There were several points in tonight’s debate in which Hillary Clinton seemed — rhetorically, at least — to be getting near the end of her game campaign-wise. Undoubtedly running out of steam — her campaign initially figured on securing the nomination after February 5 — she had very little going her way tonight. For every time she slammed Bush policies, she used them to back up her own, not to mention her complicity in shaping many failed Bush policies (Obama joined the Senate in January 2005, well after Congress allowed BushCo to open up the trap doors to Quagmire-ville).
I thought she was gonna cry again toward the end as she waxed sentimental in a way reminiscent of her pre-New Hampshire speech. But it was a strong closing in that she sounded warm and almost likeable even as she shifts her speech from saying “I will” to “I would …. as president.”
But in my opinion Clinton shot herself in the foot with the poorly-timed and horribly-received “change you can Xerox” line. CNN and AP immediately seized on this line, with AP calling it an accusation of “political plagiarism.”
In a typical two-faced HRC maneuver, however, she followed the Xerox line by arguing “If you look at the YouTube of these videos, it does raise questions.” (No really, look at the YouTube below….) I actually admired the iconoclastic paradigm presented by Clinton’s careless phrasing and felt a bit of jealousy (of Obama’s gift for rally gab) in her tone.
It’s not officially over until after Texas and Ohio in a couple weeks at the very least. But is she subconsciously conceding the race? Is it, for all intents and purposes, over?
Here’s to Barack Obama. Bring the goods tonight in Austin — the last debate was a veritable tie — let’s see the next president finally out-debate the competition once and for all. I’ll be watching at 5 PST from the office.
Pictured: Poster by Shepard Fairey, north wall of my living room, 8:45 a.m.
Sen. Obama won convincingly in the popular vote in Nebraska, Washington caucuses, Louisiana and Virgin Islands primaries. NYT. His “victory” speech in Virginia below:
Also, Mark Cuban wrote a post yesterday endorsing Michael Bloomberg for president. Nice to see Bloomberg’s name bandied about again, but personally I’m pulling for an Obama-Bloomberg ticket.
UPDATE: Obama had another spectacular caucus showing today to beat Hillary in Maine and also beat Bill Clinton (among others) to win his second Grammy for best spoken word, this time for The Audacity of Hope.
UPDATE: It is still contested whether or not these votes (such as mine, and two of my three colleagues who also voted Democratic on a Nonpartisan ballot) will be disqualified. Obama campaign lawyer Stephen Kaufman defines two issues decline-to-state voters are experiencing today, one statewide and one only in LA County. CA campaign chair Buffy Wicks just sent out an URGENT UPDATE, the Clinton campaign has still said nothing beyond: “False reports about voting problems in LA are being drudged up â€“ Everything is going smoothly in LA.”
Despite all the preparation I did before going down the street to Elysian Park Elementary to vote this morning I missed something HUGE. Perhaps I should have read my literature closer, or at least this blog post:
Thousands of non-partisan voters’ ballots in Democratic Primary could go uncounted if voters fail to follow instructions carefully.
As a registered decline-to-state voter, I was aware that I could choose either a Democratic or American Independent ballot. I had no idea, however, that I would be handed a punch card that said only “non-partisan.” Furthermore, at the top of the card there apparently was an additional and crucial bubble on it, signifying whether the non-partisan was voting for the American Independent candidate or one of the Democratic candidates. City officials are getting the word out to citizens now, but it’s a little to late. This extra bubble is ONLY for DTS voters in Los Angeles County.
This is only one of my concerns. Despite SoS Debra Bowen doing the right thing and recalling all electronic voting machines until they’re proven reliable, the Inkavote machine used to verify and count my ballot was apparently broken! As I went to slip my punch card in, the poll worker told me, “it’s broken, just give it to me and I’ll put it in the box myself later.” What?!? You’ve got 6 months to fix this, Bowen.
OK. That’s my Super Tuesday story for now. I hope you can all make it down to Seven Grand later to watch the returns and celebrate my birthday! Let’s party.