and fueled her barrier-breaking campaign for the presidency—an unyielding desire to improve the lives of ordinary Americans, no matter how difficult the fight may be. And you can rest assured that when we finally win the battle for universal health care in this country, she will be central to that victory. When we transform our energy policy and lift our children out of poverty, it will be because she worked to help make it happen. Our party and our country are better off because of her, and I am a better candidate for having had the honor to compete with Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Shorter Obama:

Good theater from McCain: He's brought Gov. Bobby Jindal onstage at his bracketing speech in Louisiana.

8:40: Man, McCain never looks worse than when he has to stand up and give a speech right before Barack Obama does. "Hey, so you like soaring rhetoric and surging crowds? Try some serviceable rhetoric and small rooms of rather excited people!"

8:42: McCain defines change down: All that scary change is making Americans worried that a Strong Leader won't protect them. "We have let history run away with government's ability to keep up with it!"

8:46: McCain plays the Hermann Goering game: Obama's claim that McCain is running for Bush's third term is a big lie.

8:49: The crowd seems confused about how loud to cheer when McCain criticizes Bush.

8:51: Ah, we've got another 5 months of McCain campaigning on the surge. This strikes me as risky. "I know Americans are tired of this war." It's all about his unbreakable will and character, and about the lack thereof in the mortals who oppose him.

8:55: On paper, I think this is actually a good argument. Obama's the candidate of reactionary Jimmy Carter-ism. Got it. McCain, the maverick, floats over all of this, scoffing at both parties. Now that Obama's finished Clinton and can pivot back away from the muckier special interests, though, I don't think it'll stick.

9:01: I'll be damned, the early exits have Clinton winning South Dakota on the strength of the female vote. Just as… uh… she loses the nomination.

9:04: It's no longer very interesting which demographic groups are going for who (although Obama seems to be winning the Native American vote), but 35 percent of people think "Obama leaving Trinity" was an issue, and they broke 2-1 for Clinton.

9:15: The South Dakota result will be an interesting footnote. This may or may not be relevant, but Mike Madigan, the Democratic fixer in the Illinois legislature, knew (in 2004, I think) that he'd have a majority no matter what voters decided. In order to make sure the liberals in the party didn't build a big enough majority to overthrow him, he pulled resources from a few tight races and purporsefully won a smaller Democratic conference. Obama seems to have been doing something similar, spending a minimal amount of time in the final primaries to 1) lower their importance, 2) concentrate on November swing states and 3) not rub salt in Hillary's wounds.

9:40: Clinton's speech is partly about twisting the knife into Obama, partly about backing away, the only way she can: Egomaniacally. Big up for the comparison of Hillary votes to (good Christian!) prayers.

9:43: "I know a lot of people are thinking: What does Hillary want?" Technically true, but still, argh.

9:46: See? She's winding it down. Thus begins her "wait in the wings in case Obama implodes" campaign.

9:49: There's way too much past tense and "I'll carry this with me for the rest of my life" for me to interpret her bluster as anything but cover for her campaign exit.

9:58: Liberals (like Matt Yglesias) are furious that Clinton didn't concede, that she deployed all of her anti-Obama arguments (voters want a person that can handle the job!). I still think she's just gracelessly conceding. It's been a long time since a Clinton lost something. They don't know how to do it.

10:00: Montana goes for Obama. Exits suggest it'll be at least a 10-point win. (And remember, in Democratic races, the "uncommitted" vote doesn't matter unless "uncommitted" hits 15 percent. If it doesn't the votes are re-weighted to the top finishers.)

10:07: I went to HillaryClinton.com, like the lady asked me, and I see a form to put in my name, e-mail address, zip code, and message of support. Basically, it's a fundraising gimmick.

10:32: Everyone else is using their triteness token to say it, so I'll say it: I'm glad I'm here to see a black man nominated for president of the United States.

12:02: Murray Sabrin has lost the New Jersey Senate primary in a landslide. Too bad.

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  1. RonPaul is still running for president? Thirty percent??? Gosh, too bad [insert entire sad Orange Line tale here].

    Here’s my prediction for the general election. Hint: start compiling a list of BHO’s supporters now for before they start editing things.

    Libertarians who think this through might figure out that Hill is better than McCain, and it’s not too difficult for them to help that come about by going to a BHO appearance, asking him the questions the MSM is too corrupt to ask, and then uploading his response to Youtube. So, why isn’t anyone doing that?

  2. I Will Liveblog No More Forever

    Why? They canceled the general election?

  3. F-ing Woo!

  4. So, why isn’t anyone doing that?

    Speaking only for myself, I’ll be at Boston Market, eating some of that sweet potato casserole. You don’t know what you’re missing.

  5. .. don’t forget that the New Mexico Republican primary is today, too .. I’ve already cast my worthless vote for Ron Paul ..

    .. the big race in this state this time is to see who will fill retiring Senator Pete Domenici’s seat .. all three of our current Congresscritters are vying for the position, which means we’ll have totally new representatives next time around, too…

    .. it seems to me that the two Republicans in the Senate race are a male and female clone of GWB .. I can’t see a photon of daylight between the two of them but it doesn’t matter because I wouldn’t vote for either of them ..

    .. the lone Democrat for the Senate seat is Tom Udall, whom I have gleefully voted against for many, many years .. his unopposed run in ’04 made me consider running myself (glad I didn’t tho) ..

    … Hobbit

  6. Orange Line Special | June 3, 2008, 6:21pm | #

    So, why isn’t anyone doing that?

    Sigh.

    For the upteenth fuckin time = BECAUSE YOU ARE A FUCKING IDIOT

    As a side note, there is the possibility Hilary will not dominate the airwaves for the next four years.

    I will drink to that. Here’s to Lonewacko! Cheers, for making any idea you propose loathsome to sane people. Including your late and recent endorsement of kamakazi strategies to bring the Hildabeast to power.

    Ahh.

    Now you can go fuck yourself. And/Or go back to the MexicanPower schtick. It’s fun for people to watch.

  7. reason sucks

  8. I wonder if those who post “Reason sucks” realize that every time they do, they’re generating ad revenue for Reason.

  9. I wonder if those who post “Reason sucks” realize that every time they do, they’re generating ad revenue for Reason.

    Of course! The Weig is giving me a cut of the ad take!

    Reason sucks!
    Reason sucks?
    Reason sucks!

  10. A black guy just won the nomination of one of the major parties to become the next President of the United States.

    It’s the greatest upset in American political history.

    Hooray!

  11. “Hooray!”

    Yeah, all else being equal, that’s pretty damn cool.

    It would be a lot cooler if the Dems had nominated a black (small l) libertarian.

    And if I had a magic flying pony whose tears were fine bourbon and whose turds were death-lasers aimed at my enemies.

    But back here in reality, it’s nice to see. And skin color and gender aside, for my money he’s better than Clinton (or McCain), so that’s nice too.

  12. Good theater from McCain: He’s brought Gov. Bobby Jindal onstage at his bracketing speech in Louisiana.

    Did they pose with a birthday cake?

  13. John McCain just called Hillary Clinton “my friend”.

    No, I’m not making this up.

  14. McCain is going get so up-staged tonight by both Hillary and Obama.

  15. comrade joe writes: A black guy just won the nomination of one of the major parties to become the next President of the United States.

    Discussing why JohnEdwards was too white and too male and what happens when BHO loses or is forced to drop out is probably too complex for this site to discuss, so let’s not bother.

  16. John Edwards wasn’t too white or too male. He was just too much of a massive tool.

  17. I am just happy that no matter who wins, we will finally have a president who speaks without a drawl.

  18. “Discussing why JohnEdwards was too white and too male and what happens when BHO loses or is forced to drop out is probably too complex for this site to discuss, so let’s not bother.”

    Yes, instead let’s discuss your many psychoses that lead you to post your brainless drivel here in the face of almost unanimous scorn. Tell us about your childhood, Lonewacko. And don’t forget to tape it and put it up on youtube!

  19. We may end up with someone who says “my friends” every five seconds.

    Seriously, McCain needs to stop saying that. And stop his winking.

  20. A black guy just won the nomination of one of the major parties to become the next President of the United States.

    So the fuck what?

  21. I am so sick of this election already. It seems like these people have been campaigning for years. Can we just vote now and get this over with? What the difference anyway? We’re are either going to get a socialist jerkoff or a totalitarian jerkoff.

  22. Oh dear God… the people in the crowd don’t even know when to boo or clap (they do it both at the same time)… this is sad.

    … or were they saying “Boo-urns”

  23. It sounds like he is speaking at a retirement home. Now, that hillary is almost done, he is hoping to pick up the old geezer’s vote

  24. AR, its a big deal because it would have been impossible for someone like Obama to even have been allowed to eat inside a restraunt within living memory in good deal of the country.

  25. “So the fuck what?”

    You don’t find it at least a little heartening that this country is capable of nominating a black guy as presidential candidate for one of its two major parties? Something that was unthinkable not that long ago?

    Not that he should be nominated because he’s black, but it strikes me as a very good thing that his skin color didn’t disqualify him, as it would have through much of last century.

  26. 6:29: Weird. South Dakota Sen. Tim Johnson (a fairly early Obama endorser) says he’ll switch his superdelegate vote to Clinton if she wins his state. This as… you know… Obama clinches the nomination.

    Dude did have a brain injury recently.

  27. While Lonewacko is way, way too white, I don’t think he’ll ever be accused of being too male.

    GILMORE, what’s the term I’m looking for? It’s right on the tip of my tongue…

  28. You don’t find it at least a little heartening that this country is capable of nominating a black guy as presidential candidate for one of its two major parties?

    No, because I don’t care about race.

  29. You don’t find it at least a little heartening that this country is capable of nominating a black guy as presidential candidate for one of its two major parties? Something that was unthinkable not that long ago?

    I think Ayn Randian does find that heartening, but he’s been so brainwashed that he feels guilty about feeling happy.

    Fucking hence, the fucking bad fucking mood.

    It’s ok, dude. You’re allowed to be happy that racism is receding, even if you requires you to drop the Stephen Colbert “I don’t SEE race” act.

  30. The Bearded Hobbit | June 3, 2008, 6:43pm | #
    .. don’t forget that the New Mexico Republican primary is today, too .. I’ve already cast my worthless vote for Ron Paul ..

    .. the big race in this state this time is to see who will fill retiring Senator Pete Domenici’s seat .. all three of our current Congresscritters are vying for the position, which means we’ll have totally new representatives next time around, too…

    Well, then, Obama will just have to ask Jeff Bingaman to be his vice-president.

  31. Syd | June 3, 2008, 9:28pm | #

    Well, then, Obama will just have to ask Jeff Bingaman to be his vice-president.

    .. excellent!! .. clear the whole slate!

    .. Hobbit

  32. Not that AR needs any defending, but quite frankly, screw off!

    It is heartening that an African American is major party nominee. But I, like AR, would not be impressed if in 2008(!) America gets its first African American nominee! It is the freaking 21st century already!

  33. “No, because I don’t care about race.”

    It’s not about caring about race, it’s about caring about racism. Or more specifically, appreciating that something just happened that would not have been possible not too long ago due to racism. The fact that it’s possible now is a good thing for this country.

    Pretending this doesn’t mean anything in the name of being color-blind just strikes me as really silly.

  34. I think Ayn Randian does find that heartening, but he’s been so brainwashed that he feels guilty about feeling happy.

    Armchair psychologizing is beneath you, joe.

    You’re allowed to be happy that racism is receding, even if you requires you to drop the Stephen Colbert “I don’t SEE race” act.

    I never said I didn’t see it, joe. I said I don’t care. And the only reason that racism HAS receded is the increasing number of people who don’t care about race. Hence why I don’t like:

    The Congressional Black Caucus (the racist suggesting that all black congresspeople have some common cause based on the color of their skin)
    The KKK
    The Black Panthers (now defunct, I know)
    Nazis
    etc. etc. etc.

    I judge people based on their character. you know, the anti-racist, pro-individualist position to take.

  35. “But I, like AR, would not be impressed if in 2008(!) America gets its first African American nominee! It is the freaking 21st century already!”

    Sure, so it’s better late than never. How in the world is it not a good thing, and something worth celebrating, that it’s possible for a black man to be a major party nominee for president?

  36. Sparky, as I said… I am actually overjoyed. I truly think this will improve or at least positively influence race relations in the country, hopefully a step towards eliminating racial tensions altogether. I was just pissed off at throwing the “racism” thing at AR.

  37. “I judge people based on their character. you know, the anti-racist, pro-individualist position to take.”

    It has nothing to do with our wanting to judge Obama based on his race vs. his character. It has everything to do with appreciating the fact that enough other people share your view that it’s now possible for a black man to be a major party nominee for president, when that clearly would not have happened not that many years ago. You honestly don’t think that’s something worth celebrating?

  38. How in the world is it not a good thing, and something worth celebrating, that it’s possible for a black man to be a major party nominee for president?

    Because I don’t believe it was ever impossible, or unlikely, in my lifetime. That’s my perspective. If you want to claim that prior to 1983, America was a fanatically racist nation, that’s on you.

    Also, I am not looking forward to being secretly hated and have the Two-Minutes Guilt Trip put upon me when Barack loses. (although that’s tangential to the issue).

  39. Not knowing it was joe, I personally found this statement:

    A black guy just won the nomination of one of the major parties to become the next President of the United States.

    racist. That joe said (and since I know joe’s position) changes the meaning, but at face value this is an offensive remark. That’s one reason why I agree with AR’s response. The other reason is simply that from previous conversations with AR, I know exactly what he means and the sincerity and honesty of his comment.

  40. “I was just pissed off at throwing the “racism” thing at AR.”

    I don’t think joe did throw the “racism” thing at AR, if by that you mean suggesting he was racist. And I certainly didn’t. I guess I’m just baffled by the “I don’t care about race” response, because Obama’s nominations suggests to me that more people share that view than in the past, which I would think AR, you, joe, me, and a lot of other people would agree is a very good thing, and something worth acknowledging.

  41. sparky – I agree with you on the point that “less people caring about race is a good thing”. on that point, we have no issue.

    What simultaneously saddens me was the percentage of the black vote that went to Barack in this primary (and will undoubtedly in the general); that tells me that racism still is alive and well in this country.

  42. Good God she just jumped the shark. She invoked 9/11.

  43. If I wanted it, it is likely I could have got a major party nomination almost a decade ago.

  44. I agree with you on the point that “less people caring about race is a good thing”.

    Me too. Again, not knowing it was joe, his comment was very offensive. I actually expect chalupa is back or something.

  45. Grand Chalupa, that is. If you know of him/her/it.

  46. “Because I don’t believe it was ever impossible, or unlikely, in my lifetime. That’s my perspective.”

    My perspective is that at the start of my lifetime (1975), I think it would have been extremely unlikely. Not long before that it would have been for all practical purposes impossible. I’m very happy that’s no longer the case.

    In any case, I’m heading home. Have a good night, AR, Ali, joe and everyone else.

  47. I pity you, A.R.

    I’m sorry you can’t appreciate something good when you see it.

    I’m glad I’m not you. I’m glad I don’t carry such twisted guilt around with me.

  48. “Good God she just jumped the shark. She invoked 9/11.”

    Except when Republicans invoke 9/11, they appeal to your fears. She was making the point about strength and resilience of American People.

  49. What simultaneously saddens me was the percentage of the black vote that went to Barack in this primary (and will undoubtedly in the general); that tells me that racism still is alive and well in this country.

    On NPR’s On Point yesterday, a listener supporter of Clinton actually went on the air saying that he won’t vote for Obama, but instead will vote for McCain. The way he said it came across as saying “its because he’s african american”. So, AR, the problem is definitely on both sides.

  50. I’m sorry but after Rudy 9/11 references just look tacky and tasteless in just about all political contexts.

  51. Joe-when the polls months earlier show an even split for HRC or Barak, but when it comes down to the vote Barak gets 90% Of the black vote, it’s just a sign of what is f*cked up in politics in the US today. A-r is right. Just admit it.

  52. “The way he said it came across as saying “its because he’s african american”. So, AR, the problem is definitely on both sides.”

    Not even close, though it would be nice. Blacks broke 85% or more for Barak, while whites, as usual, split in many interesting ways.

  53. I pity you, A.R.

    I’m sorry you can’t appreciate something good when you see it.

    I’m glad I’m not you. I’m glad I don’t carry such twisted guilt around with me.

    joe, seriously, I have no idea what you’re talking about. I don’t feel guilty about anything. And I just said that I think “less people seeing race” is a good thing.

    Ali – yes, but not to the extent. Yes, there are some people who are white who will not vote for Obama because he’s black. However, nine out of 10 black voters will (in all likelihood) vote for Barack. It would be delusional to say that it’s because all of those people just happen to agree with Obama.

    I think some of this, of course, can be attributed to white racism, which drove black people together for protection (in part), but still…not good.

  54. Screw that.

    I’m happy I live in a country where a black person can be elected president, and I’m going to celebrate that.

    I want it to happen as soon as possible, and I’m not remotely embarrassed about that.

    I am absolutely thrilled at the fact that this has happened, that this can happen, and I don’t begrudge anyone for how much they want it.

  55. AR- There is a lot of education that still needs to be done still. I guess. It is sad, but tonight is historic, no doubt about it.

  56. “libertarian/individualistic/independent” education, that is.

  57. I don’t feel guilty about anything. And I just said that I think “less people seeing race” is a good thing.

    Uh huh. And yet, when you see someone else expressing joy at this recession of racism, you start swearing.

    I’m sorry you won’t let yourself be happy about this.

  58. Blacks are the equivalent of the GOP religious right. They are predicable, unnaunced, boring, dogmatic, taking for granted…

  59. I’m not going to get psychologically trolled by you, joe.

    If I express that I do not feel guilty, you give me a sarcastic “uh huh…SURE you aren’t!” and if I say I do feel guilty, you’d say “TOLD YA SO!”

    There’s no winning that argument. It’s the argument of a child.

  60. “I’m happy I live in a country where a black person can be elected president, and I’m going to celebrate that.”

    Joe, that is a losing attitude if I ver saw one. HRC is a terrible candidate, but better thean bHo by much. Many liberals ask themselves” “wouldn’t it be great if black man won the presidency?” Well, this guy with virtually no experience is not the one!

  61. Question: Is Obama reading from a teleprompter now, or is it spontaneous? seriously, a lot of hollow stuff is being said, but, damn, he is a good orator!

  62. “a very good thing that his skin color didn’t disqualify him”

    But then it could just mean that a sufficient number of people who are sexist or just really hate Hillary. Please count me in the latter group and the group which would vomit at the words, Supreme Court Justice Bill Clinton.

  63. seriously, a lot of hollow stuff is being said, but, damn, he is a good orator!

    That’s ALL he ever says! He’s the esteemed Senator Empty Suit from Illinois, nominated because he orates well.

    good-ness.

  64. That’s ALL he ever says! He’s the esteemed Senator Empty Suit from Illinois, nominated because he orates well.

    I hear that a lot, but is Obama really that much more vague than any other candidate? I don’t think so.

  65. Adamness- definitely! They’re all hollow empty suites (I still can’t figure out what’s bloating McCain though).

  66. Adamness – there’s no way to judge that, but from my perspective, Barack Obama is not only frustratingly more vague than most politicians, he also has some kind of mystifying, Svengali-like ability to make the stupid swoon.

  67. Hey, what about equal time for Barr! 🙂

  68. “Svengali-like ability to make the stupid swoon.”

    That should be a familiar concept to you, based on your screen name

  69. You know, if you’re sitting on a bench in downtown Boston, and you see a unicorn walk by, you might remark on that fact.

    And if you’re someone who really, really thinks Boston would be a better place if there were unicorns, and who had hoped and worked for efforts to turn Boston into a unicorn-friendly place, and you saw a unicorn walk by, you might not just remark on it. You might shout, “Yes! Yes! There’s a unicorn!”

    There are some people who try to make you feel guilty about wanting there to be unicorns. You should just not notice. But, of course, if you see a unicorn, you notice. Because, you know, you’ve never seen one before, and hoped that you would.

    MNG, you don’t play not to lose. You don’t play a prevent defense. You play to win.

  70. oh lcl, it is to laugh.

    how long did the tiny gears in your head churn to come up with that one?

    cheap swipes at Ayn Rand. There’s something you don’t see everyday. “FLASH! Dog bites man!”

  71. Adamness – there’s no way to judge that, but from my perspective, Barack Obama is not only frustratingly more vague than most politicians, he also has some kind of mystifying, Svengali-like ability to make the stupid swoon.

    Eh, I think he puts out the typical vagueness of a politician, but his flowery language and good speaking skills might makes it seem like he’s not ‘saying’ anything. Compare what he’s been saying and that of Hillary or McCain, and I don’t think you can really say one is more specific on a particular issue than another. That has nothing to do with them being right, but the level of detail is about the same.

    I certainly don’t support Obama, but I find it interesting how his oratory is working against him.

  72. I wonder if the debate between Obama and McCain will echo that of Kennedy and Nixon.

  73. HRC is a terrible candidate, but better thean bHo by much.

    If she’s better than Obama, then why did she lose? (i’m not kidding)

    Hillary’s ‘experience’ argument is way overated. She’s been elected to office exactly twice, on name recognition alone.

    Seriously, has she been personally successful in anything but the senate elections themselves other than raising a daughter? (which don’t get me wrong, is a noble achievement).

    Her ‘experience’ in her husband’s adminstration was an unmtitigated disaster for her professional goals. She has try to set herself up as foreign/military policy expert while in the senate – how has that worked out?
    (Yes, Bush should get almost exclusive blame/credit for american foreign policy decisions over the last 8 years, that’s the way the system is – but she has only been on the opposite side from administration decisions in the last 2 years)

  74. joe @ 10:34 – are you saying that you want to see MORE black Presidential candidates (that is, since you’re comparing the rarity of said entity to unicorns)? Why does it matter to you what color Presidential Candidates are?

    Kolohe – she’s better because she polls better against McCain (I know, I know, everyone shut up about how useless polls this early are already!), she’s a known quantity and, like it or not, people like Bill Clinton.

  75. That was a classy speech by Obama.

  76. No Name Guy: have someone explain this JohnEdwards quote for you:

    “It’s time for me to step aside so that history can — so that history can blaze its path.”

    That “history” he refers to implies that he’s too white and too male.

    Also, it’s great to see joe engage in some of that famous LiberalRacism.

  77. joe- sure, but what exactly has he actually said?

  78. joe @ 10:34 – are you saying that you want to see MORE black Presidential candidates (that is, since you’re comparing the rarity of said entity to unicorns)?

    Victorious presidential candidates. Black candidates competing at a top level. The absence of an all-white boys club at the top tier of American politics.

    Why does it matter to you what color Presidential Candidates are? Because I don’t like the political leadership of our country being an all-white boys’ club. Do you?

  79. joe is going to make me agree with LoneWacko.

    black man as Presidential candidate automatically = good.

  80. OLS, that doesn’t change the fact that Edwards failed to win any primaries because he is a massive tool.

  81. Because I don’t like the political leadership of our country being an all-white boys’ club. Do you?

    For the final time, I don’t care what color the “political leadership” is.

  82. I’m happy I live in a country where a black person can be elected president, and I’m going to celebrate that.

    You move to South Africa recently joe?
    Cause it ain’t gonna happen in 2008 in the USA.
    Republican base will hold,independents will split, and there are more than enough racist Democrats that won’t vote for a jig for President.

  83. “how long did the tiny gears in your head churn to come up with that one?

    cheap swipes at Ayn Rand. There’s something you don’t see everyday. “FLASH! Dog bites man!””

    Just so you know, I have read everything Ayn Rand ever wrote, and The Fountainhead is one of my favorite books. But people who fanatically follow Ayn Rand or anybody else are as dumb as as Hagee Evangelicals.

    I just found it ironic that someone with your screen name would make fun of Obama supporters.

  84. And if being black is such a great advantage in federal politics, why no President Jessie Jackson? Why did Bill Richardson drop out before Edwards, OLS?

  85. A black person winning a party nomination is closer to a trivia point than any kind of grand historical moment.

  86. I love it.

    My name, right there with LiberalRacism in a Lonewacko quote.

    Now, if anyone searches on Lonewacko LiberlRacism, a reference to me is going to come up. You know, all of ThosePeople who take advantage of Lonewacko’s BrilliantTechnique.

    I’m SoProud to know that he considers me “the other side” on racial issues.

  87. I just found it ironic that someone with your screen name would make fun of Obama supporters.

    lcl – sorry for the angry attack. I don’t think we’re in disagreement, except I will say that (and this may be my bias showing, but fuck it) being a swooner for Ayn Rand shows a smidgen more intelligence than swooning for a politician who says nothing OH SO WELL!

  88. joe – even a blind pig finds an acorn once in a while.

  89. joe is going to make me agree with LoneWacko.

    Nope, that’s all you.

    For the final time, I don’t care what color the “political leadership” is.

    Really? See, I think it’s better to live in a country that isn’t governed that way. I care about whether our society is being run like that.

    It’s a liberal thing. We hate that shit. We don’t want to live in that kind of country.

  90. “A black person winning a party nomination is closer to a trivia point than any kind of grand historical moment.”

    Is Alan Keyes the answer?

    Seriously though, Obama gave a great speech. He has left his church and now worships the state. We will tithe to the state and they will clothe the poor, feed the hungry, and tend to the sick with the same efficiency of his previous Christian God.

  91. It is great that this country, with its long history of racism, finally has a black man becoming the presidential candidate of a major party. It is curious, however, that countries without the history of racism (like Britain or France, to quickly name two) have never done anything similar.

  92. Who got the whip hand now Whitey?
    Mizz Hillary gwine scrub mah flos n do mah washin’. We be goin’ to the BIG WHITE HOUSE wit da columes and you cracka mofos ain’t doin’ nuttin’ to stop it!

    Twist dat cap off a 40 of Colt .45 baby! We gwine celebrate!

  93. “being a swooner for Ayn Rand shows a smidgen more intelligence than swooning for a politician who says nothing OH SO WELL!”

    No hard feelings. I was like you after being introduced to Ayn Rand as a teenager. I believe that having intelligence is being able to think for yourself.

  94. As far as I know, John-David, no country without a black majority has ever elected a black president. I’m pretty sure that none have even gotten this far.

    Peru elected a Japanese president.

  95. countries without the history of racism (like Britain or France, to quickly name two)

    lolwut?

  96. I care about whether our society is being run like that.

    run like what, joe?

    Do you believe that a certain racial make-up is prima facie evidence that something is wrong?

    It’s a liberal thing. We hate that shit. We don’t want to live in that kind of country

    Again, why does it matter to you what skin color the “political leadership” had?

  97. countries without the history of racism (like Britain or France, to quickly name two)

    WTF? Actually know anything about those two countries?

  98. heh, I skimmed over that the first time.

  99. I should have said “institutionalized racism”. Otherwise, yes, my comment does read as pretty silly.

  100. Yeah, Europe has a long, long history of racism. Where’d you think we learned it from?

    I’ve seen far more racist shit in Europe than I’ve seen here.

  101. Anyone noticed the Google ads on the top of the page are all for Obama?

  102. I was like you after being introduced to Ayn Rand as a teenager.

    WTF? not to quibble with the agreeable, but you don’t know me, cracka.

  103. So is there actually a Montana Republican Party primary on June 3rd for Paul to get 30% of the vote in? There doesn’t seem to be a single mention of it anywhere else on the web.

  104. “Again, why does it matter to you what skin color the “political leadership” had?”

    If that was the case I’d hate “why’d he” too.

  105. Easy now, AR. You just called me a “cracka”.
    You don’t know me.

  106. You can get the Montana results on msnbc.com. You have to click on the state link on the front page.

  107. So is there actually a Montana Republican Party primary on June 3rd for Paul to get 30% of the vote in? There doesn’t seem to be a single mention of it anywhere else on the web.

    It’s a “beauty contest” advisory primary, because the caucuses were considered the real contest. Similar to how everyone ignores the Washington state primary “beauty contest” because the caucus was the official measure. (Well, except for some Clinton backers, because with a much larger turnout the result was so much closer that Obama’s lead was actually smaller by some 50,000 votes.)

    McCain does break 80%, rather easily, in New Mexico. About 87% with about half in. His best result so far, it seems. No Huckabee on the ballot, only up against Ron Paul.

  108. So is there actually a Montana Republican Party primary on June 3rd for Paul to get 30% of the vote in? There doesn’t seem to be a single mention of it anywhere else on the web.

    I thought the Montana Repub caucus was on Feb 5 (Super Tuesday) and Paul got 25% or so, but no delegates.

    http://www.cnn.com/ELECTION/2008/primaries/results/state/#MT

  109. Do you believe that a certain racial make-up is prima facie evidence that something is wrong?

  110. Yes. That we haven’t elected a black president, that there are always either 1 or 0 black Senators, the fact that there are always either 1 or 0 black governors, is prima facie evidence that American history, which we all understand and aren’t going to pretend not to, is not over.

  111. OK – I want to say it:

    Fuck | June 3, 2008, 6:02pm | #
    FUCK

    Fuck wins the thread.

  112. I thought libertarians were supposed to be independent critical thinkers. So what I want to know is, why does every single commenter here seem to be buying into the “African American” marketing of Barack Obama? His mother was Caucasian, he was raised in a Caucasian family, and was educated in elite, mostly Asian/Caucasian schools. Race is more than skin color. Where exactly does this “African” part of him come from? What does he really have in common with the rest of “African-American” America? Not much as far as I can see, certainly little more than half his genome, which isn’t supposed to be that big a factor in the “self-made man.” What I would like to know though is, why does he apparently reject the “European-American” half of his heritage? Is it merely because of his skin color — and doesn’t that make him a racist?

  113. It’s great to live in a country where a minority can be nominated for president. Too bad it’s this guy.

    Bob Barr, faults and all, likely has my vote.

  114. Bob Barr, faults and all, likely has my vote.

    Well, from what I hear, like Obama, Barr has some African-Americanism in him too.

  115. I just took the time to go to Hillary’s website and tell her to fight all the way to Denver.

    Do your part people!

  116. As a small-L libertarian of color, allow me to chime in with the well wishes of Barack Obama. I remember my dad telling me stories about his Bajan dad not believing he could have a well-paying job in computers. Well, I wish he was alive to see this. Of course I’m not thrilled with his policies, but let me just back in the afterglow and know that, yes, my kids might get stopped by the police because of skin color, but they can still end up President of the United States.

    Cool. =)

  117. Yes. That we haven’t elected a black president, that there are always either 1 or 0 black Senators, the fact that there are always either 1 or 0 black governors, is prima facie evidence that American history, which we all understand and aren’t going to pretend not to, is not over.

    Ah, so would history have been close to over if Ken Blackwell and Michael Steele had won in 2006, since we could have gotten to 2 in both Senators and governors? (And aren’t we already at 2 black governors right now, thanks to the Steamroller leaving office in NY?)

  118. I thought libertarians were supposed to be independent critical thinkers. So what I want to know is, why does every single commenter here seem to be buying into the “African American” marketing of Barack Obama? His mother was Caucasian, he was raised in a Caucasian family, and was educated in elite, mostly Asian/Caucasian schools. Race is more than skin color. Where exactly does this “African” part of him come from? What does he really have in common with the rest of “African-American” America? Not much as far as I can see, certainly little more than half his genome, which isn’t supposed to be that big a factor in the “self-made man.” What I would like to know though is, why does he apparently reject the “European-American” half of his heritage? Is it merely because of his skin color — and doesn’t that make him a racist?

    Its just because of his skin color. He’s half-Kenyan, and he has dark skin. So he’s African American. Appearances matter a whole lot, especially if you are running for political office, not to mention the fact that Obama has embraced his African heritage.

    But I agree I don’t get the fuss, I thought Bill Clinton was the first Black President?

  119. That we haven’t elected a black president, that there are always either 1 or 0 black Senators, the fact that there are always either 1 or 0 black governors, is prima facie evidence that American history, which we all understand and aren’t going to pretend not to, is not over.

    Although the converse certainly doesn’t hold; 13 Jewish Senators (claims Ynet) doesn’t prove a lack of anti-Semitism.

  120. In 1993 Luigi Luca Cavalli-Sforza & Francesco Cavalli-Sforza wrote a seminal book that in English translation (1995) became “The Great Human Diasporas”. Jared Diamond was smart enough to cite this work ad infinitum in his mega-seller “Guns, Germs & Steel” and earn himself eternal bookselling fame.

    The book essentially buries racism. Once the old irrational fears die off with its adhering generation the ‘race’ issue based on the silly notion of skin color, a mere on/off genetic trait will die as well. I would and will applaud Mr. Obama upon victory in November on the basis that America is over the skin-color dogma hump. At the same time, I will lament that it is someone with whom I totally disagree politically.

    The whole scenario couldn’t be more ironic.

  121. Judging by the number of interracial couples I see on a daily basis, perhaps one day not too far off we’ll cease to be able to differientiate race — and everyone will finally be judged solely on the content of their character.

    Well, I can dream.

  122. Ah, so would history have been close to over if Ken Blackwell and Michael Steele had won in 2006, since we could have gotten to 2 in both Senators and governors? History would have been in exactly the same place if those two had both caught a series of breaks and won their races as it was when they lost them. But if that had happened, it would have been a neat “Look at the unicorn” moment, sort of like tonight.

    (And aren’t we already at 2 black governors right now, thanks to the Steamroller leaving office in NY?)

    Er, yes. For the first time ever. It’s just one point, but it’s good to see that the trend line is pointing the right way.

  123. Although the converse certainly doesn’t hold; 13 Jewish Senators (claims Ynet) doesn’t prove a lack of anti-Semitism.

    In the sense of people having anti-Semitic opinions, no, it does not.

    It does demonstrate that Jews aren’t structurally marginalized, as they once were.

  124. Colin,

    And maybe people all over the country will listen to the same music, eat the same food, and only think of themselves as American. Instead of some of them taking Irish step dance because it’s a family thing, all the little girls in America will take hip-hop.

    There won’t be the scene in “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” where the young girl is embarrassed by her moussaka lunch, because she’ll have bologna and cheese on white bread, too.

    Won’t that be awesome? Nobody will be different from each other.

  125. Blacks are the equivalent of the GOP religious right. They are predicable, unnaunced, boring, dogmatic, taking for granted…

    I’ll pretend that this didn’t offend me.
    Seriously, didn’t JFK lock up the Catholic vote? I don’t understand why some people are troubled by Obama’s overwhelming support from black voters.

  126. Seriously, didn’t JFK lock up the Catholic vote? I don’t understand why some people are troubled by Obama’s overwhelming support from black voters.

    I’m troubled by JFK locking up the Catholic vote as well. It indicates groupthink and identity politics on a dangerous level. That is alarming, don’t you think?

  127. I would suggest that Jews aren’t visibly different to the average honkey. That is the difference.

    joe, bologna with pickles maybe. never with cheese. that’s just wrong.

  128. glad that it’s *possible* for a half-black man to have won this nomination, glad it was done in the way he did it, glad this interminable primary season is over. i feel slightly more represented racially now! not that it matters much to me. (south asian here.) actually, as far as identity politics goes with me, which isn’t very far, i feel more represented by his skin color than his race (obviously), and more represented by his background as 2nd generation, as culturally mixed, etc. than by his skin color. anyway, it’s not as consequential as his leadership style and his character and his political positions, clearly, and .. well, two out of three aint bad. (not a democrat, not a Liberal, something of a “l”ibertarian but not as much as many here on H&R… i guess i’m all over the place.)

    joe, if that is the direction of american culture and heritage, so be it. new peoples are born out of old ones. but your example of children eschewing any pursuit of their inherited or ancestral culture for the american one doesn’t strike me as a good thing necessarily, nor does this concept of ‘post-racial’ society being in and of itself a positive. racial distinctions are part of who we are (even as the concept of “race” is fuzzy and gets fuzzier), not necessarily negative (so not necessary that their eradication is completely a good thing). racial discrimination with regard to things that are more individual, like character, ability, etc. is what’s problematic, but i feel like we’re moving beyond such ignorance every day.

  129. however, that countries without the history of racism (like Britain or France, to quickly name two) have never done anything similar.

    The Brits did have a Jewish Prime Minister. Oh and to say the the UK and France don’t have a history of racism is laughable.

    AR and Ali,

    Would you be similarly dismissive if Germany elected a Jewish Prime Minister? Let’s face it, this country has quite a bit of racial baggage and this election shows that we’re shedding it. As recently as the late 80s, a

  130. Mo….

    Mo!

    Oh, God, they got Mo!

    Bastards didn’t even let him finish his post!

  131. If you’re refering to Disraeli, he converted to Christianity in his youth. I don’t believe Jews were even allowed in Parliament in his time.

  132. It indicates groupthink and identity politics on a dangerous level. That is alarming, don’t you think?

    It does NOT bother me, personally. I’m not suggesting people play identity politics as an end to itself, but I don’t blame people from any particular group historically unlikely to have a representative as POTUS to get excited at the prospect. Hell, I was excited when President Palmer was in office on 24, even though I liked the “dad from Unhappily Ever After” presidency, too.
    You know, I can blame people for getting caugt up in “group-think” when it comes to policy, or even refusing to see a person’s flaws, but I would not fault anyone for being excited about Obama for the reasons I listed.
    Hell, his candidacy could even get young people, particularly young black people engrossed in the political process.

    I just hope whomever gets elected is a good president, but I’ll definitely consider throwing my support behind Obama.

  133. Dave: Big lie was Joseph Goebbels(minister of propaganda) not Hermann Goering (Air Force)


  134. Kolohe – she’s better because she polls better against McCain (I know, I know, everyone shut up about how useless polls this early are already

    Re polls: not useless, but I feel they represent a ceiling for Clinton, but a floor for Obama because:

    she’s a known quantity cuts both ways. She also has pre-fab base of Haterz.

    and, like it or not, people like Bill Clinton. And again a lot of people don’t – even among the left.

    I like Bill Clinton. The most disappointing thing Hillary did was run against her husband (in stuff like trade policy) – which I think was a contributing factor to her failure. She tried to be to clever by half in many areas and so didn’t ‘find her voice’ until it was too late. Plus, Bill Clinton really debased his brand in this election in a way I don’t remember Bush I doing when his son was running (now, ironically, Bush II has completely bankrupted *his* brand name so that his brother has no foreseeable political future)

    I am not saying that an Obama victory will be easy, or even inevitable. The overall popular vote will be close, and the election hinges on who wins a 3 state cluster in the mountain west and another three state cluster in the missippi valley (with Va being a wildcard).

    My view is that the people who wouldn’t vote for a black man have been voting overwhelming Republican for a while – especially in ‘states that matter.’ And these same people are not energized by the McCain campaign, so they’ll just likely stay home; they’re not motivated enough to make sure the dark-skinned secret muslim communist terrorist does not win.

    And I am not so cynical about the Clinton’s that they won’t rally around Obama once all options are indeed exhausted.

  135. You’re allowed to be happy that racism is receding

    Yer fuckin’ A right! I’m so fucking happy that a fucking half-black shyster can win a fucking presidential nomination over a (mostly) white shyster cocksucker. I am dazzled by the fucking progress.

    Huzzah for Fuckin’ Obama!

  136. I’m happy I live in a country where a black person can be elected president, and I’m going to celebrate that.

    Me too.

  137. I would vote for Walter Williams, Thomas Sowell, or Clarence Thomas for President in two seconds. I will never vote for the skinny socialist from Chicago.

  138. Tharms wrote, “So is there actually a Montana Republican Party primary on June 3rd for Paul to get 30% of the vote in? There doesn’t seem to be a single mention of it anywhere else on the web.”

    Over on the RonPaul2008 website this morning, they were crowing about “22% in Montana,” with all precincts allegedly reporting. It appears as if Paul picked up another 30-40K votes last night from all the States holding primaries.

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