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Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Victorious: Clinton and McCain

Hillary Clinton, then, somehow defied pundits and pollsters to snatch a win that just 24 hours earlier had seemed all but impossible.
Here's talkshow host Arnie Arnesen's fascinating (and funny) take on how the New York senator did it.

On the Republican side, John McCain pushed Mitt Romney into the silver medal position. See the full results here.

I was at Barack Obama's event. His supporters had come for a victory party, but as the evening wore on it became clear that Clinton's early lead would hold. The young crowd looked deflated; the "Fire it Up!" "Ready to Go!" chants were not as convincing as the previous night's.

Flanked by his wife, Obama was gracious in defeat. If shell-shocked, he didn't show it. (In a measure of how unexpected the result was, several reporters we heard from had already written their "Obama Wins Big" story, and were just waiting for the polls to come in so they could fill in the numbers before filing.)

I'm up in the Granite State with the New York Community Media Alliance, formerly know as IPA-NY. (See here for details on how the trip came about.) Yesterday morning, long before the results came through, we met with Andrew Smith, a pollster at the University of New Hampshire. Smith, who like everyone expected Obama to walk it, ran through the pre-election polls - Obama's meteoric rise, McCain's recovery, Clinton's stutter, etc. And he gave us his colorful opinion on some of the mistakes each candidate has made, and the hurdles they need to overcome to stay in the race. Here's some choice bits:

Smith said Giuliani's campaign was "horrible," and that he'd been arrogant to think he could get somewhere without old fashioned campaigning (he flew to New Hampshire for an short speech now and again but then got out of town). Smith compared Giuliani to a man who's about to walk off a cliff but is too stubborn to change direction.

McCain's chief problem, said Smith, is his stance on immigration which has dried up his fund-raising; Romney's, "his inability to be a skillful enough politician to change his position and make it believable."

Clinton, meanwhile, "has the worst media handling people of all the campaigns." Smith said that he'd spoken to reporters who'd received calls from Clinton's people demanding they retract a certain story and threatening to block a reporter's access to the White House if their boss is president. "The way they [Clinton's campaign] treated the press [in New Hampshire] was her biggest mistake," he said. "There was a level of control and paranoia in that campaign that’s scary." Because of this treatment, said Smith, reporters never gave her a break.

Obama's biggest issue is his lack of substance, thinks Smith. "[He's] like the meringue of American politics, light and fluffy, looks good, but when you eat it you wonder was it was." It a criticism, of course, that's been made before. But having heard Obama speak twice this week, I think it rings true. He spoke powerfully, as you'd expect, yet he was strangely boring and repetitive, hardly touching on his would-be policies or how he'd make them a reality. All talk ("change" "hope" "tomorrow") and no substance to speak of, may not wash for long.

Obama and company will soon be in New York ("Super Tuesday" is on Feb. 5). If you wish you vote, you need to register by Friday.

On a local level, here in the west Bronx, some community groups are using the hype to encourage local residents to take more of an interest in politics. On Saturday, for example, an event's being held at the Gambian Society on Jerome Avenue. The aim is to educate the borough's African population on the importance of voting.

1 comment:

  1. FOr those truly interested in democracy, google Sutton, NH.
    Ron Paul received 31 verified votes there, but when the official tally went in, ZERO votes were registered.

    Vote fraud is rampant in this election so far, and while all the pundits are asking themselves"What went wrong with our polling," not one of them has the balls to talk about the 600 pound gorrila in the room. And that is the easily hacked Diebold machine which demonstrably flipped the vote in favor of Hilary against Obama in NH. Not like Obama is anything other than a globalist hack in bed with criminals. Oh, but he has a smooth voice and talks about "change." That qualifies him!
    Um sorry....not good enough this time

    Vote Ron Paul!


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