Category Archives: Hillary Clinton

IA Results: They’re Just More Important Than Me

Well, the good voters of IA have caucused, and have selected a moderate evangelical democrat from Hope Arkansas, and an even further left wing cipher.

Now, I generally like organic tradition, a la Russell Kirk.  I also generally like heterogeneity and quirkiness.  It is somewhat refreshing that rural Iowans and grumpy Granite Staters have such a large say in our electoral system, especially since so much of what goes on in this country seems predetermined in some well-funded conference room full of people mildly afraid and hugely disdainful of average Americans.

So from that perspective it is gratifying to find those candidates most obviously designed in those conference rooms– Romney and Clinton– dealt a demoralizing defeat by just those Americans over Swedish meatballs and warm cider in a hundred high school gyms and living rooms in the IA caucuses last night

But…

Why, exactly, should the votes of a few hundred Iowans matter so much to the future of our country?  One is reminded of the famous speech in the movie Bull Durham, which I’ve mentioned here before in a different context, about the difference in baseball between a career minor leaguer and hall of famer being one hit a week.  Should the course of our country be based on such obviously fickle vicissitudes?  A couple family crises and a broken-down bus on the way to a caucus site could have made all the difference last night for any number of candidates.  Now we’re stuck with the withdrawal of Chris Dodd and Joe Biden!

It is well established on this site that I think it is an absurdity verging on a representative miscarriage that the people of Pennsylvania– and many other states– have little say in the presidential primary process.  That miscarriage seems all the more obvious when the two winners out of IA are so similar, and so similarly wrong.

In purely parochial concerns, one of my commenters recently suggested GOP bigwig Bob Asher has been recently spotted genuflecting in Mitt Romney’s direction.  Wouldn’t it be funny if such a consummate insider had to find a way to explain that away because his new favorite candidate never got a chance to even run in PA?

Finally, we should note in this space that last night’s result was pretty much ideal for Giuliani, given the fact that Team Rudy chose to skip IA altogether.  Romney is dealt a huge defeat, and Thompson and McCain do OK, thereby keeping the field wide open.  McCain appears poised to win NH.  SC will be a scramble.  Then FL comes around, where Rudy still polls on top.

It’s white knuckle time over at Team Rudy.  Their “national strategy” is about to be tested.  They’ve been quiet, letting the other candidates spend time, money, and moral capital over two early states with not many delegates at stake.  They plan to plant their flag in FL, then roll up delegates in NJ, NY, CA, and IL on Tsunami Tuesday.

So they have to win FL.  Then on Super Duper Tuesday, if they win MO, they will be in the cat bird seat.  If the Feb. 5 results are more mixed, maybe we will get to cast a vote that matters here in PA.  If Rudy can’t win FL, though, it’s looking like McCain or Huck.  Who knows, though?

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Filed under Bob Asher, Giuliani, Hillary, Hillary Clinton, Obama, PA Support, Primaries, Romney, Rudy, Rudy Giuliani

Rudy W/in Margin of Error Against Clinton in PA

So’s McCain, as a matter of fact.  I gotta’ give it to John.  Over the summer when it appeared his campaign ran out of money due to anemic fundraising and mismanagement, I was among the many that wrote him off for dead.  Those were the heady days of conservative revolt over immigration reform, too.

In a recent Quinnipiac poll [HT Keystone Politics] both he and Giuliani now trail Clinton by only two points in a hypothetical general election match-up.  Maybe Hillary’s weaselly non-answer re. driver’s licenses for illegals at that debate had some effect on her numbers.  Actually, I thought her pusillanimous yet haughty response at being “bullied” by the big, mean Tim Russert was more embarrassing.

If she thought that was tough, it’s no wonder she’s never accepted an invitation from Limbaugh or Hewitt.

Also, both Ms. Clinton and Rudy are way out ahead in potential primary polling in this one, like always.  No time to read the internals today, so if you can, and find something interesting, please let me know.

PS: There’s a new PA blogger in the blogroll:  Thousand Points of Right.  He’s a retired NYC firefighter and current PA resident who supports the mayor.  At least he says he is.  The internet’s a wild, woolly place!

If you want an antidote to the conspiratorial venom attacking Giuliani from the current firefighter’s labor union, he’s your man.

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Filed under Firefighters, Giuliani, Hillary, Hillary Clinton, McCain, PA Bloggers This Site Recommends, Polling, Primaries, Rudy, Rudy Bloggers, Rudy Giuliani

Open Primaries

I was looking at a NH poll today showing Mayor Giuliani lagging behind Romney– which was a bummer as Hizzoner had tightened things up there during the last round of polls– and saw that the bulk of independent voters in NH still aren’t sure which primary they’ll vote in.

They get to make that choice as NH has an open primary: You don’t have to be registered as a member of the same party in who’s primary you’d like to cast a ballot.  I think this bodes will for Giuliani.  The GOP race will be more comeptitive, and hence should draw more independent voters.  I bet Giuliani is very strong with that crowd.  I have not seen commentary regarding this.

As a matter of theory I don’t know how I feel about this.  On the one hand, we are a de facto two party system, if not a de jure one.  I used to be a registered libertarian, and one of the main reasons I now am a registered member of the GOP– and now a ward leader– was I became sick of having no voice in the primaries.  It was a real bummer to be unable to cast a ballot against Arlen Specter…

On the other hand, though, political parties are private organizations.  Now, I think it might be difficult for the Dems to restrict their primary to only illegal immigrants, and for the GOP to restrict theirs to men named Cleetus.  Still, as private organizations I instinctively support their rights to handle their affairs however they want.

I do wonder, though, if Giuliani’s fight for the GOP nod would pretty much be fait accompli if all states had open primaries.  It would certainly be the case here in the Commonwealth of PA.

It’s a problem as old as the GOP, actually.  The primaries are the place where minority factions carry the most water.  But does this end up giving us the best possible candidates for a general election?  Ronald Reagans aren’t very commonplace…

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Filed under Arlen Specter, Federalism, Hillary, Hillary Clinton, Libertarian, PA Support, Polling, Primaries, Romney, Rudy, Rudy Giuliani

Raising PA Ducats

Mayor Giuliani has raised more money out of Pennsylvania than any other GOP candidate, we learn here.

[Piece by the ever helpful Josh Drobnyk, who continues to kick the big papers’ collective behinds on campaign ’08 coverage, although the HT goes to Keystone Politics]

Hillary has a similar lead over her competition in the state.

The Dems are raising more cash in PA than the GOP, which mirrors national trends.  More interestingly, the margin by which PA Dems are raising more cash over the GOP is even higher in PA than it is in states like NY and CA.  This is a little odd.

Some theorize this indicates PA is getting increasingly solidly “blue”.  I have commented elsewhere that this analysis is simplistic, and ignores a clear data point:  The GOP in PA is particularly dysfunctional.

The grassroots that blow to the right in our Commonwealth increasingly view the PA GOP leadership as an incestuous band of logrollers and featherbedders that more resemble Teamsters than fiscal conservatives when it comes to financial responsibility.  The Highmark merger, irrelevant presidential primary, anemic candidate recruitment, legislative pay-raise hangover, and inability to deal with gambling and property taxes all contribute to internal dissatisfaction here in the GOP.

It’s death by a thousand pin-pricks.  None of these issues, and others I have not mentioned, amounts to much individually.  But most GOP voters in the state don’t have to look hard to find some local GOP politico keyed into the party leadership that acts like a preening self-interested buffoon.

Of course, the climate is similar nationally.  It’s just even worse here, although probably not as bad as it is in, say, Ohio.  This explains why GOP money is staying in modest interest bearing accounts here and all over the country.

That said, the second it becomes official that Mrs. Clinton is the Dem. nominee for the general election and voters have the opportunity to seriously ponder the prospect of being hectored by Mrs. Clinton for four years I bet the purse stings will loosen up.  So I do not think things are as bleak nationally as many others do.  After all, here in PA Giuliani runs tight against Clinton in hypothetical general election polls despite all of the institutional handicaps the GOP brings to the game.

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Filed under Act 1, Fundraising, Giuliani, Hillary, Hillary Clinton, PA Support, Rudy, Rudy Giuliani

Swing State Quinnipiac Poll Time: Looking like Rudy & Hil

Quinnipiac University does a monthly poll of swing states: PA, OH, and FL.

The big picture?  Hillary and Giuliani appear to remain the favorites for their respective nominations.  Rudy’s matchups w/her in a general election are looking marginally worse.  Still close, but he’s now behind her in all three.  The upside of this?  He’s still way better than all the other GOP candidates.

Vis a vis the GOP race, the big news is this: Giuliani *still* is doing well amongst evangelicals.  He leads amongst them in OH and PA, and comes in second to Fred Thompson in Florida.  I say that’s more a product of the fact that Thompson is Southern than anything else.  It’s easy for us northerners to think of Florida as Miami and Orlando.  Travel around the state, though, and you’ll see many parts are every bit as “southern” as Mississippi.

Also interesting to note is that in hypothetical general election matchups the GOP candidate that comes closest to performing as well as Giuliani is not Romney or Thompson, but McCain. So stay in the game, John!  It’s good for Hizzoner.

Aside:  They seem to like Obama a lot in OH.  It seems it can’t catch a break in the Dem. primary, there, but he’s arguably stronger than Hillary in a general.  Weird.  I guess they just hate the GOP that much.

Consider yourselves warned, Commonwealth GOP leaders in PA.  You guys aren’t all that different….wait….I’m one of those guys, now, since I’m now a ward leader.  Well, at least I’ve warned myself!

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Filed under Fred Thompson, Giuliani, Hillary, Hillary Clinton, McCain, PA Support, Polling, Primaries, Romney, Rudy, Rudy Bloggers

Philly Suburbs Turning Blue?

A blogger here [HT Keystone Politics] representing “young” and “progressive” ideas in Southeast PA seems to think the Philadelphia suburbs are potentially nascent democratic strongholds.  In a general, penumbra emanating sense– similar to the legal logic employed to justify Roe vs. Wade– I suppose I agree.

It is true that the Philadelphia suburbs are drifting leftward.  Traditional democrats continue to run screaming from the urban nest their own leaders have defiled.  These suburbs are also attracting a fairly wealthy world-citizen crowd– both immigrant and native– who are pretty well steeped the post-modern ennui typical of the well-educated.  I submit these groups are pretty receptive to a moderate Democrat message.

That said, a simple perusal of the voter registration statistics for Chester, Montgomery, Bucks, and Delaware counties will indicate the GOP still has a tremendous advantage.  Our young, progressive blogger has, I think, mistaken the current general mood for a demographic trend.

What will confirm this?  When Rudy Giuliani wins these counties with a significant margin over Ms. Clinton.  Previous polling has suggested Obama is pretty popular in the Philly burbs, but it currently looks like he’s all sizzle and no steak, so I am betting he doesn’t get the nod. The open question, of course, is if Hizzoner’s margin of victory in those counties can overcome what is likely to be Ms. Clinton’s overwhelming urban advantage when buttressed by endorsements like this.

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Filed under Fellow Bloggers in Arms of The Commonwealth, Giuliani, Hillary, Hillary Clinton, Obama, Rudy, Rudy Giuliani

Fast Eddie and the Veepship

Rendell has been making the rounds lately insisting he does NOT want to be vice-president of the United States.

He says he generally wants to be the big mahoff calling the shots, and that ain’t the job description of Veep.  I find this believable.  I also find it disappointing for two reasons.

First, if he does run for Vice President casual voters in PA would finally see how destructive his policy instincts really are as he will have to articulate them to a press less willing to chuckle and write him a free pass because he likes the Eagles.  This means he may have less influence in the long term.  I would be the first to admit he seems likable.  In fact, I’ve met him.  He was likable.  And since I’m not a constituent of the party of the perenially indiganant eagery seeking offense, this gives me no cognitive dissonance.  But Ed’s politics are bad for PA.

Second, the presidential campaign would inevitably be more entertaining if Ed were in it.  He does have an interesting way of going “off script”.  I guarantee you that Ed Rendell on the presidential campaign trail would cheese off some thin-skinned element in the Democrat base.  The bipartisan in me wishes there were more reasonable Democrats, so forcing them to tell some part of their wing-nut fringe to grow the heck up would be good for our politics generally.

Hopefully, though, he won’t end up instead being Attorney General in a Clinton administration.  One sure way to do that is cast a vote for Hizzoner!

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Filed under Giuliani, Hillary, Hillary Clinton, PA Support, Rendell, Rudy, Rudy Giuliani