Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Primary Numbers

It's election night in New Hampshire as the tiny state of one million people helps select the next President. I'll be flipping back and forth between the results and the hockey game so expect updates here throughout the evening. Given that I'm neither a New Hamshirite nor an American, I'm aware that my opinion doesn't really matter but here's my thoughts on the candidates who could still win the Presidency:


Democrats

I would have been on the Gore bandwagon had he decided to toss his hat in but, understandably, he's happy winning everything except the Presidency (although some could argue he has already won that too...). As it is, I keep bouncing back and forth between the three front runners.

I really like what Barack Obama represents...I jut don't really understand why he represents what he represents. I have yet to see any coherent argument as to why he represents "change" more than Edwards or Clinton but, hey, it's a fun ride to watch and he'd make a hell of a candidate. But Hillary's getting attacked by Lou Dobbs right now so that probably means she's doing something right, and Edwards has as much charisma and better policy than either of the other two so I'd be fine with any of them.


Republicans

This race is the fun one. I'm joining Jesus and Chuck Norris in endorsing Mike Huckabee. Not only is a regular on the Colbert Report but, as pointed out recently by a few libloggers, he's made a 22 Minutes cameo:



If you thought Stockwell Day was a fun candidate to follow, just imagine Stockwell Day with a sense of humour!

From Colbert's buddy, we move to Jon Stewart's. John McCain is expected to win tonight and has staged quite the comeback after being left for dead this fall. McCain is probably the most electable man in the field, although the generation gap is going to be the size of the Grand Canyon if it's him against Obama. He gets full marks for the best line of the New Hampshire debates when he agreed wholeheartedly that Mitt Romney is the candidate of change.

Fred Thompson, to the best of my knowledge, is still in this race, but it's possible he's dropped out and I just missed it.

Rudy Giuliani is just hoping no one forgets about him by the time Super Tuesday rolls around. I don't mind Rudy - he cameo'd on Seinfeld once - but I have a hard time endorsing someone if his win means having to look up the spelling of his name every time I post about him during his Presidency.


LIVE UPDATES:

8:00 pm: The polls close and CNN makes the ever-so-bold prediction that...John Edwards will be third! I guess they're going to hold off on that bold "Richardson finishes fourth" call until some more data comes in.

8:05 pm: CNN is profiling Salem now. Full credit to Wolf Blitzer for resisting the obvious Hillary Clinton joke.

8:16 pm: CNN projects that McCain wins New Hampshire. I guess it's time for Romney to get those push polls into the field in South Carolina...

8:32 pm: Clinton 40%, Obama 36%, Edwards 17%, Richardson 4%. You know, I'm shocked that Jed Bartlett's endorsement in his home state couldn't move votes for Richardson.

10:24 pm: Edwards is conceding now and he's using the SNL Gore "health care" speech...or at least a very close approximation to it. Clinton's up by over 4,000 votes with 63% of the polls in, so it certainly appears that she'll eek this one out. Not a great result if you think about it but, given the polls over the last two days, it likely leaves the Democratic nomination as a pick 'em.

I think the take home message from tonight is that Super Tuesday is going to be very interesting for both parties. And, while it's still early, does anyone else get the sense that the Republican nomination might actually come down to a delegated convention?

Labels: , , , , , , ,

20 Comments:

  • Barack Obama. One R. Another name to look up, I suppose.

    http://www.barackobama.com/index.php

    By Blogger Jesse, at 8:03 PM  

  • Ouch!

    Fred is not only being whumped big time by the other campaigning candidates, he is being outvoted by the "write in" candidates.

    By Anonymous Ted, at 8:43 PM  

  • “I really like what Barrack Obama represents...I jut don't really understand why he represents what he represents.”

    It don’t matter what you think. The only thing that matters is what the American voters want.

    Obama will have to be more forthcoming about specifics. But, he is more likely to differentiate himself from the GOP and the status quo than The Old Woman.

    By Blogger JimTan, at 10:14 PM  

  • Slick Willy showed that, for a Democrat to win the Executive Office, you actually need to pull to the middle and erase differences on many issues, rather than pull too far to the left. And Slicker Chretien basically proved the same thing for the Liberals in Canada, as did Tony Blair in Britain.

    By Anonymous Ted, at 10:21 PM  

  • ted - ha ha, nice catch. Thompson should really drop out at this point. At the very least, one imagines he'll start laying off staff (if he hasn't already).

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 10:35 PM  

  • "Slick Willy showed that, for a Democrat to win the Executive Office, you actually need to pull to the middle and erase differences on many issues, rather than pull too far to the left."

    Oh Dear! Was FDR a democrat? Was the New Deal a communist ploy?

    By Blogger JimTan, at 1:32 AM  

  • “Slick Willy showed that, for a Democrat to win the Executive Office, you actually need to pull to the middle and erase differences on many issues, rather than pull too far to the left.”

    BTW, don’t go away with the idea that Obama is an ideological leftie. The interesting thing about the New Hampshire primary is that Clinton decisively won the traditional Democrat constituencies, while Obama held on to the young voters and independent voters.

    Suggests that he will be an unorthodox Democrat, and possibly a less partisan presidential candidate. We will see how Obama’s platform firms up in the days ahead.

    The American presidential system is a long and entertaining political process. It allows candidates to hear from voters over six months, and for voters in each contest to influence the candidates.

    Canada’s parliamentary election is very different. You have marathon electioneering all over the country simultaneously, and decided on a single day.

    From CBS news:

    “Voters in New Hampshire believed that Clinton was the candidate most qualified to be commander-in-chief, and that she would be the strongest leader. Voters were more likely to see Clinton as the strongest leader over Obama by 38 percent to 35 percent. And 38 percent said Clinton was the most qualified to be commander-in-chief, compared to only 26 percent who felt that way about Obama.

    At the same time, Obama was the candidate primary voters believe was most likely to take them to the White House in November. Forty-four percent of primary voters said Obama would be most likely to beat the Republican nominee in November, compared to 35 percent who said Clinton would. They also felt he was the candidate most likely to unite the country if elected.

    By Blogger JimTan, at 2:31 AM  

  • You are sooo right about Obama, but try telling it to Americans. Usually "running on change" means that you are proposing different policies and such. Obama's speeches are just literally saying that things should change. It is in his utter vapidness as a candidate that he echoes the other empty shell, John F. Kennedy.

    As for the GOP... Nixon '08. He's tanned, rested and ready.

    By Blogger hosertohoosier, at 3:54 AM  

  • >>I have yet to see any coherent argument as to why he represents "change" more than Edwards or Clinton but, hey, it's a fun ride to watch and he'd make a hell of a candidate<<

    What's hard to understand about the fact that either a Clinton or a Bush has occupied the White House for the better part of two decades? Add another Clinton and you've got political dynasties ruling American for a quarter century. I'd call that realization and the fact that Obama isn't a Bush or a Clinton a pretty strong example of change.

    By Blogger The Grumpy Voter, at 5:54 AM  

  • The problem for the Democrats is that Hillary or Edwards are both unelectable when it goes to the general voters. Edwards is too far to the left for any of the Republicans and the fiscal conservatives still have such a strong hate on for anything that smacks of Clinton that they'll hold their nose and vote Huckabee if they have to. On the other hand, the fundangelicals are not going to vote for a woman to be President unless she looks like Ronald Reagan and is possessed by the ghost of Margaret Thatcher.. who isn't dead yet.

    Obama, on the other hand, has already drawn many Republican voters to cross lines. His campaign is empty enough that he's non-threatening to the fiscal conservatives, and a good number of them would prefer him to the religious choice of Huckabee. At the same time, if the fundangelicals don't get Huckabee as their nominee, I could see them going with Obama as the closest substitution to the local pastor -- he certainly sounds like one.

    So in the end, regardless of how vapid or empty his campaign seems to be, he's still probably the best choice the Democrats have. With him as their nominee, the Republican party is free to fracture along fundamentalist lines, opening the way up for a Democrat president.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:33 AM  

  • Can anybody point out a single policy distinction between Hilary Clinton and Obama?

    Given that I suspect most people can't, I am not so sure that the assertion of anonymous that Obama is not threatening to fiscal conservatives in the Republican party stands. I may be optimistic about the American people, but I don't think they will elect somebody on the basis that the person in question supports unspecified "change", unity (although he criticizes Hilary Clinton for her cross-bench initiatives), and puppies (probably).

    Oh and for the record, Edwards outperforms Obama on match-up polls against any Republican contender (and is the only one who beats McCain in such polls), for what its worth.

    By Blogger hosertohoosier, at 3:42 PM  

  • CG - Things don't go to delegated conventions in the US anymore. The bottom line is that an August convention doesn't give the candidate adequate time to mobilize for an election, and that any candidate needing consensus would be seen as 'weak'. The DNC and RNC will award their parties nominations to whichever candidate has the most delegates on March 11, even if they don't have a majority of the delegates.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:34 PM  

  • "Can anybody point out a single policy distinction between Hilary Clinton and Obama?"

    Iraq

    By Blogger JimTan, at 4:44 PM  

  • "Can anybody point out a single policy distinction between Hilary Clinton and Obama?"

    Iraq


    LOL - exactly. Just a wee minor bitsy policy difference.

    By Blogger Jason Bo Green, at 7:22 PM  

  • "Just a wee minor bitsy policy difference."

    Only 3,900 dead servicemen and $500 billion. Only a minor bitsy difference.

    By Blogger JimTan, at 1:26 AM  

  • If you can't tell the policy differences between Clinton and Obama, you haven't tried to find them. He's made loads of policy speeches, and his website has his proposals in detail. Just because you're being intellectually lazy here doesn't mean that he is.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:24 AM  

  • anon (re: convention) - I didn't know that...very interesting.


    grumpy - I'm not sure that "his last name isn't Clinton" is neccesarily the best argument that Obama represents change given that Edwards, Gravel, Romney and every other candidate in the field are also not named "Clinton" or "Bush". And, I tend to think a lot of Democrats think Bill Clinton was a pretty good President.

    Don't get me wrong, I like Obama, and this minute I would probably vote for him if the Toronto Primary was today (although I can't say I would tomorrow). I just think this whole "change" thing is getting a little bit out of hand.

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 9:49 AM  

  • “I just think this whole "change" thing is getting a little bit out of hand.”

    This is precisely the nature of leadership. FDR takes the opportunity to introduce The New Deal during a crisis. It is the ability of a leader to convince constituencies that change is possible, necessary and desirable.

    Harper hoped that he was such a change leader. But, he was very wrong and his New Government is reduced to acts of malice. Edwards and Clinton are proposing the obvious. But, it’s John Kennedy, Ronald Reagan and Trudeau who inspired their citizens, even if they didn’t actually produce the goods.

    I think that the Democratic presidential race is very important because the Democrats are likely to have a majority in both Houses. Will it be the unknown Obama or the cautious Clinton?

    By Blogger JimTan, at 2:02 PM  

  • Democrats, unfortunately have this nasty habit of eating their own. One hopes it doesn't happen in this election.

    By Blogger The Grumpy Voter, at 7:06 AM  

  • By Blogger mmjiaxin, at 8:07 PM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home