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mygif

I woke up this morning to see a fellow Highbrid Nation writer reporting that Hillary has won the Ohio and Texas primaries and how this is getting bad. And like him I feel like this battle between Obama and Hillary has went on too long and now they are in danger of hurting the party by allowing McCain to take shots at them while they are dealing with each other. Howard Dean should step in and say “Look, Obama is going to be the canidate and Hillary you can be his running mate if you choose”…I know I know that would never happen but a guy can dream right?

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mygif

But it’s in those weeks that the Dems could lose the general election — if Clinton continues to ratchet up the attack ads and drag down the discourse (and if she continues to nurse the delusion of herself having a chance at the nomination, she has no other choice, really), going into November the Democrats emerge with either a battle-scarred Obama or (if the stars align just so) the Portrait of the Candidate as Bitter and Vicious Woman.

The worse aspect of all of this is Clinton’s only real chance at winning isn’t as much with winning the contests that lay ahead as much as winning the contests that’ve already happened — Florida, Michigan and Texas. She’s already laid claim to the first two’s delegates (despite the Democrats stripping the delegates because of the states moving their primaries), and she was playing lawyerball over the Texas caucus already last night (before my stomach demanded I turn off the television).

Sweet holy God, I just want this to be over in the worst way.

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mygif

I highly doubt that the campaign continuing hurts the Democrats, for two reasons.

1.) If Clinton keeps going negative, so what? She’s just doing what McCain would be doing right now if she drops out. The effect is essentially neutral, and keeps Saint John Straight-Talky McMaverick out of the public eye until the presumptive candidate – which, let’s be honest, is almost certainly Obama – is ready to take him on directly, which is good, because at that point McCain will be revealed as the empty vaguely senile-looking suit that he is.

2.) The campaign continuing forces the Dems to build and maintain their ground game in key swing states. That Texas and Ohio machinery isn’t going to go away; it’s waiting and preparing for the general now. (And yes, if Obama is the candidate, I think he can put Texas into play; at least, he can force McCain to commit resources to a state previously thought safe.)

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malakim2099 said on March 5th, 2008 at 12:30 pm

Also, to add onto MGK’s points about the Democrats being “hurt” by this…

3) The election is in November. That’s EIGHT months away! A lot can happen between now and then. And a good hard fight will get Obama (or Clinton) ready for dealing with the Republican Right-Wing Echo Chamber and the Swiftboating that will ensue. Because the race/gender-baiting will be coming, as the GOP will again appeal to the lowest common denominator to get elected.

Hopefully this time it won’t work… :(

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BitterCupOJoe said on March 5th, 2008 at 12:40 pm

I would agree on Texas being at least somewhat in play; Obama won’t win it, but there was a ridiculously huge turnout in my district (The Fighting 146!) last night. The usual Dem turnout for the three districts at that caucus location is usually a total of 10 to 20. We had 220 Dems show up and vote in 146 alone, and with 87 and 118 added in, probably another 2-300. Just a crazy number of people showed up for the caucus, way more than they anticipated even knowing that there would be an unusually big turnout. There was a palpable feeling of hope in the room. Hell, I ended up being one of the delegates to the county convention, something I’d normally shy away from.

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mygif

The great thing about negative attacks is that while the target suffers the effects (“Oh my God, do I really want Barack Obama answering a phone at 3 in the morning?”), the “attacker” gets painted, too, as desperate or pandering, something less profound but still…sticky. If Clinton’s going to do McCain’s dirty work for him, that insulates him from the side effects of running those negative ads.

Of course, when the general election looms, it’s not going to be McCain launching many of those broadsides himself, but 527s with clever acronyms again, saying things McCain wouldn’t dream of uttering aloud. And he’s not a man known to hold his tongue.

The most interesting thing I can see coming of this protracted primary (the state-by-state campaign infrastructure is a great point) is going to be its effect on the Clintons as de facto first family of the Democratic party….

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NCallahan said on March 5th, 2008 at 1:45 pm

The reason primaries seem to have drug out so long this year is because a bunch of states decided to push their dates up in the calender, while others have been content to stay where they are. This contest isn’t really going to eat up any more of the general election time than previous years; the GE starts after convention and that’s at a set date, no matter what. And as much as I like Obama (and fear Hillary), it doesn’t do the party any good to start screaming for candidates to give up before all polls are in; it merely makes the party (more of) a slave to showbiz mentality.

Although, Hillary isn’t making it easy to susport her continued campaign. Sometimes, she almost sounds like we should feel bad that the primaries aren’t falling into her lap.

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mygif

MGK’s right about the tough fight being good for us Democrats. It’s like chicken pox–it may be ugly and uncomfortable, but once you’ve weathered it you have the antibodies, whereas if you catch it for the first time as an adult it can actually kill you. Up until two weeks ago, I had been fairly worried about the primary being far too easy for Obama.

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mygif

Damnit MGK, can’t you guys keep your government under control up there, jeez

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Tom Galloway said on March 6th, 2008 at 1:45 am

It’s worse than you thought; Pennsylvania’s not for six weeks after Mississippi, not three. April 22nd is the new D-Day.

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mygif

The best thing is shes “considering allowing him to run as her VP” that is… man thats some arrogance there

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mygif

We talked about it at length here:

http://fullbodytransplant.wordpress.com/2008/03/04/last-stand/

And remember, I live in Florida. We always have the final say, don’t we?

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mygif

We always have the final say, don’t we?

If you can come up with $18M, it looks like you just might.

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mygif

Another thing to remember is that, well…I hate to say it, but Hillary is not well-liked. In particular, she is not well-liked by moderately conservative Republicans and blue-collar workers, the kind of people who voted for Bush and Reagan, but who aren’t so set in their party affiliations as to always vote Republican. There are probably a sizeable percentage of these people that hear, “Hillary Clinton said horrible things about Barack Obama today,” and think, “Well, then he can’t be all that bad, can he?”

In some senses, being attacked by an unpopular liberal figure could be a boon to Obama’s public image.

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