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McCain, Clinton Win New Hampshire

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  • by EveryNickIsTaken (1054794) on Wednesday January 09, 2008 @09:39AM (#21967380)
    Michigan was stripped of its delegates [slashdot.org] because the state Dem party moved up the primary without the blessing of the DNC. The candidates have already agreed not to spend any time there. On the republican side: If McCain can beat Romney in MI, Romney will be against the ropes and will likely have to consider withdrawing from the race, as it'd be an embarressing defeat.
  • by Lifyre (960576) on Wednesday January 09, 2008 @09:42AM (#21967414)
    I, as usual, am less than enthusiastic about our choices for president. It would be nice to have a third party (or better yet a 4th party) who can win a substantial part of the vote and a significant chunk of congress (10-20 votes in the house and 5 in the senate and be very powerful)

    I voted for Badnarik last time but I don't see the Libertarians even putting forth a palatable candidate this year.

    I'll be satisfied as long as some Bible (or other religious book of choice) Thumping lunatic doesn't win and try to control my private life even more.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Atzanteol (99067)
      Ron Paul is a Libertarian running as a Republican.
    • by aussie_a (778472)
      So who will you be voting for?
    • by Shakrai (717556) * on Wednesday January 09, 2008 @10:08AM (#21967756) Journal

      I, as usual, am less than enthusiastic about our choices for president

      Outside of Ron Paul I have zero enthusiasm for anybody on the Republican side and even at that I doubt I could bring myself to vote for him. I used to have a lot of respect for McCain even though I disagree with him in a lot of areas (his being pro-life comes to mind) but I lost that respect when he started kissing the ass of the religious right, sometime around the 2004 elections. As a New Yorker I previously held Giuliani in high regard. Then he decided to run his entire campaign on 9/11.

      On the Democratic side I was undecided for a long time with leanings towards Edwards. In the last week or so I've jumped on the Obama bandwagon. I don't know if he can actually pull off everything that he advocates but I do know that he is a breath of fresh air. You realize that less then three years ago he was a state legislator? Can you picture your Assemblyman or State Senator running for President in the next three years? I know that I can't. Yet somehow he has managed to do it.

      I read an interview where his wife said that up until about a year ago they were still paying off student loans and she worries that even if he loses this race that they won't be "real" Americans anymore, i.e: they won't have any of the concerns that the middle class does (debt, health care, education for their kids, etc, etc). For some reason that hit home with me and I think is one of the fundamental problems with American politics -- how many politicians can you think of on the Federal level that even know what it's like to be a normal person anymore? Between the rich ones (who have never known want for anything) and the career politicians I doubt you can find more then a handful of "real" people in Congress or the Administration.

      He's got my vote come Super Tuesday. I've never disliked Hillary and even voted for her twice (for the Senate) but I know that if she manages to win it all we can look forward to four more years of slash 'n burn politics in Washington. I don't know if Obama can actually change that and make Washington responsive to the people again but I do know that Hillary can't -- the Republicans will crucify her.

      Anyway, I'm rambling. Look into Obama. You might be pleasantly surprised. I dismissed him for a long time and didn't pay much attention to what he had to say. That was a mistake on my part.

      • I agree, I've voted for Hillary before and she's a great stateswoman, but I think Obama will do the best job uniting the country as president.
      • votebyissue.org (Score:5, Informative)

        by raddan (519638) on Wednesday January 09, 2008 @12:56PM (#21970202)
        I highly suggest that everyone have a look at votebyissue.org [votebyissue.org]. I consider voting to be my civic duty, and so I spent about an hour on Saturday reading through the blurbs and checking off boxes. The results were surprising. Before taking the quiz, I considered Edwards to be my top choice, followed by Obama. Surprise, surprise-- Clinton and Kucinich were actually better aligned with my views (although Edwards was still on top). Ron Paul was the only Republican to make it into the "positive points" column, and I apparently despise Tancredo. Obama ended up being dead last for Democrats; just about tied with Ron Paul.

        BTW, if you don't agree or disagree with a blurb, leave the checkbox blank. The software takes this into account at the end. The instructions were not clear on this. After I had my tallies, I formulated a simple tally system-- +1 point if I agreed, -1 point if I disagreed, and -.5 if I did not answer. I did not answer if I thought the candidate was being purposefully vague.

        This is worth your time, and much more time-efficient than trawling through the fluff on the candidates' websites.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by anaesthetica (596507)
          That poll would be better if it allowed you to weight each of the ten issues (say on a 1-5 scale of importance to you). Then it could calculate a weighted score for you--my concern about the economy is not equivalent to my concern about health care, and maybe other people vice versa. Assigning an equal weight to each issue distorts your final results.
          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by mauthbaux (652274)
            Good point. However, the results page does tell you which issues you agreed on and disagreed on for each candidate.

            As a side note, I was fairly surprised by the results it gave me. Ron Paul and Mitt Romney at the top of the list was expected, HRC at number 3 was not.
    • by faloi (738831)
      I'll be satisfied as long as some Bible (or other religious book of choice) Thumping lunatic doesn't win and try to control my private life even more.

      So as long as the person that's elected and tries to control your life isn't a religious zealot, you're ok? It's only the non-secular control freaks that bother you?
      • by Entropius (188861)
        There aren't that many non-religious control freaks in the political arena.
      • by flitty (981864)

        It's only the non-secular control freaks that bother you?
        Yes. They aren't trying to start WWIII so Jebus can show up.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      >I'll be satisfied as long as some Bible (or other religious book of choice) Thumping lunatic doesn't win
      Amen to that!
  • by Shakrai (717556) * on Wednesday January 09, 2008 @09:45AM (#21967450) Journal

    I watched just enough of the coverage last night to walk away with one observation: Fuck the news media.

    Seriously. They spent more time talking about Hillary "tearing up" then they did talking about policy differences between the candidates.

    "Do you think those were genuine emotions on her part or was it calculated?" WHO GIVES A FLYING FUCK! Why don't you tell us about her health care policy? Or her votes in the Senate? Why don't you do some research into Obama's time as a state legislator, because most of us outside of Illinois know next to nothing about this period in his life.

    And why all this goddamn focus on who "wins" each state? The primaries (at least for the Dems) aren't a winner-take-all. All three of the leading Democratic candidates walk away from this with delegates to the convention. All three of them walked away from Iowa with delegates. Yet somehow Hillary's loss in Iowa all but doomed her campaign in the eyes of the media.

    *sigh* And they wonder why people are disillusioned with the process.....

    • by timster (32400) on Wednesday January 09, 2008 @10:07AM (#21967748)
      Why don't you tell us about her health care policy? Or her votes in the Senate?

      Well, as we all know the answer is mostly ratings, there is at least some sense to it. While the President does have a bully pulpit, they don't write laws, and can't ultimately pass a health care policy, and certainly don't vote in the Senate. That is the job of legislators.

      If you consider the Bush administration, most of his important successes and failures are not legislative in nature. The famous tax cuts are somewhat overblown, since there was a surplus at the time and everybody (including Gore) had a tax cut proposal. The much-hyped social security reform did not occur. The immigration plan did not pass.

      Presidential candidates are always full of legislative proposals, but they are seldom remembered long. Bush's operational record is much more interesting -- the years of failure to react when Rumsfeld's war plan was not working, the laid-back approach to Katrina disaster relief, the poor international relations. The point is that if you judge presidential candidates entirely by their policy positions -- as if they were running for the Senate -- they can all look deceptively similar. So it's not surprising that the electorate at large is looking for signs of leadership and a particular philosphy more than they are looking for detailed policy proposals.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Shakrai (717556) *

        Well, as we all know the answer is mostly ratings, there is at least some sense to it. While the President does have a bully pulpit, they don't write laws, and can't ultimately pass a health care policy, and certainly don't vote in the Senate. That is the job of legislators.

        While I completely agree with what you are saying, I still think it would be a better service to our Democracy if the media focused less on Hillary's personality and more on the viewpoints and positions of the candidates. Who the hell cares how "likeable" she is? You realize that in 2000 and 2004 people voted for the candidate that they'd "rather have a beer with". How'd that turn out again?

        So it's not surprising that the electorate at large is looking for signs of leadership and a particular philosphy more than they are looking for detailed policy proposals.

        I'm starving for leadership. That's probably why I've become a fan of Obama. He is actually inspires me, w

    • by Torodung (31985) on Wednesday January 09, 2008 @10:12AM (#21967808) Journal
      That's right: Clinton took 9 delegates and Obama took 9 delegates in NH. Edwards took the remaining 4.

      This was not a popular election. It's about the delegates. How the press could report this as anything other than a tie is beyond me.

      There's no shame in second place in a Democratic primary. So long as you take 15% of the vote, you get delgates, and you are not a "loser" by any stretch of the imagination. Especially in such a tiny state. It takes over 2000 delegates to be nominated.

      And don't forget, Democrats have "super delegates," that are unpledged, to spoil a close race towards the Will of The Party, regardless of what the popular vote says.

      Here's a good look at it: http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/01/02/delegate.explainer/index.html [cnn.com]

      But all the major news outlets cover our civic process like it was a soap opera. The primary reporting is just incompetent and wrong, if not bloody-minded lying.

      --
      Toro
      • by Steve525 (236741)
        That's right: Clinton took 9 delegates and Obama took 9 delegates in NH. Edwards took the remaining 4.

        Yes, and on the Republican side, Romney is way in the lead in the total number of delegates pledged so far, despite having lost both Iowa and New Hampshire. The media makes it sound like his campaign is in dire straights, and yet he's actually winning by a fair margin! (This is in no way an endorsement of Romney, I just don't get the media).

        • by Svartalf (2997)
          The media's playing the "let's distract the populace" game...

          When I read the title on the article here, which was based on the media reports, I'd thought that someone
          must have missed Lucifer skating to work. Hillary takes NH? Brr... What's the world coming to?
          • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

            by bytesex (112972)
            That's because of all these 'Debbie does Dallas' videos of yours. "Hillary takes New Hampshire" isn't a porn video, you know.
    • by Reality Master 101 (179095) <RealityMaster101&gmail,com> on Wednesday January 09, 2008 @10:28AM (#21968022) Homepage Journal

      "Do you think those were genuine emotions on her part or was it calculated?" WHO GIVES A FLYING FUCK! Why don't you tell us about her health care policy? Or her votes in the Senate?

      I'm not going to defend the TV news media (I don't watch them AT ALL, and I don't understand why anyone does), but on this particular point, of course genuine emotions matter! The sincerity and trust of the candidate is paramount to everything. What difference does it make what a candidate *says* they stand for, if you can't believe they speak with any sincerity?

      The biggest knock against Hillary (and Bill) is that they'll say ANYTHING to get elected. It's all about manipulation.

      I'm not that much of a fan of Ron Paul's ideas, but I believe him when he says that's what he'll do when he's in office. With Hillary, I have no idea what she'll actually do once in office. Her promises mean nothing.

    • by hey! (33014) on Wednesday January 09, 2008 @10:33AM (#21968082) Homepage Journal
      Well, because character does matter.

      I've read the position papers of the candidates on things like health care, and Iraq. Every one is full of holes as swiss cheese, because there aren't simple and universally supported strategies to solve the kinds of problems that don't go away on their own.

      You must can't take an issue like health care and reform it by making a wonderfully clever proposal. You've go to have the mother of all hissy fit fights even to tweak something a bit. In a real reform fight, having the trust and confidence of the American people is a huge asset.

      When a candidate has a moment of unguarded emotion, it becomes a crisis point in the campaign. Do the people believe it was real, or was it feigned? Was it a sign of weakness, or strength? What people believe about that incident tells you a great deal about the kind of political power he will be able to marshal for his programs.

      The HRC "welling tears" incident may well have been a watershed moment for HRC. When asked to explain it, she said something extremely revealing. She was touched by somebody expressing concern for her, and at the same time she was uncomfortable because she wants to be judged by what she does, not who she is. In short, she is most comfortable if she can campaign with a firewall of proposals, position papers, and resume items between her self and the people who might vote for her.

      This explains something about HRC's candidacy that has bothered me for a long time. She is obviously extremely bright, hard working, and experienced, but somehow she her performance has had a canned, lackluster quality. The party is fixing to set the electoral barn on fire, and Hillary's been obstinately waving her wet blanket of experience and cautious centrism. In light of the events leading up to NH, what is clear is that the wet blanket is there to protect her ego. She knows probably better than anybody else how personally painful politics can be, so while she's quite happy to have her ideas and proposals set up for criticism, she's been withholding herself from criticism.

      People don't change overnight, but HRC is clearly a hard working, ambitious and determine person. The question is whether she'll take the personal risks needed to achieve victory, or whether she'll only make a pretense of doing so.
      • by OldeTimeGeek (725417) on Wednesday January 09, 2008 @11:49AM (#21969160)
        So Hillary showed a moment of (probably unscripted) humanity. So what? Does this make her any more qualified to be President? Is it better to have someone who is competent or charismatic? Not saying, of course, that any of the Democratic candidates is less competent than the others for the office, but two are definitely more charismatic than the other.

        To me, the problem lies with how people project their own personalities onto the candidate rather than how the candidate actually is.

        Hillary Clinton, who most people will agree is very smart, has problems because people just can't connect on a personal level with her. And because of this, people feel that she's being disingenuous with them.

        Barak Obama does better because, along with being intelligent, he makes people feel that there is a commonality between them. People think that they see something of themselves in him and are able to see what they want or hear what they want. People want to hope for something new and he gives them a platform to place this hope upon. This in no way diminishes from his intelligence, it's just the way that people work.

        I see a lot of parallels between his candidacy and the one of John Kennedy. Youthful, smart, well-spoken and someone that people connect with. In 1960, people wanted youth and energy. In 2008, people want hope. Funny thing is, didn't people want much the same thing in 1992 when a complete unknown named Bill Clinton was elected?

        • by hey! (33014) on Wednesday January 09, 2008 @11:58AM (#21969284) Homepage Journal

          So Hillary showed a moment of (probably unscripted) humanity. So what? Does this make her any more qualified to be President?


          What I am saying is that it might. It depends on what the most marginally informative piece of new information you might have. If you'd never heard of HRC, then it is unlikely to be very useful. If you know a great deal about HRC, it might provide insight you didn't have before.

          The fundamental political skill of anybody who wants to change things has to be be the ability to get around professional opinion formers and connect directly with enough people to neutralize them. Otherwise you get stuck endlessly explaining that, no, you didn't claim to have invented the technology behind the Internet.

          Does this mean HRC can do it? I have had doubts all along. But if she proves she can, this incident will be seen in retrospect as a watershed. If she doesn't, it'll be another one of those things that just happened and nobody is sure if it meant anything.
    • Positions do matter, but I think the "Style" parts do matter too, because I have little faith that a typical politician, especially a Clinton, can hold a position on principle.

      From what I've seen of the Clintons is that they'll change their position and put out doublespeak that they've always had this new position. I have no problems about people changing their positions, it can be healthy. However, but I do have problems with them lying about it or being weasely, I'd rather them say it out right. Romney
    • by ConanG (699649)
      They talk about her tears and not her policy because anyone really interested can find out how she stands on various policies. This isn't 40 years ago. We have the internet and we can easily research any candidate we want to a pretty deep level. The television news is completely unsuited to such a level of detail required to make informed decisions. The best they could hope to do is paint a very broad picture of each candidate... which they do.

      They know this, so instead they focus on anything that will c
  • by fishdan (569872) on Wednesday January 09, 2008 @09:52AM (#21967548) Homepage Journal
    Like most /.ers, I've been enamored of Ron Paul, but this poor showing in what should have been Ron's best state is disheartening to me. Yes, I know it was better than Fred Thompson -- but to be 2 places behind Huckabee? Ron's campaign seems to be so much more about the message than the man, which is great -- that's the way it should be. But the message is not getting our there. And I'm not sure why. Ron had a great point in the ABC debate when he pointed out that the price of a barrel of oil in gold is the same as it was in 1992. Everyone can understand that, and it clarifies why fixing fiscal policy is a giant issue. Ron's ideas of cutting spending, ending the war, following the Constitution and removing the income tax seem to be at least talking points that should be doing better than what Ron seems to be getting in the polls. So where is the disconnect?

    I think the problem is that getting elected is still about campaigning -- and Ron's campaign is not being run as skillfully as others. Living in MA, I was waiting for the call to volunteer. I signed up to make phone calls, hold signs, do anything. I was never contacted or asked to do anything.

    So I'll still keep giving money -- I want Ron's ideas to be heard everywhere, so that in 2012 the right candidate will not be buried/censored/mocked by the main stream media. And hopefully the campaign will raise the money sooner, and hire a real campaign manager. To change everything, as Ron and his followers want to do, will mean winning a presidential election -- and doing that means winning an American style presidential campaign. The message can win -- if it gets out there.

    I hope someone can convince me there's still hope for this year, because I want to believe.
    • If he had done just a little better and out-polled Gu9/11ani, I would have needed a roll of paper towels to clean up my happiness.
    • Well, if anything it makes Fox News look like total idiots for inviting Fred Thompson to their debate instead of Ron Paul, considering Thompson received 1% of the votes and Paul 8%. It is a little disheartening for Paul fans, but it's a long trail so hopefully he'll pick up momentum somewhere.
    • by WaZiX (766733)
      Ron Paul wants to reinstate the Gold Standard... IMHO, anyone who can possibly want to revert to that outdated system just cannot be taken seriously...
    • The problem with Ron Paul's campaigns is that it's so similar to Dean's in 2004 - a wide, broad, and shallow base. Most of the campaign workers for NH were from out-of-state - I read one column where the reporter couldn't find a single New Hampshire native in the room.
    • by Palshife (60519)
      I'm willing to bet that most /.ers are not enamored with Ron Paul.
    • by MicktheMech (697533) on Wednesday January 09, 2008 @11:58AM (#21969292) Homepage
      The disconnect is that he clearly doesn't know what he's talking about on some of his key points.

      Ron's ideas of cutting spending, ending the war, following the Constitution and removing the income tax seem to be at least talking points that should be doing better than what Ron seems to be getting in the polls.
      Those are things a lot of people can get behind. The problem is when he starts talking about monetary policy (eliminating the fed, returning to a gold or other commodity standard). It sounds nice and he's good at putting it in terms people can understand. Except, those terms are misleading. What he's proposing will not fix the China problem, what it may do is tank the global economy. Before you get on the Ron Paul bandwagon look up a serious, respected economist and ask him how effective Paul's plans will be, I think it would be enlightening.

      I realize that I'm criticizing Ron Paul on slashdot and the zealots will mod me down pretty quickly. I don't care about the karma, this needs to be said.
      • by rolfwind (528248) on Wednesday January 09, 2008 @04:56PM (#21974306)
        I don't know why my parent is rated insightful as he doesn't give any concrete examples. Waving your hands and just saying "Ron Paul does not know what he is talking about" is not insightful, just a random opinion without backing. Ron Paul has already written 8 books, many about the economy.

        Also, many economists are Keynesian (taught that way). Ron Paul follows the Austrian (Von Mises) school of thought. There are significant differences between the two and also disagreements. Of course a traditional economist is going to clash with him.
    • by shark swooner (1077115) on Wednesday January 09, 2008 @02:04PM (#21971230)
      ...when he pointed out that the price of a barrel of oil in gold is the same as it was in 1992. Everyone can understand that...

      That's a coincidence.

      The price of oil happened to be low in 1992, and the price of gold was recovering from its massive collapse in the early 80's. They both happen to be really high now. It's a coincidence. You could find such coincidences for any two commodities.

      Someone just went back and found a particular point when the price of oil to gold happened to be the same as they were in 2007. You are mistaken to think that this entails that the price of oil to gold has been historically stable, which it isn't, an obvious falsehood that this bogus point had obviously been intended to imply.

      Think of it this way: Is Ron Paul trying to say that the price of oil would not have been going up over the past few years if we were using gold-backed dollars rather than fiat dollars? In order for that to be true, wouldn't the change in the price of oil have to be explained by inflation in the fiat dollar? Now, the price of oil is around four times what it was in 1992. Has there been fourfold inflation in the US dollar since 1992?

      No, there hasn't. None of this adds up. It's not just a little wrong in the details, it's utterly off-base from the start. The next time anyone tries to peddle any of this gold standard stuff to you, use your head and maybe even google.
  • Why Hillary? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by RyanFenton (230700) on Wednesday January 09, 2008 @09:57AM (#21967618)
    I mean, I can live with Hillary - but for the life of me, I can't empathize with why someone would vote FOR her.

    To my understanding, despite the usual 'common sense' about presidents, presidents don't make so many actual decisions of their own volition. They veto or sign bills into law. They have limited abilities to make executive orders (despite Bush's attempts to expand this). They guide some military decisions under some circumstances. They really don't guide much actual lawmaking beyond veto threats and ceremonial suggestions.

    The key part about a presidential candidate to me is that most of their role is to give speeches, and represent us to the world. The part where I have no empathy with those who vote for Hillary is why anyone would choose to have Hillary Clinton represent them in that capacity. True, she's not the worst candidate in that capacity - but she just seems to have the worst personality for my tastes out of the Democratic candidates.

    What is it in Hillary that makes people want her to represent them? Or is it really more of a strategic choice for those voting for her?

    Ryan Fenton
    • by rizzo420 (136707)
      the threat of veto is actually quite powerful. look at it now with a democratic congress that has too few votes to override the veto. the only case where a president has no power is when congress is so overpowering that even a veto doesn't work.

      the president also has a lot of influence over what happens in congress. look at the war spending bills that never made it. because of the veto, bush got everything he wanted. i don't see congress going so far to the democrats that they can get anything they wan
    • Re:Why Hillary? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by An Onerous Coward (222037) on Wednesday January 09, 2008 @10:31AM (#21968060) Homepage
      You're still thinking of the old presidency. Pre-9/11 mentality and all that. Under the new presidency, the President can have anyone, anywhere detained, tortured, executed, spied upon, or forbidden from using any mode of transport more advanced than Greyhound. He can funnel substantial fractions of our ginormous military budget to private contractors run by the President's political contributors. He can use the Justice Department to fight "political corruption" among the opposing party. He can exonerate those who broke the law while doing his bidding. He can use the military against any target in the world, without further Congressional approval.

      Knowing what Republicans think of Hillary, I can only imagine what they think of her getting super-invincibility power-up that comes ewith being a "War President."

      I'll be deeply disappointed if the next President of the United States does not immediately divest him/herself of all these newfound powers. So far, Ron Paul is the only candidate who seems like he would, which in my mind makes up for the fact that most of his other proposals are a bit nutty.
    • by faloi (738831)
      They'd vote for Hillary, likely, because Bill is such a known quantity. I think there's this misguided hope that having her as President will get him out in the public eye more, and he's undoubtedly charismatic...whatever else one might think of him. And I've heard a fair number of people talking about voting for her strictly for the novelty of electing the first female President. No concerns for whether she might do a good job, or what she stands for. Just that they'll be breaking that barrier.
    • It seems like the primary voters (in NH, at least) are still weary of Obama's chances at winning a general election - when they should be more concerned about HRC's chances given her huge negative numbers.
      If Obama can start putting forth specific action plans rather than vague generalizations (inspiring as his speeches may be), then he has the potential to crush HRC on Super Tuesday.
  • Political Compass (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Confessed Geek (514779) on Wednesday January 09, 2008 @10:00AM (#21967662)

    While it is no replacement for doing real research and finding out where candidates stand relative to you on specific issues, there is a very interesting site called "Political Compass" at http://www.politicalcompass.org/ [politicalcompass.org] It gives a Cartesian representation (2 dimensional rather than just left/right) of your political values based on a questionnaire in terms of Authoritarian vs Personal Liberty AND Economic Right vs Left.

    In addition to providing info on where you stand (you might be surprised) it shows were historical figures and the current candidates fall (based on their statements and voting records.)

    You can also compare US politicians to the current crop in countries such as Canada, Australia, and England.

    Very neat site!
  • by wbren (682133) on Wednesday January 09, 2008 @10:02AM (#21967682) Homepage
    If Obama can come within 2% of winning in a state that is about 97% white [wikipedia.org], I think he's got a very good chance nationwide. I don't think it's unfair to think that had something to do with the loss.
    • by faloi (738831)
      I think it's unfair to think that had something to do with the loss. He won in a state that's just a white. The key difference between this vote and the last one was we didn't have an emotional moment from Hillary taking up a significant portion of media time before the first election.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by MBGMorden (803437)
      Obama, being bi-racial, is just as much white as he is black. Given that racism, particularly in the North, is strongly diminished from what it once was, I seriously doubt that had any bearing on his close loss in the state. Or are we going to start automatically assuming that all of his losses are rooted in racism, and couldn't possibly be because people just liked another candidate more?
    • Bad assumptions (Score:3, Insightful)

      by SuperKendall (25149)
      If Obama can come within 2% of winning in a state that is about 97% white, I think he's got a very good chance nationwide.

      What a nice backhanded way of saying you think most people are racist pigs. Voters (especially) are better than that.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Danny Rathjens (8471)

        What a nice backhanded way of saying you think most people are racist pigs. Voters (especially) are better than that.

        Racism may be on the decline, but a lot of Americans from the bad old days have not died yet; and older folks are more likely to vote.

        it took South Carolina until 1998 and Alabama until 2000 to officially remove defunct anti-miscegenation laws from their law books. In the respective referendums, 62% of voters in South Carolina and 59% of voters in Alabama voted to remove these laws.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-miscegenation_laws [wikipedia.org]

        That's 41% of Alabamans voting to keep a defunct law making marriages b

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Kjella (173770)

        What a nice backhanded way of saying you think most people are racist pigs. Voters (especially) are better than that.

        It hardly takes "most people" to swing a few percent in an election, it takes - well - a few percent. And it's one thing what you'll openly admit, another what subtly influences you. Right now here in Norway there's a lot of press now about minority-heavy schools being abandoned by ethnical norwegians. While some complaints about immigrants with language problems and such are valid, most aren't. Usually you get some vague reference to "a better environment" elsewhere while trying to be as non-specific as

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by anaesthetica (596507)
      You're not taking into account that black leaders have endorsed Hillary Clinton while claiming that "Obama is not black." Obama doesn't necessarily have the black vote tied up simply due to his skin color. He's not an African-American in the same sense that most African-Americans are descendants of former slaves. He's the son of an immigrant, and does not share in the same historical-cultural background, and does not make racial politics a central plank of his candidacy. Hillary Clinton and the Clinton
  • by hey! (33014) on Wednesday January 09, 2008 @10:10AM (#21967790) Homepage Journal
    it is certainly among the more interesting of the possible outcomes. It is hard to think of a result that would keep the race more wide open.

    HRC would have been deeply wounded by a loss in NH. She would have had to drag her status of "former frontrunner" into a primary for an election Democrats passionately hope to win. Obama doesn't get unambiguous frontrunner status, but he doesn't lose viability either. The close head to head competition between HRC and Obama gives a tiny sliver of hope to Edwards. If HRC and Obama battle each other to a standstill, he might be able to engineer a victory in SC or a strong second place in FL, and be still in the running by Super Tuesday (Feb 5).

    It is even possible for a third place finisher overall to win the nomination. By Democratic party rules, almost 20% of the convention delegates will be unpledged. Suppose the big three go into the convention with something like this: 30% for HRC, 25% for Obama, 15% for Edwards. Edwards could win if the HRC/Obama fight is seen by the unpledged delegates as splitting the party.

    On the Republican side, things are just as interesting. Republicans have always preferred a candidate that their party can unite behind for victory, which is why you heard some evangelicals making noises of support for Giuliani when he was in his ascendancy. There is no such candidate yet. Huckabee can potentially pull of a win in SC, and he may walk away from FL with a large hunk of the 57 delegates up for grabs in FL, which awards delegates on a district by district basis. McCain is merely back in the race; he is vulnerable on immigration, and it seems unlikely he will build up any kind of aura of invincibility by Feb 5. However he will be a force to be reckoned with.

    The media is counting Romney out, but this is malarkey. Romney has only don poorly compared to (press fabricated) expectations. Two second place finished and a first in a race with no clear front runner is nothing to be sneezed at. Even if he does poorly in SC and FL, he goes into Super Teusday with a huge advantage: money. It won't be possible to press the flesh in all 19 states, so the campaign will be waged largely by advertising; advertising to a population of people who may not have been paying that much attention up to now, and a ripe for some early impression manipulation.

    It is even remotely possible for somebody farther down in the Republican standings to score an upset before Feb 5, which would result in a log of free attention.

    Overall, we're looking at very competitive races all around, which is a good thing. The candidates are also hitting their stride, under the pressure of competition they're working as hard as I can ever remember at figuring out what it takes to connect with voters. It's looking like we'll see a more interesting and less conventional fight than we've seen in our lifetime.
  • Chuck-abee (Score:3, Interesting)

    by techpawn (969834) on Wednesday January 09, 2008 @10:27AM (#21968008) Journal
    How much of Huckabees success comes from the endorsement of Chuck Norris? And as much as I like the aging martial artist, I don't think HE'D be as popular as he is without the internet.

    While we're at it, Obama has Opra's backing and Opra controls how many minds?
  • by Applekid (993327) on Wednesday January 09, 2008 @10:29AM (#21968038)
    So, why exactly is it that there wasn't a story posted when Obama and Huckabee won the Iowa Caucus?
  • by Notquitecajun (1073646) on Wednesday January 09, 2008 @10:38AM (#21968162)
    States allocating pledged delegates to date:
    Iowa, Wyoming (GOP), New Hampshire

    Republican Delegates (1,191 needed to win nomination)

    Candidate Delegates
    Rudy Giuliani 0
    Mike Huckabee 31
    Duncan Hunter 1
    John McCain 7
    Ron Paul 0
    Mitt Romney 29
    Fred Thompson 3
    Total 71

    Democratic Delegates (2,026 needed to win nomination)

    Candidate Delegates
    Hillary Clinton 24
    John Edwards 18
    Mike Gravel 0
    Dennis Kucinich 0
    Barack Obama 25
    Bill Richardson 0
    Total 67

    WAAAAAYY too early to tell...we almost have to wait til Super Tuesday, because none of the front-runners are even halfway out.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Steve525 (236741)
      That doesn't match what is listed on CNN:

      http://www.cnn.com/ELECTION/2008/primaries/results/scorecard/#R [cnn.com]

      Some of the difference may be due to the inclusion of unpledged delegates on CNN. But even so, Huckebee should be probably listed as 21, not 31, (and puts Romney considerably ahead).
    • by iphayd (170761) on Wednesday January 09, 2008 @03:50PM (#21973046) Homepage Journal
      Iowa has not pledged national delegates yet. They have elected county delegates to represent the precinct. However, the same process happens there, so if there are not enough delegates at that caucus for a candidate to be viable, they may not actually get a district delegate, where the process repeats again to pick delegates for the state level. Finally, at the state caucus the delegates to the national convention are chosen, which is an expensive endeavor, as you have to mount a small election campaign at the state caucus, as well as fund your trip.

      Please remember that these delegates are absolutely free to choose who they wish, and is forced to if a precinct awards a delegate position to a candidate that drops out of the race. While the spotlight is off of us now, a subset of Iowans are by no means done with presidential primary politics. I was a delegate up to the state level in 2004, but didn't have the inclination to raise funds or votes for a trip to the national convention. I am not a county delegate in '08, which means that I get to sit back and wait for the election to end.

      Also, this is related to the Democrat Caucuses only, as I recently learned that the Republican Caucus is run differently, although I don't know in what regard.

      Now, the media's numbers for the delegates are relatively secure, although in 2004 Gephardt dropped out, which forced those delegates to go elsewhere. Imagine a similar thing if Edwards moves to a VP position again.
  • by clickclickdrone (964164) on Wednesday January 09, 2008 @11:16AM (#21968660)
    Considering how keen America is on exporting democracy to all and sundry, have you any idea how damned wierd your particular version looks to non-Americans? I've just had to spend twenty mins on Google trying to work it all out what with primaries, electroral collages etc. The fact that it seems to require so much money just to get heard doesn't help. Not really a very good advert for democracy in action.
    • by Quila (201335) on Wednesday January 09, 2008 @11:39AM (#21969004)
      Because it is not part of the Constitution, not part of the official process.

      Our two ruling parties have so taken over our process that what they do is effectively the process. We hold multimillion dollar conventions to select the candidates on the taxpayer's dime, and they are really just functions of the two parties. Minority leader, majority leader, minority/majority whip, etc., all just a power structure within our government invented by the two parties, yet they get paid more, get a bigger staff, etc. The only legitimate one is the House Speaker.

      The electoral college is peculiar to us because of our original situation. It is designed for the now unfortunately antiquated idea that the individual states are sovereign and have only created a federal government for their common defense and other things best managed as a group, such as coining money and international relations.

      But we don't try to export our way of democracy. Notice that Iraq and Afghanistan have parliamentary systems.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by praksys (246544)
      Democracies tend to develop into two party (or two coalition) systems. That tends to deliver undue power into the hands of the party hierarchies, because they control the two options offered to the public. Campaign spending controls reinforce this effect because the result of such controls is usually to ensure that only the established parties can communicate with the public on any significant scale.

      The US primary system may be arcane and quirky - but it gives the public far more control over the two option
  • ZOMG! It's OVER! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Quiet_Desperation (858215) on Wednesday January 09, 2008 @11:41AM (#21969042)
    Or not.

    Pat Buchanan won New Hampshire in 1996.

    I'm just sayin'.

  • by antdude (79039) on Wednesday January 09, 2008 @11:53AM (#21969206) Homepage Journal
    Ralph Wiggum! See here [metacafe.com] or here [milkandcookies.com].
  • by aminorex (141494) on Wednesday January 09, 2008 @12:04PM (#21969376) Homepage Journal
    Interestingly, Clinton did far better than the exit poll numbers in the locales which were tallied by LHS from Diebold (now Premier) machines, while Obama won in the municipalities which were counted by hand. The discrepancy is about 5%. You can check this yourself. Here's the database of counting systems Bev Harris collated from information supplied by the Secretary of State of New Hampshire before the primary: http://www.bbvdocs.org/NH/state/Jan-08-votingsystems-NH.txt [bbvdocs.org] -- and here you can find the AP vote tallies: http://www.politico.com/nhprimaries/nhmap-popup.html [politico.com] (I'd appreciate a better source than this flash, BTW.)

    • Yes, it's utterly impossible that different locales could have different election results. Everyone knows every state is entirely homogeneous.

      Nah, seriously, I'm glad people like you are keeping tabs on things related to computer voting, but this little statistic just doesn't sound significant to me.
    • by evought (709897) <evought@@@pobox...com> on Wednesday January 09, 2008 @11:45PM (#21979432) Homepage Journal
      There are a number of anomalies across the board. Given my candidate choice, I pay attention to particular ones, but unfair votes concern me, period.

      Two I am immediately familiar with:

      * A precinct where there were almost 700 registered local active Ron Paul volunteers but less than 400 votes counted. Huh?

      * A (small) precinct that counted zero votes for Dr. Paul where a family of three (all of whom voted for him) submitted a challenge. It turns out that the hand ballots recorded 31 votes, but "0" was "accidentally" copied to the tally sheet when it was submitted to the party HQ. "3", "1", "13", "30", I could all understand, but how do you mis-copy "31" as "0". A problem here is that actual counts are usually observed, but the filing of the summary sheets is not.

      I am not running around screaming "my candidate should have won". I think he did better, possibly quite a bit better than represented, but I expect that a recount would uncover (and correct) abuse against other candidates as well. People's votes, even if they vote for Attila the Hun, should count. There are people I would probably leave the country for if elected, but I still think the elections should be fair.

      I am not even going to get started on the Iowa Caucus. It is so badly handled there is no fixing it and no way a recount would even correct anything. It seems pretty certain at least Giuliani, Romney, and Dr. Paul got under-counted, but who knows by how much or what else was going on. At least the vote is not meant to be binding and the delegates are elected separately (as I understand it).

      Given how partisan and divisive elections are getting and how bad the question (and answer) of fraud is growing, it is a bad combination. I really begin to wonder what will happen when a large portion of the population "loses" an election and just plain refuses to accept that the election was fair (perhaps with valid cause). With many of the election systems and processes currently in place, you simply cannot *prove* that an election was anywhere in the ballpark of fair -to either side-. I see bad things from this. Replacing the voting system with something that requires a majority win, encourages moderate candidates or opens things to more parties can defuse the situation somewhat (e.g. Instant Run-off voting, or, better, ranked voting). Those systems tend to be a little less sensitive to manipulation and produce larger/clearer margins of victory.
  • Oh Well (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Phoenix666 (184391) on Wednesday January 09, 2008 @12:07PM (#21969442)
    It was a nice week after Iowa to think that at last we might get a break from the Bush-Clinton dynasties. It's already been 20 years we've had to live with it (Bush Sr. 4, Clinton 8, Bush Jr. 8).

    I like Edwards as much as Obama, but really wish he'd cut a deal with Obama for the VP slot so the anti-Hillary vote wouldn't be split. That would have put a hard stop to the Hillary campaign right there.

    Obama would be the clearest signal to the country and world that America is set for a new course. An Obama/Edwards ticket would be even stronger.

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