Wednesday, May 14, 2008

It Ain't Over Until the Blonde Lady Says!

Here’s some bluegrass fodder for Hillary Clinton. offers Research 2000 polling data from Kentucky showing that if Obama wins, thirty-three percent of Clinton supporters will flip to McCain, but only nineteen percent of Obama supporters will do a Benedict Arnold if their man doesn't prevail.

Simply stated, Obama’s supporters in Kentucky are more open to Clinton than vice versa, just like in West Virginia. We could speculate on why…and this would be precisely what Clinton would want us to do, as long as we don’t say the answer out loud.

Ultimately, though, does it matter? Clinton would still lose Kentucky against McCain by around 12% if the election were today (versus the 25% loss for Obama). So what is Clinton’s deal?

My Little League coach would loooove Clinton. His principle rule, which he ALWAYS yelled, was as follows:

“Run it out!”

When you hit a fly ball that looks like it’s going to get caught, or you hit a grounder right to somebody, or you strike out, but the catcher drops the ball, you STILL run as hard as you possibly can to first base because anything can happen. The fly ball can get dropped, the grounder can be mishandled, the throw can be errant, or the first baseman can botch the catch.

How embarrassing would it be if the ball gets bobbled, and you still get thrown out because you jogged or stood and watched?

Clinton is “running it out” while waiting for Obama and McCain bobbles. The Obama variant would have to be major, but it’s not as if he’s always avoided alienating comments about, oh, say guns and Bibles. And who knows what other Reverend Wright news might break.

If I were Clinton’s campaign, I’d be playing up the KY poll as a snapshot, and argue that Clinton is so tenacious, she will own McCain during the presidential debates. I’d also remind people of the collapses of H.W. Bush and Michael Dukakis because of incoherent messages or surreal reactions during those presidential debates. Does anyone reading this who saw the Dukakis debate NOT think, “This race is over” the second Dukakis gave Bernie Shaw an icy stare and black hole of emotion after being asked about his wife being raped?

If I were Clinton, I would also engage in non-stop “call outs” to Obama to debate in Kentucky and Oregon. Normally, the debate over debates is insider politics. But the Clinton campaign can parlay this into Obama’s fear of debating. After all, Obama wouldn’t take the stage in Indiana either. Clinton can point out that it’s going to be on the debate stage, mano a womano, where she’ll seize this thing from McCain, while Obama might falter at the critical juncture. The only time Obama was on the stage with just Clinton, his performance was so-so, and I say this as an Obama guy. In fact, if I were Obama, I would be so afraid of accidentally misspeaking, I would campaign only by pre-vetted podcast. (Okay, that’s extreme. But I’d certainly stick to a script).

(As an aside, this is why you shouldn't expect Mitch Daniels to debate more than twice in the gubernatorial race, if that frequently. There's no debate upside for Obama or Daniels).

To get the nomination, Clinton will let everybody know she’s ready to capitalize on an inevitable McCain bobble, at least to the tune of twelve percentage points in Kentucky. That seems a lot more doable than catching up from twenty-five points down, doesn’t it?

She’s a shrewd one, that Clinton. The only question now is whether the remaining super-delegates will stand against the rising Obama momentum and wait for the bobbles.

[Ed Note - Pete Viscloskey won't. He joined the parade today and endorsed Obama, leaving Brad Ellsworth the only Indiana D in Congress who hasn't decided].


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I understand that Ellsworth wants to endorse Obama but is afraid of how his district would react.