A Message to You Rudy 2

2:44 GMT
A frustrating night due to Florida's unique election style. Incidentally, for the Republicans it's a winner takes all contest but the delegation size was halved because the primary is held earlier than the party's rules allow. For the Democrats, Hillary Clinton is claiming victory and not claiming victory, and she is but she is not including the delegates from Florida in her camp. Under Democratic Party rules, which were broken by Florida's holding the primary on January 29, no delegates are eligible, unless, if Senator Clinton can wing it, for her.

First, they let the media report exit polls when part of the state, in a different time zone is still voting. This is called undue influence and the networks involved should have their boards of directors jailed for five to ten years.

Second, it's very close in places like Orlando.
Lake County: 0% in, Romney +412 votes
Osceola County: 87% in, McCain +21 votes (no, that is not a typo)
Orange County: 91% in, Romney +19 votes (neither is that)
Seminole County: 70% in, Romney +1,337 votes
NET: Romney +1,789 votes OUT OF 120,000 total votes.

That's called a tie! - JAY COST

With all these points in mind, it seems Rudolf Giuliani will do well to finish third. Mike Huckabee, close behind the former New York Mayor, should benefit from support in Florida's "panhandle," the bit in the northwest which has a different timezone and is more neighboring Alabama in the Bible Belt. Unless of course the leaked exit polls persuade people to not bother going to the polls.

And then, from the official Florida Department of State website I find this:

(may not include absentee or provisional ballots)

Here's the rub. If that disclaimer means what I think it means, there could be 150,000 uncounted ballots or more from early voters who used the postal system. These, the New York Times said, should favor Rudy.

There are rumours going around RealClearPolitics to the effect that Giuliani and Romney are preparing to quit.

The joke is that Ron Paul, who is doing quite badly in Florida, could well outlast most of the supposed heavyweights. Remind me why Fox News wouldn't have him on a debate instead of Fred Thompson and Rudy Giuliani?


A bit late, but fascinating comment on Iowa Democratic caucus

I only came across this now. Penelope Trunk, who I read mostly for her advice on careers and managing work, has this on Iowa and the new generation of U.S. voters and activists:
My brother just started school at the University of Iowa, and this was his first caucus. He describes a room totally crammed full of young people: “It was basically all the students caucusing for Obama and the adults dispersing among the other candidates.”

In the end, in his Iowa City precinct, the students sat victorious at the Obama camp with 70% of the votes, while the caucuses for Edwards and Clinton were shouting over to the Kucinich supporters to abandon camp and come to them.

BTW, the image of Clinton and Edwards backers trying to reason with Dennis Kucinich supporters says it all.
Penelope follows this with:

This is a metaphor for the workplace. The young people have, effectively, shifted the balance of power to themselves, and the older people squabble between each other, as if their power structures still matter.

Millennials are fundamentally conservative

The victories of Generation Y will not look like the Boston Tea Party or Kent State. They will look like this Iowa caucus: Gen Y, playing by the rules, and winning.

Now think of Hillary Clinton and read Penelope's punchline:
This is not exactly the Civil Rights movement or grunge music. But Gen Y doesn’t need to rebel because, as I wrote in Time magazine, young people are already in the driver’s seat at the workplace. They can work within the established lines of business to get what they want, but they get it faster than we expect.

The gender divide is an antiquated view of the world

So many times I give a speech and explain to the room why women should not report sexual harassment. Invariably, the room divides. The millennials think the advice makes sense, the baby boomers are outraged.

Her problem is that "Hillary Clinton" is not the answer to a problem the new generation has. If Barack Obama was literally the hired help to stand in the group photo he would also be irrelevant.

Awesome. Read the whole thing.



Not a great day for the Clintons, unless you buy the conspiracy theory that Bill doesn't want to be Hillary's First Lady.

Among the news of the Kennedys backing Barack Obama, I saw this today from Dick Morris.

In 1990, Morris found Bill behind in the polls in a Governorship election:
When he learned of his decline in the polls, he immediately blamed me, accusing me of spending too much time with other clients. Yelling and screaming, he escalated his charges, refusing to listen to me tell him that his latest ad had not been on television yet when the poll was completed. He kept ranting.

Finally, I had enough. I stood up and said I was leaving, quitting the campaign. I grabbed my coat and headed out of the mansion. As I crossed the foyer, I suddenly fell to the ground, tackled by Bill Clinton. I saw his large fist coming at me. Hillary was trying to get between us, yelling “Bill, Bill, stop it. Think about what you are doing. Bill, stop it!”

Bill got up and I walked out the door. Hillary ran after me. She tried to calm me and asked me to walk around the grounds of the Mansion with her. “He only does this to people he loves,” she told me. (I’ll leave that one for the psychologists.)

And ends with this:
Bill’s tantrums are causing the press to focus on him and not Hillary. That’s what he wants. No more questions about her experience, her ethics, her flip-flops. Now it's all about Bill.


A Message to You Rudy

From the New York Times, it may not be over for the Rudolf Giuliani campaign. The former New York Mayor has banked on going for Florida and the 20 or so states that vote on February 5. However, the polls show him in big trouble, having been ahead for months.
It seems that:
There has also been a flood of early ballots from Republican voters, which has, again, already exceeded the turnout in the contests in Iowa, New Hampshire and Nevada. As of Friday night, nearly 400,000 party Republicans had cast early votes, either in person or by mail, party officials reported. By contrast, just under 200,000 Republicans had voted in person or by mail at this point in 2006, when there was a heavily contested Republican primary for governor. There were 3.8 million Republicans qualified to vote on Tuesday.

The point is that neither Mitt Romney nor John McCain were campaigning to get early votes out in Florida: Romney concentrated on winning Wyoming, Nevada and Michigan, trying to win New Hampshire and Iowa unsuccessfully and not really doing much in South Carolina. Meanwhile Senator McCain didn't have any campaign money until his win in New Hampshire, which has now been assisted by his performance in South Carolina and Michigan.
If the Giuliani camp has in fact been quietly pulling in a 150,000 early votes, the polls will be wrong.
Unlike the other contests so far, this is a winner-takes-all job with 57 delegates up for grabs. The Green Papers has a different calculation method than RealClearPolitics, but seems less inclined to leave out Ron Paul. According to the former, the Republican delegate "soft" count, including the sanctions against some states for holding their primaries early, is as follows:
MittRomney: 59 delegates
John McCain: 41
Mike Huckabee: 26
Fred Thompson (withdrawn): 11
Ron Paul: 8
Duncan Hunter (withdrawn): 1
Rudolf Giuliani: 0

So even assuming the Republican party doesn't relent and award Florida the 114 delegates it would normally qualify for, a win for Giuliani by a single vote in a split result puts him second place on the Convention board ahead of McCain and right up with Romney.

Truth is, if Giuliani comes close to the winner, either a virtual three-way tie or a close second, assuming he has the money to contest February 5th, he still has a hope. Not much of one though. A win would turn this contest right round.

For the record, 1,191 (out of 2,380) are needed to get the nomination at the party Convention on September 1st.

"Super Tuesday", February 5th for the Republicans, involves the following contests:
Alabama Primary
Alaska District Conventions
Arizona Primary
Arkansas Primary
California Primary
Colorado Precinct Caucuses
Connecticut Primary
Delaware Party-run Primary
Georgia Primary
Illinois Primary
Massachusetts Primary
Minnesota Precinct Caucuses / non-binding straw poll
Missouri Primary
Montana Caucus
North Dakota Caucus
New Jersey Primary
New York Primary
Oklahoma Primary
Tennessee Primary
Utah Primary
West Virginia State Presidential Convention
This lot will bring 1,081 delegates, with California the biggest chunk with 173 and Delaware the smallest with 18. Some are open to non-party supporters, some are winner-takes-all. Some are both.

Before then, on February 1-3 Maine will be holding its Municipal Caucuses (the state has 21 delegates in total). So by the end of Super Tuesday, a majority of the Republican delegates will have been allocated. Anyone who comes out of that with a couple of hundred delegates or more, in a split field, may well want to stick around if they can afford to. It's more likely though, that the losers will drop out. Normally, we'd say with confidence that the winner in Florida will now win. But this hasn't been a normal campaign so far.

"Vote for me because the racists will..."

...seems to be the latest bizarre message from the Clinton campaign.

The Associated Press is not exactly where I normally go looking for dirt on Democrats, but this sums up the situation nicely:
Clinton campaign strategists denied any intentional effort to stir the racial debate. But they said they believe the fallout has had the effect of branding Obama as "the black candidate," a tag that could hurt him outside the South.
Let's just remember that we are talking about Democrats choosing their candidate for U.S. President.
How can being "the black candidate" hurt someone's chances of winning Democratic party supporters votes?
Let's leave aside the obvious point that one would expect racist bigots, who have "NO N*****s IN THE WHITE HOUSE" car bumper stickers, to come from Alabama (or South Carolina, come to think of it) rather than, say, Colorado, Hawaii or Maine.

Could it be that the party of affirmative action, of civil rights and political correctness likes to have its leaders photographed next to the hired help, but not, you know, actually let the servants run the country? "The poor dears, they try so hard, but they can't help it, you know?"
Until last year I would have found it barely conceivable. But the more "liberals" I have met who talk about their moral superiority because they demand that other people pay taxes to provide public transportation (for blacks), public schooling (for blacks), quotas for universities (for blacks) and corporations (for blacks), the more I see something ugly.
This is not "white guilt." These are white people who have a visceral unease with ethnicity and who project this by blaming "society," or "capitalism," or "a right-wing conspiracy" for racism. They remind me of nothing more than those British Conservative Party members who shouted loudest about the evils of homosexuality, demanding that it be outlawed or "all the boys will turn into perverts," only to turn out to be repressed gay men.
Is this really the Hillary Clinton base constituency? I hope not.
I like the bluff: "Me, a racist? No! no! I voted against having black candidate because I couldn't let him be humiliated by REAL racists."
Senator Barack Obama is not (in my personal view) the beautiful orator that Jesse Jackson was 20 years ago. On form, the Reverend is someone I would gladly buy a ticket to hear give a sermon. That's certainly not true of any candidate this time round for me. Sen Obama is more like a bank manager with the common touch, I like his demeanour and his "winner" outlook, but that's not the same. In fact, without Bill Clinton's attempt to not make race an issue, by making it an issue, it would not have occurred to me to compare the two. Senator Obama has plenty of flaws: some of his policies and the dubious Chicago connections. But if it comes to a "which candidate has the worst criminal connections" I don't see Bill Clinton as offering much constructive help. A list of the crooks he pardoned in his last day of office, and the one whose wife by an AMAZING COINCIDENCE gave a lot of money to his wife's 2000 campaign, will make anything Senator Obama is likely to have done look minor.
I'm not impressed with the Republican line-up so far in this election campaign, but if Hillary Clinton wins her party's nomination by pandering to racism, I don't see how any decent human being could campaign for her in November, against what is likely to be a fairly moderate Republican candidate.
In pure election terms, we now know how black women voted in South Carolina: they're misogynistic witch burners, apparently.

Obama wins again

Ron Gunzburger, who runs the very comprehensivePolitics1 blog, says it all on his Facebook profile status:
Ron Gunzburger
is thrilled that Obama won a LANDSLIDE victory in South Carolina. Congrats to the SC Dems for soundly rejecting the racially divisive Clinton strategy.
Updated about an hour ago
I think we can take it as read that we are not looking at a Clinton/Obama or Obama/Clinton ticket for November given the bile, especially from the Clinton camp.
Bearing in mind just how convoluted each party's primary rules are, and the fact I got it wrong in Nevada[*], I hesitate to make any comparisons between the Democrat and Republican turnouts.
However, with under 60% of precincts reporting, it looks as though Senator Obama could win South Carolina in November, if we assume that the Clinton voters don't go for a Republican rather than the black man. Between them the Dems look like getting almost 500,000 votes, compared with 443,203 votes in the recent Republican primary.

A quick look at turnout suggests Romney is outscoring Hillary Clinton in Nevada too. This is very bad for the Democrats, if repeated in November. Husband Bill Clinton won the state in both 1992 and 1996.