THAT WOMAN, CLINTON April 23, 2008Posted by wmmbb in US Politics.
The consensus of opinion seem to be that Clinton will win in Pennsylvania, but the margin of her success will be significant. Polls in Pennsylvania appear to be giving her a clear lead. A loss would be fatal to the Clinton campaign, but any win could be spun, as it will be. According to The New York Times , age is decisive in indicating whether Democratic voters are likely to support Clinton or Obama. Voter turnout is reported as heavy, but that is coming off a low base of 26% in the Democratic primary election of 2004.
Much of Clinton’s statements and behavior can be seen as her need to cut through and connect with working class voters. That would include her inflammatory statements with qualifications about “obliterating” Iranians if there was a threat to Israel, while ignoring that Israel is a nuclear power. Neither she, nor Obama is working class. Clinton has gone out of her way by behaving in what she images is gloss working class behavior not be an “elitist”.
These playacts are as phony as her heroics landing under fire in Bosnia. Older voters seem to be giving her credence on the question of experience, although none of the candidates as The Guardian observed have had experience running a large organization as either an corporate executive or elected official. Her big problem is that she does not have the same amount of financial resources that Obama has at his command.
There are reports that if not in debt her campaign is financially straightened. The result is that she cannot match Obamas television campaign or his ability to resource on the ground, street level campaigning. Obama has already moved on to Indiana, whereas Clinton hopes to celebrate her victory in Philadelphia. Obama made the comment somewhere that he was treating the campaign against Clinton as spring training.
Accroding to The Boston Globe, Clinton’s appeal to the working class has a policy rhetoric detail not matched by Obama. Scott Helman reports:
In recent days, Clinton has also used her fluency in domestic affairs to draw that vision of a future in a more grounded way for blue-collar voters – many of whom are struggling financially – than rival Barack Obama tends to do.
She promises 5 million new jobs in clean energy, and 3 million in rebuilding the country’s infrastructure. She advocates tapping the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to lower gas prices and keep the independent truckers she has met in business.
And she stresses the importance of making sure manufacturing remains an integral part of the economy.
“We need to still be a manufacturing nation,” she said at a rally in downtown Pittsburgh yesterday, as a woman in the crowd shouted “Right on!” “I don’t think a country that doesn’t make things can remain strong and vibrant and leading in the global economy.”
An analysis without considering economic class or the context of global corporate capitalism may be whimsical, but sometimes that is enough in electoral politics.
The political problem that the Democratic Party has to finesse beyond the verdict of the pledged delegates and the super delegates will be to bring the diverse constituencies supporting Obama and Clinton together, which is a problem that has never arisen before. Indeed there may be a after effect of bitterness. In this case I doubt whether it will be just the lonely decision, I suspect for Clinton, to withdraw, but how to construct the voter base to win the Presidency.
Assuming that all the voters now supporting Clinton or Obama will do so in November, the long race has had some benefits for the Democrats. David Nasaw reports in The Guardian:
In Pennsylvania alone, the campaigns and the party have registered 328,000 new Democratic voters since last May, and put their information into the party’s national voter data file.
The Republicans, meanwhile, have seen their party registration shrink by more than 73,000 voters in the same period.
Political observers credit the contrast to an “enthusiasm gap” between the two parties’ rank and file supporters.
Political observers say the often bitter primary race in Pennsylvania and elsewhere gives the eventual Democratic nominee an advantage over Republican John McCain, who clinched the party’s nomination in March, ending the party’s primary contest.
So there is a silver lining.
According to the NYT again with the current number of delegates she has won in primaries (before this election 47%), Clinton will need almost 80% of the remaining uncommitted superdelegates to win the nomination.
Photo: Carolyn Kaster/Associated Press) via NYT
Tidbit: Results are very slow. Based on exit polling there are not surprises in support from the various demographics. The support for the two candidates in these terms is fractured, still these are signed up Democratic voters. Will they turn out in November?
Fifty-five percent of white men are backing Mrs. Clinton, according to the latest exit polls. If that holds, that’s a bad sign for Mr. Obama _ not just for tonight, but down the road in making the argument that he is the better general election candidate.
11:19 am (AET) – KS is saying that Clinton will be on television first since Obama is following the Clinton strategy of moving on to a rally in Indiana, and in effect that Clinton has won. I assume she can see returns.
11:50 – The television viewers at The Poll Bludger can see what is happening. KS at the NYT is observing that the signs indicate institutional union support for Clinton, as distinct from grass roots support – maybe true maybe not.
12:00 – Obama lands in Indiana with the news that he has been defeated in Pa. He is due to give a speech, after consulting with his advisers.
Lets just still hope for the best. The critcal question now will be who Obama choses for his running mate to keep on board the Clinton voters.
The BBC reports that Clinton was leading Obama with With 75% of returns counted by 54% to 46%. With 90% of the count it is 55/45 as per the NYT.
Obama sees the big picture, via KS live blogging NYT:
“It’s easy to get caught up in the distractions and the silliness and the tit-for-tat that consumes our politics; the bickering that none of us are entirely immune to, and that trivializes the profound issues – two wars, an economy in recession, a planet in peril, issues that confront our nation.”
Kevin Connolly, BBC correspondent, clearly identifies the likely Clinton strategy, principally hoping for Obama to tip and fall, and the damage that may be done to party as he thinks, as I do, that the fractious supporters of the respective candidates are no going to be there in November.
Juan Cole has summary on proceedings:
Hillary Clinton’s win in Pennsylvania just was not big enough to allow her to hope to win the elected delegate count. She is increasingly using dark and exaggerated rhetoric and 2/3s of Democrats complain that she has gone too negative (less than half say that about Obama). Her exaggerations yesterday extended into the realm of international politics in a most unfortunate way. It seems clear to me that she cannot win the nomination via elected delegates and that she is hoping to win by scaring the super delegates about Obama. This strategy is counterproductive for the Democratic Party and for the country. Clinton needed to win by well into the double digits in Pennsylvania (which is how she began in the polling there months ago) in order to remain credible. 10 points doesn’t do it. Obama actually won Texas, which will be a headline in June when all the counting is done there (don’t ask). It is over. She should stop before more damage is done.