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PENNSYLVANIA AND BEYOND (Reinhard)
The Oregonian ^ | April 24, 2008 | David Reinhard

Posted on 04/24/2008 10:27:13 AM PDT by jazusamo

Another day, another Democratic primary, and Democrats will be forgiven if their immediate reaction to Tuesday's Pennsylvania returns is a Dorothy Parkeresque "What fresh hell is this?"

Hillary Clinton may have racked up what she rightly called a "very big and very sweet" win over Barack Obama. The New York senator's victory margin may have been just shy of double digits. And she may have achieved all this after Obama outspent her 2-to-1. But her Keystone State win was cause for shots and beers rather than champagne toasts.

For starters, Clinton won ugly, as the sports guys say. How ugly? Her final ad featured an image of Osama bin Laden -- the advertising equivalent of a crucifix at an exorcism for Democrats -- and a narrator asking, "Who do you think has what it takes?" Not only that, but the narrator had an answer -- "If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen" -- directed at Obama's whining about the questions at last week's ABC News presidential debate. Exit polls showed that two-thirds of Keystone State voters thought she had taken unfair shots at Obama.

Beyond all this, there is the brute arithmetic of the race: Despite her impressive Pennsylvania triumph and her "From Here to Eternity" fighting spirit, it's well-nigh impossible to fathom a way for Clinton to win the nomination.

Then there's the Obama camp's fresh hell. Their foretaste of eternal damnation comes in the form of the extended nominating process. It's gone on forever already, and Pennsylvania will make it forever and a day. Worse, the result is to spotlight Obama's weaknesses as a general election candidate (Jeremiah Wright Jr. sermons and Obama's San Francisco homily on God, guns, racism and bitterness).

Obama is proving unable to win the big states he'll have to win in the fall. Never mind Republicans and independents, some Democrats are not climbing aboard the Obama bandwagon. And consider the conditions in which the all-but-inevitable nominee failed to seal the deal in Pennsylvania. Not only did he outspend Clinton 2-to-1, but he set a Pennsylvania record for campaign spending in doing so.

He also had the endorsement of Sen. Bob Casey, heir to the so-called Casey Democrats -- white, blue-collar, Catholic, union voters -- who helped make his father governor. Obama also had the advantage of running against an opponent whose already high negatives went up over the course of the Keystone State campaign.

Yet still the Democratic front-runner lost big and, perhaps more importantly, failed to broaden his support beyond African American and upscale white Democrats. Obama had the support of Casey but not, in the end, the Casey Democrats whom any Democrat will need come the fall. He had the votes of liberal and very liberal Democrats, but not the votes of moderate and conservative Democrats whom John McCain will compete for in November. It's also worth noting that only about four of 10 gun owners, people who attend church at least weekly and rural folks supported Obama. There was, let it be said, no exit polling on those now-legendary embittered Pennsylvanians.

Yes, Democrats might be tempted to give way to desperation, and Republicans to schadenfreude-induced delight. It's a little early for both. First, Clinton or Obama will run for the White House in the most favorable political environment for Democrats since 1932. Second, Democrats have been registering loads of new voters across the land; they have the enthusiasm and funding edge.

Third, let's assume the most probable scenario; let's assume Obama wins the nomination. We've all been told he's a uniter and healer. Never mind that this is only a figment of his airy rhetoric and aw-shucks media notices rather than a reflection of his actual record. According to the exit polls, only half of Clinton voters say they'll vote for Obama in November. (Sixty-seven percent of Obama voters say they'd vote for Clinton if she's the nominee.) Many of these Democrats, of course, will "come home" after the party settles on its nominee and the hard feelings are forgotten. But Obama will still have to do lots of healing and uniting of Democrats.

If he's successful in this, he might be president, because he'll have finally proven he's as special -- even transformational -- as he and his fans say he is.


TOPICS: Editorial; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: clinton; obama; reinhard

1 posted on 04/24/2008 10:27:13 AM PDT by jazusamo
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To: jazusamo
For starters, Clinton won ugly, as the sports guys say. How ugly? Her final ad featured an image of Osama bin Laden -- the advertising equivalent of a crucifix at an exorcism for Democrats -- and a narrator asking, "Who do you think has what it takes?" Not only that, but the narrator had an answer -- "If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen" -- directed at Obama's whining about the questions at last week's ABC News presidential debate. Exit polls showed that two-thirds of Keystone State voters thought she had taken unfair shots at Obama.

Gimme a break. That's not even close to as ugly as the 'Rats get with Republicans all the time.

2 posted on 04/24/2008 10:32:50 AM PDT by Post Toasties (It's not a smear if it's true.)
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To: Post Toasties

‘Ugly’ (a milder adjective than is deserved in this instance)is implying or calling anybody who does not vote for Hussein or Hilliary a ‘racist’ or ‘sexist’.


3 posted on 04/24/2008 10:36:24 AM PDT by Post Toasties (It's not a smear if it's true.)
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To: Post Toasties

That’s true but it’s pretty ugly when they’re doing it to their own, let’s hope it gets uglier.


4 posted on 04/24/2008 10:36:48 AM PDT by jazusamo (DefendOurMarines.org | DefendOurTroops.org)
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To: jazusamo
the most favorable political environment for Democrats since 1932.
Second, Democrats have been registering loads of new voters across the land; they have the enthusiasm and funding edge.

There it is.
Its not that Hillary can defeat McCain. - she would beat him like a toy drum.

Its not as if Obama cannot win, its that only Obama can lose this for the Dems.

IMO, Hillary would have to fall down and die to lose v McCain, and all of this joy about exploding democrats, destroyed parties, and rioting in the streets is just froth and blather, soon to calm after the nominee is selected.

Any Dem is going to bury the GOP in finances.
McCain can't raise enough money to fund a run at dog catcher without the RNC, and even then he cannot even come close to the cash that is going to roll in for the Dems come summer.

Hopefully, and I say this with no reason other than just that - hope - the newly expanded voter base will not all flock to the polls in November, but remember this:
The cities and those areas populated by unions and local democrat ward leaders will return 100 - 108% voting for any dem candidate.

Otherwise, simply hope that Hillary is not an opponent of the GOP and support your local Conservatives in the hard dirty fight ahead to retain some voice in Congress.

5 posted on 04/24/2008 10:46:09 AM PDT by bill1952 (I will vote for McCain if he resigns his Senate seat before this election.)
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To: bill1952

You may be correct and I do think you’re right about that 108%.


6 posted on 04/24/2008 10:52:17 AM PDT by jazusamo (DefendOurMarines.org | DefendOurTroops.org)
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To: jazusamo

Hillary did not win.

Obama lost, big time.

It’s as simple as that.


7 posted on 04/24/2008 11:01:10 AM PDT by Wiseghy ("You want to break this army? Then break your word to it.")
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