Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘49.5%

Obamablogging: Endorsements, Michigan, Race

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Noting the huge number of high-profile endorsements Obama has been getting recently—today was Missouri senator Claire McCaskill—Josh Marshall seconds my own optimistic sense that the endorsement cascade is big, under-appreciated, and a sign of good news to come:

The key is timing. You don’t hit a big time politician like Hillary Clinton when she’s down unless you’re really against her and you’re fairly confident she’s not getting back up. After winning in New Hampshire, albeit narrowly and after the clobbering in Iowa, there’s been a sense that Clinton may be back on track to consolidating her frontrunner status and perhaps following a modified version of the standard script in which the anointed frontrunner gets a scare in the early states before mopping up the competition as the race goes national. But these four clearly don’t want that to happen. In fact, they’re sticking their necks pretty far out to help make it not happen. And their endorsements, coming right now, tell me they have some confidence it won’t.

A new poll shows a possible surge for “uncomitted” in Michigan, proving once and for all that Michiganers have the good sense not to listen to kos.

I have to admit I’ve been compulsively checking the blogs all weekend for updates on the recent return of race-baiting from high-profile Clinton supporters. The Clinton camp is playing a pretty dangerous game here, and there’s some reason to think they may have gone too far with it—“I’m not a racist” is pretty off-message—but if they can successfully convince white America that Obama is “the black candidate” this exceptionally nasty strategy could actually pay off for them. (Unfortunately, Obama’s people may be doing all they can to help the Clintons out, if the Huffington Post’s Sam Stein is right about this. The right strategy is to say absolutely nothing about race; Obama should just give one of his characteristically inspiring speeches about unity and let the race-baiting condemn itself.)

But even if Clinton does get the nomination, I really don’t see how she can possibly hope to ever bring the party back together post-nomination if she continues much further down this road. Maybe it’s already too late. I’ve never been a fan of the triangulation electoral strategy, but at least it makes some sense: get to 49.5% in the general and you’re in for four years, regardless of how you got there. When you’re going scorched-earth against your own base to try and get to 49.5% in the primary, though—especially when you’ve got the sort of national negatives that Hillary Clinton does—it’s got to be time to rethink what you’re doing.

Written by gerrycanavan

January 13, 2008 at 8:45 am

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