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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Monday, February 11, 2008

New front-runner?

Barack Obama certainly tried to downplay talk he was the new front-runner in his 60 Minutes interview last night, (Hillary Clinton here) but the results of this weekend's primaries and caucuses tell a different story.

As does the change at the top of the Clinton campaign. Not to mention the Divider-in-Chief's embrace of John McCain -- and his slap at Obama.

Obama still needs a victory on a media-designated "big state" primary to overcome conventional wisdom that he is a small state, caucus-organizing type of candidate compared to Hillary Clinton's "mass" appeal. That could come tomorrow in the "Potomac Primary" when Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia vote.

Or it may not, because CW may decide there are too many African-American voters participating.

But Camp Clinton certainly sees things headed in one direction (and not the right one), as acknowledged by the decision to replace Patti Solis Doyle with Maggie Williams at the top of the campaign.

CW may also read too much into the fact that Solis Doyle is a Latina, a demographic that solidly backs Clinton, while Williams is African-American. Personally, I simply love the fact there might even be that sort of speculation, taking it as symbolic od the importance of both voting blocs long ignored by the GOP.

Speaking of the Divisive Party, the Lame Duck took to GOP-TV (Fox News Channel to the uninitiated) trying to appeal to the red meat brigade to back John McCain:
“I know him well,” Mr. Bush said. “I know his convictions. I know the principles that drive him. And no doubt in my mind he is a true conservative.”
By reaching out to solidify McCain's conservative credentials, Bush does either Democrat a huge favor. November is all about breaking away from the man with the 30 percent ratings.

And whether he planned to or not, Bush gave Obama a boost with a calculated slime:
"I certainly don't know what he believes in. The only foreign policy thing I remember he said was he's going to attack Pakistan and embrace Ahmadinejad," Bush said.
And as The Politico's Ben Smith noted, the Obama campaign took immediate note of the opportunity:

"Of course President Bush would attack the one candidate in this race who opposed his disastrous war in Iraq from the start. But Barack Obama doesn't need any foreign policy advice from the architect of the worst foreign policy decision in a generation," said Obama spokesman Bill Burton.

The signs of front-runner status are also appearing in the form of deeper looks into Obama's background. The Times last week examined his performance in proposed legislation to regulate a nuclear power plant.

And Sunday produced the very strange look into Obama's youthful drug use that produced this very strange conclusion:
Mr. Obama’s account of his younger self and drugs, though, significantly differs from the recollections of others who do not recall his drug use. That could suggest he was so private about his usage that few people were aware of it, that the memories of those who knew him decades ago are fuzzy or rosier out of a desire to protect him, or that he added some writerly touches in his memoir to make the challenges he overcame seem more dramatic.
The perils of being a front-runner.

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Blogger Mark D. Snyder said...

Unfortunately, even if Obama wins all of the states the math shows that superdelegates will still be the deciders.

Hopefully all delegates vote to go with the popular vote of the people instead of letting party insiders give it to Clinton.

February 11, 2008 10:41 AM  
Blogger Mel said...

I believe Obama is steadily emerging as the democratic front-runner. Unfortunately as mark d. snyder said, it looks as though it will come down to the convention. This is not good for the party, as history has shown the more divided the party, the less likely that party is to win the general election. I did find President Bush's comment humerous though! His opinion means little to nothing to most people and him attacking Obama just proves that Obama is a major threat.

February 11, 2008 12:46 PM  
Blogger Outraged Liberal said...

I don't believe the super delegates would commit political suicide by resisting a clear will expressed by the voters. But then again, I believed in Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny...

February 12, 2008 4:45 AM  
Blogger Mel said...

I would hope they wouldn't, however they may have their eye on a seat in the administration in exchange for a vote.

February 12, 2008 7:54 AM  

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