Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Are my politics "middle of the road?

Ok, I met a woman online, at match, a few weeks back. She's really attractive from her picture, seems seriously bright with a lot of energy and is interested in politics. MY KINDA CHICK! She said in her profile she's conservative. Even has conservative in her screen name, sorta. Well that's fine with me. So we started chatting. Anyway, as we discussed politics, she said repeatedly she couldn't date a liberal guy. Now I found that powerfully odd; can't date someone you disagree with? Besides, given that its ME she's talking about, what she's really saying is she can't stand it when a guy she meets is RIGHT and she is wrong...

Anyway, we only chatted once, she said her goodbyes, on political grounds, and that was that. She wrote me recently out of the blue, "why are you lying and stating that you are "middle of the road?" Well, manners notwithstanding, am I lying? Its a fair question-- one who quickly skimmed my blog could conclude I was a real lefty, a real liberal. I don't think that's the case, but one's beliefs should be reexamined now and then, so here goes.

I certainly do have political views that in the modern parlance are liberal, or left wing. For example, I'm a radical believer in gay rights. Now I'm not only straight as opposed to gay, but also straight as opposed to wild. But if two men, three men, two women, three women, 5 of mixed sexes, wish to do whatever in the privacy of their own homes, that's fine with me. Who the heck am I to judge? I favor gay marriage. If two (or 3, or 4) people of whatever genders want to formalize a long-term/lifelong commitment, that's fine with me. That used to be a libertarian before the right-wing nuts of the GOP got ahold of it, but never mind. I'm quoting my friend Andrew in this paragraph, but this is one issue on which I did not need his views to get to the right place. I've always felt this way.

I'm a definite lefty on health care. I believe (for quite hardheaded reasons, I assure you), that a single-payer system is by FAR the best for health care. Providers could compete on service, but not price. The government would write all the checks. The government would NOT, however, be the sole PROVIDER of health care, as in Britain, a system which I do NOT NOT NOT want over here. My system, I believe, would result in hugely HUGELY lower costs, better health care, AND access for all. The proverbial free lunch. Other countries pretty much prove this out.

This is, I freely acknowledge, a lefty position. However, conservatives often say: "you want the government involved? The government can't do ANYTHING RIGHT." Now that's demonstrably bullshit. First and MOST CONVINCING, is Medicare. Medicare, you see, is a single payer "SOCIALIST" health care system, run by the federal GOVERNMENT. And it works. Are there problems? Sure. Big problems? Absolutely. Is it frightfully expensive and on the way to bankrupting the country if we don't fix it? Sure is (remember, it ONLY covers the elderly, so of course it costs a ton per person). But fundamentally, at the end of the day, more than 43 million people in America are covered by Medicare. They get treated, quite well. There are myriad problems, beyond the scope of this post, but "government can't do anything right?" Baloney. There is also the VA health care system, which serves many many millions of people. There were big problems before the Clinton administration, and the Bushies caused some more, but again, it basically works. Millions of people, many older, treated by GOVERNMENT EMPLOYED DOCTORS. Works just fine when the Bushies don't f*** it up.

I'm not really for a much smaller government at the end of the day, also a lefty position (which has been adopted wholesale by the GOP, but never mind...)

Other left-wing positions: environment (very left, EXCEPT for nuclear power, been in favor since I was 18, looks like $4/gallon gas is making that a trendy view, I was there long before), immigration (the one issue Bush is very right about, McCain too, on alternate Thursdays), taxes (I favor a more progressive tax policy, which can fairly be called wealth redistributive), aid to the poor (for all of its painful flaws), affirmative action (well, I actually think it should be CLASS based, a position difficult to call left, but it aint conservative), women's rights (I consider myself a staunch feminist, I agree that many battles have been won). Surely there are other issues on which I'm on the left.

On matters military I tend to the right, sometimes far right. I supported the Iraq war at the beginning, strongly. (We all make mistakes). I have been calling, since about 2 weeks after 9-11, literally, for a much bigger military. I have long supported high military spending (but not wasteful weapons). I support a strike against Iran to prevent them from going nuclear, whatever the consequences. A VERY right wing position these days. I support a strong US military, a bigger navy (not much bigger, but bigger), at least 150,000 more people in the army and marines (where we're short the most bodies), big R&D spending, etc. Not real left, I'm afraid.

I'm hard to characterize on education. I do support more money for schools & teachers (left-wing), but think that teachers unions are a HUGE obstacle to actually educating kids, particularly in New York City (right-wing). I strongly support vouchers, lots of them. Conservative! This is about the only good idea the GOP has had since Welfare reform. A stopped clock is right twice a day. I think the GOP has badly erred on vouchers by being TOO TIMID. They never are willing to spend what it takes to properly educate a kid. I have NO PROBLEM with a state giving out a voucher = per pupil public school spending and letting private companies (or religious institutions, or pretty much whoever) educate kids. Now obviously you need tight regulation (even Republicans agree), but that works for me. If the companies make a profit off of educating our kids? (*Yawn*) Worries me not. (Right-wing).

Trade: I'm a free trader. I think the democrats are whining about child labor (a legitimate issue) and environmental standards (also a legitimate issue) to throw bones to labor rather than out of conviction. I'm not a radical free trader. I suppose that fits moderate. We're all free traders, nowadays, except in democratic primaries, when we lie through our teeth (thanks Hill and Barack-- profiles in courage there).

Abortion? Against, not militant about it. My abortion position is so hypocritical, so weak and inconsistent, that I don't care to discuss it. One certainly wouldn't put me left of center on this issue.

Well this post is long enough. I guess at the end of the day you'd have to call me "left of center" but hard to characterize. Conclusion: I wasn't "lying," but I do stand somewhat corrected.

I note that its a wild distortion of our politics when reforming our nutso health care system is a left of center position. But more on that rant some other day.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Through the looking glass.

I have officially been through the looking glass. This past Wednesday, I saw, first hand, what that famous expression from Alice in Wonderland is all about.

I innocently went to the last Astoria for Hillary meeting. I volunteered for Hillary, handing out leaflets in the days leading up to primary day in New York, and on the day itself. Several of the people at the meeting did a LOT more work for Hillary, including visits to Ohio, Pennsylvania, etc., sometimes for days at a time. Some at the meeting were fairly politically minded, like me. Others are real activists, who have devoted considerable amounts of time and energy in volunteering for political campaigns over the years. A few of the women counted themselves as staunch feminists. Well, I consider myself a feminist as well, so that's fine.

Anyway, there we were, among other things, voting on whether to endorse MCCAIN, Obama, or no one. I expected some whining and gripes. Sure enough, the leader of our group, and one or two others, expressed mild hope that the superdelegates would reverse themselves and back Hillary, hoping for some huge Obama meltdown. Not gonna happen. And they seemed to know it. Anyway, the leader spoke for about 10 minutes explaining why we should endorse MCCAIN. Yes, the leader of Astoria for Clinton, a self-described democrat, who has volunteered on any number of campaigns, wanted the group to endorse Mccain. He railed against the Obama campaign, as did others, complaining that it dissed Hillary and her supporters. Well it did. That's politics, dude, grow up.

He also complained, as did several others, that the DNC f***ed Hillary. Well, Florida and Michigan voted out of turn. Both states (one controlled by Repubs (Florida) one by dems (Michigan) knew that they risked penalties by holding their primaries before Super Tuesday. They did it anyway. And the dems, fairly, stripped them of half their delegates. This was FOLLOWING THE RULES, that Hillary not only agreed to, but publicly backed in about November, by saying Michigan's then upcoming election "wouldn't mean anything." "I personally did not think it made any difference whether or not my name was on the ballot,"


Now explain to me how that's the DNC screwing Hillary?

Anyway, what's THAT got to do with whether to endorse JOHN MCCAIN?

In my short speech (and I'm proud to say I went well UNDER my allotted 3 minutes) I listed two main reasons why I strongly support Obama:

1) We only have 2 parties, and one of them has gone badly off the rails, telling us that 2+2 = 8 and a half for over a decade now (a point which Andrew HAMMERED, relentlessly, until I got it through my thick head. I'm proud to say I got it long before the gigantic majority of America. I'm not proud that it took Andrew a good year + to get it through my head....). With only 2 parties, its REAL bad for one of them to completely lose touch with reality. A big loss in 2008 would likely cause Republicans, grass roots on up, to do some real self criticism. The party, and ultimately the country, would be hugely better for this. If McCain wins, why change?

2) Health care. Obama might well sign a radical reform bill. Old Man McCain won't. Its that simple.

There are many other reasons, but I kept it short--these are the 2 biggies.

Then everyone else spoke. Look, I expected some whining, sour grapes, and genuine grievances. What I did NOT expect was that the meeting ended with 3/4 of the people that came sitting down and getting to work on a plan to WORK FOR MCCAIN. They all had this look on their faces that nothing terribly unusual was happening. These were staunch feminists, lifelong dems, with a solidly leftist tint. Sure, there were slights. And I was one of the 3 most pro-Obama people at the meeting. Trust me, I ain't pro-Obama. Read my blog for heaven's sake. I could, without help, think of literally 500 dems I'd rather have as the nominee than Obama. But so what? I hugely prefer him to Johnny Mac, and that, in the end, is what counts.

And so ended my journey through the looking glass.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

State-by-state analysis of 2008 election.

This post has become ridiculously long. Cut and paste it into an e-mail to yourself and read it in pieces. Make sure to save it or remember to check my blog after the election, so you can either admire my fantastic predictive powers or, more likely, make fun of just how wrong I was. I'm sure to be badly wrong in some of these, but: (a) I'm trying, really reading up and thinking; and (b) hey, I'm writing it all down. When you write lots of predictions, you are wrong a lot. Rule of nature.

I repeatedly comment on the possibility of a close election. After all, that's where the state-by-state thing matters. Don't mistake that for waffling. I expect Obama to win by 8 or more, and am confident in that prediction. I'll let you know clearly when I'm unsure. However, one covers the state-by-state battlegrounds just in case one is wrong and the election IS close. In this post I predict which states will be the battleground states, how much Obama (or McCain) will win them by, and also give predictions for margins of victory in some of the states I think will be blowouts. My predictions are based on my overall prediction of an 8-point Obama win in the popular vote. You need 270 electoral votes to win the presidency. Larry, don't ask me what happens in a 269-269 tie. The answer is that the house of representatives decides who wins-- with each state getting one vote. They can vote for whoever they please. The newly elected house decides this, not the current one. The dems are almost certain to control more states, so that would almost certainly mean Obama would win.

In 2004, Bush won the popular vote 51-48, 3 points. In my jargon, a state that went for Kerry by 1 point was Blue + 4. That is, the state voted 4 points more for the democrat than did the country (a 4 point swing from the country more precisely). A state that is Red + 4 was won by Bush by 7. This isn't strictly mathematically accurate, as the national popular vote counts that particular state. To be strictly accurate I should rate that state against the country minus that state. In fact, I'm sure this is inaccurate in additional subtle ways as well. But I'm confident that this simple method is PLENTY close enough for all of my purposes, and surely all of yours.

My thesis, not original in the slightest, is that positing a close election a state that was within 5-7 ish points of the national average in 2004 is in play in 2008. But a state with a much wider margin is not. For example, Kerry won New York by 18 and change in 2004. If McCain tried hard to win New York's huge 31 electoral vote prize, he'd fail miserably. Thus he won't try. Similarly, for the democrats to try and flip any of the many states Bush won by 15+ points would be just silly. The states which remain are possible "swing states," where the candidates may put time money and energy. (If the election is a blowout none of the state by state stuff matters, as the blowout winner will go way over 270 electoral votes regardless of this state or that). To take a sample swing state, Missouri went for Bush by 7 points in 2004 it was thus Red + 4 in 2004, and is I think clearly in play this time.

Finally, my predictions below are based upon my prediction of an Obama 8 point victory. If my popular vote victory turns out wrong, you can roughly speaking add /subtract 1 point from the predictions below for every point Obama wins by more than 8/wins by less than 8/loses the popular vote. Again, this isn't mathmatically valid, but it is close enough for all of my purposes. If my 8 point prediction is seriously wrong, this post is going to look awfully silly. If Obama wins by 15 he's going to win a lot of states that will shock a lot of people. Texas, North Carolina, probably Georgia, possibly Mississippi, possibly the Dakotas. And many more. If McCain wins by 2-3 he's going to win an absolute ton of my swing states, and this post will be truly embarassing. Here are the obvious swing states, states that EVERYONE understands that both sides will put huge resources into, together with some states which aren't really swing states in 2008:

1) Florida: 27 electoral votes: Red + 2.5. One of the 2 most famous of the swing states. If the national vote were tied and Florida didn't change its preferences, it would go for McCain by 2, and probably hand McCain the keys to the White House as it so controversially did for Bush. If you haven't been living on Mars since 1999 you know full well that both sides will battle their hearts out in the Sunshine state. I think that Florida will be much tougher for Obama to win than most or even every last one of the other true swing states, though if he wins by 8 he will very likely win it. Florida and Arkansas are the two states I am confident that Hillary would have an easier time winning. She might also have an easier time in Ohio. But nevermind-- what's done is done. Happily, I think Obama can easily win the White House without winning Florida. Still, 27 electoral votes is just enormous. If Obama wins Florida and Michigan and Pennsylvania, he will be sworn in on 1/20/09. Its that simple.

PREDICTION: Obama by 3. Notice I am predicting Florida is red + 5. Florida is most definitely NOT full of fervent Obama supporters. Obama has consistently polled miserably badly here. Clinton destroyed him in Florida's naughty early primary, and McCain is now polling ahead of him. Its probable that Obama will run far worse here than nationally, but he's unlikely to just get creamed. Incredibly, in the unlikely event this election is close, I could imagine Obama pulling back from Florida (not giving up, to be sure, but not spending much time here, leaving behind instead his huge pocketbook), allocating his time instead to Ohio, Virginia and Colorado. Gore, as everyone knows, made a huge push in Florida.

I remember the Saturday before the election watching two Gore rallies in 2 of the 3 states they pushed hardest for in the end-- Florida and Tennesee. Florida's big and medium priced on average, so the dems can always flood the airwaves without spending candidate time and other resources. When it comes to Florida more so than other states, I'm really guessing wildly. If any of my swing state predictions were very seriously wrong, I'd expect it to be here in the Sunshine state.

2) Ohio: 20 Electoral Votes: Blue + less than 1. I note that in 2000, when Gore pulled out of Ohio very early, it was Red +3. Gee, Ohio is going to be a hard fought swing state. I'm a real genius. What WOULD you do without me? It is a metaphysical certainty that Ohio will be fought over fiercely by both candidates, no matter what the polls, no matter how much or little money they each have, no matter what world events intervene. Columbus, Cleveland, Dayton etc. Get used to ANOTHER season of nonstop candidate visits, ads and news about the election. Assuming Obama and McCain are in fact the candidates, nothing can change this. It wouldn't surprise me a bit if they both were in Ohio for a chunk of the last week of the election. If Obama wins Florida he can afford to lose Ohio, but 20 electoral votes are obviously a ton. In addition, Ohio borders Pennsylvania and Michigan, two other swing states. I hate to say it, but IF this election is close (and I do not believe it will be), it very likely will come down to Ohio again.

PREDICTION: Obama by 3. Notice I am predicting that Ohio is red + 5 in 2008. As with Florida, Hillary won solidly here, and these are the kinds of voters that may not warm to Obama in droves. If this election is very very close, and Ohio is red + anything, Obama is obviously in deep doo-doo. Ask President Kerry. There has been talk of Obama picking Ohio Governor Ted Strickland, which might help marginally. Of course, in a very close election any help here is HUGE. As a final thought before I leave the Buckeye State, Gore abandoned it very early on and lost it by 2.5, so in 2004 Ohio was red + 3. I wonder if he and his campaign ever stop and wonder. Probably not, given that they all but won Florida and its 27 electoral votes, making Ohio superflouous in all of their calculations. Still, it is powerfully odd that in an election destined to be close the democrat simply abandoned Ohio, simply pretended it wasn't there.

3) Pennsylvania 21 Electoral Votes: Blue + 5. Despite having 1 more electoral vote than Ohio, and despite being a perennial swing state, I don't expect the Keystone state to be fought over that hard by later in this election cycle. As a Blue + 5 state it is winnable by the GOP, but a bit of a tough one. It is very very expensive to advertise in Philadelphia , and not cheap in Pittsburgh. Still, Bush tried hard for Pennsylvania both times, coming up short, and McCain would be foolish not to consider trying, particularly since it borders Ohio. But I think the polling will favor Obama solidly here and McCain will give up on it at some point. Philadelphia and its suburbs are chock full of two types of voters: (a) black voters; and (b) aspirational whites/white independents who are sick of the GOP. These are Obama's two best groups. Incumbent GOP Senator Rick Santorum got absolutely slaughtered here in 2006 on his way to a huge defeat, and the GOP hasn't rebulit its brand. Obama will clean McCain's clock in this part of Pa, absolutely positively destroy him. That plus winning the Pittsburgh area will be more than enough to carry the Keystone state, as it was for Gore and Kerry.

PREDICTION: Obama by 14.

4) Michigan: 17 Electoral Votes: Blue + 5. McCain WILL make a big push for Michigan, at least at the outset. He polls well there for whatever reason. At the moment, he's polling about 5 points better vs. Obama in Michigan than in Pennsylvania, a similarly blue state. If McCain took Michigian (or Pennsylvania) it would be a crippling blow to the democrats in a very close election where the dems don't take Florida. If the election is close watch Michigan. If McCain wins it Obama is in giant trouble. This is most unlikely. Much more likely is that McCain ends up abandoning Michigan late in the Summer or early in the Fall.

Notable exception-- in the highly unlikely event McCain picks Mitt Romney has his vice, he will stay in Michigan to the bitter end. One more oddity before I leave Michigan. It has really suffered economically, more so than Ohio, because of the demise of all the factory jobs, particularly in the auto industry. Dems have run it for a while at the state level, and at some point the voters there may start taking their frustrations out on the democrats. But very likely not in 2008.

PREDICTION: Obama by 11.

5) Virginia: 13 Electoral Votes: Red + 5. Virginia has been moving towards the democrats almost by the hour for the last 12 years. Obama won big in the Old Dominion, polls tolerably there (McCain up about 2 as of this writing), and I predict will make a huge, genuine, sustained push for Virigina all the way through election day. Happily for Obama, and unhappily for McCain, it is fairly expensive. Northern Virginia, which is where the Washington DC suburbs and exburbs are, is deep blue at this point, is extremely expensive, and is loaded with aspirational whites. In short, absolutely Obama country. Richmond is both very democratic and has a lot of black voters, thus also Obama country. The rest of Virginia, however, is the opposite of Obama country. McCain will destroy Obama in the rest of the state.

Anyway, defending Virginia will be a pain in McCain's ass and a far bigger pain in his campaign treasury. Virginia is a golden opportunity for the democrats to eat into Bush's coalition. Clinton did not win Virginia either time, in 2 elections where he the popular vote fairly easily both times, won Tennesee, Arkansas, Louisiana, Kentucky and West Virginia twice and Georgia in 1992. Virgina has changed that much. I note that Virginia was Red + 11 in 1996, and Red + 8 in 2000, so it has trended blue for a while now. It moved 3 points towards blue from 1996-2000, 3 more points from 2000 to 2004, and could easily have moved that much or more since. If Virginia is "naturally" Red + 2 right now, which is probably about right, a vigorous campaign by Obama could flip it in a close election. I expect Virignia to be the largest truly new battleground for 2008, and to be very hotly contested. Check Colorado below for my 2nd biggest and 2nd most fascinating new battleground.

PREDICTION: Obama by 7 (!!!) I'm going a bit out on a limb here. The conventional wisdom is that Obama will make a play for Va., then back off. I don't see it that way obviously.

If my prediction is correct, the GOP losing Virginia, which hasn't voted for a democrat since 1964, by 7 points, will send shockwaves throughout the southern GOP. My 7 points may be conservative. Because of some factors unique to Virginia, as well as a decent-sized % of black voters, I wouldn't be surprised if Obama won it by 13! The state Republican party is in a very bad way right now. A few prominent members have endorsed democrat Mark Warner in his Senate bid. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/06/08/AR2008060801906.html

I note that Mark Warner, is going to win the open Senate seat by a whole bunch more than 7 points, perhaps as many as 20. Virginia, traditionally a bit of a sleepy state politically, will be rip roaring active in 2008 if I am right, possibly (along with Ohio) political ground zero, and the environment there favors the democrats. It is astounding that a state both parties ignored in 2004 will, I predict, be as hard-fought as any state other than Ohio and Florida. Again, this prediction is out there a bit-- check this specific prediction-- is Virginia harder fought than anywhere else except Ohio and MAYBE Florida-- if it is not-- I blew it. Virginia will tell us a lot about whether the country has changed, in so many ways. If Obama does win by something like my 8 points, and only wins Virginia by a hair, or loses it, then likely nothing much has changed from all the way back in 2000, or racism was a big factor. If, however, Virginia is indeed Red + 1 or so, and Obama wins it by 5-6 points, that means a bunch of real voters switched from R to D in a southern state (it won't only be Northern Virginia, which isn't really the south anymore). Anyway, Virginia is fascinating, much more so than Ohio, which hasn't changed since 2000 (or 1996, or 1992....) except for manufacturing employment going down much further.

6) Missouri: 11 Electoral Votes: Red + 4. The show me state. Gore and Kerry showed no one. Heck, they barely showed up. They each started out trying for Missouri then gave up midway through the campaign. Obama battled Hillary to a virtual draw. Given Obama's superior financial resources, he'll make at least a solid play for Missouri. Remember, if Obama wins by 6 points and Missouri remains Red + 4, Obama carries it. Bill Clinton carried it twice. On the downside, its not that expensive. Missouri borders Arkansas and Iowa, two traditional swing states. However, neither is really a swing state this time, as I discuss below. Missouri may be a lot less appetizing than it first appears for Obama. Virginia looks more promising for Obama than Missouri, in my opinion. It has 2 more electoral votes, has a larger black population percentage wise and, more importantly, has more of what I call aspirational white voters-- middle class people doing better economically then they expected to (though perhaps struggling a bit now) and not merely hoping for a better future for themselves, but expecting it. Educated, professional, disproportionately white collar. Northern Virginia is chock full of these kinds of voters. Missouri less so. Ohio still less so. Nevertheless, I expect Obama to keep playing here, though not as hard as many other swing states. If the election looks to be very close in September/October, they will likely make the mistake of following the Gore/Kerry strategy and pull out of Missouri, focusing on Ohio, Virginia and Colorado instead.

PREDICTION: Obama by 2. In a very close election Obama probably loses here. It is truly hard to see Obama winning here and losing Ohio and Florida and thus desparately needing Missouri to get to 270. But stranger things have happened. Ask President Gore....

7) Minnesota: Blue + 6 This historically bluest of blue states (Mondale carried it as his home state in 1984, the ONLY state Reagan didn't win, Dukakis carried it in 1988, when Minnesota was blue + 15) has moved VERY sharply towards red in recent years. Still, blue + 6 is blue + 6 and means a hurdle for McCain. Obama is up 10 ish points in the polls, reflecting his national lead plus the blueish tint. I'm sure McCain will go after it in the beginning. In fact, the GOP is holding its convention in Minnesota, in a big effort to win it or its neighboring states. Bush couldn't get there either time, and neither can McCain. The GOP will abandon Minnesota in October, and should do so.

PREDICTION: Obama by 14

8) Wisconsin: Blue + 3 Wisconsin is less historically blue than Minnesota, (it was exactly even, red + 0, in 2000) but everything I wrote above holds, except for the GOP convention. McCain will try, no doubt, but he will fail. If McCain is competitive in either Wisconsin or Minnesota, that means this election will be much closer to a rerun of 2000 and 2004 than I think it will, and also means Obama is in real trouble with Florida VERY tough for him in a national environment that is very close. This is most unlikely. Obama should win easily in both states without trying all that hard. PREDICTION: Obama by 13

9) Colorado: 9 Electoral votes: Red + 2. Now we return to a really interesting state. If in my world Virignia is THE big new story for 2008 in the presidential election, Colorado is a close second. Colorado is traditionally quite red. Clinton won it in 1992, helped heavily by a strong Perot showing, and lost by 1.4% in 1996. Since Clinton won by 8.5 points in 1996, that means Colorado was Red + 10 in 1996. In 2000 Colorado was Red +9.5 (no movement). In 2004, however, it was Red +2!! So it moved slightly more than 7 points towards the democrats in just 4 years. It doesn't seem to me to have moved red since, so it starts 2008 somewhere around even to perhaps Red + 2. This is a huge move for a state these days. Colorado is absolutely filled with aspirational white voters who have voted for Obama in droves. Like Virginia, and this is not coincidence at all, Colorado has a race for an open Senate seat which the democrats should easily win. Mark Udall (a very famous political last name in the west) is up in all the polls and will win, but not by as much as Warner in Virginia. http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2008/senate/co/colorado_senate-556.html Colorado is enormously environmentally conscious. Even though it is not at all expensive (which again, Obama would PREFER), I'm 100% certain that Obama will make a huge play for it. He destroyed Hillary in the caucuses here, 66-32 (but with low turnout, nowhere near that of a primary) Any state with 9 votes that is between Red + 2 and Blue + 2 is a sure battleground. The fact that it was red in 2000 and 2004 makes it seem even jucier (even though 9 votes is 9 votes, regardless of where they went in 2004).

PREDICTION: Obama by 10!! I want to note how breataking this prediction is. I am predicting Colorado, a traditionally quite Republican state, is BLUE + 2! I'm well out on a limb here, predicting a solid win/blowout for Obama in a reliably red state. But unlike Ohio or Florida, there appears to be real support for him here. If I'm way off on this prediction, do laugh! But I'm feeling pretty damn confident Obama will at least win Colorado fairly comfortably.

10) Iowa: 7 Electoral votes: Blue + 2. Iowa was one of only 3 states that switched its vote from 2000 to 2004. In 2000 it went very narrowly for Gore, whereas in 2004 it went narrowly for Bush. Its a classic purple state, even more of a swing state than Florida or Ohio. Obama campaigned very hard in Iowa, really got to know it, and vice versa, and won narrowly in the democratic primary. McCain has not campaigned much in it over the years because he (bravely and correctly) opposes ethanol subsidies, which are hugely popular in Iowa. This issue is just tremendous there, and will prevent McCain in my opinion from seriously competing here, a classic case of no good deed going unpunished. I predict McCain abandons Iowa fairly early on, even though it is quite inexpensive, as he just can't win here without winning a national landslide (even then he probably can't win it). It is 7 electoral votes, Bush won without it in 2000 and would have won without it in 2004. Why beat your head against a wall for 7 electoral votes? Obama is up in every single solitary poll taken in Iowa against McCain and there have been a bunch. Ethanol is just a huge negative for McCain here--McCain is very right to be against Ethanol subsidies, and he has been against them to the obvious detriment of his presidential ambitions. Virtue is really being punished here. But he's a republican, so that's just too bad.

PREDICTION: Obama by 13. If Obama wins it by under say 7 and gets to 270 electoral votes, you may rub my nose in it for a generation.

11) Arkansas: 6 Electoral Votes: Red + 6 Arkansas doesn't really belong here, unless maybe MAYBE if Obama chooses Hillary for the # 2 slot (and really not even then). McCain is up 15-20 points on Obama in the polls as of now. Hillary destroyed him, 70-27, for one of her biggest victories. She certainly could have put Bill's home state in play. Obama likely can't, so for 6 electoral votes, why bother? Arkansas is chock full of the kind of downscale whites that voted for Hillary in DROVES in Kentucky and West Virginia. The d's have probably abandoned hope here already.

PREDICTION: McCain by 5 (that's red + 13!). If suburban Va is Obama country, Arkansas is anti-Obama country.

12) New Mexico: 5 Electoral Votes: Blue + 2 This is without a doubt the toughest of the true swing states for me to predict other than Florida. New Mexico is a true swing state, going ultra-narrowly for Gore in 2000, and very narrowly for Bush in 2004. It went narrowly for Hillary, despite Obama leading all the pre-primary polls. New Mexico will likely have the highest % of hispanic votes in the country on election day. It borders Arizona, and its people know McCain well. Hispanics there know that unlike the entire rest of the GOP, he has had reasonable views on immigration. He didn't hold fast to them, but he didn't abandon them either. I think he has a real well of goodwill, and is a known commodity in New Mexico. Any other Republican would be toast. McCain isn't. Putting Bill Richardson on the ticket would almost certainly win New Mexico's 5 electoral votes (even in a razor close election), would help in Nevada, and be a downright good idea for the rest of the country in my humble opinion. Bill Richardson is the only person on either side whose inclusion on the ticket virtually guarantees his swing-home state. Its only 5 electoral votes. If Obama picks him for THAT reason he's not worthy of being president. I do think Obama will try HARD to win New Mexico. Real hard. McCain will not abandon it under any circumstances-- its only 5 votes, but it will be hard-fought to the bitter end- for the 3rd election in a row. If McCain is down 10 ish here late in the game, which is possible, the election is over, guaranteed.

PREDICTION: Obama by 4. I have no confidence whatsoever in this prediction. But if Obama wins by my 8 points how on earth can he lose a state that is Blue + 2?

13) Nevada: 5 Electoral Votes: Blue + 0! Nevada was red + 3 in 2000, moved 3 points towards the democrats (again, relatively speaking) in 2004, and likely has NOT moved any further. It really is a reddish state at heart. BUT....The subprime crisis has hit VERY hard here in the Silver State. The housing market in Vegas boomed, big time, and is busting, big time. The city's doing fine, but a whole mess of people know someone losing their home. Everyone has lost a lot of value out of their home. McCain's approach to the housing crisis is to bury his head in the sand and hope for the best. This will be a real problem here, and I think will likely decide the state in favor of Obama. On the other hand, McCain's Arizona borders Nevada, and, like New Mexico, they know him very well, and he knows water, and their issues. Hillary won by 5. McCain polls well here, and the polls may be more accurate here than in most states, because McCain is well known here. I'm not sure how hard in the end Obama will play here. If Bill Richardson is on the ticket, he'll fight massively for it, obviously. If not, he may not fight as hard. In a national + 8 election, Obama will find a way to win here most likely. But he'll have to sweat. In a very close election Obama loses here. The more I think about Nevada, the tougher I think it is for Obama. And, given that its only 5 electoral votes, the less important it is. There are bigger swing states to be found elsewhere. On the other hand, he could pick Richardson, make a HUGE play for Texas, as I have advocated, have Richardson campaign hard in New Mexico and Nevada and enahance his national security credentials while helping bring the democratic party back together. That's such a good idea I'm sure Obama won't do it.

PREDICTION: Obama + 4.

14) New Hampshire: 4 Electoral Votes, Blue + 4 The Granite state was the ONLY state that Bush won in 2000 and lost in 2004. This is part of a general trend whereby the northeast becomes more and more democratic. New Hampshire is as tough to predict as New Mexico, but for a completely different reason. McCain is genuinely popular here. He creamed Bush in New Hampshire in 2000 and won it again in 2008. Pat Buchanan beat Bush 41 here big in 1992. New Hampshire residents really like independent thinkers, mavericks. Sound like McCain country? It should be. He draws crowds here polls well (ahead of Obama by a tiny bit in a state that is BLUE + 4. So as of April and May he POLLED somewhere near 6 points better than he should given the state's blueish tint. I think that effect is real and that McCain is genuinely popular here. But it won't matter a bit. The incumbent Senator, Sunnu, will go down in flames. He is up against a fairly popular former governor, who the people of New Hampshire obviously know well. She'll win by at least 8-10, and maybe a goodly bunch more. This trend in New Hampshire towards the democrats. Democrats won both houses of the state legislature in 2006, controlling both houses for the first time since 1874! http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/11/24/AR2006112401099.html The trend towards the democrats in New Hamshire is just too pronounced, and will wash McCain away. He'd have won this state easily in 2000 or 2004. Not this time. Another piece of real bad news for Johnny Mac. You need to advertise in Boston to reach parts of the state. And that's pricey. Also New Hampshire is a short flight from the nearest real swing state, Ohio. I'll bet McCain gets stubborn, overrules his campaign advisors, and competes hard for New Hampshire all the way to the bitter end. It'll be a dreadful mistake-- fighting hard, and expensively, for 4 Electoral Votes that you can't win. You heard it here first, McCain will not abandon this little state, no matter what.

PREDICTION: Obama by 7.

That concludes our tour through the swing states. Had everyone returned to New Orleans, Louisiana may have made this list. Tennesee, which Clinton won twice, doesn't; Obama just can't win it. Georgia is a longshot, a REAL longshot, to be a swing state in a close election.

As you can see, I predict Obama winning damn near all of them. Well, I predict him winning by 8, and if he does he WILL win damn near all of them. If he wins by 3 he'll win less of them, but still should win enough to get to 270, even without BOTH OHIO AND FLORIDA (thank you Virginia!). In the real world, if Obama wins Ohio, and there isn't a racist backlash in the rest of the midwest, he gets to 270, regardless of what happens. If he doesn't, but there is no racist backlash, he probably gets to 270. Of course, if there's a racist backlash, it will show up in Ohio....

Finally, the big and biggish states that are out of play:

1) California: 55 Electoral votes (most by far): Blue + 12. (This is the one state where the error in my counting method REALLY matters-- Cali is actually BLUER than 12, probably more like 15, I don't care to spend the time to figure it out). Its real blue. No home state favorite, and the dems won it in 2004 by a solid 9 points. Even if McCain had excess money, the Golden State, and its insanely expensive tv markets wouldn't be the place to spend it. Even being from neighboring Arizona isn't enough. Let's posit that McCain could, with herculean effort, and money he won't dream of having, move California from Blue + 12 to Blue + 5, a solid 7 point swing. Still not worth anything unless he wins the national vote by 5 points, in which case he won't need California. The McCain people are pretending to be ready to make a play for it. W did the same thing in 2000. It would be the political blunder of the ages, and they won't make it. Cali will be ignored, as it has for the great most part since 1988.

PREDICTION: Obama by 15. Despite this monster win, note that I have California as Blue + 7, a bit of a relative move towards red (which, no doubt, will provide great joy to the McCain camp).

2) Texas 34 Electoral votes (second most): Red + 20. That's with home state governor Bush. Still to swing from Red + 20 to say Red + 3, to make it in play, is an awfully tall order. I said in an earlier post that Obama should make a play for Texas, and I haven't changed my mind (although doing so probably requires Bill Richardson be his vice). Well I don't think I've changed my mind. Moving it from Red + whatever it is without homey W is probably just too big a swing in one election. Texas may be in play for the democrats by 2016, and if it is, and California remains Blue, god help the GOP. However, without Bush on the ticket, Texas is probably more like Red + 10. That means that in a real landslide there's an outside chance Obama could win it.

PREDICTION: McCain by 8. In a popular vote landslide Obama may shock everyone and win Texas. But I doubt it. Clinton came within 5 points in 1996 (although he was from neighboring Arkansas and Perot, from Texas, was on the ballot-- so its really hard to say where Texas was in 1996). Obama outperforming Bill Clinton here seems wildly unlikely. Given that I'm predicting an 8 point win but a bunch of Obama landslides, McCain's big vote #s have to come from somewhere and Texas is that somewhere.

3) New York: 31 Electoral votes (third most) Blue + 22. The Empire State is now as blue as Texas was red WHEN BUSH was on the ticket. Needless to say, New York is out of reach. PREDICTION: Obama by 26. Hillary cleaned Obama's clock here, but in NYC Obama will severely run up the score. There are questions among jewish voters, which make up around 20% of New York City voters, but other than on Israel Bush is as unpopular here as anywhere in the country. Trust me, I know, I live here. You struggle to find ANYONE with a good word to say about Bush, or the Republicans in general. Obama will win just huge huge numbers in the 5 boroughs of NYC, where Bush's name is MUD, a republican is as rare as a flying pink unicorn, and McCain's independent appeal vanished long ago. I note that because the biggest and third biggest states are SO blue, this causes the democrats to "waste votes." Or, put another way, as we all found out to our cost in 2000, it is very possible for the democrats to win the popular vote and lose the election, since dems run up gigantic vote margins in 2 of the 3 biggest states. It is what it is until we dump the electoral college, which the GOP will fiercely resist, for just the reasons just discussed.

4) Illinois: 21 Electoral votes (tied for 4th most): Blue + 14. And that was without Obama, from Illinois, on the ticket. The GOP gave up on Illinois long long ago, and would not contest it if I was the democratic nominee.

PREDICTION: Obama by 30 (!!)

5) North Carolina: 15 Electoral votes: Red + 9. Every four years the democrats dream of winning NC, saying its changed, and lots of people have moved in. Every four years the democrats don't come close. I thought I was going to predict that the same thing would happen again in 2008. Then I looked into it. NC may be a LOT closer in 2008. I note that NC has, I believe, the second smallest percentage of black Americans among southern states, with only Tennessee lower. However, if Obama is winning solidly in a lot of places, has made a huge effort for neighboring Virginia, and has money to burn, each of which I predict to be the case, he may well make a late push for the Tar Heel state. After all, he will have spent a lot of his non-Ohio and Colorado time in neighboring Virginia, and North Carolina may seem like an easy way to force McCain out of the midwest and make him spend precious money elsewhere. Now that I think about it, Obama SHOULD make a push for North Carolina. It almost certainly won't work, but so what, particularly if it helps him in Virginia, which has overlapping tv markets in the sections of Virginia where Obama is weakest, appalachia. For what its worth, there have been 4 polls in NC since May 17, and they have McCain winning NC by an average of 4.5 points. You want to know why I think McCain's toast? He's up a grand total of 4.5 points in a state that is red + 9 (and was despite adoptive Native son John Edwards on the ticket in 2004). If you're a McCain campaign guy trying to get to 270, that's terrifying. Not because Mccain can't win without NC, because I suppose he could, particularly if he won Ohio. But because if McCain has to fight for North Carolina, he is obviously toast!


6) Georgia: 15 Electoral votes: Red + 14. There is a lot talk of Obama making a hard push for Georgia. It probably makes sense, as he has the money to advertise in Atlanta, and Georgia has a lot of black voters. But to swing from Red + 14 to say Red +2, and steal it in a close election? Possible I admit, but highly unlikely. Obama COULD win Georgia, I suppose, but probably only in a national landslide. The idea that Obama could lose nationally by 1 and steal Georgia making it BLUE + 2? Very very doubtful, to say the least! Georgia, despite a juicy 15 electoral votes, just isn't worth the trouble unless perhaps polling shows white republicans planning to stay home in droves (in which case Obama will win 350+ electoral votes without Georgia).


7) New Jersey: 15 Electoral Votes: Blue + 9. McCain personally has talked about battling for New Jersey. He won't. Its much too expensive. Gore won it by a lot more than Kerry did-- the Garden State was affected by 9-11 somewhat. New Jersey is actually traditionally pretty conservative, but like so many Northeastern states it has seriously trended to the democrats. It will be won again by the GOP in coming years, but not 2008. It will be abandoned before the GOP convention. If McCain gets stubborn he'll disasterously waste time and money. NJ is a sure thing for the democrats, unless I am badly underestimating race as a factor. Even if I am, and plus 9 becomes +2, the dems still win here in a close election. To restate the obvious, forget NJ.

PREDICTION: Obama by 15

Finally, a note about West Virginia. It used to be RELIABLY blue. Not no more. It was blue + 12 in 1988, blue + 7 in 1992, blue + 6 in 1996, RED + 6.1 in 2000, and Red + 10.5 in 2004. Just a stunning move from blue to red over recent elections, a total swing of 22.5 points to the red. Hillary won by 40 here. It is FULL of downscale whites, economically populist, culturally conservative. A loud clear message that government is listening to them and hears them, could sway them. Obama's a lousy messenger. My precious Gore lost here by > 6, despite adopting "the people vs. the powerful" as his campaign slogan. The voters in West Virginia could smell a phoney a mile away.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Why Obama will win.

There are a multitude of reasons why Obama SHOULD win-- i.e., would make a far better president than Johnny Mac. More on those in a future post. Today I want to focus on why Obama WILL win. This article sums it up neatly.


In short, the election is occurring in the backdrop of a very unpopular president and a weak economy. Historically, when that occurs, the president's party loses, whether the president is on the ballot or not. 1932 (Hoover got creamed). 1952 (Truman's democrats lose big to Eisenhower). 1992 (Bush Senior loses to Clinton) and 1980 (Reagan landslides Carter). This year, like 1980, sky high gas prices are also a contributing negative factor.

Of course, projecting the past into the future without thought is a common mistake. Here I think the past should hold (but, to remind again, I predicted a Gore victory (confidently) and a Kerry victory (fairly confidently)). Neither environment was toxic for the GOP, like 2008 is. If the GOP nominee were a standard issue Republican, say Fred Thompson, or George Allen (Senator Macaca) this election would be a nearly guaranteed landslide. McCain is trickier to handicap because he does have some appeal outside traditional Republican voters (of course he has real problems among traditional conservatives as a result). Obama is also far trickier to handicap than a generic democrat (say Gore the 2000 model, or Joe Biden). He's new, he has absolutely monumental appeal to millions, but let's face it resistance to a black candidate may be real, and he has serious Reverend Wright and Trinity Church problems. Those problems are because of a widespread view that the values of that Church do not reflect the values of the huge majority of white Americans, which they do not. Of course, if one thinks about it, one realizes that Obama, he of Harvard law review, stayed in that church because he needed the bona fides that the Church helped provide within the black community. Anyone can see that it was a marriage of convenience for Obama who, whatever my dislike for him on policy grounds, plainly has lived the American dream and wants more people to do so.

Anyway back to the thesis of this post: the country is sick and tired of Bush. If he were running for reelection he would have no chance, and would lose in a roaring landslide. McCain's only hope is to be vigorously not Bush. Problem is, he has adopted key Bush policies (war in Iraq, tax cuts for the super-rich, no real action on health care) wholesale. Thus the fact that he breaks from Bush on global warming, pork barrel spending and more will likely be washed away by his conversion to Bush-ism on many huge issues. The country doesn't like the dems. Remember, it didn't like the GOP in 1980! But it had had it with high inflation, high unemployment, gas lines, high gas prices, and Iran hostages. Once Reagan crossed the will he push the button recklessly threshold, the landslide was his.

Similarly, and I'm simply parroting Dick Morris here, this election won't be close. If Obama convinces Americans he's one of us, he wins, and wins medium-sized to big. If he doesn't he loses. Simple as that. The country dislikes the GOP and wants it out of power. It is raring and ready to give the reigns of power to anyone ELSE that is American to the core and will do what's right by us (broadly defined). Obama is highly likely to convince America that he is that guy, thus he's highly likely to win. I'll predict Obama underperforms the historical pattern because of McCain's great strength as a candidate, and wins by 8.

Friday, June 06, 2008

I hate the European Central Bank. A peek at the markets today will tell you why. For background, the head of the European Central Bank ("ECB") hinted yesterday that the ECB may raise interest rates soon.


This is a colossally stupid move. The US dollar has absolutely tanked. This is in part because interest rates here are quite a bit lower than in Europe. Lower interest rates hurt your currency (all else being equal), while higher interest rates help it. The Europeans have become very concerned that the US dollar has become toilet paper as against other currencies, for a variety of reasons. You would think the ECB wouldn't even dream of raising rates right about now.

I hope to hell the ECB is pleased with itself. Ben Bernanke (Federal Reserve Chairman) and I took turns throwing darts at pictures of Jean-Claude Trichet, the President of the ECB. After Trichet had a few more holes in his head (to go along with the ones he obviously had BEFORE we threw darts at his picture), Ben took of the picture and burnt it in his cigar, giving me the ashes to spit on. Trichet overnight became the leading contender for economic dunce of the year. Stipulating that inflation is the ECB's A # 1 concern, stipulating that its about to get a good deal worse in Euroland, and FURTHER stipulating that its always less expensive and less difficult to nip inflation in the bud earlier rather than later, with Ben following my lead in lockstep and openly signaling JUST THIS WEEK that the days of easy money will come to an end, and that Dollar Sheriff Ben is replacing PANIC Ben,


(Just as I said would happen in my post on May 23rd), couldn't the damn ECB have waited 6-9 months, let the US begin taking money out and raising rates, and THEN raised rates along with us if it proved necessary?

Please understand, I am NOT arguing the ECB should not have hinted it will soon raise rates for OUR BENEFIT! By no means! I am arguing they should not done this because it hurts EUROPE.

Remember, the dollar has tanked (past tense) and the Euro is RIP-ROARING STRONG. Euro businesses are squealing like stuck pigs, and they have a case! Even given the strong Euro oil is very expensive in Europe, in no small part because of the parlous state of the US dollar! Couldn't they have waited? Picked up the phone and called Ben (or sent him an e-mail, this is 2008) and told him he has until 1/1 to get his act together or else? Did the ECB really have to get out in front of the inflation dragon like this? Is it really about to be 1978 again, when the UK had like 20% inflation? Take a f***ing look at today's (un)employment report! Ben and I were right, RIGHT RIGHT, damn it. And the ECB is going to make things worse, and make the US digging out of our hole a little harder. Oh, and hurt the Euro economies in the process by needlessly raising rates. There's a double play I could do without.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Hill will concede by Saturday.

My previous timetables were too cautious, and my gentleman's bet with Michael MUCH too cautious. The handwriting is on the wall. And the ceiling, and the floor. She knows. Bill knows. She will go. The only question is when.

I don't know about any of you, but I consider this a decidedly mediocre day for the republic. While we DESPERATELY need to unify the party so as to win in November, and its thus a REAL good thing to get it over with, I am so not big on Obama. He has NOT grown on me, not one iota, and leaves me cold. By policy he's a fairly cautious traditional liberal, breaking no new ground anywhere. I know that's contrary to his image (images are POWERFUL things), but go ahead-- name a single area where he is other than what I describe? Iraq? Well he opposed, but then he voted for war funding. Health care? Hillary light. And so on. Al Gore, where are ya?

For the rest of this post, I refer you to the post where I analogized the democratic party primary to the prom.


After Obama was elected Homecoming Queen, Hillary ran off in tears. "I'll call you, I'm not mad at you," she shrieked. At 5:05 a.m. last night, she called me.

"BUT I *SNIFF* WANTED TO BE HOMECOMING QUEEN." I'm the smartest, I worked the hardest, I wanted it. How COULD they vote for a 7th grader!! She was hysterical crying.

"Hillary, you did everything humanly possible." "I know I did. I worked my heart out-- but they voted for HER! She's only in 7th grade for heaven's sake, how can a 7th grader be Homecoming Queen?" "And you know what's worse? The cowardly teachers. They KNOW I'm way smarter than Obama, know much more about being Homecoming Queen, and I'm almost as pretty, and they STILL voted for her. The voting was SOoo close among the students that we all knew that the faculty would decide the Homecoming Queen (which by the way SUCKS). And as soon as it was clear that that b**** Obama had a tiny little edge (to go along with her tiny little 7th grade chest), the faculty went for her in droves. COWARDS." *sniff* It should have been ME!"

"Hill, I still think you would have been the best Homecoming Queen!" "Oh stop," she literally and figuratively cried. "You're still thinking about Al Gore and her bigger chest and hotter legs." "Um, well..." "Oh, its ok, I know. You never lied to me. I'm a realist, you know."

"Look, Hill, you are as smart and capable as any of them, even Al. ANY. But that's not what getting elected Homecoming Queen is all about. We always knew it wouldn't be as easy for you as it was for your sister Bianca. She was THE smartest, the coolest, the nicest, the prettiest, the best female athlete, gets the most guys, (and never you mind her reputation for being with a ton of guys) the best at everything. I have no idea how you've accomplished as much as you have in her shadow. NO ONE could compete with Bianca."

"Oh shut up. I made peace long ago with the fact that Bianca is better at just about everything than me. Only thing I can hope to compete with her in is brains. I could never ever have come this far without her. I'm proud to be her sister! Bianca's the bestest!"

"Yeah, and she told you what you needed to do to be Homecoming Queen. And you just about won. Who knew so many of the students would swoon for this new 7th grader."

"Yeah." A minute-long crying interlude......

"Any other f***ing year I would have been happy to elect a black Homecoming Queen. Its about time. BUT NOT MY YEAR!" What the heck am I going to do????"

"Well, Hillary, Obama could really use your support in the upcoming Homecoming Queen competition. She's got some really tough competition too. Our blood rival school incredibly picked Joanna McGuiness as its Homecoming Queen. Its ironic, really. We've got the 7th grader and they've got the girl that didn't finish High School till she was 23! A 23 year old versus a 13 year old!"

"Joanna's a big fat old hag nothing. Even flat little Obama can take her without my help."

"Maybe so, but Joanna does have a compelling story. Drops out before her senior year, enlists in the army, they send her to Iraq, and she ends up getting IED'd. She's seriously injured, she and her entire platoon are captured by those awful people and held for years! Amazing that she got out of there in one piece, never mind that she came back and finished High School. She's got a set of cojones to rival yours, Hillary. She's gonna be one tough customer."

"Yeah, like, whatever," Hillary said, not crying anymore. She may only be in 7th grade, but I just learned the hard way how tough, smart and savvy Obama is and have the scars to prove it. Joanna what's her name aint got a prayer. I'll help Obama, but she's gotta call me and ask REAL nicely. And she's going to have to offer to share some of the glory and some of the cash gifts she'd get by winning the competition. Then I'll *sniff* consider it."

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

WHEN will the democratic dogfight be over?

The Clinton people keep making noises about taking the fight to the credentials committee, and maybe even the convention in August. Don't believe a word of it. I made a gentlemen's bet with my friend Michael that this show will be over by the end of June. That's a sucker bet-- should have made it a fancy dinner, or some other expensive item.

This race will be over a lot sooner than the end of June, probably by the end of this week. I'll go on record-- it'll be over before June 15th. Super delegates will commit to Obama in dribbles or possibly one big splash, very soon. Hillary will concede before June 15th. Actually, as I think it through, she'll probably concede by this Friday, June 6th.

And Obama will NOT immediately announce her as his vice-- he won't want it to look like a deal. But if she REALLY wants the VP slot, and it looks like she does, she'll get it.