Tuesday, January 08, 2008

A Bunch of Political Stuff

The New Hampshire primary is today. Voters in the small New Hampshire town of Dixville Notch cast their votes just after midnight this morning and it's looking like so goes Dixville Notch so goes New Hampshire. McCain won for the Republicans (he got 4 votes) and Obama for the Democrats (he got 7). The story's here. ("West Wing" viewers may remember an episode in which Dixville Notch featured prominently -- in that episode, Pres. Bartlet's campaign lobbies vigorously to get one person in Dixville Notch to cast a second vote for the President.) Not to imbue this tiny election with too much significance, but the polling in the entire state is reflected by the Dixville result. I'm not expecting any surprises tonight and neither, it seems, are the candidates. Romney and Clinton are both playing up coming in second tonight.

Also related to New Hampshire and the Presidential campaign are these videos that are directed to certain readers of the blog.

1.) This one's for Heath. These are Ron Paul supporters heckling Sean Hannity in New Hampshire. There's plenty to despise about Sean Hannity, but it isn't Hannity's fascist heart or his off-putting cube-like head that's putting these folks into a rage. It's the fact that Fox News excluded Ron Paul from the New Hampshire debate despite the fact Ron Paul outraised most of them, and beat Giuliani outright in Iowa. Incidentally, Giuliani was not excluded. The funny part of this clip is how the atmosphere is decidedly Pakistan until Hannity escapes into his hotel lobby. The shouting dies down immediately and a silence grows and then the supporters applaud for themselves. It made me laugh.

2.) This one's for Mom. This is Bill Clinton railing persuasively against Obama. He mentions a couple of mailers he alleges Obama's team put out that were intentionally ignored by the press. The first of the mailers sounded crazy and bad, and the second seemed to allege that Clinton was a crook. I hadn't heard anything about these things, but if true, I would have liked to have heard about it. My guess is that the press ignored them because they couldn't tie the senders of the mailers directly to the Obama campaign. I don't know. Clinton also goes after the foundation of Obama's argument regarding his judgment: his opposition to the Iraq War from the very beginning. Bill's argument isn't a bad one, but he blames the media for not asking Obama questions about other statement he made, like "I don't know how I would have voted," when speaking about the vote on the resolution authorizing the use of force in Iraq that's got Hillary in so much trouble over the months.

One other thing about this video: I was a little put off by how Clinton treats the questioner. The guy is asking a polite question in a civil tone about Clinton's thoughts regarding Obama's claims about "judgment" as well as a misstep by Mark Penn, Hillary's lead campaign strategist. Though Bill is equally civil, he also makes it apparent that he views the questioner as an opponent who's taking "shot[s]" at the Clinton campaign. I felt like the audience member was asking, in part, to show he was keeping up with the inside story, not because he was a partisan for one candidate or another. Clinton, however, seemed to view him as a covert agent for Obama. See what you think.

3.) This one's for curmudegeonly Speck as he's unimpressed by any of the current candidates. Independent New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg and some independent pals like Chuck Hagel are leaving the door open for an independent run. This does seem weird to me that they're still talking about this. Obama and McCain are surging and they're both well-liked by independents. I don't see how Bloomberg or Hagel can change the dynamic in their favor.

In non-campaign news, the New York Times recently hired possibly my least-favorite conservative pundit, Bill Kristol, to be a regular columnist. The guy from the Project for the New American Century who helped stamp on the gas pedal to get us into Iraq? Yeah, that guy. Well Talking Points Memo discovered a big error. Kristol attributed a quote to extra-nutty wingnut Michelle Malkin regarding Mike Huckabee. Turns out the actual writer of the quote was none other than second-class intellect and wingnut morality policeman Michael Medved. Leaving aside the mistake for a moment, these are the people Kristol's quoting for his column in the paper of record? In the big picture, this screw-up isn't a huge deal, but anything that diminishes Bill Kristol is worth noting. Why all these warm-mongering neocons weren't run out of town on a rail, I'll never know.

Anyway, I'll be watching the returns tonight and I'll post up a lil' something after the results.


Other Blogs Rule w00t said...

obviously someone plays favorites to their commentators on THIS blog.

Anonymous said...

ummm . . . duh . . . its called knowing your audience