Wednesday, February 20, 2008


Here's my recommendation for all the hard-heads out there who want to figure out for yourself why, barring a miracle, it's Young versus Old in November.

Google "Real Clear Politics." Click on to the "Pledged Delegates" count. And just let your eyes run wild. You'll see today even more clearly what I saw last week, after my beloved "Potomac Primary": the only way for Hillary to win this is to steal it. There just isn't enough pledged delegates left for her to make up the roughly 160 deficit that she now faces.

OK. Mathematically, she can obviously still win. If it were disclosed tomorrow that Obama is the "Manchurian Candidate," sent by the Chinese to mess with the good ol' US of A, Clinton would win all remaining delegates, and she'd defeat Obama in a walk. But I'm not talking theory, I'm talking reality. Consider the states that Obama has left on the calendar: North Carolina (huge African-American population in the primary), Mississippi (dominant African-American population), Wyoming (caucus, if I recall correctly), Oregon (Pacific Northwest? Hillary?), and Vermont (a little touch of the Pacific Northwest ... in the East). I see those as a win, a big win, a win, a win, and a win. And it's not like I see a single slam dunk left on Hillary's schedule.

This "firewall" of Texas and Ohio on March 4th is setting up as a dogfight. She might win them, but how many delegates could they net her -- 10? 20? 30? 50? She'd still be down by triple digits, and then she'd get hammered in Miss and WY.

'Taint happenin' for her absent something truly bizarre.

By the way, speaking of doing the math, Rasmussen came out with a new poll on the Oregon Senate race. The incumbent Republican Gordon Smith remains ahead, but only by 13 percent ... and the Democrat that does the best against him is none other than "the next Paul Wellstone," Steve Novick. Novick's "positives" are a few points higher than his primary opponent, Jeff Merkley, and his "negatives" are a few points lower than Merkley. Plus, Smith beats Merkley by 18%, five points worse than Novick. It seems that Novick has become a bit of a rock star from his amazing advertisements, which are major favorites on You Tube.

The Oregon primary is coming up in May. Hopefully, it will be a non-event on the Presidential side and we can all focus exclusively on Democratic nomination for Senate. I suspect that with Barack at the top of the ticket, whichever Democratic candidate faces Smith will have some pretty serious coattails to ride.


Betty C. said...

My niece is a Young Democrat at the U of O. Just FYI. BC.

YoungMan said...

Danny Boy,

Can't wait to see you doin' the Hora after your 2009 Purim speech celebrating Barack's sit down with Ahmedinejad. You and your fellow Semites will really be goin' off on that.

Hava Nagila Baby! :)

YoungMan said...


Why don't u tell the world that Novick was your fellow regulatory bureaucrat an the DOJ and Harvard Law?

Also, I know you have lived just outside the Beltway, which has has myopically constricted your Weltanauschauung (hows that for philosophical jargon), but at least get rid of the Baltimore Harbor Picture. Perhaps a picture of you standing under the 270 Beltway sign at the Bethesda City Limits would be more appropriate.

How's Diane?

Daniel Spiro said...

Interestingly enough, Betty, Novick went to the U of O. His opponent in the Democratic primary, Jeff Merkley, went to Stanford. Merkley is a few years older than we are. Novick, a few years younger (he graduated from college when we did ... but he was 18 when he graduated!).

Daniel Spiro said...

Youngman --

I will allow you to take shots at me (as I have for more than 30 years), but I don't think I will post any further comments directed to Betty. If you want to communicate directly with her, you should do it on her blog.

Daniel Spiro said...

Youngman --

Diane is doing well. Believe it or not, her son is dating my daughter.

As for Novick, I have posted before that he was my friend in law school. I never worked with him at the DOJ, however. He worked on Superfund cases. I do Medicare fraud cases.

Sorry about the Baltimore picture but it was the nicest one available when I opened up this website. Besides, Baltimore is the biggest city in my home state.

YoungMan said...

Why I oppose Obama

From-The Times of London-Spot On

February 22, 2008

Obama: is America ready for this dangerous leftwinger?

Listen to the rhetoric of Barack Obama ... Gerard Baker

For most ordinary Americans, those not encumbered with an expensive education or infected by prolonged exposure to cosmopolitan heterodoxy, patriotism is a consequence of birth.

Their chests swell with pride every time they hear the national anthem at sporting events. They fill up with understandable emotion whenever they see a report on television about the tragic heroics of some soldier or Marine who gave his life in Iraq or Afghanistan.

Foreigners don't have to like America - and they've certainly exercised that freedom in the past few years. But most Americans can distinguish between the transience of policy failure and the permanence of the national ideal.

And surely even critics of the US could scarcely deny that there have been real causes for American pride in the past 25 years: the fall of the Berlin Wall; the victory in the first Gulf War in 1991; the nation's unity in grief and resolve after September 11. Heck, I suspect most Americans got a small buzz of patriotic pride this week when they heard that one of their multimillion-dollar missiles had shot a dead but dangerous satellite travelling at 17,000 miles per hour out of the sky so that it fell harmlessly to Earth.

But not, apparently, Michelle Obama, wife of the man who is now the putative Democratic candidate for US president, and at this point favourite to succeed to that job. In what might be the most revealing statement made by any political figure so far in this campaign season, Mrs Obama caused a stir this week. She said that the success of her husband Barack's campaign had marked the first time in her adult life that she had felt pride in her country.

This, even by the astonishingly self-absorbed standards of politicians and their families, is a remarkably narrow view of what makes a country great. And though she later half-heartedly tried to retract the remark it was a statement pregnant with meaning for the presidential election campaign.

Now, to be fair to Mrs Obama, she would surely have a point if she had said that it was a source of incomparable pride to her and all African-Americans that in a country with a long and baleful history of racial discrimination, one of their own was within serious range of becoming president. All but the most irredeemably racist Americans would surely agree with that.

But that was not what she said. She said this was the only time in her adult life that she had felt pride in America.

It was instructive for two reasons. First, it reinforced the growing sense of unease that even some Obama supporters have felt about the increasingly messianic nature of the candidate's campaign. There's always been a Second Coming quality about Mr Obama's rhetoric. The claim that his electoral successes in places like Nebraska and Wisconsin might transcend all that America has achieved in its history can only add to that worry.

Secondly, and more importantly, I suspect it reveals much about what the Obama family really thinks about the kind of nation that America is. Mrs Obama is surely not alone in thinking not very much about what America has been or done in the past quarter century or more. In fact, it is a trope of the left wing of the Democratic party that America has been a pretty wretched sort of place.

There is a caste of left-wing Americans who wish essentially and in all honesty that their country was much more like France. They wish it had much higher levels of taxation and government intervention, that it had much higher levels of welfare, that it did not have such a “militaristic” approach to foreign policy. Above all, that its national goals were dictated, not by the dreadful halfwits who inhabit godforsaken places like Kansas and Mississippi, but by the counsels of the United Nations.

Though Mr Obama has done a good job, as all recent serious Democrats have done, of emphasising his belief in American virtues, his record and his programme suggest he is firmly in line with this wing of his party.

This, I think, not his inexperience in public office, is the principal threat to Mr Obama's campaign. His increasingly desperate opponent, Hillary Clinton, keeps hammering away that his message is all talk and no substance - and she was joined this week by Mr Obama's likely Republican opponent in the November general election, John McCain.

But if you listen to Mr Obama's speeches, it is not the lack of substance but the quality of it that ought to worry Americans. His victory speech after his latest primary win in Wisconsin this week was a case in point.

There was no shortage of proposals. He plans large increases in government spending on health and education. He wants to tax the rich more to pay for it. He is against companies using the opportunities of free markets to restructure their operations in the US. He is vehemently protectionist. He continues to insist, despite the growing evidence that this left-wing nostrum would be lunacy, that the US must pull its troops out of Iraq with the utmost dispatch.

While he speaks of the need for Americans to move beyond partisanship (“We are not blue states or red states, but the United States” is a campaign meme), when you cut through the verbiage there is nothing to suggest he believes anything that is seriously at odds with the far Left of his party. If you think about it for a second, it's not really an accident that he has been endorsed by the likes of Ted Kennedy and Jesse Jackson.

Though he talks with great eloquence about the future, he sounds for all the world like one of the long line of Democrats from George McGovern to Walter Mondale to Michael Dukakis, who became history by espousing policies and striking a rhetorical pose that was well out of the mainstream of American politics.

America is certainly moving left in the post-George Bush era. The long period of conservative ascendancy is clearly over, buried by a Republican Party of recent years that has preached intolerance and practised incompetence. That a new era in American politics is beginning is not in doubt. But are Americans really ready to leap all the way across in one go to embrace a European-style Left?

Dan my man. You are in the vanguard of that caste and always have been and will never change. Barack is nothing new, just more slickly packaged than Hillary.

You have friends in France. Seems like you'd be happier there France...enjoy,....

Daniel Spiro said...

Actually, Youngman, not only do I have friends in France, but I love France. The people I've met from there can be overly rude (though you can certainly relate to that, right, big guy?), but the cultural attractions of that country are off-the-charts amazing. I could spend weeks in the Paris museums and never get bored.

Anonymous said...

Hmmm... Paris museums... I thought that quite a few objects in them were looted from the countries the French have colonized ... I also seem to remember that they were not too enlightened in their occupation of Algeria... And their current leader appears to be a narcissistic jerk...

However, to be critical of America does not make one a traitor. In fact, in the past 8 years being critical was being sane! It could be nice, however, to see Dan being able to see Obama critically also. Uncritical idealization of Obama by his fans, the so called Oba-mania, makes me uncomfortable. Infatuations are just so adolescent...

On the other hand, I do think that Obama, not the football watching beer-drinking tail-gaters, represents the best of America. A young, multiracial, highly educated, intellectual, thoughtful - if America can embrace those qualities, I think it will do OK.

Daniel Spiro said...

Anonymous, I'll have plenty of opportunities to criticize him once he becomes President. Nobody can do that job perfectly. And long ago on this blog, I suggested that Barack not even run because he could use a little seasoning first. In other words, I do expect to see some growing pains when he first takes office.

Plus, anyone -- especially a guy like me who carries $2 bills with him all the time -- could easily criticize Michelle O's comment about not being proud to be an American.

But look, we're dealing with human beings. As one of my friends pointed out, if I ever tried to run for office, as outspoken as I am, I'd probably be in jail by now. As for Barack, he might not be perfect, but he's the most talented progressive politician that this country has produced since Robert Kennedy. That entitles him to one hell of honeymoon, as far as I'm concerned.