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The Grand Old White Party Confronts Obama

Sunday, February 17, 2008

THE curse continues. Regardless of party, it’s hara-kiri for a politician to step into the shadow of even a mediocre speech by Barack Obama.

Senator Obama’s televised victory oration celebrating his Chesapeake primary trifecta on Tuesday night was a mechanical rehash. No matter. When the networks cut from the 17,000-plus Obama fans cheering at a Wisconsin arena to John McCain’s victory tableau before a few hundred spectators in the Old Town district of Alexandria, Va., it was a rerun of what happened to Hillary Clinton the night she lost Iowa. Senator McCain, backed by a collection of sallow-faced old Beltway pols, played the past to Mr. Obama’s here and now. Mr. McCain looked like a loser even though he, unlike Senator Clinton, had actually won.

But he has it even worse than Mrs. Clinton. What distinguished his posse from Mr. Obama’s throng was not just its age but its demographic monotony: all white and nearly all male. Such has been the inescapable Republican brand throughout this campaign, ever since David Letterman memorably pegged its lineup of presidential contenders last spring as “guys waiting to tee off at a restricted country club.”

For Mr. McCain, this albatross may be harder to shake than George W. Bush and Iraq, particularly in a faceoff with Mr. Obama. When Mr. McCain jokingly invoked the Obama slogan “I am fired up and ready to go” in his speech Tuesday night, it was as cringe-inducing as the white covers of R & B songs in the 1950s — or Mitt Romney’s stab at communing with his inner hip-hop on Martin Luther King’s birthday. Trapped in an archaic black-and-white newsreel, the G.O.P. looks more like a nostalgic relic than a national political party in contemporary America. A cultural sea change has passed it by...(Click here for the remainder of article).

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"Our Moment Is Now" TV Ad

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Play of the Day: How Does Wis. Look for Hillary?

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Ex-Juggernaut Hillary Clinton tanking, pros, Dem insiders tell The News

Sunday, February 17th 2008, 4:00 AM

Hillary Clinton has come a long way from inevitability - and now experts see her as a presidential long shot.

A Daily News survey of party insiders, seasoned political consultants and academic experts give Clinton slim chances of defeating Barack Obama.

"Clinton's negatives are so high and Obama's positives so high, especially on the question '[Who] will unite or divide the country?'" said Steffen Schmidt of Iowa State University, who gives Clinton a 29.9% chance of pulling it off...(Click here for remainder of article).[This article is from the NY Daily News, so read with skepticism.]

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Clinton's attacks on Obama's oratory called into question

By Donald Lambro
February 17, 2008


One of the sharpest tactics in Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's presidential campaign arsenal is to belittle the value of rival Sen. Barack Obama's oratorical skills, an attack strategy that Democratic observers say isn't smart and isn't working.

It is a line of criticism that Mrs. Clinton has used throughout much of her campaign, especially in debates with her rival, but one she is using more frequently lately as she attempts to counter the contrast between her nuts-and-bolts, "ready to go on Day One" stump speeches and Mr. Obama's soaring rhetoric that summons Americans to unite behind his agenda for change...(Click here for remainder of article). [This article is from the Washington Times, so take it with an appropriate amount of skepticism.]

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Delegate fight gets bitter in Wisconsin

MILWAUKEE - Democratic presidential contender Hillary Clinton on Saturday defended the independent role of top party insiders to determine a nominee and said she was prepared to go the distance as her campaign predicted the race with rival Barack Obama will go to this summer's national convention.

But Obama's campaign accused Clinton of trying to persuade convention superdelegates to disregard the will of voters and of attempting to seat disputed delegations from Michigan and Florida, two states that Clinton won and that have been stripped of their delegates by the national Democratic Party for advancing their primary dates...(Click here for remainder of article).

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