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« Obama Launches Pennsylvania Ad Campaign | Main | Meuser Violates Project Vote Smart Regulations »

March 22, 2008



EXCELLENT analysis. I only wish that Ben Smith wasn't on vacation. This needs to go linked to his blog by Monday!

NAFTA mailers should come out in the next two weeks, and his ground game is going to be BIG in the suburbs. This could help Obama close the gap. Anything under a 55/45 split will be a major bummer for HRC.

Jennifer Markens

Then there is the fact that Senator Clinton has obfuscated about her donor records and financial information. Other Democratic candidates offered this information willingly as an article of good faith to voters.

On top of this, a HUGE lobby firm- BURSON MARSTELLER is working on both sides of this election; Mark Penn is the EMPLOYEE of Charlie Black, who works for McCain. One lobby firm; two cozy campaigns. This firm represents, among many other things, the Saudis, Blackwater, armaments manufacturers (jobs to FRANCE from McCain); the telecommunications industry, and several nations that have been cited for human rights violations. Oh, and lets not forget that big insurance is in the mix. Top this off with Mark Penn's well-known Union busting activities, in the U.S. and globally. Why is a "Democrat" involved with this. We need the lobbyists out of Washington, and out of our political processes.

Then there are the outright lies put forth by the Clinton campaign, assuming that the "dumb vote" that listens to the kind of circuses their campaign has drummed up, including falsifying information about her opponent from Canadian confederates about NAFTA; mischaracterizing her voting record, and lying about her experience.

She has screwed American workers; she is lying about health care; it isn't "universal coverage" its government mandated insurance- and the insurance lobby has funded her campaign while keeping any real health care plan off the table for over a decade, because of her political ambitions.

We need a government of the people; not multiconglomerate corporations who have less and less investment in our nation, and more on world greed.

Barack Obama has been the target of lies and smear campaigns; but he's running a campaign based on organizing the citizens of this country to take back our democracy. It's now or never Patriots.
Vote for Barack Obama and restore our Democracy and our Constitution.


I would dealy love to see the PA media really pick up the full span & breadth of HRC's duplicity on all things NAFTA, starting with the on-going investigation that's happening in Canada as to who's campaign actually contacted them prior to Ohio to reassure them that they were just posturing!
Then it would seem the Clinton Camp suggested the Canadians contact Obama's camp to find out where they really stood on the issue,too. So they contact the near-outsider with zero political savy, Mr. Goolsbee?!?!? I'm not a conspiracy theorist, but something about all that stinks even worse than what we've already found out!

John From Cape.Cod.Ma

Hillary did Not win Texas,
Why do i keep hearing this over and over.
Look at the Delegates she lags behind Obama by 5 Texas delegates.
Losing is no more winning than lying is truth.
Please correct this misconception and other than that..thank you for your article

John Morgan

As for Texas, Hillary won the primary, Obama the caucuses. Of course many more voters participate in primaries than caucuses.

Ben Smith has been very good to this blog linking to us in several articles.

Lee Levan

John from Cape Cod,

You beat me to it. Hillary did not win Texas. Obama won Texas. Hillary won the popular vote (and that's where most reporting stopped). However, Obama, with asistance from my daughter and her family in Killeen, won the state caucuses that same evening. AND Obama, as you said, won more delegates overall(the true measure of winning a state) than did Hillary. So Obama clearly won Texas.

I join in your request for a correction.

John Morgan

Hillary Clinton did win the Texas primary:

John From Cape.Cod.Ma

The Primary yes...but i believe they call it the Texas two add the delegates from the primary to the ones from the caucauses
and you get the total delegates one. I certainly hope your not saying the Caucaus votes and delegates don't count?

She did Not win Texas, other than that the article is fine.
I'm not asking for a retraction or anything, just setting the record straight for any future math adventures :).

Lee Levan

Obama won more elected delegates from Texas than did Clinton (98 to 94).

I trust that we can agree on that fact and also the fact that delegates are the ones who will cast their votes at the Democratic National Convention to choose the party's nominee.

John Morgan

I was referencing only the primaries in the article.

John Morgan

I think you two completely missed my point: Clinton's use of this issue helped her there and now, as it is unraveling, it could cost her Pennsylvania. Sorry you missed the point of the article.


Thanks for the great article! If you aren't already aware of the following 2 articles, I hope that you and readers will check them out, as they are important considerations re: Hillary, (I'll state upfront that I am an Obama, not Clinton supporter).

The first is based on extensively researched (and incredibly under-reported) articles over several years; The Nation, Mother Jones, LA Times, etc.:

From The Nation:
"Hillary's Nasty Pastorate"
Barbara Ehrenreich
[Excerpt of Intro]There's a reason Hillary Clinton has remained relatively silent during the flap over intemperate remarks by Barack Obama's former pastor, Jeremiah Wright. When it comes to unsavory religious affiliations, she's a lot more vulnerable than Obama.
You can find all about it in a widely under-read article in the September 2007 issue of Mother Jones, in which Kathryn Joyce and Jeff Sharlet reported that "through all of her years in Washington, Clinton has been an active participant in conservative Bible study and prayer circles that are part of a secretive Capitol Hill group known as "The "Fellowship," also known as The Family. But it won't be a secret much longer. Jeff Sharlet's shocking exposé The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power will be published in May.
And the 2nd one is an opinion/campaign analysis article by one of "The Young Turks", Cenk Uygur, but something to consider, especially since Hillary really, looking at the math, doesn't have a chance but continues to campaign and receive Party and media support to do so. Some interesting discussion in the comments, as well.

The Huffington Post:
"Is Hillary Positioning for 2012?"
[Excerpt] It almost makes you ask - does she want him to lose?

If Obama wins, then Senator Clinton couldn't run again until at least 2016 (unless something goes terribly wrong). At which point, she would be almost as old as John McCain is now. If she's ever going to become president, she has this narrow window.

On the other hand, if Senator Obama sustains serious political wounds going into the general election and winds up losing, then Hillary Clinton is sitting pretty in 2012.

In four years, John McCain will be 209 years old, and coming off a disastrous first term. We will still be in Iraq and the country will be dying for change. If you thought the voters wanted change now, imagine what the situation will be in 2012. Imagine how starved the electorate will be for a Democrat if McCain just spent four years replicating George W. Bush's policies - as he is adamantly promising to do on the campaign trail.

At that point, Senator Clinton would be able to swoop in and say, "See, you went with Obama last time and he lost, just like I told you. Now, nominate me, and I will take this White House back like we should have four years ago!"


What is also questionable is this lie that Hillary has always worked for the people and working class.
*She was a lobbyists
*She was a corporate lawyer
*She sat on the Board of Walmart- never spoke out for the employees to support union creations
*She supported NAFTA
*She takes special interest and PAC money
*She backed Bush in the war and helped lay a groundwork for us to go to war in Iran--for the POLITICS OF THE MOMENT!
*Take money from Nuclear power PAC groups

WHERE is this support for the "working class"?

*Community organizer, helping employees of a steel mills unionize in Chicago
*Passed up Wall Street and corporate jobs to work as a community organizer
*Civil Rights lawyer
*Does NOT take special interest or PAC money in his presidential campaign
*Sponsored and the TOUGHEST Ethics Reform Bill for politicians to not be able to accept gifts and ride corporate jets from lobbyists and corp.
*Sponsored a bill for a Federal online database to PUBLICLY show Americans where the government is spending their money
*State Senator for 12 years (maybe 10)- therefore, Obama understands how federal legislation DIRECTLY affects the everyday person, unlike the other politicians in D.C. who are COMPLETELY removed from the average Joe's everyday life
*Once elected to U.S. Senate, he chose to LIVE in Chicago when he did not need to be in D.C., which kept him grounded and not submerged in the D.C. culture

Who is more for the working and middle class?????

Joyful Alternative

What's this with the new jobs driving trucks? My cousin was a truck driver. The company went "bankrupt" and then reorganized, offering former employees less pay. He took it. Then the company went "bankrupt" again, some years later, and offered the former employees less pay again. Nice to be making way less money than you were 20 years ago in the same job.

How come it's so easy for corporations to go bankrupt over nothing, and people can't?

John Morgan

"How come it's so easy for corporations to go bankrupt over nothing, and
people can't?"

Because Republicans made it so when they controlled the White House, Senate and House. That is one of the contributing factors in the current mortgage mess however, so it's come back to bite them in the arse. Due to the bankruptcy changes homeowners are more concerned with paying off their credit cards (because these cannot be discharged) than mortgages (which can through foreclosure).

Lee Levan

" I was referencing only the primaries in the article.

Posted by: John Morgan | March 22, 2008 at 07:52 PM"

"I think you two completely missed my point: Clinton's use of this issue helped her there and now, as it is unraveling, it could cost her Pennsylvania. Sorry you missed the point of the article.

Posted by: John Morgan | March 22, 2008 at 07:54 PM"

Didn't miss your point, John. But making one valid point (albeit the primary topic of the article) doesn't negate the existence of an error in reporting facts within that article. Obama won more elected delegates from Texas that did Hillary. I don't believe that you (can) dispute that. However, knowing that and then limiting your reporting to "the primary" portion of the delegate selection process, while leaving out the resuilts of the caucus portion (where Obama beat Hillary in delegates by a larger margin than she beat him in the delegates selected in the primary portion of the selection process) is misleading. John from Cape Cod and I were correcting the record.

John Morgan

And how many Texans participated in the caucus compared with the primary? Anyone who believes the caucuses are a better representation of the popular sentiment is foolish. There's no doubt whatsoever that primary elections are more democratic than caucuses. The fact Clinton won the Texas primary election is very relevant and she did that based on the television commercial and message that she was better prepared to answer the red phone at 3 am. THAT is the point of the article. Again, sorry you missed the point.

Lee Levan

John, there often is more than one point to be made. You made yours in your story and I have neither disputed it nor missed it. John of Cape Cod and I made a different point (i.e., Obama got more pledged delegates from Texas than did Hillary). Our two points do not contradict each other. Are you now arguing that comments should be limited to what you choose to be the sole point? Good luck policing that.


All pols inflate their resumes. Case in point -- view the ad below about Obama's legislative achievements. Then read this story by a reporter who covered Obama in Illinois:

When asked about his legislative record, Obama rattles off several bills he sponsored as an Illinois lawmaker.

He expanded children's health insurance; made the state Earned Income Tax Credit refundable for low-income families; required public bodies to tape closed-door meetings to make government more transparent; and required police to videotape interrogations of homicide suspects.

And the list goes on.

It's a lengthy record filled with core liberal issues. But what's interesting, and almost never discussed, is that he built his entire legislative record in Illinois in a single year.

Republicans controlled the Illinois General Assembly for six years of Obama's seven-year tenure. Each session, Obama backed legislation that went nowhere; bill after bill died in committee. During those six years, Obama, too, would have had difficulty naming any legislative ­achievements.

Then, in 2002, dissatisfaction with President Bush and Republicans on the national and local levels led to a Democratic sweep of nearly every lever of Illinois state government. For the first time in 26 years, Illinois Democrats controlled the governor's office as well as both legislative chambers.

The white, race-baiting, hard-right Republican Illinois Senate Majority Leader James "Pate" Philip was replaced by Emil Jones Jr., a gravel-voiced, dark-skinned African-American known for chain-smoking cigarettes on the Senate floor.

Jones had served in the Illinois Legislature for three decades. He represented a district on the Chicago South Side not far from Obama's. He became Obama's ­kingmaker.

Several months before Obama announced his U.S. Senate bid, Jones called his old friend Cliff Kelley, a former Chicago alderman who now hosts the city's most popular black call-in radio ­program.

I called Kelley last week and he recollected the private conversation as follows:

"He said, 'Cliff, I'm gonna make me a U.S. Senator.'"

"Oh, you are? Who might that be?"

"Barack Obama."

Jones appointed Obama sponsor of virtually every high-profile piece of legislation, angering many rank-and-file state legislators who had more seniority than Obama and had spent years championing the bills.

"I took all the beatings and insults and endured all the racist comments over the years from nasty Republican committee chairmen," State Senator Rickey Hendon, the original sponsor of landmark racial profiling and videotaped confession legislation yanked away by Jones and given to Obama, complained to me at the time. "Barack didn't have to endure any of it, yet, in the end, he got all the credit.

"I don't consider it bill jacking," Hendon told me. "But no one wants to carry the ball 99 yards all the way to the one-yard line, and then give it to the halfback who gets all the credit and the stats in the record book."

During his seventh and final year in the state Senate, Obama's stats soared. He sponsored a whopping 26 bills passed into law — including many he now cites in his presidential campaign when attacked as inexperienced.

It was a stunning achievement that started him on the path of national politics — and he couldn't have done it without Jones.

Before Obama ran for U.S. Senate in 2004, he was virtually unknown even in his own state. Polls showed fewer than 20 percent of Illinois voters had ever heard of Barack Obama.

Jones further helped raise Obama's profile by having him craft legislation addressing the day-to-day tragedies that dominated local news ­headlines.

For instance. Obama sponsored a bill banning the use of the diet supplement ephedra, which killed a Northwestern University football player, and another one preventing the use of pepper spray or pyrotechnics in nightclubs in the wake of the deaths of 21 people during a stampede at a Chicago nightclub. Both stories had received national attention and extensive local coverage.

I spoke to Jones earlier this week and he confirmed his conversation with Kelley, adding that he gave Obama the legislation because he believed in Obama's ability to negotiate with Democrats and Republicans on divisive issues.

So how has Obama repaid Jones?

Last June, to prove his commitment to government transparency, Obama released a comprehensive list of his earmark requests for fiscal year 2008. It comprised more than $300 million in pet projects for Illinois, including tens of millions for Jones's Senate district.

Shortly after Jones became Senate president, I remember asking his view on pork-barrel spending.

I'll never forget what he said:

"Some call it pork; I call it steak."

John Morgan

The fact is, Hillary WON the Texas primary and that is what I was referencing. You missed that repeatedly. I even included a link to the CNN page proving this fact.

This attitude among Obama supporters is turning off very many undecided Democrats.

John Morgan

Yes, almost every candidate inflates their resume. Hillary's is more than simply padding however, she's lying. Big time lying and Obama has caught her. These are two very central issues, as she has made them central issues.


It doesnt matter that Clinton won the primary and Obama won the caucus, its the total delegate count and popular vote that matters and OBAMA LEADS!
Senator Barack Obama spoke out against the Iraqi war in October, 2002, showing courage, integrity and judgment. He warned of the costs of the war. Have we forgotten that we are in a war in which thousands of our young men and women have lost their lives, that tens of thousands of our young men and women now live their lives as paraplegics, crippled, blind, many with their faces burned away, many with their limbs blown away? Have we forgotten the hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqi men, women and children who have died or been permanently disabled like our own brave soldiers? Have we forgotten the cost of the war that has put our country in an economic recession? Hillary Clinton voted to give George Bush authorization to initiate this war why isn’t she being held accountable? Have we just forgotten about her vote?
Hillary Clinton supported the reckless Kyl-Lieberman Iran bill, making a US attack on Iran just that much more possible and confirmed that she learned little from her earlier vote to authorize the Iraq war.
Over 150 nations have signed the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty, our nation has not. But in the autumn of 2006, there was a chance to take a step in the right direction: Senate Amendment No. 4882, an amendment to a Pentagon appropriations bill that would have banned the use of cluster bombs in civilian areas. Senator Obama of Illinois voted IN FAVOR of the ban. Senator Clinton of New York voted AGAINST the ban.
Stop watching Fox news people! Do you really think that Chris Dodd, John Kerry, Governor Richardson and Ted Kennedy would support Senator Obama if any of the smears put out by the Clinton and McCain campaigns were true? These are some of the strongest Democratic leaders in our country. Dont buy into swift boating people! Not this time!!!!
Senator Barack Obama has won 30 contests to Clinton's 14. He has acquired 1,418 delegates to her 1,251. Calling several states that Clinton won, the swing states is just more spin added to an endless string of misinformation and smear attempts against Senator Obama. Clinton's claims to foreign policy experience have been widely disputed by those actually involved in Bosnia and Ireland for example. See video: Choosing our next president is not choosing your favorite sports figure. Examine the legislative records of the candidates. Senator Obama has 12 years of experience in public office to Clinton’s 7. Americans know that we must stop corporate lobbyists in Washington from running our government. Senator Obama does not take money from PACs or Washington lobbyists and will not owe any favors to corporations at the cost of our environment, our economy, or our troops. Clinton’s entire campaign has been funded by corporations. We are the change we have been waiting for and we have the power to elect Senator Obama based on his record of leadership, honor and integrity.


Great Analysis John. I have a very good friend from Philly and she said that once Obama starts campaigning hard in PA do not be surprised if there is an upset given the NAFTA situation. He almost won OH until the Canadian thing happened and then his support collapsed. Given that there is a month before the election, that will be plenty of time for people to keep talking about NAFTA and Hillary's so called experience and by the time the media and Obama's campaign has pushed the NAFTA issue, her support will collapse.

John Morgan

It doesn't seem that Sen. Obama plans on campaigning hard in Pennsylvania. We're three weeks into this and we've hardly seen him. He's hardly done any events where voters can attend and see him and doesn't appear to be making any effort to win.

The attitude I'm getting from their campaign is that they're conceding Pennsylvania. Their campaign model doesn't seem to work in big states. It may be because they blow off the local press, or at least that's part of the inability to do well in these states.

That's a major concern going into November. Major.


I disagree. Look at Texas, he put major effort into Texas and came close. Look, there is a machine working against him in many of these big state primaries. I'm not concerned about the general election as I am sure that the machines will come out for him in full force once the primaries are over.

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