Alarming News

January 29, 2008

Wait, where have I heard this before?

Oh yes, it was during the Howard Dean campaign and then again during John Kerry’s. Errol Lewis in today’s NY Daily News:

The big untold story in the race – the greatest, most unpredictable factor – is Obama’s creation of a powerful youth movement that pollsters and pundits often overlook. On the day before the primary, Clinton got a tepid response from about 600 students at a black college and Edwards spoke to about 200 – but Obama wowed 5,000 kids at Clemson University, and another 1,000 or so at a late-night rally across the street from the University of South Carolina.

I spoke to students who traveled from places like Georgia, North Carolina, Tennessee and New York to volunteer for the campaign. One group of out-of-state twentysomething volunteers I spent time with arrived from up north like old-style civil rights workers, knocking on doors by day and bunking with local families at night.

They were charged up and happy to be working for Obama – and positively delirious at the rallies.

“Young people are voting at rates we have not seen in the history of this country,” Obama told a cheering crowd on Friday night. “It’s your generation that can imagine not just the world as it is, but the world as it could be.”

Let me, again, quote myself the day after the last presidential election from my “lessons from an election” post:

Young people don’t vote. They have never voted. They will never vote. Even when you threaten them with death. Even when Eminem makes a ‘cool’ video about it. Even when they’re lied to and told that they’ll get drafted. Counting on the young vote (or, really, ‘new’ voters of any age) is just about the worst strategy for any campaign.

But, as you all know, I’m rooting for Obama because I think he will be easier to beat than Hillary here’s hoping they keep on keeping on with the strategy of attracting new voters to the polls. It might totally work this time.

Posted by Karol at 09:46 AM |
Technorati Tags:
Comments

The problem with your theory this time around is that they ARE actually voting … at least in the primary. Sure, they’ll all get stoned and forget to show up for the general election, but they are turning out.
http://adage.com/campaigntrail/post?article_id=123398

Posted by: Ken Wheaton at January 29, 2008 at 12:55 pm

I think you’re out of your mind if you wanna face obama over hillary….then again, you are a cowboy/yankee fan. :)
Huck 08

Posted by: Larry at January 29, 2008 at 1:00 pm

Come now Karol, there are a few things here:
1.) After the last few weeks do you really, _really_ think Hillary will be easier to beat? I’m getting the impression the Clintons are angling to, if all else fails, fight Hamlet-style, i.e. even the “victor” is going to die from poisoning if not slain in the contest itself. Considering how much they have primed the racial pump, the Democratic primaries have all the possibility of ending up like a duel held with flamethrowers in a black powder magazine.
2.) As to the “totally work this time,” think of how many 20-somethings you know who are really, really worried about stuff. Just sayin’, like Al Qaeda getting a nuke, the Dems turning out the youth vote only has to work once for it to have profound effect on Presidential politics. I mean, really, who do you think young voters are going to go for in a general election, Barack “Hope” Obama or some guy who looks and sounds like their boss / grandfather?
3.) Who do you think was really scared they might get drafted and voted accordingly? Please, most of the young people who actually vote were probably saying (with parental encouragement), “Well, hell, I’ll just flee to Canada if it comes to that.”
Not to mention young people aren’t stupid: On September 12th President Bush could have introduced a bill to require every Congressman to slice off his left nad and every Congresswoman to prostitute herself for 24 hours in the poorest neighborhood of D.C. _and it would have passed_ as long as it was somehow related to anti-terror. Considering there was no draft instituted then (something I’m sure history will properly da*n us for after the next attack), most young people figured the odds were really, really slim that either political party was going to commit seppuku by voting to draft people to go fight in Iraq. Thus, the argument that, “Ah ha, that just proves young people can’t be motivated to vote even by dire circumstances…” is pretty specious, I’m afraid. Come talk to me after a major U.S. city has a weather forecast of “ludicrously bright, doubly sunny, and a high of 10,000 degrees,” the sitting President is calling for a cordon and sweep operation from the Straits of Gibraltar to the Straits of Malacca, and the opposing party is saying that they’ll just fall back and nuke the requisite parts from orbit. If young people don’t vote _then_, we can say the fear of a draft doesn’t motivate them.

Posted by: James at January 29, 2008 at 1:08 pm

I’m not so sure he’ll be easier to beat for you guys. Call me naive, but I join the school of thought that the old political rule the right has down pat, which will work seamlessly against Hillary, won’t work against Barack. A totally new offence will have to be planned.

Posted by: Toby at January 29, 2008 at 1:17 pm

Toby +1
And the fact is, the prospect of an Obama presidency isn’t nearly as motivating to the Republicans as a Clinton one.
I could hardly think of a better GOP fund-raising and get-out-the-vote theme than “President Hillary”.

Posted by: Joe Grossberg at January 29, 2008 at 1:28 pm

You are right Karol. Look at this piece from Christian Science Monitor 1/30/2004 about Dean supporters:
“They want young people to vote. And in Iowa, they did. The number of 18- to 29-year-olds who turned out at the caucuses quadrupled compared with 2000. In New Hampshire, where Ms. Teresi’s group spent almost a week knocking on doors, grabbing young people on the streets, and rallying college campuses, the youth turnout was up 50 percent from four years ago. “We think that young people are going to be the swing voters of the 2004 election” says Scott Beale of the nonprofit Youth Venture, who’s working the Granite State along with Teresi. “It’s going to be our generation that decides this election.”

Posted by: Jake at January 29, 2008 at 1:32 pm

Energy, enthusiasm, etc. are all well and good. But Hillary has a national ground team in place, she’s got actual experience and accomplishments and ultimately, she’s got gravitas. Obama is the empty suit talking vaguely about change. It’s cute and all but it will grate by the general election and it will be so easy to crush his ridiculous proposals. His last election was against Alan Keyes. I mean, honestly.
But, whatever, don’t listen to me. I’m just the person who said no shot for Rudy over a year ago and said McCain was going to mount a comeback all through the Spring and Fall. What do I know?

Posted by: Karol at January 29, 2008 at 1:38 pm

Jake, that paragraph says it all.

Posted by: Karol at January 29, 2008 at 1:48 pm

…she’s got gravitas

With who? I read and heard that a lot of liberals are finally seeing the Clintons for who they are and it’s making their stomachs turn.

Posted by: Shawn at January 29, 2008 at 1:48 pm

Karol,
1.) Obama was within the statistical margin of Jack Ryan in most polls before he got kneecapped by his ex-wife (hmm, maybe we should mention _that_ in the other thread on why men don’t get married), an unprofessional judge, and the Chicago Tribune. Sure Alan Keyes was a buffoon, but there was no guarantee that Obama would have gotten roughed up in the general even if his opponent had been Ryan.
2.) Empty suit talking vaguely about change. Sounds an awful lot like “some hick playing a saxophone,” doesn’t it? If there was a great communicator on the GOP side that moved the crowd, I would agree with you that Obama would get smoked. However, it’s shaping up to be Mitt or McCain, a.k.a. “the snake oil salesman” or “the man one second away from a bad, temper infused soundbite” for the GOP. Sorry, while I trust your judgment on all things Rudy, history is full of good orators beating better paper candidates. Never underestimate the ability of the demagogue to make people _believe_ all things are possible.
3.) In addition to realizing that the Clintons just might be megalomaniacs, liberals are starting to remember what they didn’t like about the ’90s, i.e. watching the conservatives do anything to derail the Clintons. Sure, Billary’s got all the advantages you named above, but they’ve got the huge general election minus of motivating every conservative from 18-99 (”You just hold my colostomy bag there, junior, and shut up so I can vote against this b*tch!”) to get to the polls. Nevermind the race baiting, lying, and everything else Billary brings to the table–liberals realize that this duo is the reason why the GOP got into power in 1994, and most of the sane ones don’t want to go back.
4.) Finally, at the risk of getting told to commit an impossible carnal act, my only response to the long litany of your successful prognistications are two words: Fred Thompson.
I will now flee this IP address in order to avoid the imminent counterbattery fire.

Posted by: James at January 29, 2008 at 2:26 pm

4.) Finally, at the risk of getting told to commit an impossible carnal act, my only response to the long litany of your successful prognistications are two words: Fred Thompson.
At no point did I predict a Fred win. I just hoped for one. :-(

Posted by: Karol at January 29, 2008 at 2:30 pm

At no point did I predict a Fred win. I just hoped for one. :-(
+1

Posted by: ccs178 (Chris) at January 29, 2008 at 2:36 pm

You did sorta predict he’d show up and make some noise. I mean, I’m no member of the Leibstandarte Ron Paul division, but I’m thinking when the good Congressman from Texas beats him in a primary it’s hard to argue he should’ve gotten off the couch, much less that he made much noise.
Now, you want to argue that the above facts are a tragedy for America and the conservative movement, we might be on the same side. ;(

Posted by: James at January 29, 2008 at 3:04 pm

“I read and heard that a lot of liberals are finally seeing the Clintons for who they are and it’s making their stomachs turn…”
This is true, Shawn, but so is this…
“Obama is the empty suit talking vaguely about change. It’s cute and all but it will grate by the general election and it will be so easy to crush his ridiculous proposals.”
And this may well happen sooner then it might seem now.
Also, remember older, old-line Democrats and the working class, who are unimpressed by this dark-skinned messiah’s sudden star quality, and may, at some point, begin to assert themselves in performance…
“What do I know?”
You know a LOT, Karol.
You are right, way more often than you are wrong.

Posted by: hashfanatic at January 29, 2008 at 6:57 pm

It depends on who the GOP puts up against Obama. I think McCain defeats Obama. I do not think Romney would do as well. I also think a Mitt-Obama battle would be bad for the republic. I can see it now:
Muslim! Cultist! Muslim! Cultist! Muslim! Cultist!
Not a pretty sight. And while Obama has not run against anyone besides Alan Keyes in a general, he has taken more than a few shots from the dirtiest players in the game.

Posted by: Von Bek at January 29, 2008 at 9:08 pm

I mean, I’m no member of the Leibstandarte Ron Paul division, but I’m thinking when the good Congressman from Texas beats him in a primary it’s hard to argue he should’ve gotten off the couch, much less that he made much noise.
Sure, but the complaint a lot of his erstwhile supporters have made is he never really did get off the couch.
Karol is right. The Democratic nomination is still Clinton’s to lose – she has virtually the entire party machine behind her. If she can just get Bill to stop the finger wagging tirades she’s gonna be okay.
In the general I think any of the top-tier Republican candidates has a better-than-even shot against either Hillary or Obama. Well, “any” with the exception of Huckabee. If I were a staunch party guy, as opposed to being a conservative, I’d feel pretty good about the situation as it stands right now.
As a conservative, though, the whole thing makes me want to go fishing.

Posted by: Anonymous at January 29, 2008 at 9:53 pm

What about McCain/Giuliani vs. Clinton/Obama?
Or Clinton/Edwards, or Clinton/Vilsack?

Posted by: hashfanatic at January 29, 2008 at 11:25 pm

Hillary will never offer it to Obama unless, by some snowball’s chance, she needs his money or campaign infrastructure. She’s such a vindictive person, convinced she was anointed for the presidency, that she’s taken personal offense by any Democrat who sought to take away her nomination.
Edwards backed off quietly, but that still might not get him the VP nod. He kept campaigning for too long. Obama has not only dared to take what she believes is rightfully only hers, but he’s created bad blood by pointing out certain truths about her.

Posted by: Perry Eidelbus at January 31, 2008 at 11:23 am
Post a comment