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Barack Obama has developed a deserved reputation in this campaign as someone willing to tell the truth.  This is evident once again today in the Chicago Tribune's exculpation of him regarding his relationship with Tony Rezko.

Obama's detractors won't grant this.  Because he tries to inspire people with broad themes, instead of merely dwelling on policy specific, accuse him of selling snake-oil.  But downplaying areas of disagreement with an audience, and relying on broad and inspirational language to find areas of commonality, are the tools of any public speaker, politicians especially.  Obama is simply more adept at making those connections and more benign in that he tries to inspire them towards principled, patriotic, and personal activism.

But, he's not entirely above lying.

So far as I can tell, he has told an outright lie exactly once in this campaign.  It was on January 5, in the New Hampshire debate, and it cost him:

You're likable enough, Hillary.

No, she isn't.  That, we have to face, is her most significant problem.

Let me set up the context here.  (I've corrected the transcript based on viewing this clip on YouTube.)

SPRADLING: My question to you is simply this: What can you say to the voters of New Hampshire on this stage tonight who see a resume and like it, but are hesitating on the likability issue, where they seem to like Barack Obama more?

CLINTON: Well, that hurts my feelings.


SPRADLING: I'm sorry, Senator. I'm sorry.


CLINTON: But I'll try to go on.


He's very likable. I agree with that. I don't think I'm that bad.

OBAMA: You're likable enough, Hillary, no doubt about it.

CLINTON: Thank you.  I appreciate that.


Obama's dry offhand comment was evidently made and taken in a light spirit by both Hillary and the laughing (rather than gasping) audience.  Nevertheless, it may have cost him that primary.  It smacked too much of the suave guy cavalierly dismissing the poor brainy girl.  This emotional tableau was soon thereafter buttressed by Hillary's teary-eyed "this is very pesonal to me" moment, binding her to women who feel that they have been passed over by less-qualified men (regardless of color.)  Richard Cohen, in the column linked to above, thought that Obama was being dismissive, supercilious, and mean.

I don't think he was.  I think that this comment was an ill-advised, spur-of-the-moment attempt at gallantry.  Someone compares someone unfavorably to you on a ground that may seem unfair, and you reject the comparison by wryly dismissing the negative comparison.  But it came off badly.  It came off badly in part, I suspect, because Obama knew that it was not true.

That was nice of him to say, but it conceded far too much.

1. Likability

My problem is not with Obama's using the word "likable."  I'm not one who hates Hillary; while I'm angry at some of what she's done in this campaign, I'll vote for her over McCain without thinking twice if lightning strikes and she wins the nomination.  I think that Hillary is likable:  very much so, with some audiences.  Her charm is evident in the clip linked to above, and it is evidently even greater in many one-on-one situations (although so, evidently, is her temper.)

My problem is with the word "enough."

She is not likable enough for the Democratic Party to bet the fate of this nation on the success of her campaign.  She brings with her too much baggage, too much vulnerability to attack (both against her and her husband), too much outright hatred on the part of too much of the electorate.  It is, to a great extent, unfair that she is so disliked by many of the people whose votes we will need this November.

Some dislike of her I would try to expel from my decision-making calculus  After all, some dislike her because she is a woman (and rumored to be a secret lesbian), just as some dislike Obama because he is Black (and rumored to be a secret Muslim.)  Let's assume that those pretty much cancel out, and are themselves counteracted by those for whom these traits are a positive.  For years, Democrats have worried about how we might lose if we ever nominated a woman or a minority for the Presidency; those Democrats have no quarter this year.

Unfortunately, Hillary is also disliked for reasons less easily dismissed.  Her problem is evident in her high negative "thermometer ratings" -- not ratings of job performance, where she and Obama both excel, but of positive or negative feelings towards her personally -- especially among non-Democrats.  These negative ratings aren't applied to all women, nor even all Democratic women, so it's not simply a matter of gender.  The degree to which she is disliked is evident as well in the difficulty she has had attracting honest support from independents and moderate Republicans, discounting the ones in places like Mississippi and Texas who exit polls say supported her without favoring her as a means of creating mischief within the party.

We have to take these emotional responses seriously.  As Dr. Drew Westen argued at the last Yearly Kos conference, relying on his book "The Political Brain," voters make up their minds largely on the basis of emotional appeal.  Hillary's liability -- not among Democrats or Obama-supporters, but among the broad public -- matters.

These high negatives are due in part to the emotional residue of over a decade of vicious Republican attacks on her character and scandals.  They are due in part to the residue of her husband's problems with honesty and her role in defending him.  I can't -- or at least won't -- blame her for those.

But they are also due in part to things under her control.

Her "win-at-any cost" approach to politics -- which leads her to keep her name on the ballot of the Michigan caucus, switch from dismissing the caucuses to arguing that they should count, challenging the longstanding legitimacy of the Texas caucuses, argue for the full representation of Florida delegates chosen in a dead-whistle play, and waver on whether she would try to convince the pledged delegates of her opponent to switch to her -- undermines her likability.  Low-information voters don't necessarily know all of the details that we see here, but -- prompted in part by a political media that understands this well -- they get a general, and in this case accurate, impression.

Her secretiveness -- which allows her to hide her tax records and denounce those who explore her relationships with financiers while at the same time slamming Obama over ties with Rezko -- undermines her likability by making her seem like she has something to hide.

She is also, as President Bush is to a greater degree, a bullshitter.  Professor Harry Franklin has given that term a technical meaning: making assertions (and insinuations) based on what's expedient, without regard to their truth.  When she argues simultaneously that Obama is less qualified than McCain to be Commander-in-Chief and that he is nevertheless qualified to be her Vice-President -- or when makes the above arguments about Florida, Michigan, and Rezko -- the public doesn't believe that she is speaking out of princple so firm that it would apply even if the shoe were on the other foot.  She's just saying what she has to say to get ahead.  It's just business, nothing personal.

Unfortunately, this is simply too obvious for people to miss, and it's a trait they don't like in politicians.  Hillary expects sophisticated listeners to discount her statements appropriately if she ever changes her mind (although she would adopt a stance of great offense if anyone accused her of doing so.)  This is the "politics as usual" that the public rejects in choosing Obama.  This is especially true of the lower-information public that may not know the issues, but can read people's emotions pretty well.  John McCain will be wearing the cloak (frayed though it is) of the earmark-rejecting, straight-talking, finance-reforming honest man.  The public will be very sensitive to arguments about trustworthiness and ethics in a race against McCain.  They will not prefer a bullshitter to someone they think they can trust.

Ask yourself: is there anything Obama has said about Hillary that he would have to change if he had not run this year and was supporting her as the Democratic nominee?  I can't think of a thing.  Now, is there anything Hillary has said about Obama that she would change if she had not run and he were the nominee?  Plenty -- starting with that 3 p.m. "experience" argument.  She expects us to understand that those comments, which she would not make if she weren't still in this race, are what she has elsewhere disparaged as "just words."

I don't think that the November electorate would react well to a candiate who derides statements made during a campaign as "just words."  The public, rightly, demands consistency and honesty.

2. Electability

In focusing on Hillary's likability, I offer an argument about dreaded electability, which many say we can't estimate and is an illegitimate point for discussion because it helps Republicans.  I want to address this head-on.

First, of course we can estimate electability.  We may not be able to do it as well as we'd like, but we can improve substantially on blind guesses.  The whole industries of advertising, marketing, and public relations depend on our ability to make judgments about what people will like, including in situations of competitive attacks, and people get rich doing that.  Choosing Dukakis because of his competence, Kerry because of his military background, Hillary because of her claims of experience, are all ultimately appeals to electability based on trying to predict the public mood.

Second, focusing on electability only helps Republicans if it brings something new to the table.  This can be new information they might otherwise not find, such as Gore's bringing up Willie Horton against Dukakis in 1988.)  It can also be a newly expressed opinion that can be used against the candidate, such as Pastor Wright's comments, for one, or Hillary's preference for McCain as Commander-in-Chief.  The bad thing to do is to give the Republicans a new Willie Horton, or a new ad quoting Hillary favoring McCain.  But if you're talking about things that are already out there in public, that don't involve secrets, then public discussion of electability does no damage.  It is a matter of opinion, with which other people do or don't agree.  In this case, I don't think that the public has to be don't that it doesn't like Hillary as much as it does Obama -- it already knows.  Putting one's finger on the reasons that might be so -- such as her tendency to bullshit, that is to say what benefits her position without regard to its legitimacy -- may help the public undertand why it feels as it does, but the true damage had already been done, and by her.

Likability matters.  Electability matters even more.  We have a flood of information available to us -- tracking polls, exit polls, meters wielded by undecided voters watching debates, and election results themselves -- pointing to the conclusion that the public likes Obama more than it does Hillary.  If I thought Hillary were still clearly the superior candidate, I would still prefer to nominate her, but I would dread the verdict of the electorate because of the prospect that she is not likable enough to win.

Obama offered a kind, conciliatory lie when he granted in that New Hampshire that Hillary's likability is not a critical issue in this election.  Unfortunately, it is.  She has not demonstrated that she is likable enough to have as good a chance of winning a race that we cannot afford to lose.

Originally posted to Doane Spills on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 02:52 PM PDT.


Is Hillary likable enough?

5%17 votes
1%5 votes
2%8 votes
4%14 votes
6%21 votes
1%4 votes
18%55 votes
34%106 votes
22%69 votes
1%5 votes

| 304 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  I have to be honest about this: (19+ / 0-)

    putting aside concerns about voters rejecting either due to racism or sexism to which I simply won't bend, if voters really liked Obama less than Hillary, enough so that voting for him would cast our ability to win in November in doubt, I would probably have to support Hillary.

    The polls, the returns, etc., though, are about as clear as one could want.  People like Obama more.  People -- outside of her base -- do not like Hillary enough.  To me, that should be enough to determine who should be the nominee.

    We cannot afford to lose this election.  Nominating Hillary makes a loss too likely.

    Before we can repair the Constitution, we must continually remind people that it is broken and that repairing it is our patriotic obligation.

    by Seneca Doane on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 02:55:20 PM PDT

    •  Oh, come on ... (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ratador, Virginia mom, psilocynic, broui, dawnt

      the title drew you in.  Admit it.

      Before we can repair the Constitution, we must continually remind people that it is broken and that repairing it is our patriotic obligation.

      by Seneca Doane on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 02:58:24 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Title drew me in (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        onanyes, Seneca Doane, psilocynic

        And actually, I was thinking of that exact quote ("you're likeable enough") as what the lie could possibly be.   (I'm in a dangerous mood today.)  I did laugh out loud when I saw that's what you were referencing as well.

        •  Now that is some nice diary feeback! (0+ / 0-)

          Thanks.  That makes me think that I am tuned into the Zeitgeist, at least a little.

          The funny thing is, I can't even think of what else he's said that Hillary supporters could plausibly think was a lie.  The only one that comes to mind is his characterization of her health care mandates, which is clearly at worst a difference of opinion.  (He says she will do X; she says she will do X, Y, or Z, not necessarily X; he says Y and Z won't work so she'll end up having to do X.  No lying on either side.)

          Before we can repair the Constitution, we must continually remind people that it is broken and that repairing it is our patriotic obligation.

          by Seneca Doane on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 03:10:40 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  i dont like her (14+ / 0-)

    because she and her campaign are making ridiculous and hypocritical statements constantly. after bush i just dont like that stuff. penn is not the only indicator of who can win the general. obama is not ken starr. there is nothing in the rezco story. obama can answer the phone at three am. he is not a plagiarist. his campaign did not send secret signals to the Canadians.  

    The only limit to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of today. -Franklin Roosevelt, US President 1932-1945

    by Liberal Youth on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 02:56:59 PM PDT

    •  I still like her, although less than I did (0+ / 0-)

      but you're absolutely right -- I think that the public is attuned to those "squirting ink in the water" attacks from her, and with the media firmly against her (as it will be in the general election), it will all blow up in her face.

      I'd love to see partisans on both sides get together and come up with a list of the attacks either candidate has made against the other.  I am confident that Obama's attacks on Hillary would be seen as matters of opinion (e.g., on health care mandates) or otherwise mild.  And her attacks on him would include wild axe-wielding of the sort you list above.

      Clinton supporters I know say that that shows she can be a fighter.  Well, unfortunately, I think that the public really, truly, will not like it from her.

      Before we can repair the Constitution, we must continually remind people that it is broken and that repairing it is our patriotic obligation.

      by Seneca Doane on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 03:01:34 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  i hate the "fighter" idea (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        sagesource, vets74, MizKit

        what does that even mean? is she a boxer or mui tai fighter is she mma style? knife fighter? people love to work with those who stab them with knives or punch them in the face. whatever happened to talk softly and carry a big stick?

        you know who scares me Putin. that dude is cold as ice. who is more of a fighter, putin or sen clinton? it just shows how relative the "fighter" idea is. she is not rocky or rudy and this is not a movie.

        The only limit to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of today. -Franklin Roosevelt, US President 1932-1945

        by Liberal Youth on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 03:10:57 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I do want someone who can go after McCain (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          strongly and defend him-or-herself against the next set of Swift Boat attacks.  It has been my biggest reservation about Obama, but I think he's made real strides in this department -- partly, to be fair, thanks to his having to respond to Hillary's Republican impersonation against him.

          To answer your question, Putin is more of a fighter, but he's ineligible to run for U.S. President and even if he were he'd probably run as a Republican, being former secret police and all that.

          Before we can repair the Constitution, we must continually remind people that it is broken and that repairing it is our patriotic obligation.

          by Seneca Doane on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 03:19:08 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  I don't like her (4+ / 0-)

      because of her choice of pants suits. And the fact that she eats babies.

      Yeah, well, you know, that's just, like, your opinion, man.

      by psilocynic on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 03:03:50 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I think Obama was joking. (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    highacidity, vets74, broui, cachola, MizKit
    •  Or damning by faint praise. (7+ / 0-)

      "Likeable" isn;lt the same as "likeable enough," which comes close to complimenting someone for not making you skin crawl.

      I will vote for whoever or whatever the Democrats nominate -- animal, vegetable or mineral.

      by Finck II on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 02:58:57 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  What was the joke? (0+ / 0-)

      Did he think that she actually wasn't likable?

      I think he was being gracious, a circumstance in which it is socially acceptable -- even considered admirable -- to bullshit.  ("Oh, what a lovely newborn baby!")  But that's not the same as being sarcastic, which is I think what you suggest.

      Before we can repair the Constitution, we must continually remind people that it is broken and that repairing it is our patriotic obligation.

      by Seneca Doane on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 03:03:17 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  white lie (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      When a woman asks you if what she's wearing makes her butt look big, the only correct answer is "no." Everybody knows that. Even my husband!

    •  The whole phrase was never reported on... (0+ / 0-)

      What he said, "You're likeable enough, Hillary.  Don't let anyone [unitelligible, but it sounded like 'say different']

      But it totally fucking irritates me when the press doesn't even listen to the whole of someone's comment and only repeat part of it.

      Saying that Hillary has Executive Branch experience is like saying Yoko Ono was a Beatle.

      by Casey Morris on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 03:10:47 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Go listen to the clip, linked near the top (0+ / 0-)

        I heard what he muttered afterwards as "No doubt about it."

        Before we can repair the Constitution, we must continually remind people that it is broken and that repairing it is our patriotic obligation.

        by Seneca Doane on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 03:13:03 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  he explained that he didn't mean that (0+ / 0-)

      as it came out.  In fact, I think he used that little exchange in a debate. He listed it as one of the things he regrets that he said during this campaign.
       He said something about meaning to say just "you're likeable, Hillary" and shouldn't have added the "enough".  He's not perfect---but pretty good.
       And I agree with the diary in that for 90% of voters, likeability is the whole ball game.
       And everyone I know runs off screaming "NO!" if you ask if they would ever consider voting for Hillary.
       I remember sitting in a waiting room right after the 04 election and started talking with a couple of strangers who brought up the election.  After finding out they voted for Bush despite the fact that they didn't like this and this and this about him, including war, I asked why they didn't vote for Kerry.  They said, "We just didn't like him.  He was too fancy for us.  We just didn't like him".


  •  i do not like her (5+ / 0-)

    and would have to have her in my living room for the next 4 years

  •  It was the tears, doncha know. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Seneca Doane

    proved she's human.

    Democrats promote the Common good. Republicans promote Corporate greed.

    by murasaki on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 03:00:14 PM PDT

  •  nobody likes Hillary, they love Bill (6+ / 0-)

    she's running on Bill's charm.

    i just saw Bill on tv lying his ass off and I couldn't help but wish he was in the white house again, cause he's just that charming of a mother fucker.  i admit it.

    can you imagine the fun to be had at the water cooler with Bill Clinton in the white house with nothing to do and what Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert and Conan O'Brian will do with it?

    oh, man

    but I don't want Hillary President, so, that kinda fucks that all up for me.

    fucking Hillary, totally ruins what could have been a great 8 years of comedy.

    Hillary Clinton for Secretary of... the White House? That's who answers the phone there at 3am, right?

    by AntonBursch on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 03:02:41 PM PDT

    •  Not so fast... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      vets74, Seneca Doane

      I've seen Hillary work a room full of men, and she has quite a potent level of charm herself, in terms of being one of the girls who can be one of the boys.

      She's tremendously likeable in a social setting.

      Bill's likeability is fading however, as his lying his ass off behavior reminds more and more women of a bad ex boyfriend who fucked with them, than just a "bad boy" who needs the love of a good them.

      The dynamic is changing.

      Saying that Hillary has Executive Branch experience is like saying Yoko Ono was a Beatle.

      by Casey Morris on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 03:08:34 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  When she is herself... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Joe Willy, vets74, Seneca Doane

    without all of the campaign bullshit, she is likeable.

    But the people around her do her a great disservice by reinforcing her negatives by going negative.

    Everytime she try to hold Obama head underwater to gasp a few breaths of oxygen herself, she comes that much closer to drowning.

    Her array of options of "what comes next" in terms of becoming the leader of the Senate or say, appointed by Obama to the Supreme Court, become diminished with each passing day.

    She overlooks the opportunities for lasting greatness that lie before her.  As a member of the Supreme Court, she could do one hell of alot more to ensure the right of women than she could as President.

    Saying that Hillary has Executive Branch experience is like saying Yoko Ono was a Beatle.

    by Casey Morris on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 03:05:22 PM PDT

    •  who is she? (4+ / 0-)

      I feel like I don't know who the real Hillary is.  Yes, all politicians have personas, and I am sure the "real" Obama is not exactly the same as the one we see, but I bet it's pretty damn close.  He's consistent and sincere.  I never know which Hillary is going to show up.  And thing is, I don't like any of them, not even the "personable" SNL version every one seemed so taken by; it just scared me, that forced smile.  

      Patriotism isn't something you can pin to a lapel. Patriotism is loving your country enough to want to change it for the better.

      by Preyanka on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 03:11:49 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Sam I am. Sam I am. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    vets74, eigenlambda

    I do not like her, Sam I am.

    Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety. - Benjamin Franklin (probably)

    by C Dawgg on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 03:08:02 PM PDT

    •  The poem that occurs to me is: (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I do not like thee, Dr. Fell
      The reason why I cannot tell
      But this I know and know full well
      I do not like thee, Dr. Fell

      Of course, in this case, I think we do know why:  She's listening to Mark Penn.

      Before we can repair the Constitution, we must continually remind people that it is broken and that repairing it is our patriotic obligation.

      by Seneca Doane on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 03:14:54 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Somewhere along the line (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Since she has been in the Senate, I went from feeling totally neutral toward to absolutely hating her. I knew ,long before Obama emerged, that I would never cast a vote for her. I had assumed I would be stuck voting for some 3rd party loser.

    What did it for me? My perception that she took my vote for granted. Therefore my views and opinions just didn't matter. She could go to any lengths to pander to my enemies and she was absolutely assured of my vote in the end.

    Well she was wrong. My views and opinions matter. I don't give my vote to someone who discounts me. She can go to hell.

    "How high flies the solitary bird."

    by terryhutchinson on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 03:09:44 PM PDT

  •  I agree the "likeable enough" comment was ... (0+ / 0-)

    ... an uncomfortable choice of words for Obama. That happens to all of us, but it especially hurt Obama because he is known for his mastery of words. Hillary, on the other hand, really fared poorly when she used that Xerox line (which I don't think was even her own). The audience booed so loudly that I think she tried to save the debate by over-correcting herself at the end -- saying "I'm honored, honored to sit beside Barack ... yadda, yadda yadda." Then the following weekend, in order to leave no doubt that she's still in it to win it herself, she tried to correct the debate over-correction by grandstanding with the Shame comment. All of it could have been avoided if she'd just spoke the truth from the get-go. Anyway, that was my perception of it all.

    "It does not require many words to speak the truth." -- Chief Joseph, native American leader (1840-1904)

    by highfive on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 03:32:53 PM PDT

  •  No, and Clinton will loose n/t (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
  •  The diarist is absolutely correct. At the (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    onanyes, Seneca Doane

    beginning of her campaign, this was the issue I focused on first and foremost.  The truth is that Hillary Clinton has been a national public figure for 16 years, and the American public has rendered a megative verdict.  Unfortunately, she has not conducted herself in a manner that is likely to change many minds.  If The Democrats go into the 2008 election with her heading (or even on the ticket), I fear that we will not achieve the gains that we should.

    "Nothing is more powerful than an idea whose time has come." Victor Hugo

    by lordcopper on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 03:40:44 PM PDT

  •  obama is such an ass (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jon Reagan
  •  There's a lot of "concern" around here today. n/t (0+ / 0-)

    A burro is an ass. A burrow is a hole in the ground. Now can you tell the difference?

    by second gen on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 03:50:30 PM PDT

  •  He's good enough, he's smart enough (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    and, doggone it, people like him!

    Nobody's right if everybody's wrong --Stephen Stills "For What It's Worth"

    by vjones on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 04:02:53 PM PDT

  •  Actually, Bill Maher said it best! (0+ / 0-)

    Addressing an audience about three weeks ago, on his weekly HBO show, "Real Time", he said it very well, and succinctly:

    "If you have a problem with Hillary Clinton, it is so about YOU! There really is nothing to hate, or even dislike about Hillary. And if you do "hate" her, you've probably got some kind of pyschological disorder."

    •  That was before the 3 a.m. ad, wasn't it? (0+ / 0-)

      You know, it doesn't matter much whether any of us here like, dislike, or hate her.  It matters what the voting public thinks.  I don't care whether they have "psychological disorders"; I want to stop them from voting John McCain into office, either way.

      Before we can repair the Constitution, we must continually remind people that it is broken and that repairing it is our patriotic obligation.

      by Seneca Doane on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 04:18:34 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Agreed, but I think we've different expectations, (0+ / 0-)

        of what the "voting public" thinks. This is still the same voting public that elected W twice; 40% of them think we can still "win" the war in Iraq...of course, it's hard to say what winning is since an objective has never been clearly defined.

        That public has seen Jeremiah Wright screaming "God Damn America" all morning on today's Sunday Talk Shows, about three weeks after Michelle Obama's raher impolitic remarks. Trust me...this voting public is not going to buy into Barak Obama. It's over.

        •  Learn to spell Barack. (0+ / 0-)

          As you will no doubt have to spell it many more times over the next eight years.

        •  Why would I trust your gut feeling rather than (0+ / 0-)

          public opinion research that investigated how the public was responding, and how they could be induced to respond?  One thing that would affect public opinion is for Democrats to fall in rank behind Obama, which will happen if he is nominated.  It will, so to speak, take a village to defeat the GOP slime machine, no matter who is nominated.  If you think Hillary is not subject to equally strong attacks, I disagree.

          Before we can repair the Constitution, we must continually remind people that it is broken and that repairing it is our patriotic obligation.

          by Seneca Doane on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 04:55:06 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Again, just watch the Rev.Wright video... (0+ / 0-)

            The GOP won't even have to come up with attack ads...all they'll have to do is run the tape of some screaming minister rant against "white America". OK, they will then have to run a tag line identifying this man as Barak's self-described "mentor" and "favorite minister in America". This will all play about as well as Tom Eagleton's admission in 1972 that he had electroshock therapy....after that, it was all over.

            This creates a pattern, when taken in concert with "Michelle's"  remarks that this is the first time in her life that she's "really proud" to be an American. Aside from the fact that running down the USA doesn't play well in Peoria, the self-importance and pompous nature of such remarks is incredible. Most would agree that we've got another Teresa Heinz Kerry on our hands. Out in real America, this will not play well.

            •  Gee, here's how will handle that (0+ / 0-)

              Wright: Obama denounced the remarks quickly and much more effectively than McCain has denounced Hagee and the like.

              Michelle: she didn't say it's the first time she was proud to be an American, and if they say that, we'll correct them.  She was proud of Americans because they were finally getting past looking at someone's race in deciding whether they would support them.

              Meanwhile, Hillary's husband's deregulation of the banking sector is probably going to be hung around her neck, along with his Kazakhstan trip, etc.

              But Obama will still win because voting for him is the only way to stop the war.  Too bad Hillary may not be able to convince people that she'd do so as well.

              Before we can repair the Constitution, we must continually remind people that it is broken and that repairing it is our patriotic obligation.

              by Seneca Doane on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 11:13:43 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  Not a gut feeling, it's empirical (0+ / 0-)

            Senator Obama consistently underperforms his poll numbers in state after state. Reuters-Zogby had him winning CA by 49-36% on election eve; he lost the state by double-digits. All but one major poll (Mason-Dixon) had him winning NH by 10-12 points; he lost by 2. This phenomenon is an unfortunate feature of American politics (just ask Doug Wilder, Tom Bradley, or Harold Ford) but it's real, and not something that anyone dreamed up.

            Add to this the fact that in OH, TX, and CA, polls show that voters who decided in the last 48 hours went overwhelmingly for Senator Clinton. The doubts that people are starting to feel about this man now that real scrutiny is being brought to bear are staggering...and will only increase now that the connection with Rev. Wright is being exposed.

            •  I can remember that happening three times: (0+ / 0-)

              NH, CA, and TX, the ones you mention.  That's hardly "consistently," eh?  Meanwhile, Hillary has squandered 20-point leads in state after state -- consistently -- as elections near.  She does do well in Appalachia, I must admit -- but she's in no danger of winning West Virginia, Kentucky, or Tennessee.  Meanwhile, Obama will mend fences with Latinos and the elderly.  Reagan Democrats may be a harder sell, but Obama is persuasive, will have the time, and isn't trying to privatize Social Security.

              If the "doubts people are starting to feel" are staggering, I suggest that you're easily staggered.  Obama is doing fine in the polls, against Clinton and against McCain.  (Yes, he'll lose Pennsylvania -- just like Hillary has lost 2/3 of the contests we've had so far.)  But this suggests that you may have some stake in ensuring that people do try to pin Pastor Wright's statements on Obama despite his renunciation of them.  And that, my fellow Democrat, verges on trafficking in racism.  I don't see the Obama campaign trying to trot out statements by Clinton's radical feminist supporters to invite her to denounce them -- because he campaigns like a Democrat, not a pyromaniac.

              Before we can repair the Constitution, we must continually remind people that it is broken and that repairing it is our patriotic obligation.

              by Seneca Doane on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 11:21:09 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Wake up, honey....Hillary won Tennessee on Feb.5 (0+ / 0-)

                Just shows you folks really are delusional.

                •  I'll type this real slowly (0+ / 0-)

                  so you can read it that way: she is in no danger of winning those Appalachian states in the general election.  This should have been obvious because (1) she is going to win at least Kentucky and probably West Virginia in the primaries, as you know if (if!) you are paying any attention, and (2) as you say, Tennessee has already voted.

                  Just shows that you -- I won't say "you folks" -- have the reasoning power of a crayon.

                  How well does that "Wake up, honey" go over at the McCain Hillary camp, anyway?

                  Before we can repair the Constitution, we must continually remind people that it is broken and that repairing it is our patriotic obligation.

                  by Seneca Doane on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 01:10:07 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

  •  Thanx for the best laugh I've had all week! n/t (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Seneca Doane

    Yes We Can! Because this time MUST be different.

    by NWTerriD on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 04:08:45 PM PDT

  •  Already diaried (0+ / 0-)

    multiply multiple times.

    Children in the U.S... detained [against] intl. & domestic standards." --Amnesty Internati

    by doinaheckuvanutjob on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 04:19:39 PM PDT

    •  Really? (0+ / 0-)

      With this particular take on events?  I'd love to see some links, if you have time.

      Before we can repair the Constitution, we must continually remind people that it is broken and that repairing it is our patriotic obligation.

      by Seneca Doane on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 04:56:00 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Here (0+ / 0-)

        for the past 5 years in search; really the subjects you address have been addressed multiple times.

        Children in the U.S... detained [against] intl. & domestic standards." --Amnesty Internati

        by doinaheckuvanutjob on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 01:59:02 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Not in the context of last week's events (0+ / 0-)

          judging from the dates of diaries resulting from that search.  Even if so, seriously, this is not the sort of clear repetition of breaking news that you are supposed to police.  By your standard, huge swaths of the front page, in addition to a huge amount of individual diaries, would be "repetitive," as would most newspaper columns.

          People dip into and out of the DKos pool; the audience to which we write is everchanging.  It's legitimate to try out a new take on an old theme to see if it resonates with people; it's legitimate to keep an old theme, if relevant, in public consciouness.

          I don't know your stance on the race; without checking, I'll assume that you don't say this simply because you don't like being reminded of Hillary's lack of likability, because trying to shut down debate on that ground would be wrong.

          Before we can repair the Constitution, we must continually remind people that it is broken and that repairing it is our patriotic obligation.

          by Seneca Doane on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 09:11:25 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  It's best practice to do a diary search before (0+ / 0-)

            writing and posting, it's in the diary writing guidelines. Repeating topics that have been discussed to death really is not stimulating and bounces off more substantial diaries from the diary list. In the long run it hurts the reputation and viability of the site to be an alternative to mainstream media, to cover what has been swept aside by the media, to generate positive progressive activism and elect Dems as is the mission of the site.

            Kos has even written about Hillary and likability, he said it didn't matter, but it's been diaried to death as a topic as have a dozen other topics. If you searched, you'd see the repetition and in fact if you searched maybe then you'd find your own thinking would be more informed to the point where you would present a different angle or topic-- that's what research is for. It really doesn't take that long to do a little bit of research. When I write a diary it usually takes me at least 2 hours, sometimes several days to get the research and then revise properly. All of us are different as far as how long it takes but I do think a bit of research is called for, and that is explicit in the diary writing guidelines.

            Without checking to see if I am a Hillary supporter and then assuming so is bad form also. I was an Edwards supporter, since his drop out I've been relatively neutral though her crappy campaign tactics and the fact she can't win the nomination without staging some cataclysmic upset make me lean to Obama.

            You write coherently and you respond civilly. Those are two huge plusses, that's why I encourage you to challenge yourself to make your diaries more interesting because as I looked at all of them, almost all of them cover things that others have diaried repeatedly, but you write well enough that you could present a much more valuable contribution.

            Children in the U.S... detained [against] intl. & domestic standards." --Amnesty Internati

            by doinaheckuvanutjob on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 05:38:20 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Thank you for the feedback (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              First, Kos is wrong about Hillary's likability not being a problem, and it decent of him to allow people to disagree with him on that and other points on his site.

              I have been here longer than you have, judging from your UID and the one on the account that I used until recently, and I have posted over a couple of hundred diaries since 2005.  This diary considers the question of likability in light of current events and in light of an ongoing conversation on the blogosphere about the role of electability in choosing a candidate; it also, by use of its title, puts the current question of Obama's credibility up against Hillary's likability.  I am confident that it does not run afoul of guidelines against duplicative diaries.  I would be highly surprised if the admins were to disagree.  If they do, they're certainly derilict in failing to step in, as you have, much more often.

              Here's why they probably don't.  The "duplicative diary" problem is something that is significant over hours or days, such as this moment when we literally have about 15 of the past 50 diaries weighing in on Obama's Pastor Wright.  Even then, "duplicativeness" is more of an issue with breaking news (or recent news) than it is with opinion pieces, where each writer may bring a fresh take on an issue.

              Even then, an occasional duplicative news diary is a good thing, especially if it addresses a topic is not covered on the front page, because different people drint into and out of the site over the course of a given day (and, indeed, a week), and they may well miss a story that, were one to hew firmly to the rule you cite, we'd say that the site had "already covered."

              Meanwhile, if you truly do want to police duplicative diaries, you have a Augean Stables worth of them left to address.  I regret that you don't think that my diaries meet community standards, I am at peace with it, and I hope that we are done here.

              Posting a diary on the nomination? Pay your McCain Tax!

              by Seneca Doane on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 07:41:11 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  My apologies then. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Seneca Doane

                I thought your were a relative newbie from your UID#.

                My apologies then for the lecture on duplication and how to write, which then apparently was not needed.

                I'll just agree to disagree on the issue of whether yours was a duplicated topic. And I'd certainly agree with you that yours is not one of the most egregious violations of that principle.

                At this point in time, I've been going with erring on the side of being vigilant re: site guidelines, since the admins have said recently that they want TU's to monitor that since they don't have the time, and since diary quality has dropped dramatically in recent months. It does seem better in the past few days, perhaps due to some Hillary supporters leaving, not because their diaries were bad but because it may have lessened the aggression on both sides. My apologies though for targeting yours, perhaps I was overzealous, and since your a veteran of diary writing, I'm certainly going to drop the matter and offer you my respect.

                I also appreciate your civility and patience in responding to me, many would not be so gracious. It speaks highly of you and for that you also have my respect.


                Children in the U.S... detained [against] intl. & domestic standards." --Amnesty Internati

                by doinaheckuvanutjob on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 06:40:49 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

  •  very nice diary (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    vets74, Seneca Doane

    well thought out.  But Media Matters has an interesting take on this (article from Feb. 2007, 13 months ago)


    Conservative media figures are not shy in expressing their negative feelings toward Clinton. Time blogger Andrew Sullivan recently referred to her "cootie vibes" and declared, "I just can't stand her." MSNBC host Joe Scarborough described her as "very shrill." Glenn Beck previously labeled her the "Antichrist." But the expression of such views is not limited to conservatives. The Hotline's blog, On Call, posted excerpts from speeches by several Democratic hopefuls at the Democratic National Committee winter meeting. But, while Clinton was by no means the only speaker to raise her voice, she was the only one described by On Call as striking a "discordant note."

    Many in the media believe that most Americans -- including many Democrats -- also harbor unfavorable opinions of her. For instance, Weekly Standard executive editor Fred Barnes claimed on the December 9 edition of Fox News' The Beltway Boys that, in the eyes of the "Democratic hordes," Clinton is "not very likable." And San Francisco Chronicle columnist Debra Saunders said on the January 28 edition of CNN's Reliable Sources, "A lot of people don't think that she's very likable."

    But recent polling data do not support these assumptions:

       * The January 25 Time poll found that 58 percent of respondents viewed Clinton positively. The poll also found that more respondents would choose to have dinner with her than with any of the other 2008 presidential candidates. Indeed, 26 percent chose Clinton as a dinner companion, while 15 percent named Obama and 15 percent picked McCain.

       * The recent Post/ABC poll similarly found that 54 percent of respondents had a favorable view of Clinton. (Nonetheless, media figures such as New York Times reporter Patrick Healy and National Public Radio's (NPR) Juan Williams misrepresented the poll results to claim that she received a favorability rating of 41 percent. Healy even reported that this figure had concerned "[s]everal New York and Hollywood donors.")

    When liberals saw 9-11, we wondered how we could make the country safe. When conservatives saw 9-11, they saw an investment opportunity.

    by onanyes on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 04:20:01 PM PDT

    •  Don Imus: "Hillary is Satan." (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Maybe he could tell us what he really feels about her.....

      Dixie Chicks, Amy Winehouse, Imus, and Lenny Bruce. Overcome evil with good.

      by vets74 on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 04:35:06 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I can accept that in absolute terms (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      she is likable, and perhaps even liked by over half the population.  My question, as I say above, is whether she is likable enough, particularly given our alternative.  I think she is sufficiently less liked that choosing her is a riskier proposition.  Whoever is nominated will need a reservoir of good will behind them, as well as the ability to be resilient under an onslaught of attacks.  Obama has the same sort of cool, charm, and wit as one of the Kennedys; I think it will be harder to slam him.  (Witness SNL's easily dismissed attempts to do so.)  Hillary, though, seems likely to be made of the same sort of flypaper as Gore 2000 and Kerry 2004.  I accept that she can charm Democrats; I don't believe that that will be enough.

      Before we can repair the Constitution, we must continually remind people that it is broken and that repairing it is our patriotic obligation.

      by Seneca Doane on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 05:04:25 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Obama Lost NH for multiple reasons (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    There were several reasons Obama lost NH and I think that comment during the debate was least of them.  

    Most of the colleges in NH were on winter break which certainly hurt Obama more than Hillary.  Additionally, we had the "iron my shirt" guys down in Salem which probably did more to anger women than Obama's debate comment.  There was also the teared up moment with the questioner from Portsmouth and lastly a McCain surge in the days leading up to the primary which cut into Obama's ability to finish the deal.

    •  OK, I won't argue the point (0+ / 0-)

      This has been identified as one factor; it doesn't matter if it was decisive.  I'm sure that you understand how it works with the conceit of the diary.

      Before we can repair the Constitution, we must continually remind people that it is broken and that repairing it is our patriotic obligation.

      by Seneca Doane on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 05:05:23 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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