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Ding! Dong! The Witch isn't dead!

How Hillary Clinton can still win the Democratic nomination . . . Notice the absence of Hillary spokespersons/attack dogs in the Obama/Rev. Wright controversy? For a candidate almost-but-not-quite within striking distance of the lead, she and her surrogates are keeping a very low profile. This is in keeping with a tried and true rule of politics: When your opponent is digging himself a hole, do NOT interrupt him!

It seems counterintuitive, but Hillary's best strategy at this point is an almost passive one. Recall that after the early primaries, when Obama had emerged as a serious contender, she and former President Clinton went on the attack, striking at Obama's lack of experience and mocking his claim of fidelity to the antiwar movement. None of it stuck, and much of it backfired, as the press continued its blindly fawning devotion to the Audacity of Hope. One big media reporter said she was "almost afraid to write something negative about him."

She was saved, oddly enough, by the end of the writers' strike. The NBC comedy Saturday Night Live returned with skits lampooning the press' soft treatment of Obama, which embarrassed the reporters assigned to him. As a result, they began to ASK QUESTIONS. What an idea when covering a Presidential candidate!

From then on, the Obama campaign, perhaps shocked and rocked by the sudden scrutiny, began making mistakes. First he whined about answering questions about Rezko. Next, his chief economic adviser (per the campaign, earlier), Austan Goolsby, assured Canadian diplomats that Obama's threats against the NAFTA treaty were just red meat political rhetoric, not to be taken seriously. Then foreign policy adviser Samantha Powers told French journalists that Obama's promise to withdraw from Iraq within 16 months was "a best-case scenario," not to be taken seriously. Then foreign policy adviser John Brennan told National Journal that the telecoms should get immunity under a new FISA bill, and that the Senate version was a good one (Obama voted against it). Then, it came out that indicted fixer Tony Rezko had actually toured Obama's new home with him before the purchase - and that he had raised much more money for Obama than had previously been admitted. Then the Rev. Wright anti-white, anti-America screeds came out.

So how does Hillary win from here?

The "delegate count" numbers are still against her. She is almost certain to arrive at the convention some 100 or so delegates behind Obama. She will fight for Michigan and Florida to be seated, which would close the gap, but the truth is she can't win those battles unless she has already won the war. But she is well on the way.

Obama's lame speech, attempting to defuse the Wright scandal, is apparently hurting him across the board. His negatives are up, his positives are down, he is slipping further behind in PA and one poll now has a dead heat in NC, where he had been enjoying a double-digit lead in some surveys. Following his "victory" in Mississippi, where he drew only 24% of the white (Democratic) vote, a poor showing in the Keystone State among white voters, followed by a similar slippage in North Carolina, would fuel the fears of super delegates that he has become "the black candidate," not some magical healer.

At this point, the long wait between the last significant primaries and the opening of the convention works all to Hillary's favor. Obama, with a slight lead but no majority, can hardly just "hang on" and expect the super delegates to flock to him based on wins, many in the early spring, many in red states the Democratic nominee will never carry, and many which he won only because of overwhelming black support, even as his national poll numbers erode.

Eventually the inevitable questions will creep into the minds of the super delegates (who are delegates not awarded by primary or caucus, most of whom are elected officeholders, party officials, or representatives of key interest groups): what is the risk to the down-ticket at the state and local level if we nominate an unknown and untested candidate who has shown a penchant for withholding full disclosure?

As long as she stays out of the public eye during the slow evisceration of Obama's viability, Hillary stands a reasonable chance of appearing not to have destroyed him herself, giving her a chance - not a guarantee - to unify the party for the fall. If Obama's supporters perceive that the nomination has been "stolen" from him, they will rebel, but if it is evident to all that his was a complete self-destruction which would have happened sooner or later anyway, they may come home. To Mama.


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Comments (33)

I saw the two pollsters on... (Below threshold)

I saw the two pollsters on one of the Fox news shows the other night. I think O'Reilly. They mentioned a fact overlooked, and that is every state that Obama and Hillary go at it, McCain's numbers shoot up in that state.

That's pretty telling in what we can expect in the general. By the time a Democrat emerges from the convention with the nomination they will have placated to the lefty constituency so deeply, neither will appeal to the general population.

You know what I'm saying is true because you don't see the lefties posting polls of the predicted Democrat landslide.

Hillary is silent which wou... (Below threshold)

Hillary is silent which would be normally the wisest tact, however, Hillary hasn't shown that wisdom before now.

And this story has been out there waiting. There's really no new revelation, just covering old ones for a change. Something or Someone prompted the Media to start covering the story.

Also coming this soon from Hillary after some campaign changes, imho, leading to things like push backs like the SNL skits, I'm more likely to believe Hillary helped cause this to come to the fore than just sitting idly by enjoying the benefit.

Aw, jpm100, how can you say... (Below threshold)

Aw, jpm100, how can you say that? Hillary has your answer . . . remember the press conference in the pink dress when they asked, "Did you do so-and-so?" and she replied, "There's been no evidence of that!"?

If ya don't have fingerprints or DNA, ya got nothing on the Clintons.

But really, it's not like ANY of this stuff has been hidden away. The press just chose to ignore it, and focus on the Dawning of the Age of Audacity and the New Harmonic Convergence which must inevitably result, la-ta-dee-da, instead.

It's what you call a "target-rich environment" for the fall, though.

Hillary will be on the tick... (Below threshold)
retired military:

Hillary will be on the ticket in Nov. I have no doubt in my mind.

--"from hell's heart I stab at thee, for hate's sake I spit my last breath at thee"--

The idea that Hillary could... (Below threshold)

The idea that Hillary could unify party is probably a bit of a fantasy. With people the likes of Reverend Wright out there do you really think - no matter why he loses the nomination, it will be spun as anything but racists?

Wright is this elections Dean scream only it's going to take down the whole party.

what is the risk to t... (Below threshold)

what is the risk to the down-ticket at the state and local level if we nominate an unknown and untested candidate who has shown a penchant for withholding full disclosure?

Excellent point Jay.

Obama's Wright problem is one that will resonate for a long time. His speech this week on race, though highly praised by his media enablers, will eventually be viewed as an exercise in style over substance (which, BTW, is the Obama campaign in miniature).

At some point, the serious adults in the Democratic Party will begin to openly question what they are quietly mulling over now. Governor Bredesan recently called for a Super Delegate meeting to head off a disaster.

And I don't care for either... (Below threshold)
Spurwing Plover:

And I don't care for either of those canidates

Oh yes, Hillary had nothing... (Below threshold)

Oh yes, Hillary had nothing to do with it (wink), and yes, she will unite the dem's at the convention (wink wink) and when that happens, we conservatives won't stand a chance against the party of unified love and hugs (wink wink wink).

Hillary doesn't need to do ... (Below threshold)

Hillary doesn't need to do or say anything now that the rightwing personal destruction smear machine has recieved its marching orders to desroy Obama using any means possible, ensuring that Hillary will face McCain in November, at which point this snarling, foaming pack of rabid un-Americans will attempt to rip her to shreds. Unfortunately all of this hard work this will leave US with another president who shows no evidence of understanding the enemy he has pledged to fight for a hndred years.

McCain '08...the hope-less choice!

It's ridiculous. Obama may ... (Below threshold)

It's ridiculous. Obama may still get the nomination because Superdelegates know his supporters will cry 'racism!' if he doesn't. This is despite the fact that he himself doesn't have the majorty, can't win a big state apart from his own and would likely be behind in both the delegate count and the popular vote if they counted or re-voted in Michigan and Florida.

Either way, he will never get elected. So the question is, how willing are party elders willing to 'offend' the Illinois senator with limited experience who disagrees that his relationship with a proven hate-mongerer should be called into question?

If Obama really wants the respect of a nation her needs to withdraw from this race.

That's hilarious nonsense, ... (Below threshold)

That's hilarious nonsense, Groucho, typical of Democrats to blame their failings on the effrontery of others to actually notice their conduct and rhetoric. Grow up Groucho.

now that the right... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:
now that the rightwing personal destruction smear machine has recieved its marching orders to desroy Obama using any means possible, ensuring that Hillary will face McCain in November

The rightwing personal destruction smear machine (RPDSM) is not scheduled to be activated until the Democrats pick the target. No since smearing a candidate only to have another step in.

Besides, there's no need. Obama and his pastor are destroying the Democrats first pick without any help from the RPDSM. I know that the idea of the main stream press asking tough questions of a Democrat is something new, but it's not the result of the RPDSM, which is still in the shop being tuned up. When we activated it, believe me, you'll know.

Obama's lame speech, att... (Below threshold)

Obama's lame speech, attempting to defuse the Wright scandal, is apparently hurting him across the board.

While the controvery has hurt him, I don't think anyone is saying his speech hurt him. He attacked the issue head on and spoke honestly about it. It may not have helped much but it certainly didn't hurt. While Obama took at hit in the polls they seem to have stabilized. CBS poll:

Obama 46, Clinton 43
Obama 48, McCain 43
Clinton 46, McCain 44

It's difficult to infer from these results that the Obama campaign is collapsing, and it's also impossible to say that Hillary would make the better general election candidate. The Wright affair was a pretty big speed bump no doubt, but I think this polling data demonstrates he has contained the damage.

Wow, it's these types of pe... (Below threshold)

Wow, it's these types of petty arguements that are destroying the Democratic party and eliminating any hope of progress in the next four years. Personally, I would like the focus to be on how to get something accomplished for a change, like fixing healthcare, reducing the national debt for the sake of our children and grandchildren, ending a costly war, taking real steps to energy independence and environmental restoration, regardless of who the candidate is. Enough of this psychotic fixation on personal destruction. This type of obsession is the unhealthy realm of political extremists, focusing on every little mistake no matter how irrelevant, propagating half truths without regard for context or reality, ascribing character flaws based on unwarrented assumptions. Enough already!

A cBS poll, you are joking ... (Below threshold)

A cBS poll, you are joking right? Quick did they even manage to screen for likely voters or is it an Adult or Registered Voter poll? How many Democrats more than Republicans did they have to cram in to get their result? How about the daily tracking polls that Scott Rasmussen runs that show Obama tanking? Or if it suits you how about big Democrat John Zogby and his recent national polling. When the poll you cite is a Likely Voter poll and is supported by at least one other recently taken Likely voter poll come back and we will then nod and agree.

They're not only destroying... (Below threshold)

They're not only destroying the Democratic party but will ultimately destroy the country as well.That was one of the key points of Obama's terrific speech, namely that we can go on like this, playing the smear game, or move forward and attempt to solve the massive problems facing us right now with hopefully some kind of consensus.I think a lot of people listened and heard what he was trying to say in spite of the many attempts to distort the picture by howling on ad infinitum about selected, parsed soundbites, eagerly digested by the superficial,headline driven mass audience. I'm hoping at this point more and more folks are can see through these attacks as nothing more than a substitute for real forward looking solutions, and as a cover up of the failed, bankrupt policies of the last eight years that are largely to blame for the mess we're in.

Going after Ferraro when sh... (Below threshold)
Baron Von Ottomatic:

Going after Ferraro when she stated the obvious was the turning point. The timing of the Wright sermons probably isn't a coincidence - surely there's still some love for Hillary! in the media, right?

Ferraro knows of what she speaks. She was there too - running for national office solely because of her gender. Hillary! is only where she is because she bears the surname Clinton. And BHO is only where he is because he's black.

Why would he even take offense at the suggestion? It brings his inexperience into play and creates an ideological rift between feminists and blacks. Especially when she's been there and heard the same thing. Only she took it like a man.

Now ol' Geraldine is free to snipe away at Obama as an "independant analyst". If he wins the nomination look for Fox to pick her up for their general election coverage.

Hillary! sure picked the right week to release her WH documents, huh?

and as a cover up ... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:
and as a cover up of the failed, bankrupt policies of the last eight years that are largely to blame for the mess we're in.

Leftwing personal destruction smear machine talking point from the person complaining about the rightwing personal destruction smear machine. After 7 plus years of Bush bashing the bashers now want to call a truce. Sorry, the Democrats are going to experience a pounding they simply are not prepared to cope with. The rightwing personal destruction smear machine is being fueled up and readied for Obama if he doesn't self-destruct before getting the nomination.

groucho,Just to se... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:


Just to see what it could do someone turned the rightwing personal destruction smear machine on for a quick test drive and this is what it produced. Just wait until it's unleashed full time.

THE TRUTH-DON'T READ THIS I... (Below threshold)
Sean the thinker:


When I examine this issue from a broader context, it makes me sad. Because it shows that race is still a divisive issue in the country.

Political operatives have effectively marginalized Senator Obama as the "Black" presidential candidate.

What this means is that any potential, and possibly current supporters, will relate to Mr. Obama from a different context.

Simply put, he will be characterized in the same context as Reverends Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson.

White people saw a better part of themselves in their support of Mr. Obama because it redeemed them from the shameful past of this country.

Barack Obama was very effective with White Americans because he, in effect, gave them the benefit of the doubt.

In essence he said " I wont rub the shame of American history in your faces if you will not hold my race against me. He is a bargainer, and bargainers are unusually extremely popular people (Oprah Winfrey, Bill Cosby e.g.), because they give whites this benefit of the doubt-that you can be with these people and not feel that you're going to be charged with racism at any instant. And so they tend to be very successful, very popular.

Challengers on the other hand say, I presume that you, this institution, this society, is racist until it proves otherwise by giving me some concrete form of racial preference-affirmative action, diversity programs and opportunities of one kind or another. There is more concrete bargaining on the case of challengers. If you go into any American institution today, you'll realize they're all used to dealing with challengers. They all have a whole system of things that they can give to challengers, who then will offer absolution.

One of the worst things that can happen to you in this country is to be charged with being racially biased.You never get over it. On your obituary, it'll be the first line. And there's almost no redemption. The good side of that is it makes the point of how intense this society is in its desire to overcome racism and its past.

Whites live under now this threat of being stigmatized as racist. Our institutions live under this threat of being stigmatized as racist and they're almost panicked over it. What makes me sad is that whites look at what happened to Don Imus. And now, they're never going to tell me what they really feel.

Whites never tell blacks what they really think and what they really feel because they are at risk of being seen as a racist. And the result of that is that to a degree, most blacks live in a bubble. Nobody tells them the truth. Nobody tells them what they would do if they were in their situation. Nobody really helps them. They use them. They buy their own innocence with them. But they never tell them the truth. And they need to be told the truth very often.
America is a great society, a great country. It has all sorts of values that have gotten us to this place where we are the world's greatest society in many ways.
Within those values is a history of terrible racism. But those same values will work for blacks. They will help them join the mainstream, become a part of it. But whites can't say that because then they seem to be judgmental. They're seen as racist. And so, no one says it to black people.

So please understand, this is why many whites would look to Obama as a redeemer.

Sadly, the political operatives have changed white america's view of Obama and this is why Mr. Obama will not will not be President of the United States of American.

Sadly,the politics of yesterday remain the same today.

Hill's WH schedule recor... (Below threshold)

Hill's WH schedule records will award her another certificate as a world class liar on NAFTA. The question now with PA blue collar voters is how will they square that with their inclination to support her there ? I don't know if Barack's campaign is going to capitalize on this in PA, but his union supporters can certainly launch their own ad against her. With still a month to go before PA, there will be definitely more rough seas for Hill to waddle over. I wonder how she would go around this certificate of Lies and the not yet released Tax Returns.

I have to say, that the Rep... (Below threshold)

I have to say, that the Republicans probably wouldn't have sat on this.

So this is the optimum time for Obama have this disclosed. He gets the most time for people to cool off, forget, or rationalize this away before the General Election. If he still gets the nomination its like a sort of approval, too.

This would have hurt Obama more if it came out in August or September.

jpm100I have... (Below threshold)


I have to say, that the Republicans probably wouldn't have sat on this.

Where's the logic in that? If I were running a Republican campaign I would have sat on this story until September. But the facts are that Sean Hannity has been talking about Wright since last summer. The story behind this story is that a conservative talk show host has been talking about Wright for months and the MSM has ignored it.

I guess that sort of dispels the myth that conservative talk radio is the mouth piece of Republican campaigns. That's because conservatives and Republicans were then involved in a healthy debate about who their candidate would be.

Sean the thinker or Sean th... (Below threshold)

Sean the thinker or Sean the insane. It is obvious you are a member of the oppressive race of people, who along with Hitler, Mussolini, Krushev (all white) who fail to understand the real problems of race and build yourselves as superiors. Its a sickness of international proportions. No one likes white people, you are viruses, leeches, scum AND YOUR MOTHER LOVE BLACK MEN!!

Brad, what rock did you cra... (Below threshold)

Brad, what rock did you crawl from under?

Brad, get a real keyboard.<... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

Brad, get a real keyboard.

I think it's important that... (Below threshold)
Lisa Cooper:

I think it's important that we all know the CLINTON'S Pastor was recently convicted of child molestation.

So, if Obama bears the guilt for his pastor's comments, then Hillary has to be equally tainted by this guy's crimes.


Everybody listen up: Hillar... (Below threshold)

Everybody listen up: Hillary's home town is missing their town idiot. Send her back, quick

Jpm, she caused all this me... (Below threshold)

Jpm, she caused all this mess, is there ever going to be an investigation about what this bitch has been up to and still is. Take the hint madam you are very much disliked, you make me ashamed of being a woman

Obama should never have run... (Below threshold)

Obama should never have run for the nomination, he is too young, too inexperienced and its all Oprah's fault, so she is to blame.

Oprah thought she could buy hersef a Pressydent., but it ain't gonna work babie.

Shock and Awe...the Republicans got to him first. Dems lose agin.

LisaDid the pastor p... (Below threshold)

Did the pastor preach child molestation from the pulpit?
Look forward to your answer..unless you're the person Annette #28 is looking for.

In their latest attempts to... (Below threshold)
Donna Zuk Adley:

In their latest attempts to promote their political agenda, Republicans claim Obama and Wright are not patriotic. They know this is not true, but truth is not on their agenda; power and control is. In true Machiavelli form, the results justify the means, even at "The People's" expense.

Perhaps it is politically correct to denounce some of Jeremiah Wright's words, but to denounce Pastor Wright himself is to denounce both our forefathers and Christ. Our forefathers didn't mince their words, and neither did Jesus.

Wright, a former marine and navy seal speaks fearlessly about hypocrisy just as our forefathers and Jesus did. Jesus denounced the Pharisees, stating they resembled white-washed graves full of dead men's bones and called them hypocrites.

Some of our more soul-searching forefathers acknowledged the hypocrisy between the equality spoken of in the Declaration of Independence and reality. In order to form a more perfect union, our forefathers rejected and denounced their country, and in Common Sense, Thomas Paine called Mother England, "a monster." That no more made them unpatriotic than Jesus' words made him un-Christian.

Our Founders constitutionally separated church and state, therefore, Obama has no more right to control Wright's way of conducting his congregation than Wright has to tell Obama how to conduct his politics. Hilary said, words are just words, but these are not Obama's words they are Wrights words which Obama has denounced.

What was interesting during these recent attacks, Hilary was suspiciously silent on religion and race. When approached by the media about her prayer group activities in Washington, she declined. Why?

Hilary is affiliated with a mostly Republican-- and what some Washington politicians call--Christian Mafia, a power cult with a very unchristian agenda known as The "Fellowship," that has Nazi originations. With dubious tax exemption status, this Capitol Hill group is based on secrecy along with the belief that they are the chosen ones, and like King David, will be absolved of all sin. Some of its affiliates or members include Condoleezza Rice, Brownback, Newt Gingrich, John Ashcroft, Tom DeLay, Pat Robertson, and Bush.

This time it's not 'just words" but actions delivered by a destructive religious movement that has now achieved almost total control over the three branches of the U.S. government, as well as several state governments.

They will wine and dine special delegates, lie, and delve into their backgrounds, and steal elections 'for Christ.' Scandal after scandal will pop out in the news regarding these special delegates. These right-wing evangelicals are also responsible for false claims towards other Presidential candidates that include McCain, Dukakis, and Gore.

I have no doubt that this organization is somehow involved in the breach of security of Obama's passport. Without even an investigation, the State Dept. has already stated that there is 'no reason to believe it was for political reason.'

In order to form a more perfect union, it is those who have the courage to critique that initiate change to improve. Like a 12-step program, one must make a "searching and fearless moral inventory." The wrong must be admitted before it can be perfected. As Howard Zinn stated, "Dissent is the highest form of patriotism."

We are blessed with this great nation but along with this greatness comes responsibility to our Creator and each other. Two candidates want to conquer and divide, no matter what the cost, one wants to unite the nation.

Who sounds more Christian?

In their latest at... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:
In their latest attempts to promote their political agenda, Republicans claim Obama and Wright are not patriotic.

Not so much unpatriotic but rather liars, hypocrites, and racial bigots. Even Geraldine Ferraro calls Wright a racial bigot.

Perhaps it is politically correct to denounce some of Jeremiah Wright's words, but to denounce Pastor Wright himself is to denounce both our forefathers and Christ. Our forefathers didn't mince their words, and neither did Jesus.

About the best I can say of such a statement is the it's misguided. Wright is a typical liberal and as such supports abortion rights. If you believe the Bible, then you accept that God knows people while they are still in their mother's womb. Supporting the killing of unborn people pretty much excludes Wright from being a prophet or speaking for Christ when not reading verbatim from the Bible. Not mincing their words is also a characteristic of despots and tyrants. Denouncing Wright is denouncing a racial bigot and hater of America, not Christ nor America's founders.

The rest of your screed is similarly misguided.

As for chickens coming home to roost, well every group of people has some chickens. The native Americans practiced both war and slavery, so the white man showing up might have been their chickens coming home to roost. Blacks claim the achievements of ancient Egypt with pride, but their 400 years of enslavement by whites may be their chickens coming home to roost for enslaving the Jews for 400 years. Japan attacked the U.S. so the atomic bombs were Japan's chickens coming home to roost. Muslims attacked the U.S. on 9/11 and the invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq were their chickens coming home to roost. Mankind has been releasing so many chickens for so long we can't tell who's chickens are coming home to roost in who's house. It's idiotic of Wright to claim he knows.






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