Hillary Clinton

Open Left and MyDD, One Year Later

I love me some traffic charts. -Patrick

This week marks the one-year anniversary for Open Left, a spinoff of the original netroots blog, MyDD. As far as I can tell, the date was not observed on the site itself, but then Chris Bowers, Matt Stoller and the rest are busy running a political website. My own blogging though (typically at Blog P.I.) is pretty much just about political websites, so I thought it would be interesting to compare Open Left with MyDD, and see how the two sites have fared in the year since they went in different directions. Via Compete:

Open Left and MyDD site traffic comparison via Compete.com

Here's how I'm reading this:

Could Hillary Rise Again?

My old leftist pal and former Idahoan (he calls himself a refugee, I say he’s a defector) Portland-based talkshow host Radical Russ Belville is up in arms about the FISA vote (though he’s not quite as cutting in his remarks as Jesse Jackson). He writes:

The ultimate knife in my heart right now is that Barack Obama voted for the bill and Hillary

Clinton voted against it. I’ve been a longtime registered independent and since moving to Oregon, a registered Green. But to support “change you can believe in”, I switched my registration to Democrat.

That’s the last time I do that. Tomorrow I’m back to Green. Obama still has my vote, as McCain is reprehensible and the Supreme Court too important, but he gets no more of my money and the yard sign is being returned to Obama HQ (with my scribbled “Capitulation I Can’t Believe In” on it). If I wanted a yard sign for a candidate who supported retroactive immunity, more faith-based initiatives, more handguns, more death penalty, and no public campaign financing, I could’ve just recycled my neighbor’s Bush signs from the past two elections…

Obama has made a huge mistake. In the parlance of football, he’s not playing to win anymore, he’s playing not to lose. He’s so terrified of giving the Republicans the “Dukakis in a tank / Kerry on a windsurfboard” moment that he’s forgetting to “dance with them what brung ya”.

One person expressed his displeasureon MyBarackObama.com (Hat Tip: Stop the ACLU):



It was all you talked about.

Then the FISA bill you gave the telecom companies retroactive immunity - something you said you were against - and voted FOR it on the senate floor.

Third party candidates, here I come. You’re no different than McCain

The netroots is really ticked off over this. The answer is found in part in Russ’ post:

What energized the Obama movement was so many of us fed up with the “politics as usual” that puts party, corporations, and money before people and the Constitution.  We ache for change and long for a leaderwho wil lay it all on the line to defend our cherish freedoms.  Someone who has principles and courage.

They thought Obama was different.Had Hillary Clinton or Joe Biden been the nominee, this wouldn’t have been as big of a problem, but if a candidate is viewed as being “different” or a “transformational leader” we expect them to: 1) never compromise and 2) never behave like a politician.

An example on the Republican side: After six months of solid reforms to ethics laws, school choice scholarship, a law allowing school districts to adopt supplementary curriculum on global warming and Intelligent design, and five tax cuts, many conservatives turned on Bobby Jindal in a heartbeat when he agreed to sign a huge pay increase for legislators that he disagreed with in order to insure that he could get other reforms passed in the future. Another governor could get away with it. Bobby Jindal’s star has fallen in the eyes of some people, because he’s not just the Governor of Louisiana, he is someone they expect to be a perfect conservative like Reagan was (even if Reagan didn’t reach this higher plane of conservativism until after his public life ended.)

What Obama did was even worse because it was pure politics and a reversal of his campaign promise for no other reason than to put himself in better position for this Fall. Unlike Jindal, Obama has fostered the expectations. He has embraced the mantle of being a transformational leader and his supporters are getting a let down.

This along with the fact that he’s not exactly pulling away from McCain at this point raises old doubts about electability. Today, a scary thought occurred me. Could this lead to Hillary Clinton unsuspending her campaign?

It’s an unlikely scenario, but her vote against FISA could indicate a shift in strategy. In the primaries, she ran to the right of Barack Obama. In the post-primaries, she could run slightly to the left. What would need to happen is for Obama to fall behind. This would be a big contingency. Obama hasn’t trailed McCain in any poll in 2 months. If polls leading up to the convention show Obama falling behind by 6-9 points and the Democratic base upset, she could run as a candidate who could go against McCain on experience and calm the base’s concerns about FISA, abortion, and other issues. She could give the Super Delegates as well any ticked off Obama delegates the chance to dump their guy. 

Of course, what am I thinking? Would Hillary Clinton really turn on a candidate she’s endorses? Would she really be that backstabbing to use him to retire her gross debt, and then doublecross him with a week to go before the convention? Would she be that low down, devious, and decptive? Folks, it’s Hillary Clinton. 

Like I said, possible, not probable. 

Obama in the Plains 

Barack Obama has promised to focus on some unconventional targets in his race for the White House. One of them being North Dakota.  In the latest Rasmussen poll, McCain leads the State by 1 point.  This election cycle, I’ve learned not to rely on one Rasmussen poll given earlier polls showing Obama leading by 3 points in CT.

However, the scarce polling done in North Dakota has had little great news for McCain. Obama has kept it within single digits. The goal has got to be to drive McCain to spend time and money in places like Alaska, North Dakota, and Montana to keep him from really enganging Obama in Ohio and Michigan. If you see John McCain spending any time in these three states, you know before the vote that Obama has won.

Obama, the Halo Effect, and What's Changed

I am not a Mac user. But I'll freely admit I had one of my monitors refreshing with MacRumorsLive's coverage of the Steve Jobs WWDC keynote, with an audio feed from Moscone West running in the background. When it comes to operating systems, I am a swing voter. Heck, I even identify a little with the poor PC guy in the ads, and think the Mac guy is a smarmy little twerp. Nonetheless, I'm thinking of casting my first "vote" for a Mac in 2008. It's not that I dislike my Windows system. Every other PC I've had has been badly outrun by the combination of bloatware outrunning the memory allocation, but not this one. I have my XP tuned the way I like it, but it's a lame duck.  It's the unfortunate fact of an uninspiring new standardbearer, Vista, has me seriously thinking about switching to the Cult of Steve.

But it's not only that. The sheer gravitational pull of the Mac / iPhone / iPod halo is simply too much. It's irrational. I see lots of friends switching to Macs and tapping away on iPhones. It was different back in the early '90s back when Mac was this goofy platform you couldn't extend with a clunky black and white GUI. Or even last year when those suckers stood in line to shell out $600 for a buggy, locked down phone. But for me, this July 11th will be a different story.

Doesn't this remind you a little of the current political climate?

Citizens for McCain

The news out of the McCain camp today...the launching of a new organization specifically to encourage non-partisan support for McCain. The group is to be chaired by...who else...Senator Joe Lieberman.


My favorite part:

Tell Us About Yourself

Political/Campaign Experience
If so please describe:
Role with Clinton Campaign
If so please describe:

 So, "our" man McCain continues to cozy up to the left and now Clinton supporters in particular. Is there any love for the right? Since when did conservative voters become chopped liver? I had originally thought McCain would go with a conservative (or at least a faux conservative) VP, but now I'm wondering if he's not just going to go middle-of-the-road all the way and hope to score the win with help from Hillary's fans.



Don't Commit Web Suicide

Promoted. There's nothing that annoys me more as online political professional than politicians who refuse to continue the conversation with supporters after the campaign. Many of the former Republicans have hundreds of thousands of supporters they could mobilize for John McCain... or even keep themselves relevant and build a base for future runs or their activities in Congress. And yet most just don't. Only Huckabee is doing this well on the Republican side. -Patrick

As Hillary Clinton preps to concede that Barack Obama has the delegates to secure the nomination, I wonder about the future of her online presence.  Will her website continue to project her political activity -- positions, whereabouts, and calls to action?

Or, will she commit web suicide like so many viable major federal candidates before her?

You may ask why we should care about Clinton's online presence.  We should care because once she's a loser, she will join the cast of dozens of Republicans who lost in '06, and that will lose in '08, and we should learn from her mistakes.

Hillary for VP or Hillary '12?

With Hillary Clinton's impending exit from the race, conventional wisdom has it that she's touting her supposed popular vote advantage to muscle her way onto the Obama ticket.

I don't buy it.

Even if Obama wins, VP would be a dead end for Hillary. If Obama loses, Hillary will be remembered as the candidate who lost both the nomination and during the general, just like John Edwards. If Obama wins, the first opportunity Hillary has to run again is in 2016, at age 69... 24 years after her husband was first elected.

I think most in the Democratic and Republican parties, as well as those in the Fourth Estate, would heartily agree that we need Hillary '16 like we need a hole in the head.

Hillary '12 might still be manageable if Obama loses and by a not insignificant margin, validating the Hillary '08 narrative. She could come back and say, "I told you so... and oh, by the way, I won the popular vote." The Clintons have probably internalized the Obama unelectability narrative more than any human beings alive. Why add insult to injury with a losing VP bid when HRC could easily assume the mantle of "lion of the Senate" from Ted Kennedy? Or, even, perhaps, run in 2012? 

Still, Hillary 2012 is unlikely, just as Gore 2004 and Gore 2008 were. If Obama disappoints, they'll probably revert to some safe boring white guy four years hence.

Can McCain appeal to disaffected women?

In a comment in response to Ruffini's post on Democratic polling, Tom Readmond says:

I don't have a client right now , but if I did, I'd be looking very hard at what I might do to attract angry women to the party, much as Nixon did with angry southerners in 1968.

Well, actually, I refer you to Janet Elder piece in the NYT from last year:

Neil Newhouse, a Republican pollster whose firm, Public Opinion Strategies, is working for Senator John McCain, said, ''Right now all groups are a significant challenge for Republicans.'' ... Most of the names on Mr. Newhouse's list have little to do with gender, with the exception of ''Wal-Mart women.'' Those are voters who ''generally have lower incomes, are less educated, tend to be conservative and have been impacted by economic difficulties,'' he said.

Perhaps the McCain campaign is planning to reach out to these women? Polling indicates fertile ground. Read on.

ARG: Hillary up by 26 points in South Dakota

The conventional wisdom is that Obama will win handily in both of the remaining primaries. But that may not be the case. H/T Pollster.com


South Dakota:

Hillary 60

Obama 34



Hillary 44

Obama 48

Now, ARG has been wrong before. But 26 points is quite a margin.

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