Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Election Day!

by shamanic

Well, I think we know what's going to eat the entirety of the next few news cycles, so let's get a head start:

Barack Obama has had what is probably his first really bad week of news in the campaign thus far, what with his adviser chatting up the Canadians about NAFTA on the eve of Ohio's primary and his former "associate", which I think is code for "friend", Tony Rezko going on trial for various financial shenanigans.

The Clinton campaign has aggressively pushed the narrative that the media has gone light on Obama, and I think there's truth in that. But really, what could they do? Clinton (both of them) are known quantities, and I think the sad fact is that there just isn't too much dirt on Obama up to this point. When confronted with bad acts, he corrects the situation as best he can and says things like, "that was a boneheaded move", which is about as disarming as you get. The picture that develops is someone who tries to stay within the bounds of propriety, which is a pretty strong contrast to the picture that develops if you listen to Clinton's advisors for five minutes or so. She's got a stable of people who came of age in a time when "propriety" was the moral high ground that losers could cling to, and her campaign is stamped with that.

So today the people of Ohio, Rhode Island, Texas, and Vermont vote. I have no idea what's going on in Rhode Island, but I imagine it a state of elderly white yankee biddies and assume a landslide for Clinton there. Vermont I am similarly ill informed about, but the granola image and blanketing whiteness of the state make me think it's an Obama stronghold. We'll see. I was surprised by New Hampshire.

The prizes, of course, are Texas and Ohio. Cernig, who lives in Texas, thinks Obama now has the upper hand there, and polls suggest he might be right. Ohio, which is apparently facing a massive ice storm in much of the state, seems to be solid Clinton country.

I've seen plenty of calls for Clinton to drop out if she loses both of the big prizes, but I think she's pretty certainly going to take Ohio and if she loses Texas, it won't be by much. She's in through Pennsylvania at least, so our Philly and Pittsburgh-area readers better get ready for the daily barrage of campaign coverage on your local news.

One of the biggest stories of this election that won't get the kind of coverage and analysis it deserves until the horse race is done is the fact that two campaigns are each apparently generating in excess of $1M a day from small donors contributing via the Internet. This is the dream for those of us who want corporate influence on politics reduced, and it appears that it is a dream shared by enough Democrats that we're able to fund two credible campaigns through an extended primary. Does anyone doubt that we'll fund the eventual nominee to a lesser degree?

What is public financing if not that? Both of you, opt out now and quit making it a campaign issue. Let McCain and his lackluster fundraising enterprise struggle. Trust the base that has already given so generously and take the White House in our name. It's what we're paying you for. Good luck with the weather Ohioans, and everybody get out and vote!

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