Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Reading The Granite

Last night we were treated to one of the most surprising nights in modern political history as Hillary Clinton beat the Obama juggernaut, defying polls that showed her losing handily, perhaps by double digits.

Despite the fact that guys like me who try and read political tea leaves are eating a heaping helping of crow this evening, I'm going to take a stab at why New Hampshire went down the way it did. I believe the reasons are as follows:

1. The Hillary Machine beat Obama's momentum. For months we have heard that Hillary's ability to find her voters and get them to the polls was going to make this primary process a rout for Clinton. The machinery in New Hampshire that Hillary has been oiling up for the past eight years proved effective and my guess is that she was able to get just about every one of her voters out last night.

2. Obama voters didn't come out. At least not in the numbers we thought they would. There are a couple of reasons for this. Obama might have suffered from the sense that he was inevitably headed for a big win last night. Therefore his legions of young, college age supporters, decided not to wait in the long lines at the polling station and went straight to the victory party.

In addition to this, many of the independents who were supporting Obama, may have concluded that he was going to win with or without them and they therefore went where their votes would mean more. Namely, to the GOP primary, where they cast their ballots for John McCain.

3. The Edwards factor. Edwards came out well behind Clinton and Obama last night, but he still scored 17%. Most believe that the Edwards vote is, like the Obama vote, an anti-establishment, anti-Clinton vote. Therefore it only stands to reason that more Edwards voters would go to Obama if he were to drop out. Some of his union support would probably go to Hillary, however I would guess that he would have easily been able to make up the three or four percentage points that he needed, had Edwards not been there.

This leads us to what happens next in Nevada and South Carolina. In an attempt to regain some of my pundit credibility I am going to take a pass in trying to predict the outcome of either, however, depending on the factors which I pointed out above: Hillary's machine, the presence of Obama's young voters and whether or not Edwards is still in the race, we will either see a very close race or a sizable Obama victory. Especially in South Carolina.

On the Republican side let me just say this to Mitt Romney. You're a smart guy Mitt. You are clearly a brilliant executive and an able leader. Unfortunately, the fact that you put the majority of your focus and spent obscene amounts of money into Iowa and New Hampshire and still got handily beat in both, doesn't give me a lot of confidence in your ability to put together a winning campaign for November. I mean you lost New Hampshire. It's practically the same state as Massachusetts, where you were governor. They get all of their media from Boston. Maybe if you had cried more, it would have turned out better.

If you don't win Michigan, the state where your father was a popular governor, then it's time to call it quits. We'll take another look at you the next time around, but it's almost time for you to step aside and make an endorsement.

Oh, and Ron Paul. You can go too. It's been real.

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Twingonaut said...

Right. Right. & Right.

Keif said...

Good article.

Time for Mitt to endorse Rudy.

Shannonymous said...

Why do you hate Ron Paul so much? He's just trying to bring back the Constitution. I think whoever gets the nom. should make him V.P.

Rockyspoon said...

Actually, Romney is ahead in the popular vote AND the delegate count. Don't you think it's time for Rudy to endorse Romney? I certainly think so. By the way, where IS Rudy? He acts like a sniper--afraid to come out and fight like a man.

EasyRideDuh said...

Bill Clinton is right ! This is a Fairytale Election. Women voting for a Woman just because shes a woman...Christains voting for a Christiain just because he's a Christian. Under Dogs voting for an Under Dog just because He's an Underdog. Black people voting for a black Candidate, just because he's black. Young people voting for a young Candidate just because he's young.
Hell ! I like boats so which ever Candidate has a boat, He has my vote! The heck with the other details.

Shannonymous said...

Easy, Easy.

Barack has just as many women supporting him as Hil does, and she has just as many blacks as he does.

Karl & Sarah said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Karl & Sarah said...

If two primaries are enough to declare the winner, then, given the delegate count, Rudy should be the one dropping out and endorsing someone else... Ron Paul has more delegates than Rudy does!

Marshall Gill said...

Shannonymous, I doubt you care, or will pay attention to what I am going to tell you but here goes. Sorry to have such an opinion but I have read too many Paul supporters to think they actually mean what they say.

While many people might support Ron Paul for his Libertarian positions it says nowhere in the Constitution that the Commander in Chief of the Armed forces of the United States must have a formal declaration of war to use the military.

Article Two, Sections Two, Clause one of the Constitution places the President as "....Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States".

Under Article One, Section Eight of the "Enumerated powers of Congress" says that Congress has the power "To declare war, grant letters of marque and reprisal, and make rules concerning captures on land and water; To raise and support armies, but no appropriation of money to that use shall be for a longer term than two years; To provide and maintain a navy; To make rules for the government and regulation of the land and naval forces; To provide for calling forth the militia to execute the laws of the union, suppress insurrections and repel invasions;"

I will have you note that it does not prevent the Commander in Chief from deploying the Armed Forces in defense of the interests of the United States. Ron Paul's pathetic claim that the Founders believed that the armed forces could not be used without a formal "Declaration of War" is belied by none other than Jefferson himself, who also attacked Islamic Jihadists without a formal Declaration of war.

I also personally despise anyone who blames murder victims on anything but the evil of the murderer. As a "Libertarian" Paul claims to believe in personal responsibility. Yet, when it comes to 9/11 he blames everyone but the people actually, directly responsible. You know, those guys who have declared a war to the death with the West?

That is why, I personally, do not like Ron Paul. Hate? Nah, I just think he is very, very, wrong.