“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Monday, April 07, 2008

Hillary Vanishing Fast

Hard to ignore the trend now...


Following another weekend of mostly bad news that revolved around two more incidents of people questioning her stories and the resignation of her chief strategist Mark Penn, Monday kicks off with...well, more bad news.

ARG has their new poll of Pennsylvania out, conducted on April 5th and 6th and making it the latest poll done of the state, and the news is stunning. Barack Obama 45%, Hillary Clinton 45. Last week, Clinton led 51% to 39%. That means that ARG has her falling six points and Obama moving up six points in ONE WEEK. The poll is also right in line with three other polls from last week that have the race as a virtual tie. Clinton led by 20+ points in PA just a few weeks ago and it now appears that lead is all but gone.

As I stated last week, her collapse in the state is happening due to a few reasons, I suspect. One, the media is now reporting that Clinton has virtually no chance of winning, and that results in many of her supporters becoming demoralized and thus they begin to tell pollsters that they no longer plan to go and vote (and thus they are not factored in polls). Two, her credibility is being destroyed by all the stories of her being caught exaggerating or making up stories, first with Bosnia, then with the healthcare story that was exposed a few days ago, then with her claim that she opposed the War in Iraq before Obama did in the Senate, only to have that proven wrong. Third, she is running out of money as I wrote about a few days ago and therefore can't do much to counter all the ads Obama is running in the state.

And the most troubling news for her is that two weeks remain until voting day. If Obama is going to maintain a 5-to-1 spending advantage over her for those two weeks, it's hard to see her stop this trend and regain a big lead. Because remember, she doesn't just need to win, she needs to win by 10+ points. Obama has already stated that he will view any loss of less than 10 points in PA as a victory. We saw Obama get to this point, a virtual tie after being down 20+ points, in both Texas and Ohio, but he didn't have the time to close the deal. Now, he has caught up to Clinton and still has plenty of time left to campaign in the state, run his ads, etc. The big question is whether he goes for the kill in PA, a state that very few still expect him to win, or continue to share his time between PA, NC, and IN. I suspect he'll wait to see how his numbers look next week before deciding whether to spend all his time the week before PA voting in the state or to shift focus to NC and IN.

But the main point to take away from this poll is the race in PA is very close now, and that by itself makes the entire state a loss for Clinton already unless she turns things around. She has to win big, and what looked like a likely 10+ point win for her a few weeks ago now doesn't seem so likely.


  1. Lemme see: Cold, condescending bitch v. (as his half-sister phrased it) one "cool customer."

    Nothing Hillary offers that Barry hasn't promised to deliver. Without the freight and attitude.

  2. All The Pennslyvania Primary Polling Data That's Fit To Print Here

    I don't know. I've read the Pennslyvania demographic glove fits Hillary's pretty little hand just right. I think she'll win.

  3. Meanwhile McCain sucks up to the Religious Right and pushes Single Prayer Health Care.

  4. Her numbers do seem to be tending south however.

    Single Prayer Health Care--you see, that's McCain's problem, no broad vision. Group Prayer Health Care, it should be. The prayer power of numbers.

    Seriously, many people feel McCain's program is better than the others. He's got one, I've read. But I don't know what it is.

  5. "Meanwhile McCain..."

    is working on his secret plan.

    We'd like to help him.

    He's not e-mailing.

  6. As James Wolcott said, McCain appears, with or without justification, to be the Lifetime Achievement nominee. So, then, less dramatically, may be Hillary.

    It's a one-shot/last shot deal for either.

  7. John Fund at the WSJ's Political Diary:

    In reality, Mr. Penn had to go because the Clinton campaign needs a new strategy. The latest polls show Barack Obama's massive saturation ad buys in Pennsylvania are working. He is now tied with Mrs. Clinton in that state's April 22 primary. Hillary has perhaps one more Hail Mary pass in her and Mr. Penn wasn't the man to execute it.

    That job will now go to Geoff Garin, a respected pollster and a man with a reputation for digging candidates out of holes they've put themselves in. In 2001, he helped craft the message that enabled Mark Warner to be elected governor of Virginia, a state that hadn't voted Democratic for president in a quarter century. Many of the leading Democrats in the Senate, from Dick Durbin to Chuck Schumer, have relied on Mr. Garin's advice. . . .

  8. Hillary doesn't need another strategy. She needs to get real and win some delegates.

  9. Burson-Marsteller was hired by Bogota to promote a free trade pact between Colombia and the US — a treaty which Hillary has opposed. Mark Penn is a top executive in US public relations firm Burson-Marsteller

    Penn said last week he had made “an error in judgment” in meeting the Colombian ambassador to US, Carolina Barco, on March 31, and said he would not make the same mistake again.

    Colombia retaliated by firing Burson-Marsteller, saying in a statement that it “considers this a lack of respect to Colombians, and finds this response unacceptable”.

    Bush retaliated today by announcing and sending the Colombian trade deal to congress where Senator Obama and Clinton have to vote.

    Now if the Republicans are smart, (doubtful), they need to make this a hemispheric issue and blatantly seek to ingratiate themselves with the Hispanic vote.

    McCain should come out strongly for the support of the bill and explain why Colombia is so important to US relations in the Americas.

  10. Bush retaliated today by announcing and sending the Colombian trade deal to congress where Senator Obama and Clinton have to vote.

    :) Pin them down a bit.

  11. We've been waiting for an up-or-down vote. It may not help.

    McCain could also, in another direction, do everyone a favor by proposing to end the anchor baby law.

    I think people generally underestimate the outsize effect it has on immigration.

  12. People notice, I think it's just one of those sentimental sacred cows few people will touch.

    Until it's gotten rid of, there's no reason to even considering taking the 'guest worker' advocates seriously.

  13. Well, amigos, the Constitution will not be amended, to change the anchor baby situation. No law will surfice to change the situation.

    No where near enough votes to pass a Constitutional Amendment to modify the 14th.

    So, then, cutler, the status que remains.
    No discussion needed nor change required.
    Keep things just the way they are.

  14. Couldn't be a better situation for the Unionists.

  15. I'd also be stunned if McCain was to actually use political capital to do such a sensible thing on that issue.

  16. Bobal:Bush retaliated today by announcing and sending the Colombian trade deal to congress where Senator Obama and Clinton have to vote.

    Obama and Clinton have already said they will vote against it. Clinton's top "strategist" was lobbying for the deal, which is what's going to kill her dead in Pennsylvania, especially with the Unions. John Edwards might even come in soon and throw his delegates behind Obama, which would be pissing on her grave.

  17. "So, then, cutler, the status que remains.
    No discussion needed nor change required.
    Keep things just the way they are."

    Setting aside the long chance that a stacked Supreme Court could revisit the issue, there's other ways to skin that cat. I.e., enforce the law as is and cut off access to the magnets that are free, cheap, and perhaps soon to be expanded social services. If it's not done, it's not for lack of options.

  18. They're both for free trade, but both have said they're against it, isn't that the situation?

    Dad used to moan against the anchor baby business once in a while, long ago.

  19. So it looks like I need to go out and get an Albanian flag in honor of our new bestest friend and ally. No war for Skopje yet, unfortunately. Georgia'd be interesting, in a Chinese sorta way.

  20. Neither in that decision nor in any subsequent case has the Supreme Court explicitly ruled on whether children born in the United States to illegal immigrant parents are entitled to birthright citizenship via the Amendment,[4] although it has generally been assumed that they are.[5] In some cases the Court has implicitly assumed, or suggested in dicta, that such children are entitled to birthright citizenship: these include INS v. Rios-Pineda[6] and Plyler v. Doe.[7] Nevertheless, some claim that Congress possesses the power to exclude such children from US citizenship by legislation:[4] such legislation is often proposed by individual members of Congress but has never been passed into law. wiki

    Congress ought to give it a try, they won't of course.

  21. The opinions of 70 or 80 per cent of the people meaning nothing.

  22. End it and you radically change the immigration calculus.

  23. Change the mission, change the mission, change the mission.

  24. Coming up on my 23rd anniversary. April 19th.

    Just about every damned smart thing I said here, was someone else's damned smart thing.

  25. But he cannot cook worth a damn.

  26. trish said...

    "We've been waiting for an up-or-down vote. It may not help.

    McCain could also, in another direction, do everyone a favor by proposing to end the anchor baby law.

    I think people generally underestimate the outsize effect it has on immigration.

    Glad to see you've finally started to see the light!
    (as 'Rat says, not that it will make a damned bit o'difference, but at least we can commune instead of bicker. - hug)

    "Just about every damned smart thing I said here, was someone else's damned smart thing."
    Yeah, on this issue that'd be me YEARS AGO on BC.

    You're welcome.

  27. If we run the hard bootied, female, black liberal lesbian for Veep, how could we lose?

  28. Condi The Power Woman With A Whip (she'll whip those preverts into some kind of shape)

  29. Actually I like Condi, cause she's smart like my mom and plays the piano. About the same size and shape too.

  30. When a politician gets knocked out, deuce generally represents them floored, shoes to the camera. Recall Larry Craig.

  31. Might as well pour it on, kick the dying horse, mutilate the corpse--Hillary Lied Like Hell During Nixon Impeachment

  32. All this has served to attach greater importance to Mrs Clinton's battle to win the Pennsylvania primary, a contest she has been long-since tipped to win. Defeat there, or even a less than convincing performance, could see serious pressure heaped upon her to throw in the towel.

    She is well capable of pulling off a significant victory, as she has enjoyed support in the bigger states during the primary contests.

    But if Mrs Clinton comes away from Pennsylvania with anything other than a win, it will be harder than ever to rebuff those arguing that the only winner of a protracted battle for the Democratic nomination will be the Republican nominee John McCain. Mrs Clinton may have recovered from previous knocks, but even she will find it difficult to beat the count if she loses in Pennsylvania.

    External Problems

  33. Which is the stereotypical "Power Woman", Billary or Condi?

    Condi wins, hands down.
    On her own, not on her husbands coattails.

    Who give a damn about whether she eats at the Y or the Long Wongs

    Flame broiled.

  34. Rice and Schwarzenberg announced at the NATO summit in Bucharest, capital of Romania last week that the Czech-U.S. negotiations on the treaty have been completed.

    The United States plans to build a radar base at the Brdy military district, some 90 km southwest of Prague, along with an interceptor missile base in Poland, but Warsaw has yet to agree to the move.

    Russia is strongly opposed to the deployment of the system, saying the plan poses threat to its strategic interests. Some 70 percent of Czech citizens oppose the project, too.

    Base in Prague

  35. Bob, you're going to love this:

    Barack Obama has written in his autobiography that he organized his life around the ideals imparted by his Kenyan father, Barak H. Obama, a Harvard-trained economist. So what were those ideals?

    PrestoPundit has found a 1965 paper written by Obama’s father, in which he advocates:

    — 100% taxation
    — communal farms / the elimination of private farming
    — the nationalization of businesses owned by “Europeans” and “Asians”.
    — “active” measures to bring about a classless society

    Via: LGF

  36. It'll be welcome to Zimbabwe, Mat.

    It's scary, alrighty.

    Religious Categories Applied To Obama

    A generation fallen away from the churches, and literacy itself, experiences a whiff of the Hero, the boon bringer, the rainman to the wasteland.

  37. Cambodia comes to mind.

    I demand we turn the clock back to Day 1. All the earth to be in renewal.

    All this is a bit disconcerting to a guy like me, to say the least.

  38. “I’m in the process of creating a whole new generation of solutions ... I think I still have three or four more years of developing new ideas and new approaches before we can feel comfortable about running for anything,” Gingrich said.

    “I’m kind of actively laying out what we need to do next.”

    Bill Evans, a Barnes & Noble manager, didn’t have an immediate count on how many copies of “Real Change” the store sold. In theory, customers were supposed to buy a copy of the book before getting in line, but not everyone did, Evans said.

    Real Change

  39. This comment has been removed by the author.

  40. Bob,

    I can definitely see how those students would fall in love with the idea of a classless society. :)

  41. Finally, Obama defended his pastor/mentor justifying his expression of anger against the injustice of the past. Speaking of Rev. Wright’s generation, Obama said “the memories of humiliation and doubt and fear have not gone away; nor has the anger and the bitterness of those years.”

    Harboring anger and nursing bitterness rather than putting both aside for “the peace that passes understanding” will never result in unity whether racial, political, or spiritual. Ephesians 4:26 says, “Be angry, and yet do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger.”

    Colossians 3:8 says, “But now you also, put them all aside: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and abusive speech from your mouth.”

    Christian Worldview

  42. Mary had a visitation by the Holy Spirit, but Leda was ravished by Zeus in the form of a swam, giving birth to Helen, and disaster...

    A sudden blow: the great wings beating still
    Above the staggering girl, her thighs caressed
    By the dark webs, her nape caught in his bill,
    He holds her helpless breast upon his breast.
    How can those terrified vague fingers push
    The feathered glory from her loosening thighs?
    And how can body, laid in that white rush,
    But feel the strange heart beating where it lies?
    A shudder in the loins engenders there
    The broken wall, the burning roof and tower[19]
    And Agamemnon dead.
    Being so caught up,
    So mastered by the brute blood of the air,
    Did she put on his knowledge with his power
    Before the indifferent beak could let her drop?

    WB Yeats

    Perhaps Obama's mama was trysted by a Black Swan as his ascension seems so improbable.

  43. “I don’t know whether or not President Bush should go to the games, but the games should go on. The last time we boycotted an Olympics in 1980, it didn’t exactly turn out well,” said Linda Chavez, head of the Center for Equal Opportunity and a FOX News contributor.

    The United States and several other nations boycotted the Moscow Olympics in 1980, only to have 14 nations boycott the games in Los Angeles four years later.

    The torch relay also is expected to face demonstrations in San Francisco, New Delhi and possibly elsewhere on its 21-stop, six-continent tour before arriving in mainland China May 4. On Monday, protesters scaled the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco to unfurl two banners reading “Free Tibet” and “One World One Dream,” in support of Tibet.

    Opening Ceremonies

  44. Sam: Mrs Clinton may have recovered from previous knocks, but even she will find it difficult to beat the count if she loses in Pennsylvania.

    That's what they said about any number of states before Pennsylvania. If she loses there, she will say, "Puerto Rico! It's always been about Puerto Rico!" Wisconsin should have been a clue. After the "Potomac Blowout" Mark Penn said that Obama hadn't won in any significant state besides Illinois, which insulted Washingtonians and Iowans and Virginians and Marylanders to no end. And now that Obama actually gets more delegates from Texas then Hillary thanks to the caucus system there, I suppose the Clinton Camp will have to put Texas down in the "insignificant state" column.

  45. On the very same weekend, as it happened, I was reading Nicholson Baker's much-discussed book Human Smoke, and I came across the following passage:

    A union organizer and socialist, Philip Randolph, was in President Roosevelt's office to talk about jobs for Negroes in defense plants. It was June 18, 1941.

    Randolph had announced a huge march on Washington. "Our people are being turned away at factory gates because they are colored," he said to the president.

    No King

  46. The Higgs boson was the professor’s elegant 1964 solution to one of the great problems with the standard model of physics – how matter has mass and thus exists in a form that allows it to make stars, planets and people. He proposed that the universe is pervaded by an invisible field of bosons that consist of mass but little else.

    As particles move through this field, bosons effectively stick to some of them, making them more massive, while leaving others to pass unhindered. Photons, light particles that have no mass, are not affected by the Higgs field at all.

    Higgs Boson, Thought To Be Hiding In Plain Sight, May Be Found Soon

  47. Technical Director of the Grid project Prof Tony Doyle says: “We need so much processing power, there wouldn’t be enough electricity to run the computers if they were all at Cern.” So the new network has to be powerful enough to send the data instantly to research centres in other countries.

    This parallel Internet is now built, using fibre optic cables that run from Cern to 11 centres in the United States, Canada, the Far East, Europe and around the world. From each centre, further connections radiate out to research institutions, using existing high-speed academic networks.

    Britain alone has 8,000 servers on the Grid system – in theory, any student in these chosen institutions should be able to hook up to the Grid rather than the Internet by the end of this year.

    Faster than Broadband

  48. This comment has been removed by the author.

  49. Can't help but remember von Rundstedt:

    "Make peace you fools!"

    About as much chance of it happening in either theatre, unfortunately.

  50. Particularily with the moslems, whose book says, fight, until all men say, there is no god but allah, and mohammed is his prophet.

  51. Adjusted for culture, men are men.

    In that vein I disagreed strongly with our host a few months back when he suggested that killing was a dehumanizing act. In reality, it is the essence of humanity. We are, after all, one of the few species that does kill one another, let alone in such quantities.

    The battle is not humane versus inhumane, but civilization versus humanity.

  52. I've always loved people as individuals and disliked them in groups. One of my lefty friends displays precisely the opposite inclinations. People make poor clay.

  53. Take a moslem babe at birth, raise it in Poland, it'll be Catholic. Culture, not genes.

  54. 60 years ago, an undetermined, but probably significant number of Poles, though hopefully none members of my family, gladly handed over Jews to the Germans.

  55. Bob, I like the picture a lot, btw.

  56. "Adjusted for culture, men are men.

    In that vein I disagreed strongly with our host a few months back when he suggested that killing was a dehumanizing act. In reality, it is the essence of humanity. We are, after all, one of the few species that does kill one another, let alone in such quantities."

    Amongst animals, most predators will kill their own species. Male elephants and many other herbivores will kill when in rut. Technology assists in the numbers.