Probably the best short analysis you’ll read comes from West Virginia resident Christy Hardin Smith of Firedoglake. Someone in the comments at FDL asked Christy why she thought Hillary did so well and this was her reply:
Because she campaigned her ass off here, and Bill Clinton was really loved here a lot. She played to the homespun, religious, rural voters with a lot of respect and care in her appearances — genuine respect and care, from everything I saw and heard. And people loved it.
Obama barely campaigned here. It was as if WV didn’t exist until the last minute when he did a stop on Monday in Charleston. He had done two other drop-in speeches that I know of, but no retail politics at all. As in no door-to-door, town hall meeting type voter outreach. And that arms-length style is exactly what kicked Gore and Kerry’s asses here the last two election cycles.
Which, btw, I told several Obama people a while back. Voters here don’t feel like they know Obama at all — they at least got to know Clinton through her first lady years and again through her steady campaigning here for weeks. Plus, she had the bulk of the party leadership here in her corner early on — and they are all very loyal, very hard-working folks in terms of GOTV. Obama came off as uninterested in WV — and the vote shows exactly what folks in WV think about that. And I say that as someone who cast her vote for Obama today.
That’s pretty spot on.
Obama and his staff have run a brilliant campaign, but their handling of West Virginia wasn’t one of their better moments. Sure, the numbers don’t add up for Hillary, but the narrative for the rest of the week will be how glorious it is that the tenacious Pantsuit Zombie has risen again and that white folks are growing increasingly uncomfortable with Obama (even though Indiana and North Carolina proved it was trending in the opposite direction). I never thought he had a chance in hell of winning there, but they should have tried a little harder to keep her margin of victory down to keep the pundits in check.
My lovely wife Chris just emailed this to me. Last night in the middle of the broadcast of Medium in New York City WNBC did a live “coming up at 11” spot for their nightly news and the anchor Sue Simmons, out of nowhere, let loose with a loud, “What the fuck are you doing?” My wife watches Medium (don’t ask), so I just checked the DVR and sure enough, it’s real. When they came back for the next news promo, Simmons was noticeably absent. Not sure what happened at 11 when the news kicked in. I’ll poke around and let you know.
I guess I should be pushing for an Obama/Galifianakis ticket with all of the Zach stuff I’ve been pushing here, but wanted to pass on this info on to you. I just found out that Galifianakis has a new low-budget movie coming out this summer called Visioneers and it looks like it could be a winner. You can check out the trailer below or click here for a hi-res Quicktime version. They’re also running a contest at the Visioneers’ official site for a trip for two to the Las Vegas premiere if you want to check that out.
Unfortunately, no NYC screenings have been scheduled as of this posting.
After reading panicked comments from Hillary West Virginia phonebankers at various anti-Obama blogs (“they think it’s over!”) and John Cole’s canvassing report below, I think Hillary’s predicted margin of victory in West Virginia (30-40%) is vastly inflated. I’m going to go out on a limb and say she’ll only win by 13%:
Just finished walking my precinct, going door to door doing the GOTV for the Obama campaign, and I have to tell you, I am impressed with the level of organization. I was given a packet that included google maps, lists of supporters names, addresses, and how they are trending (strong supporter, undecided, etc.), literature to hand to people with the address of the precinct polling place and time the polls open, and literature to place on the door knob should they not be home.
I fully expect Hillary to win tomorrow, but I don’t think we are going to see a 40 point or whatever margin. At least I hope not. I can tell you this, however- Barack’s support here may not be as broad as Hillary’s, but it is deep. The people I spoke to were all folks like me- crawl-over-glass voters. They would, to a person, crawl over glass to pull the lever for Obama tomorrow. No one needed to be told when the polls were opening tomorrow, they knew. No one needed to be told where to go, they knew where they had to be tomorrow to vote.
I don’t know if this is simply a result of my lists being highly refined after weeks months of phone-banking, and I don’t know if there is a similar such level of organization or commitment on the Clinton side, but I can tell you that the people I visited were extremely motivated. On several occasions (three, to be exact), people were fielding phone calls from the Obama campaign while I was at the door. Additionally, I have personally received multiple calls from the Obama, yet have not received so much as a mailer from Clinton. As I am a newly registered Democrat with accurate phone and address on my registration, I thought at the very least the Clinton campaign would call or mail something.
MORE: Tonight I’m either going to look like the dumbest person in the blogosphere or the smartest. If I were you, I’d put money on “dumbest.”
I think it’s fairly logical to deduce from this morning’s appearance by John Edwards on Morning Joe that he voted for Obama and will eventually endorse him:
Another interesting quote from Edwards after they played him audio of Hillary’s “white Americans” comment:
I think it’s fine for Hillary to keep making the case for her. I think when that shifts to her contention about everything that’s supposed to be wrong with him—and I don’t agree with some of what she just said, by the way—but I think that then we’re doing damage instead of trying to be helpful.
But maybe the best part was when a visibly irked fill-in co-host Tiki Barber cut to the chase….
Race is going to play a part in this. I think what you were saying Mika, but you kind of walked around it, which I’ll say directly. Do you think that Hillary Clinton believes Barack Obama cannot win the presidency because he’s black?
I don’t know if this is a campaign-ender for Hillary, but it’s starting to look awfully Macaca-like when folks like Barber begin asking questions like that.
Rasmussen Reports will soon end our daily tracking of the Democratic race and focus exclusively on the general election competition between Republican John McCain and Democrat Barack Obama. Barring something totally unforeseen, that is the choice American voters will have before them in November. While we have not firmly decided upon a final day for tracking the Democratic race, it is coming soon.
There is a lot of talk that Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton is now fated to lose the Democratic nomination and should pull out of the race. We believe it is her right to stay in the fight and challenge Senator Barack Obama as long as she has the desire and the means to do so. That is the essence of the democratic process.
But we believe just as strongly that Mrs. Clinton will be making a terrible mistake — for herself, her party and for the nation — if she continues to press her candidacy through negative campaigning with disturbing racial undertones. We believe it would also be a terrible mistake if she launches a fight over the disqualified delegations from Florida and Michigan. [...]
She owes more to millions of Americans who have voted for her (and particularly to New Yorkers, who are entitled to expect that if she loses, she will return to the Senate with her influence and integrity intact). [...]
We endorsed Mrs. Clinton, and we know that she has a major contribution to make. But instead of discussing her strong ideas, Mrs. Clinton claimed in an interview with USA Today that she would be the better nominee because a recent poll showed that “Senator Obama’s support among working, hard-working Americans, white Americans, is weakening again.” She added: “There’s a pattern emerging here.”
Yes, there is a pattern — a familiar and unpleasant one. It is up to Mrs. Clinton to change it if she hopes to have any shot at winning the nomination or preserving her integrity and her influence if she loses.
(Youngsters and/or non-movie enthusiasts look below the fold…)
Now, after this (which isn’t getting the attention it deserves), maybe someone should do a YouTube video with Hillary starring as Veruca Salt:
Michigan Democrats on Wednesday voted to back a plan that would give Clinton 69 delegates—four fewer than the 73 she gained by winning the state’s Jan. 15 primary. Obama would get 59 pledged delegates even though he took his name off the ballot, forcing his supporters to vote for Uncommitted.
Clinton campaign spokesman Isaac Baker said Thursday the campaign won’t support any proposal that gives Clinton fewer delegates than she earned by winning the primary. The New York senator trails Obama in the race for the nomination by about 150 delegates, and is seeking to close the gap with delegates from Florida and Michigan.
“This proposal does not honor the 600,000 votes that were cast in Michigan’s January primary. Those votes must be counted,” Baker said.
Michigan Democratic Party spokeswoman Elizabeth Kerr said Baker’s assertion that the 69-59 split doesn’t take the primary results into account is incorrect.
“This proposal honors the January 15 results and takes into consideration the fact that Barack Obama’s name was not on the ballot,” she said. “We continue to think this a fair resolution to seating the delegates.”
“I have a much broader base to build a winning coalition on,” [Hillary Clinton] said in an interview with USA TODAY. As evidence, Clinton cited an Associated Press article “that found how Sen. Obama’s support among working, hard-working Americans, white Americans, is weakening again, and how whites in both states who had not completed college were supporting me.”
“There’s a pattern emerging here,” she said.
After that comment, here’s one pattern I’d love to see emerging to replace the Clinton campaign:
Seldom in American politics has the same side of a single party split into such distinct and acrimonious factions. As virtually identical as the two candidates are in their political positions, there is no longer any common cause left between Hillary lovers and Obama supporters. There is only a culture war of epic proportions, featuring some of the most unlikely and absurd combatants in the history of impassioned conflict. Ordinary suburban Americans, people who consider Tina Fey biting satire and whose only “fighting” experience has usually been against trans fats or hair loss, can now be seen running through the streets, screaming war calls like Maoist guerrillas in the jungles of Nepal.
And that’s not even the best of it. No one has done a better job of explaining the bug-eyed spit n’ spew anti-Obama lunacy you see on sites like No Quarter and HillaryIs44 than Taibbi does on page two. Just go read it.
RELATED: Taibbi’s new book The Great Derangement is out now. You can learn more about it here and find out if he’s doing a reading in your area (NYC—June 6th—Barnes & Noble Tribeca).
MORE: Regarding Clark as a potential VP choice for Obama, I’m not convinced. I think the economy is and will be a key factor in November (not one of Clark’s strong suits), so I’d rather see him as SecDef. I’m still leaning toward a current or former governor as VP (examples: Richardson, Sebelius or Rendell), but they all have negatives I’m still working through. I “get” why people are pushing Jim Webb, but I think Obama needs someone with a little more political experience. And I’m still fundamentally allergic to a Senator/Senator ticket, so that rules out Hillary and a few others.
BUT, let me reiterate something I’ve proposed here and elsewhere: John Edwards for Secretary of Labor. He could take a lackluster and undervalued cabinet position and, in these tough economic times, turn it into something special. It’s a no-brainer to me. I don’t understand why I’m the only person I’ve seen float the idea…