Streams

"Mini Tuesday" Results

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Chicago Tribune columnist Clarence Page, Marie Cocco, syndicated columnist for the Washington Post Writers Group, and Matt Bai, contributing writer for the New York Times Magazine, talk about yesterday's primaries.

Guests:

Matt Bai, Marie Cocco and Clarence Page
News, weather, Radiolab, Brian Lehrer and more.
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Comments [100]

Jose from CT

I love the idea proposed by Helena M. (#99). But given the crass, egotistical "Clintons machine", I have little hope that they can do anything that is for the common good, that does not aggrandize themselves first. Please see the article below. How low can they go. I think we already know the answer to that! I posted my take on where we are headed in #96. Let's hope for the best!

http://www.reuters.com/article/newsOne/idUSN0562494220080305

Mar. 05 2008 08:56 PM
Helena Meryman from san francisco, ex-brooklynite, I miss Brian

A drawn out democratic primary season could be good for the democrats. This is true if they would wisely agree to stop campaigning against each other and focus their arguments against Mcain only. In this way Mcain is attacked on two fronts. Further, Mcain has to somewhat dilute and generalize his postions because he must attack two fronts. Also - this will give the people a chance to get more sick of Mcain and more involved in the excitement of a cliffhanger democratic race. I think this is partly what has got so many engaged so far. If the Clinton and Obama can agree to both keep running as if they already have the nomination then the pary will triumph united, if not I'm concerned they will scerw it up comepletey.

Mar. 05 2008 06:16 PM
Leo from Queens

Response to POST #11 - HJS - Granted that Obama lost Ohio - a Battle ground state - But you are wrong in stating that it 'proves Obama can't win' these states - He has won MISSOURI, IOWA, WISCONSIN, MINNESSOTTA AND COLORADO which have been Battleground states in the past 2 elections. Democrats CANNOT win the presidency unless they win all the states in the Upper Midwest. Hillary has one only strong Democratic states which almost always go democrat and some of these solely based on Name recognition. Had there not been mail-in ballots in California a month before people heard about Obama, he would have won the state.
As for Florida, she won based on name-recognition and stealth campaigning months before the primary and her statements on the weekend before the primary that Florida's votes should be counted and scheduled a rally for the night of the election.

Mar. 05 2008 06:15 PM
lincoln from brooklyn

coco is not up to par for this show (and her shortness with brian was unappreciated). her rant on clinton's electability was barely relevant and had nothing whatsoever to do with numbers of electoral votes assigned to the states that have thus far voted in this primary season.

the democratic primary process and the electoral college are two wholly unrelated undemocratic systems.

as for the electoral college math - obama would be putting in play a variety of key states such as virginia and iowa. clinton would be trying to trotting out the exact same (failed) approach as gore / kerry.

obama stacks up better against mccain in every single solitary national pole. period.

Mar. 05 2008 02:53 PM
Jose from CT

I find the Clintons' manipulative political strategy personally "the same old, same old". The Clintons have a track record that will POLARIZE this country even more than the current occupant of the White House has. Barack Obama is a breath of fresh air. Like it or not, Mr. Obama has to play the game to get elected and the game is distorting your views, if he has to, to reach the majority of a divided populace. One only need to look back on the Clintons' rhetoric over the eight years that they held office of POTUS. Despite the fact that the Clintons' earlier administration had many economic successes....it cannot be denied that their political and moral ineptness saddled the World with an incompetent "fearless" leader. The only people who have not paid a high price for their infidelity in Office are the Clintons themselves.

I, for one, will have to consider voting Republican in Novemeber 2008 if the Clinton machine weasels its way to the presidential nomination. I don't think that I will be alone. I will vote for John McCain and give him a Democratic congress to try to keep him honest. If the Clinton EGOS cannot be held in check, I feel no choice than to swallow my principles and vote for the least of the presented evils. The Clintons' principles are unfortunately well demonstrated...I, for one, think it is time for a change from the dynastic rulers that we have been given lately.

Good luck to all of us in this quandary! May the USA get what it deserves.

Mar. 05 2008 02:48 PM
Jayson from Manhattan

Now that Clinton has won Ohio, her campaign people as well as the “experts” are making the argument that Hillary Clinton is the stronger candidate against McCain because she is stronger in Ohio and Ohio is key to winning the general election. On Mr. Lehrer’s program this morning a few guests made this argument; one guest said that Obama only won five counties in Ohio, and so is the weaker candidate. I don’t understand this position. The issue in Ohio is who can win the swing voters/independents-- people characterized as not having decisively chosen a party. Those people didn't vote yesterday! How does the fact that a majority of voters, who identify themselves as Democrats, and have voted for Clinton indicate that (1) she will be preferred by swing voters, and (2) that those same Democratic voters wouldn't vote for Obama in the general election (with the Supreme Court being as crucial as it is right now, I may add)? Sounds like more Hillarian propaganda to me.

Mar. 05 2008 01:34 PM
James from New York

And further (on #93 above) if Hillary does well enough in the remaining primaries to emerge with a very slight popular vote lead, albeit with an even slighter pledged-delegate deficit, the Democratic base-states vote may be the decisive argument in her favor. In light of the voter-supression dynamics of the caucus system of delegate selection where Obama amassed so many of his delegates, in making a "moral argument" for the superdelegates, one cannot deny that the primaries are far more 'democratic' in nature and thus tilt in favor of the candidate who's delegates came more from them than from the caucuses.

Mar. 05 2008 12:17 PM
James from New York

The number of people who voted/participated in all (11) of the Democratic February primaries/caucuses (which Obama swept) was approximately 3,450,000. Those February primaries determined the allocation of about 593 delegates. The number of people who voted/participated in the 4 Democratic primaries yesterday (3 out of 4 of which Clinton won) was approximately 5,400,000. Those March 4th primaries determined the allocation of about 444 delegates, 228 of which were allocated by something called a "Texas-two-step". To date, about 27,100,000 people have voted/participated in all of the Democratic primaries/caucuses (since Iowa on Jan 3). Obama has approximately 160,000 more votes of that total raw vote number than Hillary and about 100 or so more delegates. If in the remaining primaries/caucuses, neither one emerges with the necessary number of pledged delegates to win the nomination outright (the currently most likely scenario), then the superdelegates will have to decide the issue. The final winner of the overall popular vote, after the Michigan & Florida issues are sorted out, after the actual numbers of voters who voted/participated in the caucuses are released and after the final few states have voted will likely be the most compelling fact for their consideration. As will, who has won in more of the states that compose the natural Democratic base as well as those likely to be toss-ups once again (Missouri, Arkansas, Tennessee, Iowa, Ohio, Florida).

Mar. 05 2008 12:12 PM
Leon Freilich from Park Slope

From ONLY THE BLOG KNOWS BROOKLYN

DEM PREZ TICK

Winning combo,

Cream of the crop;

Newbie below,

Woman on top.

Mar. 05 2008 11:53 AM
Kiki from nj

Should Hillary win the nomination, we will have at least 4 more years of a republican administration. Her own argument against Obama undermines her against McCain. What is she going to argue? Experience? Iraq? NAFTA?

Mar. 05 2008 11:29 AM
Gradon from New Hampshire

Bob,

Why bother counting her experience in elected office when you can count every year going back to law school, as she does.

http://www.slate.com/id/2182073/

This experience argument the campaign is trying to make is a WEAK one. McCain has much more than either Democratic candidate.

Mar. 05 2008 11:24 AM
Chris B. from Cranford, NJ

Brian,

To correct one of the things you said, Obama leads the popular vote by over 600,000 not counting Florida and by almost 300,000 counting Florida according to RealClearPolitics. http://www.realclearpolitics.com/

Thanks to the many listeners who pointed out Marie Cocco's ridiculous argument that Obama would not win NY, CA, MA etc. because he lost those states to Clinton in earlier primaries.

Incidentally, it's the Clinton campaign that opposes a revote in Florida and Michigan and is fighting to seat the current crop of FL and MI delegates. Why? Because they know they won't do as well in a real contest.

Mar. 05 2008 11:16 AM
Sue from East Stroudsburg, PA

As an Obama supporter, I am a little disappointed that the race was not wrapped up last night, but as a political junkie, I am very excited that the vote in Pennsylvania will actually count. I am looking forward to a little of that retail politics that the other states have enjoyed!

I don't think the demographics in Pennsylvania are the same as Ohio. Obama will do well in Pittsburgh, Philly, the Philly suburbs, the Lehigh Valley and State College. He will split the Northeast and Harrisburg with Sen. Clinton. She should do well in the rural areas. Overall, a very tight race.

Dear Senators Obama and Clinton: Come have a rally in Stroudsburg (aka the sixth borough) The Poconos welcome you both!

Mar. 05 2008 11:15 AM
Lisa from NYC

Yes, who needs a resume for president. It's useless. Let's just get the happiest guy in there. Oh you're so right.

Mar. 05 2008 11:13 AM
Roger from Bronx

To Chestine & Brianne,
See Geraldine Ferraro in the NY Times:
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/25/opinion/25ferraro.html?st=cse&sq=ask+the+super&scp=1
for an explanation of the superdelegates.

Mar. 05 2008 11:11 AM
Antonio from New York

People should stop highlighting the need to have a resume/experience and start focusing on his leadership abilities. He is qualified. He has already proven himself. Bush has been in office for 8 years little to no experience and terrible leadership. Who really has the experience to lead the country? This issue regarding experience and Obama's resume is another way of persuading black voters by painting the Presidential Position as a corporate job that is unattainable. A President should be a strong wise leader that stands for all and this is Obama!

Mar. 05 2008 11:07 AM
Sinsy from queens

Howard Dean? Isn't he irrelevant at this point?

Mar. 05 2008 11:04 AM
B.Buckley from nyc

Oh ah yes. I think ah Mr. Obama is as charming and uh yes as smooth talking as Mr. Woods, it's going to do a bunch for their race.

Mar. 05 2008 11:03 AM
Laurence Cantor from Manhattan

(1) There are several 500 lbs. gorillas at the table going un- or under-commented. The first is Howard Dean and NDC as the villians of the piece. The tactic of exhorting and extorting compliance with the DNC's desired timing by effectively disenfranchising Florida and Michigan Democrats was a disasterous choice. I am delighted that my fellow Clinton supporters seemed to agree that they simply can't award the delegates to Hilary but they must do something. A re-vote is a terrible choice but better than any other I've heard. If those states are not seated in Denver, the Democrats probably can't win in November.
(2) Another issue whch was obliquely touched on by Brian in a question to Andrea Bernstein last night when he asked whether Clinton was enjoying what amounted to a racist backlash among Reagan Democrats. There is a nasty undertone that I hear from Obama supporters which roughly translates to: If you don't back Obama you are a racist. I have yet to hear anyone suggest that if you don't support Clinton you are a mysogonist. To the extent that both candidates are battling their own gorillas in this respect, there should not be a unity ticket. Obama/Biden or /Dodd, Clinton/Richardson or /Edwards, perhaps, but not Obama and Clinton on the same ticket.

Mar. 05 2008 11:02 AM
Bonham from nyc

AHhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!! Tiger Woods reference!!!!!!!!!!!! Ahhhh!!!!!!! Go away!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Mar. 05 2008 11:02 AM
Brianne from nyc

What's a superdelegate? Who brought up superdelegates? I don't know what do they do? I never heard of them Chestine.

Mar. 05 2008 11:00 AM
Jean from Bergen county

Here's bright, capable, inspiring Obama. Can he reinvigorate the country as Tiger Woods did golf? I'm afraid he's in for a rough time. Now the GOP is resting on the sidelines and piling up their talking points and stragegies for a vicious election campaign. Numbers and demographics confuse me. Seems emotions count for more in the end. Right now, I'd think odds are better for an end to the Bush era if there were a Clinton-Richardson ticket and Obama Secty. of State. With Obama doing so well so far, I'd imagine a second seat on the ticket would frustrate and alienate Black voters. But I can see a more seasoned Obama as a fine president a little later.

Mar. 05 2008 11:00 AM
Bill from nyc

What is this chick talking about? SNL is funny!!!!!!!!!!!!

Mar. 05 2008 10:58 AM
Jon from ny

So basically Obama wins no important states in the general election and loses electorally even though now he has a lot of delegats.

Mar. 05 2008 10:57 AM
Chestine from Westchester

I don't understand superdelegates why does everyone bring it up how does it work

Mar. 05 2008 10:56 AM
Kiki from nj

Reply to Deepak

What do you base Hillary's readiness on? If Hillary wins the nomination because of the superdelegates, I will stay home. I have spoken to many people who reflect the same sentiment.

Mar. 05 2008 10:55 AM
Manny from nyc

Hi Jack,

no you still don't get it. obama wins now fine. but in november he doesn't carry ohio and texas and minnesota and florida, make your own list. he wins now because he's a cult leader. He doesn't win the REAL math in november b/c those states aren't joining the cult of the red bathrobe and white headset. I don't believe I mentioned NY or California in my post. They're irrelevant.

Mar. 05 2008 10:53 AM
itl337 from New York

I don't buy Marie Coco's point that the Democrat who wins a certain state is more likely to bring it in for the Democrats in November. All the polls I've seen show that most Democrats like both candidates. Democrats desperately want the White House back and will vote for whomever the nominee is. Although, and I admit I'm an Obama supporter, there is the argument that since he appeals more to Independents, he may do more to help win swing states than Hillary with her negatives will.

Mar. 05 2008 10:50 AM
Bob from NY NY

Graydon the experience was 8 yrs in the white house as a defensement for her husbands affairs with trailer trash. That's her 8 yrs she's adding to the 7 yrs of senate which she needed to have to look like more than a corporate lawyer whose whole washington experience was ducking scandals around her husband. SO that's the tally there.

Mar. 05 2008 10:49 AM
Jack from Manhattan

We get it Manny. So you think New York and California will not go for Obamaa in November.
You're wrong Manny and at least Coco will benefit from kissing up to the Clintons. You Manny will get nothing.

Mar. 05 2008 10:49 AM
MJ from Summit, NJ

The conversation earlier in the show missed one important point that Obama has been making.
The woman was comparing the electoral votes that Clinton and Obama might win, based on the states they have won.
But in the national election, probably 90% of those who voted for Clinton in the primary will vote for Obama. Clinton's base of older women will not vote for McCain.
The reverse isn't as likely. I think a lower percentage - maybe 80%- of those who voted for Obama are likely to vote for Clinton. Clinton isn't likely to motivate the youth vote as Obama has. She is just too old school and divisive.
MJ

Mar. 05 2008 10:49 AM
mike from nyc


NO, I repeat, NO unity ticket.

Why does no one talk about dynastic rule in regards to voting for Hillary Clinton? Do we really, as a country that touts itself as democratic, believe that electing a former first lady proves that our democracy is strong and thriving?

That leaves us with a Hollywood style candidate, chosen by the media and built by the hype, that I doubt will be able to change as much as promised. Why didn't anybody listen to Kuchinich when he was talking about totally restructuring government, that's change, no?

So anyway, please no unity ticket, the idea of reconciliation betweent the two halves of the Democratic party right now is worthless. Let's really argue this out and decide who we want to lead us to either the center or the center. Sounds good huh?

Mar. 05 2008 10:49 AM
Bob from NY NY

Well the next round clearly looks like this: YOU WERE FRIENDS WITH REZKO! AND HE'S GOING AWAY FOR FEDERAL CRIMES! Obama: Please lower your voice ms. giant orange pantsuit, we all know that YOU were a corporate lawyer and THAT'S your experience is SHAFTING people as a SHARK lawyer.
I'm a shark you're a shark wouldn't you like to be a shark too drink the koolade, drink purple koolade.

Mar. 05 2008 10:47 AM
Gradon from New Hampshire

What's Hillary's experience? 7 years in the Senate, and being first lady? Why doesn't she receive any scrutiny for any of the scandals of the Clinton years, or is everything bad that happened Bill's fault?

She says that there is a media bias against her, but do you seriously think if the roles were reversed and Obama had been losing by 12 states he wouldn't be pressured out?

I agree with Lorenzo. The Clinton campaign will break the party to get the nomination. It seems like they are willing to win at any cost. Come on, playing on the fear of attack? Is Carl Rove working as a strategist on that one? Why should the Republicans spend money smearing Obama when the Dems are more than happy to?

Mar. 05 2008 10:46 AM
Bert from nyc

CNN is calling Texas for Hillary.

Mar. 05 2008 10:45 AM
Carolyn from Stuyvesant Town

When is the press going to stop giving the Clintons a free ride on the question of why they haven't released their tax returns? After HRC said in the last debate that she was too busy to release her returns, no one in the press pointed out that releasing the Clintons' 2006 returns, which presumably were filed last year, would not be a major chore -- unless, of course, the returns would raise serious questions that she and her staff need weeks to prepare for. When HRC finally said she'd release her returns in April, no one asked whether she'd be releasing her 2006 returns (as Obama did last year), or whether she's planning to release only her 2007 returns. Are the Clintons trying to hide something in their 2006 returns?

Mar. 05 2008 10:45 AM
Chris O from New York

J.C. - I agree with you that it is not right for people to say Hillary should drop out and that it is better to have that fight here. But I would not blame Obama for what his supporters say just like Hillary should not be burdened with what her supporters say here. But a vote for Hillary is a vote for dissent? That is a funny statement.

Mar. 05 2008 10:45 AM
Mr Judgment from NY

... I hope Obama doesn't get on a HRC ticket and I know he won't welcome her onto his ticket.

If he loses to HRC (based on party busting negative ads) let HRC stand and lose to McCain.

Obama < McCain < HRC.

If not Obama 08 then,

McCain 08, Obama 12

... let the carpetbaggers go back to Arkansas.

Mar. 05 2008 10:44 AM
Manny from nyc

Miniscule lead, not miniscule lead.........I think that dragon lady Cocco's point was...........in the actual election in November, Obama can't carry must win states, which is a whole different math. Get it?

Mar. 05 2008 10:44 AM
Edward from Manhattan

If Hillary is on the ticket I do what I never have done before....vote for McCain.

After all, if it's all about experience....

Hillary's EXPERIENCE as a Walmart lawyer, First Lady of a Hillbilly state and First Lady of an impeached President just dosen't do it for me.

Mar. 05 2008 10:44 AM
Frank from NYC

I've heard two illogical opinions this morning. As I don't have to call in, here it is.

1. by your earlier female guest, and obvious clinton supporter. Add up states won by Clinton as states only Clinton could win in Nov. and states won by Obama, as states only Obama could win in Nov. and then having the super delegates realize that Clinton would have more electoral votes. If demecrats vote and act like this in November there will indeed be a Republican in the house in 2009, regardless of our candidate.

2. A recent caller says the super delegates should alot their votes by the popular vote. This is exactly the thinking that gave us 2000.

Come on people. Stop plugging for your candidate in disquise. Have a comment about how Florida and Michigan can have a fair contribution to the primary or keep your tainted comments to yourself.

Mar. 05 2008 10:44 AM
Chris from Brooklyn

I think Cocco's EC math is based soley on if the dynamics shake out exactly as they had in 2004. But it is an entirely different world (Katrina, Insurgency, Surge, Recession, etc.). And two entirely different candidates (McCain and whomever). Again, Obama could handily win CA, NY, CT, MA, RI. But will Clinton be able to carry Colorado, South Carolina, Missouri, Kansas, Virginia, and all the other states trending blue or purple? Good luck with that.

Mar. 05 2008 10:42 AM
hjs from 11211

no loyal democrat would vote for mccain and allow the Supreme Court to move to the right, moving the country to the right.

Mar. 05 2008 10:42 AM
Shannon from new york

I really don't appreciate Marie's commments that women voters will have an outcry if Hillary is not the candidate in the general election. It's a very condescending viewpoint that a woman will vote for Hillary on the basis of her gender. I am voting for the person whom I believe has the capacity to be a courageous leader. Also, I don't believe her time as first lady qualifies as political experience worthy of the nomination. Her one policy initiative during that period, universal health care, was a complete failure due to her polarizing and secretive approach. I think that Obama will have great crossover appeal in the general election. I am an ardent Democrat but my family in Texas are Republicans. My mother, who voted twice for Bush, is an Obama delegate. My father has never voted for a Democrat in his entire life but he is also supporting Obama both in the primary and the general election. Interestingly enough, if Clinton wins the primary, they will both be voting for McCain. Hillary is just not capable of reaching these crossover type of voters in the general election.

Mar. 05 2008 10:42 AM
John from Brooklyn

Either Obama or Clinton will keep blue states blue. The question is: Who has the greatest chance to bring some red states into the blue column?

Clearly, that is Obama. In blue states, Clinton beats Obama by 5-10 points, tops. In red states, Obama has been beating Clinton by 20-30 points.

Does anyone think this is an accident?

Mar. 05 2008 10:41 AM
Ola from New York

Obama hasn't gone negative, and he can...and I think he should if Hillary continues to hit him. He doesn't even have to go as far as she has. The press have not gone after her to release tax returns or flip flopping on Nafta and Iraq. She is proud to be a fighter, and that is fine, but it also means she is divisive and polarizing and we have been down that road already and look what it has gotten us. We need change.

No, a joint ticket would not be good. She brings only baggage to an Obama ticket. Edwards, Bloomberg, Warner...etc, anyone would be better.

Mar. 05 2008 10:41 AM
Leslie Gifford from NJ

The best thing about a combined ticket could be 16 years of Democrats in the White House!!! Hillary as President and Barak as VP in 2008 and 2012 and Barak as President in 2016 and 2020.

Mar. 05 2008 10:40 AM
Cheryl from New London

CNN is calling Texas and Ohio for Hillary. Why is Brian ignoring this?

Mar. 05 2008 10:40 AM
Mr Judgment from NY


... finally, just imagine if Obama went negative.

... just imagine.

Mar. 05 2008 10:38 AM
Bill from New York

Obillary!

Three for the price of two!

Hillary needs to cut the negativity and take advantage of Obama's momentum by adding him to the ticket. No other running mate could assure voters that Bill wouldn't have undue influence behind the scenes anyway.

Mar. 05 2008 10:38 AM
Leslie Medley from hudson, ny

In the primaries Obama lost, he lost by a small margin - it's safe to assume he can win those big states in a general election when he's the candidate. Senator Clinton, on the other hand, lost by some very large margins in the states Obama won - more reason to worry about her ability to win those states. There's a lot more anti-Clinton sentiment due to her war vote and long history in Washington which puts at risk her ability to win in those states. Obama is ahead in delegates and wide appeal.

Mar. 05 2008 10:37 AM
Deepak from New Jersey

I am a loyal democrat and am a Clinton supporter and would vote for McCain in a McCain-Obama election. I like Obama but I have always felt that he is not ready for the top job. It would be best for all if we have a joint ticket with Clinton as VP for the first term. Clinton should commit to be a one-term president and let Obama run after four years and maybe he can be a two-term president. Four years as VP will give Obama the maturity and experience that he needs.

Mar. 05 2008 10:36 AM
Joe Corrao from Brooklyn

a shift?...f you...same old same old...people we let the main stream media tell us who to vote for...no talk about the issues and the problems...

Mar. 05 2008 10:36 AM
Mr Judgment from NY

C'mon. HRC is writing the ads for the GOP.

Every one of her ads could be run by McCain against her.

Mar. 05 2008 10:35 AM
beth from brooklyn

This line about "inexperience" coming from Hilary is ironic. Her husband back in 1992 was the governer of Arkansas - a frankly minor state and had virtually NO FOREIGN POLICY EXPERIENCE. Had a slogan along the lines of the "man from Hope". If that's not rhetoric, I don't know what is. And in that case, inexperience WORKED. If it wasn't for the same kind of response to charisma that Obama is gathering around him now, she would never have been "understudying" the white house to begin with.
Also - Clinton needs Obama on the bottom half of the ticket to win - or she at least needs to offer him the #2 spot if that's how it ends up. If not she runs the risk of alienating a huge mass of first time and not necessarily party faithful democrats who may just stay home on election day if Obama isn't on the ticket. The old school democrats who support Clinton would never do that - they would rather vote or die.

Mar. 05 2008 10:35 AM
Benjamin from Manhattan

Mari Cocco poses the question: what would Obama do about the dispirted Michigan and Flordia Democrats if their delegates are not seated at the convention? The answer is that Obama will mobilize these voters the same way he has in every other state: from the bottom up. Cocco seems to assume the because party elites will be upset about not being seated, now Democrats will come out in this state. But Obama would bypass elite support and go straight to the voters as he has in so many states.

As for the argument that Clinton has the better moral argument about seating the delegates because that's the only way to let "the people's voices be heard": the "people" in any election--primary, general--are constituted by an agreed upon set of rules. Letting the "people's" voice be heard in an American general election does not include listening to the voices of the people of Canada because we have rules that exclude them from voting. Likewise, this year's Democratic primary has rules against listening to the voices (i.e., counting the delegates) of MI and FL. The rules might be ridiculous--the rules for American general elections are--but the solution is to change them in advance rather than to complain about them after the fact. There are poor rules in many areas of the law. But it's better to abide by silly rules--and I do think the caucus/primary system is governed by poor rules--than to have lawlessness.

Mar. 05 2008 10:35 AM
hjs from 11211

it is very relevant if you can't get the democratic base to support you in the primary you will have trouble winning a swing state in the fall.

Mar. 05 2008 10:33 AM
Debra from NYC

By the way, the main point is:

EVERY state starts out with Clinton WAY ahead in polls, since she has 100% name recognition from being married to the former president, and in EVERY state, as soon as the campaign starts and people start to get to know Obama, he either pulls close to her or wins, often by a landslide. How is that not a win for Obama in every state?

Almost everyone I speak with that supports Clinton or is undecided states their reason as that they know Clinton from her husband's presidency, and if they liked him she must be ok, too. They don't really know much about Obama. Most people that know both prefer Obama. This Clinton support is a reflection on the laziness and ignorance of the electorate, not the quality of Sen. Clinton.

Mar. 05 2008 10:33 AM
Jeanette Winter from NYC

The "controversy" over a white actor portraying
Barack Obama on SNL is a non-issue.
Mr. Obama's mother was white.
Is she to be discounted?

Mar. 05 2008 10:33 AM
Paula

I agree that FL and Michigan dems might feel disenfranchised, but that doesn't mean we change the rules in the middle of the game. Perhaps we could hold another primary in those two places?

Mar. 05 2008 10:32 AM
J.C. from Minneapolis

Dare I compare the Obama camp's absurd and hubristic insistence that Hillary drop out for the sake of unity (re: comments such as #9) to the tactic that the Republicans have used under Bush to demand that Democrats vote for war and restrictions on civil liberties for the sake "unity"? Yes, I do.

It was silly when the Republicans did it, and it's silly when Obama's camp does it. There's nothing wrong with legitimate dissent, which is exactly what a vote for Hillary is--a legitimate opinion that no proud Democrat should be ashamed of. Obama is nowhere the electable rock star that he thinks himself to be. There are serious doubts out there about Obama's fitness for office. I, personally, would rather have them aired right now in March instead of listening to McCain hit Obama hard in October (which won't happen because I think people are realizing that Hillary is more electable one).

Mar. 05 2008 10:31 AM
burtnor from upper west side

I don't understand why Clinton winning large, traditionally Democratic states is an argument for her strength. Those are states any Democrat will win in November. Does anyone imagine that NY, MA, or CA will vote Republican if Obama is the candidate? Perhaps Dems won't win Idaho, but he will attract a lot of independents and even Republicans in those red states, as well as the blue ones, and pump up the popular vote. He is the one who expands the Democratic appeal.

Mar. 05 2008 10:31 AM
jeff

Maria Coco's fallacy is that just because Obama didn't carry NY or Cal in the primary that Democrats there would not for him in the general election ag. McCain. Not to consider those electoral college votes in her calculation is simply misguided.

Mar. 05 2008 10:30 AM
Richard Cohen from Stamford, CT

I haven't heard anyone discuss the idea that if Hillary is the nominee there is nothing more that can unite the Republican Party. There are people who will get off their death beds to vote against a "Clinton" and make it more difficult for her to win. Also, another way of looking at this is that whoever is the nominee only has to win all the states the Kerry did plus either Ohio or Florida and they win the electoral college vote. That seem easier for Obama than for Hillary if my concern is justified.

Mar. 05 2008 10:29 AM
Josh Neufeld from Brooklyn

Marie Coco is shrill and forceful, but she is not smart. Her rant about how Obama is weak in the "blue" states because Clinton won most of them in the primaries is comparing apples to oranges. Once the nominee is selected, the Dems will unify and, regardless of whether it's Clinton or Obama, it'll come down to the usual swing states of Ohio, Florida, et al. in the general election. (But I agree that Florida & Michigan need to reschedule their primaries, to give those voters their fair chance to decide between the two.)

Mar. 05 2008 10:29 AM
Chris O from New York

HJS - there is no evidence that Clinton will do better in the swing states in November. The candidates' performace in the primaries is irrelevant to that discussion. Because even if Clinton won Ohio by 10 points, there is every reason to believe the vast majority of her supporters would support Obama. And there is evidence that he is much more appealing of a candidate to independents and swing voters than she is.

Now I don't know what would happen, but her winning Ohio last night is IRRELEVANT to November's election. If you can't understand that, never mind.

Mar. 05 2008 10:27 AM
steve from ny

Marie Cocc's argument is the most ridiculous fallacious argument I have ever heard. That Democrat Obama came in second to Democrat Clinton in a Democractic (or even open) primary, has absolutely nothing to do with who runs stronger in a state in the general against McCain. Stupid fallactious non-logic. Why is she not called on this? Obama wins CA & NY (& for that matter RI) regardless. Clinton wins CT regardless. C'mon.

Mar. 05 2008 10:26 AM
CH from Staten Island

Having just returned yesterday from Europe, I can offer this observation from watching European news coverage of the US 2008 campaign. According to US pundits, the "Red Phone" ad won Texas for Hillary. In Europe, the response to the ad is somewhat different. They say that it isn't the person whom we (the US) want to answer that 3 AM crisis call that we should elect, but rather the one with the will and the skill to prevent the call in the first place. They do not have confidence that Clinton or McCain would or even could diffuse a dangerous situation as Commander in Chief without resorting to military force early in the game.

Europe respects Sen. Obama but see Sen. Clinton as something less than authentic. They see her as obstinate and unwilling to discuss differences with those who are not as friendly as we would like, and as someone who speaks in amorphous phrases that never mean exactly what is implied. I wish more Americans thought as clearly as our European friends.

Mar. 05 2008 10:24 AM
Debra from NYC

Why does no one realize that all those people in "big" states that vote for Clinton in the primaries will vote for Obama in the general? So what difference does it make which states she wins in losing the Democratic popular vote and delegates? They are Democrats and are pouring into the polls.

I am disgusted with the Clinton's smarmy tactics. Can she not win simply be talking about her monumental "experience?" By the way, could she please bother to outline for us what exactly this experience is?

Michigan and Florida? What about the disenfranchisement of all the people who did NOT vote because they were told it didn't count?

If Clinton didn't have her husband, her tears, and her complaining about the media being mean (they have not questioned a single dubious claim she has made, and are on the experience bandwagon), she would be nowhere.

It is unbelievable that we are even still discussing this.

Mar. 05 2008 10:24 AM
Chris O from New York

Cocco is a Clintonista I guess.

Mar. 05 2008 10:24 AM
Josh from West Village

Marie the specious argument that it's important for a Democratic candidate to win primaries in swing states like Ohio. But a victory in the primaries is just that: a win among Democratic voters who will likely vote for whomever ultimately wins the nomination. What's needed to win in November is support among independents (and even registered Republicans), and that's where polls have shown Barack Obama to have a clear advantage over Hillary Clinton. In 2004, John Kerry won the primaries in Ohio and other battlegrounds like Florida – and he lost most of them in the general election.

Mar. 05 2008 10:23 AM
hjs from 11211

i was talking about swing states

blue-blue state will support the dem nominee

Mar. 05 2008 10:22 AM
Jean Bond from Upper Manhattan


If they double up on the ticket, Clinton should be number one, Obama number -- on the basis of age. Obama is young and could succeed Clinton in another run for the presidency.

Mar. 05 2008 10:22 AM
John from Brooklyn

Obama has a "miniscule" delegate lead? Are you serious??!!!

He has a +145 pledged delegate lead right now!

Mar. 05 2008 10:22 AM
Benjamin from Manhattan

Mari Cocco's method of calculating Obama's prospects in the Electoral College in the general election is ridiculous. Of course he won't win Idaho, Wyoming, etc. But he will win New York, California and other states that Hillary has won in the primaries. The primary wins are irrelevant for general election predictions. More useful would be looking at what Dems won in 2004 and 2000--Hillary AND Obama are likely to win those states.

Mar. 05 2008 10:21 AM
Eric from B'klyn

All this she wins the big states, electoral calculus presupposes that Democrats will NOT coalesce behind the eventual nominee whoever that may be.

Mar. 05 2008 10:21 AM
Greg from Brooklyn

A lot of media outlets seem to be saying that this is a momentum swing in favor of Clinton. But how is this a positive sign for her when she won Ohio by less than half of the 20% lead she had just a couple of weeks ago and she seems to have lost the delegate race in Texas?

Mar. 05 2008 10:20 AM
alm from new york

what your guest fails to acknowledge in her "electoral college math" is that obama -- as a democrat -- will likely win states like california, new york, new jersey. his ability to show well in "red states" should only boost his claim for being able to establish a broad base of support.

Mar. 05 2008 10:20 AM
BORED

The Democrats have blown it big time. A 72 year old gasbag is going to win. Vote for Ralph Nader in 08 shake up the world.

Mar. 05 2008 10:19 AM
antonio from gotham slope

Marie is basing her absurd theory if the BLUE states obama lost like ny, nj, california would not vote blue in the general?

Mar. 05 2008 10:19 AM
Tom from Williamsburg

What about the fact that the democratic primary voters have outnumbered the republicans in every single state by 200-300-400%?

Mar. 05 2008 10:19 AM
Zak Rouse from Brooklyn, NY

HJS: I disagree whole-heartedly. Do you think the traditionally democratic states WON'T go for Obama in the fall? If he were the nominee he would, of course, carry New York and California and Connecticut. The issue in his FAVOR is that he MIGHT carry Kansas, he MIGHT carry South Carolina, he MIGHT carry states that Hillary has no chance in.

Mar. 05 2008 10:18 AM
Chris O from New York

It is very silly to look at the states Clinton won and Obama won and then try to act like that has any impact on their relative success in the general election. It is the most fallacious, the most transparently illogical argument ever. It is like comparing apples and autos.

Clinton won New York and New Jersey but Obama would also win these states. Obama won Illinois and Vermont and Connecticut, but Clinton would easily carry these states. Why does anyone equate their victories in these states with victory in November?!

Mar. 05 2008 10:18 AM
gabby from new york

I disagree with Marie Cocco. If Obama is the democratic nominee, the democrats are going to unite behind him. For example, he didn't win CA or NY, but there isn't a snow ball chance in hell that the republicans are going to win those states. So Brian is right, how Clinton and Obama compare does not translate to the general election.

Mar. 05 2008 10:18 AM
John from Brooklyn

The fact that Hillary has won Democratic base states? Big deal!

The Democratic nominee is going to win those dark blue states ANYway.

Mar. 05 2008 10:18 AM
Alan Miller

Marie Cocco is cuckoo -- just as the democrats will not win Idaho, they will not lose New York. Obama can certainly win Ohio (simply by hanging NAFTA around John McCain's shoulders), and a whole host of other swing states.

Mar. 05 2008 10:17 AM
Chris from Brooklyn

Cocco,

Are you suggesting Obama couldn't win California? New York? He may not win OH, but he could win Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, etc. All red states in 2004, but that have been trending blue.

Mar. 05 2008 10:17 AM
Anne

It seems like your guest ignored your question (which is mine as well). If Obama is the nominee, is she saying he wouldn't pick up votes that Clinton got in places like Ohio, NY, NJ, etc? A lot of people like both and will vote for the democrat on the ticket. To assume because he lost to Clinton in a state does not mean he wouldn't win against McCain.

Mar. 05 2008 10:17 AM
rp from manhattan

The process is ridiculous -- the caucuses (in which Obama got that first momentum that made him seem such a serious candidate) are so patently undemocratic. They are self-selecting, exclusionary, subject to pressure tactics. And the delegate allocating process for many of the primaries is just as undemocratic, weighting one person's vote more than some others. So what's wrong with adding the voice of the superdelegates? They have to make a judgement about the electoral votes, etc.

When allocated delegates are determined by a secret ballot, one person, one vote then the whole superdelegate factor should go awa.

Mar. 05 2008 10:16 AM
hjs from 11211

Obama proves once again he can't win battle ground states. his support is mostly in the Midwest & south. that won't help win elector votes in the fall. superdelegates should vote for Clinton, she has the best chance to win in the fall. she wins swing states, she wins blue states.

Mar. 05 2008 10:14 AM
Chris O from New York

There has been a lot of talk about how the Democrats are very happy with their candidates and Republicans are (were) disillusioned. What I see is Obama getting out front, and the public saying, Whooaa - hold up and giving Clinton victories. Then there seems to be doubts about Clinton and Obama pulls ahead. Then the brakes are applied against Obama and Clinton gains.

Is it possible this shows a buyer's remorse about both candidates and thus an uncertainty about them contrary to popular portrayal? I think if Al Gore was the nominee, Democrats would be extremely happy (other than campaign activists). But I am not a Dem and I would be happy with Gore so I may be projecting.

Mar. 05 2008 10:13 AM
Lorenzo from NY NJ

The nightmare scenario is unfolding: Clinton is going to fight tooth and nail leaving a bitterly divided party behind her, the more this self destructive primary keeps going on the less likely it' ll be for the supporters of the loosing candidate to coalesce and unite around the winner.
More democrats are demoralized by her recent tactics adding to her high negatives.
I can't believe what I am seeing, there's only one way of blowing it for the democrats and this path leads right into it. If we agree that the superdelegates should vote with the MAJORITY of voters, then there is no way that Hillary can make it. She should have stepped aside the day before yesterday.. now she is talking about a joint ticket, the damage is done.

Mar. 05 2008 10:09 AM
Niles from Manhattan

All of this endless talk about Clinton's experience. What is all of this "experience" everyone cites when supporting Clinton? Is it really so much more than Obama? Should we have considered electing Jackie Kennedy in the past? How about Nancy Reagan? And how about all of the "experienced" elected officials who have done horrible things? Experience only goes so far, and even then, Clinton doesn't have much.

Mar. 05 2008 10:06 AM
Benjamin from Manhattan

Brian,

I'm a little annoyed that in your intro to today's show you mentioned the possibility of no clear leader in delegates. But it's almost impossible that Hillary will have a lead in delegates--she'd have to wins something like 60% in each of the remaining contests. Obama's lead might not be huge but it is "clear"--as clear as a difference of a hundred.

Mar. 05 2008 10:05 AM
BORED

Watching this gives me the same feeling I have watching american Idol( pick a sesaon). After all the hype; this is the best America has to offer. Its just sad.

Mar. 05 2008 10:03 AM
Chris from Brooklyn

There are now reported hints from the Clinton campaign of a willingness to share the ticket. Please comment. Despite the collegial banter at debates and on talk shows, there really seems to be a genuine dislike for each other. This ticket would make Kennedy and Johnson look like BFFs by comparison. Do you think such a ticket could even be possible? Yet might such a "dream ticket" be the only hope now for Democratic unity come the generals? And, finally, who's at the top of the ticket?

Mar. 05 2008 09:46 AM
michael winslow from INWOOD

Is it possible Clinton will win the popular and not win the delegates?

If so what does that say about the whole process.

Not to mention all the people a month or so ago who were crying about Obama winning the popular vote and not the delegates. They're not crying now. :)

Mar. 05 2008 09:26 AM
Gaines Hubbell from Knoxville, TN

After disavowing responsibility for her decision to stay in the race, Clinton's campaign strategist is will be the most sought after Democratic strategist two years from now. Super Tuesday, yesterday, both were high population primaries - Clinton won both. Obama's team has failed to appeal to the wide swath of voters in a few days; he has spoken his mind and threaded a narrow course through most of the "gotcha" questions for the entire race. This is persuasively successful in the long term especially to people who have been watching him the entire time - it does not persuade people who haven't been watching to vote for him.
Clinton's strategy in the last 72 or 84 hours has been brilliant.
Joe Lunchpail works hard all day six days a week to be a lower-middle class blue collar worker. [S]He does not get to watch all twenty debates, only the soundbites. Joe Lunchpail comes home after working saturday and sees Clinton on SNL, sees Obama on CNN; listens to Sunday and Monday morning news and hears Obama's unclear on NAFTA, hears Clinton never liked it; Joe comes home from work late Monday, the night before the primary, and watches Clinton on the Daily Show - Obama is no where. Clever campaigning and press manipulation by Clinton and her camp brought them last night's victory and they deserved it for such a sound strategy.

Mar. 05 2008 09:10 AM
hjs from 11211

how likely is it that michigan and florida will have a 2nd primary?

Mar. 05 2008 09:08 AM
eva from spiritually? Newark

Page, Cocco and Bai:
What's the possibility that this possibly temporary setback is healthy for Obama and his supporters (of which I am one?)
For the past few weeks, it looked like Obama might have been suffering from overconfidence, and I wasn't too excited about his insistence yesterday on the plane that reporters had suddenly bought into Hillary's cant about media bias in his favor.
Since he's still ahead in delegates, maybe this is an excellent time for all of us to reflect. It wouldn't be worth it to have someone so young who hadn't proved himself on the campaign trail without much effort. Now that he's underdog again, or headed there, it might reinvigorate and re-center his campaign.

Mar. 05 2008 03:03 AM

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