Patterico's Pontifications


If I Were a Democrat …

Filed under: 2008 Election,Politics — DRJ @ 1:12 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

If I were a Democrat, here’s what I would be thinking:

1. Hillary is more electable. She has garnered more votes in large states that will be important in the general election – states like Ohio, California, and New York. In addition, she has been stronger with white voters in states like Indiana, North Carolina and Pennsylvania.

However, Hillary has strong negatives. As a Clinton, she has already alienated a sizable percentage of the electorate. In addition, her nomination – even if it occurs according to Party rules – will seem like a betrayal to young voters and black voters who may punish the Democratic Party for years to come.

2. Obama has won more votes and pledged delegates and denying him the nomination seems unfair and discriminatory.

However, Obama’s wins have come primarily in caucus states and in states with large African-American populations. Some of those states may vote Republican in the general election. He also has his share of negatives from Jeremiah Wright, William Ayers, etc. Thus, Obama has problems because Hillary has won the important Democratic states and she may be more electable.

Many Democrats are urging Hillary to end her campaign and endorse Obama or accept a VP slot. On the surface, both seem like solutions to the Democrats’ concerns but I don’t think they are. Getting Hillary out of the race or to accept a lower slot lets Democrats sweep these concerns under the rug but it doesn’t make them go away.


19 Responses to “If I Were a Democrat …”

  1. I *am* a Democrat, and here’s what i’m thinking: I don’t trust Sen. Clinton to put the country’s interests before her own.

    aphrael (db0b5a)

  2. If i were a democrat, i’d be feeling pretty grim about now. with all the stars pointing to a dem president this election cycle, they have found a way to screw it up.

    james conrad (7cd809)

  3. Comment 1: of the three remaining candidates, Clinton is the one who is most likely to represent a “third term for Bush”.

    Comment 2: The last two presidential elections hinged on turnout, with Republicans in general doing a better job than Democrats. (I know that was the case here in Florida, where a massive Democratic turnout was not enough to counter a massive Republican turnout.) On that basis, Obama is more electable, simply because I think there are more people who would turn out for him in November than there are people who would turn out for Clinton in November. (And, on top of that, there are less people who would vote against Obama than there are people who would vote against Clinton.) McCain’s job is to get the turnout the GOP got in 2004. If he can do that, he has a better than even chance of coming out on top.

    kishnevi (6273ad)

  4. Gosh DRJ, I guess the Dems should just not run a candidate at all huh? Haw haw.

    EdWood (d3b459)

  5. No, I think the Democrats are the favorites to win this election.

    DRJ (a431ca)

  6. RE: #5….favored maybe, but once upon a time not so long ago, a dem victory was a sure thing.I dont think many folks think that now.

    james conrad (7cd809)

  7. I swear, Bill and Hillary Clinton must be reading my blogs. No sooner did I call for Bill to bust loose again, he responded today in some place called Fayetteville, WV.

    Standing before the usual crowd of curious on-lookers, Bill took exception to a woman in the crowd questioning his claims of all the work he and Hillary put in to bring about Health Care Reform.

    “You’re Wrong”, he shouted-then proceeded to launch into a tirade about the “millions of documents” that show the work he and Hillary put into the issue.

    “You interrupted me”, the former president of the United States complained. He pointed his finger at the unfortunate lady in his inimitable fashion and berated her for having the temerity to doubt William Jefferson Clinton.

    In truth, however, Mr Clinton might be excused for showing the strain of the past weeks and months. His dreams of returning in triumph to the White House, this time hanging on the skirt hem, er…coattails of his erstwhile wife now lie in tatters. No more will he be able to sneak behind that infamous door leading off from the Oval Office with some “special assistant to the First Husband”.

    He also can’t be too happy about the new book that is coming out that talks about his post-White House philandering (Clinton in Exile by Carol Felsenthal). According to the book, Clinton is traveling the country campaigning in his own plane, separate from Hillary but accompanied by other ladies. (“Just make sure you’re on the stage when I give my speech, Bill.”) God forbid that this would outsell his own latest auto-puff-piece (Giving: How each of us can save the world-or some such nonsense).

    At any rate, one cannot help but feel a touch of sadness that step-by-step, this fantastic campaign is coming to an end. But until it does, let’s enjoy the ride.

    OK, who’s next? Reverend Wright, Hillary, Obama, Bill. We’re waiting.

    gary fouse

    fouse, gary c (7b7c7c)

  8. and denying him the nomination seems unfair and discriminatory

    No more “discriminatory” than the rest of the farce that is the Democratic nomination system, in which MI and FL votes may or may not count while some (superdelegate) votes are votier than others.

    Olivia (5f0039)

  9. No wonder the Dems are wobbly on gun issues. Every time you turn around another one of them is shooting themselves in the foot.

    allan (a6d446)

  10. Yes, and every time it is a head shot, since they usually have their foot in their mouth.

    Another Drew (8018ee)

  11. I too thought that the Dems had this election all wrapped up, but much like the pre-2004 Boston Red Sox, it appears they have found a way to screw it up! I survived as a Red Sox fan, and I guess as a Democrat, I will survive this too. ** sigh**

    EgoNarroVerum (576983)

  12. “If I were a democrat”….mmmgh..lets see. If the reps were so sure Hillary was the stronger candidate, why were the republicans coming out in massive numbers to stop Obama by voting for Hillary? Why would Rush ask republicans to vote against Obama? Shouldnt they be more interested in voting for the weaker candidate, Obama, to stop Hillary in the primaries only to crush Obama in the GE. They were voting for Hillary because Hillary is a known evil they can easily beat in the fall. But Obama is a mystery. Its like fighting an insurgency without training on guerilla warfare. Using conventional combat skills wont be enough. That was why a lot of American soldiers perished at the start of the insurgency in Iraq. They were not trained for that kind of irregular, unorganised insurgency warfare. Hillary is an easier opponent. Just pull out one document and she’s gone. But Obama. That crazy boy from chicago that withstood and trounced the clinton oligarchy like it was nothing is a serious cause for concern. Question is, how is he still in the race after the wright scandal,… winning. It’s a serious concern. If clinton was all that, how come she couldnt put away this unknown, inexperienced, skinny smooth talking and no substance black guy from chicago with a funny name???
    Nice try DRJ.

    love2008 (d2a57f)

  13. No, love2008, that’s the conventional wisdom, that Obama is a better candidate in the general election than Hillary. But it was based on polling data that really just shows name recognition mostly and has little relation to what voters will see in terms of positions. Hillary looks easier to run against because she has so much baggage, but her baggage is old news mostly. Hillary has high negatives already, which gives McCain something to work with but she’s well known already in great detail so you are not going to move people a lot.

    Obama has been taking advantage of his blank slate status to let voters see whatever they want in him. But Hillary has found just what works well against him, his elitism, his radical connections, the implication of anti-americanism in his past. She just waited too long to use it, and in a Democratic primary its effects are muted.

    But in a general election, the themes that Hillary has been using against Obama will work even better. The old Reagan Democrats will flock to McCain.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  14. But in a general election, the themes that Hillary has been using against Obama will work even better. The old Reagan Democrats will flock to McCain.

    By the general election, these themes would have lost steam. Anything can happen witin six months. Unless more evidences surface, this matter will be so dead then.

    love2008 (d2a57f)

  15. Love2008, the purpose of Rush’s “Operation Chaos” was to keep Hillary in the race so she could bleed Obama, not to face her as a candidate. I don’t know any serious Republican strategist who thinks Hillary will be easier to beat than Obama. Most of them are positively salivating at the prospect of running against the guy who needs a walk-in closet to house all the skeletons his opponents can use against him.

    John McCain might be the only prominent Republican who can lose this election against Obama, and that’s because his “base” hates him. I suspect he’ll still probably win, though.

    Eric (884ea6)

  16. looks like the democrats will find a way to lose again with obama no way hes electable wait till the 527 get through with him and i heard rumblings that wright and other church members were not to happy with obama no telling what else will be coming out especially if wright goes on his book tour this fall as promised im a registered democrat that will switch to indepent and vote for mccain if obama gets the nominee……

    nobama (e7d36d)

  17. We might want to consider that Hillary has a good reason to buck the odds by staying in the race. Don’t be surprised if she has an ace in the hole. Just before the convention, Hillary lets fly with another revelation that makes it impossible for Obama to be accepted as the nominee. Rev Wright may have been just an appetizer. If there is anything that could sink Obama’s campaign, someone on her staff can find it.

    Bar Sinister (3c44d0)

  18. “She has garnered more votes in large states that will be important in the general election – states like Ohio, California, and New York.”
    But California and New York are going to go for Democrats anyway.

    “However, Obama’s wins have come primarily in caucus states and in states with large African-American populations.”
    There are plenty of states Obama won that satisfy neither of these catagories (like Vermont, Wisconsin, Utah, Connecticut, Delaware…)

    Polybius (759394)

  19. “The old Reagan Democrats will flock to McCain.”

    The reagan democrat teamsters have endorsed Obama.

    “Just before the convention, Hillary lets fly with another revelation that makes it impossible for Obama to be accepted as the nominee.”

    Each one of these revelations that make it ‘impossible for obama to be accepted’ have instead gotten him closer to the nomination. But I do agree that perhaps it is good that this stuff becomes old news by the fall.

    stef (8b6340)

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