Monday, November 19, 2007

Republican Talking Points

What is it lately with Democratic presidential candidates Obama and Edwards resorting to the use of trash talk right out of the Republican play book? Is it not possible to win the nomination without playing the same dirty game they play?

I'm disgusted with this behavior. They talk about politics of change and so-called not inside the beltway tactics; but then go out and parrot those exact things. Do they think we won't notice? They're wrong if the do.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Is Hillary unstoppable?

This is more than just an idle question. I will say up front that I am a Hillary supporter. But that doesn't mean that I have blinders on.

Hillary is clearly leading the pack in the race for the Democratic nomination. And this is happening on both the national and state level. As for as I can tell, looking at the state polls there really isn't a single state where she is behind.

That being said, polls are not voting citizens. They are snapshots of people's opinions on the date the poll is conducted. I do think that as more polls over more time show Hillary leading, these multiple snapshots begin to paint a picture that runs over time. And this longer time line of polls is a more accurate representation of how people will vote. Why?

Because each polling period occurs as different information is available about the candidates. They make speeches, put out policy positions, offer up new ideas, back away from previous ideas or positions, and interact with both the media and the voting public. In addition, a debate or forum may have recently taken place. Any of these events offers those polled the opportunity to change their minds about a candidate or re-enforces their support for a chosen candidate.

As the polls continue to accumulate, the fact that Hillary's lead has grown in many of them tells me that those polled like what they see and hear. Of course, peoples minds can change and they do.

As far as Hillary is concerned, I believe only a very major mistake will change peoples view of her. She now has the luxury of taking the high road for the rest of the primary cycle.

On the other hand, Obama and Edwards find themselves in the postion of having to go negative. I know many will say that pointing out issues you differ on is not negative and I would agree. Except that they are not limiting their critisism to policies. They are making it personal - attacking characater. To me that is a loser all the way around.

I hate to see sniping within the party, and it will just be used by the Republicans later on. In addition, it hurts those who level these attacks. My impressions of Obama, though he is not my chosen candidate, is that he is just like all the others who snipe on a personal level. The same goes for Edwards and other candidates who get personal and nasty. I am less likely to support that kind of candidate.

So, back to my question; is Hillary unstoppable? Unless something major happens in this campaign I would say yes she is unstoppable.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Obama by the numbers

I have been looking at the site, which by the way, is packed with good information and I've noticed some trends in the Obama numbers.

Here's a link to the site for more information:

I'll use the polling numbers of the early voting states.

California 2007 January-June

32%--27%--25%--27%--25%--22% basically a down trend

Iowa 2007 January-June

17%--19%--20%--20%--19%--18% a slight uptrend, then back down

New Hampshire 2007 January-June

22%--23%--23%--22%--21%--21% a very slight tick up, then down

South Carolina 2007 January-June

12%--25%--24%--27%--26%--25% a huge rise, then small trend down

Florida 2007 January-June

13%--14%--15%--17%--18%--17% a small rise, then a slight trend down

New York 2007 January-June

13%--12%--14%--16%--13%--12% a small trend up, then back down

I bring this up because I think they point out an interesting fact as it relates to the Obama campaign. While raising nearly record breaking amounts of money during the 2nd quarter, he has shown down trends in all of the early states during that same quarter.

I don't think you can claim he is not a known name anymore. So, what accounts for the down trends in the polls while raising money? My opinion (and it's just mine) is this:

Barack Obama has a large number of people who support him intensely and fervently. But, this group, though large in terms of donor numbers, does not translate into people willing to say they would vote for him when polled. Obama has underperformed in the three major debates/forums. Maybe it's not his venue, but it's the one he has available to win people over. He's not doing that. His campaign has tried some questionable tactics to undermine others in the race and that has backfired.

All of this has put him where he is today - firmly in second place - all that money not withstanding. After all he's not going to buy the election and we Democrats wouldn't want that anyway.

Where he goes from here is anybodies guess. But, if things don't change he won't be the nominee in 2008.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Campaign Fund Raising

Well, it's all over the news. Barack Obama raised more money the Hillary Clinton in the second quarter. There's lots of crowing too from the Obama fan clubs. I have to wonder though, isn't he just the Democratic version of Mitt Romney? Raising all the money, and yet basically going nowhere in the polls?

To me that says exactly one thing. He has about 250,000 passionate followers willing to give his campaign lots and lots of money (like the Mormons are giving to Romney), but ultimately they form just a very small subset of the voting public (like the Mormons). That's why his poll numbers don't seem to reflect the campaign money he receives - like Romney in the Republican polls.

When this piece of news sinks in on the Democratic side, they will put the money race into perspective. It's just a part of the overall campaign to gain the nomination. More specifically, I think are the important factors of qualifications, effectiveness in the debates and forums, national appeal as well as state appeal in polls, organizational skills, ability to avoid self-inflicted wounds, and passion for the job are equally important. On all of these counts, Hillary Clinton is clearly doing the best among the Democratic candidates.

Time will tell, but I do not think all of Obama's money is going to translate into votes in the primaries and caucuses - remember Howard Dean? Can you say deja vu all over again?

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Hillary's steady gains in Iowa

If you look at the early voting/caucusing states, one thing is clear. Hillary is the clear leader in most of them.

When it comes to Iowa, though she isn't yet leading yet in most polls, she is steadily gaining. I think it is most helpful and relevant to watch the same polling orgainzation over time to see how the candidates are trending.

Strategic Vision has been polling Iowa regularly this year. They have 5 polls to compare. Here is the data:

Having watched all three debate/forums it pretty clear that the more people see Hillary Clinton, the better they like her. I can't say that I'm one of the converted, I have always thought Hillary is great and have been a supporter from the beginning. It's good to see that more people are coming to see the person and candidate that I've seen for years.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Iraq's Civil War

When we talk about Iraq’s civil war I think it’s important to put it into perspective. Do the Iraqi’s really even want a united Iraq?

If you take a minute to look back at our civil war you will see some striking data. In 1860 the US population was about 31,400,000; just a bit more than Iraq’s is today. Our civil war lasted four years and we lost 618,000 soldiers in that war. Our country was nearly torn apart and the cost was immense to hold the United States together. Are the Iraqi people willing to preserve their country? This civil war is now theirs to decide. Do they hold the country together or does it split apart? That’s a question only the Iraqis can answer. Just as only American’s could answer that question back in the 1960’s.

We need to leave Iraq to the countrymen who live there and let them decide the future of their country just as we did some 140 years ago. We shed hundreds of thousands of our son’s blood in our civil war; Iraq may well do the same. The point is this is their country, their civil war, and their decision to make.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Edwards and Money

Edwards seems to be losing ground in the money race. That is, if his campaign is telling the truth. I know it's tacky that it takes money, and lot of it, to run for President. I also know it's true for this election.

I can't see how he competes successfully for very long if he can't put up adds and run a well funded ground game. I also wonder about his base if they aren't donating in numbers big enough to keep him competitive.

As for Obama and Clinton, they are both sure to come in near or above $30 million. It's going to take a truck load of money to run a campaign this long and go into so many states heavily so soon.

July 15th ought to be interesting.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Take Back America Forum

I saw the speeches of Barak Obama, John Edwards, and Hillary Clinton. I think they all were quite persuasive and had lots to say. I want to focus for a minute on the booing during Hillary's speech.

I find it interesting that the Right Wing noise machine makes much of it - and of course lies about what actually happened. The truth and the right wing have clearly never met one another. What's equally interesting is the fact that the Left Wing noise machine mostly in the form of blogs has made much of it too.

To my way of thinking, if Hillary is ticking off/offending/worrying both the Left Wing and the Right Wing she will sound pretty darn good to everyone else who lives in the middle. And that is a big percentage of the electorate. I hope she keeps bothering both ends of the political spectrum; it will means she has ideas and positions that are in line with most of the country.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Clinton tied with Giuliani/Romney in Texas

Here's the link to the article:
Is Tesax turning blue?

This gist of the story is this:

Texas hasn't gone Democratic in a presidential race in more than three decades. But the survey shows Republican contender Sen. John McCain essentially tied with Democratic Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton among registered voters, with McCain at 36% and Clinton at 35% in a head-to-head contest. Republican Rudy Giuliani and Clinton also are essentially tied, at 32%-31%.

The telephone survey of 1,002 adults was taken from April 26 to May 7 by the Texas Lyceum, a nonpartisan civic group. The margin of error is +/- 3 percentage points. An executive summary of the report is available here.

Democratic Sen. Barack Obama fared less well than Clinton, though more voters were undecided. McCain beat Obama 32%-25%. Giuliani defeated Obama 32%-22%.

This means a couple of things to me.

First, Texas is in play right now. Hopefully it stays that way. It also means the Dean 50 state strategy seems to be working. At the very least the Rep candidate will have to spend money in Texas to win/compete.

Second, it shows that Clinton is more competitive in a red state than Obama. I think that's because she is seen as more moderate. She also has a pretty strong hold on the children's issues which speak strongly to women.

Third, if this is a trend rather than some blip, it portends extremely bad things for the Reps which warms my heart.

I know we all have our favorites - mine is Clinton - and feel strongly about our candidate. I hope we can focus our energy on what our chosen candidate stands for and makes us want to vote for them and spend a lot less time denigrating the others. At the end of the day there will be only one person who wins and I will support that person because we need a Dem in the White House. All of them are head and shoulders above the Rep choices and all will protect the Supreme Court from further movement to the right.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Hillary on the Palestinian fiasco

Clinton was asked about her thoughts re: the attacks by Hamas on Fatah in Gaza. Here is a portion of the article:

" Democratic Senatorial Candidate Hillary Clinton told the Post Wednesday that when it came to the means of strengthening Fatah in its struggle with Hamas, she was "going to leave those decisions to the Israeli government." She was speaking after making remarks at an Orthodox Union luncheon in Washington warning of the danger a Hamas victory would pose for Israel and the region.

"We've got a situation here where it's almost ironic that people are rooting for Fatah. This is something that I don't think any of us ever would have foreseen," Clinton told the OU audience.

"The civil war in Gaza, which has the potential of spreading to the West Bank, has the potential of bringing Hamas to power with a much stronger position than it currently has. I think that is deeply disturbing."

She continued, "If Hamas emerges victorious in this civil war, we'll have a whole new set of issues that we'll have to figure out how to deal with. That is not good, obviously, for Israel, but it's also not good for Egypt. It's not good for Jordan." Clinton did not outline any specific action plan, other than ruling out any contacts with Hamas.

"There should not be any effort to, certainly recognize, or even deal with Hamas until it renounces violence and recognizes Israel's right to exist," the New York senator said. "

I think these comments pretty clearly point out the very bad state we find ourselves in now. The options for this country are quite small at this time and we can thank the monumental failures of the Bush so-called foreign policy for this.

I honestly don't know how our country can do much at this time.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

The Iraq funding vote

I've watched as the Democrats have pushed to have meaningful timetables and accountability as part of the recent war funding bill. I am of two minds on this issue. On the one hand, I am angry that they basically gave in to Bush's demands for just a pile of money. But, I can see reasons why it happened.

By pushing like they did, they were able to get the Republican congressmen and congresswomen on paper as supporters of Bush's War Without End (BWWE). Those votes are going to cost them come November 2008. They also showed the American public that Democrats can put together meaningful legislation to end BWWE. That is good.

And, passing the toothless bill does at least remove the claim of not supplying the troops. And, I have to say, I'm not happy that Hillary and Obama voted no. To my mind, they are pandering to the anti-war (actually anti-BWWE) left. That NO vote could come back to haunt them too.

Time will tell how passing this particular bill will effect the course of BWWE.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Gonzales and the new blue dress...

You can't say politics isn't both interesting and karmic in its own way. Looks like Bush gets to have his Monica moment too. Just not the good times as it were.

The more details that come out on this whole USA firing fiasco the bigger the stink gets. I can see why Bush is desperately hanging on to Gonzales and our new Monica is planning to take the 5th. This administration may well fall on this case.

BTW, I am not so sure she actually even invoke the 5th, and even if she can, I see the Senate giving her immunity and forcing truthful testimony out of her. There is no way some very big fish in this administration are not caught in this net.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Back on the air

My self imposed hiatus is over. I'm still a pragmatic liberal...I lean left, but believe in evidence based policies and plans for this country. My philosophy is inclusive of all people, and that includes conservatives!

I try to always keep up a civil communication with my conservative friends; many times it's more a matter of degree than outright policy that separates us. If we not at polar opposites on an issue there is more hope of finding areas of agreement.

That being said, there are beliefs I hold that truly are the polar opposite of some conservatives. As you might guess, they are the so-called moral issues of abortion and same-sex marriage. Conservatives who hold religious beliefs so strongly that they would legislate those beliefs into law simply cannot and will not ever try to look at the other side. For that reason, I waste no time having the conversation. I simply work my behind off the elect public officials that won't legislate religious beliefs.

So, that's my definition of a pragmatic liberal What's your?