Sunday, January 06, 2008

You, Sir, Are No Jack Kennedy

Picked up at Crooks and Liars, by way of Digby:

Nice little reminder that partisan bickering can be fun and funny, eh?

Memo to Nervous Clinton Supporters: Stay away from latest New Hampshire polling data. It's not pretty. Click on that link at your own risk, and don't say we didn't warn you.

Easy Activism Opportunity for DC-Area Clintonistas: If you'd like to do something besides sit home biting your nails between now and Tuesday's primary, the Clinton campaign is phone-banking at its Arlington headquarters. Call 703-875-1202 to sign up.

Here's a calming piece by Susan Estrich on what a poor predictor the Iowa caucuses have proven to be of success in a presidential campaign. Estrich notes that Obama will get a deserved bump from his win in Iowa, but that he will also receive (deserved) heightened scrutiny of his (thin) record, including all those "present" votes in the Illinois state senate. She is not predicting victory for Clinton, but she sees the nomination race as far from over.

Meanwhile, over on Huff Po, Michael Fauntroy suggests a pause for breath in all the hyperventilation about Obama's victory. Fauntroy acknowledges the historic nature of the win but also points out that to date Obama has enjoyed astonishingly favorable press coverage that contrasts sharply to the 15 years of often negative coverage Clinton has endured.

Finally, here's a little civics lesson we stumbled on courtesy of Bitch PhD over at The Edge of the American West. It's a really clear explanation of our insane presidential nominating system that explains, among other things, the changes that occurred in the process between 1968 and 1972, when the primaries and caucuses came to play a more important role in the selection of the parties' nominees than they had in the past. It also contains this encouraging word for Clinton supporters:
So where are we today? On the Democratic side, Sen. Barack Obama had an unexpectedly good showing in the Iowa Caucus. But even if he beats Hillary Clinton next Tuesday in New Hampshire, that will hardly demolish her candidacy. For Obama to get nominated, he’ll have to defeat Clinton in a lot of upcoming races where she is favored to win and in which she has a lot of important allies. Let’s just remember that in 1992, Bill Clinton didn’t compete in Iowa, and he came in second in New Hampshire. These early contests are important, but they are neither necessary nor sufficient conditions for winning the nomination.
Chins up, kids. The road is long, with many a winding curve. Or, as the late Karen Carpenter put it, We've only just begun . . . . Don't listen to the bloviators. Don't read the polls. We'll do that for you and dole the news out in small, easy-to-swallow pieces. And just remember that it's a far far better thing to be faced with the Democrats' embarrassment of riches than the Republicans' mere embarrassment.

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