Are You The One? Florida Weighs In

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Ben Smith , writer for talks about the primary results in Florida and what they mean for super duper Tuesday next week. Also, why did Edwards drop out now?


Ben Smith

Comments [65]

Douglas Walker from Brooklyn, New York

Once and for all, Rudy ran as Amer-
ica's hero and Rudy, YOU ARE NO
HERO! In 2001, Giuliani stood tall,
read from the cue cards without
sweating (visibly) and took the
country for a ride in the wake of
the terrorist attacks, using his
notoriety for personal profit (book
sales, knighthood(!), corporate law
partnership) and for hoped-for
political gain. As New Yorkers often
say, "Unbelievable!". Unbelievably
sad, as well...

Jan. 30 2008 11:53 PM
Jeremy from Manhattan

You guys are so self-important! Rudy didn't lose because a Ben Smith blog outed him for using city funds to pay for his adulterous affair. He lost for all the reasons everyone said he'd lose: he was too liberal and too "ethnic" for Republican primary voters. That's why he couldn't compete in Iowa. And why New Hampshire voters weren't impressed with him the more they saw him. He also surrounded himself with sycophants instead of hiring seasoned political professionals who knew how to run a national campaign.

I wish your love affair with Ben Smith would run its course. There are so many more interesting and original political analysts available to you — please start taking advantage of them!

Jan. 30 2008 08:31 PM
Alie from Manhattan

Dear Arthur,

You may not check this tonight, but if you do, I want to apologize... You were right about my censorship of your speech. You have a right to say whatever you think or feel about any subject. That is the beauty of the United States of America. This is everything I believe in.

I have been following this campaign like a mad woman, and I think I somehow lost the mindset that I had always maintained prior to this election - and that is a respect for all points of view, no matter how different from my own. That is what I used to love about politics, hearing the various viewpoints and challenging myself to think differently, and challenging others as well - but without anger or hostility.

So I want to thank you Arthur for reminding me of what's important. And I want you to know that I have thought more about what you said, and I truly respect your point of view, and I think its important. That is probably why it angered me!

Jan. 30 2008 07:56 PM
arthur from NY

I have looked into why justice thomas has so much hate for the elite, white privileged class of this country- i do not believe that it is because he has turned his back on blacks (eventhough some of his decisions appear to be this way) but because of his antagonism towards this crowd. he feels patronized, not by the regular black folk in the street but by those elite, privileged white folk that he knows deep inmside their hearts, despise anyone that is not like them - did you ever read the book "being there" that is obama's canpaign: being there as a cover for those who truly want their interest protected

Jan. 30 2008 12:58 PM
arthur from NY

Dear Alie (post 60)
when mc govern (again, idealistic, youthful riented, agaisnst the war, etc, etc)was selected as the democratic candidate, instead of humprey (a man that really spoke about social and racial justice before it was fashionable) he was dismissed by the same "electorate" that is today is supporting obama. The result (for better or worse) was years of government that totally negated or post poned the rights that many americans wanted. Obama might just be selected the domocratic candidate, but do not fool yourself, Mc Cain will winn, as as he put it yesterday, he will select at least 3 supreme court justices that will bring about a TRULY, REACTIONARY revolution. And then what? You can seat in desperation in your chair looking at obama's poster while the court brings the nation to aore conservative and reactionary nation.

Jan. 30 2008 12:53 PM
Alie from Manhattan


You are arguing based on your impressions of the Obama campaign. Not on fact. The only reason a southern man was able to get any civil rights bill passed was because MLK (a black man) had put the spotlight on the civil rights abuses for years. And opening China was a complex issue that you are oversimplifying by comparing it to Obama's candidacy. The simple fact is that Obama inspires Americans to participate and that's important, even if compromises do have to be made. The true basis for social democracy is more citizens involving themselves in government activities at all levels. And that is precisely what Obama has proven himself capable of doing: getting more people to care about our country and the direction it is headed.

Jan. 30 2008 12:36 PM
Alex in Harlem from Harlem

So many misconceptions about Obama. He's not for Nuclear Power. He's said on numerous occasions that he would be for it if we could make the waste non-toxic. People also don't understand the "Present" votes in Illinois. Obama actually voted "Present" less than most of his colleagues. They use "Present" to send the bill back to be improved. They don't vote "Present" to duck an issue.

Check this out:

Chicago NOW backs Obama!!!!

Jan. 30 2008 12:11 PM
arthur from NY

Dear Lorenzo (posting 34),
even 'gossip" is speech. What would you call what the media "experts" and "spinners" are doing? Can a lie be censored? Not if it can be addressed and does not pose "a clear and present danger". If the conversation that I overheard is being held around the country and if more "reactionary" folk like be are hearing it - how are we suppose to react?. The truth here is that there is a double standard. Clinton is being trashed because she is a woman and appears "threatening" to white males and not "lady enough" to some women. I would not support anyone that tells me that they must be elected because they are white, hispanic, black, etc. JFK was elected, even by catholics who did not expect any "rewards" from him

Jan. 30 2008 12:08 PM
arthur from NY

Dear Ted (posting 52)
This is my point:
One has to understand how real power is held and exercise in America, to understand that progress on any issue is based on compromise, albeit sometimes this compromise is flawed1. This country was founded on just such premise!. At first, I was intrigued by Obama (as many other people that i know were) but as the days have passed, my impression is that the Obama candidacy is less about "bringing us together" and more about a feel good moment for privileged, elite whites; a proud moment for black americans; and political idealism for young persons. The fact is that JFK was not able and would not have been able to pass any civil rights and it took a southern man to get it passed. the same way that it took a conservative like Nixon to open China. We need someone that understand how power is tryly exercised in this country to accomplis true social democracy

Jan. 30 2008 11:46 AM
James from New York

This back & forth on race is ludicrous. Anyone who doubts that both the Clintons & Barack Obama have been EQUALLY on the same side in the fight against racism in America and the struggle to reduce the inequalities which that racism has contributed to creating is simply unaware of what these people have been up to in the past 30 years. On issues of race, there simply is NO SUBSTANTIVE DIFFERENCE between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. And the idea that the Clinton's might be standing in the way of electing America's first black President is as dumb as the idea that Barack might be standing in the way of electing the first woman President. Like all politicians, each of them has enough ego endowment to believe that they each alone are "The One" (ugh) to lead America into a progressive, prosperous future. We have to just accept that & look at their records & proposals to make our own judgements on that score.

Jan. 30 2008 11:28 AM
Bob Miller from Manhattan

I am extremely disappointed that John Edwards has dropped out of the Democratic race for the nomination. He was the only candidate who had verbalized a specific platform on issues like jobs, poverty and the responsibility of the corporations for the compromise of our standard of living in this country. I believe his decision was, unfortunately, a financial one as he had to face the fact that he didn't have the financial resorces to continue. In our political system this is how we decide a candidate's bona fides, how much money he can raise. This just points up how much we still need campaign finance reform. If candidates were not allowed to raise funds from the private sector and, instead, a governmental fund was provided, each candidate getting the same amount, in tandem with an agreement from the networks to volunteer commercial time in equal measure to all the candidates, we could truly have a level playing field. Unpopular and little discussed approaches to common problems could truly be exposed to public debate and evaluation. This would truly make the election process democratic instead of it being subsidized by the financially powerful interests in this country.
Bob Miller

Jan. 30 2008 11:18 AM
James from New York

And for anyone who thinks that Hillary has been moving away from liberal-progressive politics, you might be interested in reading David Leonhardt's article in the NYTimes on January 21, 2008 "For Clinton, Government as Economic Prod" wherein it becomes clear that Hillary will be more willing to use government to help reduce the increasing iniequlities during the Bush years and counter the excesses of unregulated free markets. But read it for yourself:

Jan. 30 2008 11:17 AM
arthur from NY

Dear ab (posting 50),
I will refrain from calling you "commandant" so I will tell you that your words hide an anger, a hate, and revel a total ignorance for freedom and true democracy. You state that what I have posted is racist, but this is an easy way out. You do not even consider if this could be atrue sentiment or not. You do not even contemplate how the Obama canpaign can overcome these thoughts.
My dear ab, the truth is that what i have posted is felt by many whites and non-whites alike. As some people have posted here, the only people that are solidly behind Obama are idealistic priviled young whites as well a black folk. Now i can understand why black people should feel proud of the Obama canpaign, but this is not a local situation, or a promotion, it is a situation where the winner will have an impact on ALL americans.
So call me dumb, stupid, ignorant, racist and whatever. It does not matter because you and people like yourself know better, think better and live better than those folks that would side with me. Thank you for your derision

Jan. 30 2008 11:14 AM
Ted from Manhattan

What exactly is Arthur's point? What is he afraid of? Even if he did overhear a comment about the longing of some people in our society to finally be fully represented and no longer marginialized, whats the threat to him

Arthur, if you could just tell is in rational terms what is your point, perhaps it could lead to some fruitful dialogue

Jan. 30 2008 11:11 AM
Ted from Manhattan

Thanks for that comment Megan

Yes, why are we calling Obama a "Black Candidate" when Megan points out correctly, he is half white.

If we could just get past all this focusing on labels,i.e. black, woman, etc maybe we could just look at where they actually do stand on the issues.

Seems that Hillary is a bit more progressive than Obama, that is, what obama has articulated.

I really wish the media would focus more on content and less on this beauty pageant type of reporting.

Its a disservice to us all, and exactly playing into the hands of those who would keep the public uninformed and entertained.

Jan. 30 2008 11:05 AM


You don't have the "right" to spew racist comments on the npr their guidelines. If they did delete your idiotic post it wouldn't be an attempt to take your right to free speech away as you can go around and spew your stupid ignorant racist ideas in your private life. NPR isn't going to be knocking on your door and arresting you. Get a grip.

However, I say they keep your moronic posts on because all you offer is calling anyone who criticizes you "commandant" and a judgement of all black people and Obama based on something one individual person said. In other words no arguements, no points just sheer you just show yourself as the prime example of the typical dumb ignorant reactionary racist for everyone to see. Sad and pathetic.

Jan. 30 2008 11:00 AM
arthur from NY

same to you commandant BORED (posting 45)

Jan. 30 2008 10:54 AM
Chris O from New York

Those "present" votes on abortion followed a strategy conceived and promoted by Planned Parenthood of Illinois. Did you know that? This was a way of giving cover to his Dem colleagues from more conservative districts. Now I have no problem if you don't support Obama, but this would be an unfair reason since his pro-choice credentials are clear.

Jan. 30 2008 10:54 AM
et from here

Obama is for nuclear energy which is NOT progressive, but to the right.

If people were to stop being hypnotized by the media's love affair with Obama, they would see that he is more to the right than Hillary ever has been.

Jan. 30 2008 10:54 AM
James from New York

During Bill Clinton's administration the rate of poverty declined from 15.1 % (1993) to 11.8% (Nov. 2000), nearly 3.3%, which translates to roughly a 20% reduction in the rate Americans. The unemployment rate declined from just over 6% to 4.2% and the number of new jobs created was 22 million. The Federal budget went from big deficits to modest surpluses, which caused interest rates to decline, which partly accounts for that great economic performance. And median incomes increased by 13.3% from 1993 to 2000, after many years of stagnation under the reagan-Bush I years. If one cares about reducing poverty in America, Hillary Clinton, who is committed to the same kind of moderate & reponsible progressive policies which gave us those fantastic numbers is the best choice. Bill & Hillary gave us real progress for equality in the 1990s and they will build on that proven record of success with a similiar approach for thiss new century.

Jan. 30 2008 10:52 AM

LOL @ Arthur

Jan. 30 2008 10:48 AM
Josh from Queens

I was a Bidden supported. Then I was a Edwards supporter. I don't like Rev. Al (Clay Davis) Sharpton nor Maxine Waters. Hillary is seeking the endorsement from the ineffective establishment. That being said, I am supporting Hillary. Hopefully I can keep up my losing streak.

Jan. 30 2008 10:48 AM
Chris O from New York

I liked Edwards platform, his intelligence, etc. But I never trusted him. I feel like he was just plotting to be President, that is why he voted for the war, that is why he took up the poverty cause too since he saw it as his path to the presidency. He did great work, and I have no doubt he believes it, but I am just skeptical of motives. I know I am being very cynical here but it is what I feel.

Jan. 30 2008 10:48 AM
jf from nyc

A president is only as good as his cabinet.

I think Obama is more likely to be more bi-partisan and bring new ideas than Hillary.

Jan. 30 2008 10:48 AM


-- Edwards may believe that his focus on the poor is premature and Americans will be more receptive in the next cycle.

At the moment many poor Americans still perceive themselves as middle class and therefore his message may not be resonating.

Similar to 2004, when the issue was Iraq, abortion, etc. rather than the economy, which at that time was roiling yet overlooked as an issue.

Jan. 30 2008 10:47 AM
arthur from NY

Thank you commandant Bored (posting 33)
You will decide what should be "speech or not". An IDEA is a thought, a judgement, an insight, an action, a note, a perspective, whatever!. The expression of such is seen as speech. (review Supreme court ruling on this)
Another example of what to fear if the Obama crowd wins

Jan. 30 2008 10:46 AM
J.C. from Minneapolis

Query: Out of curiosity, what happens to the absentee ballots that have been cast for Edwards?

Here's to hoping that those voters (or those who want to change their votes for Hillary or Barack or whomever) are able to show up at the polls on election day to cast a new ballot since time is short before Super Tuesday.

Jan. 30 2008 10:46 AM
Jade from NJ

I am Edwards supporter. My two overarching reasons are
1) the substance of the policies he espoused
2) that he made it clear he wanted to *fight* special interests (e.g. corporate interests)

I do believe that Hillary and Barak are fairly close in terms of policies. Two things trouble be about Barak:
1) all those "present" votes in Illinois, *especially* on abortion!
2) I don't believe his lovey dovey bi-partisanship will work, at least at this time in this country.

I think Obama's "present" votes + his talk together are equivalent to positioning yourself where polls tell you to!

Further, I think he's all talk, and Congress and special interests will eat him alive!

So now I'm a Hillary girl!

Jan. 30 2008 10:43 AM
Owen from Rochester

I'm an Edwards supporter. I'm sad to see Edwards drop out, but my choice is clear: Obama over Clinton. I'm still frustrated with Obama's inability to take public stands on important issues and to clarify what he's "hoping" for. But Clinton represents the worst instincts of the Democratic Party, particularly with her cynical positions on the war.

Jan. 30 2008 10:43 AM
markbnj from online: or

comment for Walter Fields:

You asked what to ask obama and Hilary
(why do we ALL say LASt names for men, and first name for the woman?)

You asked: what to ask about the dissillusionment
of the 16-24 year olds?


I say we need a new 'work projects administration'
that will
a) employ, teach and EMPoWER the underemployed
b) rebuild the infrastructure of our country

see more at

Everything is interconnected. It will be a difficult balancing act.


Jan. 30 2008 10:43 AM
Susan from Kingston, New York

Clinton is a doer! Obama is a talker, but he cannot save us. Edwards while a good candidate never had the support necessary to win.

Jan. 30 2008 10:42 AM

Your # 4 post Arthur stretches one's conviction against "censorship". It's nasty gossip, a whispered desparaging comment which you attribute to that what you do when you go out to dinner, eavedrop on black people's conversations?
Is it even true? Are you hired to drop nonsense like that around the blogosphere?

Jan. 30 2008 10:41 AM

how come every time someone spews lies they fall back on their right to free speech. Arthur what you said was not an IDEA it was something you heard a few black people say. When you come up with an idea then we can disect it.

Jan. 30 2008 10:39 AM
rick from brooklyn

Edwards was the best candidate on the issues- his positions as his willingness to actually TAKE positions. On health care and poverty, the gap between rich and everybody else and the influenece of corporations especially.

although some of Obama's positions are more centrist than Hillary's, I still believe that he is the best alternative to Edwards. His style is superior and I believe he has the best chance of winning in November. I think the flaws in his Health care plan can be improved on. on the plus side- his campaign is not run by a union busting PR executive, and he doesn't take PAC money.
Hillary (and Bill) are just so darn fake and dishonest.

Jan. 30 2008 10:37 AM
arthur from NY

....a true democracy is not afraid of dissenting ideas or even hateful ideas, let the market place of free speech shine on every word so that the truth shall be preserved....
Thomas Jefferson

Jan. 30 2008 10:35 AM
Roz Paaswell

Mary Bon Thanks. Can't ever get an open line. Obama has actually said he thinks it's inconsistent for Democrats to support civil liberties but also support "regulation', and I've never seen anyone talk about that. (NYTimes Book Review in a review of his book written by Gary Hart) How is that a progressive? I am also at a loss of where to go next.

Jan. 30 2008 10:32 AM
hjs from 11211

I'm still voting for Edwards. if he gets some delegates he will still have some influence on the race.
if it looks close next week I'll vote for hill.
I don't know if obama will fight for democratic principles and he's untested.

Jan. 30 2008 10:32 AM
dan ahearn from new york city

Very sorry to see Edwards go. He was the only candidate that was remotely willing to wage class warfare on behalf of the working people... All that's left now is a TV show about the black man and the white woman.

Jan. 30 2008 10:30 AM
arthur from NY

Thank you, commandant Alie (posting # 18). yes, demand that my right of free speech be censored. Is this an example of what people fear if Obama becomes president?. Will the secret police come after me?

Jan. 30 2008 10:30 AM
megan from Park Slope

Ben will only smear Republicans, not Dems....

Jan. 30 2008 10:29 AM
megan from Park Slope

Obama is half-white and half-black

he is NOT a "black candidate"

Jan. 30 2008 10:28 AM
Mary Bon from Westbrook, CT

Roz, I hope you get on the air with your perspective. A lot of us, I believe, feel the same way. I am really at a loss, although I have no wish to return to another Clinton administration.

Jan. 30 2008 10:27 AM
Ted from Manhattan

I hope Ben does due diligence in scrutinizing the financial details of the other nominees, especially the mid level transactions that the nominees just might not have had time in thier busy days to be aware of.

I think Rudy Guiliani finally got some media attention yesterday, that showed his leadership potential, regardless of what you think of his record as mayor of NY. Too bad he had to wait until he dropped out to get coverage

Jan. 30 2008 10:26 AM
Chris O from New York

You are now saying "health care mandates" are progressive. Did you believe that 6 months ago or since when? Oh, since it is a talking point in the Clinton campaign.

I wonder if some of you pro-Hillary people are citizens, or paid campaign workers since you put up such transparent spin. Someone talks of her "excellent showing" in Florida (it was uncontested), another puts up a racial conspiracy theory, etc.

Jan. 30 2008 10:24 AM
Joe Corrao from Brooklyn

And Brian you should get a few more snarky experts....

Jan. 30 2008 10:23 AM
Joe Corrao from Brooklyn

why isn't the MUCK important? people he was a slimey politician when he controlled the the president it would be slime X10

Jan. 30 2008 10:20 AM
Roz Paaswell

John Edwards was far more than just "the candidate of the poor". He is the only one who was talking about the structural changes needed in the American political economy and in the distribution of economic power. Tiny incremental triangulated steps (Clinton) will just mire us deeper in the mess, and "unity" (Obama)is a vapid and useless concept unless there is a clearly articulated vision of what we should be unified about.

Jan. 30 2008 10:20 AM
Alie from Manhattan

Brian, can you please delete Arthur's ridiculous. racist comment off the website?

Obama has never ONCE made any type of statement like the one you "overhead" at a party. In fact, his campaign has been about exactly the opposite. All he talks about is bringing people together. He wants to unite, not divide. And for you to link that comment to anything that Obama represents is completely ignorrant, and exactly the type of thinking that keeps us from progressing as a society.

It saddens me that you cannot look past race and color and see the person. And that you are so insecure with yourself that you feel threatened by equality.

Jan. 30 2008 10:20 AM
Brian from Forest Hills

I was wondering the same thing about Elizabeth. I am sure Edwards is going to look back and realize that 2004 was his time!

I loved his message. The issues he raises dealing with poverty, workers and corporations that must be dealt with in this country. Now I have to figure out who to vote for.

Jan. 30 2008 10:19 AM
Joe Corrao from Brooklyn

Ya a sad day when a fear monering politician drops out...Woman says she cares about are high...stay upsate with the are delusional

Jan. 30 2008 10:18 AM
Chris O from New York

There is so much bad analysis with Rudy and his "strategy." He tried in Iowa, could never gain traction, somewhat understandably since it is a limited Evangelical-dominated population. NH should have been a great demographic for him. He tried very hard in NH, spent tons of money and time and the more he was there, the worse he did in the polls. So he said, Damn, we are going to lose this. Let's go to Florida since there are so many New Yorkers there.

He never had a chance and just because the people have a great first impression of him (9/11) and continued to hold him in high regard throughout 2007, when it came time to pull the lever, he never had a chance.

Jan. 30 2008 10:18 AM
Barry from Manhattan

I am sad to see Edwards drop out. It seems he is giving up too quickly. His point of view is very important. He could be an important influence on the overall process.

As for Rudy, well i guess gossip is still an appealing and dangerous indulgence.

Jan. 30 2008 10:16 AM
Casey from Brooklyn

I'm curious as well. does edward's backing out have anything to do with his wife's health. If so, he just gained sooo much respect in my book.

Jan. 30 2008 10:14 AM
John from Brooklyn

More Edwards fallout:

Tomorrow night's Democratic debate is -- finally -- one-one-one.

Jan. 30 2008 10:14 AM
JJ from NYC

My 1st choice was Richardson, second choice Edwards. I don't know what to do on Super Tuesday.

Jan. 30 2008 10:13 AM
John from Brooklyn

Edwards fallout:

As likely as not, those "white working-class men" will -- in the primaries and caucuses, at least -- swing to McCain or sit at home.

Jan. 30 2008 10:11 AM
Steve from Manhattan

Please ask Ben if it's too late to go after Rudy for the tax dollars we spent "protecting" his girlfriend, even before she was a public figure. It makes me furious that he wasted the city's money on that and his petty vendettas.

Jan. 30 2008 10:11 AM
michael winslow from INWOOD

Glad to see Edwards out because he voted for the invasion and the Patriot Act.

Why in the world would anyone vote for this guy or for Hilary?

Glad to Giuliani out. His Daughter wasn't even going to vote for him. :)

Jan. 30 2008 10:10 AM
Mary Bon from Westbrook, CT

Is Elizabeth Edward's health a consideration? I haven't seen/heard much from her of late.

Jan. 30 2008 10:09 AM
Brian from Forest Hills

I guess Rudy's slogan didn't work: "Keep Fear Alive!!!"

Jan. 30 2008 10:08 AM
Stephen from Brooklyn

At this point popularity is steeped in perception. Although, Clinton is the establishment candidate, she is actually more progressive then Obama who, for example:

Is pro-nuclear energy
Against health Care Mandates

I hope that Hillary co-opts Edwards populist agenda.

Jan. 30 2008 10:07 AM
arthur from NY

Overheard a conversation last Sunday in a dinner among sveral black people:
" this is our time, now we are going to get everything that has been denied to us"
Wonder why many non-whites can not support Obama?

Jan. 30 2008 10:06 AM
Betts from NJ

Giuliani is out, thankfully.
And I am happy for Hillary Clinton's excellent showing in the Florida primary.
Looks as if it will be Clinton and McCain - the two NYT picks.

Jan. 30 2008 10:05 AM
Jeff from nyc

I am glad McCain won. Eventhough I do not agree with all his positions, I feel that I can vote for him (If Obama is the democratic candidate), eventhough it would be the first time I vote for a republican.
i am tired of having the "privileged elite" tell us how to vote. People like caroline and her disgraced uncle Ted, do not know a thing about regular working people.
The problem with Obama is that he is naive, inexperienced and is the "black hope" for many african americans, who would vote for him no matter what. Also as a hispanic I resent the kennedy's condescending attitude towards the "poor lille brown folk" telling us that what we need is a Black man to fix our problems. Where were they when richardson was running. This ' 6 degrees of separation' crowd is the one that would bend backwards to appear that they like the black people they encounter while their service worker hispanics serve them. This crowd would be the first one to call the immigration dept when the lanscapers working on their houses take too long of a coffe break

Jan. 30 2008 09:56 AM

McCain's smile last night was the best.

But him as president pushes forward to my mind his embrace of Falwell (06) and describing his captors in Hanoi as "Gooks" (00).

For a guy who runs on character, could his political compromises, and his tempter, undermine the ideal McCain presidency? Not sure I'd want to see 4 years of abortion debate and, Gd forbid, settling old scores as foreign policy (yes it does happen).

Jan. 30 2008 07:20 AM

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