random bullets of election blogging

  • I’m very pleased to see the last of Giuliani. The NY Times editorial anti-endorsement was harsh, but reflects the opinion of most New Yorkers.
  • As recently as this week, I was getting emails from the Edwards campaign saying that he was in it until the convention.  He’s saying that there hasn’t been a change in Elizabeth Edwards’ health, so I wonder what made him drop out now.
  • Given the rules of the Democratic primaries — with no winner-take-all primaries — I do still think it’s possible that we’re going to wind up heading into the convention with neither Clinton nor Obama having secured enough delegates to win.  It’s a lot less likely with Edwards out of the race, so maybe that’s why he dropped out.  It’s not like — even with a hung convention — the Democratic party could plausibly bypass the top two vote getters to select a white man as their nominee.  Not without riots.
  • Kevin Drum thinks that McCain has a problem because the Republican base isn’t thrilled by him.  But the polls suggest that McCain has a edge on both Clinton and Obama, but Romney loses to either one. The polls don’t show it, but I think Clinton has to have a harder time against him than Obama, because she’ll motivate the Republican base to come out to vote against her.
  • It’s going to be quite an election year here in the 11th District of Virginia, with open House and Senate seats, as well as the presidential election.

15 Responses to “random bullets of election blogging”

  1. K Says:

    I was really surprised that Edwards dropped out before Tuesday. For some reason, I thought he’d stick it out until then.

  2. the other bj Says:

    im also wondering if he hasnt had a mtg w both obama and clinton about the vp spot. better rest up than tear all around and spend money when he may know where he’s gonna end up in the line up.

  3. Christine Says:

    If McCain and Clinton are the nominees, conservatives might sit this one out. Who is the lesser of two evils for conservatives. McCain lost to Bush on this base. I don’t see them warming up to McCain. I voted for McCain in the primary against Bush and I really don’t like McCain today. I just don’t see any republican getting elected in November regardless if it is Clinton or Obama running. I think it is ridiculous for Edwards to expect a VP offering. He already ran with Kerry and did not do much to help them win. Whether Clinton or Obama like each other or not they need each other, particularly against a moderate like McCain.

  4. dave.s. Says:

    Christine, I think you are 1/2 right: Clinton needs Obama, so that she can pretend that everything’s okay again and all that wedge stuff she and Bill threw at him has gone away. I don’t think Obama needs Clinton, if nominated, I think he needs someone with demonstrated administrative and executive skills. Obama needs a liberal/moderate Dick Cheney, and that’s not Hillary Clinton. And it’s certainly not John Edwards. Who? Except that he was so tied to Clinton, Vilsack, maybe. Richardson? Bredesen? Would Ed Rendell do it? Bloomberg would bring huge money to the slate.
    Mickey Kaus was speculating that Rielle Hunter is due about now, and that might have been a good reason for Edwards to get out of the spotlight. The story that her pregnancy is from an affair with a married Edwards backer (who is still living apparently amicably with his wife) seems sort of fishy, so who knows?

  5. jen Says:

    I would feel so much better about Obama’s chances for success once in office if he had a running mate with deep admin experience! (Can you tell I still have post-Katrina stress disorder? This sinking feeling that my government is run by a bunch of highly-connected incompetents?)

  6. bj Says:

    Remember Bush did have one. The incompetence was idealogical, I think, rather than a sheer lack of competence (though choosing people to head technical posts — EPA, NIH, etc. based on ideology has an affect on the available competence, too). More fundamentally, people elected, in the Bush-ites a group of people who did not believe that government was the solution. They kept whistling that tune while New Orleans drowned, to be specific. I think some for them might even still think it was OK that New Orleans drowned, because it will decrease the moral hazard of relying on others to rescue you.
    I think Obama would need to have a competent team around him, but I see nothing in his history that suggests that he wouldn’t have access to one. He’s had plenty of establishment democrats (Kennedy, Kerry, etc.) sign on to his team. They know people who know how to run things. The problem is that he can’t build that team until he has the nomination. In fact, plenty of Clinton supporters will be happy to serve in an Obama administration. But, they can’t say that while the two are still competing.
    I personally like Clinton (Hillary) for Secretary of Health & Human Services. People have mentioned Edwards for Attorney General, but I don’t think that’s the right post for him. Do we still have Housing & Urban Development? He can have that.
    And, Obama can choose an experienced administrator type for the second spot on his ticket. I don’t actually know who that should be though — Locke doesn’t work for me, and although I was interested in Richardson, I don’t know that he really has the right depth of experience (maybe, though). Warner from Virginia seems like a possibility.
    (am I the original bj :-)?)

  7. Megan Says:

    I might like to see the Democratic nominee, whoever he or she is, woo Bill Bradley out of politican retirement to run for VP.

  8. merseydotes Says:

    I think it’s interesting that Edwards didn’t endorse Hillary or Obama. Rudy at least assumed the mantle of kingmaker by throwing all his weight toward McCain. He will be able to help claim some of McCain’s victory. Edwards may be waiting to make his kingmaker move.
    A Hillary-Romney race would be UGLY. Brutal, dirty, burn the house down. I think an Obama-McCain race would have contrasts but would be so much more collegial. That’s what I’m rooting for right now.
    “Do we still have Housing & Urban Development? He can have that.” LOL!

  9. landismom Says:

    I was surprised by the Edwards announcement too. I’ve read rumors that he will endorse Obama as early as this weekend, but I’m not sure how credible they are.
    If we’re moving him into the cabinet, I’d propose Secretary of Labor, personally! That would make a lot of my disappointed friends very happy.

  10. Christine Says:

    Last night during the CNN post-debate pundit comments someone mentioned that Hillary would be a good choice for Secretary of Health & Human Services. I disagree strongly. Although she is good in that area, let’s not forget Christie Todd Whitman, a woman who should have been chosen for VP in place of Dick Cheney. I am tired of women being delegated to secondary roles. Hillary would be great for alot of domestic issues, education, healthcare, social security, homeland security, etc. I am so tired of how this war is diverting attention from domestic issues. I think she has a better grasp on global issues than Obama, regardless of how he was against the war in the first place. Being against a war does not end poverty, bring jobs back home or abroad, improve healthcare, etc. I know this comes across as reverse gender bias, but I would like to have a female approach to things in our country. I mean for goodness sake let’s have an innate multi-tasker in the White House. She will need advisors, but will still be aware of everything happening. I connect with her strong direction and approach to working things out. I am just not connecting to Obama because his approach is sounding similar to some republican candidate comments. For me I am pondering if this is the difference between a male and female candidate.

  11. bj Says:

    I don’t think that Hillary would be a good veep (I’ve already said she’s not my candidate for president — I won’t vote her _because_ she’s a woman, and none of the other arguments impress me.). Hence, HHS. I think she would be a good secretary of HHS and that would be a good place for her to use the skills she does have (a broad political and factual knowledge, specifically about health care). I’d like to give her a second chance to fix health care.
    I respect her competance, but I think what we need in a president is the soft people skills that do not come naturally to her. I do think there’s bias in this judgment, because I think we think the women who have the soft people skills are too “weak” to be president. Bill, on the other hand, can have the soft people skills and still come off as strong. But, that doesn’t change the fact that Hillary doesn’t seem to have them.

  12. Jody Says:

    It seems to be the consensus that Clinton has been a great senator for New York — why would she want to leave that job, if she doesn’t get the top slot? She’s done the executive branch thing (or so she’d have us believe — I’m still dubious about how much ‘experience’ she gained as First Lady), and I can’t imagine why she’d want to go that route in someone else’s administration.
    I think McCain-Obama is tough, because independents like a lot about both of them. It seems much harder to predict which groups vote for whom than McCain-Clinton, anyway. Romney-Obama doesn’t leave me anxious about Obama being convincingly painted to independents as ultra-liberal and both inexperienced and out-of-touch in the same way that McCain-Obama does.
    I was getting the same e-mails as you, Elizabeth, and Edwards’ withdrawal caught me off-guard, too. I am grateful that he made it possible for Super Tuesday to have a clearer result than it would have, otherwise. But I can’t see him accepting the VP spot again, even if anyone wanted to offer it, and I don’t think anyone will.

  13. bj Says:

    Well, I don’t really think she would take HHS, because it would seem like a step down after having had a chance at being the president. But, why might I imagine she might? Because even though I’m an Barack supporter, I do believe that Hillary is running because she thinks that she’ll be able to do something right for our country running it. So, if she could do more as head of HHS, within a Dem administration than she can as a Senator? then, would she take it? If Gore had won (well, as he actually did) would she have taken HHS with him?
    I guess I’m imagining the same story with Edwards and a cabinet post — that he wants to do something. The VP slot is a different role — you don’t actually get to do anything (in general, the Bush administration is weird, I think).
    I saw the pictures of Hillary on the NYTimes front page, and what struck me is how hard she’s working. She wants to be president, but she’s not having fun campaigning. Bill, on the other hand, I bet had a blast campaigning. And too much of the job one does as president is that stuff — the campaigning, the smiling, the raising money, all the stuff other than actually making things happen.
    Yes, I’m projecting. If someone offered me the presidency in 2008, I’d turn it down. I can’t imagine a harder job to take on. One of the cabinet slots, though, I might be willing to take 🙂

  14. Christine Says:

    bj, I see her and Obama working really hard because if you are not white or male, you have to work twice as hard to get ahead.

  15. bj Says:

    Oh, I think McCain & Romney & Edwards also looked like they were working really hard. Giuliani not so much (but he’s not getting there, right)?
    I think there are people who enjoy the work of campaigning. I remember reading a quote about Bill Clinton saying that he seemed to really believe that if he could just talk to everyone, they would understand him, and see how he was the solution to all their problems). And, he liked talking to people (and people liked talking to him).
    Some people have this gift, and others don’t. Reagan & Bush & Clinton all seemed to have it (in different ways). Reagan could talk to an audience, Bush to his friends, and Clinton to anyone he could grab in a group (not so much an audience). Obama seems to have this skill to (maybe the audience version, since I haven’t gotten to talk to him personally :-).
    This isn’t primarily about gender, because although I think it is harder for a woman to have this gift, and also be thought of as powerful, I think that it’s not a given for men, either. And, as I said, I think none of the leading reps seem to have it.

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