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  • Lance Mannion
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Hard to argue, Lance.

This is shaping up to be the election where the media proves It Still Matters, damn the torpedoes. You can see the anger and bewilderment on the conservative side as its noise machine sputters and creaks in all its righteous indignation--and yet can't derail that turncoat McCain.

Thus, I imagine those who self-identify as "mainstream media" (and, yes, I concede there's not a huge chasm between the two politically) have noted their right-wing friends' red faces at lunch and are all the more convinced they (the mainstreamers) own the real leverage. Time to prove it. Hillary's the easier target, but they've got all spring and summer to load up the guns for Obama, if necessary. And, after all, it's not like they're spending time reading white papers and figuring out complex issues.

BTW: I'd be amazed if Clinton won in Illinois. No anti-Hill feelings in that statement. It's just Obama's real popular here, he's the home team, and who knows, if it all works out, we can start putting "Land of Obama" on our license plates some day.


How right you are. How right, how right.

You are so right

so so right. The scariest thing of all is that the bigger obama closes the lead in California the more independents say they will vote for McCain.


That media bias against her was the lead story on Dan Abrams' show following Olbermann on MSNBC this afternoon (my time). He had several talking heads on who said his premise was all wet, which essentially confirmed it.


You are so FUCKING right.

Bluegrass Poet

I thought for a while, after New Hampshire, that this was going to be the year when voters thought for themselves and didn't allow themselves to be spun by the press narrative or dazzled by the aura of the press-crowned "winner!".

I thought maybe we'd caught on.

Silly me.

Bill Altreuter

I think you under-rate Obama. From the earliest debates it has been clear that HRC has a masterful command of policy, but Obama has been a galvanizing force, and he deserves credit for that.

My Clinton problem has always been that I like the idea of Hillary more than the reality. I wish she was more like the compassionate advocate for the best of the Democratic tradition that she should be, instead of the calculating, judgment-impaired Senator that voted for this terrible war. I wish she was inclined to innovative reforms in complex areas like health care, instead of a proponent of a Rube Goldberg system that will actually be more expensive and less efficient than what we have now. I wish I could point to a single thing that she has done since she has been the senator from New York that I could say made me feel proud to be represented by her-- but I can't. And that makes me feel bad.

I'll vote for her if she wins the nomination. I'd say it is still more likely than not that she will win the nomination-- I cannot think of the last time an upstart like Obama was able to seize the nomination from the anointed favorite. McGovern, maybe, although McGovern and his troops had set up the rules to favor a candidacy like his, so maybe not. I just wish that I could vote for the Hillary Clinton I'd like to have, instead of this one.



I don't think I under-rate Obama at all. I have felt the force of his eloquence. I was one of those people watching his speech at the 2004 Democratic convention who jumped out of his seat and yelled for my kids to come running to see the next President. I may be over-rating the Media's ingrained hostility to Democrats, but I would never under-rate Obama's ability to move an audience...of Liberals.

What I think is that his supporters and admirers are over-rating the probable effect of his eloquence on voters not already predisposed to like him and be inspired by what he has to say. Lots of people thought Douglas won those debates with Lincoln, and the Cooper Union speech did not end slavery.

People hear what they want to hear. We are wrapping up 8 years of listening to a President who can barely put together a single coherent sentence and yet there are still plenty of people, regular folks and Beltway insiders, who insist he's an inspiring public speaker, and I'll be there are very few liberals today who back in the 1980s heard the Gipper string together his cliches, trite lyricisms, phony Reader's Digest-level anecdotes, and meaningless bits of folk wisdom and thought Wow, what a great communicator!

What it gets down to is that while I think either Obama or Clinton will win in November, I just don't believe that Obama's going to have an easier time of it just because he talks so nice.


I see it just the opposite: I see a victory by Obama in terms of capturing a bigger share of delegates than projected, but Clinton winning the popular and delegate votes and the media touting the donwfall of Obama.

Bill Altreuter

I suppose I'm falling for it again-- it happens to me whenever I hear a candidate articulate a vision for America that sounds like the country I believe in-- but it seems to me that one of the interesting things about Obama is that seems to be motivating a lot of people who maybe never voted before, or haven't voted in a long time. That's pretty rare. We saw an uptick in turnout four years ago, but this seems different. This seems like he may be tapping into a new demographic, and that's pretty exciting. Boomers got eight years of Bill Clinton and eight years of Bush-- maybe it's time the generational torch gets passed. I also think that it is interesting that this vote isn't fracturing quite the way one would expect. I know a lot of women who are voting for Senator Clinton because they believe strongly that it is important to support a woman's candidacy, but the African-American vote does not appear to be breaking the same way. To me it looks like Senator Obama is appealing to the constituency that sees beyond race, and that's an exciting new America. My kids occupy that country-- race really doesn't mean the same thing to them that it did to me. Sex seems to lag behind a bit, but it always has-- you've got the 14th and 15th Amendments, then the 19th fifty years later. We won't see that kind of lag time again-- there may not even be a lag now-- but I have to admit that the opportunity to vote for a black President would absolve quite a bit of America's Original Sin in my mind.

Ken Houghton

The idea of a guy one year behind me in college (i.e., a Boomer himself) meaning "the generational torch gets passed" is the funniest I've heard today.

But it was nice to learn (from Metro today) that Hillary's support is only "old, white women."


I have to admit that this is part of the reason why Hillary is appealing to me, despite her policy stance not being as in line with my own (like Edwards' had been, sigh).

She has dealt with this crud for most of her political life, and has the skin of a rhinocerous as a result. I worry that Obama's skin is still insufficiently calloused, that he will try to respond to the media by giving them what they seem to want, and thus fall into their trap of ever-moving goalposts.

He's also in the strategically hazardous position of running on the "nice guy" position; if he fails to respond aggressively to criticism, he gets spun as "weak"; if he does react strongly, he gets spun as "a flip-flopper."

The only way to win the media's game is to not play, and I'm not convinced he's learned that lesson yet.



Why hasn't Obama won a majority of white voters in any primary?

Or Latinos, for that matter?

I suspect we are looking at a racial candidacy for both Obama and Clinton, more for Obama, I fear.


I am enjoying this primary for the kinds of things it makes me think about, and especially because I have had time to develop deeper understanding of how people different than me feel/think about things. For instance, listening to NPR's NEWS & NOTES, which provides black perspectives, gave me a much deeper sense of why things played out they way they did in South Carolina. And today's dose: has a conversation up between conservatives (Farley/Drezner) talking about the still galvanizing Hillary hatred on their side. To me, it's such a weird phenomenon that I need to listen to people with reasonable IQs talk about it to even begin to grasp its seeming insolubility.)

Thinking about Lance's perspective:

"The reason he's a media darling now is because he's not a Clinton."

Hmmmm...probably more complex than just that, Lance. I agree that the media seems to be suffering from some kind of sick thought virus when it comes to HC and that Obama has benefited from that. But if I replace Obama with any number of other possible candidates who are also not Clinton, I don't always see the same dynamic. So let's give him due credit: It's "not Clinton" plus something else that serves him - and that something else is powerful. (In fact, this is something those aforementioned bloggingheads address: how - and why - conservatives respond to Obama differently than they do to Clinton.)

To understand what Obama is up to, we need to brush up on the writings of Saul Alinsky. From Wikipedia:

"Alinsky was the subject of Hillary Rodham's senior honors thesis at Wellesley College, "There Is Only The Fight...": An Analysis of the Alinsky Model.[11] Rodham commented on Alinsky's "charm," but rejected grassroots community organizing as outdated. Once Hillary Rodham Clinton became First Lady of the United States, the thesis was suppressed by the White House for fear of being associated too closely with Alinsky's ideas.[12]

"Alinsky had a significant influence on Barack Obama... Obama particularly used Alinsky's techniques while participating in Chicago community organizations...[13]"

Or read Lakoff's piece, "What Counts as an 'Issue' In the Clinton-Obama Race?" at Huffpo. One of the biggest failures of the media is that they don't get the utter difference in the two candidates' leadership methods well enough to ask the important and interesting questions!


This should be spread far and wide. Copied, printed and dropped everywhere. So entirely, perfectly true. Brilliant. And horribly sad.

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