Not-Quite-Super-but-We-Love-It-Anyway Monday Roundup

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Well, tomorrow’s the big day. Here’s the latest, AFAIK, on how it’s looking.

Contrary to my own prediction, it looks very likely that Super Tuesday will all but secure the GOP nomination for John McCain. Many of the GOP primaries are winner-take-all, and McCain leads pretty much all of those. The few states where he doesn’t show a substantial lead are states where the delegates are allocated proportionately, which means that even if Romney (or Huckabee) wins the popular vote in those states, McCain will still get a sizable chunk of those delegates. Basically, if Romney doesn’t pull a New York Giants-level upset tomorrow, he’s toast.

On the Democratic side, things are, like, waaaaaay murkier.

As you might expect, there are a ton of new polls out today. Most of the national ones show Obama either still closing on Hillary, in a dead heat with her, or actually ahead of her. Similarly, the latest polls in California — which has 400+ delegates — show Obama having erased Hillary’s lead, or even slightly ahead. Even New Jersey, which should be a stronghold for Hillary, is looking competitive. Throw in the fact that in the primaries that have already been held, the polls were somewhere between noticeably off and wildly off, and you get the sense that basically nobody knows what the heck is going on.

Unlike the GOP primaries, pretty much all the Dem primaries, California included, allocate their delegates proportionately. It’s even possible, because of the arcane allocation rules, for a candidate to slightly lose the popular vote, and come away with a slight win in delegates, which are what really counts. (See, e.g., Nevada, where Hillary eked out a popular victory, but Obama got 13 delegates to her 12.)

Upshot: the GOP race is likely to be over tomorrow night; the Dem race is likely to still be a statistical dead heat.

Addendum:

In addition to the delegates alloted by vote, there are also the so-called “superdelegates.”  These are government office-holders and party officials who can pledge themselves to whatever candidate they choose, whenever they choose.  Hillary has about twice as many as Obama has, already committed to her.  Here’s a useful website.

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37 Responses to “Not-Quite-Super-but-We-Love-It-Anyway Monday Roundup”

  1. alsturgeon Says:

    McCain/Huckabee ticket vs. Obama/Clinton ticket in November.

    I don’t know what I’m talking about. I just like to hear myself talk sometimes.

    I also predicted Pats 35, Giants 0.

  2. urbino Says:

    McCain/Huckabee seems pretty likely. It’s hard for me to imagine a ticket combining Clinton and Obama, in either order. But if/when it comes right down to it, maybe the relevant parties would go for it.

  3. urbino Says:

    Rush Limbaugh really, really dislikes John McCain. Really.

    In particular, “John McCain has stabbed his own party in the back, I can’t tell you how many times,” and, “He stabbed his own president in the back on legislation, a number of times,” are particularly pungent attack lines in some GOP circles. The “stab in the back” has been a favorite metaphor on the right for decades, referring to the most odious cases of liberals undermining America’s strength.

    Will Limbaugh ever fall in line behind McCain, and if so, when? Does it matter?

    I know Whitney has been sitting out the political discussions. What do you think, Cap’n?

  4. msmiranda Says:

    Well, I did my part to get people out for Obama. I e-mailed my whole list and basically told them that a vote for Hillary (in the primary) is a vote for McCain (in November). My MIL was surprised I felt that way. I think most of my friends are voting for Obama, but I’ve been surprised at one of them who is generally pragmatic about these things but “just wants to support Hillary for a while,” which seems to me like seeing voting as an emotional experience, to be able to support someone you like, rather than what it really is — you know, trying to help prevent disaster. Alas, Virginia’s primary is not until next Tuesday, but if all goes well tomorrow the race won’t be over yet. It seems like people are starting to realize that Hillary is a no-go nationally and are quickly trying to bail water with such tools as they have. I have offended several people by articulating this, though.

    Even if Obama were to win the nomination, though, I still think it would be an uphill battle to win in November. We’re just way too good at that whole snatching defeat from the jaws of victory thing.

  5. msmiranda Says:

    I hope McCain picks Huckabee — that would help us in November. Huckabee has said some way stupid things during the campaign that make him seem like he’s in lala land. (Constitution, in line with God’s will, etc.)

  6. captmidknight Says:

    JU said:
    Rush Limbaugh really, really dislikes John McCain. Really.
    In particular, “John McCain has stabbed his own party in the back, I can’t tell you how many times,” and, “He stabbed his own president in the back on legislation, a number of times,”
    Will Limbaugh ever fall in line behind McCain, and if so, when? Does it matter?
    I know Whitney has been sitting out the political discussions. What do you think, Cap’n?
    _________
    I can’t comment just yet. I’m still stunned by the image of you actually listening to Rush Limbaugh in any context.
    Mega dittos

  7. Terry A. Says:

    “Rush Limbaugh really, really dislikes John McCain. Really.”

    Score one more point for McCain’s candidacy. Seriously… Rush Limbaugh? He’s still on the air?

    P.S. — I have a secret, deep crush on Mrs. Obama. Yow.

  8. urbino Says:

    Does this supersede your secret, deep crush on Mrs. Huckabee?

    Don’t fall out of your captain’s chair, Cap’n. The link is to a 3rd-party report about Limbaugh’s comments, and Bob Dole’s response to him. That’s the nearest I get to Rush.

    Oddly, one of the things Dole says in response to Limbaugh, by way of proof that McCain is a real conservative, is that McCain’s voting record most resembles that of Jesse Helms. Somehow, I don’t think “More Like Jesse Helms” will be a winning bumper sticker for McCain in November. Especially if Obama is the other choice. Yikes.

  9. captmidknight Says:

    JU said:
    Don’t fall out of your captain’s chair, Cap’n. The link is to a 3rd-party report about Limbaugh’s comments, and Bob Dole’s response to him. That’s the nearest I get to Rush.
    _______
    Thank God!
    You had me worried for a minute.

    OK, here goes.

    Just for the record:
    John McCain is a hero, just like every one of the men that are alumni of the Air War over North Viet Nam and/or the Hanoi Hilton. I have known a few guys who flew combat over North Viet Nam, and anyone who did that certainly has a brass set. I’ve also known a few guys who were POWs during the war, including maybe the only pilot who was shot down and captured, but escaped and actually walked out successfully. Their POW experience makes Club Gitmo look like Club Med, and their interrogators make the CIA types with their water boards look like your old maid aunt. Anytime John McCain or any of those other men walks into a room, I’ll stand up.

    That said:
    None of the above, in and of itself, qualifies McCain or anybody else with a similar background to be a good, successful small town Mayor, much less President. While it may speak to issues of character, it says nothing about competence in a job that doesn’t normally involve flying high performance aircraft over people fervently trying to kill you. Impressive accomplishments, but not really relevant to the present situation.

    Unless you’ve been living in a cave somewhere, you know that McCain’s positions and votes and “bipartisan” legislative efforts on several issues near and dear to Conservatives not only puts him on what they see as the wrong side of those issues, but, to many, brands him as a turncoat and a collaborator with the “enemy” in the person of Ted Kennedy, Russ Finegold, and others. This is what Rush is articulating – the feeling of a certain block of the Conservative Republican Party. He’s not pushing it as an agenda he created – although I’m sure he feels that way – he’s simply pointing out the facts of McCain’s record. There are millions of folks on the Right who would say the same thing. Rush is just the only one with a radio show.

    As in any election year, neither side has a candidate they are totally happy with. I think, this time, however, the Liberals have candidates which they perceive to have fewer and less serious faults than the Conservatives perceive in their front runners. Both sides have litmus tests.
    Unfortunately, from my point of view, I think the Liberals are more likely to close ranks around their nominee, even if they have to hold their nose to do it, than are the Conservatives. They may feel that, by refusing to vote for somebody who doesn’t pass all their tests, it gives them the moral high ground, but it won’t give them the White House. For a lot of reasons, for the Republicans to win this year, regardless of the candidates, will be a bigger longshot than the Giants over the Pats. It could happen, but I’ll be surprised.
    Being of inferior moral fiber than a true believer “Rock Ribbed Conservitave,” if it comes down to McCain vs either Hillary or Obama, I’ll have to go with the old guy. Staying home is simply deluding your self that your doing something righteous – IMHO.

    A little more on Rush, for those who can’t bring yourselves to listen:

    Most people who never listen to him believe him to be simply a loud mouthed buffoon who simply spouts the Republican party line, day after day, to a bunch of semi literate inbred rednecks who don’t have enough sense to change the station. This view is common among reporters who listen for ten minutes and hear what they already knew they would. More than once, Rush has launched into a long satire or spoof on some current event, only to hear it solemnly reported the next day as hard news. Rush tells people that you have to listen for several weeks before you really get what he’s trying to do.

    Politicians hate him because he actually reads what they say and then points out the absurdities that abound on all sides in a place like Washington. Most newsmen and politicians of either stripe are quite impressed with themselves and have almost zero tolerance for ridicule. What Rush does, a lot of the time, is a little like a variation on Harry Truman’s famous line:

    “I don’t give ‘em hell. I just tell the truth on them and they think it’s hell.”

    Don’t get me wrong. I’m not one of his “mind numbed robots.” Like most talk show hosts, Rush has an ego as big as all outdoors, is enamored with the sound of his own voice, and is as convinced of his own position as any revival preacher you ever heard – an almost unforgivable sin these days.
    What makes him different – and, I think, accounts for his longevity – is that he is actually saying what many in his audence already think plus he doesn’t take things too seriously.
    A lot of his “shtick” is sending up himself. “Talent on loan from God.” Well, isn’t all talent? “One half my brain tied behind my back – just to make it fair.” This from a college dropout? “I’m not going to stop until everyone agrees with me.” In his dreams. All this is deliberate, of course. He is, after all, just a harmless lovable little fuzzball.
    He readily admits that the purpose of the show is to talk about the thing that interest him, and to gather as large an audience as possible so that he can charge confiscatory advertising rates. He can be very serious and passionate, and he can be hysterically funny, usually at the expense of some politician or celebrity who takes themselves much too seriously.

    Some of his best things are the song parodies done by Paul Shanklin from Memphis. If you’ve never heard his environmental update theme “In a Yugo,” done to Elvis’ “In the Ghetto.” you’ve missed something. A close second is his Barney Frank update theme, “My Boy Lollypop.” Seem like nobody can take a joke anymore.

    Finally, Rush does let his mouth overload his backside on occasion, but he is fearless. His best thing recently came when some Dems latched on to – and misrepresented – a quote from Rush about some marines who were critical of the Iraq war. Harry Reid wrote a letter – on Senate stationary and signed by a bunch of other Senators, including both Dem frontrunners – to Rush’ syndication partner, trying to get him to pressure Rush to apologize for dishonoring our brave fighting men – a rather strange position for Reid to take.
    Rather than being intimidated, the syndication partner sent Rush the letter. Rush read it on the air, and then, so there’d be no doubt as to how he really felt about the Marine Corps, he auctioned it off on Ebay, promising to match the winning bid out of his own pocket, and donate all the proceeds to a charity for the children of Marine Corps and police personnel. It was the highest winning bid in Ebay history, and, with the match, raised about $4,000,000.

    I don’t always agree with him, and, sometimes, he gets wrapped around the axle and I have to just turn him off, but he can be a real hoot.

    C’mon. I listen to that pinko communist NPR all the time. The least you could do is – with apologies to John Lennon – “Give Rush a Chance.”

    If you can’t find something in all that to gig me for, you’re not trying.

  10. alsturgeon Says:

    I’d just like to express my admiration for msmiranda’s definition of voting: “trying to help prevent disaster.”

    That’s really good!

  11. captmidknight Says:

    Additional McCain comments:
    McCain was never my first choice. I’m old enough to remember the last Annapolis grad we had as president – Jimmy Carter – and I’m certainly not ready to go back there. Of the two viable choices as of this morning, I’d much prefer Romney. At least, he knows how to run an organization and is rich enough so that he doesn’t have to steal.
    More importantly, I heard this morning that some blogs or news reports, including comments from some prominent Republican senators, are suggesting that McCain may be too mentally unstable for the office. Someone is also suggesting that the Clinton camp may have access to some files from Russian interrogators indicating that McCain collaborated in some fashion while in the Hanoi Hilton, and is planning to use them if McCain is the nominee.

    Whether he collaborated or not, an experience like his, no matter how heroic, has profound and long lasting effects on a person’s mental state. These may all be just the latest round of conspiracy theories and standard political “dirty tricks,” but if, given his background, any of the mental stability issues turn out to be true, all bets are off for me.

    Hillary and Obama are too liberal for me on many social issues and far too eager to force me to fund their agenda – I think it was Margaret Thatcher who said that the basic problem with Liberalism is that eventually you run out of other people’s money. Better that, however, than Dr. Strangelove.

  12. urbino Says:

    Thanks for the insights, Cap’n. I’m still left with my original question, though:

    Will Limbaugh ever fall in line behind McCain, and if so, when? Does it matter?

    Related: I just heard a report that James Dobson says the GOP choices are so bad, he’s not going to vote.

  13. urbino Says:

    I think it was Margaret Thatcher who said that the basic problem with Liberalism is that eventually you run out of other people’s money.

    George W. Bush conservatism appears to have proved her wrong.

  14. captmidknight Says:

    JU said:
    Will Limbaugh ever fall in line behind McCain, and if so, when? Does it matter?
    ________
    I doubt that he will ever “fall in line behind McCain.” He may be dragged kicking and screaming to the polls in November if it is McCain vs either Hillary or Obama, but he may also follow Dobson’s route. It’ll be entertaining to see how it plays out.

    Rush is certainly hard core Conservative in his philosophy, but he can be pragmatic too. He’s not a knee jerk supporter of anyone who claims to be the next Conservative guru. Back in ’92, when Ross Perot emerged as the Conservative “Great White Hope,” many of Rush’ listeners expected him to jump on the bandwagon. Instead, he correctly pointed out that Perot was an extremely rich flake, and that a vote for Perot was, in fact, a vote for Bill Clinton. He immediately introduced a Shanklin produced “Perot Update Theme” based on Napoleon XIV’s 1966 hit song “They’re Coming to Take Me Away,” and described Perot as looking like “A hand grenade with a bad hair cut.”

    Will it matter? Maybe, but my guess is – not much.

    Personally, if it’s McCain, I’ll have to watch him very closely during the coming months. I think it’s possible that his emotional stability may be fragile, as some are now contending. For me, it may become a chance I don’t want to take, whoever is on the other side. Do I then stay home with Dr. Dobson? I don’t know.

  15. captmidknight Says:

    I just noticed that Andrew Sullivan, who writes in The Atlantic Monthly, wrote a column on a blog called “ The Daily Dish” yesterday ripping Hillary’s latest emotional episode titled “The Tears of the Anti-Feminist.” Among other things, he compares her very unfavorably with women like Margaret Thatcher and finishes up with this line:

    “One day, there will be a woman worth electing to the White House. But not this one.”

    Probably to be expected from Sullivan’s Conservative/Libertarian perspective, but still -Ouch! Sounds like Hillary’s high negatives have as much or more to do with how people feel about her personally as they do with policy differences.

    Tonight will be fun to watch.

  16. urbino Says:

    “Daily Dish” is Sullivan’s blog. And, yes, he’s very down on Hillary. By his own admission, his aversion is not entirely rational: he hates the Clintons. OTOH, he loves Obama. From what I can tell, though, his love is not entirely rational, either. He, like a surprising number of conservative pundits and bloggers, seems to be projecting a lot of conservatism onto Obama.

  17. urbino Says:

    Hey, everybody in AR, TN, LA, and MS, be safe during this evening’s weather tantrum.

  18. captmidknight Says:

    “Hey, everybody in AR, TN, LA, and MS, be safe during this evening’s weather tantrum.”
    _________
    Just looked at the weather radar. A nice little line through Memphis and West Tn and then a squal line from Tyler Texas to Peoria, Il. Looks like a “Dark and Stormy Night.”

  19. urbino Says:

    Yeah, we just had a tornado in Bartlett. More to our south and southwest, supposedly heading this way.

  20. captmidknight Says:

    “OTOH, he loves Obama. From what I can tell, though, his love is not entirely rational, either. He, like a surprising number of conservative pundits and bloggers, seems to be projecting a lot of conservatism onto Obama.”
    ______
    What do you think? Wishful thinking or the ABH (Anybody but Hillary) syndrome?

  21. urbino Says:

    Some of both. Part of it, too, is that a lot of Republicans just aren’t thrilled with the candidates on their side; meanwhile, Obama is this very likable, inspiring figure, offering a lot of “post-partisan” rhetoric. I think they’re looking for somebody to hitch their wagon to, and Obama is the brightest star in the current sky.

    I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again: I think Obama has a Reagan Effect.

  22. urbino Says:

    More tornadoes in Memphis.

  23. captmidknight Says:

    “More tornadoes in Memphis.”
    ________
    Keep your head down.

    My kids are in G’town. Hope it misses them.

  24. urbino Says:

    Okay, here. Hope your kids are, too. How are you, Mrs. P?

    Sounds like there’s been a lot of damage around town. Fires from lightning strikes. Lots of downed power lines. Quite a bit of structural damage. Some people are trapped inside Hickory Ridge Mall, which was hit by one of the tornadoes.

    Second wave of storms is just beginning to get here from eastern AR. Everybody okay there, Terry?

  25. urbino Says:

    Elections-wise, everything so far seems to be going as expected. I was surprised at how well Obama did among whites in GA (43%), but the outcomes are all pretty much by the book.

  26. urbino Says:

    Sounds like the weather fun has arrived in your area, Cap’n. Don’t go out captaining tonight.

    I think it’s all east of me and the peacock lady, now. Somebody sound the “all clear” horn.

  27. captmidknight Says:

    “Sounds like the weather fun has arrived in your area, Cap’n. Don’t go out captaining tonight.”
    _____
    No danger of that. Besides the storms, the pressure change isn’t helping my wife’s new knee implants.
    We had some excitement earlier. A nice super cell came through the western edge of my county (Williamson) and dropped off a few tornados on it’s way through downtown Nashville and out to the northeast. Some damage, but no deaths and few injuries.
    I hear that Jackson – especially Union University just north of I-40 – got hamered.
    Radar looks like you are getting it now. I guess I’ll just wait for the main event in a couple of hours.

  28. urbino Says:

    Really? It’s quiet as a mouse here, and has been for an hour or more.

    Yes, Union got hammered. Again. But it sounds like AR got the worst of this set of storms. Hope we’ll hear from Terry before too long.

    Did you get any of it down your way, Al?

  29. Whitney Says:

    Just got home and seeing as I am the only one of us still awake (except maybe Mikey), am reading the news about the weather. Praying you’re ALL safe.

  30. alsturgeon Says:

    I caught some of election/tornado coverage, but I was otherwise occupied. I took Hillary to the emergency room at 3pm yesterday, they started surgery to remove her rupturing appendix about 9pm, finished around 11pm, and in a room at midnight…

    We spent the night in her room and I’m now just checking in long enough to spread the news that I won’t be internetting much for a while. Since it had begun to rupture, she could be in the hospital for a week.

    But she was amazing.

    Gotta jet.

  31. captmidknight Says:

    Al said:
    “I took Hillary to the emergency room at 3pm yesterday, they started surgery to remove her rupturing appendix about 9pm, finished around 11pm, and in a room at midnight…”
    _______
    Having something like that happen to one of your kids is really scary and makes you feel pretty helpless. Glad you all caught it in time and that she came through OK. Good doctors and nurses are one of God’s best gifts.

    I know that God and the good folks at OSCofC will take good care of you.

  32. urbino Says:

    Best wishes to the shorty, Al. That kind of thing, as Cap’n noted, is scary.

    Everybody here seems to be okay, weather-wise, Whitney. Thanks.

  33. Whitney Says:

    Tell Hillary we love her, Al.

  34. alsturgeon Says:

    Thanks, guys! Wulp, back to the hospital…

  35. Professor Trollawney Says:

    This site totally needs a troll. Wait, look, one just arrived.

  36. urbino Says:

    Ack! A troll! Run away! Run away!

  37. uydu kurulumu ankara Says:

    Obama votes rather than mass

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