Calling Bullshit On The Blogosphere's National Trial Heat Narrative

I read it all the time in the blogosphere. Some say "Clinton's lead in national trial heats is only a function of name recognition.""She has already hit her peak, and can only go downward from here," others croon. Another frequent mantra is that "her lead at this point in the campaign is the same thing as Lieberman's lead at this point in the 2004 campaign." Occasionally, even some actual evidence, usually in the form of a single poll, is trotted out to support thee claims. While what I am about to write will invariably result in several people calling me a Hillary supporter and / or a wholly owned subsidiary of the DLC, as someone who closely watches polls and can't stand the perpetuation of political narratives based on faulty numbers, even in the blogosphere, I simply have to call bullshit.

Anyone currently dismissing Clinton's massive national trial heat advantage as a figment of name recognition is simply not familiar either with the totality of current national poll numbers or with the numbers from this point in the campaign four years ago. If you think all other candidates need to do is introduce themselves, then you are just wrong. If you think this is the same thing as Lieberman's lead in early 2003, then you have seriously underestimated the task facing virtually all non-Clinton candidates. While not insurmountable, Clinton's national lead over everyone not named Obama is far more significant than Lieberman's lead was in early 2003, and as such will be far more difficult for other candidates to overcome.

Read the analysis in the extended entry.
Let's start by looking at the name recognition picture from the same point in the campaign four years ago. There were no polls on Clark, and for the sake of brevity I have only included those 2004 candidates who, at one point or another, ended up being "top tier":

National Name Recognition, November 2002--February 2003
Lieberman: 68% across six polls
Gephardt: 61% across seven polls (7 behind)
Kerry: 46% across seven polls (22 behind)
Edwards: 32% across five polls (36 behind)
Dean: 20% across five polls (48 behind)

As you can see, apart from Gephardt, Lieberman was well ahead of the field. In fact, compared to Clinton's current advantage on Edwards, Gore and Obama, he was even further ahead than she is now:

National Name Recognition, November 2006--January 2007
Gore: 97% across two polls
Clinton: 96% across nine polls (1 behind)
Edwards: 80% across four polls (17 behind)
Obama: 63% across nine polls (34 behind)
Biden: 49% across three polls (48 behind)
Richardson: 35% across two polls (62 behind)
Kucinich: 27% across one poll (70 behind)
Dodd: 25% across two polls (72 behind)
Vilsack: 19% across one poll (78 behind)

There are currently no polls for either Wesley Clark or Mike Gravel. Even without their numbers, you can see that while well known, Clinton is not even the best known candidate in the field. Gore actually has slightly higher name recognition than Clinton, and Edwards is not far behind. Apart from the second tier, only Obama arguably faces a truly large name recognition gap on Clinton.

Now, let's look at the average of the fifteen national trial heats from the same point in the 2004 campaign, excluding those polls that included either Clinton or Gore:

National Trial Heats, December 2002--February 2003
Lieberman: 21%
Kerry: 14%
Gephardt: 12%
Edwards: 8%
Dean: 3%

As you can see, Lieberman was ahead, but his lead was nowhere near what Clinton's is right now. Here are the eight national trial heats from this January, looking only at the current "top-tier":

National Trial Heats, January 2007
Clinton: 32%
Obama: 19%
Edwards: 13%
Gore: 9%

Considering that Gore is just as well known as Clinton, but is a whopping 23% behind in national trial heats, his deficit clearly has nothing to do with name recognition. Edwards also trails Clinton by more points in national trial heats (19%) than he trails by in terms of name recognition (16%). At this point in the campaign, he is further behind Clinton (19%) than Dean was behind Lieberman (18%), even though the name ID gap between Edwards and Clinton (16%) is just one-third of the name ID gap that separated Lieberman and Dean (48%). Of the "top tier," only Obama, who trials Clinton by an average of 13% in trial heats, and 33% in national name recognition, is much further behind in name ID than he is in national trial heats. Thus, right now it appears that only he is a position to catch Clinton in terms of name recognition alone.

By contrast to the current campaign, Kerry, Edwards and Dean all had Obama's opportunity to pass Lieberman in 2003 purely through higher name ID. Importantly, all eventually succeeded. Four years ago, among the candidates who at one time or another occupied the "top tier," only Gephardt trailed Lieberman by more in national trial heats than he trailed by in terms of name recognition. Instructively, unlike Kerry, Edwards and Dean, he never succeeded in clearly passing Lieberman in national trial heats. It is not a stretch to argue that candidates like Gore and Edwards face similar problems to Gephardt--actually worse--since their relative name ID / trial heat deficit is worse than Gephardt's (especially Gore's). And we all know how Gephardt's campaign turned out.

The lessons here should be clear. First, simple comparisons of Clinton's poll lead in early 2007 to Lieberman's lead in early 2003 do not hold up under scrutiny. Her lead in national trial heats in much larger than Lieberman's, despite a smaller advantage in name recognition (at least when compared to the so called "top-tier"). This means her lead is far more difficult to dismiss. Second, as I have indicated in the past, Obama is clearly in the best position to move up nationally, as he is in second place in national trial heats, despite being in last place among the "top tier" when it comes to name recognition. It also helps that he has a substantial netroots following, which will be a significant driving force behind any further upward movement on his part. Third, Clinton's recent rise corresponds not only with her announcement, but also with the continued downward trend for both Kerry and Gore. Her lead could thus grow even larger as she continues to draw soft supporters from other extremely high name recognition candidates. Check out the following chart from last week:

With the public's attention now sharply focused on announced candidates, Gore's poll performance will almost certainly continue to drop. Also, there have been precious few post-Kerry polls that truly reflect the distribution of his supporters now that he has announced he is not running. Clinton will, more than likely, receive a plurality, if not a majority, of these supporters.


Now, with that out of the way, I think it is time to finally start laying down some more realistic appraisals of Clinton's national poll lead than those often found within the current, dismissive attitude within the progressive, political blogosphere. Here is what could cause Clinton's lead to shrink, or even disappear:
  1. The rapid rise of one or more second tier candidates. If candidates currently sporting extremely low name recognition become far better known, Clinton's advantage will begin to shrink. However, it should be noted that such a rise will also draw supporters from other well known candidates. Also, I currently do not see the sort of grassroots, netroots, labor, or "demographic block" support that could propel anyone upward from the second tier at this point in time.

  2. Increased media focus on polls in early states. Polls from early states, especially Iowa, show a much tighter, and more scrambled race than the national picture. If established media outlets were to run as many polls of Iowa and New Hampshire as they run national polls, it would make a serious dent in any "inevitability" narrative surrounding Clinton, which would in turn lower her standing among soft supporters. However, considering the current, roughly 3-1 pace of national poll production to early state poll production, don't expect that to happen without a lot of outside pressure.

  3. The rise of Obama. As the only "top tier" candidate with the potential to catch Clinton solely via increased name recognition, if he continues to rise in name ID, expect Clinton's national poll lead to shrink.

  4. Real netroots and grassroots energy. If any non-Clinton candidate can make a series of strong, repeated demonstrations of grassroots and netroots support (or any other kind of non-insider activist support, such as labor or the immigrant marchers), the resulting energy will make the race a lot closer.

  5. Going negative. Since her lead isn't going to just entirely dry up on its own via name recognition from most of her opponents, in order for the current polling situation to substantially change, there needs to be a well developed, anti-Clinton narrative that is convincing to the Democratic rank and file. Note that attacking her personality or character won't work, given the repeated right-wing assaults on this front over the past fifteen years. Also, "electability" probably won't work either, since the Clinton's are largely loved in the rank and file for actually winning. It is going to have to be substantive--ideological, activist, or issue based.
In order for Clinton's lead to disappear entirely, it will take a confluence of nearly all five of these factors (certainly at least three, and probably four). It is not a simple matter of people getting to know other candidates, as it was with Lieberman's soft lead in early 2003. Clinton's lead is far more daunting, and her potential weaknesses far less obvious. Were it not for her surprising weakness in Iowa, she would be the clear national frontrunner right now, and maybe even in a tier by herself. However, considering that Dean led in virtually every other category except Iowa on the even of the Iowa caucuses in 2004 (money, netroots, New Hampshire, national polls, etc), a substantial Iowa deficit is indeed a serious problem for any candidate, even (especially?) Clinton. She is not invulnerable, but don't confuse her campaign's with Joe Lieberman's. It is a different beast entirely.

Tags: Blogosphere, Hillary Clinton, polls, President 2008 (all tags)



Re: Calling Bullshit On the Blogosphere National T

Chris -- Her numbers are more like Vice President Mondale's in 1984 or even Vice President Al Gore's before the 2000 primaries.  It will be very difficult to stop Hillary Clinton from gaining the nomination -- it can be done -- but not by any candidate who wages a "paint by the numbers" campaign.   Gary Hart challenged Mondale and almost defeated him -- but he did it with a bold -- "New ideas" unorthodox campaign. In the end the machinery of the Mondale candidacy (full disclosure - I worked for Mondale that cycle) was too much for the Hart insurgency.   If Hillary Clinton is defeated it will be by a bold, new, insurgent campaign.

by JoeTrippi 2007-01-30 01:25PM | 0 recs
Re: Calling Bullshit On the Blogosphere National T

Joe, do you think if there was no Donna RIce scandal, Gary Hart would have had a chance of making it close? I do think Mondale would have won the primaary regardless of the scandal.

Even an anti Hillary person like myself sees the need to take such poll numbers seriously. I do not want people to go into denial as they did when Lamont won the primary and people just assumed Lieberman's GE numbers would fade over time.

by Pravin 2007-01-30 01:37PM | 0 recs
Re: Calling Bullshit On the Blogosphere National T

The Donna Rice scandal did not occur until after the 84 campaign.  It had no impact on the Hart/Mondale race.

by michaelrbn 2007-01-30 01:46PM | 0 recs
Re: Calling Bullshit On the Blogosphere National T

IIRC, Donna Rice was in the NEXT election cycle, i.e., 1988.  In 1984 Trippi's analysis is correct.  Hart got too late a start, IMHO, but he dod run as an insurgent.  Wasn't Pat Caddell his adviser?    

Trippi is right re: Hillary, as well.  Only a "bold ideas" candidate can steal ehr thunder.

Without such a candidate, folks ought to think hard about the bloiwback of a hard negative  campaign against Hillary.  We don't want any more Republicans.  Not in my lifetime.

by Mimikatz 2007-01-30 01:47PM | 0 recs
Re: Calling Bullshit On the Blogosphere National T

You are correct. It was the '88 cycle. My mistake. I realized it later.

by Pravin 2007-01-30 03:09PM | 0 recs
Re: Calling Bullshit On the Blogosphere National T

Actually, Trippi is only partially right in his post.  Hart had every opportunity to win in 1984.  His loss had little to do with Mondale's organizational strength.  I worked for Hart that year and the word was that he was killing Mondale in the "super Tuesday" states, a group of about 9 southern and north eastern states all holding primaries on the same day.  What happened was that he had a very poor debate performance in Atlanta right before that series of primaries, then looked like an idiot the next week when it looked like he couldnt get a certain negative attack add in Illinois off the air.  This, combined with questions raised about Hart's character through constant press attention to varying accounts by Hart about what year he was born, why he changed his name and things like that which were crystillized brilliantly by Mondale's "Where's the Beef" add doomed Hart's campaign.  

Ultimately, Mondale won enough states on "super Tuesday" to remain viable and won in Illinois the next week and was able to go on and beat Hart from there.  But for Hart's mistakes, he would have beat Mondale.

That being said, Hart ran a great insurgent campaign in Iowa and New Hamshire, backed by polling by Caddell (who ran a so-called "Mr. Smith" poll showing that a candidate who ran as a boom generation outsider could beat Mondale) and almost pulled off one of the great upsets in campaign history.

by Andy Katz 2007-01-30 04:12PM | 0 recs
Re: Calling Bullshit On the Blogosphere National T

Hart was born in 1936,the same year I was born. He is no baby boomer but a member of the "silent generation"(1925-1943)

by Litvak36 2007-01-30 07:19PM | 0 recs
Re: Calling Bullshit On the Blogosphere National T

I didnt say he was; but he made his pitch to baby boomers.

by Andy Katz 2007-01-31 01:52AM | 0 recs
Re: Calling Bullshit On the Blogosphere National T

Like the way Obama appeals to Millenials...

by yitbos96bb 2007-02-11 03:57PM | 0 recs
Re: Calling Bullshit On the Blogosphere National T


>>Even an anti Hillary person like myself sees the need to take such poll numbers seriously. I do not want people to go into denial

This sounds like a clear contradiction of all your recent writings against Hillary.

I can link over a dozen of your recent Anti-Hillary postings as having been all dismissive of her strength. You have called it temporary & all name ID.
It took Chris B. to open your eyes that no matter how much you hate Hillary, she is a without a doubt a strong front runner.

It is unfortunate that you have declared to go 3rd party if Hillary is the nominee.

Yes Chris, Hillary has a huge advantage right now.

by livyoga 2007-01-30 08:00PM | 0 recs
Re: Calling Bullshit On the Blogosphere National T

What is your point? It is stupid to take someone's evolving opinion on a race's polling numbers and term that as a series of contradictions(though i wonder if you can really find a bunch of comments where I said Hillary is not formidable in the primary. I agreed with Chris on the primary numbers). The only thing I have been sure about was how I felt about Hillary and what her stands were and how she is not deserving of my vote for her opportunistic moves in the past. About the only thing I remember saying without responding to any real data was that she is not the only electable candidate for the Dems and to remember that republicans will bring some dirty tricks (not to mention tar her fairly as unprincipled on the war)after the primary and put the Dem party in a position where they cannot use the Iraq war as an issue to convincingly show how wrong the Repubs are.

 And as I have seen more data on daily basis, I have not hid my frustration with what I perceived as the formidable task it would take to convert any Hillary supporter. If you are going to dig up comments, you will find how I have recognized any data given to me without living in denial. You have a very selective memory.  
Your gotcha comments seem to betray an obsession with Hillary that you are unwilling to admit. At least, I am not shy about my intentions. I have dealt with others on Hillary, but you seem to stand out in debating me on a personal basis which  makes me question if Hillary is indeed not of your main choices.

As far as a third party vote, I have already explained myself. How many fucking times do you want me to repeat that I am open to almost every single Dem candidate regardless of how much I agree with them. You can't expect every liberal voter to relax his standards for every single nominee.

I am going to turn around this whole 3rd party guilt trip on you. I am ready to compromise by voting for a half dozen other Dems who are not named Clark or Gore. I am giving advance notice of my intentions of voting 3rd party if Hillary is the nominee just as I would have voted 3rd party in 2004 if Lieberman was elected. So if you decide to vote for Hillary knowing some of us are going to vote third party in a GE, maybe you should question yourself why you would jeopardise the party by nominating someone who generates so much hate instead of voting for someone just as progressive or more progressive who won't cause people to vote third party.

If you feel like people like me are insignificant in number, then there is no reason to whine about my vote, is there?

I do not suggest a Dem primary candidate to run against Hillary as a 3rd party candidate in a General election. But if there is a real third party candidate, he will get my protest vote in GA .

Oh i have given other reasons why I would vote 3rd party. You should have replied to them over in those threads because I am not going to rehash every little detail here. Worry more about the downticket candidates instead of thinking a President will solve all your self esteem issues.

by Pravin 2007-01-31 02:35AM | 0 recs
Re: Calling Bullshit On the Blogosphere National T

I doubt anyone is going to change their primary vote based on your threat to vote third party.  Wow, I am sure you didn't want to make it sound like that, but it sure sounds sooo self-important and even egotistical.

I am sorry, but the Supreme Court is all that should matter.  Yes, wars come and go and they are sad and I am against the war and all.  But, the Supreme Court will affect me for the rest of my motherfucking life.  And I will be furious if I never see equal rights in my lifetime being a gay person because some kid on the playground took their marbles and went home.  

More than three-thousand people died for this country's independence.  Yet, because of an albeit unjust war, we are willing to throw away all that was fought for many years ago and allow a Supreme Court to fucking dismantle this country.

Are you a lawyer?  Have you gone to law school?  Perhaps if you would have taken a constitutional law course, you'd understand what I am talking about.  

I feel like I am wasting my breath with you, though.

by jgarcia 2007-01-31 10:12AM | 0 recs
Read my entire comment before replying

"If you feel like people like me are insignificant in number, then there is no reason to whine about my vote, is there? "

Did you read that part of my comment before you accuse me of being egotistical.

As far as your objectionm to my third party vote, read what I wrote. If Hillary supporters are unwilling to consider any of the SEVERAL alternatives to Hillary knowing that there are people like me(notice, I never said my single vote makes a difference), then aren't they being stubborn in risking the general election with a candidate who generates so much hate. Why is it that, election after election, the burden to play nice is on us and never on them. It is this kind of dynamic that has people like Hillary being frontrunner instead of giving fair opportunities to other Americans from families not named Bush or Clinton. Even the NFL is more progressive nowadays where they are beginning to give serious consideration outside the good ole boy network.

by Pravin 2007-01-31 03:03PM | 0 recs
Re: Read my entire comment before replying

>>>Even the NFL is more progressive nowadays where they are beginning to give serious consideration outside the good ole boy network.

I agree with this.  It's sad.  For the record, I do believe that the single greatest vulnerability for HRC (and if I were the Obama and Edwards people I'd trumpet it at every turn) is the monarchy thing.  Out of all the arguments against HRC, even the war, this monarchy thing is the most effective and something even the apolitical can understand very easily.  Lieberman proved that, even in a blue state, the war issue is only so effective.

by jgarcia 2007-01-31 03:47PM | 0 recs
Re: Read my entire comment before replying

You are passionate and I respect that. I just wanted you to know that some of us think very carefully and consider all the options (even the dreaded Supreme court issue) before doing what we do. For me I fear the following be entrenched as you fear conservatives being entrenced - people like Hillary able to get away with their conduct on the war in teh future because there is little price to pay. In a way, even though we are not being asked to compromise for the wrong candidate(to me Hillary is wrong)  only on a one term basis, in another way we are actually compromising for life by further having this kind of compromise entrenched deeper with each election. So by electing Hillary, we are strengthening future Hillarys. That is the reason why some of us take to third party votes as a learning experience for future triangulators. Thik of third party voters as a coalition partner in the general election. My view is do not choose a candidate that will piss off potential third party voters or potential No shows if you are not passionate enough about this candidate. I am actually willing to consider Hillary if I knew her supporters truly considered the alternatives before voting for her.

THe SC issue is another issue that needs its own thread. I personally find it disgusting that the SC plays such a huge role in choosing a President. I can't think of any other country where these appointments matter to such an extent. I dont see the wisdom of lifetime tenure. People are flawed and when I see Scalia's written opinions have the same "wisdom" as he did more than a decade ago, I do not see this age thing helping. It is pitiful to see some judges hang on to dear life for feaar of being replaced of a different idealogue.

by Pravin 2007-01-31 04:00PM | 0 recs
Re: Calling Bullshit On the Blogosphere National T

How?  Gore is only polling so low because he has not announced.  I bet his numbers would go up sharply were he to announce.

by Calvin Jones and the 13th Apostle 2007-01-30 01:52PM | 0 recs
Re: Calling Bullshit On the Blogosphere National T

Disclosure: I am an Edwards man myself.

I couldn't agree more on this.  Right now, Gore is polling low because it doesn't appear to the general public that he is jumping in.  If he does, you can expect significant pull from Hillary's numbers.

Also, I'd like to point out that Edwards and Obama have their own bases, not really predicated on people "leaning" that way, based upon my experiences with people so far.  I don't think they'll lose much when a 2nd tier candidate makes a jump.  What you will see is a loss from Hillary, as her narrative so far has been "The Inevitability Candidate."  When that gets shaken a little and this campaign carries on, the diehards will stay with Edwards and Obama (although my gut says more of the former as I've found the Obama support to be more predicated on the "excitement" factor which will subside as he becomes more known and his candidacy more fleshed out), but Hillary will indeed go down.

Don't forget that organization plays a role in this.  The Edwards campaign has not been dumb.  They saved their lists, they empowered people and their old organization to carry on, and as organization has a chance to play out, what has been built and will be solidified will affect numbers in a number of states and nationally.

by Peter from WI 2007-01-30 04:01PM | 0 recs
Re: Calling Bullshit On the Blogosphere National T

Nonsense. People who support HRC are not remotely interested in 2nd tier candidates unless another female decides to enter the race.

Find a HRC supporter. Ask them why they support her. Try to convince them that Richardson, Clark or Biden is in fact a better choice for them. They'll look at you as if you are mad.

HRC was close to 40% in the polls, then rockstar Obama enters the race with 20%, HRC's support falls by around 5%. Anyone know of any other rockstars that might be about to enter the race?

The netroots simply does not understand why HRC supporters want her to win the nomination.

by kundalini 2007-01-31 12:49AM | 0 recs
Re: Calling Bullshit On the Blogosphere National T

I agree about the second tier comment. I am a die hard Clark supporter right now and he won't steal many votes,if any,from Hillary. Obama has the best chance of stealing the black vote while Edwards has the best chance of stealing some of the women vote from Hillary. But are they going to be able to do that? that is another question altogether. They need to be stepping up more.

by Pravin 2007-01-31 02:07AM | 0 recs
Re: Calling Bullshit On the Blogosphere National T

I disagree.  Clark can potentially steal a significant number of votes from Clinton, from her soft support that is, not from her core support, and not immediately.  First Clark would have to cross an invisible "viability threshold" first though.

Clinton is perceived by many voters to be one of the real "grown ups" in this race. She has cleared the "gravitas" hurdle in many minds.  Clark meets that criteria in spades.  Though Clark's netroots support tends to be progressive, out on the stump he appeals to a broader range of Democrats, partially because of his years spent in uniform serving our nation. If and when Clark starts getting taken seriously, he is a Democrat who could easily cut into Clinton's soft surrport.

by Tom Rinaldo 2007-01-31 06:44AM | 0 recs
Re: Calling Bullshit On the Blogosphere National T

I should have worded it better and thought it out more carefully. Obviously at some point, Wes is gong to have to grab a lot of Hillary's soft support. In my mind, I was thinking of the immediate timeframe where Wes needs some quick votes to build momentum. THe first wave of votes for Wes will not, in my opinion, come from Hillary's supporters, even the soft ones. If anyone has the first shot, I think it's obama and edwards. Wes's chance is to get his pumped up supporters to be big enough to hold him in this race long enough where his ideas will be good enough to make a case for the soft supporters of Obama and Hillary and Edwards.

by Pravin 2007-01-31 09:42AM | 0 recs
Re: Calling Bullshit On the Blogosphere National T

I agree with you on this. It's going to be an interesting 14 months.

by Tom Rinaldo 2007-01-31 09:09PM | 0 recs
Re: Calling Bullshit On the Blogosphere National .

We understand why her supporters want her to win .. the question becomes .. is her support a mile wide and 1/8 inch thick ...  or it is both wide and thick  ... as much as Biden is an idiot ... he is right about Hillary .. everyone knows her .. so only getting 4 out of ten is not a good sign

by Calvin Jones and the 13th Apostle 2007-01-31 06:23AM | 0 recs
Elaborate on "insurgent"?

Joe, would appreciate a little extra education if you have time.

What is an insurgent campaign? I heard Axelrod say Obama's would be an insurgent campaign.


by demondeac 2007-01-30 02:43PM | 0 recs
Re: Elaborate on "insurgent"?

First of all -- I have a lot of respect for David Axelrod -- we were on opposite sides in 2004.   He with Edwards, me with Dean.   And in 1988 he was with Paul Simon and I was first with Gary Hart and then (after Donna Rice that year) I was with Dick Gephardt.   He is tough, smart, and I can think of only one other Democrat I would rather be in a trench with -- Steve Murphy who I believe is working for Richardson -- but it would be a close call.

An insurgent campaign is one that does not play by the estqblished rules.   It is by its nature bottom up, unpredictable and against the status quo.  It is a campaign that takes on the established ways -- and the way things are. And seeks to blaze a new path.        Unafraid and against the odds -- or to hell with the odds.  Gary Hart's 1984 campaign was probably the most remarkable insurgent campaign I ever saw -- had the Internet existed he would have been the nominee.   For those who have followed my call for a transformational candidacy -- I think that there is no way for a transactional candidate to be an insurgent -- but an insurgent will be the only kind of candidate that can transform our politics.

by JoeTrippi 2007-01-30 03:24PM | 0 recs
Re: Elaborate on "insurgent"?


Since it is, by definition, unpredictable I guess we should have a hard time speculating on the moves Obama makes.

Today's throwing down of the Iraq gauntlet may have been one such move?

At any rate, if unpredictability is a feature, we should be in for an interesting race.

The way I see it, Obama can afford to gamble. He is in a "no lose" position of sorts: not being the nominee this time around probably would not hurt his chances in the future.

by demondeac 2007-01-30 04:25PM | 0 recs
Re: Elaborate on "insurgent"?

Obama can not count on his prospects being brighter at some point in the future.  One of the things about Presidential politics is that the window often only opens once -- when it does you take it.  Assuming a Democrat wins in 2008 -- your next opportunity to run would be in 2016 and you would be likely running against a sitting Vice President in your own party.  Odds would not be good.  So you go now.  That is one of the reasons you have so many in this race.

by JoeTrippi 2007-01-30 05:06PM | 0 recs
Re: Elaborate on "insurgent"?

Understood. I was unclear. My only decent thought was that his losing this time around would not hurt his future chances as much as it would the chances of others who are not so young.

by demondeac 2007-01-30 05:20PM | 0 recs
Re: Elaborate on "insurgent"?

Obama has this opportunity now. It is upto him to seize it. I saw clips of him, lieberman and Landrieu related to Katrina. It is a great time to shine cosidering the two losers he is next to. How nice would it have been if Obama was quick on his feet to embrace the protestor who was dragged out of the room where some hearings were conducted. He could have done the right thing in addition to creating a nice political photo movement by embracing the protestor and "feeling his pain". As long as he stays polite, he won't be grabbing most of the black vote from Hillary.

I did see some other clips where he is standing front and center while Lieberman and Landrieu are tagging behind. So maybe there is some hope.

by Pravin 2007-01-31 02:42AM | 0 recs
Re: Elaborate on "insurgent"?

In contrast ... did you see the hearing yesterday that Feingold chaired?  There were protesters there .. and Feingold didn't toss them out

by Calvin Jones and the 13th Apostle 2007-01-31 06:25AM | 0 recs
Re: Elaborate on "insurgent"?

That is such a great post.  It's almost as if the saying, "strike while the iron's hot" was meant for presidential politics.

Obama's time is now.  IF the D loses in 2008, then maybe he has a shot, but other than that, the man doesn't want to be too old.

Furthermore, have you seen the silly posts all over the web wanting whatever prez candidate with HRC as the Veep.  Are these people really knowlegeable about politics?  Veep for Hillary or Gore is absurd.  No one wants to be an old lady when they are president and Hillary is now 59.  

Obama, OTOH, should jump at the chance to be Veep, if only because he's still relatively young.

by jgarcia 2007-01-31 10:23AM | 0 recs
Re: Elaborate on "insurgent"?

I think he would, but I have a feeling HRC would not pick him... She goes with a white male moderate from a swing state or a midwest or west state... I am betting Rendell or Bayh would be tops on the list... Maybe even...god help us... joementum, but I doubt it.  

by yitbos96bb 2007-02-11 04:04PM | 0 recs
Re: Elaborate on "insurgent"?

Forgot Volsack also... especially if he convinces his supporters to go for her and that wins her Iowa.

by yitbos96bb 2007-02-11 04:06PM | 0 recs
Re: Calling Bullshit On the Blogosphere National T

I agree with much of that. I am surprised at how strong she is at this point.

by robliberal 2007-01-30 01:27PM | 0 recs
Re: Calling Bullshit On the Blogosphere National T

I'm not. She's the only woman in the field. It really is that ridiculously simple. Just look at the numbers amongst women compared to those for men. Amongst men it's a tight race, amongst women it's a landslide.

She can be beaten in a head to head fight but the schedule is changing so fast that the race will probably be over by mid Feb 2008. Obama and Edwards will both still be in the race plus one or more 2nd tier candidate - can anyone see either of them dropping out so that HRC can be beaten? On Feb 5th the female vote comes out for HRC and it is over.

by kundalini 2007-01-31 12:58AM | 0 recs
Re: Calling Bullshit On the Blogosphere National T

If Cali goes to a Feb 5 primary, see ya!!!  Welcome to the first female nominee in the history of the United States.  And that is exactly the phrase these women will be thinking to themselves as they are giddy on their way to the polls or opening their mail ballot.

by jgarcia 2007-01-31 10:26AM | 0 recs
Something that's not bullshit.

   Hillary is not leading in Iowa, despite her high name recognition.   What do you make of that?  Why is she losing in the most important state, but winning in the national trial heat?

by cilerder86 2007-01-30 01:44PM | 0 recs
Re: Something that's not bullshit.

Edwards has run hard in Iowa, criss-crossing the state.  He praxctically didn't stop running, so is very well known.  Some of the potential Hillary support goes to Vilsack.  Obama campaigned there when he started and got a good reception.

by Mimikatz 2007-01-30 01:50PM | 0 recs
Re: Something that's not bullshit.
Why does Vilsack get some of the Hillary supporters? I don't see the connection.
by jallen 2007-01-30 02:08PM | 0 recs
Simple - Hillary has yet to campaign

Same for Obama.

John Edwards has been in Iowa 17 times within the past two years. He's practically lived there. Obama has been in Iowa three times in 2006 when he campaigned on behalf of Dem candidates. Hillary has been in Iowa once (this past weekend) as far as I can tell within these past 4yrs.

Name recognition goes so far in Iowa. Cue Dick Gephart. Unless you actively campaign there and get one-on-one face time with supporters, forget about winning - You'd lose big-time. Same with New Hampshire.

I see Hillary and Obama's numbers going up as they ramp up their campaigns.

by rosebowl 2007-01-30 02:02PM | 0 recs
Re: Something that's not bullshit.

once california moves up to feb 5.  IA, thank god, will forever be thrown out of its silly undeserved throne as "the most important state."  unless, however, you are taling about maize production.

by jgarcia 2007-01-31 10:28AM | 0 recs
who cares about the polls

Would Allen's use of slurs shown up in the polls? What about Conrad Burns' views on firefighters? What about man/dog sex in PA?

It is the narrative that killed Lieberman and is going to take out Hillary.

by Bob Brigham 2007-01-30 01:54PM | 0 recs
Re: who cares about the polls

Have you read her "Yale-educated FEMALE lawyer trying to make it in 1970s Arkansas narrative?"  It's compelling.

Women "get" this.  That's why she's going to win the women.  Even millions of moderate pro-choice Republican women.  The type of women who voted for Napolitano in Arizona.

IMHO, her narractive is just as compelling as Obama's.  You add in a post 9/11 emphasis on experience, and you have a Hillary trumps Obama storyline.

by jgarcia 2007-01-31 10:31AM | 0 recs
Re: Calling Bullshit On the Blogosphere National T

I think HRC can be beaten on the Iraq war and & civil liberties issues. The way to go negative is to do so by inference. Speak out against the war and against the dirty warpatriot act. It will be obvious Clinton supported both.

Attacking Clinton directly will be very dangerous as it will remind everyone of Kenneth Starr.

by Alice Marshall 2007-01-30 01:59PM | 0 recs
Re: Calling Bullshit On the Blogosphere National T

This is a good post even know you'll probably get a lot of shit for it.  I'm not going to support Hillary unless she wins the primary, but I think it's extremely naive to write her off.

by blueryan 2007-01-30 02:00PM | 0 recs
Re: Calling Bullshit On the Blogosphere National T 3/1507

Clinton has three poll numbers in the nationals in the high 20's this year so far (I guess you could call BS on pollster for not including Rasmussen too in their graph). The only other poll out is of HRC at at 41% for the WaPost (which could just as easily be called an outlier as of now).

by Jerome Armstrong 2007-01-30 02:02PM | 0 recs
I can counter with one of my own: 2/5261

I don't think the evidence supports a strong downward trend for Clinton at all. Somewhat, yes, but only 5 or 6 points over eighteen months.
by Chris Bowers 2007-01-30 02:25PM | 0 recs
Hey look folks

Jerome's arguing with himself again.

by Nonpartisan 2007-01-30 03:15PM | 0 recs
ROTFLMAO, funniest post of the day! :-) (nm)


by DCCyclone 2007-01-31 10:44AM | 0 recs
I don't know.

   Kerry was down only 22 points in name recognition in 2003.  Obama and Edwards are down 34 and 17 points respectively.  What gives?  Still, you're right, Clinton is simply a much stronger and more competent campaigner and candidate than Holy Joe.

by cilerder86 2007-01-30 02:08PM | 0 recs
Re: I don't know.

So far Hillary is avoiding the trap of trying to directly attack the other candidates. So she seems above the fray. Lieberman was stupid enough to lose his cool early and often.

by Pravin 2007-01-30 03:12PM | 0 recs
Re: I don't know.

Look at what happened to Joe Biden today.  HRC's people are not ever going to allow her to even speak about Obama, lest one fucking word sinks her.  Hell, if I were running, I wouldn't talk about him.  Anyone not black could have trouble saying soemthing they didn't mean.  Hell, I am latino and would be petrified to speak at this point.

by jgarcia 2007-01-31 10:34AM | 0 recs
Then why are we still the peanut gallery?

After reading your post, I am rather distressed that there hasn't been much real argument over who's the best candidate, just a bunch of observing. We all know we're far more powerful when we build concensus, consolidate our information, develop common narratives, and work together. We don't have to all agree on the same candidate, but we could at least get to the point of agreeing on what reasons one might have for supporting each, and what we can expect from their candidacies.

What are we waiting for? Here; it's easy. I'll go: I'm an Edwards supporter. He shares my priorities, and I like his not-quite-so-inside-the-beltway attitude towards politics. I also think he'll help to change the D-R debate in a way beneficial for both the party and the country, and he'll have huge coat-tails everywhere there's a populist thirsting for some sort of party support. Obama could be either JFK or a complete dudd, and I'm not taking that chance. Hillary Clinton has no soul. Can we start organizing now? Please?

by msnook 2007-01-30 02:15PM | 0 recs
Re: Then why are we still the peanut gallery?

After reading your post, I am rather distressed that there hasn't been much real argument over who's the best candidate, just a bunch of observing.

You mean on this site? Well, duh. That's because basically nobody on this site likes Hillary Clinton. What's the point of debating whether Hillary Clinton or Edwards/Obama would be the better candidate, if nobody is present to represent the Hillary Clinton side of the argument?

Outside Hillary Clinton, meanwhile, there has been a lot of (occasionally quite vehement) argument on this site about whether Obama or Edwards is the better candidate.

by Silent sound 2007-01-30 04:01PM | 0 recs
Re: Then why are we still the peanut gallery?

Anyone on this site who defends HRC gets eaten alive. This happens to be a big mistake because the insight into why someone supports HRC is needed if you are to persuade HRC supporters to support a different candidate instead.

Telling HRC supporters that she is a bad choice because of the war is the classic example of mistaking your criteria for selecting a candidate, for the criteria they used. Not suprisingly, few if any HRC supporters change their minds when confronted with her stance on the war. Other issues are more important to them.

by kundalini 2007-01-31 03:02AM | 0 recs
Re: Then why are we still the peanut gallery?

I think there are plenty of people here who agree with the comment that HRC has no soul.

I know I'm not a one-issue voter and a candidate's war stance isn't a litmus test for me. For HRC, I view her Iraq position as a symptom of her unattractiveness as a candidate.

Said unattractiveness is: she has no soul. I see political calculation in every stance she expounds. Maybe that's just me, but...well, let's just say I don't think so.

by KB 2007-01-31 04:07AM | 0 recs
Re: Then why are we still the peanut gallery?

Well you are hardly going to persuade any HRC supporter to change horses using those reasons, however justified they might be.

by kundalini 2007-01-31 05:29AM | 0 recs
Re: Then why are we still the peanut gallery?

How about with other candidates, you get candidates who not only are better on Iraq and national security, but are just as good or better on progressive issues such as women's rights, The Patriot Act, schools, unions?

I think there are different reasons for people wanting to support Hillary. I only know of a couple.
If the only reason why they want Hillary to win is because they have "you go girl" mentality or "Bill's wife is part of the family" type mentlaity, then there is no point arguing with such people and better to move on to others.

by Pravin 2007-01-31 09:24AM | 0 recs
Re: Then why are we still the peanut gallery?

If someone ever told me personally I had "no soul", my response would be to "fuck you."  Be careful with those awful things you are saying about people.  Geez.

by jgarcia 2007-01-31 10:36AM | 0 recs
Re: Then why are we still the peanut gallery?

If you ever run for public office at the state or national level, I suspect that will be one of the milder epithets said about you. Don't get quite so personal about it.

I was agreeing with a prior comment because, as I stated, to me HRC's positions consistently smack of political calculation, not personal beliefs. It's one thing to try to be nuanced or even moderate on one particular issue, but it feels like when I hear Sen. Clinton take a stand for the first time on something, it sounds like fog veiled in a shroud covered by translucence. You know there's supposed to be something in there, but you can't quite make out what it is. She seems to waffle until someone has taken a poll to tell her what will play.

For me, the shorthand for that is, "She has no soul."

YMMV. That's why we have elections. She's still about 500% better than the best of the Repub candidates and I'll support her and vote for her if she's the Dem nominee. But I'd rather have

by KB 2007-02-01 03:56AM | 0 recs
Re: Then why are we still the peanut gallery?

You articulate my sentiments as well.  I prefer Gore, but HRC picking judges to the Supreme Court would be something I would cherish forever.  I just wanna see it.

I also wanna see a woman as commander-in-chief with all those misogynist military men having to follow her orders.  (not ALL military, just those that are).

Also, I want to see her have to be hosted by those anti-woman Islamic regimes like the one in Saudi Arabia (King Abdullah) have to host a woman president of the most powerful country on earth and treat her as, GASP!, equal.

If I, as a man, am thinking of this stuff, then you can rest assured that many many women throughout the country will be thinking similarly.

by jgarcia 2007-01-31 10:42AM | 0 recs
All of the favorable/unfavorable ratings I've seen have tended to have Edwards and Obama with ever-so-slightly higher favorables than Hillary, and much lower unfavorables. Is this simply a matter of being less well known? Name-rec is not knowing. Hillary has been in the news for 15 years. Edwards has for 5. Obama for 3.
by jallen 2007-01-30 02:16PM | 0 recs
Blogosphere National Trial Heat Narrative
Clinton is going to be very tough for anyone to beat in the Dem Party and if she gets the nomination she is going to be even tougher to beat by the Republicans.  Let's not kid ourselves, she has been prepping for this since at least 92, and everything that she has done from that moment to this has been witht he understanding that she was going to get her shot.  

I was at her last debate this past cycle, and while John Spencer was not a great candidate, she did do a really good job in not only staying on her message, but getting the crowd behind her.  Much like her husband, she knows how to work a room regardless of size.  She has charisma, she has the name, and she has the organization.  If she loses, it will be because Bartlett came along and moped the floor with her.  Oh wait, that's a TV show, maybe an insurgent Richardson campaign, oh wait, that's just me dreaming.

by Mark J. Bowers 2007-01-30 02:18PM | 0 recs
Re: Blogosphere National Trial Heat Narrative

Your mistaking charisma for people wanting to be around her because of Bill.  Why do you think people  call her "The Ice Lady"?  Or was that a phrase only the wing-nuts used on her

by Calvin Jones and the 13th Apostle 2007-01-31 06:31AM | 0 recs
Re: Blogosphere National Trial Heat Narrative

no, what I am saying comes from my experience with her and not from anything to do with Mr. Clinton.

by Mark J. Bowers 2007-01-31 05:21PM | 0 recs

I've a sneaking suspicion that Vilsack will eventually drop out and support Hillary. They are cut from the same DLC mold.

by rosebowl 2007-01-30 02:30PM | 0 recs
Re: yes

Or Vilsack's support will drop as people realise he is irrelevant in the wider race.

Can't see HRC winning Iowa but a decent 3rd place or even 2nd should be achievable. Edwards should win but I doubt it will be a crushing blow to Obama or HRC.

by kundalini 2007-01-31 01:03AM | 0 recs
I understood that
yeah, I know the DLC thing, but 1. (and less significantly) Vilsack is on the outs apparently, with the DLC, and 2.... how many votes does DLC support translate into? I know it means a lot of money, but is there a real constituency out there for the DLC?
by jallen 2007-01-30 02:36PM | 0 recs
having been called bullshit on

I remain unconvinced. I think Edwards and Obama both have a better chance at the nomination than Clinton does.

At some point voters in the early states are going to see the candidates side-by-side. HRC is a poor communicator, and I do not expect her to do well in debates with Edwards and Obama. Even some of the second-tier candidates are likely to come across as more substantive than HRC (I'm thinking of both Richardson and Vilsack).

Here's another thing to consider. Right now Clinton has a nationwide plurality in a big field. After the first four states, the race is likely to be narrowed to two or at most three candidates. A large number of people who do not support Clinton dislike her. My brother is an example. He would never vote Republican, but he cannot stand HRC and swears he would write in a candidate before he would vote for her. He would vote for absolutely any Democrat left standing against her.

My favorite candidate is Edwards. However, if he were out of the race for some reason, there are a few others who would have my serious consideration. Not HRC, though. There is no conceivable scenario in which I would support her during the primaries.

I think Chris underestimates the number of Democrats who are very averse to supporting Clinton. As election day draws close in their states, they will be comparing Clinton to the alternatives, and I suspect a very large number will land elsewhere.

by desmoinesdem 2007-01-30 02:45PM | 0 recs
Re: having been called bullshit on

The "number of Democrats who are very averse to supporting Clinton" appears to be much smaller than anyone originally thought. She is showing surprising strength in state polls and in matchups with potential GOP nominees.

by robliberal 2007-01-30 02:57PM | 0 recs
Re: having been called bullshit on

HRC is a poor communicator

on what planet is HRC a poor communcator? I have seen her speak twice, she is electrifying.

I think enough Democrats have been dissappointed with her that she can be defeated.

The Gore numbers are dissappointing, but I think they would go up if he entered the race.

by Alice Marshall 2007-01-30 03:47PM | 0 recs

Sorry, I think she is a very poor speaker. Her voice is not pleasant to listen to. And no, that it not a sexist remark, because I am a woman and there are any number of women in politics who are much better communicators than HRC.

There is very little substance to what she says as well.

by desmoinesdem 2007-01-30 03:50PM | 0 recs
Re: having been called bullshit on

I have also seen her speak in person, and I agree that it is exhilarating. It's just not the same on TV. I bet a few personal appearances in Des Moines will affect the perception of her communication skills among Iowa D primary voters.

That said, my lawn sign reads "Hillary for Senate". That applies to '08 as well.

by De Re Rustica 2007-01-30 04:14PM | 0 recs
Re: having been called bullshit on

Electrifying?  That thought never crossed my mind as it relates to her.  That's a phrase people used for JFK and she isn't on his level of a speaker.  What makes her electrifying?  I'd like to know.  Not trying to be snarky, I am honestly curious.

by Calvin Jones and the 13th Apostle 2007-01-31 06:34AM | 0 recs
poor communicator?

HRC is a poor communicator

Well, Barack Obama and John Edwards are no slouches when it comes to communicating, that's for sure, but neither is Hillary Clinton.  This is from an old New Yorker article, well worth re-reading...

That début--a marathon of back-to-back appearances before five committees--was widely perceived as virtuoso. Referring in general to her appearances to promote health care, of which her congressional testimony was the most sustained and dramatic, Representative Pat Williams, of Montana, said, "We were embarrassed by our surprise, but we were surprised--that in a city that relies on staff and note cards she could travel alone and speak with no notes."


During the early months of Hillary Rodham Clinton's activities on behalf of health-care reform, she took Capitol Hill by storm. Describing a meeting she held with the Senate Finance Committee--a group that will be critical to the passage of any health-care legislation--Lawrence O'Donnell, Jr., the committee's chief of staff, told me, "Mrs. Clinton came into that room, and she opened the discussion at about four-twenty-five in the afternoon. We were about eighteen minutes into it when she stopped--I remember, I looked at the clock. And what I had just heard were the most perfectly composed, perfectly punctuated sentences, growing into paragraphs, in the most perfect, fluid presentation about what our problems in this field were and what we could do about them." He added, "And then she held her position in the face of questioning by these senators around the table, many of whom know a great deal about the subject. And she was more impressive than any Cabinet member who has sat in that chair."

There were some people, as there had been in Arkansas over the years, who found her presence so compelling that her husband's seemed to pale by comparison. Senator Tom Daschle, of South Dakota, who became one of her most ardent advocates on health-care legislation, has described an issues conference for Democratic senators held in Jamestown, Virginia, in April, 1993, at which Hillary Clinton; Ira Magaziner, the director of the health-care task force; and Judith Feder, a deputy assistant secretary in the Department of Health and Human Services and the head of the task force's working groups, were to address the senators during the day. "We thought that Ira and Judy would be the primary speakers, and the First Lady would be there to fill the stature gap and impress the senators with the importance of the proposal," Daschle recalled. "Well, Ira and Judy got lost coming down. And the First Lady said, `I don't know that we have to wait. Let's get started.' She had no notes--Ira and Judy had all the materials. And she spoke with such eloquence and conviction and knowledge of the subject. That night, the President spoke. But at least half the senators who were there indicated that it was that morning, when Mrs. Clinton spoke, that was the highlight of the weekend."

by Rob in Vermont 2007-01-30 04:01PM | 0 recs
I don't understand #3

"The rise of Obama. As the only "top tier" candidate with the potential to catch Clinton solely via increased name recognition, if he continues to rise, expect Clinton's name ID to shrink."

Why would Hillary's name ID go down? Obama's will naturally soar and others uptick also, but unless I'm missing something that shouldn't have any impact on the percentage of people who are familiar with Hillary. I would expect her name ID to move toward Gore's at 97.

I applaud Chris for emphasizing that attacking Hillary's character and past will be fruitless. That nonsense bugs me more than just about anything on progressive sites. As Chris implied, she has been a national figure for 15 years, already Swift Boated over time, if you will. Right now she is obviously loosening up, as evidenced by the joke yesterday and the performance with Chris Matthews last week after the State of the Union message. Her favorable numbers will no doubt move a bit upward if she keeps it up, which is likely if not certain.

Hillary can still flub the long debate season in the fall, in comparison to another top tier candidate. She might be a victim of electability concerns, although ironically she benefits greatly in that regard after the label was falsely attached to Kerry in 2004. Frankly, minus that cycle I think Hillary's chance for the nomination would be half or less what it is. Everyone will be spitting out the phrase most electable this time.

You can't compare Lieberman's standing to Hillary's in terms of margin. The margin isn't as relevant as the base support level. Lieberman never had anything similar to the 32% quoted here. For example, give me a 32-24 lead as opppsed to 21-13 any time, even though the lead may be the same. The closer you are to the magic 50 the more foundational and robust it is.

by Gary Kilbride 2007-01-30 02:45PM | 0 recs

You mean like voting for both the Patiot Act and the AUMF?  It sure calls into question her judgment.

by Calvin Jones and the 13th Apostle 2007-01-31 06:36AM | 0 recs
Re: I understood that
If people didn't like the Democrats in general, would many of them really go through the caucus to vote for Hillary?
by jallen 2007-01-30 03:15PM | 0 recs
Re: Calling Bullshit

EXCELLENT analysis, Chris.  I kept waiting for someone to debunk this one with the name-rec head-to-heads, and here it is.

Wonderful job.

by Nonpartisan 2007-01-30 03:15PM | 0 recs
Re: Going negative

I think concerns about 28 years of Bush/Clinton could be troubling to Democratic voters. How opposing candidates talk about this issue could be defining.

by OtH 2007-01-30 04:28PM | 0 recs
Re: Going negative

I agree that the dynasty issue could be a sleeper against Hillary. Hey people,can we have a President,please,who is not named Bush or Clinton?And then in 2016,its Jeb's turn.My God,we could have a situation where from 1988 to 2024,36 freakin years,every President would be from two freaking families.

I think Edwards can beat her in Iowa and New Hampshire by running to her left. As a Southern white man,he can take positions that a woman or black cannot take on the issue of imperialism and militarism.

by Litvak36 2007-01-30 07:32PM | 0 recs
Re: Going negative

On the contrary, IMHO.  People like that which they are familiar with, they trust the familiar.  Add to that that Bill Clinton is the most popular politician on the planet, who has not even gone to bat for his wife yet (that alone will be a sight to behold in the national media and on the TV show circuit and is sure to boost her numbers even further.)   I agree that the name Bush is dirt for now, but there are more people than not who would love to see Bill Clinton crafting policy in the White House again.   Think about it:  Would he be a "first gentleman," baking cookies and taking up a few pet causes?   Of course not.  He would be an integral part of the team, the quasi-vice president, shaker and baker, the guy who finally gave us a balanced budget and will do so again (not me gushing, but that will be the sloganeering and image that will brand itself into people's minds.)

Bill Clinton back in the White House is probably something at least 50% of the American people would want to see happen again.      

by georgep 2007-01-30 11:07PM | 0 recs
Re: Going negative

Hillary has to be careful with this. She can hardly argue that she's a tough, powerful independent woman if Bill is going to bat for her all over the place.

by clarkent 2007-01-31 03:05AM | 0 recs
Re: Going negative

She does not appear like a shrinking violet, but you are correct that a balance has to be struck and BC should not be overexposed, despite his popularity.   They can present themselves as a team with her in charge but him bringing vital experience in certain areas to the table.

by georgep 2007-01-31 04:38AM | 0 recs
The debates

What about the debates?  Won't those have an impact?  

I think up until then, most people are still window shopping. Once you see all the merchandise side-by-side and the sale is about to end, then you start to make a decision.  I have a feeling that people are gonna want a clear, decisive leader to take this country in a new direction, and not for someone who triangulates.

by exLogCabin 2007-01-30 09:03PM | 0 recs

If HRC is to be beaten in primaries it will probably be due to low turnout. Edwards has strong support amongst typical primary and caucus voters. HRC's support may not make it to the polls.

The only other way she is likely to be beaten is if it becomes a two horse race after New Hampshire. Prior to Obama entering the race this looked a possible scenario but seems far less likely now.

by kundalini 2007-01-31 01:30AM | 0 recs
"She is not invulnerable"

Regarding Hillary Clinton's chances at the nomination, I never make a stronger case against her than what you summarize in that short phrase.  I don't have to pretend that Clinton is a weak or doomed candidate in order to believe that another Democrat can still win the nomination.  

I repeatedly argue against the "inevitability" angle regarding Hillary, I don't dismiss her chances.  She is the very legitimate front runner for the Democratic nomination.  I could even add to the argument that you present as to why that is honestly so, and why her lead is a significant one (but I don't want to, lol).

I really don't relish getting into back and forth debating here now with supporters of other candidates, but with the possible exception of Obama, I believe the current top tier of candidates outside of Hillary Clinton is weak, and Obama has some obvious issues to fend off concerning his relative lack of experience, and he will face a silent headwind of 2%+ latent racism to overcome also.

As you point out, stepping outside of the core activist base of the Democratic Party, Al Gore still has some baggage to shed with the general public along with those pounds.  I am not saying that he can not achieve that, but it simply happens to be true.  

I believe that the sudden rise of Obama partially reflects the fact that a significant bloc of Democratic voters were not happy with their perceived choices for the 2008 race.  I look to your points numbers 1 and 4 to both occur, and in a manner whereby one reenforces and propells the other:

1) The rapid rise of one or more second tier candidates...

4) Real netroots and grassroots energy...

I believe that Wes Clark will be the next candidate to emerge to top tier status, with Bill Richardson or Chris Dodd as less likely alternatives.  Frankly I believe that John Edwards has already peaked, and peaked too early.  His recent anti-Iraq war credentials have been eclipsed by Barack Obama of late, and Edwards carries baggage from the past (his IWR Co-Sponsorhip) and from the future (his hawkish stand toward Iran).  Others were not thrilled with the performance of either half of the Democratic ticket in 2004.  Now, with Kerry out, Edwards carries that legacy alone.

So there is still room at the top for a new challanger to emerge, and with the first contests almost a year out, I think it inevitable that it will happen. The public, and the media, will subliminally expect it for one thing, out of boredom if nothing else.

Wes Clark has netroots support.  Wes Clark has real world credentials in a time when America faces multiple crises abroad and at home.  Along with Dodd, Clark is the man most left in the shadows by a media spotlight that refuses to focus on him, and that will soon turn around to help Wes Clark, because his emergence into high visibility will be more dramatic as a result.

And Iran is sitting out there, unfortunately  ready to become an explosive issue.  Wes Clark promotes a sane approach toward Iran that most Democrats long for.

by Tom Rinaldo 2007-01-31 05:51AM | 0 recs
"She is not invulnerable"

And Hillary doesn't have baggage?  Like her vote for the IWR.

by Calvin Jones and the 13th Apostle 2007-01-31 06:39AM | 0 recs
Re: Calling Bullshit

Hillary/Obama 08

Eat your heart out Joe Biden.

by Kingstongirl 2007-01-31 07:28AM | 0 recs


Advertise Blogads